News release: THE SUTTON PLACE HOTELS ANNOUNCE THEIR FOURTH LOCATION IN THE TRUE NORTH SQUARE DEVELOPMENT

Sutton Place Winnipeg
The Sutton Place Hotel Company, a sophisticated collection of luxury properties in North America, is pleased to announce their fourth location in downtown Winnipeg at True North Square.

This purpose-built hotel is an integral part of the True North development concept and is connected to the MTS Centre by a +15 skyway, home of the Winnipeg Jets. Along with two exquisite towers – a 27-storey, 275 hotel-room tower and a 17-storey, 130 residential-unit tower – this property will offer guests an indoor swimming pool, whirlpool, fitness centre, spa, conference facilities, a landscaped roof-top garden and an elaborate porte-cochère to both the hotel and residence towers.

“True North Sports & Entertainment is creating a cutting-edge development, and we are thrilled to introduce The Sutton Place Hotel brand to Winnipeg,” said Tom Gaglardi, Chairman & CEO of The Sutton Place Hotels.

Comprised of four towers, including offices, a hotel, residential units, retail and parking, True North Square will be a complete mixed-use complex that will change the landscape of downtown Winnipeg.

“Our philosophy is ‘A Tradition of Luxury’, and that’s exactly what we’ll be bringing to Winnipeg,” said Gaglardi.

With hotels in Edmonton, Revelstoke Mountain Resort and Vancouver, The Sutton Place Hotels represent luxury accommodations with tasteful elegance, classically refined décor and warm and inviting staff. From hand-crafted furnishings, silk tapestries and premium bedding, every detail at The Sutton Place Hotels represent a history of refined style and polished perfection that is both inviting and distinguished.

Here’s to a Year filled with luck, prosperity & fortune!

Spring Festival, widely known as Chinese New Year in the West, is the most important traditional festival, and most important celebration for families in China. It is an official public holiday, during which most people in China have eight days off work.

The Date Is Based on the Lunar Calendar

chinese zodiac signs

Chinese New Year 2015 began on Thursday, February 19, and ends on Thursday, March 5. It is day one, month one of the Chinese lunar calendar, and its date in January or February varies from year to year (always somewhere in the period between January 21 to February 20).

The Chinese lunar calendar is associated with a Chinese zodiac cycle, which has 12 animal signs: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. Each animal represents one year in a 12-year cycle, beginning on Chinese New Year’s Day.

year of the goat4

2015 is the Year of the Goat (“Wood Goat”)

2015 is the Year of the Goat according to the zodiac cycle, and furthermore, is a year of the “Wood Goat”, according to the Chinese Five Element Theory. A “Wood Goat” year occurs every 60 years.

Year of the Goat or Sheep?

Since the goat and sheep are two entirely different species of animals, why do some Chinese zodiacs refer to a sheep and others a goat?

The reason is that the word for the eighth animal in the Chinese zodiac’s 12-year cycle of creatures, ‘yang’ in Mandarin, does not make the distinction found in English between goats and sheep and other members of the Caprinae subfamily. Without further qualifiers, ‘yang’ might mean any such hoofed animal that eats grass and bleats.

Another reason is that when the signs first evolved in ancient China, the breeds of sheep and goats in the area looked very similar. So alike that no distinction between the animals was made until much later. The zodiac sign applies equally to the description of a goat and sheep. Moreover, no distinction was made over whether the animal was male or female. Hence, some zodiacs also refer to the sign as a ram.

Geography can also make a difference. Sheep are raised in northern China, while goats are more common in southern China, which plays into what the year is called depending on one’s location.

The Longest Public Holiday in China

Officially, only the first three days of Chinese New Year (February 19–21, 2015) are statutory holidays. Chinese New Year’s Eve and three more days are always added to give seven consecutive days of holiday. These four extra days are taken from weekends: the weekend closest to the statutory holiday is included, while the Sunday before (February 15, 2015) and the Saturday after (February 28, 2015) are worked.

A Festival for Families to Be Together

Chinese New Year is a time for families to be together. Wherever they are, people come home to celebrate the festival with their families.

