Monday, June 04, 2012

The South of France, Hotel Du Cap, one of my Favorite Hotels in the World

You've traveled to the South of France, and it's worth it.

The lobby of the Hotel Du Cap Eden Rock in Antibes, France inspires a a heavenly glow

Palm trees on the grounds of the Hotel Du Cap in Antibes, the South of France.

Below: The back of the lobby leads out onto the Grand Walkway, toward the restaurant, onto the vast grounds where I met director Lars von Trien. At both lunch and dinner that day, he dined at the table next to me with his friends, including the stunning Nicole Kidman, star of his films.

Since the Cannes Film Festival was underway, celebrities were attending screenings and dining in spots like this for its lack of paparazzi and the fantastic views. Robert De Niro, Quentin Tarantino, Harvey Weinstein, Paris Hilton, Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Lopez can be seen in the private pool area.
The Cannes Film Festival is held every May.

What happens in Cannes stays in Cannes...

What happens in Cannes stays in Cannes...

Unless it makes headlines.

There’s a reason why Brad Pitt had an entire elevator reserved for him. It’s the same reason that Alec Baldwin stopped drinking. It’s the Cannes Film Festival in the South of France. That means anything can happen. Better safe than sorry… right now certain celebrities are wishing they adhered to that motto sooner.

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen left Tuesday, the day after his first party, canceling plans with all the VIPs he had invited on his yacht.

Wednesday Brad Pitt arrived at the Hotel Carlton and was caught heading upstairs to a private suite. No, he wasn’t sneaking “Sex with the Ex,” the gorgeous Jennifer Aniston, or meeting his current love, the sizzling Angelina Jolie. He was booked by a male reporter, the lucky devil who scored an interview with the hottest man in the world.

Brad Pitt took no chances. Why should he? Who needs another international incident under his belt? He had the two best looking women in the world fight over him, and once a man survives that, he quits while he’s ahead.

Cannes was abuzz with the recent lawsuit against John Travolta by a male massage therapist, proving it doesn’t matter how big your private jet is – no one’s immune to scandal.

And what happens in Cannes stays in Cannes, unless it makes headlines.

President Bill Clinton discovered this Wednesday when he posed for photos with porn stars. He took pity on the blonde bombshells who the Secret Service barred from approaching him. Clinton co-hosted the prestigious fundraiser with Prince Albert of Monaco.

One innocent photo cost him a slap on the wrist from conservatives...but since when has ruffling feathers stopped Bill Clinton? The man is a first class philanthropist, head of the Clinton Global Initiative Foundation, and even before he was President of the United States, as a Yale Law School grad who went on to be a Rhodes Scholar and studied at Oxford University. In 2012 looking back, we see Monica-gate and White Water as minor stains for a leader who otherwise spearheaded a successful economy and progress.

Posing with porn stars makes Clinton’s Royal Fundraiser a strong contender for Party of the Year, but the competition is stiff.

Who Wins the Award for Best Bash of the Year? The Contenders are:

1. Russia's 9th biggest fortune holder, Roman Abramovich

2. Rapper P. Diddy

3. American success story Paul Allen

4. Former President Bill Clinton and Prince Albert

5. Vanity Fair magazine

6. amFAR

1. Roman Abramovich can afford to party in style with his 300 closest friends. And party he did --every single night-- with man girls in tow. The tycoon owns Chelsea Football Club as well as the investment firm Millhouse LLC. Forbes magazine ranks Abramovich the 68th richest person in the world, with a fortune of $12.1 billion.

2. Who did Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen let aboard his 416-foot yacht Octopus? Quentin Tarantino, Mick Jagger, Diane Kruger, Tilda Swinton, economist Nouriel Roubini, his sister Jody Patton (CEO of Allen’s Vulcan Inc.) and Eurythmics co-founder Dave Stewart, who performed. The party’s success was so overwhelming that Allen left Cannes the next day. Was it medical emergency or mere hangover?

3. P. Diddy, the former Puff Daddy, had a full boat under the stars with Michelle Rodriguez, Benecio Del Toro, Diddy, Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian.

4. Bill Clinton and Prince Albert, who hosted a fundraiser at the Hotel De Paris (see above)

5. Vanity Fair hosted dinner and dancing at the Hotel du Cap Eden Rock in Antibes. Celebrity sightings: James Woods, who was honored, P. Diddy and Alec Baldwin.

