The World’s Top 100 Hotels

Overview

Ultimate city escapes, the world's top 100 hotels. Plus, Aston Martin's new arrival, hitting the road in the reimagined Vanquish.

From This Issue

The Robb Report 100 Hotels: Caribbean & Latin America

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires, La Mansión A three-story belle epoque mansion adjacent to the main Four Seasons tower, which is currently undergoing a $40 million renovation. The seven-suite former residence brings to mind the French expression riche comme un Argentin (rich as an Argentine) with lavish French-country decor befitting the surrounding […]

The Robb Report 100 Hotels: Africa & The Middle East

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort A year and a half old, this 377-room beachfront city resort is set within a larger residential development with expansive spa facilities and a shop-filled plaza resembling a Mediterranean village. While the hotel’s decor is Arabian-meets-Mediterranean, its buzzy restaurant 55&5th, The Grill, reflects the […]

The Robb Report 100 Hotels: Europe

Travelers have any number of hotel ratings systems at their disposal, offering stars, diamonds, and even crowns to compare properties from Dubai to Des Moines. More often than not, however, such rankings fail to address the basic issue of which property is the single best place to stay in its given location. For this year’s […]

Triumphant Return

Aston Martin has been criticized for producing a lineup of look-alike sports cars and grand tourers. Detractors contend that it is difficult to distinguish between the shapes—as well as the purposes—of the Vantage, DB9, Virage, and DBS. The Rapide may stand out because of its four doors, but it shares much of its bodywork with […]

Marignan Paris

Situated in one of Paris’s most stylish neighborhoods, between Avenue Montaigne and Avenue George-V, the Marignan Paris is the first hotel designed by Pierre Yovanovitch, the French interior designer known for his simple yet luxurious residential properties. That philosophy clearly guided his plans for the Marignan, a 50-room boutique hotel that offers maximum comfort in […]

The St. Regis Mauritius Resort

Mauritius’s lagoon-fringed Le Morne peninsula attracts windsurfers and kitesurfers the world over for its idyllic coastline and year-round trade winds. The new St. Regis Mauritius Resort, which opened on the peninsula in November, caters to this high-flying crowd with the Club Mistral Prestige kitesurfing club, where experts offer private instruction and insider tips on choice […]

Banyan Tree Shanghai on the Bund

Tranquility in Shanghai may sound like an oxymoron, but the new Banyan Tree Shanghai on the Bund delivers just that from its secluded perch at a northerly bend of the Huangpu River. All 118 rooms and 12 suites in the 13-story hotel, which opened in October, offer dramatic river and city views through floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall […]

Jewelry: Curious Georgians

The exquisite pieces that make up Olivia Collings’s meticulously edited collection of Georgian-era jewelry have survived centuries—in some cases tucked away in musty attics or sealed in dilapidated safes. Even so, these intensely sparkling strands of colorful gemstones and snake- and skull-motif designs might easily meld into the offerings of many top-tier contemporary houses, which […]

Art: Hong Kong Phenomenon

Art Basel has moved closer toward art-world domination by expanding into Hong Kong. The inaugural Art Basel in Hong Kong runs from May 23 through 26 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. This latest extension of the contemporary-art fair, which originated in Switzerland in 1970 and has become a see-and-be-seen spectacle in Miami […]

Collectibles: Underground Art

Frank Pick believed that good art could be good for business. During his 32 years as an administrator for London’s public-transport system, from 1908 through 1940, Pick hired some of the period’s most talented artists to create posters that promoted off-peak ridership, reinforced basic etiquette rules, and tantalized commuters with visions of the places they […]

Vacation Homes: Pearl of the Pacific

Panama’s Pearl Islands have long held hidden treasures. The archipelago of some 39 islands and 100 islets, located about 56 miles off the coast of Panama City, has yielded some of the world’s most precious pearls, including La Pelegrina, a 111-grain silver pearl coveted by 19th-century Russian royalty, and La Peregrina, a pear-shaped specimen that […]

