Artists and other creative types have been drawn to the Château Lacoste in
Provence since the Marquis de Sade was in residence, and the notorious author’s
lure held fast even as his castle and its surrounding fell into decay. Closer
to our times, the Surrealists and Max Ernst
gravitated to what was left of this tiny medieval village, and over the decades
an artists’ community has grown up around it.
Since 2002, a cluster of homes bought and gradually restored by
the American expat artist Bernard Pfriem in the Fifties was acquired by the
Savannah College of Art and Design, which stepped up renovations, giving a
historic boulangerie new life as a library (pictured above), and transforming forgotten cellars
into exhibition spaces. In a separate but complementary effort, over the past
several years nonagenarian fashion designer Pierre Cardin has been busy
rehabilitating the ruined castle into a center for arts and music and recast a
number of storefronts into shiny galleries.
Last year’s winners (see video, above) included the futuristic Yas Hotel in Abu Dhabi (Best Large Hotel); the renovation of the United Kingdom’s oldest public museum, the Ashmolean, in Oxford (Best Museum); and
Priestmangoode’s innovative staterooms, designed for Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Epicship (Best Transportation).
Set on an island in the heart of Moscow, the once-abandoned warehouses of the old Red October chocolate factory now house some of the city’s hippest galleries, restaurants, and rooftop bars.
For classic cucina italiana, check out Bontempi, a new locanda from Lombardy-born chef Valentino Bontempi. 12 Bersenevskaya Nab.; 7-495/223-1387; dinner for two $138.
With its spacious roof deck and innovative tapas (bocconcini and chile fritters), Bar Strelka—atop the Strelka design institute—draws a mix of local artists, intellectuals, and scenesters. 14 Bersenevskaya Nab.; 7-495/771-7437; drinks for two $25.
Late August has been eventful along the East Coast -- the rumbling of an earthquake, hurricane Irene and the aftermath -- yet beautiful weather has returned and with it come some last opportunities for summer culture. Top of the list: the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival that celebrates its 25th anniversary with a final performance of Hamlet and The Comedy of Errors this weekend. To this pairing, the company offers Around the World in 80 Days (Friday, Sept. 2), ingeniously staged by Christopher V. Edwards with five actors playing 39 roles! The global romp, witty and droll, brings the range of characters to England, India, China in varied modes of 19th-century transport: steamship, train, elephant.
Who He Is: Not since Richard Branson has Britain seen an entrepreneur as iconoclastic as Woodroffe. He designed rock shows for Stevie Wonder and Rod Stewart, launched the chain of conveyor-belt YO! Sushi restaurants, and then created Yotel in 2007, which blends the self-service of Japanese pod hotels (touch-screen check-in kiosks; motorized retractable beds) with a stylish, airplane-cabin vibe.
His Big Idea: Woodroffe’s newest outpost, Yotel Times Square(doubles from $259), in New York City, is a living demonstration of convenience through technology. The hotel features the world’s first luggage robot, a cranelike contraption that retrieves bags and stores them in a sleek white wall of drawers in the lobby. At its restaurant, Dohyo, the tables can be lowered into the floor, opening up the space for performances. Guest “cabins” all have Yotel’s trademark “techno-wall,” with flat-screen TV’s, music and power services, and device-storage areas.
Trying to wear your linen pants and white jeans as much as possible before Labor Day? There’s no need to cram it all in before Monday: this week, Vacationist is offering a handful of deals to destinations where white jeans—not to mention flip-flops, sun hats, and wispy tunics—are de rigueur all year long. So forget fall fashion. Book your endless summer now.
With the holiday weekend just a few days away, Travel + Leisure's digital projects editor, Sarah Spagnolo, headed to NBC's Studio One to try to stump the Today show audience with Labor Day trivia.
Question: Which city was the first to celebrate Labor Day? Here's your hint: The city celebrated on a Tuesday, believe it or not. The date: September 5, 1882. Check out the clip for the answer to this Labor Day question, plus other fun facts.