Lifestyle and Culture

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Hotel LKF by Rhombus, recipient of APIDA’s 2006 Gold Prize, a deluxe boutique hotel, has been delighting international jet-setters with its five-star personalized service, premium design and ultra-comfortable guestrooms since its opening in July 2006.   With its dramatic décor and luxury design, Hotel LKF located in the heart of Lan Kwai Fong is the best choice for discerning travellers seeking a stylish and calm sanctuary amidst the hustle and bustle of the city.  

Adding to a glittering profile, Hotel LKF has just been awarded by TTG China at its inaugural Travel Awards the prestigious honour of "Best New Hotel in Hong Kong 2008".  All winners of these Awards are determined by votes cast via ballots or online by readers of TTG China, TTG-BTmice China, TTG Asia and TTGmice who are industry and trade professionals qualified and experienced in recognizing the best in China's travel and tourism industry. This Award is not only true recognition of the world-class facilities and excellent service provided by Hotel LKF but priceless in its acknowledgement from our peers within the industry.  Hotel LKF is committed to taking your inspirations to the next level and showcasing our highly personalized services, which is a benchmark for Rhombus’ portfolio of hotels at all levels.

"Hospitality is a 'people-business'. We are very proud to be leading a winning team and sharing the honour with the team.  Winning this award would have not been possible without the contribution of team members at all levels, as we truly believe that the guest experience we deliver is what sets us apart.  2008 is a very important year for Rhombus Group with the much anticipated grand opening of Hotel Panorama, a 324-room deluxe business hotel located in the heart of Tsimshatsui, and Hotel Bonaparte, an 82-room modern boutique hotel in Wanchai, both scheduled to open for operations by Mar 28 and end of April 21 respectively.  We look forward to continuing to deliver superior quality hotels and services that exceed YOUR expectation", said Mr. Calvin Mak, Founder & CEO of Rhombus International Hotels Group.

About Hotel LKF by Rhombus                                                     

Address: 33 Wyndham Street, Lan Kwai Fong, Central, Hong Kong
No. of rooms: 95 rooms
Restaurant & Bar: Azure Restaurant Slash Bar, 29/F & 30/F
Room size: 500 - 950 sq. ft. (50 - 90 sq. meters)
Room rate: HK$3,500 - HK $7,000
Reservations Tel: (852) 3518 9333 / Fax: (852) 3518 9338
Email: Reservations@hotel-LKF.com.hk
Website: www.hotel-LKF.com.hk

(information provided by the hotel)

ImageSense of Touch, an award-winning spa in Hong Kong, is located in four prestigious Hong Kong locations. The original boutique spa is at Hollywood Road, Central, while the flagship Central spa is at Arbuthnot Road. Sense of Touch also operates the only day spa in Discovery Bay and our new spa outlet just opened in the heart of Lan Kwai Fong on April 1st, 2008.

The benefits for SilverBlack Card members include: Free Spa Diva Membership, 10% off on all facial and body treatment and complimentary $100 cash coupon are given on first visit (but cannot be used on first trial).

To find out more about this benefit and many more visit www.silverblackcard.com.

Rhombus is preparing to open the doors to another sojourn

Hotel Bonaparte by Rhombus is Scheduled To Open on April 21, 2008

Following our recent grand opening of Hotel Panorama, a deluxe business hotel proudly overlooking the enchanting view of Victoria Harbour and the continued popularity of our award winning Hotel LKF, Rhombus International Hotels Group proudly announces the opening of its Third Property in Hong Kong – Hotel Bonaparte by Rhombus on April 21, 2008.   With cutting edge comfort and a touch of European elegance, Hotel Bonaparte by Rhombus is an exclusive, charming yet affordable 82-room modern boutique hotel conveniently located between Causeway Bay and Wanchai. 

The Hotel offers superb convenience to business travellers situated minutes away from the business and financial hub in Central.  Hotel Bonaporte’s prime location that allows you to access all parts of Hong Kong via Mass Transit Railway (MTR), Airport Express, buses, taxis and ferries. Nestled amongst the commercial buildings, shops and restaurants in Wanchai, Hotel Bonaporte is walking distance to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Committed service excellence, our friendly team will go that extra mile to ensure that all your needs are met, from arranging limousine pick up, laundry, secretarial service, restaurant bookings to flight ticket confirmations, you will be well taken care of at Hotel Bonaparte!  

