It is difficult to believe that Rémy Martin’s Louis XIII cognac could be made more exclusive, but it has been—and Sotheby’s will auction it this fall.

Grey Goose is one of the young success stories in the spirits world. The 19-year-old French vodka draws on generations of tradition and calls a 17th-century château in Cognac home.

To reach semi-remote Mendocino, you head north from San Francisco for three and a half hours, driving on a highway that eventually shrinks to a two-lane road. The drive feels very much like rewinding to a different time; the destination does too.

Bosk, the signature restaurant of the Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto, takes its name from the French word bosquet: a small wooded area that can lend refreshing reprieve from the elements.

The amaretto-like aromas of his grandmother’s cookie jar. An idea about puréed pumpkin. An English rose garden. For Tony Conigliaro, the crowned king of London’s molecular mixology scene, these simple thoughts have spawned ideas for innovative cocktails.

Once the August long weekend passes, the end-of-summer countdown begins. Measured in sunlight and precious to the last mercurial drop, the season’s dwindling days slip by quickly—especially in the Pacific Northwest.

It isn’t often that you can book into an ex–secret service agency for the night, but Vienna’s Grand Ferdinand allows you to do just that.

For those travellers who opt for pre-flight lounge access, the pampering begins before the plane takes off—and not all lounges are created equal.

“At first, I thought, me? It’s like asking Jim Carrey to curate a Courbet show,” says world-famous actor and writer Steve Martin, who has co-curated an exhibit on Group of Seven artist Lawren Harris.

The collective view of the humble bee has been elevated in recent years, and rightfully so. Now, as if the globe’s bees aren’t busy enough, they’ve started providing us humans with another advantage over the future—in beauty products.

Fogo Island Shop complements the Inn’s rural-modern character, proffering handmade wares created with materials specific to Fogo Island.

Maserati launched its first sports utility vehicle on Canadian soil last night at the Ferrari Maserati of Vancouver, the first of six stops on the Levante’s three-week, cross-Canada road trip.

If you’ve ever owned a moisturizer emblazoned with an Aesop logo, chances are you spent a good deal of time marvelling at the store you found it in before picking up any products.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: The sound emanating from within C. Bechstein’s piano factory in the sleepy German town of Seifhennersdorf, Saxony, is a cacophony of keys being tested, the guttural sawing of wood, and, at one workbench, a radio softly playing American pop music.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: The original mid-century modern pottery house, Heath Ceramics, hasn’t strayed far from its roots over the past 66 years.

With notes as varied as kiwi, vanilla, and anise, and consistencies ranging from cloudy to clear, saké is as rich in character and culture as traditional wine—but that’s often lost in translation.

As the noses behind the new fragrance Valentino Donna, Sonia Constant and Antoine Maisondieu combined forces to craft a scent that embodies the classic traits of Valentino’s world of grace and delicacy, with a flourish of Parisian romance.

Freud was among the great minds that frequented Café Landtmann—the psychoanalyst once lived nearby, visiting the café for languorous games of chess—as did Gustav Mahler, Marlene Dietrich, and Burt Lancaster.

Napa Valley’s vineyards flush with the changing seasons—from a toasted wheat colour to deep mauve and fire-orange—and many wineries plant mustard or daisies to bloom in between the vines. Across the valley, fulfillment and wellness go hand in hand.

By pairing up artistic masters with future virtuosos, Rolex’s Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative opens doors to a school of thought unlike any other.

The selected works, on loan from two private collections, start off with a subtle nod to The Weather Project: the grandiose palace entry hall is awash in orange light. Illuminated, the visitor becomes part of the art, moving through spaces moulded by Eliasson’s manipulations of mirrors and light.

The House of Creed was founded in 1760, a long time ago indeed, by James Henry Creed, and since then the heritage brand has been passed down through the lineage to the current perfumer, sixth-generation Olivier Creed, and his son, Erwin.

Wedge, roll, cut, shape, repeat. That’s the mantra of Seattle-based artist-designer Aleksandra Pollner when she’s forming porcelain fortune cookies before they are kiln-fired.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: Every one of Bittar’s Lucite designs are meticulously hand sculpted and hand painted (finger painted, so as not to leave unwanted brushstrokes) to uphold his standard of perfection.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: Just outside of Alicante, in eastern Spain, lies the Mediterranean seascape of Playa del Albir, an aquamarine bay cradled in a low mountain range. But look upward, and the epitome of health and relaxation awaits 350 metres above sea level within the white walls of SHA Wellness Clinic.

