House of Style
Despite its reputation as a fashion capital, Milan doesn’t have much to offer in the way of fashionable hotels. But that’s about to change with the debut of the Gray. Guido Ciompi, the designer behind Milan’s much-hyped Armani store (the one that houses a Nobu), is the creative force behind the ultramodern boutique, whose doors are set to open this summer, near La Scala. Beyond beds suspended from cables (not in every room, thank you), tubs with TVs, and moving carpets embedded in the floors, Ciompi’s outrageous designs also include video art in the lobby and a reception desk shaped like an egg. His plan for the restaurant may be the most outlandish of all: Guests will be able to stretch out on divans while they eat, like ancient Romans. Let’s just hope he doesn’t expect us to throw up between courses, as the old Romans were also wont to do. For reservations, call 011-39-02-8879-1311; rooms from $262.
The High Mile Club
In anticipation of a resurgence in travel this spring, frequent-flier deals of the past few months are starting to dry up fast. But we’ve found a few lingering promotions still worth taking advantage of: Virgin Atlantic (800-365-9500) is offering a miles-and-money deal through March 18 – a round-trip ticket from New York to London for $169 plus 5,000 miles (it’s usually 40,000 miles); through March 31, United (800-421-4655) is offering round-trip tickets to Europe for 35,000 miles, down from the usual 50,000; and Continental’s domestic round-trip tickets require just 20,000 miles through the end of May (800-525-0280). Also, Delta’s (800-323-2323) domestic economy tickets are 20,000 miles through March 20, down from 25,000, while its round-trip tickets to Europe require only 40,000 miles, down from 50,000 (through March 14).
New York’s trend-setters have always drifted south by nature, but now they’re going beyond Canal Street or even Ocean Drive. A number of hoteliers and restaurateurs have signed deals in Mexico City. “It’s like an early SoHo: young and active, with galleries and cafés,” Brian McNally says of the La Condesa district, where he is building a 140-room upmarket hotel with partner Jorge Vergara. The pair are in talks with two top New York chefs about opening restaurants in the hotel, which should be completed by the end of next year. Also, W is opening a 260-room hotel in the Polanco district, with a bar, restaurant, and mini-spa, due at the beginning of 2003; and the Habitat, which already has one hotel in Mexico City, is planning a smaller boutique (also in La Condesa) with the help of BondSt owner Jonathan Morr.
BETH LANDMAN KEIL
Deal of the Week
From now to May 12, the Savoy Group is offering a reduced rate of $249 – that’s 50 percent off the rack rate – at its London properties, which include the Savoy, the Berkeley, Claridge’s, and the Connaught. Mention New York Magazine and get a free room upgrade. Call 800-63-SAVOY.
Yoga Party Shambhala, the luxurious beach spa on Parrot Cay in the Turks and Caicos, is launching a series of six yoga retreats, led by instructors from New York and L.A. The “Healing Weeks” run from March through November, and start at $3,070, including meals, accommodations, massages, and yoga instruction. Mention this page for 10 percent off (649-946-7788). Burns Rate Bob Burns, who developed Regent Hotels in the seventies and then sold the empire to Four Seasons, has reappeared on the hotel scene, sinking $30 million into the 21-room Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli (pictured). The converted neo-Gothic mansion, nestled in the countryside of northern Italy, officially opens this summer. (Call 011-39-03-65-798-000 for reservations; rooms from $439.) Bali Low Bali’s cultural capital, Ubud, now has a world-class restaurant, and possibly the best dinner deal on the planet: Chef Chris Salans, an alum of Bouley Bakery and the Bay Area’s French Laundry, offers a six-course tasting menu for $20 at his brand-new restaurant, Mozaic (011-62-36-975768). Conn Job Greenwich, Connecticut, gets a new luxury hotel this spring: The 83-room Delamar is right on the harbor, with a new restaurant, L’Escale, run by the folks behind Manhattan’s La Goulue and Orsay. (Call 866-335-2627; rooms from $295.)