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Rolls-Royce Reveals a High-Tech Yacht Concept

Rolls-Royce has ventured into untapped waters with its futuristic 203-foot Crystal Blue – a combination of proven technologies and daring imagination. A steer from the luxury cars the brand is known for, the bold new concept marries a 12-guest, 203-foot superyacht to a state-of-the-art hybrid power system. The design team has also featured a 138-foot remote-controlled support vessel called Blue Shadow as yachting’s coolest dynamic duo.

Crystal Blue is a testament to how new technology can meet yachting’s increasing demand for higher performance, greater ranges, and increased levels of comfort. The concept employs the company’s hybrid LNG/Battery SAVe-CUBE system technology. The system uses twin 16V 4000 MTU diesel engines powered by liquid nitrogen gas (LNG). The LNG-powered generators are used to charge the yacht’s battery banks for overnight stays as well as power the yacht’s carbon-fiber thrusters.

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One of the emblematic technologies is Rolls-Royce’s intelligent dynamic positioning systems with the GPS-based system able to keep the yacht firmly in place for hours or days, without being anchored.

Crystal Blue will have a safe room for owners, guests, and crew to seek refuge during any unauthorized boarding. The crew can override controls from this room and operate Crystal Blue remotely.

The yacht’s tanks have a range of 3,000 nautical miles without refuelling and with Shadow’s additional fuel capacity, the range increases to 4,400 nautical miles, making transatlantic crossings and voyages to even remote yachting areas possible.

The new digital-based ship intelligence solutions add value to the luxury yacht market, bringing ‘green’ values and previously unheard of levels of comfort to a yacht owner. Another unique feature of Crystal Blue is the lack of bridge. Or rather, its repositioning to the upper deck into the bow of the vessel. An internal bridge frees up the traditional area of the bridge in the forward part of the structure to let owners and guests enjoy a panoramic vista traditionally only enjoyed by the crew only.

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$185 Million Swiss Castle Hits the Market in St. Moritz

The most expensive estate in Switzerland has hit the market for a staggering $185 million. The architectural marvel features a ceiling with floating candles that rivals Hogwarts’ Great Hall and is perched on snow-capped mountains in the Engadin alpine valley region.

At a little over 43,000 square feet, Lonsdaleite is a combination of sharp geometric lines and neutral tones that ensure unrivalled elegance throughout the property. A dramatic entryway leads to the grand reception, where 35-foot floor-to-ceiling windows reveal sweeping views of the surrounding mountains. Rectangular strips of mink cover an entire wall opposite the dual-arched fireplaces. On the side of the grand reception is a crushed-red-velvet-encased library, complete with a secret office hidden behind one of the scarlet walls.

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The breakfast nook introduces a whole new level of decadent luxury with its 24-karat gold-leaf wall and $145,000 bespoke egg sculpture that adorns the ceiling. The nook’s shape resembles that of a cracked egg, a unique architectural choice that ties the theme together. The result is a warm and inviting atmosphere, which is ideal for a relaxed morning before hitting Switzerland’s world-class ski slopes.

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A set of glass stairs lead underground to five en suite bedrooms. Each room boasts buttery-soft Loro Piana-cashmere-covered walls and stunning bathrooms dressed in rare stone. There is also an entertainment lounge designed specifically for guests with a gold-covered ceiling and a chandelier with 178 floating Swarovski-crystal candles. An elevator takes guests to a private level reserved for the master suite, which showcases a white Scandinavian fox-fur rug and an enormous white-onyx master bath with a 360-degree glass shower.

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As part of its underground lair, the estate has a wine cellar, state-of-the-art cinema, spa (with a pink Himalayan salt room, hammam, sauna, subzero ice chamber, and private massage area), and subterranean pool and Jacuzzi.

In addition to the staggering number of amenities, there is a six-car garage with a convenient turntable for ultimate comfort.

India luxury travel

A Private Jet-Journey Through India

Silversea brings a new 8-day itinerary titled the Path of the Powerful Titans. Guests will be treated to once-in-a-lifetime tour of India’s most breath-taking sites in a private plane at a hefty cost, of course. This trip is exclusively available to guests traveling aboard the Silver Muse’s cruise from Athens to Muscat, Oman. After navigating through the Mediterranean, crossing through the Suez Canal, and passing through the Red Sea over a total of 15 days aboard the luxurious cruise liner, guests will make the journey to Delhi to start their exclusive tour of India by land and sky.

