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The One Monte Carlo district @VisitMonaco

With the opening of the new One Monte-Carlo district, the Monte-Carlo Shopping mall is set for a new lease of life as the Riviera’s most exclusive retail experience. 

The One Monte-Carlo complex is a major new development in the very heart of Monaco, offering a global luxury experience just yards from the iconic Place du Casino.  Combining high-end residential units, retail spaces, top restaurants, cultural and business facilities, the ultra-modern district surrounds the Promenade Princesse Charlène, a new pedestrian area lined with trees and seven buildings, designed to be a transparent and green space.

Officially opened on 22 February 2019 by Their Serene Highnesses Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene, accompanied by Their Children, the concept building currently houses 37 apartments, 24 luxury boutiques and nine floors of office space.  

A global and exclusive luxury experience

One Monte-Carlo is a brand new fashion district, with 24 high-end boutiques, 17 located inside the buildings themselves, along the new Promenade Princesse Charlène and on Avenue Princesse Alice, with a further six on Avenue des Beaux-Arts.  The great luxury houses present at the One Monte-Carlo include Akris,  Chanel Joaillerie,  Lanvin, Art in Time, Czarina, Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga (summer 2019), Fendi, Prada Homme, Boucheron, Fred, Ralph & Russo, Céline, Gianvito Rossi, Saint Laurent, Chanel, HRH Jewels, and Sonia Rykiel. On Avenue des Beaux-Arts can be found Dior, Piaget, Alexander McQueen, Bulgari, Prada and Cartier.

An exceptional address in Monaco 

A unique residential address on the Place du Casino, One Monte-Carlo is a haven of peace and a superb place to live, work, or simply take a stroll. The brand new residential district, the first of its kind in Monaco, offers 37 high-end apartments for international clients looking for a truly exceptional living environment.  

A sustainable, green district 

Designed by  Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, one of the world’s leading contemporary architecture and urban design firms (which won the the 2007 Pritzker Prize, and also designed the Centre Georges Pompidou with Renzo Piano) and Monegasque architect Alexandre Giraldi, One Monte-Carlo is built to the most stringent environmental standards. The project was awarded the European BREEAM label. The roof of the building is fitted with latest generation solar panels. The exterior spaces were an important part of the project, designed to create a breathing space in the centre of the city, encouraging pedestrian traffic and social conviviality, under the responsibility of landscaper Jean Mus.

Read the full article from Visit Monaco here

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‘Off-Piste’ Safaris Offer True Off-the-Grid Experiences @RobbReport

Here’s How to Take One, in a Challenger 350, no less

By Jackie Caradonio on June 26, 2019

Namibia-Coast-Dunes-near-Swakopmund
Namibia coast dunes near Swakopmund 
Courtesy of the Explorations Company

Nicola Shepherd has been going to Africa for 30 years, exploring new destinations and taking clients on trips of a lifetime. Now she’s introducing the “off-piste safari,” a truly bespoke bush experience. While on a jaunt from South Africa to Rwanda to Kenya, she filled us in on the high-flying details.

What is an off-piste safari?

It’s doing things that nobody else is doing—or hasn’t done for 50 to 100 years. It’s feeling like the original pioneers of the early 20th century, going into pristine regions that are devoid of tourism and have a plethora of wildlife.

namibia-brandberg
Courtesy of the Explorations Company

And how do you do that?

By private plane. When you have a Challenger 350 and a Pilatus 12 at your disposal, you can bypass a lot of the time-consuming issues that come with flying commercial in Africa, and it means you can go straight to smaller areas like Tanzania’s Maswa region and the Namib Desert without the extra overnights and pit stops.

Is the Explorations Company the first to offer this level of customizability?

There are other companies that have private-jet safaris, but most offer them en masse—one goes with dozens of other people. There is nothing private or bespoke about that.

Does the exclusive treatment continue once you’re on the ground?

Yes. Once we’re in places like the Serengeti—where it can seem like the whole world converges during the Great Migration—we bypass the national parks and instead take our clients to totally private concessions where you can get out of the vehicles, away from the crowds and view the animals on foot. We also have contacts with top scientists and researchers to arrange behind-the-scenes access to all sorts of experiences that aren’t viable or available for the general tourist, including microchipping rhinos and collaring lions and elephants.

The bathtub at Botswana Duba Plains camp
The bathtub at Botswana Duba Plains camp Courtesy of the Explorations Company

Where would you say is the ultimate off-piste destination right now?

If somebody wanted to go seriously off-grid, I’d take them to Zakouma National Park in Chad. It’s the largest intact savanna ecosystem in eastern Africa and just a wonder in diversity. It’s truly extraordinary and, for now anyway, virtually untouched.

Read the full article from Robb Report here

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London gets dog-friendly bowling lanes and tournament

London is getting a dog-friendly bowling tournament this Summer and dog-friendly bowling lanes to stay! From the collaboration between All Star Lanes and London Dog Week, which will unravel in a series of Summer events, there is a first for London dog owners (or “parents”): the Dog Parent Bowling League. We were recently invited to the launch party of this new initiative and this is all you need to know.

By The Londog July 3, 2019

Dogs at bowling lanes

Dog-friendly bowling lanes: All Star Lanes opens its doors to canines

Until recently, All Star Lanes used to have some dog restrictions in place. But things have changed. The new Managing Director of All Star Lanes is a big dog lover and has a little sausage dog called Brenda (as in Beverly Hills), and has partnered with London Dog Week. Aneka Johnson, Co-founder of London Dog Week tells us, “He understands that dog/owner connection and the social element of having a dog by your side and wanting to do stuff with your furry bestie! I think we bring quite a strong case to why dogs should be allowed into venues, education to change perceptions on dogs inside venues is the key.”

Dog near bowling balls

All Star Lanes’ new favourable dog policy applies at All Star Lanes Brick Lane and White City venues and now provides that well-behaved dogs are welcome in the bar areas and on the lanes, on condition they are kept on a lead, with a maximum of 2 dogs per lane at a time.

