Down at the Copa

Heading to this year’s top destination? mix football with seriously sophisticated pleasure at the orient express’s iconic Copacabana Palace Hotel.


When former guests include glit-lit(erati) such as Orson Welles and Marlene Dietrich, you know you’re in for a timeless treat. Copacabana Palace hotel underwent a refurbishment in late 2011, which reinstated the hotel’s art deco beauty to its former glory and once again elevated it to one of the world’s foremost luxury hotels.

With the sound of the Atlantic waves crashing against Copacabana beach - one of the most famous sandy stretches in the world -and the buzz of the city below, the suites overlooking Rio’s legendary Avenida Atlântica are large and luxurious, offering guests an idyllic respite from the outside heat. 

The seven penthouse suites - six of which have beach views - all have private terraces and access to a private swimming pool and wet bar. The hotel’s suites are available in three categories: Pool Ocean View, Avenue City and Deluxe One Bedroom.

The hotel’s spa features seven treatment rooms, two dual treatment suites, a fitness room, hair salon, sauna, steam bath and relaxation area, with an extensive selection of AYASPA organic products and treatments available.

If you’re feeling more energetic, take advantage of the tennis courts—free for hotel guests. For an additional charge, concierge will also gladly arrange professional coaching lessons. The fitness centre offers a range of the latest cardiovascular and resistance-exercise options. Stretching classes, personal trainer and power plate sessions are also available. 

Ken Hom has just recently taken up residency within the hotel, with the launch of a new 92-seat restaurant called MEE (the phonetic spelling of a female name meaning ‘beauty’ in Korean). Guests can expect an innovative concept for the restaurant, which will serve a range of Thai, Vietnamese, Singaporean, Chinese and Japanese dishes. Highlights will include an exclusive custom tailored tea service offering exotic infusions and a dedicated sushi counter and chef. The restaurant features contemporary Asian-inspired décor with Chinese teahouse-style booths and eastern portraits by Bangkok-based artist Christian Develter.

The new restaurant will be located by the swimming pool and join Copacabana Palace’s other dining options, Italian restaurant Cipriani - one of Rio’s top fine dining restaurants -  and international restaurant Pérgula, which offers a more relaxed dining environment by the pool.

The place to see and be seen after dark, Copacabana Piano Bar is the spot to come for cocktails and live jazzy beats. Our conclusion? Copacabana Palace is well-deserved of its iconic five star status.


High in the Sky

A vast art collection. World-class spa. Two Michelin stars. Large, luxurious suites. There’s even an ice rink-cumoutdoor swimming pool within the grounds. The Dolder Grand has it all…


It all begins upon arrival at Flughafen airport. Guests are met by a chauffer who whisks them high above the city of Zurich to their final destination: The Dolder Grand. Enter the hotel at your own risk, because once inside, you’ll never want to leave.

The Dolder Grand reopened in April 2008, following a four-year hiatus, which saw the hotel fully renovated under the diligent eye of architect Foster + Partners. The hotel’s reopening unveiled some very impressive features. Let’s start with that art collection. Thanks to a collaboration between the hotel and Galerie Gmurzynska, The Dolder Grand is home to some 100 works of art. Andy Warhol’s creations are plastered above the reception. Salvador Dalí’s work is visible in the fine dining restaurant, while Damien Hirst’s work hangs in the Garden Restaurant. Three Keith Harings are lurking around, then there’s Camille Pissarro, the hugely popular Takashi Murakami’s works and Philip Haas’ The Four Seasons. Whether you’re staying at The Dolder Grand or passing by, make it your mission to explore the hotel’s extraordinary art collection.

Check into your room or suite—there are 173 in total, including 48 junior suites, seven suites and four top suites—and before you head out to explore the rest of this beautiful hotel, allow yourself time to indulge in the room itself. There’s a sunken bath, rainforest shower and lots of luxury La Prairie products to wallow in. A huge bed, large flatscreen TV and floor-to-ceiling views of the mountainous landscape outside, topped off with a private balcony, which is ideal for sharing a glass—or bottle— of champagne for two.