Once they land, they will spend a day touring the historic mosques, palaces, and forts of the country’s capital with expert lecturers by their side. Naturally, these tours will be far away from the crowds and offer an unmatched experience and comfort. Guests will be given exclusive access into Ranthambore National Park and spend days spotting tigers and trekking through the former royal hunting ground in specially-designed 4x4s. The Sher Bagh Tented Camp (a Relais & Chateaux property) will offer a spot for relaxation and a sunset cocktail.

After a few days out in the vast countryside, guests will head to Jodhpur and experience a taste of the opulent maharajah lifestyle. Upon arrival, guests will be transferred via vintage car to the exuberant Umaid Bhawan Palace—a sweeping royal private residence, which is now a five-star hotel. They will spend a day exploring the Old City with an expert historian as well be treated to a rare private tour and dinner at the sprawling Mehrangarh Fort. The trip will wrap up with a trip back out to the bush as guests fly to the desert city of Jaisalmer.

The Silversea Couture Collection Path of Powerful Titans itinerary starts on October 23, 2018, and is available for booking now.

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Iconic Jewelry Designs for Every Collector

Exceptional jewelry designs never go out of style, and some get more valuable with age. This is particularly true with those iconic creations that started new trends in the high-end jewelry industry or were owned by nobility and royalty and passed down as family heirlooms from one generation to the next. Some jewelry pieces are not only stylish, and timeless, but also investment-worthy.

The Verdura’s Maltese Cross Cuff came to light in the 1930s, when Duke Fulco di Verdura pioneered a new concept in precious jewelry with his bold and colorful, Byzantine-inspired Maltese cross brooches. The aristocratic designer gave them to the famous fashion editor Diana Vreeland. However, his true success came when he took a pair of slightly mismatched Maltese cross brooches with multicolored gems and placed them on two large, white enamel cuffs. He then gave these cuffs to his friend and muse Coco Chanel, who incorporated them into her signature style. 

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The Maltese Cross Cuffs remain Verdura’s most significant creation and part of Coco Chanel’s signature style. They come in many design variations and are frequently worn by celebrities and today’s style icons, including Sofia Coppola, Naomi Watts, and Sarah Jessica Parker. There are subtler everyday styles as well as glamorous diamond-encrusted models—that are recreated in limited numbers today.

The Maltese cross has come to represent differing degrees of boldness, and for the brand’s 75th anniversary 2 years ago, they went back to the original Byzantine inspiration—the 6th-century mosaic of Empress Theodora—for the motif. Available in several combinations of gold and precious materials – the Chrome tourmaline, amethyst, diamond and gold version sells for $49,500 while the darker Black jade, black and white diamonds, pearl and gold will set you back $56,500. The Maltese Cross Midas Bracelet retails for $52,000 and the Iconic Maltese Cross motif in amethyst, peridot, pearl, diamond and 18k hammered yellow gold, hinged costs $58,500.

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The Rosetti Explorer Yacht

Rosetti Superyachts’ new 279-foot expedition yacht combines luxury-yacht accommodations with a proven offshore-supply-vessel design and the results are spectacular. The Italian shipyard has built more than 100 offshore commercial vessels since 1925, and is well known for its bespoke designs. Working with renowned designer Tommaso Spadolini has produced a range of explorer and bespoke superyachts from 157 to 280 feet. These custom yachts have a distinctive Italian look as well as notable technical advantages that few other shipyards can’t offer. 

The first 279-foot concept is a powerful hybrid expedition/support vessel designed to carry a flotilla of boats and toys, as well as a month’s worth of fuel and supplies, turning it essentially into a home-on-water. Its yacht-caliber accommodations for the owners and guests make maritime adventures as comfortable as can be even in the worst of weather conditions. 

The new Rosetti will have a dedicated helicopter landing area for quicker access and fast getaways. It will be powered by MAN diesel engines fitted with an innovative Azipod propulsion system that was developed by Rolls-Royce. This results in a strong top speed and exceptional fuel performance. All of these specifications have been designed with the growing trend for explorer yachts fueled by adventurers in mind. With wealthy clients pushing the boundaries of exploration, the need for vessels that can live up to their cruising needs has created a new market niche.  From the fjords of Norway or Antarctica, remote waters are now just a sail away.

