Luxury Hotels

Cannes – Armani – Marrakech – Qatar Airways

Cannes’ famous Carlton Beach Club – above – has been re-imagined by Tristran Auer, the designer whose work can be seen, for instance, in the ‘new look’ of Rosewood’s Hotel de Crillon, Paris.  The iconic Carlton InterContinental Hotel Cannes, in the centre of  the Croissette, first opened in 1913 and it opened its Beach Club in 1930.  Since then continual tweaks have beautified it in bits and drabs but the total new look, as shown here, was revealed 20th June 2020. The Carlton Beach Club now offers four distinct areas: a large central bar, a restaurant, a lounge and a beach area with a central pontoon. Food, prepared by Alexandra Delamare and her culinary team, offers seafood, charcoal-grilled pieces of meat, transalpine classics, more exotic choices as well as a selection of gourmet vegan dishes – one favourite, that Girlahead has enjoyed several times at the hotel’s indoor-outdoor restaurant, La Belle Otéro salad with blue lobster, green asparagus, New Zealand spinach, granola and fresh flowers.

**

Giorgio Armani has three hotels in his name, in Dubai, Greece and Milan (when are we going to see some more?). Girlahead especially likes Armani Hotel Milano, above Spazi Armani on via Manzoni, partly because you are within a few minutes’ walk of anything central in this fabulously stylish city. Armani also has several residences called after him.  In Galley Bay Heights, Antigua, for instance – ten minutes from the capital, St John’s, and a 20 minutes from V.C. Bird International Airport, there is an exclusive residential development which has 25 luxury villas, and he owns two.  (Armani also owns a 213-foot superyacht, MAIN.)

**

La Mamounia, Marrakech, re-opens 1st October with even more emphasis on French culinary maestro Pierre Hermé, as in Bar Italien and, for breakfast through afternoon tea, his Salon de thé (and he adds a sweet station to Le Pavillon de la Piscine). Jean-Georges Vongerichten handles the hotel’s Italian restaurant, evolving to pizza-centric trattoria, plus a new Asian Restaurant. The re-done 20-seat Churchill Bar is the place to go for Kaviari caviar. A basement Oenothéque offers 12-person ding and the rooftop Moroccan becomes a lounge with DJ, and there is an additional 21-seat multi-purpose screening room. Upgrading designers are Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku.

**

Doha-based Qatar Airways flies to over 160 destinations and it appears to have been hardly dented during the global airlime catastrophe of lockdown.  Why?  It is so well financed, by its host nation, and it is brilliantly run, by Akbar al-Baker, he who wears caramel cashmere breakfast outfits when staying at Adlon Kempinski in Berlin.  He has now brought on-board one of the cleverest brains in luxury travel, Thierry Antinori, who is the airline’s Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer. During the last few months Qatar Airways has maintained its worldwide network of over 160 destinations and it has been repatriating many nations’ expats.  Girlahead finds its website, accessible via QR code, amazingly easy, and fascinating, and she wants to know more.

**

And if YOU want to know more and you have not yet heard Los Angeles-based super-duper travel planner Cari Gray, Gray & Co, on MARY GOSTELOW GIRLAHEAD PODCAST, catch it now, on your favourite steaming channel via https://anchor.fm/gostelow