According to the New York Times, On Nov. 1, 1888, Vincent van Gogh set up his easel in an ancient Roman necropolis in Arles, France, and painted an avenue of stone sarcophagi lined by poplars alive with the Autumn coloration.
But, interestingly, Van Gogh was not alone. He was with Paul Gaugain, where they created a number of paintings, all dealing with the same landscape. One of van Gogh’s paintings from this time is known as “L’allée Des Alyscamps,” and it was sold at Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art evening sale this week for $66.3 million. It had been expected to sell at $40 million. Five bidders competed for the painting that ultimately went to an Asian private collector.
The painting had last sold for $12 million in 2003.The highest price paid for a van Gogh at auction was the $82.5 million paid in 1990 for his “Portrait of Dr. Gachet.”
Chanel In China: True Love
Chanel has the highest brand awareness among luxury Chinese consumers, followed by Dior, Hermes, Gucci and Louis Vuitton, according to a study by Bomoda, a research firm that focuses on Chinese consumer trends.
It’s also the most-purchased luxury brand among wealthy Chinese — 41% of whom say they’ve bought a Chanel product in the last year, compared to 32% for Dior. 46% percent of those surveyed said they hope to buy more Chanel in the coming year. And in a country where gift-giving is very important, Chanel appears the present of choice for wealthy consumers.
What makes Chanel so appealing?
The high-end fashion house has “invested very seriously in advertising and retail,” said Brian Buchwald of Bomoda. Chanel is courting Chinese consumers through “websites, with strong social media … they’re leveraging Chinese celebrities [and] Western celebrities who are well-known to the Chinese.”
Bomoda’s report is based on an online survey of 2,268 luxury Chinese consumers, defined as people who had purchased or received at least two luxury brands in the last year.
A New Group: The Chinese Independent Experientials, spending $498B as in Billion
Although official Chinese government statistics claim that Chinese tourists spent $164.8 billion overseas last year, this week the Financial Times disclosed an even more staggering estimate: $498 billion. When it comes to how these travelers are spending, shopping is still a priority, but one key area is gaining central importance: experiences.
According to a new Financial Times survey, shopping still reigns supreme as the leading travel spending segment across all household income groups. But now, Chinese travelers aren’t just focusing on buying tangible items to take back anymore—they’re also prioritizing spending on experiences —Entertainment, better hotels, and seeing new destinations.
This trend coincides with the growing popularity of independent travel among Chinese tourists, allowed by easier visas and more independent travel options on sites like CTrip’s ToursForFun. These options allow travelers to set their own itineraries, rather than sitting on buses, spending most of their time going from mall to mall.
The New Wellness Component Of The Ritz Carlton Buckhead
The luxury spa at The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead has updated its Wellness Level, the hotel’s 9th floor. It is dedicated entirely to health and wellness. This level offers guests a luxurious spa, personalized treatment menu, boutique, spa lounge, 17 guest rooms, and two recently renovated specialty guestroom suites.
The most extensive revitalization effort has been the development of two new specialized spa suites. Each suite showcases enhancements essential to physical renewal and mental restoration. Operating in harmony both the Jasmine Suite and the White Lotus Suite feature signature amenities tailored to individuals’ wellness goals.
In the Jasmine Suite, guests will find all surroundings and amenities conducive to rest, relaxation and restorative sleep. The room features blackout drapes, an electric fireplace, soothing wake up technology, aromatherapy, a yoga and meditation corner and a relaxing color palette. In addition, the Wellness Level features custom, cold-pressed juices through a partnership with Bamboo Juices, which includes a custom “Jasmine” juice created with the Jasmine Suite in mind.
The White Lotus Suite energizes and renews the senses. Features of the suite include a spin bike, stand-up desk, energizing aromatherapy, and invigorating furniture and color scheme. A signature “White Lotus” juice blend will also be offered through a partnership with Bamboo Juices.
The suites offer close proximity to the spa, spa lounge and immediate access to the spa concierge. They will be available in Summer 2015.
And then? Mama Shelter — Opening in Los Angeles May 15th.
Mama Shelter, known to many Millennials and Gen Z’ers, will be opening one of their hotels very soon, in Los Angeles.
Mama Shelter has hotel roots in Paris, then Marseilles, from there to Lyon, Istanbul, Bordeaux, and now Los Angeles. Designed by Thierry Gaugain, Mama Shelter perches six-stories over the neon of Hollywood Blvd, The rooms have comfortable king beds and 27 inch iMacs (featuring television, Criterion Collection movies, video/photo booth, and of course the Internet).
MAMA’s rooftop allows the guests to take in the sights of all of Los Angeles with a near 360 degree view from the Hollywood sign to Downtown to South Bay to the Westside. The hotel is located blocks away from the peaked roof and cement celeb handprints at the Chinese Theatre along the Walk of Fame, as well as countless boutiques and bars, tattoo parlors and record shops, burrito stands and vegan restaurants.
Now Open! At the Four Seasons Doha: The Largest Nobu Restaurant In The World
Located at the Four Seasons Hotel Doha, Qatar, UAE, the 26,000 square-foot Nobu Doha is now open. The tri-level architectural masterpiece showcases compelling culinary experiences and matched by panoramic views of the Arabian Gulf. The restaurant features an expansive 192-seat interior dining area, intimate 10-seat sushi counter, two private dining rooms, and an 82-seat rooftop lounge.
Elliptical ribbons of river stone capped with bronze accents form the exterior of the structure – resembling a coiled shell – creating the three-tiered levels of the restaurant.
Susan Kime's career combines publishing, editorial, and PR/Media Relations. She was the Destination Club/Fractional Update Editor for Elite Traveler, and senior club news correspondent for The Robb Report's Vacation Homes. Her work has been published in Stratos, Luxury Living, European CEO, The London Telegraph, Caviar Affair, and ARDA Developments, and Luxist/AOL. Susan lives in beautiful Logan, Utah with her husband and Beagle. Online at Google + and Twitter.