The New Year’s Eve dinner is called Reunion Dinner, and is believed to be the most important meal of the year. Big families – families of several generations – sit around round tables and enjoy food and time together.

chinese dumplings

Foods with Lucky Meanings Are Eaten

Certain foods are eaten during the festival because of their symbolic meanings, based on their names or appearance.

Fish is a must for Chinese New Year as the Chinese word for fish (鱼 yú /yoo/) sounds like the word for surplus (余 yú). Eating fish is believed to bring a surplus of money and good luck in the coming year.

Dumplings are very popular in Northern China. It is one of the main dishes for New Year’s Eve dinner. Conversely, very few people in Southern China serve dumplings for New Year’s Eve dinner.

New Year Cake is a solid cake made with glutinous rice flour together with some sugar. New Year Cake is popular in Eastern China.

Tang Yuan is a small ball made from glutinous rice flour. Glutinous rice flour is mixed with a small amount of water to form balls and is then cooked and served in boiling water. Tang Yuan can be filled or unfilled. It is traditionally eaten during Yuan Xiao, or the Lantern Festival (the 15th of the first month of the traditional Chinese calendar).

LaBa Congee is a mixture of rice, nuts, and beans cooked together. LaBa Congee is usually served at the LaBa festival, which is the 8th day of the last month of the year.

chinese lion dance

Chinese New Year Lion Dance

During the Chinese New Year, lion dance troupes from Chinese martial art schools visit houses and shops of the Chinese community to perform the traditional custom of “cai qing” (採青), literally meaning “plucking the greens”, whereby the lion plucks the green vegetables like lettuce either hung on a pole or placed on a table in front of the premises. The “greens” (qing) is tied together with a “red envelope” containing money and may also include fruit like oranges. In Chinese cǎi (採, pluck) also sounds like cài (菜, meaning vegetable) and cái (财, meaning fortune). The lion will dance and approach the greens and red envelope like a curious cat, to “eat the green” and “spit” it out but keep the red envelope which is the reward for the lion troupe. The lion dance is believed to bring good luck and fortune to the business.
chinese lanterns
The Colour Red
Every street, building, and house is decorated with red. Red is the main colour for the festival, as it is believed to be an auspicious color. Red lanterns hang in streets; red couplets are pasted on doors; banks and official buildings are decorated with red New Year pictures depicting images of prosperity.

According to tales and legends, the beginning of Chinese New Year started with the fight against a mythical beast called the Nian or “Year” in Chinese. Nian would come on the first day of the New Year to devour livestock, crops, and even villagers, especially children. To protect themselves, the villagers would put food in front of their doors at the beginning of every year and believed that after the Nian ate the food they prepared, it wouldn’t attack any more people. Once, people saw the Nian was scared away by a little child wearing red, they then understood that the Nian was afraid of the colour red. Hence, every time when New Year was about to come, the villagers would hang red lanterns and spring scroll on windows and doors. People also used firecrackers to frighten the Nian and from then on, the Nian never came to the village again.

chinese red envelope

Red Envelopes — the Most Popular Gifts

During the Chinese New Year, young people who greet their elders with a happy and abundant new year are handed lucky red envelopes by the elders. These envelopes are really good luck for a youngster because these have money inside. The lucky red envelopes are called “hong bao” in Mandarin, or “lai see” in Cantonese.

Symbolism of giving a lucky envelope filled with money during Chinese New Year is considered lucky for both the giver and the receiver. Those who give will also invite the flow of money in during the entire year. Giving these envelopes also symbolize that the family luck is passed on to children and unmarried teens/adults. Red is the luckiest colour, as it symbolizes life, so it’s appropriate that Chinese New Year items are coloured red.

Hong baos/lai sees have assorted designs, such as that of happy children, Chinese characters for abundance and greetings, animals of the zodiac, etc. The Chinese word for red (“hong”) also sounds like “plenty”. Thus, it is believed that money wrapped in red will make money multiply. The money inside the hong bao is called Ya Sui Qian. Ya means suppress. Sui sounds somewhat like evil spirit. Qian means money. Therefore, Ya Sui Qian means money that can suppress evil.

