My Hotel project is finished and I definitely need a brake…off to Switzerland for some great skiing

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After five months of hard work, I have finally finished designing my first Hotel in my long and multifaceted career. Interior design has always been one of my favorite interests in life, and though I never pursued it professionally, I have designed dozens of restaurants and bars through the years along with some other projects for fiends of mine, but this project was quite special; not only it’s my first hotel, but also the first time I work for a proper client, beside my projects and my friends. I am so grateful for being given the opportunity to take on a project of this kind and visibility on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, and to really show my work at a whole different level! None of this would have happened if not for my beloved BFF Ilona Margolis who promoted me and my talents to the right people with more passion and conviction than I would ever be able to do. I have now been entrusted with designing my clients’ next hotel in Brentwood; but in true Kass fashion, before I dive into my second hotel, I need a little brake and I can’t think of anything more extreme than a week in the Swiss Alps for some skiing in freezing weather and another week in scorching hot Tanzania, Africa!

 

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Luxe Rodeo Drive Hotel Entrance


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New Club sign

 

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New reception area


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New Lobby

 

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New Lobby

 

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Library detail with Salvador Dali print

 

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One of the many beautiful pieces of art at the new hotel

 

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The dramatic Lacquered wood paneled hallway at the new Luxe Hotel

 

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The new outside patio on Rodeo Drive

 

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The new Bar at The Luxe Hotel

 

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Bar detail

 

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New bar and dining room

 

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New dining room

 

To celebrate my latest achievement and my last night in LA, I decide to spend the night at home alone with a bowl of Beluga caviar, a bottle of Tattinger Champagne, toasted Pain de Mie and Leonardo di Caprio’s latest epic movie: The Revenant…my kind of BLISS!!! The next day is a whole different thing…I spend most of the morning agonizing on how to pack for such an extreme combination of climates; finally I go for a larger suitcase packed with as many cashmeres I can get my hands on, all my sky gear and any warm clothing item I can find and a smaller suitcase with flip flops, bathing suit, t-shirts and two large cans of mosquito repellent…a must when traveling in Africa!!! Perfect, it’s time to Uber myself to LAX for my long haul to Zurich, Switzerland where my brother will pick me up and drive me to the most beautiful winter wonderland in the world: St. Moritz!!! Of course, I fly my beloved Swiss Airlines, who surprised me this time with a better than usual dinner menu that I thoroughly enjoyed before popping my sleeping pill for the twelve hour beauty-sleep to Zurich.

 

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My idea of a perfect night!

 

I was having dreams of mosquitos attacking me in Africa when I get a tap on my shoulder and awake to find out we are arriving in Zurich! After a short layover I board the small propeller plane to Lugano where my brother is waiting for me for the 2 hour drive to St. Mortiz. The drive is beyond amazing from Lugano through the Swiss alps, covered in snow to our final destination, the super chic Kempinski Hotel.

 

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View from my seat

 

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Delicious dinner on Swiss Airlines

 

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Abord the small propellor plane to Lugano


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Zurich at dusk from my plane

 

IMG_7411Amazing views of the Swiss Alps at dusk

 

We are staying at the beautiful Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains in St. Mortiz, the historical ski resort that had its first winter season in 1814-15;  it’s charismatic director is my childhood friend Reto Stockenius, one of Switzerland’s best Hotel General Managers and long time friend of mine from my early days in Lugano Switzerland. Reto is the kindest and most generous soul and he is married to yet another childhood friend of mine from school: Simona Stockenius. It’s a real treat to be able to stay at his hotel and share some time together after soooo many years knowing each other. Reto’s class-act style is evident form the first minute I enter my room with a welcome bottle of Veuve Clicquot, a delicious almond tart, typical of this region and more goodies in toe. What was supposed to be a standard room, was upgraded to a one bedroom stunning suite with the most incredible view of St. Mortiz and the Swiss alps skyline. I’m in Heaven!!!!


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The stunning Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains in St. Moritz

 

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The best welcome treats in my suite from my dear friend and Director Reto Stockenius



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The Stunning vIew from my suite with full moon

 

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More images form my room

 

After settling in Jonathan and I make our way to one of the oldest and most renowned eateries in St. Moritz: Veltlinerkeller. This place has been around for generations and we’ve been going here since I was a kid; they are famous for their Pizzoccheri, which is whole-wheat pasta with potatoes, Spinach smothered with a local melted cheese…divine!!!! I was a little apprehensive about dining under a huge head of a Moose, but after a few glasses of wine, he turned out to be quite interesting! I have the best time catching up with my little brother, but j between my main course and dessert, jet lag kicks in and I’m ready to go back to my fancy suite and turn in!

 

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One of my favorite restaurants: Feltlinerkeller

 

IMG_7457The very Swiss interior at Feltlinerkeller


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Their signature dish: Pizzoccheri della Valtellina



IMG_7470My brother Jonathan Kass and someone we picked up along the way…


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Being naughty with our new friend

 

Oh…by the way, did I mention it’s 18 degrees below zero in St. Moritz? I am quickly reminded how thin my blood has become living in LA for so many years; the frost is truly unbearable!!!! Once back at the hotel, I can’t help feeling so nostalgic, overwhelmed by so many memories from my past in this place: from my late father, to my many friends from my youth I lost touch with and so many glamorous events I was so lucky to attend in St. Moritz. I can’t wait to be back on the slopes tomorrow for the first time in 20 years. I hope this old carcass of mine will make it though the day without braking anything!

Good night everybody from this enchanting place…bloody freezing too!!!

 

TBT “Photo of the week”

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Bond…James Bond!

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Robert Kass, the wonderful Oscar Lerman and Roger Moore, circa 1989.