Leaflets of dog-friendly bowling tournament

Further to this, All Star Lanes and London Dog Week are launching the Dog Parent Bowling League at All Star Lanes, White City, starting this month: the first of a few dates which will run during the Summer (Sunday 7th July, 4th August and 1st September 2019). Aneka explains that one can take part in just one tournament or all of them throughout the Summer and each tournament has fun prizes for the dogs to be won, adding that the aim of the event is to have fun, compete for prizes for dogs and humans and make new friends.

dog at bowling lanes

“We are huge bowling fans,” explains Aneka, “and both of us [Aneka and her co-founder Lois] have grown up going to bowling on Sunday afternoons with the family, and one of the things we both said is would love to go bowling with our dogs.” So the concept came before the collaboration they started with All Star Lanes.

Dog-friendly bowling tournament: what it is all about?

Dog looking at bowling ball

But what to expect from the dog-friendly bowling tournament? We were invited to have a sneak peek at the launch event and met a few “instafamous” dogs, among whom there was a large delegation of pugs, sausage dogs and pomeranians (and to represent large dogs, the placid Zeus the Malamute). The event was h0sted in the private events space of All Star Lanes Brick Lane, upstairs from the main lanes, where there are 3 lanes, a bar area and a quieter area with tables.

Woman and dog at bowling

Canapes and cocktails for humans, and dogs posing for photos at the start of the event. The bowling game afterwards. Each player got their dogs’ name on the screen and the fun began. We didn’t have Argo with us, but observed and had a cuddle with some of the dogs attending.

We didn’t find the bowling particularly loud and looking aroudn we didn’t see any dog particularly bothered about it at all. Just a couple of them preferred to stay off the runway on the lanes and watch from the back, but we didn’t notice any distressed behaviour in the dogs when the balls hit the bowling pins. If we had brought Argo, I would have been more worried that he’d want to try and chase the ball rather than being scared of the noises to be honest. Of course, each dog owner is the best person to assess whether their dogs would cope well with that environment and it may not be for everyone.

Dog on bowling lanes

If this is something you’d like to try, the dog-friendly bowling parent tournament is taking place at All Star Lanes in White City (while All Star Lanes is at Westfield – the venue can be accessed from the street) on Sunday 7th July, 4th August and 1st September, from 12.30 to 3pm. Tickets are from £10 per person and upgrades are available for sharing platters for 4 people for £40 (with sliders, brisket bon bons, padron peppers, halloumi fries, BBQ wings and tiger fries), full events listings and links in the Dog Events Calendar here.

Other events by All Star Lanes X London Dog Week

Frenchie near bowling shoes

The bowling tournament is not the only event All Star Lanes and London Dog Week will be co-organising this Summer. They have also thought of other two event formulas: a more classic dog brunch (“Barking Brunch”) and a speed dating event for dog owners/lovers (“Date My Dog”). Aneka notes, “With the dog dating you just need to be single and have a dog and of course looking for love! Think a room for of owners and dogs mingling and getting to know each other, as you are all dogs lovers, you are sure to have at least one thing in common. Personally I would not date someone who didn’t love my dog Chubbs [a black Frenchie with a white mark on his chest] or who didn’t love dogs at all, definitely a deal breaker! There will be of course bowling available for people wanting to get to know each other on the lanes also!”

pugs at dog event

So who are these events for? “For anyone that loves bowling, food and fellow dogs and owners and want to connect with kindred spirits in London. The brunch and the dog parent tournament is tailored to the whole family coming out with their dog for a fun experience and the Dating events for anyone looking to connect with other dog owners for potential love connections.” Find all information in the Dog Events Calendar.

Read the full article by The Londog here

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Taking the plunge – The divers building Monaco’s extensions @MonacoWealth

July 5, 2019

It’s no exaggeration to say that extending land territory in Monaco has always been an uphill battle. The Principality has historically faced the unenviable task of adapting its planning around the narrowness of its 2 km2 territory sandwiched between the Alpes-Maritimes and the Mediterranean.

Anse du Portier – The real-estate future of Monaco

Indeed, since the 1950s, 20% of the Principality’s surface area has been reclaimed from the sea to meet the rising demands of demographic growth and a constantly evolving economy while also ticking the box on sustainable development, a factor which HSH Prince Albert is passionately in support of.

The challenge to create new land mass continues with the ongoing offshore eco-district extension on the Anse du Portier site. Such development calls for ever more cutting edge technology to deliver the new district to exacting standards, yet it wouldn’t be possible without human endeavour in the shape of highly trained Class II-A divers carrying out a myriad of crucial underwater works and observations.

Anse du Portier
Anse du Portier – The real-estate future of Monaco

A feat of architecture

The stakes are high; this mammoth architectural and technical feat is duty-bound to encompass Monaco’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions – Monaco has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2050 – while at the same time minimizing any negative impact on the surrounding natural and marine environments.

SAM L’Anse du Portier and Bouygues Travaux Publics MC jointly rose to this challenge, installing around 50 divers on rotation since the beginning of 2018 to assist on different missions providing assistance to underwater equipment and technical controls for engineers and technicians on the surface. The first divers actually started work in 2015, compiling early environmental impact studies, and many will continue long after construction is completed as part of ongoing ecological monitoring missions.

Marine biologists and scientific divers have also been given an unprecedented role in establishing protocols for the protection and relocation of flora and fauna and species including noble pen shell clams, Posidonia flowering plants and Lithophyllum algae from the construction site. The entire area is covered by two anti-turbidity screens, separating the work site from the adjoining marine protected area, with the hope of guaranteeing the delicate ecological balance of the new district.

These expert divers have three main areas of responsibility: supporting underwater equipment and surface operators, civil engineering and ensuring the smooth running of the works and the highest quality of the final construction through regular checks.

Anse du Portier
Photo: Zsolt Szemerszky

The human touch

One of their most crucial, and perhaps risky, undertakings is to observe and guide the installation of 27-metre high caissons – watertight chambers which are open at the bottom, with water kept out by air pressure to allow sub-aquatic work to be carried out. They must assess whether the caissons, which weigh an incredible 10,000 tonnes, are correctly in place (there is a 10 cm margin allowed) before they are permanently ballasted into position. The divers also ensure that accurate data from 20 metres below sea level is available to technicians. While GPS and topographic monitoring clearly play an important role here, it is the divers’ detailed observations following a tour of the base of the concrete mass which are pivotal.

‘We considered for a while computerizing the entire levelling process but we quickly realised that even under these particular conditions, human intervention is necessary,’ explains Antoine Renaud, of Eiffage Génie Civil Maritime in Monaco. ‘Divers are essential for ensuring the proper functioning of the device.’