With an eye for detail, at Hotel Bonaparte by Rhombus our services are tailor-made to each guest as our ultimate goal is to exceed your expectations as we have with all the hotels managed by Rhombus International Hotels Group. At Hotel Bonaparte, we exceed your expectations each and every time you visit us…

Hotel Bonaparte Facts:

11 Morrison Hill Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong

Reservations Hotline: (852) 3518 6688

Fax: (852) 3518 6699

Email:

Website: www.hotelbonaparte.com.hk

(information provided by the hotel)

Rare and previously unseen contemporary originals and prints by Banksy, arguably the world’s most famous street and stencil artist, will be the highlight of an exhibition entitled LOVE ART which takes place at Hong Kong Arts Centre from 23-28 April.

This rare exhibition will then move to Schoeni Art Gallery in Old Bailey St, Central where it can be seen from 29th April til May 13th. In this second showing, Bankys’s eponymous pieces from LOVE ART will be enhanced by additional unique examples of his work. After May 13th, the exhibits will be available for private viewing for a further few weeks.

LOVE ART, curated by local contemporary art expert, Fabrik Contemporary Art, is the result of a successful collaboration with Helium Foundation, a unique art buying service that aids clients who are in need of guidance when looking to build a contemporary art collection.

Banksy, whose works can be seen globally, from the streets of London to the West Bank,  has taken the art world by storm with his guerilla tactics using stenciled spray paint. His critically acclaimed and highly prized art is often compared with the work of Andy Warhol, as both explored topics depicting fame and celebrity.  Regarded these days as “the new Damien Hirst”, his works are definitely a reflection of art that is now, real and accessible.

The LOVE ART exhibition will include original works and prints by Banksy, such as policemen with smiley faces, rats with drills, monkeys with weapons of mass destruction and little girls cuddling up to missiles. 

His messages are reminiscent of early Haring and Basquiat in the 80s, signifying the dénouement of “pickled sharks” and sheep in vitrine.   This is shown in his screenprint in 2005 entitled Kate¬, an inspiration from Warhol’s 1963 print of Marilyn Monroe.  

Other works on show at LOVE ART include pieces by Robert Indiana, Damien Hirst, Keith Haring, Romero Britto and Mel Ramos from Fabrik’s private collection.

The show is divided into two themes; one based on the influence of modern day pop culture and the second on “street art”.

Some of Damien Hirst’s early pieces - for example Untitled Rocks - will be shown alongside The Book of Love by Robert Indiana which is a series of colors and poetry as a nod to pop art’s roots in graphic imagery by ways of deliberate repetition. Mel Ramos, on the other hand, exaggerates this by using women as objects of desire - almost tasteless kitsch, ironic and fun but empowering.  Romero Britto Is another example -  highly influenced by pop culture, bold in his compositions, with his works depicting his native Brazil.

Keith Haring whose Silence = Death is a perfect example of his pictorial metaphors -  subjects that deal with power and threat, death and deliverance, religion, sexuality, heaven and hell.   His works are seminal to the street art movement.

Love Art Exhibtion
23 – 28 April 2008, 10am – 8pm
Hong Kong Arts Centre, Wanchai, Hong Kong

Schoeni Art Gallery
Banksy Solo Exhibtion
Vernissage: 6:30pm – 8:30pm, 29TH April 2008
Exhibition: 30 April – 13 May 2008
Venue: Main Gallery 21-31 Old Bailey Street, Central, Hong Kong

(information provided by the pr company)

Giving Not Receiving Boosts Happiness

A new study of American’ spending habits published last week has revealed that earning more money makes little difference to happiness levels while those who spent more of their money on others were significantly happier all round.

Researchers at Harvard University quizzed 632 people and discovered that altruistic spending boosted people irrespective of their income, prompting Dutch social scientist Professor Ruut Veenhoven to query ‘rational behaviour’ assumptions central to most business models.

"This may come as a surprise for economists who have learned that humans are essentially egoists," the Professor told the Guardian, “ Often people don't know what really makes them happy. Doing nice things to other people isn't so bad after all,” he said.

