15 New Hotel Brands That Are Shaping The Travel Industry

If you’re like me and you like to stay on the cutting edge of travel and trends, you’ll want to school up by scrolling through these 15 New Hotel Chains That Are Shaping The Travel Industry, via Conde Nast Traveler. Take a look below and – who knows? – maybe you’ll get the urge to book your next vacation at one of these exciting new hotel chains:

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AC Hotels by Marriott

What it is: AC Hotels first launched in 1998 before joining forces with Marriott to present this assortment of design-centric hotels with lively lounges in urban centers.

Where it is: Properties are dotted throughout France, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. Now, they’re coming to North America. The first is open in New Orleans, with AC Hotels coming soon to Chicago, Kansas City, Miami, and Washington, D.C.

Who wants to stay there: Cosmopolitan-minded travelers in search of attractive accommodations in the hearts of cities.

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Canopy by Hilton

What it is: A mix of new-build and conversion projects in urban markets, these hotels will offer both design and value, while bringing in elements of their neighborhoods.

Where it is: Canopy by Hilton has signed letters of intent for neighborhoods including Portland, Oregon’s Pearl District, downtown Nashville, and Ithaca Commons in Upstate New York.

Who wants to stay there: Travelers who appreciate the staff’s local intel and relish the idea of sampling beers from nearby breweries during laid-back evening tastings.

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Cordis Hotels and Resorts

What it is: Langham Hospitality Group recently announced Cordis, an array of accessibly upscale new-build and conversion properties flaunting one-of-a-kind architecture and design.

Where it is: The Langham Place Mongkok Hong Kong will morph into the inaugural Cordis hotel this summer. A concentration on cities throughout North America and Asia will lead to hotels opening in Bali, China, and Sri Lanka over the next three years, with Bangkok, Dubai, London, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Orlando, San Francisco, and Singapore on the horizon.

Who wants to stay there: Business and leisure guests who want their dose of luxury to have an intriguing bit of design, too.

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Curio—A Collection by Hilton

What it is: A range of four- and five- star properties across the globe, all with sharply defined personalities.

Where it is: Hotels flying the Curio flag now include the Highland, Dallas; SLS Las Vegas; Diplomat Resort & Spa Hollywood, Florida; the Franklin Hotel, Chapel Hill, North Carolina; and the Providence Biltmore, Rhode Island. Up next: Doha, Qatar; Houston; Portland, Oregon; and Sarasota, Florida.

Who wants to stay there: Corporate travelers eager to rack up their Hilton HHonors points at hotels with decidedly unique personalities.

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EVEN Hotels

What it is: Eucalyptus linens, in-room yoga mats, and fresh-squeezed juice are among the perks at InterContinental Hotel Group’s wellness-oriented properties.

Where it is: The two existing locations, in Norwalk, Connecticut, and Rockville, Maryland, have paved the way for New York. Three hotels there—in Midtown West, Midtown East, and Brooklyn—are opening next.

Who wants to stay there: IHG loyalists who would rather not fight for the elliptical in a tiny, dismal gym.

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Graduate Hotels

What it is: Quirky properties offering well-designed oases in college towns.

Where it is: The Graduate Athens, the former Foundry Park Inn & Spa near the University of Georgia, opened in 2014, as did the Graduate Tempe, near Arizona State. Properties in Charlottesville, Virginia; Madison, Wisconsin; and Oxford, Mississippi will join the ranks this year, with Lincoln, Nebraska not far behind.

Who wants to stay there: Parents and visiting profs who want to upgrade from musty family inns and anonymous limited-service hotels.

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Hotel Jen

What it is: Shangri-La’s mid-range hotel brand centers on the fictitious Jen, an enthusiastic hotelier who enjoys plying her guests with free coffee, laundry service, grab-and-go food kiosks, and tranquil pools.

Where it is: Hotel Jen Orchard Gateway, an old Trader Hotel in Singapore, kicked things off in 2014. Since then, the brand has updated other Traders in Brisbane, Hong Kong, the Maldives, Manila, Penang, and Singapore. Forthcoming properties include Hotel Jen Puteri Harbor in Malaysia and, in China, Hotel Jen Shenyang and Hotel Jen Upper East Beijing.

Who wants to stay there: Travelers who dig a playful approach but still demand plenty of amenities.54e3b803560f0bf2218e3dd3_hyatt-centric-hotel-south-beach-miami-rendering

Hyatt Centric

What it is: Several years ago, Hyatt broke new ground with Andaz Hotels. They are trying for another hit with art- and food-focused Hyatt Centric.

Where it is: This spring will see the arrival of the descriptively named Hyatt Centric The Loop Chicago and Hyatt Centric South Beach Miami. The former is in a historic building; the latter occupies a glass tower on Collins Avenue.

Who wants to stay there: Cultural enthusiasts who want to drink well-made cocktails and read in the book-filled Corner without having to leave the premises.

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Moxy

What it is: Marriott’s affordable, design-conscious brand.

Where it is: First launched in Milan, the next two years will see Moxy properties popping up across Europe in Copenhagen, London, and Munich. In the U.S., Moxy will debut in New Orleans, with several New York locations to come soon. (The Chelsea and Midtown properties will be designed by Yabu Pushelberg.)

Who wants to stay there: Guests more interested in energetic lobbies, a plethora of outlets, and 24-hour access to food than a spacious guest room.

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OE Collection

What it is: “Original Experiences” define the OE Collection, Loews Hotels & Resorts’ new ode to culture and location.

Where it is: So far, Loews has added only the forthcoming Bisha, in Toronto, to the OE Collection. Properties in Miami, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco are also being considered.

Who wants to stay there: Travelers who want posh accommodations and rich local experiences.

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Proper Hotels

What it is: Brad Korzen, creator and former CEO of the Viceroy Hotel Group, brings expert know-how to Proper Hotels.

Where it is: The brand’s first property, San Francisco Proper, will open late this year in a historic mid-Market building (pictured), complete with three restaurants and a rooftop bar with panoramic views. Austin will follow in 2017.