In essence, they guide the chute discharging aggregate on the backfill and inform surface operators about the quality of distribution. They also intervene on any ‘jamming’ (clogging of materials in the conduit), ensuring the proper execution of the mission and that the desired result is achieved. The radio link between the divers and the operations manager on the surface allows the leveller operators to follow the progress and make necessary adjustments in real time from the pilot barge.

Once each caisson is immersed, the plates on which the cables connecting it to the tug boat are fixed must be removed underwater. It is also necessary to dismantle the steel elements that were supporting it and reconstitute the surface of the caisson by applying a specific protective coating of Epicol T that guarantees it is watertight. Yet again, the skill sets of the divers are decisive.

As is typical for many land-sea extension developments, several existing networks for rainwater, pumping and discharge of seawater needed diverting and new ones were created with the diving teams installing outfalls – large diameter pipes – of different sizes. The displacement of the Larvotto outfall used for rainwater management has led to the installation of new three-metre diameter pipes 300 metres long at depths ranging between -32 to -6 metres. This type of installation requires divers to create a perfectly level foundation before they can install and interlock different sections of the pipes using a radio link between the crane operator on the surface and the diver, who is sometimes 30 metres below the water’s surface.

In addition, divers continually observe the site to record how the project is going, adhering to verification practices which guarantee that the execution of operations complies with performance objectives, good building practice is respected, the environment is preserved and equally importantly, everyone is safe. Not surprisingly, this detailed and minutely observed surveillance involves long hours of underwater inspections and accuracy checks.

A dive can last up to three hours, with five teams taking turns for 18 hours at a time under strictly controlled conditions. In addition to diving equipment, each diver carries lighting, radio equipment and a camera. All dives are rigorously regulated; a specific permit is required and valid for only one activity for a maximum of one week if the mission remains the same, takes place in the same area and uses the same staff. Since 2018, more than 500 diving permits have been issued. Safety is of paramount importance and during all dives, an exclusion zone around the underwater work areas is mapped out and enforced.

Anse du Portier
Anse du Portier – The real-estate future of Monaco

Vast responsibility

The divers’ responsibility extends to verifying all underwater equipment used and the devices installed. This includes checking the hulls of barges, ships and smaller boats used on site, inspecting anti-turbidity screens and their fastenings and impermeability as well as maintaining tools and machines to save time and avoid having to remove or replace heavy machinery with lifting equipment more often than absolutely necessary.

‘Make no mistake about it,’ adds Antoine Renaud, ‘unscrewing a cross-head screw is a simple task at home but doing the same underwater with gloves on and cumbersome equipment at a depth of 20 metres in order to dismantle the protective casing of a leveller is a whole different business.’

It tells you everything you need to know about these incredibly skilled individuals when you consider that their collective role between January 2018 and the end of February 2019 saw them spend an astonishing 2,841 hours and 57 minutes underwater during a total of 2,203 missions.

Inauguration of the First Caisson of the Anse du Portier
Inauguration of the First Caisson of the Anse du Portier / Photo: Prince’s Palace of Monaco

Read the full article from Monaco Wealth Management here, originally published at Riviera Insider

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Join the Fête de la Mer 2019 in Monaco tomorrow @yachtclubmonaco

Port Hercule will again celebrate Fête de la Mer in collaboration with the Monaco Mairie (city council), Société Nautique de Monaco (rowing club); Pontons de Monaco Association; and other Monegasque institutions linked to the sea including the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation; Oceanographic Museum; the scuba-diving Club d’Exploration Sous-Marine de Monaco; and the Association Monégasque de la Protection de la Nature.

All were keen to join forces with the Yacht Club de Monaco to offer a packed programme discovering a host of activities linked to the sea.

In between short performances by the Rainier III Music and Theatre Academy choir, the menu includes a giant water slide plus introductory sessions of sailing, sea kayaking, kite-surfing, paddle boarding, scuba-diving, water biking and water walking balls for tiny tots. The highlight will be a parade of boats between Monaco’s two harbours.

Register here

Get the full information from Yacht Clud de Monaco here

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Should You Bring Your Dog On Your Honeymoon? @roverdotcom

Congratulations! You’ve married someone who loves dogs just as much as you do. The reception’s over and it’s time to take the trip of a lifetime. If you included your dog in your ceremony, what better way to keep your new family together than by bringing them along? Then again, is it really a good idea to take the dog on your honeymoon?

BONDING WITH YOUR DOG | By Arah McManamna

I recently got married and had to make this very decision. Here’s the pros and cons list that helped me decide.

Pro tip: if you’re already sure your dog isn’t a good traveler, it’s easy to find a loving pet sitter and hit the road happy.

Pros of Taking Your Dog on Your Honeymoon

Sharing the Journey

IMAGE VIA FLICKR USER MARC DALMULDER

Your dog is your best friend, your confidant, and a big part of your newly-formed family. Bringing them on your honeymoon means that you get to share this special trip with them.

Exploring Dog-Friendly Destinations

It’s easier than ever to find dog-friendly vacation spots and meet other dog lovers. In many places dogs are welcome not only in hotels, but restaurants and public spaces too. It might just be reconnaissance for another pet-friendly vacation in the future.

Making Memories

VIA FLICKR USER US ARMY

You know you’ll take tons of photos on your honeymoon, and they’ll be extra special if they include your dog. And who are we kidding? There’ll probably be more photos of the dog than of you two.

Stimulation

VIA FLICKR USER SHANNON KRINGEN

Taking an extended trip is a great way to give your dog a change of scene. Plus, talk about bonding time.

Cons of Bringing Your Dog on Your Honeymoon

Extra Fees

Places that are pet-friendly may charge extra fees for cleaning, potential property damage, and noise control. Do your research on pet fees and extra cleanup charges.

Planning

VIA FLICKR USER JQPUBLIQ

You’ve spent a ton of time planning the perfect wedding and honeymoon. Traveling with your furry friend means not only finding pet-friendly places to stay, it also means bringing their food, medications, and other important possessions (you can’t leave home without your favorite tennis ball).

