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Markus Hansen’s Library for Claude Lévi-Strauss opens in Paris

Filed by Lucire staff/July 3, 2021/13.51



Opening today, the newest addition to the Musée de la Chasse is an exciting permanent installation by artist Markus Hansen entitled Library for Claude Lévi-Strauss, which celebrates one of the fathers of structuralism. Hansen’s career, influenced by the likes of Josef Beuys and the Fluxus movement, spans installation art, painting, photography and architecture. The artist says the new conceptual work represents an ideal library which samples the multiplicity of knowledge and the plurality of sources, concealed under a trellis of feathers. Well worth a look and highly recommended.
   One of the lesser-known treasures of Paris, the museum is home to a noteworthy collection which includes paintings, taxidermy and historic objects, housed in a remarkable historic building located at 62, rue des Archives, in the 3rd arrondissement.
   Claude Lévi-Strauss had an extensive collection of ethnographic art from Brazil, North Africa and North America. He donated 1,478 pieces which are today displayed at the Musée Quai Branly in the 7th.
   Now that Paris is suddenly back in business, the sidewalk tables are filling and the popular museums have reopened. A visit to a smaller museum will mean no crowds and the luxury of leisurely browsing extraordinary rooms and objects. And a first-hand encounter with the incisive installation vision of Markus Hansen is a rare delight in a landscape of overblown hyperbole.—Stanley Moss, Travel Editor

 


Top-tier luxury offerings in Saint-Tropez

Filed by Lucire staff/June 30, 2021/19.04


In February, we reported the reopening of favourite properties in Saint-Tropez. Word has just come in that Airelles Château de la Messardière reopens July 1 with two exceptional luxury offerings of interest.
   First, from July 1 to October 10, 2021, Château de la Messardière will partner with world-renowned chef Nobu Matsuhisa. The pop-up restaurant Matsuhisa Saint-Tropez will offer guests a signature focus on fresh seafood. The extensive menu will boast a unique blend of Japanese–French fusion cuisine drawn from Matsuhisa’s legendary dishes. An impressive selection of sake is designed to perfectly pair with his culinary masterpieces.
   Interiors of the restaurant will be kept minimal and sleek, with a focus on surfaces that show off the chef’s gastronomic artistry. Another enticement will be the outdoor terrace, with its breathtaking views over Pampelonne Bay. Guests will be able to enjoy spectacular sunsets, followed by Matsuhisa’s delicious presentations under the stars.
   Next, for that Instagrammable luxury moment you crave, why not opt for a private classic cycle sidecar vineyard tour? You can explore the surrounding vineyards of Saint-Tropez in style as you cruise around picturesque villages and rolling countryside with an experienced driver. You’ll get a tour of world-renowned vineyards, followed by wine tasting and a delicious picnic.
   Rates at Château de la Messardière start from US$1,366 in a Classic room based on a new inclusive rate concept. For more information, visit airelles.com/fr/destination/chateau-de-la-messardiere-hotel.—Stanley Moss, Travel Editor

 


Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle: vivre comme le roi

Filed by Lucire staff/June 6, 2021/23.24





Rénée Kemps

This week, in an eagerly awaited launch, Airelle’s seventh property, Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle opened outside Paris. The first hotel to operate within the grounds of the Château de Versailles, it’s situated in a building constructed by Louis XIV’s favourite architect, Jules Hardouin-Mansart, in 1681. Guests have access to the 2,000-acre gardens, historic palace halls, apartments and grounds, including areas of the Château that are normally closed to visitors. Here is a property where you can raise the bar on your expectations.
   Exclusivity is the watchword with only 14 meticulously restored regal rooms and suites, including a 120 m² signature suite. You will enjoy views over the Orangerie, the Pièce d’Eau des Suisses and the Château. Finished in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century style, the light-filled rooms feature authentic colours and fabrics, chandeliers, art and objects, artefacts and original period furniture. Opulent historical features recreated include parquet flooring, fabrics, stonework and wood panelling. Time to brush up on your Revolution-era French: you may happen upon a love letter from Madame De Staël to her lover Louis, Comte de Narbonne-Lara.
   You will discover many other bonuses to this remarkable one-of-a-kind offering, not the least of which is a new dining experience from Alain Ducasse, Ducasse at Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle. The salon has views onto the Orangerie parterre, a bell rings at 8.30 p.m. to signal the beginning of dinner, and in addition to a dazzling multi-course heritage menu, Ducasse offers a Sunday royal brunch. A table not to be missed.
   The on-site Valmont spa features a 15 m indoor swimming pool and a wealth of exclusive treatments.
   Luxury at this level allows for excessive flights of the imagination. The allure of private events in such a unique venue might include intimate weddings, private dinners or exclusive launches, for up to 54 guests. Imagine hosting an event inside the Palace itself followed by an exclusive overnight takeover, accommodating up to 36 guests across the 14 rooms and suites.
   Guests may also choose to add on private tours; after-hours access to the Hall of Mirrors; a Marie Antoinette-themed day including a costume fitting; a private performance at the Royal Opera; or private dining with a string quartet, all at additional cost.
   Luxury at this level does not come cheap, but it’s worth every penny. Rates at Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle start from US$2,077 including a dedicated butler; daily tours of Château de Versailles and the Trianon; access to the Palace grounds and Orangerie; use of boats and golf carts on hand to explore the Grand Canal and gardens at leisure; breakfast, afternoon tea and minibar.
   The prestigious hotel collection comprises Le Grand Contrôle, Les Airelles in Courchevel, La Bastide in Gordes, Mademoiselle in Val d’Isère and Château de la Messardière and Pan Deï Palais in Saint-Tropez.—Stanley Moss, Travel Editor









Rénée Kemps

 


Lisboa update: Lisbon Heritage Hotels perfectly positioned for the next super-hot destination

Filed by Lucire staff/May 31, 2021/13.24


Travel planners report that Lisboa qualifies as a super-hot destination now that the first COVID restrictions have lifted. We love the city of Fado, strong coffees and pastéis de Nata. It’s also home to a sensational national art museum with the famous triptych Temptation of St Anthony by Hieronymus Bosch, Dürer’s Der heilige Hieronymus im Gehäus (St Jerome in His Study) and works by the likes of Velasquez, Raphael, Zurbarán, plus a vast decorative arts collection. Portugal is still a travel bargain, and it’s a country filled with brilliant history and the most gracious people. The airport is easy and fast.
   Lucire has previously covered properties from the Lisbon Heritage Hotels group, whose five capital city offerings we highly recommend. The three downtown properties which have a decidedly cosmopolitan air about them include Heritage Avenida Liberdade Hotel, Hotel Britania and Hotel Lisboa Plaza.
   Of exceptional interest are Solar do Castelo, which overlooks the city from a prime location next to the Castelo de São Jorge, only a walk up the hill from the famous Fado bars neighbourhood; and As Janelas Verdes, with its harbour views and optimal location less than 100 m from the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga.
   Lisbon Heritage has just won a national prize for best promotional video in the tourism category. It can be viewed below and gives the flavour of choice from this exceptional group.—Stanley Moss, Travel Editor



Above, from top: Temptation of St Anthony by Hieronymus Bosch. Der heilige Hieronymus im Gehäus by Albrecht Dürer.

 


Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Giselle revival has a fresh, youthful energy

