Among fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld’s new side projects? A Monte Carlo pool with serious style cred. T+L reports.
“Work is making a living out of being bored,” Karl Lagerfeld once quipped. If that’s the case, he’s been exceedingly bored lately—and focusing his eagle eye on the world of travel. Lagerfeld just unveiled a slick redesign of the pool, patio, and Odyssey restaurant at Hotel Metropole (pictured; $$$$),in Monaco, where he had a house for 10 years and maintains a close friendship with Princess Caroline. Surrounded by the lacy garden rooftops of Monte Carlo, the new space is strikingly graphic, with angular ebony-and-ecru furniture, square umbrellas, and a backlit black-and-white photo mural depicting models in the mode of Odysseus, togas and all.
What do you do if you're a hotel chain that wants to grab the interest of potential Gen X and Y guests? It's obvious, isn't it? You entice young women into a hotel room where a pajama-clad CeeLo Green, the singer-songwriter behind the danceable hit, "F*** You," lies in wait, smiling seductively. And that, in fact, was the kick-off P.R. stunt for one seriously odd (and oddly cool) promotional campaign: Discovery Doors, which launches today. It's primarily an online video game on the Reniassance Hotel's website where gamers can win everything from membership in a Coffee-of-the-Month club to a trip for two around the world—500 prizes in all. Here's how it works…
Ahead of Glasgow-based band Franz Ferdinand’s new album, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action, front man Alex Kapranos shows T+L there’s more to touring than partying like a rock star.
Q: What are some perks of traveling as a musician?
A: You pick up all sorts of musical influences. I love Colombian cumbia and Peruvian chicha. The melodies have great melancholy, but the rhythms are lively.
Q: Do you bring home souvenirs?
A: I try to collect unusual instruments. My favorite is an earthenware bowl used at weddings in Peru. It has a space between two layers that’s filled with fine stones. After you eat, you shake the bowl to make a percussive sound while everyone dances.
Tim Gunn, the fashion consultant and mentor to the contestants on Lifetime's Project Runway, was standing on the rooftop Garden of New York's Waldorf-Astoria hotel recently, preparing to plant a tree in support of the New York Restoration Project, an environmental nonprofit founded by Gunn's friend Bette Midler. Not only did he dig the hole and plant the tree, he actually tidied up the stray dirt afterward. We asked the dapper Gunn what he takes with him when he travels.
The King of Clay serves T+L a few of his best moves.
The winner of 12 Grand Slam men’s singles titles, Mallorcan tennis player Rafael Nadal is fierce on the court—but a beach bum at heart. Want proof? Despite a relentless tournament schedule, he finds time to visit Secrets Aura Cozumel ($$)—one of two resorts he co-owns on the Mexican island—where he “loves to fish and dive.” While Nadal’s wardrobe includes this T-shirt from Vilebrequin ($85) and boat shoes by Tommy Hilfiger ($98), his laid-back style doesn’t equate to traveling light: all his gear and event attire add up to “a thousand suitcases.” One thing you’ll never find inside: trophies. “I left one in a taxi in Acapulco! I’ve had them mailed to me ever since.”
• Nadal’s Zadig & Voltaire jacket ($415) and jeans ($225) are cool yet comfortable.
• “My limited-edition Richard Mille watch is so light I hardly feel it.”
• The Nike Roller Golf Departure Duffel ($170) has a separate pocket for wet items.
• Nadal’s Babolat racquets (from $199) are always at his side. “If I lose them, I have a small problem.”
Photo by Clive Brunskill
Family members have planned a private burial service for Malcolm Shabazz, the grandson of slain civil rights activitist Malcolm X, in Hartsdale, New York tomorrow. He was beaten to death in a bar fight on May 9 in Mexico City. But in the widespread news coverageof the killing, one fact has been curiously underplayed: Shabazz was the unwitting victim of one of the oldest scams in travel.
Can a nitpicky hotel inspector ever find fulfillment? That’s the question of Viaggio Sola (I Travel Alone), the new film by Italian director Maria Sole Tognazzi. The film, which just picked up several nominations for Italy's Donatello Awards (the country's equivalent of the Oscars) will be showing at Lincoln Center as part of Open Road: New Italian Cinema, which runs from June 6-12.
Here, she offers T+L a sneak preview.
What’s the plot?
“A Leading Hotels of the World inspector (played by Margherita Buy) arrives incognito at glamorous resorts: the Puli Hotel & Spa ($$$), in Shanghai; Switzerland’s Gstaad Palace ($$$$); the Fonteverde Tuscan Resort & Spa ($$$), in Italy.”
