hale reena obama

Inside Obama’s luxurious $3,500 per night holiday home

The luxurious Hale Reena multi-million dollar estate located in Kailua has been the favoured holiday home of the Obamas lately and for good reasons. Five bedrooms, six bathrooms, and an Asian-style koi pond stretch over 7,000 square feet of manicured land, available for rent at $3,500 a night.

hale reena obama holiday

There are many amenities guests can enjoy, including a relaxing spa, pool, outdoor lanai and even a steam room. The two-week Christmas stay at the Asian-inspired estate cost the Presidential family $56,000 and they only chose Hale Reena because their preferred $10,000-a night Plantation Estate was unavailable.

hale reena obama holiday

Hale Reena, nicknamed the ‘second White House’ is truly spectacular with its spacious rooms, chef’s kitchen, open spaces, nature-inspired interior and many amenities to entertain guests. The oceanfront property is located in a private part of Kailua, offering stunning views of the beautiful Moluka Islands and sufficient privacy even for the First Family of America.

hale reena obama holiday

Guests can enjoy the relaxing atmosphere by taking a dip in the nature-inspired pool or lounge in the outdoor lanai. Located nearby are a golf course and the famous Koko Head hiking trail.

hale reena obama holiday

The estate is surrounded by a large deck that provides plenty of seating area to enjoy panoramic views of the ocean. All rooms are furnished with a low-key, modern aesthetic in mind and boast wooden panels, quality fabrics and more. The famous Morimotos in Waikiki restaurant is located nearby and offers fantastic dishes prepared by Masaharu Morimoto of the Food Network show ‘Iron Chef’.

hale reena obama holiday

Hale Reena exhibits a strong Asian theme with perfectly manicured and harmonious outdoor gardens, featuring a small bridge, stones and exotic plants. It is the ideal spot for a luxurious, low-key vacation for people who value their privacy, but want to be within short distance of  modern amenities and places for entertainment.

hale reena obama holiday

Pablo Picasso, Les femmes d'Alger (Version 'O'), 1955

10 Artworks totalling $1 Billion

The annual art auction sale held at Sotheby’s New York contains some intriguing and valuable lots with a collective worth of $996 million. While there is no particular trend or tendency towards certain artist or period, an increasing mixture of contemporary art and classic works has seen an increase in public interest with modern names like Jeff Koons, Alexander Calder, and Andy Warhol constituting one of the 300 lots estimated at around $89 million. The record-breaker for the month of November was a $3.4 million oil painting by Roy Lichtenstein sold by Sotheby’s. The most sought-after works of art for December are:

Pablo Picasso, Les femmes d’Alger (Version ‘O’), 1955

Pablo Picasso, Les femmes d'Alger (Version 'O'), 1955

Its asking price is $179,365,000 at Christie’s and it’s a series of 15 paintings and numerous drawings made by the famous Spanish artist. Version O is the final painting in the Eugène Delacroix- inspired series and was completed in 1955.

Amedeo Modigliani, Nu couché, 1917-1918

Amedeo Modigliani, Nu couché, 1917-1918

This painting caused quite a bit of controversy earlier in 2015 when it was publically exhibited at Christie’s New York gallery. The notorious painting is one of a series of nude portraits commissioned by the Polish art dealer Leopold Zboroswki and currently sold for $170,405,000.

Roy Lichtenstein, Nurse, 1964

Roy Lichtenstein, Nurse, 1964

Another painting by Roy Lichtenstein made it into December’s lot with the artist’s unique style becoming increasingly popular. Inspired by the signature style of 90s comic books, the masterpiece celebrate the bold new imagery of art and has an asking price of $95,365,000.

Mark Rothko, No. 10, 1958

Mark Rothko, No. 10, 1958

The bizarre, but bold and impressive Mark Rothko piece captivates with simplicity and clarity of composition. He is known for the vibrancy of his paintings, achieved through very few materials as evidenced by the No.10, sold for $81,925,000.

Cy Twombly, Untitled (New York City), 1968

Cy Twombly, Untitled (New York City), 1968

Another striking example of contemporary art at its finest – Cy Twombly’s chalkboard picture exits architectural aesthetic and wonderful chaotic allure. It is sold for $70,530,000 at Sotheby’s.

The list complete:

Alberto Giacometti, L’homme au doigt, 1947, sold for $141,285,000 at Christie’s.

Alberto Giacometti, L'homme au doigt, 1947

Pablo Picasso, La Gommeuse, 1901, sold for $67,450,000 at Sotheby’s.

Pablo Picasso, La Gommeuse, 1901

Pablo Picasso, Buste de femme (Femme à la résille), 1938, sold for $67,365,000 at Christie’s.

Pablo Picasso, Buste de femme (Femme à la résille), 1938

Vincent van Gogh, L’Allée des Alyscamps, 1888, sold for $66,330,000 at Sotheby’s.

