Ultimate holiday getaways

Ultimate holiday getaways

This time of the year there are quite a few reasons to hit the road and visit some of the world’s top tourist destinations and these new hotels and resorts prove it. From stylish New York boutique hotels to idyllic lakeside accommodation in Italy and exotic Hawaiian destinations – the ultra-wealthy are spoilt for choice when it comes to places that are the perfect blend of modern amenities and tranquil relaxation.

Ultimate holiday getawaysTheLowell

For those that enjoy the urban pace of a bustling city – New York’s renovated hotel The Lowell just re-opened its doors. Located in the prestigious Upper East Side – its 74 rooms with interiors by Michael S. Smith and a restaurant by Charles Masson and Christian Delouvrier create a real haven for people, who value comfort and class. Marble bathrooms, plush carpets and unparalleled service guarantee guests will thoroughly enjoy their stay.

Ultimate holiday getawaysOahuOasis

Oahu’s Ko Olina offers a slightly different experience of tropical idyll with the new Four Seasons Resort Oahu. The beachfront property boasts a modern Hawaiian style, with banana-leaf headboards and private lanais in a total of 371 rooms and suites. Guests are treated to traditional “loco moco” for breakfast and fresh catches for dinner in the four restaurants. A 35,000-square-foot Naupaka Spa offers Hawaiian-inspired healing therapies in breezy oceanfront treatment huts.

Ultimate holiday getawaysLiSerenoLagoDiComo

The debut of Il Sereno Lago di Como took Italy’s luxury tourism to a new level with the 30-room hotel nestled among the rocks and leaning over the lake’s shores. The artistic interior complements the floor-to-ceiling views of the water and surrounding mountains. Guests can enjoy an infinity-edge pool as well as a 16th-century estate located just 5 minutes away by Riva speedboat.

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A Guide to the Best of 2016

As 2016 is coming closer and the team behind The Billionaire Shop wishes you Happy Holidays, let’s take a look at the top destinations for gourmet holidays; premium spirits, must-have real estate and exclusive objects that make for amazing gifts that are sure to thrill every connoisseur.

LA’s Newest Tiki Palace

We know buyers with discerning taste and the money to back it up only want the best of the best. And what’s a better way to spend New Year’s Eve than at the brand new and trending LA’s Newest Tiki Palace – a true a Polynesian paradise that is a delightful addition to Clifton’s Pacific Seas restaurant. Another spot worth your attention is just a short flight away in London’s One Aldwych hotel, where Michelin three-star chef Eneko Atxa is treating his guests to mouth-watering delicacies that celebrate modern Basque cuisine. And what better spirit to wash the delicious food down with than the latest edition of Reserva de la Familia extra añejo ($149) – the pinnacle of Jose Cuervo’s tradition?

reserva-de-la-familia-tequila

And every gentleman who is frequently on the road would want to head over to Louis Vuitton, Loewe and Mark Cross Grace, whose collective efforts can make any trip smoother, smarter, and more stylish with the Louis Vuitton Pégase Légère 55 carry-on for $3,800; Loewe’s briefcase for $2,190 and Mark Cross Grace leather trunk for $8,250.

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If you haven’t yet finished your holiday shopping – one thing you will definitely want on your list is the rare Leonardo da Vinci drawing, which depicts the martyrdom of the early Christian Saint Sebastian, and is the first work by da Vinci to be uncovered in more than 15 years. The sketch is valued at around $15.8 million.

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Framed, it would go perfectly in this spectacular 48,000-square-foot Bel Air Mansion, which is on the marker for $85 million. Located in sunny LA, it is surrounded by a labyrinth of elaborate rose gardens, drawing inspiration from French chateaus and boasts grand ballroom, 70-foot infinity pool, swan pond, a private elevator, spa, and 19 fireplaces. The 100-person courtyard is the ideal setting for a once-in-a-lifetime New Year party.
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Christmas whiskey

A Selection of Christmas Whiskeys

It’s hard to imagine in the winter holiday season without the smooth goodness of these single-malt treats. Even today, most single malts are not that prevalent on the market but this is starting to change. One of the best-selling blends in the world is Dewar’s White Label. It relies on a combination of more than 40 single malts along with grain whisky. Among those 40-plus are five owned by John Dewar & Sons. One of those, Aberfeldy, has ever been widely available as a single malt. All five have just been released as single malts, each getting its turn in the spotlight.

