Saturday, December 29, 2007

Amanjiwo

After a very long flight (London-Hong Kong-Kuala Lumpur-Solo City) and a two hour drive I finaly got to paradise, Amanjiwo.
True, the silence drove me a bit mad but apart from that it is worth the flight. Not so sure about price/quality…

The Lobby





Saturday, December 22, 2007

Monday, December 17, 2007

Belvedere Vodka


GLAMOUR IN THE HOUSE
Get some glamour and culture delivered straight to your door with Belvedere Private View. This brand new entertaining concept brings film directors, producers, actors or writers straight to your house to talk to you and your guests about the film world, while a professional Belvedere vodka bartender is on hand, mixing killer cocktails.

Choose the evening's theme from a list that includes 'A Bluffer's Guide to Cannes', 'Hollywood versus Independent Cinema' or 'A Night of Horror - from Hitchcock to Blairwitch'. A Belvedere Private View 'fixer' - a producer with access to a medley of the biggest names in the UK film industry - will then match the film talent to your theme and help run the evening with along with the host. So there's no excuse for giving deadly dull dinner parties any more. Belvedere Private View is a modern, culturally stimulating way to entertain your guests.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas is here and the world is perfect!

Trafalgar Square

Carol of the Bells...

Sex And The City

The movie is almost here and I just cant wait...

In the real world Samantha would die of cancer, Miranda would leave everyone behind consumed by motherhood and family, Big would tell Carrie she is mutton dressed as lamb and shallow and Charlote would stroll along the Hudson contemplating suicide.
But I still love it!

Fucking Tom Ford

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Jessica Athayde

My baby's coming to town!



My first christmas present, a visit from my portuguese girl.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Friday, November 30, 2007

TAP



TAP Portugal has signed a firm contract for 12 A350XWBs, plus three options, and a letter of intent for an additional eight A320 Family aircraft. The Lisbon based airline herewith converts its initial order for the A350, placed in December 2005, into the new A350XWB, and has, simultaneously, increased the number of aircraft ordered, from 10 to 12. At the same time TAP is taking delivery of its first directly owned A330-200.

In announcing the transaction, TAP's Chief Executive Officer, Fernando Pinto, said: "We have thoroughly re-evaluated our initial A350 order and the result clearly demonstrated that the XWB is the winner in all areas. This aircraft will meet TAP's requirements to cater for passenger traffic growth across the Atlantic and our plans to serve further destinations. The A350XWB offers outstanding passenger comfort thanks to its wider cabin, and unmatched operating costs, fuel consumption and environmental friendliness. The further additional A320s is a natural choice for our expansion plans, as the A320s perfectly fit our need for efficient single aisle aircraft offering the best possible comfort for our passengers".

"We are particularly honoured by this renewed mark of confidence from TAP, one of Europe's major airlines. This order is also a further endorsement of the new A350XWB programme. "Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers, John Leahy said. "I am confident the A350XWB will deliver on its promises and that it will be the right aircraft to accompany TAP's future growth strategy, together with our market leading A320 Family aircraft."

TAP currently operates a fleet of 51 Airbus aircraft, including 17 A319s, 15 A320s, three A321s, four A340-300s, five A310-300s and seven A330-200s, and is Airbus' largest customer in Portugal. The A350XWBs will in time replace the A340-300 and A330-200 fleet, and support TAP's network expansion.

The A350XWB (extra wide-body) is Airbus' response to market demand for a medium capacity long range wide-body family available in three basic passenger versions, the A350-800 which can fly 270 passengers, the A350-900 seating 314, and the A350-1000 which is designed for 350.

The A350XWB will benefit from the widest fuselage in its category, offering unprecedented levels of comfort in this market segment. It will also offer the lowest operating costs and lowest seat mile cost of any aircraft in that category. The Family is designed to confront the challenges of high fuel prices, rising passenger expectations, and environmental concerns in that market segment.

Watch out boys...!

Louis Vuitton


Louis Vuitton. Chic or tacky?

For my 18th birthday my mother gave me my first Louis Vuitton travel bag. A vintage suitcase my father bought her when they got married in 1971. I use it every time I go somewhere more than a week and when not travelling with a low cost airline (even empty it weighs more than the baggage allowance!)

