Lean & Clean


2010 Bentley Continental Supersports. The British automaker unveils its lightweight 204 mph twin-turbocharged flexfuel coupe. Plus luxury travel insider, destination clubs make a comeback, rebirth of the ultimate private mountain resort, incomparable new cruise ships & itineraries, grand hotel openings in Sicily, the Maldives & more. Also, voluptuous valentimes, 11 rare & romantic gift ideas for her.

From This Issue

Travel: Plains and Simple

As the sun rises above the Mary River floodplain in Australia’s Northern Territory, water buffalo, wild horses, and flocks of magpie geese begin the daily trek from their nocturnal havens in the forest to the open swamp, where they will feed and cool themselves during the heat of day. At the forest’s edge, groggy travelers, […]

Motorcycles: Sophisticated Savage

For more than 85 years, BMW has built well-engineered and eminently reliable motorcycles that have earned the company a reputation in some circles as the gentleman’s brand. In still other circles, these bikes have been rather unflatteringly dubbed “the pipe and slipper brigade.” This year, however, the Munich-based manufacturer intends to quash its polite persona […]

Home Electronics: Sly on the Wall

When hanging on a wall, Bang & Olufsen’s new BeoVision 10 resembles a work of art as much as it does a television. But hanging seems an inappropriate term for describing how B&O’s latest model appears when mounted in its high-gloss aluminum frame. “The purpose of the frame is to create an optical illusion,” says […]

Home: Food Network

Anvil Motion is not the world’s only computerized cabinetry system for the kitchen, but it may be the smartest. Introduced in July by custom cabinetmaker Anvil Cabinet & Mill, of Brigham City, Utah, Anvil Motion is the first automated cabinetry to be both button- and motion-activated. It is also the first such system to integrate […]

Watches: Gender Bender

“Our feeling is that our new chronograph is the kind of watch an independent, successful woman will want to buy for herself,” says Patek Philippe president Thierry Stern, expressing a sentiment shared by most industry executives who have launched a new ladies model. But the Geneva-based watchmaker’s Ladies First Chronograph is far from being an […]

Wardrobe: Skins Deep

One stormy winter night in 1786, while the Danish brigantine Metta Catharina von Flensburg was anchored in England’s Plymouth Sound, gale-force winds swept the waves over its decks, sinking the ship before the crew could salvage its cargo of leather bound for the Mediterranean. The fate of the Catharina was all but forgotten for nearly […]

Art: The Young Man and the Sea

American expatriate painter John Singer Sargent once humbly quipped, “Every time I paint a portrait I lose a friend.” However, long before the social elite of the early 20th century began to climb over one another, figuratively speaking, to sit for one of his vibrantly detailed portraits, Sargent focused his artistic attentions on a different […]

Autos: Ghost Buster

The BMW 760Li escapes the eye of most luxury-sedan buyers because the German automaker designed it to do just that. But the inconspicuous V-12-powered 7-Series can afford to be unassuming, given that the vast majority of examples to be built will never cross a dealer’s showroom floor. “There are only a small number of customers, so […]

Boating: WHY Not?

Luca Bassani, president, CEO, and founder of Wally Yachts, insists that his latest project is not a yacht at all. “It’s a floating island,” he says while unveiling a 190-foot-long, 125-foot-wide wooden mock-up of the vessel at Wally’s shipyard in Ancona, Italy. Bassani’s description seems appropriate given the vessel’s considerable girth, which will prevent it […]

Golf: Long Shot

David McLay Kidd has proven that he can create remarkable courses in remote places. But the Scottish golf architect—designer of the Bandon Dunes golf course on Oregon’s southern coast—says he was “dumbfounded” when he was approached to build a course on a private island in Fiji. Still, he figured, it couldn’t hurt to take a […]

Verdura Golf & Spa Resort

For his company’s first destination resort, Sir Rocco Forte—the British hotelier behind Brown’s in London and the Augustine in Prague—selected a 568-acre site on the rugged southwest coast of Sicily. His 203-room Verdura Golf & Spa Resort, which opened on the Italian island in August, makes the most of its setting. Italian architect Flavio Albanese’s […]

