OPUS Hotel

Showing 64 posts tagged OPUS Hotel

Ghosts from Paris

Long before Helmut Newton shocked eyes with his salacious images of women in various states of undress and compromise, Brassaï, a Hungarian photographer, captured the inner workings of Paris in the 1920s and 30s. Often seductive, sometimes raw, frequently haunting. He used photography “in order to capture the beauty of streets and gardens in the rain and fog, and to capture Paris by night.”

~Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

Toronto Eats

When traveling to a city as big as Toronto, food choices are overwhelming. Restaurants live on every street. The sound of cocktails being shaken vibrates out doors. And fogged up windows are damp with dinner conversation. If you’re only visiting a city for a short amount of time, a taste bud tingling feast isn’t something to gamble with. You can’t take chances by walking into just any restaurant with a grumbling stomach.

Here are our picks for dining in Toronto…

The Black Hoof

928 Dundas Street West

Their speciality is meat… Tongue on Brioche, Bone Marrow, and Pork Belly and Cappuccio are just a trio of items listed on the short menu. And they make their own rules… closed Tuesday and Wednesday, no credit cards.

Bar Isabel

797 College Street

Under heavily seductive red lights, Bar Isabel could be located in a small Spanish town. The din of College Street and the lights of Toronto are forgotten with each minute spent inside the intimate enclave.

Hudson Kitchen

800 Dundas Street West

Gaining notoriety for being the only restaurant to host both Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston (separately, of course) during TIFF, Hudson Kitchen has made it their mission to reinvent food by making each dish an adventure.


678 Queen Street West

Serving the kind of meals that warm every inch of your body, Czehoski is the perfect place to hide on a winter’s night with friends or solo.

~ Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

Images (left to right, top to bottom): Bar Isabel (via Toronto Life), Czehoski (via Blog TO), Hudson Kitchen, The Black Hoof (via Up Magazine).

Fashion Soundtracks

The biannual quartet of fashion weeks has almost come to an end. New York, London and Milan catwalks have shown their Spring/Summer treats in lead up to the Paris finale, which closes on October 2nd. While all eyes will be on the clothes as they stream through our screens, ears present at the shows were privy to the sounds that each designer paired with their collection.

Here are some of our favourites…

Burberry Prorsum
Budapest by George Ezra


3.1 Phillip Lim
Barracuda by Heart


Diane von Furstenberg 
Lose Yourself to Dance by Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams


House of Holland

Werkin Girls by Angel Haze


Thom Browne
It’s Oh So Quiet by Bjork


~Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

Images (left to right, top to bottom): Burberry Prorsum, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Diane von Furstenberg, House of Holland, Thom Browne

A Celebration of Cinema Hits Toronto

A festival that sees hundreds of red carpets unrolled every September on Canadian soil has now come to a close. The Toronto International Film Festival, an event that shows more than 300 films, is one of the most lauded film festivals in the world – possibly even rivaling the Cannes Film Festival.

This year showed such strong cinematic stories as Gravity, 12 Years a Slave, Third Person, Can a Song Save Your Life?, August: Osage County, Blue is the Warmest Colour, Enemy, and Dallas Buyers Club. A selection of films that are sure to be listed at awards shows in the coming months.

While films are the main draw and purpose of the grand celebration, the 11 days are also swirling with fashion, food, and parties. From Soho House to the roof of the Thompson Toronto to the Variety Studio at Holt Renfrew, storytellers were everywhere… dancing, drinking, schmoozing, and celebrating their films.

The highlights…

  • Harvey Weinstein bought Can a Song Save Your Life? at the film’s post-premiere gala making it the most expensive party at $20 million.
  • Jason Reitman once again brought his live reading series to TIFF this year with Boogie Nights. Jesse Eisenberg played the part of Dirk Diggler. Prosthetic not in attendance.
  • Michael Fassbender dances. And dances and dances. Find him on the d-floor.
  • To raise funds for Artists for Peace and Justice, Maria Bello dived into Michael Budman’s pool fully clothed for $20,000 at the charity’s yearly lunch.
  • Some talent do TIFF in multiples… Daniel Radcliffe (Horns, The F Word, Kill Your Darlings), James Franco (Third Person, Child of God, The Director, Palo Alto), Benedict Cumberbatch (The Fifth Estate, 12 Years a Slave, August: Osage County), and Olivia Wilde (Rush, Third Person) dominated the festival with their portfolio of films.

TIFF may be over now, but preparation for next year’s fête is already underway.

~ Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

Images from left to right, top to bottom: Adam Levine and Keira Knightley at Patria (via Toronto Life), Carice van Houten and Benedict Cumberbatch at Soho House (via Toronto Life), Mario Bello at Artists for Peace and Justice (via Fashion Magazine), cast of August: Osage County at Soho House (via Getty Images)

International Cocktails

There’s more to a cocktail than vodka, gin, rum, and tequila. There are complex tastes and textures, sensations and savourings that accompany a libation. Flavours as intricate and pleasing as a gourmet meal. We compiled a selection of cocktails from around the world that will put hair on chests, curl tongues, and make your skin feel like nails are being dragged down your flesh.

Cocktails from top to bottom, left to right:

Smoke on the Water at Bar Centro, SLS Hotel, Los Angeles
Blackberries, Scotch, Islay mist and flames,

Image source

The Juliet & Romeo at The Violet Hour, Chicago
Gin, mint, cucumber, lime, bitters, and a drop of rose water.

Image source

The Versailles Experience at Eau de Vie, Sydney, Australia
Tanqueray Gin, Absinthe, pear, lemon, apple, mint

Image source

White Negroni at Gin Palace, New York
Perry’s Tot Gin, blanco vermouth, Salers apertif

Image source

Serendipity at Bar Hemingway, Ritz Paris
Calvados pays d’Auge le Compte, mint, sugar, apple juice, champagne.