Another first placeholder is Craigellachie, currently available in 13- and 23-year-old expressions (priced at $55 and $280, respectively), is an interesting offer. It’s been around since the 1890s (although it’s been used almost exclusively in blends until now), and it continues to be made the same way. It’s one of the only whiskies that malts (cooks). Connoisseurs are treated to a tangy, fruity, slightly sulphuric flavour that has been described by many as “meaty.” Both expressions are unlike anything else on the market.

The Woodford Reserve Brandy Cask Finish is an atypical whiskey (priced at $100)—it cannot legally be called bourbon but it contains various elements that influence a bourbon’s character. Although it starts out as a fully mature Woodford Reserve bourbon it is then finished for almost two years in brandy casks. The result is a smooth bouquet of apple pie, crisp caramel, and dried fruit, all wrapped in a delicate veil of vanilla and maple.

Chopard

Chopard’s Most Collectible Watch

Chopard has always been known for chasing after impossible standards of perfection and timeless minimalism and the new L.U.C. Full Strike minute repeater is a living proof of that. It is not so common that technology and architectural design come together in a marriage of complementing opposites that create a unique object of art.

Chopard's Most Collectible Watch 02

Horological connoisseurs will be thrilled with this bold and innovative minute repeater. The L.U.C. Full Strike is a rare watch of exemplary design. Its acoustic qualities make it one of the three best-sounding repeaters created during the last decade. It is capable of producing crisp and clear sounds with both richness and intensity. The gongs are made of sapphire—the same material that forms the upper crystal itself, which helps to enhance the sound.

Chopard's Most Collectible Watch 03

The acoustic potential of the crystalline material is immediately made apparent to the true connoisseur. Through innovative design Chopard has managed to simplify the mechanism behind the movement without compromising the harmony of the sub-frequencies produced by metal-on-metal contact in the case and movement. A detailed glimpse of the case reveals an elaborate series of safety systems that protect the movement and smooth the operation of the strike mechanism. The openwork format of the case works well with the architectural design of the piece, which along its sound qualities and idea-based achievement easily make the Full Strike the most collectible watch Chopard has ever built.

Price is available on request, although recommended retail price is around $261,715.

50th Anniversary

Christie’s Wine Department Celebrates 50th Anniversary with Auction

Half a century after it came to be, Christie’s wine department is commemorating the memorable occasion with an exclusive event – Finest Wines and Spirits: The 50th Anniversary Sale. Taking place at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City on December 9, the wine auction highlights a number of covetable vintages that make the brand so well-known amongst connoisseurs. One of the most-anticipated offers is the Rémy Martin Louis XIII Black Pearl, a luxurious blend created from eaux-de-vies and aged for up to a century in a Limousin oak barrel known as a tierçon. Sheathed in a hand-blown Baccarat crystal decanter, the one-of-a-kind champagne can reach a price of $65,000 per bottle – well worth its palatable and smooth taste.

Christie’s Wine Department 04

Another anticipated item is the Blade and Bow Single Barrel 24-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. The rare bourbon collection consists of 34 bottles with one empty whiskey barrel per lot, and is estimated to sell for between $24,000 and $35,000. The liquor line includes Château Cheval-Blanc 1982 (prices between $6,500 and $8,500), the Macallan 50-Year-Old Anniversary Malt 1928 (priced at $35,000 to $45,000), and the Petrus 1990 (at $30,000 to $40,000).

Christie’s Wine Department 02

Whiskey aficionados will appreciate these one-of-a-kind collectable pieces that make bourbon history Distilled and aged by some of the most sought after brands in the world, these rare blends are in a class of their own when it comes to texture, taste and quality. All proceeds from the sale will benefit Robin Hood, New York’s largest poverty-fighting organization.

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Exquisite New Jewelry from Borgo and Tiffany

As the holidays are drawing nearer and it’s the time for presents – nothing can bring more joy than the exquisite new collection, which is the result of the joint efforts of Tiffany and creative designer Eddie Borgo.

