When I visited Lisbon for the first time in November 2016, many locals suggested visiting Cascais, a swank, oceanfront community about a half hour from Lisbon. When I returned in May, I took the train along the coast and, within minutes, I was strolling the labyrinth of alluring, cobblestone alleys, which lead to the seafront, where I lunched overlooking fishing boats in the harbor. Days later, I hired a chauffeured car for a daytrip outside the city. We toured Sintra — the magical hillside forest studded with palaces and castles and lunched on the terrace of Tivoli Palacio Seteais. Then we drove 20 minutes toward Cascais, where we visited the impressive Farol Hotel.
I looked forward to experiencing the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills from the moment I entered the soaring lobby during a hard-hat tour last December. When the 170-room hotel made its début in June, adjacent to The Beverly Hilton on the triangular corner where Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevard meet, it added contemporary Art Deco glamour to the city’s swank hotel scene. The 12-story structure was co-designed by Gensler and Pierre-Yves Rochon, joined by PYR’s parent company Perkins+Will. When I checked in, PYR’s touch was obvious in the high-ceilinged lobby with its massive, custom-made crystal chandelier and a 17-foot onyx, gas-burning fireplace framed by olive trees; and public spaces replete with Lalique installations and curated artwork.