Private Preview


10 New luxuries for the coming year.  Spirited special section: mastering the fine art of the cocktail.  Plus, 25 innovative essentials for the connoisseur.

From This Issue

Home Electronics: Hidden Treasures

The hospital paging system calls a doctor to your bedside. The dentist’s office music system anesthetizes your brain with Muzak while you await a root canal. The grade-school intercom beckons you to the principal’s office. For most of us, these dreary images are all that come to mind when we think of in-wall speakers. We […]

Moving On

When Kate Edelman Johnson was growing up, she did not need 3-D glasses to make movie stars spring to life. Gary Cooper, Kirk Douglas, and Merle Oberon were just a few of the screen idols who worked with her father, Louis Edelman, a prolific producer of films and such television shows as Make Room for […]

Travel: Temples of Bloom

When Jacqueline Kennedy visited Cambodia in 1967, international efforts to save the temples of Angkor promised to foster the country’s tourism industry. But only a few years after the former first lady’s trip, during which she stayed in King Norodom Sihanouk’s newly built, mid-century modern guest villa in Siem Reap, Cambodia spiraled into three decades […]

Private Preview 2005: Wynn Las Vegas

Steve Wynn’s neighbors on the north end of the Las Vegas Strip—the Stardust, the Sahara, the Riviera—should be thankful for the 150-foot-tall, man-made mountain that will hide his new Wynn Las Vegas from their view. Without it, the deficiencies of their establishments in comparison to Wynn’s new resort would be even more conspicuous. “[Wynn Las […]

Private Preview 2005: The Palm, Jumeirah

 It will be a luxury enclave worthy of Sinbad the Sailor, a magical archipelago that will rise from the Arabian Sea off the coast of Dubai. Where there was once nothing but ocean, soon there will be, according to the plans, palatial homes, lavish hotels, marinas, clubhouses, and an aquatic-themed resort.   Set to open […]

Private Preview 2005: Mandarin Oriental: Dhara Dhevi and Riviera Maya

With countless hotels and resorts claiming to reflect their surroundings and incorporate the indigenous cultures, sense of place is a catchphrase on the verge of becoming a cliché. Perhaps aware that the term is nearly as trite as boutique, Mandarin Oriental Group Chief Executive Edouard Ettedgui avoids employing it when discussing some of his company’s […]

Gulf Dream

A few miles off the coast of dubai, the launch from the mainland cuts its engines and bumps against the landing, allowing me to clamber onto the rocks and scan the surroundings. It is an unprepossessing setting, little more than a breakwater of rock and concrete running out to the sea. Yet in a way, disembarking […]

Gulf Dream: Desert Boom

Understated design is a practice employed by few real estate developers in Dubai.  It seems as though the objective of every project is to create the tallest, largest, or most unusual of its kind. The following are some of the most ambitious of these projects. Burj Dubai Upon its completion in 2007 or 2008, Burj […]

Journeys: Barefoot Essentials

“Those aren’t our pilots, are they?” murmurs a passenger waiting for his flight in the private lounge at the Maldives’ Hulule airport. His traveling companions join him at the observation window, where they view two young men—wearing shorts and no shoes—stowing the last of the luggage in the seaplane docked below. Those are indeed the […]

Wine: A Red Risorgimento

The terrace of Relais San Maurizio, where I am the guest of Michele Chiarlo and family, overlooks a mélange of straight lines, curves, solids, and vaporous outlines that rises and dips toward the distant town of Alba. At once ancient and modern, the 17th-century monastery-turned-hotel provides an ideal spot from which to contemplate the northern […]

Dining: A Gaucho Rides Again

Working through the Grand Baby Beef at La Cabaña requires attitude and endurance. Truly committed patrons of this Buenos Aires institution forgo side dishes, concentrating instead on the 4-inch-thick, 3.3-pound slab of steak and a bottle of Argentine wine. And in this city where men are men and dinner begins after 10 pm, finishing this […]