This Christmas, I am thinking of treating myself to a couple of new bags and maybe a trolley. But the reality is I am not 100% sure about it. Many people say that having new LV's bags are tacky and “Nuovo rich”. Is it? So let me get this straight, if they are new, its bad. But, if they are or look old it is ok. What is the logic on that? Should I buy them and kick them around till they look vintage? Or should I just buy an old one in ebay? Don’t think so…

True, old money have old bags and new money have the new ones - and then of course there are the millions of fakes. But how are they suppose to look vintage if they are new at some point? And, isn’t it possible to have new LV baggage and not seem nouvo?

Am I going crazy? Is my partner not being very logical? Or is it just too much to travel with Louis Vuitton when you are only 27?

What is tacky about wanting to have the best?

Instead, I could buy Hermes. But for THAT… I can’t afford. Yet!

One&Only Resorts

If you get fed up with all this rain...




One&Only Resorts is a collection of resorts, each individually designed and crafted, inspired by its own supreme location. Remote island retreats, enchanting places and contemporary haut chic.

Le Saint Géran in Mauritius is the ultimate indulgence. Set beside a sparkling, pristine beach on the edge of the Indian Ocean, on a 60-acre private peninsula, it is the epitome of relaxation, luxury, gastronomy, and enjoyment.

Mirage, Dubai pays tribute to Arabian architecture and hospitality on a truly regal scale. Considered the most stylish resort on Jumeira Beach, it comprises three equally distinctive properties, The Palace, Arabian Court and Residence & Spa.

Kanuhura, Maldives is a five-star island hideaway, a unique resort, where service is understood and luxury is elegantly understated. The island setting is breathtaking and provides a beautiful, tropical backdrop for a world of easygoing elegance, blissfully free of schedules, routines and cares.

Maldives at Reethi Rah.
This chic resort offers a level of style and sophistication unsurpassed in the Maldives. Set on one of the largest islands in North Male’ Atoll, adorned with endless white sand coves and turquoise bays, all villas have direct access to the lagoon and an unprecedented degree of privacy. The 130 villas are discreetly placed amidst beautiful landscaping, each occupying its own secluded piece of sandy shore or private deck over crystal clear waters of the lagoon. The look and feel is sleek and elegantly tropical, using beautiful natural materials and contemporary styling.

Los Cabos, Mexico
Once the tropical hideaway for the likes of Hemingway and Harlow, this serenely private and sensually elegant resort features expansive ocean-facing accommodation, each with veranda, sunbeds, and indulgent amenities. Internationally acclaimed as the quintessential embodiment of elegance, every need is attended to with gracious hospitality, and the distinctive artistry of Mexico is discovered at every turn.

www.oneandonlyresorts.com

Monday, November 26, 2007

Solstice - Glamorous & Global Home Ownership Swap



THE "IN" CROWD
Membership does have its privileges: Not only do members of Solstice—a luxury residence club founded by Bay Area residents Graham Kos and Jeffrey Scult—have access to a 90-foot yacht and nine well-appointed estates in destinations like St. Bart’s, Paris and the Napa Valley, they get to tell tales of the rich and famous that aren’t tall at all. solsticecollection.com



SOLSTICE
Solstice is a destination club, much like a high-end golf or country club that requires a membership deposit and annual dues. The deposit and dues combination allows members flexible access to any of the homes, and as often as they may desire under their membership plan. Our program has been carefully designed to provide a variety of international travel options with a true 365-day season, and it has a much broader membership appeal than a single fractional or private residence club interest. Many of our Members will tell you that Solstice membership is equivalent to owning a second home in several locations without the obligations and burdens of maintenance and requires significantly less capital. While most of the properties vary in value, size and amenities, all Solstice homes have been hand-picked and meet our award-winning expectations for quality.

The Membership Deposit creates a right-to-use relationship with the club manager, thereby allowing members to use the real estate and services of the Club as a member rather than obligating each owner to the assets. If a member decides to end their participation in Solstice, the deposit is returned, depending upon the terms of each membership plan and deposit option.

www.solsticecollection.com

Marilyn Monroe

While still an unknown model, the 19-year-old Norma Jean Baker poses for a Douglas DC-6 sales brochure. Rarely seen photographs of Marilyn Monroe before she became famous.