Forget everything you’ve heard about Lanai. If you’ve heard anything at all, that is.

Two historic halves make for one beautiful whole in the case of Portland’s Sentinel, a 100-room hotel that keeps watch over downtown from its perch on SW 11th Avenue.

As winter’s early dusk inevitably hits, stroll the inner harbour alongside the Parliament Buildings, strung tall with twinkling white lights. Loop back to the Bay Centre for some shopping, perhaps, but cap off the night with a ride on the brightly-lit Holiday Ferris Wheel, swirling in Centennial Square.

Cuisine speaks the language of love at Café Boulud in Toronto, the newly transformed brasserie in Yorkville’s Four Seasons Hotel.

Pendleton Woolen Mills has navigated the fickle world of textile manufacturing for over 150 years, thriving on a blend of innovation and tradition.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: Pat Sweeney is drawn to places where many fear to tread. Hanging over the edge of the Cliffs of Moher with his arms balanced and neck craned at 90 degrees, the farmer-turned-trailblazer from County Clare on Ireland’s far west coast calls to a crowd to overcome their vertigo.

Almost everybody becomes a child again when seated before a professional circus stage. With senses on full alert and eyes wide open, audiences can be overcome by an uncommon, shared sense of wonder.

A childhood fascination with silver spoons led Martyn Lawrence Bullard down his path to becoming a designer. The Los Angeles–based creative has since moved on to devise pieces with slightly more glamour, such as his recent collection of crowns for the French silver house Christofle, dubbed Silver Kingdom.

Unlike many logos, the COS emblem speaks directly to the label’s sartorial aesthetic: all clean and white, with slender grey shaded lines to create the shapes of letters, it evokes subtle structure and silhouette.

The pre-screening cocktail party for Freeheld at Toronto’s Montecito restaurant served as a prelude to its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.

An inflatable Zodiac floats down the Ganges River, and the current is picking up. I raise my voice, asking my guide to repeat himself, my hands tightening around a paddle as whitewater rapids churn all around. “You need 10 lives to see India,” yells Mukesh Joshi, his voice barely audible.

In true TIFF style, the red carpet is always on fire. Although festival galas may be the epitome of glamour, the smaller TIFF Bell Lightbox photo calls that precede press conferences—though slightly more corral-like—are equally hot.

Ask any resident of Switzerland about the railway and they’ll most likely make a case for it being Europe’s top set of tracks. “Swiss trains never even go on strike,” they’ll probably say.

Geographically, Montana isn’t at the heart of United States cowboy country, but it is wholeheartedly Western. The state is all sky (as its Big Sky Country moniker reaffirms) and mountains; after all, its very name is derived from montaña (Spanish for “mountain”).

I didn’t come to Peru to find a sense of spirituality. But it finds me, on the floor of the Sacred Valley. The irony pervades, but not nearly as much as the thick smoke from a burning sage smudge that fills the air around me. Sitting cross-legged in a circle, I’m taking part in a traditional Peruvian ceremony, presided over by a shaman.

Most of Australia doesn’t get much in the way of snow or slush, but Blundstone leather boots can thankfully withstand both.

While it may be situated many miles away from any movie theatre, the Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club has a front-row seat to its own kind of spectacle.

A spiral staircase and opulent chandelier greet those who enter the Prohibition bar, unmarked from the street and covertly situated on a subterranean level of Vancouver’s Rosewood Hotel Georgia.

When food trucks turned the culinary tide in the 2000s, Portland’s weren’t the only moveable feasts on the West Coast garnering serious buzz—Tofino’s Tacofino did, too.

When dawn breaks upon Lake Como, the window seats are the first to go. Throngs of early risers filter through waterfront hotels for breakfast with a view, watching the melancholic fog burn off during the autumn or catching the first kaleidoscopic streaks of light across the water in the summer.

FROM THE ARCHIVE:“Welcome to Churchill, land of the unexpected.” This is my guide’s greeting soon after I touch down at Churchill’s airport. I am set to venture into the wilds of northern Manitoba, where expectations of the unexpected translate into a feeling of sheer suspense.

No more than a discreet brass plaque and a buzzer at the wrought-iron gate indicates the entrance to Ballyfin, an Irish country house hotel, secreted away from the world by tall stone walls.

