The World’s Top Resorts

Overview

The world's top 100 resorts including Aspen, Bahamas, Bali, Courchevel, Fiji, Napa Valley, Scottsdale, Seychelles, St. Barths & more. Also, the 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S, pushing the limits in Arizona's desert paradise. Plus, special Host's Guide, reviving the spirits (and cocktails) of the roaring '20s. And, dark energy - Mercedes-Benz's C63 AMG Coupe Black Series.

From This Issue

FrontRunners: Montblanc’s Old Hickory

Andrew Jackson demonstrated that he was indeed “a man of the people”—and not another member of the Eastern elite who had been elected president—by opening his 1829 inaugural reception at the White House to the public. Alas, the gesture proved unwise when the raucous crowd of commoners caused several thousand dollars in damages.   A […]

FrontRunners: Swipe and Go

Offering locked-in flight-hour rates, the JetSuite Card (http://www.jetsuite.com) represents another private-air-travel option from the Southern California–based charter-flight provider. The $100,000 card guarantees a rate of $3,600 per flight hour (the $40,000 card guarantees a $3,800 rate, and the $200,000 card guarantees a $3,500 rate) for trips throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico on one […]

FrontRunners: Jersey Lore

A 1920 New York Yankees Babe Ruth road jersey—said to be the earliest existing Ruth game top—is expected to bring a high price when it goes up for bid during SCP Auctions’ spring sale (www.scpauctions.com). The online event runs from April 30 through May 19. The jersey, from Ruth’s first season with the Yankees, could […]

FrontRunners: Bowl Games

Depictions of Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and other landmarks that athletes and spectators might visit while they are in London for the Summer Olympics are etched on the $8,000 Prestige Skyline Bowl. Part of the Waterford London 2012 collection (www.waterford.com), the bowl is limited to 30 examples, each of which is crafted in the 229-year-old crystal […]

FrontRunners: Wee Wally

At 43 feet long, the Wally One (www.wally.com) is the smallest model from the Monaco-based builder. But its shape is as aggressive-looking as those of the brand’s larger vessels. And like all of the company’s motor yachts, the Wally One is exceptionally fast: Its twin 370 hp Yanmar engines enable a top speed of 57 […]

FrontRunners: Greatest Hit

Striking in its simplicity and purity of form, the Cartier Juste un Clou collection (www.cartier.com) revives Aldo Cipullo’s industrial nail designs in a series of 18-karat-gold rings and bracelets. Cipullo, a Cartier staff designer, created the original collection (the name of which translates to “Just a Nail”) for Cartier New York in the 1970s. His […]

FrontRunners: Deco Time

True to their name, the limited-edition Ralph Lauren Modern Art Deco watches (www.ralphlaurenwatches.com) look as though they were crafted in the 1920s. They are discreetly sized, geometrically shaped, set with diamonds, adorned with a satin strap, and accented with either white ceramic, red coral-based stone, or green agate. Their most modern element is a thin […]

FrontRunners: X Factor

Electric-car maker Tesla has unveiled its first SUV. The Tesla Model X (www.teslamotors.com) employs an entirely electric propulsion system (a 60 kWh or 85 kWh battery provides emission-free operation) and a dual-motor all-wheel drivetrain that reportedly accelerates the vehicle from zero to 60 mph in less than five seconds. Among the SUV’s design features are […]

FrontRunners: A Cut Above

Three years after its debut as a concept, the KEF Blade loudspeaker (www.kef.com) has arrived in production form. The speaker’s “Single Apparent Source” technology pairs four side-firing woofers with KEF’s proprietary Uni-Q midrange-tweeter array to produce music that sounds exceptionally coherent and lifelike, as though it is coming from a single point in space. The […]

FrontRunners: From the Robb Cellar

That the flagship offering of Moone-Tsai Winery is not a single-estate wine but a blend of different varietals from different vineyards in some of Napa Valley’s most prestigious growing regions is entirely appropriate; this endeavor, after all, is not a solo performance but a carefully conducted quartet. A relative newcomer, Moone-Tsai benefits from the extensive […]

The Robb Reader: Stuart Varney

Stuart Varney’s love affair with America started with a simple visit as a young man. “I really wanted to see America because that was the last big place I hadn’t been to,” recalls the 63-year-old British expatriate and world traveler, who is best known as the host of Fox Business Network’s Varney & Co. “And […]

Motorcycles: Super Lightweight

During a test-ride earlier this year on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit, the Ducati 1199 Panigale demonstrated its ferocity by reaching 170 mph on the straightaway, and showed its agility in the 3.4-mile track’s 21 turns. Even when a sandstorm covered the tarmac with enough desert debris for the Panigale to produce a small rooster […]

