Wants & needs
Virgin Atlantic has partnered with crystal supplier Swarovski to create the ultimate on-board accessory – a stunning eyeshade worth US$4,000 – to give five fortunate passengers The Most Expensive Night’s Sleep Ever™. Created to mark the introduction of the airline’s new amenity kits, the five limited edition jewel-studded eyeshades share iconic sunglasses designs. Each features 3,000 tiny red, white and blue crystals, handcrafted by artist Saima Anwar, who fashions crystal eyelashes for American singer Katy Perry. The eyeshades are concealed on select flights around the globe, offering fliers the prospect of finding one inside their amenity kit and getting some valuable shut-eye. The designs were chosen to reflect Virgin Atlantic’s reputation as a “cool, cutting edge airline”, says its head of design Luke Miles. Passengers travelling in economy receive a revamped amenity kit containing eyeshades that feature one of six sunglasses designs including John Lennon-esque circular specs and some 1980s retro shades.
Whale of a time
Lux* Resorts in the Maldives is the only settlement on the island of Dhidhoofinolhu in the South Ari Atoll. The resort offers an insight into unspoiled island living that treads lightly on its surroundings while maintaining luxurious standards. As part of its eco- and edu-tainment approach, the resort operates a marine biology centre dedicated to the conservation of whale sharks in the atoll's waters. Resident marine biologist Charlotte Hawley leads excursions to spot and swim with whale sharks, manta rays, and other oceanic wonders, as well as supervising guided diving sessions on fish identification. For those who prefer less adventurous recreation, there's also a spa, two pools and extensive dining options. luxislandresorts.com/en/maldives
Pretty in Pink
The legendary Beverly Hills Hotel - scene of six Elizabeth Taylor honeymoons - is 100 this year and has undergone a centennial facelift; mercifully, its trademark banana leaf wallpaper and pink palace exterior remains. The Hotel, as its Oscared clientele call it, has featured in numerous Hollywood films and hosted stars at memorable moments - think photographer Terry O'Neill's 1977 shot of Faye Dunaway in evening dress by the pool, the morning after the Oscar night before. Anniversary packages abound, but value of a different kind lies in celeb-spotting at the Polo Lounge over a specially blended "100" cocktail. At US$100 a pop you'll need a film star to fund it but you get to keep the glass and the memory. beverlyhillshotel.com
Hotel Palazzo Manfredi commands one of the best locations in Rome just a stone’s throw from the Coliseum. And the property’s latest star attraction – its namesake Coliseum Suite – is a room and gourmet rooftop restaurant with a view-envy like no other. The newly refurbished glam pad comprises sitting room, bedroom and an upper level with jacuzzi and Citterio gym equipment for your inner gladiator. Highend lighting and furnishings by Ingo Maurer, Ivano Redaelli and Kartell up the luxe. And when dinner on the roof and the dramatic Roman sunset are done, switch gear and drive head-turning dolce vita with the Palazzo’s other Italian icon, a Ferrari. palazzomanfredi.com