What The iconic Parisian pool – the site where the first bikini was unveiled and topless sunbathing got its start – reopened in May as part of a luxury hotel and spa that shares its name. Cult cool background aside, it’s architect Jean-Philippe Nuel’s sleek overhaul that’s really made it a fashion landmark again. From restoring the pool’s original mosaic tiling and stained glass windows to commissioning graffiti for the walls, it’s imbued with just the right dose of Gatsby-esque mystique and modern street cred. There’s also the restaurant helmed by three-Michelin-starred chef Yannick Alleno, and a rooftop terrace with postcard-perfect views of Paris.
Where Near enough to the action, but far enough from the fray, it sits on the border of the lush Bois de Boulogne gardens and within ball-whacking distance of the Roland Garros stadium (home of the French Open) – all within the posh 16th arrondissement.
Who goes The creative vanguard, from acclaimed American graffiti artist Futura who’s behind the wall decor, to Colette founder Sarah Andelman, who threw a vintage pool party there in June.
The Peninsula, Paris
What Move aside Le Meurice, this is the fashion pack’s new clubhouse in the French capital. Formerly the Majestic Hotel, the historic Belle Epoque building opened in August this year following a £600 million (S$1.23 billion) facelift – in time for the S/S ’15 Paris Fashion Week season. Positively palatial, it’s like Versailles for 21st-century Marie Antoinettes: The ornamental lobby staircase was created by architecture firm Schwartz & Meurer (also reponsible for the Eiffel Tower); the fish-scale roof tiles were individually fashioned by hand; and its limestone facade is intricately carved with cascading bouquets that each took three weeks to sculpt. Housekeeping staff are on constant call via smartphones – for guests who are willing to pay for rooms starting from US$1,500 (S$1,910) a night.
Where The affluent 16th arrondissement, a mere stroll from Dior, Celine and Saint Laurent’s Avenue Montaigne flagships. But guests needn’t worry about walking – perks include a vintage 1937 Rolls-Royce, BMW or Mini Cooper (take your pick) to zip you around the city.
Who goes Russian oligarchs (think Roman Abramovich) and front-row fixtures. Miroslava Duma, Kim Kardashian and Caroline de Maigret christened it with a lavish do for Natalia Alaverdian of Russian fashion label A.W.A.K.E, then Carine Roitfeld sealed its cachet by throwing her 60th birthday bash there during the S/S ’15 Fashion Week season.
Chiltern Firehouse, London
What Andre Balazs’ (the hotelier who gave us The Standard, The Mercer and the revamped Chateau Marmont) latest baby. Since it opened in March, there has been no hotter place to be seen at. Old-world London meets Hollywood glam, its charm lies in its shabby bourgeois interiors. Make no mistake though: From the maitre d’ with his waistcoat and curly moustache, to the deep-green carpet embossed with paisley, and peeling petal pink painted walls, every detail has been expertly calibrated to seem effortless yet ooze sexiness.
Where The dapper and discreet Marylebone neighbourhood right across the street from style bible Monocle’s head office (yup, even the postal code is spot-on trendy).
Who goes Movie stars, supermodels and world leaders. Bill Clinton, Bradley Cooper, George Clooney and Cara Delevingne have all been snapped sneaking out from its back door. Sam and Aaron Taylor-Johnson are also known to check in for date nights.
Playland Motel, New York
What Hamptons for the hipsters, this 17-month-old beach getaway is the brainchild of the four entrepreneurs (Robin Scott, Jamie Wiseman, Diego Galarza and Eduardo Suarez) behind three of Brooklyn’s hottest joints (namely Outpost, ranked the third best club in America by Rolling Stone last year; Rosarito Fish Shack; and taco restaurant El Almacen). Cue rooms designed by 12 different artists, colourful beach umbrellas, campy deck chairs, a stellar sound system, and a ping-pong table out back. Life is one long pool party here with Olivier Spencer – founder of cult dance label Still Going Records – as its music director and other brand-name DJs rock their beats all day (and night) in the mammoth backyard.
Where Rockaway Park, a mere hour from Manhattan and block away from the Atlantic Ocean. The beach town has bounced back post-Hurricane Sandy, with its past grittiness only adding to its newfound cool.
Who goes Topshop held a series of parties there in August, while models, inked-up DJs and fashion editors of indie mags have been known to drop by and chill out.
Hotel Tivoli, New York
What A sleepy 10-room inn, jazzed up with the Brice and Helen Marden treatment. When the famous New York painter and his wife heard that their favourite “local” was shutting down two years ago, they decided to step in and save it. The 100-year-old hotel reopened in September after a tasteful and (expensively) eclectic makeover. Marden’s million-dollar canvases decorate the walls, alongside works by friends like Robert Rauschenberg and Francesco Clemente, while Jean Prouve chairs and Moroccan rugs from the couple’s travels grace the interiors.
Where Hudson Valley. In the past few years the quiet county in upstate New York has become something of a celebrity haven. The local farms, vineyards and beautiful scenery have attracted stars such as Claire Danes and Alicia Keys to set up home here.
Who goes The arts intelligentsia, rock royalty and New York high society. The Mardens’ social circle includes past muses like singer Patti Smith and collector Jo Carole Lauder.
The Rose Hotel, Los Angeles
What Fashion photographer Glen Luchford’s low-key luxe guest house set up in April. The talent behind Prada’s groundbreaking campaigns in the ’90s and Kate Moss’ first spreads for The Face magazine has brought his unerring eye to the turn-of-the-century beach property with ocean views from every room. Its interiors are unassuming, albeit impossibly chic: Indian cotton rugs, clean white linens and plank wood floors. The only hint of its owner’s artistic pedigree are the arresting black and white prints from various stages of his career on the walls.
Where Just seconds from the prime Venice Beach Boardwalk. Once the stomping ground of the Beat Generation, the seaside resort town has had a renaissance in recent years, drawing an eclectic mix of creatives from Saint Laurent’s Hedi Slimane to skateboarders and struggling artists.
Who goes Influential image-makers (and Luchford collaborators) from stylists Melanie Ward and Katy England to makeup artist Gucci Westman.
This article was originally published in Female December 2014.
- andre balazs
- brice marden
- el almacen
- glen luchford
- helen marden
- hotel tivoli
- hudson valley
- jean philippe nuel
- los angeles
- new york
- nuno mendes
- rockaway park
- rosarito fish shack
- schwartz & meurer
- the rose hotel
- the standard
- venice beach
- yannick alleno
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