Luxury Hotels

Bensley – Florence – Maldives – Istanbul

Bill Bensley, above, is a jack of all trades, which now includes painting. He creates wherever  – on planes, site visits and even on the backs of menus! Home base for this output is a stunning glass studio, with chandelier, Baan Botanica, his home in Bangkok. At weekends, and some early mornings before heading to the BENSLEY design offices, he can be found painting away in the glasshouse, or all around his amazing garden.  His style is fauvist style, bursting with beautiful bold colours: he already has a collection of nearly 100 works, which he is selling, as originals and prints, to benefit the Shinta Mani Foundation and also the Wildlife Alliance. Listen, perhaps again, to Bill Bensley, below.

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Florence will have a ‘new’ hotel, from 21st March 2021.  JK Place Firenze is morphing into The Place, no longer associated with the Kafri family, of JK, but with YOU, the customer, here in Florence. Owner Carlo Babini and GM Claudio Meli, both ongoing, are bringing in even more interaction with the city, especially the influence of Santa Maria Novella.  Today’s re-designer of the 20-room hotel, part of Leading, is Luigi Fragola, with visual branding from LWD Design, and Florence-based Brit Lee Marshall will be arranging symbiosis not only with Florentine suppliers but with their new-look, and often Gen-Y, artisans. Expect The Place unofficial tagline to be cultural aggregator.

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And the Maldives has a ‘new’ private island, available now. If you cannot get a villa at the 121-key Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi – which ran full-house over New Year at basic average rate of $9,000, typically 2.6 people, do not fret. Its new private island, four minutes away by speedboat, appears to sleep about ten and you have your own chef, and spa, with access to the main resort, which has 13 restaurants.

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From new to established. Istanbul’s iconic Ciragan Palace Kempinski celebrates its 30th birthday with a package honoring Berthold Kempinski, one of the pioneers of the global food and beverage industry. Enjoy a special wine-and-dine experience with a Bosphorus view in the brand-new pop-up space “Berthold”, in the Palace gardens. This is the same area that holds the hotel’s 30-metre outdoor pool, heated year-round to such an enjoyable degree that Girlahead, and many others, enjoy doing a few warm lengths while looking through the freezing winter air at the Bosphorus shipping only ten metres away.

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And now, dear friends, Girlahead invites you to listen yet again to Bill Bensley