Torch song electronic pioneer Dave Ball of Soft Cell and The Grid repute was not so sure, telling Skrufff ‘Happiness and money do go together; as they say ‘I'd rather be rich & miserable’.

“I think as long as you don't have to worry about money is the main thing,” Dave added, “I don't aspire to be mega-wealthy just to be able to sleep at night.”

The iconic electro star sold millions of records both with Soft Cell and later the Grid though started his career living the penniless clubber lifestyle depicted so accurately in Soft Cell’s 80s anthem Bedsitter.

“The most broke I've been is when I was homeless in Leeds living out of a suitcase on a friend’s couch with mice running around me.” he recalled. “I was determined that Soft Cell was gonna’ make it so I stuck it out and luckily I was right.”

“As a naturally melancholic person I am probably happiest when I'm sad,” Dave continued, “It's like ‘the Blues’ really, a kind of euphoric despair but something beautiful comes out of it.

What makes me happy is beauty, art, music, food and beautifully formed people(physically & mentally).Oh yeah, not to forget the squirrels in my garden; actually I love animals generally; As long as they're cooked properly,” he joked.

London acid techno star D.A.V.E The Drummer (a one time member of way before their time London Records’ signed agit-prop band Back To The Planet) was equally ambiguous admitting he’d been happy both when skint and flush.

“I was a new age traveller at the age of 17-18 around 1988 and I used to live off 40 quid every two weeks; that basically covered food and some petrol and that was all; But I was happy,” said D.A.V.E. (real name Henry Cullen), “I started squatting again in London once I’d had enough of poverty and slowly got into the real world through my music making me money.

If it wasn't for that I'd probably be a sad old hippy squatting with 19 year old students and telling them how clever I am because I can live off 20p for a month etc etc,” he laughed, adding that he finds most gifts ‘worthless’.

“Over the years I've had my fill of socks, jumpers, scarves, gloves, books, hankies, chocolates etc, all of which just scream ‘I have no idea what you like’; so you come out in sympathy and say ‘Oh thanks , just what I've always wanted’.

“However I once found a book left behind on a table in a coffee shop called "the Book of Answers". I was in the middle of a relationship breakup and I thought it was an amazing bit of karma to find a book like that. It turned out to be an amazing book. I tracked it down from Amazon (I couldn't just steal it, could I?) and gave it to my wife. I thought that was a good present.”

"Doppelganger" the new Grid album is out; Soft Cell’s remix album Heat, is out in May.

http://www.thebookofanswers.com/original.html (Book Of Answers_ online version- uncannily accurate)

http://www.myspace.com/ballini

Article by Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)


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The real-life Spiderman Alain Robert makes his way to Hong Kong April 14th

"For Robert, tall buildings are his mountains. He eulogises the views from their summits and (police permitting) revels in the freedom."

 - The Guardian

 

 

 

On April 14th, acclaimed daredevil Alain Robert will join HK Magazine for a literary dinner at SoHo SoHo. Robert will introduce his new memoir

With Bare Hands - the true story of his dramatic life as the world's greatest urban climber.

 

Robert has scaled over 70 skyscrapers worldwide, using nothing but his bare hands: from the Petronas Towers in Malaysia to Taipei 101, from Canary Wharf in London to Cheung Kong Centre.

Robert has always been determined to become a top climber. When he was just 12, he climbed eight floors to get into the family apartment because he had forgotten his keys.

Robert trained on the unforgiving cliffs of southern France, climbing solo. This meant climbing with no ropes for protection. In 1982, he fell 15 meters headfirst. He suffered a five-day coma and multiple fractures: to his cranium, nose, wrists, elbows, pelvis and heels. The prognosis was that he would never climb again, but this didn't stop him. In 1994, Alain climbed his very first skyscraper in Chicago and the 'Real Spiderman' was born. He realized that he enjoyed conquering the impossible, and so he began traveling the world searching for the skyscraper of his dreams.

The flamboyant Frenchman has gained international fame and raised thousands of pounds for charity, but has also been arrested, beaten and prosecuted.

 

Many people ask whether it is madness to undertake such perilous ascents without using safety equipment. But in Robert's view, it is madness not to follow your dreams!


