Down at the Copa

Heading to this year’s top destination? mixfootball with seriously sophisticatedpleasure at the orient express’siconic Copacabana Palace Hotel.

When former guests include glit-lit(erati) such as Orson Wellesand Marlene Dietrich, you know you’re in for a timeless treat.Copacabana Palace hotel underwent a refurbishment in late2011, which reinstated the hotel’s art deco beauty to its formerglory and once again elevated it to one of the world’s foremostluxury hotels.

With the sound of the Atlantic waves crashing againstCopacabana beach -one of the most famous sandy stretchesin the world -and the buzz of the city below, the suitesoverlooking Rio’s legendary Avenida Atlântica are large andluxurious, 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 pooland 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 dualtreatment suites, a fitness room, hair salon, sauna, steam bathand relaxation area, with an extensive selection of AYASPAorganic products and treatments available.

If you’re feeling more energetic, take advantage of thetennis 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 andresistance-exercise options. Stretching classes, personal trainerand 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 (thephonetic 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 anexclusive custom tailored tea service offering exotic infusionsand a dedicated sushi counter and chef. The restaurant featurescontemporary Asian-inspired décor with Chinese teahouse-stylebooths and eastern portraits by Bangkok-based artist ChristianDevelter.

The new restaurant will be located by the swimming pooland join Copacabana Palace’s other dining options, Italianrestaurant 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 PianoBar is the spot to come for cocktails and live jazzy beats.Our conclusion? Copacabana Palace is well-deserved of itsiconic five star status.

copacabanapalace.com

High in the Sky

A vast art collection. World-class spa. Two Michelin stars. Large, luxurioussuites. There’s even an ice rink-cumoutdoorswimming pool within thegrounds. The Dolder Grand has it all…

It all begins upon arrival at Flughafen airport. Guests are met by achauffer who whisks them high above the city of Zurich to their finaldestination: The Dolder Grand. Enter the hotel at your own risk, becauseonce 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 architectFoster + Partners. The hotel’s reopening unveiled some very impressivefeatures. Let’s start with that art collection. Thanks to a collaborationbetween the hotel and Galerie Gmurzynska, The Dolder Grand is hometo some 100 works of art. Andy Warhol’s creations are plastered abovethe reception. Salvador Dalí’s work is visible in the fine dining restaurant,while Damien Hirst’s work hangs in the Garden Restaurant. Three KeithHarings are lurking around, then there’s Camille Pissarro, the hugelypopular Takashi Murakami’s works and Philip Haas’ The Four Seasons.Whether you’re staying at The Dolder Grand or passing by, make it yourmission to explore the hotel’s extraordinary art collection.

Check into your room or suite—there are 173 in total, including 48junior suites, seven suites and four top suites—and before you head outto explore the rest of this beautiful hotel, allow yourself time to indulgein the room itself. There’s a sunken bath, rainforest shower and lots ofluxury La Prairie products to wallow in. A huge bed, large flatscreen TVand floor-to-ceiling views of the mountainous landscape outside, toppedoff 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 bynow, right? So don your soft white robe and take the glass elevatorto 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 relaxingfeatures and a Japanese-influenced design, which aids that light-footedspa sensation one feels inside. Some of the highlights include a Kotatsu
footbath, swimming pool, indoor and outdoor whirlpool and the uniqueSunaburo (pebble loungers). There are 18 treatment rooms, curated byLa Prairie as well as Kerstin Florian and Amala. Try one of the world’smost indulgent facials such as the Caviar Firming Facial, Pure GoldRadiance Facial or the Platinum Rare Facial, all by La Prairie.

In the restaurant, chef Heiko Nieder leaves a lasting impression onhis guests. Light dishes with an emphasis on seafood, shellfish andvegetables 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 lakeand 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, whereguests are transported to a hip and glamorous New York-style hangout.Try one of the signature cocktails, the vodka-based ‘Wasa Khaan’ or theSaffron Mojito, before taking yourself off for a peaceful night cocooned inthe confines of this luxury hotel.

thedoldergrand.com

The Jewelof Oman

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

Set in its own private cove, overlooking the glittering Sea ofOman, Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa is a jewel of adestination. The property is located just outside Muscat, a cityoffering a wealth of attractions and activities. However, guestsmay 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 sceneryis second to none. Add to that an Omani Heritage Village fullof cultural stalls and events, a water sports centre and a kids’zone, and time will fly by. But this resort really comes into its ownon the food front.

Boasting a total of 21 dining outlets across three hotelsthat make up Barr Al Jissah—family-friendly Al Waha, eventsorientedAl Bandar and opulent Al Husn—the range caters toevery guest and occasion.It includes seven main restaurants, two all-day dining outlets,three pool bars, a beach bar, three lobby lounges, three cafésand 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 cuisineand 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 ofcall’ on the liner’s itinerary for the night.”

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

Alternatively, if you’re looking for more far-flung flavours, don’tmiss a meal at Shahrazad. This restaurant serves up authenticMoroccan cuisine in an atmosphere of cool white colonnadesand tiled floors, under a ceiling that recreates the North Africannight-sky, twinkling with tiny lights.

This outlet, like the others, typifies the resort’s spirit of authenticfresh flavours from around the world—from Italy, to Spain, toLebanon.And when you’re enjoying a nightcap in the clear Omani
evening, looking out over a sea reflecting the stars, you’ll neverwant to leave.

shangri-la.com/muscat