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All posts tagged luxury

Modern Metaphor: Park Hyatt Beijing

Photo courtesy of the Park Hyatt Beijing

China Grill Photo courtesy of the Park Hyatt Beijing

During breakfast at Park Hyatt Beijing’s lofty China Grill nobody is talking. That’s because they’ve either been stunned to silence by the dramatic cityscape displayed like Park Avenue eye candy via wrap around panoramic windows. Or, they’re too busy relishing platters of assorted, abundant Chinese delights gleaned from the immense buffet. I think it’s a little bit of both. Certainly, the restaurant’s setting on the 66th floor ensures it’s the most high altitude eatery in the city and the hotel’s location, adjacent the CCTV Tower, opposite the World Trade Center, and amid the Central Business District, makes for a jaw dropping portrayal of new Beijing’s creative urbanity.  But it’s the food that ultimately steals the show, with chefs like Daisy Dong cooking up wok fried noodles, egg pancakes stuffed with coriander and chilies, steamed buns and pan fried dumplings—all before your eyes.

Lobby Photo courtesy of the Park Hyatt Beijing

Lobby Photo courtesy of the Park Hyatt Beijing

Breakfast alone is reason enough to check into to this luxury skyscraper style hotel, but its virtues abound. Smart, swanky and reveling in China’s new found modernity, it manages to meld Oriental motifs with futuristic aesthetics. Ensconced in a trio of towers, its meant to be a city within itself, so complete guests (and residents) can work, play, dine, shop—and well, never, ever leave.  That could be a problem if you hanker to see the Great Wall. Still, it’s this cool factor that intrigues—as if you’re entering a forbidden city of a more contemporary kind.

Executive Suite  Photo courtesy of the Park Hyatt Beijing

Executive Suite Photo courtesy of the Park Hyatt Beijing

An express elevator whisks guests to the hotel lobby, located on the 63rd floor. There, awash with water gardens and encased in glass walls, it induces tranquility of a chic sort. Clean lines abound here, as they do in the guestrooms which are ample and open. All suites and rooms include screens, enormous bathrooms (complete with high tech toilets), mood lighting and well conceived work stations. Perhaps the coup da gras (suite wise) can be found on the 60th floor where nine super tony suites and a bi-level Penthouse in minimalist style, bedecked with stirring art pieces, boast views like no other hotel in Beijing.

Photo courtesy of the Park Hyatt Beijing

Photo courtesy of the Park Hyatt Beijing

Though guests may never want to leave their rooms, they should—even if they intend to never exit the hotel. The Tian Spa awaits with Eastern nfluenced treatments, Private Room serves Cantonese cuisine in an evocative,–almost clandestine–spaces, and the fitness center has two pools, one enclosed by glass that seems to float in the sky. So popular that trendy locals stand in line for hours each night, XIU, the expansive rooftop bar (actually five themed bars in one) has a guest only, express entrance.  Now that’s what I call an amenity.

Xiu Bar Photo courtesy of the Park Hyatt Beijing

Xiu Bar Photo courtesy of the Park Hyatt Beijing

beijing.park.hyatt.com

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The Ultimate Skincare Line – Elemis

The box arrived at the front door on a recent weekend afternoon.  I was like a child on Christmas Day ripping through the box tearing out products with the words illuminating and glow on them. I calmed down a bit and started to read through the packages and inserts as if it was a prescription medication with questionable side effects. And side effects it had! I had a facial scheduled in a month at the Spa at Fearrington Village, the only spa to carry these incredible products in the state of North Carolina. I could not wait for my facial to learn how to use them properly and in which order. I dug into those products as if  they were candy and emerged with skin as radiate as the sun!

Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm

Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm

Elemis  is a luxury skincare line from the Britain. The products are used in top spas throughout the US and the UK. It’s a results-driven line bringing nature and science together with a focus on anti-aging. I learned from Angela at the Spa at Fearrington how to use them properly. Her skin looked almost translucent – it was so clear and glowing.  She stressed the importance of thoroughly cleaning the skin, not scrubbing it, but cleaning it. We started with the Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm. It is oil-based and she took about a bean-sized amount and thoroughly massaged it into my dry skin. The oil from the product breaks down the oils and dirt and the massage technique strengthens the facial muscles to increase the look of smooth skin. After a thorough facial massage, she added a bit of warm water to emulsify the product and then gently washed it off with a soft cloth. At that point, I was in such a state of bliss from the massage and aroma that the order of which products came next escapes my mind.

Pro-Collagen Marine Cream Ultra-Rich

Pro-Collagen Marine Cream Ultra-Rich

My package contained Pro-Collagen Super Serum, Pro-Collagen Marine Cream Ultra-Rich, Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm (favorite!), and the Total Glow Bronzing Moisturizer for face and one for body. I purchased the Rehydrating Ginseng Toner at the spa. What resonated with me was to throughly clean and tone. Those two steps lend an extra layer of cleansing, exfoliating, and helps serums and moisturizers absorb properly. Toning also balances the skin and helps maintain moisture levels.

Rehydrating Ginseng Toner

Rehydrating Ginseng Toner

Once home, I continue my skincare regime by using the techniques and knowledge I learned from my treatment. After thoroughly massaging in the cleansing balm allowing it time to break down the dirt and oils, I rinse and apply the ginseng toner with a cotton ball and follow with the serum and marine cream. I use my own favorite eye cream which was a tip from an another esthetician, it’s the budget-friendly Olay Regenerist Lifting Eye Serum.  When I’m going out  to an event and really want to sparkle, I use the illuminating radiance balm instead. My skin has never looked better. It has a glow and clearness about it. As we progress into the fall and winter months, I continue to use the bronzing moisturizer for face and body to extend that look of summer that Elemis helps last throughout the year.

Total Glow Bronzing Moisteriser

Total Glow Bronzing Moisteriser

Full confession, there are (very occasional) evenings I skip my bedtime routine of washing and flossing, but these products make me want to, the aroma alone! A few months later my skin looks youthful and is hydrated and clean (thank you, Angela). The beautiful simple, yet elegant packages adorn my bathroom vanity. I’m a fan of Elemis, for me it’s the ultimate skincare line.

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We’ve Got Your Labor Day Plans Covered in Pinehurst – 25th Annual Pinehurst Food & Wine Festival

VODA Magazine 25th Annual Pinehurst Food & Wine Festival

Get to town (or if you’re a local, stay in town) this Labor Day holiday.  Moore County has some fabulous events going on the weekend of August 30 – September 2 that you won’t want to miss.  On actual Labor Day come on down for the Sandhills Cycling 24th Annual Tour de Moore Classic North Carolina Bike Ride benefitting Habitat for Humanity of the NC Sandhills. New to the ride this year – and note this is a ride open to all ages and athletic ability – is that they have partnered with Sandhills Farm to Table Cooperative, for some fabulous food.  Even more good eating will be had with restaurant partner, Elliotts on Linden and live music by Tony Barnes.

For an equally wonderful time make your way to Pinehurst for the 25th Annual Food & Wine Festival.  Some big name chefs will be on hand and wonderful wineries to match.  This year’s Silver Anniversary theme is “A Passport To The World,” a weekend full of wine tastings, seminars and gourmet cuisine from across the globe. The world-class Resort, where the festivities are held, are offering overnight accommodations including tickets to the festival’s three-day events. Tickets are on sale now and you can learn about participating chefs, wineries, the weekend’s itinerary and more by clicking here.

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