This sexy new Gran Melia Rome hotel is an instant magnet for those seeking a truly contemporary luxury experience in the Italian capital. It’s something of an urban oasis, as much a resort as a hotel, with sprawling grounds boasting a river and a serenely located swimming pool. Rooms are done up in classy, muted color schemes, and each floor represents a different classically- inspired art theme.
But Gran is also aiming to seriously up the epicurean quotient of the Eternal City’s hotel scene, with Michelin-starred chef Alfonso Iaccarino helming the Vivavoce gastronomic Mediterranean restaurant, in addition to a more casual poolside eatery and lounge, and a gorgeous panoramic roof garden. A YHI Wellness area offers personalized training and beauty services, as well as a dip in the "Vitality" pool.
Not many designers (er, actually probably no others) can say they’ve dressed Pacino, Jay-Z and Morrissey. But Italian fashion legend Angelo Galasso’s “Tradition in Evolution” philosophy has an appeal that apparently crosses not just a few cultural divides.
His tres elegan-tay new boutique, installed in the Plaza Hotel’s storied Edwardian Room, is his Stateside debut, and oh what an entrance he makes. Galasso’s modern-classical, masculine luxe looks are right at home amongst the space’s magnificent architectural details, including oak wainscoting, opulent chandeliers and a dramatically beamed ceiling. A seriously classy affair.
The restaurant that first taught Londoners back in 2001 that Asian food can be utterly life-altering (as well as bank account-altering). A couple of Michelin stars and Dubai and Miami outposts later, Hakkasan’s celebrated mod Cantonese cuisine has finally found a home in NYC.
Located along a rather noir-ish stretch of 43rd St., stepping inside is nevertheless like entering a fantastical glamour bubble. Indeed, the 11,000-square-foot space houses a marble entrance hall, a long bar, the Ling Ling Lounge, and elegantly sexy dining areas separated by intricate Asian lattice work. Chef Ho Chee Bon, who has done time at Moscow’s Turandot, mixes Hakkasan classics (Roasted Silver Cod with Champagne and Chinese honey–yum!) with dishes conjured from locally-sourced ingredients. The Hakka cocktails are a must.
Neta (Greenwich Village) – Former Bar Masa and Masa head chefs dropping über-fresh sushi.
Yopparai (Lower East Side) – Name means "drunk," fifty sakes stand by to get you there.
Go! Go! Curry! (Noho) – Japanese chain brings Kanazawa-style curry to the NYU masses.
Montpellier Michelin-starred chef twins Jacques and Laurent Pourcel, having taken Paris by storm with Maison Blanche, have returned to les sud de la France, opening Sea Sens, a breezily chic new eatery in Cannes’ super trendy new The Five Hotel (the town’s first Design Hotels member).
Belly up to the luxurious mother of pearl bar or lounge on quasi deck chairs beneath surreally massive flower murals, while indulging in Asian-spiced market cuisine. Splurge on the Blue Lobster followed by one of Jerome de Oliveira’s lauded dessert creations. Sunday brunch is one of the Cote d’Azur’s best scenes.
Brick + Mortar (Santa Monica ) – Short-rib pizza and a DIY Bloody Mary bar on Main Street.
Dans Le Noir (Garment District) – Don’t see it to believe it: dark dining guided by blind waitstaff.
After several waves of invasions of Occidental luxury brands, both Moscow and Saint Petersburg have been steadily cultivating a more indie fashion scene to counter the mega-brand hegemony. To wit, new women and menswear boutique Physika carries buzzy independent Russian designers like Chistova Endourova, Damir Doma, and Sophia Kokosolaki alongside Superfine, Lucien Pellat-Finet, and those titans of the avant-garde Vivienne Westwood and Maison Martin Margiela.
In an uncluttered, but warm and inviting space that is also a gallery, of sorts, Physika also plans to host a series of artistically inclined special events. Additional shops are planned for Paris, Riga and Bali. Get Physika!
Having grown out of its cult status since opening in its Nob Hill location in 2010, revered indie menswear shop Department 17 now has a shiny new (and bigger) home along a more trod path in Hayes Valley. With a philosophy summed up as "stylish and appropriate", D17 proffers a collection for gents with a classic sense of aesthetics but a distinctly modern attitude.
In addition to their eponymous label, the newly expanded offerings will include apparel, shoes and accessories by Kitsune, Industry of All Nations, Norse Projects and Richer Poorer, amongst others. The space has a charmingly unfinished look, further emphasizing the D17’s casual, inclusive vibe. 17…again!