Pinnacle Of Perfection

Welcome to Austria’s largest ski region, the Arlberg —a heady and decadent European playground.

By Bronwen Gora 28/12/2022

It’s 11am and already skiers sip bright-orange glasses of branded spritz at slope-side bars in the sun. The joy of the late season is rippling through the Arlberg, blizzards replaced by blue skies while deep winter snow still blankets the 300 kilometres of slopes on offer, renowned as playgrounds of the rich and royal.

Long sunny days reveal spectacular alpine panoramas to their fullest as skiers look to cruise and navigate for kilometres via the 88 lifts and extensive network of runs that seamlessly link the villages of St. Anton, Stuben, St. Christoph, Lech and Zurs.

The allure of Austria’s biggest ski district, comes wrapped in alpine mystique—the area is hailed as the birthplace of modern skiing, and boasts some of the most magnificent on-and-off- piste terrain in the Alps. Now the world’s fifth largest ski region, the Arlberg has amassed a list of attributes that set it apart as one of the most appealing in the world.

Skiing the renowned slopes at St. Anton


It was in the Arlberg hamlet of Stuben in 1912 that teenage farmer Hannes Schneider invented the parallel ski technique that’s still taught today. He then opened the first ski school in Zurs in 1921—and soon, learning to ski became the height of European fashion. Schneider later exported “the Arlberg technique” abroad, while back home, enterprising locals made skis, clothes and boots to cater for an influx of visitors that included some of Europe’s most wealthy and powerful. By the 1930s, the former farming community’s fortunes had changed forever.

Nearly a century later, the region retains an historic charm like few other snowy European ski hubs—a large part of its appeal coming from having eschewed major hotel chains and other hallmarks of modern ski resorts to retain a local identity, one underpinned by a wealth of family-run establishments.


The formula has won the villages of Lech and Zurs, in particular, an enviable list of clientele—the privacy offered by the remote yet sophisticated enclaves is priceless. Between them, the two villages have the highest concentration of four- and five-star hotels in the European Alps. Shared histories between hoteliers have seen generations of return guests, many royals among them. Until Covid came, the Dutch royal family had not skipped a Lech winter vacation in 60 years. Princess Caroline of Monaco is another regular, while Princess Diana famously holidayed in Lech and taught sons William and Harry to ski here.

Enchanting Stuben after sundown

Still, the vibe remains low-key—streets lined with rustic chalets, a regular small- town bakery, the Backstube Café, on
the main street. Lech’s most revered establishment is Hotel Post, a former 1930s post office that today stands as a five-star Relais & Châteaux property; a place where men are encouraged to sport jackets for dinner. Third-generation owner and general manager Florian Moosbrugger presides over the expanded, richly decorated hotel, built around the original building’s structure.

“We offer a very intimate and discreet atmosphere—always have,” offers Moosbrugger. “This has grown organically. You cannot plant an old tree.”

This is most evident in the traditional Austrian décor that adorns the Post’s corridors, public areas and its 46 finely appointed rooms and suites of which no two are the same. All designed by the Moosbrugger family, expect ornate interiors of colourful antiques, and four poster or king beds intricately painted with folk art. The Post’s suites are among the Arlberg’s most generous, with the superior Kaiser Suite offering 114 square metres of opulence that includes a private sauna.

Gertrud Schneider, daughter of Othmar Schneider who won Austria’s first Olympic gold medal for skiing in 1952, is another to successfully transform her family’s historic chalet into an alluring five- star establishment, Kristiania. Yet the ebullient hotelier has swapped rusticity for modernity, the hotel awash with playful contemporary art and riotously coloured furniture evoking the feel of an eclectic ’60s mansion. Artists are often in residence and exhibitions held. Somewhat of a walking artwork herself, Ms Schneider’s favourite guest room is the Puccini Suite, a cosy two-level apartment on the top floor with magical views of Lech. Here guests are delighted to find complementary Bollinger on ice as they step into the suite’s lounge room, and upstairs, vases of tulips by the ensuite’s spa and king-sized bed.