Limited to Dog-Friendly Destinations

VIA FLICKR USER MATT CHAN

Though you love spending time with your pup, there may be times during the trip where they can’t be right by your side. Not every place is dog-friendly, and hotels may have rules about leaving Fido unattended.

Is Your Pup A Good Traveler?

Some dogs are homebodies, some are adventurers. Assess your dog’s level of anxiety before bringing them on your trip (and think about whether you’re flying or driving). You want all three of you to have fun and be comfortable on all legs of the trip.

MY HUSBAND AND I WITH LANA

When my husband and I got married we seriously considered bringing Lana with us; the appeal of the bonding time was strong. However, she’s a terrible traveler and wouldn’t have had fun on our extended road trip.

Instead, we opted to leave her with a loving pet sitter from Rover. It saved us all stress. Lana had a blast and we did too!

Read the full article powered by Rover.com here

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All-natural vegan dog grooming products from Mr. Fluff @dogmilk

Posted by Capree Kimball on 06.06.19

All-natural, vegan, and good for your pup (and the planet)? Sign us up! Mr. Fluff — previously known as Mr. Paw for those who’ve been following along — has created a range of grooming products that is free from nasties like palm oil, parabens, PEGs, sulphates, artificial dyes and fragrances, instead harnessing the benefits of only the best organic extracts and gentle, cruelty-free ingredients.

All of this goodness is packaged into bottles you won’t want to hide!

Perfect for all dogs, especially those with sensitive skin, Mr. Fluff’s 2-in-1 products are changing the grooming game.

Shop the complete range at mrfluff.com.au.

All-Natural Vegan Dog Grooming Products from Mr. Fluff
All-Natural Vegan Dog Grooming Products from Mr. Fluff
All-Natural Vegan Dog Grooming Products from Mr. Fluff

Photography: Dog Photog Studios

View the full article from Dog Milk here

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The 59th Festival de Télévision de Monte-Carlo opens tomorrow! @festivaltvmonte_carlo

Every year, in June, the Principality of Monaco hosts a Festival. StudiosTV channels and stars of the small screen get together for several days in an idyllic setting to promote their programs for press and public, and compete for the prestigious Golden Nymph Awards.

SALLE DES PRINCES, GRIMALDI FORUM

OPENING CEREMONY

Image result for la finest festival television monte carlo
Premiere of the L.A.’s Finest Series at the opening of the Festival

At the opening night of the Monte-Carlo Television Festival on Friday, June 14, 2019, the L.A.’s Finest series will be screened, as a French premiere, in the presence of actresses and executive producers Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba.

As every year after the Opening Ceremony, the Festival offers a public preview of an original and unseen series. This year, the Festival hosts invite you to discover L.A.’s Finest, the spin-off of the movie Bad Boys (with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence). Gabrielle Union plays Sydney Burnett, Marcus’ s sister, the clownish character of the famous duo of the saga Bad Boys, while Jessica Alba plays Nancy McKenna.

In this female version, the action focuses on the lives of two policewomen who have become teammates in the Los Angeles Police Department. The two conspirators with dark and complex past help each other to fight against organized crime in the City of Angels. Both of them struggling in their personal family life.

The series created by George Gallo includes thirteen 42-minute episodes and will air on Monday, May 13, on Spectrum, the video-on-demand service of the Charter Communications group. Of course, other public screenings are planned during the Festival.

GOLDEN NYMPH AWARDS CEREMONY

The Golden Nymph Awards are among the most prestigious prizes in international television, rewarding the best TV programs and actors.

Over the course of the Festival, an international jury of leading actors and industry professionals attend screenings of all the programs in competition.

The Golden Nymph statuettes are copies of the Nymph Salmacis, the original of which can still be seen at the Louvre in Paris. The original was created by the Monégasque artist François-Joseph Bosio, who was chief court sculptor to Louis XVIII.

The Golden Nymphs competition – featuring the best in TV programming from around the world, will reveal the 2019 winners at the Golden Nymph Awards Ceremony, ending the 59th Monte-Carlo Télévision Festival edition.

Michael Douglas will receive the Crystal Nymph

Image result for michael douglas festival television monte carlo

Michael Douglas, the famous actor and producer, will receive the Crystal Nymph at the 2019 Monte-Carlo Television Festival.

Internationally renowned, son of the iconic Kirk Douglas, Michael Douglas will make the honor of his presence at #MonteCarloTVFestival and will receive the prestigious Crystal Nymph award, a symbolic prize celebrating the outstanding career of the actor, as announced by Laurent Puons, president of Monaco Mediax, host of the festival.

At age 74 and after more than 40 years of career in the film and television industry, very few actors can justify such an impressive record. After starting on television and receiving first recognition in the 1970s for his role as Inspector Steve Keller in The Streets of San Francisco, the rising star of the film industry will try his hand as a producer and win the prize. Oscar for the best movie with the timeless “Flight over a cuckoo’s nest”.

However, it is as an actor that Michael Douglas will receive the consecration of his career by winning the Oscar for Best Actor in 1988 for the role of a corporate raider, Gordon Gekko, in Robert Zemeckis’ Wall Street.

After receiving dozens of other international awards (Golden Globes, Honors Césars, BAFTA’s) and worked with the greatest directors (Ridley Scott, Paul Verhoeven) the actor has recently appeared in television series like The Kominsky Method. You can also find it at the end of the year in Green Eggs and Ham, new Netflix series in production.

Laurent Puons said, “Michael Douglas’ long career includes television, film and theater at their highest levels. Even today, he remains among one of the most respected actors in the field. It is an immense honor to receive such talent and to be able to celebrate at our Festival all the impact it has had on the television industry. “.

Michael Douglas will receive the Crystal Nymph awarded by His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco, during the closing ceremony of the Festival on June 18.

For more information click here

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14 Big Ideas That Are Changing Luxury Lifestyle Right Now @RobbReport

From experimental spirits to sustainable travel, these trends are transforming the luxury industry.

By The Editors from Robb Reports

This year, the editors were asked to take the temperature of the industries under their watch and sum up the single “big idea” that has defined the year just gone.

Some of these stories are poignant: The tourism industry finally woke up after a report suggested it caused 8 percent of global greenhouse emissions. Meanwhile, the reverberations are still rippling through the art world from the decision of several institutions to reject the philanthropy of those who they felt were tarnished by associations: The Sackler family fell afoul of the Guggenheim in New York, as well as the National Portrait Gallery and the Tate in London, because of its links to the opioid crisis; and the Whitney and Museum of Modern Art both had questions to answer over some of their patrons’ past dealings.

