Tag Archives: TOP 10

Dwayne Johnson Rocks Highest Paid Actors List

Dwayne Johnson Rocks Highest Paid Actors List 2016

Whatever Dwayne Johnson’s cooking up in terms of deals, it smells sweet. The actor formerly known by his wrestling sobriquet The Rock has been certified as the world’s highest paid actor, according to the usual suspects at Forbes. He topped the earnings list with $64.5 million in 2016, more than double his takings in 2015.

Altogether, the world’s highest paid actors (this list is male-only, we’ll get to the females in a separate story) made a combined $703.5 million, between June 1, 2015 and June 1 2016. That’s before management fees and taxes, in case you care to know.

As far as international cinema goes, Jackie Chan flies the flag for Hong Kong and China with $61 million, putting him in second place. Bollywood has a number of representatives here, including the legendary Amitabh Bachchan but leading the way is Shah Rukh Khan in eight place with $33 million.

At number 20, Harrison Ford is the oldest member of the high rollers’ club (he’s 74) and the only actor returning to the list after failing to make the cut last time. The youngest guy on this list is the 37-year-old Chris Pratt.

The two most controversial figures on the list are undoubtedly Salman Khan, convicted of a hit-and-run in 2002 (his prison sentence was suspended), and Johnny Depp, accused of domestic abuse by his ex-wife Amber Heard (they settled and she donated all the money).

By far the most irritating figure on the list must be Adam Sandler, whose deal with Netflix allows him to beam his brand of comedy directly into people’s homes.

The full Forbes list is below.

1. Dwayne Johnson ($64.5 million)

2. Jackie Chan ($61 million)

3. Matt Damon ($55 million)

4. Tom Cruise ($53 million)

5. Johnny Depp ($48 million)

6. Ben Affleck ($43 million)

7. Vin Diesel ($35 million)

8. Shah Rukh Khan ($33 million)

8. Robert Downey Jr. ($33 million)

10. Akshay Kumar ($31.5 million)

10. Brad Pitt ($31.5 million)

12. Adam Sandler ($30 million)

12. Mark Wahlberg ($30 million)

14. Salman Khan ($28.5 million)

15. Leonardo Dicaprio ($27 million)

16. Chris Pratt ($26 million)

17. Will Smith ($20.5 million)

18. Amitabh Bachchan ($20 million)

19. Matthew McConaughey ($18 million)

20. Harrison Ford ($15 million)

Best Restaurant in the UK L'Enclume

Best Restaurant in the UK Revealed

The best restaurants in the UK are apparently in Cumbria, Cornwall and Nottinghamshire, which is wonderful news for pastoralists and well-heeled explorers alike. For the fourth year in a row, L’Enclume, a farm-to-table restaurant set in the bucolic English countryside, has been named the best dining destination in the UK by a 65-year-old food guide.

Inspectors at The Good Food Guide gave chef Simon Rogan’s Cartmel restaurant a perfect 10 out of 10 score, a rating reserved for dishes that show “faultless technique at every service” and “the highest accolade the Guide can give.”

Using fruits, vegetables, herbs and edible flowers plucked from the restaurant’s 12-acre farm in North West England, chefs Rogan and Tom Barnes churn out dishes like broth of artichoke with pork fat and fennel and grilled lobster with parsnip, nasturtium (edible flowers) and apple.

Since opening in 2002, Rogan’s cuisine has earned the restaurant two Michelin stars and a string of accolades.

Rounding out the top five spots on the list is Restaurant Nathan Outlaw in Cornwall and Restaurant Sat Bains in Nottinghamshire.

The top-ranked London restaurant is Pollen Street Social. Four of the top 10 restaurants are located in British capital.

Rogan’s rising stardom in the British culinary scene helped him score a coveted place at luxury London hotel Claridge’s. In 2013, the hotel announced that Rogan would replace outgoing celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay.

Best Restaurant in the UK Simon Rogan, Claridge's

Chef Simon Rogan outside Claridge’s hotel in London where he helms Fera. © Simon Rogan, Claridge’s

The menu at Claridge’s Fera also espouses the same culinary ethos of using local and seasonal ingredients for dishes like roasted cauliflower with roasted chicken skin, sea lettuce and anise hyssop, and caramelized pork belly with carrots and tarragon.

Fera is ranked 15th on the Good Food Guide list, and holds one Michelin star.

Here’s The Good Food Guide’s top 20 restaurants for 2017 with their scores:

  • 1. L’Enclume, Cumbria (10)
  • 2. Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Cornwall (10)
  • 3. Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottinghamshire (9)
  • 4. Pollen Street Social, London (9)
  • 5. Hibiscus, London (9)
  • 6. The Fat Duck, Berkshire (9)
  • 7. Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, London (9)
  • 8. Hedone, London (8)
  • 9. Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, Tayside (8)
  • 10. Fraiche, Merseyside (8)
  • 11. The Ledbury, London (8)
  • 12. Midsummer House, Cambridgeshire (8)
  • 13. Le Champignon Sauvage, Gloucestershire (8)
  • 14. Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, London (8)
  • 15. Fera at Claridges, London (8)
  • 16. Le Gavroche, London (8)
  • 17. Marcus, London (8)
  • 18. The French, Manchester (8)
  • 19. André Garrett at Cliveden, Berkshire (8)
  • 20. The Peat Inn, Fife (8)
Maria Grazia Chiuri; Anthony Vaccarello; Bouchra Jarrar

3 Fashion Designers to Follow Fall 2016

In 2015 and 2016, the top names in fashion moved around so much or simply vacated their positions that the term “musical chairs” became overused in the ensuing press reports. Semantics aside, radical changes are the order of the day given how much disruption is hitting the fashion world. Perhaps new blood at the top will provide an infusion of vigor at some of the storied couture names. In short, all eyes will be on Paris for the 2017 spring-summer shows as the first collections of some of these new designers debut.

Maria Grazia Chiuri

Maria Grazia Chiuri

The pressure is on for the newly appointed Dior creative director, who presents her first collection for the luxury brand September 30. Competition for front-row seats at the show, which has everything it takes to arouse the curiosity of fashion addicts, will likely be fierce – all the more so because Chiuri is the first-ever woman to occupy the post of creative director at the Parisian fashion house.

After more than 20 years of working for Valentino in collaboration with Pierpaolo Piccioli, the Italian designer was officially appointed by Dior on July 8 to take over from Raf Simons, who left the French fashion house to move to Calvin Klein in October 2015.

At the upcoming Dior show, attention will be particularly focused on the accessories, which are one of Chiuri’s specialties.

