Top Winter Retreats


Sensational spa resorts in Bali, Fiji, Mexico, the Maldives, and more. Plus Fall Fashion, smart styles to suit the executive taste and Wonder Wheels, collectible customized classics. Also, introducing the Panamera, Porsche’s high-performance four-door.

From This Issue

FrontRunners: Ducati 21

Last year, Troy Bayliss rode a Ducati 1098 R to his third World Superbike Championship—and then retired. To commemorate the Australian racer and his illustrious career, Ducati has introduced the street-legal Ducati 1098 R Bayliss Limited Edition ( The bike will be rare—Ducati plans to build 500 and ship only 150 to North America—but it […]

FrontRunners: Ghost Story

The four-door Rolls-Royce Ghost (, unveiled in concept form at the International Geneva Motor Show in March, is short by company standards. The car, however, is only 17 inches shorter than Rolls-Royce’s 19-foot-long Phantom models, and it features a similar shape. The Ghost will also share paint, wood, and leather workshops with the Phantom series, […]

FrontRunners: Chat Room

With its Custom Line 124′ (—124-foot semicustom yachts expected to debut next spring—the Italian shipyard Ferretti aims to offer a sense of community and privacy. The vessels will be available in two configurations, which both feature a 540-square-foot lower-deck salon with an open floor plan that includes seating areas well suited for cultivating conservation. During […]

FrontRunners: Racing Leathers

Vintage racecars inspired the new Bamford & Sons Concours d’Elegance ( series, a line of accessories that includes weekenders ($1,294 to $14,645) and a $4,070 backgammon set made from calf leather rendered in black and Ferrari red. The British luxury-goods company also recently introduced its Wooton line, a more rugged-looking collection of bags and small […]

FrontRunners: Vision Quest

The recent demise of Pioneer’s Kuro plasma-TV line reduced the options for consumers of high-end flat-panel TVs. NuVision, a Scottsdale, Ariz., company that was founded four years ago, hopes to fill the void left by Kuro with Lucidium, a series of LCD TVs ranging from 22 inches to 65 inches. The new $12,000 65-inch NuVision […]

FrontRunners: Mercury Rising

Objects that appear to be chrome pebbles hang from an aluminum disk on Artemide’s new Mercury Cluster ceiling lamp (877.278.3933,, which was built for the Italian lighting firm by British industrial designer Ross Lovegrove. Lovegrove formed the objects from thermoplastic and hung them at varying heights; the lower-hanging pieces are affixed with halogen bulbs […]

FrontRunners: Dragon Tale

When selecting the Gurkha Black Dragon as Robb Report’s 2008 Best of the Best cigar, our judges called it a “move toward milder, better-balanced, more distinctive blends.” Responding to feedback from customers who liked the cigar but wanted something a bit stronger, the company created the Gurkha Black Dragon Fury ( This heady blend of […]

FrontRunners: Storied Houses

Few communities have accumulated as layered a history in just over 100 years as has Beverly Hills, Calif. Once a bean farm, the city was established in 1906, but its transformation into a famous zip code began with the building of the Beverly Hills Hotel, which opened in 1912. The opulent edifice drew the financial […]

Robb Design Portfolio: The Body Beautiful

Following World War II, the coachbuilt cars favored by the most discriminating customers of the grand marques became increasingly rare in a world bent on mass production. As the 1960s approached, only a handful of one-offs actually made the transition from stylist’s maquette to sheet-metal sculpture. One such pinnacle of panache is coachbuilder H.J. Mulliner’s […]

Spirits: Green with Age

As it illuminates a snifter of Appleton Estate 30-Year-Old Jamaica Rum, the sunlight of the broad Jamaican sky reveals the faintest tinge of jade at the golden-hued spirit’s edges. “We call this the ‘green ring of aging,’” says Joy Spence, Appleton’s master blender. “It is an indication that the rum has been maturing for a […]

