Philippe Starck Pans the New Royalton LobbyPhilippe Starck doesn’t like the $17.5 million redesign to the Royalton Hotel, which he once designed. Heatherette isn’t having a show this Fashion Week, and Richie Rich may be out for good! Russian model Natalia Vodianova had what may be her last catwalk during the final Valentino show in Paris and plans to take the designer to Moscow for a week and then to Brazil for Carnivale. Contrary to rumors, Puff “Diddy” Daddy says he is not considering changing his name back to Sean Combs. Paris Hilton and Stavros Niarchos hung out at the Beatrice Inn. Michael Richards and a blonde girl ate at a vegan restaurant at Columbus Circle. Cindy Adams claims that the writers’ strike will be over in two weeks and that Mayor Bloomberg is 50-50 about whether to run for president. Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner and boyfriend Matt Nye just had twins via surrogate parent. New York Times writer Alex Kuczynski will have a baby via surrogate mother in April.
Diane Sawyer Forgets to Ask Katie Holmes About the HubbaspermDiane Sawyer interviewed Katie Holmes on Good Morning America yet neglected to ask her about the rumor that she was impregnated with L. Ron Hubbard’s sperm. New York Giants Plaxico Burress, Antonio Pierce, and Ruben Droughns went to Home nightclub in Manhattan after flying back from Dallas and ordered $1,000 of Bacardi, vodka, and Champagne, but forgot to tip their waitress. Waiters at Brasserie 44 in the Royalton Hotel thought they discovered Frank Bruni’s notebook, but it turned out to belong to someone else (and they slipped in some Bruni ass-kissing to boot!). Jil Scott picked up a male model at an Allure fashion shoot and took him to Nobu. Keith Olbermann’s quote to Playboy that “Fox News is worse than Al-Qaeda” did not go over well with many of the magazine’s readers.
City Free of ‘Sex and the City’ Movie! …For NowMets pitcher John Maine asked an attractive clubgoer at Touch if he could try on her black dress in the bathroom. Sex and the City wrapped up shooting in New York with a party at the Royalton Hotel. Bill Clinton swapped seats with Oscar de la Renta so he could sit next to Penélope Cruz instead of Anna Wintour at the Spanish Institute Gold Medal Gala. Lame duck Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz is annoyed that his name wasn’t included in a recent Post article about 2009 gubernatorial contenders. Tommy Hilfiger made $8.5 million when he sold the East Hampton home he bought a year and a half ago for $26.5 million. Bobby Cannavale dropped his 47-year-old girlfriend for 22-year-old Alison Pill. Fans of Law & Order: SVU are annoyed that Richard Belzer doesn’t have as much screen time as he once did.
The Royalton: New Pillows and a Poison Pill?
Onetime epicenter of cool, the Royalton Hotel, reopens next week after a sweeping redesign aimed at recapturing the film, fashion, and media elite who once swelled its halls. The relaunch has been plagued with misfortune so far, including the resignation of Morgans Hotel group CEO Ed Sheetz after the death of his girlfriend. The week Sheetz resigned, a Morgan Stanley analyst wrote to clients noting that it was difficult to advise they put “fresh money” into Morgans, which also runs New York’s Morgans and Hudson Hotels, Miami’s famed Delano, and L.A.’s Mondrian, given the economy and debt related to construction of new Vegas properties. Now, the latest news is that Morgans took the unusual step last week of adopting a “poison pill” stock structure that shields the company, largely credited with inventing the chic boutique hotel concept, against a hostile takeover.
Secret Stalls and Wacky Waterfalls at 44We didn’t think it got much more futuristic than the automated Japanese toilets at Morimoto, but then we heard of a stainless steel urinal that triggers a waterfall when you step up to bat. We were so intrigued that we ordered a $15 mint julep at the Royalton hotel’s 44 bar and waited until the coast was clear. Were these facilities worthy of being showered with praise?