September 2 2014

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5 posts tagged "Ben Pundole"

Big Party, Small World


Invite-only social-networking site ASMALLWORLD is basically Facebook for well-connected frequent fliers. So for the platform’s party celebrating its relaunch as a travel and lifestyle club last weekend, the site and its CEO Sabine Heller flew a slew of jet-setters—such as Dianna Agron, Mamie Gummer, and Olivia Wilde—to party in Marrakech. New York deejay Chelsea Leyland was among the guests, and here she chronicles the Moroccan getaway via personal snaps with pals such as Lily Kwong, Theophilus London, Waris Ahluwalia, Ben Pundole, a couple of camels, and more.

I snapped this upon my arrival. Believe it or not, this was my bed for the weekend. INCREDIBLE!

Waris Ahluwalia and my boy Ben Pundole having what looks like a very important conversation in the swimming pool at the Taj Palace in Marrakech, which is probably one of the most amazing pools I’ve ever seen.

Theophilus London and myself having a little hug. Theo bought this outfit that morning and was pretty proud of it. I think his exact words were, “Doesn’t this look like it could be some Rick Owens shit?” Continue Reading “Big Party, Small World” »

A Hotel Life: The Jet Set’s Online Destination


“Acme is cool again!” said one guest last night at the Noho restaurant. Fitting insider knowledge, considering the occasion was a launch party for A Hotel Life, Ben Pundole’s new online guide to what’s hot and what’s not in the boutique lifestyle and hotel industry. “I love the digital world—it’s the future. I want A Hotel Life to help you on your journeys,” said Pundole of his inaugural media venture.

The site is a mix of hotel reviews written by jet-setters in the know (“Musicians, actors, writers, chefs—creative people who travel all the time,” explained Pundole) and editorial content, like profiles on the industry’s more interesting players. The party, which welcomed the likes of Dree Hemingway, Chelsea Leyland (who deejayed), and David Schwimmer and his wife, Zoe Buckman, also marked the launch of a contest A Hotel Life is running with Krug. The Instagramer who best portrays “rough luxury,” using the tag #krughotellife, wins a trip to his or her choice of Miami, New York, Los Angeles, or Palm Springs. But don’t expect it to be all R&R: The winner will need to contribute a review of their hotel to the site.

Photo: David X Prutting/

Chelsea Leyland’s Postcard From The South of France


Chelsea Leyland has been jet-setting around the globe this summer, from L.A. to London, for her DJ gigs. Recently, she took a break from the turntables to go to the south of France, along with her hotelier boyfriend Ben Pundole (left), for her friend Martha Wheelan’s wedding. In between the wedding (where she rubbed shoulders with the likes of designer Matthew Williamson, who designed the bride’s dress) and exploring the local hot spots, Leyland snapped a few photos and shared them with, here.

“This my gorgeous friend Martha, she’s the most amazing yoga instructor in London, and Matthew [Williamson] (to her right) is a great friend and he also designed her beautiful wedding dress.” Continue Reading “Chelsea Leyland’s Postcard From The South of France” »

Ben Pundole’s Postcard From Berlin


Hotelier and design guru Ben Pundole recently hit Berlin with girlfriend Chelsea Leyland for the city’s epic Gallery Weekend. In between dancing on tables with Julian Schnabel, scouring flea markets for vintage Rolexes, and watching the sunrise at a “glamorous squat,” he found time to send back a few snaps.

A good friend of mine was showing as an artist at Berlin Gallery Weekend, Jonas Burgert. It’s like Art Basel without all the sponsors. We arrived Friday for Jonas’ show and Julian Schnabel’s show. The Schnabel show was great, followed by a fantastic dinner at Paris Bar, which despite its name is a really, truly authentic Berlin restaurant. By the end of the night, everyone was on the tables dancing. It’s like a really rowdy place, where all the artwork on the walls has been donated by artists over the years.

We stayed at the Michelberger in Berlin, which opened last year. It’s beloved by the music industry; Universal Records is a three-minute walk away, and the famous Berlin clubs are very nearby. All the DJs from around the world stay there. It’s a very community-spirited hotel. They’re partners with the local distillery and they make their own liquor, and they have their own music festival. They’re even launching their own coconut water next month. It’s very inspiring. I hope when King and Grove Williamsburg is renovated and open, people get as much inspiration as I did from The Michelberger.

Saturday we went to three or four food markets and flea markets—they’re absolutely amazing in Berlin. Stalls with the most incredible fur coats and vintage watches. Like a lot of places in Europe, there’s a real weekend market culture. And at night, we went to the clubs. They’re like nothing I’ve ever seen before—the best clubs in the world. Forget Ibiza. I’ve been to Ibiza many times. These clubs, they have an authentic grit, and the music is so progressive. And because there’s a no-photographs, no-phones rule, people are very present. These clubs are just beyond brilliant. They’re not the kind of clubs you can just walk up to; you need to know someone. Luckily we had a man on the ground who helped us out.

The final day was May 1st, May Day. Nobody works—it’s thousands and thousands and thousands of people hanging out in the park, listening to reggae, drinking, smoking. That turns into another massive techno rave. I’m talking 20, maybe 50 thousand people. Maybe more? I have no idea. Berlin is the most fantastic city. I’d like to say I’m happy to be home, but…

Left: Jonas Burgert’s exhibition at the Blain/Southern Gallery; right, Julian Schnabel and friends at Schnabel’s after-party at Paris Bar.

Left: The Oberbaum Bridge, that brings together boroughs formerly divided by the Berlin Wall; right, the Berlin Cathedral.

Left: The lobby of the Michelberger Hotel; right, afternoon tea at the hotel.

Left: Chelsea models a vintage Rolex found at the flea market; right, Chelsea’s club stamps from KaterHolzig and Berghaim’s Panorama Bar.

Photos: Ben Pundole

Rusch Hour: Toasting Montauk’s New “Summer Camp”


With its fishing village roots, robust surf scene, and long association with art world figures like Andy Warhol, Montauk has always been the cooler alternative to the Hamptons—and while some may grumble that the place is becoming too popular, it still stands safely apart from its over-gentrified neighbors along Route 27. One of the attractions of Ruschmeyer’s, a newly renovated “summer camp” from Ben Pundole, formerly of the Mondrian Hotel Group, and Rob McKinley, who opened the nearby Surf Lodge a few summers ago, is that it fits right in with the area’s laid-back mood. It features a rustic lakefront setting, a ring of casual but stylishly appointed guest cabins, and a restaurant where Pundole and McKinley have partnered with the team behind lower Manhattan’s Fat Radish to put a focus on fish and other locally sourced ingredients (don’t miss the clam pizza if it’s on the list of nightly specials). The property also houses a nautically themed late-night hangout, the Electric Eel (below), which could put a serious crimp in your early-morning surfing plans. For those who insist on exercise, there are yoga sessions, a rack of handsome bikes, and, more essentially, a massage room, among other options. Ruschmeyer’s opened over Memorial Day weekend with a friends-and-family gathering that included a Saturday night dinner attended by Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber, Rogan Gregory, Pamela Love, Magnus Berger, and Tenzin Wild. After the meal, Waris Ahluwalia stepped outside to take a call with his newest collaborators, the alternative hip-hop group The Cool Kids. For an upcoming movie role, the jeweler and actor is adding the title of rapper to his résumé.

For reservations and more info, see or call (631) 668-2885.

Photos: David X Prutting /