The Travel Issue


Private escapes. Splendor in the Seychelles - the world's ultimate island getaways. Retreats for all seasons - beach, golf, mountain & vineyard vacation homes. Plus, new hotels & resorts in Miami, Paris, Puerto Rico, Beijing, Istanbul & more. Also, Beirut by Bentley, the Flying Spur Speed hits the high-flying city.

From This Issue

The Robb Reader: Gary Player

The World’s Most Traveled Athlete, one of golf great Gary Player’s nicknames, might be an understatement. “I think I’m the most traveled human being who ever lived, because I’ve been traveling around the world almost year-round for close to 60 years,” says Player, who turned 75 in November. Along the way, he has earned victories […]

Improving Paradise

“Don’t be alarmed if I make any sudden movements during the flight,” says my helicopter pilot as I take the seat next to him on a piercingly bright morning at Frégate Island Private. I nod hesitantly in response to this introduction, just before the tiny aircraft lurches upward, prompting a flurry in my stomach. “There […]

Shangri-La China World Summit Wing

The Shangri-La China World Summit Wing’s rooms and suites occupy the top 18 floors of Beijing’s new 81-story China World Tower, stretching some 1,000 feet above the city’s central business district. To ensure privacy within its lower-level public spaces, the high-tech hotel, which opened in August, offers such features as bulletproof windows in the ballrooms […]

Pera Palace Hotel

Pera Palace Hotel served for decades as the glamorous final stop for Orient Express passengers following their three-day journey from Paris to Istanbul. The train stopped serving Istanbul in 1977, and the hotel gradually lost its luster, eventually closing in 2006. But last September, the 116-year-old Pera Palace reopened after a $29 million restoration that […]

Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris

Le Royal Monceau in Paris has been a rendezvous for artists and writers since the hotel opened in 1928. Even its recent reinvention started as a kind of performance-art piece: In 2008, the property hosted an all-night “demolition party” where the few hundred guests were handed Champagne and sledgehammers and invited to wreck the Beaux […]

One&Only The Palm

Dubai—a city famous for resorts that are very tall, very large, and occasionally shaped like ships at sea—has a peaceful new refuge. Opened in the fall, One&Only The Palm is a low-rise, low-bling sanctuary of pools, gardens, and beaches, located a mile from Dubai on one of the Palm Jumeirah islands in the Arabian Gulf. […]

Taj Falaknuma Palace

During the late 1800s and early 1900s, Nizam Mehboob Ali Khan presided over the southern Indian city of Hyderabad from his hilltop Falaknuma Palace. The beauty of the marble building faded along with the Nizam dynasty after India gained independence from Great Britain in 1947. But last November, after a decade of restorative work, India’s […]

St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort

Opened in november, the St. Regis Bahia Beach sets a new high-water mark for Puerto Rican resorts. The 483-acre property, which is about 40 minutes by car from Old San Juan, encompasses two miles of private sandy beachfront; a golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr.; a 10,000-square-foot, marble-swathed spa; and 139 low-slung, plantation-style […]

Boon for Beirut

The morning rush hour in downtown Beirut is a study in chaos. One might expect such a situation in a 5,000-year-old city whose roads originally were built for chariots and sandals. But the antiquity of the urban grid is only part of the problem. To Lebanese drivers, it seems, traffic lights are at best guidelines—to […]

Big Sky’s the Limit

At Yellowstone Club—the roughly 13,600-acre private resort community in Big Sky, Mont., managed by the Discovery Land Company—the deer, elk, moose, and bears often outnumber the golfers and skiers with whom they share the grounds. “We always thought that the skiing at Deer Valley was great, because they limit the number of ticket sales to […]

Taste of Italy

In 1949, Count Antonio Bolza fled Soviet-occupied Hungary, leaving his estate behind. Decades later, the nobleman finally found an appropriate site for a new family compound: in Italy, where his ancestors originated. “We discovered this farming estate with 50 farmhouses on 3,000 acres on the Umbria-Tuscany border,” recalls Count Benedikt Bolza, Antonio’s son. After buying […]

Sea’s Candy

When Dene Oliver started coming to Los Cabos in the late 1970s, the area at the tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula was a blank canvas of sand and sea. “I had a sailboat and would sail down the coast along the Sea of Cortez,” recalls Oliver, a San Diego–based real estate developer in his […]

The Right Angles

Architect Guy Dreier has built more than 50 residences in and around Palm Springs, Calif., including Robb Report’s 2009 Ultimate Home. The Dreier-designed estate shown on these pages, which was completed in 2008, bears a striking resemblance to that winning property, but is far from cookie-cutter: The 9,300-square-foot retreat on 2.4 acres at the Bighorn […]

