Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 3, Issue 62, Tuesday October 31, 2006

 

 

Check It Out

Cigar Lounge in Sheraton

During the twentieth century, the cigar was a central part to the persona of celebrities, athletes, business moguls and other public personalities. However, as the century wound down, so did cigar smoking. A society that had gone mad with political correctness almost caused this cherished pastime to become extinct.

Today, cigars are on a comeback and are more popular than ever, even in spite of the many anti-smoking laws being erected across the world. Although cigarettes have a stigma about them, cigars are considered a sign of strength, financial prosperity and class under the right conditions. They are considered more of a fashion statement than a vice, transforming cigar smokers from simple to chic with a puff of smoke.

Famed writer and poet Rudyard Kipling once said, “A woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a smoke.” As life's quintessential scorecard, cigars are no longer associated with cantankerous old men. Obviously, Mr. Kipling was not aware that cigar smoking would become trendy for women. Like their male counterparts, women are choosing to celebrate their economic and social successes through a lit cigar.

From the streets of London to the glittering lights of Las Vegas, cigar bars have popped up everywhere. Whatever their calling or social status, the hip individuals that pack these bars have one thing in common: their love of cigars.
And the good news is that Bangladesh has jumped on the bandwagon.

How so, you ask?
Well, the Cigar Lounge, set in the lobby of the Sheraton Hotel is the first of its kind in the country and initial impressions suggest that it may just be the thing for cigar smokers of Bangladesh. The Sheraton Cigar Lounge is the perfect place for a puff of the old cigar at a days end providing visitors with an ideal mix of the modern and the classic.

Cozy and intimate, it also evokes Old Harvardsophistication, sex appeal, and just plain pretension-which makes it perfect for a business meeting or a night out with close associates.
But first things first. It's a Cigar Lounge, so what of the Cigar Room?

The Cigar Room is light and airy, tucked into an inviting corner of the lounge to create an essence of privacy. Cigar smokers have a wide array of choices - Robusto, Torpedo and Churchill to name a few while there is a Petit Corona, made especially with lady customers in mind.
But versatility is the name of the game these days. So a cigar lounge cannot just be a cigar lounge.

With that underlying theme in mind, the Cigar Lounge also has a plethora of food and beverages available. The establishment has a physical bar and one can choose from a fine range of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Almost all types of the former are available with cognac, red and white wines and champagne being popular choices. Amongst the non-alcoholic variety the premium brand coffee is a big hit, especially the unique brand of Nespresso's. Be sure to try out the Caffe Leggero, an aromatic blend that is distinguishable through its fruity bouquet, mildness and exotic flavour.

So you can sit back with a drink and a smoke and enjoy your evenings watching the Plasma TV or have a nice chat with friends or associates. Not much better is there?

As far as food goes, the choice of items is definitely light but as the co-operative staff so quickly reassures you, heavy dinner items are not restricted. Anything for your comfort. But you could well be satisfied with their canapés, tapas and great line of desserts.

The décor also has that kick-your-feet-up feel about it. The exterior, with its well-lit façade, looks inviting, especially when accompanied by the soft tunes inside the lounge. And the music too is relaxing and soothing, mantra being the most popular genre.

So, if you want to go to someplace really chic to take time out from your hectic schedule, this is just the place. Your time will slip away as you sit in the elegant cigar motif chairs, drink in hand underneath the high ceiling adorned by Spanish alabaster chandeliers and take a quiet puff from a hand-made cigar.

That is not all. Every month, Sheraton organises a theme night where they invite all their members and special guests. One of the theme nights in question was " A Chat with Tareq and Catherine Masud" where the famous filmmakers were invited for an open session with the guests. The "Australian Wine Sampling Session" was yet another in question and there was also a "New York Night." All events had most of the who's who of the city present.

The Cigar Lounge is open daily from 10 am to midnight and is accessible for members and guests staying in the hotel. The intriguing fact is that membership is free of cost and one has only to apply to Sheraton with a solid reference upon which he/she will be free to use the lounge facilities.

All in all, the Sheraton Cigar Lounge is a classy upscale place in tune with anything of the like elsewhere in the world. So pay it a visit. We trust you will come back wanting more.

By Quazi Zulquarnain Islam


Reader’s Chit

The art of impressing people

Haven't we all been trying to impress the world around us ever since we were born? Isn't it common for mothers to ask their babies to utter a name or wave someone goodbye? If the child succeeds he's praised with claps, hugs and kisses and reprimanded if he fails. In this way, we take our first steps into a lifelong habit of trying to impress people. The child who wants those claps of approval or those showers of kisses ultimately grows up to be a person who wants social approval and appreciation. Of course there is nothing wrong with wanting to be admired but it often happens that in pursuit of mastering the art of impressing people we forget our own values and priorities.

“I don't care what anyone thinks” is a popular phrase and I am personally so jealous of people who actually follow that declaration! It is rare indeed. In this world, where we cannot afford to live alone, it is hard to get by without caring about others because at some point you also want them to care about you. The kid who can impress the other kids gets to participate in all games. The student who can impress the teacher always gets some extra privileges. The company that can impress its customers gets better profit. The guy who can impress the girl he likes gets to have her as his life partner and vice versa. Although it isn't something taught in schools, the art of impressing people is something people learn pretty early in their lives because more times than not it makes it easier to get what you want. The only time there is a problem in any of this is when we make a wrong move in our race to impress others.

I think at some point most of us have wanted to be like somebody else? I don't know about others, but I have so often thought of how it would be if I had the looks of Aishwarya Rai or the charisma of Oprah Winfrey- if I could actually rule the world. I have found myself thinking that if everybody...and I mean EVERYBODY liked me, I'd be so happy. I restrain myself from that extra cookie to look more like the slim models on TV, or stare for hours at those weird modern paintings that make no sense to me to get more sophisticated. I took the pain of reading “War and Peace” at the age of 14 to gain some extra praise and look scholarly. I even once tried to get a fake accent to look cool. I sometimes wonder if any of it really made any difference in the impression I make on others. I am sure my best friend is not my friend just because I'm a great speaker. I'd hate if my life-partner chose me because of my looks. If there are people who like us for who we are, then why do we make an extra effort to be somebody else?

If we observe closely, we'd notice how even weird qualities suit certain people whereas they make others seem completely idiotic. I have a friend who is always cracking stupid jokes and making a fool of himself but at the same time appears to be the smartest one among his peers. Although I love the way he is, I know I can never be “him” just by being idiotic! It's just that that every person has some admirable traits and the art is to emphasise those instead of trying to be someone else. Most people can understand when you're making an extra effort to be impressive, and most of the time that creates a negative impression instead. The idea is to develop your personality, your habits and skills and NOT to change it or follow somebody else. So I guess, the key to impressing people is not trying to impress them. What I learnt in my own pursuit of impressing people is that “Be yourself! Your confidence will automatically impress others. And if it doesn't then maybe they are just not worth the effort!”

By Surviving Thunder

 

 

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