Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2008

Antoine Arnault

As Head of Communications for Louis Vuitton, Antoine Arnault travels all over the world, especially to Asia, where the French luxury brand is expanding in China. "It's important to see what is happening in the emerging markets," he says from his Paris office overlooking the Seine. "Japan is also a big market for us. I like it there. I like the Lost in Translation feeling of it."

Tokyo top picks: "The Grand Hyatt in Roppongi Hills. So many karaoke places, I cannot even remember their names! And the restaurant [Gonpachi in Nishi-Azabu] where Kill Bill [is rumored to have taken inspiration for a scene]."

Airport etiquette: "I'm not the biggest fan of airports. I try to arrive a few minutes before check-in closes. (And I've still never missed a flight!) If I'm early, I see how our brands and competitors are doing. Paris has quite a good airport now. London is the worst; it's too far away."

Hong Kong hot spots: "The Peninsula has the best view of the city, just across the river. Shopping on Canton Road is a must. We have the world's second biggest Louis Vuitton store there."

Jet-lag remedy: "If I arrive late at night and have to sleep, I spend an hour at the spa, get a relaxing massage and have a light meal. If I arrive early in the morning and have to go straight to meetings, I have vitamin C, coffee and Diet Coke."

Great escapes: "The Royal Palm in Mauritius Island is a calm, romantic paradise. The Cap Estel hotel in Eze (between Nice and Monaco) is small and relatively unknown but has breathtaking views and is sunny all year long. And the Cheval Blanc in Courchevel — O.K., we own it, but it's the best ski hotel I've ever been to!"

What happens in Vegas: "One week a year, I go to Las Vegas with friends to play poker. We usually go to the Wynn. To play golf in the desert in the middle of the strip at the Wynn is one of the most surreal experiences you'll have. For poker, the Bellagio is definitely the best room. For restaurants, Koi is the best Japanese around."

Scenic retreat: "The west coast of Corsica on a boat in August is probably as beautiful as it gets. La Caravelle in Bonifacio is a great place for dinner."

Insider tip: "Never forget your iPod and dvd player during long trips."

Best-loved luggage: "Louis Vuitton Waterproof Keepall."

By Kate Betts