Anthony Vaccarello

Anthony Vaccarello

The Belgian designer became the driving force for renewal at Yves Saint Laurent Paris, following the departure of previous artistic director Hedi Slimane last April. Taking over from Slimane, who did much to reposition the French brand, will represent a considerable challenge for Anthony Vaccarello. His first show for the luxury French fashion house will also be the center of attention, because it will doubtless be an introduction to a new look that is expected to replace Slimane’s somber rock style with a simpler, sensual and more feminine silhouette.

If the schedule for Paris Fashion Week allows, Yves Saint Laurent may opt to make a splash by holding its show on the first day so as to focus the spotlight on its new artistic director.

Bouchra Jarrar

Bouchra Jarrar

The third major French fashion house to rethink its artistic direction, Lanvin has called on the services of French designer Bouchra Jarrar, who took charge of womenswear collections when she replaced Alber Elbaz. The forty-year-old, who has collaborated with such major labels as Christian Lacroix and Balenciaga, will take center stage when she presents her first collection for Lanvin, which has been hotly anticipated by the public and business professionals alike.

Issey Miyake

5 Fall/Winter 2016 Fashion Trends

The new season will soon be upon us and it is time to start thinking of another wardrobe update. Straight from the runways around the world, we explore the five trends that are set to be big for women’s fashion this fall. For fall/winter, the brands brought out designs such as long-length pieces with various finishes.

Chic Pleats 
Maison Margiela

Maison Margiela

The pleated skirt this summer has paved the way for pleats to be worked into long and short skirts, dresses and tops. From Maison Margiela to Diesel Black Gold, Valentino and Bottega Veneta the trend was used in various forms to highlight a sensual vibe in the designs. Over at Issey Miyake, the brand showcased two new technical procedures that boosted the fluidity of movement, creating an array of optical illusions.

Spotlight on shoulders 
Christian Dior

Christian Dior

The shoulders are the stars of the season, in case the off-shoulder summer trend has not given you a better hint. From asymmetrical tops and dresses to cuts that leave the shoulders entirely bare, fashion houses such as Christian Dior, Elie Saab, Mugler, Anthony Vaccarello, Ermanni Scervino and Alexander McQueen are leading the way. Other designers chose to keep shoulders covered but structured in designs that exaggerated the eighties styles such as Saint Laurent and Jacquemus.

Silky soft fur 
Moncler Gamme Rouge

Moncler Gamme Rouge

Where some brands are steering clear of fur, others chose to showcase the material in various colors this season. From brightly colored, autumnal and sophisticated white, fur was a favorite for several designers. Labels such as Moncler Gamme Rouge featured it on collars, coats, skirts and even hats making it the pride and joy of the collection. At Paul & Joe as well as Valentino, fur was seen in multi-colored pastel shades while Saint Laurent saw the material in bright red. Over at Chloé, fur was featured in electric blue while Fendi simply embraced fur in its designs as always.

Sheer, floaty fabrics
Alexander Wang

Alexander Wang

The springtime vibe was seen in dresses that were lighter and floatier, becoming almost transparent. This season’s gowns are a simple veil, with super-fine fabrics, sheers, embroidery and netting hinting at the female form for a sensual rather than sexy effect. This trend was seen at Sonia Rykiel, Giambattista Valli, Valentino, Andrew GN, Chalayan, Dolce & Gabbana and Alexander Wang. The season’s hottest look sees a very lightweight dress worn with a long, heavy coat.

Prints go wild
Roberto Cavalli

Roberto Cavalli

They never really left the building so it is no surprise that prints will be back in a big way this season. They’ll be seen in touches here and there, like Kenzo’s tiger-print collars, as well as in full-on animal-print ensembles. In the fashion jungle, Sonia Rykiel opted for python print, Givenchy mixed python and panther motifs, and Dior went for leopard. Blumarine brought animal-print to accessories, along with Roberto Cavalli.

Luxury Concept Cars Pebble Beach 2016 Lamborghini Centenario Roadster

5 Luxury Concept Cars Dominate Pebble Beach

At Pebble Beach this year, there was an impressive display of classic and concept cars that would have kept motoring enthusiasts on the edge of their seats. The Concours d’Elegance was an opportunity to showcase luxury concept cars and limited edition automobiles to the public, and boy did automakers pull out all the stops. We take a look at five of the most impressive luxury concept cars that caught our attention.

Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6Mercedes-Maybach 6

Clocking in at 6-meters, this all-electric concept car is an awe-inducing spectacle from Mercedes, representing where it thinks the storied Maybach name fits into the global automotive narrative. Fitted with an electric power train deliver 750 horsepower, the car is able to go from 1 to 100 km/h in under four seconds. The Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 comes on the heels of other concepts presented by the brand and is actually the first indication of what’s to come for Maybach, a marque we love to ogle. Obviously, it is set to pave the way for an upcoming model in the Maybach range.

Fisker Karma


Henrik Fisker’s Fisker Karma cars are no more but the spirit of this marque gets its second wind here. Now christened the Karma Revero, the reborn plug-in hybrid is the first of Karma Automotives, complete with a new management team that focuses on the rather zen philosophy of cause and effect. It has inherited the same good looks as its namesake, and the solar roof is retained, which Karma Automotive boldly claims will generate enough energy to power the car.

BMW 2002 HomageThe BMW 2002 Hommage

Celebrating 100 years is a big deal and BMW is partying in many different ways, not least of which is this homage to one of its most symbolic creations, the 2002 Turbo. First created in 1973, the BMW 2002 was the first-ever road-going sports car that was equipped with a turbo charger. While the initial concept was unveiled at Villa d’Este in Italy earlier this year, Pebble Beach saw the manufacturer present a new version in orange and black — the original colors of the competition car that raced in the 1970s.

Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato VolanteAston Martin Vanquish Zagato

British carmaker Aston Martin and Italian coach builder Zagato have dropped the top to present the American public with a convertible version of their Vanquish Zagato coupe. You’ve no doubt seen this dream machine before and it is certainly going into production although it may never reach showrooms anywhere. The production run for the model, which is equipped with a 592 horsepower V12 engine, will be limited to 99 copies.

Lamborghini Centenario RoadsterThe Lamborghini Centenario Roadster

At this year’s Pebble Beach, the Italian brand has opted to present the roadster version of its Centenario coupe. Unveiled earlier this year in Geneva, Switzerland, the Lamborghini Centenario, which marks the centenary of the birth of the founder of the brand, Ferrucio Lamborghini, is the most powerful ever built, with 770 horsepower enabling it to hit 100 km/h in only 2.8 seconds. The production run for the convertible version will be limited to just 20. The regular Centenario is already sold out and we expect the same here.