It was Kenyan paleoanthropologists Louis and Mary Leakey who pioneered the archeological exploration of their country’s lush Great Rift Valley. Their 2.5-million-year-old skeletal discoveries in Kenya and Tanzania were evidence that this expanse could well have been the cradle of mankind, and the very origin of us all.

“Some people call it hockey on horseback,” said John Wash, president of the International Polo Club Palm Beach, before reeling off a one-minute refresher on the rules of polo. “So don’t let it complicate you, now.”

When the Swiss skin-care company La Prairie writes up an ingredient list for its luxe product range, no expense is spared.

Steeped in British style as a result of 13 years spent living across the pond, Goodge Place co-owner Emily McLean honed her London-influenced design eye to open up a concept shop off South Granville in Vancouver last winter.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: To Omer Arbel, beauty is like a “behind-the-scenes force”, and it is the investigation of this force, and the search for it, that forms the foundation for all of his work.

Ingenious design is translated into simple forms at Japanese label Muji, known for its flexible product range that aims to be universally relevant (and delves into homeware, stationery, clothing, and more).

Just over a year ago, the Australian state of Queensland completed an 18-month-long, $24.5-million project to spruce up the coastal town of Airlie Beach. The landscaping spit-and-polish was a complement to Airlie’s existing central lagoon which overlooks the Coral Sea.

Just as our lungs must breathe, our skin must breathe, too. Enter Intraceuticals, an Australian line of skin-care products that not only expedites this process but improves upon it with their innovative Clinic Treatments.

When arbiter of opulence King Ludwig II ruled Bavaria in the 19th century, he was renowned for his extravagant castles and for dressing with a flourish of style. “The dream king,” as he was known, also insisted on wearing Roeckl leather gloves, which helped the brand earn recognition as an official supplier to the royal court of Bavaria.

“Every time I think I know anything about chocolate,” says artisan chocolatier Greg Hook, “I start to rethink it.”

Rolex has pushed the limits of timekeeping on many illustrious explorations. Most recently, the company partnered with filmmaker James Cameron on a record-breaking ocean dive.

The purpose of a hotel, at its primal core, is to provide a place to rest one’s head. Yet, under the cover of night, a time of relaxation for most is not a time of relaxation for others. At Claridge’s hotel in central London’s Mayfair neighbourhood, this holds especially true.

It was similar interests that brought Vancouver-based creatives Annika Hagen and Nicole Fox together seven years ago in friendship, and it was some of those same affections—for art, for light, for community—that gave rise to LAMP, the Lighting Architecture Movement Project.

An architectural luminary and a fashion-house great will come together in Paris this fall with the opening of the Fondation Louis Vuitton in a new Frank Gehry–designed building.

In its almost two-century-long history, French silver company Christofle has collaborated with the likes of Man Ray, Jean Cocteau, and Gio Ponti for its world-renowned designs.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: There is nothing stale about the historic headquarters of Faber-Castell, steps away from Nuremberg in the small town of Stein, Germany. Far from the sense that historic can imply, the stationery company’s birthplace is very much alive with its ongoing advancement of the pencil.

History may not repeat itself with the regularity of clockwork, but watch manufacturer Moritz Grossmann edges it closer to the mark. Christine Hutter, CEO, looked first to the past before founding the modern iteration of the company.

There is a moment in James Cameron’s new film Deepsea Challenge 3D where viewers might ask themselves, “Why is he doing this, again?” Cameron kisses his wife and waves goodbye to his expedition team, before hunkering down in the Deepsea Challenger submersible that will take him to the deepest part of the ocean.

At Glashütte Lamberts, one of the last three mouth-blown sheet glass companies in Europe, it doesn’t take long for most would-be craftsmen to discover that they can’t take the heat.

Situated high above Okanagan Lake and sequestered behind 4,500-kilogram steel gates, Mission Hill welcomes almost 130,000 visitors annually, with good reason, as proprietor Anthony von Mandl built the property up around a foundation of, yes, award-winning wines, but also much more.

The Conran Shop, one of London’s preferred concept design boutiques, looks no farther than across the English Channel to inspire its latest in-store collection, “A Season in France.”

Open since April, Blacktail Florist knows its greens—and proteins, too. The Vancouver restaurant boasts share plates aplenty, all conceptualized by executive chef and co-owner Jimmy Stewart (previously of Top Chef Canada and Whistler’s Bearfoot Bistro).

