Ken's blog

High-end hotels are using luxurious swimming pools to tempt guests

Bellagion pool las vegas
Resorts catering to the high-end market are offering unique and opulent swimming pools to help attract guests. The pools often cost millions to build and take on Olympic proportions.

Fueled by unprecedented competition for guests, hotels are pouring millions of dollars into pools—not bathtub-size afterthoughts, but sybaritic, resort-style pool complexes and waterside amenities. These new ersatz beach clubs go beyond the well-stocked cabana to add acres of real estate, residential design and furniture, gadgets, and increased staffing.

The Tuscan-villa pool at the Bellagio (shown above) in Las Vegas features misting fans and fountains. Pools at the Bellagio are kept at different temperatures so sensitive swimmers can find the perfect fit. At the Burj Al Arab resort in Dubai (shown below) the pools -- one for men and one for women -- feature large windows offering panoramic views of the Persian gulf.
Photo Gallery of Pools

Burj Al Arab pool in Dubai

A look at the world's most luxurious international airlines


It's time to step out of the cattle car and into luxury on your international travels. Many foreign carriers are raising the bar on personal service by including private cabins, cavier and vintage champagne on their flights. Qantas passengers (shown above) are treated with fine wines, espresso and a personal phone. Travelers on Emirates (shown below) can stretch out in a private suite while enjoying a private mini bar, desk and a 23-inch TV with more than 600 channels. Newsweek offers a tour of the most exclusive and luxurious international carriers on their site.
Newsweek photo gallery

Residences at 20 Pine start at $715,000


Residences at 20 Pine, the former location of Chase Manhattan Bank's headquarters in downtown Manhattan, start at $715,000 for a one-bedroom condo. Two penthouses in the building are being offered for $3.1 and $3.2 million. The Terrace Lounge on the 25th floor (shown above) is open to all residents who want to take in the city views and enjoy the reflecting pool and gardens. The building also features a Library Lounge adjacent to the lobby where residents can read and reflect in a sofa-filled environment.
20 Pine

The wonderful world of wicker


The Random Weave chair ($599) from West Elm looks like its clean lines were sculpted out of a thicket of vines. The chair and stool were made from abaca bark, a banana tree relative. To see more contemporary wicker and rattan furniture, be sure to check out a photo gallery from the Los Angeles Times.

Found on Flickr: Israeli architecture


This surrealistic building was found in Israel by Andrew Dupont and posted to Flickr. Does anyone know anything about this building or the architect? We'd love to share more of their work.

Palm Springs classic: $3.75 million


This contemporary styled Palm Springs home was built in 1974 and was recently renovated by designer Xorin Balbes and architect Paul Ashley. The home makes extensive use of glass on the exterior and is in a walled compound for privacy. As you can see in the photo above, the home is a fine example of blended indoor and outdoor living. There are a total of 4 master suites and the house has mountain views.
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 5.5
Listing Price: $3,775,000
View Listing
Via Luxist: Crescent Drive, Palm Springs, Estate of the Day

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