This Week in Luxury: Sir Richard Branson’s famed mountain retreat, the Alice Camera pimps up the smartphone with DSLR quality, and the Original Orient Express makes its return

In our weekly series, we bring you the latest in luxury news around the world. This week’s highlights: Tag Heuer’s NFT-friendly watches, the original Orient Express is returning, and a US$19 million Scotch

Sir Richard Branson’s luxury mountain chalet getaway
The stunning outdoor hot tub at The Lodge

Sir Richard Branson’s luxury mountain getaway

Virgin Limited Edition’s idea of the perfect getaway for the summer is one that brings guests to a very private luxury lodge, nestled high up in the Swiss Alps. The Lodge is Sir Richard Branson’s famed mountain retreat for many reasons. Think soaring mountain ranges, soaking up mountain views from a hot tub—all before enjoying delicious plates of food from The Lodge’s world-class chefs and getting a party started at the chalet’s very own Party Room. It can host a party of up to 18 adults, but also welcomes individual room bookings. Also, guests booking four nights or more between from now till 18 September 2022 will be treated to a complimentary final night.

The Lodge

The Alice Camera – A smartphone with the image quality of a DSLR
The Alice Camera combines smartphone and mirrorless camera technology into one handy device

The Alice Camera is smartphone with the quality of a DSLR

Meet the latest invention for the bulk of us content creators and mobile photography enthusiasts—the Alice Camera. Combining the intelligence of a smartphone and mirrorless camera technology into one handy device—and we’re not talking about just a better smartphone lens system—it features an entire bespoke lens and sensor system. The smartphone is used as a display and control interface, while image processing pipeline and computational photography algorithms run on the processor inside the Alice Camera. 

Alice Camera

With TAG Heuer, you can now wear NFT art on your wrist
Put your favourite NFT artworks on a Tag Heuer

Thanks to Tag Heuer, you can now wear NFT art on your wrist 

In Tag Heuer’s latest big move, the industry-leading smart watch, the Connected Calibre E4—is now completely NFT-friendly. With support from the crypto security firm Ledger, you can now put your NFT artwork collection on display on the watch face. The platform supports both images and animated GIFs in perfect detail, and allows users to resize the images to the best possible fit on the screen. 

Tag Heuer

The Original Orient Express will be back in 2024
The Original Orient Express

The Original Orient Express will return in 2024

Supported by Accor, the world-famous Orient Express luxury train (not to be confused with the Venice-Simplon-Orient-Express), is set to return to Istanbul. Onboard the 17 original Orient Express carriages from the 1920s to 1930s, passengers can immerse themselves in a luxury train experience between the French Capital and Turkey’s center of culture and heritage in 2024—ahead of the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics. Original wood-panelled carts will be restored and polished, and the new ‘nostalgia’ train will feature 12 sleeping cars, a restaurant car, three lounges and a van. 

Orient Express

The ultra-rare scotch sold for $19 million
Cask No. 3, distilled at Ardbeg

The ultra-rare Scotch sold for US$19 million

In a record-breaking auction sale, an extremely rare cask from Ardbeg was sold for US$19 million—the highest recorded price for a cask of single malt. Distilled and put into barrel in 1975 by Ardbeg, an Islay-based single malt producer, this particular cask is ultra rare because the majority of the distillery’s spirits were blended with other whiskies in the past, leaving pure Ardbeg whiskies of this maturity an extremely rare find.