Luxury Hotels

London – Bahia – Venice

In London, the new Connaught Patisserie, entered from Mount Street, Mayfair, serves not only gorgeous cakes but also coffee, artisan tea and, of course, Champagne.   Key names are interior designers Ab Rogers Design, and hotel patissier Nicolas Rouzard, and people who live nearby can summon up personal delivery.

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In Brazil, there is more and more demand for intimate boutique hotels, places like KA BRU, close to Barra Grande, Bahia. KA BRU Beach is an intimate beachfront hotel at the entrance of stunning Camamu Bay, Brazil’s third biggest bay, and its sibling is KA BRU Forest, ethically crafted from 60-year-old demolition woods. https://www.kabrubrazil.com/en **

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In Europe, there is also ever-increasing interest in luxury experiences that are different. Langham is already in Bavaria, with Langham Nymphenburg Munich. Now, this very morning, it announces a forthcoming property on the – crystal-capital – Murano island off Venice. Mattheo Thun will be the designer so expect something that will make people sit up and take notice: it was he who created a two-floor-high glass-walled wine tower in the lobby of the Radisson at Zurich Airport (sommeliers, wearing harnesses, soar up vertically). Langham’s Murano treasure, with 138 rooms, will be a conversion of the historic Casino Mocenigo, named for the local family who produced at least three Doges, including Giovanni di Mocenigo Jr, Doge 1478-1485, during which time he fought at sea against Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II.

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But think of the whole world, and hear what leaders have to say – you can pick up thoughts from Langham’s super-energetic CEO Stefan Leser, via the library of MARY GOSTELOW GIRLAHEAD PODCAST, which currently features Six Senses’ Neil Jacobs

 

 

 

 

The counter is also home to an array of 10 seasonal patisserie – the true showstoppers in the shop. Included are classics such as Paris-Brest, Apple Tatin and St Honoré, and others showcasing more contemporary ingredients such as the vibrant Yuzu Éclair, the Mango and Passion Fruit Mousse cake,  and the Chocolate Tonka Tart.  One of these will be an ever-changing daily cake.  The much loved Connaught hound which graces the hotel emblem, has been reimagined as a chocolate hazelnut cake, a miniature work of art which will be a patisserie signature.

The Connaught Patisserie will also create bespoke large and decadent cakes to order designed for birthdays, celebrations or simply to tell someone you love them.  These exquisite creations can be collected from the Patisserie, or, if customers are in Mayfair, the team can arrive at your door laden with cake boxes, looking splendid, in true Connaught fashion.

 

The Connaught Patisserie was designed by London-based design studio Ab Rogers Design. It’s Director Ab Rogers is son of Sir Richard Rogers, a favourite collaborator to The Maybourne Hotel Group, making this a true family affair.  ARD designed the space as if it were an intricately crafted jewellery box, with every element celebrating the craft of the artisan, to echo the precision and artistry of the cakes.  Rosa Tea pink marble floors and pink polished walls cocoon visitors and provide warmth, whilst curves dominate in the form of voluptuous body-hugging chairs and intimate circular marble tables.  Hand blown hot pink crystal lights hang over the tables, mirrors are used to reflect the quintessential redbrick of Mount Street, and bronze details are a final flourish.  The design pièce de résistance is the warm white marble counter – the heart of the shop.

 

 

 

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Luxury Hotels

TUMI – Langham – Hyatt

Girlahead admits she is a long-time Rimowa fan but she still says well done to TUMI, now owned by LVMH.  The suitcase supplier is launching a range made from recycled materials, and it has done an exclusive pale pink range for Langham – see a wheelie, above, with influencers, shot at The Langham Hong Kong.  It is somewhat incongruous, by the way, that as air travel figures are still at, hopefully, their nadir, baggage manufacturers are busier than ever.  Just this week, too, Swiss army knife manufacturer Victorinox, working with SWISS, reveals its  SWISS Victorinox Lexicon Hardside Board Trolley luggage range – square sided, as if the companies overlooked the word design, and costing from CHR435.