Journeys: Ancestral Routes

On a spring evening in 1951, my maternal grandmother, Margot Zündorf, a blonde, blue-eyed 21-year-old German immigrant, was shot to death outside her home in Atwater Village, Calif. The gunman was her 28-year-old husband and my grandfather, William Valenzuela. Moments later, William turned the weapon on himself. My grandparents met when William was a soldier […]

FrontRunners: Leica M9 Titanium

The limited-edition Leica M9 Titanium ( is a metallic marvel created in collaboration with famed Italian automobile designer Walter de’Silva, head of the design team for Volkswagen Group and its Audi, Bentley, and Lamborghini brands. De’Silva’s influence is most apparent in the camera’s faceplate, which is covered in the same type of leather used for […]

FrontRunners: Jonah’s Ark

Belgian design firm Puresang has unveiled a 328-foot yacht concept that features three levels of glass-surrounded living space rising above a hull shaped like the whale for which the vessel is named. The outlandish design of Beluga: Emperor of the Seven Seas (, which was introduced at September’s Monaco Yacht Show, calls for a 7,000-square-foot […]

FrontRunners: How Time Flies

Unlike other perpetual calendar watches, Ulysse Nardin models do not present a problem for long-distance travelers. The company’s GMT perpetual calendar is the only movement of its kind that can be set backward, sparing the wearer who crosses the international date line the ordeal of tweaking a tiny pusher through all the days of the […]

FrontRunners: Into the Fold

A cross between a Victorian-era penny-farthing and a Segway, the electric YikeBike ( can travel as far as six miles at speeds approaching 16 mph on a single charge. A rider sits upright on the 23-pound carbon-fiber frame and steers the bike using its side-mounted handlebars. The Yike­Bike folds up in under 15 seconds and […]

FrontRunners: Tailored to Go

In addition to impeccably tailored suits and stylish sportswear, highlights of the Canali Spring 2011 collection ( include travel bags made of a sturdy woven waterproof fabric and brown suede. Among the luggage items are a carry-on-size roller bag priced at about $1,600 and a briefcase that costs about $1,700.

FrontRunners: Trunk Show

Whether you have a fetish for footwear, a fondness for cigars, a weakness for whisky, or all three, T.T. Trunks ( can create a custom-made travel trunk to contain your indulgences. The Parisian company, which launched in 2009, covers its trunks in any of more than 700 available materials and fits them with compartments to […]

FrontRunners: Packing Light

The recently launched men’s collection by Bodhi ( includes designer Joseph Janus’ alternative to mundane and cumbersome travel bags. The expansive series of luggage is made of extremely lightweight, waterproof ballistic nylon. Priced from $300 to $748 and available in plaid prints or solid colors, the roomy weekend duffel bags and roller bags feature removable […]

FrontRunners: Blue Yonder

Guests of Blue Parallel Villas (, a new portfolio of Central and South American vacation rentals, can expect the same quality of service, insider access, and personal attention offered by the rental provider’s namesake travel outfitter, Blue Parallel. Ranging from a penthouse overlooking Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana beach to a lakefront estate in the Patagonia […]

FrontRunners: Seating Arrangements

A travel company specializing in private guided adventures throughout the world has a new program specifically for sports fans. The Kensington Tours Championship Series ( includes VIP packages to Wimbledon, the Masters, the Monaco Grand Prix, the Ken­tucky Derby, the Super Bowl, the Ryder Cup, and other prestigious sporting events. The company provides hard-to-get tickets […]

Robb Design Portfolio: King of the Road Trip

1930 Minerva AL Van Den Plas Cabriolet Belgian manufacturer Minerva, known as the builder of “the car of kings and queens” because its customer base included European monarchs, was the Continental equal of Rolls-Royce during its pre-Depression prime. In 1929, the company began producing the largest of its chassis, the 6,800-pound AL. Equipped with a […]

Robb Design Portfolio: Time Traveler

Form meets function in a vintage Cartier clock. At the turn of the last century, journeys were leisurely affairs for well-to-do Europeans and Americans. Any proper trip—whether by ocean liner or railway car—included first-class accommodations, trunk-loads of clothing, and such personalized accessories as this bedside rock-crystal travel clock, which Cartier’s artisans carved by hand in […]

Soho Beach House, Miami

London’s Soho House Group has brought its city-club concept to South Beach. Soho Beach House, Miami, a private members’ club and hotel, opened in October just north of South Beach in a discreet Art Deco landmark that formerly housed the Sovereign Hotel. The property, which also includes a new 16-story tower, features 50 hotel rooms […]