Robb Report Best of the Best Big Ideas 2019
Clockwise from left: Noma; Getty; Robb Report; Eviation

Other ideas, no less contentious in their fields, include the bold supposition that we are at the point in audio technology where both analog and digital reproduction have reached equally exceptional levels; and that Napa winemakers are moving more in line with their European cousins by producing leaner, more elegant wines that will age gracefully but, more significantly, are also ready to drink now; or that the suit has been reborn, worn with liberation and élan, to mark a new sense of freedom in style circles.

You will find these big ideas in little excerpts below, hopefully, they add a little color and context to the Best of the Best choices in each category.

BIG IDEA IN AUTOMOTIVE: Artificial Intelligence Takes the Wheel

Lamborghini Huracán Evo
Lamborghini Huracán Evo. Courtesy of Automobili Lamborghini

A self-aware, crime-fighting car named KITT. That was the premise for the 1980s hit TV series Knight Rider. But what was once automotive fantasy is now found—minus the crime-fighting and banter—in new models that offer advances in artificial intelligence (AI).

Take the Audi A8, touted as the first production example to attain Level 3 autonomous status. And it’s only the beginning, according to Thomas Müller, head of the brand’s chassis development and automated driving team. “Our vision for Audi AI is divided into two functional areas: intelligent assistance systems—on the path to fully autonomous driving—and interactive intelligence, whereby the vehicle becomes an empathetic companion,” Müller says.

Mercedes-Benz provides its own early stages of the latter with the Hey Mercedes voice-recognition platform on the A-Class. “US customers running MBUX [Mercedes- Benz User Experience] are able to direct long, compound questions, as well as general knowledge inquiries,” says Nils Schanz, head of the company’s voice control division.

One car anticipates your intentions without a word—the Lamborghini Huracán Evo. Its “feed forward logic” relies on a processor that analyzes driver inputs to adjust handling and power-train systems proactively every 20 milliseconds. “Artificial intelligence is the synchronization of human and machine, a way for these two to understand one another,” says Maurizio Reggiani, Lamborghini’s chief technical officer. “The Evo is exactly this.”

Whether offering computer-controlled commuting, enlightening conversation or predictive performance, more of today’s autos give KITT some real competition.

BIG IDEA IN STYLE: The Suit Lives On

Kiton Suit
Kiton Suit. Simone De Sanctis

Turns out the reports of its death were a little exagerated, because the suit is back—but this time without much of the formality and structure of the past. If you’re skeptical, especially after New York’s conservative bastion of wealth Goldman Sachs declared a flexible dress code in March, just look to the runway shows in London, Paris and Milan earlier in the year. Menswear brands downright flaunted the two-piece—some even without a shirt underneath (don’t worry, we’re not advocating that)—reviving it in a modern context. Sharper cuts, roomier silhouettes that still flatter but deliver ease of movement, and lightweight, soft materials were all prevalent. So away from the catwalks, what does that mean for you? It’s time to get friendly with your tailor.

BIG IDEA IN AVIATION: Greener Business Skies

Robb Report's Big Idea in Aviation 2019, Greener Business Skies
Eviation Alice. Courtesy of Eviation

One of the most expensive aspects of owning or chartering a plane is the cost of fuel. It takes a lot of energy—and creates a lot of CO2 emissions—to get these amazing machines into the air. And while we have seen an uptick in alternative-energy aircraft—Israel-based Eviation’s all-electric and Boeing/JetBlue–backed Zunum’s hybrid planes, for instance—vast efforts are also going into raising the awareness and availability of sustainable alternative jet fuels (SAJF) for business and commercial aircraft already in service. In January, California’s Van Nuys Airport became the first general aviation airport in the United States to offer SAJF on a trial basis and serve as a model for offering alternative fuels at other airports, which could help the industry achieve emissions reduction goals. Gulfstream, which has been using SAJF since 2016 at its Savannah headquarters, proved how well the alternative fuel performs by flying its G280 aircraftinto Van Nuys on renewable fuel and breaking a city-pair record on the way—covering 2,243 nautical miles in 4 hours and 49 minutes at an average speed of Mach 0.85. Early this year, the brand also announced its first sale of SAJF to a Gulfstream operator. After years in development, these new approaches to flight are finally taking off.

BIG IDEA IN MARINE: The Thirst for Adventure

Robb Report's Big Idea in Marine 2019, the Thirst for Adventure
Mulder Design Project Crystal. Courtesy of Mulder Design

Expedition- or explorer-style yachts have been around for years, built by a specialized few. Now, however, echoing the rise in popularity of the SUV in the automobile market, every boatbuilder wants to get in on the action. Earlier this year, Jonathan Beckett, CEO of superyacht brokerage house Burgess, said, “The new style of yachting is to be more adventurous, both with destinations and activities.” Think kite surfing near a remote Pacific atoll or in a northern fjord. This last year, Dutch shipyard Heesen unveiled plans for its first explorer yacht concept, the 187-foot XVenture, and Italian yard CRN has three AlfaRosso explorer-style vessels in build. Baglietto, also based in Italy, has a 141-foot explorer-yacht project in the works, and the 230-foot Project Crystal (above) from Dutch firm Mulder Design will have an Ice Class hull and sleep 14 guests. Sanlorenzo launched its steel-hulled 500Exp expedition yacht at last fall’s Monaco Yacht Show. It looks like the off-the-beaten-path destinations just might be a little more crowded in years to come.

BIG IDEA IN WATCHES: Jumping Hour

Robb Report's Big Idea in Watches 2019, Jumping Hour
Baselworld

The watch industry is a slow-moving business—it takes time to create time. But as the world moves at a faster pace, even the titans of watchmaking have had to rethink how they do business. Those calling the shots remain, remarkably, the heads of family-owned businesses that include Swatch Group, Richard Mille, Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe. As head of Swatch Group, the largest watch conglomerate, Nick Hayek announced last year that he would no longer be showing his brands at Baselworld, Switzerland’s—and the world’s—biggest watch trade show. Richard Mille and François-Henry Bennahmias, Audemars Piguet’s CEO, followed, declaring they would not be showing at Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, the second-largest show. Meanwhile, amid rumors that Patek Philippe was looking for buyers, president Thierry Stern had to clarify that the family would never sell the business.

