Monthly Archives: January 2014

Cooling Off: Ritz Paris Plans Reopening

The Ritz Paris has an important place in history, playing host to such names as Princess Diana and Coco Chanel, and also appearing in the books of Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Yet, a harsh blow to the establishment occurred with a blaze breaking out on January 19, ravaging the roof and upper floor. This occurred in the midst of its renovation that was started in August 2012, and initial plans to reopen March 14 went up in smoke. Now the new date for a reopening has been set at June 5.

The establishment is owned by billionaire Mohammed Al-Fayed, and the renovations were aimed at securing the “Palace” status given to the cream-of-the-crop hotels in France, like Le Bristol or the Four Seasons Hotel George V. Of course, these hotels have some of their claims to fame in their top quality thousands-a-night prestigious suites, like Le Bristol’s Penthouse Suite and the George V’s Presidential Suite.

The Ritz Paris’s own most prestigious suite, the 220 square meter Imperial Suite, starts at $20,457 a night. It looks out into the Place Vendôme with two bedrooms and a lounge. More accessible options are $1,250 a night for a 35 square meter room with a view of rue Cambon (home to Chanel), or $3,182 a night for a 90 square meter Deluxe Suite with a lounge area and a garden view. There are 71 rooms and 71 suites total. Besides the suites, there will be a new health club and spa, along with fitness facilities. The restaurant will be run by Michelin chef Nicolas Sale, along with pastry chef François Perret, and head sommelier Estelle Touzet.

Online bookings are now open and can be made directly at booking.ritzparis.com

Private Jet Tours from Aman, Four Seasons

Sometimes we really deserve to set ourselves up for a long airborne journey far from the madding clutter of everyday life. For that, Aman and Four Seasons have you fully covered with their respective travel packages. Whether it is exploring the cultural depth of Asia in the comfortable privacy of a Gulfstream G200 private jet, or being brought on a gastronomic journey with the help of star chef Rene Redzepi, you can be sure that these trips will be fully worth your (considerable) while. We are not sure if this is part of some larger trend of hotel groups organizing tours of multiple properties but we do like it when luxury brands really think outside the box.

Aman Summer PalaceAman Summer Palace

With a limit of just eight guests on the Gulfstream G200, Aman’s Private Jet Expedition allows for a nice space of your own, or with your loved one, while visiting some of the key cradles of Asian civilization. The trip stretches across China, Bhutan, India, and Sri Lanka, where guests will be able to stay at the eight Aman resorts in these countries. In order to maximize the intimacy of the situation, all touring is set to be with a private car, driver, and guide for each day – though guests will have the occasion to come together in the evening for cocktail parties and special dinners. It’ll run through 9-26 October 2016. We are sure that Aman Junkies (as fans of the resort are known) will probably already have booked this up but here are the details anyway.

Amanbagh - Dinner at Small ChhatriAmanbagh – Dinner at Small Chhatri

The trip will start in urban Beijing, where guests can discover its world heritage sites while staying over at the Aman Summer Palace. Later they’ll shift over to Amandayan and be able to experience the rural beauty of Lijiang. Next up is Amankora Paro and Amankora Thimpu in Bhutan, the country well-known for its spirituality, natural beauty and, of course, for being relatively unknown. After Bhutan is the oasis-like Amanbagh in India’s Aravalli Hills, as well as the tented Aman-i-Khas located on the outskirts of Ranthambore National Park. Finally, Sri Lanka beckons with the colonial charm of Amangalla located in Galle Fort, and, the Bawa-esque beachside resort Amanwella. All this adds up to perhaps the perfect exploration of the diversity of Asian cultures while being able to stay at a host of resorts – each with their own special cultural aesthetic. The whole trip is priced at $63,888 per person ($127,776 per couple).

Amanwella Swimming PoolAmanwella Swimming Pool

At $135,000 per person, Four Seasons’ “Culinary Discoveries” aims to focus exclusively on the gastronomical side of things. Yes we know gastronomical is not a real word but at that price, you can call it whatever you want. Running from May 27 to June 14 2017, the trip goes through nine dining capitals and stops at some of the most exclusive restaurants out there. The flight itself will be aboard a private Boeing 757 configured to seat 52 passengers. Every guest is also gifted with Bose noise-canceling headphones and iPads, rather than normal earbuds and seatback entertainment.

Culinary Discoveries with Four SeasonsCulinary Discoveries with Four Seasons

The three week itinerary scrolls through looking into ancient Korean temple cuisine, exploring the street food and markets of Hong Kong and Thailand, going on foraging tours with the chefs at the renowned Noma restaurant in Copenhagen, and ending in Paris with a farewell dinner at the Michelin-starred restaurant Le Cinq at the Four Seasons Hotel George V. Other locations on the way include Mumbai, Florence, Lisbon, and Tokyo. Along the way, guests will participate in a series of hosted talks and conversations about the past, present and future of food and its intersection with creativity, innovation and community.

The Boeing 757The Boeing 757

“From our team’s travels across Scandinavia to relocating our restaurant to Tokyo and Sydney, our international journeys have helped expand our minds and our tastes, and influenced the creativity of the Noma kitchen. We look forward to working with Four Seasons to help develop their first-ever Culinary Discoveries journey, and to create an experience that is truly memorable” said Redzepi.

You can check out more details over that Aman’s website here, or Four Seasons’ website here.