Smoke: In Pursuit of Perfectos

Every mature industry likes to evoke a golden age when its practitioners were at their best. Carmakers are shameless in their references to the 1950s. The music business yearns to recapture the 1960s. And the cigar industry has begun to hark back to a time when every man wore a hat to work and smoked […]

Collectibles: Duck, Duck, Goose

Elmer Crowell knew his talent for making wooden waterfowl decoys was extraordinary. The East Harwich, Mass., man, who died in 1954 at the age of 90, produced more than 2,000 bird sculptures in a variety of shapes, sizes, and species. Crowell’s prowess with a paintbrush enabled him to evoke the delicate pattern of a Canada […]

Antiques: A Century of Silver

Alastair Crawford holds a large silver platter in his hands and tilts it to show the subtle detail that marks the piece as a product of the Georg Jensen silversmith workshop. Direct light transforms lesser-quality platters into a uniform sheet of blinding white, but when the rays hit the Jensen platter, they reveal innumerable shimmering […]

Furnishings: Path Finder

Rosemary Hallgarten has taken many turns in her life, from making jewelry in her native England to building a successful advertising career in the United States to her current venture designing contemporary rugs handmade in Peru. So it is fitting that the artist with ties to three continents should call her latest collection of home […]

Private Preview 2005: Colgin 2002 IX Estate Syrah

A black hole. That, announced Joe Wender, is how Paul Roberts, sommelier at Napa’s the French Laundry, described Wender and his wife’s impending release, the Colgin 2002 IX Estate Syrah. During this recent conversation, Wender cradled Corton-Charlemagne, the couple’s shaggy Coton de Tulear, in his arms, grinning as he recounted Roberts’ reaction to his and […]

Giant’s Footprints

On June 7, 1976,  a Time magazine story announced to the world the shocking results of the now-famous Paris Tasting: Two California wines had, according to a panel of France’s most glorified oenophiles, bested their French counterparts in the head-on blind competition. As it turned out, the winning vintages had more than California in common. […]

Gin: The Sophisticate’s Spirit

As the martini-pounding Nick and Nora Charles in The Thin Man series of the 1930s, William Powell and Myrna Loy glamorized gin as the sophisticate’s spirit—a perfect blend of urban savoir faire and polish, with a dash of acerbic wit. The dry martini remains the gin cocktail par excellence, but the drink’s origin is still […]

Vodka: Sublime Elegance

The Cary Grant cocktail at New York’s “21” Club is the epitome of charm: four parts suave vodka, one part fino sherry, and a squeeze of lime. Vodka has a way of turning the simple into the sublimely elegant. Perhaps this is why the Russians and the Poles will forever argue over who invented vodka. […]

Aquavit & Schnapps: Cool and Collected

Alone in her Manhattan lair, Greta Garbo would enjoy her solitude with a shot or two of bone-dry aquavit. While it was the spirit of choice for the Stockholm-born recluse, aquavit is part of a social tradition at the Scandinavian table. When the host raises his glass, guests make eye contact with each other and […]

Rum: From Pirate Ship to Poolside

Ernest Hemingway, who seems to be immortalized everywhere he set foot, was well-acquainted with rum during his years in Cuba from 1940 to 1960. His favorite drink, Papa’s Special, was an unsweetened version of the blended daiquiri that was perfected in 1950s Havana by El Floridita barman Constantino Ribalaigua Vert. He simply added crushed ice […]

Tequila: The Spirit of Mexico

More so than nature or nurture, tequila may be responsible for Bing Crosby’s voice. Crosby and fellow warbler Phil Harris were so enamored with the Herradura tequila they discovered while traveling in Mexico in the 1950s that they created their own import company to bring it back to the States, ensuring a never-ending supply of […]

Liqueurs: Making Life A Little Sweeter

Pablo Picasso captured his enormous appetite for life on canvas. He was also a great lover of spirits, including liqueurs such as absinthe and anisette, both of which he enjoyed at cafés throughout southern France. Works of art in themselves, liqueurs are unique and unforgettable, like the master’s paintings. Liqueur, which is derived from the […]

