Added Luxury on Google+ Added Luxury: October 2011

Friday, 28 October 2011

Urban Luxury - The Westcliff

Think Africa is all safari, grime and danger? A stay at The Westcliff Hotel in Johannesburg will have you reassessing your opinion.

What makes a hotel luxurious? Could it be their billowy thousand-thread-count sheets or their legendary Sunday brunch? Their highly intuitive staff or their dramatic, million-dollar views? Perched high above the endless forested canopy of Jo’burg, The Westcliff Hotel has all of this and more.
To let the guests know that they’ve truly arrived, three magical words from the receptionist put things into perspective: “You’ve been upgraded.” Fantastic. The porter and I make our way up the steep winding lane, past lovely gardens and pretty pink villas, to my sanctuary for the next two nights. “There’s where you’ll be staying, right there.”
Can ballrooms get any grander?

We come to a halt in front of a cluster of villas huddled around a courtyard. Since no two rooms in The Westcliff are the same, I shuffle to my junior suite and fling the door open expectantly. I am immediately impressed. My extravagantly-sized bedroom may be Victorian in design but there are little touches of modern-day luxury everywhere. From the free wi-fi to the satellite television that pops up upon command to the soundproofed windows and heavy drapes to the cosy sitting nook in the corner, the management has thought of everything.

However, the pièce de résistance is undoubtedly the palatial marble bathroom. Big enough to live in, it boasts an enormous sliding wardrobe, dual sinks, shower stall, heated towel racks, a tub (with bath salts) and toiletries from Africology, South Africa’s numero uno skincare line. Something tells me I shall be spending an awful lot of time in here.


The Westcliff’s restaurants and its infinity pool overlook some of the finest vistas in the city. The hotel’s cascading garden is also stunning. It is said that horticultural enthusiasts may, on a stroll from one villa to another, spot a number of unique floral species within the property. That evening, I head to La Belle Terrasse, the hotel’s restaurant, where the service is impeccable and the setting fabulous.
Sipping my rooibos tea, I spot someone who looks vaguely familiar across from me. Could it be a makeup-less Felicity Huffman, fresh off season eight of Desperate Housewives? And is that handsome young man her son?  “Yes, we do get a lot of celebrities but a lot of them usually want to be treated like normal people,” says general manager, Andrew Cook, who has joined me for a quick chat.

In a sense, there is no better place in South Africa to go unrecognised or be yourself. The hotel is blissfully quiet, and even the businessmen (and women) possess the graciousness to discuss money and mergers in hushed tones. Sooner or later, every visitor to this hotel will be buoyed by this sensation of calm and restfulness, making the place a terrific respite from downtown Johannesburg.

As the sun sinks below the horizon, the stately homes below me light up like a million shimmering oil lamps, outsparkling the star-filled heavens. Now this, to me, is luxury.

Follow Louisa Lim at 

Full article at The Star Online

67, Jan Smuts Avenue
Westcliff, Johannesburg
2193, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0)11 481 6074/6045

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Savane Organic Skincare Debuts in New York City

Savane Organic Skincare, the first ethical, certified organic luxury skincare range from Africa, is coming to New York! Launching this Saturday, 29th October at Shen Beauty.

The people of Southern Africa have relied solely on indigenous plants to protect their skin from the desert sun and harsh climate for thousands of years. Savane Organic Skincare blends this ancient traditional knowledge with modern green science to bring you Africa’s unique botanicals in their most potent form.

Savane values the rich natural and cultural diversity of Africa and the complex relationship between people and their natural environments. A member of PhytoTrade Africa committed to fair-trade and ethical sourcing of its ingredients. To contribute to a better world by providing safe, ethical and sustainable skin care products.Rich in some of the most powerful natural antioxidants and deep penetrating essential fatty acids (omegas 3, 6 and 9), our skin care range restructures, regenerates, and revitalizes your skin, protecting it against premature aging and restoring its natural balance.

All products are certified organic by Ecocert and endorsed by Beauty Without Cruelty. They contain one of the highest certified organic and fair-trade content available. They do not contain petrochemicals, animal or genetically modified ingredients, mineral oils, color additives or synthetic fragrances.