Who wants to stay there: Aesthetes seeking a carefully curated vibe with plenty of in-house dining options.

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Quorvus Collection

What it is: Carlson Rezidor Group says its new Quorvos Collection of five-star properties will offer wellness and inspiration as well as entertainment and connectivity.

Where it is: For now, the G&V Royal Mile Hotel, in Edinburgh, and the Symphony Style Hotel, in Kuwait, are the only two properties in the mix. The May Fair, in London, is “coming soon.”

Who wants to stay there: Luxury travelers who obsess over details—and who appreciate a five-star hotel that offers free Wi-Fi.

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Radisson Red

What it is: Radisson Red describes itself as a “Lifestyle Select” brand, which means guests can skip the formal check-in process and order everything from flowers to Negronis via a mobile app.

Where it is: So far, the brand is just a prototype.

Who wants to stay there: Technology-loving Millennials smitten with their smartphones.

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Virgin Hotels

What it is: At Sir Richard Branson’s hotels, the guest rooms are called “chambers,” and everyone convenes at a signature bar-lounge-study called the Commons Club.

Where it is: The first highly anticipated Virgin Hotel opened in Chicago in January. The brand will make its mark on Nashville in late 2016 with a property (pictured) boasting an on-site recording studio. A New York hotel will follow.

Who wants to stay there: Fans of the Virgin empire for whom whimsy, high design, and entertainment are priorities.

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Vib

What it is: Short for vibrant, Vib is Best Western International’s new tech-forward offering.

Where it is: No locations have been announced yet, but urban markets are the focus.

Who wants to stay there: Tech geeks keen on smart TVs and video “gaming pods” who still appreciate analog comforts like homey fireplaces.

Photo Courtesy Best Western

[via CNTraveler.com]

Colombia Chic: W Hotels Introduces Exquisite W Bogota

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W® Hotels Worldwide, part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT), today debuted in Colombia with the unveiling of W Bogota. The new hotel electrifies Bogota’s hospitality scene by mixing the W brand’s 24/7 attitude, distinct interpretation of modern luxury, and unprecedented insider access to what’s new and next in design, fashion and music in South America’s new capital of cool.

“The opening of W Bogota is a milestone in Colombia’s hotel landscape, setting the stage for a redefined luxury experience in one of the world’s most vibrant destinations,” said Paul James, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels, St. Regis and The Luxury Collection. “As emerging economies expand, so does tourism, and W Bogota’s highly anticipated debut is symbolic of the whims and wishes of today’s more global and interconnected modern travelers.”

Owned by Terranum and operated by Starwood, W Bogota is the 46th W Hotel worldwide and third W Hotel in Latin America after W Santiago and W Mexico City. With the opening of W Bogota, the company gets closer to its 100th hotel in Latin America. Starwood currently has 84 hotels in operation and 16 in the pipeline.

“Starwood has been aggressively expanding its presence in Latin America and is on track to reach 100 hotels by 2017,” said Jorge Giannattasio, Chief of Latin America Operations and Global Initiatives, Starwood Hotels & Resorts. “Colombia is a priority market for our company, and we are certain that there is no better time than now to introduce this completely new lifestyle and modern luxury concept into the country.”

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Located in the heart of the city, steps from the fashionable Usaquen district, between the city’s mountains and financial center, W Bogota provides guests and locals with a cutting-edge and modern design interpretation of the Legend of El Rey Dorado (the golden king). The myth’s ancient rituals and precious elements are brought to life throughout the hotel’s luxurious and stylish guestrooms, public spaces, and buzzing bars and restaurant. This contemporary design and lifestyle approach has been combined with the W brand’s signature Whatever/Whenever® service philosophy, inspiring guests to live the legend every time they visit the hotel.

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W Bogota’s 168 stylish guestrooms and suites, inspired by the lavish ceremonies of the ancient tribe and the rafts that floated on Lake Guatavita in another era, feature views of the mountain range and the city and are appointed with modern touches and locally-inspired furnishings covered in bright leathers, vinyl, and white sheers. All guestrooms include the signature W Bed, sumptuous Bliss® bath amenities, well- equipped MixBarTM (the W brand’s reinterpretation of the staid mini bar), and a 360° floor to ceiling mirror to get a glimpse of every angle before heading out to wherever the day or night may take you. The Extreme WOW SuiteTM (the W take on the Presidential Suite) is equally inspired by the Legend and features the green of the Colombian emeralds and the deep blue of the great lagoon of Guatavita. Ideal for hosting 20 of your closest friends or for intimate moments, the E-WOW Suite boasts multiple lounge spaces, a central bar, oversized bathtub and truly iconic bed.

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W Bogota offers three distinct spaces where guests and locals can mix and mingle. W Lounge (the W brand’s shake up of the traditional lobby) features gold-dusted accents and bold furniture as well as a local interpretation of Bogota’s urban art by Vertigo Graffiti. Guests can lounge in luxury and listen to the sounds of the resident DJ, while sipping a cocktail and gather with friends. An on-going calendar of exclusive W Happenings, showcasing what’s new and next in design, fashion and music, will keep guests and local trendsetters coming back for more.

Au Room, a delightfully decadent nightlife venue like Bogota has never seen before, is slated to open early next year.

W Bogota’s Market Kitchen, by Culinary Concepts, features a farm-to-table menu inspired by world- class dishes and Colombia’s ample variety of fruits and vegetables. Chef Emiliano Rabía Sottil, a culinary expert with an international career, having worked in Chicago, Mexico City and Barcelona, will bring the menu to life. Market Kitchen offers a chef’s table and private dining room where guests can entertain and hold private soirées and celebrations.

With an interconnected meetings and convention space, W Bogota is designed to become the epicenter of high-energy business meetings and spectacular events, with five meeting rooms and more than 800 square meters (7,900 sq ft) of versatile, state-of-the-art space, including The Great Room of 218 square meters (2,347 sq ft) with a ceiling height of eight meters.

