Wander-Luxe

Four chic new hotels to book now and one legendary property gets a ritzy French makeover.



Avalon Hotel

This fall we’ve got wander-luxe instead of mere wanderlust with the opening of four stylish new hotel properties and the return of the legendary Ritz Paris after a sleeping beauty hiatus of three years.

 

Avalon_Hotel_Palm_Springs_Florida

Avalon Hotel, Palm Springs

Haven for modernist architectural gems, golf retreat, desert getaway and former Rat Pack playground Palm Springs gets a swanky new boutique hotel from the design team behind the Viceroy Hotel Group. Avalon Hotel boasts a punchy black, white and sunny yellow décor by famed Hollywood interior designer Kelly Wearstler, a fragrant citrus garden, a hip staff dressed in custom Uniqlo uniforms, three pools with poolside cabanas and an Estrella Spa. All of the spa’s body treatments use handmade herb-infused oils and butters combined with custom-blended essential oils. The Latin-street-food-inspired restaurant and lounge, Chi Chi, offers beef empanadas, yucca fries, a Latin fruit cart with lime wedges and chile salt, crispy chicharonnes and squash blossom queso fundido. Fun hotel extras might include live acoustic guitar performances, tequila snow cones and tacos on the weekend menu, loaner bicycles for exploring and Popsicle ’Tinis from the hotel bar.

The hotel includes 67 rooms, suites and villas starting at a rate of $119 for double rooms. For more info visit avalonpalmsprings.com.

 

Edition_Hotel_New_York_City

Edition Hotel, New York City

Ian Schrager, the creative mastermind behind Studio 54 club and originator of the first truly boutique hotels with the Morgan Group (The Delano, The Mondrian, etc.) has collaborated with Marriott hotel group on a new series of Edition hotels. The first Edition hotel in London opened to much fanfare, while the new Miami Edition is a hedonist’s playground complete with basement ice rink. As of May, New York City has its own Edition hotel, overlooking Madison Square Park and housed in a neo-Renaissance-style clock tower. In an interview with The New York Times, Schrager says this particular hotel property was “inspired by New York City’s turn-of-the-20th-century private clubs, Fifth Avenue’s Gilded Age mansions and Stanford White’s architectural masterpieces.” Think: mahogany-paneled restaurant covered in gilt frames with vintage photos; Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton of London’s Pollen Street Social; a billiards table lined in purple felt; a bar made entirely of gold leaf and giant windows framing views of the park. Room amenities include fur blankets on the beds, oak floors, marble baths, custom Edition rooms scent created for the hotel, blazing fast Wi-Fi, and a mini bar stocked with NYC snacks such as North Fork potato chips.

The hotel includes 273 rooms and suites and three penthouses. For more info visit editionhotels.com/new-york.

 

Soho Farmhouse, Oxfordshire, England

Now the posh “down from London” set don’t have to slum it when they weekend in the country. The exclusive membership club Soho House has opened a charmingly rural farmhouse escape in the postcard-perfect Cotswolds just 90 minutes from London by rail. And the good news is that you do not have to be a Soho Club member (or a Londoner) to make a reservation. The retreat is housed on a 100-acre country estate with 40 cabins of various sizes, one four-bedroom cottage and a seven-bedroom farmhouse. Activities are of a bucolic nature with pools, lakes, horse riding, golf, cycling, tennis, boating and ice skating in the winter season. Other amenities include a restaurant, farm shop, gym, yoga and pilates studios, a Josh Wood hair salon and “Electric Barn cinema.”  Rumor has it an on-site cooking school is also in the works. Michelin-star chef Tom Aikens will draw from the farm’s garden, honeybee hives and butchery for the menus.  A Cowshed Spa will offer a variety of massages, body scrubs, facials and other treatments using organic, made-in-England products, extracts and oils.   

For more info visit sohofarmhouse.com.

 

JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa

This hotel may be brand new, but it resides on a 40-acre private island of its own and overlooks Venice’s historic Piazza San Marco, which is just 20 minutes across the lagoon by ferry boat. A circa 1930s compound of buildings was renovated by a star Italian architect into this sprawling resort with 230 rooms, the largest spa in Venice overlooking the lagoon, two pools — including a rooftop infinity one, several restaurants and bars, a cooking school, wine academy and an event space housed in a former Romanesque church. The main restaurant Dopolavoro (translation “After Work”) is helmed by two-star Michelin chef  Giancarlo Perbellini in a loft space with its own private dock and sourcing produce from the resort’s own vegetable gardens.  (Don’t miss the chef’s legendary version of a mille-feuille.) The rooms are minimal-luxe with serene gray- and-white modern interiors. The landscaped grounds include lush fruit arbors and olive groves. Other fun hotel extras: Venetian glass-blowing and Carnival mask-making workshops and a private boat to whisk hotel guests to Venice proper. In addition to the main hotel, several villas are also available with private gardens and pools. During Venice’s major art fair, the Venice Biennale, the hotel hosted a pop-up art exhibition and an international sculpture exhibition on the resort’s grounds. 

Rooms start at $430 per night. For more info visit jwvenice.com.

 

Hotel_Ritz_Paris

Hotel Ritz Paris

Ernest Hemingway once wrote, “When I dream of an afterlife in heaven, the action always takes place in the Paris Ritz.” A posh if preferred watering hole of expat writers like Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, the legendary Hotel Ritz Paris has seen its share of luminaries including Rudolph Valentino, the Duchess of Windsor, Eleanor Roosevelt, Amelia Earhart, writer Graham Greene, Cole Porter, Ingrid Bergman and Princess Diana, while Marcel Proust and Coco Chanel resided there permanently. But every luxury institution needs an occasional, gentle spit-and-polish. So the famed 1898 hotel closed in 2012 for a refresher under the expert guidance of designer Thierry Despont (he oversaw the renovation of the fabled Carlyle in NYC and The Dorchester in London). Not to fear, the five-star hotel’s Hemingway Bar and it’s chief mixologist Colin Field will remain intact, as will the Vendôme Bar and legendary Ritz-Escoffier cooking school.  Most likely the swishy fabrics, fine chandeliers and graceful sculptures will be retained, with subtle upgrades and modernization applied to the hotel’s facilities. Some new attractions to come: a Chanel spa (the first of its kind), a retractable sliding glass roof for the outdoor restaurant bar and terrace, the addition of a formal French garden with statues and fountains, an extension to the ballroom, and, of course, a  new tunnel connecting the underground parking to the hotel so that celebs can avoid all the intrusive paparazzi and their flashbulbs.  The Ritz Paris is slated for a March 2016 grand reveal. For more information visit ritzparis.com/en.