Luxury Calendar: The New and Not-to-be-Missed in May

The Cannes Film Festival, the Met Gala, bellwether art auctions in New York, the Chelsea Flower Show, the start of U2’s World Tour, the Kentucky Derby, Shakespeare in the Park, the Monaco Grand Prix, the start of the America’s Cup, the Venice Biennale, and the premier of a new ballet by Justin Peck – May 2017 is filed with glamorous events in the luxury ecosystem. If you have the resources and the time, you can spend every day this month doing something brilliant. Here’s our Dandelion Chandelier list of the most important events this month.

May Day is one of the most popular holidays of the year in France; most shops and museums are closed to celebrate the nation’s Labor Day. Be on the look-out for lilies of the valley, which are a symbol of good luck. In China as well, May 1 is the country’s annual Labor Day. May Morning at Oxford in England is a joyous way to greet the month, with a choir singing a hymn from the Magdalen Tower at dawn, followed by dancing and singing in the streets – May 1.

Cinco de Mayo is the annual celebration held to commemorate the victory of Mexican forces over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862 – May 5. Tequila! 

Millions of Buddhists celebrate Vesak Day, an officially recognized United Nations holiday that celebrates the birth of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism – May 10.

Seekers of investment wisdom head to Omaha for the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting – May 6. Later in the month, select members of the financial elite convene for the annual SALT Conference at the Bellagio in Las Vegas – May 16-19

The 18th edition of Neighbours’ Day, first launched in Paris, will be celebrated around the world this year in 36 countries with more than 30 million participants; the goal is to encourage people to talk to their fellow residents – May 19.

The annual Aids Walk New York first started in 1986 and is still the largest walkathon in the world, attracting over 30,000 people; the money raised goes to Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) and over 40 other local AIDS service organizations – May 21.

The greatest floral display of all time, the annual RHS Chelsea Flower Show, launches with VIP Days on May 23 – 24; general public viewing runs from May 25 – 27.

Luxury Travel – Top destinations This Month.

–As the temperatures rise in Europe, venture to Malta for golden beaches, exquisite cuisine, culture and the historic sites Mdina and Valletta. Gozo provides a serene retreat on the coastline, with must-see spots such as the Azure Window, the Cittadella and the Ggantija temples, which date back as far as 3600 BC

–It’s a great time to be in Brazil; head to Sao Paulo and stay at the Fasano, which sets the standard for the country’s luxury hotels

–For peace and quiet, stunning scenery and ample leisure time, head to the Scottish Highlands. See Edinburgh and Stirling, then drive through the countryside, filled with sparkling lochs and romantic castles

–Monaco is action-packed in May; in addition to the Grand Prix, you can wager at the world-famous Casino in Monte Carlo, dine at the world’s only all-organic restaurant to have a Michelin star, and visit the spectacular Oceanographic Museum (we think you should go crazy and rent a luxury convertible, ‘cause why not?)

–Head to the “Memphis in May” international festival, which is spread throughout the month and includes the three-day Beale Street Music Festival (May 5-7) and the 40th annual World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest (May 17-20)

Luxury Travel – Notable Openings This Month.

–Six Senses Krabey Island, Sihanoukville, Cambodia opens this month

–The luxury sleeper train Belmond Andean Explorer launches this month, linking Cusco, in the Peruvian Andes, to Lake Titicaca and Arequipa on a two-night journey

–The art-focused 21c Museum Hotel will open in Nashville this month, transforming a former hardware warehouse downtown into a 124-room boutique hotel. The property will house a contemporary art exhibition space with rotating shows

–The Line DC, a former neoclassical church in the Capitol’s Adams Morgan neighborhood is getting a second life as a 220-room hotel. Although the building will retain a lot of its original architectural features (60-foot vaulted ceilings, millwork and brass detailing and large copper entry doors), there will be lots of modern upgrades—mainly an indoor pool, rooftop views and restaurants from Spike Gjerde and Erik Bruner-Yang

–The Ned in London is a 252-room combination private club and hotel located in a 1930s-era bank designed by Sir Edward Lutyens. A joint-venture between SoHo House and the Sydell Group, it will have 2 pools, 9 restaurants and a spa

–Alila Fort Bishangarh, Jaipur is in a 230-year-old former fortress, and includes 59-suites, ancient six-foot-thick walls, a Kachhawa lounge serving champagne, coffee, chai, and cake, and – in the fortress’s former dungeon carved from granite rock – a spa and wellness center

–Maison Albar Hotel, Paris-Celine is now open; located at on Rue du Pont-Neuf, between the Seine and Les Halles, this five star hotel includes Restaurant Odette and the Spa Céline

Auctions, Antiques and Design.