Home Electronics: Perfect Harmony

The many accolades earned by Steinway Lyngdorf’s freestanding Model D and in-wall Model LS music systems include Robb Report Best of the Best honors (in 2007 and 2009, respectively). But apparently company founder Peter Lyngdorf believes even the best can become better. The Danish audio wizard created his latest sonic sensation, the $172,000-per-pair Model LS […]

Pens: Writer’s Block

Before Bonhams launched a series of fountain-pen auctions in the United States, the first of which was held in 2009, no major American house had ever hosted a recurring sale dedicated to writing instruments. Last September Swann Galleries in New York held its first pen sale—then followed it with another auction in March. This small but […]

Wine: Accidental Vintners

Thoughts of winemaking never entered the minds of Jackie and Tim Reuling at the time they began their quest for land in the Russian River Valley. Originally from the Midwest, they were inspired to move to California by a trip Jackie took to Provence, France, where food, not wine, served as the primary lure. Trained […]

Travel: Riviera Renaissance

Opened in 1913, the Hotel Le Negresco occupies the pole position on Nice’s Promenade des Anglais, a scenic boulevard that follows the city’s coastline along the Bay of Angels. Capped with a pink-domed tower, the six-story belle epoque landmark overlooks the Mediterranean Sea from across the road and has long been a favored retreat for […]

Watches: Minute Minutiae

“The first time I saw work on this scale, it was absolutely mind-boggling,” says Stephen Forsey, a cofounder of the boutique watchmaker Greubel Forsey, whose timepieces many collectors regard as near-miraculous feats of micromechanics. Forsey is describing his first encounter with the infinitesimal sculpture of Willard Wigan, the English artist whose detailed creations are literally […]

Autos: Alpha Dog

Nicknamed Godzilla because of its monstrous power and country of origin, Nissan’s GT-R is one of the most formidable high-performance automobiles. It rivals the best from Europe and the United States on the drag strip and on the track. And priced at just under $100,000, the GT-R has a performance-per-dollar ratio that, like its scorching […]

Music: From the Hands of God

Eric Clapton’s guitars are nearly as famous as the musician himself. His best-known ax is the Fender Stratocaster that he called Blackie, which he assembled from the parts of three 1956 Strats and played throughout the 1970s and early ’80s. The instrument retailer Guitar Center purchased Blackie at a 2004 Christie’s auction for $959,500, a […]

Style: Pattern Boldness

A fearless individualism prevails in men’s fashion for spring, particularly in the playful mix of colors and graphics. Plaid blazers pop with contrasting pocket squares. Bright dress shirts are fastened with chunky cuff links. And richly tinted shoes get a kick from whimsical socks. Photo 1: Isaia windowpane jackets, in wool, linen, and silk (left), […]

Wheels: Four Score

When prompted with a press of the throttle pedal, the new Maserati Quattroporte’s 524 hp twin-turbo V-8 spooled up quickly, just as the big sedan’s 4.6 zero-to-60-mph time suggests it would. My passenger—Maserati’s CEO, Harald Wester, an engineer-turned-executive—asked what I thought of the car’s lack of turbo lag. He smiled when I confirmed that indeed […]

Elements of Style May 2013

Santoni’s antiqued Quebec oxford ($690) and Shipley boot ($795) exhibit the sort of soft patina that usually results from extensive wear and care. Yet the Italian shoemaker spends a painstaking three weeks repeatedly dying and brushing the leather to create the warm, rough finish of each new piece of footwear. The leather heels and soles […]

Design Portfolio: Petal to the Metal

1958 Lotus Type 15 Lotus founder Colin Chapman established the company’s legacy by building cars according to his maxim, “To add speed, add lightness.” Instead of developing high-horsepower engines, Lotus focused on featherweight chassis and aerodynamic forms—for its Grand Prix and Formula 1 racecars and for its road cars, including the Elite (1957–63) and the […]

Design Portfolio: All That Jazz

Like fine timepieces, Swiss-made Nagra electronics (www.nagraaudio.com) are works of art that display novel topology and precision tooling and offer top-tier performance. The company that makes Nagra products, Audio Technology Switzerland, is a recent offshoot of the Kudelski Group, which for six decades made professional recording equipment. That expertise was brought to bear on the […]