Traditional bedroom suite at Hotel Post

A few doors from Hotel Post on Lech’s main street is another Arlberg diamond— the seven-level Strolz Sport and Fashion House. Skiing’s equivalent to shopping on Fifth Avenue or the Champs Élysées, the elegant boutique offers the world’s largest range of designer skiwear bearing the names Bogner, Fendi, Moschino, Bottega, Burberry, Versace and more. You can
also secure a pair of coveted handmade Strolz ski boots, or simply sip cocktails at the store’s elegant second floor bar.

Ultimately, the Arlberg would not have developed such an allure were it not for the blessing of epic terrain. The entire lift network is skiable on one ski pass, and the lengthy season runs from December through to April. Slopes are a perfect balance of easy cruisers, intermediate runs, steeps and off-piste, with stunning views across Europe’s highest peaks found from its highest point, the 2,809 metre Valluga.

To say one skis regularly at St. Anton, the largest, liveliest and sportiest Arlberg village, is indeed a badge of pride.


The high quality of the area’s restaurants is equal to its luxury lodgings. The small patch occupied by Lech, Zurs, Zug and Stuben contains Austria’s highest concentration of top-end dining options, many in possession of Gault & Millau torques (think localised Michelin stars).

Tucked away in the middle of the charming hamlet of Stuben is one of the Arlberg’s most exceptional finds, the Foxbau Restaurant. The modern eatery, housed in a century-old building, more than lives up to its hefty three torques. Foxbau’s menu spoils for choice with crayfish to coq au vin, and is the only place to find saibling, a rare local freshwater fish with exquisitely delicate flesh which matches perfectly with the 2017 Gruner Veltliner Smaragd from Wachau on the Foxbau wine list.

Foxbau, one of the Arlberg’s most acclaimed restaurants.

A few valleys away is the tiny village of Zug, a pretty yet unassuming assortment of just over a dozen buildings clinging
to a hillside. Among them is the renowned Rote Wand restaurant, discreetly situated inside the village’s former 18th-century schoolhouse. Rote Wand has long figured among Austria’s best fine-dining establishments, and many top Austrian and European chefs have run the kitchen.

The latest is 28-year-old wunderkind Julian Stieger, who took the helm in October. Already a veteran of 2 and 3 star Michelin restaurant kitchens, he came to Rote Wand from Copenhagen’s 3 Michelin- star Geranium, a restaurant Michelin also happens to rank as Europe’s best. His move to Rote Wand was noted by observers as ambitious, stepping as he has into the shoes of Austria’s most acclaimed chef, Max Natmessnig. Stieger must now rise to the challenge of catering to one or two sittings a day of 14 diners who book months in advance to experience first-class cuisine in a location so remote it is only accessible on skis most of winter.

Elsewhere, in the Arlberg’s most elevated village of St. Christoph, lies Hospiz Alm restaurant. Aim for the award-winning platters of schnitzel (true) and piping hot kaiserschmarrn—a famous Austrian dessert of warm shredded pancake served fresh in the frypan with jam and cream. Claiming a table on the sundeck or upper terrace on a sunny day is to secure one of the most prestigious seats in the Arlberg.

Wash things down and slide into the afternoon by ordering from Hospiz Alm’s extensive wine cellar, which holds the world’s largest collection of big-bottled Bordeaux and Burgundy. More than 3,000 bottles line the walls and ceiling—from 1.5 litre magnums and jeroboams right up to 27 litre primats and a decadent Chateau Latour worth around $129,000.

Hospiz Alm’s owner, Adi Werner, started collecting wine in the ’70s at the behest of the kings, millionaires and presidents who made up his clientele at the time. Now, like so many others in the tight-knit Arlberg community, he too has created something truly unique, another one-of-a-kind experience that makes this pocket of the European Alps extra special.


