Ravi and Sunitha Koneru don't much care for limitations. Not in their food, their decor, or their vision. When designing the menu for Chakra Cuisine they saw the entirety of India as a source of inspiration, from the tandoori of the North and the curries of the South to the street food of Bombay and the recipes of their native Hyderbad. And then they looked even further. What they found were ingredients such as banana leaves, scallops, and caramelized pineapples—ingredients rarely used in Indian cuisine that expertly matched the flavor profiles they dreamed up. The result is a blend of traditional and modern, where classic dishes such as chicken tikka masala segue into spicy reinventions, including a vegetable masala quiche.
The dining space is likewise a mix of old and new. Indian accents anchor the sleek, contemporary aesthetic of the dining room and private lounge, while colors drawn from the dishes themselves combine to create a cohesive backdrop. Red and gold dominate the interior, but brighter colors surround the bar, notably inside its seven specialty martinis. As for the outdoor patios, their tables center around a circular fire pit, whose flames tempt guests to sit amid the mandarin-orange trees and tell scary stories about hitchhikers with samosas for hands.
Beröra means touch in Swedish, and that’s at the heart of this unconventional school’s philosophy: creating a fun way for couples to reconnect and relax. During sessions, two instructors coach six misty-eyed duos as they deliver easily mastered, Swedish-inspired strokes to their paramours. Teachers demonstrate beginner Beröra sequences from neck to toe before two-hour classes commence in a room ringed with mirrors, flickering candlelight, and soothing Norah Jones vocals. Clad in comfy, loose-fitting clothing, pupils de-stress under the flourishes of the Beröra 1-2-Bonus! method, designed to tenderize any body part. Fingers glide with provided oils and creams in an effort to fully soothe the Beröra Sexy Six Body Sections with specialized techniques. Couples gain insight usually reserved for massage therapists and competitive jugglers, including how to keep hands moving without suffering from fatigue. Enlightened students leave with a handout that sums up all of the Beröra methods necessary to easily reenact relaxation sessions at home.
Arthur Murray Dance Studio has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and the Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, the Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Clients who arrive to lessons partnerless will be paired up with an instructor as the teachers assess their current skill level and make recommendations on the most appropriate program. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
The Fairmont San Francisco not only swaddles overnight guests in sumptuous comforts and grandly decorated suites, but also serves as the site for performances and conventions. Amid gilded, ornate adornments, linebacker-sized bouquets and glossy marble columns lead eyes to boxy relief patterns bedecking the ceilings and gold curlicues encrusting the archways. Patterned floors evoke an exotic feel while stretching between damask walls striped with fringed curtains. For the past 20 years, the hotel has made environmental friendliness one of its priorities. In June 2010, with the help of Marshall’s Farm, roughly 50,000 residents moved into beehives adjacent to the hotel's thousand-square-foot herb garden—an effort to restore and support the waning bee population. Those dining at the Fairmont, therefore, get to indulge in the taste of house-sourced herbs and honey brought to their mouths by humanely raised spoons.
The instructors at Waterworks Aquatics believe anyone can learn to swim, no matter their age. This belief drives each instructor-led session, accommodating everyone from babies as young as 3 months old who are just getting acquainted with the water, to older children learning more advanced strokes and adults learning to swim for the first time. The instructors focus on teaching stroke techniques that utilize muscle memory and rhythms that are easy to grasp, while cultivating a fun, relaxed environment to help reduce students' anxiety. They lead private, semi-private, group, and Parent and Me lessons, all of which move at the pace of the swimmers' abilities. Beyond bestowing swimmers with efficient form, the lessons also help them stay safe in the water by teaching them how to control their breathing, reduce unnecessary movement, and stay completely still in the presence of pool krakens to avoid begin seen.
With top-of-the-line air purifying equipment and special floors, Hot 8 Yoga debunks the myth that hot-yoga studios are stuffy and smelly. Its filtration system scours air with UV rays before pumping oxygen into the classroom, keeping the studio fresh and germ-free, and students breathing easily. Beneath yogis' feet, ploy-extruded matting keeps the air smelling sweet by wicking away moisture and odors atop shock-absorbent PVC floors.
These measures enhance pupils’ practice during more than 100 weekly hot-yoga classes. With the heat cranked at varying degrees to boost flexibility, metabolism, and detoxification, sessions range from classic hot yoga to yoga sculpt, which incorporates free weights. Yoga barre, on the other hand, combines ballet, yoga, body sculpting, and cardio for a comprehensive workout that makes you sweatier than wearing a vinyl spacesuit in a sauna.