To witness one of the most remarkable transformations in New York City, one need only walk along 57th Street, where new ultra-luxe towers soaring above 1,000 feet now (or will soon) line what has come to be called Billionaire’s Row. And that’s only part of the redemption story of midtown Manhattan in the 50s, the swath between Central Park and Rockefeller Center. While Michael’s and Mr. Chow (55th and 57th, respectively) remain forever glamorous, the current of cool—along with Michelin stars and high thread counts—has long flowed downtown and Brooklyn-ward. But money on an oligarchical scale is pouring back into midtown, bringing with it sleek new hotels and restaurants (some of them dusted-off favorites). The prospective buyers of $25 million condos will need someplace to repair to after raiding Chanel and Dior (both 57th). No doubt everyone else will follow them to the Baccarat Hotel, the Polo Bar, the Park Hyatt’s Onyx Room—thirsty for some old-fashioned, unapologetic glitz.
This Spanish company, cofounded by former Olympic horseback rider Enrique Sarasola, is known for its futuristic-looking hotels (origami-like furniture; neon lights). It recently opened outposts in Istanbul’s chic Beyoğlu district and on a man-made island in Amsterdam; Milan and Rotterdam debut in 2015.
Based in northern Europe, Scandic blends contemporary design and cutting-edge technology; it recently became the world’s first hotel chain to offer brand-wide online checkout (through smartphone or computer). British star chef Jamie Oliver creates menus for each property and is bringing his own restaurant to Stockholm’s Scandic Anglais this fall.
Radisson Blu’s pedigree can be traced to its first European hotel: Danish architect Arne Jacobsen’s 1960 Royal Hotel in Copenhagen. The company continues to attract homegrown talent, including François Champsaur, who worked on Paris’s Le Metropolitan. Look out for new locations in Belgrade and Oslo.
Though established in 1967, France’s Novotel brand stays current with redesigned rooms and a virtual concierge service via on-site kiosks and a smartphone app. Among the latest arrivals are a location near London’s Wembley Stadium and a 360-room property in Moscow that’s a short drive from the Kremlin. Next up: Rotterdam.
Expect well-located, city-center hotels that embrace local design from Majorca-based Meliá. Consider its two most recent openings: Meliá Vienna sits in the city’s tallest building (a glass tower by Dominique Perrault), while the 19 rooms at the Villa Capri are outfitted with Murano chandeliers and Poltrona Frau and Cappellini furniture.
Ones to Watch
This month, Scandic Hotels debuts the stripped-down brand HTL ($) in Stockholm; 20 more are planned by 2019. The Millennial-focused Citizen M($)—with free movie streaming and self check-in—opens in Paris later this year. 25Hours Hotels($) recently headed to Berlin for its seventh property. The arty, edgy company Nhow($) has launched in the culture-rich cities of Berlin, Milan, and Rotterdam.
Hotels $Less than $200 $$$200 to $350 $$$$350 to $500 $$$$$500 to $1,000 $$$$$More than $1,000
Restaurants $Less than $25 $$$25 to $75 $$$$75 to $150 $$$$More than $150
Booking a hotel these days can be overwhelming: new names are appearing alongside established ones, and they’re competing for your attention, your dollars, and, above all, your loyalty. T+L has the scoop on the latest trends to help you find the one that’s right for you.
Hotel Brand Trends
A closer look at the innovations that will shape your next hotel stay.
Tech-Friendly Retreats: Starwood’s Aloft is piloting Apple TV’s at its Cupertino, California, property and will soon offer remote mobile check-in at dozens of its hotels. Not to be outdone, Conrad is raising the bar with its Conrad Concierge app, which lets guests book hotel services remotely, be it airport pickup or the timing of their dinner. Mandarin Oriental will soon be rolling out DVR’s and HD Internet TV’s in its guest rooms. Peninsula, meanwhile, remains unmatched for its customized in-room tablets, introduced at the Hong Kong flagship, with everything from temperature controls to flight schedules.
The waterfront district of Chiaia—long home to top-notch Italian tailors—is now bursting at the seams with style.
Anhelo:The source for locally roasted Neapolitan coffee—and a go-to spot for Italian ladies who lunch. Tapas-style dishes make the most of regional Italian ingredients (try the tempura squid with pepper sauce). 3 Via Bisignano.$$
Rubinacci: The maestro of unstructured men’s tailoring has moved into appropriately posh digs: the imposing 16th-century Palazzo Cellamare. You’ll find brightly colored ties, silk foulards depicting Neapolitan landmarks, and soft-shouldered suits in new and vintage fabrics. 149 Via Chiaia.
Hot-ticket restaurants? Check. Ultra-luxe bedding? Check. The latest battleground in the hotel wars: flower shops run by star petal-pushers. Guests at the Hotel Savoy($$$$), in Florence, can jazz up their rooms with Sebastian Bierings’s modernist “sushi flower” arrangements (Lady Gaga and Elton John are fans). New York’s iconic Plaza Hotel($$$$) recently welcomed a branch of the 100-year-old Gramercy Park Flower Shop, whose monochromatic, leaf-wrapped bouquets make perfect hostess gifts. In Menlo Park, California, Aili Ice has opened her first brick-and-mortar location at Rosewood Sand Hill($$$$), showcasing designs that incorporate reclaimed wood. No wonder she’s the go-to florist of Silicon Valley VIP’s.
Our abridged, meal-by-meal guide to where to eat now.
Oeuf à la coque at Claus: The perfectly cooked four-minute organic egg at this book-ahead épicerie-café comes in an adorable hand-sewn chick-shaped cozy. 14 Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, First Arr.; no dinner. $
Turbot rôti at Les Jalles: A chic crowd fills the Deco-tinged spot for such modern bistro dishes as oven-roasted turbot, which comes with salsify, marrow, and potatoes au gratin. 14 Rue des Capucines, Second Arr. $$$