To reduce their carbon footprint product packaging is recyclable, and if you return it to the store they will recycle it for you and give you a discount on your next purchase. Ladies looks don't have to kill, with stockists in Cape Town, Johannesburg and the US visit them now! Savane They promise it's love at first slather.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Mixology With Versus

Versus wines launches a lighter, brighter look this month, highlighting its fresh, fun appeal and a flair for the unconventional that its fans have come to love. The brand continues to bring a refreshing, fun approach to the enjoyment of wine through its innovations.

“In keeping with our young and hip approach we ensure that we are very interactive in the new media space and the newly launched QR code on the Versus packaging, will enable consumers to access the website or brand promotions via their smart-phones,” explains O’Shea, Executive Director for Sales and Marketing at the company of wine people.

“Versus has always maintained its fun, friendly appeal that is characterised by an uncomplicated easy-drinking style,” he adds. “It is gaining in popularity not only in South Africa, Finland, Germany, and Belgium, but also in the rest of Africa and Asia, and is a great wine for parties and other occasions with friends.”

From social occasions to cocktail innovations. Versus wines – now just as stylish as its fans – brings their unique flair to just about any affair. Serve us Versus! Cocktail recipes.Yes please! 

About Versus Wines
Versus continues to bring fun approach to the enjoyment of wine through its striking packaging, alternative advertising and stylish wine. Versus has enjoyed a number of achievements over the years, challenging industry and consumer perceptions alike. The brand continues to surprise and delight the trendsetters in a traditional wine world with its innovative spirit. Even the labels tell a different story.

Unveiling a Masterpiece - GLENMORANGIE PRIDE 1981

Pride 1981 is Glenmorangie’s most luxurious expression to date. As a precursor to the Whiskey Live Festival 2011, Glenmorangie is launching the SA unveiling of Pride next Thursday, 1 November at The Library, Cape Grace Hotel.

Its most sublime single malt whisky named after the year of its birth Pride is an extremely rare limited edition, with only 1,000 bottles available. It is presented in a specially commissioned, striking crystal decanter and wooden case conceived to compliment this exceptional whisky.

Glenmorangie Pride 1981 has a lingering finish, succulent and sweet with sultanas, toasted almonds and coconut desserts. The influence of the Sauternes casks produce the captivating aroma and the texture of chewy desserts such as apple tart, with sprinklings of Demerara sugar, nutmeg and aniseed. These are underpinned by musky oak tones, reminiscent of antique oak furniture.

A splash of water releases a myriad of exotic fruits and spices – sherbet lemons, melon, kiwi, with background notes of liquorice and roasted chestnut. Glenmorangie Pride 1981 leaves a long, lingering finish, succulent and sweet with sultanas, toasted almonds and the memory of lemon and coconut desserts.

Glenmorangie Pride 1981 is the culmination of 28 years of passion, patience and artistry. The genesis began in October 1981, when the intent was to create an exquisite vintage 18 Year Old, but the on-going tasting and assessment of the maturing stocks revealed that this whisky was of exceptional quality.

In 1999, Head of Whisky Creation, Dr Bill Lumsden acquired a limited number of Sauternes Barriques from the vineyard of Chateau d’Yquem - famed for its Premier Cru Supérieur rating, ‘a class above the rest’. Dr. Lumsden comments, "The opportunity to age an 18 Year Old for ten years in Chateau d’Yquem casks was too exciting to pass up."

Glenmorangie Pride 1981 was extra-matured in these Sauternes casks for a further ten years - the longest period any Glenmorangie whisky has ever undergone extra-maturation. “The resulting liquid is a rich, opulent deep gold, one of our most mature to date, is characterised by rich flavours of sumptuous desserts, and undertones of oak tannins, resulting from the extra-maturation process. We are always looking to push boundaries and innovate, and Glenmorangie Pride 1981 is the pinnacle of those efforts.”

Luscious, sensuous, romantic and ingenious, the packaging of Glenmorangie Pride 1981 is as exceptional as its contents, making every element of Glenmorangie’s finest creation a fitting tribute to a vintage year for design and for whisky. The sinuous Baccarat crystal decanter is the work of talented French designer Laurence Brabant.