What did you learn about that profession?
“They work like characters on CSI: hunting for dirt with white gloves, testing the temperature of room-service coffee, ensuring that the time is synced on TV and radio. Only at the end of the journey can they reveal their true identity.”
Do you have any travel essentials?
“My Rolex, set to the time in Rome. It’s been with me since I was fifteen.”
Sure, she’s in the summer’s biggest blockbuster, is on the cover of this week’s EW, and was just named the world’s most beautiful woman by People. But what Gwyneth Paltrow wants to talk about right now is travel guides—specifically, the ones she’s created for her lifestyle brand, GOOP. Yesterday she was promoting the GOOP app at New York’s Apple store in SoHo with Jessica Seinfeld; before they took the stage, I had a chat with her, travel editor-to-travel editor.
Turns out Gwyneth started these city guides for herself. “I’m a Libra,” she said, “I can’t make up my mind about anything.” Now she can just open the GOOP app for her own highly curated list of restaurants, shops, bars, hotels, and more in New York, L.A., and London. “I find them very helpful,” she said, “even though I made them.”
And what does it take to get the Gwyneth stamp of approval? “Quality,” she says, “which could be a $2 taco. It has to be worth going out of your way for.” In New York, only 13 hotels make the cut: well-known places like the Trump SoHo, but also lesser-known spots like the Inn at Irving Place, which doesn’t even have a sign. And the NYC guide has a separate section for pizza, which Gwyneth loves. (A couple of her picks, like Di Fara and Co., get the T+L approval stamp, too.) She’s personally been to “almost” every place in each guide, and if she hasn’t, at least three of her most trusted friends have to have given their thumbs up.
GOOP’s Paris guide is coming out next, and Gwyneth is excited to direct people away from hotel concierge recommendations, which she sees as a shady business. “Paris is the worst kickback city,” she said. “I feel so bad when people say they’ve saved up but gone somewhere terrible. It’s such a nice thing to say ‘this is where you should go.’”
So will we see the GOOP app in any upcoming movies—maybe Tony Stark using it in Iron Man 4? “I don’t know,” she said, laughing. “I don’t think so. Wouldn’t it be weird if I was in a movie referencing my own product?”
Photo by Rich Beattie
Stay: I send out-of-town guests to the Relais Todini (Frazione Collevalenza $$), a 14th-century manor. The view from the swimming pool stretches for miles. Equally pastoral: Tenuta di Canonica (75 Località Canonica $$), in a former watchtower.
Shop: Daniele Parasecolo (1 Via S. Maria) is one of Todi’s last remaining traditional wood inlayers—his panels are as intricate as paintings. You’ll find elegant coral and cameos at Arte del Corallo (11 Corso Cavour; 39-075/894-4473). Nearby, Marco Cianini (39 Via Giacomo Matteotti; 39-349/505-2195) makes exquisite handmade shoes. Don’t ask him to copy your old pair—he needs to create!
Eat: When hunger interferes with my shopping, I head to La Cantina del Mercataccio (1 Via del Mercato Vecchio; 39-338/246-2587) for a plate of strigoli al tartufo, pasta with fresh tomato, guanciale, and black truffles. At gelateria Bar Pianegiani (40 Corso Camillo Benso Cavour), I order one scoop of fig and walnut and another of chocolate, with plenty of whipped cream.
Do: A quick drive north of town, 513-year-old majolica ceramics company U. Grazia (181 Via Tiberina, Deruta) holds three-day painting and glazing courses. What’s better than a few pampered days in Todi, learning one of the most ancient Italian arts, then realizing you can take it with you?
Photo by Ben Mostyn
The domestic doyenne and author of this month’s Living the Good Long Life (Random House; $28) reveals her carry-on arsenal.
• Clé de Peau Beauté Refining Fluid Foundation ($120). “The best I’ve found.”
• SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic ($146). “Always use it pre-makeup.”
• Susan Ciminelli Algae Deep Cleanse ($65). “Feels so fresh!”
• Fekkai Salon Technician Color Care Shampoo and Conditioner ($18). “Makes hair, in a word, lustrous.”
• AmorePacific Moisture Bound Tinted Treatment Moisturizer ($70). “Protects my skin with sunblock and has a hint of color.”
• Mario Badescu Super Rich Olive Body Lotion ($10). “I transfer it to a tiny bottle and add a Martha Stewart for Avery label. I have to stay organized!”
Kathryn O'Shea-Evans is an associate editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter @ThePluckyOne.
Photo by John Lawton