Luxury Hotels

Yunnan – Miami Beach – Dubai

Naxi women, shown above, give cooking lessons as part of LUX* Collectives’ Collectable Experiences in Yunnan (a haven of natural and cultural diversity, Yunnan is home to 25 of China’s 55 ethnic minorities). LUX* Tea Horse Road China is offering four additional hotels, called retreats as they only, at most, have 18 rooms, in its Yunnan portfolio. These are in Baoshan Stone Town perched on a rocky cliff with striking views of terraced fields, winding golden river and houses built from natural stones; Daju Village, known for majestic views of the snow-capped Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and for being the gateway to the Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the world’s deepest canyons; Jibeike where peach orchards cover the entire valley in pink blossoms during spring, and Sangushui. with lush vegetation, waterfalls and natural springs.  With the existing LUX* Tea Horse Road Lijiang, Lijiang’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site with 800 years of history;  LUX* Tea Horse Road Benzilan, overlooking the Golden Sand (Jinsha) River that turns a sparkling turquoise during spring, LUX* Tea Horse Road China now has five retreats along Yunnan’s 1,300-year old trade route – designer of them all is Li Zhong. A sixth retreat is opening by end of  2020. LUX* Collectives is headed by creative CEO Paul Jones, based in Singapore.

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Tonight, Monday 19th October at 7pm Miami time, The Betsy, South Beach, starts an hour-long session on Zen and the Art of Remembrance and Reckoning (the hotel is partnering with Florida International University, and the Jewish American Holocaust and Literature Association). Owned by the Plutzik family, the Ocean Drive hotel, part of Small Luxury, is at all times a center of many art forms, including poetry readings and constantly-changing visual exhibitions. Girlahead especially likes Skyline Penthouse #408 for its privacy, down five steps from the Skyline exterior walkway: as with all 140 rooms, it has Sferra sheets, chosen because the brand benefits its surrounding community, and the well-chosen hardbooks include a copy of Letter from a Young Poet, which Pulitzer finalist Hyam Plutzik, 1911-1962, father of today’s pater familias, Jonathan Plutzik, wrote on the eve of the USA’s entry into WWII.

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All those who love Jewish cuisine, by the way, should note that the UAE’s first kosher restaurant, Armani/Kaf, opened in the Burj Khalifa’s Armani Hotel Dubai, last Thursday, 17th September. The 40-seat Armani/Kaf, open from 6.30 p.m., Sundays to Thursdays (with takeaways on Fridays), complies with Jewish dietary laws (kashrut), under the supervision of Rabbi Levi Y Duchman, Rabbi of the UAE,. He has certified the venue with Glatt Kosher and Pas Yisroel certifications from Emirates Kosher Supervising Agency, the only UAE-based kosher certifier. Chef is Fabien Fayolle and dishes include spaghetti bolognese with fresh basil and cherry tomatoes, pan fried sea bass with parsnip purée, beef bourguignon served with root vegetables, mushroom pilaf rice and thyme, plus hummus with tahini, baba ganoush, fattoush salad and lentil soup.

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Now up, the latest issue of MARY GOSTELOW GIRLAHEAD PODCAST, starring Shangri-La’s Oliver Bonke.  Pick it up now, on your favourite streaming channel or via https://anchor.fm/gostelow