Scotch: The Thoroughbred Spirit

The indelible image of Humphrey Bogart is of him hunkered over a scotch, as he was in Casablanca and Key Largo. Believing in the therapeutic qualities of scotch, his dying words were, “I should never have switched from scotch to martinis.” Kilted lairds generally prefer their drams neat, cut with a few drops of cool […]

American & Whiskey Blends: The Spirits of a Continent

“Never follow good whiskey with water, unless you’re out of good whiskey,” Will Rogers once quipped as he sauntered into the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel, his favorite hangout before Prohibition. No doubt he then ordered an American whiskey, straight, and you can bet it was a damn good one. With more than […]

Irish Whiskey: Blythe Spirits

Born in Dublin, James Joyce naturally gravitated toward hometown whiskey brand Jameson and immortalized its creator, John Jameson, in Finnegans Wake. Tim Finnegan, the tippling hod carrier of Irish folklore and the hero of Joyce’s novel, is resurrected when his corpse is splashed with Irish whiskey. Perhaps one of the astonished mourners should have offered […]

Wine Drinks: Under the Cafe Umbrella

Thanks to the creation of the wine cocktail, oenophiles are not ostracized from the world of mixology. Consider, for instance, the classic Bellini (three parts of Prosecco, an Italian sparkling wine, and one part of peach nectar) or a Fino Fizz (champagne splashed with lemon and a dry and light fino sherry). Both are perfect […]

Brandy: Refinement is Everything

Thanks to the creation of the wine cocktail, oenophiles are not ostracized from the world of mixology. Consider, for instance, the classic Bellini (three parts of Prosecco, an Italian sparkling wine, and one part of peach nectar) or a Fino Fizz (champagne splashed with lemon and a dry and light fino sherry). Both are perfect […]

Beauty & the Bar

Crystal Clear Topping this crystal decanter ($645) from Steuben is a handblown teardrop-shaped stopper with a teardrop-shaped air bubble at its core. The extra-wide base is a design derivation from ships’ decanters used in the early 1900s. Steuben also offers the Glimmer double old-fashioned glass ($90) and highball glass ($95). Pour and Deliver Vera […]

The Right Mix

I have been served by the ideal bartender, and she is Denise Nam. She is young, lovely, and holds court at Felix, the sleek Philippe Starck–designed aerie atop Hong Kong’s Peninsula hotel. 6 Before having a drink with my wife at Felix’s bar—for me, a Beefeater martini straight up with two olives minus the skewers, […]

Back Page: Mixed Messages

Concern for the fate of the martini in the hands of the unsophisticated masses is understandable, but bear in mind that the gin-and-vermouth classic has proven nothing if not resilient. A decade ago, a generation new to the cocktail circuit discovered the martini and could not leave well enough alone. At the behest of these […]

From The Editors: Foolish Predictions

The human predilection for prophecy appears to be irresistible. As the ancient Greeks crouched in the Sibyl’s cave at Cumae to hear her tell what wonders the Fates would weave, so modern pilgrims wend their way to the ancient citadel of Omaha to glean from its oracle’s orations arcane insights into the prospects for Coca-Cola […]

Golf: Liberty for a Select Few

A breeze is blowing off the water and against Bob Cupp’s back as he stands on the pile of dirt that will be Liberty National Golf Club’s 14th tee. Pointing to the stake marking the green’s location, Cupp, the course’s codesigner with Tom Kite, notes that the distance is only 147 yards, but that this will […]

Jewelry: Quest for the Best

Every year, high-end jewelers and designers anxiously await their chance to lay their hands on Nick Paspaley’s harvest of South Sea pearls, widely regarded as the world’s finest. Before they can do so, most must wait until the pearls are sorted and distributed through a network of dealers. However, David Yurman and his wife and […]

Watches: Racing Form

One of this year’s most anticipated new watches is not, strictly speaking, new. The sturdy Royal Oak Offshore series by Audemars Piguet, which debuted in 1993, has experienced a resurgence in popularity because of a recent string of exceptional limited editions. With this year’s entrant, dedicated to Formula One driver Juan Pablo Montoya, the company […]

