Luxury Hotels


Today’s the day for KEEPING WELL, says Girlahead. A quote in this weekend’s Financial Times points out investment in wellness is like investment in a pension pot.  Invest now, for benefits later – a Stanford Runners Study says that non-fitters are three times more likely to die in any year.  Salient pointers, however, why don’t gyms contact paying members who do not turn up?  Simple answer. Say a gym has 7,000 members.  It’s highly likely the facilities can only handle a maximum of 300 at any one time … Wonder what the Global Wellness Institute would say to that?

Some wellness facilities, as at PARK HYATT TOKYO above, are breathtaking. There are so many ways of keeping fit.  In London, keep well, physically and mentally, by taking a Firmdale Hotels’ Art Walk.  You might begin with a tour of the HAYMARKET HOTEL. You explore Kit Kemp’s personally chosen art including works by Sir Tony Cragg, John Virtue and Sue Lawty. Guided by Firmdale’s Art Ambassador Olivia Paterson, the walk continues with an intimate tour to some of Mayfair and St James’ most prestigious galleries.

Art certainly keeps the brain fit. One month today, namely 23rd February, expect PRINCIPE DI SAVOIA, Dorchester Collection, to have a rush of guests wanting to cross 3.9 kms across Milan to Palazzo Reale. The gallery launches, that day, its phenomenal Titian’s Women exhibition (it has come to Milan from Vienna’s Kunst Historisches and, curated by Sylvia Ferino-Pagden, Francesca Del Torre Scheuch and Wencke Deiters, it runs here in Milan until 29th May).Titian – Pieve di Cadore c.1488–1576 – was the most influential Italian painter of his time and this show stresses the prominence of women in Venetian  sixteenth-century painting. Why? The socio- political structure of the Serene Republic gave women special rights on their dowry, and their ability to inherit, and the city’s culturally progressive and cosmopolitan climate. The exhibition analyzes the functions of contemporary fashion, coiffure, and precious goldsmith work in that era. Pieces have been loaned by Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum, the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlung, Alte Pinakothek in Munich, the Uffizi in Florence, the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice, the Galleria Borghese in Rome, the Kunstmuseum in Basel, the Louvre in Paris, the Prado and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection in Madrid, the Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte and the Museo Archeologico in Naples, the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, the Staatliche Kunstsammlung in Dresden, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the National Gallery in London, the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg, the Städel Museum in Frankfurt, and private lenders.

And now, here, hear Dorchester Collection’s CEO Chris Cowdray:

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Luxury Hotels


Quick question, how can one learn THE LANGUAGE OF LOVELY FOOD?  All being well, umshallah and all that, in a week’s time Girlahead will be dining in Dubai at Matagi. She is sure RAFFLES DUBAI THE PALM, formerly Emerald Palace Kempinski, never had a menu like this in days past (see its owner, Nver Mkhitaryan, above).  Every dish, looking ahead, is mouth-watering, but what IS it all? Take one of the hot starters,  ‘red carabineros prawn, black tobiko, yuzu dynamite sauce’. What?  Watch this space….

Dubai restaurateurs will be biting their nails, as will colleagues and competitors throughout the Middle East. The inaugural 50 Best Restaurants, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, takes in under a month. The event programme, 4-8 February, will be hosted in Abu Dhabi, in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism, culminating in the awards ceremony  on Monday 7th February. Votes come in from 250 ‘restaurant experts’ from 19 countries: cynically, perhaps, Girlahead would like to know what actually makes a best restaurant (say design, ambience, service, wine list and, oh yes, food?) as opposed to best food (quality and taste)?  She fondly remembers a dinner of freshest Beluga and chilled vodka on a clean white plate on a red and white checked table cloth in a grotty, stained, music-free shed in Tehran in the Good Old Days.  But back to Abu Dhabi. On 4th February, as preamble to 50 Best, Berlin-based Tim Raue, whose food Girlahead tasted at ADLON KEMPINSKI, does a Masterclass.

Looking back at past episodes of MARY GOSTELOW GIRLAHEAD PODCAST, only two foodie-subjects stand out, José Silva, CEO Jumeirah, and Netflix sensation – The Last Magnificent – Jeremiah Tower.  In order to prevent this ditty today being totally Middle East-centric, let us hear, again, Jeremiah Tower, speaking from Mexico:

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Luxury Hotels


What exactly IS fashion?  Well, it’s obviously attractive to Jeff Bezos. Amazon Style will be a real-live dress store, with men’s and women’s glad rags and shoes and accessories. Debuting in Los Angeles, of course. Augmented by apps and robots. Naturally.

Men’s fashion gets as much, if not more, attention than girls’ these days. The biggest exhibition of men’s fashion in its history opens at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) on 19th March. Fashioning Masculinities: The Art of Menswear  (in partnership with Gucci) explores three themes – Undressed, Overdressed and Redressed. See outfits worn by David Bowie and Harry Styles (one of the closest luxury hotels to the V&A is Red Carnation’s MILESTONE, where all performers sport, surprise surprise, red carnations.  Some of the best gear worn by guys in London hotels, says Girlahead, is found at ROSEWOOD LONDON. Love those plus-four trousers.

Would any sensible hotel owner commit to dressing the team in Burberry, now that that brand is so popular with all types, all ages (see image, above)? And yet many consumers love this brand, to the extent that it is said this year’s operating profit, to the March 2022, could well be 35% higher than a year ago. This is boosted by full-price sales up 15% on the year, which bodes well for incoming CEO Jonathan Akeroyd.

This brings Girlahead back to hotels’ dress. One of the best looks that she can remember is at ANDAZ TOKYO, where line staff have a range of separates, mostly based on workers’ traditional garments, they can choose. How do you feel today?  Blue and long sleeves. Blue, vivid Klein blue, was the colour of the memorable front desk ladies’ blazers when Melbourne’s HYATT ON COLLINS opened, but then the hotel metamorphosed as GRAND HYATT and blue blazers were replaced by funereal grey.

Girlahead was longing, before his tragic cancer death, to see Virgil Abloh ‘do’ Off-White for one of LVMH’s hotels – actually, CHEVAL BLANC PARIS performers look pretty natty. Overall Paris best, however, is the wear-your-own clothes at Le George restaurant in FOUR SEASONS GEORGES V. Look good and you feel, and perform, better, immediately. This brings us to the current MARY GOSTELOW GIRLAHEAD PODCAST: hear Four Seasons’ wellness guru, Michael Newcombe, here:

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