Exotic New Frontiers


The next great destinations for golfing, gamling and more. The runway model spyker's C8 Laviolette. Plus the Porsche Cayenne turbo S takes to the dunes of Dubai.

From This Issue

Feature: A Matter of Scale

Eric Johnston, head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce during Dwight Eisenhower’s presidency, once warned American businesses about the dangers of excessive growth. “The dinosaur’s eloquent lesson,” he said, “is that if some bigness is good, an overabundance of bigness is not necessarily better.” A Westchester County, N.Y., couple might well have had that observation […]

Home Electronics: Finders Keepers

  Seasoned photographers have savored the recent proliferation of digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras, but in the hands of casual shooters, these advanced instruments can cause consternation. More complicated than a typical digital camera, they also lack some of the conveniences that helped make digital cameras so popular. And while the exhaustive selection of lenses […]

Furnishings: Family Practice

While preparing in 1999 to write a book about his family, Jean-Claude de Merry was doing research when his own life’s plot took an unexpected twist. “I was interviewing my great-uncle, the last surviving of four brothers who were involved in the family business,” says the 60-year-old de Merry, who was born in Alès, France, […]

Appliances: Making Rooms

The sixth floor of Midtown Manhattan’s Architects & Designers (A&D) Building was still under construction when visited in late February, but by the end of May, the expanses of freshly poured concrete will be covered with model bedrooms, dining rooms, kitchens, closets, and other living spaces from Poliform USA. The importer and distributor of Italian […]

Home Entertainment: Harmonious Collaboration

Few companies have weathered the changes in the consumer electronics industry as well as British manufacturer Meridian Audio. While a number of other high-end audio brands have drifted into oblivion, Meridian continues to introduce cutting-edge products and, by collaborating recently with high-end video pioneer Faroudja Laboratories, has ventured into complementary categories to become one of […]

Contributors: Sure Bets for Travelers

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 […]

From The Editors: The Shores Of Tripoli

At a dinner celebrating his squadron’s recent victories, the American commander raised his glass and offered a toast: “Our country! In her intercourse with foreign nations may she always be in the right; but [I drink to] our country, right or wrong!” When considering the triumphs of naval officer Stephen Decatur, including the one in […]

FrontRunners: Refining Lanai

Now that four seasons completed a $50 million renovation of its Manele Bay resort (808.565.2000, http://www.fourseasons.com) on the Hawaiian island of Lanai, the hotel chain has begun extensive work on Manele’s sister property, the Lodge at Koele (800.321.4666). Though both locations have championship golf courses, the similarity ends there. Manele Bay overlooks the Hulopoe Bay beach […]

Travel: Eight Years On Seven Mile

When Canadian developer Michael Ryan acquired the old Holiday Inn on Seven Mile Beach in 1997, along with an adjoining parcel that gave him 144 acres spanning the width of the island, he felt he had the ideal spot on Grand Cayman for a new Ritz-Carlton—one that would offer a residence program, which was a […]

New Frontiers: Raising the Stakes

  Three chinese men, each burly, poker-faced, and dressed in black, shuffle to one side of the bullet elevator as Steve Kok and I pass through the door. As we ascend to the 21 Club, the VIP rooms on the 21st floor of the Casino Lisboa in downtown Macao, Kok nods at the stacks of […]

New Frontier: Raising the Stakes: Marsh Madness

The new Sands Macao may be the world’s most profitable casino, but the downtown operation is only an ante in the high-stakes Chinese gaming market for the Las Vegas Sands Corp. The company’s CEO, Sheldon Adelson, is well into his plan to replicate the heart of the Las Vegas Strip on the mud bars and […]

New Frontiers: Charting New Courses

I had just settled onto a red leather couch in the Royal Canadian Pacific’s Mount Stephen lounge car when I had a change of heart. Although I was enjoying the vodka martini served to me not a minute before, I decided to replace it with a libation more appropriate for this section of the lounge, […]

New Frontiers: Libya: Shifting Sands

Antiquities expert Yousef al-Khattali recently made an archaeological discovery at Villa Silin, about 55 miles from downtown Tripoli. The late-first-century Roman villa overlooks the Mediterranean from a sandy ridge just west of Leptis Magna, one of Libya’s five UNESCO World Heritage sites and among the best preserved cities of the ancient world.   In 1974, […]

Back Page: Training Days

Even when it takes place aboard restored vintage passenger cars, luxury train travel is not what it used to be—and for that, passengers can be grateful. A truly authentic first-class train trip likely would involve waiting in line to use the bathroom or to take a shower.   The first of the modern era’s opulent […]