Guests and savvy locals have access to the W brand’s new modern gym concept and AWAY Spa®, both providing a retreat for detoxing and refueling for what’s to come. AWAY Spa’s indulgent Loto del Sur amenities and menu of signature services embody natural elements, legendary rituals in a setting luxurious enough for the golden king. The hotel’s indoor pool resembles a lagoon whose water sparkles with gold dust, reminiscent of the place where Gods and kings were once anointed many years ago.

For more information or to make a reservation, please visit www.whotels.com/BOGOTA and www.facebook.com/WBogotaHotel. For more information on W Hotels Worldwide, visit www.facebook.com/ or follow @WHotels on Twitter and Instagram.

5 Best Coffee Shops in Los Angeles

Coffee isn’t just a “thing” in Los Angeles: it’s a lifestyle. Here are my top picks for Best Coffee Shops in Los Angeles:

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1. Alfred Coffee {Melrose Place} – 8428 Melrose Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90069 – stylish yet whimsical coffee shop serving coffee & juice, plus salads, sandwiches & pastries.

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2. Graffiti Sublime Coffee – 180 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036 – bi-level haunt offering Intelligentsia coffee, snacks & WiFi in a striking, monochromatic space.

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3. Intelligentsia Coffee (Silverlake) – 3922 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029 – authentic coffee shop in the heart of trendy, hipster Silverlake. Known for their dark brew, you won’t get much stronger coffee than this!

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4. Coffee Commissary – 801 N Fairfax Ave #106, Los Angeles, CA 90046 – pop in for a cold-brew coffee and assorted fresh baked goods. Free WiFi using code “Coffee4Fairfax.” On weekday mornings you can also find the uber popular Free Range chicken truck until about 11:30 AM.

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5. Groundwork Coffee Co. – 1501 N Cahuenga Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028 – certified organic coffee, $3 for a cold-brew. Great place to get work done, catch up with a friend, or enjoy some quiet downtime.

Oscars 2015 FAQ: Watch Show & Red Carpet on TV & Online!

Where can I watch the Oscars?

The 87th Academy Awards air Sunday, Feb. 22, at 8:30 p.m. on ABC.

As for online, most cable TV subscribers in eight lucky markets (Chicago, Fresno, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Raleigh-Durham and San Francisco) can access a livestream of the show on the Watch ABC app. If you want to keep track of backstage shenanigans, ABC is streaming views from cameras all around the ceremony at the network’s Facebook page.

What time will the show be over?

You know the drill: 11:30 p.m. — allegedly — though expect it to go at least a few minutes over.

Who’s the host?

Neil Patrick Harris, because he hosts everything, and proved he’s quite good at it.

Who’s going to win?

Our film critics took their best guesses here. “Birdman” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” are tied with nine nominations each, while “The Imitation Game” is close behind with eight. Still, many consider “Birdman” and “Boyhood” to be the frontrunners for best picture.

Who’s performing? 

So many people for all five best song nominees. Common and John Legend team up for “Glory” (“Selma”); Tegan and Sara join Andy Samberg’s Lonely Island for “Everything Is Awesome” (“The Lego Movie”); Rita Ora takes on “Grateful” (“Beyond the Lights”); Tim McGraw subs in on “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” (“Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me”); Maroon 5′s Adam Levine reprises “Lost Stars” (“Begin Again”). Producers are also teasing “surprise” performances from Anna Kendrick, Jennifer Hudson and Lady Gaga.

Where can I see all the fashion and the awkward celebrity interviews?

So many options!

“Live from the Red Carpet: The 2015 Academy Awards” (E!, 5:30 to 8:30): Ryan Seacrest is stationed on the red carpet to interview stars, with Giuliana Rancic inside the Roosevelt Hotel. Ross Mathews and Kelly Osbourne analyze fashion while E! star Khloe Kardashian shares her thoughts. You can also catch their coverage on the E! web site or mobile app, along with a pre-show at 1:30 p.m.

“Oscars Opening Ceremony: Live from the Red Carpet” (ABC, 7 to 8:30): “Good Morning America’s’ Robin Roberts and Lara Spencer host, along with “Live! With Kelly and Michael’s” Michael Strahan. Note: ABC usually gets exclusive red carpet rights at 8, so make sure to switch over.

“ET at the Oscars: Live on Pop!” (Pop, 5 to 7:30): The former TV Guide Network sends “Entertainment Tonight” co-hosts Kevin Frazier and Nancy O’Dell to the carpet.

“Live from the Oscars” (CW at 6 to 7:30): Once again, the good people at the CW air KTLA’s red carpet coverage, hosted by Sam Rubin and Jessica Holmes — the Los Angeles ABC station brings its own brand of wackiness to the proceedings.

What about the after-shows?

Yes, the annual “Jimmy Kimmel Live: After the Oscars” airs after the late local news on Sunday. This year features something called “The Kimmel School of Perfect Acting” and has guest stars including John Travolta, Neil Patrick Harris, Susan Sarandon, Benedict Cumberbatch, Eddie Redmayne, Lupita Nyong’o, John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Gary Oldman, Jeff Bridges, Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and (of course) Matt Damon.

Meanwhile, the “E! After Party” at 11:30 p.m. has dispatches from the Vanity Fair party and Governor’s Ball.

When can I judge the fashion?

All day, every day, but everyone else (Kathy Griffin, Kelly Osbourne, Giuliana Rancic and Brad Goreski) joins in with E!’s “Fashion Police” on Monday night at 9 p.m.

More Oscar coverage, and full list of nominees:

After 100 years, we still don’t know how to actually watch a movie

‘Birdman’ or ‘Boyhood’? Nobody knows how to guess the Oscars this year.

2015 Oscar nominations show a lack of diversity in a year when films didn’t

Fact-checking ‘American Sniper’ as the Oscars near

David Oyelowo of ‘Selma’ says Oscars only go to black actors in ‘subservient’ roles. Is he right?

What went wrong with the Oscar hopes for ‘Selma’?

Here’s how ‘American Sniper’ could have avoided its fake baby problem

Best Picture
“American Sniper”
“Birdman”
“Boyhood”
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
“The Imitation Game”
“Selma”
“The Theory of Everything”
“Whiplash”

Actor in a Leading Role
Steve Carell, “Foxcatcher”
Bradley Cooper, “American Sniper”
Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Imitation Game”
Michael Keaton, “Birdman”
Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything”

Actress in a Leading Role
Marion Cotillard, “Two Days, One Night”
Felicity Jones, “The Theory of Everything”
Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”
Rosamund Pike, “Gone Girl”
Reese Witherspoon, “Wild”

Actor in a Supporting Role
Robert Duvall, “The Judge”
Ethan Hawke, “Boyhood”
Edward Norton, “Birdman”
Mark Ruffalo, “Foxcatcher”
J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”

Actress in a Supporting Role
Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”
Laura Dern, “Wild”
Emma Stone, “Birdman”
Keira Knightley, “The Imitation Game”
Meryl Streep, “Into the Woods”

Directing
Alejandro González Iñárritu, “Birdman”
Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”
Bennett Miller, “Foxcatcher”
Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Morten Tyldum, “The Imitation Game”

Animated Feature Film
“Big Hero 6”
“The Boxtrolls”
“How to Train Your Dragon 2”
“Song of the Sea”
“The Tale of the Princess Kaguya”

Cinematography
Emmanuel Lubezki, “Birdman”
Robert D. Yeoman, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lynzewski, “Ida”
Dick Pope, “Mr. Turner”
Roger Deakins, “Unbroken”

Costume Design
Milena Canonero, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Mark Bridges, “Inherent Vice”
Colleen Atwood, “Into the Woods”
Anna B. Sheppard, “Maleficent”
Jacqueline Durran, “Mr. Turner”

Documentary Feature
“Citizenfour”
“Last Days in Vietnam”
“Virunga”
“The Salt of the Earth”
“Finding Vivian Maier”

Documentary Short Subject
“Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1”
“Joanna”
“Our Curse”
“The Reaper”
“White Earth”

Film Editing
Joel Cox and Gary Roach, “American Sniper”
Sandra Adair, “Boyhood”
Barney Pilling, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
William Goldenberg, “The Imitation Game”
Tom Cross, “Whiplash”

Foreign Language Film
“Ida”
“Leviathan”
“Tangerines”
“Wild Tales”
“Timbuktu”

Makeup and Hairstyling
Bill Corso and Dennis Liddiard, “Foxcatcher”
Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou and David White, “Guardians of the Galaxy”

Music – Original Score
Alexandre Desplat, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Alexandre Desplat, “The Imitation Game”
Hans Zimmer, “Interstellar”
Gary Yershon, “Mr Turner”
Jóhann Jóhannsson, “The Theory of Everything”

Music – Original Song
“Everything Is Awesome” by Shawn Patterson, “The LEGO Movie”
“Glory” by Common and John Legend, “Selma”
“Grateful” by Diane Warren, “Beyond the Lights”
“I’m Not Gonna Miss You” by Glen Campbell and Julian Raymond, “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me”
“Lost Stars” by Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois, “Begin Again”

Production Design
“The Grand Budapest Hotel,” Production design: Adam Stockhausen, Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
“The Imitation Game,” Production design: Maria Djurkovic, Set Decoration: Tatiana Macdonald
“Interstellar,” Production design: Nathan Crowley, Set Decoration: Gary Fettis
“Into the Woods,” Production design: Dennis Gassner, Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
“Mr. Turner,” Production design: Suzie Davies, Set Decoration: Charlotte Watts

Short Film – Animated
“The Bigger Picture,” Daisy Jacobs and Christopher Hees
“The Dam Keeper,” Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi
“Feast,” Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed
“Me and My Moulton,” Torill Kove
“A Single Life,” Joris Oprins

Short Film – Live Action
“Aya,” Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis
“Boogaloo and Graham,” Michael Lennox and Ronan Blaney
“Butter lamp,” Hu Wei and Julien Féret
“Parvaneh,” Talkhon Hamzavi and Stefan Eichenberger
“The Phone Call,” Mat Kirkby and James Lucas

Sound Editing
“American Sniper,” Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman
“Birdman,” Martín Hernández and Aaron Glascock
“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” Brent Burge and Jason Canovas
“Interstellar,” Richard King
“Unbroken,” Becky Sullivan and Andrew DeCristofaro

Sound Mixing
“American Sniper,” John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Walt Martin
“Birdman,” Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and Thomas Varga
“Interstellar,” Garry A. Rizzo, Gregg Landaker and Mark Weingarten
“Unbroken,” Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and David Lee
”Whiplash,” Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley

Visual Effects
“Captain America: Winter Soldier,” Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Bryan Grill and Dan Sudick
“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett and Erik Winquist
“Guardians of the Galaxy,” Stephanie Ceretti, Nicolas Aithadi, Jonathan Fawkner and Paul Corbould
“Interstellar,” Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher
“X-Men: Days of Future Past,” Richard Stammers, Lou Pecora, Tim Crosbie and Cameron Waldbauer

Writing – Adapted Screenplay
Jason Hall, “American Sniper”
Graham Moore, “The Imitation Game”
Paul Thomas Anderson, “Inherent Vice”
Anthony McCarten, “The Theory of Everything”
Damien Chazelle, “Whiplash”

Writing – Original Screenplay
Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo, “Birdman”
Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”
E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman, “Foxcatcher”
Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Dan Gilroy, “Nightcrawler”

[via The Washington Post]

10 Best Things to Know Before Going to L.A.

Traveling to Los Angeles – known for celebrities, brilliant weather and plastic perfection – can be intimidating, even for the most experienced of travelers. L.A. is simply a different world.  Follow these tips on your next trip and you’re sure to stand out as a local, or at least someone who’s in the know.

