Gold is an essential element of Thai culture. Indeed the word Siam, as Thailand was originally called, means ‘gold’ in Sanskrit; the Indians called it Suvannabhumi (Land of Gold), and the Chinese Jin Lin (Peninsula of Gold).
Today Thailand has one of the more open gold markets in the world with more than 6,000 registered stores. Some of our favorites are located along Yaowarat Road in Bangkok, around 15 minutes from Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit.
Who better to showcase this than one of the most promising Brazilian models ever, Aline Weber. We adore her work last month with Vogue Thailand, the thirteenth issue to date by one of the newest international editions from Condé Nast’s fashion Bible. ‘Aline Weber Takes Control’ is a visual mix of complex wonder and style by photographer Nat Prakobsantisuk. Visit Vogue Thailand on Instagram to see more.
You only have a few days left to see the decadent jewels of the Parisian atelier JAR at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a short distance from Sofitel New York. The exhibition features a selection of Joel A. Rosenthal’s finest pieces all executed with the most exquisite gem stones including diamonds, sapphires, garnets, topazes, tourmalines, and citrines.
The Paris-based designer has been called “the single greatest jeweler of our time” (by actress Ellen Barkin) and “the Fabergé of our time” (by designer Diane von Furstenberg). His shop in Paris’ Place Vendôme - only minutes from Sofitel Paris Le Faubourg - has no display window and no regular hours. It does not advertise and opens its doors to only a select few. And perhaps fewer than 100 truly magnifique pieces are crafted annually by his artisans.
Happy birthday to Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, born on this day in 1696. Arguably the greatest painter of eighteenth-century Europe, his art celebrates the imagination by transposing the world of ancient history and sacred legends into a grandiose, even theatrical language. You will find his work in museums located in Sofitel locations around the world including New York, London, Rome, Sydney, and Buenos Aires.
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (Italian, 1696–1770) | Allegory of the Planets and Continents | 1752
As the sun goes down, Sofitel honors the ending of a beautiful day and welcome the splendor of a new night through a candle ritual ceremony. This candle ritual is performed in all Sofitel Hotels around the world, and gets its inspiration from the age-old tradition of lighting the streets of Paris from the reign of King Louis XIV. From this, Paris was called “Ville Lumiere” or City of Lights. Magnifique!
The current temporary exhibition at Amsterdam’s magnifique Van Gogh Museum explores the work of Franco-Swiss artist Félix Vallotton (1865-1928), a leading figure in the Nabis (Prophets) movement.
Around 60 paintings from various international museums combined with some 40 prints from the Van Gogh Museum’s collection provide an overview of every facet of the artist. ‘Félix Vallotton: Fire Beneath the Ice’ runs until 1 June 2014, and is located approximately 12 minutes away from Hotel Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam.
(Box Seats at the Theater, the Gentleman and the Lady. Felix Vallotton, 1909).
Being French our love of wine is legendary. However, not to be overlooked is our collection of magnifique spirits. In fact at Sofitel destinations around the world you’ll find some of the rarest and most fascinating spirits on the market. Together with the bottles themselves, we periodically offer books and collectibles documenting the history of these fascinating and magical wines, spirits and liqueurs. Cheers to being magnifique!
Christian Dior presented his first haute couture collection in the Dior salons on Avenue Montaigne on February 12, 1947. This year the Belgian designer Raf Simons (who took the helm as creative director in April 2012) presented his third haute couture collection for Dior, for Spring/Summer 2014, at the Musée Rodin in Paris.
The setting was as impressive as the collection, with Paris-based creative agency Bureau Betak designing a gaudi-esque white sanctuary for the couture showcase. The curves of the seats, columns, and runway were hand made by artisans.
"The exterior skin of the structure is clad in a neon, orange reflective façade — an abrupt juxtaposition to the serene, manicured landscape that surrounds it. Welcoming visitors through gold-tinted doors, the edifice at once presents an unlikely scheme to its encompassing landscape and its interior program; a carved, cocoon-like refuge using but one color — white — contains the intimate high-fashion catwalk." - designboom.com
"Make a chic arrival at the urban design hotel, Sofitel So Bangkok, overlooking the green expanse of Lumphini Park. Explore the art of playful luxury in spaces that encapsulate the essence of Bangkok.” - Mr Gilles Cretallaz, Hotel General Manager
Hedi Slimane of Saint Laurent is not the only French fashion star discovering the delights of Los Angeles.
Vogue Paris correspondent to the United States, Carole Sabas, has her finger on the pulse of all things magnifique in America. The Marseille-born, New York-living fashion writer, who has already published one of our favorite guides to NYC, turns her eye towards the Californian sunshine with ”Los Angeles: The Fashion Friendly Guide” via Vogue.fr.
Carnival is just one of the reason you need to add Rio de Janeiro to your travel bucket-list: The 2014 World Cup is coming, as well as the Summer Olympics in just two years. Don’t forget the magnifique beaches, shopping, nightlife, food, modern-architecture masterpieces and emerald green jungles. Those girls (and boys) from Ipanema, Copacabana, Leblon, Lapa, and Santa Teresa are all proud to call themselves Cariocas, and rightly so. Magnifique!
Are you a fan of Chloé? The French house was founded in 1952 by Gaby Aghion—an Egyptian-born Parisian and Left Bank habitué—and her business partner, Jacques Lenoir. Aghion chose the euphonically pleasing moniker, a very popular French name, for its prettiness and French tone. Today, the label is helmed by designer Clare Waight Keller, and remains magnifique season after season.
"The prettiest pieces were the dresses that skimmed the ankle, in voluminous free-flowing layers of intense blues, white crushed plisse or graphic lace. These, and the rest of the collection, will look just great come next summer." - Rebecca Lowthorpe, ELLE UK, on the Spring/Summer 2014 collection.
You will find a dedicated Chloé boutique a short distance from the following Sofitel locations: Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Beirut, Paris, London, Berlin, Beijing, Macau, Singapore, Shanghai and New York.
We’ve always been big fans of leading interiors and still life photographer Simon Brown. Now is your opportunity to find out why during ‘Simon Brown: Standing in the Corner,’ at the Richard Young Gallery in London.
Brown, well known for his images published in interiors magazines across the world, has brought together a stunning collection of limited edition prints for this exhibition. He combines shots taken over a five year period—poignant interiors from properties in England, Ireland and France—with a collection of studio-shot still life images. The Richard Young Gallery is 15 minutes from Sofitel London St James.
(Image -Simon Brown, Blue Bedroom Fireplace Detail, Ireland, 1983)
Happy birthday to Auguste Renoir, born on this day in 1841. Did you know that the world’s largest collection of Renoir’s paintings - 181 works to be exact - resides only moments from one Sofitel. Can you guess the location? Find out here.
(Image - Pierre-Auguste Renoir, The Seine at Argenteuil, 1888)
Paris has many unusual shops, but none can compare to Deyrolle - the 180-year old establishment on rue du Bac, not far from the Musee d’Orsay on the Left Bank, and only minutes from multiple Sofitel locations.
The shop is stocked with hundreds of specimens, from a towering giraffe and menacing wild cats to exotic birds, shells, corals, and an astonishing array of insects and butterflies. Plus, you can buy beautiful reprints and originals of the botanical posters that once graced every classroom in France. It is no wonder that the shop has furnished schoolrooms, museums, and private collections with natural history specimens since 1831. A magnifique Paris must.
You’ll find Hermès bathroom products inside many Sofitel suites around the world. But you can also discover more Hermès inspiration on the official Hermes tumblr - one of our favorites from around the tumblr world.
They say the more things change, the more they stay the same. Weimar Berlin of the 20s and 30s was all about decadence, exuberance and creativity. It’s still true of Berlin today. This is the city that puts uber into cool.
During March and May Komische Oper presents Menschenskind - a musical homage to the Wilde Bühne (the ‘Wild Stage’); the 1920s foundation for modern literary-political cabaret in Germany. Just one of the magnifique events Komische Oper has on their 2014 schedule.