Money in even amounts, except for 4, is considered lucky. Four is not a good amount to put into the lucky envelopes because the Chinese word for “four” sounds similar to the sound of “death”.


Happy Chinese New Year from all of us at The Sutton Place Hotels.

Congratulations to all the Sutton Tree Pageant Winners!

Congratulations

Thank you to everyone who supported our holiday tree pageants and helped us raise a lot of money for some very worthy causes. Each of The Sutton Place Hotels is donating $1,500 in addition to the tree pageant contributions.

We would also like to congratulate each of the winners personally! Thank you for your support!


The Sutton Place Hotel Edmonton:

Raised a total of $2,040.00 for Youth Empowerment & Support Services (YESS).

Trees with the most votes:

1st place: Islay Agencies
2nd place: Graham & Lane Florists
3rd place: tie between Hudson’s Bay and YESS

Prize winners:

  • Weekend getaway for two at The Sutton Place Edmonton – Britney A.
  • Weekend getaway for two at The Sutton Place Edmonton – Brittany G.
  • $100 Chop Steakhouse & Bar Gift Certificate – Sylvia C.
  • $100 Eeva & Eve gift certificate – Allison H.
  • 6 month World Health Club membership – Ken O.
  • 6 month World Health Club membership – Shoana H.
  • Winter blues spa Package from Spasation Salon & Spa – Danielle R.
  • Banff weekend getaway to the Banff Lodging Company – Florence W.
  • Banff weekend getaway to the Rimrock Resort – Marylin P.
  • Wine basket from Peller Estates Winery – Jennifer B.
  • Four Edmonton Rush tickets – Marcel L.

The Sutton Place Hotel Revelstoke Mountain Resort:

Raised a total of $2,445.00 for Community Connections Revelstoke Society.

Trees with the most votes:

1st place: Revelstoke Credit Union
2nd place: Pharmasave

Prize winners:

  • Ski and Stay Package at The Sutton Place Hotel Revelstoke Mountain Resort – Gloria B.
  • Ski and Stay Package at The Sutton Place Hotel Revelstoke Mountain Resort – Gisila R.
  • One day heli-skiing with Selkirk Tangiers Heli Skiing– William H.
  • Breakfast Club for two – Kathy T.
  • First Tracks for two – Paula B.
  • $100 gift certificate for Rockford wok|bar|grill – Bob F.
  • Spa package – Shane V.

The Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver:

Raised a total of $5,000.00 for PALS Autism Society.

Trees with the most votes:

1st place: Accentrix Design
2nd place: PALS Autism Society
3rd place: Vibrant Design Group

Prize winners:

  • Weekend getaway for two at The Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver – John K.
  • Weekend getaway for two at The Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver – Breanne L.
  • Island Getaway Package: round-trip airfare for two from Vancouver to Victoria on Helijet and two nights’ accommodation at the Hotel Grand Pacific. – Parisa R. who has lovingly donated her prize to PALS Autism Society to use at their gala event in the spring
  • Two nights’ accommodation at the Pacific Sands Beach Resort in Tofino, British Columbia – Sarah A.
  • Vida Spa package: 60-minute couples’ massage including exclusive Vida Spa products. – Liz M
  • Two nights’ accommodation at Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort in Parksville, British Columbia – Tamara D.
  • $100 Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar gift certificate – Kate W.
  • Sunset Dinner Cruise for Two courtesy of Harbour Cruises – Marjan N.
  • One foursome at The Sutton Place Hotel’s 11th Annual ‘Just FORE Fun’ golf invitational – Victor R. who has lovingly donated his prize to PALS Autism School to use at their gala event in the spring

 

Sealed with a kiss… But why?


Did your mother teach you to add an “x’’ and “o’’ — a kiss and a hug — after your signature? So deeply embedded in the English-language tradition that it probably never crossed her mind these symbols are affiliated with religion.

From where do these emoticons that English speakers of all faiths sprinkle so liberally come? Let’s start with the “x’’ — a simple, easily drawn shape that got its start in Western civilization as the ancient Phoenician letter “samekh” for the consonant sound “s’’. In early Hebrew, “x’’ was the letter “taw” and makes an appearance in the Book of Ezekiel as a mark set “upon the foreheads” to distinguish the good men of Jerusalem from the bad.