Rosetti has announced only about a dozen custom yachts to be built over the next five years, focusing on three different styles. Buyers will be able to choose between support vessels, explorer yachts, and traditional superyachts, each with a custom design. They will rely on the same types of propulsion, and general delivery times will be around 12 months.”

Owners will also have the choice of working with their own designers or using the Spadolini designs that are being developed. Prices will be available upon discussion of specifications and design requests for each individual vessel.

Aston Martin

Valkyrie AMR Pro Aston Martin’s Hypercar

The new racer from Aston Martin will be even more powerful and faster than the 1,000 hp road car. Aston Martin Valkyrie promises to achieve 250 mph, courtesy of its creator—Formula One race car designer Adrian Newey. Newey is the chief technology officer for Red Bull Advanced Technologies, and envisioned the Valkyrie as a true road car.

It will be powered by a V-12 that generates at least 1,000 hp. Constructed mostly of carbon fibre, the car’s total weight will be just over 2,200 pounds (1,000 kilograms). This gives it a 1:1 power-to-metric-weight ratio. A stunning aerodynamic design will enable the Valkyrie to generate 4,000 pounds of downforce. With those projected performance specs, it’s hard to imagine how the car will fit within street-legal constraints.

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Currently, Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro, the track-only version that Newey developed comes along with the road-going Valkyrie. The AMR Pro’s 6.5-liter Cosworth V-12 will generate even more horsepower and more torque than the Valkyrie’s engine, although official specs are yet to be confirmed. The company promises a top speed close to 250 mph for the AMR Pro with lap times that rival those of a contemporary Formula One or LMP1 machine.

The more noticeable visual difference between the designs of the two Valkyries are the AMR Pro’s larger front and rear wing elements. They will enable the car to generate even more downforce than the road car does. The absence of a heater and infotainment screens will make the race car even lighter. The AMR Pro will come with instructions and owners will be able to participate in a driver-development program that includes time in a racing simulator and on-track lessons for a realistic experience.

Aston Martin has announced a limited number of only 150 examples of the road car and only 25 of the race car. Prices have not been revealed (although estimates are $2.3 million for the Valkyrie and $2.5 million for the AMR Pro). Deliveries of the road car and race car are expected to begin in 2019 and 2020, respectively.

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A selection of exquisite wines for the holidays

A mere four weeks before the holiday season is the perfect time to invest in some limited-edition, high-quality wines. Wealthy investors understand the unlimited opportunities of fine wine with eager connoisseurs willing to spend as much as $3,000 as an average price tag for a bottle of Pétrus, one of Bordeaux’s greatest reds. And these four suggestions from some of the best wine houses in the world are a safe bet this season:

Thierry Allemand, Cornas, Rhône, France

Thierry Allemand has farmed his rocky, terraced vineyards in Cornas for decades, which has earned him fame as one of the world’s Syrah masters and a loyal following from sommeliers and collectors alike. His upcoming retirement is expected to push his wines toward record prices. Their 2014 Thierry Allemand “Chaillot” Cornas retails for $150.

Maison Pierre Overnoy, Arbois-Pupillin, Jura, France

Pierre Overnoy’s protégé Emmanuel Houillon has continued his legacy with wines that are high in price but also unmatched in quality and taste. The wine house’s signature method for production excludes the use of sulphur dioxide (the almost universally used preservative. Presently, a bottle of their fine Arbois Pupillin Chardonnay can be bought for $160.

Henri Bonneau, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Rhône, France

Henri Bonneau was one of the great traditionalist winemakers of the southern Rhône, and the bottles that have remained after his death at Châteauneuf-du-Pape’s have skyrocketed in value. They are currently only available through private auctions with prices going as high as $645 for a bottle.

Arnaud Ente, Meursault, Burgundy, France

Arnaud Ente is one of Burgundy’s most respected—and most meticulous—winemakers. Intense and keenly focused, his white Burgundies are the apotheosis of Chardonnay. The signature combination of quality and a limited annual production has already seen prices skyrocket with bottles starting at £568.00.

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Peat-Driven Whisky from Laphroaig

Age and oak have brilliantly enriched the deep nuances of a beloved classic Islay single malt. As Laphroaig is celebrating its 202nd birthday this year, the venerable Islay distillery is re-inventing tradition. The team, led by distillery manager John Campbell, has been experimenting tirelessly with aging its distinctively peaty whisky. In addition to PX sherry hogsheads and virgin American oak, they have turned to triple maturation and quarter-size casks, and managed to produce a range of 11 core whiskies, along with a few limited-edition expressions. And they are a taste to behold.

