Agence Luxury -largest superyachts in the world

The World’s Most Expensive Superyachts

Superyachts have always been associated with the wild and the wealthy, probably for good reason to.

These floating pleasure lands can be a vision sewn from dreams and the perfect way to help you experience the good life.

From champagne cocktails at breakfast to dropping anchor on some of the most exclusive beaches in the Caribbean, rolling out the red carpet to welcome you to the hottest beach clubs in the Balearics and supping every night on lobster and caviar beneath the stars.

Superyachts are even bedecked with personal onboard spas, saunas, Jacuzzis and more; imagine open air cinemas, a plethora of toys and tenders and a crew waiting to deliver your every dream day after day.

In the spirit of celebrating the finer things in life, take a sneak peek at some of the world’s most expensive superyachts to get you in the mood for summer.

Superyacht: Eclipse

Costing a staggering 1.5 billion and one of the biggest superyachts you can find in the seas, the Eclipse is about as grand as it gets.

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich is the owner and with its twenty-four guest rooms and crew of sixty it certainly seems he has plenty of friends.

Two swimming pools glitter on deck along with a helipad for those days when a tender to shore simply won’t cut it. For those who adore their water toys, the Eclipse boasts its own unique submarine to dive deeper than anyone has ever gone before.

Those who appreciate a generous dollop of privacy when playing aboard will also adore the fact that this state of the art superyacht boasts an anti-paparazzi laser shield ensuring that not even the sneakiest camera will be able to catch a thing.

Most Expensive Superyachts of the World Eclipse

Image Source: By Keld Gydum via Wikimedia Commons

Superyacht: Dubai

Just like the famous city, this is a superyacht that is surely in a class of its very own. Dubai is owned by the Prime Minister of the UAE and cost an incredible 350 million.

The second largest private yacht is no stranger to the rich and the famous boasting an interior décor of the finest rich fabrics and incredibly ornate handmade mosaics.

Onboard you will never grow tired with Jacuzzis and swimming pools to keep you cool, a helipad to ensure you can get here, there and everywhere and a sweeping circular staircase with glass steps that change color to suit the mood of the evening.

Over a hundred people can sleep soundly on this luxurious superyacht and you are sure to want for nothing.

Most Expensive Superyachts of the World Dubai

Image Source: By Imre Solt via Wikimedia Commons

Superyacht: A

The name may not sound particularly striking but once glance at this gleaming white pearl of the ocean and you are sure to be falling over to get a peek onboard.

Costing a majestic 300 million to make the design is simply out of this world. Bold and eccentric in design in a way that cannot help but make you think of a submarine, inside you will find gorgeous creamy décor laced with glass and minimalist style.

The glass fronted swimming pool is a dream come true and the beautiful tenders inspired and designed by Phillip Starck who created the whole yacht, are as intelligent and perfect as you could ever imagine possible.

Most Expensive Superyachts of the World Superyacht A

Image Source: By Dstnfrey via Wikimedia Commons

Superyacht: Al Said

Said al Said, the Sultan of Oman really pushed the boat out with his 300 million showpiece that is said to have a grand hall so large it can hold a full-size orchestra.

This floating dream can sleep seventy guests in stately comfort and boasts a crew of up to a hundred and fifty. The interior is somewhat of an enigma making sure that this is a superyacht that holds its legends well.

Most Expensive Superyachts of the World Al Said

Image Source: By Qatarperegrine via Wikimedia Commons

Superyacht: MY Starfire

Ok, maybe MY Starfire is not one of the most expensive superyachts in the world but it is akin to a boutique hotel when you don’t want to stay on land. Being a sumptuously sweeter size means that you can be sure that you get the special treatment you deserve.

Exceptional suites, plump and cozy designs and a small crew waiting to attend on you and your party alone makes for a welcoming stay with plenty of fun and frolics involved. MY Starfire also boasts a spa, cinema, and, of course, has plenty of wet and wild water toys to keep you fully entertained no matter which destination is calling you home.

Most Expensive Superyachts of the World MY Starfire

Luxury Lifestyle Awards 2015 Middle East Ceremony

Luxury Lifestyle Awards Middle East: Honoring the Best

The most anticipated event in the world of luxury – the Gala Ceremony of the Luxury Lifestyle Awards 2015 Middle East – took place on the 21st of May at the fabulous Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Dubai. More than 250 guests, anxious to be the first to find out the names of the Winners, gathered for the Gala Dinner.