Looking back at a wonderful Christmas and New Years in Los Angeles

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I can’t believe it’s been almost 3 weeks since my last post after I got back form Paris. The moment I arrived in LA, I hit the ground running, its been marathon of Christmas parties, company party, Christmas decorating and dinner planning for my family at home, finishing building my hotel project in Beverly Hills in time for a New year opening and so much more…I’ can’t believe I’m still alive and sane!!!! I feel like I’ve been through hell and back; and yet, it’s been one of the most amazing and fulfilling Christmas seasons in my life! This time around, I’ll just be writing about the highlights of the last 3 weeks in LA; it all started with getting back to my hotel project on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Yes, I’ve been designing the interiors of the Luxe Rodeo Drive Hotel for the last 5 months; it’s the only hotel on the internationally famous Rodeo Drive where all the best fashion designers have their gazillion dollars boutiques. We have a January 1st deadline to re-open it’s doors and I am so behind, I have no clue how I will pull this out of the hat in time for New Years. So for me the next 3 weeks is all about finishing my hotel project and try to fit in as many friend’s Christmas parties I can, my Hilton & Hyland company holiday party and yes…plan my own Christmas decorations at home and my own Christmas dinner at home for my family that is arrived in mud-December…somebody shoot me!!!!

 

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Entrance of the Luxe Hotel on Rodeo Drive

 

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Work in progress…

 

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One of my favorite holiday parties every year is Uber agent and old friend, Kevin Huvane’s; who not only hosts one of the most fun parties in LA, but also does it for a good cause, in this case, collecting endless amounts of toys for under privileged children. Arriving at his beautiful estate, walking through the entrance hall and finding Billy (the Gardner on the Ellen De Generous show) standing in front of a massive Christmas tree in a Santa hat and Santa shorts and nothing else, pretty much sets the tone for what is to come!

 

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The beautifully lit driveway to Kevin Huvane’s estate

 

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Billy the “Gardner” as Santa, David Cooley and Robert Kass

 

My company Hilton & Hyland’s holiday party, held at the legendary Beverly Hills Hotel, is a great time to catch up with my real estate peers and explain to them why I haven’t been at the office in years! I love catching up with my bosses Jeff Hyland and Rick Hilton before indulging in my favorite activity in this kind of party: getting drunk and terrorizing all the new agents in the company along with my equally naughty partners in crime: Alla Furman, Ladd Jackson, my date Laura Kelb, etc…

 

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The iconic entrance to the Beverly Hills Hotel

 

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Hilton & Hyland’s Holiday party

 

One of the most original events this season, was my dear friend Sami Hayak’s launch of his new china collection. Sami is Selma Hayak’s brother and a very talented architect; so when he told me he was launching a new product, I was curious to see what he was up to. The event took place at a very cool location named: Just One Eye in Hollywood, where Sami hosted the most amazing party I have been in a while, complete with stunning dance performances by incredibly beautiful dancers, performance art by girls painted as a Damien Hurst painting, which looked amazing in front of an actual Damien Hurst painting, an amazing guest list of art aficionados, Latin characters and beautiful people…just perfect! I hung out with my favorites people, including Loree Rodkin, Isa Jonay, Celesta Hodge, Claudia Klein, Omar and the handsome producer Christian Bettler; before continuing the night at Chateau Marmont for the after party private dinner hosted in the infamous suite # 47 at the Chateau. There, Selma Hayak and her billionaire husband François-Henri Pinault hosted the dinner for the 40 lucky guests.

 

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Dance performance at Sami Hayak’s event

 

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Sami Hayak with the dance group

 

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Damien Hurst painted lady in front of Damien Hurst painting

 

IMG_7004Performance art…


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Robert Kass and Christian Bettler

 

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Robert Kass and Loree Rodkin at Chateau Marmont

 

One of mom’s favorite shows is Cirque du Soleil, so I had no choice but to squeeze in a night at the new Kurios, Cabinet of Curiosities show that just opened at the Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles for a two months run. As always, Cirque du Soleil delivered with flying colors, not to mention, it was even better sitting at the first row center…got to spoil my mama whenever I can!

 

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Arriving at Cirque du Soleil famous tent at Dodger Stadium

 

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Entering the tent

 

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View from the front row

 

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RObert Kass with Mama Anita Kass


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Spread out…

 

Another lovely evening was my dear friend and Hilton & Hyland colleague, Drew Fenton and his partner Abel’s Christmas party at their super chic new villa in the hills. Nothing like delicious Mexican Tamales for a holiday party and good tequila! I especially loved the Charlie Brown Christmas tree at the entrance that only Abel could get away with.

 

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Drew and Abel’s chic party

 

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Abel’s “Charlie Brown” Christmas Tree

 

Somewhere between all these events I also had to dress up my own home with my beautiful Christmas tree and anther decorations including my very glamorous dinner table for the 24th family celebration. Because of my whorl load, this year is just my mom, my brother David, my aunt Judy and uncle Jeff and last but not least, my dear friend Marcus who should up with 17 bottles of booze for dinner…he must think we are all alcoholics!!!


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My beautiful Christmas Tree

 

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Detail

 

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My Christmas dinner table setting

 

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Dinner table

 

Christmas dinner was amazing and even more amazing was doing absolutely nothing on Christmas day beside eating and witching movies with mom and David. The 26 was back at work for the final marathon to complete the hotel by December 31st!!!! My next post will hopefully be photos of my “Finished” beautiful hotel…or a photo of a very sad Robert who got fired for not finishing the hotel in time!!!! Stay tuned…

Merry Christmas and a happy new year to all of you…my dearest possums!!!!!

Throwback Thursday “Photo of the Week”

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Robert Kass, Katie Wagner, Robert Wagner and Joan Collins