Robb Design Portfolio: Fork Art

It was crafted in 1860, at the beginning of a decades-long era when Americans employed forks, knives, spoons, and other elaborately designed tableware to flaunt their wealth and sophistication. The server and other pieces pictured here will be among the items exhibited in Feeding Desire: Design and the Tools of the Table, 1500–2005, which opens […]

FrontRunners: Cellar’s Market

As cities grow increasingly vertical, cellar space is becoming scarce—a bothersome trend for urban-dwelling wine collectors. Now, in a 19th-century warehouse on Manhattan’s West Side, WineCare Storage (212.594.9590, http://www.winecare .com) offers a solution.   WineCare’s automated storage system keeps track of every bottle in the company’s secure, humidity-controlled bunker, which is kept at a constant […]

FrontRunners: Gilt-y Pleasures

Molecular gastronomy arrived on an opulent American stage in December when Gilt (212.891.8100, http://www.giltnewyork.com) opened in the Villard Mansion at the New York Palace hotel—the same space that hosted Sirio Maccioni’s Le Cirque 2000. Executive chef Paul Liebrandt is just 29 years old, but his résumé includes stints with Pierre Gagnaire at his Michelin three-star […]

FrontRunners: Select Smoke

  FONSECA SUN GROWN CEDAR NO. 4Like filet mignon sprinkled with freshly cracked peppercorns, Fonseca’s Sun Grown Cedar delivers a refined yet sprightly flavor. As the cigar’s name implies, the Connecticut maduro wrapper is grown in full sunlight instead of under a cheesecloth shade, producing a richer taste and aroma. The commanding wrapper perfectly seasons […]

Front Runners: Harbor Master

At a time considered the apogee of competitive and leisure yachting—the early 20th century—and in a mecca of American boating—Marblehead, Mass.—Willard B. Jackson would take his unusual-looking motor launch out to photograph every significant boat he encountered, from the steam and sailing vessels that populated the yacht clubs to his neighbors’ tiny dories. Jackson’s tricked-out […]

FrontRunners: From The Robb Cellar

CAMUS COGNAC PIONNEAU 1969 The year 1969 was no common year. In the span of 12 months, Richard Nixon succeeded Lyndon Johnson as president of the United States; Yasser Arafat became head of the PLO; the Woodstock Festival took place; Apollo 11 successfully completed the first manned moon landing; and hundreds of thousands of Americans […]

Smoke: Infusion Invasion

The mere mention of flavored cigars usually elicits sneers from serious smokers. And for good reason: Most are machine made with gutter-grade tobacco and soaked or slathered with sugary substances. In the past few years, though, some flavored cigars have achieved a more dignified status. The latest entries are crafted by hand at rolling benches […]

Spirits: Spirit Of The Wild West

San Francisco’s Barbary coast proffered a devil’s grab bag of dubious hard spirits during its heyday, which spanned the period between the gold rush and the earthquake of 1906, but then, the Coast’s habitués—murderers, prostitutes, muggers, and thieves, by and large—were not especially fastidious about the liquids they consumed. One character, who went by the […]

Dining: Many Happy Returns

To those foodies who ponder such matters, it seemed inconceivable that Philadelphia restaurant mogul Stephen Starr could lure Masaharu Morimoto from Nobu, Manhattan’s reigning Japanese fusion establishment, to the City of Brotherly Love, a less prestigious stage for a chef. But Starr did so in 2001 by promising Morimoto his own place. “At Nobu [owned […]

Wine: Drinkable Feasts

My first encounter with Merry Edwards’ wines took place one evening at Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen restaurant, located in Sonoma County’s Hotel Healdsburg, where I agonized greedily over the choice between Liberty duck and rack of Sonoma lamb. In the hope of breaking this gustatory deadlock, I asked my host, who at that moment […]

Art: About Faces

While it may be true that teenage girls are prone to overdramatizing their lives, England’s Princess Elizabeth had good reason to fret during her teen years. In 1547, at age 13, Elizabeth became an orphan and third in line to the throne with the death of her father, King Henry VIII, who 11 years earlier […]

Collectibles: A Bid for Greatness

At some point after his retirement from baseball, Joe DiMaggio made it a stipulation that he always be introduced at public appearances as the “greatest living ballplayer.” Fans of his Boston Red Sox adversary, Ted Williams, might have disputed the designation. The rivalry between the two legends came to a head in 1947, when the […]