The suspense of wanting to see the rest of the hotel is killing you by now, right? So don your soft white robe and take the glass elevator to the lower ground floor where guests are met with 43,000 ft of spa
heaven. The spa is home to so many high-tech and super relaxing features and a Japanese-influenced design, which aids that light-footed spa sensation one feels inside. Some of the highlights include a Kotatsu
footbath, swimming pool, indoor and outdoor whirlpool and the unique Sunaburo (pebble loungers). There are 18 treatment rooms, curated by La Prairie as well as Kerstin Florian and Amala. Try one of the world’s most indulgent facials such as the Caviar Firming Facial, Pure Gold Radiance Facial or the Platinum Rare Facial, all by La Prairie.

In the restaurant, chef Heiko Nieder leaves a lasting impression on his guests. Light dishes with an emphasis on seafood, shellfish and vegetables are served as part of a five-, eight- or 12-course tasting
menu. Well-deserved of its two Michelin stars and 18 Gault Millau points, the restaurant offers heavenly views across the city of Zurich, the lake and the Alps and a wonderful wine pairing to match each course.

If you’ve enough energy left over, make your way to the hotel bar, where guests are transported to a hip and glamorous New York-style hangout. Try one of the signature cocktails, the vodka-based ‘Wasa Khaan’ or the Saffron Mojito, before taking yourself off for a peaceful night cocooned in the confines of this luxury hotel.


The Jewel of Oman

Shangri-La’s Barr al Jissah Resort & Spa offers guests a luxury getaway, with stunning surroundings, a host of activities and delicious dining options.


Set in its own private cove, overlooking the glittering Sea of Oman, Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa is a jewel of a destination. The property is located just outside Muscat, a city offering a wealth of attractions and activities. However, guests may find it a wrench to actually leave the resort.

With its beautifully landscaped gardens and blonde beaches, set between striking cliffs and aquamarine seas, the scenery is second to none. Add to that an Omani Heritage Village full of cultural stalls and events, a water sports centre and a kids’ zone, and time will fly by. But this resort really comes into its own on the food front.

Boasting a total of 21 dining outlets across three hotels that make up Barr Al Jissah—family-friendly Al Waha, eventsoriented Al Bandar and opulent Al Husn—the range caters to every guest and occasion. It includes seven main restaurants, two all-day dining outlets, three pool bars, a beach bar, three lobby lounges, three cafés and two bars. “This array ensures something delicious for each
and every guest,” assures executive chef Marc Cibrowius.

One of the highlights is unarguably Sultanah—fit for a queen, thanks to its seductive combination of contemporary cuisine and setting. “Imaginatively presented as the interior of a luxury cruise liner,
guests are treated to captivating views of the sea as they dine,” Marc explains. “Evening menus vary according to the ‘port of call’ on the liner’s itinerary for the night.”

Another unmissable culinary experience can be found on the beach, between Al Bandar and Al Waha hotels. Water-front gem Bait Al Bahr is the place to go for seclusion and seafood. With its elegant wooden decor and floor-to-ceiling windows, the only thing to distract from the setting is the menu: fresh Gulf prawns, sweet plump scallops, and whole kingfish reeled in by the resort’s dedicated fishermen that very day.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for more far-flung flavours, don’t miss a meal at Shahrazad. This restaurant serves up authentic Moroccan cuisine in an atmosphere of cool white colonnades and tiled floors, under a ceiling that recreates the North African night-sky, twinkling with tiny lights.

This outlet, like the others, typifies the resort’s spirit of authentic fresh flavours from around the world—from Italy, to Spain, to Lebanon. And when you’re enjoying a nightcap in the clear Omani
evening, looking out over a sea reflecting the stars, you’ll never want to leave.