1. Celebs don’t hang out in Hollywood

Celebs don’t usually hang out in Hollywood
Photo courtesy of jcamilobernal

Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Studio City, Malibu. . .you’ll most likely find celebrities in their natural habitat – dashing to a meeting, going to the gym, shopping at a farmer’s market or having a latte.

See and be seen: Brentwood and Malibu Country Marts, the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

2. L.A. is really, really spread out

L.A. is very spread out
Photo courtesy of SeanPavonePhoto

Los Angeles is so huge, it’s hard to cover it all in a short visit. Consider staying in centrally located West Hollywood. Stylish hotels like the Sofitel and The London are located halfway between the beach and downtown. Your WGY concierge will hook you up with hard-to-get reservations around town.

Hot spots: Craig’s, Tower Bar at Sunset Tower Hotel

3. L.A. has its own style

Effortless style
Photo courtesy of Maegan Tintari

It may look thrown together, but L.A. people spend dearly to look that way.

Think tee shirts, jeans and form-fitting yoga gear. Dressing up means switching from flip-flops to high heels.

Fashion fix: Try Fred Segal in West Hollywood or Santa Monica for clothes with a cool, casual L.A. vibe.

4. Getting around

L.A. traffic can be crazy, so give yourself extra time.
Photo courtesy of lazyday

Everyone will tell you it takes “about a half an hour” (no one uses miles) to drive somewhere, but don’t count on it. Allow extra time, always. Download the Waze app, which helps Angelenos navigate through L.A.’s crazy traffic using shortcuts, or use Uber or Lyft apps if you don’t want to drive.

Dashboard necessity: GPS

5. L.A.’s weather is always nice

Beautiful L.A. weather as seen from Griffith Observatory
Photo courtesy of DieselDemon

It’s warm and sunny most every day, but nights can get chilly quickly when the sun goes down. Layering is key in L.A.; tote along a shawl, sweater or lightweight jacket for shaded outdoor cafes, air-conditioned restaurants and movie theaters.

Weather warning:  “June gloom” is the depressing greyness of overcast, sunless days at the beach during the month of June.

6. If you spot a celebrity

Paparazzi: the ultimate celebrity spotters
Photo courtesy of Brian Gratwicke

If you see a celebrity that you recognize, there’s an unspoken code in L.A. You see them, and they know you see them. Be polite. Don’t point, or whip out a cell to take photos. They are always shorter and thinner than you ever imagined.

Star gazing: Sunset Plaza, Robertson BoulevardThe Chateau Marmont

7. Think no one walks in L.A?

Hiking Runyon Canyon is a popular L.A. activity
Photo courtesy of Jeff Gunn

Hiking in Runyon Canyon, (which offers valet parking so you don’t have to hike to your hike) and “doing the stairs” in Santa Monica are two fave L.A. outdoor activities. But, it’s true; people will drive three blocks to a restaurant.

Alternate activity: Stand up paddle boarding

8. L.A. has amazing food

Healthy, green ingredients
Photo courtesy of Stacy Spensley

A night out in the rest of the country means indulging in mac and cheese, gooey hamburgers or smothered eggplant parm. But in L.A., the menu spins food that is light and healthy – gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, vegan, organic and raw. Don’t miss the juice bars and food trucks for inexpensive eats.

Exotic entrée: The “prime 18 oz. Côte de Cauliflower” on the menu at Acabar.

9. Have it your way In L.A.

Custom orders are no big deal
Photo courtesy of きうこ

You won’t faze a waiter no matter what you want to eat. They are all used to detailed menu changes – on the side, no oil, only Paleo, no carbs.

Watch before you go: Check out the movie trailer of L.A. Story on YouTube for the coffee-ordering scene.

10. L.A. is a company town

Valet parking at the W Hollywood
Photo courtesy of Graham

“The industry” is where everyone works. Translation: entertainment. Everyone you meet will somehow be connected to “the business.” Your salesperson/waitress/valet parker will be an aspiring screenwriter, musician, model or actor.

Heavenly help: They’re all gorgeous.

[via USA Today / Ruta Fox]

Oscars Week Party Round Up

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With Oscars week approaching, WGY has a complete round up of all the hottest parties in Hollywood via The Hollywood Reporter:

Wednesday, Feb. 18

Global Green’s 12th Annual Pre-Oscar Party

Avalon Hollywood, 1735 Vine St., Los Angeles
Hosted by Ashley Greene and Theo Von (with a host committee that includesOrlando BloomLyn and Norman Lear and Kathy Freston), the “zero waste” event will feature a performance by Oscar nominee Common. KCRW’s Jason Bentley and DJ Syrena will handle the turntables. “This year’s event will be especially celebratory, as the Hollywood community will join us at the fête to help launch our next phase of development – Global Green USA 2.0 – a new and exciting initiative to scale our national and global impact exponentially to fight climate change by making our cities greener and more resilient,” says Les McCabe, president and CEO of Global Green USA.

ICM Partners

Private residence, Beverly Hills
Partner Hildy Gottlieb and her husband, writer/director/producer Walter Hill host the annual agency bash at their luxe home.

Alfre Woodard’s annual pre-Oscar dinner

Beverly Wilshire Hotel, 9500 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills
The actress pauses every year to toast (with Piper-Heidsieck’s help) the accomplishments of black women in entertainment. This year, she’ll honor Ava DuVernay and Gugu Mbatha-Raw with a guest list that includes Angela Bassett, Loretta Divine, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Octavia Spencer, Rashida Jones, Viola Davis and Zoe Zaldana.

Diane Von Furstenberg, Hilary Swank and Anne Sweeney

Private residence, Beverly Hills
The trio are teaming to celebrate this year’s crop of female Oscar nominees at a chic afternoon event at Furstenberg’s spacious estate.

Oxfam Benefit Dinner Hosted by Barneys New York and Rooney Mara

Chateau Marmont, 8221 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood
The organization, which works to combat worldwide poverty and injustices, is the focus of this Vanity Fair event.
  