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The seven-piece capsule jewelry collection of the first-time designer is inspired by the arresting, lifelike sculptures by the artist and socialite Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. Borgo rose to fame on the jewelry scene in 2010 for his striking, edgy bracelets, rings, and earrings. For this new collection, Borgo has partnered with established jewelry house Tiffany for more organic, sinewy lines. “I was attempting to achieve a mixture of both traditional and non-traditional metalsmithing techniques, where structured forms became draped in fluid metal,” explains Borgo.

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One of the collection’s signature pieces is a lowing 18-karat-gold collar necklace with pearl pendant. The drape creates the illusion of soft flowing fabric while the pearl creates the illusion of weight. This conveys a sense of balance. The seven designs in the capsule collection range in price from $600 to $12,500. The Tiffany x Eddie Borgo ring available in 18k gold with a freshwater pearl is retailing for $3,250 and the Tiffany x Eddie Borgo bracelet in 18k gold is available for $7,500. Both of these pieces would make a great gift to any woman for a special occasion as they bring together the best of two worlds – Tiffany’s sense of ethereal style and class and Borgo’s modern interpretation of form and function.

winter getaway

The Perfect villas for a winter getaway

As winter is tightening its grip on the Northern Hemisphere – there are many warm and sunny places that beckon travellers to visit them. From the Caribbean to the South Pacific – here a few luxurious places that are a private jet flight away.

Musha Cay – Bahamas

Musha Cay – Bahamas

David Copperfield’s very own Caribbean paradise, Musha Cay boasts 11 private islands with 40 pristine white-sand beaches. Guests stay on the main island in five state-of-the-art estates and enjoy such amenities as three glass-bottom docks and a fleet of watercraft vessels. Activities include treasure hunts and fireworks displays. Prices start from $39,000 per night for a maximum of 12 guests, all inclusive).

Qualia – Hamilton Island, Australia

Qualia – Hamilton

Enjoy the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef with Qualia. The ultimate Australian getaway comprises 60 hillside pavilions nestled among eucalyptus trees above the Coral Sea. The resort’s 30 acres include a private beach, where guests enjoy golfing, snorkeling, and sailing. Prices vary between $866 and $4,528 depending on season andavailability.

Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa – Riviera Maya, Mexico

Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa

This classic Yucatán Peninsula hideaway features 63 thatch-roofed bungalows on a prime stretch of white powdery sand. The resort’s ocean-view restaurant serves exceptional Mexican cuisine and its spa offers treatments based on Mayan healing rituals. Prices are between$765 and $2,575.

 Four Seasons Resort Langkawi – Langkawi, Malaysia

Four Seasons Resort Langkawi

The Four Seasons Resort Langkawi exhibits 91 Moorish-style pavilions and villas that are set within 48 acres of lush gardens and jungle. Open plan rooms with soaring ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, and expansive verandas create a laid-back modern ambiance. The property’s primary attraction is the broad sandy beach that leads to the translucent aquamarine Andaman Sea. Guests can book stays for prices of $600 to $10,600 a night.

Louis XIII Cognac

A new Sotheby’s record for Louis XIII Cognac

Sotheby’s has announced a new record sale of $558,000 for three Louis XIII L’Odyssée D’un Roi limited edition decanters. The three specially crafted decanters are the result of more than a century of fine craftsmanship and the combined efforts of three prestigious French luxury houses: Hermès, Puiforcat and Saint-Louis.

Prior to being exhibited at the auction – the objets-d’art were paraded on a whirlwind tour that saw it visit various cities around the globe. Last month, the auction house hosted the Americas edition of the same cognac as it exceeded the previous record price set for a Louis XIII decanter. Later that same month, the Asia edition exceeded its own previous auction record in Hong Kong. The final decanter, the Europe edition, was sold on November 16 at Sotheby’s London for the staggering sum of $235,000.

Louis XIII Cognac

Proceeds from the sale of the three tailor-made coupes all go towards The Film Foundation that was founded by late director Martin Scorsese. Created in 1990, the foundation aims to restore and preserve the traditions and history of cinema. “Sotheby’s was honoured to participate in the raising of funds for The Film Foundation through this unique series of auctions, each in our major sales locations” said Jamie Ritchie, Worldwide Head of Sotheby’s Wine.

