Where To Stay This Winter...
The best way to break up the long cold winter is a city break. You don't need to travel far, a short flight and you can be whisked away to a beautiful romantic European city. Or you may choose to go that litle bit further to the east coast of America. Whatever you decide we've picked our favourite hotels for you to visit...
CITY - LONDON
LONDON - THE ROSEWOOD
Here at Hampton Living we love a stay at the Rosewood. The hotel is well located and you can stroll out to Covent Garden with all it's lovely shops and restaurants. We particularly like Balthazar for weekend brunch and a stop off at Laduree to get some macaroons for the train journey home! The rooms at the Rosewood are elegant and we particularly like the ones overlooking the courtyard. Scarfes bar is a great meeting place to gather your friends. The bar has a relaxed New York jazz bar feel to it, which is no surprise when you know that this is the sister hotel of the famous Carlyle Hotel in New York, home of Café Carlyle and Bemelmans Bar. You can sit back on the sofas and sip your cocktails, you could almost be in the roaring twenties! The restaurants at this hotel give you great choice from the relaxed American diner feel of the Holborn Dining Room, to the beautiful elegance of the Mirror room, which is the perfect mix of formal yet relaxing. Don't forget a visit to the hotels deli too for all your pastry treats!
(Photos from rosewoodhotels.com)
LONDON - THE BEAUMONT
In December we will be staying for the first time at the new Beaumont Hotel in Mayfair. We have high hopes for this hotel opened by the owners of one of our favourite restaurants, The Wolseley. The hotel is situated in an iconic, historic building, overlooking Brown Hart Gardens. The rooms look inviting and like a home from home. The restaurant The Colony with The American Bar is receiving very favourable reviews and we will be eating here when we stay. We can't wait to try this new jewel in Mayfair's crown.
(Photos from thebeaumont.com)
LONDON - THE CONNAUGHT
Location, Location, Location! It doesn't get much better than this and that is why we will always keep returning to the Connaught Hotel. The area around Mount Street is the most beautiful village in the big city of London, a short walk from shopping on Bond Street. Mount Street deli is just around the corner, as is its sister restaurant, the famous Scotts. The staff and service at the hotel have always been impeccable, as you would expect given that this is Claridges sister. The Connaught feels smaller and more homely than its larger sister and has also undergone a modernisation. You can stay in the old wing of the hotel where the rooms are luxurious with greys and whites, or you can choose the new wing of the hotel where rooms feature wooden floors, monochrome looks and even intoto toilets. My personal choice is the old wing with a room at the front of the hotel overlooking it's new water feature. Breakfast in the Espelette restaurant is a real treat where the windows wrap round the room given wide spread views of Mayfair. In the evenings you can choose between the Coburg or Connaught bars. The Connaught bar is super stylish, designed by the great David Collins. The Coburg bar offers a more intimate, relaxed environment with views across Carlos Place. This hotel will always be a gem in the heart of Mayfair.
(Photos from the-connaught.co.uk)
CITY - PARIS
PARIS - LE ROYAL MONCEAU
This hotel is a real treat, renowned French designer Phillipe Stark carried out a refurbishment of this iconic hotel in 2008. The hotel reopened in 2010 with its own art gallery, art bookstore, cinema, spa and chioce of restaurants and bars. Two of the restaurants hold a Michelin Star. The all white spa is the biggest in the city and great place for you to relax in the cool winter months. The hotel is luxurious with every step you take. It is located just around the corner from the Champs-Elysées, Arc de Triomphe and Parc Monceau and despite having the most romantic city at your feet you may never want to actually leave the hotel. The biggest plus point of this hotel though has to be that the resident pastry chef is Pierre Hermé!
(Photos from leroyalmonceau.com)
PARIS - HOTEL DE CRILLON
Okay so you can't actually stay here yet, because this legendary hotel has closed for a major refurbishment, but we can not wait to see how it looks when it reopens. In December 2013 it was announced that the Rosewood hotels were taking over this icon, given that they have done such a good job with the Rosewood London (see above) we have very high expectations for this hotel.