Wine: Wine Warriors

‘‘My wife’s brother died in California, leaving quite an estate,’’ reads an 1879 letter from Stalham Wing in Napa Valley to a friend in Ohio. His family sent him out to settle affairs, he explains in the note, but legal challenges ensued, and by the time the matter was resolved, little property was left. He […]

Watches: Big Time

When it comes to complications, Franck Muller’s movement developer, Jean-Pierre Golay, contends that simple can also be innovative. “We wanted to change directions completely,” he says, referring to the watch house’s newest creation, the rather impressively named Giga Tourbillon. “We wanted to create something very simple in the same dimensions as our recent complicated watches. […]

Jewelry: Diamond Provocateur

In the demure world of fine jewelry, where designers tend to play it safe when working with tens of thousands of dollars in diamonds and gemstones, Wilfredo Rosado is shaking things up. One of his first signature pieces—a gold-and-diamond cuff—is as exotic as a rare bird, sporting a four-inch-high fan of brightly colored feathers. He […]

Home: Form Fitting

The line between furniture and art has long been a blurry one. From Louis XIV’s baroque-inspired armchairs to Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s iconic Barcelona chair and Salvador Dalí’s pop art Mae West sofa, history’s most enduring furnishings have borrowed from the artistic movements of their times. Now a new Manhattan-based company, Bespoke Global, is […]

Collectibles: Picture Perfect

When an exceptionally rare camera commands a record-setting sum, the sale usually takes place through Vienna-based WestLicht Photographica Auction. And more often than not, the record that was broken had been set at a WestLicht sale.   In recent years, WestLicht has presided over several six- and seven-figure transactions. In 2007, it auctioned an 1839 […]

Autos: Flight Test

In a race for pinks between Jaguar’s supercharged 550 hp XKR-S convertible and a U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet, an aircraft that produces 36,000 pounds of thrust, which would win? For an hour one day in February, Navy air-traffic controllers closed the main runway at Southern California’s Naval Air Facility El Centro, the winter home of […]

The Darling

The first notable hotel to open in Sydney since the 2000 Olympic Games, the Darling debuted in October in the city’s bustling Darling Harbour precinct. The hotel is housed in an inverted, 12-story glass tower with views of Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Blue Mountains, and the behemoth Star entertainment complex that it is part of: […]

Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa

Defined by its vast landscapes and violent weather, Patagonia demands its visitors arrive with a sense of adventure. For adventurers who prefer a luxury resort to a wind-rattled tent, Chile’s new Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa, which opened in December just outside Torres del Paine National Park, is a welcome addition to the ends of […]

Cesare Attolini

In the 1930s, tailor Vincenzo Attolini created the deconstructed jacket—defined by a soft shoulder, high armhole, and light fabrics—that set the standard for Neapolitan style. From a little tailor shop in Naples, Italy, the Attolini suit became a quiet status symbol among jetsetters with an appreciation for stylish tailoring and impeccable craftsmanship, and the ability […]

New and Improved Perfection

When, toward the end of a career that spanned nearly eight decades, Pablo Picasso was asked which work he considered his finest, he supposedly replied, “The next one.” Some art critics today might disagree, arguing that had Picasso walked away from his easel by 1950, his oeuvre would not have suffered by so much as […]

Charter Choice: High Seas

Like a high-performance penthouse apartment at sea, Vertigo combines the advanced naval architecture of a racing yacht with the comfort and style of an upscale urban home. The 220-foot sailboat, which New Zealand builder Alloy Yachts completed last May, features ample interior and exterior spaces for as many as 12 guests, a fleet of toys […]

Wardrobe: Top Drawer

For 20 years, Michael Reslan was Brioni’s top salesman and executive vice president in the United States, traveling around the country helping high-powered executives build custom wardrobes. With his charisma and strong-shouldered sense of style, Reslan also became a friend and confidant to many of them: “When you eat and drink and fly with the […]

Home Electronics: Alexandria the Great

Two pairs of loudspeakers tower beside one another in Dave Wilson’s Provo, Utah, living room. He is preparing for a face-off: On one side are Wilson Audio’s much-lauded Alexandria Series 2 speakers, introduced in 2007, and on the other side is the latest in the series, the Alexandria XLFs. Each of the four stands nearly […]

Robb Design Portfolio: Immaculate Connection

Horn speakers, most audiophiles agree, provide greater headroom, more accurate acoustic imaging, and better detail than do any other loudspeaker designs. The horns of Germany’s Avantgarde Acoustic (www.avantgarde-acoustic.com) are especially revered for their fidelity. The company’s $36,000-per-pair Duo Grosso speakers (single horn shown), for example, deliver 107 dB of sensitivity with a staggering 18-ohm impedance. […]