I agree...

Hotel Delano-Miami



www.delano-hotel.net

Karen Kooper .com- Chanel Spring-Summer RTW 2008

Die!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Palm Beach

Home. Missing you Villa Vita Serena...



Ok! So, Palm Beach is old crowded, sometimes tacky and pretentious. It might not have trendy nightclubs packed with young sexy people, cheap bars selling beer for a buck and wild parties. Thats in WEST Palm Beach.
But as they say… Life quality is to have space and time for you. And that’s what you find in Palm Beach. For that I just love and miss living there.
I miss my friends from Palm Beach Day School, having ice cream on a boiling day by the beach, having a drink with my Dad at the Breakers Hotel, shopping at Worth Av., and driving to Miami, South Beach and the Key West for the weekend.

So…I found out my old Palm Beach house is for sale. Anyone interested?

Friday, November 23, 2007

Beirut

Hell or Heaven?


aSmallWorld.net talk...
I have been planning a trip to Beirut since summer...
Unfortunately things seem to be getting worse. Should I avoid a trip there for now or is it OK?
Being half Spanish I'm quite used to ETA but would be great if I can get back to London with my two legs and arms...!
Any advise on what to do or the areas I should really not go?!
Author: Pedro Caldeira

I just cancelled plans to attend a friend's wedding this weekend. Painful decision. The view from Cyprus is that things are becoming progressively worse.
Author: Demos

Wrong timing my friend ..wait till things cool down
Author: Omar

Hey Pedro
I dont really advise u to come to Beirut. Its not really safe. After 9pm, the roads are empty. I think coming now is not a good idea. If u could wait till July and see how the situation gets, it would be better.
Author: Lama

Not my lucky month then...! :(
Will make it to Jordan then! Thanks for the advise, will keep it in mind!
Author: Pedro Caldeira

Don't know what u guys are talking about.. i was there last week and the place was ROCKING!
even went north to the beach and we were partying like crazy 20km from the bombardments..
Author: Oliviero

Guess you are a lucky guy then!
Author: Pedro Caldeira

@Oliviero: you go dude!
Come on guys... Beirut is most charming right when its being torn apart... beirut is not used to things quiet and peaceful...
I fly to beirut at the break of every war to console my lovely city. when im not embedded with the UN on cluster bomb excursions in the south, you'll find me hugging gemmayzeh's walls...
You go give beirut a hug Pedro. She'll appreciate it. and you'll never forget it.
Author: Jehad

Apparently Bairut is my kind of city (so my friends say)!!
Im quite sure I will fall in love with it. But maybe book it when things are calmer is a good idea. Dont want to have a bad experience in the first time...
Author: Pedro Caldeira

I arrived in Beirut the day things flared up and during the double bombings. It was all a bit too close to comfort - I missed the first by 10 minutes, and the second was by the hotel.
Though an amazing city, with unbelievably fantastic people, I think it's not the best idea to venture there currently, particularly since troubles have just begun in the south of the country too.
Author: Seena

The thing is Pedro, it is safe and not safe at the same time... I can give you an example which is amazingly true and funny: before 10:30 - 11, as Lama mentioned, the roads are empty, but the funny part is, everybody is waiting for the explosion to go off... once it went off, and everybody heard about it and knew where it was... Beirut starts partying, and most of the people go out after the explosion.. sort of a consolation, knowing that the second one won't be for the same night...
Anyways, if you decide to come, and need anything, honestly feel free to contact me: +961-3-233749 would be glad to help you in any way...
Author: Michel

@ Michel- I heard that also. And some friends gave the adress of some rooftop bars that look amazing.
Never thought being stuck in such a simple decision. Will book things anyway and see how it goes.
Thanks for your contact by the way! Will keep it and call you when I get there.
Author: Pedro Caldeira

Will be waiting... take good care... and as for the rooftop bars, they are amazing :)
Author: Michel