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First Drive: The Porsche 911 S/T Is a Feral Beast That Handles the Road Like an Olympic Bobsledder

The commemorative model borrows underpinnings from the GT3 RS and includes a 518 hp engine.

By Basem Wasef 23/10/2023

The soul of any sports car comes down to the alchemy of its tuning—how the engine, suspension, and chassis blend into a chorus of sensations. The secret sauce of the new Porsche 911 S/T, developed as a tribute to the 60th anniversary of the brand’s flagship model, is more potent than most; in fact, it makes a serious case for being the most driver-focused 911 of all time.

Sharing the S/T designation with the homologation special from the 1960s, the (mostly) innocuously styled commemorative model borrows underpinnings from the more visually extroverted GT3 RS. Yet what the S/T, starting at $290,000, lacks in fender cutouts and massive spoilers it makes up for in directness: a flat-six power plant that revs to 9,000 rpm, a motorsport-derived double-wishbone suspension, and a manual gearbox. It’s a delightfully feral combination.

Rossen Gargolov

Whereas the automatic-transmission GT3 RS is ruthlessly configured for maximum downforce and minimum lap times, the S/T is dialed in for the road—particularly the Southern Italian ones on which we’re testing the car, which happen to be the very same used by product manager Uwe Braun, Andreas Preuninger, head of Porsche’s GT line, and racing legend Walter Röhrl to finalize its calibration. The car reacts to throttle pressure with eerie deftness, spinning its 518 hp engine with thrilling immediacy, thanks to shorter gear ratios.

The steering response is similarly transparent, as direct as an unfiltered Marlboro, and the body follows with the agility of an Olympic bobsledder. Some of that purity of feeling is the result of addition through subtraction: Power-sapping elements including a hydraulic clutch and rear-axle steering were ditched, which also enabled the battery to be downsized for even more weight savings. The final result, with its carbon-fiber body panels, thinner glass, magnesium wheels, and reduced sound deadening, is the lightest 992-series variant on record, with roughly the same mass as the esteemed 911 R from 2016.

Driver engagement is further bolstered by the astounding crispness of the short-throw gearbox. The S/T fits hand in glove with narrow twisties and epic sweepers, or really any stretch that rewards mechanical grip and the ability to juke through hairpin corners. The cabin experience is slightly less raucous than the 911 R, but more raw than the wingless 911 GT3 Touring, with an intrusive clatter at idle due to the single-mass flywheel and featherlight clutch. Porsche cognoscenti will no doubt view the disturbance in the same way that hardcore Ducatisti revere the tambourine-like rattle of a traditional dry clutch: as an analog badge of honor.

The main bragging right, though, may just be owning one. In a nod to the year the 911 debuted, only 1,963 examples of the S/T will be built. Considering the seven-year-old 911 R started life at$295,000 and has since fetched upwards of $790,000, this new lightweight could bring proportionately heavy returns—if you can be pried from behind the wheel long enough to sell it, that is.

Images by Rossen Gargolov

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Gentlemanly Restraint 

Art and science collide in the the newly released BR03A watch collection by Bell & Ross.

By Belinda Aucott 02/11/2023

In keeping with the brand’s design salute to aviation and military equipment, the pared-back face of the Bell & Ross BR03 Automatic takes its cue from the instrumentation in cockpits. It’s unabashedly minimal and confidently masculine style is set to make it a future classic.

Faithful to the codes that underpin the brand’s identity, the new utilitarian offerings sit within a smaller 41-mm case (a slight departure from the original at 42 mm Diver, Chrono or GMT.) and has a reduced lug width and slimmer hands. The changes extend to the watch movement, which has been updated with a BR-CAL.302 calibre. The watch is waterproof to 300 metres and offers a power reserve of 54 hours.

While the new collection offers an elegant sufficiency of colourways, from a stealthy black to more decorative bronze face with a tan strap, each is a faithful rendition of the stylish “rounded square, four-screw” motif that is Bell & Ross’s calling card.