Luxury Lifestyle Awards 2015 Middle East Ceremony 1

After months of excitement and anticipation, the names of the Winners were finally revealed. Please welcome the Winners of the following categories:

Luxury Hotels: Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah (United Arab Emirates), Waldorf Astoria Jeddah – Qasr Al Sharq (Saudi Arabia), Rixos Sharm El Sheikh (Egypt), Palmalife Marina Hotel (Turkey)
Luxury Spa and Wellness Center: Dalouk Wellness Spa (United Arab Emirates), Al Faisaliah Spa by ESPA (Saudi Arabia), Celebrity Spa (Kazakhstan)
Luxury Restaurant: Zuma Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), Nozomi (Saudi Arabia), EAST restaurant a part of Parmigiano Group (Kazakhstan), Mangal Steak House (Azerbaijan)
Luxury Residential Real Estate: Alfardan Properties (Qatar), Tatweer Housing Company (Saudi Arabia)
Luxury Jewelry Brand: Toujous Jewellery (United Arab Emirates), L'azurde Jewelry (Saudi Arabia)
Luxury Beauty Salon: Rimax Beauty Center (Kazakhstan)
Luxury Interior Design Company: 4 SPACE interior design (United Arab Emirates), CHELEBI Furniture and Décor (Azerbaijan), Batyr Ospanov Designs (Kazakhstan)
National Brand: SYLKA™ Carpets (United Arab Emirates), Sia & Moore Architecture Interior Design (Turkey), Sara Hegazy (Egypt), Pasha Life Insurance (Azerbaijan), Fanilla Couture (Qatar)
National Fashion Designer: Zeina Slaiby (Lebanon), Mamzi by Mariam Abdelghany (Egypt)

Luxury Lifestyle Awards 2015 Middle East Ceremony 2

Luxury Lifestyle Awards 2015 Middle East was attended and evaluated by the honorary guests and juries including the members of Royal Families of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Qatar, representatives of world-renowned luxury companies such as Bvlgari and LVMH, Xerjoff International, RFMAS Group, EMEA Trump Hotel Collection, The Kanoo Group, ESCADA, Vertu, L’oreal Luxe and others.

All the Winners have been rewarded with the Golden Crowns by the Italian jewelry brand Faraone Mennella, as well as with the custom-made certificates in support of their undeniable excellence.

Luxury Lifestyle Awards 2015 Middle East Ceremony 3

Luxury Lifestyle Awards expresses its deepest gratitude to its Title Partner Audi Corporate for its contribution to the event and providing the guests with an opportunity to appreciate the perfection and magnificence of Audi RS7 and A8 models.

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The time flew by with Talos Diamond Watches Partner that dazzled the guests with its high-end timepiece craftsmanship and exclusive diamond encrusted pieces. The Artisanal Partner Le Vault displayed the extraordinary handcrafted pieces and presented the custom-made gifts to the Luxury Interior Design Studio Winners while Atelier Habib, Interior Design Partner, displayed the artwork by Helmut Zwerger.

BLK, an Official Water Partner of the Luxury Lifestyle Awards granted the guests with the refreshing experience of tasting the first fulvic-enhanced mineral water. Crochet Flowers, Official Flower Partner, provided the beautiful flower arrangements and stunning winners’ bouquets for the Gala Ceremony.

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Luxury Lifestyle Awards also expresses its gratitude to the Falcon Aviation Services – Jet Partner, Pasha Life Insurance – Insurance Partner, and Luxury World Key – Concierge Partner for their supporting the Middle East Gala Ceremony.

An unforgettable evening in Casino Royal style would have been impossible without the help and support of the event agency Plan A Events, creating the real “Bond” atmosphere.

Luxury Lifestyle Awards 2015 Middle East Ceremony 6

Luxury Lifestyle Awards wishes all the participants to maintain their high-level status and to delight clients by excellent quality and would be pleased to see them among the guests of the Luxury Lifestyle Awards 2015 Singapore.

Jeffrey Gomez Founder & Editor in Chief of The Snob Magazine

Luxury Spotlight: Jeffrey Gomez, Founder & Editor-in-Chief of The Snob Magazine

The founder and visionary behind The Snob Magazine, Jeffrey Gomez is an expert on the exclusive nature of all things luxury. Starting out as a writer for Source Interlink Media and their automotive titles in his college days, he turned to the world of wealth and attained the position of a lead investment broker at a Beverly Hills hedge fund.

But the lure of the world of luxury made him take another turn in his career. Determined to wipe away the inane concept of ’mass luxury’, he started The Snob Magazine – ”a luxury lifestyle publication that provides readers with a highlight of the very best luxuries from around the world”.





Every expert has a different story on how they got started blogging. What is yours?

I started The Snob Magazine after I left a great career as an investment broker. Having dealt with the super rich for work, I knew the arena and players well. Creating The Snob around that audience was the natural progression.


Like most luxury experts, you probably receive hundreds of emails per month from luxury brands who want you to share their story. What makes you decide to work with a brand over the other?

I look for a rich history of a brand. I am particularly interested in the quality of their products and/or services. Too many brands are stuffed full of marketing, but what it really comes down to is service and quality.


What is the best pitch you have received from a luxury brand? What is the worst?

The best pitches tell me a story and sell me on why I should pay attention. Set me up with a scenario and lay out for me what is important. The worst pitches are all hype and are quickly deleted. I need substance, not marketing and gimmicks.


Jeffrey Gomez Founder & Editor in Chief of The Snob Magazine 1

What is your take on press releases? Do you like receiving them or do you simply discard them?

I hate press releases. I understand that it is an efficient way to get information out, but I don't believe that it does much good for magazines or other publications. Sure TV and newspapers can use the information from a press release to write up a quick snippet, but marketing and publicity needs to be more delicate and specific for outlets if you want to have any real and meaningful coverage.


