MIAMI / DESIGN DISTRICT

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It is especially excellent (when living in NYC) in the winter – spending time in Miami exploring all of the changes in the wonderful Miami Design District neighborhood. This luxury focused area specializes in creative disciplines spanning art, design, interiors, architecture, fashion and dining. I enjoyed a inspirational visit to many of my favorite interior design showrooms such as Holly Hunt, Maxalto, Minotti, Liaigre, Ligne Roset, Luminaire and Internum. It was easy to source here and find two amazing dining table options for a client. With all the new construction and development, I spent much time pondering the future need for a winter home in Miami. Developers seem to be clamoring to gobble up property here for retail opportunities.

Ranging from casual to formal, the list of restaurant options in the area keeps growing with exciting upcoming openings such as ABC Kitchen by Jean-Georges Vongerichten and L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon joining the established Estefan Kitchen along with many others. This fun area does an amazing job of of attracting and entertaining the public with a nicely curated event calendar of live music, art tours, lectures and family days over five event spaces.

I need to prioritize returning soon when I have more time to explore the newly opened Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), Miami’s home for the most cutting edge contemporary art. The engaging public art on display serves as a best in class example for other cities (and who doesn’t enjoy a nice swing break - see the picture - while exploring?)

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PARIS / THE MANDARIN ORIENTAL HOTEL

Paris is known for it's many sophisticated well designed hotels. One of the more recent and also one of the utmost chic and stylish is The Mandarin Oriental. 

The location of the hotel  is perfection as it is close to arguably the best haute couture shopping, two short blocks to the lovely Tuileries Gardens and a short walk to the Louvre Museum. It is a five-star hotel that will ensure you feel extra special.

The interior spaces are luxurious and incorporate a lovely dash of feminine decor. Personally, I lean towards masculine decor - but I found the design both beautiful and exceptional. There are subtle amounts of both asian and art deco influences mixed into the decidedly modern design. 

There are 99 rooms and 39 suites on offer, some with outdoor spaces. The bathroom design is up there with the best I have experienced in hotels. Additionally, there is high end audio/video from Bang & Oulfsen and fun surprises such as a highly useful wine drawer in the mini bar area. The storage space is generous  and manages to be streamlined and almost hidden in the room.

Even if you do not have the pleasure of staying here, I highly recommend a visit to the uber posh Bar 8 for a drink (or a few). It is highly sophisticated with a very intimate feel. The decor is stunning with a strands of sparkling Lalique crystals and a perfectly deep moody design optimal for relaxing. The service is top notch and in warmer weather you can opt to sit outside in a gorgeously planted space with heat lamps in use as needed. It's the perfect space with ample room between tables for important (or special) meetings. Personally, I can't wait for a return visit -- as soon as possible! If I only had a teleporter I might be appearing there on a weekly basis. : )

 

 

 

 

 

ZURICH / HOTEL WIDDER

First, I absolutely adore Zurich as a city. The swans serenely gliding about the Limmat River woo me each and every time. Second, The Hotel Widder is one of my most favorite hotels in the world. A visit here will stick with you when you leave. You will miss it. 

The hotel is a unique highly inspired creative and intimate place that just so happens to have seven hundred years of history within. Previously nine individual medieval homes, the hotel was created by combining and authentically restoring the spaces. There is a perfectly balanced contrast between old and new, historic and modern. Some of the most iconic modern furniture from the 20th century is enjoyed throughout the common areas and beautifully highlighted in the rooms.

The Widder has a wonderful restaurant with innovative contemporary European cuisine. The Widder Bar is truly a jewel of perfection. There are over 1,000 of the finest spirits to choose from, satisfying even the most jaded imbiber. Seasonally, there are jazz evenings in the spring and fall.

The hotel features 49 individual and unique guest rooms and suites with historical ceiling beams, ornate stonework and antique furnishings along side iconic modern classic pieces such as Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier and an equally wonderful art collection. The amenities are comfortable and luxurious and the service is best in class. 

The location is walking distance to the train station and is lovely to explore. There is great shopping in one direction and high character, architecturally beautiful buildings and fountains within cobblestone streets within steps in the other direction. With the train station close it's easy to travel for side trips to other wonderful locales such as Lucerne and St. Moritz. 

Very highly recommend, and I obviously need to plan a return trip soon.