The 87th Academy Awards nominations were announced this morning, and I was thrilled to hear that my favorite film of the year, Wes Anderson’s Grand Hotel Budapest was nominated for Best Picture, leading the pack with nine nominations. For those of you who appreciate luxury hotels, Grand Hotel Budapest is a quirky trip through a grand hotel chronicling the adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at The Grand Budapest Hotel.
If this movie has inspired to pack your bags and enjoy a grand escape of your own, here are three European luxury hotels where you can experience the glamour of a bygone era.
Grand Hotel Tremezzo, Lake Como, Italy
Set on breathtaking Lake Como, Grand Hotel Tremezzo is one of the oldest and loveliest family run luxury hotels in Italy. This Art Nouveau palace was originally built in the early 1900’s, and today it remains one of the most magnificent hotels in Europe with its grand historic suites overlooking Bellagio, a newly expanded T Spa and some of the best fine dining in Italy. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back into the Belle Epoque. No wonder it was a favorite of screen legend, Greta Garbo.
Hotel Adlon – Kempinski, Berlin, Germany
This hotel is a quintessential grand hotel in Europe located in the vibrant heart of Berlin next to the world Brandenburg Gate. Founded in 1907, Hotel Adlon Kempinski is legendary for its old world luxury, opulent rooms, four outstanding restaurants, and indulgent spa. You can picture the likes of Marlene Dietrich and Charlie Chaplin frequenting this glamorous hotel.
Corinthia Hotel Budapest, Hungary
If there ever was an inspiration for the Grand Hotel Budapest movie, look no further than the Corinthia Hotel Budapest in Hungary. It’s one of the grandest hotels in the city and perfectly situated to enjoy the vibrant art scene and nightlife of Budapest. This five star luxury hotel first opened in 1896 as the Grand Hotel Royal, and after a beautiful renovation, today it’s exudes modern elegance at its finest. A swim in the indoor 15-meter pool originally built in 1886 will feel like a royally romantic experience.
Whenever I visit The Eternal City, Rome, I can’t help but think of one of the most romantic film scenes ever: Swedish screen goddess Anita Ekberg gallivanting and bathing in the Trevi Fountain with Marcello Mastroianni in Federico Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita.” It is the combination of recklessness, love, romance and desire in one of the world’s most romantic cities that still sweeps me off my feet.
Whether it be a James Bond 007 movie film set in the seductive Swiss Alps (Goldfinger) or the alluring Lake Como (Casino Royale), Hollywood’s ability to romanticize travel has been remarkable. Who doesn’t love a great Pink Panther movie with Peter Sellers or the more recent Midnight in Paris set in the City of Light to trigger your wanderlust? While today’s popular box office movies are often a combination of digital tech and epic explosions, films that take us traveling provide a beautiful escape, and you don’t even need to pack or find your passport.
What are some of your favorite films that make you want to travel?
Wouldn’t it feel great to spend your holiday in some of the world’s most incredible places knowing they are doing their part to preserve and protect the planet? National Geographic Society Unique Lodges of the World has just announced its 24 founding members, a collection of boutique hotels in extraordinary places around the world selected for their commitment to sustainability, authenticity and excellence. From French Polynesia to South Africa, sustainability meets splendor at hotels and resorts where the standard is set for responsible travel. Stir your wanderlust with the complete list below!
The complete list of National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World charter members are:
- Fogo Island Inn, Canada
- Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, South Africa
- Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, Peru
- Kapari Natural Resort, Greece
- Kasbah du Toubkal, Morocco
- Lapa Rios Eco Lodge, Costa Rica
- Lizard Island, Australia
- Longitude 131°, Australia
- Mashpi Lodge, Ecuador
- Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort, Canada
- Pacuare Lodge, Costa Rica
- Rosalie Bay Resort, Dominica
- Rubondo Island Camp, Tanzania
- Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge, South Africa
- Sayari Camp, Tanzania
- Southern Ocean Lodge, Australia
- Sukau Rainforest Lodge, Malaysian Borneo
- The Brando, French Polynesia
- The Ranch at Rock Creek, Montana, United States
- Three Camel Lodge, Mongolia
- Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa, Chile
- Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa, Chile
- Tswalu Kalahari, South Africa
- Zhiwa Ling Hotel, Bhutan
Fresh back from International Luxury Travel Marketplace (ILTM) in Cannes, France, the world’s premier luxury travel event, here’s what’s HOT on my radar for 2015 from New York to Paris and Milan. Check into these hotels next year to experience La Dolce Vita!