Special Speyside Whiskies

Special Speyside Whiskies

Scotland has long been known for its rich traditions in scotch with no other region more widely identified with whisky wizardry than Speyside. As home to more than half the country’s distilleries including the Glenlivet and Glenfiddich, this winter there are many amazing Speyside whiskies to choose from. Here are just some of the highlights that deserve a mention.

1. The Macallan Rare Cask

The Macallan Rare Cask

The Macallan uses a unique blend of Spanish and American oak to forge the sherry casks in which its whisky matures. This brings the flavour that dazzle and delight it is known for. Delicious undertones of dried fruit and delectable caramel and cocoa produce the brand’s distinctive profile. The Rare Cask sells for $300 after it was first released in 2014.

2. The Glenrothes Peated Cask Reserve

the glenrothes

This non-age statement single malt is another addition to the Glenrothes’ Reserve Collection.  Aged in sherry and bourbon casks, the Glenrothes Peated Cask Reserve (priced at $55) is light in color and body, with subtle citrus notes and lick of vanilla. It has a hint of smokiness but not so much that you forget you’re enjoying a Speyside malt.

3. Glenfarclas 17-Year-OldGlenfarclas 17-Year-Old

The family owned and operated brand has a new palatable blend on offer – the Glenfarclas 17 (priced at $94), which exhibits a strong sherry influence from the first sip—raisins, cinnamon, and nutmeg are front and center nuances, with subtler citrus and sawdust notes. It is perfectly balanced between the concentrated flavors of older barrelings and the smoothness of younger whiskies.

luxury whisky set

5 best whiskies for every whisky lover

The high-end world of fine dining is excitedly looking forward to a host of new releases from Scotland to Seattle in the form of spicy or sweet, smoky or fruity rich whiskey blends. Connoisseurs will be thrilled with the 5 best whiskies this fall.

1. Ardbeg Twenty One Single Malt Scotch Whiskey

Ardbeg Twenty One Single Malt Scotch Whiskey

Ardbeg Twenty One (at $500 per bottle) is a nod to simpler times. Distilled in 1993 and ’94, it is entirely aged in former bourbon barrels. The flavour is bursting with vanilla and tropical fruit notes (coconut, banana, hints of mango, and pineapple), along with buttery biscuit undertone. All of that is beautifully balanced with peat and smoke, cementing the status of this whiskey as one of Islay’s most historic treasures.

2. 2016 Old Forester 15th Anniversary Birthday Bourbon

2016 Old Forester 15th Anniversary Birthday Bourbon

Barrelled on June 4, 2004, and bottled this year, this year’s edition is one of the better bourbons in this (mostly) distinguished series. With rich, sweet, and just a touch bitter, it is full of caramel and candied orange peel. A long and savoury experience -it will set you back $80 a bottle to enjoy the he oak and peppery spice start coming through, and the dry and sweet mingle on the finish.

3. Westland Distillery Garryana American Malt Whiskey

Glencadam 25-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whiskey (2)

As one of the pioneers of the burgeoning American malt whiskey scene, their latest release is limited to 2,500 bottles and is the first in what Westland is calling the “Native Oak Series”. Generous notes of honey, cherries, and dark chocolate complement wisps of smoke, before a long, tobacco-and-leather finish. The smooth blend is priced at $125 per bottle.

4. Lagavulin 25-Year-Old

Lagavulin 25-Year-Old

At $1,200 per bottle Lagavulin promises (and delivers) extremely smooth and pleasurable notes amplified and rounded out by the extra time in wood for its limited edition whiskey. The gentle finish will make novices shudder and aficionados sigh with delight.

5. Glencadam 25-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whiskey

Westland Distillery Garryana American Malt Whiskey

The limited-edition 25 Year Old (at $500 per bottle) is aged in ex-bourbon barrels, giving it an unsual sparkle for its age. Its pale gold colour and a sweet, floral nose blend beautifully with the supple and creamy taste with rich notes of vanilla, honey, and marzipan. This is the ultimate treat for any respectable whiskey fan.