mylifestylenews

2016-06-28

Madera Hollywood Live Life Your Way With The Untame Luxury

Hong Kong is awash by many international big brands standard of hotels, beside providing the usual suspect of standard facilities and hospitality and sometimes it is with no further surprise especially when comes to intimacy. Chic boutique and design hotels are run in a smaller scale and yet the charm of design and décor always has a thing to get your attention and always wanted to find out more for what is actually going on. The Madera Hollywood is with no exception. By mylifestylenews.



Chic boutique design hotels are now gradually coming out from  the water in Hong Kong and many Hong Kongers prefer to stay back in the city to enjoy a slower lifestyle and get to know more about their own neighborhood over the long weekend instead of making a short trip to the nearby countries like Japan, Taiwan, Thailand or Singapore. Hence, many of the hotels in town are coming up with the idea of Staycation to offer a home away from home relaxation weekend getaway.


Drawing the inspiration from nature, the name “Madera” means “Wood” in Spanish that renowned Spanish firm Lagranja Design has created an urban oasis in the heart of Hong Kong Central’s SoHo precinct when modern skyscrapers meets the cultural and heritage as well as the gastronomy dining scene.



When we arrived at the Madera Hollywood, a small hallway along the bustling Hollywood road and the corner of Peel Street (two of colonial Hong Kong’s oldest streets built in the 1840s) leads to the entrance with a buzz intercom to get the security sliding glass door open before we took the lift up to the third floor where the front desk is. We were paused for nearly half a minute in the lift by finding the front desk button with difficulty as the tiny little sign indication was only allocated on the left side of the lift press button instead. While the life door began to shut, it creates further inconvenience to locate the button.


A warm greeting was offered by the front desk staff where the fast check-in took place at the Hollywood Lounge. The lounge was elegantly composed in Hollywood Regency style and complemented by the finest modern amenities with the Hollywood glam in the bygone era. Black and white tiling and graphic “fireplace” warmed the lounge with a more sophisticated touch and the Charlie Chaplin original hats and walking stick that used by the late gentlemen is also part of the collection at the Madera Hollywood to bring more limelight action to the scene.


The all 38 one-bedroom suites in Madera Hollywood are dedicated to experiencing the opulence of Hollywood’s golden age. By embracing the grandeur and chic living in Madera Hollywood, we were allocated to a Grand Deluxe Premier Suite on the 23rd floor, the dashing 70sqm suite is an airy and lavish living space offering a classic setting for tranquility and with the harbor view overlooking to the buzz of SoHo and Central.



Free WiFi can be accessed with high seed connection without the hotel compound and handy Smart Phone is offered with unlimited data local and international calls to seven countries for you to walk around the city and a 55 inches curved UHDTV space out the living room for greater entertainment. Despite the body jets nozzle pressure in the spacious bathroom was low, yet the ethereal rain shower is another alternative for your showering pleasure.



Ample of wardrobe and closet space including your choice of in-room scent, we couldn’t help but wonder why there isn’t an international double bed offer in this spacious suite but a smaller version of the local standard despite a top-of-the-line Simmons Mattress is used for greater comfort.


Well stocked mini bar and snacks are complimentary for the first night stay and you can refill it by heading down to the Hollywood lounge for further replenishment.



Known and beloved by stars for its boldness and sophistication, Madera Hollywood harks back to a golden age of Chaplin, Monroe, Hepburn, Sinatra and Crosby. Hence, The two signature theme Monroe Suites and Chaplin Suites showcases neoclassical furniture, lush appointments, vivacious tones and bold patterns furnished with memorabilia of the two silver screen icons with a loving tribute to the age and the finest luxuries. The untamed luxury allows you to savor the old-world charm in modern comfort with exuberant, ritzy and luxuriant.


The 24-hour Technogym Re-energize in style gymnasium offers state-of- the-art facility features equipment from the world-famous brand Technogym, with all the cardio and strength building equipment including Jog Excite, Vario Excite, and Bike Unity for you to stay fit during your stay.


Staying in Madera Hollywood is about getting to know the neighborhood. With the area that is walking distance to the financial center and close to many other tourist attractions such as the wet markets, Mid-Levels Escalator, the historical Man Po Temple, PMQ (Police Married Quarter which is now turn into a local art scene shopping with quirky restaurants and bars) as well as important historical buildings in Hong Kong to explore.



