Social Mores

     Print Edition: Nov 13, 2011

Amanresorts up for sale
Luxury hotel chain Amanresorts, is currently on the market for a minimum asking price of $600 million. Presently under joint ownership between founder Adrian Zecha and India's largest retail estate company, DLF, the franchise has 22 luxury properties across 12 countries. It was founded by Zecha in 1988, and in 2007 DLF acquired 97 per cent of the company's shares at $400 million.

Then came the economic downturn of 2008. To make good its loss, the DLF group has decided to exit peripheral areas of its business and sell off all hospitality holdings, except the Aman Lodhi Hotel in New Delhi. To help them do this, the company has roped in Goldman Sachs as divestment advisors.

Despite trying hard to keep up a face of calm and optimism, the market is abuzz with rumours of an impending distress sale. Speculation is rife that among the players at the bidding table is Khazanah, the investment arm of the Malaysian government. It has made a reported bid of $350 million for the Amanresorts chain. The stakes are high and the portfolio is high-end. Let the bidding game begin.

Most expensive shop
A recent research project carried out by Bundle.com found that about half of the most expensive shops in America are concentrated in New York City. The Oscar de la Renta store received the blue ribbon, with about $3217 spent by the average customer, while the Giorgio Armani outlet came in at number two. Solely for serious shopaholics.

Bota-Bota Spa
A 57-year-old ferryboat off the coast of Montreal was given a new lease of life after being refurbished as a floating day spa. Currently housing five storeys of spa installations, it once did a stint as a showboat on the Richelieu river after serving as a ferry in the 60s. After being given a facelift by Sid Lee architecture, today the Bota-Bota boat has been transformed into a floating luxury spa offering guests spectacular views of the city as they revel in the pampering on board. Opt for a mani-pedi, a relaxing massage, or the seaweed wrap treatment. Alternatively just chill out at the open-air whirlpool or cocktail bar. Spoil yourself silly.

Accessories on demand
Imagine that you're getting ready for your company's formal dinner party overseas, only to realise that you have forgotten to carry that great pair of cufflinks. Normally, you'd have to buy a new pair, or settle for one that doesn't match. Not so at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel in California. It has introduced a novel concept: an accessories library. Simply put, the service offers guests the option of borrowing accessories. Executed in collaboration with designer Fred Segal, this first-of-its-kind library packs in a range of about 50 stylish accessories for men, women, children and even pets. The concept behind the initiative is simple: don't sweat the small stuff. Ranging from jewellery to beach hats, the display includes accessories as inexpensive as $8, going all the way up to $500. This gives guests the liberty to enjoy ultrahip accessories without speding a bomb on owning them. Be it a funky straw hat for a day at the beach, or an embellished collar for your poodle; just pop into the library and pick what strikes your fancy. If you're checked in at the Grand Suite, enjoy this perk for free.

The BT More Playlist
New releases

David Lynch, Crazy Clown Time

The iconic director and mastermind behind the cult classic Mulholland Drive is making his musical debut this month.

Leona Lewis, Glassheart
Scheduled for launch this October, the singer's third album is preceded by the lead single, Collide which is already topping charts

Il Divo, Wicked Game
This classical quartet is all set to release its seventh album. The title track is a remake of Chris Isaak's original hit, infused with the group's strong, harmonybased sound.

Frankmusik, Complete Me
Vincent Frank is the newest kid on the electro pop scene. With his latest album, the critics may be raging but the fans are raving.

Mika, The Origin of Love
Having won over audiences with his upcoming album's lead single Elle Me Dit, Mika's album promises to be a hit.