What would make you choose to work with a brand on a giveaway campaign on your site?

I would want cross promotion and marketing. We can get your brand in front of a large and well-heeled audience, but we need help in return. Too often brands ask for something and give nothing in return. It is a two way street and brands need to follow up with their business if we send them customers. Dropping the ball will make us all look bad.


If a brand wants to reach you, what channel should they use? Do you prefer email, social media or another means of communication?

Email is the best way to reach our magazine. Social media works sometimes, but it is too familiar and relaxed. This is a business after all.

The Snob Magazine online



What is the coolest gift you have received from a luxury brand in an outreach program?

I get endless gifts, thankfully! From watches to private jets.


Of all the social media channels you engage on, which one do you prefer and why?

I prefer Instagram. I think people want to see splashy images. The ability to comment is also appealing to the public. Having direct commentary to a taste maker makes consumers feel empowered and listened to.


Which social media channels does your audience interact with the most?

I think it is a toss between Instagram and Twitter.


In your opinion, what does it take to become successful on social media?

Presence and persistence. You can't blog off and on and you can't not answer questions or reply late. We live in an instant gratification era and anything other than timely will lose.


Do you monitor your Klout score on a daily/weekly basis? Do you think this social ranking is of any real value to luxury brands?

Social ranking, etc is all bogus. Just take one look at and you will see that anything can be bought. Marketing and PR people need to focus on the publication and their audience and partnerships with other brands. Everything else is irrelevant.


Do you sometime receive compensation from luxury brands, whether it's in the form of cash or incentives, to write about them?


Jeffrey Gomez Founder & Editor in Chief of The Snob Magazine 2



Apart from your managing your magazine, do you offer additional services to luxury brands who choose to work with you?

Definitely. It just comes with having a very wealthy audience. We do everything from private dinners to events, experiences with companies for our audience.


Have you rubbed shoulders with the rich and famous through your work as a luxury expert?

Living in Los Angeles, I interact heavily with the movers and shakers of entertainment and politics. A great number of our readers are very famous, but naming names is so passé. Rest assured though, we get emails all the time asking for specific help from some very important people.


If you had to mentor a new writer, what is your go-to advice to become successful?

Work, work and work. Keep your nose down and write. Everything else will fall into place. Content is KING!


Get in touch with Jeffrey Gomez vi email. Or, connect with him on Facebook or Twitter. Or, reach out to us for an introduction.

Affluent Insights 2014 Cover

Affluent Insights 2014: Where are Affluents?

For many luxury brands, Asia seems to be the next best destination. With its strong base of millionaires and nouveau riche, the luxury goods and services sector is sure to see a steady increase in demand in the coming years. Asia replaced North America as the region with the highest number of high net worth individuals in 2013.

Agility Research & Strategy’s Syndicated Study have been focusing on understanding this consumer base.  And the resultant - Affluent Insights 2014 – “aims to understand the consumption patterns, brand preferences and detailed insights of the Affluent Asian consumer”. Infographics that bring together a strategic picture on a week in the life of the affluent consumer from China, Hong Kong, Singapore, America, and Indonesia is sure to be a handy tool for a luxury brand.

Here is a look at the infographics and the details they present.


The majority of Chinese respondents are females (54%), aged 18-34 years (59%). They are likely to be married (85%) with children younger than 15 years (83%). They are usually employed in high-ranking positions such as Vice president, director, general manager, or department head (22%). 24% of them have investments between USD$ 0.5 million to USD$ 5 million. The different days detail the information channels they pay attention to for the top categories they spend in, as well as their favorite brands, shopping sites, and vacation spots.


Affluent Insights 2014 Affluent Consumer Journey China

Hong Kong

The majority of Hong Kong respondents are females (58%), aged 18-34 years (55%). They are likely to be married (62%) with children younger than 15 years (56%). They are professionals such as doctors, lawyers, or engineers (19%). 33% of them have investments between USD$ 0.5 million to USD$ 5 million. The different days detail the information channels they pay attention to for the top categories they spend in, as well as their favorite brands, shopping sites, and vacation spots.


Affluent Insights 2014 Affluent Consumer Journey Hong Kong


The majority of Singaporean respondents are males (56%), aged 18-34 years (43%). They are likely to be married (71%) with children younger than 15 years (55%). They are usually middle to high level managers in private or public companies (29%). 18% of them have investments between USD$ 0.5 million to USD$ 5 million. The different days detail the information channels they pay attention to for the top categories they spend in, as well as their favorite brands, shopping sites, and vacation spots.


Affluent Insights 2014 Affluent Consumer Journey Singapore


The majority of American respondents are males (51%), aged 18-34 years (41%). They are likely to be married (86%) with children younger than 15 years (43%). They are usually employed in C-Suite positions (19%). 24% of them have investments between USD$ 0.5 million to USD$ 5 million. The different days detail the information channels they pay attention to for the top categories they spend in, as well as their favorite brands, shopping sites, and vacation spots.