6. And the winner is…amFAR. This fundraiser wasn’t on a yacht -- it was better. It took place in the one place perfect enough to justify the high ticket price: the yacht-like deck, tent and grounds of the Hotel du Cap. Although the same venue hosted Vanity Fair, there is something extra special about amFAR. Attendants include Kirsten Dunst, Milla Jovovich, Paris Hilton, Jessie J, Kate Upton, Heidi Klum, Diane Kruger and Joshua Jackson. Event chairs include Alec Baldwin, Janet Jackson, Karl Lagerfeld, Carine Roitfeld, Kenneth Cole, Harvey Weinstein and Vincent Roberti. The gala featured an all-black fashion show staged by Carine Roitfeld and a live auction. It is no surprise that amFAR has raised $70 million internationally since 1993 for the benefit of AIDS research. It is one night that keeps the world's top entertainers entertained.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Monaco - A Tiny Country with Vast Greatness & Grandeur

In Monaco, visitors enjoy grand casinos with historic architecture. The country with no income tax became the home of Princess Grace. The Philadelphia native Grace Kelly turned into a Hollywood star, Oscar Winner and then Her Serene Highness, Wife of Prince Ranier. Now their three children, Princess Caroline, Princess Stephanie and Prince Albert, keep the royal family alive.
For lunch in Monaco, I suggest an area called Cap d'Ail, where these photos were taken. The best restaurant and hotel is in Monaco, not France, but its name is the Hotel de France. The two countries are intertwined, separated by a brief car ride.
Warning: roads are narrow, congested, and European drivers like to speed. You may feel like you're going to die. Before you leave, make time to see the Hôtel Hermitage (not pictured), built at the turn of the century. The beaches in Monaco, adorned by yachts, are rocky, yet beautiful, like the South of France.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

South Beach: The Delano Hotel Welcomes You

The outside of the Delano Hotel incorporates nature in a stunning display of green.

Highlights From Miami

Stepping inside the Delano's incredible lobby with flowing white curtains reminds me of its sister property, the Mondrian Hotel in L.A. Designed by Philippe Starck, it is another trendy spot built by Ian Schrager.

Hip hotelier/real-estate developer Ian Schrager started quite a career when he launched Studio 54 in 1977 with co-owner Steve Rubell. The famous club closed after a scandal of cash-skimming tax evasion. When Schrager was released from prison, he created Morgans Hotel in New York, the first ever “boutique” hotel. Schrager teamed up with Phillipe Starck to apply the same concept - elegant simplicity - to the Royalton Hotel in New York.

In 1995, Morgans Hotel Group opened the Delano on Miami Beach. As you can tell from these photos, the Delano was completely refurbished in 2006 and is in perfect condition.

In 2006, Schrager also completed the landmark Gramercy Park Hotel. Like the other hotels that embrace modern elegance and minimalist style, the Delano is a testament to artistic beauty.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

South Beach: Poolside at the Delano Hotel

The pool leads to the ocean through a gate that is appropriately labeled SEA

Reserve a bed at the Delano Hotel pool for waiter service and enough comfortable seats to fit a group of Very Important People. It's more social than the pool chairs.

The scallop ceviche appetizer is sumptuous. The cheeseburgers are delicious. I love how the bartender spoils us with strawberries and pineapples to garnish the frozen drinks and to enjoy with the champagne. While the ocean feels cold, the heated pool is always warm and, like everything else at the Delano, absolutely perfect.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

World Map

South Beach: Stunning furniture displayed in the Delano Hotel lobby

Walk past the Delano furniture on your way to the pool, the restaurant, the bar or the party. Then marvel at it again on your way out.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Monday, April 23, 2007

South Beach: The Delano's Indoor Bar during Miami's famous Winter Music Conference

When the bar was almost empty (above)
When the crowds came for drinks post-pool, pre-dinner, pre-nightclub (below)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

South Beach Girls Trip: Splashes of art and high ceilings makes walking into the Shelbourne Hotel Bar an experience of its own

Above: The Sagamore Hotel's poolside nightclub (night)
Below: Leaving the Sagamore through the hotel lobby when it closed at 2am on Saturday

South Beach: The Ritz-Carlton Hotel

South Beach: The Sagamore Hotel's Artistic Lobby and Poolside Nightclub

VIP parties on the balconies
From the poolside VIP tables - bottle service only

The beautiful ceiling of the Sagamore nightclub awning

The beautiful crowd

Party-goers leaving the Sagamore - it closed at 2am, when clubs like Space were just getting started