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With its magnificent landscapes, hiking trails, unique rock-climbing faces and incomparable ski and snowboard slopes, an extraordinary winter experience awaits you in Banff National Park. The town of Banff is also known for its vibrant night life, high-end boutiques, spas and restaurants. Here are a few key activities and addresses to get you dreaming.

Downhill skiing

Banff National Park alone has three downhill ski resorts: Lake Louise, Sunshine Village and Norquay. They are grouped under the name SkiBig3 to offer convenient transportation, accommodation and rental packages. True to its reputation, the area is a dream destination for ski lovers.

www.skibig3.com

 

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Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, biking

Many hiking trails adapted to cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or fat biking are available. Simply consult the Parks Canada website or brochures and, most importantly, check the weather and trail conditions before heading out.
A few suggestions:

  • Moraine Lake route (15.6-km round trip), also accessible to skaters
  • Spray River East and West trails (11-km loop), just south of downtown, departing from behind the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel
  • Redearth Creek, a trail approximately 20 km west of Banff

www.pc.gc.ca

 

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Ice walking

Located approximately 20 km west of the town of Banff, Johnston Canyon is a must-see. Explore on your own or go with a guided group. Most hotels in Banff offer different ways to experience this magical hike. Ice cleats are necessary and can be provided by your guide. Although it is a relatively easy trail through the forest, you should still be in fairly good shape for this hike because it is 1.1 km to the Lower Falls and 2.6 km to the Upper Falls (where you can marvel at climbers scaling the ice). You will be amazed by the gorge and its magnificent frozen waterfall ice columns, as well as breathtaking views all along the trail.

www.banfflakelouise.com

 

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Wildlife sightings

With a little luck, you will encounter mountain sheep, goats, elk and deer on the park roads and see their tracks scattered in the snow, particularly in the Bow Valley. Although grizzlies and black bears hibernate a good part of the winter, it is not unusual to spot them at the end of the season.

 

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Hot springs

There’s no better way to relax your muscles after a winter adventure than a dip in the very hot—40??C, to be precise—Banff Upper Hot Springs. Located at an altitude of 1,585 m, this top attraction is the highest operating hot spring in Canada and a true historical gem.

www.hotsprings.ca

 

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Address book

ACCOMODATIONS

Chic peak views
Surrounded by towering mountaintops and the majestic Victoria glacier, the iconic Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise (CAA Four Diamond rating) offers incomparable accommodations and service.
www.fairmont.com

On the mountain
Located in the very heart of the Sunshine Village Resort, Sunshine Mountain Lodge is the only ski-in, ski-out hotel in the park. The hotel has 84 rooms, including several family suites, restaurants, a heated outdoor pool and the largest hot tub in the area.
www.sunshinemountainlodge.com

RESTAURANTS

Whitehorn Bistro
Perched at 2,042 m, Whitehorn Bistro in Lake Louise is a must for foodies. The patio boasts magnificent mountain views and the food is simply delicious.
www.lakelouisegondola.com

Alpine Social
The ideal place for hearty servings and great times with friends.
www.thealpinesocial.com

Park Distillery Restaurant & Bar
More than an excellent restaurant, it is also the only distillery in Canada inside a national park. Free distillery tours daily at 3:30 p.m.
www.parkdistillery.com

Chuck’s Steakhouse
For meat and beer lovers!
www.chuckssteakhouse.ca

 

Text: Diane Stehle
Photos: © Banff & Lake Louise Tourism / Noel Hendrickson – © Shutterstock – © Jeff Barlett – © Paul Zizka Photography – © Jake Dyson

Why not take some me-time while you explore a new destination—in Switzerland? With its endless breathtaking views, this land of many peaks is the ideal destination to recharge and discover new horizons. LUXE has selected three of the country’s most beautiful spa resorts.

 

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Gstaad Palace (Gstaad)

Perched on a hill overlooking the town centre, Gstaad Palace provides a stunning view of the Bernese and Valaisian Alps. Founded 1913, this luxury establishment has a stellar reputation that attracts royalty and jet-setters from around the world, year after year. Moreover, it is considered one of the most beautiful establishments in Switzerland because of its enchanting surroundings and unique atmosphere that seamlessly combine glamour and alpine wellness. The unforgettable treatments in its magnificent 1,800 m2 spa offers are not to be missed. 

www.palace.ch

 

