Zaha Hadid's ME Dubai Hotel

Zaha Hadid’s ME Dubai Hotel Opens in 2018

The Opus – Zaha Hadid’s first project in Dubai – is due to open in 2018. The architectural marvel will be the only hotel in the world the late architect designed inside and out. Siting in the heart of the upcoming Burj Khalifa district, it will comprise two separate towers that coalesce into a 300-foot-high cube with a free-flowing curved central void. 

The hotel will be part of the Spanish-based Melia Hotels International and have 93 lavish rooms and suites, including the ultra-luxe Suite ME. There will be 98 serviced apartments on the upper floors, and four penthouses with private roof terraces.

Zaha Hadid's ME Dubai Hotel

The hotel’s extravagant lobby lounge and art gallery, vertical café, and reception area will all showcase furniture that is either custom-designed or hand-selected by Hadid. Pushing the boundaries of imagination, the dramatic public spaces will also include a sprawling 260,000-square-foot entertainment zone and nightclub, an outdoor swimming pool, a spa, and a rooftop terrace with stunning views of Dubai’s vibrant skyline.

Zaha Hadid's ME Dubai Hotel

The Opus will offer outstanding dining experiences to its guests with a collection of 15 restaurants, including an outpost of London’s contemporary Japanese robatayaki restaurant, Roka. Among the host of new uxury experiences and first-rate service is the ME, where a dedicated “aura manager” will enhance each guest’s visit by sharing the best the city has to offer. ME Dubai’s facilities and Aura service will also be available to the owners of the Opus’s residences.

Of course, the biggest advantage to Opus and the ME Dubai will be the legacy of its creator. One of Hadid’s first projects to be realized posthumously, the structure will serve as a testament to the achievements of one of modern architecture’s greatest minds.

Bowmore's 1966 Single Malt

Bowmore’s 1966 Single Malt

Wealthy connoisseurs still have a chance to snatch a bottle of the 74 remaining ones from Bowmore’s last cask of 1966 whisky available for sale. Recognized as the oldest surviving distillery on the rocky, remote Scottish island of Islay, Bowmore goes as further as 1779. As with almost all Scotch whiskies, it used to be distilled exclusively for use in blends. It became commercially available to the general public only in 1966, which coincidentally was the same year a young man named Eddie MacAffer began working at the distillery. In 2016, as MacAffer — who’d gone on to become the Bowmore distillery manager — celebrated his 50th anniversary there – commemorating the occasion with the bottling of the very last cask of 1966 Bowmore still aging in their famed No. 1 Vault.

Bowmore 1966 50 Years Old (priced at $30,000) is now being released as part of the ongoing 50 Years Old Vault Legends Collection. It isn’t as famous as the legendary 1964 Black Bowmore, the last cask of which was bottled and released earlier this year. However, with only 74 bottles available worldwide, it’s even rarer, and just as rich in taste. Aged entirely in ex-bourbon American oak hogsheads and bottled at a cask strength of 83 proof, it has prominent notes of pineapple, followed by gentle smokiness and a very smooth, dry finish. The ideal aging conditions found in Bowmore’s No. 1 Vault have kept it from becoming overly tannic, despite the 50 years spent in oak.

The elegant packaging complements the whisky perfectly. Handmade crystal bottles adorned with silver flourishes and housed in a cabinet made of Scottish oak contain the precious liquor. The design of the oak cabinet accentuates its natural idiosyncrasies so no two will be exactly alike. At the center of each cabinet are five hand-laid silver rings, which replicate the tree rings that symbolize the whisky’s five decades in oak.

Bowmore has announced two more 1960s-vintage whiskies, although release dates are not yet confirmed. That will certainly give wealthy buyers something to look forward to after all 74 bottles of the exclusive batch sell out.

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Sotheby’s Unveiled Jaguar D-Type

RM Sotheby’s third Manhattan ICONS “A Life of Luxury” exhibit became available to the public on Nov 30 at Sotheby’s York Avenue headquarters ahead of the auction held on Dec 6. A large showcase of thirty-two cars and a selection of high-value collectibles will go on public sale. The inaugural Life of Luxury Week ICONS sale is part of Sotheby’s, offering that offers clients and enthusiasts an unparalleled experience as well as the very best in jewellery, watches, wine, fashion and limited edition cars.

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Next year, RM Sotheby’s legendary sterling Moss’ Le Mans 1954 Jaguar D-Type Works (OKV 2) will make an appearance for the company’s 2018 Arizona sale. The specially-curated exhibits ICONS consist of 31 iconic automobiles from around the world’s most admired marques, from the Classic Era through today’s newest hypercars. Among the selected automotive collectibles and art, these vintage cars made up a huge part of the auction:

- an alloy-bodied 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione which claimed 5th overall at the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans (Est. $14/17 million);

- the very first Jaguar C-Type imported to the United States and raced to victory by Phil Hill (Est. $5.5/7 million);

- the 1952 Chrysler d’Elegance “idea car” with Italian coachwork by Ghia, an influential landmark in transatlantic design (Est. $900k/1.1 million);

- an unmistakable 1960 Volkswagen Deluxe ‘23-Window’ Microbus, an iconic favorite of young and old (Est. $150/225,000, without reserve);

- a 1969 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Berlinetta, both the final prototype and first production Daytona (Est. $1.4/1.7 million);

- a wild 1990 Lamborghini LM002, one of 60 U.S.-delivery examples of the high performance SUV known as the “Rambo Lambo” (Est. $400/500,000);

- a 2000 BMW Z8 originally owned by the late visionary Apple founder, Steve Jobs (Est. $300/$400,000, without reserve);

- a 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari, a 53-mile example of the most advanced street Ferrari ever built (Est. $3.25/3.75 million); and,

- a 2018 Bugatti Chiron (estimate $3.5/4 million), the very first example ordered for the U.S. market (Est. $3.5/4 million).

The D-Type went on public viewing alongside 1955 Alfa Romeo 1900C SS Speciale by Boano as part of the A Century of Sports Cars Collection (Est. $1,250,000 – $1,750,000).

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The Jaguar D-Type raced by the factory team at Le Mans, chassis no. XKD 403 (registration mark OKV 2), will be the first of the featured cars to lead both RM Sotheby’s auction in Phoenix and the entire Arizona car week.

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Audemars Piguet Previews Three New Women’s Millenary Watches

The women’s version of one of the most iconic men’s collections of all time, the Audemars Piguet Millenary certainly has a lot to offer. All dressed up in diamonds, enamel, marquetry, engraving, and other materials, the Royal Oak is the first luxury sports watch for the fairer sex. The Millenary, by way of differentiation, is the opposite of sporty. It has become emblematic for watchmaking’s decorative arts, while at the same time exuding a technical flair with its partially openwork dial.

At the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) next month, Audemars Piguet has announced the launch of three new models in the Millenary lineup. Two all-gold versions set with diamonds and a version with a “frosted gold” finish will come out just in time for the holiday season. The 18-karat white- or pink-gold versions have the same allure of fine jewelry, with diamonds set into the lugs and bezel with a handcrafted bracelet that can be used on its own. 

A variation on the Milanese mesh style sees the bracelet braded from gold threads in a right-over-left pattern rather than in the same direction, just like a traditional Milanese bracelet is made. The result is a flexible piece of jewelry that comfortably hugs the wrist. The adjustable links can be removed or added in 5-mm sections for an even closer fit. The cases on the new models are scaled down to 39.5 mm, which makes them even more wearable.

The third new Millenary is characterized by a technique from the jeweler’s bench: a signature hammered finish that Audemars Piguet calls frosted gold. It is achieved by using a gold-hammering technique known as the Florentine method that results in tiny indentations giving the surface a shimmering sparkle, like frost on a windowpane. 

Pricing for all three models will be made available in mid-January of next year.

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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.

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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.

Patrón's Tequila

Patrón’s Best and Rarest Tequila Yet

Less than 3000 thousand bottled of Patrón’s Best and Rarest Tequila Yet are available worldwide for purchase and interested buyers are already lining up to own one.

Patrón $7,500 en Lalique Serie 2 offers a fresh perspective on the design and the tequila. Instead of sticking to the classic bottle shape, the Serie 2 bottle draws its inspiration from the agave plant the tequila is made from. The end result is a tall, elegant decanter with an Art Deco feel, which is capped with an amber-hued crystal stopper to match the delectable tequila inside.

Patrón has long been revered as a brand everyone knows, responsible for elevating the reputation of tequila to a sipping spirit as respected as the finest whiskies and Cognacs. Patrón’s squat glass bottle even came be synonymous with quality tequila. So the brand’s daring attempt at creating a special limited-edition package comes as no surprise. Through a painstaking collaboration with Lalique, the premiere French design house for fine crystal. Patrón en Lalique Serie 1, was released in 2015. It was a stunning, handmade crystal take on the classic Patrón bottle containing a bespoke extra añejo tequila created by master distiller Francisco Alcaraz.

Now, the series 2 boasts a new look, as well as taste with the tequila blended especially for the Serie 2 release. The blend, is different from anything tequilero Alcaraz has produced so far. It has been aged up to 7 years, where a typical extra añejo is aged only 4 years. Aging has occurred in French and American oak with additional aging time in Spanish ex-sherry casks. The end result is a rich and fruity tequila with a noticeable sherry influence of orange and raisins. Notes of agave, vanilla, and honey accompany the main streaks. Dry sherry nuances show up again along with hints of oak on the long, smooth finish. Only 299 hand-numbered bottles of the Serie 2 were hand-made at the Lalique workshop in Alsace, France, although a total of 3000 bottles of the Serie 2 are available for purchase.