Gave up! :(
Will meet you next year I guess...
Author: Pedro Caldeira

Life goes on in Beirut as always.
The people are resilient and doing their thing.
Author: Kareem

Dear Pedro.
If You Can Wait A Little Bit To Come To Beirut It will Be Better.I Am Lebanese Christian Leaving There.Situation Is Not Very Gooc For The Time Beeing.Hope To see You There One Day.
Best Regards.
C.V.T.
Beirut-Lebanon...
Author: Cyril

You have to be a Lebanese to come to Beirut! or simply an aventurer
Lebanon life is going on despite all.
Check the situation towards Mid Sept.
Early October is a superb month to come over here!
Author: Cherine

Will do that! Changed my trip from Beirut to Jordan but will def go another time. Got some names of nice hotels but the more the better. Want to have the best time ever when I get there...
Author: Pedro Caldeira

You will.
Beirut is the most beautiful city in the world , but right now it is going through a rough time...but we will be up and runnig in no time ... so just be patient and when you visit you will hopefully see the REAL beirut
Author: Dana

@ Dana. Hope its this year! :)
Author: Pedro Caldeira

Hello Pedro,
When you are there its not as worth you may think...people unfortunatly are getting used to it...
If you really wanna go, don't hesitate, i am sure you will still enjoy it,,,
marwa
Author: Marwa

Its a tough one...I am desperate to go too but keep putting it off...thing is I guess one has to live one's life...no-one on their holidays a couple of years ago expected the Tsunami to hit Thailand, Indonesia, the Maldives, etc.
Author: Reema

I am french, I live there, ok, situation is not so great..but that;s safe.I am on my way back there tomorrow. Have a nice week end, suzel
Author: Suzel jakouloff

@ Remma- To be honest, dont think that is a very good exemple...
Author: Pedro Caldeira
To the rest...Sounds to me that Beirut rocks!!
Author: Pedro Caldeira

Go for it.
And let's all never leave Beirut alone!
Author: Emanuele Maria Bertodo

Ive been DYING to go to beirut for years now, the promoters i was set to dj for have been forced to cancel three gigs there over the last two years, i was set to go play this weekend and again we had to cancel due to safety concerns.
I hear nothing but amazing things about the city and its people
Can't wait to go
Author: Max

Pedro and all...
if u dont have a Leb passport / some Leb origins, pls avoid as much as possible right now....
We donno where the next bomb will be, and to be honest the last thing we want is that the holder of a European/non-Leb passport gets injured there....this would kill the bit of faith that is remaining in Leb :(
sorry to be negative...
Author: Rita

Pedro if you can go, go! I want to go but I can't :(
There are a lot of great people on this site from Beirut (go into any of the discussions on Lebanon in the threads) and I am sure if you contact them they will tell you where the best places are. I am sure you will have a great time.
Don't let the newspapers spook you...
Author: Ariel

Its a deal...will go to Beirut. But Ill wait till things calm down a bit.
@ Rita- Think you are right...why not wait a bit and have a great time in Bairut then going now and have some kind of bad feeling!
Many ASW in Birut!?
Author: Pedro Caldeira

Pedro Beirut is amazing, I went there 2x in 2005 and had the time of my life, was going there last summer when the war broke and had to cancel. I dont feel that it's safe right now to go, you will not get the feel that I got when I was there and things were relativelly quiet... It'd such a atmosphere... the people are great, the beaches lots of fun and the night life one of the best I have been to, somehow I dont think I would have the same feeling if I went there right now. However, I hope I can go back soon and have another ball there, but for the moment I will wait and wish the best for lebanon and beirut...
Author: Marli


That makes two of us. Will keep my fingers crossed for them!!
Author: Pedro Caldeira

So- Off to Beirut the 26 of Sep. for four days. Whats going on there?
Anymore recomendations?
Safe or not really? Going anyway! :)
Author: Pedro Caldeira

Pedro keep your eyes to the news and Good luck and Bon Voyage
Author: Janan

Sounding scary...!
Author: Pedro Caldeira

Go and have fun. i was there 2 weeks ago...
Anyway if you like, i am planning a trip to Lebanon with my friends in Feb/March to go skying if you are interested inform me.
Author: Allen

LIVE BEIRUT...

