Escape From Milan Fashion Week: Rome

Milan Fashion Week is upon us again (September 21-26), and Italy’s capital of style will be teeming with la bella figuras (but then…when is it not?). But Rome’s beauties are centuries older, and still look as gorgeous as ever. So after the shows, we’re always keen for a zip down to the Eternal City, to take in beauty of a more historical sort.

And we always find ourselves checking in to the impossibly chic Hotel de Russie. One of the jewels of the venerated Rocco Forte Collection, we are ever taken in by its ethereal 18th Century terraced gardens, its elegantly sexy rooms and its buzzy Tridente location (just up the road from the Piazza di Spagna).  No surprise, a continuous parade of famous faces, including Jennifer Aniston, Viggo Mortensen and Posh & Becks (Morrissey even lived there during his “Roman Period”) have all called it home in The Eternal City. But most of all, we love de Russie for its glorious staff, who have here created this perfect post-Milan itinerary for the stressed out fashionista.

The MAXXI Museum

The newest contemporary art museum of Rome, in the northern district of Flaminio, is one of the most challenging projects of the late architect Zaha Hadid. A current exhibition, EXTRAORDINARY VISIONS. L’ITALIA CI GUARDA, shows 40 major photographers’ visions of Italy.

MAXXI Museum Rome

Art Running Experience 

Experience the splendor of Rome and get fit with a unique jogging experience through the Eternal City with Art Running. Danilo Palmucci, World Triathlon Champion for his age group, will whip you into shape whilst showing you some of Rome’s most secret corners. It can be booked through the hotel.

Monti Artisan Tour 

For an under-the-radar experience, mount an excursion and walking tour of Monti, one of the hippest districts of the city. It is a whole and encompassing experience, including art, shopping, craft and gastronomy. Located just south over the Quirinal Hill from the historic center, here on the parallel streets of Via dei Serpenti and Via del Boschetto, as well as Via Panispern, you’ll find a fleet of artisanal and one-of-a-kind items, as well as the vintage and unknown.

Ginger Restaurant

A contemporary fresh alternative to the traditional trattoria or local Italian restaurants that you will find all over the city. Fashionable with creative locals, and with a particular emphasis on organic ingredients, it has a bright, elegant bistro-style atmosphere inside and beautiful alfresco dining on the cobblestone street outside. They serve fresh local foods including gourmet sandwiches and salads and a wonderful selection of cheeses from around the world. They also have a popular aperitivo hour and an excellent wine selection.

Ginger Restaurant Rome


Hotel De Russie Deluxe Garden View Room 

With these glorious rooms having a view onto the hotel’s stunning, hidden gardens, it’s easy to forget that de Russie sits on one of the liveliest shopping streets in Rome. Bonus: the gorgeous marble bathrooms are done up with Roman-style mosaics.



At the hotel’s Wellness Zone, treat yourself to the Ancient Roman Foot Ritual – the perfect recovery from darting around Milan from show to show.


De Russie’s ever fashionable Stravinskji Bar is always buzzing with the famous and fabulous. Inside is all classy contemporary elegance and soft lighting, and outside, the cobbled courtyard faces the hotel’s spectacular terraced gardens. Aperitivo hour is particularly chic.


Mr. C Hotel

Molto di moda hotel has drawn marquee celebs—Eva Longoria, Minnie Driver, Richard Branson—as well as Italy’s fashion royalty since being opened by Cipriani progeny Ignazio and Maggio in 2011. They come for the hotel’s cool Mediterranean chic – like a bit of Positano or Capri on Beverwil Drive – with a few lavish Venetian flourishes. Pretty people gather for poolside cocktails or for Cip Italian classics and kiss-kiss scene at namesake in-house restaurant. Live jazz in Lobby Lounge.

Best Hotel Pools in LA


Photo courtesy of the Hollywood Roosevelt

There’s no locale more conducive to the outdoor pool than the sprawl of Los Angeles. While many Angelenos have the luxury of taking a dip in the comfort of their own backyards, hotel pools are more often than not the ideal setting for summer socializing, offering cabanas, cocktails, and parties. As pool season begins in Los Angeles, consider these hotel pools to lounge at during the day or party at for a night.