Affluent Insights 2014 Affluent Consumer Journey USA


The majority of Indonesian respondents are males (57%), aged 18-34 years (59%). They are likely to be married (74%) with children younger than 15 years (69%). They are usually business owners, partners, or entrepreneurs (22%). 16% of them have investments between USD$ 0.5 million to USD$ 5 million. The different days detail the information channels they pay attention to for the top categories they spend in, as well as their favorite brands, shopping sites, and vacation spots.

Affluent Insights 2014 Affluent Consumer Journey Indonesia


Ohana superyacht

The Costs of Owning a Superyacht

One of the most common question I get asked about my time working aboard superyacht is "What are the costs associated with owning a superyacht?"  Since no two superyachts are the same and since no two superyacht owners request the same from their yacht and crew, the answer is often hard to give out.

If the superyacht is moved every day from one destination to the next, your annual fuel bill might brake the million dollar mark, but if you plan on keeping it docked in front of your villa to be taken out on weekends only, then fuel costs might not be an issue.

Since the question seems to be asked a lot by those who are simply curious or those who are seriously thinking about splurging on a shinny new white boat, the people at Luxury Yacht Group, an agency that provides creative solutions for yacht management, crew placement, sales and charter, have put together the Luxury Yacht Operating Cost Calculator

Using this great tool, I decided to calculate the average costs of a 150' superyacht with 9 crew members and a 12 week charter season. Here are the results:

Engine Costs
Fuel $ 83,222
Heat Exchange $ 4,091
Rebuild Costs $ 69,168
Service Costs $ 23,323
Total $ 179,804
Generator Costs
Fuel $ 65,047
Service Costs $ 25,202
Rebuild Costs $ 13,500
Total $ 103,749
Deck $ 7,599
Interior $ 29,378
Paint $ 97,365
Onboard Tenders $ 9,563
Water Maker $ 2,113
Total $ 146,018
Bow Thrusters $ 5,357
Active Roll Stabilization $ 20,357
Total $ 25,714
Dockage and Transport
Dockage $ 199,125
Dockage while owner is aboard $ 42,000
Ocean Transport $ 300,000
Total $ 541,125
Crew Costs
Salaries Annual
Second Officer/OOW $ 48,000
Deckhand $ 36,000
Chief Engineer $ 84,000
Chief Stewardess $ 66,000
Stewardess $ 67,200
Chef $ 60,000
Deckhand / Engineer $ 38,400
Midgrade Captain $ 120,000
Total $ 519,600
Crew Payroll Services $ 3,600
Crew Medical $ 12,600
Crew Liability $ 3,300
Travel $ 15,300
Food $ 57,488
Uniform $ 24,750
Training $ 4,500
Day workers $ 23,310
Total $ 664,448
Wireless Internet Card $ 1,344
Satelite Data Link $ 54,000
Satelite TV $ 1,440
Crew Cellular $ 1,095
Navigation $ 3,808
Total $ 61,687
Guest Costs
Dining and Spirits $ 42,000
Entertainment $ 5,400
Water Sports $ 9,600
Total $ 57,000
Mail $ 24,545
Office Supplies $ 16,821
ISM & ISPS/ ISM Mini $ 6,300
Total $ 47,666
Charter Revenue
Sales (12 weeks at $200,000/week) $ 2,400,000
Charter Broker Fees - Retail Broker -$ 360,000
Charter Agent Fees - Central Agent -$ 120,000
Total Net Income $ 1,920,000
Annual Profit/Loss $ 92,457


Obviously, the costs of owning a superyacht vary widely on the choices you make, but one think is sure, you can significantly offset the costs by chartering it out for a minimum of 12 weeks a year. One way to stand out from the fleet of superyacht available for charter is to brand your superyacht - build a website, publish a great blog and be social. Need an example, check our MY Starfire's digital success.



Luxury Spotlight Bryan Peele Founder & President of EMC Cover

Luxury Spotlight: Bryan Peele, Founder & President of EMC

Luxury service should be effortless and flawless. And that is exactly what we can learn from Bryan Peele, the Founder and President of the prestigious Estate Managers Coalition, a non-profit organization for professional estate managers. Apart from working as a professional estate manager himself, he ensures that EMC works to achieve its goals. To achieve its mission, EMC holds professional education events led by experts and monthly mixers with reputed guest speakers.

Let’s take a look into his insight into the world of the rich and the famous.


Luxury Spotlight Bryan Peele Founder & President of EMC 1


Q1: To be successful in an industry, one must be passionate. How and why did you choose to work as an estate manager?

A1: I’m not able to do anything well unless I am passionate about it. Passion seems to be a common denominator in all that I do, and that passion is the most evident in my chosen profession as an estate manager and president of The Estate Managers Coalition. I fell into the world of estate management quite by accident after a challenging period of my life. I was at a crossroads professionally and a friend of a friend suggested an estate manager position. She said “estate manger,” but what I heard was “estate planner” and almost immediately said no, until she clarified exactly what the position entailed. It was entirely unanticipated and yet perfectly serendipitous, because I took the job and it was a perfect fit for me on so many levels. The rest is history.


Q2: Can you tell us a little bit about the mission and goals of the Estate Managers Coalition?

A2: EMC is a non-profit organization that acts as the authority on estate management and was created based on the standards of honesty, integrity and professionalism. We seek to promote higher professional standards, develop improved business models, enhance business conditions and promote the advancement of the industry as a whole. We lead by example and we give back to our community and members through community projects, networking and education. We hold monthly mixers for EMC members and corporate members, and we create Master Classes where our members can learn everything from the art of storing wine to caring for Frette linens.


Luxury Spotlight Bryan Peele Founder & President of EMC 2


Q3: Like personal assistants and super-yacht captains, estate managers are extremely influential when it comes to purchasing decisions. Can you explain to luxury brands why UHNWI tend to listen to their key staff when it comes to making large purchase decisions?

A3: Estate Managers have their finger on the pulse of luxury and culture at all times, and we stay on top of trends so that our principals don’t have to. We wear many hats, and one of those hats is a 24-hour concierge. We know the hottest restaurants, travel destinations and luxury brands, and our principals rely on us to know what’s happening at any given moment. As a result of this responsibility, and once trust is established and maintained, principals will organically rely on their estate managers not only to maintain the lifestyle they live, but to elevate it as well. All estate managers are influencers and connectors and we always know how to find the best of the best.


Q4: Give us an example of a typical day as an estate manager and why you love your job.

A4: While no two days are typically the same for an estate manager, it’s still important to have an established foundation for each day, including a detailed house manual, trained supportive staff, and a multitude of spreadsheets and checklists that hold each member of the staff accountable for their respective “zones.”

I love this career for many reasons: 1) I am naturally adept at multi-tasking, and this job allows me to shine in that arena, 2) I feel that every day is greeted with a new set of challenges and obstacles, and being naturally resourceful, this allows me to utilize all of my skill sets, talents and connections to make someone’s life easier, and 3) It’s about being of service, and not to sound too cliche (but I will anyway), it was Gandhi who said “to truly learn how to be of service, one must lose oneself in service to others,” and I subscribe to that sentiment.


Q5: As an estate manager you have to know how to throw a great party. Any tips for creating an event that is memorable?

A5: To truly create a memorable event I start with a comprehensive understanding of the purpose and intent of the event. My belief is that less is more and that every great event starts with an event flow that I have created and outlines a distinct narrative with a beginning, middle and end. I develop themes based on my personal knowledge of the hosts, such as Black & Blue or 40s Cuba. From there, it’s all about hiring the best caterer, florist and staff to create a unique and distinctive event that will make people feel at home. Whenever I can create something special, I do, such as hiring a mixologist to create signature drinks for the event, or hiring a luxe valet service that leaves a white rose in each car at the time of departure. I believe that all of the little details add up to make a big impression.


Q6: In your opinion, is social media a great way to reach UHNWI and/or their estate managers? If so, which social network is used most often?

A6: The UHNWI’s I know and have worked with are not as active on social media, however, their estate managers are and they are a direct route to their principal and they are active influencers.


Luxury Spotlight Bryan Peele Founder & President of EMC 3


Q7: It is often said that estate managers guard the door to the fortress pretty tight. For a brand that wants to work with estate managers in the hopes of reaching UHNWI, what is the best way to get noticed?

A7: The best way to get noticed is the same in every industry – access. Obtaining that access to UHNWI’s is where Estate Managers Coalition comes into play. At EMC, we connect estate managers and globally recognized luxury brands that see and understand the value of having direct access to estate managers. EMC holds monthly mixers, which includes corporate members who want to showcase their latest products or services and network with estate managers. Corporate members can apply to become a part of the Estate Managers Coalition and gain access to this exclusive group. As far as I know, there is no other organization or service that can deliver proven results and access like EMC.


Q8: According to your personal experience, in terms of marketing, what is the best way for a luxury brand to reach the UHNWI? Should they spend their money offline or online?

A8: It is my personal experience that the best way to reach the UHNWI is through relationships, so that would most definitely be offline. Good old-fashioned relationships that can be fostered and nurtured directly with the estate managers who wield purchasing power over their estates and principals. EMC is the ideal outlet for making those connections, and providing corporate members with the opportunity to showcase their products and services in front of estate managers at our monthly events. It is a small international community, so if you win over the estate managers first it will happen organically through their social media engagement. EM’s are all about discovering “the next best thing” for families, so once they find it they want to be the first to share with colleagues. It’s competitive, but friendly.


Q9: What does the future hold for you? And The Estate Managers Coalition?

A9: Personally, I love being an extended member of the family I represent at any given time. I give 100% at all times, and as long as they understand that it is a two-way street and take care of me in return, I am fulfilled. As for EMC, we are looking to expand to create a New York chapter in 2015 and a London chapter in 2016.



Luxury Spotlight Bryan Peele Founder & President of EMC 4


Q10: As a last question, what is your personal definition of “luxury service?”

A10: To me, luxury service is service without being obvious that it’s service. It’s when things get executed flawlessly and performed with the synchronicity of a Rolex. That said, everything should be accomplished without the principals really ever knowing what is happening behind the scenes, it should appear seemingly effortless. Granted, the challenge is to always maintain the smile and cheerful disposition, which for me starts with gratitude for the job I currently have. If gratitude is my starting place each day it makes everything easier.