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Overview

  • 90 rooms and suites including two Tower Suites (two bedrooms and lounge) and one Penthouse Suite (three bedrooms and lounge) on the hotel roof
  • The Walig Hut, a luxury cabin located at an altitude of 1,700 m, a true haven in the heart of nature with all of the hotel’s comfort and services
  • Several luxury restaurants and bars
  • A famous nightclub

Spa (1,800 m2)

  • Eight treatment rooms
  • Sauna, steam baths and outdoor relaxation area
  • Private spa suite with sauna
  • Indoor and outdoor pools
  • Jacuzzi, hammam, massages
  • Tennis and squash courts

We love

  • The impeccable service
  • The outdoor Olympic pool in the summer
  • The private spa suite with sauna, hammam, lounge, shower and dressing room—ideal for perfectly private relaxation
  • The elegance and beauty of the surroundings: many films were shot on-site, including The Return of the Pink Panther in 1975
  • Anecdotes that add to the mystique: apparently Michael Jackson wanted to buy the palace, but for once, he didn’t get what he wanted

Le Mirador, Resort & Spa (Mont Pèlerin)

Just 45 minutes from Geneva, overlooking Lake Geneva from the heart of the UNESCO-listed Lavaux vineyards, Le Mirador Resort & Spa has one of the most magnificent panoramic views in Switzerland. This oasis of calm is a boutique hotel with 63 luxurious rooms and suites, a Givenchy Spa, a fitness centre and a health and wellness centre. The spa specialists will help you recover from your workout with treatments or massages while the medical centre experts provide healing and preventive treatments for deep revitalization.

www.mirador.ch

Overview

  • 57 suites and six rooms
  • Two restaurants
  • Lounge bar and terrace

Givenchy Spa

  • Indoor pool and jacuzzi
  • Sauna and hammam
  • Group classes and private coaching
  • Tennis court

Le Mirador Medical Centre

  • Preventive and regenerative remedies
  • Anti-aging and detox programs
  • Dermatology, nutrition, cardiology and dentistry

We love

  • The incredible view of Lake Geneva and the Alps above the clouds
  • The know-how of an establishment founded 114 years ago
  • The relaxing atmosphere of this high-end hotel
  • The proximity of the vineyards of Lavaux and Chillon Castle, a true architectural gem

Dolder Grand (Zurich)

One of the Leading Hotels of the World, the Dolder Grand is one of the best vacation spots in Europe. High in the hills, halfway between the bustling city and fresh calm of nature, this luxurious castle offers magnificent views of Zurich, its lake and the Alps. It has 175 magnificent suites and rooms as well an expansive 4,000 m2 spa. Its two restaurants (one with 14 Gault Millau points, the other 19 Gault Millau points and two Michelin stars) serve delicious gourmet cuisine.

www.dolderhotelag.com

Overview

  • 175 rooms and suites
  • Two award-winning restaurants
  • Pool and mini golf (in summer), skating rink (in winter)
  • Nine-hole golf course
  • Club house
  • Five tennis courts

Spa (4,000 m2)

  • Separate gentlemen’s and ladies’ spas
  • Comprehensive Aqua Zone: pools, whirlpool terrace, steam bath, sanarium, mixed sauna, spa library, two private spa suites and relaxation areas
  • Fitness room
  • 20 treatment rooms

We love

  • The hotel’s central location, ideal for numerous unforgettable excursions—don’t miss the largest waterfalls in Europe, the Rhine Falls, and the breathtaking views of Pilatus Mountain
  • The shopping in Zurich
  • The Kids Room for children aged three to 12 years
  • The private art collection with more than 100 works by the likes of Andy Warhol, Henry Moore and Salvador Dalí

 

Text: Diane Stehle
Photos: Gstaad Palace © Gstaad Palace – Le Mirador, Resort & Spa © Le Mirador, Resort & Spa – Dolder Grand © Zelijko Gataric, Heinz Unger

Gerri Davis is a painter, but NASA could almost have used her as a scientist. Her paintings are incredibly cool and challenging; they are pushing the boundaries in their field. An afternoon in the studio, going over the works for her upcoming show at Le Salon H, led to an interesting discussion.

Your work features amazing close-ups, where things are dramatically enlarged. But you also paint epic compositions, where things are actually smaller than in reality. Could you talk about your relationship to scale?

The world you see around this magazine that you are holding: the room, the lights, your body, a table perhaps, is actually an enormous view. I’m interested in squeezing that enormity into the confines of the rectangular, two-dimensional frame of a painting. Maximizing the relationship in scale between two things can cause one thing to feel much closer and the other much farther away, so it’s a natural by-product of my attempts to compress more into the frame than should logically fit into the confines of a little square on the wall.

