Hotelier Grace Leo-Andrieu, who transformed Paris's Hotel Montalembert
and Le Toiny on St. Barts into stylish enclaves, has once again worked
magic—this time at the Lancaster, a 19th-century town-house hotel near
the Arc de Triomphe. Her $4 million makeover adds modern touches, such as
Christian Liaigre's purple sofas and orange chairs, to the hotel's famous
antiques collection. Each of the 60 rooms has its own charm: in the Marlene
Dietrich suite, the walls are painted her favorite shade. Noël Coward and
Greta Garbo stayed at the Lancaster in its heyday, and Leo-Andrieu aims to
continue attracting celebrities who prefer grown-up glamour to glitz.
Hotel Lancaster, 7 Rue de Berri, Paris; 800/447-7462
or 33-1/40-76-40-76; doubles from $395. —Susan Ward Davies
Trends . . . Shopping . . . Books. . . Hotels . . .
There's new competition for downhill time:
tubing has hit ski resorts from Killington to Whistler.
But trust Vail to put a tony spin on this fad favored by
Gen X powder hounds. The resort's new Adventure Ridge at
Eagle's Nest has a tubing slope with dedicated attendants,
groomed runs, and a ground lift that tows you in your tube.
For $12 an hour, anyone can bust some moguls. Radical riders
wait until dark—the graded lanes are open until 9 p.m.—and
slide down headfirst. Want to whip up a storm on a local hill?
Order your own snow floater from Wicked Fun Time 508/388-5788, ext. 101; $58), which sells models with handles
and tow ropes, covered in neon vinyl. —Shane Mitchell
Kelly Christy, who's been dreaming up toppers and toques since she was a child
in Des Moines, has just opened a New York boutique that's already drawing a following.
Made to measure from organza, wool, or faux beaver fur, each hat has a sassy name:
a Jackie-inspired pillbox called O,a lavender bowler named Pimp, and Cherry Swirl,
a fruit-covered skullcap that Bette Midler couldn't resist.
Kelly Christy, 235 Elizabeth St.; 212/965-0686; hats $100-$500.—Elizabeth Garnsey
a stirring read
Europe-bound caffeine addicts will love Lori Shafton's new Coffeehouses of Prague (Prague Press, $16.95), with maps, menus, and tales of the nation-altering history that
has taken place in these haunts. Plenty of journal . —Kimberly Robinson
Once an aristocratic playground, the Grand Hotel Imperial, in the northern Italian
spa town of Levico Terme, has been restored to its days-of-Hapsburg glory. The
villa's reopening heralds the return of the old-world tradition of
taking the waters,with Turkish baths and swimming pools fed by thermal
springs. Grand Hotel Imperial, 1 Terme Via Silva Domini; 39-461/706-104; doubles from $60.
—Anya von Bremzen
Restaurants . . . Inns . . . Exhibitions . . . Fragrances . . .
made in miami
The current is flowing in reverse on Miami's dining scene:
South Beach hot spots are branching out to the mainland. The News Café now has a
Coconut Grove outpost, and Pacific Time just opened a smart spinoff, Pacific Heights,
in Coral Gables. There, executive chef Jonathan Eiseman and chef de cuisine Frank Gianetti
have shifted the culinary outlook from Pacific TimeÜhonored fusion to American standbys:
macaroni and cheese, pork chops, even key lime baked Alaska. Pacific Heights,
2530 Ponce de Leon Blvd.; 305/461-1774; dinner for two $60. —Richard Alleman
a moroccan secret
Walking down Derb Hajra, a narrow dirt road in Marrakesh, you'd never know the splendor
that lies behind the wooden doors at number 29. Inside the 100-year-old building is
Dar al Assad, a new bed-and-breakfast. Lemon trees fill the courtyard; Sri Lankan armoires
and Andalusian copper beds decorate the three guest rooms. Views from the rooftop terrace
stretch past the old city to the Atlas Mountains. Dar al Assad, 29 Derb Hajra;
212-4/427-065; doubles $100. —Jean Nathan
scent to go
The screw cap on Quercus, the latest from Penhaligon's—a company known
for its precious glass stoppers—makes it great for travel. And the clean, citrusy
cologne can be worn by both women and men. Prices: $36-$81, at select Saks Fifth
Avenue stores or by mail. Call 800/588-1992. —Martine Bury
The city of Naples, Florida, has hired a street concierge, who can call you a taxi or
limousine,store your shopping bags or have them sent to your hotel, set up a fishing trip,
and even lend you an umbrella if it's raining. Talk about service.
Titanic fascination is reaching new levels,with a Broadway musical
opening in April,a summer movie directed by James Cameron,and an exhibition
of the largest collection of ship artifacts, on display starting April 3 at
the Pyramid in Memphis (800/263-6744 for tickets).
Restaurants . . . Fashion . . . Resorts . . .
a manhattan manor
The Livingstons were patroons, as were the Roosevelts.
And now Ken Aretsky joins the ranks with his new restaurant and cigar bar, Patroon
(from a Dutch colonial word for the owner of a manor), inspired by Harry's Bar in London.
Co-founder of Arcadia, Aretsky is well suited to the position, hopping from table to table
and overseeing the robust offerings—wood-grilled Porterhouse steaks, chicken roasted on a spit, mushroom risotto. Patroon, 160 E. 46th St.; 212/883-7373; dinner for two $110. —J.N.
Hacienda Katanchel is the latest discovery in
the land of the Maya. The 17th-century cattle farm on the site of an ancient ruin
outside Mérida, in Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula, was shrouded by jungle
until an architect and a botanist converted it into a 39-suite hotel. There's a
swimming pool and 33 plunge pools, but the most spectacular scenery was left
behind by the former owners: a pyramid. Hacienda Katanchel,
Yucatán; 800/223-6510 or 52-99/200-997; doubles from $300. —L.B.
over the shoulder
This spring's snappiest accessories, created by The Sak,
come in an array of bold colors and sumptuous neutrals—and a
range of shapes and sizes. The backpacks, totes, and cosmetics bags,
hand-crocheted, with an inside pocket, are easy to care for,
so it's a breeze to keep up appearances on the go. Prices: $15- $75.