A 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider by Touring © Darin Schnabel Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

Record-Setting Car Auctions: Concours 2016

“The rise of Ferrari across the board has been a bit of phenomenon of the last 10 years,” begins Peter Haynes from RM Sotheby’s. Not only have the incredibly rare models from the 1950s and 60s rocketed in value but in recent years the prices of even 1980s and 90s Ferraris have jumped significantly — $575,000 for a 2001 Ferrari 550 Barchetta, anyone?

But is that about to change? “It’s a relatively limited pool of people that want to buy the very high value cars,” says Haynes. “You could potentially argue that Ferrari has been overheated because there have been far too many big Ferraris coming to market.”

A 1931 Bugatti Type 51 Grand Prix Racing Two Seater is one of the stars of this year's Bonhams sale. © Courtesy of Bonhams

A 1931 Bugatti Type 51 Grand Prix Racing Two Seater is one of the stars of this year’s Bonhams sale.

What sends an auction into a frenzy is when a seriously significant car that has been in private ownership for a very long period of time finally comes up for sale.

“There are lots of lovely Bugattis that haven’t come to market over recent years. Lots of D-Type Jags. And now that they are, they are shining,” says Haynes.

And after years of unavailability, a Le Mans-winning D-Type is coming up and it has a conservative estimate of $20-$25 million. “A big, historically significant car doesn’t need to be a Ferrari to make a record price. A Le Mans-winning D-Type Jag is always going to be one of the most valuable cars in the world,” says Haynes.

This 1955 Jaguar D-Type won the 1956 24 Hours of Le Mans. © Patrick Ernzen Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

This 1955 Jaguar D-Type won the 1956 24 Hours of Le Mans.
© Patrick Ernzen Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

But the D-Type isn’t a solo performer. There is a 1931 Bugatti Type 51 Grand Prix Racing Two Seater ($14-$20 million+) that went under the hammer at Bonhams’ Quai Lodge auction on August 19 (It actually sold for $4 million, narrowly edging the Ferrari LaFerrari at the same sale). Or a 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider by Touring, one of only 12 in the world if you had upwards of $25 million to spare and attended the RM Sotheby’s sale. It closed for $19.8 million, making it the 8th most expensive car ever sold at auction.

A new order?

And then then there’s the total wildcard. The original Shelby Cobra, the car that Carroll Shelby himself built and owned until the day he died. A car that has never, ever come up for sale and one that represents Genesis verse one, chapter one in the bible of American international motorsports history. A normal Cobra can fetch upwards of $1.5 million. This one could fetch 20 times more. In the end, when the gavel fell, the car sold for $13.8 million, making it the most expensive American car ever sold at auction. It is, by our reckoning, number 21 on the list of most expensive cars in the world sold at auction.

“All of these cars are absolutely capable of entering the top 10, which up to now has been almost exclusively dominated by Ferrari,” says Haynes. From what we have seen, only the Alfa 8C lived to this billing, which is still a big thrill.

The very first Shelby Cobra CSX2000 © RM Sotheby's

The very first Shelby Cobra CSX2000
© RM Sotheby’s

As well as Ferrari fatigue, any possible rearranging of the top 10 is also down to changing tastes. Every year the average age of auction attendees drops as does the age of the cars they covet. This leads to even Japanese models becoming motoring icons and thus collectible.

“We can only guess what our kids may be potentially interested in buying when they hit their 40s,” explains Haynes. “How will they view something like a Ferrari Daytona? They might think it’s very cool or they might think its a horrendous antique not worth the garage space. It’s going to be interesting.”

Château les Carmes-Haut-Brion vineyards 2016

5 Vineyards and Chateaux Seeking Summer Guests

Deep into the weekend, we’re recapping our tour of five vineyards in France and the California. We’re also reexamining our love of wine with an aggressive Pinot Noir from New Zealand (our thanks to the team at Omega Singapore and Salt Grill and Sky Bar at ION, Singapore) and a gentle Merlot from California. At the same time, we will busy here with the upcoming wine auctions in September, notably at Sotheby’s and Christie’s.

This frenzy of interest in wine was all sparked with the opening of the Cité du Vin, a cultural center for all things wine-related, in Bordeaux (of course!), and the first anniversary of the Champagne region’s hillsides, houses and cellars gaining UNESCO World Heritage status. All told, we have looked at five impressive vineyards and chateaux, compiled by the AFP Relaxnews.

For your convenience, we’ve reassembled all five choices we published recently and summarized them below.

Ridge Vineyards, California: American Dream

The Monte Bello vineyard

The Monte Bello vineyard

This long-standing wine business is proof that the French are not alone in having been producing wine for centuries. The vast property, which also has vines two hours away by car in the Santa Cruz Mountains, has been making wine since 1885. You might know it for its Monte Bello vintage and its acknowledged expertize with Zinfandel, an emblematic grape variety in California.

Château La Coste: Contemporary Wine

Château La Coste

The Franck O. Gehry music pavilion at Château La Coste

It seems vineyards in France have something of a reputation for hospitality and cultural tours of a sort. Château La Coste for example offers a tour of its art works and architectural structures (15 euros for an adult ticket), which includes pieces by Tadao Ando, Louise Bourgeois, Alexander Calder and Frank O. Gehry. You can even stay right on the grounds in the appropriately named Villa La Coste, a new luxury hotel. The wines are known for being completely organic since 2009, with even the old vines being worked organically.

Champagne House Bollinger: Rare Vintages

Bollinger Champagne Estate

The Bollinger Champagne Estate is located in Ay, France.

You will of course be familiar with Bollinger, either for its association with James Bond or its British royal warrants. On site in Ay, France, Bollinger has an exquisite oenotheque (otherwise known as a wine library), which is well worth a visit and just opened this year. Be warned though: you can’t just go blustering in without calling ahead first, which is only polite.

Château de Béru: Pop-Up Wine Bar

Château de Béru facade

Château de Béru is located near the famous wine town of Chablis. © Thierry Malty Thierry Malty/Château de Béru

Unlike some of the other names here, you may not be familiar with Château de Béru and that is exactly what the winery wants to change. Until August 31, visitors can enjoy a vertical tasting, among other things, with the estate’s owner herself, Athénaïs de Béru. The estate is in Burgundy, in the Chablis region and you should visit with an unprejudiced palate.

Château les Carmes-Haut-Brion: 21st Century Winery

Château les Carmes-Haut-Brion

Vat painted by Ara Starck

Like Bollinger, this is a name that requires little introduction outside the world of dedicated wine lovers. Established in 1584 when the Carmelite order took over running the estate, it actually dates further back along with the other Haut-Brion names. This grand old age is masked today by the winery’s reputation for 21st century touches. The Philippe Starck-designed building you’re looking at here is just one example: it is the wine cellar. There are plenty of other contemporary touches, with a strong design philosophy bringing an extra level of charm to the wines.

3 models destined for fall 2016fame

3 Models Destined for Fall 2016 Fame

It is fashion season again and that means we’re on the lookout for the next wave of hot fashion and fashionably hot models. Yes September is coming round again, drawing our attention once more to the four fashion capitals of the world – New York, London, Milan and Paris – to discover what’s new at the spring-summer 2017 fashion shows. You can expect that some models will stand out during Fashion Month, and that the big brands will be scurrying about trying to sign them up for their next campaigns. Here’s the lowdown that the AFP has come up with on the models everyone will be talking about. Nothing surprising about this of course as these models are hardly unknowns.

Bella Hadid

3 Models Destined for Fall 2016 Fame Bella Hadid

Bella Hadid modelling for the Christian Dior spring-summer 2017 cruise collection.© ADRIAN DENNIS / AFP

Gigi Hadid’s little sis needs no introduction, as she’s already won over planet fashion. But even as her star rises, she could still pull a few surprises. She was recently made the face of Dior Beauty, and is likely to be in high demand during Fashion Month, particularly in New York and Paris. She’s expected to walk for Dior, where she could either open or close the show. She might also stride out for Chanel, Miu Miu or Givenchy as she’s done catwalk work for them previously.

In just two years, the young Bella has shot to stardom in the model world. She recently posed for two editions of Vogue and is regularly on the front page of the world’s top fashion magazines. She also featured in the J.W. Anderson, Calvin Klein and Givenchy fall-winter 2016 campaigns.

Steffy Argelich

3 Models Destined for Fall 2016 Fame Steffy Argelich

Steffy Argelich walks at the Isabel Marant spring-summer 2016 collection. © AFP PHOTO / MIGUEL MEDINA

Her name may not be familiar to you but this Spanish model has caught the attention of a raft of fashion brands. Spontaneous and charismatic, Steffy has that little something extra that brands are looking for. She has already won over Emilio Pucci, Lancaster, Mango, Max Mara, Just Cavalli, Topshop, and A.P.C., and that’s only in 2016. And she’s no stranger to the catwalk, having worked for Paul & Joe, Kenzo, Isabel Marant, Courrèges, Cédric Charlier, Jacquemus and Topshop Unique for the spring-summer 2016 collections. There’s no doubt that the bigger fashion houses will snap her up for the upcoming shows.

Taylor Hill

3 models destined for fall 2016fame

Taylor Hill at the Versace fall-winter 2016 haute couture show. © PATRICK KOVARIK / AFP

This American model has attracted a large number of brands with her ability to switch from rock’n’roll to sensual to femme fatale. She’s only 20 but is already a Victoria’s Secret Angel, and has been a Lancôme ambassador since July. On top of these highly sought-after contracts, she has partnered with many other big names in fashion for both ad campaigns (Topshop, Jimmy Choo, Miu Miu, and Michael Kors) and on the catwalk (Tommy Hilfiger, Jeremy Scott, DKNY, Ralph Lauren, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Fendi, Mugler, Miu Miu, and H&M). The brunette with the piercing eyes was also named social media model of the year at the 2015 Fashion Media Awards. There’s no doubt that she’s only at the beginning of a long and successful career.


World’s Most Livable City: Melbourne

In a study by The Economist of more than 140 cities, Melbourne has come out tops as the most livable city in the world. The second most populous city in Australia edged out the competition from Vienna, Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary, among others.

While Melbourne holds the title for most livable city, Canada and Australia stand as the best countries for quality of life. The two countries each hold spots in three of the top 10 lists, which saw a significant absence of cities from US and Asia. What helps determine the rankings, are five broad categories such as stability, healthcare, culture, environment and infrastructure.

One city that doesn’t make the cut for top ten most livable cities is Sydney. The reshuffling, that now sees Hamburg, Germany in the tenth spot, was attributed to the heightened perceived threat of terrorism. The top five in the list however, remain unchanged. The countless terror attacks last year caused Paris to experience a sharp decline, while growing unrest linked to the Black Lives Matter movement in the US may have driven the countries cities further down the list.

The study found several consistencies that helped qualify the cities as top-ranking countries. The cities that made the list were mid-sized cities in wealthier countries that had a relatively low population density. Other factors that helped in the ranking were the range of recreational activities, low crime levels and smart, stable infrastructure. In contrast, the top ten least livable cities see Syria at the top of the list closely followed by Tripoli, Libya, Lagos, Nigeria, Dhaka, Bangladesh and Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

Here then is the list of most livable cities, followed by the least.

1. Melbourne, Australia
2. Vienna, Austria
3. Vancouver, Canada
4. Toronto, Canada
5. Calgary, Canada
6. Adelaide, Australia
7. Perth, Australia
8. Auckland, New Zealand
9. Helsinki, Finland
10. Hamburg, Germany

The top 10 least liveable cities

1. Damascus, Syria
2. Tripoli, Libya
3. Lagos, Nigeria
4. Dhaka, Bangladesh
5. Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
6. Algiers, Algeria
7. Karachi, Pakistan
8. Harare, Zimbabwe
9. Douala, Cameroon
10. Kiev, Ukraine

Franck Muller

9 Stealth All-Black Watches: Dark Beasts

All-black watches are cool. It is that simple. Whether they sport in-house power plants and are the result of internal research and development or use third-party solutions, these watches are captivating. As we show in this spread engineered (and published) by WOW (World of Watches), there are plenty of forms for these dark horses of space-time to take. How did it all start? Well we won’t bore you with the details but watches with black dials offered better visibility for wearers and less glare to unwittingly call attention to the wearer.

These qualities appealed to the military mind of course and so of course many aviator timepieces had black dials. It wasn’t until 1972 that an all-black watch – with case, dial and bracelet entirely in black – emerged. That was the legendary Porsche Design Chronograph 1. Here are nine watches proudly flying the black flag into the 21st century.