Now, whiskey will no longer be judged on the sole basis of how long it has spent in the barrel. With the exception of Laphroaig’s flagship 10-year-old bottling and a hard-to-find 25 year old, the new range is entirely NAS (no age statement). This is an indicator that at least some of the blend is younger than the other whiskies included. With more and more NAS single malts being released—many of which still fall under the category of high-quality whiskies. But a significant age is something that is hard to replicate.

The newly released Laphroaig 27 Year Old is priced at $750 per bottle. It was matured in a combination of refill hogsheads, ex-bourbon casks, and refill quarter casks—and bottled at a tame 83.4 proof. The result is a rich, deep, multi-layered flavour that stands out from the vast majority of younger malts. Time tends to soften a peated whisky but the flavour remains unaltered. The smoke and peat are still present, along with a classic undernote and salty-sea-air finish. But it’s achieved a gentler and rounder texture than a typical Laphroaig, with sweet honey and hints of citrus costarring in the production.

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Miami’s New $20,000-Per-Night Penthouse

Lavish Sunny Isles Beach is one of Miami’s most luxurious and sought-after neighborhoods, offering white sandy beaches, world-renowned restaurants, and panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. Recently, a frenzy of modern residential towers and opulent hotel accommodations have been redefining its skyline. Ahead of other developments is Acqualina Resort & Spa, known for its sold-out Mansions at Acqualina, its Karl Lagerfeld–designed Estates at Acqualina, and, its brand new 7,725-square-foot hotel Penthouse 46.

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Located on the 46th floor of Acqualina’s 51-story resort tower, the bespoke penthouse is built around its 360-degree ocean and Intercoastal views. It boasts a modern and superbly elegant décor throughout that effortlessly channels the tranquillity of the sea below. The spacious oceanfront terrace is fitted with plush lounge furniture, a saltwater swimming pool, a living wall, a TV, a summer kitchen, and a dining table for a party of eight.

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The spectacular views follow guests inside with floor-to-ceiling windows and a simple color palette of neutrals and dark grays. A strong Miami vibe can be seen in the interior with playful touches in every room. A 10-person wooden dining table rests atop a coral pony-hair rug. The bar is fitted with a striking agate countertop backlit with LED bulbs, and the extravagant entrance sprawls off a private foyer and sparkles with a silver-leaf ceiling.

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The price of Miami’s newest accommodation starts at $20,000 per night and is well worth every cent. The five-bedroom suite includes a poolside cabana guest house for a truly VIP experience. It is one suite that outshines all others in comfort, style and exclusivity.

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Ferrari’s new £3MILLION FXX-K Evo hypercar

Ferrari debuted the extreme FXX-K Evoluzione track-only hypercar – the most expensive model on the market for the whooping £3million. This far exceeds the price tag of Bugatti – the current title holder of the world’s most expensive car.

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Named FXX-K Evo, the new model is based on the £1million road-legal LaFerrari – and is the ultimate Top Trumps model. It is just as powerful as Ferrari’s current Formula One car. Its 6.3-litre V12 engine uses the same petrol-electric Kinetic Energy Recovery System – also known as KERS – that F1 machines have been fitted with in recent years.

The combination of two power sources generates a staggering 1,036bhp. Coupled with the new extreme looks, the FXX-K Evo is a real head-turner. Its sharpened and flared piece of bodywork boasts a win-profile rear spoiler, two side wings and a central fin to produce incredible levels of pin-it-to-the-road grip.

Evo hypercar

In addition to updated aerodynamics, a whopping 640kg of downforce at a speed of 124mph is generated. In its current configuration, the FXX-K Evo is deemed far too extreme to be fitted with number plates, restricting owners to only using it in competition events or driving days at race circuits.
What’s even more, Ferrari hand-picks the owners of the FXX range, and the new model will initially be offered only to existing FXX-K customers who want to upgrade from their current 1,000bhp-hypercar.

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£3million may seem a bit extreme for a car that can’t even be driven off the track, but millionaires and billionaires are already showing interest in upgrading on the non-Evoluzione model – of which around 40 were made – or choose one of the handful of all-new models that will be built to Evo specification. Owners will be able to work in tandem with Ferrari’s design team to customize the interior for a truly unique driving experience.