For extra slickness, the all-black Phantom and Nightlum models have a stealthy, secret-agent appeal, offering up a new take on masculine restraint.

Yet even the more decorative styles, like the black face with contrasting army-green band, feel eminently versatile and easy to wear. The 60’s simplicity and legibility of the face is what makes it so distinctive and functional.

For example, the BR 03-92 Nightlum, with its black matte case and dial, and bright green indices and hands, offers a great contrast during the day and emits useful luminosity at night.

A watch that begs to be read, the the BR03-A stands up to scrutiny, and looks just as good next to a crisp, white cuff as it does at the end of a matte, black wetsuit.

That’s a claim not many watch collections can make. 

Explore the collection.

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Timeless Glamour & Music Aboard The Venice Simplon-Orient Express

Lose yourself in a luxury journey, aboard an Art Deco train from Paris

By Belinda Aucott 03/11/2023

Watching the unseen corners of Europe unfold gently outside your train, window can be thirsty work, right? That’s why Belmond Hotels is once again staging a culinary train journey from Paris to Venice, aboard the glittering Art Deco carriages of the Venice Simplon-Orient Express.

To celebrate diversity and inclusion in the LBTQ+ community, another unforgettable train ride is slated for 2 November.

On the journey, ample servings of decadent cuisine will be served and live entertainment will play looooong into the night. Trans-DJ Honey Dijon and Dresden’s Purple Disco Machine are both part of the disco-house line-up.

Passengers are encouraged to dress in black-tie or cocktail attire, before they head to the bar and dining carriages to enjoy their night, where they are promised ‘unapologetic extravagance’,.

Negronis, martinis, spritzes and sours will all be on offer as the sunlight fades.

So-hot-right-now French chef Jean Imbert is also in the kitchen rattling the pans for guests.

Imber puts a garden-green-goodness twist on Gallic traditions. He regularly cooks for the who’s-who. Imbert recently co-created a food concept for Dior in Paris, worked with Pharrell Williams to present a dinner in Miami, and he’s even been invited to Cheval Blanc St-Barth to cater luxe LVMH-owned property.

The young chef is vowing to create no less than ‘culinary perfection’ in motion with his own passion for fresh seasonal produce. There’ll be plenty of Beluga caviar, seared scallops, and lobster vol-au-vents.

“I want to create beautiful moments which complement the train, which is the true star,” says Imbert of his hands-on approach to delectable pastries and twists on elegant Euro classics.

“Its unique legacy is something we take pride in respecting, while evolving a new sense of style and purpose that will captivate a new generation.”

Check the timetable for the itinerary of lush inclusions here.

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From Electric Surfboards to Biodegradable Golf Balls: 8 Eco-Conscious Yacht Toys for Green and Clean Fun

Just add water and forget the eco-guilt.

By Gemma Harris 18/10/2023

Without toys, yachts would be kind of sedentary. There’s nothing wrong with an alfresco meal, sunsets on the flybridge and daily massages. But toys add zest to life on board, while creating a deeper connection with the water. These days, there are a growing number of options for eco-friendly gadgets and equipment that deliver a greener way to play. These eight toys range from do-it-yourself-propulsion (waterborne fitness bikes) to electric foiling boards, from kayaks made of 100 percent recycled plastics to non-toxic, biodegradable golf balls with fish food inside. Your on-water adrenaline rushes don’t always have to be about noise and gas fumes. They can be fun, silent, and eco-conscious.

A game of golf isn’t just for land. Guests can play their best handicap from the deck with Albus Golf’s eco-friendly golf balls. The ecological and biodegradable golf balls are 100 percent safe for marine flora and fauna, and manufactured with non-contaminating materials. The balls will biodegrade within 48 hours after hitting the ocean and release the fish food contained in their core. For a complete golfing experience, add a floating FunAir green. From $3100 (FunAir Yacht Golf) and $315 a box (golf balls).

