What: A 3-night stay (for the price of 2) at Marrakech’s five-star Palais Namaskar, boasting swank, secluded pool villas set amid five hectares of lush greenery right by the stunning Atlas Mountains.
Where: Magical Morocco, at the property named the ‘Best Hotel on the African Continent’ by World Luxury Hotel Awards, no less.
How: palaisnamaskar.com, with the code WINTER3N
Why: After what’s sure to be a long and over-indulgent festive season, your body will yearn for some much-deserved TLC – treat yo’ self!
How much: GBP 800 per night
Move over, Fifth Avenue! Smack bang in the heart of New York’s West Village is boutique babe newcomer The Jade Hotel, bringing a decidedly plush, Parisian-inspired, Art Deco sensibility to the tree-lined block of charming brownstones. One foot in the door, and the bellhop’s got your bags while you descend into a lobby swathed in velvet, violet and gold; its bookshelves overflowing with names of neighbourhood writers. Make yourself at home…
What: A wardrobe packed full of classic, stylish pieces is what every gentleman needs – but if the man in your life has neither the time nor the patience to trawl the mall for a crisp shirt and perfect pair of jeans, he’ll love the Trunk Club. After speaking with an expert stylist, he’ll receive a hand-curated selection of some of the sharpest threads out there on his doorstep, as seldom or as often as he wants. Maximum style, minimum fuss!
Who: Trunk Club, the Chicago-based one-stop shop for smart-casj weekend wear, whose trump card is its network of 125+ savvy stylists.
Why: With brands from Eton to Lacoste to Earnest Sewn, and a 10-day try-on period after which you pay only for what you keep, it’s a win/win model. Pack your trunk!
How much: USD 100-5,000
It’s the most wonderful – or should we say wunderbar? – time of the year, and nowhere is the Christmas spirit more alive and kicking than in Berlin, mein Liebling. The Weihnachtszauber am Gendarmenmarkt seasonal market is where holiday cheer crescendoes, echoing off the magnificent facades of surrounding Deutsche Dom, Konzerthaus and Franzozische Friedrichstadtkirche. With its towering, twinkling tree, endless artisan foods and product vendors, musical and theatrical performers, and of course the booming fireworks, Weihnachtszauber keeps the Grinch at bay and makes bah-humbugging nigh on impossible. Unlike most other markets in town, here there’s an entry fee of 1€, but it’s rather a small price to pay for the guaranteed warm and fuzzy feelings – vat are you vaiting for?
11am-10pm daily until Dec 31. Leipziger Strasse 65, Mitte, Berlin. W: gendarmenmarktberlin.de
What: Forget iPods, iPads, iThis and iThat – this Christmas, we’re giving the gift of old-school music. We’re loving Crosley’s range of retro turntables, cleverly combining nostalgic aesthetic with all-mod functions like a USB interface so you can convert your old albums to digital format, plus AM/FM radio and programmable CD player to boot.
Who: Crosley, the American household brand that first introduced the $7 ‘Harko’ radio to the masses in 1920
Why: So you can dust off the vinyl and blame it on the boogie – why else?!
How much: USD 299.95
Almost a year to the day since London’s iconic former Cafe Royal reopened its heavy wooden Art Nouveau doors as a hotel (it was formerly a fine-dining haunt frequented by the likes of Oscar Wilde, Liz Taylor, and Princess Diana), acclaimed architect David Chipperfield prepares to unveil the finishing touch to its sleek revamp – the Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Centre. Talk about an ultra opulent, 1,200 sq m pamper palace… READ MORE…
Leave it to Los Angeles to forever put to bed the notion that vegan food is for dread-locked, Birkenstock-clad hippies – instead, white tablecloths and a ritzy Melrose Avenue address set the scene for Crossroads restaurant, with nary a typical tofu dish in sight. From chef Tal Ronnen, famously hailed by Oprah as the ‘best vegan chef in America’, Crossroads serves up seasonal, ‘plant-based’ cuisine that perfectly fits the Angeleno MO of feel-good, waistline-friendly fare: take the playful ‘artichoke oysters’ with artichoke puree and crispy ‘oyster’ mushroom, or the ‘crab cakes’ with hearts of palm, apples, beets and horseradish cream. Seasoned carnivores, take note! Going vegan could be, like, soooo the next big thing in LA.
8284 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles. T: +1 323 782 9245. W: crossroadskitchen.com
What: Far from your average fruit basket, this deluxe Christmas hamper is not only choc-a-block with indulgent goodies like vintage Dom and Delpeyrat foie gras, it even comes with a 3-hour Italian cooking class experience voucher, plus cookbook, utensils and many more tasty treats. For the foodie in your life!
Who: Gift Hampers HK, with a staggering selection of seasonal baskets that’ll have your gifting list sorted, stat.
Why: ’Tis the season for feasting and toasting… and a bottle of premium champs plus gourmets goodies sure make for a good start!
How much: HKD 4,400
You watched Avatar and Bio-Dome and liked what you saw. The kiddies are on school holidays. You want to escape Singapore‘s steamy ‘winter’. You’re a fan of pretty flowers and the like. If you’re in the Lion City and ticked ‘yes’ to any of the above, there’s really no good excuse not to check out Singapore’s huge, verdant, horticultural attraction Gardens by the Bay. Bush babes, this way…
The well-travelled, quintessentially French gent Antoine Melon has been a senior figure in some of the world’s finest hotels including The Balmoral, The Mandarin Oriental and Six Senses Laamu – but today he calls sun-kissed Phuket home, where he resides as general manager of the ultra-opulent, all-villa resort Trisara. With so many exciting changes afoot, we caught up with Monsieur Melon to talk new suites, seafood and sport. Allons-y!