Filed by Jack Yan/May 12, 2021/12.28





Stephen A’Court

Giselle has become one of the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s signature productions since this version was conceived by Ethan Stiefel and Johan Kobborg in 2012, and each season—this is the third in New Zealand—brings with it a different energy, as well as newfound elements to enjoy. The cast changes this time bring with them a more youthful take, while the production values and design give Giselle a sense of depth and quality.
   Opening night’s Mayu Tanigaito, in the title role, is no stranger to Giselle, having taken the role in the 2016 season on occasion opposite Daniel Gaudiello, though that time Lucy Green and Qi Huan took the leads on opening night. Qi is still missed as one of the great ballerinos of the company, but in his place tonight, Laurynas Vėjalis has the required regal manner to carry out the role of Albrecht.
   Tanigaito is a seasoned dancer yet exudes a youthful quality as Giselle—a perfect casting—and her solo seeing her en pointe with a series of fouettés brought spontaneous applause from the audience at the Opera House in Wellington. Vėjalis and Tanigaito were convincing as young lovers in their pas de deux in the first act; Vėjalis’s solo is happy, upbeat and confident. It’s hats off to Paul Mathews who brought real energy to Hilarion, who is frustrated and hurt by Giselle’s love for Albrecht. Being a taller dancer than Vėjalis, and executing large moves on stage, you could feel Mathews’ Hilarion trying to demonstrate desperately his feelings for Giselle—and one would almost be forgiven for sympathizing with him, if his character hadn’t also brought out a knife at the first sign of feeling he had been jilted.
   We had seen Tanigaito perform the role of Myrtha, queen of the Wilis, in 2016, and it remains a role that has a dominant presence in Act II. Sara Garbowski’s solo at the start of the second act was a skilful and beautiful piece of classical ballet, and there is a beauty to the sight of the veiled Wilis, resplendent in tulle. It’s in this act that the principal roles really shine in this production: Hilarion is consumed by the forces of the Wilis and shows a vulnerable side, while Albrecht dances for his life more passionately than the assured aristocrat of the first act. This is a more touching, emotional act, performed successfully by the principal dancers.
   When you see the minor roles—such as the group of 12 Wilis—you realize that there is plenty of young talent in the company and its future seems assured.
   Special mention must be made once again to Howard C. Jones’s scenic design, and lighting design by Kendall Smith. Natalia Stewart’s costumes remain as exquisite as they did when we first viewed this ballet in 2012. Clytie Campbell, who herself had performed in Giselle in 2012, faithfully staged the revival with Stiefel and Kobborg’s supervision, as neither was able to travel to New Zealand.
   Hamish McKeich faultlessly conducted Adolphe Adam’s music, more than ably performed by Orchestra Wellington, who give the impression of a bigger score.
   After Wellington (May 12–15), Giselle heads to Palmerston North (May 19), Napier (May 22–3), Auckland (May 27–9), Christchurch (June 4–5) and Dunedin (June 9). Hamish McKeich conducts the Adolphe Adam score with Orchestra Wellington, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra in those centres, with the Wellington recording used elsewhere. More details can be found here.Jack Yan, Founder and Publisher





Stephen A’Court

 


Richter immersion with Baur au Lac Zürich

Filed by Lucire staff/April 29, 2021/1.31




This summer there will be no better place than Zürich to view over 140 works of art by Gerhard Richter, widely considered to be one of Germany’s most important contemporary visual artists. Many works have not been seen in public for decades. An exhibition at the Kunsthaus Zürich focuses on a genre central to his oeuvre: landscape, with over 80 paintings as well as drawings, prints, photo collages, overpainted photographs and artist’s books. This is one of Europe’s must-see shows for 2021.
   Baur au Lac, one of our favourite hotels in the world, has crafted an Artful Vibes by Gerhard Richter package, celebrating Richter’s exhibition, but it is available only until July 25, 2021. The exceptional package includes one night in a junior suite with breakfast, admission to the exhibition, private transfer to and from Kunsthaus Zürich in Baur au Lac’s Bentley Flying Spur, a SFr. 100 food and beverage voucher redeemable at one of the hotel’s three restaurants, welcome amenity, and complimentary minibar. Package price starts at SFr. 1,140 per night. A private tour of the exhibition can be added for a supplement of SFr. 220.
   Baur au Lac, with its 119 rooms and remarkable suites, lives in a dreamlike landscaped park in a beautifully maintained heritage building located on the edge of Lake Zürich. It’s one of the most legendary and historic five-star hotels in the world, and home to the two-Michelin-starred Pavillon restaurant. A stay taken in tandem with the Richter show would be a brilliant reintroduction to next world of luxury travel. Highly recommended.—Stanley Moss, Travel Editor

 


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