Hôtel Le Bristol

Hôtel Le Bristol occupies an enviable position among Paris’ palace hotels. For one, the establishment is owned by Germans, the Oetker family, who ensure that the 85-year-old property runs like clockwork. It is also tucked mid-block on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, the same narrow street that is home to Élysée Palace, the official residence of […]

Alila Villas Hadahaa

The recent explosion of resort construction in the Maldives has been concentrated in the now-crowded central atolls, leaving the island nation’s southern reaches relatively untouched. Opened last August, Alila Villas Hadahaa is the first resort on the 1,120-square-mile atoll of Huvadhoo. The remote southern isle, the second largest atoll in the world, is located about […]

FrontRunners: MV Agusta

Since acquiring mv agusta for more than $100 million in 2008, Harley-Davidson has helped revitalize the 65-year-old Italian brand. The new 2010 MV Agusta F4 (www.mvagustausa.com), which debuted in November—just one month after Harley-Davidson announced its intention to sell MV Agusta—is a testament to the American manufacturer’s influence. Aside from its square-tipped quad exhausts, refashioned […]

FrontRunners: Fun for Four

The anticipated Maserati GranTurismo Convertible (www.maserati.us) comes to American shores this spring. This Italian supermodel from Modena combines exquisite Pininfarina styling with scintillating performance, courtesy of a Ferrari-engineered 4.7-liter V-8 engine and a smooth 6-?speed automatic transmission. Ample backseats with real legroom mean that a driver and three lucky passengers can tour in style; the […]

FrontRunners: Horns of Plenty

Aesthesis will make 100 pairs of its new $90,000-per-set Gramophone speakers (www.aesthesis.se), which the hi-fi manufacturer spent four years developing. The approximately 4-foot-tall loudspeakers recall gramophone horns and have high-gloss finishes of stainless steel and carbon fiber. Each horn’s coaxial driver pushes bass tones down through a tapered open cabinet and out a narrow port […]

FrontRunners: Steady State

To eliminate vibration in the Goldmund Eidos Reference Blue (www.goldmund.com), the manufacturer encased the 66-pound Blu-ray disc player in brass and aluminum and attached it to four spring-loaded legs. The legs rest atop an even weightier 2-foot-tall stand, which further prevents interference. The $141,000 system is also available as an upgrade (for $67,500) that allows […]

FrontRunners: Ship Shape

The Argos G92 (www.argosyachts.com) is the first in a new line of production yachts from the Chinese shipyard of American firm Tricon Marine. Tricon plans to produce only three hulls annually in the Argos Gulfstream line, which will range in length from 80 to 120 feet. The uncommon layout of the roughly $6.2 million G92, […]

FrontRunners: Modern Rock

While modern, high-design wristwatches for men have been a staple in Switzerland for years, it has taken the launch of an entirely new brand to apply the concept to the relatively staid arena of women’s jewelry watches. The Céphée Ether (www.cephee.ch), from the nascent Swiss company founded by watchmaker Christophe Golay, combines the traditional art […]

FrontRunners: Jewel Box

The first American store from Henri J. Sillam (www.sillam.com) is small in size, but the jewels inside are big and bold. Opened last year in the Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel, the boutique displays the sixth-generation Austrian-French jeweler’s chunky necklaces, large drop earrings, and other daring diamond and gemstone pieces. Sillam selects stones for their unique […]

FrontRunners: From the Robb Cellar

New premium distilled spirits seem to crop up as ubiquitously as some of the grains and herbs from which they are made. While most of these spirits have catchy names and arrive in bottles endowed with vaselike curves and stained-glass hues, very few actually fulfill the promises made by their packaging. However, the reverse is […]

FrontRunners: Roe House

Most visitors to the Calvisius Caviar Lounge (www.calvisiuscaviar.com) in the Four Seasons Hotel New York are surprised to learn that the fine white-sturgeon and osetra caviars they are tasting come from Italy, not Russia. The small, sleek lounge, which opened in March, serves nothing but caviar dishes, Champagne, Italian wine, and vodka. In addition to […]

