Tag: luxury

Inside Angelina Jolie’s New Solo Home In LA

Newly single actress Angelina Jolie — who made headlines when she filed for divorce from Brad Pitt last year — has bought the historic former estate of Cecil B DeMille in Los Angeles, US.

A source close to Jolie told Vanity Fair she has entered escrow on the house in the LA hillside neighborhood of Los Feliz. The mansion was built in 1916 by DeMille and now sits on a 2.1-acre plot, along a street named after the legendary US filmmaker.

It most recently landed in the hands of novelist Richard Grossman and art consultant Lisa Lyons, who then put the property up for sale via Hilton & Hyland for US$24.95 million. Jolie reportedly purchased the six-bedroom home for near the asking price.

The listing describes the mansion to be of a Beaux-Arts architectural style. Jolie and her six kids will not only enjoy the main house, which underwent a six-year renovation, but they will also be able to frolic around a ‘multi-structure compound’, which features a detached garage house, a pool house with a fitness room and a separate studio guest house.

Gated and walled with gardens, paths and sitting areas; a classic Hollywood-style pool with arched fountains takes centre stage. The estate also promises Griffith Observatory views of La La Land clip-reel infamy.

Jolie’s new buy comes after the Maleficent star moved out of the palatial mansion she shared with Pitt in another part of Los Feliz. The former couple owned a multitude of properties together, including a mansion in New Orleans, which they sold in October 2016, and Chateau Miraval, where they tied the knot only three years ago. Despite rumours of a major sale, the French estate and its wine-making operations will continue running for the foreseeable future.

A Trip To Luxury: Amantaka, Luang Prabang

My first impression of Luang Prabang is that it is profoundly serene. A community deeply rooted in Theravada Buddhism and animistic traditions, there is an air of preservation here lacking in many sacred destinations around Southeast Asia.

Perhaps the ground zero of Laotian spirituality remains untouched because direct flights into the ancient city are limited. And as I look out the window from my seat on the plane en route to Luang Prabang, I am treated to one of the best landing views of my life. The wet kiss shared by the mighty Mekong and Khan River stretches out lazily towards lofty hills, marking the tiny kingdom’s jagged fences. Green peaks almost meet the aircraft’s wingtip as we descend alongside streaks of sunrays that cast a numinous effect on the earthbound scene.

Once on the ground, I’m drawn towards the quiet streets wandered by shoeless, saffron-clad monks. Unlike the unnerving traffic in Hanoi or Siem Reap, crossing the roads in this quaint Laotian town feels like crossing my own front yard. I don’t see tourist-packed busses or bumper-to-bumper commotions, just the occasional scooter and vintage car.

At the Amantaka hotel, the staff, alongside Prince Nithakhong Somsanith, the hotel’s very own cultural advisor, greet me when I arrive. For the next few days, Nith, as he is fondly called, led us on a journey of cultural enlightenment. But before we do that, I walk past the tranquil compound’s main swimming pool, outlined by iridescent lanterns hand-lit every evening, to the doorsteps of my suite. I’m glad to see that I have my own good-sized pool and patio. Inside, the lofty-ceilinged space is a textbook illustration of heritage restoration, containing a towering four-poster bed and other custom-made colonial-like furniture. Beautiful black-and-white photographs of everyday Lao life dress up the white walls, while the building’s original pistachio-patina shutters add a dash of colour.

Ready for dinner, I head to the hotel’s main dining room. Its airy ambience is topped by the platefuls of warm Lao and international cuisine. On clearer nights, many guests choose to dine at the open-air terrace, facing the pool, to savour personalised tipples and delectable dishes, such as a bowl of ginger, bok choy and dill soup; bamboo shoot stuffed with minced chicken; and steamed fish in banana leaf with coriander, egg and coconut milk. Every Lao meal comes with the staple Laotian sticky rice, served in traditional bamboo baskets.

Straddling Luang Prabang’s main central grid, Amantaka is tucked away in a quiet corner close to many places of interest. En route to the Royal Palace Museum, a hike up stupa-topped Mount Phousi is simply too good to miss. There’s also the 16th century gem Wat Xieng Thong, Luang Prabang’s grandest temple. The main shrine’s impressive gilded teak panels and tiered roof lines sweep almost to the ground. It is also decorated inside and out with scintillating glass mosaics and traditional stenciled gold motifs on maroon or jet-black backgrounds.

