‘Majestic Escape’ in Paradise: A Harry Winston Experience

Date: 07/01/2022

A few weeks back, I was charmed with a gift from my dear friend Tom: an invitation for a two-day event celebrating the new collection “Majestic Escape” by none other than the House of Harry Winston—the legendary jewelry craftsman of the early 1920s to 70s, with a jewelry design house still running today. 

You may know this man for once owning and then donating the Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian OR you may have heard his name in the lyrics of the song Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend. But to me, he has always been an icon for one of the most prestigious jewelry studios in the world, carving out and grading the finest precious gems and stones so we mere mortals can continue to enjoy their beauty.  The King of Diamonds – as Winston was once known – is sadly no longer with us, but his legacy lives on. In fact, it is this legacy that I was so graciously invited to witness during the House’s recent function held at the Rosewood Hotel in Montecito, California. 

Over two very special days, I witnessed (and tried on) the most exquisite jewellery collections you can imagine—and have been buzzing ever since.  I was unable to invite you all to join me but couldn’t wait to share my experience with all of you! Here’s how it all went:

Leading up to the Event

Living in a bubble for so long due the pandemic and to my chronic illness, it was surreal and very exhilarating to be going to a two-night event in a gorgeous hotel. I live only about an hour away which made it feel even more special as I didn’t have to manage the stress of travelling further than the car that was arranged for me and awaiting us in the driveway.  With almost nothing to plan (that is a first!), I took the whole morning to slowly pack, thoughtfully choosing what I would wear for the weekend festivities – beachy floral vibes and flowy dresses was my vibe.  Nothing fussy for me.

On the drive to our hotel, I left the car window down to feel the breeze against my skin. The beaches looked magical and serene, and I began to feel relaxed and refreshed – you can always count on salt air and ocean waves to soothe any stress – even for dogs as even Faro was quietly enjoying the ride from the backseat. 

I will admit…at this stage a small part of me worried whether I would be able to enjoy the event to the fullest. Chronic illness is very unpredictable and it’s hard to know when my energy levels will dip or the sights and sounds will be too much but I was hopeful and determined to do my best to enjoy each and every bit of this wonderful weekend.

Our Arrival

We arrived in the early afternoon at the exquisite Rosewood Hotel, which is no less than a five-star, estate-style dream.  From the moment we walked in we were surrounded with understated luxury and calm. The property has views of the ocean that act as the ultimate statement piece.  The staff was welcoming and showed us to our pristine suite with casual beach vibes paired with chic elegance.  We found some thoughtful gifts and treats from the hotel and Harry Winston to celebrate our stay. There was chilled champagne, delicious artisan chocolates, and even a care package for sweet Faro—every detail considered!  What wonderful hosts, taking the time to set the tone for the festivities.

My mom and I kicked off our heels and relaxed for a bit – laying outside and enjoying fresh air. The beach, the gardens…everything was immaculate.  A true slice of heaven just outside our window. While there was a cocktail reception planned, my Mom and I agreed it would be best to save energy for the next day.  We instead joined my dear friend Tom for a low-key dinner and a good catch up. The food (and company) was delicious – I opted for tender salmon pan seared and served on a bed of wilted greens, topped with a few toasted pine nuts.  My mom indulged in burrata with garden strawberries and a kiss of balsamic and olive oil. Perfection!

On our way back to our room, we started to feel the buzz and energy around us gathering.  Guests were milling around and chatting – eager for the next day and the big reveal of the gorgeous collection inspired by bejeweled get aways like this one.

Day Two – a bit of relaxation, a private showing & grand dinner

I woke up smiling.  My mom and I were refreshed and excited for the day ahead. We shared a giant breakfast and then headed for a stroll around the grounds.  You all know I love gardens and these grounds did not disappoint.  We agreed then and there we would be back… spending a few more nights enjoying the ocean and this amazing property.  Perhaps dipping our toes in the water and sand next time.

