October 4, 2013 7:13 pm

Short cuts: Paris, snorkelling in Antarctica, and Shenzhen

Monte Carlo The talk of last week’s Monaco Yacht Show was the cool €1m a week that Moran Yachts is asking for a week’s charter on its new 88m superyacht Quattroelle. Admittedly the build cost will run to nine figures, as no expense has been spared on the woven-leather walls, cinema, 970-piece Murano chandelier, Steinway, Eurocopter and Porsche 918 Spyder parked on deck. All of which makes one wonder why the owners opted to call one of its tenders “Luxury”: you’d have thought it was obvious. There were some beauties among the 109 superyachts on show, none more ingeniously configured than the 55m Ocean Paradise, available from $300,000 a week through Y.CO. It belongs to the Singaporean investor Adrian Lee, whose portfolio includes Klapsons Hotel in Singapore, hence its “design-hotel” aesthetic.

A room at the Sofitel Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France

Paris The French brand Sofitel has been raising the design stakes by hiring the likes of Christian Lacroix (at the Sofitel So Bangkok) and Karl Lagerfeld (Sofitel So Singapore). This week saw the opening of the transformed Sofitel Arc de Triomphe, one of the last projects undertaken by the doyenne of French interior designers, Andrée Putman, who died in January. In the words of her daughter, Olivia, the rooms (pictured) are intended to evoke “a classic Parisian apartment”, hence the parquet flooring, furnishings to put one in mind of arch-modernists Charlotte Perriand and Achille Castiglioni (those Arco floor lamps!) and cushions printed with Turgot’s celebrated 1739 3D map of Paris, which give it as palpable a sense of place as the building’s Hausmannesque façade. From €405. www.sofitel.com

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Antarctica From February 2014, Aurora Expeditions will become the first operator to offer polar snorkelling, as well as sea kayaking, on cruises across the Weddell Sea and the Antarctic Circle, on its 54-passenger ice-strengthened ship, Polar Pioneer. Specially designed wetsuits, equipment and training will be provided. From $7,200 per person. www.auroraexpeditions.co.uk

Shenzhen The Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts has opened its eighth hotel in China, in Shenzhen. The electronics capital of the Pearl River Delta, the city is also a “top golfing destination” according to the hotel’s chief concierge Robert Huang. From Rmb1,445 (about £150). www.fourseasons.com/shenzhen

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