Patek Philippe’s grip on top consumers allows it to do as it pleases. Stern committed to another year at Baselworld; without the brand (and fellow power player Rolex), the event would fail. Patek Philippe does not have stand-alone stores, and official retailers run Rolex boutiques, so the fair serves a different purpose for these two pillars. But for the others, forging a new path is paramount as they pivot toward direct-to-consumer business models and experiential mono-brand shops. What will change for consumers? New product innovations and an onslaught of elevated red-carpet experiences from brands looking to capture the attention of clients, collectors and followers.

BIG IDEA IN SPIRITS: The Spirit of Experimentation

Robb Report's Big Idea in Spirits 2019, The Spirit of Experimentation

Across the millennia, wherever man has gone, he’s made something potent to drink. It seems there would be little to add after those centuries. And yet . . . the world’s top distillers keep following the advice of poet Ezra Pound to “make it new.” To the lab, the fields and the forests they go, experimenting with atypical cask woods, different barrel finishings and unusual botanicals, and employing native ingredients, such as yeasts and potatoes, in different ways. We look forward to the next renditions of their spirited adventures in and out of the lab.

BIG IDEA IN CULINARY: Fermentation

Robb Report's Big Idea in Culinary 2019: Fermentation
Noma’s Lemon Verbena Kombucha. Courtesy of Noma

With a glint in his eye and a mischievous grin, the chef said, “Follow me.” He darted up the stairs into an office above the restaurant, where menus and invoices were strewn about, then approached a fully stocked bookcase in the corner. “Check this out,” he said, while straining to slide the bookcase on hidden casters. His efforts revealed a large hole in the wall, stocked with jars of various sizes filled with vinegars and vegetables suspended in murky liquids. The chef, who requested anonymity to evade detection by the health department, wanted to experiment with fermentation without having to jump through his city’s endless hoops to get approval. He was on the search for flavor, no matter the cost. Because although the cool thing for chefs to tout over the last decade has been the freshness of their ingredients, he also was driven to explore the culinary possibilities of letting food rot.

He’s not alone. While others have their ferments secreted away like this chef, this past year has been filled with cooks such as John Shields at Smyth in Chicago or Justin Legaspi at Bateau in Seattle showing off their experiments, celebrating garums, vinegars, misos and kimchis on social media and menus. The movement ramped up in earnest last fall when René Redzepi and David Zilber, Noma’s chef and head of fermentation, respectively, published The Noma Guide to Fermentation, in which they sing the praises of ferments for adding depth of flavor to cooking and also provide step-by-step instructions on how to ferment at home.

Noma had been characterized as the foraging restaurant for so long, leading that revolution in cooking, that people missed the fact that fermentation has driven its cuisine. “Imagine you’re sautéing some greens, and you want to have something that just builds a bridge between each ingredient and lifts everything,” Redzepi says. “A dash of the right ferment and it’s like poof. Suddenly your guests are like, whoa—they’re feeling happy.”

BIG IDEA IN TRAVEL: Strides in Conservation

Robb Report's Big Idea in Travel 2019, Strides in Conservation

Last year, just as the 2018 edition of Best of the Best was going to press, the travel industry was put on blast. A new report by the scientific journal Nature Climate Change revealed that tourism now accounts for roughly eight percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Of course, we already knew that flying was bad for the planet, and nobody was in denial about the waste of all those little plastic bottles in our hotel rooms, but this was a wake-up call. And tourism has finally begun to answer.

The past year has made green the new black like never before as hotels and airlines at last put their money where their mouths are when it comes to giving a damn about the planet. Brands such as Four Seasons and Oetker Collection have gone single-use-plastic-free, and Marriott International has vowed to eliminate the use of straws in all 6,500 of its hotels, eliminating roughly 500 tons of plastic annually. Qantas has begun test flights using a biofuel made from crop seeds—a switch that could decrease emissions by up to 80 percent compared to traditional jet fuel—and other airlines, including Delta and United, have introduced carbon offset programs that compensate for emissions by funding global recycling and waste minimization processes.

But it was a little hotel in Belize that had us thinking even bigger about travel’s big idea. Itz’ana, an eco-resort in the beach town of Placencia, announced a collection of solar-powered villas whose small footprint will be completely offset by a national reforestation project. When the resort opens later this year, it will only be the start, but it will be a blueprint for the future of sustainable travel. Better late than never, we say.

BIG IDEA IN TECH: The Antipodes of Audio

Robb Report's Big Idea in Tech 2019, The Antipodes of Audio

There are two camps in the audio community—analog vs. digital—and they have been crusading against each other like zealots since the dawn of the compact disc in 1982, each swearing that their solution to state-of-the-art sound is audio’s true religion.

In the early days, most digitally recorded and reproduced music could make your ears bleed because it was so unnaturally sharp and edgy, with sound not remotely comparable to magnetic tape or LPs. The intervening decades have further honed the analog and digital arts, with phono reproduction today achieving the highest fidelity in its history and causing analog acolytes to exclaim “Eureka!” Meanwhile, digital technology has played leapfrog, making sonic advancements in hardware and software, to a point where high-resolution audio streaming from music services like Tidal and Qobuz—with vast libraries of music—offer irresistible convenience and unimpeachable sound.

So, is the highest-of-high fidelity found in the grooves of the ancient LP, or the bits and bytes of high-res digital? We think the time has come when music lovers who refuse to compromise can finally get on board with both.

BIG IDEA IN WINE: The Old World Is New Again

Robb Report's Big Idea Wine 2019, The Old World is New Again

In a winemaking sense, the West Coast has been looking back across the pond to France and Italy recently for cues on both style and technique. We’re seeing a shift from the big fruit bombs of yore to leaner, more elegant reds that are just right to drink now but still have the power and structure to hold their own in the cellar. Taking another cue from Europe, some pioneers are backing away from new oak and experimenting with neutral casks, looking for an even greater emphasis on terroir. Even Oregon and Sonoma Pinot Noirs have become more Burgundian in style. We couldn’t be happier about all these juicy developments.