With the advent of Christianity, “x’’ came to stand for Christ. “In Christian texts, one abbreviation of the Greek christos — meaning messiah — used the first two Greek letters of christos, chi (X) and rho (P), combined into one shape,” says Stephen Goranson, a historian of religion at Duke University who studies the etymology of symbols and words. “So both orientations of crossed lines — the ‘x’ shape and the more-or-less lower case ‘t’ shape — took on religious significance among Christians.”

i love you like

Once it was a sacred symbol, the “x’’ represented “faith and fidelity,” says Marcel Danesi, a professor of linguistic anthropology and semiotics at the University of Toronto. It became the signature of choice in the Middle Ages, when few could write and documents were sealed with an “x’’ embossed in wax or lead. This may be when the “x’’ first became associated with the kiss: It was customary to close books with a kiss, and oaths of fealty to kings were sealed with a kiss.

“Symbols have a way of jumping from one domain to another, and it’s a small step to come from sealing a letter to sealing a love affair,” says Danesi, who wrote “The History of the Kiss: The Birth of Popular Culture.”

He speculates that “x’’ underwent a conversion in an act of medieval romantic rebellion. “Romantic love becomes an obsession, and the kiss became empowering.” This may have been particularly true for women who had less say than men over the choice of lovers. “The kiss became ‘If I kiss that man, then this is the man I love and want,’” says Danesi. “So much was packed into that symbol of a kiss. … It has become a kind of collective memory. We use ‘x’, even if we don’t know why.”

animal hug

There’s another theory about how “x’’ crossed over into kissing territory. According to Goranson, “x’’ was a symbol for a blessing, and blessings and kisses have long been intertwined in the human psyche. “Mystics went back and forth on the love of God and love of a beloved spouse going way back,” he says. “Just look at The Song of Songs. The same song could be one person’s devotional hymn and another’s love poem.”

“A Woman of Valor,” the Hebrew poem recited by Jewish husbands to their wives before the Sabbath evening meal, is also understood to be an expression of love of God.

x and o 1

When the circle — “o’’ — came to signify a hug is another unknown.

Most scholars consider this theory apocryphal. Linguist Ben Zimmer says it is far more likely that the “o’’ stems from an entirely nonreligious source: the ancient Egyptian-Roman game of tic-tac-toe. The game was originally played with pebbles or coins and only incorporated the easy-to-master symbols of the “x’’ and “o’’ when paper became plentiful. Zimmer also believes this explains why “x’’ and “o’’ are used together.

Despite their relatively recent appearance on Valentine’s Day cards, the “x’’ long ago shed its religious significance, and the “o’’ likely never had one.

XOXO

lipstick

Happy Valentine’s Day from The Sutton Place Hotels

 

Lest We Forget

Remembrance DayThis year, November 11th  not only marks Remembrance Day but the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I. The poppy has a long association with Remembrance Day, but how did the distinctive red flower become such a potent symbol of our remembrance of the sacrifices made in past wars?

Scarlet corn poppies (popaver rhoeas) grow naturally in conditions of disturbed earth throughout Western Europe. The destruction brought by the Napoleonic wars of the early 19th century transformed bare land into fields of blood red poppies, growing around the bodies of the fallen soldiers.

In late 1914, the fields of Northern France and Flanders were once again ripped open as World War One raged through Europe’s heart. Once the conflict was over the poppy was one of the only plants to grow on the otherwise barren battlefields.

The significance of the poppy as a lasting memorial symbol to the fallen was realised by the Canadian surgeon John McCrae in his poem In Flanders Fields. The poppy came to represent the immeasurable sacrifice made by his comrades and quickly became a lasting memorial to those who died in World War One and later conflicts. It was adopted by The Royal British Legion as the symbol for their Poppy Appeal, in aid of those serving in the British Armed Forces, after its formation in 1921.