(Photo from crillon.com)
city - venice
VENICE - AMAN CANAL GRANDE HOTEL
The 7 star Aman hotel has a spectacular way of combining traditional Venetian style with contemporary elegance. Situated on the Grand Canal not far from Rialto Bridge lies this beautiful hotel. There are only 24 rooms, many of which overlook the Grand Canal itself. That being said the smaller level of room have views of the back garden and still contain all the same features of the larger rooms. The restaurant menu alternates Italian and Thai and is a very sumtuous affair. This hotel is the perfect place to stay to explore this beautiful romantic city.
(Photos from amanresorts.com)
VENICE - HOTEL CIPRIANI
There is a calm about this classic hotel that is unbeaten as it sits on an island just off central Venice. Surrounded by beautiful gardens this hotel is an oasis of calm. The hotel has a complimentary boat service that operate 24hours a day to take you over to St Marks Square, only four minutes away. Rooms can have beautiful views across to St Mark's Square. Fortuny restaurant is the main dining room and requires men to wear a jacket, it is the epitome of luxury. Cip's Club is the less formal restaurant serving international cuisine. There is one thing for sure, you are likely to see a variety of the world's famous and high society here.
(Photos from belmond.com)
City - Rome
ROME - HOTEL DE RUSSIE
This is one of the most luxurious place to stay in Rome and is just a few steps away from the Spanish Steps and more importantly the shops on Via Condotti. We have stayed at this hotel a few times but one of the best was most definitely New Year. The hotel had a formal black tie gala, or a more informal dinner evening (which is the option we chose). Then at midnight everyone walked down to the Spanish Steps to mingle with the locals who gather in a circle, after counting down to midnight it was back to the hotel for drinks to finish the evening. That being said anytime is a great time to stay in this city and this hotel. There is so much to see and this hotel is well located. We walked to most of the sights and restaurants we visited, but bring some comfy, flat shoes because there is so much to see here that you will find yourself walking quite a distance.
(Photos from roccofortehotels.com)
CITY - FLORENCE
FLORENCE - HOTEL SAVOY
Florence is the smaller sister city to Rome and this hotel is the sister hotel to othe De Russie (see above). Florence is arty and beautiful and more compact than Rome. Everywhere is easier to get to and people are more relaxed, there is less of the hustle and bustle of Rome. People sit in the Piazza's drinking their coffees, reading the papers, relaxing. Relaxing but always stylish, this is a place where people look chic all the time. The Savoy hotel is situated on the Piazza della Repubblica right in the middle of it all. You can come down in the morning and people watch without needing to leave your hotel. The staff are polite and helpful and always willing to reccomend things to go, or restaurants to eat at, of which there are many great ones. Head to some of the locals favourite, there are some little known gems. The hotels own restaurant and bar is one of the city's best meeting places. The rooms at this hotel, like the De Russie in Rome, are luxurious and sumptuous and it is always a good time to visit this city.
(Photos from roccofortehotels.com)
CITY - NEW YORK
NEW YORK - THE MARK
For me there is only one place to stay in New York and the is at The Mark on the Upper East Side. It has a home from home feel and couldn't be better situated. I like, usually after a long day trekking round the shops and the fabulous city, to retreat from the bright lights of midtown back to the quieter more residential Upper East. It is a village within Manhattan, with some fabulous restaurants just steps away and easy walking distance to midtown, down either Fifth Avenue or Madison, the next day. Central Park is also just a few steps away and the hotel can provide bikes if you would rather not walk. New York itself is a great place to visit at any time of year, but what better time than in the winter, in the run up to Christmas because no one does it quite like New York City. The lobby of the hotel with it's black and white floor is chic and smart and the staff are always friendly and helpful. The bar at the hotel is always bustling, with a great atmosphere. The restaurant is headed by the famous Jean Georges Vongerichten and he has restaurants around the city, but the one at the hotel doesn't fail to impress.
(Some photos from themarkhotel.com)
CITY - BOSTON
BOSTON - XV BEACON
This Landmark Beaux Arts building stands at 15 Beacon Street near Beacon Hill. It is a relaxing haven, on a leafy street, in the middle of this exciting city. Rooms are neutral taupes, creams and mochas, which are soothing after your day exploring the city and mixed with the dark woods the interiors are modern, elegant and an exciting twist on the New England Style. This small luxury hotel is keen on tradition with a shoe shine service and courtesy car available for you to use. The restaurant Mooo is a steakhouse with a modern twist that is beautiful and relaxing . There is also a rooftop garden with hot tub and a fitness centre.
(Photos from www.xvbeacon.com)