Vincent van Gogh, L'Allée des Alyscamps, 1888

Lucian Freud, Benefits Supervisor Resting, 1994, sold for $56,165,000 at Christie’s.

Lucian Freud, Benefits Supervisor Resting, 1994

patek watch

10 vintage watch icons on auction

Christie’s New York final watch auction for the year boasts an impressive 193-piece catalog featuring a wide array of models. Renowned brand Patek Philippe is heavily featured in the sale with some of their finest and rarest watches. Here’s a more detailed look at the top 5 timepieces that are worth your time and money.

Audemars Piguet Ref. 5516 Perpetual Calendar (Lot 162)

audemars piguet

With only nine watches of this model ever created, the uniquely rare model is truly a timepiece worthy of any collection. Its iconic status is defined by the fact that it was the first to feature a perpetual calendar with a leap year on the dial. Its estimated price is between $150,000 and $300,000.

Patek Philippe Ref. 5020 (Lot 191)

Patek Philippe

Although it was not too popular when it was first presented to the public, today the perpetual calendar chronograph boasts certain elegance and classic appeal that is prized amongst connoisseurs. The white gold watch exhibits refined class and is estimated to cost between $200,000 and $300,000.

Breguet Dive Watch (Lot 120)

breguet

This dive watch is particularly rare and made in the far-away 1962. It has a black dial with luminous markers and a script Breguet signature at 12 o’clock. A bakelite bezel provides an elegant finish to the entire composition. The signature Breguet Dive Watch is expected to cost between $60,000 and $80,000.

 Steel Ref. 1463 (Lot 188)

Patek Philippe

The brand has been known to favour steel in its watches and only a few models in the early 20s were made in other materials. This classic 1463 chronometer sports Breguet numerals as well as an elegant tachymeter scale around the edge of the dial. The price is estimated to be between $180,000 and $280,000.

Patek Philippe Ref. 2497 (Lot 63)

patek philippe

A beautiful minimal model with classic appearance and refined elegance. The yellow-gold 1953 watch has some surprisingly modern features, such as a moonphase and date indicators. Its price is in the region of $200,000 to $400,000.

billionaire gifts

Ultimate holiday gifts for billionaires

When money is not an issue the 2015 gift list can really bring some holiday cheer to the world’s super rich. The amazing selection of presents is all about personalization and exclusivity, which in the world of the ultra-wealthy are among the things that matter the most. For all the billionaires you need to surprise this season, here are some amazing ideas that will surely make them feel special and loved.

The First Omega Speedmaster

omega speedmaster

A unique timepiece is always a classy and safe choice for a present. Especially when the watch in question is NASA’s personal choice for sending their finest men into space and James Bond’s own brand of preference. The Omega 2915-1 Speedmaster was the first of its kind – the very epitome of timeless elegance – marking the beginning of an iconic line of pieces set to change the world of horology. Its estimated price is between $100,000 and $150,000.

Rodin’s ‘L’Éternel Printemps’

l'éternel printemps

Rich people are known for their appreciation of art and the crafts, so this is an original and impressive gift idea that won’t go unappreciated. Originally created for Dante’s iconic Gates of Hell – the allegorical doorway leading to Hades’ domain – was later re-imagined as an individual piece and became one of Rodin’s most famous romantic sculptures. Sothebys announced it is set to include the famous piece in its December auction with an estimated price of $489,000 to $597,000.

A Wine Château in Saint-Émilion

Wine Château in Saint-Émilion

Giving the term ‘holiday getaway’ a whole new meaning, this season with this over-the-top offer of a picturesque estate located in Bordeaux. The lucrative property comes with 46.7 acres of vines, four wineries and a part of the historic grand cru Saint-Émilion. Amenities include an outdoor swimming pool, tennis court and spectacular laws. Asking price for the estate is only $5,190,424.

london penthouse

Huge London penthouse goes on sale for £8.9million

A spectacular penthouse overlooking the Thames is one of the hottest properties on the London market for its central location and elegant interior. With an asking price of £8.9 million, the four-bedroom apartment has a total of 4,600 square feet of space and is just a short walk from the Globe theatre and Tate Modern.london penthouselondon penthouse Spread across two whole floors, the penthouse comprises two underground spaces, four bedrooms, a library, a study, private balcony terraces, kitchen and dining room and several bathrooms. The floor-to-ceiling windows offer panoramic views of the London skyline and overlook such historic sites as St Paul’s Cathedral. Located in Benbow House, there is a 24-hour concierge service.

london penthouseThe four bedrooms are situated on the last floor, underneath the roof in a loft conversion style. Wood panels are generously fitted throughout the apartment for a natural and elegant feel. The spare use of walls in the living room and dining area allows light to flood the premises and create an open, airy feel.

london penthouse

london penthouseTogether with the prime location and cutting-edge design, the penthouse has attracted a lot of interest from wealthy buyers for its modern, naturalistic style. The kitchen is fitted with state-of-the-art appliances, including a wine refrigerator that maintains optimum temperature.

london penthouseThe sought-after location boasts some of the priciest properties on the London market, attracting buyers from Russia, China and the Middle East.

london penthouseThe unique style of the property is a combination of wooden floors, ample spaces and minimalistic aesthetic to create an urban haven that is both luxurious and naturalistic.

london penthouseWith views of the river and London skyline it is also the ultimate spot for hosting dinner parties and entertaining guests on the spacious balconies. There are plenty of amenities within a walking distance, which include the British Film Institute, Royal Festival Hall and the National Theatre.

rolls royce cocktail kit

The £26,000 cocktail kit for Rolls Royce

Internationally-known brand Rolls-Royce has rolled out 15 bespoke hand-built cocktail kits just in time for the holiday season. What would make the ideal gift for him is a high-quality set that consists of platinum-rimmed glassware and an engraved drink strainer sold at the price of £26,000.

rolls royce cocktail kit

The top-of-the-range design of the luxurious kit is handcrafted from high-quality American walnut wood and accentuated with unmarked leather. It is specifically designed to keep the utensils from shaking when moved. Every single piece of the set has been painstakingly handcrafted with the glassware featuring a platinum rim.

rolls royce cocktail kit

There are various hidden compartments that contain a recipe book, right, and a set of high-quality Egyptian cotton napkins. The upper portion of the hamper is where the tumblers, decanters, a shaker and smaller utensils are kept — including an engraved strainer and the muddler. They are securely stored on a moveable rack that can be locked if not used. For a light snack – two dishes are included on lower rack of the hamper, on the side of the ice bucket.

rolls royce cocktail kit

All of the glassware is made by Theresienthal – Europe’s most renowned glassmaker and supplier of many of the Continent’s Royal Courts – and feature platinum rims. The leather finishes of the kit are from bulls and sourced from high altitude to ensure the highest possible quality.

A book of exquisite cocktail recipes inspired by the marque’s heritage also comes with the elegant set, which is illuminated by an automatic light that recreates the soft glow of a cocktail bar. The discreet glass tray is located underneath the integrated wooden chopping board and completes the luxurious experience.

rolls royce cocktail kit

As with every other Rolls-Royce product, the cocktail kit represents an expression of personal tastes and lifestyle that include only the finest things in life. The accessory can be further personalized and feature additional objects to reflect the client’s intimate understanding of elegance, comfort and luxury.

bugatti chiron

Bugatti unveils new Chiron

Expected to make its debut at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show in March, the new Chiron announced by Bugatti will eclipse its predecessor in terms of design and performance. The futuristic model can accelerate from 0-60mph in just 2.3 seconds and has a rumoured top speed of 288mph.

While Bugatti is yet to reveal more details on the tech specifications of the model, it is already being marketed as “the world’s most powerful, fastest, most luxurious and most exclusive production super sports car” The car will be fitted with a quad-turbocharged 8.0-liter W16 engine with torque output at around 1,106 lb-ft. The exact price still hasn’t been announced, but is expected to be in the region of $2.5 million.

Bugatti ChironThe company has already received more than 100 orders for the new model and expects growing interest in the car. There are noticeable changes in the exterior, including a more prominent grille, thinner LED headlight clusters and a flatter bonnet, but full specifications are yet to be released. The new Chiron is inspired by the Vision Gran Turismo concept car, which was presented at the Frankfurt motor show in September. Bugatti’s new model is set to redefine the standards for a street-legal production car in every aspect. Currently, the previous Veyron model holds the record for being the fastest with 0-60 mph acceleration in only 2.5 second.

Bugatti Chiron

All prototype vehicles are subject to rigorous safety and performance tests and the feedback from test drivers has been outstanding. Veyron’s official successor is confirmed to have two versions – a petrol model as well as a hybrid version. The highly-luxurious cabin will provide seating room for two and feature cutting-edge connectivity technology.

A heavily-revised powertrain will be mounted to the rear bulkhead and receive electric assistance for a versatile and responsive multi-plate-clutch four-wheel drive system.

See more here:

Napa Valley winery

California’s most exquisite Pinot Noirs

Northern California has long been prized as one of the regions that produce the richest and most palatable Pinot Noirs for decades, so it’s no surprise that in the recent years there are about a dozen new producers that have attracted the critics’ attention. The highly-valued bottles come at a hefty price, of course, although true connoisseurs are more than happy to pay it because of the wines’ texture, quality and fine production techniques that bring out the best of the vineyards’ produce.

One of the critics’ choice is Kosta Browne – a brand established in 2007 – that has quickly risen to popularity thanks to smart investments in prestigious vineyard land and special winemaking techniques that include exclusively deigned oak barrels, where the wine is stored. Their crafted wines in the 90-94 range hold ratings of 95 or higher in Wine Spectator magazine, earning them a top spot in the market. This justifies the $500 and higher price tag for their products.

kosta browne wineDemand for Helen Turley’s Pinot Noir is so great that there is a waiting list of several years to taste the tightly-allocated chardonnay from Marcassin Vineyards. The cost for the exquisite beverage is around $400 per bottle.

marcassin three sisters winery

Most famous for their savory and elegant Chardonnays, producer Peter Michael’s range has a price tag similar to top rated Burgundies. Their signature retained style makes the four Pinot Noirs extremely popular even with a price of $100 and above for a single bottle.

peter michael danseuse

Finally, there are the outrageously expensive single-vineyard Aubert Pinot Noirs that have a mailing list long enough to cool any buyer’s enthusiasm. That being said, the finely-crafted wines are well worth the wait and can be purchased on vonfolio.com, starting from $600 a bottle. The nuances of the premium grapes make for a spectacular experience.aubert pinot noir

expensive villa

Inside ridiculously expensive yachts and villas loved by the super-rich

Spending outrageous amounts on privately-chartered flights, luxurious super yachts and large rented estates is the norm for the ultra-wealthy when they’re vacationing around the globe. No expense is spared when it comes to holidays and sunny Ibiza seems to be at the top of the preferred destinations. The tropical island has everything for a relaxed and discreet time, including a £19-million villa that can be rented out for complete privacy and exclusivity.

luxurious villa

luxurious villa

Situated in a gated community, the fabulous estate boasts such spectacular features like an open-plan kitchen that opens into the outside infinity pool and 360-degree views of the bay and ocean. Amongst some of the more famous neighbours are mega rich CEOs as well as celebrities Kate Moss and Madonna. Of course, at £19 million, the holiday home is not for everyone, but there is also the option to rent it for £70,000 a week. It has a cinema room, a gym and separate service quarters, and is located in a part of town dubbed ‘Disneyland for adults’.

luxurious villa

luxurious villa

Getting to Ibiza is another thing the rich do differently than regular people with private yachts whose price easily reaches £150 million. With an average crew of 30 people, maintenance costs can skyrocket the price of owning one pretty quickly. Recent years have seen more and more celebrities and wealthy individuals preferring to rent super yachts for up to 100,000 Euros (£70,000) a week instead of investing in owning their own. With spacious bedrooms, closet space, on-board kitchens, dens and entertainment rooms – guests can spend up to weeks at sea without getting bored.

£50-million super yacht Fathom, property to hotelier Vikram Chatwal, is amongst the more popular vessels to be rented out as its lavish interior meets all needs of celebrities, entrepreneurs and royal families alike. Sailing on board of Fathom is likened to a stay at a 6-star hotel in London or Dubai with round-the-clock service to ensure guests enjoy their stay while retaining their privacy.

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 luxurious villa

la-me-ln-blue-moon-diamond-natural-history-museum-20140912

$48.4 million Blue Moon Diamond shatters action record

The world’s priciest diamond was reportedly bought by Hong Kong billionaire for the record-breaking sum of $48.4 million at Sotheby’s highly-publicized auction. Various jewellers have dubbed the ‘Blue moon’ – the more expensive gemstone to have ever been sold, regardless of colour and size.

blue moon diamond Fetching the highest price per carat ($4 million per carat), the cushion-shaped diamond is a true work of wonder with its flawless construction and brilliant clarity. No other gemstone comes even close to its characteristics and considerable size, and the blue undertone is considered among the rarest nuances to be found in nature.
Its magnificent beauty and impressive 16.08 carats broke the previous record held by a record-selling gemstone, which was the 24.78-carat “Graff Pink” again auctioned by Sotheby’s for $46.2 million in 2010.

blue moon diamond The Blue Moon Diamond was discovered in South Africa in January 2015 and makes a worthy contribution to the market of coloured gemstones, which has grown exponentially in recent years. Its clarity and colour place it at the top of the grading scale as its combination of valuable characteristics is truly remarkable. The rare diamond was given a name worthy of its exceptional beauty and rarity, although shortly after purchase Chinese tycoon Joseph Lau, who was the highest bidder, renamed it in honour of his 7-year old daughter to “The Blue Moon of Josephine.” Internally flawless, the jewel is another spectacular find at the famous Cullinan mine in South Africa, despite the fact that it accounts for less than 0.1 of the world’s diamond output. Property of Cora International, the place is infamous for the rare coloured gemstones that have been unearthed in the past there.

blue moon diamond Assessment of the impeccable diamond continued for five months while it was still a rough stone and passed through various stages until all of its characteristics could be inspected and verified. Three more months were then necessary to sculpt and shape the Blue Diamond to its sophisticated elegance through advanced technology.