 

Gerri Davis

Your paintings often seem to subvert gravity; how did you arrive at that way of looking at the world?

I grew up in a NASA neighbourhood filled with astronauts, so gravity was never something I took for granted. Later, I trained as an architect. The systems of representation used in that field allow points of view to be anywhere from underneath to overhead—underground to aerial. This caused me to become acclimated to abnormal vantages. In my work, being a pair of eyes 5’2” above the floor is not a given.

It seems that you pick up the exploration of the laws of optics where the Renaissance masters left off. Your paintings explore playfully and very daringly the meaning of these laws when it comes to representing the world we see.

As a way of exploring the fullness of perception, I devise ways to paint time that often upend the optical rules. This hopefully incites new ways of seeing that we may take with us into the world and that heighten our appreciation for temporal aspects of our biological field of view we might sometimes take for granted.

 

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You experiment with all sorts of approaches to portrayal, by painting… yourself! Are you your easiest model?

I suppose anytime a painter prepares to paint, there is also a model preparing to be mostly motionless for some extended time. When painter and model are combined, there is a synchronized dedication between subject and artist. Additionally, the depiction of a face absorbed in the act of study invokes an unselfconscious expression. The blankness with which we approach our phones reminds me of that openness. I’m working on a series of paintings that explore that ubiquitous blank stare into a glowing monitor.

 

Regarding self-portraiture, what really interests me about painting my reflection is the juxtaposition of various iterations of a face over time—how each portrait represents the intersection of a complex relationship between internal psychological and external physical landscape, and the interpretive mechanism driving the experience of making the painting. This varying interplay produces a series of paintings of one person that appear as if they could be many people. It’s possible our identities are not as easily defined as we like to think.

 

www.gerridavis.net

 

Text: Barbara Stehle
Photos: Wetted Desert, 2018. Oil on linen, 127 x 190.5 cm. Private collection, Beverly Hills, CA. © Courtesy of the artist
Portrait in the Studio in front of The Dance (in progress). © Claudia Hehr, 2012
Bather II, 2015. Oil on canvas, 152.4 x 168 cm. Private collection, Milan, Italy. © Courtesy of the artist

Founded in 2010 by Adam Neumann and Miguel McKelvey, WeWork is a workspace sharing network that spans the globe. Designed for the individual freelancer right up to companies with over 500 employees, WeWork takes the stress and guesswork out of running an office. Joining WeWork is much more than accessing a beautiful, functional office space; it’s about creating and joining a community that celebrates life and personal fulfillment.

Welcome to WeWork

WeWork is an international community that serves as a collaborative platform for a vast range of business models including entrepreneurs and start-ups as well as enterprise level established companies. Office spaces are designed to warmly welcome employees from the moment they step through the elevator doors.

 

Each floor is designed with glass walls, a communal kitchen (stocked with micro-roasted coffee, tea,craft beer and fruit-infused water) as well as spacious unique common areas featuring lamps, desks, chairs, lockable filing cabinets and more. Meeting rooms as well as phone booths for private conversations are also readily available on every floor.

 

From Sydney to Tokyo, New York to Vancouver, each space is staffed by office managers who are dedicated to making the WeWork experience as exciting and enjoyable as possible! Want to organize a networking event or set up a conference room for a product analysis meeting? The on-site staff is there to help with every foreseeable detail.

It’s all about community

From decision-makers, fashion designers and artists to freelancers, technological entrepreneurs and business owners, the WeWork model attracts those with a vision and the drive to take their enterprise to the next level. Becoming a WeWork member means businesses can focus less on the functional details of an office (leases, furniture, computers, office supplies and adequate space) and devote themselves fully to the pleasure of expanding the quality of their enterprise.

 

Belonging to the WeWork community comes with all sorts of additional benefits. Members can opt-in to buying items such as computer software at a discounted rate. Each floor’s various common spaces promote conversation, information gathering sharing and networking opportunities. More formal member-driven networking opportunities, wellness activities, wine- tastings, panel discussions and so much more are also available on a daily basis. The sheer variety of members’expertise and personalities of the members in each office drives the dynamic energy of the community’s shared experience.

 

Members are also connected worldwide through a digital app that enables them to source project partners and business solutions rapidly. Whether it’s legal advice regarding a patent or the search for a qualified project manager, a WeWork survey revealed that seven out of ten members used the application to answer their business needs.

 

What’s next?