Thursday, Feb. 19

Hollywood Domino Pre-Oscar Charity Gala

Sunset Tower, 8358 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood
Nominee Patricia Arquette is one of the many hosts for this year’s annual bash, which will feature a special performance by Pirulo y la Tribu.

10th annual Oscar Wilde: Honoring the Irish in Film Event

Bad Robot, 1666 Euclid St., Santa Monica
The Late Show successor Stephen Colbert will receive the Oscar Wilde Award at this event created by the nonprofit US-Ireland Alliance to recognize the contributions of Irish in film and TV. Irish singer-songwriters Gavin James and Megan O’Neill will perform.

Red Carpet Green Dress

Chateau Marmont, 8221 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood
Suzy Amis Cameron’s eco-fashion campaign will celebrate sustainable fashion with an annual fete complete with revelers including James Cameronwill.i.amKellan LutzJason LewisMissi Pyle and Gina Rodriguez, who will wear a sustainable creation on Oscar night.

Vanity Fair and Chrysler Toast Richard Linklater and Boyhood

Cecconi’s, 8764 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood
The mag handpicked the director and his awards standout film for a special event, which benefits the Austin Film Society.

Friday, Feb. 20

Women in Film Pre-Oscar Party

Hyde Sunset Kitchen + Cocktails, 8117 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles
The organization always draws a healthy crowd of boldfaced names and industry vets. Oscar winner and WIF President Cathy Schulman and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson will host.

The GREAT British Film Reception

The London Hotel, 1020 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood
British Consul General to Los Angeles Chris O’Connor OBE hosts the bash, which happens during a big year for Brits thanks to Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones andBenedict Cumberbatch.

Tom Ford Autumn/Winter 2015 Womenswear Collection

Milk Studios, 855 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Los Angeles
The superstar designer brings his fashion show to L.A. for the first time, capitalizing on all the star power in town for Hollywood’s golden weekend. Expect to see lots of A-listers and plenty of reps from CAA, which reps Ford.

CAA

Private residence, Beverly Hills
The agency hosts an A-list event to celebrate it’s standout crop of Oscar nominees.

UTA

Private residence, Beverly Hills
Chairman Jim Berkus opens the doors of his new home for an annual fete that is always a big draw as the weekend kicks off. Celebrity DJ Michelle Pesce, hot off her return from the official Grammys after party, returns to handle the turntables.

Vanity Fair D.J. Night with L’Oreal Paris

10AK, 9039 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood
Pitch woman Freida Pinto hosts the hip dance party that will feature a DJ set byTaryn Manning.

WME

Private residence, Brentwood
The agency hosts a hot-ticket bash for the rep-set to fete clients, colleagues and friends.

Alfa Romeo Luncheon

Polsky residence, Beverly Hills
Vanity Fair, Romeo, filmmaker Alan Polsky and restaurateur John Terzian host this luncheon, which will feature Alfa Romeo’s 4C and benefit Girl Rising.

Saturday, Feb. 21

Motion Picture & Television Fund’s The Night Before Party

Fox Lot, 10201 West Pico Blvd., Los Angeles
Benefiting the MPTF, the A-list event — the biggest draw for the town’s top movie stars and major execs — is sponsored by Delta Air Lines, Dodge, L’Oreal, Relativity Media, Target and The Hollywood Reporter. The 2015 event moves to the lot following more than a decade at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

The Weinstein Co.

Montage Beverly Hills, 225 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills
Harvey and friends will gather for the company’s annual night-before dinner party. Expect to see nominated director Morten Tyldum and his Imitation Game crew celebrating the film’s eight nominations. Sponsors include DeLeón Tequila, FIJI Water, MAC Cosmetics and Heineken.
 
Michael Sugar, Warren Zavala and Doug Wald’s annual party
Sunset Tower, 8358 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood
Many of the town’s top industry insiders are expected to attend this Grey Goose-sponsored fete.

30th Annual Independent Spirit Awards

Santa Monica Beach, 2030 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica
Fred Armisen and Kristen Bell host the lively awards ceremony under a giant white tent on the beach. Expect to see presenters including Oprah Winfrey, Cate Blanchett, Julianne Moore, Jared Leto, Kerry Washington and more. FIJI Water returns as one of the sponsors.

Sony Pictures Classics

The Supper Suite by STK, 755 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood
Michael Barker and Tom Bernard host a dinner party for its healthy crop of nominees including Julianne Moore, Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, Bennett Millerand the Whiplash crew at the ONE Group’s STK as part of A-List Communication’s Supper Suite culinary platform events.

Fifth Annual UCLA TFT Sketch to Screen Costume Design Panel and Oscar Celebration

UCLA’s Schoenberg Hall, 445 Charles E Young Drive East, Los Angeles
Current Academy Award nominees Mark Bridges (Inherent Vice), Milena Canonero(The Grand Budapest Hotel), Jacqueline Durran (Mr. Turner) and Anna B. Sheppard (Maleficent), as well as Ruth E. Carter (Selma), Kari Perkins (Boyhood) and Albert Wolsky (Birdman) are the featured panelists at the Swarovski-sponsored event.

Gold Meets Golden

Equinox Sports Club, 1835 Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles
Nicole Kidman, Matt Bomer, Laura Dern, Gina Rodriguez and Eddie Redmayne have RSVP’d for this annual event, which supports U.S. Olympic teams and athletes in celebration of the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games, held in L.A. July 25-Aug. 2.

Sunday, Feb. 22

The 87th Oscars and Governors Ball

Dolby Theatre, Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood and Highland, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles
Following the last award of the night, 1,500 guests will make their way inside the official after party, which will feature more than 2,000 select images from the Academy’s photo archives with a nod to Old Hollywood. Wolfgang Puck (in partnership with Matt Bencivenga of Wolfgang Puck Catering) including spicy tuna tartare, chicken potpie, lobster “BLT” with bacon and potato latkes with smoked salmon. Classy beverages will be provided by Piper-Heidsieck and Sterling Wines.