Rome



Rome, as the saying goes, wasn't built in a day, and it's the eternal nature of the Eternal City that gives it its endless appeal. Humans have occupied these hills along the Tiber for millennia, adding monuments built upon and around those that came before them all the while. For the modern-day visitor, there's almost too much to see and do, from exploring the ruins of empire to paying respects at the seat of one of the world's great religions, to shopping and dropping change on the latest designs at big-name stores.

Hotels:
Hotel St. George
Place: Campo dè Fiori
http://www.stgeorgehotel.it/

Hotel de la Minerve
Place: Pantheon
http://www.grandhoteldelaminerve.com/

Grand Hotel Plaza
Place: Piazza di Spagna
http://www.grandhotelplaza.com/

Regina Hotel Baglioni
Place: Via Veneto
http://www.baglionihotels.com/

Aldrovandi Palace
Place: Villa Borghese
http://www.aldrovandi.com/

Hotel Parco dei Principi
Place: Villa Borghese
http://www.parcodeiprincipi.com/

Restaurants:
Antonio al Pantheon
ROMA- Via Dei Pastini, 12 (Pantheon)
Tel.: 06/ 67.90.798

Nino
ROMA- Via Borgognona II (Piazza Spagna)
Tel.: 06/ 67.95.676

La Pergola
Restaurant at Cavalieri Hilton Hotel (Top ten italian restaurants). Top food and view.

Tipical roman restaurant are situated in trastevere. In my opinion the best restaurant is "Il Bolognese" in Piazza del Popolo.

Shopping:
Rome is a delightfully old-fashioned affair. Limited space in medieval streets and among Renaissance palazzi make huge department stores and malls impossible. And Romans' lasting affection for the family-run shop and the quirky boutique means that big national and international chains have had a harder time getting a foothold. Even in the heart of the city, most locals prefer selecting their fruit and vegetables from street markets—such as the picturesque one in Campo de' Fiori, or the magnificent example in Piazza Testaccio—rather than from the minisupermarkets that have appeared in recent years. Big-name fashion designers cluster around the foot of the Spanish Steps, but there are exciting surprises lurking all around the centro storico

"THE" roman

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Courchevel (1850)

Courchevel (1850) is THE place for ski lovers! Fun and relaxed crowd, great restaurants and nightclubs... The negative side? Not that cheap!

Get Fat in La Bergerie, La Saulire and La Chabichou.
Dance in the Black Dragoon and Les Caves de Courchevel
Sleep in the Byblos or the Melezin Aman Resort.



The Dj

The Chef and M

Me

The Restaurant

Positano

Be Romantic in Positano or give it up!


The town to love and fall in love...Not that many other options apart from making love and having nice wine.
SLEEP at the one and only Hotel La Sirenuse. Make sure you get a seaview room. Just Perfect!
While you are there get lost in the many little sweet streets and relax at the end of the day in the Hotel Spa. If you get bored at night ask the reception for their movie, "Only you". No, It is not porn!



Monday, November 19, 2007

Barcelona

A city of split personalities—at once trendy and traditional, upscale and down-to-earth. It is also Spain's most fashionable city, where inhabitants pride themselves on their style. On an evening stroll along Passeig de Gràcia, couples gaze into shop windows and at the buildings' grand facades. It can be a pricey city, but if you book well in advance, you can find smart accommodations that won't break the bank (V.F.)

Hotels:
Arts (the most expencive coffee I ever had!!),Hotel Omm, Axel (Hetero friendly!) Prestige Paseo de La Gracia, Casa Fuster and 1898

HOTEL ARTS


Restaurants:
A Contraluz, Abac, Aqua, Arola, Can Sole, Quimet I Quimet, Thai Lounge and Ximei.


Nightclubs:
Amber Lounge, b-ROOM (b-ROOM is a Private Members' Network), Club Fellini, La Terraza, Satom and Club.