6 things to do this month

 London To Brighton Veteran Car Run
London To Brighton Veteran Car Run
London To Brighton Veteran Car Run
The longest running motoring event in the world, the event is the ultimate spectacle for appreciators of vintage vehicles. Featuring cars from before 1905, the race makes for a fine display of character, individuality and personality. From November 4 to 6.
Website VeteranCarRun.com

F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
A favourite with the teams and fans alike, this event will be held at the Yas Marina Circuit from November 11 to 13. Each ticket guarantees sweeping views of the race and exclusive access to post-race action.
Website Formula1.com

New York Comedy Festival
Held in association with television channel Comedy Central, this year's NY Comedy Festival is back for its eighth edition with a stellar line-up of comedy acts from around the globe. Featuring fan-favourites like Ricky Gervais, Bill Maher and Russell Peters, it promises to be an absolute riot of laughter and good times. The festival runs from November 9 to 13. Book your tickets online, to be a part of the madness the event guarantees.
Website NYComedyFestival.com

 Pushkar Camel Fair
Pushkar Camel Fair
Pushkar Camel Fair
Every November around the full moon, this placid lakeside settlement springs to life. More than 25,000 camels are traded during the fair, after which are adorned with jewellery and other finery from accompanying stalls. Witness this unusual event from November 6 to 9.
Website Pushkar-Camel-Fair.com

Red Hot Chili Peppers In Concert
After a long hiatus from the international music scene, the Red Hot Chili Peppers will be touring the United Kingdon for nine shows at venues ranging from London to Manchester. Book your tickets to witness this much-anticipated comeback.
Website Concertful.com


Masterchef Live In London
Masterchef Live In London
Masterchef Live In London
Fans of the hit show MasterChef have reason to smile. The original British version of the show has decided to take the experience before a live audience. Between 11 and 13 November, watch amateur chefs compete in front of you as they're judged by former champions of the show.
Website MasterchefLive.com

Walk the line
When it comes to creativity, the mediums are limitless. Shoe designer Jimmy Choo has gone farther than he has before with a short film called Walking The Line. A collaboration with men's fashion website Mr Porter, the film is a quirky advertisement for pieces from Choo's latest collection for men. Shot across New York, it follows a man as he walks the streets, donning the designer's footwear. Set to a catchy jazz score, it hopes to keep viewers tapping their toes.

Customise your car
After Bentley pioneered the trend of online car customisation last year, automobile biggies Ford and Porsche have now joined the bandwagon. Customers can log on to the company's website and choose from the Mustang V6, the GT, the Boss 302 or the Shelby GT500. An online configurator then helps them customise their dream car. The entire process is made life-like with the use of a 3D animation tool which gives extensive interior and exterior views of the car from various angles. Customers can alter the finish, add specific equipment, include design elements of their choice and even get a panoramic view of the finished model before ordering it online or through a dealer. It's fun, it's simple, and puts you right in control behind the wheel. Belt up.

Super Bowl
In the 50s, bowling became a highly popular recreation, made famous by American TV shows of the time. Bowling alleys sprung up across the world, and were a hotfavourite among the youth. Now an 8-foot-long bowling console brings the thrill of the game right into our homes. Named after super striker Parker Bohn III, it comes pre-recorded with commentary by him. Sliding on its waxed formica lane, the 3-inch steel and chrome bowling pucks strike 10-inch tall bowling pins which tumble just like lifesized ones. Saving you the trouble of cleaning up after every strike, a magnetic switching system restores the pins to their original arrangement. To merit its $6,000 price tag, the machine comes fitted with a 27-inch LCD screen that not only displays the score but even gives the player suggestions.

Sounds like you know about golf
 
The origin of golf is somewhat unclear and highly debated. Today, it is as much a sport as it is a status symbol, requiring immense skill and concentration and membership to exclusive courses.

1. The modern game of golf originated in Scotland, where the first written record about it is James II's banning of the game in 1457, to restore importance and supremacy to his favoured sport, archery.

2. The first golf club and course outside Great Britain was built in Bangalore, India in 1820. It is still operational and beautifully maintained.

3. The term birdie was inspired from an American named Ab Smith. While playing in 1899, he hit what he described as a 'bird of a shot'.

4. The chances of making two holes-in-one in a round of golf are one in 67 million. Tiger Woods got his first hole-inone when he was no older that eight years old.

5.
The longest hole in the world is the 7th hole (par 7) of the Sano Course at the Satsuki Golf Club in Japan. It measures a long 909 yards.

6.
There are 336 dimples on a single golf ball. The dimples have been found to reduce turbulence, thus allowing the balls to travel greater distances. Scientists have found that a ball will travel significantly further on hot days.

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