–The Foire de Paris – The Grand Paris Expo has been the largest home show in Paris for 112 years; more than 3,500 European brands in Europe showcase the latest trends – May 1 – 8

–Sotheby’s: Old Masters, London – May 3; Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Milan – May 4-5; Art of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, New York – May 15; Finest and Rarest Wines, London – May 17; The Discerning Eye: Property from the Collection of Eric Franck, Part 1, London – May 19

–Christie’s: Carlo Scarpa: Visions in Glass 1926-1962, New York – May 4; Jewelry & Watches, London – May 9; Impressionist and Modern Art, New York – May 15; An Educated Eye, Chefs-D’Oeuvre D’Une Collection Privée Suisse, Paris – May 16; Latin American Art, New York – May 24

–Phillip’s: The Geneva Watch Auction – May 13-14; Photographs, London – May 18; Warhol in China, Hong Kong – May 28

–Bonham’s: Post-War & Contemporary Art, New York – May 16

Luxury Autos and Yachts.

–The biannual Monaco ePrix, an all-electric race along a portion of the F1 Grand Prix track, is the highlight of the Formula E circuit – May 13

–The 29th Annual Great Lakes Boating Festival is hosted by the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club, Michigan – May 19-21

–The Beirut Boat Show celebrates 10 years with a one-of-a-kind show, Lebanon – May 20-24

–The Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta will take place on the norther coast of Sardinia – May 30-June 3

–Les Voiles d’Antibes marks the start of the Mediterranean circuit for sailing yachts in the French Riviera, Antibes – May 31 – June 4

Fashion and Beauty.

–The star of the 2017 Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum (aka The Party of the Year) is Comme des Garçons and its founder Rei Kawakubo; she is the first living designer to be the subject of an exhibition since Yves Saint Laurent in 1983, and will co-chair the event with Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and singers Katy Perry and Pharrell Williams – May 1

–Linda Fargo debuts her new permanent shop at Bergdorf’s, Linda’s – May 1

–The exhibition Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art of the In-Between, highlighting the blurred lines between art and fashion, will run at the Met from May 4 – Sept 4

–Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion at the Dallas Museum of Art showcases 55 of the Dutch designer’s best and most revolutionary works – May 21

–Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London celebrates the centennial of the designer’s first fashion house in San Sebastian – May 27 – Feb 18, 2018

–Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg, published by Rizzoli, details the work of the artist and Louis Vuitton collaborator as a preview to a show by the same name in Chicago next month – May 29

–La Colle Noire: Christian Dior in the South of France is Rizzoli’s coffee-table-book about the designer’s retreat in Provence – May 30

–The World of Anna Sui is a retrospective at London’s Fashion and Textile Museum – May 30

Food and Drink.

–Continue the year-long celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday in Ottawa at the annual PoutineFest; join the Grand Fromage in feting “the Canadian Salad” – May 4-7

–Frankfurt’s Green Sauce Festival celebrates the concoction of seven herbs native to the region with its 10th annual festival; 50 different green sauces will be on offer, to be consumed atop boiled eggs, potatoes, or sushi – May 13-20

–The Fête du Pain in Paris is a festival of bread where the prize for the best baguette of the year is awarded (we’d be happy to console the runner-up by devouring whatever’s left of their entry) – May 15 to 21

–The Taste of Paris features 18 Michelin-starred chefs creating their own pop-up restaurants in the Grand Palais May 18 – 21

–The Alresford Watercress Festival celebrates the local crop with celebrity chefs, food tastings, and a parade during which children distribute the first of the season’s harvest to festival-goers – May 21

–The New Orleans Wine and Food Experience raises funds for local charities; the high point is the Friday night “Royal Street Stroll,” led by the Krewe of Cork, showcasing the street’s art and antique galleries, with wine offerings at each stop – May 25-28

Fitness and Sports.

