Luxury Hotels

Paris – Napa Valley – Israel

Samaritaine de Luxe store  on Boulevard des Capucines, Paris, operated as a department store from 1917 until 1981.  Now, under GM Jean-Paul Dantil, it opens (above) as the 149-room Kimpton St-Honoré, Paris. Today’s architect and interior designer is Charles Zana.

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Next time in Napa Valley, Girlahead wants to visit the 80-hectare Donum winery, in Sonoma. It was bought in 2011, sight unseen, by Danish fashion entrepreneur Allan Warburg because his brother Carsten Warburg imports the label’s Pinot Noir to Copenhagen. Allan Warburg and his Beijing-born wife, Mei, live in Hong Kong and as prominent art collectors of course they have put some pieces on to the Donum landscape. Many of the sculptures at Donum have reflective surfaces that make them virtually vanish into the environment. Love Me, a metal heart by Richard Hudson, and Zhan Wang’s Artificial Rock, if comparing to pinot noir, similarly show propensity to reflect back the particularities of a wine’s finished bottle.  Donum’s winemaker, Dan Fishman, certainly says wine captures the energy he sees in top-level art: the Zhan Wang piece—an imprint in stainless steel of a traditional Chinese scholar’s rock—makes him think of the stoniness that characterises the taste of chardonnay that Donum also grows, in Russian River.

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Israel has a general election on 23rd March 2021. Today, the country’s lifeline Ben-Gurion International Airport is mysteriously closed, ostensibly to stop flights from New York and elsewhere in COVID hotspots in the USA bringing back yet more virus strains. This means thousands of Israelis are stranded in Dubai, The Maldives, South Africa and elsewhere, at their own cost. Rumour has it that the airport will re-open a week or so before the election, which will boost the voting power of Benjamin Netanyahu and Likud.

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Have you listened to Auberge CEO Craig Reid yet?  If not, hear him here: