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We plan to replace our kitchen counters and are interested in using stone. Is granite still a hot choice?

Granite remains the biggest seller, having accounted for 56 percent of kitchen-countertop sales in the past year, according to the NPD Group, a market-research company. Quartz (Caesarstone and Silestone) and laminate (Formica), each with 13 percent of the countertop market, trail granite in popularity, followed closely by solid surfacing (DuPont Corian).

It will be interesting to see whether granite's dominance holds. Consider that about 75 percent of certified kitchen designers specified quartz, according to the National Kitchen & Bath Association's "2010 Kitchen & Bath Style Report," as we recently reported in "What's Cooking in the Kitchen: 7 Trends in Remodeling and Design."Granite earned its spot as the most popular counter courtesy of its good looks and durability. Indeed, in our countertop tests, granite was the only stone that could resist heat, scratches, and, when properly sealed, stains. 

When it comes to natural stone, marble and limestone also offer aesthetic appeal but have their drawbacks. Marble, more porous than granite, is not as stain or heat resistant and scratches and chips easily. Limestone withstands heat very well, so scorch marks aren't a problem, but this soft, porous material is easily sliced, nicked, and scratched; it also stains easily, even when properly sealed.

When you're shopping for a granite countertop, remember that veining and pattern can vary enormously from slab to slab, so be sure to visit the store or stone yard to find a piece you love. You can save some money by using 3/4-inch-thick stone instead of the typical 11/4-inch-thick material. (Note that our test results are based on a thicker stone.) Granite costs about $45 to $200 per square foot, including installation.

by Kimberly Janeway
Wednesday, June 16, 2010

from: ConsumerReports.org

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美國國會眾院6日以246票對161票通過「房屋之星」 (Home Star)法案,授權兩年撥款60億美元鼓勵屋主改善房屋,節約能源。符合資格的屋主將可獲得數千美元補助。

這個計畫由歐巴馬總統提出,法案還須獲得國會參院通過。此一短期計畫也被稱為「現金換填縫」 (Cash for Caulkers),政府希望它像去年的「舊車換現金」計畫一樣成功,並預期將有三百萬家庭參與。

補助分為兩種。第一種稱為「銀星」,消費者進行各種房屋更新,包括增加絕緣、管道封漏,更換熱水器、空調系統、窗戶、屋頂和門,可獲1000美元至1500美元補助。第二種稱為「金星」,消費者接受房屋能源檢查,然後進行可節省能源費用20%的改造,獲得3000美元補助。能源節約超過5% ,可額外補助1000美元,以此類推,總額不得超過8000美元。





【2010/05/07 聯合晚報】

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英國餐廳雜誌(Restaurant Magazine)26日發表2010年全球50家最佳餐廳排名,丹麥的Noma名列第一,亞洲最佳餐廳由日本的Les Creations de Narisawa連莊。

Noma座落丹麥首都哥本哈根碼頭一棟改裝倉庫,2003年11月創立,僅42個座位。32歲主廚雷瑞皮(Rene Redzepi)提供新式北歐佳餚,獲評審激賞,將四連霸的西班牙餐廳elBulli擠至亞軍。有趣的是,雷瑞皮曾在elBulli工作。他回鄉自立門戶後的拿手菜包括麝香牛配煙燻骨髓、河鱸佐接骨木漿果,及瑤柱西洋菜。Noma去年排名第三。


亞洲最棒的餐廳仍由日本南青山的Les Creations de Narisawa奪魁。這家非正統的法國菜餐廳今年總排名跌了4名至第24名,不過仍保住亞洲最佳餐廳的榮銜。


東京的龍吟餐廳(Nihonryori RyuGin)是第二家名列全球前50大的日本餐廳,今年新進榜取得第48名的佳績。

其他上榜的亞洲餐廳還包括Iggy's和Jaan par Andre,兩家都在新加坡。

【2010/04/28 經濟日報】

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As Eleanor Roosevelt said, great minds talk about ideas; small minds talk about people. What do you and your significant other talk about? If you constantly hit the heavy stuff, you're probably happier than if you spend time gossiping about your neighbors or coworkers.
A recent study published in Psychological Science says that people are happier when they spend more time discussing meaningful topics than engaging in small talk. Seventy-nine college students had their conversations recorded and analyzed by researchers, who distinguished between chit-chat about the food or the weather and discussions about philosophy, education, or religion. Subjects who reported the greatest amount of satisfaction spent only 10 percent of their conversation on small talk, while the unhappiest subjects kept 28.3 percent of their talking time in the shallow end.
Among the scores of substantive topics people discuss, we've come up with nine that we believe couples should relish during heart-to-hearts:
1. Embarrassing moments. If you can't share the awkward, "American Pie"-worthy moments that occurred throughout high school with your partner, who can you tell them to? Don't be afraid to broach the subject, if you haven't already. We wouldn't be surprised if their stories are more horrifying than yours.
2. Political viewpoints. How do you feel about the new healthcare bill? You don't have to agree with each other, but you do need to keep an open mind. A good relationship allows both parties to discuss their own philosophies without taking the opposition personally.
3. Fears and insecurities. By fears, we don't mean your phobia of earthworms. We're talking about things that make you wake up with gray hairs. What worries you? What do you want to improve in yourself? What skeletons are in your closet? In being vulnerable, you risk judgment, but more importantly, you chance being understood.
4. Childhood. Ask your partner what he or she was like as a kid. Did she make friends easily? What kind of games did he like to play? Did he have trouble in school? Childhood memories make for fun conversations, but they can also lend insight into how your main squeeze became the person he or she is today.
5. Past relationships. This is a touchy one because no one wants to hear the person they're with spouting sonnets about an ex. There is, of course, a difference between longing for (or being bitter over) the past and simply acknowledging what happened. With enough practice, seasoned, happy couples learn how to address why past relationships ended without inadvertently comparing their current partner to an old flame.
6. Family life. Knowing a person's upbringing and relationship with his or her parents is paramount to understanding his current attitude toward family. If you're even slightly contemplating a future with this person, it might help to ask how well they get along with their parents. Why does she resent her mother? Why is he closer to his sisters than to his brothers? How does she handle family gatherings?
7. Current events. Thanks to the overflow of information, it's nearly impossible to stay up-to-date on everything going on around us. Here's where teamwork comes into play: Ask your partner about his interests, be they economics or regional politics, and see if you can't learn a thing or two. Who knows, maybe you'll help him develop an interest in international affairs or science news.
8. TV and movies. Compared to politics and personal fears, entertainment might seem pretty shallow, but discussions about movies can fall into the "deep" category if you focus on character motivations and plots rather than on, say, the cute leading actors.
9. The future. Talking about the future can be nerve-wracking. While we're not saying you should pressure your partner into talking about plans for marriage and children, we do believe that you should know their dreams, goals, and aspirations. What is he working toward? What drives her to succeed? Where does he see himself in five years? Someone who desires growth and is not afraid of the unknown is surely dynamic enough to deserve you.

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Alila Villas Uluwatu

Desa Pecatu, Bali

This fabulous clifftop pleasure complex on Bali's booming south coast is the region's first fully successful marriage of postmodern cool and tropical hot. The Singaporean design partnership WOHA has created a startlingly original vocabulary that alternates monumentality and intimacy, classicism and funk—and lets sky and sea shine through at every turn. The public places and 84 villas spill across a hillside overlooking the ocean with an organic ease that makes the place feel like it's been there forever, and its smart eco-planning may let it stay there almost that long: Flat roofs are insulated with local volcanic rock, and water from washing machines and baths is filtered for garden use. Rooms have ceilings of local bamboo, and the hardwood is recycled from retired Indonesian railway sleeper cars. The yoga pavilion is a little architectural masterpiece on a verdant knoll, and the two restaurants—one serving traditional Indonesian and Balinese, the other contemporary Western fare—are excellent. Perhaps one of the resort's most beautiful touches is a private banquet room with a vaulted clerestory studded with 2,500 glittering copper batik stamps.


Which room to book: Villa 409, a one bedroom at one of the resort's highest points, offers total privacy and a wide ocean view.

The Allison

Newberg, Ore.

Oregon's Willamette Valley finally has a resort on a par with its award-winning wines. Fully utilizing the 35-acre property's natural beauty (including vineyards and hazelnut orchards), designers have blurred the boundary between inside and out. Everywhere, it seems, there's a spectacular view: from the lobby's fireside "living room"; from the indoor infinity pool, with its glass wall that opens; even from your bathtub, thanks to a retractable screen. Extensive use of rough-hewn stone and wood surfaces, along with muted golds, greens, and browns, invite the agricultural landscape inside. Offering respite after a long day of winery tours, the 85 guest rooms are at once capacious (starting at 490 square feet) and cosseting (gas fireplace, terrace or balcony, wine glass–stocked wet bar). The staff are genuinely friendly and have a knack for anticipating guests' needs: Noticing our reviewer's running shoes, the bellman offered running maps. The hotel's dining room, Jory, is everything you'd hope from a restaurant named for the region's native soil, with a terroir-focused seasonal menu and a 32-page wine list, including well over 100 Oregon pinot noirs alone.

Which room to book: With million-dollar views, upper-floor rooms are just $20 to $30 more than garden-level rooms.

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2010.04.15 09:02 am


1991年年僅14歲的王璽潔在雙親安排下,到英國求學,之後她在倫敦帝國學院(Imperial College)就讀數學系,之後轉往倫敦大學學院(UCL)攻讀土木工程。


王璽潔創辦的「360房屋服務公司」(360 PropertyServices),目前共有12名員工,屬於小型公司,提供的服務包括住宅後院拓建、閣樓加蓋、挖建地下室、地板與屋頂翻修等,在施工前與客戶密切溝通,了解他們的需求,盡力提供最好的服務,她並堅持親力親為,每天到工地監工,確保品質。



女主人與暢銷的房屋裝潢雜誌「Homes & Gardens」連絡,邀請攝影師到家中拍照,迫不及待想與更多人分享華屋。










【2010/04/15 中央社】

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80、90年代Boutique Hotel掀起了旅館業的革命,打破傳統思惟,邀請非空間設計師跨界設計,而這股潮流後來也促使大型連鎖旅館、小型商務和家庭旅館的風格為之丕變,市場上因而出現了許許多多的「類精品旅館」,葉怡蘭稱此為「後精品旅館時代」。














由The One團隊經營、具有閩南園林風格的南園則是她最近的新體驗,她發現:「南園本身比中國北京等地的園林低調樸素,具有純粹的人文風格。旅館建物上保有舊觀,在裝飾上呼應空間,並採用椅榻、大浴缸、舒適的床等現代生活設備。」


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How many times have you become frustrated with your significant other? You feel like they just don't understand you. You feel like you don't connect anymore. There is no passion and fire left in your relationship.
Do you long to feel that passion again? Here are seven simple ways to put the fire back in your relationship -- and keep it there:

1. Don't forget date night.
It's been said a thousand times, but it's true. Couples who forget to go out on dates tend to treat each other like furniture in the house. You need to have a date together every week. Get dressed up for each other. Go out to a restaurant, a ballgame, or just take a walk together. It doesn't matter where you go as long as you do something different from your usual activities. When you're on your dates, treat each other the way you did when you first started dating.

2. Give a proper greeting.
When your significant other comes home at night, meet them at the door and give them a big kiss. Don't just yell, "Hey, how ya doing?" from another room. If you are the one coming in the door, go to wherever your partner is in the house and give them a big kiss. Little gestures like this go a long way.

3. Keep on kissing.
When you wake up in the morning, make sure you kiss your partner. Forget about morning breath. Who cares? We're talking about showing love from the very first minute of the day. This brings me to the second part of this: Before you go to bed at night, make sure you are connected with your significant other and kiss them goodnight. You should always feel love and nurturing before you go to sleep. Too many couples get into bed -- each person on their side of the bed -- and fall asleep without bothering to kiss each other goodnight.

4. Break the routine.
A big part of keeping the fire burning in a relationship is stirring up the daily routine. One of the best ways to do this is to set a romantic mood. Light candles. If it's a night you normally watch TV, why not light candles throughout the entire house? Do anything that's out of your normal routine.

5. Send a "no special reason" message.
Send your significant other little notes in the middle of the day, just telling them that you love them or that you're thinking about them. With email and texting, this is so simple yet so powerful. You can even leave a quick voicemail. That one "I love you" message will make your partner feel happier.

6. Leave a surprise note.
Everyone loves a surprise, so try placing a handwritten note in their bag or briefcase. If you leave early for work, leave a card saying, "I'll be thinking of you all day long" or "I really love the way you and I are together." Write something simple but beautiful. Share something to remind your mate of great times together.
7. Be there even when you're apart. If you travel for business or other reasons, leave a sweet note for your partner before you leave. Even better, leave a series of notes for them to find and read on each day that you will be away. If your significant other is the one who travels, slip a card into their suitcase and follow up with some romantic texts while they are gone. This lets them know you are thinking about them. Keeping each other in your thoughts is one of the most important parts of keeping the fire burning.

