London Preview: South Place Hotel

One only needs to know that conspirators from the late, lamented Great Eastern Hotel (now an Andaz) are involved here to guess that the new South Place Hotel is set to be a magnet for East London’s most unfailingly hip. 

The first hotel from the D&D hospitality group (Bluebird Chelsea, Quaglino’s, et al), South Place has got just 80 rooms and will flaunt two Tony Fleming-helmed restaurants: the mod diner 3 South Place and the rooftop spot Angler for seafood and rapturous views. The 3 South Place Bar will be buzzing into the wee hours. The Conran & Partners interiors are sleek, vintage-modern, with artworks by John Vincent Aranda and Damien Florebert-Cuypers. An annual South Place Hotel Art Prize and Sunday Cinema Sessions series seal the hotel’s cultural cred. Opens September 3rd.

London Preview: Dorset Square Hotel

And they say you can’t go home again. But London’s boutique hotel virtuosos Firmdale (Haymarket HotelCrosby Street Hotel, etc.) have gone back to their first property, the Dorset Square Hotel, and revived it for the 21st Century. What has emerged, unsurprisingly, is a hotel-in-a-townhouse brimming with 38 rooms inspired by designer Kit Kemp’s signature bold and playful colors and textures.

Situated in Marylebone, Dorset Square is one of the early beneficiaries of Kemp’s buzzed about new fabric and rug collection with Christopher Farr. The rooms are flanked with oak and marble, and there’s an opulent, fireplace-adorned drawing room (this is England, after all). The sexy Potting Shed restaurant and bar is set to become one of the capital’s buzziest new scenes. Another winner from Firmdale. 

Miami Preview: SLS Hotel South Beach

Like a Floridian Habsburg Vienna, Miami is prone to regular invasions from foreign powers eager to share in its decadence and wealth. Recently Vegas’ Light Group made its first incursion with its BIANCA restaurant and FDR bar at the Delano; and New York’s Thompson Hotels just scooped up and is renovating the Victor Hotel into the Thompson South Beach. Hardly surprisingly, the reigning princes of LA nightlife, sbe, are also feverishly expanding their empire into the Magic City with the opening of the swish new SLS Hotel South Beach. Indeed, with this dazzling new property they are willfully ratcheting up the glam factor of what is already one of the most glamour-mad towns on the planet.
Never one to be outdone, the talent enlisted for the SLS by sbe’s Sam Nazarian is enough to send most of Miami’s hospitality honchos scrambling for a renovation plan. To wit, Lenny Kravitz even had a hand in the design. And with the two eponymous culinary masters helming The Bazaar (by Jose Andres) and Katsuya by Starck, as well as an 8000 square foot outpost of sbe’s Hyde nightclub and rooms flaunting almost Versailles-level opulence, expect a curious convergence of rhapsodizing foodies and lounging beauties.  


Paris Preview: Wanderlust

Arnaud Frisch’s Parisian nightlife empire expands with Wanderlust, the spectacular new conceptual space along the Seine. Boasting the largest terrace in the City of Light (1600 square meters!) the rather revolutionary Jakob + Macfarlane designed (with visuals by Ghost World author Daniel Clowes) Wanderlust also flaunts an open-air cinema, restaurant, and club.

Electronic music nights, as well as creative partnerships with the Institut Francais de la Mode and London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, and a weekend vintage clothing market assure that it will be a supremely buzzing incubator for the Parisian creative classes. The mayhem continues until 6am every morning, Wednesday through Sunday.

Hamptons Preview: C. Wonder

With barely a snowflake having touched down in the New York Metro area all winter, suddenly the Hamptons season is upon us. And these days even the Jitney crowd craves style at an attainable price. And so J. Christopher Burch’s C. Wonder will be–literally–popping up along Southampton’s Main Street just in time for the sound of popping beach umbrellas.

A sensation when it debuted in Soho this past October, C. Wonder’s new Hamptons summer pop-up shop will cater to more breezy concerns, with fanciful gifts, brightly-hued fashions and flip flops, roller skates, and picnic baskets–along with specialized monogramming and engraving services to make your friends jealous. The brand’s whimsical, wildly colorful aesthetic inclinations (interiors are done up with animal motifs and nautical-themed window displays) are bested only by its friendly price points–the average product costs only about $40. A corresponding pop-up will also open in Nantucket. Opens Memorial Day. 

Montreal Preview: Ritz-Carlton

Having hosted Queen Elizabeth, Sophia Loren and The Stones, as well as acting as the backdrop to the first wedding of Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, the Ritz- Carlton Montrèal is certainly not wanting for history. But a $150 million renovation is bringing it dazzlingly into the 21st Century, just in time for its 100th birthday.

But not content with just a dolling up of its lobby and rooms, the Ritz is now sporting an architecturally impressive glass and steel addition. And while the Palm Court has a dazzling new elegan-tay look, it’s the anticipation of Daniel Boulud’s Maison Boulud that really has Quebec epicures all atwitter. The many-Michelin-starred chef arrives for the first time in Canada’s Francphone capital, and the competition for tables in the ethereal courtyard is sure to be fierce. Another glamorous century awaits.

Toronto Preview: Quartz Crystal Spa at Trump International Hotel and Tower

With the political aspirations put behind, The Donald is back to what he does best: erecting dazzling, monumental, skyward towers. His debut Canadian hotel will soon be unveiled, and one of its centerpieces is this glorious new 15,000 square foot Quartz Crystal Spa.

Dramatically located 31 floors above the buzzing Toronto streets (with a swimming pool one floor up), it eschews all that trendy zen, being decked out instead with a touch of old Hollywood Glamour. Fittingly for a shamelessly decadent hotel, there’s even a Spa concierge on hand, to guide you through all that luxurious pampering. Treatments have appropriately poshie titles like the Cinque Stelle Diamond Manicure and La Dolce Vita For Two, for lovebirds. Swank-eeee. Opening January 31st. 

Los Angeles Preview: Bagatelle

The glamorous Meatpacking District resto Bistro Bagatelle is rumored to soon be reopening in a new MePa location. But in the meantime, Brand Essence partners Remi Laba and Aymeric Clemente will be taking the show to La La Land.

In the old Boudoir space on La Cienega, the new Bagatelle LA is be spread over multiple rooms and an open patio. A bit of laid back St. Tropez chic set back from one of LA’s busiest boulevards, the 2700 square foot space, designed by Studio BRASA, is made up like a posh Parisian apartment, complete with glittery chandeliers. The manicured garden area promises to be tres South of France. Scott Quinn’s seasonal French-Med menu is to be complemented by a bon vivant’s selection of champagnes and rose wines, and DJs will spin breezy tunes well into the night.