Luxe Escapes Magazine – Luxury Travel, Culture & Cuisine

Luxe Escapes is an online luxury travel magazine & blog published by The Luxe Voyager, a Hong Kong based bespoke luxury travel designer crafting exceptional experiential journeys and authentic immersive experiences to some of the most wondrous and awe-inspiring places on the planet. We roam the world to discover and review the best luxury boutique hotels, exclusive lodges, chic hideaways, palace hotels, five-star resorts, wellness retreats, hip restaurants, cool bars, beach clubs and epicurean destinations that our style seeker readers simply must visit. In Luxe Escapes Magazine you can find a curated collection of luxury destinations and properties that our writers have personally visited, with unique destination inspiration, personal insights and insider tips for your dream holiday or journey. Luxe Escapes Magazine readers are all generations of discerning travelers and come from every corner of the globe. They are hip, savvy, eco & design conscious and will only settle for the best. They want to know where to find the latest hidden gems and have an enthusiastic appetite for what’s new and different.

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Luxury Hotel Reviews

Intercontinental Bordeaux Le Grand Hotel

Hotel Overview: Step back in time to a world of 18th century aristocracy and elegance at the iconic InterContinental Bordeaux — Le Grand Hotel, housed in an imposing, historic 1776 limestone building. This heritage hotel occupies prime real estate on Bordeaux’s main square, Place de la Comédie, facing the Grand Théâtre Opera House and in the heart of Bordeaux’s golden triangle, among high-end boutiques and world-class restaurants. Refurbished by ace french architect and designer Jacques Garcia to luxe modern standards while retaining its 18th century splendor, the hotel offers 130 luxuriously appointed rooms and suites with exquisitely vibrant period interiors. Also on tap is a decadently Romanesque spa, divine 2 Michelin star restaurant by renowned culinary impresario Gordon Ramsay, and an uber trendy rooftop lounge complete with jacuzzi and panoramic views of the Bordeaux skyline. If you want to experience Bordeaux like royalty, this is the place to stay. Ambiance & Vibe: After walking past the understated entrance to the hotel, (which is flanked by two lively brasseries) you are struck by the exquisite 19th century French inspired interiors of the lobby and common areas, which reflect the aristocratic heritage and elegance of this magnificent city. The intimate reception area and lobby, decorated with black-lacquer wrought-iron lamps, brightly colored brocade velvet couches, pleated silk shades, rich tapestry and huge vases of flowers result in a sophisticated but relaxed setting. Intercontinental Bordeaux Le Grand The rooftop lounge – Night Beach, is a chic haven of relaxation, replete with bar, jacuzzi, comfortable outdoor sofa seating and stunning 360° views of the Bordeaux skyline. At night, Night Beach turns into a trendy hotspot with mellow lighting, cocktails flowing, a DJ spinning and a swish crowd milling about. Night Beach...




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Raffles Dubai

Hotel Overview: The distinctive Egyptian themed, pyramid-shaped Raffles Dubai merges Asian style with an Egyptian aesthetic and is a prominent landmark in Dubai since 2007. This stunning hotel is conveniently located in the heart of the city a mere 10 minutes from Dubai International Airport and close to the major shopping, cultural and business districts with easy access to the Dubai metro. This award-winning hotel is consistently ranked as the number 1 luxury property in Dubai as per Trip Advisor in no small part due to its sophisticated style, exemplary hospitality and impeccable service from its highly trained staff, which are probably the finest in Dubai. Beginning at 70 sqm, its 252 rooms and suites are amongst some of the largest, most comfortable and elegant in the city, with spacious balconies offering stunning views of Dubai’s skyline. While this hugely successful hotel remains a magnet for business travelers, given its huge array of gastronomic dining options, lush rooftop gardens, chic outdoor pool complex and exceptional spa, it is also a perfect residential sanctuary for families and leisure travelers looking to unwind in a convenient city center location. Ambiance & Vibe: The eye-catching pyramid structure of the facade captures your attention as you drive up to the Raffles complex, which is attached to the Wafi luxury shopping mall. As we arrived, we were immediately greeted by the friendly bell staff, who took our bags and escorted us to the reception. Walking into the huge and spacious marble clad lobby, we were struck by the beauty of the architecture with its multi levels, waterfall and sloping walls built to resemble an Egyptian king’s tomb. A distinct homely but luxe Middle Eastern vibe permeates the lobby...