THE HOLY TRINITY PROJECT @ CLUB FELLINI

Lake Como (Cernobbio)

The one and only, Hotel Villa D'este.
www.villadeste.it


CRAZY FOR LAKE COMO
The placid shores of Lake Como, long home to Italy's aristocrats, have been a haven for the likes of Wordsworth and Winston Churchill, J.F.K. and Marlene Dietrich. (Oh, yeah, George Clooney too.) But as Janine di Giovanni discovers, an invasion of the super-rich—from American venture capitalists to Russian billionaires—is sending ripples through Como's exclusive villas.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Milan



Milan the fashion world center.


Restaurants:

Da Giacomo. www.dagiacomoristorante.it
Book your table a week before you go! Great crowd. The spot for top-models and movie actors. The staff is very professional and friendly.

Il Porto. www.ilportoristorante.com
The best seafood and fish restaurant in town. Old fashioned and with a little garden for the smokers.

Girarosto. http://milano.tonight.eu/locale/al_girarrosto
A classical for Italian food lovers. The buffet is a must!

Paper Moon. http://it.viaggi.yahoo.com/p-guida_viaggi-1062525-action-info_turistiche-paper_moon_milano-i
The place to see and be seen in Milan. Georgio Armani and Roberto Cavalli are some of the people you might find having dinner between models.

Becce. www.bicemilano.it/
Chic and international. Elegant crowd and two steps from fashion epi-centre Via Spiga.

La Risacca 6. http://www.larisacca6.it
New money but a bit of showiness and the odd soccer player can be fun! Still cool…

Hotels:

Pricipe de Savoia, Bulgari Hotel, Baglioni and the Grand Hotel et de Milan

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The best first class worldwide

Now THIS is flying high!

(For a more modest priced First/Business Class try SilverJet, Oasis, MaxJet and Eos.)

The closest most air travelers will ever come to a first-class seat is the humiliating "perp walk" to the economy-class section during boarding.

No, we aren't criminals, but we sure feel like second-class citizens when we shuffle past the already boarded elite passengers, who glare at us between sips of their mimosas as if we're no better than cargo. Squeezing our frames into the tiny steerage seats is arguably the final insult.

Yet a fortunate few - by luck or through the miracle of frequent-flier miles - will one day ascend to the coveted front of the cabin.

According to a recent survey by the Orlando marketing firm YPB&R, that's where everyone wants to sit. One in 10 business travelers craves lots of legroom, nearly two-thirds say they value the extra-spacious overhead compartments and almost half would die for the full meals served to first-class passengers.

"It isn't just the comfort and service of first class that's appealing," says Joel Widzer, author of the book, "The Penny Pincher's Passport to Luxury Travel: The Art of Cultivating Preferred Customer Status." "If you want to arrive at your destination well-rested and ready to get to work, you need that upgrade."

The question is, if you're going to go first class, which airline should you fly? The conventional wisdom says the domestic airlines have lost their touch when it comes to the big seats. (Indeed, three of the top five airlines in Travel + Leisure magazine's 2003 list of the best domestic airlines operate a one-class configuration.)

In order to come up with my list of the five best first-class sections, I took a look at several recent surveys, including those conducted by Travel + Leisure, British pollsters Skytrax Research, Zagat's, and, of course, J.D. Power and Associates. As always, I compared the numbers against your experiences and my own (even though, to be completely honest, I can count the number of times I've been upgraded on one hand).

Singapore Airlines. It's difficult to find a survey of the best first-class sections without a mention of Singapore's front-of-the-cabin service. On long-distance flights, the seats turn into lie-down-flat beds, complete with a down-filled mattress, duvet and a large pillow. You're also issued a pair of designer pajamas and a toiletry kit with body lotion, lip balm and towels. The service is beyond attentive, according to passengers I've spoken with. And the food? Decadent. Caviar, Dom Perignon and gourmet, cooked-to-order meals are on the menus. "All in all," says Jeff Tucker, a technology consultant in Kalaheo, Hawaii, "Singapore Airlines is the best there is."

