This issue’s “The Top 100 Luxury Resorts: A Sneak Preview” feature heralds the publication later this month of the premiere issue of Report Report Luxury Resorts. It also culminates a yearlong effort for the project’s director, Robb Report executive managing editor Bruce Wallin, who was assisted on the magazine by fellow Robb Report staff members Lori Bryan, Jessica Taylor, Jennifer Hall, Nancy Wong Bryan, Jackie Caradonio, Jennifer Bowen, Sheila Gibson Stoodley, and Mike Nolan. When pressed, Wallin admits to having a complaint, but not about juggling his dual duties with Robb Report and the new magazine. “The worst thing about this project,” he says, “was not getting to visit all these places myself.”
Because travelers now have so many top-destination lists from which to choose, Wallin was intent on making Luxury Resorts a unique publication, with a selection of properties that would appeal particularly to Robb Report readers. “The process of putting this together was much different from conducting the reader polls you see in various magazines,” he explains. “We spoke with close to 100 writers and editors, plus another 100 travel experts, to get a good feel for what makes a superior vacation.”
The findings from this research, says Wallin, corresponded with his own views on travel. “We found that when people talk about a great vacation, they don’t mention the look and feel of the bathroom tiles,” he says. “Instead, they talk about the setting and about the experience—and invariably that means service. The common thread for all of the properties in Luxury Resorts—and they range from private islands to ski chalets—is the experience.”
Exclusivity is the other hallmark of this collection of properties, which the writers describe from firsthand observations. “You will see some of these resorts in popular surveys, but we also included a number of resorts that most people don’t know about, and some of these places work hard to make sure people don’t know about them. They cater to a very small, select group.”
Now that the first issue is about to be published, Wallin says that Robb Report Luxury Resorts has turned out as he envisioned. “My goal was to produce a list that someone can pick up and use to find a resort anywhere in the world, and be confident that the resort will meet expectations,” he says. “I believe we have done that.”
David Lyon, a self-described reformed poet (a collection of his poems, The Sound of Horns, was published in 1984) who now writes about travel, food, art, and design, traveled to Macao recently to witness its ever-expanding casino scene. He describes what he discovered in “Raising the Stakes”, which is part of this month’s New Frontiers special section. “I learned blackjack and poker growing up,” says Lyon, “but I’m not a big gambler.” Resisting the gaming tables’ temptations left him more time to observe the city and its visitors. “People from Hong Kong travel the 40 miles to gamble in Macao because the Chinese fiscal system makes their money worth more there,” he says. “It’s great fun to see them come off the ferry and stare in wonder at the goods in the department stores—even though they were made in China.”
Macao will fascinate gamblers, but it also will intrigue epicureans such as Lyon. “It’s an interesting blend of Chinese and Portuguese,” he explains. “The Portuguese spice trail, which stretched from Africa to Goa and the Spice Islands, ended in Macao. The British in Hong Kong didn’t have this. That’s why the best dim sum in China is made in Macao, and why the Hong Kong people come here to eat as well as gamble.”
Corrections: Lazare Kaplan International noted an error in “Flame Thrower,” an item from the January issue’s Luxury Landmarks section claiming that in 1996 Hearts on Fire presented the first branded diamond. LKI points out that in 1985 it presented the Lazare Diamond, which was the first branded diamond. In February’s “Car of the Year 2006” feature, David Rosenberg’s employer was misidentified. Rosenberg is Citigroup’s chief economist for North America. In the March issue’s feature on Spain’s Ribera del Duero, “An Emerging Wine Region Ripens,” a photo caption misrepresented Dehesa La Granja and El Vinculo as Ribera wines. They are produced in Zamora and La Mancha, respectively. Also in March, the byline for the story “Contemporary’s Softer Side” should have included a credit for photographer Erhard Pfeiffer for his imagery of the Los Angeles home featured in the piece.