On May 2, 1915, John McCrae’s close friend and former student Alexis Helmer was killed by a German shell. That evening, in the absence of a Chaplain, John McCrae recited from memory a few passages from the Church of England’s “Order of the Burial of the Dead”. For security reasons, Helmer’s burial in Essex Farm Cemetery was performed in complete darkness.

The next day, May 3, 1915, Sergeant-Major Cyril Allinson was delivering mail. McCrae was sitting at the back of an ambulance parked near the dressing station beside the Yser Canal, just a few hundred yards north of Ypres, Belgium.
As John McCrae was writing his In Flanders Fields poem, Allinson silently watched and later recalled, “His face was very tired but calm as he wrote. He looked around from time to time, his eyes straying to Helmer’s grave.”

Within moments, John McCrae had completed the “In Flanders Fields” poem and when he was done, without a word, McCrae took his mail and handed the poem to Allinson.

Allinson was deeply moved:

“The (Flanders Fields) poem was an exact description of the scene in front of us both. He used the word blow in that line because the poppies actually were being blown that morning by a gentle east wind. It never occurred to me at that time that it would ever be published. It seemed to me just an exact description of the scene.”

Lest we forget.

poppies_115185034

AN ODE TO MY MOTHER (AND TO ALL MOMS OUT THERE)

I Love Mom_172388024Written by Sarah Lechinskov (a Sutton Prestige member). Dedicated to her mother.

When I forced my mom to sign up for Facebook last summer, I asked her all the standard “profile information” questions. “Are you interested in men or women?” I asked as my mom got dinner ready for my father.

“Women,” she said solemnly. “It’ll be a whole new life.”My mom never fails to leave me in hysterics. She is the master of deadpan.

During my “Mom Gets on Facebook Adventure”, it was a struggle, but I eventually convinced her to use a picture I took of her when she visited me in New York.

During this trip, my mom and I went to the Letterman show, and I held her hand as George Clooney dazzled the audience. Then we walked around the streets of New York with giddy excitement after, my arm looped through hers. Every step was an adventure.

We stumbled upon a man who held a kitten wearing an outfit sitting near some tie-dye purses, and my mom stopped to talk to him. “I just love your cat,” she said, then turned to me and said, “That’s my favourite thing I’ve seen in New York so far.”  Clooney on Letterman had nothing on that cat in the T-shirt.

She stills talks about it.

My mom often calls me at night, and within minutes of talking, she says like clockwork, “Well. I don’t have any news.” She does, however, have her own brand of interpreting the news, most of which comes from her watching TV on mute and reading the ticker. She finds it more pleasant that way. “What do you think of Kim Kardashian?” she’ll ask me. “I think I want to be more like her.”

My mom is 71.

Another time she was watching a VH1 special on Tupac and Biggie. “What’d you make of it?” I asked, curious to hear her take on the murderous feud. “Oh, well, as far as I could tell, it was a rap misunderstanding,” she said.

Nailed it.

When the dot-com boom happened in the early 2000s, my mom would always add “.com” randomly to conversations: “How are you doing dot com?” she would ask. At another point, she had big plans to name her cat “dot com,” but sadly, that never happened.

Emails from my mom are one of my favourite things in the world. Her first email password? “Ilovekids.”

Two years ago on my birthday, she wrote me: “Dear Sarah, I loved it when you were born — you were so big and healthy and loving (you talked to me when they brought you to me. You said ‘uhh. uhh.’) And I talked to you. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!”

mother-baby

I love my mom so much it makes me laugh and cry and feel alive all at the same time.

A shining example of what a mother should be:

  • You’re all things lovely.  Your beauty is like a spring flower in full bloom.
  • rock for those of us who rely on your strength.
  • The epitomy of simplicity and I know no one else who wears it as well as you do.
  • Your unspoken motto is family first; you’re loyal to those you love without being unreasonable.
  • Thank you for the times you’ve seen right through my “I’m right” attitude and for respectfully pointing out the error of my ways.
  • Never boastful, always quite content to let others shine. You’re a listener and not a talker. It’s part of what draws people to you – you’re a wellspring of other people’s secrets but they go no further. Trustworthiness and integrity are my biggest aspirations because, by example, you’ve taught me they’re the the best qualities a person can possess.
  • A mother, friend, cheerleader, counsellor, therapist all rolled into one and each day I learn from you.  And if people were to ever say, “You’ve turned into your mother”  it would be all right by me. Thank you!

