The Agenda | Nov./Dec. 2013

Courtesy of The Salamander Resort & Spa

When the international fashion press descend upon Paris for the annual runway shows, they do more than critique the collections. They also track down the most of-the-moment watering holes, and the favorite this season was Monsieur Bleu (20 Av. de New York; 33-1/47-20-90-47), which is nestled within contemporary art behemoth the Palais de Tokyo. Designed by French architect Joseph Dirand, the mastermind behind such sleek boutiques as Chloé in Paris, Rick Owens in London and Emilio Pucci in New York, the super-soigné eatery has 1930s Lalique glass panels and geometric lights designed for the French embassy in Brazil. The retro ambiance draws a very au courant crowd from lunchtime into the wee hours.

Political bigwigs looking for a weekend escape from Washington, D.C., have a new option in the Salamander Resort and Spa (rooms, from $425; 500 N. Pendleton St.; 866-938-7370;, just an hour’s drive outside the capital, in Middleburg, Virginia. The brainchild of Sheila C. Johnson, cofounder of entertainment network BET, the retreat is set on 340 acres in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. While the resort offers plenty of things to do—it has a full-service equestrian center, nature activities (zip-lining, hiking, birdwatching) and tastings at 50 nearby wineries—the real draw is the spa. Try the signature detoxification Rasul wet treatment (from $90).

Amanresorts may have successfully brought its Asian-born hospitality blend of Zen interiors and pitch-perfect service to the United States and Europe, but Amans in Asia still somehow feel more deeply Aman than those anywhere else. So it’s no surprise that the brand’s first Vietnamese resort is causing big buzz among Aman junkies. Located northeast of Ho Chi Minh City in Ninh Thuan Province, Amanoi (villas, from $5,800; Vinh Hy Village, Vinh Hai Commune; 800-477-9180; is set on a dramatic mountain cliff between Nui Chua National Park and Vinh Hy Bay, one of the country’s most beautiful coves. The resort is designed like a village but with pavilions for living mixed in with those for yoga and spa treatments and a fabulous beach club presiding over the white-sand shoreline. Book one of the five villas with a private pool and a live-in housekeeper and chef.

Emirates took international flying to new heights when it introduced first-class suites on A380s, giving long-haul travelers their own rooms in the sky. Now the airline is raising the altitude bar again with the launch of Emirates Executive (price upon request; 971-4/708-1121;, its private charter jet service. The specially configured A319s accommodate 19 passengers and feature a living area with a dining table and couches as well as ten suites with flat beds. In place of a bathroom, there is a “shower spa” with a heated floor, a marble sink and a shower. Plus, in-flight entertainment will leave nothing for wanting: The planes offer 1,500 channels on LCD screens and onboard WiFi.

Does Miami really need another luxury hotel on Collins Avenue? Christina Ong, the visionary behind Parrot Cay, thinks so, and that may be because her breed of COMO hotel offers a healthy lifestyle antidote to the typical South Beach party scene. Check in to her beachside Metropolitan by COMO, Miami Beach (rooms, from $500; 2445 Collins Ave.;, a 74-room retreat in the heart of the Art Deco district, and be rejuvenated with daily yoga and Pilates classes and a rooftop COMO Shambhala spa.

Bradley is the founder and CEO of the luxury travel outfitter Indagare. For more information, go to