Want to get in touch with Bryan Peele? Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter, or reach out to us for an introduction.



Andra Oprea Stylezza Interview Cover

Luxury Spotlight: Andra Oprea, Editor-in-Chief & Project Manager of Stylezza

With years of experience in the field of journalism and editing, Andra Oprea offers an insight into the world of luxury with her digital magazine – Stylezza. As the Editor-in-Chief & Project Manager of this famed magazine, she has come across the best in class experiences when it comes to fashion, beauty, art, photography and myriad other subjects.

Her experiences have led her to believe in quality over quantity – something reflected in the selection of which events and news feature in her magazine. And with her flair for the artistic expressions of life, it isn’t a surprise that Stylezza has become one of the beacons in the French Riviera/Monaco fashion and art circuit.

Let’s get a glimpse at what she has to say about her contributions to the luxury niche.


Andra Oprea Stylezza Interview 1

1. Every editor has a different story on how they got started writing. What is yours?

My story with writing starts when I was little or maybe from another life. I have always been connected with written words, poetry. I remember I used to invent and compose poetry in my mind holding a hand upside down when I was about four years old. With time, the passion has grown. When I first discovered love, I got so inspired that I started writing my first essay at 17 years old. The essay was awarded at an international competition in Tokyo. I continued writing children books, essays, never got the time to start a book although the idea has always haunted me. But, I started Journalism and it got me going ever since. I can use writing in a modern way now, especially on the digital format. It is my way of expressing, of choosing what to do in order to leave something behind me that is made by me and not an echo.

2. Like most successful fashion magazine, you probably received hundreds of emails per month from luxury brands who want you to share their story. What makes you decide to work with a brand over the other?

I daily receive a great amount of emails from different brands around the globe. What makes me choose one brand over the other is the inspiration and the idea behind the concept. I do not like very much the commercial type, the mass quantity information. I prefer the quality and the information that inspires the reader and makes him widen his vision. I like the mix between art and fashion, the stir of ideas and the things that have value, originality. There are so many brilliant minds and brands that are in the dark because they do not have the marketing behind them, and so many futile brands that have the money but not the worth. So, I prefer choosing the value. Not everything that has created a name during the years because it was supported financially has to be chosen just to make clicks. No, I prefer to make value. And that is why I appreciate my readers!


Andra Oprea Stylezza Interview 2

3. What is the best pitch you have received from a luxury brand? What is the worst?

There are so many that I can`t classify them. I don`t have a best pitch in mind, but the worst are those who are poor in information and quality and try to hook you no matter what.

4. What is your take on press releases? Do you like receiving them or do you simply discard them?

I like receiving press releases; it is a great source of information. Still, it depends on the message it wants to convey or the way it is done. I like to see good content that has all the ingredients for a good article. What makes me click and read the press release is a good title or idea worth spreading.

5. What would make you choose to work with a brand on a giveaway campaign on your site?

A giveaway campaign is always a challenge for my readers and the main focus is on them. We organize this type of campaigns when the prize fits our target and the magazine`s profile. It has to be interactive, to involve the readers and most of the time they do get involved by commenting on the article, on the social networks.

6. If a brand wants to reach you, what channel should they use? Do you prefer email, social media or another means of communication?

I prefer having the information by email. It is more complex, it can have more accurate and precise information, all we need just in front of our eyes. Of course, if we want to develop even more the partnership, we can meet or discuss over the phone. The email, I think, it is now the most important form of reaching and connecting, spreading the ideas, creating partnerships and collaborations.


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7. Of all the social media channels you engage on, which one do you prefer and why?

Every social network has its own particularities. But, for spreading the news over social media, I prefer Facebook: it has an easier way of connecting and reaching, sharing the info in a complex way (text, photo), it can be interactive and you can control the views and reactions. Then, I prefer Instagram for another side of the story – the message through an image, simple as that!

8. Which social media channels does your audience interact with the most?

Our readers interact differently on our social channels. It depends very much of the geolocalisation. If they are from US, they interact a lot on Twitter, while the Europeans like Facebook more. Also, it depends a lot on the time of posting, on the same criteria as above.

9. In your opinion, what does it take to become successful on social media?

On social media, just like on every other digital platform, you have to inspire but also you have to reach your target. Many prefer posting frequently once every hour, others prefer less quantity. It depends very much to whom you address to, which social category, status etc. It is known that young people will tend to be more active on social networks and want as much information as possible, while other categories like top managers will be interested in quality information over quantity, to have the best news of interest to them even if they enter late at night, so to say. So, for me, is having the right information delivered to the right category of readers at the right time.

10. Do you monitor your Klout score on a daily/weekly basis? Do you think this social ranking is of any real value to luxury brands?

I do not use Klout very often. I think, though, that being on platforms that help you reach your readers can be a great step towards a wider audience.

11. Do you sometime receive compensation from luxury brands, whether it's in the form of cash or incentives, to write about them?

Yes, it happens often to receive products in order to write about them. Sometimes, it is a great thing because you can test the product yourself and write about it. Of course, you have to maintain your neutrality. This is one of the factors that differentiate blogs from digital magazines. Blogs can express their opinions towards products, brands in a personal way while digital magazines publish the news following deontological codes, and objectivity is one of them.