What do you love most about your mom? Does she send you the world’s best emails too? Are you doing anything special for Mother’s Day? Send us your favourite mom story (communications@suttonplace.com), and we’ll compile an ‘ode to mom to be published on Mother’s Day!

mother_104242619

As a special treat for Mother’s Day, join us at either The Sutton Place Hotel Edmonton or Vancouver for our famous Sunday Brunch buffet featuring our signature specialities, including an omelette station, prime rib, and much more!

The Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver

Be sure to save room to indulge in our world-famous Chocoholic Buffet, returning for one day, just for Mom.

Available for groups of 4 or more only.
Versailles Ballroom
Sunday, May 11, 2014
Seatings: 10:30am & 12:30pm

$65.00 per Adult
$32.50 per Child
(ages 4 – 12)
Free for children under the age of 4

Call 604.642.2900 to make a reservation.

The Sutton Place Hotel Edmonton

Grande Ballroom
Sunday, May 11, 2014
Seatings: 10:00am, 11:00am, 12:00pm & 12:30pm

$45.00 per Adult
$38.00 per Senior
$22.00 per Child (ages 5 – 12)
Free for children under the age of 5

For reservations, please contact: Meghan Ferguson 780.441.3011.

Going Green on St. Patrick’s Day

kale_85779577Whether on St. Patrick’s Day or any given day of the week, it’s so easy to eat green.

With five super healthy green veggies to try that have been around for ages but may be lesser known on your dinner plate, spruce up your meals with healthy and delicious produce.

broccoli rabeBroccoli rabe
This thinner version of traditional broccoli is a heart-healthy favourite among southern Mediterranean Italians. The Mediterranean Diet has been associated with increased longevity and low rate of heart disease and cancer. With a cup of chopped broccoli rabe containing a mere 25 calories and a whopping 130 percent of the daily value for vitamin C, it’s no wonder it’s a routine veggie choice among Mediterranean lovers.
Tip:
 Try a quinoa with broccoli rabe side dish that combines sautéed broccoli rabe with quinoa, an easy-to-make grain. After one forkful of this high-fiber side dish, you will think you’re in Sicily — even on St. Patty’s Day.
Bonus tip: Whole wheat couscous can be substituted for quinoa.

leeksLeeks
While these green veggies look like overgrown scallions, their taste is actually a culinary cross between garlic and an onion. This fabulous flavour aside, a cup of sliced leeks will provide 30 percent of your daily value for vitamin A.
Tip: Since boiled potatoes are a must on St. Patrick’s Day, this year combine them with leeks and spinach for a festive green spinach leek potato soup that is destined to be a new tradition.

fennelFennel
While at first glance, fennel may look like celery, after one bite of this licorice-tasting veggie, the resemblance will be completely gone. In fact, in the case of fennel, the white bulb, not the green celery-looking stem, is what is typically used in recipes, especially in salads. Fennel is a nutritious vegetable gem providing only 30 calories per cup but adding tons of zip and fiber to salads.
Tip: Thinly slice the bulb as part of a salad and balance the licorice flavor with a sweet fruit such as sliced oranges or grapefruits along with a few olives for a fabulous dinner salad.

Brussels sproutsBrussels sprouts
As a member of the cruciferous family, Brussels sprouts look like tiny, adorable cabbages. However, don’t underestimate these mini cabbages. Research suggests that a plant-based diet that contains cruciferous vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts and cauliflower, may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
Tip: Versatile Brussels sprouts can be baked, boiled, microwaved, or steamed. For your St. Patty’s Day corned beef dinner, substitute yummy Brussels sprouts with browned garlic for traditional cabbage.

kaleKale
This leafy green is not only a good source of both vitamin A and vitamin C but also the bone-strengthening mineral, calcium. In fact, a cup of cooked kale provides almost 30 percent of the daily value for calcium.
Tip: If you have never roasted kale, you are in for a treat. Garlic roasted kale is a snap to make in the oven and a waist-friendly side dish as it provides less than 75 calories per serving.