BIG IDEA IN ART: Donors’ Ethics Come Under Scrutiny

Robb Report's Big Idea in Art 2019, Donors' Ethics Come Under Scrutiny

It wasn’t so long ago that the Sackler clan was celebrated for its generous philanthropy: There are Sackler wings, galleries, courtyards and the like at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Louvre, the Guggenheim, the Royal Academy of Arts and the Victoria and Albert Museum, to name just a few of the institutions that have benefited from the family’s largesse. What a difference a few years—and an estimated 47,000 opioid-overdose deaths in 2017—make.

Once wooed and honored, the family that has become synonymous with the opioid crisis—through one branch’s ownership of Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin—was roundly shunned by the art world in the spring. In a stunning turn of events, first the National Portrait Gallery, then the Tate, both in London, declared a moratorium on gifts from the Sacklers. The Guggenheim in New York, where artist Nan Goldin’s activist group Prescription Addiction Intervention Now (PAIN) had staged a “die-in” the previous month, quickly followed suit. By the end of March, the London-based Sackler Trust announced that it would “pause all new philanthropic giving.”

Meanwhile, protesters at the Whitney Museum of American Art—including almost 100 staffers—pressured its board to cut loose its vice chair, Warren B. Kanders, whose company Safariland has been linked to teargas used on migrants along the border. And another activist group decried the Museum of Modern Art trustee Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, for investing in private prisons. According to reports, about 10 protesters showed up at an awards lunch honoring another funder of private prisons, shouting, “There is blood on this art!” Both museums stood firm behind their patrons but did not obstruct the protesters.

Transparency about entities—be they individuals, corporations or sovereign nations—using cultural institutions to put a gloss on abhorrent practices is a positive development. But exiling them has its downside. As some museum professionals have recently told Robb Report, a staggering number of fortunes have shady connections—so many, in fact, that were institutions to decline all ethically tainted money, they might have a hard time keeping the lights on.

BIG IDEA IN JEWELRY: Artist’s Jewelry

Robb Report's Big Idea in Jewelry 2019, Artist's Jewelry
An 18-karat-gold necklace by Roberto and Haroldo Burle Marx. Hannah Kymych

If you love Alexander Calder’s mobiles, why not acquire one of his playful necklaces? So goes the thinking among a growing set of stylish women looking for bold, unique jewelry, as the overwhelming interest in collecting modern and contemporary art permeates the jewelry world.

“There is a greater cultural sensitivity to art and artists today,” says Mahnaz Ispahani Bartos, whose New York jewelry gallery Mahnaz Collection offers many artists’ pieces. “People want to learn about an artist’s oeuvre and their variety of métiers.” She offers pieces by sculptors who also made jewelry in the 1960s and ’70s, including an aquamarine and 18-karat-gold necklace and earrings (above) by Brazilian brothers Roberto Burle Marx and Haroldo Burle Marx.

Jewelry created by artists, which tends to be more sculptural and about the entirety of the composition rather than emphasizing diamonds and gemstones, is also the right accessory for the times: Everyday style is now more understated, less formal. Demand is catching on internationally: Louisa Guinness’s eponymous London gallery sells artists’ jewelry exclusively, and other boutiques that once carried only vintage designs are starting to show artists’ work. Buy it while you can: Once word gets out that artists’ jewelry is on the rise, prices will likely go the way of the rest of the art market—up. 

BIG IDEA IN DESIGN: The Art and Design Merger

The Haas Brothers beaded and brass designs
The Haas Brothers beaded and brass designs. Courtesy of the Haas Brothers and Marianne Boesky Gallery

The line between art and design, long fuzzy, has now been almost completely erased. For Idea years, emerging and established designers alike have been creating limited-edition and one-off pieces of furniture with only a hint of function, which get presented at fairs like Design Miami and TEFAF. And artists have occasionally been tapped for design collaborations. Now, instead of trying to find balance between these different disciplines, artists and designers—if we still care to differentiate—are working freely in both.

The well-regarded contemporary artist Deborah Kass designed rugs with BravinLee programs, which came out late last year. The veteran industrial designer Jasper Morrison has an exhibition of his cork furniture running at the New York art gallery Kasmin through June.
And a new wave of talents who once operated in the middle ground are simultaneously producing both more exclusive artworks and more accessible consumer products.

At the top of the heap are the Los Angeles–based Haas Brothers, twins Nikolai and Simon, whose beastly, fantastical furniture has always put a premium on creative experimentation. As their profile has risen, they have relished expanding their oeuvre. Their work is repped by Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York, which also boasts the likes of Frank Stella, and was the focus of a solo show at the Bass museum in Miami this year. At the same time, the home accessories company L’Objet introduced the Haas Brothers’ 65-piece tabletop collection, including otherworldly cups, bowls and vases, as well as monster-shaped serving vessels—good news for anyone looking to shake up a dinner party.

BIG IDEA IN CIGARS: On Fire

Smoke

For decades now, public spaces for cigars to be smoked have been whittled away to almost nothing. Last year saw a seismic shift in smoking culture, however, with the legalization of marijuana across many states. Suddenly there’s a new enthusiasm for the luxurious accessories that cigar smokers have long appreciated—beautiful ashtrays, lighters and humidors—as well as a greater need for social spaces in which to light up. While cannabis and cigars are two very different substances (with very different effects), we expect to see a more embracing attitude toward smoke in general in the years to come.

Read the full article from Robb Report here

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Why Monaco Continues To Be One Of The World’s Most Glamorous Destinations @Forbes

By Bridget Arsenault

Seemingly reserved for the upper echelons of society, Monaco has forever been a stomping ground for glitz and glamour. A picturesque microstate of opal, coral and periwinkle blue-coloured buildings, from the historic opera house – designed by Charles Garnier – the same architect behind Paris’s Palais Garnier, to the concentration of designer shops and the meticulously manicured gardens, there’s no shortage to see or do. Take in the summer air from the retractable roof of a fire-engine-red Ferrari or simply stare across the shimmering Mediterranean sea. And for the quintessential Monte-Carlo experience, decamp along the fabled Casino Square. The intricate Belle Époque building impresses both inside and out. 

