Archive | August, 2012

Luxury Beverly Hills Hotel

“Don’t you know who I am?” I love saying that to people. You see in my own head I am a celebrity. Well I should be. I have been known to stumble out of bars at various hours, known to wave at people applauding even when it’s not for me, and have ideas about starting my own fragrance. I shall call it Klintons Klap. Because its going to smell so good, that people will want to applaud and clap. Its going to be a best seller.  Right now it’s all about a certain luxury Beverly Hills Hotel.

So being a F list celebrity I have to go where all the other celebs are and mingle and schmooze my way onto the A list. So after a quick flight, I was in the City of Angels.  And as ‘Pretty Woman’ taught me, to make it in this town you need a blonde wig and to stay in Beverly Hills. And with that I went and checked in at the very in and  swish Montage Beverly Hills.

Even though it’s a new hotel it feels like old Hollywood glamour with a Spanish Colonial influence.  Make no mistake though, you’re  in Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive is just around the corner.  Naturally,  the floral arrangement in the lobby is over the top and the staff so friendly.  Just like in ‘Pretty Woman’.  Even though I, sadly, was not staying in a suite I was permitted to peek into one.  Richard Gere would approve.

Montage’s two restaurants, Conservatory Grill and their Gourmet Italian restaurant Scarpetta are great to eat at and, at the same time network in.  I myself was looking for Brad and Angelina out of the corner of my eye.  After dinner I checked out the Parq Bar.  The live entertainment, which I was told they have every night, was first-rate.  I didn’t want to leave but was talked into having a night-cap (I can’t tell you who with but you’d be impressed) at their exclusive bar called £10.  It just won hotel bar of the year at Virtuso week in Las Vegas.

Amenities at the Montage are not just the ordinary ones.  For instance, if your staying in a Deluxe Suite or higher you’ll enjoy the complimentary use of a Mercedes-Benz.  When you’re not tooling around town you can just relax and have a drink by the pool with views of downtown Los Angeles.  You’ll be the star you were meant to be here. Me and my blonde wig did just that. 

I thoroughly enjoyed my stay there but sadly my networking failed and I  didn’t get on the A list. In fact I may have been demoted to the G list. But I will persevere as Beverly Hills is a tough place and it take guts and perseverance to make it.  Remember to be on the look out for my Klap fragrence in stores soon!

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Copa is Rio’s most Glam Hotel

South America’s only Palace Hotel

I’m sorry did you say your name was Cola? Oh, Lola! My mistake. Well hello Lola. You’re a show girl you say? And yellow feathers in your hair. Charming. This is my introduction to the Copacabana Palace located in Rio de Janeiro.  That one song, as awful as it is and now only played at weddings, and if you really didn’t like the person, funerals, immediately jumps into your head. Well don’t sing it while you’re there, the Carioca’s (local Rio people) are over it. But I needed to mention it, now I have so we can move on. If Palace hotels are your thing, there certainly mine, then there is but one place to stay when you fly down to Rio, or however you get there, and that’s the Copacabana Palace. It is as glamorous as it gets in this jaw dropping beautiful city surrounded by mountains and beaches.  It’s also the only place in the world you can wear white after Labor Day.  In fact it’s mandatory on New Year’s Eve.  You knew I would know that!

This eight story amazing city hotel faces the famous Copacabana beach and is a place, like the city, that one time is never enough. Shame I can’t say the same about some dates I’ve been on. It is too, dare I say it, popular with some other well  knowns.  Don’t believe me? Well let me allow you to catch these names that I am about to drop: Madonna, Walt Disney, Princess Diana, Elton John, Bridget Bardot. The list goes on and on, and they are some high-class picky people, just like me, so if they have walked through the Palace doors and showered and slept and partied here then that’s good enough for me.

Now, I have to tell you there is a 14 story Annex adjacent to the main building so if they escort you there, don’t panic and just go with it. Believe you me, you will love it. Any other time, I would be concerned but the Annex is perhaps better than the main building. Again, I repeat, do not panic. This is where the regulars to Rio stay because there all one bedroom suites with terraces and really mini-apartments. The ones overlooking the main pool and sea, needless to say, are the best.  Even better in a city that can get really hot (temperature wise) the Copa’s “quiet as a mouse A/C you can’t even hear it” is so cool!  The only suites better are the Penthouse suites in the main building.  There are only six and they’re hardly ever available.  Those people get to share a roof top pool.

The Copacabana Palace also has a  tennis court, fitness center, a 3-storey spa (cause 2 is never enough), two bars (change location, change your pick up karma), a nightclub and two restaurants. The pool restaurant, Pergula,  is especially noted for its Brazilian breakfast.  (They have fruits I never heard of) After breakfast you can alternate your day between the beach (Copacabana Palace has their own section with chairs, water and towels) and pool, hands down, the best pool in Rio.  Gourmet restaurant Cipriani is one of the most beautiful restaurants in Rio. If you can pull yourself away then there’s always a dramatic cable car up to Sugar Loaf.  From here you get the most dramatic view of the city that will make you understand why Carioca’s say God is Brazilian.