The Robb Reader: Mark Harmon

As the CEO of Auberge Resorts, Mark Harmon presides over a collection of intimate retreats designed for relaxation, rejuvenation, and romance. But when it comes time for the 57-year-old Northern Californian to recharge, he usually embarks on an adventure—from heli-skiing in the backcountry of Alaska to cycling along the back roads of Majorca. “I’m an […]

From the Editors: Urbane Renewal

The majestic hotels that gleam like beacons of refuge amid the bustling boulevards of the world’s metropolises entice the traveler with their picturesque panoramas and storied pasts (see “The Robb Report 100,” page 91); yet few if any of these establishments can claim the same curious distinction as Monaco’s Hôtel de Paris (pictured), whose city […]

FrontRunners: Casa Fuente

Smoking the new Casa Fuente 800 Series cigar (www.casafuente.com) could require a trip to Las Vegas. Like the first Casa Fuente–branded cigar from Arturo Fuente, which debuted in 2005 and is said to be filled with a variation of the company’s Opus X blend and wrapped in Cameroon leaf, the new one is available only […]

FrontRunners: From the Robb Cellar May 2013

Winemaking for William Ballentine Jr. has always been a family concern. He began his career tending vines owned by his father, who established Ballentine Vineyards at the foot of Napa’s Howell Mountain. The knowledge and experience he gained there—and through his work with other growers throughout the valley—now informs the wines of William Cole Vineyards, […]

FrontRunners: Archival Revival

When the checked pattern of the Louis Vuitton Damier Collection (www.louisvuitton.com) debuted in 1889 at the World’s Fair in Paris, the squares were brown and beige. The pattern quickly became the company’s primary motif, but it disappeared in 1896, when the LV monogram supplanted it. Louis Vuitton brought back the Damier 100 years later, in […]

FrontRunners: Road to Riches

Unusual combinations of materials and bright colors distinguish the jewelry in Gilan’s Journey to Dreams collection (www.gilan.com). The designs are meant to evoke the exoticism that was introduced to the Western world via the Silk Road, the ancient network of trade routes that linked Europe and the Middle East with China. Priced from $5,000 to […]

FrontRunners: Looks to Boot

Every bit as fashionable as previous models, the new Vertu Ti mobile phone (www.vertu.com) is even more functional. It is equipped with the Android 4.0 operating system and has a 1.7 GHz processor, a 1.3-megabyte Skype-capable camera, and 64 gigabytes of internal memory. This is Vertu’s first model since the manufacturer split from its parent […]

FrontRunners: Quick Spin

The company that built a watch with the world’s largest tourbillon carriage (the Giga Tourbillon) recently released a model with what might be the fastest-rotating carriage. The $242,300 Franck Muller Thunderbolt Tourbillon (www.franckmuller.com) has a carriage that rotates once every 5 seconds; conventional tourbillons turn once a minute. The higher-speed spinning promises to more effectively […]

FrontRunners: New Classic

Christened Petrus II, the Benetti Classic Supreme 132 (www.benettiyachts.it) that debuted in the United States earlier this year is the first build of the newest model in the Italian boatbuilder’s Classic range of semicustom yachts. The 132-foot, four-deck vessel accommodates 10 guests in five staterooms, including the full-beam master suite. The suite features his and […]

FrontRunners: Hello, Dalí

Created as a tribute to Salvador Dalí, the Visconti Dance of Time I pen (www.visconti.it) displays several references to the surrealist master’s work. Most prominent is the barrel overlay depicting the melting clock from the pen’s namesake sculpture. The pen is priced at $3,950 and available in either green lacquer and vermeil or blue lacquer […]

FrontRunners: Batteries Included

Ferrari has entered the hybrid arena at full throttle. LaFerrari (www.ferrari.com), which was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March, is powered by a 6.3-liter, 789 hp V-12 engine and an electric motor that produces an additional 161 hp. That is a total of 950 hp for a car that is said to weigh […]

FrontRunners: Super Size

A Bugatti Type 46 that sold at auction last spring in Florida for just over $1 million will be back on the block May 25 in Italy. The 1930 “Petit Royale”—as the Type 46 is called, because it looks like a smaller version of the massive Type 41 Royale—will be among roughly 40 collector cars […]