In the arid Middle Eastern air, the city of Doha rises like a concrete mirage in the desert. Qatar’s capital is a small place with a big desire for large-scale built environments.

From the Broadway stage to the depths of the human subconscious, Rebecca Hall has played her way into the limelight. Now, the actress appears in Wally Pfister’s directorial debut Transcendence, a science-fiction blockbuster opening today.

In the not-too-distant future, a new museum in Northern Alberta has big plans to fully immerse its visitors in the very distant past. The long-awaited Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum finally broke ground last year and is slated to open this December.

For Graf von Faber-Castell, the luxury division of renowned German writing instrument company Faber-Castell, the advent of a new year signifies a new limited-edition pen.

The artistic tastes of Miami, not dissimilar to the city’s thermometers, tend to run high. The city is home to some world-class private art collections, amassed by a few individuals and curated largely by personal taste.

Let’s imagine for a moment that it is 1972. In celebratory style, the year begins on a Saturday, and the musical landscape is loud with waves of rock and disco. The genre known as reggae is still largely a secret to ears outside the Caribbean, but a movement has been brewing.

Call it a lust for the plate or culinary tourism or whatever you like, but when gourmands travel, they tend to plan by taste. An entire trip can be curated around one very dish—and if that is ever the case at Hôtel Le Toiny on St. Barths, it would surely be its most acclaimed plate.

Sometimes the farthest place from big-city stress can be found in the eye of the storm. Take, for instance, the Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park. The lobby itself is the personification of cool collectedness, but elevate up to the second floor to find La Prairie at the Ritz-Carlton Spa, an oasis of rejuvenation.

“I worked every day on this car for about six months,” said Jeff Koons recently, waving a hand across his BMW M3 GT2 Art Car at Art Basel Miami Beach. The 58-year-old artist was in town to unveil his work of auto art, which rolled onto Floridian soil this month for its North American debut.

With the days of pegging the Lincoln Motor Company solely to chauffeured black sedans long behind us, the brand’s latest reveal begins another chapter in the American auto manufacturer’s motoring life.

HOLIDAY WISH LIST: What to buy for the person who has everything? With the click of a mouse, enter Kaufmann Mercantile, an online general store with a serious slant towards the luxe and the curious.

Small and stylish with nearby slopes aplenty, Switzerland’s Gstaad is the envy of countless other ski destinations. Look no farther than the village entrance to seek out the strategically poised Le Grand Bellevue hotel.

All that glitters is not gold—if you’re lucky, it’s diamonds. The sparkling wares of De Beers Diamond Jewellers are now available at a 1,636-square-foot boutique on Vancouver’s Alberni Street, the company’s first Canadian address.

With an unparalleled affection for fragrant gardens and country fields, those from the land of the English rose have a nose for quality scents. It’s practically tradition for Brits in the know to stock up at Penhaligon’s.

It has taken over a century for an all-new, chalet-style hotel in Gstaad to garner a five-star ranking and the Alpina has done just that since opening in December of last year. Twelve years’ worth of planning and construction take shape in its modern chalet décor, which makes use of materials and craftsmanship typical to the region.

It could have happened while sailing through the South Pacific toward Moorea, just prior to docking alongside its tangled mountain bluffs at sunset. It may have been while trekking through jungle vines and coral escarpments on a remote slice of land near Tikehau affectionately called Bird Island, with an obscene number of multicoloured birds swooping overhead.

When timing is everything, planning ahead is a necessity—especially for world travellers. After winding the dials back an hour for daylight savings time, we’re already looking ahead to a future watch exclusive with a Canadian twist.

If you go to the Shard, architect Renzo Piano’s spire-like building in London, and step inside an elevator, there’s nowhere to go but up—way up. It’s the ideal place to throw vertigo out the window because within Western Europe’s largest building is Aqua Shard, opened by restaurateur David Yeo this past July.

Whisky à la Glenmorangie always warms the soul. A favourite from the Scottish distillery is Nectar D’Òr, given the name of gold—in Gaelic—because it’s basically as good as it gets.

It can almost go without saying that the national airline carrier of the world’s richest country is better than most.

London-based design studio BarberOsgerby has a prestigious track record of creating monumental lights. When Louis Vuitton approached Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby to mastermind a lamp for their Objets Nomades collection the duo turned their focus to a nomadic way of life.