Virgin Atlantic Airways. Limousine service to the airport. On-board masseuses. An in-flight bar. If you didn't know any better, you'd think they'd turned the clock back 40 years to the golden age of flying, when first class really was a first-class experience. Virgin, which is constantly trying to outdo archrival British Airways, recently introduced a new first-class cabin called the Upper Class Suite, with seats that are nearly 80 inches long and 33 inches wide. You certainly won't get any complaints about seat room in this first-class section. (Technically, Virgin's first class is considered a business-class service, with its "premium economy" subbing for business class. But that's just semantics - Upper Class is a real first-class product.)

Cathay Pacific Airways. Talk about being pampered. If you're flying from Hong Kong, your experience starts at a special lounge called The Wing, where you can watch a movie, catch up on work in your own personal space or grab a bite to eat at its in-lounge noodle bar. On long-haul flights, Cathay pulls out all the stops, with luxurious sleeper seats which feature luxury duvets and pillows, toiletry kits designed by La Prairie and gourmet, cooked-to-order cuisine. Cathay also waives some of its rules for folks sitting up front, permitting a special checked-baggage allowance of two pieces that weigh up to 70 pounds each. So you can travel in style and take along the kitchen sink - almost literally.

British Airways. Flying can be stressful, which is why British Airways operates a spa out of its London first-class lounge. That, and perhaps a little competition with Virgin (which, after all, has an on-board masseuse), have driven this carrier to offer a range of treatments and massages "designed to relieve the stresses of the journey and prepare you for a relaxed and comfortable flight." The first-class section is impressive, too. Each individual seat is called a "demi cabin" because it converts not only into a bed, but an office of sorts with a separate seat where another passenger (presumably also from first class) can "visit" with you. British Airways also has a reputation for having an excellent on-board "cellar" with a selection of wines, champagnes and spirits - but alas, no bar.

Thai International Airways. The last thing Thai wants its Royal First Class customers to be on those tedious transcontinental flights is bored. Which is why you're issued a personal Video Walkman when you sit down. There's a library with first-run movies, classic films, a ballet or music videos, to pass the time. And, of course, there's luxury - and lots of it. Sleeper seats. Food served on china with silverware (nothing plastic here). Cuvée des Roys champagne. Plus, the service is said to be second-to-none, with cabin attendants constantly patrolling the aisles to make sure every passenger is happy. Needless to say, it would be very difficult to have a bad flight on Thai.

Don't forget business class

Not all airlines offer a first-class cabin. In fact, some of the best premium airline services don't even carry a "first-class" label. This is done mainly because so many companies have policies forbidding their employees from flying first class. So the airlines wisely renamed their top-of-the-line product "business class."

A good example is Austrian Airlines' "Grand Class," which showed up on several of the surveys, despite being a business-class product. Austrian Airlines is a sentimental favorite of mine because I grew up in Austria and still have family there, who I visit frequently. I admit it, I shamelessly beg for an upgrade to Grand Class every time I fly on Austrian, and I've actually gotten an upgrade on two occasions. It's worth the groveling.

"It's the best business class around," raves Alf Wirth, a financial adviser who is a frequent traveler to Vienna, Austria. "In fact, except for the seats only reclining to 160 degrees, it would win even against any other first class." Wirth likes the food, service and ambience - and even though my friends who handle public relations for Austrian Airlines cringe whenever I call, I wholeheartedly agree.

Before booking that ticket, though, I'd like offer a reality check. A New York-to-Vienna ticket in Grand Class will set you back about $5,022. Want to fly from Los Angeles to Singapore on Singapore Airlines? Get ready to part with $9,368. That's big bucks.

If you can't afford to do that, or just think that the money would be better spent on something like oh, say your mortgage, then you can always do the "perp walk" and follow the rest of the livestock to the back of the plane.

First Class '77

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Paris

Plaza Athenee

Nighty night Baby



The 6 Top rated ASmallworld.net restaurants:

Convivium
Great atmosphere, and very correct Italian food for Paris, probably the best. Very enjoyable terrace on Place V Hugo in summer season

404
Great Moroccan food, interior design and atmosphere. Owned by Momo's of London and his brother. Next to it, the bar, Andy Walhoo, with a cool terrasse in a private courtyard.

Guy Savoy
Expect at least a 3-hour meal at this unique place where the chef is usually in his kitchen! Top-notch food, great service. Definitely an experience.