Fliteboard Series 2.0

The future of surf is electric, and Fliteboard offers an emissions-free and environmentally friendly electric hydrofoil. Flying over the water has never been as efficient and low impact, using new technologies with less than 750 watts of electric power. This second series boasts various performance factors for all riding styles. It also features an increased trigger range from 20 to 40 degrees for more precision and control. Fliteboard designed this series for every possible foiling ability, from newbies to wave-carvers. From $22,000.

Manta 5 Hydrofoiler XE-1

Hailing from New Zealand and using America’s Cup technology, Manta 5 offers the first hydrofoil bike. The Hydrofoiler XE-1 replicates the cycling experience on the water. Powered by fitness-level pedaling and assisted by the onboard battery, top speeds can reach up to 19 km per hour. The two hydrofoils are carbon fibre, and the frame is aircraft-grade aluminium. The onboard Garmin computer will relay all the stats. The effortless gliding sensation will accompany you through a workout, exploration or just circling the boat. From $950.

Mo-Jet’s Jet Board

Imagine five toys in one: The Mo Jet delivers just that. From jet surfing, bodyboarding, and e-foiling to scooter diving. This versatile, German-built toy is perfect for those who cannot decide. The Mo-jet uses a cool modular system allowing you to switch between activities. Whether you want to stand, be dragged around or dive, you can have it all. It even has a life-saving module and a 2.8m rescue electric surfboard. Made from environmentally friendly and recyclable polyethene, it also ticks the eco-conscious boxes. Complete with an 11kW electric water jet, it charges in 75 mins, offering up to 30 mins of fun. Adrenaline junkies will also not be disappointed, since speed surges from 0 to 27 knots in 3 seconds. From $18,000.

Silent Yachts Tender ST400

Driven by innovation and solar energy, Silent Yachts recently launched its first electric tender, the ST400. The 13-footer has clean-cut lines and is built with either an electric jet drive or a conventional electric outboard engine. The ST400 reaches speeds above 20 knots. From $110,000.

Osiris Outdoor ‘Reprisal’ Kayak

Kayaks are ideal for preserving and protecting nature, but they’re usually manufactured with materials that will last decades longer than we will and therefore not too eco-friendly. Founded by US outdoor enthusiasts, Osiris Outdoor has created a new type of personal boat. “The Reprisal” kayak is manufactured in the US entirely from recycled plastics (around 27 kgs) that are purchased from recycling facilities. The sustainable manufacturing process isn’t its only selling point; the lightweight Reprisals have spacious storage compartments, rod holders and a watertight hatch for gadgets. Complete with a matte-black finish for a stylish look. From $1100.

The Fanatic Ray Eco SUP Paddleboard

Declared as the most sustainable SUP, the Ray Eco is the brainchild of the Zero Emissions Project and BoardLab, supported by Fanatic. Glass and carbon fibre have been replaced with sustainable Kiri tree wood. And you can forget toxic varnishes and resins; organic linseed oil has been used to seal the board and maintain its durability. This fast, light, and stable board is truly one of a kind, not available off the rack. This craftsman’s love for detail and preservation is another first-class quality of the board. From $10,000

Northern Light Composite X Clean Sailors EcoOptimist

One of the most popular, single-handed dinghies in sailing’s history, the tiny Optimist has undergone a sustainable revival. Northern Light Composites and not-for-profit Clean Sailors have teamed up to launch the first sustainable and recyclable Optimist. Using natural fibres and eco-sustainable resins, The EcoOptimist supports a new circular economy in yachting. OneSail also produces the sail with a low-carbon-footprint manufacturing process. From $6000.

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The 50 Best Cocktail Bars in the World, According to a New Ranking

The World’s 50 Best organisation gave the Spanish bar Sips top honours during an awards ceremony in Singapore.