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Intercontinental Paris Le Grand

Hotel Overview: Although not officially classified as a “Palace Hotel”, this opulent and ornate property offers quintessential Paris grandeur and is no doubt one of the Grande Dames of Parisian luxury hotels. Proudly occupying a full city block in the most prime location in the heart of Paris, The InterContinental Paris Le Grand Hôtel faces the legendary Place de l’Opéra and is a short walk from the famous Place Vendôme and the iconic Galeries Lafayette department stores. Renowned as one of the world’s grandest hotels, this historic property has borne witness to many important events and has hosted international royalty and celebrities for over a century and a half since it was inaugurated by the Empress Eugenie (wife of Napolean III) in 1862. Many of this luxury hotel’s 470 sumptuous and charming rooms and suites have superb bird’s eye views of the world-famous, gilded Palais Garnier, home to the esteemed Paris Opera, and its elaborate interiors and traditional architecture allow guests to experience the grandeur of past and present-day Paris. Gastronomic delights await at two acclaimed restaurants, Café de la Paix, a legendary Brasserie which is a veritable Parisian institution with a rich cultural history, and La Verrière, a gorgeous 800 sqm atrium restaurant set in a beautiful winter garden. The spectacularly elegant Salon Opera ballroom, is a registered historic monument and has been magnificently restored and continues its illustrious history of hosting Paris’s most exclusive social events. Intercontinental paris le grand hotel Intercontinental Paris Le Grand Ballroom Ambiance & Vibe: The ambiance is one of welcoming old-world luxury, replete with ornate Napoleon III period furnishing and décor, grand marble-clad staircases and a glass-roofed winter garden as an atrium. The patrons of the hotel are a mix of international...




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Conrad Osaka

Hotel Overview: This polished and sleek “address in the sky” is an oasis of luxury perched high above Osaka’s bustling Nakanoshima neighborhood, between the Dojima and Tosabori rivers. As soon as you step into the lobby, you are greeted by some of Osaka’s most spectacular river and city views from all the public areas and rooms. This brand-new, art-filled, sophisticated and elegant abode in the sky is housed in one of Osaka’s newest, shiniest skyscrapers – Festival West Tower, which stands tall above the cultural and commercial district of Nakanoshima, an urban island in the heart of the city, which is also home to an art museum, science museum, theater, concert hall, shops and restaurants. Festival Hall is next door, easily reached via underground link. Located near JR Osaka station, the hotel provides easy access to Universal Studios Japan, as well as the country’s famed train network. The hotel’s location in downtown Osaka allows travelers to explore major cultural sites via day trips, such as the historic cities of Kyoto and Nara or spiritual sites such as Mount Koya, Japan’s holiest mountain. Ambiance & Vibe: Situated on the 33rd to 40th floors of Osaka’s newest skyscraper, Festival Tower West, the sleek 164-room Conrad Osaka is awash in hues of silver and walnut, with a few eye-catching pops of red and white. The stunning panorama of this “address in the sky” is unveiled the moment you step out of the elevator on the 40th-floor of the skyscraper – revealing a large, curved double-height wall of windows framing stunning 180 degree views across Osaka city. Well heeled locals and sophisticated business types waft thru the lobby checking out the expansive views while chatting on their phones. Design...




