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Yule Britannia

Beyond the beach: A hipster holiday in London

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Last Christmas, hipsters were taking off for Miami, where they would linger poolside at Ian Schrager's Delano hotel, towel to towel with Ingrid Casares and Barry Diller. This year, the holiday party has moved across the big pond. London is pulsating with the kind of manic, over-the-top energy that characterized Miami at its peak, and Schrager is already there to smooth the transition. His new St. Martins Lane is like the Delano with fewer models and more manners, and a cool bedside console that allows you to change your room color to suit your mood. It's walking distance from theaters and Trafalgar Square; and all December, St. Martins in the Fields, down the street from the hotel, offers a program of heavenly choral music. For those with more catholic tastes, the model-cum-concierge will direct you to one of the dozens of weekly parties that make London nightlife the most vibrant in the world. Or just color your room blue, order room service from Asia de Cuba, and spend the night taking in the bustle downstairs through your floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Uh . . . wasn't that Barry?

DETAILS The St. Martins Lane, 011-44-207-300-55-00 (doubles start at $395); Asia de Cuba, 011-44-207-300-55-88.


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