Top 12 Hotels for a Dirty Weekend

These are getaways for lovers — or lusters — only, without the family, just-good-friends, kids, laptops (lap dancing and clothing optional) or other encumbrances. Either you want to see and be seen, or you don’t. Whether you’re after an in-room Jacuzzi, couples massages, meals, or just a fireplace and a view, read on.

Pan Deï Palais (Côte d’Azur) – A princess’ historic palace turned boutique hotel in the heart of St. Tropez. With only 12 guestrooms, the palace is exclusively reserved for hotel guests — so unless the people you’re trying to avoid are staying there, you’re safe. Valmont treatment fit for a princess are available in guestrooms and spa. Also rans: Château de la Chèvre d’Or, L’Hôtel Du Cap – Eden Roc, La Réserve Ramatuelle.

Ritz-Carlton (Chicago) – The Ritz-Carlton (a Four Seasons Hotel which makes it a double whammy) has a special weekend suite. After drinks in their Greenhouse, and couples massage in the Kiva Spa (or in-room), have sushi delivered from Kamahachi on Wells Street for a sultry beginning to a long weekend. Also rans: Trump International Hotel & Tower, The Drake Hotel, The James Chicago.

The Address (Dubai) – Possibly the only example of design restraint anywhere in this town, but never fear — you can still glance out the window at the world’s tallest building across the lagoon. The eight bars and restaurants serve high-class eclectic without the gold-foil-sushi trytoohardy madness found elsewhere. Spa Suites probably the most hip yet peaceful hotel accommodation in the Emirates. Also rans: One & Only Royal Mirage, Burj Al Arab.

Hilton Baltimore Convention Center (Baltimore) – Who, besides John Waters, is going to see you in Baltimore? Half the rooms and the fitness center face Camden Yards for sports fans. This big-box hotel actually feels a little homey, with works of local artists adorning public and private rooms, blueberry pancakes delivered by room service, and in-room pampering from Spa Sante. Their beds can, quite literally, put you to sleep — if you‘re not careful. Also ran: Admiral Fell Inn.

Sunset Marquis (Los Angeles) – Granddaddy of all the rock ‘n roll hotels meanders over an entire city block. Much has changed since Flea jumped for the swimming pool — and missed. The hotel bought all of the surrounding houses and turned them into villas, complete with swimming pools, Jacuzzis, and gardens combined for an in-town oasis. Try the one Keith Richards uses, complete with a gym they built for him (no kidding).You’re lucky if the waiter can find you, much less an angry spouse. Also rans: The Charlie, Andaz West Hollywood, Hotel Bel-Air, Chateau Marmont.

The Palms (Las Vegas) – The Fantasy tower is filled with one-of-a-kind suites with names like Erotic Suite, the Hugh Heffner Villa, the Barbie Suite, the Hardwood Suite — you get the picture Also rans: Four Seasons Hotel, Wynn Las Vegas, Red Rock Resort Casino Spa.

The Mayfair (London) – The Suite Seduction weekend package includes intimacy enhancers by Agent Provocateur (e.g. a paddle whip), champagne, Jo Malone essences, late checkout, chocolate-covered strawberries, unlimited internet service, music, movies, and chauffeured pickup from the airports (for an extra charge of £180 pounds), beginning at £1,500 for the Schiaperelli suite, the Opium suite, or one of ten others. Also rans: The Dorchester, Brown’s Hotel.

The Tides (Miami) – Redesigned by Kelly Wearstler, the hotel features just 45 suites, each with a view of the ocean. Intimate cocktails are available in the lobby — or in your suites — as is cuisine from La Marea’s chef Gonzalo Rivera. Also rans: Fontainebleau Miami Beach, The Standard, Mondrian Miami, Viceroy Miami.

Hotel Opus (Montreal) – Boutique hotel with modern design in an original avant-garde structure built in 1914 in the historic setting of downtown Montreal. Early art nouveau outside with an interior curving staircase by architect Dan Hanganu; a hot-hot-hot spot with Koko Restaurant and Bar featuring Pan-Asian cuisine. Minimalist guest rooms are nevertheless luxurious. Also rans: Hotel Le-St-James.

Hôtel Fouquet’s Barrière (Paris) – One of those discreet lovers’ magnets: silk linens, personal butlers, huge mirrors that turn into televisions (there are even tellys above the Jacuzzi bathtubs). “Paris by Night” package includes welcoming caviar and champagne, intimate breakfast each morning, champagne dinner at Le Diane restaurant, and transport to and from the airport at 1,599€ nightly with a two-night minimum stay. If you actually want to be seen, the “Paris C’est L’Amour” package takes couples on a photo shoot to duplicate Doisneau’s famous photograph “The Kiss” (Le Baiser, taken in 1950). Also rans: Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme, Hôtel du Petit Moulin, Hôtel Plaza Athénée.

Sky Lodge (Park City) – Off the hook. Every room has a Japanese hot tub on the balcony, granite countertops, Subzero stainless kitchens, and a private bar and cocktail lounge for hotel guests only. Also ran: The Chateaux at Silver Lake.

The Mansion on O Street (Washington DC) – The most luxurious hideaway for a dirty weekend in this three-piece-suit city. Off DuPont Circle, everyone who stays there is so famous that nobody — but nobody– will notice you. No keys: each guest gets a code, and none can be reached by telephone unless the guest provides the caller with a room name, as in: the John Lennon room; the Log Cabin suite … Also rans: Mayflower, Hay Adams, The Willard.

Conspicuous Consumption: Bathroom Bubbly at Sundance

How have the priorities of the Sundance Film Festival shifted over the years? The answer isn’t abstract. It has nothing to do with the “spirit” or the “mission” of the festival (face it, good filmmakers find a way to make their movie regardless of festival support … Sundance just makes the process tipsier and more profitable). But neither has the festival lost its way, like you’ll hear everyone at every goddamn bus stop in Park City say — not because the festival isn’t totally sort of creepy and corrupt feeling, but because Sundance never really had a “way” in the first place.

The problem most people have with Sundance is usually that it’s become “so mainstream” now, but this logic presumes that Sundance was some towering beacon of indie pride in the past, and that’s just probably not true. Sundance has always been a brand that supports other brands, either by providing much-desired indie approval, or, more often nowadays, by providing the backdrop for a big, wobbly ten-day industry retreat (why do you think people give away so much free shit?). This kind of I-scratch-your-back-you-invest-in-my-festival behavior makes sense, whether people like it or not. It’s good business. But good business makes for odd artistry. So far I’ve met nine people in “industry finance” and one in actual filmmaking (and I think he was a liar).


The evidence of Sundance’s gradual slide into commerce is everywhere. For example, last night’s completely packed Kenneth Cole Black/Gen Art Party at the Sky Lodge. Or rather, technically, “The Kenneth Cole Black/Gen Art Party with Kenneth Cole, Nick Cannon, Kevin Bacon, John Krasinski, Alan Cumming, Anne Heche and many more, presented by Greenhouse and 360 Eco-Luxury Vodka.” Without even walking into the party, the names are dropped. You’re advertised to. This is just how it is. The question becomes, how do you feel about knowing you’re being sold? Because the Gen Art party was fun.

There was literally champagne in the bathrooms! It did everything it was supposed to do: entourages mingled, celebrities were interviewed and documented for posterity, namesake vodka was poured, the lines outside grew until just before midnight. The party’s adopted film was buzzed. It was the kind of party where all you hear are bizarrely mysterious fragments of conversations all night — walking past that other kid from Napoleon Dynamite, I seriously overheard, “… no man, like, projectile. P-r-o-j-e-c-t-i ….” Point is, if the night’s a success, who cares whose name is on the walls? Sundance has always been financed by someone, it’s just that now those someones are making their presence a little more apparent. And you can complain, but you bought in knowing the score. This is what you came here for: not the films (you can see them later in theatres anyway), but the spectacle. And so far, Greenhouse, Sky Lodge, and their ilk have managed the spectacle spectacularly.

Jumping the Line at Sundance

Scene at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City: A junior flack manning the door at the Kenneth Cole Black – GenArt party at the Sky Lodge last night bellowed out from behind her clipboard to the frigid swarm of party-goers mushrooming in front of the door: “If you’re not a celebrity, an honoree or press, get in the back of the line!” That pretty much sums up the Sundance party admittance hierarchy. Luckily, we snuck into the tail end of that equation and jumped the line, breezing right in to find cigarette girls and guys doling out jumbo boxes of Hot Tamales, Sour Patch Kids, cartons of popcorn, and other movie fare, as the likes of an unnaturally blonde Denise Richards, Eliza Dushku, and what appeared to be “Pedro” from Napoleon Dynamite shook their groove thangs to guest DJ Nick Cannon’s ’80s mash-ups. (Thanks, but do we really need a remix of ’80s one-hit-wonders The Outfield?)

image Brent Bolthouse and Kenneth Cole.

Harvey Weinstein made a brief appearance, turning heads and eliciting whispers (“Harvey’s here!”). After a glimpse of indie film royalty, it was time to go.

image Jeff Daniels and Olivia Thirlby.

At Sundance, the best parties are said to happen far from the jammed throngs of Main Street, out in the quiet white night of the surrounding town, where movie moguls and movers and shakers of varying importance rent massive wooden mansions. Thanks to the delightful women who run the Woodstock Film Festival (this September marks their 10th anniversary), we found ourselves ensconced in said setting late into the night and had the pleasure of a fireside chat with a lovely young filmmaker whose last film, The Doorman, had the distinction of earning its worst review ever — in BlackBook. Hey, all press is good press I reminded him, and raised my mug of clove-spiced grog to his future success.

“Brooklyn’s Finest” @ Sundance: BK in the Igloo

imageIt’s hard to tell sometimes if the absurdity of the Sundance Film Festival is self-effacing or genuinely oblivious to itself. Case in point: the “Brooklyn’s Finest” party at Greenhouse at the Sky Lodge. Not to say that the party wasn’t on point; it was. Greenhouse, New York’s premier eco-friendly nightlife spot, knows how to get down, and the Sky Lodge is by far the swankest of Park City’s swankery. Hosts Richard Gere, Wesley Snipes, Ethan Hawke, and Don Cheadle brought out the bright lights and red carpets; Spike Lee got his Stella-Got-Her-Groove-On, as did Brandon Jackson.

But still … Brooklyn’s Finest? Yes, Richard Gere’s middle name is Tiffany, which just so happens to be VH1’s New York’s real name, and yes, Greenhouse has its head on straight when it comes to negating carbon emissions and creating sustainable cool in the 212. Still, somewhere Biggie is rolling over in his grave. Because, right, when I think of Brooklyn’s Finest, I think of Lancelot and Passenger 57. Just saying.