It is encased in a wooden box conceived by Dutchman Wouter Scheublin, a rising star of technical design. The result is a cylindrical crystal vessel inside an oak box that slides apart when opened. A modern design classic. Due to the limited number of Sauternes casks available, just 1,000 bottles will be available worldwide, from July 1st 2011. Glenmorangie Pride 1981 is bottled at 56.7% ABV and is available at approximately ZAR 30,000.

About Glenmorangie

Glenmorangie malt Scotch whisky is one of the famous in the world. It originates from the far north of Scotland in the Highlands where, at the Glenmorangie Distillery, it is distilled in the tallest malt whisky stills, expertly matured in the finest oak casks, and perfected by the Men of Tain. The Distillery was founded in 1843 and is renowned as a pioneer in its field uniting tradition with innovation.

About The Glenmorangie Company

The company is one of the most renowned and innovative distillers and marketers of Scotch whisky brands worldwide and is part of Moët Hennessy, the wine and spirits division of Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH). Headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland, the company produces two main single malt brands – Glenmorangie Single Highland malt whisky and Ardbeg Single Islay malt whisky.

Cape Town - World Design Capital 2014

The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid) announced this morning, that the City of Cape Town (South Africa) has been designated the World Capital Design® (WDC) 2014 in Taipei by the International Design Alliance Congress. Cape Town is the fourth city to hold this biennial appointment and marks the first for the African continent.

Awarded to cities based on their commitment to use design as an effective tool for social, cultural and economic development, the WDC has become more than just a project or a programme. Today, it is a global movement and serves to acknowledge that design can, and does, impact the quality of human life. Icsid President and Member of the Selection Committee Dr. Mark Breitenberg stated, “It is encouraging to see how Cape Town plans to use design as a tool to solve urban challenges. I am confident that this new member of the WDC family will demonstrate to the world how design is expanding in application and influence.”

For Cape Town, the WDC appointment comes exactly two decades after reaching democracy. “2014, then, is the moment when the past and the future will come together for Cape Town, in contemplation and in action,” stated Executive Mayor of Cape Town, Ms. Patricia de Lille. “It is a reflection of how the city has socially and physically reinvented itself.” Cape Town’s vision of design is based on socially responsible design, sustainability and innovation. As part of their bid, the theme “Live Design. Transform Life” was introduced in support of Cape Town’s objective to focus on enhancing the city’s infrastructure to make it a more liveable African City.

“The promise of Cape Town’s approach to broaden the scope of the World Design Capital and shape the future of this initiative, were the deciding factors that ultimately led to the city’s appointment for 2014. The story of transformation is about sustainability, urban development and embracing a global community in light of its drive to improve its social and economic environment. We expect tangible benefits will be reaped to help reposition Cape Town on an international scale.”

Cape Town is a growing and vibrant city, where design has for decades been a significant factor in its desire to build an open city. The marriage of need and innovative design has resulted in unique solutions to address the issues of a developing city. Design in Cape Town is also reaching beyond city limits by aspiring to become the design hub for South Africa and for the African continent.

Ms. De Lille concluded her acceptance of the WDC designation by saying, “We are grateful for the World Design Capital bid process and title. It has helped to bring different initiatives together and has made us realise that design in all its forms, when added together, creates human and city development. We look forward to learning from other cities that are using design as a tool for transformation, including designated cities Torino, Seoul and Helsinki and our fellow shortlisted cities, Dublin and Bilbao. 

We are honoured to have been considered with them.” The City of Cape Town will follow the examples past World Design Capitals to develop an engaging programme for 2014. How we did it!

Monday, 24 October 2011

L'Affaire with Peroni

Another episode of people, places and perspectives underscored by quintessential music, culinary and beverage blend is about to take place in the Mother City.  
Italian style leaders PERONI, together with VIP Guest and Soul Life, bring you Johannesburg’s most stylish night to The Southern Sun Cullinan Hotel, one of Cape Town’s most iconic and prestigious venues.“Get Carried Away” and indulge in a contemporary urban chic experience...

28th Oct 2011 at 17:00pm

The Cullinan Hotel, Southern Sun, 1 Cullinan rd.