By Tori Latham 18/10/2023

If you’re looking for the best bar in the world, you better head to Barcelona.
Sips, from the industry luminaries Simone Caporale and Marc Álvarez, was named the No. 1 bar on the planet in the latest World’s 50 Best Bars ranking. The organisation held its annual awards ceremony on Tuesday in Singapore, the first time it hosted the gathering in Asia. Sips, which only opened two years ago, moved up to the top spot from No. 3 last year.
“Sips was destined for greatness even before it rocketed into the list at No. 37 just a few short months after opening in 2021,” William Drew, the director of content for 50 Best, said in a statement.
“The bar seamlessly translates contemporary innovation and technical precision into a playful cocktail programme, accompanied by the warmest hospitality, making it a worthy winner of The World’s Best Bar 2023 title.”
Coming in second was North America’s best bar: New York City’s Double Chicken Please. The top five was rounded out by Mexico City’s Handshake Speakeasy, Barcelona’s Paradiso (last year’s No. 1), and London’s Connaught Bar. The highest new entry was Seoul’s Zest at No. 18, while the highest climber was Oslo’s Himkok, which moved up to No. 10 from No. 43 last year.
Barcelona may be home to two of the top five bars, but London has cemented its status as the cocktail capital of the world: The English city had five bars make the list, more than any other town represented. Along with Connaught Bar in the top five, Tayēr + Elementary came in at No. 8, and Satan’s Whiskers (No. 28), A Bar With Shapes for a Name (No. 35), and Scarfes Bar (No. 41) all made the grade too.
The United States similarly had a good showing this year. New York City, in particular, is home to a number of the best bars: Overstory (No. 17) and Katana Kitten (No. 27) joined Double Chicken Please on the list.
Elsewhere, Miami’s Café La Trova hit No. 24 and New Orleans’s Jewel of the South snuck in at No. 49, bringing the Big Easy back to the ranking for the first time since 2014.
To celebrate their accomplishments, all of this year’s winners deserve a drink—made by somebody else at least just this once.
Check out the full list of the 50 best bars in the world below.
1. Sips, Barcelona
2. Double Chicken Please, New York
3. Handshake Speakeasy, Mexico City
4. Paradiso, Barcelona
5. Connaught Bar, London
6. Little Red Door, Paris
7. Licorería Limantour, Mexico City
8. Tayēr + Elementary, London
9. Alquímico, Cartagena
10. Himkok, Oslo
11. Tres Monos, Buenos Aires
12. Line, Athens
13. BKK Social Club, Bangkok
14. Jigger & Pony, Singapore
15. Maybe Sammy, Sydney
16. Salmon Guru, Madrid
17. Overstory, New York
18. Zest, Seoul
19. Mahaniyom Cocktail Bar, Bangkok
20. Coa, Hong Kong
21. Drink Kong, Rome
22. Hanky Panky, Mexico City
23. Caretaker’s Cottage, Melbourne
24. Café La Trova, Miami
25. Baba au Rum, Athens
26. CoChinChina, Buenos Aires
27. Katana Kitten, New York
28. Satan’s Whiskers, London
29. Wax On, Berlin
30. Florería Atlántico, Buenos Aires
31. Röda Huset, Stockholm
32. Sago House, Singapore
33. Freni e Frizioni, Rome
34. Argo, Hong Kong
35. A Bar With Shapes for a Name, London
36. The SG Club, Tokyo
37. Bar Benfiddich, Tokyo
38. The Cambridge Public House, Paris
39. Panda & Sons, Edinburgh
40. Mimi Kakushi, Dubai
41. Scarfes Bar, London
42. 1930, Milan
43. Carnaval, Lima
44. L’Antiquario, Naples
45. Baltra Bar, Mexico City
46. Locale Firenze, Florence
47. The Clumsies, Athens
48. Atlas, Singapore
49. Jewel of the South, New Orleans
50. Galaxy Bar, Dubai

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