And on a completely separate note… watch this cute 2012 ad for Guinness.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Love Stories – What’s Your Favourite?

love_173159543Love is when your knees go weak around that person and where you get butterflies just hearing their name.

It’s when you wake up and go to bed thinking about them.

Love is something complicated yet extremely simple.

On this loving Valentine’s Day, The Sutton Place Hotels thought it would be fun to share our favourite recent literary love stories — and our thoughts on what make them memorable.

Major Pettigrew's book coverHelen Simonson’s debut novel, Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, proves that a love story about an older couple can be just as enchanting—and just as appealing to readers—as the connection between two freewheeling 20-somethings. Pettigrew, a retired (and very reserved) British military man, is irresistibly attracted to Mrs. Ali, the Pakistani woman who runs a shop in his village. But with Pettigrew’s son and the narrow-minded ladies of the village standing in their way, can the major and Mrs. Ali build a life together? Simonson shows a wonderfully deft hand in exploring the personal and cultural issues that frame this touching story.


This Burns My Heart book coverSamuel Park’s moving first novel, This Burns My Heart, features a strong, memorable heroine torn between love and duty in Korea during the 1960s and 1970s. When Soo-Ja meets Yul, she immediately feels a connection. Unfortunately, she has just agreed to marry another man. Since going back on her promise would mean disgrace for her family, Soo-Ja rejects Yul to marry Min, a decision that haunts her for 20 years. Though Soo-Ja and Yul see each other only periodically, and usually by chance, their fraught encounters are tense with the passion of unrequited love. Fans of grown-up, realistic love stories like Ha Jin’s Waiting or Austen’s Persuasion will devour this debut.


Me Before You book coverLouisa Clark and Will Traynor: The fact these two are such an unlikely pair makes their love story all the more moving. Freshly laid off and desperate for work, “ordinary girl” Lou takes a job as a companion to Will, an acerbic quadriplegic, former adrenaline junkie who’s understandably despondent due to his predicament. Lou speaks her mind, has a razor-sharp wit and is self-deprecating in a way that dares readers not to succumb to her charms, as Will himself eventually does. Yes, Me Before You is a multiple-hankie novel, but the end brims with such hope and promise that readers will find themselves smiling despite their tears.


Zelda Fitzgerald book coverWe often think of brilliant writer F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda as a fast-burning, glitzy mess at the heart of Jazz-Age NYC. Therese Anne Fowler’s novel Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald promises a beautiful and damned love story but also something more. Fowler peels back the layers of history to reveal the unglamorous and rather normal story of their love. It’s the perfect book for readers who like a little dark truth with their romance.


Eleanor & Park book coverEleanor & Park begins when two misfit teens meet on a school bus in 1986. There are no vampires and they don’t live in a dystopian society (depending on your view of suburban Omaha). Rainbow Rowell painstakingly captures the experience of young love—the bliss of holding hands, the shaking fits of glee after a first kiss, the mixtapes—but refuses to shy away from the confusing, untidy aspects that come with the territory. Eleanor and Park are real people with real complexities and a real, grown-up story that will break your heart in the best possible way.

Take control of 2014 and Make it the best year ever

New Years DayNew Year’s Day is probably the world’s most celebrated public holiday, with origins that go back to Roman times. As such, it seems to touch a need which is deeply rooted in our human nature. At the heart of most New Year’s traditions is the idea of starting afresh, of the new year being a blank slate on which we can finally write the story of our lives in the way that we would like to have it. Hence the tradition of the New Year’s resolution. A resolution made at the beginning of the year to live a healthier lifestyle, be kinder to our neighbours, and so on. For that one day of the year, everything seems possible!

Now that January 1st has passed, why not making the decision that this will be the happiest year of your life. And that doesn’t mean expensive therapy or self-help books. It simply means taking control.

New Year slogn

1. Don’t compromise on your happiness just to please others.

You have to be willing to stay true to yourself at all times. This includes not being afraid to speak your mind without fear of losing someone’s approval.  As long as you’re a nice person at heart and socially congruent, then there’s really no reason for someone to want you to change.

