City of Nights
A perfect day in Paris doesn’t require a lot of planning: Stroll, sip Sancerre, nibble macaroons, savor a Nutella crêpe. But once the sun sets, it takes some thought to do the city right. This spring, that means booking a table at Les Ambassadeurs, whose new chef was plucked from Alain Ducasse, or at always-packed newcomers like the Cristal Room (located in the new Philippe Starck–designed Baccarat museum), L’Atelier Joël Robuchon, and Kong, the funky Franco-Japanese restaurant already famous for its cameo on the final episode of Sex and the City. Après le fromage, work your way past the unsmiling security at La Suite, a restaurant that converts to a club around midnight, or, better yet, follow the bon chic bon genre to a trendy topless bar like Pink Paradise or Stringfellows.
What’s in Store
No shopping trip to Paris is complete without a sexy nightie from Sabbia Rosa and a Marie Merci chapeau. But save room on your credit card for this spring’s hottest new stores. Designer Bruno Frisoni has revived the legendary shoe label Roger Vivier, and the only place on earth you can buy the over-the-top foot candy—$17,000 pink croc boots, anyone?—is at the new rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré store. Also hit scent king Frédéric Malle’s just-opened perfumery, where you can sample about twenty fragrances, and Loulou de la Falaise, the Left Bank boutique recently opened by the eponymous former model and longtime Yves Saint Laurent muse.
Deal of the Week
No doubt, the surging euro hurts. Thankfully, the Right Bank’s upscale Hôtel Meurice is offering us a sympathetic price of $580 through December. (Be sure to ask for the “guaranteed U.S. dollar rate,” or the hotel will quote you €650, about $805.) Call 33-1-44-58-10-06 or visit meuricehotel.com.
The most stylish rooms à Paris.
The recently refurbished Hôtel Montalembert (33-1-45-49-68-68) oozes Left Bank charm just outside the touristy fray of the Saint-Germain-des-Prés.
With a swank Avenue Montaigne address and a Patrick Jouin–designed bar, the Plaza Athénée (33-1-53-67-66-65) was cool even before Carrie Bradshaw stayed there.
Rub bony shoulders with supermodels at the still-trendy Hôtel Costes (33-1-42-44-50-00), where dark-paneled nooks have lots of fringe and tassels.
The ritzy Ritz Paris (33-1-43-16-30-30) has drawn, and always will draw, global moguls of every persuasion, from bankers and lawyers to film execs and fashionistas.
If You’re Going To…
Napa Valley Among the treats in Oscar presenters’ goody bags were gift certificates to Calistoga Ranch, opening in May. Developed by the folks behind Auberge du Soleil and Esperanza, the superluxe resort comprises 47 roomy lodges, plus a mountainside wine cave and gorgeous bathhouse (800-942-4220; from $525).
London Clerkenwell, the Brits’ answer to the meatpacking district, complete with trendy bars and restaurants, groovy boutiques, and even a meat market, now welcomes the Zetter—59 stylish rooms (exposed brick, mood lighting) in, yes, a converted warehouse (44-207-324-4444; from $230).
Dubai Following in the footsteps of Versace and Ferragamo, Giorgio Armani has put on a hotelier hat and plans to open the first of his ten hotels and four resorts in the fashionable Burj Dubai building. Room details are being kept quiet, but we’re guessing there may be a few Armani Casa accessories.
The North Fork Oenophiles touring Long Island vineyards will appreciate the luxurious Harborfront Inn at Greenport, opening in May. Thirty-five rooms offer the usual cushy amenities— flat-screen TVs, stone-tiled bathrooms—plus outstanding views of Greenport village and the harbor (631-477-0707; from $185).