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Conrad Tokyo

Hotel Overview: Conrad Tokyo is a 290 room, sleek and upscale high-rise hotel with panoramic views over Hamarikyu Gardens and Tokyo Bay, and part of an ultra-modern office and shopping complex. Since its opening in 2005, its winning combination of modern contemporary design, award winning cuisine and attentive service has ensured the Conrad has remained one of the most vibrant and successful luxury hotels in Tokyo, and a consistent favorite among business travelers and families alike. Ambiance & Vibe: Arriving at the reception area on the ground floor, a glossy lipstick-red lacquer sculpture sets a dramatic modern tone in the ground-floor reception lobby, from where an elevator zips you up to the 28th-floor check-in lobby, a double-height space that looks out onto Tokyo Bay. The dramatic lobby soars with bold, black lines which are warmed with light boxes dangling from the ceiling and the adjacent lounge bar Twenty-Eight, buzzes with a smart crowd and live music, against the backdrop of attention grabbing views over Tokyo Bay. Design & Style: The décor of the hotel is modern contemporary but seductive with warm and traditional touches, such as glowing lightboxes and floor-to-ceiling wood paneling. There is distinct note of Japanese influence in the design, with lacquered wood complemented by cherry blossom-print fabrics. The lobby and common areas are peppered with bold sculptures and paintings created by 23 Japanese artists. A deluxe version of Japanese minimalism permeates the décor of the 290 guestrooms, four restaurants and lounge areas. Accommodation: Rooms are spacious and modern, with a clean palette of muted colors, lacquered woods and traditional Japanese cherry blossom motifs and lantern-inspired lighting. The rooms are divided into either bay view or city view, although either is fantastic in its own...




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Grand Hyatt Tokyo

Hotel Overview: The imposing 387 room Grand Hyatt is an institution in Tokyo, the stylish occupant of the glitzy Roppongi Hills, a multi-billion dollar, upmarket shopping and dining development. The luxury hotel has been a part of the city’s fabric since 2003, loved by locals and visitors for its location and wide array of world class restaurants and bars. It’s also a popular destination for high society weddings and MICE business, with 15 event facilities spread out over 2800 sqm. More than a hotel, Grand Hyatt Tokyo is a lifestyle destination for authentic gastronomy, entertaining and relaxing. The GM, Steve Dewire, (supported by his enthusiastic and highly professional team) is visible throughout the hotel greeting guests and making sure things are functioning smoothly, and the result is a very high level of service and efficiency that you would expect only at a leading boutique hotel. Ambiance & Vibe: Driving up to the hotel, after a short 15 minute taxi ride from Tokyo Station, you’ll pass a barrage of ritzy boutiques on the street leading up to Grand Hyatt Tokyo’s upmarket perch in Roppongi Hills. The French Kitchen restaurant sports a beautiful outdoor terrace which opens up at the front of the hotel where locals and guests dine in the sun amidst leafy landscaping, while inside, the high-ceilinged lobby buzzes with a mix of an international crowd of business types as well as well-heeled expat families on holidays and locals. Design & Style: This is a fairly large hotel with a sense of spaciousness throughout, from the vast lobby to the many restaurants with al fresco seating. With the huge sculpted head artworks in the lobby to the unique red granite swimming pool, the hotel showcases an elegant mix...




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Luxury Spa Reviews

Spa at Landmark Mandarin, Hong Kong

The spa at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental is one of the most lavish in Hong Kong Spa Overview: The Oriental Spa at Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong Ambiance & Vibe: Design & Style: Service Menu: Facilities: Location: What We Love: Luxe Voyager Expert Rating9.7 Ambiance & Vibe10Design & Style10Service10Facilities & Activities10Location10Value For Money8 Map [put_wpgm id=1]...




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The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Singapore

This is a cozy & intimate spa with top notch therapists Spa Overview: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Ambiance & Vibe: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Design & Style: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Service Menu: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in...




