In this issue: London, San Francisco, Tokyo, and Cancun….
Drink: London’s liquid Viagra
A bar is a bar is a bar unless it’s the Artesian Bar in London’s Langham Hotel. Think faux rattlesnake flooring, Broderie Anglais curtains, glossy resin tables, purple leather seats, painted wooden chandeliers — no wonder Madonna likes it. But if tongues are wagging over Artesian, it’s not because of the décor or the celebrity guests, it’s because of the “energized” ice cubes: they’re denser and colder than most, so cocktails stay potent longer. Anyone for a second round?
See: Matisse as sculptor in San Francisco
Everyone knows Henri Matisse was a sage painter and draftsman, but did you know he was also a gifted sculptor? Probably not. It’s been more than four decades since a U.S. museum has mounted a show of Matisse sculptures. San Francisco’s distinguished SFMOMA addresses the curatorial lacuna with a momentous show, Matisse: Painter as Sculptor, running June 9-September 16. More than 150 of the artist’s works reveal his fluency with paint and clay.
Stay: Tokyo puts on the Ritz
Is it too much to ask that a hotel have a room with a view? Probably, but the new Ritz-Carlton in Tokyo certainly does. Newly installed in the 53-story Midtown Tower, the hotel occupies the top 9 floors and the first three levels of what is now Tokyo’s tallest building. The views from the top-floor lounge, or from the restaurants Forty-Five (continental fusion) or Hinokizaki (sushi), include Mt. Fuji. If you stay the night, bring your biggest plastic — rooms start at $540 per night. (Kathryn Matthews)
Play: In New York’s Soho, attitude takes a break
New York City’s stylish Soho Grand has just debuted its re-vamped outdoor lounge, The Yard, and it’s surprisingly relaxed for Soho. An open cedar pergola with teak lounge chairs, cafe tables, and a compact bar evoke the feeling of a friend’s backyard (albeit a rich one). Soak up the views of would-be beach bums and guests as you’re doted on by the “Yard attendant,” who brings towels, lemonade, burgers, sangria, or summery cocktails. Who knew Soho could do California casual so well?
Eat: A Gerber trifecta in Cancun
When Rande Gerber expanded his after-dark empire to Mexico’s new ME Cancun Resort, he made Richard Sandoval top toque of his on-site restaurant, The Beach House. Flanking the Cancun resort’s other Gerber concepts, Rose Bar and Maxim Beach Club, it’s no wonder the Beach House serves up both scene and cuisine. Okay, you might find the mostly B-list celebs ho-hum, but the tequila flambé shrimp served with black bean manchego cheese is nothing short of delicioso.
Made-to-Order: Saving face in Los Angeles
For many, “nip” and “tuck” mean “ick” and “yuck.” In Los Angeles, those who want to look younger without all the cutting and pasting head to LeSpa at Sofitel Los Angeles. The spa’s stunning age-defying treatment, the Carita Lift and Firm Facial ($280), is 110 minutes of pure bliss that deep-cleans pores, stimulates circulation, oxygenates the skin and eliminates toxins. When done, muscles appear firmer, facial features tighter, and wrinkles fade away. Botox schmotox.
Photo credits (l-r): (1) Henri Matisse, Still Life with a Geranium, 1906; oil on canvas; 38.5 x 31.5; The Art Institute of Chicago, Joseph Winterbotham Collection; 2007 Succession H. Matisse, Paris/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy SFMoma. (2) Courtesy Soho Grand; (3) Courtesy Langham Hotel.
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