Finding local and international dining scenes is also just a stone throw away along with the phenomenal luxury shopping and antiques shopping on Hollywood road. Just so you think you have already known them all but yet a Staycation in Madera Hollywood is also another destination for an authentic Hong Kong experience by exploring the unknown to live life you way, with a sense of the untamed luxury.


Tried & Tested:
Location: 4.5/5
Design & Decor: 4.5/5
Room Amenities: 4/5
Food & Beverages: N/A
Housekeeping: 3.5/5
Service: 4/5
Value For Money: 3.5/5
Experience: 4.5/5


53, Hollywood Road
 Central, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 3913 2888

Reviews are based on actual day of visit and experience. mylifestylenews reserves the right of final decision in case of any disputes. All images are photographed by mylifestylenews team without any photoshop enhancement and are the property owned by mylifestylenews unless otherwise stated. 

LANVIN SS2016 MANIFESTO Women Collection


In an ode to the emotion of the clothes-making process and handcrafted 3D design, Alber takes us into his Paris atelier, giving the impression of attending a fitting of being part of the process. Pieces are left unfinished, traces of the human hand remain: basting stitches with hanging threads, raw edge with exposed calico fabric as a part of the finished garments.


The group is intentionally in black and white to emphasize the purity of the design, to show all the details, and the linear silhouettes as modern daywear for today’s women. A crisp white shirt and a black pants opens the show as a symbol of returning to the most essential part of women’s wardrobe in LANVIN SS2016 MANIFESTO Women Collection.


Celebrating the ultra feminity in all forms and shapes in explosion of colors and satin bow decorations. Extreme ruffles in brilliant duchess satins in violet and in sky blue with seductive illusion lace covering the back… Emerald green and hot  orange linear dresses with multi-seams decorated with saccharine colored satin bows with crystal heart buckles. 


The bows, the ultimate symbol of femininity, continue to grace the sharply tailored black gabardine tuxedo jacket with abbreviated sky blue duchess satin mini skirt. Exploding colors of hand embroidered sequin ensembles on chiffon, tulle, satin and cotton calico fabrics are left intentionally exposed to give the impression of being unfinished… all layered together with clashing colors.


A surprise entry of six black feminine “swan” dresses in the most classic feminine fabrics… guipure lace, Chantilly lace, duchess satin, and taffetas, all worn with new draped black ballerinas. Here, Alber returns again to explore the 3D body and the clothes-making process.


A moment of total fashion. Alber questions the role of the designer: the evolution from couturier to creative director and ultimately “image-maker”. “We have to produce an image that creates buzz and sells bags, shoes, perfume and accessories. It’s not always about the body but it’s about the photo, the rapidity, the technology…”

Interweaving heritage, technology and modernity, the designer takes familiar silhouettes, and transforms them, adding print, texture and embroidery, building up the 3D volume. Parkas, t-shirts and sweatshirts explode with fun and energetic exclusive prints, on jacquards, silk lame to silk crêpe, and codes – everything from Lanvin’s iconic mother-and-daughter logo by Paul Iribe to the Arpège perfume bottles, strings of pearls to stiletto heels, the Lanvin Happy handbag to the brand’s fabled Faubourg-Saint-Honoré address.

“I started to work on Lanvin’s new photo exhibition at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie few months ago. The exhibition is titled, MANIFESTO, which derives from the Latin for hands (‘mani’) and truth (‘festus’). I was deeply moved by these two powerful words. I felt this urgency to return to the truth, the purity and the essence of my work as a designer. In preparing for this exhibition, I went through thousands of toiles pictures from my past work at Lanvin. Toiles are the first fitting prototypes where the dream starts to become a reality… the starting point of a long design process. Toiles show the handwork and the human touch on the body, the truth of our métier - the intuition, the emotion and the dream. This was my starting point of the collection. I wanted to rediscover the beauty and the importance of the design process more than just perfectly finished clothes on the runway. But today’s reality is that we also live in a world of extreme rapidity with endless collections viewed on mobile phone screens in just few clicks. We can simply click to delete and move on to the next image in just few seconds.  Clothes have to “scream” on the screen to hold the viewer’s attention.  What is more important today, how it looks on the photo or how it feels on the body? I felt urged to explore this two extreme reality in fashion today.” 
- Alber Elbaz


JAQUET DROZ @ Petite Heure Minute Monkey

As the Chinese calendar turns to the New Year under the sign of the Fire Monkey, Jaquet Droz introduces four models to celebrate the historic ties between China and the brand known by its twin stars. The monkey is ubiquitous in Chinese culture and astrology, symbolizing intelligence and long life. Jaquet Droz was among the first to discover the Middle Kingdom in the 18th century and was allowed to present his creations to courtiers in the very heart of the Forbidden City. The historic timepieces exhibited there today bear witness to the constancy of those bonds that connect the watchmaking brand to this vast country, now on the cusp of its next Year of the Monkey. This prospect inspired the firm's artisans to design two new models each available in two versions based on the emblematic Petite Heure Minute.
 For the adornment of these timepieces, Jaquet Droz looked to the legend of Sun Wukong, also known as the Monkey King. Sun Wukong features prominently in Chinese classical literature and remains to this day one of the most enduring characters in the culture's folklore. Legend tells how this clever and curious animal was appointed to watch over the Garden of Celestial Peaches, but instead ate the sacred peaches in order to attain immortality. Chinese people traditionally give peaches as a welcome gift or a symbol of eternal life, while peach trees signify long life and their branches are used to chase away evil spirits. Sun Wukong stands at the dividing line between contemporary and timeless, between the fabulous past and the present of each moment - as such, he couldn't fail to inspire the craftsmen at Jaquet Droz.
 For many years, the brand's Ateliers d'Art have excelled in the realm of figurative art on watch dials, with finely drawn lines, a subtlety that allows colors to come vividly alive on the "white canvas" of ivory Grand Feu enamel, and an off-centered hours-and-minutes dial at 12 o'clock that frees up the surface. The Petite Heure Minute Monkey depicts the animal leaping onto a branch to pick a peach, in an image suffused with poetry despite being so realistic it creates an almost palpable sense of movement. The artists have employed all of the watchmaking brand's unique expertise to portray this symbol of wisdom and long life in the form of an Asian monkey - the emblematic species on that continent. These meticulously painted masterpieces are presented in red gold cases measuring either 35 or 39 mm in diameter, with the smaller version boasting a setting of brilliant-cut diamonds. The legend of the Monkey King is also celebrated on the back by the subtle interplay created between solid forms and empty spaces, as the oscillating weight drives the self-winding mechanism of these two models. The Petite Heure Minute Relief Monkey is adorned with a sophisticated medley of lacquer and mother-of-pearl that discloses a monkey, sculpted in gold, perched on the branch of a peach tree against a background of delicate foliage.
This exquisitely fine artwork has been created in two versions. One is enclosed in a red gold case and the other in a jewel-like white gold case that sparkles daintily with the brilliance of its myriad of inset diamonds. The oscillating weight, designed to match, marries gold that is first engraved then patinated, with black onyx. Jaquet Droz highly prizes this onyx for its deep, brilliant blackness, embodying all the mystery and enchantment of dark colors that, yet, radiate light and for its seductive elegance that perfectly reflects the allure of Jaquet Droz watches. Each model is covered in a domed sapphire crystal, especially designed to accommodate this three-dimensional tableauLike the two versions of Petite Heure Minute Monkey, both models of Petite Heure Minute Relief Monkey boast a 68-hour power reserve and are available in a limited edition of only 28. Oscillating between timelessness and a present that is constantly renewed, these four creations are an ideal way for the Swiss watchmaker to memorialize the coming Year of the Monkey while simultaneously honoring its centuries-old ties with the Middle Kingdom.

Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello @ YSL01 The First Pictures

 The very first pictures of Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello illustrate, through black and white portraits of individuals and couples, a hint of the future of the House. Fifteen new faces, shot in Paris by the American artist Collier Schorr. This campaign was published in magazines worldwide from 22nd June.


2016-06-27

BOUCHON Bistro Francais @ A French Affair

Hong Kong is awash with French restaurants in the past few years with now the expansion to Hong Kong Island West like Sai Ying Pun and Kennedy Town, thanks to the MTR extention work. But we take a U-turn back to SoHo in Central and revisit Bouchon Bistro Francais for its heartwarming and authentic French Bistro gastronomy that tries to be nothing more than it should. By Mylifestylenews.


Bouchon Bistro Francais is your old Parisian neighborhood bistro with a simple menu consists of the classics that give you the feeling for a taste of Paris. Located in the heart of SoHo by the escalator on Elgin street, this very small frontage provides an intimate and unique atmosphere as you enter through the French glass doors.