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Hyatt Together is a new digital platform for guests, members and customers featuring wellbeing experiences created by Hyatt colleagues from around the world.  Led by Simon Marxer, Hyatt wellbeing council co-chair and Miraval director of spa and wellbeing, Hyatt Together is focused on three pillars: Feel (emotional and mental wellbeing), Fuel (powering the body, including food, sleep) and Function (how you move and function in work and life). deo content designed to bring its engaging, signature experiences outside of Hyatt hotels so that more people can have access, whether at home, or when they’re ready, while travelling.

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Hear a full global industry report on the WORLD TRAVEL ESSENTIAL podcast, below

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Luxury Hotels

Munich’s forever-young Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski

A sense of place is increasingly important to luxury travellers today, and to this Girlahead would add a sense of time, too. Look at the mural, above, a photo-shopped blown-up photo that occupies the end wall of the sitting area of room #430 at Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski, Munich. You are reminded that you are only a few minutes’ walk from the old-town area of this fascinating city, the capital of Bavaria. Time is included, too. Until a short time ago the hotel would never have paired simple, light and bright bedroom interiors with stylised murals rather than lots of artwork. Colin Finnegan, one half of the Anglo-Dutch design firm FG Stijl, has here shown admirable restraint. Room #430 has parquet floors with soft blue and cream central rugs, pale cream walls and hand-pull drapes and sheers for the three windows, which of course open, and there is marvellously bright lighting throughout.

Breakfast tastings

When what is now a Kempinski-owned 305-room hotel was built in 1858 as guest-house for Maximilian II, it had more electric lights than the whole of the city put together. The hotel has kept itself right up to date ever since. Examples? Its near-unique constant air-flow cigar lounge, its stylish buffet room, its cleverly laid out wellness, next to the indoor pool and the rooftop sunbathing terrace. It is also smack up to date in exhibiting its German-ness. Back to that buffet room: at breakfast supplies included glass jars of yoghurts, plus curd cheeses and quark, with chives, while breads included super-healthy browns, almost in 50 shades.  At lunch, my weisswurst came with pretzels – weisswurst is, incidentally, never eaten AFTER lunch (and another local rule, never eat the casings, suck-out the veal and pork innards).   At dinner, a steak tartare, complemented by a Pinot Noir, Hand in Hand Spätburgunder 2017, arrived with pumpernickel.

Bavarian weisswurst, with pretzels

Let us go to the spa, which cleverly themes its offering, and names its four treatment rooms, for the seasons. Main products are Babor, from Aachen, and after a deliberately-firm back massage I was sent away with a dear little fuchsia goody-bag holding a Dr Niedermaier Natural Luxury Regulatpro Hyaluron anti-ageing beauty drink, from Hohenbrunn (I can testify it tasted jolly good but no-one has since remarked whether or not it has made any difference). Another German brand that I fell in love with here at the hotel was Dallmayr coffee, from the Munich-based delicatessen that dates back to 1700. Still family owned, it is today the largest such emporium in Europe: commendably, for every pound of Ethiopian coffee it sells it plants another five seedlings in its aim to re-forest that country. I made a couple of cups in my room’s Krups machine and both resulted in some of the best in-hotel coffee ever, even though the Dallmayr-branded cups were honestly too chunky for my own taste.

Even though there was no time, alas, to take advantage of Kempinski’s Five Star Road Trip – take a Sixt car for a 90-minute drive to sibling property, to Kempinski Hotel Berchtesgaden Bavarian Alps, for even more exposure to sense of place, German-style – I had a really memorable stay back here at Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski Munich. The hotel is a couple of minutes’ walk to the theatre, and under ten to the English Garden and its unique Eisbach surfing. Even less time-demanding is being able to come out of the hotel’s main entrance, cross Maximilanstrasse and there is Chanel. I saved time, and used calories, too, by taking the 72 finely-carpetted stairs from lobby up to my room.  It was all, really, most agreeable.  I did feel rejuvenated, though I think rather than crediting Dr Niedermaier I will praise the hotel boss, Holger Schroth (even though he was away that night) and his really passionate and friendly team.

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Right now all restaurants have to close at 9 p.m. so there is a lot of early dining, and increased use of private dining. For background on luxury world travel news, do sign in to the WORLD TRAVEL ESSENTIAL podcast https://anchor.fm/agwte

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