Despite the Northeast’s mild winter, David Dillon, president of the Vermont Ski Areas Association, insists spring skiing in his parts is still an option: “Ninety-five percent of Vermont’s trails are open, and we have high hopes for conditions in March.” But if you’d rather head west, where you know there’ll be fine snow even in April, bargains are plentiful: The Pines Lodge at Beaver Creek is offering 50 percent off rooms when you stay at least two nights in April (call 800-404-3535), and Vail’s “Mountain Madness” package includes four nights’ lodging, a three-day lift ticket, and dinner at either the Wildflower or Larkspur, starting at $399 per person (April 1 to 14; 800-404-3535). “Spring Fling” at Telluride features five nights’ lodging and a four-day pass for $384 per person (April 1 to 7; 866-287-5016).
Some Like It Boîte
Traditionally, Parisian nightclubbers have never been as addicted to novelty as New Yorkers or Londoners. Paris’s hottest club, Barrio Latino, has been around since 1999 – practically a lifetime in club years. But the long drought is apparently over. Pink Platinum, the city’s first traditional strip club (meaning no cabaret but plenty of lap dances), just opened in January, and the red velvet lounge is catering not to loudmouth suits on expense accounts but to chic Parisian couples in search of something new (49-51 Rue di Ponthieu; 011-33-158-361-920). Another trendy nightclub, Nirvana, is set to open on March 6 (3 Avenue Matignon; 011-33-153-891-891), and in May, Edouard Corbière and Thierry Bégué, co-owner of Buddha Bar, Barfly, and Barrio Latino, are opening a yet-to-be-named 16,000-square-foot restaurant and bar whose on-site wine caves and attention-getting décor should breathe some life into the sleepy 12th Arrondissement.
The future of those airport VIP check-ins may be uncertain, but there are other ways to avoid the long lines. Hotels cite a recent influx of luggage-shipping requests: Jeff Klein of New York’s City Club Hotel says he had to build a new room to hold all the incoming baggage from FedEx, UPS, and Mail Boxes Etc., while luggage-transport specialist Virtual Bellhop reports that its past few months were the busiest in the company’s four-year history. Many travelers are even leaving their bags with hotels for future visits: The Regent Wall Street invites guests to store anything from Pilates equipment to humidors; and a W Union Square regular leaves her Yorkie’s Burberry coat. At select Ritz-Carltons (including Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.), the staff will pack your belongings, store them while you’re away, and then get it all back into your room before you check in for your next stay. New York’s Four Seasons, which also stores full wardrobes, is equally accommodating to guests who’ve lost their bags entirely: Hapless travelers with missing or delayed luggage will soon have exclusive, round-the-clock access to Bergdorf Goodman.
Deal of the Week
Next month marks the opening of New York’s latest Ritz-Carlton, located in the old St. Moritz building on Central Park South. An introductory rate of $425, down from $680, is available until September 8. Mention this page, and get a free room upgrade through the end of May (800-241-3333).
Iced Tee If next week’s Drambuie World Ice Golf Championship in Greenland seems a bit too extreme, consider kicking back (on the cheap) at the brand-new Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples, Florida: From May 19 to September 18, $159 a night buys you a deluxe room and two eighteen-hole rounds on the resort’s Greg Norman-designed course (941-598-3300).
Breaking the Sauna Barrier On March 25, the Berkshires’ Cranwell Resort and Golf Club debuts the largest resort spa in the Northeast, with sixteen treatment rooms and 30 services, plus an indoor lap pool and spa suites with fireplaces and saunas (800-272-6935).
Hollywood & Find Two new guides hit the stands in time for a spring trip to L.A. Not for Tourists Guide to Los Angeles ($18.95) provides detailed neighborhood maps and addresses for nearly every spot in the city, from hotels and restaurants to banks, post offices, shops, and bars. L.A. First Class ($16.95) highlights high-end services and entertainment.
High Stakes Next month, Mohegan Sun, Connecticut’s sprawling casino-resort, completes its $1 billion expansion with the opening of a 1,200-room hotel on April 23 (rooms from $200; 888-777-7922).