Los Angeles, California – Reported by Kelly Carter for Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazine
ROCKING IN SOBE Rock star Lenny Kravitz recently checked into Madrid’s Hotel Villa Magna, the ideal property for visiting celebs thanks to a secure driveway that ensures complete privacy. Kravitz requested all-organic cuisine during his stay, but no word on whether he picked up any design ideas at the hotel, which recently underwent a complete renovation. The Grammy-award winning musician also heads up Kravitz Design Inc., and is putting his skills to good use designing the Presidential Suite and a bungalow at the new SLS Hotel South Beach in Miami, opening in March. Sam Nazarian, founder, chairman and CEO of sbe, parent company of SLS Hotels, already raves about Kravitz’s design of the top accommodation. “It’s unbelievable,” Nazarian said. “We’ve had three presentations and it’s beautiful. He’s a very good complement to Philippe.” As in renowned designer Philippe Starck, who is responsible for the rest of the hotel’s interiors.
MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Oscar-nominated actor Liam Neeson was among the high-wattage names on hand for a chic gala to celebrate the opening of the Mandarin Oriental, Paris, located on the fashionable Rue Saint-Honoré in the 1st arrondissement. The stylish Art Deco-meets-modern design of its 138 rooms and suites wows—but it isn’t just about the aesthetics with a discerning traveler like Neeson. “The experience has to do not necessarily…with the bricks and mortar,” he says. “It has to do with the staff. It’s human. It’s not just someone doing their job.”
GREAT ESCAPE With his busy schedule, celebrity chef José Andrés—whose restaurants are all the rage in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and his home base of Washington, D.C.—appreciates escaping to a tropical setting for a few days with his family. “We love the Cayman Islands and especially we love the Ritz,” says Andrés, named Outstanding Chef at the 2011 James Beard Foundation Awards. “It has unbelievable service and a great restaurant by Eric Ripert. That hotel is amazing because in only five minutes you can do everything. It’s very difficult to be in one place that in five minutes, from decision to actually happening, you can play golf, eat dinner at a restaurant, scuba dive, sail or lie down on a beach.” Scuba diving has become his passion. “I learned to scuba dive three years ago and fell in love,” he says. “I’m about to get my third level title with PADI.”