Hosted by Peroni South Africa & VIP Guest

Patek Phillipe - Sparkling Swiss Timekeeping

The Grand Complications 5073P-00 by Patek Philippe
The new Grand Complications 5073P-001 is a Patek Philippe debut that benchmarks a significant trend in haute horlogerie. Connoisseurs are left speechless: not only due to its breathtaking sound quality, but also given the 103 baguette diamonds on its bezel and 55 further diamonds on the dial and clasp.
Ranking among the few manufactures that consummately master the orchestration of "cathedral" gongs, extra-long gongs which produce an inimitably voluminous and reverberant sound

Perpetual calendar and winding: totally automatic
To assure continuity in the displays of the perpetual calendar and moon phases, the movement is self-winding and completely automatic thanks to an off-center minirotor made of 22K gold; it is fully recessed in the plate.  Given all the repeater wristwatches produced by Patek Philippe since 1916, the manufacture's micromechanical virtuosity does not need to be further expounded.

True artistry shuns no effort
To adequately showcase the micromechanical brilliance of the Grand Complications 5073P-001, Patek Philippe also pulled out all the stops with respect to the case and exterior elements. With a diameter of 42 mm, the heavy case is fashioned on premises with the traditional cold-forming method from blanks made of 950 platinum, the precious metal that is most difficult to machine.

Then, the manufacture's master jewelers rely on their artistry to transform it into a breathtaking magnum opus for the wrist. 103 flawless Top Wesselton baguette diamonds totaling approx. 4.33 ct. adorn the bezel and the case lugs.
On the black lacquered solid-gold dial, 13 set baguette diamonds (approx. 0.25 ct.) serve as hour markers. And 42 further baguette diamonds (approx. 0.69 ct.) convert even the platinum clasp into a masterpiece of gemsetting prowess. 

As always at Patek Philippe, a discreet 0.02-ct. diamond between the lugs at 6 o'clock identifies platinum as the case metal. The sparkling fire of precious stones legitimately raises the question whether the adornment of a watch at this level should not count as a complication as well.

The watch is delivered with a solid platinum case back and an interchangeable display back with a sapphire-crystal window that reveals the meticulous finissage of the movement. Highlights that immediately meet the eye are the lavishly guilloched 22K gold winding rotor and, beneath the goldplated cap with the pierced Calatrava cross, the small centrifugal governor that controls the disciplined rhythm of the striking mechanism.

While the focus among women is shifting from the outward appearance of precious wristwatches to a greater appreciation of what is inside them, men with a penchant for complicated calibers are also beginning to attach greater importance to elements that adorn their micromechanical masterpieces. The directives of the Patek Philippe Seal explicitly specify that the art of haute horlogerie merits only the ultimate in gemsetting expertise. The Grand Complications 5073P-001 is a fine case in point

In Southern Africa, Patek Philippe watches are exclusively sold through The Watch and Jewellery Gallery located at Shop 33, Nelson Mandela Square, Sandton, Johannesburg. For more information please contact the store on 011-7842587 or visit

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Zambezi Queen - Africa's Leading Luxury River Cruise

The Zambezi Queen received international recognition for its ongoing commitment to perfection by winning the Africa’s leading luxury river cruise award. Operating in 5-star luxury, where the essence is about pampering, indulgence, and personalised comfort in the heart of African wilderness.

Offering 10 Suites and 4 Master Suites, all en-suite with king or twin beds, private balconies and fans for those hot summer afternoons, full length sliding shutters for privacy and protection from the sun, sliding mosquito net doors and the finest finishes.

"This award is a tribute to our ongoing commitment to the delivery of an exceptional experience and we are honoured that the industry has recognised our efforts in our strive for excellence. As always, we are fully committed to our clients and will continue to strive to be the exclusive River cruise of choice in Southern Africa” says Tony Stern Owner and CEO of the Zambezi Queen.

Few natural wonders are as synonymous with Africa's raw wilderness as the great Chobe River. These waters divide Namibia's Caprivi Strip from Botswana's Chobe National Park, and its exotic banks boast one of the densest populations of wildlife on the African continent.

Teeming with life, this National Park sprawls across some 11 000 m of lush African bush, and is home to the largest populace of elephants in the world – currently estimated at roughly 120 000. Along with the elephants, prides of leopard and lion, huge groups of buffalo, waterbuck, roan, eland, sable, giraffe, and, if you are lucky, one of the rare puku, can also be seen. In the river itself watch out for hippo and crocodile, and keep your binoculars at the ready for spotting a rich selection of bird life.