BulgariBulgari Octo Ultranero Velocissimo

Bulgari Octo Ultranero Velocissimo

  • Dimensions: 41mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, chronograph
  • Power Reserve: 50 hours
  • Movement: Automatic BVL 328 based on Zenith El Primero calibre
  • Material: DLC-coated steel
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters
  • Strap: Rubber
PaneraiPanerai Luminor 1950 10 Days

Panerai Luminor 1950 10 Days GMT Ceramica

  • Dimensions: 44mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, GMT, 24-hour hand, power reserve indicator
  • Power Reserve: 10 days
  • Movement: Automatic Panerai P.2003 calibre
  • Material: Black ceramic
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters
  • Strap: Buffalo, black
HYTHYT H4 Gotham

HYT H4 Gotham

  • Dimensions: 51mm
  • Functions: Retrograde hours, minutes, seconds, power reserve indicator
  • Power Reserve: 65 hours
  • Movement: Manual-winding, HYT calibre
  • Material: 3DPT carbon
  • Water Resistance: 50 meters
  • Strap: Black rubber with integrated Nomex fabric
Franck MullerFranck Muller

Franck Muller Black Croco

  • Dimensions: 55mm x 39mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, central seconds
  • Power Reserve: 42 hours
  • Movement: Automatic calibre FM 800
  • Material: PVD-treated steel
  • Water Resistance: 30 meters
  • Strap: Crocodile, black
ChopardChopard Superfast Chrono Split Second

Chopard Superfast Chrono Split Second

  • Dimensions: 45mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, chronograph with split seconds,
  • Power Reserve: 42 hours
  • Movement: Automatic
  • Material: DLC-coated steel
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters
  • Strap: Calfskin, black
BremontBremont ALT1-B

Bremont ALT1-B in DLC-coated steel; $9,000

  • Dimensions: 43mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, chronograph
  • Power Reserve: 42 hours
  • Movement: Automatic calibre BE-54AE
  • Material: DLC-coated steel
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters
  • Strap: Calfskin, black
Bell & RossBell & Ross BR-X1 Carbon Forgé

Bell & Ross BR-X1 Carbon Forgé

  • Dimensions: 45mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, chronograph
  • Power Reserve: NA
  • Movement: Automatic calibre BR-CAL.313
  • Material: Carbon, titanium and ceramic
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters
  • Strap: Alligator and grey rubber
MontblancMontblanc TimeWalker Urban Speed UTC

Montblanc TimeWalker Urban Speed UTC

  • Dimensions: 41mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, central seconds, date, second time zone
  • Power Reserve: 42 hours
  • Movement: Automatic calibre MB 24.05
  • Material: DLC-coated steel
  • Water Resistance: 30 meters
  • Strap: Leather, black
SevenFridaySevenFriday V3/01

SevenFriday V3/01

  • Dimensions: 44.3mm x 49.7mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, day/night indicator
  • Power Reserve: 40 hours
  • Movement: Automatic Miyota 82S7
  • Material: PVD-treated steel
  • Water Resistance: 30 meters
  • Strap: Leather, black

Story Credits

Photography Greenplasticsoldiers

Art Direction Joaelle Ng

This article was first published in WOW.

World’s Richest DJs 2016 Calvin Harris

World’s Richest DJs 2016 Revealed

If you’re wondering who the richest DJs on earth are, your first guess might be Calvin Harris (formerly of Taylor Swift fame) and you’d be right. Financial magazine and professional list-makers Forbes has crowned Calvin Harris the world’s top-earning DJ for the fourth consecutive year. The magazine recently unveiled its richest DJ list, setting off a firestorm of interest on the Internet.

The 2016 list strikes a bit of a downbeat note though. Collectively, the top earners raked in $270.5 million this year, which is actually down 1% from last year. Forbes noted that it is the first time since they began tracking DJ incomes in 2012 that total earnings have dropped.

The rankings, based solely on the individual’s DJ income, placed Harris’s “salary” this year in the vicinity of $63 million, with fellow DJ Tiesto the closest runner-up on $38 million.

Tiesto replaces David Guetta, who has been displaced to No.3 after earning $28m for his DJing in 2015, just over Zedd in fourth place with $24.5 million.

World’s Richest DJs 2016 Tiesto


The full Forbes list is below:

  • Calvin Harris: $63 million
  • Tiesto: $38 million
  • David Guetta: $28 million
  • Zedd: $24.5 million
  • Steve Aoki: $23.5 million
  • Diplo: $23 million
  • Skrillex: $20 million
  • Kaskade: $19 million
  • Martin Garrix: $16 million
  • Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike: $15.5 million
  • Afrojack: $15 million
  • Avicii: $14.5 million
Best-Travel-Reward-Programs 2016-alaskan-airlines

Best Travel Reward Programs 2016-2017: Travel Right

If you find yourself spending more time in the air than on land, get ready to take some notes. The US News & World Report has released a new ranking of the best travel rewards program for the year, and have named Wyndham Rewards and Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan as the top in their categories.

Reward programs can be notoriously difficult to deal with; the inflexible rules and fine print can easily destroy hopes of redeeming the points you’ve worked so hard to accumulate over the years. Editors of the online ranking website had compared some 28 hotel and airline loyalty programs in the United States to determine the consumers’ best options.

“”The Best Travel Rewards Programs make it easier for travelers to understand and select the right program for them. The top ranked programs offer travelers perks they care about, such as room upgrades, free checked bags and easy ways to accumulate miles and points,” said Erin Shields, travel editor at US News. True enough, many factors were considered: size and diversity of every airline or hotel network, the rate at which members can accumulate miles and redeem points and ease of utilizing the rewards.


Wyndham Boston Beacon Hill

The list has seen some surprising entries – Wyndham Rewards takes top spot for hotel loyalty programs for the first time ever. It is easy to see why – besides allowing members to redeem free nights at 7,800 hotels across their network, it’s also rolled out additional benefits such as flexible check-in and check-out options, free amenities and suite upgrades for their most loyal customers.

The best way to fly, apparently, is now with Alaskan Airlines. Its mileage plan was named the best airline rewards program, as they reward points based on number of miles flown instead of the usual dollars spent.

Here, we bring you the rest of the rankings, so your next holiday experience will be a little sweeter.

Top 5 airline loyalty rewards programs:

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

JetBlue TrueBlue

Southwest Rapid Rewards

Delta SkyMiles

Virgin America Elevate

Top 5 hotel rewards programs:

Wyndham Rewards

Choice Privileges (Tie)

Marriott Rewards (Tie)

Best Western Rewards

La Quinta Returns


5 Fashion Exhibitions, 4 Style Capitals

The style capitals of the world are not just home to runway shows. Over the next few weeks, Paris, New York, Venice and London will be hosting several exhibitions that feature iconic designs by equally iconic designers. Just looking through the list makes us wish we could pack our bags and hop on the next flight to these destinations just to catch a glimpse of fashion history. Join us as we take a look at five exceptional fashion exhibitions.

Anatomy of a Collection at the Palais Galliera, ParisAnatomy of a Collection at the Palais Galliera

More than a hundred garments and accessories are set to be on display till October 23 at the City of Paris Fashion Museum. Told in an unconventional way, the garments take us on a journey through the history of fashion. Highlights include a pajama suit worn by the British actress and model Tilda Swinton, a dress that belonged to Empress Josephine, and Marie-Antoinette’s corset.

Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear at the V&A Museum, LondonHistory-Of-Underwear

Exploring garments that have long been hidden from the public eye, the exhibition starts with men’s and women’s underwear that date back to the 18th century. The 200 pieces and archive documents will be on display at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London till March 12, 2017 . The exhibition looks at the role that underwear played in history and how the notion of the ideal body has changed over the years.

Culture Chanel exhibition: The woman who reads at the Ca’Pesaro, Veniceculture_chanel_.a34ee095626.h0

The seventh installment of the Culture Chanel international exhibition will be held at the Ca’Pesaro International Gallery of Modern Art in Venice from September 17 until January 8, 2017. Having held a place in the heart of Gabrielle Chanel, the new instalment will see the city exhibit 350 works of authors who played a significant role in the designer’s creative life. The works of Homer, Plato, Virgil, Sophocles, Lucretia, Montaigne, Cervantes, Madame de Sévigné and Jean Cocteau will be displayed in the manner of a library.

Tenue correcte exigée, quand le vêtement fait scandale (Appropriate dress required: when clothing causes a scandal) at the Musée des Arts décoratifs, ParisBall Gown, Viktor & Rolf (Dutch, founded 1993), spring/summer 2010; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase, Friends of The Costume Institute Gifts, 2011 © The Metropolitan Museum of Art, by Anna-Marie Kellen

From December 1 till April 23, 2017, the exhibition will showcase garments that have courted controversy and criticism in the past only to become everyday apparel. All the garments on display, including the shirt-dress, the female tuxedo and the miniskirt, were condemned at one time or another in history. In addition to the “scandalous” clothing, visitors will be able to peruse portraits, caricatures and advertisements.

Masterworks: Unpacking Fashion at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

From November 8, 2016 to February 5, 2017 the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art will dissect the way in which its collecting strategy has changed from an encyclopaedic approach to creating a body of masterworks. Concentrating on the last 10 years of purchases, the exhibition will highlight around 60 of these masterworks.


Attend These: 6 Design Exhibitions, Paris

You might already be familiar with big-name shows such as Maison & Objet (from September 2 – 6) and Paris Design Week (September 3 – 10), but there are a number of smaller, off-beat gems in every corner of the French capital to check out too. Here are six design exhibitions even the most critical of design fans would love.

Muji Pop-Up Exhibition, September 2 – 25 2016; Rue des Blancs Manteaux

The Muji pop up exhibition will focus on the brand’s visual identity. © Muji

Founded in Japan in 1980, Muji’s “no-brand” branding ironically made it a household name with its focus on product quality above all else. It is easy to see how one of its founders, Ikko Tanaka – an integral Japanese designer in the 20th century – conveyed the Muji spirit to everything, including the poster designs; a selection of these will be on display at the pop-up exhibition next month.

“Roger Tallon, Design in Motion”, September 8, 2016 – January 8, 2017; Musée des Arts Décoratifs

Roger Tallon and his models for the TGV 001, TGV Duplex, and TGV Atlantique trains.
© Les Arts Décoratifs, Paris / A.D.A.G.P. 2016

Highly regarded as one of France’s pioneering industrial designer, Roger Tallon might have passed away in 2011 but his remarkable work lives on. He was responsible for the design of many trains, such as the TGV Duplex, the Eurostar and the Montmartre funicular railway. Throughout his 60-year career, the prolific designer also had the route maps for the RER (Paris’ suburban rail network), Wimpy chair M400 spiral staircase, 3T tableware and Teleavia portable TV to his name. Now, many of his lesser-known works in the form of drawings, photos, documents and models – which he donated to the museum in 2008 – will finally be on display to public.

“The Spirit of Bauhaus”, October 19, 2016 – February 26, 2017; Musée des Arts Décoratifs

Poster for the 1923 Bauhaus Exhibition in Weimar.
© Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin

Marcel Breur, creator of tubular furniture, and photographer Florence Henri (student of Paul Klee and Vassily Kandinsky) both had one thing in common: they both attended the Bauhaus art school in Weimar, Dessau and Berlin from 1919 to 1933. The institution, famous for producing many influential artists and designers brought about a new approach to daily living by bridging the gap between all disciplines of art, including music, photography, architecture and even engineering. The Musée des Arts Décoratifs pays homage to this artistic movement by not only displaying original Bauhaus pieces, but also via the historical periods and their art forms which fueled the school’s spirit.

Exhibition of Jean Nouvel furniture, October 27 – February 12, 2017; Musée des Arts Décoratifs

Triptychs, 2014, walnut and colored mirrors (Gagosian Gallery and Galerie Patrick Segui).
© Aline Coquelle

You might know Jean Nouvel for his architectural work but his furniture designs are mostly unknown pleasures. From 1987 to present day, the French architect has more than a hundred designs to his name. These will be displayed in various parts of the museum together with their advertising campaigns, of which he also designed in 1998.

“1976-2016: 40 Years of Magis Dreams”, August 31 – October 3, 2016; Pompidou Centre store (main image)

Italian furniture company Magis celebrates its 40th anniversary this year with a retrospective of its history and most recent collections. The mini exhibition, which coincides with Paris Design Week, will also feature Magis’ symbolic cast iron mule, which was specially designed by the brand’s 76-year-old founder, Eugenio Perazza.

AD Interiors exhibition dedicated to collections, September 3 – 18 2016; Monnaie de Paris

The Ora-Ito-designed kitchen for the 2016 AD Interiors exhibition which this year is dedicated to collections.
© Ora-ïto / “AD Intérieurs 2016, Univers de collectionneurs”

Six years ago, Architectural Digest magazine celebrated its 10th anniversary with its first AD Interiors exhibition, where 10 handpicked designers and interior decorators had to design a room using their style and expertise. For this year’s iteration, participants –including Ora-Ïto, Tristan Auer and Fabrice Ausset – have to create décor for a room based on the theme of the collections.


Visit These: 5 Weirdest Beaches

Pig Beach, Bahamas (pictured above)

Yes, you can actually spend a day frolicking on a beach with pigs, if that’s always been a dream. Located at Big Major Cay in the Exumas archipelago, the colony of pigs might be feral but are actually extremely tame and friendly. Get to the island by boat that run from the main island of Great Exuma or Staniel Cay, where you can watch and feed the pigs or swim alongside them in the clear Caribbean waters.

Whitehaven Beach, Australia


Beaches with clear azure waters are aplenty, but not quite as many boast sand as fine as Whitehaven Beach. The seven kilometer-long beach has white, ultra-fine silica sand famed for its flour-like consistency. The area is clearly a national treasure – the award-winning beach is protected by the Australian government – and you can spend a few hours or a few days there by setting up camp.