WeWork opened its first location in Canada in Montreal’s iconic Place Ville Marie office tower in the heart of downtown in March 2016. A second Montreal location haswas opened, as well as a location in downtown Toronto and, most recently, in the Burrard station in Vancouver. A second location for Toronto and Vancouver are slated to open at the end of this year and at the beginning of 2018. WeWork sites are chosen based on their city-centrality, in neighbourhoods that feature a high concentration of creative and technological communities. Members also have access to all other workspaces throughout the world when they are travelling.

 

Driven by demand and the dynamism of the a community-modelled workplace, WeWork will continue to expand its offering all over the globe. Learning opportunities, such aslike courses to increase enhance skill- sets (such as coding) are also on the horizon. As a complementary offering to WeWork, WeLive is also in the works: Private private apartments that have communal access to amenities such as a chef’s kitchen, a yoga studio and a screening room.

 

For more information on WeWork, visit: www.wework.com.

 

Text: Shauna Hardy

A prestigious address, luxury penthouses, unobstructed 360° views of Montréal, service worthy of a five-star hotel: 1111 Atwater lives up to its promises while redefining luxury living. The result of a partnership between renowned real estate developer EMD Construction – Batimo Group, les Immeubles High-Rise Montréal and Claridge Immobilier, this exceptional project will allow 22 privileged owners to enjoy a unique lifestyle in the heart of Montréal’s Atwater Avenue.

 

Built on the former site of the Montreal Children’s Hospital—a site long coveted by real estate developers—1111 Atwater is ideally located. Situated halfway between the mountain and the river, steps away from downtown and the sophisticated City of Westmount, this upscale building offers vast penthouses between the 30th and 38th floors.

 

Designed in partnership with the renowned firm Escobar Design by Lemay, these 22 unique spaces stand out for their high-quality materials and elegant design. “We worked with Andres Escobar and his team because we wanted to develop a range of condominiums that the Montréal market had never seen before. They are all ultra-luxurious, down to the last detail,” explains Francis Charron, President of Batimo and Vice-President of EMD Construction.

 

With 10- to 12-foot ceilings and massive windows, these ultra-bright penthouses are also entirely customizable. “We pay special attention to the needs of our clients. They are all unique and that’s why we offer the flexibility of personalizing each residence. Our units can also be combined to obtain the desired square footage. One of the future owners, a member of the Quebec business community, ordered an entire floor. That’s 10,000 square feet,” adds Charron. To make sure the units reflect their owners’ taste, a designer of their choice or from Andres Escobar’s team can take care of the finishes.

 

A spectacular view

The 1111 Atwater offers another major benefit: breathtaking views of Montréal and its surroundings. From sunup to sundown, this exclusive condominium building—the tallest in the neighbourhood—offers completely unobstructed 360° views. No matter the season, owners have front-row seats to the changing cityscape. The beauty of the river, the mountain and the downtown skyline provide an exceptional panorama.

The common areas were not an afterthought. Up on the 31st floor, the magnificent Sky Lounge boasts a massive terrace designed for taking advantage of beautiful days and bird’s-eye views of the city. Owners can receive their guests in this stunning and private setting. The indoor pool opens to the outdoors in summer and the fitness centre is equipped with the latest fitness technology for those who want to stay in shape year-round.

 

 

“You will have front-row seats to the changing cityscape.”

Francis Charron, President of Batimo and Vice-President of EMD Construction

Like a five-star hotel

Living at 1111 Atwater means enjoying an exceptional living space, while benefitting from the services of a five-star hotel. Inspired by New York City’s big hotels, the lobby is staffed 24/7 by a concierge trained to satisfy the most exacting demands. Residents can also rely on a valet to greet them and park their vehicles.

You can feel the exclusive and unique aspect of this project as soon as you step into the sales office, “When we receive visitors for the first time, we offer them an immersive experience that, for a real estate project, is unique in North America. We use state-of-the-art technology to create an immersive experience with a dome that makes it possible to discover the units in a never-before-seen dimension. This introduction reflects our desire to innovate, which shines through the entire project,” Charron proudly concludes. The completion of the 22 gorgeous penthouses at 1111 Atwater is slated for summer 2022.