2. Become responsible for everything that happens in your life.

Looking at this in perspective, if there is anything in your life that you personally aren’t happy with, would you say it’s due to things external to you or because of the decisions you made?

This is the first step to becoming conscious as you start looking at things in a more objective manner. Do you place blame on others or do you take responsibility? Taking responsibility means one thing — you’re in complete control of the results you create in your outside world.

3. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes.

Making mistakes is what we all have to go through if we’re to become better.

mistakesBe willing to embrace failure and to fail as fast as you can and as often as you can. The key difference between a success and a failure is due to this key point: a successful person isn’t afraid to try and fail.

4. Learn to say “no” more often.

Don’t be a “yes” person all the time. There may be times where you feel pressured by friends to do certain things that you don’t want to do. This is usually the perfect opportunity to demonstrate your discipline and personal boundaries, which is essential for building your self-esteem. Say “no” and be willing to stand your ground.

Your friends or family may not like it, but they certainly will respect you for it.

5. Don’t worry about the choices you’ve made.

Whatever choices you’ve made in your life are all due to your personal values and boundaries. This is further solidified if you better understand what your values and boundaries actually are.

The more about yourself you learn to understand, the less worry and anxiety you’ll experience in the long term. Learn to accept and trust in the choices you make and to push forward regardless of the outcome.

6. Learn to accept the way things are.

Be willing to accept your successes and failures before moving on to change and improve them. As long as you live consciously as stated in point #2, you will always have the ability and the opportunity to change course.

7. Write down things you’re grateful for.

It is quite common to overlook the nice things around us and to take things for granted. In most cases, we are more fortunate than we believe we are. Are you a hard worker? Do you have friends who like and respect you? Are you a good person?

However bad your current situation may be, there will always be someone who is worse off than you who may well look at you and see you as the type of person they’re striving to be in the future.

8. Accept your flaws and understand that you’re not perfect.

The reality is, nobody is perfect. Sure, you could work very hard toward perfection, but realize that no matter how hard you work, you will always fall short. It’s simply the nature of the beast. As humans, we’re designed to be imperfect, to make mistakes, to fail countless times and to strive.

9. Be willing to embrace rejection.

Rejection comes with the territory and happens on a daily basis. The key thing to understand is that rejection only becomes significant the minute we place value on it.

10. Learn to tackle the good times and the bad.

this too shall passRegardless of what happens to you in your life, you will face good times and bad. This is a given and the reality of life. But the key to good self-esteem is in recognizing the situation for what it is and to simply learn to deal with it in the best way you can.

Because just like the good times, the bad times will also pass.

No matter what your resolutions or goals are for 2014, The Sutton Place Hotels hope to be part of them.

Fall Colours As Seen Through The Eyes of Autumn

autumn_leaves_196054A new season means a fresh colour palette, and the fall 2013 palette is loving versatility and experimentation. As the leaves change, so does the ability to try a new fashion for brisk days ahead. The transition into colder weather is now much brighter simulating warmth and heat.

This year, the fall runways were bursting with rich colours, with every jewel tone imaginable appearing on statement pieces from coats, shoes, pants and bags.

Red
color_autumn_natureNo, Valentine’s Day hasn’t come early, but the colour of love will be present in a major way well before February 14. You can evoke your inner ‘lady in red’ through everything from statement coats to workwear. For a fun day look, let your toes pop in a sky-high virtual pink sneaker wedge.

green_and_yellow_leaves_199251Moss Green
Thinking about getting rid of your army jackets? Don’t. This season that perfect shade of military or ‘moss’ appeared all over the runways. Try layering lighter and darker shades together. If you think you’ve ended up looking like you’re about to enter a battle (albeit a rather chic one), you’re probably doing it right.

Orange
yellow_maple_leaves_210243This season’s orange is as bold as it gets, appearing in the exact shade of the traffic cone. There’s nothing safe about this fashion statement, but we do recommend wearing it for a great way to stay safe while walking late at night or biking around the city.

Which colours are you going to wear this autumn?

Colorful clothes on a laundry line and sun shining