 
Event Details

Date:                           Monday, April 14, 2008

Time:                           7:30pm

Venue:                         SoHo SoHo, 1/F, 4-8 Arbuthnot Road, Central, Hong Kong

Tickets:                       HK$400 includes a glass of wine, a three-course dinner & tea or coffee. Tickets available from Dymocks Booksellers stores from Friday 4th April.

 

(information provided by the organiser)

Australia’s first ‘super lodge’ opens its doors on Kangaroo Island this week, heralding a new era for the region’s – and South Australia’s tourism industry.

The A$15 million Southern Ocean Lodge will offer guests an exclusive luxury travel experience, incorporating the best of South Australia – great food and wine, wildlife, nature and lifestyle.

Tourism Minister Jane Lomax-Smith says the opening of the lodge will help South Australia attract even more international and domestic visitors.

“We now have a landmark tourism development incorporating our unique Kangaroo Island holiday experience which is not only the best of its kind in the nation, but will also boost visitor numbers and thus inject more tourism dollars into the economy,” Minister Lomax-Smith says.

 

“The State Government is committed to assisting the growth of the tourism industry, and has worked with Southern Ocean Lodge developers, Baillie Lodges, to make sure this world-class accommodation – which has already featured in the media both nationally and internationally – went ahead in the most sustainable way possible.

“Attracting world-class tourism developments such as Southern Ocean Lodge to South Australia are an important step towards achieving our target of boosting tourist expenditure to A$6.3 billion by the end of 2014.

 

“The market for these kinds of developments is certainly there, with Southern Ocean Lodge already reporting good bookings for the next 12 months.”

 

“The State Government is committed to working with developers to ensure more stand-out tourism developments go ahead over the next few years.”

 

“Tourism is a huge growth industry for South Australia, and we will work to ensure that momentum continues.”

 

Minister Lomax-Smith says the latest figures shows international holiday visitor nights were up 14% in 2007, compared to the previous 12-month period, while the number of interstate visitors coming to our State was up 4% in 2007, compared to a 2% drop nationally.

 

Located at Hanson Bay on Kangaroo Island’s south west coast, Southern Ocean Lodge offers stunning ocean views from its twenty-one luxury suites, and adjoins Flinders Chase and Kelly Hill National Parks.

 

Included in the tariff is personalised experiential touring of the Island’s unique natural attractions, as well as all meals and South Australian wines. The Lodge also offers a day spa, bar and restaurant.

 

For more information about South Australia, visit www.southaustralia.com

(information provided by the pr company)

For the fifth year in a row, WORLDHOTELS, the largest Europe based global hotel group for independent hotels, has achieved a double digit growth in 2007 setting a new record in sales and revenue with 307 million USD revenue generated across the whole portfolio of approximately 500 hotels (104,000 rooms) and a global room night production of 1.6 million.

On a year-on-year “same store” basis, room revenue increased by 20 percent up to 227 million USD while same store room night production increased by 7 percent, up to 1.1 million room nights. The WORLDHOTELS same store portfolio included 352 hotels with 68,000 rooms.

The average room rate increased by 8 percent to 196 USD. 

The group also added or opened 76 new properties, most of them in the five star (Deluxe) and four star (First Class) segments.

Commenting on the results, Michael Ball, CEO of WORLDHOTELS said: “2007 turned out to be an exceptional year for the hotel industry at large, and particularly for us at WORLDHOTELS. The focus was on optimising achieved rates, as both inbound and outbound demand remained strong in all of our key markets worldwide. With the growth in our meeting segment, our e-commerce connections and capabilities, as well as the global roll out of our WORLDHOTELS training academy, we continued our strategic transformation to generate above market demand for our hotels. By adding 76 exceptional and unique new properties, we significantly advanced our global presence as one of the leading hotel groups for independent hotels and regional groups.”

 

APAC Results

·         2007 set a new record for the APAC sales region which generated 250,000 room nights and 42 million USD revenue.

·         The demand for WORLDHOTELS properties in this region increased by 40% and climbed to an all-time-high.

·         In 2007, 10 hotels were added to the portfolio in the APAC region.

·         WORLDHOTELS entered the high demand market India in 2007. The company now is represented with 4 new properties. Further expansion is planned.