12. Apart from promoting brands through your magazine, do you offer additional services to luxury brands who choose to work with you?

Stylezza is a digital magazine that focuses also on branding on the French Riviera / Monaco and on high class events. We have contacts with important people in the area who are always interested in partnering with us to create events (and here, we have some secret ingredients that can assure the uniqueness and originality of the event). Also, there are international brands that are interested in having visibility on the French Riviera / Monaco and here we can help them. There is a mix of editorial, photography, events, all focused on the partners that we collaborate with.

13. Do you manage more than one magazine/blog? If so, which ones?

I manage Stylezza magazine. It is a digital platform located in a very beautiful area of the French Riviera. We cover the most important news and events in the region, especially Monaco, Cannes, St Tropez. It is both in English and in French as it reaches an international audience with worldwide news.

14. What would you say is the best thing about being a fashion editor?

The best thing about being a fashion editor is that I write, and this is my passion. Second, is that I get to know amazing people and places, exchanging ideas and traveling.

15. Have you rub shoulders with the rich and famous through your work as a fashion editor?

Yes, I have shaken hands and discussed with very important names, with top managers, celebrity and royalty. A real honor to meet so many important people, to share ideas, to interview or to collaborate.


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16. If you had to mentor a new writer, what is your go-to advice to become successful?

My best advice that I can give to a new writer it is to write with passion, to give his time to develop this passion. To read and write a lot! I remember one of my Journalism University Professor who used to tell us at his class that we should write everyday about every tiny thing that we see around us...but just write!

You can reach Andra Oprea with the contact form on the site, or get in touch on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Google+. If you need an introduction, just reach out to us.


Five Minutes With James Cusumano

James Cusumano is a successful author, entertainer, scientist and entrepreneur. His wide range of business interests includes scientific research, pharmaceuticals and sustainable energy. James has published a number of books on technology and business, including his latest, Balance: The Business-Life Connection.

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After successful careers that have ranged from popular recording artist and filmmaker to co-founder, president, CEO and then chairman of a publicly-traded pharmaceutical company, James moved from the U.S. to the Czech Republic, where he and his wife Inez bought, renovated and now operate Chateau Mcely, a five-star castle retreat and spa.

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1. Your career has spanned four very different fields. Which area of work have you found the most inspiring and why?

All have been self-inspiring in their own way. If I had to choose one, I would say co-founding and leading the growth of Catalytica pharmaceuticals. Our motivating vision was to create practical means to manufacture drugs using low-cost, ecologically-safe technologies. Growing in less than 5 years from 4 employees to a public company with 2,000 people and annual sales of $500 million provided us with opportunities to positively impact all six of our STAKEHOLDERS: Employees, Customers, Investors, Suppliers, Community, and the World.

2. Was it a culture shock moving from the U.S. to the Czech Republic?

Yes, it was a culture shock moving there from Southern California, primarily because of the challenge of navigating a difficult Slavic language. However, the positive side is that I developed a much deeper understanding of human nature and culture, being smack dab in the middle of Europe and having easy travel access to the entire European continent. It has been an invaluable education. Also, the Czech Republic, which is only recently out of Communism, is a new frontier with many talented people and many opportunities. An explorer at heart, I love living here.

3. Which room in Chateau Mcely is your favorite and why?

They are all unique, but I would say Mark Twain—we use names instead of numbers. It is roomy, filled with natural light from the large English park that surrounds the castle, and it has a special history. It is dedicated to the great American author, who stayed at the castle in the late 19th century when Prince and Princess Thurn Taxis owned the castle and when Mark Twain was visiting Prague to promote the release of his books in the Czech language. In the public spaces, my favorite room is our library, located in the very top of the tower. It contains more than 2500 volumes covering a vast array of disciplines, and opens to our roof-top observatory.

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4. Clearly you like to keep busy. What are your plans for the future of Chateau Mcely?

Our vision for Chateau Mcely from the very start has been to go beyond hospitality by enriching the lives of all of our six STAKEHOLDERS, mentioned above. For example, we created and produce at the castle Mcely Bouquet, our own line of physically and spiritually healing natural cosmetics; the Princess Nely Project which encourages young girls to grow into talented, well-rounded women; and Chateau Mcely Forum™ where we provide courses and lectures on leadership and how to find and live your Life Purpose. We will continue to expand upon these programs and also have ideas about expanding our physical infrastructure to meet the needs of our growing customer base.  

5. What do you do to relax? Please describe your perfect day off.

I study Consciousness and Quantum Physics and the links between them. My perfect day is the one I try to live everyday: Up at 5:00 am—40 minutes of meditation; prepare a healthy breakfast for Inez, 7-year-old Julia and me; 7:30 am—drive Julia to the International School in Prague, home by 8:30 am—write until 12:00 noon; 12:15 – 1:30 pm—exercise at the gym; 2:00 – 2:30 pm—light lunch; 2:30 – 5:30 pm—administrative work in my office; 6:30 pm—dinner with my family; 7:30 – 8:30 pm—family play with Julia & Inez until Julia goes to bed. 8:30 – 10:00—read; 10:00 – 11:00 pm—time with Inez; 11:00 – 11:30 meditation before retiring. Weekends are spent with the family and friends relaxing at the castle; bicycle rides in the forest, and enjoying the castle amenities—massage, swimming, tennis, and other physical activities. Lest there be any doubt, the privilege of living this way has come with very hard work, all of which I have thoroughly enjoyed.