Elton John AIDS Foundation Viewing Party

West Hollywood Park, 647 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood
John and husband David Furnish host this starry bash, sponsored this year by Audi, Neuro Drinks, Wells Fargo, MAC Viva Glam, the Fiore Group and the Starkey Hearing Foundation. Patron hosts a Patron Tequila Lounge featuring specialty cocktails like the “Stay Gold,” the “Trophy” and the “Good Life.” Cheers!

The Envelope Please

The Abbey Food & Bar, 692 N. Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood
NCIS star Pauley Perrette returns to host the friendly affair alongside Abbey founderDavid Cooley.

Fox Oscar party

Boa, 9200 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood
The studio celebrates its roster of talent from all of its divisions (including standout Fox Searchlight) thanks to nominations for BirdmanThe Grand Budapest Hotel,Wild, Gone GirlPlanet of the Apes, X-Men: Days of Future Past and How to Train Your Dragon 2. Expect to see Reese WitherspoonMichael Keaton and DJ Pescespinning some tunes. The Piper-Heidseick will be flowing.

Norby Walters 25th Annual Night of 100 Stars Viewing Gala

Beverly Hilton International Ballroom, 9876 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills
The event, always a draw among veteran Hollywood stars, will toast the Walters family’s five Oscar nominations for Whiplash.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost + MyHabit with OK!TV Oscars Viewing Party

W Hollywood, 6250 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles
Neutrogena Ambassadors are expected to turn out along with actors at this viewing party billed as a “dolled-up lounge environment.”

Madonna and Guy Oseary’s Oscar party

Private residence, Beverly Hills
Oseary’s Coldwater Canyon home plays host to the hottest late-night party in town. After Vanity Fair, the boldfaced names pack it in at Madge’s annual shindig, famous for it’s no press, no photographers policy. Gucci returns as the chic sponsor.

7 New York Fashion Week Survival Tips

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New York Fashion Week has officially kicked off! Below are my Fashion Week Survival Tips. If you want to ask me any #NYFW questions (or any questions at all), tweet me @MicahJesse.

1. Pack & Carry a Survival Kit! If you’re going to be on the go, you’ll want to have some survival items ready to go such as: umbrella (snow! rain!), a pen, notepad, camera (other than your phone), deodorant, tooth brush, dry shampoo, Advil, comb, lipstick, chargers (iPhone, iPad, MacBook), etc.

2. Get as much sleep as possible! If you’re a blogger/editor/model/makeup artist or just a fashion fanatic, you may find it hard to find some time for ZzZ’s during all of the hoopla at Fashion Week. Don’t be afraid to take a night off, you party animal! You’ll really want to push for a realistic 5 hours (minimum) if you want to make it the entire week.

3. Take your vitamins! With the cold weather, lack of sleep, and consumption of alcohol and salty passed food at Fashion Week events, your body will inevitably lose steam… You’ll want to start your day by taking a multi, Vitamin C and D at the very least to keep your body in tip top shape.

4. Moisturize! Moisturize your face and lips because the central air in the tents and many of the venues will dry you out like the desert. Bring a bottle of Mario Badescu or your favorite skin care product in your bag.

5. Charge your devices the night before! Make sure your phone, iPad, MacBook, etc. are all charged up for the long day and night. Bring a charger or a Mophie case for extra support.

6. Make A Schedule! With so many events around town, you’ll want to make sure your schedule is on point so you’re not (fashionably) late. Spend a few days leading up to Fashion Week plugging all your dates, times and venues into your Google calendar. This will help ensure you don’t forget about your commitments or double book.

7. Your network is your net worth! You never know who you’ll be sitting next to at a runway show or bumping shoulders with at an after party. Say hello to everyone. Hand out your business cards. Send a follow up greeting.

For more tips, interviews, and BTS action from everything from The GRAMMYs to Fashion Week  check out MicahJesse.com and follow @MicahJesse on Twitter/Instagram.

For booking inquiries, please contact your WGY Life Stylist at Info@wgylifestyle.com or 888-WGY-0808.

13 Instagram Fashion Bloggers To Follow This Fashion Week

Tomorrow begins New York Fashion Week and all over town bloggers and fashionistas will bounce around town to runway shows, presentations and parties. And they’ll be wearing their best-of-the-best. To keep up with the trends, these are 13 Instagram Fashion Bloggers you should follow this Fashion Week:

Danielle Bernstein of @WeWoreWhat:

Today on WWW | camel and stripes | shot by @jeffthibodeauco

A photo posted by by Danielle (@weworewhat) on

Sam & Callie Beckerman of @BECKERMANBLOG:

Wait for it…. Your twin co-pilots of @aircanada are ready for takeoff! Please buckle your seatbelts️ #aircanadayyz #acfoxfoss

A photo posted by Cailli & Sam Beckerman (@beckermanblog) on

Chiarra Ferragni of The Blonde Salad:

Justin Livingston of Scout Sixteen:

Julie Sariñana of Sincerely Jules@sincerelyjules

Appropriate @tularosalabel dress for Tulum and this pretty pink house. #revolveme

A photo posted by Julie Sariñana (@sincerelyjules) on

Camille Charrière of Camille Over the Rainbow@camtyox

Mood du jour: girly polo shirts and easy baggy denim #WonderlandMagazine

A photo posted by Camille Charrière (@camtyox) on

Helena Bordon@helenabordon

@tulacasqueteria you rock! #bailedavogue2015 #LaGrandeFolie

A photo posted by Helena Bordon (@helenabordon) on

Natalie Joos of Tales of Endearment@jxxsy

Krystal Bick of This Time Tomorrow, @krystal_bick

Stepping out for a full day of meetings with a bold pop of @MarcBeauty red #makeyourlemarc #lemarc

A photo posted by Krystal Bick (@krystal_bick) on

Pernille Teisbaek of Look de Pernille@lookdepernille

Sneak-peek of my NYC Fashion Week wardrobe now on @voguemagazine ️ @kellymcdc ️ by @rikkecharlotte

A photo posted by Pernille Teisbaek (@lookdepernille) on

Margaret Zhang of Shine by Three@margaret__zhang

Awkward mum is back

A photo posted by Margaret Zhang 章凝 (@margaret__zhang) on

Rach Parcell of Pink Peonies@rachparcell

Vanessa Hong of The Haute Pursuit@thehautepursuit

5 Easy Escapes from the World’s Top Business Centers

Next time your better half has meetings halfway around the world, surprise him or her with a side trip to one of these off-the-beaten-path (and definitely romantic) destinations.

