Tag Archives: Travel & Culture Books

Travel & Culture Books: ‘Gstaad Glam’ (Assouline)

In the southwest corner of Switzerland, nestled among the snowy mountains of the Swiss Alps is the picturesque, upscale resort town of Gstaad. Teeming with exclusive ski clubs and a fur coat–clad jet set, Gstaad is the definition of Alpine chic, which is evident in the luxurious, family-owned Gstaad Palace, the members-only restaurant The Eagle and the high-fashion boutiques that line the town’s main promenade.

It is this combination of opulence and quiet that has attracted a plethora of celebrities including Madonna, Grace Kelly, Stavros Niarchos and Julie Andrews, to name a few. While glitz and glamour are in abundance, local tradition and culture are always close by. Whether it’s in the Pinte Bar at Hotel Olden that exudes authentic charm or a farm on the outskirts of town showcasing a quaint, pastoral lifestyle, this beautiful volume showcases Gstaad’s elegant traditions and unexpected treasures.There is no shortage of amusements in Gstaad.

It is nature at its finest that yearns to be explored. With 124 miles of slopes, visitors can participate in skiing, snowboarding and sledding in the winter months and hiking, biking, polo and golf in the summer. Gstaad’s calendar is packed with can’t-miss events including the Swiss Open, hot-air balloon festival and Menuhin Festival of music. And after a long day of hitting the slopes and experiencing all Gstaad has to offer, cozy up with a cup of hot chocolate from the decades-old Charly’s, the perfect spot to people-watch along the Promenade.

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Travel & Culture Books: ‘Havana Blues’ (July 2021)

Crumbling pastel-colored facades line its streets, parked vintage cars evoke times past, live music permeates the air. Welcome to Havana, home to an overwhelming energy. Situated along the Straits of Florida, the capital of Cuba has been through several identities: Spanish colonial settlement, mobster rule in the 1930s, glamour of the 1950s, Cuban revolution and, most recently, a cultural renaissance. 

Havana’s bold, provocative approach to art, cuisine and entertainment—as well as the eclectic blend of African, French, Spanish and North American influences—including its range of architecture styles from the sixteenth century to the modern day, confer this epic city with a legendary status on par with the world’s greatest cities. While some of the building are in disrepair, the beauty of the baroque, neoclassical and art deco features triumphs.

The iconic Copa Room cabaret that hosted Ginger Rogers and Abbott and Costello still stands. The Gran Teatro de la Habana, built in the early twentieth century, is now home to the Cuban National Ballet. Habana Vieja is undergoing a massive restoration to its former glory. Havana could be seen as a work-in-progress, but it is more a testament to its never-ending determination to improve and progress, which might be the allure that attracts so many visitors. So take a seat at an authentic paladar (family-run restaurant) and enjoy the vibrant evolution of Havana.

Pamela Ruiz came to Cuba in the 1990s and fell in love, both with the country and her husband, Cuban artist Damian Aquiles. Formerly a location scout for photography shoots, she soon began to turn her attention to art, specifically bridging the international art world and Cuba.

Read more at Assouline