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6. Having experienced castle living in the Czech Republic, would you ever be tempted to move back to the US?

I love the U.S. and visit there several times per year to be with family and friends. I have 9 brothers and sisters, a mom who is 92 years old, two older daughters and five grandchildren. This summer we will spend six weeks in the U.S., but I have no plans to move back. I am a U.S. citizen and a permanent resident of the Czech Republic, which will be my base for all my future activities.

7. You have written a number of well-received publications. Do you have any plans for another book at this stage in your life?

I am in the early creative stage of thinking about my next book. I am intrigued with the concept of writing my first novel, and basing it on the fundamental tenets that I have written about over the years on the Cosmic Consciousness—Quantum Physics connection, Inspired Leadership, Life Purpose, Passion and Balance. It will be a challenge to weave these concepts through the fabric of the novel in a subtle, yet clear manner, and maintain an interesting story line. We shall see!

8. What are the three most important values by which you live your life?

1. Family—Support my wife, children and myself in our efforts towards long-term health and personal fulfillment.
2. Professional—Counsel and inspire the Chateau Mcely Team so that they succeed in their personal and professional goals and share in the rewards of our success.
3. Spiritual—Share my life-long knowledge on finding and living your Life Purpose, as well as those elements which when practiced diligently are a clear and sure-fire basis for long-term success in business.

9. How would you inspire those just starting out in life to reach their goals and fulfill their dreams?

A. As described in detail in my book BALANCE, don’t try to live someone else’s life, it can’t be done. Look inside and develop and write down your true basic Values and live by them.
B. There is something inside you that you are really good at. I call it your Essence. Connect it to a Need in the world that makes it a better place. You will have found your Life Purpose. Pursue it, no matter where you are in your life. It is never too late, or too difficult to do!
C. Don’t be concerned about “getting there” quickly. Just enjoy the journey, which will be easy to do with the passion generated in steps A & B.
D. Don’t design your life around making money. If you follow your Life Purpose and do well, the money will follow.
E.Always be considerate of all your Stakeholders.

I have never known this approach to be unsuccessful.


Luxury Brands must Embrace the Digital Lifestyle

Living A Digital Lifestyle

Luxury is a concept that is hard to define. For some it is merely the opportunity to send children to school while for others it's all about owning that second superyacht. Regardless of your social status or your cultural background, our society prizes two concepts of luxury above all else: money and free time.

The idea for this article came about when I was asked by a friend why I did not seek an outside investor to fund our growth like I once thought I needed to do. Sure, the additional funds would be more than welcome, but the mere concept of losing my freedom made me shiver. When I was young, I dreamt of living a luxurious lifestyle surrounded  by a beautiful home, a collection of premium cars, a yacht and a closet full of designer fashion clothes. Now, I find myself seeking the luxury of time above all else.

Let's take a look at my day. It's currently 10pm as I write this article. I will probably spend another two hours answering dozens of emails from luxury brands who want to be promoted on LuxeInACity or curating content for our superyacht clients. My work day started at 9am.

Rest assured, I am not to pity; I am living a digital lifestyle. My office is currently set in an oceanfront villa in a Mexican beach town. Every now and then, I either make my way to the pool or the beach for a quick dip in the turquoise waters, read a passage of my favorite book under a palm tree or enjoy a great conversation on Skype with my family.

I am still young, full of energy and I know that the next few years will require commitment, hard work and dedication in order to achieve great things for AgenceLuxury, LuxeInACity and our clients. To achieve the perfect work-life balance, I have adjusted my lifestyle so that I can work virtually from wherever I may choose. Seems impossible? Think again.

When I started LuxeInACity over two years ago, I asked myself one simple question: what lifestyle did I want to achieve? The one of my childhood dreams or something else. The answer was simple: I wanted to establish a digital agency that allowed every member of my team to balance their work-life schedule according to their individual needs. I also wanted everyone to be free of the typical office with white walls and neon lights. I wanted my team to be free of traditional constraints.

Two years later, my team and I are living the digital luxury lifestyle. My partner/sister Maxine currently lives in Sweden with her husband and two daughters; our team members are located in either Portugal, England, South Africa, India, Philippines, Canada or America; and our clients represent the Netherland, Canada, America and the open sea. We all work according to our schedule while adhering to tight deadlines. We communicate virtually and coordinate everything seamlessly through a digital project management system. If looked at from the outside world, we seem like a typical brick-and-mortar agency yet we are nothing of the sort. We breathe digital in every fiber of our lifestyle, therefore, we truly get the digital space.

A luxurious lifestyle can be defined by the amount of possessions in our care, or, if you are a member of our team, by the free time spent enjoying life.

What is your version of a luxury lifestyle? Could you see yourself living a digital life?