Leisure: His Blue-Chip Period

Each May in New York, the art world holds its equivalent of the World Series: The Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sales, where two rival teams—Christie’s and Sotheby’s—square off by assembling the best rosters they can and testing them before a live audience.   It is a seasonal ritual that rivets the attention of the […]

Robb Design Portfolio: High-Strung, High-Spirited

1956 Porsche 356 Carrera 1500 GS Speedster When automobile importer Max Hoffman urged Porsche to create a stripped-down, entry-level version of the 356 for the American market, the Stuttgart carmaker responded in late 1954 with the Speedster. The small but mighty roadster became a sensation on racetracks and on the street. Porsche continued to produce […]

Summer 2012 Host’s Guide: The Back Room

Ron Bacardí de Maestros de Ron Vintage MMXII  Eight former Bacardí master blenders—all of them descendants of Bacardí founder Don Facundo Bacardí Massó—contributed to this special-edition rum, which commemorates Bacardí’s 150th anniversary. It was in 1862 that Don Massó—after refining his techniques for charcoal filtration, blending, and barrel aging—established his distillery in Santiago de Cuba, […]

Summer 2012 Host’s Guide: White Spirits

High West Silver Whiskey, Western Oat  Though this clear spirit may look like moonshine, it is actually 80-proof unaged whiskey made from a mash of 85 percent oats and 15 percent malted barley. Distilled in Park City, Utah—a silver-mining mecca in the 19th century (hence the whiskey’s name)—this pristine distillate spent all of five minutes […]

Summer 2012 Host’s Guide: Mediums

Black Bull 40 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky  This Highland whisky has been around since 1864, but it enjoyed renewed prominence following the repeal of Prohibition. The 40 Year Old, a less potent blend, is composed of 10 percent single-grain whiskies and 90 percent single malts.The single malts range in age from 40 to 44 […]

Summer 2012 Host’s Guide: Heavy Browns

High West Son of Bourye  In the 1932 Marx Brothers film Horse Feathers, a speakeasy employee named Baravelli (played by Chico Marx) receives a phone call from a patron ordering a quart of Scotch and a quart of rye. From the same jug, Baravelli fills two bottles, one labeled “Scotch” and the other “rye.” High […]

Summer 2012 Host’s Guide: Nightcaps

The King’s Ginger Liqueur  Berry Bros. & Rudd first formulated this bright, sweet, and naturally spicy liqueur in 1903 as a pick-me-up for King Edward VII. It must have worked, because that same year, His Majesty bestowed a Royal Warrant upon Great Britain’s oldest wine-and-spirits merchant. Although it never went out of production (it was […]

Summer 2012 Host’s Guide: A Splash of Mystery

It seems ridiculous to call them speakeasies or hidden bars when they are some of the most celebrated craft cocktail establishments in the United States. But 12 years after Sasha Petraske opened Milk & Honey in New York City, the first of the modern speakeasies, what seemed destined to be a fad has instead turned […]

The Robb Report 100 Resorts: North America

ARIZONA Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North SCOTTSDALE The hike through cactus fields…MORE   BRITISH COLUMBIA Four Seasons Resort Whistler WHISTLER Huge timber, stone, and glass chalet a few minutes from North America’s largest ski resort. Includes 273 accommodations and an in-house ski concierge with insider info on Whistler Blackcomb’s 200 trails. Mountain bike, […]

The Robb Report 100 Resorts: Europe

ENGLAND  Coworth Park  ASCOT  With its swan-shaped table bases…MORE  FRANCE  Cap Estel  EZE  Near Monaco on the Côte d’Azur, this 114-year-old seaside mansion on five palm-fringed acres offers 28 accommodations plus two pools, tennis courts, a screening room, and a popular restaurant. Ideal for hosting parties or for hiding out during the Cannes film festival […]

The Robb Report 100 Resorts: North America: Post Ranch Inn

Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur, Calif. Most visitors to Big Sur simply pass through while cruising California’s Highway 1, resigned to experience the region from turnouts in the road. But this Central Coast expanse of state parks and steep cliffs plunging into the Pacific requires more than a rest-stop review. For the ultimate Big Sur […]

The Robb Report 100 Resorts: Africa & The Middle East: Four Seasons Resort Seychelles

Four Seasons Resort Seychelles, Mahé, Seychelles Everyday activities on the Seychelles islands—kayaking through crystalline waters, strolling along powdery white-sand beaches—are enough to lure anyone outdoors. But guests of the Four Seasons Resort Seychelles, located on the African country’s main island of Mahé, spend much of their time holing up in the property’s ocean-facing villas. Nestled […]

The Robb Report 100 Resorts: Africa & The Middle East: Singita Lebombo and Sweni Lodges