Hôtel de Paris
Hôtel de Paris

Decadence is sewn into the lining of every experience in Monaco. Founded in 1864, Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo is truly just as its founder François Blanc imagined, a “hotel that surpasses everything”. In 2014, the iconic property closed in order to undergo an intensive four-year transformation, and today, the grande dame has returned. This palace hotel abuts the Casino and Opera House, as well as boasting the best position in Monaco to watch the F1 Grand Prix blister past. It’s somewhere you would have found Winston Churchill, Frank Sinatra and Roger Moore among its regulars and now, you would be well-placed to walk past the likes of Lady Gaga, Naomi Campbell or Julia Roberts. 

A view from the Princess Grace Suite
A view from the Princess Grace Suite HÔTEL DE PARIS MONTE-CARLO

The gorgeous and gilded interiors now house 207 rooms, 96 of which are suites. The design cues are classic with hints of modernity and with every contemporary technology you can imagine. Every room has a terrace, a brilliant addition considering Monaco’s bright and temperate year-round climate. The generous rooms feature white marble floors, Louis XVI-style furnishings and Murano glass chandeliers and lamps. It is worth noting that the Winston Churchill suite includes furniture that once belonged to the statesman himself. 

The American bar
The American bar HÔTEL DE PARIS MONTE-CARLO

Two of the most impressive suites in Europe if not the world sit in this hotel – the Princess Grace and the Prince Rainier III suites. Each multi-floored suite measures in at  close to 11,000 square feet and features a gargantuan terrace with an impressive outdoor pool and hot tub. Here the interiors and the exteriors compete, as the rooftop views are sublime. Inside the floor-to-ceiling windows let in reams of natural light and this palatial two bedroom suite with dressing rooms, two bathrooms complete with sauna and steam room, multiple lounges, a dining room and an office is unlike any other. The Princess Grace suite was designed with the support of the Monaco royal family, and it includes artwork and family photos, as well as her favourite literary and poetic works, all donated directly from the royal household’s private collection.

A sea view suite
A sea view suite HÔTEL DE PARIS MONTE-CARLO

For those seeking an alternative form of respite, the Themes Marins (connected to the hotel by a tunnel) is 75,000-square feet of heaven. The expansive facilities include a heated saltwater pool and a hammam and an extensive programme for preventative health care and wellness.

Le Grill is located on the eighth floor and offers a serious punch of Mediterranean views. The roof peels back providing a 360-degree panoramic view of the azure sea, fulfilling a wish of Maria Callas’s to dine overlooking three countries at once. And do not leave without trying one of the fluffy soufflés.

A new addition to the hotel is Ômer, the ground-floor garden restaurant. The intuitive design from Pierre-Yves Rochon is reminiscent of a  boat, made up of three distinct alcoves, as well as the spectacular casino-facing garden and terrace created by France’s preeminent landscape artist Jean Mus. Helmed by Alain Ducasse, inside you’ll find a contemporary twists on credible Mediterranean cuisine. Dishes are designed to be shared and combine the essential flavours of Greece, Lebanon and Turkey, as well as Morocco, Spain, Nice and Malta. Breakfast, however, is distinctly French, with baskets of teeming pastries and flaky delights. 

Of course, Alain Ducasse has long had a place at the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo – thanks to his world-renowned three-Michelin-starred restaurant. From its hulking 30ft-high ceilings to its gold-gilded walls and Baccarat chandeliers, Le Louis XV is an impressive spot at every level. Also home to the world’s largest wine cellar, this icon of a dining establishment attracts everyone from Bond stars to lithe French ingenues.

A view of the Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel
A view of the Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel 

Not more than a 20 minute drive from the esteemed Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo, you will find the property’s delightful sister hotel. The Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel has been a paean to society scene since the 1920s. Set amidst the whimsical Cap Martin coastline and sheltered under a blanket of green pines, this dolce vita property is the epitome of French glamour and charm.

Elsa
Elsa

Moments from the Monaco tennis club, there is no where better to book when the annual The Rolex Monte Carlo Masters rolls around.  part of the ATP World Tour Masters, this elite competition brings the world’s best male professional players to Monaco. Over the years, this clay-court competition has been won by such talented players as Gustavo Kuerten, Cedric Pioline, Andrei Chesnokov, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Guillermo Coria, Ivan Lendl, Novak Djokovic and the unrivalled Rafael Nadal, who won the tournament 8 times in a row from 2005 to 2012.

Monte-Carlo Beach Double Suite
Monte-Carlo Beach Double Suite

Open from March to October, the Monte-Carlo Beach blends French chic with Californian style. First opened in the 1920s, it was the legendary architect Roger Seassal who designed this now historic marmalade-coloured hotel.

And it was the chimerical Parisian designer India Mahdavi whose recent overhaul of the design has brought the hotel into its next phase. Frescoes inspired by Matisse and Cocteau decorate the walls of the 40 individually designed rooms and suites. An upmarket beach property, you’ll find soft white furnishings and Breton stripes punctuating the room and restaurant designs. The superior rooms have a terrace with steps down to La Vigie promenade – giving a sense of space and scope. And if you have time head outside and dangle your feet over hotel’s private jetty or do a lap across the Olympic-sized outdoor pool.

The Riviera’s finest sea vistas are gulped in from Le Deck restaurant, an idyllic outdoor spot serving salads and grilled fish or for a more laissez-faire experience pull up a table at La Pizzeria, for a crispy organic focaccia and a piquant pizza.

The true culinary wow factor happens at Elsa, the world’s first 100 percent organic Michelin-starred restaurant. Expect old-school charm – waiters in white dinner jackets – and a menu of unending delights. Expect a rainbow of colours and flavours on your plate and a focus on local, seasonal produce almost goes without saying. Breakfast is outstanding, a beautiful buffet of succulent meats and cheeses alongside an extensive hot menu made-to-order.

Health and wellness is a big part of the conversation here, most of which takes place in the spa – a separate terracotta-coloured building – 80 metres squared dedicated to all things wellbeing. Inside you will find  three massage cabins, a hammam, and a host of treatments and programmes designed by La Prairie and eco-certified Ymalia treatments.

A place to show off, splurge and be seen, of course Monaco is all of these things, but it also proves an exciting getaway destination with heaps to do – from the tennis to the F1 racing to the Longines Global Champions equestrian tour – all while ending the day off at an extraordinary hotel truly fit for a king.

The Spa at the Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel
The Spa at the Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel 

Read the full article @Forbes here