12 The Return of the Classic Hotel
Move over, boutique hotels: the classics are back. London is abuzz over the updated look at Claridge's (800/637-2869; www.savoy-group.co.uk; doubles from $255)—Jade Jagger recently threw herself a birthday party at the bar. Also in town, the Ritz (800/223-6800; www.theritzhotel.co.uk; doubles from $300) and the Connaught (800/637-2869; www.savoy-group.co.uk; doubles from $319) are on the radar again following their recent renovations. The current toast of Paris is the Plaza Athénée (800/223-6800; www.plaza-athenee-paris.com; doubles from $412), with its swank bar and Alain Ducasse restaurant. In New York, downtowners are rediscovering the eighties glory of the Pen-Top bar at the Peninsula (800/262-9467; www.peninsula.com; doubles from $560), Hipsters who've fallen in love with Bungalow 8, a Manhattan bar inspired by the Beverly Hills Hotel, have begun flocking to the West Coast property itself (800/283-8885; www.thebeverlyhillshotel.com; doubles from $375). And the venerable Clift (800/652-5438; www.clifthotel.com; doubles from $260) is now San Francisco's hot spot, thanks to a triumphant makeover by Ian Schrager.
Los Angeles has never wanted for great hotels in its own backyard, but now the area is poised to become the country's hotel mecca, with several significant openings scheduled throughout 2002. The boom began late last year with the super-luxe St. Regis Monarch Beach in Dana Point, an over-the-top Tuscan-style resort (800/722-1543; www.stregismonarchbeach.com; doubles from $235), and Palm Springs's intimate Andalusian Court, a seven-villa hideaway (888/947-6667; www.andalusiancourt.com; doubles from $350). This month, the Lodge at Torrey Pines, a resort that promises guests tee times on the famed Torrey Pines golf courses, opens in La Jolla (858/453-4420; www.lodgetorreypines.com; doubles from $350), and next month, the Estrella Inn—designed by Kwid, the team behind the retro-modern Avalon in Beverly Hills—opens in Palm Springs (800/237-3687; www.estrella.com; doubles from $195). In Santa Monica, the Ambrose, a 77-room Arts and Crafts—style hotel 10 minutes from the ocean, bows this spring (310/315-1555; www.ambrosehotel.com; doubles from $145); the Viceroy, with interiors by Kwid, opens in the summer (800/622-8711). And "late this year," Ian Schrager's newest (and still hush-hush) project should debut in Santa Barbara. Still prefer to stay in the big city?The Gershwin Hotel Hollywood will be getting a head-to-toe makeover, completed in stages during the year, by wunderkind designer Karim Rashid (323/464-1131; doubles from $60—for now).
20 Green Acres
These days, farm living is the life for us. Two of T+L's favorite places to experience it: Liberty Hill Farm (802/767-3926; www.libertyhillfarm.com; doubles from $150) in Vermont's Green Mountains, where the Kennett family welcomes guests—and their helping hands; and Meramec Farm Cabins (573/732-4765; www.meramec-trail-riding.bizhosting.com; doubles from $75), a cattle ranch in the Ozarks. Check out these Web sites for more options: www.cabbi.com; www.mainevacation.com; www.pafarmstay.com; www.visitnewyorkstate.net.
21 Have a Hearth
For calming, warming, and romance, we're seeking out in-room fireplaces. At Amangani in Jackson Hole, every bedroom comes with a gas-burning version—an added bit of atmosphere in wildly stylish surroundings (877/734-7333; www.amanresorts.com; doubles from $675). Forty-five rooms at the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles come with a wood-burning fireplace; the staff will light your fire when you return from a hard day of shopping (800/648-4097; www.hotelbelair.com; doubles from $400). Or relive your scouting days at the Point in upstate New York—they'll provide you with all the fixings to make a batch of s'mores in your enormous chiseled-stone fireplace (800/255-3530; www.thepointresort.com; doubles from $1,200).
22-33 Best of the Boot
A host of new hotels are giving travelers more reason than ever to visit Italy. Here, the most notable recent debuts—and what's on the way.
MILAN: The Gray, a 21-room aerie near La Scala, opening in February (www.sinahotels.com).
GARGAGNO: The neo-Gothic, ultra-posh Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli, on Lake Garda (39-036/579-8000; www.villafeltrinelli.com; doubles from $313).
VENICE: Ca'Pisani, 29 Art Deco rooms with original artwork (800/337-4685; www.designhotels.com; doubles from $167); Palazzo Sant' Angelo, the first new hotel on the Grand Canal in more than a century, opening early this year (800/346-5358; www.sinahotels.com).
CREMONA: Delle Arti Design Hotel, housed in a former bank with a Modernist façade, opening next month (800/337-4685; www.designhotels.com; doubles from $153).
FLORENCE: The Hotel Savoy, a 19th-century property in the centro storico outfitted in contemporary style (39-055/27351; www.roccofortehotels.com; doubles from $347); the Gallery Riverside Apartments, 48 pied-à-terre—style units owned by the Ferragamo family, opening this month (800/337-4685; www.designhotels.com; apartments from $290).
CATTOLICA: The Carducci 76, a modern restoration by Massimo Feretti, president of the Aeffe textile group (39-054/195-4677; www.carducci76.it; doubles from $120).
ROME: The Hotel de Russie, 129 eclectically updated rooms off the Piazza del Popolo (39-06/328-881; www.roccofortehotels.com; doubles from $439); the St. Regis Grand, an opulent grande dame with modern amenities (800/325-3589; www.stregis.com/stregis; doubles from $530); es.hotel, a futuristic enclave opening in the Esquilina district this May (800/337-4685; www.designhotels.com; doubles from $287).
OLBIA: The Hotel Li Cuncheddi, a kitschy, minimalist seaside villa by Milanese designer Fabio Novembre (39-07/893-6126; web.tiscalinet.it/licuncheddi; closed November through April).
34 Urban Hideaways
The best antidote to Europe's packed city sidewalks and metros?Tiny hideaways with super-personal service. We've loved the Hotel 717 in Amsterdam, with eight rooms in an 18th-century town house, since it opened in 1997 (31-20/427-0717; www.717hotel.nl; doubles from $315). New in London is WestStreet, with just three sleek yet warm suites (44-207/010-8700; www.weststreet.org; doubles from $364). And in Lisbon, Palacio Belmonte is finally complete, following its five-year, $20 million restoration of a 15th-century castle on a hill overlooking the Tagus; the eight enormous suites are the last word in luxe (351-21/886-2582; www.palaciobelmonte.com; doubles from $380).
GET OUT OF TOWN
Weekend retreats from five major cities
36 Armchair Travel
HOTEL, AT HOME Now that hotel rooms are setting standards for both comfort and design, frequent travelers are bringing home more than just robes. Create your own hotel bedroom with these seven products: 1. A super-premium, pillowtop Sealy mattress, standard at every Four Seasons ($2,000 at any Four Seasons gift shop). 2. Custom Todd Oldham throw pillows from the Hotel in Miami (from $85; 305/531-2222). 3. Down duvet, part of the Ritz-Carlton's Comfort Essentials Collection ($210; 800/222-6527). 4. A blue glass vase—modeled on an 1860's mineral-water bottle—sold at the International House in New Orleans ($30; 504/553-9550). 5. An Ideo leather chair from the Hôtel Bel-Ami in Paris ($605; 33-1/40-75-02-97). 6. W hotels' oak X Desk and chrome lamp ($1,200 and $300; 800/779-6050). 7. An alligator-leather ice bucket from Kimpton Hotels ($45; 504/561-0010).
Reported by Hillary Geronemus, David Kaufman, Nathan Lump, Hannah Wallace, Valerie Waterhouse, and Kristine Ziwica.