Art & Culture: Kyoto, Paris, LA and Rome

Take a moment to escape the modern technologies of today and go back to the basics of what culture used to be about: art, architecture, history and tradition. With our faces peeled to our mobile phones while we rush to catch the next bus to work, sometimes we fail to see the beautiful history that surrounds us. This week’s The Edit dives into some of the greatest cultural hubs the world has to offer and reminds of our precious heritage that has led us to the modern-day, fast-paced and innovation-driven world we live in today.

 

Kyoto, the Gardens and the temples

Located on the island of Honshu and with a population of only one and a half million people, Japan’s former capital city is one of the world’s main religious and spiritual hubs bursting with tradition. Although most people today are familiar with the word geisha, only few will know that they originated in Kyoto, with the traditional kaiseki formal dining that incorporates dishes cooked to absolute precision and meticulously make-upped geishas to provide entertainment for Japan’s aristocracy. Having been Japan’s political and cultural capital for centuries, many of the most beautiful residences of former emperors, samurais and priests can be found here, famous for their architecture but most acclaimed for their extravagant gardens; from the Ryōan-ji Temple’s mystical rock garden to the Heian Shrine’s garden that has some of the most luxuriant cherry blossom displays in all of Japan. Kyoto is home to over one and a half thousand ancient Buddhist and Zen temples and shrines, sixteen of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, illustrating what special significance this city has as a beautifully artistic, architectural and spiritual haven.

For a tranquil stay, visit the Hoshinoya hotel, where you can experience a balanced blend of tradition and modernity.

Total Management Benefits:

Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
Continental breakfast daily, for up to two in room guests, via room service
Monko Experience – A Japanese Incense Ceremony for two, once during stay
Complimentary Wi-Fi
Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability

 

Paris, The Louvre and Montmartre

They call it the city of love and romance, it is one of the fashion capitals of the world and it is also the global centre for gastronomy. Featuring endless world-renown landmarks, Paris offers a rare familiar feeling to first-time visitors – from the Eiffel Tower on the Champ de Mars, to the 12th century Gothic Notre-Dame cathedral and the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs-Élysées – these timeless monuments remain in your memory as you stroll through the streets. Let your journey culminate at the famous Montmartre, a one-hundred-and-thirty-metre-high hill with the Basilica of the Sacré-Cœur on its peak, home to Louis VI 1134 Saint-Pierre de Montmartre church and historically home to many of the Belle Époque’s artist studios at its base – from Modigliani and Monet to Picasso and Van Gogh. As if this weren’t enough for one city, Paris is also home to the world’s largest and most famous art museum – The Louvre. Housed in the Louvre Palace, this historic French monument that was initially built to be a fortress, now displays an incredible three hundred and eighty thousand objects and thirty five thousand works of art across over sixty thousand square metres of space. Paris is without a doubt a cultural must-visit.

For an exquisite stay, visit Hotel Molitor By MGallery, whose motto is ‘Pool, Art, Life’ and features Paris’ largest spa and the pool where the bikini was first unveiled in the 1940s.

Total Management Benefits:

Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
Complimentary full breakfast for two daily for duration of the stay via room service
$100 USD equivalent Food & Beverage credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
Early Check-in/Late Check-out (subject to availability)
Complimentary Wi-Fi

 

LA and The Getty

Known to some as the city of angels, Los Angeles is the global centre of television, film, pop music and all things Hollywood glamour. Home to some of the world’s biggest studios – from Warner Bros and Universal Studios to Paramount Pictures – as well as the world-famous Hollywood sign on the hill and the Hollywood Boulevard with the Walk of Fame, this city truly has a star-studded atmosphere. Yet L.A. has a lot of culture to offer beyond the glittery Hollywood glamour, with a bustling art scene dominating the streets and over eight hundred and forty museums and art galleries dotted around – more than any other city (per capita) in the world. The most famous of these, and one of the most visited in the whole world, is the J. Paul Getty Museum, house on two campuses; The Getty Centre in Brentwood is the museum’s primary location and features an extensive collection of art spanning from the Middles Ages until today; the Getty Villa is the second space located in the Pacific Palisades, displaying an array of ancient Greek, Roman and Etruscan art.

For a glamorous stay, visit the SLS Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel in Beverly Hills that offers luxurious and sophisticated hospitality rich on pleasure and comfort.

Total Management Benefits:

Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
Daily Continental breakfast for up to two in-room guests in Tres restaurant (Value of Breakfast is maximum of $60 (for two guests)
$100 USD equivalent Food & Beverage credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
Complimentary Wi-Fi

 

Rome, The Vatican and Michelangelo

It is for good reason that all roads lead to Rome – home to the globally influential Vatican City, displaying ancient ruins from the Roman Empire, such as the extraordinary Forum, and it is, of course, the city in which one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World was built, the Colosseum. Italy’s capital is known for its bustling streets that not only offer some of the best shopping in the world, but also nonchalantly display nearly three thousand years of art and architecture – see the Spanish Steps as you pass by the Piazza di Spagna towards the 16th century Trinitå dei Monti church, or visit the ancient Roman temple, the Pantheon, commissioned during the reign of Emperor Augustus around 27 BC – one of the best-preserved buildings of Ancient Rome. Equally, artistic masterpieces are to be found dotted around the city, such as the Trevi fountain that can be found at the bottom of Aqua Virgo, an aqueduct constructed in 19 BC. Yet the most famous of all the Italian artists is, of course, Michelangelo Buonarotti, many of whose masterpieces are displayed in the Vatican City – from the sculpture of the Virgin Mary in Saint Peter’s Basilicata to the breath-takingly beautiful frescos in the Sistine Chapel. Rome is a cultural, historic and artistic all-rounder of a city.

For a culturally immersive stay, visit the J.K. Place Roma hotel, located only a few minutes from the Spanish Steps and other main attractions and with a décor reminiscent of the era of La Dolce Vita.

Total Management Benefits:

Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
Daily full breakfast, for up to two in room guests
A complimentary lunch or dinner for up to two people per room once during stay, excluding alcohol, taxes and gratuities
Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
Complimentary Wi-Fi

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