Our reservation was made before hand with a Bouillabaisse pre-order but it doesn’t seem matter to them even by checking with our name provided. Without any pre-organized table as booked which it shall be (guess that is what reservation are for), we were asked to chose our prefer sittings and we picked the table across the main bar while we could enjoy watching the world goes by on a less bustling Tuesday evening in SoHo as well as the action from the bar.


The décor is quintessential Parisian bistro style, with wood paneling, marble-top tables, high wooden stools creates a less formal but intimate Bistro dining concept and the wall bracket lights, black and white tiled floor, antique style mirrors add a little more tres Parisian mood to the entire area plus the open kitchen are seen by the separation of the glass window towards the end of this lovely Bistro.


Hand-written boards with the daily specials and cheese selections and a soaring ceiling that creates an airiness that exudes a charm with warmth in no matter what the weather is doing outside.


The menu certainly warmed our hearts with all our favorites and most French Bistro essentials mush-have and in Bouchon Bistro Francais, you need not to worry about their generous serving portion that would certainly satisfy your craving. Our rundown for the evening gave us some high & low expectation and experience.


We started with the <Cuisses de Grenouille> - Sautéed frog legs with parsley and garlic.
Very meaty frog legs sautéed well with garlic and herbs that offers quite a start as hors d’oeruvres despite the dressing was a little over salted yet it is still quite a delicious enjoyable dish especially for those who enjoy garlic for the palate.


<Soupe a l’Oignon> 
Every French Bistro or restaurant has their very own version of presenting the French onion. Only if you have experience tasted the better version otherwise it is incomparable. Here, the French onion soup came with an Emmental cheese that baked to get the right crust and the almost melting onion from within provides a non unctuous palate. A rather classic bistro presentation but lacking the intense French onion flavor that we were expecting.


<Moules a la Mariniere> is next. The fleshy and juicy blue mussels can’t really get your hands off it as it completely absorbed the lemon white wine sauce was lighter than expected but had a very refreshing taste. The herbs imbued the dish with a fine aromatic flavor that is light and luscious. Served with thin cut fries and it is a must order.


<Confit de Canard>
Duck leg, Flageolet beans, Lardon, aged sherry vinegar. It is almost a must order dish when you dine in a French eat-out among many others classics.  At first bite, we initially thought not great, but after a few mouthfuls it exuded that classic intense flavor and the meat was easily falling apart at the touch of a knife. The lardon specs provide even more intense flavor and the aged sherry vinegar somehow brings down the heaviness of this dish to another level. A rich and well balanced dish and a good sized portion.


<Coq au Vin Jaune>
Roasted organic chicken breast, wild mushrooms, white wine cream. We have some expectation each time we order Coq au Vin for its think and rather creamy sauce and savory. The chicken breast was grilled dry with a chewy texture with a burnt top that creates a bitterness and the sauce was less intense and rather bland. The mashed potatoes and other vegetable base was also not at the right temperature, it appeared that it was there sitting too long while waiting for the chicken to get done. This classic French dish has lost its focus and flavor and disappointing. We could have chosen the Boeuf Bourguignon instead.


<Bouillabaise>
The Provencal seafood stew with Tiger prawns, mussels, sea bass and crab. Despite the prawns did not look like a Tiger prawn size and a soft crab is used for garnish and the pungent broth with a hint of fishiness still taste quite intense and palatable with their own version and style.


Over overall dining experience was pleasing with some dishes standing out more than others. What needs a bit of work is the front of house team as we couldn’t find any enthusiasm and ready to serve attitude the entire evening nor having any introduction on every dish brought to the table and seeking any feedback when each dish was consumed. We did not finish the Coq au Vin Jaune and plates was cleared away without question why. Serving with the heart is the best anyone can do whether the food strikes a chord or not, at least that is what everyone should experience when dining out. We were told that the French Restaurant manager Alex was off duty during our visit or otherwise we could have experienced a more French affair avec a taste of Paris and homely hospitality.


Tried & Tested:
Location: 4.5/5
Design & Decor: 4/5
Food & Beverage: 4/5
Service: 2.5/5
Value For Money: 4/5
Experience: 4/5

Highlights:
Cuisses de Grenouille
Moules a la Mariniere

49, Elgin Street
Central, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2525 9300

Reviews are based on actual day of visit and experience. mylifestylenews reserves the right of final decision in case of any disputes. All images are photographed by mylifestylenews team without any photoshop enhancement and are the property owned by mylifestylenews unless otherwise stated.