 

 

  • Penthouses ranging from 1,663 ft2 to 10,000 ft2 between the 30th and 38th floors
  • From $2 to $10 million
  • High-performance curtain wall windows
  • Top-of-the-line kitchen appliances
  • Kitchen cabinets and island countertop included
  • Home automation technology
  • Customization of spaces (additional costs)
  • Interior design services (additional costs)
  • Exclusive indoor/outdoor pool
  • Fitness room
  • Sky Lounge terrace
  • Lounges on the ground floor and 31st floor
  • Private entry and elevators

Sales office

2307 René-Levesque Blvd. West, Montréal
Tel.: 1 855 364-6167
www.1111atwater.com

Text: Diane Stehle

For 30 years now, Claude Marcotte has worked in large consulting engineering and architecture companies. In his busy career, he has participated in the planning of theGriffintown neighbourhood and in the implementation of the Tour des Canadiens and the Bois-Franc project, among others. He is now a Partner at Carbonleo, a prominent Quebec property development and management company, and has been involved in several flagship projects in metropolitan Montreal, including theQuartier DIX30TM, the Four Seasons Montreal and RoyalmountTM. This passionate urban planner shares his vision for Montreal with us on the occasion of the city’s 375th birthday.

Why do you so strongly believe in the future of Montreal?

Montreal embodies the millennial spirit. It’s a young, connected, vibrant city that is experiencing an unprecedented real estate boom. Millennials like experiences. With its hip, European character, its bilingual culture and its calendar of international events, Montreal has become their city of choice.

Is it difficult to manage large projects in Montreal?

The situation has changed a lot in the last few years. Public administrations, whether at the Ville de Montréal, the Ville de Mont-Royal, or the Quebec government, are much more interested carrying out flagship projects in the metropolitan area and are showing a spirit of collaboration.

Tell us about your Four Seasons Montreal project.

We’ve been working on this prestigious project for a few years. We have entered into a partnership with Four Seasons that will allow us to create a luxury ecosystem in the heart of downtown Montreal. In addition to hotel rooms and residences, this exceptional project will include a huge ballroom, a restaurant, a unique lounge and speakeasy, as well as high-end commercial spaces. Visitors and residents will also have direct access to the Ogilvy/Holt Renfrew store.

Do we have the expertise in Montreal to carry out this kind of spectacular project?

Absolutely. We’re working with local firms like Lemay and Sid Lee for architecture, BPA and Elmea for engineering, Philip Hazan for interior design and Zebulon Perron for the restaurant and the lounges. We are doing business with external firms and are maintaining close collaboration with local companies to keep expertise in Montreal. That’s the case with the Parisian architecture agency Gilles & Boissier, which is very involved in the interior design of the Four Seasons Montreal. For the Royalmount project, we have hired the London architecture company Benoy. Once again, we have fostered a constructive partnership between Benoy, Lemay and Sid Lee to create a smart and inspiring design.

You mention the Royalmount project. We heard a lot about it some time ago, but you seem to be more reserved now. What’s going on with it?

We’re working very hard on the project, which will become a model cultural and commercial hub. It will offer many experiences and services in one location. We’ll disclose more information on the project next fall.

Why have you chosen that location to conduct such a large-scale project?

Royalmount will be located at the heart of the island of Montreal, at the intersection of the two busiest highways: Highway 15, which connects the north and south shores, and Highway 40, which connects the east and west of the province. It will also be linked to the De la Savane subway station by a pedestrian walkway.

How are you going to connect with the new generations and adjust to the constant changes in retail trade?

Consumers’ expectations fluctuate, just like the industry. Immersive experiences will soon become the only way to appeal to new generations. Royalmount will be a unique entertainment and gastronomy destination. It will have a diversified commercial offer that will be joined by hotels and offices. Furthermore, for its construction, we’re paying special attention to sustainable and responsible development initiatives. Montreal is celebrating its 375th birthday.

In your opinion, does the construction of the Four Seasons Montreal contribute to our city’s international reputation?

Yes, absolutely. Four Seasons is a brand that’s very present in all large cities around the world: in London, Paris, New York, Toronto, and now Montreal. Our city has changed a lot in the last few years and the Four Seasons will improve its offering in terms of luxury hotels.

What is your greatest achievement?

I would say all my projects as a whole, but in a 30-year career, a project as complex as that of the Four Seasons, which includes private residences, a luxury hotel, boutiques, an entertainment space and direct access to Ogilvy, has to be among the top. The building is also magnificent.

Are those exactly the types of complex projects that drive you?

Yes, because there is complexity as much on the architectural level as on the conceptual and construction levels. Once the Four Seasons Montreal opens its doors in December 2018, I will be very involved in the management of the hotel and its operations, which will be another great challenge. At Carbonleo, we’re a small team, but we manage ambitious projects.

 

www.carbonleo.com

 

Text: Diane Stelhe