Antiques: Mixed Metal, Pure Pleasure

“The blacker the better,” Eric Streiner says as he lifts a heavily tarnished Tiffany & Co. jug from a table in the living room of his Manhattan apartment. “See the detail?” he asks, pointing to raised depictions of sea grasses, butterflies, dragonflies, and trout that ornament the jug. Unlike the body of the piece, which […]

Sport: Back to the Beach

Tom Wegener’s preference for longboards—a type of surfboard that measures at least 9 feet and can reach 16 feet—ultimately stems from his impatience. “Even from a young age, I couldn’t wait for the surf to get good. I wanted to surf right away,” says the 41-year-old champion surfer, star of the 1997 surfing film Siestas […]

Leisure: Big Apple Greens

“Let’s say you’re on Wall Street and you have a helicopter,” says Eric Bergstol, pausing for a moment to let this notion sink in. “What are you going to do with it?” The question had not occurred to his visitor, but doubtless this could be a dilemma for anyone who would rather concern himself with […]

Jewelry: Vintage Vanguard

Jewelry designer Renee Lewis offers a simple explanation for why she appoints her elaborate designs with only antique diamonds, most of which were cut prior to the invention of the light bulb. “I abhor new diamonds,” she declares. While her insistence on working with vintage stones exclusively can pose challenges because of their limited availability, […]

FrontRunners: Sea to Shining Seas

Chhaya Kapadia, founder of Maya Jewels (212.473.2291, http://www.mayajewels.com), may classify her company’s designs as “contemporary Indian jewelry,” but her new Seven Seas collection spans the waters of the world. Kapadia, who left a career as a banking executive to launch Maya, utilizes seed, keshi, baroque, Tahitian, and South Seas pearls, as well as shells, amber, […]

Wardrobe: Cracking Skulls

When in 1759 Col. John Hale, leader of the British cavalry’s newly formed Light Dragoons, conceived the regiment’s death-or-glory insignia, he did so to honor his former commander, Gen. James Wolfe. Hale wanted to convey the message that those who served in the brigade should emulate the heroism of Wolfe, who recently had been killed […]

Watches: Jacob & Co.’s Ladder

Claude Sanz wants to talk about watches and watchmaking, which, if it were not 2 am, and the conversation were not taking place in Velvet, one of Geneva’s many after-hours nightclubs, would be expected. After all, he is the proprietor of Bunter SA, one of the Swiss watch industry’s best behind-the-scenes specialty houses. Ignoring the […]

Autos: Spotlight: Sport Light

“What brings people to Mallorca this time of year?” I asked the concierge at Son Julia (www.sonjulia.com), a restored and resplendent 24-room mansion-cum-grand hotel that had opened barely two weeks before my arrival on this Spanish-governed island in the western Mediterranean.   “We have some of the best bitches in the world,” he said matter-of-factly, […]

Feature: Earning Its Props

The Spyker C8 Laviolette is not a car for those who prefer to maintain a low profile: It leaves you no choice but to make a grand entrance, regardless of whether you are arriving at or departing from your destination. Squeeze gently on the car’s key fob button, and the forward-hinged driver-side door will scissor […]

Feature: On the Dunes of Dubai

“On the gas! On the gas! On the gas!” my guide repeated as I shot up the side of a sand dune in a Porsche Cayenne Turbo S. I had left the highway only a few minutes earlier and was already sweating. Between the heat of the Dubai desert and the extraordinary requests I was […]

Wheels: Beating the Rap

Jaguar’s 2007 XK8, the latest in a decades-long line of ever-lithe athletes, has been under indictment since it was presented in its concept-car phase last spring. It had the same old oval grille from the 1960s, the same old power bulge in the hood, and the same old lines from last year, claimed the early […]

FrontRunners: Fractional Feadship

Suddenly, a feadship yacht is within easier reach. The Dutch boatbuilder, which typically parts with its vessels for $20 million or more, now has joined with Monocle Fractional Yachts (954.563.5808, http://www.monocleyachts.com) to offer three boats on a fractional ownership basis. For a portion of the cost of the yacht, one can gain part ownership of a […]

Aircraft: Prepared For Takeoff

The demise of concorde has set off a competition among both established and fledgling airlines attempting to provide travelers to London with an experience as pleasing as the one associated with the supersonic aircraft. Stalwarts such as British Airways have polished their upper-class offerings, but a new carrier, Eos Airlines, a New York company that […]

Boating: Steadying Influence

As long as sailors have suffered from seasickness, they have sought remedies for the maritime malady. British naval hero Horatio Nelson, a chronic sufferer, used to chew gingerroot, an antidote that, as the French and Spanish navies that encountered him at Cape Trafalgar would learn, apparently worked quite well for the admiral. Perhaps because he […]