Vaadhoo Island Glowing Beach, Maldives


The Maldives is a holiday destination that never stops giving. Besides the famously clear blue waters, exquisite marine life and luxurious resorts, the archipelago also has Vaadhoo Island, where the incredible phenomenon of phosphorescent phytoplankton light up the island’s shoreline at night. There are, of course, other activities at the picturesque island but the twinkling scenery at night promises to be the highlight of your trip.

Kauai Glass Beach, Hawaii

Kauai Glass Beach, Hawaii

Nicknamed the “Garden Island”, Kauai Island was shaped by centuries of erosion and is famously known for being the most humid place on earth. However, the island is also known for its beach, made up of glass pieces and black sand. While this might sound like a terrible beach destination, you’ll be relieved to know that the glass pieces are smoothed by the ocean waves over years, so they’re really more like glass pebbles that reflect the light and colours of the beach to make for a very pretty scene.

Red Beach, China

Red Beach of Panjin

China might seem like the last place you’d want to visit a beach at, but the Red Beach will change your mind. The state-protected nature reserve doesn’t actually have sand, but is covered with a special kind of seaweed that turns crimson red every autumn. There are also hundreds of bird species and almost 400 species of wild animals that inhabit the beach, so you’d be as close to nature as you can get.


5 Must-Visit Design Exhibitions L'esprit du Bauhaus

5 Must-Visit Design Exhibitions Fall 2016

The world of decoration and design kicks off a new season with the Maison & Objet exhibition in Paris, which will be held from September 2 to 6, 2016. It is the first in a raft of interesting upcoming design exhibitions around the globe.

1. Playing on an amalgamation of “House of Cards” and “Game of Thrones”, the “House of Games” is the theme of the upcoming Maison & Objet interior design trade fair. Gearing up for exhibition in the Maison & Objet Inspirations Space from September 2 to 6, this year’s concept was conceived by trendspotter Vincent Gregoire from the NellyRodi agency.

True to its name, “House of Games” paints an offbeat kind of fantasy, while mirroring the need for games in modern society. It is a revival of baroque style combined with Alice in Wonderland eclecticism: masked balls and private clubs bask in a fin-de-siecle ambiance, while acknowledging the increasing popularity of board games. On that note, feather artisan Julien Vermuelen’s creations (pictured below) might best represent this year’s theme.

Feathered samurai by Julien Vermeulen © Julien Vermeulen All rights reserved / Maison & Objet 2016

Feathered samurai by Julien Vermeulen © Julien Vermeulen
All rights reserved / Maison & Objet 2016

2. “How Should We Live? Propositions for the Modern Interior” from October 1, 2016 to April 23, 2017 at the MoMA, New York

With this exhibition, New York’s Museum of Modern Art will explore the complex partnerships, materials and processes that have shaped interiors from the 1920s to the 1950s. The exhibition will bring together over 200 objects, including some from the MoMA collections. Big names in design will be featured, including Le Corbusier, Eileen Gray, Charlotte Perriand, Alvar Alto, and Charles and Ray Eames.

5 Must-Visit Design Exhibitions L'esprit du Bauhaus

Triptychs (2014) in walnut and colored mirrors by Jean Nouvel (Gagosian Gallery and Galerie Patrick Segui). © Aline Coquelle

3. “The Spirit of Bauhaus” from October 19, 2016 to February 26, 2017 at the Musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris

From 1919 to 1933, the Bauhaus art school in Weimar, Dessau and Berlin produced many influential artists and designers including Vassily Kandinsky, Marcel Breur, who invented bent tubular steel furniture, and the photographer Florence Henri, who took classes with Paul Klee. By bringing together painters, architects, craftsmen, engineers, actors, musicians, photographers and designers, the school created a new approach to daily living. The Musée des Arts décoratifs will pay tribute to this artistic movement via the historical periods and art forms which fueled its spirit, and will also display original Bauhaus pieces.

5 Must-Visit Design Exhibitions L'esprit du Bauhaus

Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut. Architect: Louis Kahn. © Architectural Archives of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Photo by Lionel Freedman.

4. “Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture” from November 5, 2016 to January 31, 2017 at the San Diego Museum of Art

The renowned American architect Louis Kahn is the subject of an exhibition in California’s San Diego Museum of Art. His most notable works include the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, and the Capital Complex in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The exhibition will include architectural models, original designs, photographs and films.

5. “Konstantin Grcic – Panorama” from November 25, 2016 to February 26, 2017 at the Hong Kong Design Institute

Konstantin Grcic, who designed such iconic pieces as the Chair One and the Mayday lamp, is considered one of the leading designers of our time. This new exhibition at the Hong Kong Design Institute examines the German designer’s career through drawings and installations specifically created by Grcic for the event.

Faena Hotel Miami,best design hotel by Virtuoso

Top 10 Luxury Hotels 2016: Virtuoso Selection

Luxury travel experts have christened a sumptuous villa set amongst the olive groves and lemon trees of Puglia, Italy their hotel of the year.

Winners of Virtuoso’s 10th annual Best of the Best awards, representing the standardbearers in luxury accommodations, were revealed at a conference in Las Vegas this week.

Taking the top title of “Hotel of the Year” is Italy’s Borgo Egnazia, a collection of white villas designed to evoke a traditional Apulian village, complete with piazza and alleyways.

The sprawling resort also features a championship 18-hole golf course, beach clubs and a renowned spa. Rooms are decorated in rich hues of cream, white and beige for a calming, restful effect.

It’s not the first time the Borgo Egnazia has been recognized within the industry. The hotel has also been awarded by Travel + Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler, Tatler and Leading Hotels of the World.

The Faena Hotel in Miami, Florida, was named best design hotel by Virtuoso

The Faena Hotel in Miami, Florida, was named best design hotel by Virtuoso

For the awards, Virtuoso surveyed their network of 390 luxury travel agencies and their 11,400 travel advisors around the world. Membership is invitation-only. Properties chosen belong to the group’s own network of 1,200 hotels, resorts, villas and private islands, located in 100 countries.

“Borgo Egnazia and the area of Puglia is one of the exciting new destinations in Italy that one could ever encounter,” said Annette Sordini of Protravel International, a Virtuoso agency.

“The hotel has an amazing ambiance, warm and friendly people, incredible food and a spiritual spa.”

Here are the other winners:

  • Best achievement in design: Faena Hotel Miami Beach, Florida
  • Best culinary experience: The Farmhouse Restaurant, Farmhouse Inn, California
  • Best bar: The New York Edition, New York
  • Best Family Program: Rosewood San Miguel de Allende, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
  • Best Spa: Grand Hotel Tremezzo, Lake Como, Italy
  • Most Innovative Guest Experience: Belmond Hotel das Cataratas, Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil
  • Sustainable Tourism Leadership: andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
  • One to Watch: Hotel Eden Rome, Dorchester Collection, Rome, Italy
  • Hotelier of the Year: José Silva – Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris, Paris, France
Palm Cove, Australia.