By dating coach David Wygant

from: Yahoo

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Getting Free Goodies

Birthday goodies from restaurants and retailers abound, even in a tough economy, and they’re not just for kids.

There’s plenty of free food, free stuff and great deals for adults and kids on their special days, though, like senior discounts at restaurants, you may have to ask for them wherever you go.

We’re not saying you should pretend it’s your birthday to take advantage of these deals, but if it really is your birthday, here are some ways to celebrate for free or on the cheap.

Black Angus

Unless you’re a vegetarian or allergic to beef, you can’t go wrong with a free steak dinner at Black Angus for your birthday. The deal is good for the two weeks before and the two weeks after your birthday. It is for dine-in orders only, and you’ll have to show identification. You can use the deal at any U.S. Black Angus or Cattle Company Steakhouse location.

Age limit: 16 or older.

Red Robin

Red Robin patrons who join the restaurant chain’s eClub get a free gift for signing up as well as a free birthday burger (in addition to regular e-mail newsletters). When you register, you’ll have to fill out a survey asking what you order most often at the restaurant, when you go there, who you tend to go with and how often you go.

Age limit: None


What’s a birthday without ice cream? Thankfully, ice cream chain Coldstone understands the importance of this frozen treat on birthdays, so you can get “the sweetest birthday possible,” according to the company.

You’ll have to create an account on the company’s Web site and sign up to receive other promotions.

Age limit: None

Baskin Robbins

Baskin Robbins is another chain of ice cream shops with a birthday club. It entitles members to a free 2.5-ounce scoop of ice cream and discount on a birthday cake, that is, if you’re in charge of buying your own cake.

You’ll have to create an account at baskinrobbins.com, but you can opt out of e-mail newsletters and other offers unrelated to your free birthday ice cream and cake deal.

Age limit: None

TGI Friday’s

Free food at Friday’s may vary depending on your location, but some patrons of this restaurant chain have reported getting a free appetizer and a free dessert on their special day. Call ahead or ask your server what goodies you can get, and if they won’t give you free food, at least you’re likely to get a free birthday song out of it. If you’re 21 or over, you can get a “Give Me More Stripes” rewards card, which entitles you to a free appetizer or dessert once you join, an $8 coupon for free food for every $100 you spend and other benefits.

Age limit: None for the birthday deal.

Red Lobster

Red Lobster promises a birthday surprise for those who join its Fresh Catch Club. You’ll also be entered to win a trip to “one of the world's great seafood destinations” or another seafood-related gift.

Age limit: none

from: Mainstreet.com

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精品跨界旅館業,蔚為風氣,Moschino 的精品旅館(Maison Moschino)於3月1日正式熱鬧開幕,Moschino為暖場,旗下副牌Cheap & Chic服裝發表會特別選在Maison Moschino登場。

原訂在去年開幕Moschino精品旅館,延至現在才正式開幕,地點在米蘭的Viale Monte Grappa 12號,是以新古典主義風格老火車站改建,雖然開幕是以副牌Cheap & Chic服裝秀登場,但收費可一點也不Cheap,住一晚要價270歐元(約13,000元台幣)。




Cheap & Chip服裝秀上,邀請英國流行歌手Pixie Lott及Asia Argento擔任客座DJ現場演出,住在旅館內的VIP房客,甚至可以從房間內向下俯看服裝秀和時尚DJ秀。

執行長Simone Badioli指出,這家旅館反映Moschino的品牌精神,時尚是一種生活態度。下一個令人矚目的精品旅館亞曼尼度假飯店,預計3月中旬於杜拜塔隆重開幕,號稱七星級飯店的水準。


【2010/03/03 聯合報】

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【2010/03/03 中央社】

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All over the country on Valentine's Day, men were down on bended knee proposing marriage. They spoke of love and affection and devotion. Few, however, mentioned what really matters: money.

Crass, maybe. But true nonetheless.

When you think about it, couples don't fight over love. They fight over money. They fight because one person didn't balance the checkbook or made a bone-headed investment without consulting the other. They fight because one partner exerts dictatorial control over the money, or because one has secretly amassed thousands of dollars in debt on a credit card, imperiling the couple's finances.