Singita Lebombo and Sweni Lodges, Kruger National Park, South Africa Singita’s Lebombo and Sweni lodges—two sister camps located on the remote eastern edge of Kruger National Park—represent the ultimate combination of refinement and authenticity in the African bush. The camps, separated by about 750 feet, consist of 21 stunning, glass-enclosed suites, where hand-blown Murano glass […]

The Robb Report 100 Resorts: Caribbean & Latin America: Lapostolle Residence

Lapostolle Residence, Colchagua Valley, Chile When Alexandra Marnier Lapostolle came to Chile’s Colchagua Valley two decades ago, the area was a viticultural backwater. But the Grand Marnier heiress, who cofounded the valley’s Lapostolle winery in 1994, was convinced she could coax first growth–quality vintages from the granitic soil. Her premier blend, Clos Apalta, attests her […]

The Robb Report 100 Resorts: Asia & the Pacific: Amanbagh

Amanbagh, Jaipur, India Set on the former hunting estate of a maharaja, Amanbagh is a walled, 40-room retreat in northern India’s Rajasthani hills. The palace, contemporized for its opening as a resort in 2005, is a haven of gardens, cupolas, latticed screens, ornate columns, and service befitting royalty. Guests can take yoga and cooking classes; […]

The Robb Report 100 Resorts: Europe: Coworth Park

Coworth Park, Ascot, England With its swan-shaped table bases, cattail-like lamps, and tree-branch-themed four-poster beds, Coworth Park brings a whimsical spirit to the classic English country inn. The former residence of the 17th Earl of Derby sits on 240 acres of picturesque Berkshire parkland with its own polo fields and equestrian center. Opened as part […]

The Robb Report 100 Resorts: Europe: Villa Tre Ville

Villa Tre Ville, Positano, Italy After purchasing Italian director Franco Zeffirelli’s estate in 2007, hotelier Giovanni Russo embarked on a restoration designed to honor the former owner. Villa Tre Ville—four buildings clinging to the cliffs between Positano town and Grand Hotel San Pietro—was a perfect match for Russo, who is known for his restorations on […]

From the Editors: Beautiful and Damned

An unshakable desire to possess what divine providence or the dictates of overzealous lawmakers would deny us is a peculiarly American trait—one magnified to the point of frenzy by this nation’s curious social experiment, the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution. In its efforts to suppress the seemingly unwholesome appetites of the general public, this legislation […]

Wheels: The New Black

Mercedes-Benz had a good year in 2011, selling nearly 250,000 passenger vehicles in the United States alone—from C-Sedans to G-Wagons to SLS AMG Gullwings. But with such sales comes ubiquity: Mercedes-Benzes are so common in Southern California’s Orange County that they have been dubbed the “Chevrolets of the O.C.” This can be a dilemma for […]

The New Black: A Gray Gullwing Rarer than the Black Series

The discovery last year of a rare 1955 alloy-bodied Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing was not the ultimate barn find, as originally reported. In order to be found, it had to have been lost. But the former owner always knew exactly where the car was, and the current owner learned of its location some 20 years ago. […]

The Robb Report 100 Resorts: Africa & The Middle East

BOTSWANA  Abu Camp  OKAVANGO DELTA  Completely revamped in 2011, this 20-year-old camp remains the best lodge for hands-on interaction with African elephants. Join Abu’s herd for a ride or walk through the astounding 450,000-acre Abu Concession, observe an elephant mud bath, and dine with mahouts before retiring to one of six tented suites. ($1,950 per […]

The Robb Report 100 Resorts: Asia & the Pacific

AUSTRALIA  Saffire Freycinet  TASMANIA  Breathe the world’s cleanest air and swim in its most pristine water at this 20-suite retreat set within view of Freycinet National Park. The suites—and a striking, manta ray–shaped main lodge that serves some of the world’s freshest seafood—are strung along the northern shore of Tasmania’s Great Oyster Bay. ($1,800–$2,800, all-inclusive) […]

The Robb Report 100 Resorts: Caribbean & Latin America

ARGENTINA  Eolo  EL CALAFATE  At this 7,500-acre estancia and its lone 17-room lodge, guests can watch ostrichlike rheas grazing on the surrounding Patagonian steppe. Day trips by horseback, mountain bike, and four-wheel drive head to sites such as Perito Moreno Glacier, with its whale-size icebergs. ($825–$1,250, all-inclusive) http://www.eolo.com.ar BRAZIL Ponta dos Ganchos GOVERNADOR CELSO RAMOS […]

Dining: Bare-Root Radicals

An ocean apart, two extraordinary meals start with carrots. At Noma, René Redzepi’s Copenhagen restaurant twice voted best in the world, the vegetables come planted in a clay flower pot, their green tops flopping jauntily over the edge, the roots nestled deep into a “dirt” made from dark hazelnut powder. At Ink in West Hollywood, […]