8 Unconventional Romantic Destinations

If you’re thinking about taking a few days off with your loved one, or are perhaps preparing for a honeymoon, you’re in luck. Booking.com has made a list of eight romantic vacation spots away from the crowds, based on advice from netizens.

Palm Cove, Australia (pictured above)

Only half an hour by car from Cairns, Palm Cove is an oasis of calm for couples looking for a quiet spot to cuddle. Before heading for Daintree Forest and its unique biosphere, it’s worth taking some time to enjoy this long strip of white sand. It’s also a recommended spot for anyone interested in diving in the Great Barrier Reef.

Barichara, Colombia

The charming village of Barichara in Colombia.

With its cobblestone streets and terracotta tile roofs, Barichara is said to be the prettiest village in Colombia. It is, in any case, a charming destination where couples can walk undisturbed through its narrow streets. And if you want to do some sightseeing, there’s always the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and the colonial architecture to discover.

Třeboň, Czech Republic
Trebon, Czech Republic.

Romantic Trebon in the Czech Republic.

There’s much less chance of seeing anyone from your home country in Třeboň than in Prague. The lakes, castle and pastel-colored houses with Baroque facades in this historic spot make an ideal backdrop for getting away from it all.

Collioure, France
French coastal village -Collioure

Sunset at the French coastal village of Collioure.

This fishing village in the Pyrénées-Orientales region of France is famous for having been a haven for artists. Matisse stayed here for a while and even painted the view of the superb royal castle. Nature’s ochre tones give the place a romantic feel.

Delft, the Netherlands

The Dutch city of Delft is the birthplace of the painter Vermeer.

Located between The Hague and Rotterdam, the city of Delft is renowned worldwide for its expertise in blue and white pottery. It’s also the birthplace of the painter Vermeer and William of Orange. There are various places of interest in the city where visitors can find out more about these famous inhabitants. And the canals and old stone bridges offer an opportunity for peaceful walks hand-in-hand.

Udaipur, India

Reflections of the sun’s rays on Lake Pichola, in the Indian city of Udaipur.

In the state of Rajasthan, lovebirds can continue their trip from the Taj Mahal to Udaipur, said to be the most romantic town in India. Its main attraction is Lake Pichola which reflects the sunlight, projecting a rainbow of colors on the surrounding buildings, including the City Palace.

Akaroa, New Zealand
Akaroa-New Zealand

Akaroa, a former colonial village in New Zealand.

Located on the South Island’s Banks Peninsula, Akaroa was briefly a French colony, some traces of which can still be seen today. The Pacific Ocean cuts deep into the village, making it seem almost like an island. Against the dramatic backdrop carved out by volcanoes, couples can swim with dolphins and go whale-spotting.

Monsaraz, Portugal


The Portuguese village of Monsaraz, perched on a hill.

A stopping point near Spain for couples who share a love of good food. Perched on a hill, overlooking the region of Alentejo, Monsaraz is a good place to sample rustic cuisine and local wines. You can work up an appetite before dinner by walking around the olive fields and admiring the vineyards.


Africa, Italy Most Popular Winter Destinations

It may seem unlikely but Africa has become top choice for the rich and wealthy when it comes to holiday season this winter. According to a new report from international luxury travel network Virtuoso, Africa has seen a spike of 28 percent in sales compared to last year.

Kenya is expected to be the fastest-growing destination in terms of number of visitors, with a projected increase of 59 percent. Meanwhile, travel to South Africa has increased 28 percent, while Tanzania, 27 percent. Virtuoso reckons this is due to the rise in popularity in safari expeditions, which is great for multi-generational family trips.

However, the top three most popular holiday destinations this winter are still in Europe – Italy, followed by France and the UK. To attract the traveling elite, hotels across Europe are lowering daily rates, a move which will also attract budget-conscious tourists. Parisian hotels have seen a two percent decrease in daily hotel rates. In comparison to summer rates, those in Rome are down six percent, London seven percent and Barcelona 15 percent.

Here are the top 10 most popular fall and winter travel destinations among wealthy travelers:

  • 1. Italy
  • 2. France
  • 3. United Kingdom
  • 4. South Africa
  • 5. Spain
  • 6. China
  • 7. Mexico
  • 8. Australia
  • 9. New Zealand
  • 10. Israel

Countries that have seen the largest percentage growth year-over-year:

  • 1. Kenya
  • 2. Iceland
  • 3. Saint Martin
  • 4. China
  • 5. Ecuador
  • 6. Japan
  • 7. South Africa
  • 8. Tanzania
  • 9. Croatia
  • 10. Jamaica

Top 15 Most Loved Airlines: Asia Dominates

The next time you can’t decide which airlines to fly, consider Garuda Airlines. The Indonesian national carrier has taken top spot this year as “the most loved airlines”, according to a list compiled by Skytrax. It is hard to believe that Garuda is the top flier today, having been through a rough patch lasting most of the 1990s and 2000s (it was banned from European airspace until 2009).

Well, everyone loves a comeback story and, even better than that, it seemed the Indonesian firm won by a mile in 2016. It received an impressive approval rating of 85 percent by fliers, ahead of Asiana Airlines and Eva Air, also Asian carriers. In fact, these are but three of the 11 Asian airlines that took the top 15 spots, proving that they are only growing in popularity. Also notable is the absence of any U.S carriers in the top 15, although Virgin Airlines manages to sneak in at 15.

Analysts looked at how customers rated their overall flight experience, which measured on a scale of one to 10. Passengers had to consider everything from seat comfort, onboard services, food and beverages, in-flight entertainment and value for money.

Greece carrier Aegean Airlines placed fourth on the list, making it the highest non-Asian carrier, while Virgin Airlines 15th place showing made it the only North American carrier. Low-cost carrier Ryanair also scored six percent higher than UK’s flagship carrier British Airways at 62 percent. Delta Airlines won the race as the highest-ranked major U.S carrier, followed by United and American Airlines.

Here, a list of the top 15 “Most loved airlines” according to Skytrax reviews.

  • 1. Garuda Indonesia
  • 2. Asiana Airlines
  • 3. Eva Air
  • 4. Aegean Airlines
  • 5. Korean Air
  • 6. Bangkok Airways
  • 7. Singapore Airlines
  • 8. AirAsia X
  • 9. ANA All Nippon Airways
  • 10. Royal Brunei Airlines
  • 11. Japan Airlines
  • 12. Qatar Airways
  • 13. China Southern Airlines
  • 14. Oman Air
  • 15. Virgin America