The Hollywood Roosevelt  What to expect: The way to hang around the David Hockney-designed pool at this iconic LA hotel is via the Tropicana Bar. Lounge chairs are reserved for hotel guests until noon everyday, but afterwards all non-guests need to do is spend a food and drink minimum ($50 Monday – Thursday, $100 Friday – Sunday) to lounge poolside. Bar service at the Tropicana is “at the discretion of the door,” so dress accordingly. (Photo courtesy of the Hollywood Roosevelt)


Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles What to expect: The small but mighty rooftop pool at the Ace Hotel is more about listening to DJ-spun tracks while sipping hipster cocktails than taking a literal swim. Upstairs, the adjoining rooftop bar, hosts pool parties and events (poolside yoga, anyone?) all summer long; check out what’s coming up on the hotel’s calendar. (Photo courtesy of Lauren Coleman)


SLS Beverly Hills  What to expect: The rooftop Altitude Pool at this hip and luxurious Beverly Hills hotel offers sprawling views of Los Angeles. To get the all-star, José Andrés-catered treatment, treat yourself to a poolside cabana (small ones start at $400). (Photo courtesy of SLS Beverly Hills)


Mr. C Beverly Hills  What to expect: So far, this boutique hotel near Rodeo Drive is a hidden gem as far as luxury hotels go. Lounge during the day in a cabana ($300), or wait until the sun sets for its poolside cinema program. Every other Tuesday beginning in June, the hotel screens a movie (first up on June 9 is the 1969 version of The Italian Job) and a menu of poolside-appropriate snacks and drinks. (Photo courtesy of Mr. C. Beverly Hills)

mr c

The Standard Hollywood What to expect: Wherever there’s a Standard, there’s a stellar rooftop pool situation. The downtown LA location of André Balazs hotel empire features a heated pool, waterbed pods, and lots of pool parties. Every Sunday in June, the Afternoon Delight series features a different DJ lineup for an afternoon hang. The door cover starts at $15.

6 Best Rooftop Pools in NYC

best rooftop pools nyc the dream hotel

Photo courtesy of the Dream Downtown

One of the best things about summer in the city is rooftop pools. The muggy heat and beating sun necessitate the need for a quick dip, and the inherent cool of New York means that its pools aren’t just ordinary aquatic settings. We’ve culled through the rooftop pool scenes in Manhattan and Brooklyn to bring you the best the city has to offer, from ones with spa-like serenity to others that you can literally dance into.

Le Bain: Le Bain at The Standard, High Line isn’t so much a rooftop pool as a penthouse dancefloor with a pool. The Meatpacking spot is celebrating its fifth anniversary all summer long (complete with a follow-along hashtag: #5thsummer), and its summer programming includes a helluva lot of DJ’ed parties. DJ Rich Medina will be playing there this Friday May 29 with Vikter Duplaix. Medina has played the rooftop venue countless times and claims it’s one of his favorite spots in the world. “The rooftop and pool are incredible…with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the Hudson and the west side of the city…top that off with a phenomenal sound system, extremely credible sound engineers, and a fully stocked wet bar, and you have a recipe for an incredible venue.” An excellent review, all around.

Gansevoort Hotel Group: Both the Meatpacking District and Park Avenue locations of the swanky Gansevoort Hotel Group have rooftop pools frequented by pretty people drinking expensive cocktails. To get access as a non-hotel guest, you’ll have to a. sneak in, b. buy the Daycation package, which for $300 gets you a cocktail and a massage among other spa-like perks, like poolside reflexology (that’s fancy talk for a foot massage).

SIXTY LES: This Lower East Side boutique hotel is so cool that its rooftop pool is outfitted with an Andy Warhol filmstrip. Nibbling on Blue Ribbon sushi while tanning in a bikini isn’t for everyone, which is why the pool is only open to hotel guests, for now. It plans to open to the public later this summer with special events, so stay tuned.

The James: JIMMY, the rooftop pool and bar at The James Hotel, is a go-to for urban summer lounging. The pool is reserved for guests on weekdays until 5 P.M. but opens its doors to the general chic downtown crowd on Saturdays and Sundays at 3 P.M. on for weekend pool parties with rotating DJs.

McCarren Hotel: The best pools in this city don’t have to be in lower Manhattan or on a rooftop. Enter the McCarren Hotel, whose saltwater pool is on the ground floor (you’ll still feel hip and tan) and open to non-guests with a daypass ($40 deal through the month of June). If you’re looking to pick up a morning yoga habit, the hotel offers poolside yoga in partnership with SyncStudios every day this summer.