“A lot of tourists see temples as places to visit, but do not see the importance and meaning in them,” says Nith, a multi-talented artist and all-round protector of scared ancient Lao art. “These temples and their walls are actually like dictionaries. The craftsmanship of stencil works can also be seen as meditation, where countless acts of carving become a form of concentration.”

A descendant of the nation’s last viceroy, Nith personally thinks tourism is important but he hopes to help preserve the charm and authenticity of his beloved city. “I want to teach the younger generation the art of everything — dancing, music, embroidery and the value to preserve their cultural identity.”

However, increased social contacts with tourists are undoubtedly influencing local ideologies and aspirations. Cultural impacts and conflicts billow, especially when tourism comes into direct contact with religious sites or practices.

So, as I kneel by the roadside at the entrance of Amantaka the next morning, before the daybreak procession of almsgiving, I am reminded to be respectful. “We must dress properly, have good manners by bowing down, being silent and not making eye contact with the monks. It’s important to understand that this is a highly revered ritual of giving offerings of food to monks. It is also not okay to place money, or even anything else besides rice, into their alms bowls,” informs Nith.

While the city seems accept tourism, the expectation is that holidaymakers have to respect simple boundaries. My time in Luang Prabang has indeed been eye-opening. I will be back, maybe in a year or two, to see if the spirit of the place will be the same. I truly hope so.

The Top Luxury SUV’s That Money Can Buy

Also referred to as motor coaches or motorhomes, luxury RVs are some of the most fêted extravagances today. Typically, these vehicles offer you the luxury of having a kitchen, bathroom and all other necessary house amenities on the road, thereby ensuring you get a true ‘home away from home’ experience.

In the last few years, the world has seen a rise in demand of the RVs with several superstars and celebrities such as Will Smith taking the lead to acquire one for themselves. You could be the next in line to own one of these extravagant motor coaches yourself. Before then though…have a look at the following most expensive luxury RVs on the market today.

The Ultimate 7 Stores For A Man’s Wedding Day

There are four main things to have at your wedding, every bride will tell you these are the groom, the perfect dress, an amazing photographer and the perfect venue, because the wedding is all about the bride and how amazing, her special day.

What if we told you that this year it’ll be all about the groom. The groomsmen usually wear tuxedos or suits. Although no man wants to outshine his bride, it’s time for us to focus on the men in the wedding party a little bit more.

After all, it’s their special day too, and with so many different brands to choose from, it may be hard to find the look you want. We’ve made it easier by presenting the 7 ultimate men’s wedding collections that are sure to make every man in your wedding feel amazing and look even better.

Top 6 Most Expensive Cars Sold In 2020

Cars are just cool, they go fast, they look really sleek, they show that you have a certain status, and they attract all kinds of attention. Like seriously, who doesn’t love a great looking, fast moving, and extravagant automobile? I know I do, and when it comes to luxury, price can’t really be considered, because you know what they say, “If you have to ask how expensive it is, then you probably can’t afford it.”

And when you want something nice like a luxury sports car, then the price really shouldn’t be that important because it’s not about the money, it’s about the beauty and joy you get from owning that car, oh yeah, and the speed too!

It’s pretty interesting to know just how much people are willing to spend on the fastest, best, and most luxurious sports cars out there. Keep going and find out just which cars took the top 6 list for the most expensive cars of 2016.

10 Best Cities For The Ultra Rich To Buy Luxury Homes

It’s the sort of decision dreams are made of: Where should you buy your luxury home?

Global wealth information company Wealth-X collaborated with Warburg Realty and Barnes International Realty to release an analysis of the top locations around the world for the richest of the rich to buy luxury homes. London claims the top ranking.

“Overall, London ranks as the most desirable city in the world for the wealthy to buy luxury property,” the report says. “The No. 1 ranking for London reflects its strength across the board, ranking in the top four places in more than half of the 11 indicators — cultural richness, luxury shopping, education, connectivity, financial safe haven, ease of doing business, and the number of ultra-wealthy individuals living in the city.”

Wealth-X defines luxury homes as those valued between $1.5 million and $8 million. Ultra-luxury homes are those worth over $8 million.

The ranking weighs practical and quality of life factors including cultural experience, educational opportunities, ease of doing business, connectivity, property taxation, and the city’s level of environmental consciousness. Convenient access by plane, leading universities and safety also contribute to a city’s position.