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June 4, 2011 12:38 am

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Klosters

The Swiss ski resort of Klosters has long been a favourite of the European aristocracy but now visitors can travel there as guests of a suitably aristocratic tour operator. PT Ski, which will launch for the winter of December 2011, has been set up by James Palmer-Tomkinson, a former Kleinwort Benson fund manager whose family has been the long-term ski holiday partners of Prince Charles and his sons. Palmer-Tomkinson is the elder brother of socialite Tara and novelist Santa Montefiore, and has a strong ski heritage: both his father and grandfather were British ski champions and Olympic racers. The new company will focus exclusively on Klosters, with hotel and chalet-based trips plus off-piste and ski-and-spa weeks; prices will be announced soon.

www.ptski.com

Chicago

Ian Schrager, the man credited with inventing the boutique hotel in 1984, has unveiled details of his next project, a hotel brand called Public. The first, due to open on September 12, is a redevelopment of Chicago’s Ambassador East hotel, and is being billed as a “wake-up call” for the hospitality industry. Shrager says he is now “anti-design and anti-flash, suspicious of the ‘wow factor’”. Instead the hotel will be understated, offer a “new simplicity” and be “inclusive rather than exclusive” – room rates start as low as $135. “Luxury is no longer about spending the most money,” says Schrager.

www.publichotels.com

Venice

Christie’s, the auction house, has launched a free smartphone app for visitors to the Venice Biennale, which opens this weekend and runs until November 27. The app features GPS maps of all the exhibitions and fringe venues, plus recommendations from art experts.

www.christies.com

New York

A new summer seaplane service has been launched by André Balazs, owner of the Standard hotel chain. StndAIR will operate an eight-seater Cessna, with scheduled services until October 10 from the East River to East Hampton, and private charters available to destinations including Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Scheduled flights cost $495 one way, but some tickets are available to the earliest online bookers from $30.

www.stndair.com

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