–The 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby – “The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports” – is at Churchill Downs in Louisville (be sure to wear a great hat!) – May 6

–San Francisco’s Bay to Breakers, launched in 1912, is the oldest consecutively run annual footrace in the world; the 12K race begins near the Embarcadero and finishes at the Great Highway (you can wear a great hat to this, too) – May 21

–The French Open is the only Grand Slam tennis tournament played on red clay; it’s held at Roland Garros stadium – May 22 to June 11

–Four-meter single-handed sailing vessels will race in Barbados during the OK Dingy World Championship – May 24-31

–The Monaco F1 Grand Prix is May 25-28

–Qualifying rounds for the 35th America’s Cup start in Bermuda’s Great Sound; defending champion Oracle Team USA will take on a crowded field – May 26

–The English Football Association’s league final, the FA Cup, takes place at Wembley Stadium in London – May 27

–At the annual Indianapolis 500, drivers travel 200 times around a 2.5 mile oval track (however, for many in the stands, it’s a lot about the pork tenderloin sandwiches) – May 28


–Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 kicks off the summer movie season – May 5

–The Lovers starring Debra Winger and Tracey Letts – May 5

–Snatched is a mother-daughter action flick with Goldie Hawn and Amy Schumer – May 12

–King Arthur: legend of the Sword, directed by Guy Ritchie, stars Jude Law and Djimon Hounsou – May 12

–Eleanor Coppola makes her feature directorial debut with the romantic comedy Paris Can Wait, starring Diane Lane and Alec Baldwin (we can’t wait!) – May 12

–Spanish director Pedro Almodovar is President of the Jury at the 70th Anniversary of the Festival International du Film de Cannes; Jessica Chastain and Will Smith are among the jurors – May 17-28

–Alien: Covenant, the sequel to Prometheus, opens – May 19

–Baywatch, the classic TV show, has been reimagined as a feature film with Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron and Priyanka Chopra (did someone say Dwayne Johnson? We are so in!) – May 24

–Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, with returnee Johnny Depp and new bad-guy Javier Bardem, is the 5th in this Disney franchise – May 26


–Amazon debuts I Love Dick, adapted from the novel of the same name, starring Kathryn Hahn, Griffin Dunne and Kevin Bacon – May 12

–The British Academy Television Awards, commonly known as the BAFTAs, take place at the Royal Festival Hall, London – May 14

–Twin Peaks reboots on Showtime, set 25 years after the original, with some returnees (Kyle MacLachlan and David Duchovny) and some new faces (Naomi Watts and Eddie Vedder); David Lynch directs – May 21

–Dirty Dancing reboots on ABC with Abigail Breslin in the lead role – May 24

–House of Cards, the fifth season, is available on Netflix; Patricia Clarkson and Campbell Scott join the cast – May 30

–I am Jane Doe, a documentary about sex trafficking in the US, is narrated by Jessica Chastain – premiering on Netflix May 31


–The 2017 Tony Award Nominations will be announced on May 2

–Caroline, or Change, an Olivier Award winner for Best Musical, will launch the Chichester Festival Theater’s season in the Minerva Theatre; directed by Michael Longhurst and starring Sharon D. Clarke, an Olivier winner for The Amen Corner – performances begin May 6 with an official opening May 11, and a run through June 3

–The Public Theater opens this year’s Shakespeare in the Park season with Julius Caesar – May 23-June 18

–Some of London’s biggest open-air theatres kick off their summer seasons: Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre opens On The Town – May 19; Shakespeare’s Globe continues with Romeo and Juliet through June 9 and Twelfth Night begins May 18

Popular Music.

–Blondie’s latest album, Pollinator, drops May 5

–Miami hosts this year’s Rolling Loud Music Festival with headliners Kendrick Lamar, Future and Lil Wayne – May 5-7

–Ariana Grande’s Dangerous Woman tour heads to Europe; starting in Stockholm – May 8

–U2 kicks off a summer 25-date stadium tour to honor the 30th anniversary of its fifth album, “The Joshua Tree,” performing the work in its entirety each night; the first stop is Vancouver – May 12

–In related news, the Joshua Tree Music Festival is on – May 18-21

–Rascal Flatts and Snoop Dogg both drop new albums – May 19

–The Billboard Music Awards air live from Las Vegas – May 21


–Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood is a memoir by the poet, who recounts her life as the daughter of a hippie Catholic priest – May 2

–The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell is a series of essays about parenting, law enforcement and being a self-described “blerd” (black nerd) – May 2

–Into the Water is the new thriller from the author of The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins; this one is set in northern England – May 2

–Men Without Women is the new collection of short stories from Haruki Murakami – May 9

–House of Names is Colm Toibin’s retelling of Aeschylus’s Oresteia; it’s an examination of the troubles and bad behavior that can accompany great power – May 9

–Mother Land by Paul Theroux is the story of a large family in New England being tyrannized by its matriarch – May 9

–Rich People Problems is the third installment of the chronicles of the uber-rich in Asia by Kevin Kwan – May 23

–The Dinner Party and Other Stories is the latest from novelist Joshua Ferris – May 25

–Touch is Courtney Maum’s satirical look at tech and our need for human interaction (if it’s as good as her last, I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You, it’s really good) – May 30

–Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002) is David Sedaris’ latest – May 30

Performing Arts.

