Luxury Hotels

Miami – Ferrari – Paris – Sharjah

Barbara Hulanicki started the historic Biba fashion brand, and in 1988 Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood invited her to Miami Beach to design a club for him. She liked it so much she stayed.  Fast forward, past her doing interiors for a  couple of other hotels. Today the now-octogenarian fashion icon is a regular at The Betsy, two blocks from her home. The Betsy is, thanks to its owners, Jonathan Plutznik and family, a treasure-trove of the past (see its walls-set photographic gallery of The Beatles, especially in India) and today and the future: see, above, the sculpture ‘orb’ that is the indoor corridor between the hotels’ two buildings. Last week, Jonathan Plutznik tells Girlahead, the hotel was full of firebrand millennials, in town for a massive cryptocurrency conference.

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On Sunday, 13th June, Ferrari launched its fashion collection – the show was masterminded by New York-based former Victoria’s Secret designer Alexandre de Betak, with the help of specialists from Gucci and Yves Saint-Laurent. Ferrari, whose main shareholder is the Agnelli family’s Exor, already owns most of China’s top luxury fashion brand Shang Xia, plus 24% of Christian Louboutin. Now, as it extends into total lifestyle, chief brand diversification Nicola Boari is coordinating with his creative director Rocco Iannone, 37 (ex Armani) and, strutting as models, Scuderia Ferrari F1 drivers, Monaco’s Charles Leclerc, 24, and Spaniard Carlos Sainz Jr, 27.

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Oh the power of brands, working together. Le Ritz Paris has the world’s best-known pastry chef, François Perret (288,000 followers on Instagram, to come extent from his taking a food truck around Los Angeles, with Netflix). The hotel opened its Le Comptoir street-set pastry shop at 8 a.m. on 7th June. One female millennial was lining up at 5 a.m., another flew in from Tel Aviv specially. That first day, sales were 3.5 times over budget and the shop had to close early. As hotel MD Marc Raffray says, not a single customer has complained about cost. He has deliberately not hiked prices wrapped. and even a €3 croissant comes Ritz-branded.

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And now, as complete contrast, let us head to the UAE Emirate of Sharjah, which covers 2,590 square kilometres and has a population of over 1,400,000. A constitutional monarchy, it has been ruled by Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi since 1972, and it could well be that such innovations as the tented camp, below, are being led by the more-youthful Crown Prince.. but see the video and, once again, Girlahead stresses think NEW LOOK luxury