Health & Grooming: To the Fore

As serious golfers seek any advice or techniques that will help reduce their handicaps, spas are responding with specialized therapies and services aimed at improving not only physical performance but your head game as well.   Aboard the exclusive floating community The World of ResidenSea, half of the residents are either avid golfers or interested […]

Wardrobe: Spinning Yarn

Christina Oxenberg knows how to hold an audience. The 41-year-old designer regales her listeners with colorful tales of growing up as the daughter of Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia (now Serbia) and 1940s-era fashion mogul Howard Oxenberg. She speaks of her numerous step- and half-siblings—some of whose names she cannot recall—and how strangely tourists behave when […]

Pens: Making Your Point

Montblanc’s flagship pen—the big, black Meisterstück 149 capped with the brand’s trademark white snowflake—bears an uncanny likeness to the sleek German cars that speed along the autobahn. The instrument is smooth but firmly sprung. The nib (the crucial point where pen meets paper) is made of 18-karat gold with a platinum bridge for stiffness, and […]

Appliances: Design Dynasty

When Michael Sieger took the creative helm of Sieger Design in 2003, he inherited a business that his father, Dieter, had nurtured for nearly 40 years. The elder Sieger—recently retired and now involved in other artistic pursuits—began his career in the mid-1960s as an architect and designer of luxury yacht interiors. He shifted to industrial […]

Time: Revival Movements

The adage that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure holds true even in the upper echelons of Swiss watchmaking. Once considered virtually worthless, vintage mechanical movements are playing starring roles in some of today’s most compelling timepieces. The latest watches that are powered by these mechanisms—produced decades ago by companies long defunct—stand in stark […]

Symposium: Skirting the Issue

It was time. With a drop or two of Stewart blood coursing angrily through my veins, and having made repeated visits to Scotland in search of the best in both golf and single malts, I was ready to be fitted for my bespoke kilt. Among the Scots, at least, the kilt is the man’s man […]

Motorcycles: Rocket Launcher

the triumph rocket iii may be the most powerful production motorcycle available, and perhaps no sound is more raucous than the throaty roar that emanates from the bike’s exhaust as it barrels down an open tarmac at escape velocity. But contrary to what these characteristics indicate, the Rocket is not a one-note, full-speed-ahead machine.   […]

Private Preview 2005: Pagani Zonda

For the last five years, American auto enthusiasts have been able only to watch with envy as their European counterparts snapped up the Pagani Zonda C12 and the more current and more powerful Zonda S 7.3, two of the world’s most exclusive exotics. The Italian racers have been available for purchase in Europe, but U.S. […]

The Mulliner Touch

During one surreal weekend on the Monterey Peninsula, it is not unusual to see a Blower Bentley idling beside a Lamborghini Diablo at a traffic light. These and other antiques and exotics arrive here to participate in the cavalcade of automotive events—including the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the Concorso Italiano, and the vintage races at […]

Wheels: A More Perfect Porsche

If the 2005 Porsche 911 has indeed been in development since the fall of 1998, then it could appear—at first glance, at least—as though the German automaker’s designers took plenty of draft and knockwurst breaks while working on the vehicle. To the casual observer, the new 911, which sports the 997 designation in Porsche’s lexicon, […]

Aircraft: Building on a Legacy

G5 executive had a problem. The Swiss charter firm, which flies clients aboard long-range business jets from one continent to another, needed a plane for shorter trips. Too often, G5 Executive had to ferry the empty big jets back from the Far East or North America to shuttle clients who had come to expect the […]

Wings & Water: Club in the Clouds

Ian Valentine completed the deal of a lifetime four years ago, when he sold his company, a firm that delivered interactive services to satellite  television set-top boxes, to Sky, the British broadcasting giant. As part of the deal, Valentine was hired by Sky, requiring him to fly commercial regularly between his home in Scotland and […]

Sport: Zen and the Art of Skiing

Impossible. That’s the word that once would have come to mind when confronted with such a challenge as the steep and narrow Lone Pine Chute, an uncharted run adjacent to Stone Crusher at Alta Ski Area in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains. Unable to see the white space between the trees and rocks from my perch at […]