Born and raised in nonpareil New Orleans, Max Levy has gone from making ripples in New York by becoming the first non-Japanese chef at the illustrious Sushi Yasuda, to causing waves in his adopted city Beijing with the recent opening of swish sushi and cocktail bar, Okra, in the buzzy 1949 complex. We sipped on a sake while the indomitable chef shared stories of adversity, adventure, and his zaydeh’s kitchen… Hai!
In a town as style- and culture-packed as Florence it’s rather ambitious to assume limited language skills and unassisted traipsing along the beaten cobbled paths will lead you to the sparkly little nuggets of Florentine life you so desperately seek. Step forward then Antiques & Boutiques, the outside-the-box tour guide company already well known for illuminating Barcelona and hometown London, and now shining its light west in its first Italian outpost.
Hey there, Georgie Girl… don your Burberry coat, slip into your Wellingtons and grab your brolly – we’re off to London! This month we’re giving you the chance to win a 2-night stay including breakfast at the simply stunning Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park. With bustling Knightsbridge at its doorstep and leafy Hyde Park at its rear (the only London hotel with prime Hyde Park posi!), this Grande Dame unsurprisingly remains London’s premier address and a favourite among members of the Royal Family. If it’s good enough for Kate and Wills, it’s good enough for LUXE, so off we jolly well pop…
Once again a fashion month has come and gone, and after the final autumn/winter shows wrap in Paris next week, everyone from beady-eyed editors to strutted-out models will be in need of a proper aura-restoring pamper – and we’re loving pretty Place Vendôme sanctuary Aquamoon.
Given the nod of approval by Vogue Paris, Aquamoon has 12 treatment rooms, 2 pools, steam room, sauna and hammam, with a treatment menu divided into four main programs: the detox-focused ‘Air’, anti-aging ‘Rejuvenation’, anti-stress ‘Divine’, and energy-boosting ‘Sublime’. Book in for a one-day, one-week, three-week, or – if you’re feeling indulgent enough to prolong that Parisian sojourn – five-week program, and you’ll gain access to a range of equipment including private WaterBike, detoxifying Iyashi Dôme and JetSpa. Mais pourquoi pas?
19 Place Vendôme, Paris. T: +33 1 4286 1000, or call Ken at +33 7 8188 9779. W: aquamoon.fr
In many ways, the island nation of the Maldives is the definition of paradise; a dream getaway promising endless sun, sand and sea – so it was really only a matter of time before luxury goliath LVMH Group swooped in and left their five-star mark on the archipelago. Stealing the show with one of the year’s most anticipated hotel openings is Cheval Blanc Randheli, sibling to the Courchevel glamazon of the same name, and sparing no detail in its hot pursuit of lavish service and exclusivity – think leather-clad private sea plane transfers and on-site ‘alchemists’ ready to fully customise your Maldivian experience.
Ahh, Sri Lanka. The Resplendent Land has its fair share of exquisite accommodations, but not far from Galle lies a boutique hideaway that’s giving even the Amangalla a run for its money – the Niyagama House, built on an active tea plantation, is a charming, 7-room bed and breakfast dreamed up by German architect (and yogi) Elke de Silva and Sri Lankan hubby Chaminda. And from its lush, tropical verandah, to its glorious (and blessedly chlorine-free) pool, to its 360-degree panoramic roof terrace, Niya sure has got the goods…
As the style set prime their best pap-friendly profiles for a front row cameo at Milan’s settimana della moda, equally essential is identifying where the see-and-be-scenesters are flocking post-runway. Let it be new, let it be beautiful, and let it be fashion-foward – and sky-high restaurant and poolside cocktail lounge Ceresio 7 sure ticks all of those boxes, and then some. Perched atop the city’s Dsquared² HQ, the swanky space boasts not only a restaurant headed by ex-Bulgari Hotels chef Elio Sironi and fitted in bygone style with mid-century furny, polished tabletops, abstract canvasses and floor-to-ceiling windows, but also a spectacular 360° view of the Milan skyline, state-of-the-art spa, and two pools perfect for soothing tired tootsies. Best of all, worry not for your waistline – carefully plated dishes like amberjack tartare with fennel and bottarga, and Waldorf salad with parma ham are delightfully gentle on that hard-earned silhouette. Squisito!
Via Ceresio 7, Milan. T: +39 02 3103 9221. W: ceresio7.com
For more stylish eats in Milan, check out our LUXE Milan guide!
Though the country packs in glittering beaches, pulsing cities, and ancient archaeological sites in spades, stunning Mexico is also home to its vast share of sprawling countryside and colourful heritage towns, like the UNESCO-listed San Miguel de Allende. From its colonial roots, through near post-Revolution abandonment, to the influx of artists and creatives in the C.20th, San Miguel’s reputation as a cosmopolitan, cultural melting pot has continued to grow over the years.
With over 30 development projects (altogether more than 2 million square feet) already to his name, it’s fair to say Paligroup founder Avi Brosh knows a thing or two about stylish design. His latest offering, the soo-L.A. Palihouse Santa Monica, is the surfer-babe sister to the West Hollywood original and yet another flourishing feather in his cap; a restored Colonial Revival apart-hotel melding Moorish influence with Malibu sensibility to consummately Cali-chic ends.