Whether the issues are big or small, money will prove a powerful force impacting your marriage -- sometimes overtly in the form of routine arguments; sometimes quietly as animosities seethe beneath the surface for years, only to explode into a potentially marriage-ending supernova.

What couples don't always grasp is that money is rarely the real culprit. It's the lack of communication, often stemming from a lack of knowledge about each other's personal financial quirks and beliefs.

So, some time between "Yes, I will marry you," and "I do," you and your partner need to have The Money Talk -- the key questions all couples should ask of one another.

Here are four of the more important questions to ask each other, since they provide insight and information on how money will flow through your marriage.

1. What Are Your Assets and Liabilities?

This question is paramount because assets and liabilities are the basic building blocks of the financial life you'll live together. Assets (banks accounts, investments, retirement plans and a house) help you strive for the life you want. The liabilities (a mortgage, credit-card debt, auto loans and leases) will hold you back.

Your goal is to pinpoint where you are financially as a couple so that you can map out where you want to go together. That could mean determining how much you want to save each month for retirement, or how much you want to put into an account for a new house, a new car or an annual vacation.

It also could mean talking about how you each use debt and the amount of debt you each have -- and mapping out a plan to pay off as quickly as possible the combined debt you will have as a family.

The best way to approach this: Present each other with a copy of your net-worth statement, a simple list of all your assets and liabilities. And voice no judgments. Mocking a partner's choices will simply lead to future silence.

2. What Is Your Money History?

What you experienced financially as a child -- how your parents managed their bills, how they talked or yelled about money, what they taught you about saving and spending -- has shaped who you are today.

Problems arise in marriage because partners don't always see money from the same perspective. You might abhor debt for anything other than a mortgage, yet your spouse-to-be thinks nothing of putting lunch, groceries and the afternoon Slurpee on a credit card, and then paying the minimum each month and allowing the balance to roll over.

In talking to one another about how you each see money, you will begin to understand one another's money habits. That, in turn, will help you find a common approach for managing money successfully as a couple.

Neither of you will -- nor should -- get your way completely. Marriage is about compromise. A better understanding early on of how you each see and use money will give you the tools to find a middle ground you're each happy with when financial discord arises.

3. How Should We Divide Financial Duties?

In many marriages, one partner exerts financial dominance over the other, leaving the silenced partner anxious and angry. Other times, one partner shirks financial duties because of disinterest, leaving the other to shoulder the burden. Neither is fair.

Couples should determine how to divvy up the various financial obligations that exist. Maybe one takes charge of investing and the other balances the checkbook. Play to each other's strengths. If you're good at challenging bureaucracy, maybe you agree to handle the insurance companies and the medical bills.

The point is that you both have an obligation to the family's financial well-being, and both spouses need to be aware of the household's financial situation.

If one partner wants to opt out of the daily financial minutiae, that's fine, so long as the other spouse is OK with handling the full obligation. But even then, you need to remain aware of what's going on with the finances so there are no unsavory surprises.

4. Do We Combine Accounts or Operate Individually?

This is a divisive issue. Many financial pros argue that operating from individual accounts helps maintain marital peace. Since neither partner knows what happens in the other's account, there's no bickering.

Maybe. But it's far from perfect. Resentments can emerge if one partner is better at saving and always has money for larger, more meaningful purchases. Moreover, individual accounts mask the family's true financial position, which can hamper the main purpose of marriage: operating as a team.

If neither of you know how much money is really flowing through the individual accounts, nor how much is being saved and invested, then it's impossible to plan a future together.

That doesn't mean individual accounts can't work. They can. But they require a large degree of openness so that you can both work toward common goals.

Ultimately, all of these questions are about one thing: communication. Learn to talk about money early and often, and you can mitigate the financial tensions that are normal in all marriages.

