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The Lexus ‘Sense The Anticipation’ Lifestyle Experience In Switzerland

23 Jul The Lexus ‘Sense The Anticipation’ Lifestyle Experience In Switzerland

The Sense The Anticipation Lexus Lifestyle Experience held in Switzerland was a luxury lifestyle event that didn’t disappoint. The exclusive gathering was held over multiple locations situated in Lausanne and Neuchatel that had an affinity with the luxury car brand. This automotive celebration provided a platform to showcase the latest Lexus Hybrid vehicle range and the opportunity to learn and discover a little more about this creative brand, its commitment to luxury, passion for contemporary design, craftsmanship and advanced technology.

During my time amongst the brand it was evident to see that Lexus really is much more than simply a luxury car maker and is proud to demonstrate, involve, encourage and support new creative thinking.

I landed in Geneva and my transfer to Lausanne was smooth and took approximately 45 minutes.  I arrived at the Hotel Royal Savoy who were one of several like minded luxury partners for the Lexus brand during this prestige event.

The newly renovated property has undergone a 100 million dollar transformation and features 196 spacious rooms and suites located in its historical building and new Garden Wing. The interior design is contemporary-chic that contrasts beautifully with the turn-of-the-century charm of the historic building.

My bedroom was warm and welcoming with a state of the art lighting design and exquisite polished wooden floors. A stylish marble-lad bathroom equipped with a rain shower was generous in size. Other welcome amenities in the room consisted of a flat-screen TV, free use of Wi-Fi, Nespresso coffee machine, individually controlled air conditioning and a well stocked mini bar with a wide variety of complimentary non-alcoholic drinks on offer.

After a refreshing welcome cocktail at Hotel Royal Savoy I was now en-route to Manoir de Ban, located in Vevey and is the former residence of Charlie Chaplin and now a museum, home to Chaplin’s World.  Chaplin’s home is located in the heart of an impressive ten-acre estate and open to the general public. This stunning estate is a real slice of nature, with its breathtaking, unobstructed views of Lake Geneva and the Alps. Each room in this splendid household spoke volumes about Chaplin’s family life. It was a real treat to wander back in time and retrace the last 25 years in the extraordinary life of this cinematographic and comedic legend.

Once my tour of Chaplin’s World had concluded I was looking forward to learning more about the Lexus Short Films project which was launched in 2013 thanks to a collaboration between Lexus and The Weinstein Company. The aim of the partnership is to support and nurture a new generation of emerging filmmakers.

I was invited to see an exclusive preview of two movies commissioned for the Lexus Short Film 2016 series, Friday Night directed by Alexis Michalik, from France and Messia, by Damian Walshe-Howling, from Australia.  Both films were engaging, striking and had a real sense of anticipation about them. The films will tour the international festival circuit in the coming months before a joint premiere at the Napa Valley Film Festival in November and on-line release in May 2017.

A sumptuous dinner followed and much discussion ensued about the exclusive screening of the Lexus short films and of course, Charlie Chaplin too.  This was a great introduction to the Sense The Anticipation episode and I was looking forward to discovering more about the Lexus brand.

After a private breakfast at Hotel Royal Savoy my attention turned towards the Lexus Design presentation which was an insight into Lexus’s design philosophy and its interpretation in their current model range.  The Lexus Design Award is an annual international competition with which Lexus seeks to encourage and support the talents of young and up-and-coming creatives. I was also given the opportunity to view the prototypes produced by the four leading finalists in this year’s competition and meet the 2016 Lexus Design Award winner too.

This year’s competition was based on the same ethos as the 2016 Short Films series using the theme of ‘Anticipation’ and attracted a staggering 1,200 submissions from designers in 73 countries around the world. The four finalist chosen to progress their ideas to the prototype stage represented an thrilling rainbow of ideas, from children’s toys, and a dynamic clock, right through to versatile fashion textiles and a new alternative to plastic packaging.

I was also given the opportunity to view the prototypes produced by the four leading finalists in this year’s competition and meet the overall 2016 Lexus Design Award winner, Japanese design group AMAM for their creation Agar Plasticity.

The Sense Anticipation spectacle was in full flow now and I was very excited to learn that I would be test driving the RX Range en-route to Nest, Nestle’s open house exhibition and my next destination on the Lexus Hybrid luxury lifestyle adventure.

The Lexus RX 450h is a large SUV that is economical, has good reliability and features a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine and a pair of electric motors to improve fuel efficiency.  I really enjoyed driving this slick vehicle through the open roads of Switzerland. In town it is nippy and a silent drive at low speeds and emits as little as 120g/km of CO2. However, once you get on the highway the RX 450h can go from 0-62mph in 7.7 seconds. That, combined with the fact it runs on petrol rather than diesel, makes it remarkably affordable to run.

The RX 450h has a real stylish, modern look and feel with its large standout L-shaped LED headlights and arrowhead fog lights.  Generous space inside for both driver and passengers, ample legroom, dapper trim and an upgraded media and navigation system together with a larger display, a wireless phone charger and a powered tailgate to name but a few excellent features.  In short, the RX 450h was a smooth, sophisticated and a pleasure to drive and indeed my favourite from the Lexus Hybrid range.

I reached Nest, the newly opened Nestlé centre for scientific innovation, located in Vevey on the Vaud Riviera and bulit on the foundations of Henri Nestle’s first factory.  I was given a VIP tour of this magnificent visitor space which spans over 6,000sq meters combining a modern glass tower, an old factory and a fun and engaging multi-media experience for all ages.  This was a perfect partner for the Lexus Sense The Anticipation programme as both brands have so much in common when it comes to innovation, design and new technology.

The afternoon activity focused on craftsmanship, exemplified by the precision skills of the Lexus takumi who work on every vehicle that Lexus produce. I visited the TAG Heuer’s Haut Horologerie department to witness the creation of the luxury watchmaker’s finest timepieces.  I also got the opportunity to tour the TAG workshop and learn about the history of this luxurious brand and to see up close and personal the passion and dedication of the TAG staff that goes into creating each and every TAG masterpeice.

My final destination of this epic Sense The Anticipation tour was Hotel Palafitte. This premier luxury outpost is Europe’s only hotel built on stilts and has an exceptional setting over Lake Neuchâtel. My bedroom had a suave, bright and airy look and feel that made for pleasant surroundings. The room has breathtaking views of the lake, combined with glorious other features such as handsome hardwood floors, a flat-screen TVs, a Nespresso machine, free Wi-Fi, minibar, an outside terrace and direct lake access via ladders should you wish to take a dip in the inviting surrounding waters.

The evening included a demonstration of the surround system designed by Mark Levinson, Lexus’s prestige audio partner, for the new Lexus RX. There was also a workshop exploring how Lexus designs sensory quality into its vehicles too.

I also put my personal origami skills to the test too as I had to try and fold a piece of paper using my non-dominant hand in less than ninety seconds.  This was a real challenge and easier said than done.

One of the qualifying tests for Takumi, the Master Carftspeople who craft Lexus vehicles, is to fold a piece of origami.  I am told that on the bulletin board in the Miyata Lexus plant is a brightly coloured collection of origami cats that were folded by the current team of stitching craftspeople.

In summary, Lexus is a relatively young brand that has established a global reputation for excellence, not just in quality of the vehicles it builds but also in the way it looks after its consumers. Throughout this superb and educational Sense The Anticipation exploration it is clear that Lexus wants to be perceived as a first class luxury brand beyond the automotive world. In my opinion, Lexus is a brave and vibrant brand that continues to push innovation, creativity and luxury lifestyle to new limits.

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