Dining: Sublime Simplicity

“Simplicity is luxury,” says hotelier Phil Sherburne in describing his vision for Bardessono, a resort and spa in the Napa Valley town of Yountville. This summation is particularly appropriate to the 62-room property not because of its minimalist architecture or Zen-like landscaping, but because of the idea embodied by the serene, flowing complex: that beauty […]

Golf: Lough Track

A decade after the end of the Troubles that divided Northern Ireland in two, the region’s stability has sparked a boom in tourism and tourist developments. Among the many signs of this prosperity and optimism is Lough Erne, the first true golf resort in Northern Ireland. The resort opened in late 2007 on a peninsula between […]

Home: Kitchen Quartet

When Piero Lissoni develops a new kitchen, he often envisions a refined—if uncommon—atmosphere. “I never consider that the person standing there, cooking in front of the stove, might be wearing a pair of ugly shorts,” says Lissoni, who serves as art director for the Italian kitchen-and-bath company Boffi. “I design kitchens for a more gentlemanly […]

Wardrobe: Palace Garb

Since he established his menswear business nearly four decades ago, Stefano Ricci has dreamed of opening a signature shop in Florence, Italy, his hometown and the birthplace of his brand; but the indomitable designer, known for his swanky suits, colorful silk-print ties, and exotic-skin accessories, was unable to find a suitable location to showcase his […]

Art: Pillar of Society

On a nondescript industrial street in Vancouver is the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art. The art gallery and cultural center, which opened last year, is dedicated to the man who in the latter half of the 20th century strove to bring the works of the First Nations tribes—most notably their totem poles—to the […]

Watches: Bountiful Harvest

When making watches, Van Cleef & Arpels plays to its strengths. Instead of trying to showcase its technical expertise—as other jewelry houses have done, often with difficulty and sometimes with dubious results—the French jeweler bases its watch designs on aesthetics, the company’s primary focus throughout its 103-year history. Van Cleef & Arpels’ latest collection for […]

Autos: Fantastic Four-Door

Admittedly, the Panamera’s looks are an acquired taste. But for a moment, banish from your thoughts the knowledge that, from the wrong angle, Porsche’s debut sedan vaguely resembles the aesthetically unfortunate 928 of the 1980s. Forget the troubling headlines emerging from Stuttgart about the company’s financial woes and its impending shotgun marriage to Volkswagen. For […]

Boating: Norman’s Conquest

Lord Norman Foster, the creative force behind Manhattan’s Hearst Tower, London’s City Hall, and a host of other highly acclaimed projects, is making a big splash with his most recent foray into yacht design. Foster’s visually arresting Ocean Emerald—the first of four identical megayachts being built at Italy’s Rodriquez Cantieri Navali shipyard—was delivered earlier this […]

Wine: Vintage House

When Frederick Beringer arrived in St. Helena, Calif., in 1883, he not only replaced his brother Jacob as the driving force behind their recently established winery, but he promptly supplanted his sibling’s house with a majestic one of his own. Jacob’s domicile—a spacious but modest farmhouse with a large veranda, built in 1852—was lifted from […]

Health & Grooming: Skin Science

Before he begins working over my shoulders, neck, and scalp with a pair of handheld vibrating gadgets that look like small steam irons, William Gornik—owner of the two Gornik & Drucker barbershops in Beverly Hills—tells me the Scientific Rest Facial will be no ordinary grooming experience. That claim quickly proves to be true: No haircut […]

Aviation: Space Travel

The problem with some business-jet interiors is that they feel like mailing tubes for humans: cramped, limiting spaces designed for nothing beyond the efficient transport of travelers from one location to another. With its new Lineage 1000, Embraer takes a different approach to interior design. The company’s engineers have transformed the interior of an Embraer […]

Executive Updates

Especially in these changing times, the well-heeled businessman turns to classic, exceptionally tailored suits for their incomparable construction, reassuring comfort, and enduring style. Yet those who appreciate elegance need not achieve it at the expense of their competitive edge. Here we showcase a selection of the season’s finest examples from top designers for a look […]

Solid Footing

The impeccably crafted shoes featured on these pages combine lean, sculpted silhouettes; captivating finishes; and subtle yet defining accents, which range from leather-wrapped shoelace tips to perforated details in a variety of striking shapes.

Winter Wellness

The end of summer marks the beginning of the winter-travel planning season, which, this year perhaps more than ever, calls for a relaxing and rejuvenating escape. To assist with your renewal, the editors of Robb Report and Robb Report Luxury Resorts have assembled their favorite retreats for soothing the mind, body, and soul. Whether your […]

Lake Austin Spa Resort, Austin, Texas

First as a fishing camp in the 1940s, and later as a rodeo ranch in the 1970s, the stretch of Texas Hill Country that is now the Lake Austin Spa Resort was a haunt for hardened locals for decades. But under the curatorial eye of designer and co-owner Mike McAdams, who acquired the property in […]

Shambala Game Reserve, South Africa

When Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress was exiled at the height of South Africa’s decades-long apartheid struggle, the leader accepted an offer of shelter from insurance tycoon Douw Steyn—long before it was acceptable for a white person to make such an offer. Decades later, Mandela still lives part-time at Steyn’s estate in the Waterberg Mountains, […]

Winter Wellness: Cleaning House

Since acquiring the property that would become Como Shambhala Estate, Como Hotels and Resorts has changed the name (from Begawan Giri), added a few private villas, and built a new spa, the Ojas, which includes nine treatment rooms, a yoga pavilion, a swimming pool, and a water-therapy pool. However, while transforming this 23-acre Balinese retreat […]

Como Shambhala Estate, Bali, Indonesia

Since acquiring the property that would become Como Shambhala Estate, Como Hotels and Resorts has changed the name (from Begawan Giri), added a few private villas, and built a new spa, the Ojas, which includes nine treatment rooms, a yoga pavilion, a swimming pool, and a water-therapy pool. However, while transforming this 23-acre Balinese retreat […]

Las Ventanas al Paraíso, Baja, California

Swine flu, drug wars, and a down economy have discouraged many would-be visitors to Mexico—especially those in search of a wellness experience. But few settings could be more therapeutic than the courtyard relaxation area at Las Ventanas al Paraíso’s spa, where the resonance of crystal bowls rises above the sound of nearby surf. The courtyard […]

Capella Telluride, Telluride, Colorado

Capella Telluride, which opened in February as Capella Hotels and Resorts’ first property in the United States, does things a little differently—as you discover shortly after checking in. The reception desk sits in an attractive, light-filled lobby with stone floors, high beamed ceilings, and a tiered glass-plate chandelier that hovers above the fireplace. Like most […]

The Lodge at Verbier, Verbier, Switzerland

For tropical vacations, Sir Richard Branson escapes to his private Necker Island in the Caribbean. But when he hears the call of the mountains, the founder of the Virgin conglomerate heads to Verbier, Switzerland. Broad and accessible off-piste terrain, a sociable community of English-speaking expats, and a central European location have made this Alpine resort […]

Laucala Island, Fiji

At Fiji’s Laucala Island resort, the rest of the world can seem, well, unnecessary. After all, you have just about everything you need to lead the good life: shelter (in the form of 25 ocean-view villas), sustenance (from one of five restaurants, which use produce grown on the island), good company (resort managers Thomas and […]

Leisure: Blanc Check

It is a drizzly April morning at Château Margaux, one of the four premiers crus of Médoc, an enclave of largely Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot vineyards that carves a crescent northwest of Bordeaux city along the swales of the south bank of the Gironde River. The elegant, tree-lined estate sits on the edge of the […]

Wheels: Wonder Wheels

The city of South San Francisco is an industrial town that lies prostrate between its famous urban neighbor to the north and the tree-studded Santa Cruz Mountains to the south. This mostly unremarkable burg is home to countless strip malls, auto-parts stores, and, refreshingly, a See’s Candies factory. Yet amid all of this mundanity lives […]