Next up, the spa for some decadent self-care.  The Sense spa on the property is another Forbes Five-Star amenity.   With tons of signature treatments and a serene setting, this spa became a top five for me and my mom.  The massage was ninety minutes of bliss with a skilled masseuse, quiet room and comfortable table.  We enjoyed the bliss for as long as we could before heading back to prepare for the private viewing! 

In a private suite, set up by the team at Harry Winston, guests were invited to privately view (and try on) the collection.  My mom and I were instantly aware of the beauty surrounding us.  The collection included individual pieces and also full suites – all inspired by tropical destinations like Santorini, Fiji, Amalfi Coast and the Costa Rican Rainforest.  I fell in love with nearly all of the pieces – I mean, seriously, who wouldn’t? I tried nearly all of them on including a Turquoise, Sapphire and Diamond earring and choker set; a drop-chain set lined with Diamonds, Sapphires, and Aquamarines; a giant Tsavorite ring (that coincidentally, went amazingly with my fuchsia nails). My favorite though, was an earring and necklace suite filled with Rubellite and Turquoise stones – the largest Rubellite being over nineteen carats. The pieces were mesmerizing – the colors, the combinations, the weight, the stone sizes.  I found myself just staring at them trying to take it all in.  Truthfully, the whole experience had me feeling like the Queen of England at her coronation!

A quick rest back in the suite and then we were getting ready for the grand dinner.  I didn’t spend much time fussing over what to wear: I just slipped on a floral-patterned blouse with bell sleeves, and a lacey, tiered, floor-length purple skirt with a matching set of heels and clutch. A few simple jewels and we were heading out the door.

We walked into the open-air, beachfront lounge at the Caruso hotel restaurant and found our seats.  The tables had gorgeous pink, floral centerpiece arrangements with perfectly set place settings.  Understated elegance with soft live music and incredible mouth-watering appetizers and, of course, the ocean as the perfect backdrop. As I anticipated, guests were wearing their Winston best, and I was thrilled to see “Harry Winston in the wild” with so many different styles, fashions, and statements people made during the event.  Before we knew it, we were deep into what I quickly learned was an eight-course meal—complete with Halibut Carpaccio, Gnocchi Sardi, Hokkaido Scallops, Poached Seabass, and grilled Prime Filet. (Yum!)

Dinner was incredible, and it was lovely to listen into the soft chatter of kindred spirits who love Harry Winston’s work just as much as I do. While everyone around us talked fashion, jewelry, food, and nature, all while appreciating the unique brilliance of the venue.  What an wonderful combination!

Before my Mom and I ducked out – sleepy and stuffed by the fifth course – we did get to enjoy a wonderful runway show.  Stunning models in delicate fashions adorned with the pieces we saw earlier in the day.  I was keeping my eye out for my favorites and enjoying seeing the pieces move and sparkle around the room. An absolutely perfect addition to a spectacular meal.

Going Home with a Unique Experience

If I were to sum my Harry Winston experience up in a sentence or two, I would say that the event was as unique as each of the spectacular creations that come from Harry Winston, Inc. In much the same way they hand-make all their jewelry, I felt the event itself to be hand-crafted by careful artisans who were passionate about sharing their love (and knowledge) of the products we viewed. We could feel all the effort that the organizers put in to make sure we had an extravagant time. Our deepest thanks to all of those involved in the planning and execution of this once-in-a-lifetime event.

Importantly though, the whole experience reminded me just how much beauty there is in this world. Whether crafted by hand into stones and jewels or crafted by nature along the wonderful ocean shores of California, beauty is something we can all rejoice in—and I certainly rejoiced in it over the entire weekend at the Rosewood Hotel

Truly, I hope you enjoyed reading about my blissful experience in paradise with the help of Harry Winston. Maybe next time they will let me take all of you with me!  

Thanks so much to Tom, for making this possible.  

Wishing you all the jewels in the world,