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The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Guangzhou

One of the reasons I decided to stay at the Mandarin Oriental Guangzhou during a recent business trip was because of the reputation of their spas, always a sanctuary to visit after a long day. Spa Overview: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Ambiance & Vibe: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Design & Style: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Service Menu: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat....




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Luxury Destination Reviews

Dubai

Dubai’s incredible rise from a provincial backwater to global glam capital over the past 20 years has been breathtaking. 1.  Djemaa el Fna – Djemaa el Fna is the largest square in Africa and one of the symbols of Marrakech since its foundation in the 11th century. During the day, you will find fruit juice stands, henna tattoo artists, and snake charmers. In the evening, the square fills with food vendors, musicians, and fortunetellers. Have a mint tea at one of the rooftop cafés and enjoy the view. 2. Koutoubia Mosque – The Koutoubia mosque is approximately 67 meters (221 ft) high, and is the largest mosque in Marrakech. Its minaret, built in a traditional Almohad style and topped with four copper globe, is what dominates your view when you see Marrakesh from a distance for the first time. It is one of the oldest monuments of classical Moroccan architecture and the city’s highest. The mosque is ornamented with curved windows, a band of ceramic inlay, pointed merlons, and decorative arches; it has a large plaza with gardens, and is floodlit at night. 3. Old Medina Souks – If you like shopping you will love the Souks (markets) in the old town. The twisting medieval passageways of the souks can be intimidating, but the best approach is to just plunge in. Get lost in a maze of market stalls with Moroccan goods from jewelry, teapots, ceramics and lamps to hand made carpets, clothes, leather, spices and so much more. Be prepared for some friendly bargaining! 4. Jardin Majorelle – The garden was designed by French artist Jacques Majorelle, who bought the property in 1931 and then spent 41 years turning into a luxurious oasis. The garden was made in the 1920s with marble pools,...




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Hong Kong

Having been living in Hong Kong for the past 6 years, and (including the last time I lived here) for a total of 9 years, I am beginning to feel like a native. So here is my list of the top 10 things to do in Hong Kong for a first time leisure visitor. 1.  Cruise around Victoria Harbour – Djemaa el Fna is the largest square in Africa and one of the symbols of Marrakech since its foundation in the 11th century. During the day, you will find fruit juice stands, henna tattoo artists, and snake charmers. In the evening, the square fills with food vendors, musicians, and fortunetellers. Have a mint tea at one of the rooftop cafés and enjoy the view. 2. Tram ride to The Peak – The Koutoubia mosque is approximately 67 meters (221 ft) high, and is the largest mosque in Marrakech. Its minaret, built in a traditional Almohad style and topped with four copper globe, is what dominates your view when you see Marrakesh from a distance for the first time. It is one of the oldest monuments of classical Moroccan architecture and the city’s highest. The mosque is ornamented with curved windows, a band of ceramic inlay, pointed merlons, and decorative arches; it has a large plaza with gardens, and is floodlit at night. 3. Old Medina Souks – If you like shopping you will love the Souks (markets) in the old town. The twisting medieval passageways of the souks can be intimidating, but the best approach is to just plunge in. Get lost in a maze of market stalls with Moroccan goods from jewelry, teapots, ceramics and lamps to hand made carpets, clothes, leather, spices and so much more. Be...




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Epicurean Reviews

PIWOSA media wine tasting and dinner

Premium Independent Wineries of South Africa (PIWOSA) is a collective of family owned, like minded, premium, independent wine producers of South Africa’s Western Cape, dedicated to the highest quality production of boutique wines. With innovative programs and events, they shine the spotlight on the flourishing premium South African category for local and global wine lovers. While each winery portrays its own micro climates and unique sites and soils, PIWOSA represents the incredible diversity of Premium South African wine today. Influenced by Mediterranean climate, the Western Cape is cooler than its position might suggest, with conditions that are ideal for growing a wide range of noble wine cultivars. Although winemaking commenced here in 1659, its viticulture is rooted in some of the most ancient soils in the world dating back over 600 million years. Combining distinctive and diverse topography, the region produces a wide range of style of premium wines of incredible character.   Map of Western Cape Municipal Districts, South Africa   PIWOSA wowed Hong Kong in a stunning debut last week, with a series of exclusive events for media, F&B professionals and trade, including a blind tasting competition for the city’s top sommeliers and wine professionals. Results were astonishing in that not one participant could detect all of the top French wines from amongst the line-up of premium South African wines. The first event of the day, “Flight Club”, was hosted by Debra Meiburg MW and 9 winery owners and representatives from PIWOSA. It comprised a blind tasting competition for 25 top sommeliers, critics and wine professionals with an all-expenses paid trip to South Africa at stake. One top French wine was hidden in each of the five flights of South African wines, separated by...




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Swire Women of Wine Festival

The award-winning Master of Wine personality, Debra Meiburg, http://debramasterofwine.com/ recently hosted the inaugural Swire “Women of Wine” (WoW) festival at the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce Chamber Theatre in Hong Kong. This debut event, teaming “wow-worthy women with wonderful wines” was an inspirational, learning and fun grand finale to International Women’s Week. The event featured some of the leading female personalities in Hong Kong from the corporate, finance, media, fashion, sports, travel, technology, entrepreneurial and F&B worlds. Combining wine tasting seminars, informative pop-up workshops and networking, this festival featured more than 50 global wines made by women winemakers and presented by Hong Kong’s leading female owned wine importers. The event attracted a full house of over 350 mostly female guests. Actress and celebrity winemaker, Bernice Liu, as the guest of honor, opened the festival with a bang as VIP female guests, led by founder and director Debra Meiburg, Master of Wine, popped a cluster of balloons to kick off the event. Swire Women of Wine festival - Wine List Swire Women of Wine festival opening ceremony Debra Meiburg MW said, “Wow, what an event! This was serious girl power and grapes all blended together in the most fabulous way. Along with celebrating International Women’s Day and the achievements of our leading ladies in wine, business and a cross-section of major fields, we wanted to bring together the city’s female wine importers with a large gathering of professional and lifestyle savvy women interested to know more about wine. Creating good relationships with importers and wine enthusiasts offers a great way for the introduction to wine for people who’ve previously felt intimidated to ask questions, experiment and learn more.” “As part of this learning experience, we...




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Italian wines from Apulia

The Hong Kong based boutique wine importer, Flavours from Apulia, recently hosted a wine tasting of Southern Italian wines from the Apulia region at the Gaia Italian restaurant in Hong Kong. Flavours from Apulia wines represent the richness of the grape varieties available in the Apulia region, focusing on both small and less known wineries of the territory, as well as more internationally known and awarded ones. The event was sponsored by the Italian Chamber of Commerce, which regularly sponsors some of the finest Italian F&B related events in Hong Kong. The setting for the tasting was the elegant & contemporary Gaia Ristorante, which has an alfresco Italian piazza style setting in Sheung Wan. Gaia Ristorante On offer was a great selection of 9 labels including red, white & sparkling, including organic and vegan certified wines from boutique wineries in the Puglia region of south-east Italy, which  due to its location and shape has earned the nickname “heel of the Italian boot”. It is the region with the longest coastline in Italy and offers breathtaking landscapes. But more than everything, it is a land of hospitality and great food and wines. The wine labels are produced from grapes grown in the Apulia region and most of these grapes are indigenous, dating back to the Roman Empire, such as Negroamaro, Malvasia Nera, Verdeca and Primitivo. Some of the wines are also produced using more well known grapes, like Chardonnay which gains very interesting flavours growing in this warm and dry region. Puglia Map Some of the wineries represented included: (1) Cantine Brancasi, with its DOC wines being produced using Negroamaro and Malvasia Nera grapes, typical grapes from the area, but also quality wines with Chardonnay and...




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