Thursday, August 17, 2006


Flat panel TVs look great, sleek and far less bulky than any ordinary TV, especially if you choose a large screen size. Unfortunately, unless you have a niche in the wall carved out for the screen - which is a good idea, but can be a hassle - there will be wires along your wall connecting the cable, DVD and any other relevant equipment. The Samsung SPD-50P7HDT Wireless is a 50" flat screen that solves these problems. It comes with a wireless AV center to which all of your extra equipment can attach. The center then transmits the signals to the screen, hanging wire-free (except for the power cord) on the wall. It's only available in Korea at the moment, and is priced around $5,000.

Dorm Room Luxuries

Dorm rooms, even the nicest ones, are not luxury accommodations by any stretch of the imagination. If you fill them with luxury furniture, install some wall panels and have all the latest gadgets, it's a good start. Unfortunately, this isn't really an option for most college students. Forbes has put together a guide to some affordable luxuries that are appropriate for a dorm room. The music-lover (or the heavy sleeper) can try the Portable iPod Travel Alarm Clock ($99) and a gadget-loving student might enjoy a miniature drink vending machine ($150), with a built in refrigeration system. And, to make the communal bathroom experience a little more bearable, try a monogrammed Horchow robe ($190).
Check out the whole list for a few more ideas.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Caressa K Yacht Launched!

We talk quite a lot about yachts here, as they are one of the most luxurious things that money can buy. This week, the Wall Street Journal took a look at some of our favorite ships, dubbing them McYachts(subscription req'd), due to the constant competition among enthusiasts for the biggest and best boats with the most luxury features. They also put together a convenient pricing guide, defining how much you can get for the amount you're willing to pay. Keep in mind this is just a ballpark, but it's a good place to start if you're thinking of getting into the game.
$2 million - 60-ft yacht with two staterooms, a salon and a dining area
$20 million - 140-ft yacht with 3 decks above water, 5 staterooms and an aft deck
$50 million: 190-ft yacht with 4 decks above water, a sky lounge and an elevator
$75 million - 250-ft yacht with a gym, pool, helicopter pad and garage (helicopter may or may not be included; pilot extra)
$194 million - 450-ft yacht with a theater, spa, salon and a wood burning fireplace, in addition to everything listed above and a good deal more.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Luxury Tipping Guide

Forbes has answered a very interesting question pertaining to tipping. With all the luxury services that new hotels offer, there are many more people that you will come into contact with than just the porter and the maid. How do you know who to tip and - more importantly - how much to tip?
The first lesson is that some resorts are all-inclusive and will have a "resort fee" added to the bill (15-20% against the room rate) that is to be distributed as tips for the employees; no additional tipping is necessary here, and many employees will not accept them. If this is not the case at your hotel, employees who should be tipped include the concierge, doormen, drivers, pool attendant and those who offer special services, like masseurs. See the full guide for details on who gets a dollar, who gets 20% and what you should expect in return.
And don't forget the maid. Leave a few dollars a day, depending on the size of the room and the size of your mess.

1016 Madison Ave NY, A Grand Estate

This latest blockbuster piece of real estate to hit the market in New York City is located on upper Madison. The seven-story 12,000+/- sq. ft. townhouse has its original architectural details. Inside there is a large central staircase and elevator. The home has investment and retail potential. It has been home to a high-end rug shop and an art galley. This amazing property is listed at $48 million. After the jump, just a tease of the grand scale of this home.

Pitt Bulls are Vogue in LA

Vogue may have picked the Dandie Dinmont Terrier as the top dog for the summer, but celebrities and celeb-wannabes in Los Angeles all seem to be picking up Pit Bulls instead. Jamie Foxx has two and one even has a staring role on the TV show Veronica Mars. The dogs are being welcomed with open arms by the dog-loving community in the city, and registrations have doubled in the past few years. But unlike the toy dogs that can be simply tucked away in a bag if they misbehave, pit bulls require excellent training and many precautions in their care before they make safe pets - and hopefully the trendy pooch lovers will keep this in mind before getting their own

Ralph Lauren Joins the Hotel Bandwagon

Lauren of Nature
DONATELLA VERSACE did it. Bulgari are about to do it. And now style legend Ralph Lauren is planning to join the fashion hotel bandwagon. The white haired designer is currently putting together plans to move his international company into the hotel industry, and allow his fans the chance to take their holidays in true style. The designer hotel fad was originally kicked off by Donatella Versace, who opened the suitably extravagant Palazzo Versace on Australia’s Gold Coast last December. Bulgari followed suit by hooking up with US hotel group Marriott and promising to scatter their own version of the high fashion hotel all over the world over the next five years. But for Lauren, it is still very early days. “He just had the idea,” says an eager rep. “It would be really amazing if it comes off but really it has hardly even got to the planning stages yet.”

The Shave of Beverly Hills

Where is the best place to get a shave in Los Angeles? Los Angeles Magazine just chose The Shave of Beverly Hills to their best of Los Angeles list. The Shave of Beverly Hills is an updated version of the old barbershop, complete with the revolving barber pole. They do the classic shave routine complete with the straight razor and the hot towel. The shop also includes a retail store and the place is decorated with an Old Hollywood theme that includes black and white photos of icons. The plethora of flat screen TVs make it just a bit different from the old-fashioned barbershops. A classic shave takes 45 minutes and costs $65.