And with that I grab my blue feather, I look bad in yellow, and my dress cut down to there and off to shake my maracas.
It’s time for the Bosa Nova, Carnival Samba music and Caipirinha’s.

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Burj Al Arab (World’s Only Seven Star Hotel)

So it was my lovely nephew’s birthday last week. Little brat is 8 years old. I had to Google what to buy a kid of his age because I am clueless when it comes to things like that. Of course I don’t have any kids of my own so this was quite a pickle I was in, and all I could do was hope he turns 12 quickly so I can just give him cash. So the birthday comes, I hand over the gift, he snatches it and unwraps so quickly I almost lost my hand. He looks at the present. Looks at me. Looks back at the present and says “Is that it?”

I take a sip of wine and realize it’s not his fault. He’s not alone. It takes a lot to shock and wow people now-a-days. Everything has been done and now extreme is what gets some reaction. So I sit my nephew down and begin to tell him the story of the place built on WOW. Where nothing is done nor made without the WOW factor. He doesn’t believe it exists. I shake my head in a condescending way and tell him of the best hotel where WOW is too small a word. Impressive. Unbelievable. Magnificent. I can’t think of the right word as there isn’t a word for it yet.

For you see, in Dubai where hotels, apartments and shopping is unmatched anywhere (they created a snow and ski slope indoors, in a city surrounded by desert, now that’s grand) but nothing on this planet compares to one hotel.  The Burj Al Arab is still the premier seven star luxury hotel in the world.  It was designed to mimic a billowing dhow sail. The white sails covering the outer side of the atrium are used as a screen for the nightly light show at the Burj Al Arab. The 321-m tower stands on an artificial island connected to the shore by a bridge and has been known as the tallest all-suite hotel in the world.  This is to Dubai’s what the Eiffel Tower, Empire State Building, Taj Mahal and Sydney Opera House are to those city’s residents. 
Arriving Burj Al Arab guests are met at the airport by uniformed staff and driven to the hotel in a Rolls-Royce limousine. Helicopter, no joke, is the other option. There is no check in front desk and you are escorted for check in.

Real 22-carat gold leaf has been used in the decor of the lobby and the restaurants, together with Italian marble (one of nearly 30 different types used throughout the property), Brazilian granite and custom-made carpets.
There are four restaurants to choose from. Most unusual is the concept of the Al Mahara seafood restaurant, which creates the feeling of an underwater location, thanks to a simulated submarine ride and aquariums in the place of windows. Yes you can see fish next to you and on your plate. 
There are two pools (one up high with drop dead views), a spa, gym, saunas, steam rooms, hydrotherapy baths, several treatment rooms, and a ladies-only section. Guests at the Burj Al Arab have free access to the private beach and the Wild Wadi water park, just for something different.
In-suite check-in, unpacking, pressing of clothes and delivering food orders are some of the standard services provided by butlers 24 hours a day as is the room service.

The rooms (all suites) come in various sizes but all are wonderful and spacious. It didn’t get the only 7 star rating for being small and simple. This is a WOW.  Dubai is a  city filled with “WOW” moments and architecture and the Burj Al Arab is just the jewel in the crown.  It deserves its place in the must see and stay hotels in the world.

And so I tell my nephew if he’s good, and not so rude, he may get there one day. And with that I take another sip of my wine and tell him that he should just appreciate the tickle me Elmo doll I got for him otherwise I’m taking it back.

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Chatwal New York (Where Broadway babies sleep tight)

“Make it a double” I tell the barman. He nods. He has been around New York long enough to know that a single man at a bar in Manhattan needs a double at night. As I sit waiting for the drink to be made, never quick enough, the red leather bar stool is making it easy for me to forget my life worries. I lean back to stretch my neck and I glance up and see the Empire State Building.  As a lamp fixture.  How unique. How very New York. 1930’s art deco style in modern times.  I look around and see that this is obviously one of the Theatre districts hot bars.  Don’t ask how I know.  It’s an instinct. A gift.

Ladies and Gentleman I give you the Chatwal New York. I’m so happy I discovered it.

How fabulous. That word is often over used but is the only word to describe The Chatwal. This city hotel is pure New York and is located in the heart of the theatre district just off world-famous Times Square. Any savvy theatre buff will tell you this is the only place “chic” to stay in the area.  You may miss its understated entrance on East 44th Street but once you’re inside you’ll be thrilled with your decision to stay there. 

This is one of the areas of Manhattan where the expression “The city that never sleeps” fits.  Manhattan Babies on Broadway do sleep tight at the Chatwal.  That’s because this old club made into a new hotel has thought of everything, including soundproofing. 

Speaking of Broadway The Chatwal concierge knows all the hot shows and how to get tickets.  Wow!  Ah! The big Apple, I do love you.

Now where is my drink?

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