Write to Jeff D. Opdyke at jeff.opdyke@wsj.com

from: Yahoo! Finance

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最大的風險,還是完工後找不到人。因為小型設計公司或個人工作室,通常會把工程發包給不同的工班,當施工完成,發現問題,如馬桶破裂,再回頭找工班修理時,可能會成為名副其實的裝修孤兒。 今年10月挾著集團奧援之姿搶進住宅裝修市場的特力爵家,就把讓消費者親臨實境當作最大賣點。






「很湊巧,目前簽約全屋裝修的兩個客人,也要求新古典風格,代表現場眼見為憑的溝通奏效,」特力爵家總經理彭聖忠表示。 整合資源以產生規模經濟 特力爵家創新的服務不只如此。









設計師們除了能採用集團代理 的西班牙ROCA、德國ESPRIT等頂級廚衛品牌,也運用設計師絕佳的設計能力,自創強調環保與客製化的「爵家廚櫃」品牌,等於擁有自己的家具工廠。













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保羅.蘭德(Paul Rand)為美國當今乃至全球,最傑出的logo設計師、思想家及設計教育家。他為IBM、ABC、UPS、西屋所設計的商標無人不識,蔚為經典。他對設計的見解犀利,深信好設計的力量,為業界所尊崇,是美國當代最具影響力的設計師與教育家。


蘭德 你們怎麼做設計,誰要回答?

學生 溝通能創造因果關係。

蘭德 這沒錯,但它沒任何幫助。還有誰?

學生 溝通是因果關係。

蘭德 溝通永遠是因果關係。它沒辦法幫你睡著或做別的。再試試。

學生 設計藉由巧妙的操作把你帶到某個地方。

蘭德 這個好多了。它帶你去某個地方。

學生 設計是二度平面的。

蘭德 為什麼設計必然是二度平面或三度立體的?設計有一定的形式嗎?所以,我們可以說巧妙的操作(manipulation)是設計的一部分――至少我們知道操作是一定要的。那麼,我們是在操作什麼呢――還有別的答案嗎?

學生 形式和內容。


蘭德 設計是形式和內容的操作。有了這樣的定義,表示你知道你要往哪走,你知道你正在做某件事,所以你坐下來,你開始操作。好,那操作又是什麼意思呢?你的工作是什麼呢?操作就是你經歷的過程,就是你正在做的事。



我覺得設計是個不幸的字眼,但也沒辦法,我們就是被它纏上了。把時間拉回到前文藝復興時期,當時,身為藝術家及建築師的瓦薩利(Girogio Vasari)曾說:設計是基礎,是所有手藝、繪畫、舞蹈、雕刻、書寫的基礎―― 設計是所有藝術的基礎。設計是所有藝術領域裡內容和形式的操作。


學生 我是畫畫的,但我完全同意。

蘭德 很好,那我現在可以走囉。

學生 同樣的形式,同樣的顏色,同樣的問題。

蘭德 假使你是個差勁的畫家,那你也是個差勁的設計者。對嗎?

學生 我希望不是。


蘭德 我是說假如。好,我想我們已經了解設計是什麼了。還有另一種定義:設計是一種關係系統――繪畫也是。這裡所謂的關係,涵蓋了一個問題的所有面向,指的是你和畫布間的關係,你和美工刀、橡皮擦或繪圖筆的關係。還有設計元素之間的關係,不管是黑或白,線條或色塊。




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從瑞士到非洲遊獵的度假勝地,富比世和旅遊頻道 (Travel Channel) 在全球搜尋最奢華的超級富豪旗下酒店。

避險基金超級富豪保羅‧都鐸‧瓊斯 (Paul Tudor Jones) 十分喜歡購買豪華產業。他在康涅狄格州格林威治擁有一棟大廈、在曼哈頓擁有一座公寓、在佛羅里達礁島群和辛巴威各擁有一所物業,他喜歡在那裏打獵和釣魚。他於2003年在坦尚尼亞購買了一塊面積達350000英畝的土地,當時該地區的偷獵活動十分猖獗。瓊斯與非洲當地居民攜手重建了當地的野生種群,並建造了一個極具吸引力的旅遊勝地。

最終,這塊有問題的土地被改造成非洲曠野中一個奢華的遊獵天地。如今,瓊斯的 Singita Grumeti Reserves 擁有裝有空調設施的帳篷,以及提供奢侈露營體驗的其他娛樂服務。客人們有機會在樹下進餐,欣賞著名的角馬大遷徙,之後在裝有威尼斯鏡子和水晶吊燈的豪華房間內休息。

富比世與旅遊頻道聯手出爐了這份最豪華的超級富豪旗下酒店榜單。瓊斯的 Singita Grumeti Reserves 和其他10家酒店與度假勝地將在11月21日(週六)晚上10點(東部/西部時間)在旅遊頻道和高畫質旅遊頻道首播的「Forbes Luxe 11」中推出。

