Ultimate Homes

Overview

A magnificent manor, a haute hideaway in the Bahamas, and 10 top design treasures. Plus, extreme explorer in the Caribbean and Mediterranean, Feadship launches its choicest charter yacht yet. Grand Openings: new hotels in Arizona, Antigua, Deer Valley, and Hong Kong. Also, top-down test-drive: Maserati's new GranTurismo Convertible.

From This Issue

Sport: Happy Trails

In February, James Manley, owner of the Ranch at Rock Creek in Montana, spent a relaxing vacation at the 40-suite Amanyara beach resort in Turks and Caicos. The 56-year-old Connecticut businessman enjoyed his stay, but it was not an experience he cared to replicate back on the ranch. “No one talked to each other there,” […]

Aviation: The Fun and the Fury

LoPresti’s single-prop flier, the Fury, is no shaky aerobatic bird, nor is it restricted in range or speed. Built with the nerves of a stunt plane and the brawn of a military fighter, this design is a true pilot’s aircraft. Immediate and precise response from perfectly harmonized controls makes maneuvering the Fury effortless—even when it […]

Autos: Out of a Box

The Acura design studio in Southern California remains shrouded in mystery. Its doors were open for only a few short hours during an unveiling ceremony in May 2007, and the facility has been on lockdown ever since. “My family is not even allowed in to visit me at work,” says Damon Schell, Acura’s senior exterior […]

Jewelry: Stony Expressions

Tamsen Ann Ziff’s private jewelry salon occupies an entire floor of her Fifth Avenue duplex apartment, whose windows frame sprawling views of Central Park and the Guggenheim Museum. Here, arranged among pre-Columbian objects and eclectic works of art, vitrines showcase the designer’s daring and distinctive creations, which she carefully fashions from rare and unusual gems, […]

Spirits: Master of the House

Grant’s newly appointed master blender, Brian Kinsman, has some sizable shoes to fill. When he stepped into that position last December—taking up the mantle of the retired 35-year veteran David Stewart, a legendary blender and Scotland’s longest-serving master distiller—he became only the sixth individual in the history of the 112-year-old Scotch whisky house to receive […]

Vacation Homes: Full Steam Ahead

Chad Fleischer knows something about ski towns. The longtime U.S. Ski Team racer and two-time Olympian grew up in Vail, and he visited mountain villages around the globe before settling in Steamboat Springs, Colo. “I wanted my kids to grow up in Steamboat, because it’s such a great community,” he says. Fleischer apparently is not […]

Health: Gene Genie

On June 26, 2000, then-President Bill Clinton stood in the East Room of the White House—where Thomas Jefferson and Meriwether Lewis had once examined the first map of the American frontier—and announced that “a map of even greater significance” had been completed: the first survey of the human genome. “Without a doubt, this is the […]

Milestone from Modena

  The company that the five Maserati brothers founded in Bologna, Italy, was characterized in its early decades by racing machines. The heady successes of Maserati vehicles in competitions from Indianapolis to the Targa Florio earned the marque a reputation and, later, informed the personality of its road cars. Although World War II brought a […]

French Twist

Intimate, warm, subtle, and functional are not words typically used to describe large-scale homes. However, this 40,000-square-foot residence, located on a 2.5-acre lot in Beverly Hills, avoids the rigid formality often associated with mammoth dimensions, offering instead human proportions and a restrained sense of luxury. The design team charged with accomplishing this feat consisted of […]

Bahamian Rhapsody

After dining at the Bangkok home of James H.W. Thompson in 1959, British writer Somerset Maugham sent a thank-you note to the American silk entrepreneur. “You have not only beautiful things,” he wrote to Thompson, “but what is rare you have arranged them with faultless taste.” Thompson’s taste—as well as the texture of his former […]

Home Makers

Flights of Fancy Exotic and eye-catching, the new Nest collection from Schumacher transforms walls into wilderness. Each of the 24 patterns in the line of wall coverings is composed of what the Manhattan-based textile company calls “humanely gathered” feathers. Designs include Wellesley, which resembles a parquet floor, and Clearwater, which is reminiscent of a flowing […]

From the Editors: House of Cards

Ultimate homes are more than habitations; they are personal theaters conceived to evoke a mood, make a statement. This is particularly true of the world’s most extravagant residences, its palaces, whose majestic interiors have been designed to serve as backdrops to every imaginable form of political drama—as Dowager Empress Tzu Hsi was doubtless aware when, […]

The Robb Reader: Karl-Friedrich Scheufele

Karl-Friedrich Scheufele’s reserved yet genial character stands in stark contrast to many of the flamboyant women’s watches and pieces of jewelry that have become Chopard’s hallmarks. It is therefore not surprising that, while his sister Caroline has overseen the creation of the company’s more glamorous designs, Karl-Friedrich has quietly transformed the company’s men’s-watchmaking operation into […]

Charter Choice: Trident True

Guests who charter Feadship’s Trident—the 800th yacht to launch from the Danish builder’s Royal Van Lent shipyard—will likely want to spend more time on the boat than away from it. And yet the 214-foot yacht, which Feadship delivered last August, offers any number of incentives to leave. Trident comes equipped with an armada of small […]

Style: Stitch in Time

In 1910, decades before he first put his signature on a garment, Italian cloth maker Ermenegildo Zegna established his company with the introduction of a high-quality wool fabric that weighed only 500 grams per square meter—pretty good by early-20th-century suitmaking standards. More than half a century later, his sons, Aldo and Angelo, put their own […]

Leisure: A Secret for the Centuries

Alchemy is astir in the village of Fécamp. Puffs of steam curl across the gravel courtyard of the town’s Palais Bénédictine, indicating that today is one of the roughly 60 days each year that the palace—a late-19th-century fantasy of Neo-Gothic and Art Nouveau architecture on France’s Normandy coast—operates its stills. René Ras, a distiller at […]

Host’s Guide Summer 2010: Barware

Although the success of a good cocktail can be measured by the carefully blended contents of a shaker, presenting the perfect drink requires a bit more attention to detail. Just as a colorful citrus garnish can elevate flavor, a handpicked crystal goblet or etched highball glass can take a drink from merely fine to fantastic. ¶ […]

Host’s Guide Summer 2010: Port

With an exceptional aroma, an intense flavor, and a deep, almost purple-black color, vintage ports are the most coveted, costly, and collectable of all the fortified wines. Subsequent to being certified by the Port Wine Institute, a vintage port is bottled and aged for two years, and then must be released within the third year, […]

Host’s Guide Summer 2010: Backpage

When Irish explorer Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton set out for the South Pole in 1907 on the Nimrod Expedition (the trip’s moniker owing to the name of his ship, and neither his personality nor his capability), he and his team brought along several cases of liquor for the trek. Two years later and fewer than […]

Spring 2010 Host’s Guide: Mixology

Fixes & Sours Daiquiris & Margaritas Highballs & Coolers Juleps, Smashes & Caipirinhas Crustas Tikis & Swizzles Punches Collinses Traditional Cocktails Cobblers Although bartenders have been rediscovering the alluring, balanced flavor of pre–Prohibition era cocktails for nearly two decades, the last few years have ushered in a golden age of mixology. Seasonal produce, gourmet items, […]

Fixes & Sours

If a drinker’s only experience with the sour or its close cousin, the fix, were a cocktail made with sweet-and-sour mix instead of the traditional lemon and sugar, it would be easy to understand why said drinker would avoid this classic. Instead of the bright, zesty flavor that the well-heeled set might have enjoyed in […]

Daiquris & Margaritas

Although the daiquiri and the margarita share lime as a main ingredient, their histories are extremely different. The daiquiri originated around 1898 in Cuba, taking its name from a city in the Oriente province. American engineer Jennings Cox and a Cuban engineer named Pagliuchi are credited with creating the combination of lime, rum, and sugar, […]

Highballs & Coolers

Among the classics, the highball and the cooler are the least complicated beverages to make and master. A highball is defined as a base spirit with a mixer, usually carbonated, whose invention is generally attributed to Patrick Gavin Duffy, a Manhattan bartender who worked at the Ashland House in the 1890s. The name highball is […]

Juleps, Smashes & Caipirinhas

No topic of conversation can turn the mood in a Southern cocktail lounge more quickly than how to make a proper julep, which combines fresh mint, bourbon, and sugar. This staple of the Kentucky Derby requires attention to every last detail, including the signature silver cup in which it is served. Though the first mention […]

Crustas

Named for the sugar that rims the glass, the crusta was invented by bartender Joseph Santini, who worked at the New Orleans City Exchange bar around 1850. His brandy crusta takes the classic cocktail definition—spirits, sugar, water, and bitters—and adds lemon juice and an elaborate lemon peel garnish, which many historians, including famed 19th-century mixologist […]

Tikis & Swizzles

The father of tiki culture is indisputable: Don the Beachcomber, who served as a bootlegger during Prohibition and opened his famed Polynesian-themed restaurant off Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles in 1937. He is credited with inventing a number of boozy rum-based drinks, including the zombie, navy grog, and Tahitian rum punch. When the tropical-themed restaurant […]

Collinses

The Collins is another classic with a somewhat confusing past. The original cocktail was named for its creator, John Collins, who was a bartender in a London hotel in the early 1800s. His recipe, which combines dry gin, lemon juice, sugar, and club soda, is identical to a fizz, except that it is served in […]

Traditional Cocktails

When it comes to traditional recipes—those drinks that have been in cocktail books since bartender Jerry Thomas published his Bar-Tender’s Guide in 1862—mixologists have been loath to tamper too much with perfection. And now that formerly obscure ingredients like absinthe, which was illegal in the United States for nearly a century, and rye whiskey are […]

Cobblers

In addition to making generous use of the newly invented drinking straw, the 19th-century cobbler is credited with introducing the modern-day cocktail shaker. Previously, most bartenders used the Boston shaker, which consists of two different-size bar glasses placed one on top of the other, but the cobbler-style shaker—nearly identical to the single-unit, two-cap style found […]