Au Bon Accueil
Very good food and service, lovely wine list. love their new restaurant 'Les Anges' on the Boulevard de la Tour Maubourg. Highly recommended.

Chez L'Ami Louis
The very best and oh, soooo french! If you plan to go there again better put your charms on Louis! Only for Fall and winter, otherwise it's too heavy. Don't be surprised to have Sharon Stone, Woody Allen or Robin Williams sitting next to you!

L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon
You can book tables, but only for the early lunch (11:30) or the early dinner (18:30). In any event, the food is spectacular. As mentioned, the purée is pretty special, but the potato waffels are even better in my humble opinion. All in all, a brilliant resto and worth every penny.

Nightclubs:

Club Maison Blanche, Castel, Le Paris Paris, Le Kong and Le Lup.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Taipei


Pedro Caldeira killing time...

Some citys are just not worth it. It was the case of Taipei. This was my second time there and the feeling I had during my first visit came right. Taipei is ugly and boring!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Dublin




I was pleasantly surprised by Dublin. It is a young vibrent city with amazing Georgian architecture. In fact, it has the highest concentration of young people in Europe.

So - How to get the best out of Dublin, in 48 hours...
Walk up Grafton St., along the Liffey River, around Saint Stephen's Green and be sure to see the book of Kells and the old library at Trinity college. The image opposite of a wonderful cafe / bar called Cafe En Seine - it's a huge domed and mosaiced bar where Dublin meets Paris. You could easily loose an afternoon or evening here!

If you have the time and the rented car (or just take the Dart train, 15 mins by the coast) visit Dalkey. An Irish village that is low key but where all the rich Dubliners live. For a pub, go to The Queens (no, its not gay) or for a bistro try Nosh. The posh restaurant in town is The Guinea Pig which ironically is a seafood restaurant.

Back in Dublin eat in Saba Restaurant (www.sabadublin.com), Bleu (www.bleu.ie), La Stampa (www.lastampa.ie)
Drink at Cocoon (www.cocoon.ie) and Reynards.

Sleep at the John Rocha designed Morrison Hotel (www.morrisonhotel.ie) or at least dine in the restaurant or have a cocktail.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Macau



The new Hotel Venetian in Macau www.venetian.com
-Having opened in September 07, I was exited to be one of the first through the door. This massive 3000 bedroom hotel is a mini city with 300 stores from Tiffanys to the sock shop. Its gaudy but fabulous in a over the top way. It currently has 10.000 staff and they are looking for 5.000 more! Its the biggest casino in the world. It has a mix of high-end rollers and Chinese day triperes from the main land, complete with their plastic bags of food. Its actually quit funny to visit a Saint Mark's square complete with gondolas in China! Roka and Canton are the best restaurants for dinner, just off the gaming floor.



Being a portuguese, I found it fascinating to still see in Macau some portuguese architecture, cafes and old taxi driveres that still speak portuguese and draw their pension out of my governmente!

Hong Kong (Part II)

Jumping in Asia...







The best restaurants in Hong Kong this season are...

Azure www.azure.hk -Bar and restaurant on the 29th floor of the LKF Hotel. Split leval with an amazing outdoor terrace.

Aqua www.aqua.com.hk -Very stilish restaurant with separate bar in Kawloon with the best view over to Hong Kong. The right place to see and be seen but the food is expensive and not as good as they would like to think it is. Opt for the Italian over the Asian. The wagyu beef rice was full of grissle!

Isola www.isolabarandgrill.com -Great Italian cuisine in the IFC mall. Beutiful white interior and a big outdoor terrace with water views.

Tokio Joe www.lkfe.com -Fun, easy local Japanese in the middle of the hectic Lan Kwai Fong. Often noisy and full of excited post work diners.

Megu www.megunyc.com -Modern Japanese cuisine in Kawloon. In the new Essentials mall. Proper and lovingly prepared, even the wasabi is freshly grated at the table. Not light for the pocket!

Where to shop...

Prada Warehouse -Last seasons items at up to 50% discount.
Shangai Tang
Harvey Nichols
Essentials -The new place for shop addicts!