It is on this great expanse of untamed water an adventure unlike any other awaits. Why join the crowds on land-based game drives when you can experience the thrill of it all from your own private suite aboard a luxury 45 meter boat?
Whether you are dining on our third level restaurant watching the animals gather at the water at dusk, game viewing from one of our private boats, or attempting to land your first tiger fish, our professional team will be on hand to meet your every need.



Monday, 17 October 2011

Luxury Travel Africa is on the Up

Luxury holiday operator, Cox & Kings, has launched its new Africa brochure for 2012, featuring escorted group tours, private journeys and many new suggestions for tailor-made itineraries throughout Africa.

2011 has seen Cox & Kings’ passenger numbers to Africa increase by 25% compared to 2010 and tailor-made holidays Africa now account for 55% of all Africa bookings, which has risen from 30% in 2007. Cox & Kings’ Africa product manager, Louise Stanion, explains: “People are feeling more confident about devising their own itineraries in Africa with input from our experts, and tend to have a greater knowledge of the destinations they want to visit. Clients still want our recommendations and value our feedback and input but are increasingly venturing away from the traditional tourist trails to see lesser-known sights.”

South Africa: Both Cox & Kings’ group tours have increases on 2010 passenger numbers, showing that demand for tours to South Africa is returning to pre-World Cup levels. For 2012, Cox & Kings has introduced luxury departures on both Taste of South Africa and Splendours of South Africa, which upgrades accommodation to some of the country’s finest hotels.

Taste of South Africa is a 10-day / 7-night escorted tour with a luxury option, which includes flights, transfers, excursions and accommodation with breakfast daily. Clients can also choose to take the tour with private guides and transfers, or as a self-drive.

As more clients are booking itineraries off-the-beaten track, Cox & Kings has introduced two new private itineraries in the 2012 brochure. The Three Kingdoms is a 14-day / 11-night private journey that combines the highlights of the mountain kingdoms of Lesotho, Swaziland and Zululand with their fascinating history and beautiful mountain scenery. South African Safari is a 15-day / 12-night itinerary showcasing the great diversity of South African wildlife on a safari to three of the country’s best wildlife parks while staying in small owner-run lodges.

Ethiopia has established itself as the bestselling group tour in the Africa brochure with a 50% increase in passenger numbers since 2010. Stanion says, “Clients want to experience authentic destinations with culture and history. As the only African country never to have been colonised, Ethiopia has a rich heritage with fascinating rock churches, endemic wildlife and stunning scenery” The brochure includes two new private tours. Ethiopia’s Tribal Kingdom visits the fascinating and colourful tribes in the Omo Valley a 13-day tour. The Road to Lalibela uses the newly tarmacked roads in the north of the country to explore some of Ethiopia’s most spectacular scenery with a private driver / guide for 14 days.

New for the group tour is a visit to the lesser known rock-churches of Wukro Cherkos and Abraha Atsbeha near Mekelle in the north of Ethiopia. Ethiopian Odyssey a 14-day tour and includes flights from London with Ethiopian Airlines, transfers, excursions and full board accommodation. Several of the departures have been adapted to coincide with the most celebrated of Ethiopia’s festivals: Timkat, Meskal and Tsion Mariam.

Madagascar: The Madagascar Adventure group tour has seen a 30% increase in passenger numbers compared to 2010 and due to high demand, the tour is now four days longer but at a similar price. Madagascar Adventure is now a 14-day / 11-night tour including flights, transfers, excursions and full board accommodation. There are also two new suggested itineraries: Marvels of Madagascar explores national parks known for superb lemur sightings and Island Hopping explores some of Madagascar’s tropical islands.

The group tour to Namibia, The Untouched Wilderness, has seen a steady increase in passenger numbers compared to 2010 and the 13-day / 10-night tour. A new private tour for 2012, Namibia’s Natural Wonders, travels overland with a private driver/guide throughout, which allows clients to travel at their own pace and explore Namibia’s magnificent dune fields, lunar landscapes, salt pans and wildlife.

Please see our website for the full programme to Africa, which also includes Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Botswana, Mauritius and the Seychelles.