No image.

~Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

What to wear on your face this fall

As night blankets our days sooner and weather blows a chill on us, we not only adjust our clothes, but also our faces. Makeup this coming fall and winter is rich with berries and smoke. Blackberries, cranberries, raspberries. Lips will be painted with deep hues that whisper notes of sophistication. Eyes will be smoky with black charcoal, reminding us that punk is here to stay. Eyebrows are meant to be natural, bushy and bold - neglect your tweezers. And if you’re feeling truly bold, get futuristic with your eye designs.

~ Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

Images (left to right, top to bottom): Dolce & Gabbana, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Bottega Veneta, Anna Sui, Michael Kors, Rochas, Rodarte

Sustainable Style

Vancouver is rampant with designers of covetable fashions. But our eyes are drawn to those who create with the planet’s best interests in mind. Enter Nicole Bridger.

Her sustainable, ethical clothing line is modern, chic, and defies all assumptions people may have held about eco-friendly clothing in the past.

The Nicole Bridger Fall 2013 collection has us all dreamy-eyed. Visit her boutique at 2151 West 4th Avenue or shop online at nicolebridger.com.

~ Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

Hotels in Hollywood

Film has played an influential role on the scenarios we envision playing out in hotels. There are scenes that have made us teary eyed, lustful and desirous, pensive, or absolutely petrified. Here are some of our favourite clips filmed from the walls of a hotel.

The Tourist

The steamy dream sequence in the Danieli Hotel in Venice between Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie’s characters ends far too soon…

Dirty Dancing

The first time this movie flashes before a girl’s starry eyes, she dreams of a summer at Kellerman’s.

Lost in Translation

Lonely woman meets lonely man and an unlikely friendship forges out of a chance meeting in a hotel bar.

The Shining

The tinkering music, the maniacal smile on Jack Nicholson’s face, and the eerily calm demeanor of Lloyd the bartender make this a pivotal scene in one of the creepiest films ever made.

28 Hotel Rooms

A salacious affair develops behind 28 doors over several years.

Thelma & Louise

This is the moment women everywhere fell for Brad Pitt as his character demonstrates to Thelma how to carry out an armed robbery.


And who can forget this memorable ball of slime who left audiences in the 80’s hoping for a ghostly encounter and an excuse to call Ghostbusters.

~ Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

The Best of Vancouver Summer 2013

This summer (please, tell us it’s not over yet!) has been stuffed with a filling rich in experience, music, and inspiration. Not only that, but Vancouver skies broke records with its consecutive days of sun exposure. No wonder there are so many smiles spreading across town.

Over those sunny days and nights, we held an Instagram contest, #YVRLovin to award those who captured beautiful Vancouver. Judged by photographer Clayton Perry, the above six photos were selected as winners.

Here are a few of our favourite memories from the past few months:

Chinatown Night Market: This year the market stepped up their game with the help of Bao Bei’s Tannis  Ling and pop-up expert Ken Tsui. We played ping pong, sang at Hip Hop Karaoke, and battled at Street Fighter. We bet you’re already practicing your hip hop beats for next year’s show, aren’t you?

Squamish Valley Music Festival: If you can’t make it to Coachella, don’t fret. This 3-day music festival less than an hour out of town draws the most hypnotic of tunes. Vampire Weekend, Band of Horses, Queens of the Stone Age, and Dragonette were just a handful of the talent that trekked onto the stages. We can’t wait to hear what next year will bring.

Grand Hotel Exhibit: Clearly, we’re into hotels, and this exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery pays homage to that international beacon of history, culture and hospitality. If you haven’t yet seen it, get in before September 15th.

Deighton Cup: The excitement of the horse track can be experienced most weekends, but the Ascot-esque finery and elegance that goes along with the races can only be taken in one weekend each summer when the Deighton Cup occurs.

Pride Weekend: While Pride is celebrated year-round in Vancouver, the community rallies together over the August Long Weekend to produce one grand expression of diversity, acceptance, and love. Dance parties, street parties, and boat parties buffered the colourful parade that guests from all around the world fly in to attend.

What are your favourite memories from Vancouver’s summer?

~ Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

#YVRLovin winners (left to right, top to bottom): @TheFalconer; @viviahsu; @youyesyou; @ephekz; @mike_was_here; @Bronwyn_00

Vancouver’s got blogs

There’s so much information zooming and zipping through the internet that it’s hard to know when and where we should reach out our hands (or click our finger to the mouse) to grasp onto a succulent piece of knowledge.

To assist you in your surfing, here are a few Vancouver-based bloggers we like to check in with:

Erin Ireland

Not only is she the founder of To Die For Banana Bread, a heavenly phenomenon that has swept across the city, Erin Ireland knows anything and everything with a culinary twist, including the best restaurants, cafes and bars in town.

Expect salivating upon clicking… itstodiefor.ca.

Bullet with Butterfly Wings

A beautiful and whimsical collection of décor, fashion, and lifestyle treasures are housed within the pages of Kate Horsman’s Bullet with Butterfly Wings.

Your eyes will light up… bulletwithbutterflywings.ca


When we need a little (or a lot) of creative inspiration, we open up Booooooom, curated and designed by Jeff Hamada, for an onslaught of music, film, photography and all things artful.

There’s no telling what you’ll create after a visit here… booooooom.com

Look for the Girl

Magical words of poetry, whispers of literature, and provocative images are captured at Look for the Girl – dedicated to the dreamers, lovers, and the mysterious woman behind the site.

Cue heart swoons and language lust… lookforthegirl.com

~ Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider