Luxury Hotels

Paris – Abu Dhabi – Honolulu

Mandarin Oriental Paris opened 22nd September 2011 – see the image above, from that day, showing Alain Delon and Vanessa Mae. Philippe Leboeuf, still in charge of this iconic hotel, re-opens it today, and, says Girlahead, there is a lot of Belvedere Vodka involved.  (This is an LVMH brand and there are many LVMH fashion brand stores within a few minutes’ walk of the hotel.  Belvedere is a rye vodka, produced in Zyrardów, Poland, and named for Belweder, the presidential palace in the country’s capital, Warsaw.) Belvedere is one of Poland’s premium luxury products – it works with singer John Legend and it was official vodka for the 2015 James Bond movie Spectre.

Mandarin Oriental Paris has a year-round outdoor pop-up Belvedere Bar opening shortly.  Until that happens, try Belvedere in one of the hotel’s permanent bars. Belvedere Heritage drinks, for instance, offer Single Estate vodkas, reminders of the gorgeous Polish countryside. There is delicate and floral Lake Bartezek vodka, and bold and savoury Smogôry Forest vodka.  This is just another element of today’s luxury, offering introduction to differentiation of variants of a single product.


Yesterday it was announced that the most glitzy hotel in Abu Dhabi, the 382-room Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, would switch to Conrad as of 1st October. This is the nine year-old hotel that is renowned for arguably the most Lasvit crystal in the world. The ballroom alone has 540,000 crystal trimmings, set in 40 clusters of 13,500. The pre-function area has 100,932 crystal trimmings, in 12 clusters of 8,411. The grand lobby has 200,208 crystal trimmings, in six clusters of 33,368, and so on, throughout the building. If any of the crystals’ programmed light ‘ballets’ have a challenge, no problem, the hiccup is immediately identified and digitally rectified, automatically, back at Lasvit’s workshop in the Czech Republic.  Yes, Czech Republic.  Read back a few days to see how Girlahead covered the brilliant launch event of the Luxury Bloc gathering of top global hotels and luxury travel advisors that Gabriela Markova organised in the country’s capital, Prague, just a few days ago….


To show her dedication, Girlahead was alive’n’kickin’ at six this morning for a Zoom meeting with Peter Shaindlin (it was still early evening Sunday for the boss of Halekulani, in Honolulu). He was able to assure lovers of this iconic hotel that it will re-open, as promised, 1st July 2021.  The multi-generational icon will still look the same, but all restaurants and bars will be tweaked and designers BAMO will make sure that all 453 rooms and suites continue to have the traditional ‘seven shades of white’.


The same, but updated – that is a secret of ongoing luxury. Hear more from the COO of The Dorchester Collection, François Delahaye, on the current edition of MARY GOSTELOW GIRLAHEAD PODCAST