Baccarat Hotel and Residences, New York
Let’s cut right to the (fine crystal) chase… The new Baccarat Hotel & Residences in New York City will be one of the most glamorous hotels in the world when it opens in February 2015. I had the privilege of taking a tour this December of this gorgeous new hotel perfectly located across from the Museum of Modern Art and steps from Fifth Avenue. It’s modern elegance at its finest with Paris-based interior design duo Gilles & Bossier creating luxury living down to every last exquisite detail. There will be a curated art collection throughout the hotel and stunning Baccarat chandeliers worthy of any museum (so beautiful they actually made me cry.) Its restaurant Chevalier will add a French gastronomic experience to the NY dining scene. There’s everything gorgeous to be said about sipping cocktails at The Bar in endless Baccarat crystal glassware.
Mandarin Oriental, Milan
I’m counting the days for the opening of Mandarin Oriental’s newest luxury hotel, Mandarin Oriental, Milan, the sexiest new addition to the luxury hotel scene in Milan, Italy. The location of the hotel is fabulous, only steps from the famous La Scala on Via Monte di Pieta, one of Milan’s most prestigious addresses, and occupies four elegant 19th century buildings. There are 104 sleekly designed rooms and suites, several choices of restaurants and a luxurious spa. It will be all the buzz during Milan Fashion Week and beyond, and the perfect reason to pack your bags (empty) for a week of shopping in one of the prominent fashion capitals in the world.
The Ritz Paris
Joie de vivre! César Ritz’s dream was to open the ideal hotel offering “all the refinements that a prince could wish for his own home”. With its multi-million dollar renovation to revive its old world glamour, the new Ritz Paris, (opening mid to late 2015) overlooking Place Vendôme, will no doubt be a royal experience. There are 72 suites and 71 rooms restored and recreated by internationally renowned interior designer Thierry W. Despont including 15 historic one-of-a-kind prestige suites including the Coco Chanel suite. Mademoiselle Chanel moved into the Ritz Paris in the early 1930’s. I can’t wait to practice my culinary skills at the Ritz Escoffier cooking school, sip something bubbly and indulge in fine French cuisine at three restaurants, three bars, including the famous Bar Hemingway. After all, Coco Chanel did say, “A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.”
After a year of travel to over 20 countries, these three spas stand out as the best of the best for their array of advanced and effective treatments, sleek design and exceptional service making each the ultimate luxury hotel spa experience.
Peninsula Spa at The Peninsula Hong Kong
After a 15 hours flight and arriving at the iconic Peninsula Hong Kong, the first thing I do is schedule an evening spa appointment at the 12,000 square foot Peninsula Spa with spectacular views of Victoria Harbour. The Oxygen Inhalation Therapy is the perfect treatment for jet lag to help you maintain proper oxygen levels in the body, not to mention it’s great for detoxification of the body. Spa treatments are highly personalized and will make you feel totally rejuvenated. During the day, start your stay with a swim in the hotel’s 8th floor swimming pool overlooking Hong Kong’s iconic skyline follow by a healthy spa cuisine lunch on the outdoor terrace on warmer days. This spa will exceed your expectations and more.
The Spa at The Dolder Grand, Zurich Switzerland
No matter how busy my travel schedule is, I always find time to renew myself at The Spa at The Dolder Grand in Zurich, Switzerland. It is 4,000 square meters of total bliss, and total relaxation for the mind, body and soul. The spa uses, products by La Prairie, Kerstin Florian, Horst Kirchberger and Amala, a fabulous and effective Certified Organic spa line. Check into the spa early to unwind by the extraordinary Aqua Zones with its eye-catching swimming pool, outdoor whirlpools, steam bath and snow paradise for those who need to chill out a little further. Don’t miss zoning out on the heated pebbles in the Japanese-style sunaburo. After a Caviar Lift facial by La Prairie, take a fitness class with Johannes following by a healthy lunch at the Spa Café. I may live 6,000 miles away, but I fancy myself a regular.
The Spa at The Mandarin Oriental, New York
For one of the most authentic and indulgent spa experiences, check into to the Spa at The Mandarin Oriental, New York for the ultimate in pampering. I had just returned home from traveling around the world on private jet, and the body needed a little TLC. The VIP Suite is the first of its kind in New York, resembling an Oriental-style home complete with warming fireplace, sumptuous bath, dual massage beds (for couples treatments) encompassing 650 square feet of heaven. Bespoke “Time Rituals” are customized to your needs. After 2 hours of treatments, I felt like a completely new person. The treatments are so exceptional with highly trained therapists customizing your experience, it’s worth a visit to NYC just for this spa alone.
The winter season is almost here, and it’s time to jet set off to someplace warm like St. Barts or Bali. As a world-traveler, I always remind my friends that it’s important to pack versatile yet stylish pieces for beach holidays; the new women’s Cruise Collection 2014 by Orlebar Brown for women makes it easy with its new Cruise collection of classic beach shorts, bikinis, one pieces and accessories. I adore the Sanremo Towelling Dress in Fuchsia, the perfect gift for my fashionable best friend, because it’s a chic cover-up piece that transitions easily from the beach or spa to a seaside lunch with friends. The burst of color will surely get you noticed at the most glamorous resorts.
As it’s the season of giving, Orlebar Brown and I want to give you a chance to WIN this #GIFTOFOB dress. Simply follow both of our accounts on Twitter @OrlebarBrown and @LuxeTiffany and retweet to enter. A winner will be selected at random and announced on Sunday, November 30th, 2014.
They say everybody has a “National Geographic Moment,” that moment you saw an unforgettable image in the iconic magazine of some far away place that embeds itself in your memory for years to come. For me, that moment as a child was seeing Easter Island in my parent’s endless stack of yellow-bordered collection of magazines.
In a few days, my dream will come true. I’m about to embark on the Abercrombie & Kent Private Jet Journey around the world with founder Geoffrey Kent on an exclusively chartered Boeing 757 aircraft to some of the globe’s most spectacular destinations all in one amazing journey including Easter Island, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Bali and Sri Lanka.
It’s nothing short of “luxury in the skies” and one of the most elegant on-board experiences with custom-crafted in Italy, leather seat that extend into a fully lie-flat bed with massage features. A private cabin crew travels with you the entire journey.
On this private jet journey, hotels, resorts and lodges have been chosen by A&K’s experts for their authentic experience in each destination including fine dining and local culture. Tours are in small groups with experienced guides giving insight that only a local would know. It’s all about convenience on this journey including A&K’s exclusive Traveling Bell Boy service, where you simply leave your packed bags in your hotel room and find them waiting inside your room at your next accommodation. It’s the ultimate in luxury travel!
Follow me the next few weeks @LuxeTiffany on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and check out the hashtag #AKPrivateJet as I give you an exclusive insider’s look at this exclusive Abercrombie & Kent Private Jet Journey.
Thanks for following along!
A fall breeze is already in the air, and the who’s who were back in town from summering on Nantucket and the Vineyard to gather Thursday night in Boston at the W Hotel to celebrate my dear friend Ben Mezrich‘s latest adventure thriller, Seven Wonders, the first in a trilogy of books published by celebrated Hollywood producer, Brett Ratner (RatPac Press, Horrible Bosses, Rush Hour, X-Men.)
Hosted by the ever-lovely producer and managing director of the Boston Globe, Linda Henry and her husband John, owner of the Boston Globe and Boston Red Sox, the party was chock full of creative types and stylish well-wishers who were buying up hard-back copies in droves, eager to read the book before the movie begins filming (myself included.) Guests included Ben’s wife, Tonya Mezrich, also my BFF and co-creator of the sexy Mike&Ton fashion label, philanthropist Corinne Grousbeck, legendary singer Peter Wolf, nightclub and restaurant genius Ed Kane, Karmaloop king Greg Selko, media maven Liz Brunner and my gorgeous better half, JB Dowd.
The book rights have already been sold to Hollywood, and it’s buzzing news that A-list actors are all vying for the lead part of Jack Grady, the man who unravels the mystery of the Seven Wonders of the World while gallivanting across the world trying to find clues to his brother Jeremy’s murder. It’s a thrilling Indiana Jones style adventure, and this fall’s must-read.
For those who might not know, Harvard-grad, Ben Mezrich is the author of the wildly successful Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions which spent 63 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list as well as the book Accidental Billionaires: the Founding of Facebook, a Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal which spent 18 weeks on the NY Times bestseller list and adapted into the 8-time (3 win) Oscar nominated movie, The Social Network.
There’s nothing I love more than seeing success happen to great people, especially when they are my friends. Congratulations Ben Mezrich!
(Photos by Russ Mezikofsky)
Does soaring through the city skyline by helicopter to an urban hotel or arriving by boat to a hidden tropical paradise sound like your kind of luxury? Here are 10 Asian hotels that cater to affluent guests — from sumptuous city escapes to lavish hideaways.
(Click the photo for more on my article on USA Today!)