Irene Edwards
July 28, 2009

Let me introduce you to my new guilty pleasure: the The W Storewebsite—the expertly curated online boutique of the W hotel chain. (There areseveral brick-and-mortar boutiques as well.) OK, so I haven’t actually boughtanything from there yet, but just surfing through the merch makes for acompelling mid-afternoon escape, akin to a leisurely browse through the racksat Barneys—but you don’t even have to leave your desk!

Most of us have heard about the cushy pillow-top mattresses(specially made for W Hotels by Simmons) and the wonderfully crisp sheets thatmake your bed look so fresh. But what I love about The W Store is that it alsoshowcases products that are completely whimsical, more than a touchimpractical, and—dare I say it—just a little bit bling. Case in point:

Yup, it’s a gold-plated fruit bowl cast from a real bunch ofbananas ($270). Now, only in my wildest dreams am I fabulous and madcap enoughto own such a thing, but the mere fact that it exists, that it’s out there inthe world, makes me deeply happy.

However, when I have a child, he/she is going to toddlearound in a pair of these:

Metallic baby mocs! (And for $28, practically a steal.)Worthy of Suri Cruise or Barron Trump; made for a summer romp through thegardens of the Villa d’Este.

Moving on to more sensible luxuries… Waffle-weave blankets aresomething of an obsession of mine, and the W makes particularly good ones($160–$175). Perfect for that overly air-conditioned beach house in Malibu orthe Hamptons.

Marc Newson’s duffel for Samsonite (I’d get it in the orangeor gray; $140). Minimal and streamlined, and refreshingly logo-free. If “TheThomas Crown Affair” were being remade today, I’m convinced that Thomas (theSteve McQueen version, please, not Pierce Brosnan) would be toting one of these.

Finally, for the wannabe Euro party girl in me: MichaelKors’ chunky faux-tortoiseshell sport watch ($205).

Glamorous in a good-natured way, showy but not overlyobnoxious, it’s the perfect complement to an Eres bikini and a yacht moored offthe coast of Sardinia.

Irene Edwards is the special projects editor of Travel +Leisure.



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