FROM: London

TO: New Forest National Park

TRIP TIME: 1.5-hr. drive

THE HOTEL WE LOVE: Lime Wood

Set on 20 acres of forest and moor, this Georgian manor house has freestanding soaking tubs in its Main House guest rooms, one of the best spas in England, and an upscale yet utterly unpretentious restaurant by award- winning chef Angela Hartnett. In other words, bring on the pampering.

Courtesy Lime Wood

FROM: São Paulo

TO: Catuçaba

TRIP TIME: 3-hr. drive

THE HOTEL WE LOVE: Fazenda Catuçaba

This colonial eco-farm 30 minutes from the historic town of São Luiz do Paraitinga is truly away from it all: There’s no TV, cell phone service, or Internet. But there’s still plenty to do—like horseback riding, canoeing, and hiking.


FROM: Shanghai

TO: Hangzhou

TRIP TIME: 2-hr. train ride

THE HOTEL WE LOVE: Amanfayun

Each suite was once a family’s home, and the plan of the hotel follows the original village footpath. Hike uphill to visit the ancient Buddhist temples; have massages in the excellent spa (which incorporates traditional Chinese medicine); and, of course, sip tea in the rustic teahouse. You’ll swear you’ve somehow taken a train to the nineteenth-century Chinese countryside.

Courtesy Amanfayun

FROM: Singapore

TO: Langkawi

TRIP TIME: 1.5-hr. flight

THE HOTEL WE LOVE: The Datai

The terraces and private pools are very secluded . . . and very sexy. The one-bedroom villas (with their comfy white beds) are the ones to book.


FROM: Tokyo

TO: Fujiya

TRIP TIME: 3-hr. train ride

THE HOTEL WE LOVE: Ginzan Onsen Fujiya

The inn was designed by famed Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, with five different furo, or hot tubs. One is in a room with louvered shutters, so you can sit in steaming-hot water as the snow blows in; the other is at the bottom of a deep, well-like stone-lined space. Tubs are big enough for two.

Courtesy Ginzan Onsen Fujiya
For more information, please contact your WGY Life Stylist at info@wgylifestyle.com or 888-WGY-0808
Via Conde Nast Traveler

The 12 Coolest Airport Lounge Perks in the World

 

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Here are some of the most spoil-you-rotten perks available around the world, from beer machines to private cabanas to super spas.

I recently spent an afternoon curled up in a Vitra Alcove day bed, drinking Blueberry VeeV Daiquiris, nibbling on small plates of soba noodles and sushi, and soaking up the panoramic view as day turned to night. No, I was not at some decadent beach bar. I was stranded at LAX. My travel plans had imploded, and I found myself with several hours to kill in Virgin America’s Terminal 3 club lounge, The Loft. Not only were there complimentary tropical cocktails, but there were also many of the comforts of home—including high-speed Wi-Fi, a large-screen TV, even peanut butter, jelly, bread, and a toaster. (And all for an entry fee of $40 if you’re flying Virgin America or a partner airline.)

As nice as such perks might sound, they actually pale in comparison to what you can find in the finest airport club lounges worldwide. Here are some of the most spoil-you-rotten perks encountered by frequent first-class flier Gary Leff, who writes View From The Wing, as well as the airport aficionados over at LoungeBuddy, the must-have app for finding the best lounge when you’re stuck at the airport.

The Thai Airways First Class Lounge in Bangkok gives guests an hour-long spa treatment. “Nothing can beat an hour-long Thai massage prior to flight,” says Leff.

The Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt summons Porsches and Mercedeses that drive you right to your plane when your flight is ready to depart. “Other lounges that provide tarmac transfer, albeit in more limited circumstances, are the Lufthansa first-class lounge on the B concourse in Frankfurt, the Lufthansa first-class lounge in Munich, the Swiss first-class lounge in Zurich, and the Air France first-class lounge in Paris,” adds Leff.

The Qatar Airways Premium Terminal in Doha has a luxury jacuzzi and sauna.

The First Class section of Cathay Pacific’s “The Wing” lounge in Hong Kong has private “cabanas” for freshening up. “They come complete with a bathtub, shower, day bed, and room to get work done,” says LoungeBuddy co-founder Brent Griffith. There are also 12 luxury shower suites, just in case you don’t need a whole cabana.

The SkyTeam Lounge at Heathrow in London offers an “oxygen bar.” You get “10-minute sessions of pure oxygen,” says Griffith, “including a choice of individual flavored scents like citrus or pure air.”

The “F*** Me I’m Famous” lounge in Ibiza, the Spanish island famous for its nightlife and electronic music, was developed by Grammy Award-winning musician David Guetta and has a DJ booth and dance floor.

The Turkish Airlines CIP Lounge in Istanbul has a billiard table.

The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at London’s Heathrow has a recording studio and digital editing room for music mixing, just in case you dream up a new tune while waiting for a flight and don’t want to forget it.

Speaking of making music, the Asiana Business and FirstClass Lounges in Seoul have a piano available for use by “guests who are aspiring musical virtuosos,” says Griffith.

The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at New York’s J.F.K. has a Bumble & Bumble hair salon.

The Korean Air first class lounge in Seoul makes personalized metal luggage tags for its guests upon request. Here are the ones custom-made for Leff.

The United Club at Tokyo’s Narita airport has a pretty cool beer machine.

#WGY offers our #Indulge Members special service at airports including access to the lounges. For more information on the WGY Membership Program, please reach us at info@wgylifestyle.com

via Conde Nast Traveler