醫療設備專家 William Cook 也將一個有問題的場所改造成了一個奢華的度假勝地,他花費了4.5億美元翻新了印地安那州的 French Lick Hotel and Casino。

這個度假勝地在1996年時還是一塊只有空置建築的荒地。有了 Cook 的巨額投資,這塊荒地被改造成一個 Donald Russ 設計的高爾夫球場、十多個用餐場所、一個溫泉會所以及一個面積達42000平方英呎的娛樂場。這座物業已經獲得多個獎項。

科威特首富 Nassar Al-Kharafi 擁有臨近埃及金字塔的 Port Ghalib Resort。這是一個位於紅海沿岸的著名海灘度假場所。該度假勝地卓越的地理位置提供了全球最佳的水肺潛水體驗。

Port Ghalib 在一個度假場所內提供了三種不同的服務級別。超級豪華的19間 Intercontinental Palace 被設計成老式城堡的形象,使客人彷佛置身於12世紀。Sahara Sun Sands 提供了高階的海灘體驗,而價格相對較低的 Sahara Sun Oasis 以更傳統的裝飾給人平易近人的感覺。


唐納德‧川普 (Donald Trump) 的旗艦大廈 Trump International 可以俯瞰中央公園,為那些在熙熙攘攘的曼哈頓島鬧市區尋求豪華休憩場所的人帶來了一片綠洲。裝有大理石和吊燈的豪華大廳通往舒適的客房。紐約最好的大廚之一 Jean Georges 的餐館就設在酒店內,可提供客房服務。

2007年,以色列地產大亨 Yitzhak Tshuva 將紐約標誌性的 Plaza Hotel 改造成客人的天堂。他花費了6.75億美元買入這座建築,並改造了建築的套房,同時新增了高階的共管式公寓。


位於超級富豪旗下酒店榜單榜首的是史蒂夫‧永利 (Steve Wynn) 的傑作 Wynn Las Vegas。這位賭場大亨的同名娛樂場——他住在其中一間套房內——具有5星級餐館、價值數百萬美元的藝術收藏以及 Ferrari-Maserati 的經銷店。


原文:Forbes.com Billionaire-Owned Hotels

【2009-12-30 富比世/Keren Blankfeld】

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【聯合報╱編譯王麗娟/綜合四日外電報導 2010.01.05】

from: http://udn.com/NEWS/WORLD/WORS1/5347010.shtml

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在西方,我們對注意力的掌控課題不太熟悉,大家可能只知道「注意力不足症」(Attention Deficit Disorder,簡稱ADD)。但在東方世界,注意力不集中只是某種運作不全,它可以培養,不需要醫學治療。注意力和個人責任感息息相關,和健康也有密不可分的關係。因此,日本傳統的茶道和武術精神,就以掌控注意力為主要課題。舉凡功夫、太極拳、合氣道、跆拳道、氣功、各種冥想練習,甚至瑜珈,都是鍛鍊專注的管道。





from: udn

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世界第一高樓「杜拜塔」(Burj Dubai)4日舉行落成啟用典禮,主辦單位預估,全球至少將有20億觀眾守在電視機旁,見證這歷史性的一刻。

伴隨著杜拜塔落成啟用,位於塔旁的杜拜噴泉(Dubai Fountain)也將展現令人驚豔的水舞,吸引眾人的目光,晚間並有一場精彩可期的煙火秀。杜拜噴泉配有6000多盞彩色燈光,可變化千餘種不同的造型,將在啟用典禮中給世人最豐富的視覺饗宴。


杜拜塔是杜拜酋長穆罕默德‧馬克統雄心壯志下的產物,他讓阿拉伯世界再度擁有世界最高建築。埃及的吉薩金字塔曾是全球最高建築,但早在西元1311年即被林肯大教堂(Lincoln Cathedral)超越。




【聯合報╱國際中心/報導】 2010.01.04

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獲得「全球最佳酒吧」的是紐約St. Regis飯店,擁有古色古香的骨董吧台,據悉是「血腥瑪麗」調酒的發明地。新婚夫妻度蜜月,不妨考慮被評選為最浪漫的美國加州蘇路城堡(Chateau du Sureau),外觀就像城堡一般,房間裡的壁爐、燭台等,營造浪漫氣息,讓人捨不得離去。








評審臥底 住飯店 打分數










【聯合報/記者陶福媛、羅建怡/台北報導 2009/11/12】

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