–The Maximal Minimal: Beats, Patterns, Meditation festival kicks off at the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, the hottest new spot in the world for music at the moment; the focus is on “minimal music,” with several works by Steve Reich (who will attend and speak) and Philip Glass – May 11 -14

–Star choreographer Justin Peck premieres a new ballet set to a score by the alt-rocker Sufijan Stevens at the New York City Ballet – May 12

–At the NY Philharmonic, Alan Gilbert premieres Wing on Wing by Esa-Pekka Salonen, and a new work by Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir – May 19-23

–Bolshoi and ABT principal dancer and heartthrob David Hallberg – after a 2 ½-year hiatus recovering from an injury – returns to the New York stage in the American Ballet Theater’s Whipped Cream – May 22 – July 1

–The Vienna Philharmonic marks its 175th anniversary with a free concert in the gardens of the Schonbrunn Palace – May 25

–At the Paris Opera: Alban Berg’s Wozzeck – May 2, 5, 9, 15; Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin – May 16, 19, 22, 25, 28; and Verdi’s Rigoletto – May 27, 30 & June 2

–The World Science Festival kicks off a weeklong 10th anniversary celebration in New York; Jazz at Lincoln Center marks the occasion with a concert featuring Renee Fleming, Joshua Bell, and dance troupe Pilobolus – Time, Creativity and the Cosmos – narrated by physicist Brian Greene; 50 other events take place all over the city – May 30 – June 4

Visual Arts.

–The Studio Museum in Harlem creates a sculptural quartet with inHarlem: Kevin Beasley, Simone Leigh, Kori Newkirk, Rudy Shepherd; four installations in four iconic historic parks – through July 25

–The New Museum presents a mid-career survey of the work of Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, the Ghanaian-British portraitist whose work was short-listed for the Turner Prize – May 3

–The 6th edition of the Frieze New York modern and contemporary art show is on Randall’s Island – Preview Day is May 4, open to the public May 5-7

–TEFAF New York features modern and contemporary art and design at the Park Avenue Armory – May 4-8

–At the Met in New York, 38 masterworks from the Thaw Collection of American Indian Art at the Fenimore Art Museum will be on display; the exhibit features creations in a range of media and encompasses over 1,200 years of artistry – May 9 – Oct 8

–New York’s Forum Gallery shows paintings from Linden Frederick; 15 well-known fiction writers contribute short stories based on individual works – May 11

–The 57th Venice Biennale opens: this year’s multi-artist exhibition is entitled VIVA ARTE VIVA; there will be 87 national pavilions (insiders say the US, Swiss, Polish and Italian ones are the most buzzed about). The vernissage (aka preview days) are May 10 – 12, awards and inauguration are May 13; open to the public May 13 – Nov 26

–The Accademia in Venice will present the works of painter Philip Guston, the first time an American artist has been featured there; the exhibition will relate the artist’s work to that of five poets he loved: D.H. Lawrence, W.B. Yeats, Wallace Stevens, Eugenio Montale and T.S. Eliot. – May 10 – Sept 3

–The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains, at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, showcases more than 350 artifacts highlighting the artists’ influence on music, fashion and design – May 13 – Oct 30

–Nuit des Musées is an all-nighter at museums all over Europe, with free museum entrance, special programs, and closing times in the wee small hours of the morning – May 21

–Robert Rauschenberg: Among Friends at the MOMA showcases 250 of the artist’s collaborations with his contemporaries, including de Kooning, Jasper Johns and Susan Weil – May 21 – Sept 17

–The International Center of Photography in New York celebrates the 70th anniversary of the cooperative photo agency with Magnum Manifesto, featuring works by Cartier-Bresson, Capa and many other activist photographers – May 26 – Sept 3

–MASS MOCA opens its renovated Building 6 with long-term installations from Jenny Holzer and others; in the same space, a James Turrell retrospective will feature nine immersive light environments – May 28

In addition to all of that, Mother’s Day in the United States is the 14th, Geek Pride Day is May 25th, Ramadan begins on May 27, and Memorial Day (the unofficial beginning of the summer!) is the 29th.  In the whirl of May activities, just don’t forget to stop for a moment and revel in spring.

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