Luxury Hotels

Four Seasons – Maastricht – New York

Yesterday, Bill Gates once again showed his hand. His Cascade Investment, L.L.C. (collectively, “Cascade”), has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire, for cash, a controlling interest in Four Seasons, taking its current 47.5% stake up to 71.25%. This is being done by paying $2.21 billion for  half of the current 47.5% share held by Prince Al-Waleed’s Kingdom Holding Company (Four Seasons Founder and Chairman, Isadore Sharp, through Triples Holdings Limited retains 5%).

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That was yesterday. Now to today, the day arts enthusiasts have been waiting for. It is the start of Maastricht’s annual TEFAF, The European Fine Art Foundation, jamboree, which since 1988 has been a magnet for the artistic and cultured world (pre-pandemic, over 75,000 paid homage, even though there appears to be a dire shortage of hotels, with brands represented by Crowne Plaza and Novotel and little else – Girlahead would be tempted by Kruisherenhotel, perhaps).  For six weeks before TEFAF, a specialist scientific research team works with such specialists as Museum of Fine Arts Boston’s jewellery curator Emily Stoehrer and, in all 180 globally recognized experts minutely assessing the authenticity of each of the thousands of items to be displayed.

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And now looking ahead to tomorrow. New York Upper East Side residents want fresh, clean and tasty food, says Corsica-born François-Olivier Luiggi, MD The Pierre, a Taj Hotel – he tried dispensing with offering any dinners but found there was an overwhelming need, not only from locals but also from hotel guests seeking dishes like that in a relaxing environment.  Another evolution is that hotel’s guest compilation is now heavily weighted on the leisure rather than the time-pressured corporate side: today’s business, says Luiggi, stays longer, three nights rather than the previous average of two, and it spends longer, and more, over a cocktail in an agreeable bar and a food plate that complements it.  As a result, his Perrine servers do 70-80 dinners every night, including many Dover sole boned table-side. Girlahead would pair that with, before, a glass of Taittinger, followed by another, of Pouilly Fuisse Louis Jadot 2017. And she would want, the following morning, once again be lucky enough to wake up looking over Central Park (see, above, her view from suite 3903)

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Finally, today, let us hear, again, words from Taj leader Puneet Chhatwal: