Seductively Stylish Ett Hem!

Ett HemBOUTIQUE LUXURY IN STOCKHOLM

I made my way to Stockholm after ILTM in Cannes with my only intention to see the latest luxury boutique hotel that’s on everyone’s lips – the gorgeous Ett Hem. I’d comfortably describe it as a boutique hotel with soul – and that’s hard to do these days! This is the new bench mark for designer stays. And while the hotel did not disappoint – in fact it could be the highlight of my year, what I found in Stockholm was so much more. I look good in Nordic style!

Ett Hem   Envelope yourself in stylish sophistication here at Ett Hem, with interiors by Ilse Crawford, it’s like checking into a very chic friend’s home – think dove grey walls, parquet flooring and of course some very savvy Swedish design at every turn. Help yourself to a drink at the honour bar – order up some farm-to-table goodness from the kitchen (at any time) and settle into the Glass House – one of Ett Hem’s prettiest dining destinations. Nothing is off-limits here, ask and you shall receive, all in such understated style – I found it hard to leave.

Ett Hem Bedroom I adored this hotel, it’s overwhelming sense of style and place is unmatched in this hotel realm. Get here quick and make sure you add Sweden and Stockholm to the very top of your 2015 travel wish list.

INSIDER INTEL

  • Eat meatballs at Riche – the Stockholm brasserie institution serving up classic Swedish meatballs to see and be scene of Stockholm.
  • Shop designer Swedish style at Svenskt Tenn – and stop by for tea in their Te Salong
  • Dine at Town House Nosh & Chow with Ralph Lauren – esque  interiors by Spanish designer Lazaro Rosa-Violan. Attracts a handsome, hot and hip crowd.
  • Pick up your favourite BYREDO fragrance from cult Swedish perfumer Ben Gorham – try Baudelaire
  • Swing by Acne Studios and add to your all navy collection with a few key pieces. This is de rigueur Swedish “must have” style
  • Yes the city is expensive (so is Sydney!) but suck it up and move on, style comes at a price!

Contact me today and lets start planning your Swedish designer stay!

Ham Yard Hotel!

Ham Yard Hotel Library

HAM YARD HOTEL

As I pack my bags for London again, I’m getting excited at the thought of checking into Firmdale’s Haymarket Hotel and their über groovy Soho Hotel for three nights on my way to Cannes to attend ILTM (the International Luxury Travel Market is THE invitation-only luxury travel-trade event).

In the mean time though, take a look at their latest addition to the luxury London hotel scene… the Ham Yard Hotel which is quite possibly Tim and Kit Kemp’s ultimate triumph. I checked in for three nights on my home from Italy recently and it was WOW!

Ham Yard HotelOne Ham Yard is a completely new luxury lifestyle precinct including the chic Ham Yard Hotel, Bar and Restaurant and this time around (a first for Firmdale) a collection of high-end retailers such as the cult Brazilian swimwear label Frescabol Carioca, Bloomsbury Flowers and our very own Dinosaur Designs among others.

Tony Cragg bronze sculptureLocated just moments from Mayfair and the centre of Soho… Ham Yard Hotel dazzles with its chic urban design centred around a tree filled garden complete with a commissioned bronze sculpture centre piece by Tony Cragg – this will stop you in your tracks … it’s highly instagramable!

Bedroom Ham Yard HotelOf course as always, I loved all of the individually designed bedrooms and suites (Kit has done it again!) and the hotel even has its own 1950’s style bowling alley, a theatre where the walls are lined in electric blue wool, the Soholistic Body & Beauty retreat and a Rooftop Garden complete with a fabulous rooftop vista.

Take a peek at what is destined to be this year’s hottest hotel opening… it’s truly wonderful.

For bookings including Where’s Brent Been preferred rates and luxury amenities… contact me today.

And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and twitter as I visit London, Amsterdam, Cannes and Stockholm over the next two weeks!

Hot for 2013!

Gucci got me thorugh it!

Gucci got me through it!

OK, so it wasn’t all spa treatments, Michelin star dinners and champagne I had the arduous task of enduring the last two weeks in Europe, I was actually there to attend ILTM – the International Luxury Travel Market in Cannes. Sixty meetings over three days really took it out of the boy, but the stakes are high in this luxury travel game and you need to stay ahead of the pack so I thought it best to man-up and hit the ILTM floor for what is three days of fab luxury travel talk with the best of the best.

Here are some highlights and hot picks for 2013. Which ones make your list?

Soho House Berlin - Apartment

Soho House Berlin – Apartment Studio

The Soho House group was first up, where I met Charlie Warren and Dominic Hofer …. could these be the happiest hoteliers of the show? Soho House is a fab collection of chic “houses” around the world where you can dine, drink and stay the night – they are going global with locations in Berlin, London, NYC, Los Angeles, Miami… you get the picture – I begged them to open one in Sydney! Now wouldn’t that be the perfect fit? The Berlin House complete with rooftop pool is definitely on my list for 2013.

The Sanchaya - Bintan Island

The Sanchaya – Bintan Island

Another stand out was The Sanchaya on Bintan island. This chic beachfront estate will put Bintan back on the map. Stunning villas with interiors to match,coupled with its picture perfect beachfront location make this one to watch for 2013.

The Regent Bali located in Sanur will also open in 2013. The Regent is the first Five Star hotel to be built in Sanur for years and will be a stunning addition to the luxury hotel scene here. I believe it’s just what Sanur needs (I adore this little village where you can still find the traditional basket and sarong shops .. unlike glitzy Seminyak!). An all-inclusive villa rate rules here, where your suite comes with a daily spa treatment, complimentary mini bar stocked with selected snacks & alcoholic beverages … oh and butlers will be on call for all of your needs, including the laundry …. now that’s luxury.

Hotel Fasano Punta del Este

Hotel Fasano Punta del Este

Hotel (and restaurant) group Fasano have been on my radar ever since they opened their chi chi Rio de Janeiro property Fasano Rio de Janeiro, this is where Philippe Starck meets Bossa Nova – think glamour and sophistication perfectly located on Ipanema Beach.  The boutique hotelier has expanded nicely and now have luxury outposts in Sao Paulo, Boa Vista and my new favourite, Punta del Este in Uruguay. Stunning hill top views combined with luxurious accommodation make this one to add to the list for 2013. Take me to Rio and Punta del Este …  NOW!

JK Place Capri

JK Place Capri

My mates at JK Place are opening in Rome in 2013 so keep this one high on the list. If it is anything like their iconic properties in Florence and Capri (it will be!) you can’t possibly miss it and with GM Samuel Porecca at the helm delivering bespoke hospitality at its best, we have another delicious alternative in Rome.

JK PLace Florence

JK PLace Florence

A London legend is reborn when Cafe Royal re-opens as a luxury hotel this month and I got the low down on this direct from Mark Allvey (who is VP Sales & Marketing for the luxury property) when he happened to be sitting next to me at dinner at Le Petite Paris one night. It all sounds amazing and is one of London’s highly anticipated luxury hotel openings of the moment.

So bring on 2013, it will be filled with loads of new fabulous properties worldwide for us to explore, contact me now and let’s create your next adventure together!

Here are  a few scenes from the ILTM show floor:

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ILTM 2012 – Cannes!

ILTM on location in Cannes

ILTM on location in Cannes

It was the “creme de la creme” of the luxury travel industry that descended upon Cannes again last week for the 10th annual International Luxury Travel Market (known in the industry as ILTM). In attendance there were luxury travel planners from New York to Sydney along with the “best of the best” hoteliers from around the world… we all turned up on the French Riviera for three days of luxury travel talk, I mean if it’s good enough for a Film Festival, it’s good enough for us!

Lunch at Astoux Brun - Cannes

Lunch at Astoux Brun with Chrissie Lincoln from Aman Resorts – Cannes

AND it’s all glamour here in the South of France as lucky attendees get chopper transfers from Nice to Cannes… how’s that!! ILTM really know how to lay the luxury on! It’s not called International Luxury Travel Market for nothing!

It's all glamour at ILTM!

It’s all glamour at ILTM! Brent with Tiffany Dowd aka @luxetiffany and Anna Loeser from The Dolder Grand

I jetted in from Zurich on the Sunday where I had just enjoyed the weekend being pampered in absolute luxury at The Dolder Grand as the guests of Mr and Mrs Dolder – aka the handsome Matthias Kaesweber and the beautiful Anna Loeser. The Dolder Grand is a fairytale castle situated in the hills above Zurich and the number one Spa and wellness retreat in Europe. (More on my wonderful stay to follow soon)

Brent and Dominic Hofer from Soho House Berlin

Brent and Dominic Hofer from Soho House Berlin

It was my fourth time to Cannes for the event and I hail it as the best luxury travel event on the planet. Not only do I get to meet and talk non-stop luxury travel with the most inspiring hoteliers and travel visionaries in the world, I get to rub shoulders with the very best travel planners & super travel stylists in the business. It’s completely inspiring… and exhausting all at the same time!

Brent and Kit Kemp

Brent and Kit Kemp

First night was the opening forum which included, a one to one interview with my favourite hotelier in the world, Kit Kemp – Co Owner & Design Director of Firmdale Hotels conducted by Melinda Stevens – Editor of Conde Nast Traveller UK. It was so refreshing to hear Kit talk about what inspires her in the creation of her hotels and their unique interiors. Kit designs what I feel are the most comfortable and original hotel rooms (and public spaces) in the world. It was then onto dinner with my good friend, luxury travel aficionado Dane Steele Green from Manhattan and new friend Mike St Jovite from San Francisco – we met at The Dolder Grand in Zurich the week earlier. The Design Hotels reception on the rooftop of Hotel Five (where I was in residence for the week) was next stop. I had planned to head straight to bed but the hotel was rocking on approach and I decided to pop my head in for a nightcap… (ok I had three, these guys know how to throw a party!). My buddy Craig Markham from Firmdale Hotels also dropped by at the same time and introduced me to Claus Sedlinger, the founder of Design Hotels. Claus has been a travel visionary that I have admired for some time, it was a thrill to finally met him and tell him exactly that!

Brent & Jessica Cook from Aman Resorts

Brent & Jessica Cook from Aman Resorts

The rest of the week was filled with sixty (yes that right SIXTY) 20 minute meetings.. (ala speed dating) with the best hoteliers from around the world and a few champagne receptions and dinners thrown in for good measure. One of the highlights of the social calendar was in fact The Lungarno Collection champagne reception at the new Feragamo boutique on the Boulevard de la Croisette where I met the current Miss Universe entrant from Italy. So much glamour at ILTM!

Brent and Caroline Courteau of Lungarno Hotels with Italy's Miss Universe

Brent and Caroline Courteau of Lungarno Hotels with Italy’s Miss Universe

Of course the Hotel Martinez party was legendary as usual where the Champagne fountain flowing in the lobby has to be seen to be believed (it flowed ALL night!) and The Majestic party the following night was a chic, all “Winter White” affair where I danced to “I want to Dance with Somebody” (remixed – high energy of course!) by Whitney Houston and then promptly left -I mean… the boy did have to hit the show floor the very next day for just one more day of luxury travel talk!

The weeks social calendar ended on a high with my good buddy Carolyn Turnbull’s birthday party, celebrated every year at Pastis. This is without doubt the coveted invitation of the week. It’s always so much fun… and in one room you have all the “movers and shakers” of the luxury travel world. Not only are they all completely fabulous, they are the funniest bunch of people I have had the pleasure to work with.

And so now … it’s back to work… next post will be a full update on all the fabulous hotels, resorts and destinations I discovered at the week that was ILTM.

New & Noteworthy!

The Siam Bangkok

The Siam Bangkok

Well…  it was a fun week, whirling around Shanghai with a few very important meetings thrown in for good measure.  As you know I was in Shanghai to attend ILTM Asia, the leading “by invitation only” luxury travel event for Asia-Pacific travel buyers (& stylists!). It’s three days of catch ups and air kissing with the best of the best in the industry and THE place to discover a little destination gem or two.

I did manage to find a couple of properties that are definitely worth talking about, one is The Siam in Bangkok… this 39 room riverside luxury retreat features Bangkok’s most spacious suites filled with priceless antiques, contemporary comforts and above all, oriental allure. The Siam will be the hottest address for those in the know seeking a more authentic and personalised stay in this exciting city.

The Siam is also featured in this months South East Asia Travel + Leisure where it also made the cover!

Cheval Blanc Courchevel

Cheval Blanc Courchevel

I also loved the fab ski chalet Cheval Blanc in Courchevel… the first foray into hotel management by the luxury group LVMH has not gone unnoticed, as this chic chalet is one stunning retreat.

Looks like I will have to learn to ski now… (that’s right Brent doesn’t ski… but he does do snow!).

Luxurious suites and super chic public areas to match, make this one a winter winner. With a Maldives outpost scheduled to open later this year, this is one luxury hotel group I will be keeping a close eye on.

The Surin Phuket

The Surin Phuket

The Surin Phuket is another property that has had a magic make over… it was known as The Chedi under the GHM brand and has now been refreshed and reborn as The Surin, the hillside suites are all white-walled… all very Caribbean chic and set on tranquil Pansea Beach (shared with the iconic Amanpuri). It is contemporary, cool and above all luxurious. With the new GM Antonio Saponara at the helm (he is ex Aman) this will be one beach retreat worth recommending.

Le Royal Monceau Paris

Le Royal Monceau Paris

One other city slicker I discovered and plan to visit this year is Le Royal Monceau in Paris… with its stunning contemporary interiors by Philippe Starck and panache to match, this is one property sure to ruffle a few established feathers in the 8th arrondissement!

Le Royal Monceau Paris

Le Royal Monceau Paris

All rooms feature stunning bathrooms and dressing rooms designed just like an ateliers’, including perfect lighting guaranteed to make you look ravishing even after a night of table dancing at Le Bain Douche – a bath house turned nightclub where I used to party in the 80’s with all the top models of the day… but that’s another story!

The luxury spa is My Blend by Clarins where you can even create your very own skin care range all tailored to your personal needs… now that’s what I call luxury!

El Willy – A Night in Shanghai!


Last night a few funsters of the travel world and my very good friends at Aman Resorts descended upon El Willy to catch up after a long first day of networking at ILTM Asia in Shanghai. I am pictured above with the very dapper Luca Bandecchi from Paramount Hotels & Resorts Dubai (yes, as in the movies!), Chrissie Lincoln the vivacious Director of Sales for Aman Resorts Indonesia (and my travel buddy – we jet to Hong Kong on Friday) and Francesco Galli Zugaro, (he created Aqua Expeditions, Peru’s leading luxury tour operator in the Amazon – I know .. totally fabulous AND he is possibly the best dressed man of the show!)
El Willy came highly recommended by the very fabulous Pouya Jalali, Area Director of Sales, International, The Ritz Carlton Hotels of Shanghai (my girl to go to in Shanghai… Pouya really knows her stuff, everything from fab finds in the markets to getting the best table at a booked out restaurant, Pouya just makes it happen in effortless style).

Dinner was a superb selection of tapas from a modern Iberian menu, all chosen by my glamorous friend Carolyn Turnbull from Aman Resorts. My favourite dish would have to be the Croquettes (we ordered twice!). El Willy has it all, a madcap chef, drop dead Bund views, a great atmosphere and above all…. good lighting!

Go now, you wont regret it.

Milano

4th December 2011

We headed to Milan via the most glamorous of transport, the luxury Limobus supplied by Moveolux, all very rock star like with kitchen , bar and full wi-fi on board! Chiara de Pretis was the perfect host keeping us all comfortable with fresh flat white coffees (from the onboard espresso machine) and her beautiful smile!

The Limobus

Staying overnight in Milan I was very happy to be in residence at the very glamorous Principe di Savoia on the Piazza della Republica where Riccardo Pilati, the Director of Sales made sure we were all properly pampered in Deluxe Premium Rooms with all the Aqua di Parma trimmings!

Deluxe Premium Room Principe di Savoia Milan

The afternoon was spent in  Via Montenapoleone, Via della Spiga & Via Manzoni where I picked up my new navy Prada belt (I had been searching for weeks!) and Dane Steele Green from steeletravel.com New York had just enough time to show us all the Duomo, one of Milan’s most important symbols and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele before we had to head back to our hotels to prepare for our cocktail dinner at the new Armani Hotel @ via Manzoni 31. Thanks to the new GM, Aaron Kaupp (previously the GM at the delicious Palazzo Sasso),the hotel is a study in refined Armani elegance. After a detailed inspection we were treated to a fabulous cocktail dinner in the Armani Lounge overlooking the magnificent skyline and terraces of the city.

It was then to bed to get up early for our 4 hour luxury transfer to Cannes in the Limobus and the start of ILTM Cannes (International Travel Market). Phewwwww