FrontRunners: Instrument of Gods

Hercules’ stepmother Hera drove him mad—mad enough to commit several atrocious murders. To atone for his sins, the son of Zeus had to complete the Labors of Hercules, a series of 12 seemingly impossible feats that he finished without fail. The new Tibaldi Hercules (www.tibaldi.it)—available in a limited edition of 12 solid-gold fountain pens—celebrates the […]

Robb Design Portfolio: Alluring Alloy

Inspired by her vast collection of contemporary art, which includes pieces by Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Julian Schnabel, Geneva-based designer Suzanne Syz (+41.22.310.20.84, http://www.suzannesyz.ch) creates colorful, bold jewelry that combines whimsical sensibility with a graphical edge. Although she is best known for her candy-size enamel-and-gemstone compositions in the familiar shapes of Life Savers and […]

Robb Design Portfolio: Superstar Supercar

The McLaren F1 is perhaps the most fastidiously engineered automobile of the 20thcentury. Some 100 of these English supercars were made between 1992 and 1998; of these, 65 were road-going versions like number 038 (pictured). The rest were built for competition in various states of tune and trim. What set the McLaren apart was the […]

Indecent Composure

Those with a wicked appreciation for both irony and understatement have, from the outset, savored Bentley’s Continental GT as the perfect stealth supercar. Endowed with an unimpeachable pedigree, a purposeful shape, and an exquisite interior, the grand tourer from the Crewe factory in England is also as sturdy as a rhinoceros and even more powerful. […]

Club Mend

Brett Grossman, a fifth-generation Coca-Cola bottler from Boerne, Texas, had an unexpected encounter with nature while vacationing with his family last summer at the Ritz-Carlton’s Abaco Club on Winding Bay. He and his 10-year-old son were scuba diving in the turquoise waters off the Bahamas’ Great Abaco Island when a shark suddenly entered their path. […]

Pinnacle of Perfection

The value of a scientific experiment lies in the fact that, when repeated under the same set of conditions, it always yields the same result. However, more than a decade ago, timber entrepreneur Tim Blixseth conducted an experiment of his own that, even if another attempts it, is unlikely ever to produce a comparable—much less […]

Objets d’Heart

Putting feelings into words is challenging enough for some men; expressing the depth of their affection for that special someone through the perfect Valentine’s Day gift can provoke an existential crisis. In an effort to spare these anguished readers further Sturm und Drang—and perhaps months of couple’s therapy—we have assembled an assortment of distinctive and […]

The Robb Reader: Rocky Patel

Unlike many of his competitors, Rocky Patel and his namesake cigar company do not have a centuries-deep tradition in tobacco. In fact, Patel had never even smoked a cigar until about 20 years ago, when the then–Beverly Hills attorney received an offer he couldn’t refuse. “India Allen, 1988 Playboy Playmate of the Year, handed me […]

Wheels: Lexus Rex

Despite their often futuristic appearances, most modern supercars are, in a sense, things of the past. Each new ultra-high-performance machine from the likes of Aston Martin, Ferrari, and Mercedes-Benz embodies those manufacturers’ long-standing traditions and must measure up to the image established by its predecessors. For this reason, the proverbial blank slate is perhaps the […]

Journeys: Ship’s a Joy

A smartly attired septuagenarian short on neither diamonds nor spunk pivots on her designer pumps to face me. “You are entirely too young to be in this elevator,” she says, her statement engendering giggles among her lady friends and declarations of don’t-you-mind-her from their dapper male counterparts. She might have a point. On this late-July […]

Ship’s a Joy: On the Water Front

A number of high-end cruise lines are charting new courses, offering updated amenities and services, and, in some cases, launching ships. Following is a brief rundown to help you navigate the options. CRYSTAL CRUISES A recently completed $25 million renovation has transformed much of Crystal Cruises’ 922-passenger Symphony, including the vessel’s 982-square-foot Crystal Penthouses. In addition […]