Dream Downtown: Another hip Meatpacking hotel, another rooftop pool. The Beach at Dream Downtown boasts a glass-bottomed pool and French Riviera-inspired chaise lounges. Luckily, you don’t have to be a chic European hotel guest to soak up its summer offerings: daypasses are available to non-guests Monday-Friday, and the pool will host DJs throughout the week.

Chicago Athletic Association Reemerges as Luxury Hotel

Restored ballroom

Travelers heading to the windy city (and local Chicagoans looking for a a place to throw a knockout event) will have a new place to stay starting May 27, when the storied Chicago Athletic Association reopens its doors as a 241-room luxury hotel.

Travelers heading to the windy city (and Chicagoans looking for a a place to throw a knockout event) will have a new place to play starting May 27 when the storied Chicago Athletic Association reopens its doors as a 241-room luxury hotel. The restoration, which involved a collaboration among design firm Roman and WilliamsHartshorne Plunkard Architecture, Geolo Capital, and Agman partners, took two years to complete.

The historic building and its gorgeous architectural details were brought to life in 1890 as a place for the storied families of Chicago — think names like Wrigley and Spalding — to socialize and enjoy sport. Roman and Williams preserved the details, which included bas-relief woodcarving fireplaces, 19th-century stained glass windows, and marble staircases, as part of their restorative process.

Beyond the guest rooms and suites, the luxury hotel will boast 17,000 square feet of event space, a rooftop bar, retail space in Madison Hall, and multiple restaurants, including a Shake Shack.

Chicago Athletic Association

A room at the restored hotel

A suite at the restored hotel

Chicago Athletic Association exterior

Images courtesy of Commune Hotels and Resorts

Largest Hotel in the World to Open in Mecca

Saudi Arabia will soon be home to the largest hotel in the world, Abraj Kudai, Arabian Business reported yesterday. Set to be completed in 2017, the luxury hotel, designed by architectural firm Dar Al Handasah will house 10,000 rooms in 12 separate towers. Luxury hotels are nothing if not for their amenities, and this one will feature 70 restaurants, a shopping mall, rooftop helipads, and a full-size convention center. The 3.5 billion dollar best online casino site is not-so-coincidentally located 2 kilometers away from Mecca’s holy mosque, Masjid al-Haram, and parts of the complex will be dedicated to Hajj visitors.

The artist rendering of Abraj Kudai (pictured above) shows how its design is meant to depict a “traditional desert fortress.” The center dome will soon be one of the largest in the world (but who’s keeping track?), and of the towers that surround it, 10 will have certified four-star accommodations and two will be five-star, catering to the elite of the elite. So far, its pastel hues and literal towering height make it a very plausible setting for a Grand Budapest Hotel sequel set in the Middle East. Although instead of a funicular, there are car parks and a bus stop.

When it opens, the luxury hotel will upstage the MGM Grand in Las Vegas as the largest hotel in the world, which has a little over 6,100 rooms.

Andaz Wall Street

The only hotel on Wall Street, perfect for storming into town to pitch an IPO, or sleeping off that nasty trial separation. Mixed use, Rockwell Group designed ultra-modern building starts with 250-plus hotel rooms, caps off with two dozen floors of residential condo. Dramatic all-white, all-steel staircase sets the mood for stylish accommodations. Dark oak on the floor, textured walls, mad views. Dina Rata resto for power lunching.

Conrad New York

Guests at this luxe spot are greeted by a towering Sol LeWitt painting in the dramatic atrium, setting the tone for what is veritably a hotel-as-contemporary-art-gallery. Indeed, the Conrad’s collection includes site-specific installations by Pat Steir and Imi Knoebel, as well as works by Mary Heilmann and Elizabeth Peyton. Anthony Zamora helms the Atrio restaurant, presciently named Loopy Doopy rooftop bar offers life-altering views of the Hudson. Extravagant!

Flatiron Hotel Toshi

Unexpectedly grand entry, with big lobby and mezzanine, connected by glass staircase spiraling around a fat column of tropical fish swimming to the beat of live music (JK, fish have no rhythm). Upstairs, find stylish rooms finished with marble and granite. Lush linens, iHome entertainment system, mix of Jacuzzis and Swiss rainfall showers. Bathroom TVs, because you’re classy like that.