·         With two brand new 5-star-properties added in Kuala Lumpur in 2007, the Malaysian capital became one of WORLDHOTELS’ Top 5 Asia destinations along with Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and Tokyo.

·         Asia experiences a high demand for resort and wellness holidays. Therefore, WORLDHOTELS strives for heavy expansion in the resort segment. Most recently, Spa & Resort hotels were added in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

(information provided by the pr company)

World-renowned Singaporean chef Justin Quek is taking full advantage of his three dining destinations in Xintiandi to provide an evening of exquisite food and cultural insight. His "Gourmet Safari" is an evening that business visitors will find hard to forget.

Groups will begin their evening with a drink at Fountain, Justin's hip bistro and wine bar. They will then be given a guided tour of heritage lifestyle hub of Xintiandi, with museum visits and explanations of Shanghainese history and culture. More culinary delight awaits at Villa du Lac, where diners can sample the pinnacle of Yangzhou Huaiyang cuisine (Palace Cuisine), before finally moving on to Le Platane for the renowned modern French cuisine that made Justin Quek's name.

In conjunction with Le Platane's Corporate Luncheon, this personalised evening demonstrates what Justin's restaurants have to offer in the Meetings and Incentives market, with a guarantee of exquisite food and a commitment to exclusive, tailor-made dining experiences. Justin will, as always, have hands-on involvement, including the possibility of watching him cook your food as he talks you through the process.

 

Individually, Justin’s Villa du Lac and Le Platane present two very different, yet equally refined dining experiences beside the lake in Xintiandi. Together, along with the less formal Fountain, they offer one of the most stunning and unique settings for corporate functions and special events in Shanghai. Justin and his team provide tailor-made menus and go through every aspect of events with clients in order to ensure nothing is left to chance.

 

Justin is recognised as one of Asia’s foremost interpreters of fine French cuisine. His classical French techniques, paired with innate Asian tastes and sensibilities, have quickly established him as a gastronomic tour de force. Beyond the kitchen, Justin is also a creative exponent of culinary theatre. The “Gourmet Safari” is just the latest example of the exciting new initiatives he has brought to the Shanghai scene. It is unlike anything offered in Shanghai and is sure to provide an unforgettable evening of historical, cultural and gourmet insight for visitors to Shanghai’s lifestyle hub of Xintiandi. 

 

Fountain is located at Unit 4, Building 10-12, Lane 181 Taicang Road, Xintiandi, Shanghai. Villa du Lac is located at 383 Huangpi South Road, near Xingye Road, Shanghai. Le Platane is located at 373 Huangpi South Road, near Xingye Road, Shanghai.

 

For reservations or enquiries, please contact (86 21 5383 2998) or check out more online at www.justinquek.com.

(information provided by the pr company)

Japan’s Bad Manners Crisis

Transport authorities in Yokohama, Japan announced they are to introduce manners monitors on the city’s over-crowed commuter trains, this week, after reportedly claiming that ‘manners have deteriorated to critical levels’ (The Guardian).

9 out of 10 Japanese believe manners have got worse, the Guardian reported, with actions considered rude on trains including wearing strong perfume, reading porno manga comics and ‘talking loudly in groups’.

The new behaviour squad was launched following a campaign by star reporter Atsushi Mizoguchi from Japanese newspaper the Shukan Post, who last week reported that angry commuters are even getting into fights over body space.

"Westerners deliberately avoid coming into physical contact with strangers, and when they do bump into each other accidentally, they apologize immediately," he wrote.

"In some ways, Western children are brought up better mannered than kids in Japan and there is an unspoken rule that everybody has their own private space that other people are not supposed to intrude into,” he claimed (Shukan Post/ Manichi).

Ironically, Mr Mizoguchi’s claims emerged just months after British etiquette bible Debretts surveyed 1,000 women on British men’s behaviour and discovered that 4 in 5  ‘thought men needed help with their manners’ (Daily Mail). 

The Debretts survey appeared two years after British universities expert Professor Steven Schwarz also accused many British students of lacking a ‘basic sense of morality’, with many cheerfully cheating in exams.

“Plagiarism, incivility, rudeness and reneging on legitimate debts- all these are depressingly common among students,” the Professor told the Standard.


Article by Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)

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