September, 2011


23
Sep 11

The Cotswolds Celebrity Style: The Ellenborough Park

I’ve not long returned from a lovely stay in the stunning Cotswolds. It’s hard to believe that it was my first visit to this red-hot rural hotspot but as I’m from Scotland I usually take my staycations north of the border. The Cotswold’s didn’t disappoint though. The area has, of course, long been a favourite of celebrities; Kate Winslet, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Liz Hurley, Huge Grant, and Damien Hurst are just a few of the big names that own multi-million pound mansions in the area, but a little an extra bit of cool Britannia was added earlier this year when Kate Moss and Lily Allen tied their respective knots amidst the picture-perfect English countryside. So, I packed my designer Wellies and donned a deerstalker, for a visit to the area’s latest new-kid-on-the-Cotswold-stone-block, the five star, celeb-filled Ellenborough Park Hotel and Spa.

 

 

The Lowdown

This charming Cheltenham manor house has galloped ahead of the local competition picking up a mantelpiece full of ribbons and trophies since its opening earlier this year. There’s plenty on offer for luxe-loving, pleasure-seeking guests; within the walls of the impressive Grade II-listed Elizabethan building, grand fireplaces and oak-panelled walls have been well-dressed with rich wood furnishings and stylish scarlet and royal blue sofas and chairs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interior design guru, Nina Campbell – who was behind the decoration of Princess Catherine’s pre-wedding suite at The Goring Hotel – took charge of the Ellenborough’s smart interiors and has perfectly combined olde-worlde elegance with modern country chic to create a truly stunning space. I absolutely adored this glittery gorgeous peacock wall lamp that illuminates the balcony area of the Great Hall – so covetable!

 

 

 

The hotel’s foodie credentials are fantastic too and are said to attract many a local celebrity round for lunch, dinner or drinks. Whether it was breakfast in bed – seriously delicious in so many ways – afternoon tea or something a bit more formal, you won’t be disappointed. Celebrated chef, David Kelman, oversees the country house cuisine at the Ellenborough Park and has done an excellent job of showcasing the wealth of local products the Cotswolds has to offer. In the Beaufort Dining Room, there’s a self-assured selection of classic gastronomic delights – think buttery Lobster Thermidor and perfectly prepared Chateaubriand. Or for something equally as delicious but not quite so formal try the comfortable surroundings of The Tudor Club Brasserie – the Pear and Apple Pie, made with fruit freshly-picked from the trees outside, was to die for.

 

The Highlights

The Ellenborough Park has a host of celebrity-style suites hidden away in the hotel’s many ancient towers and turrets. All overlook the pretty grounds and some have views of the adjacent Cheltenham Racecourse. The dramatic Istabraq Suite nestled in the eaves of the Great Hall, with its timbered ceiling, huge bed and beautiful open-plan bathroom is about as romantic as a hotel room can get. The Arkle Suite has its own private dining area, oak-clad walls and spa bathroom make it the perfect space to live out your amorous Elizabethan fantasies. I stayed in one of the luxury rooms (19). It was spacious and beautifully decked-out in a pretty palette of pale blues, greens and creams, with ivy-clad windows and a large bathroom with double sinks, a Victorian claw tub and a nice selection of Penhaligon’s amenities. Standard rooms were rather disappointing though; very small and lacking in the rich character that the rest of the hotel exudes, so my advice would be that if you are going to splash the cash spend a few pennies more and upgrade.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ellenborough Park’s splendid Oriental-themed spa is the perfect spot for an afternoon of posh pampering. The lush little space feels extremely private, featuring a sauna, star-lit steam room, sensation showers and hydrotherapy pool, along with seven treatment rooms and a special VIP area for couples in a Rapunzel-like tower. Treatments are luxe – the Spa Creation Facial is certain to go down well with spa aficionados, and pre and post-treatment guests can lounge about looking gorgeous in the serene magazine-filled relaxation room or chill and re-charge in the jewel-box-like Juice Bar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Star Style


Go country with a pair of Dubarry Galway Boots. Seen here in Walnut £299

And should you forget to pack suitable walking footwear check out the Ellenborough Park’s fabulous Boot Room where a selection of Dubarry boots and Hunter’s Wellingtons are available for guests to borrow.

 

 

 

 

 

The Ellenborough Park: Tel 01242 545454; http://www.ellenboroughpark.com/ Doubles from £240


5
Sep 11

The Oh-So-Cool Cosmopolitan Las Vegas

 

August turned out to be a really busy month for me! So busy, in fact, that I ended up visiting five cities, in four countries, in two weeks – phew! Jet lag aside, I had a fantastic time and I managed to fill up on loads of celebrity travel fuel for my blog. This week, it’s the latest from always-on-the-celebrity-circuit Sin City, Las Vegas, where the oh-so-cool Cosmopolitan Hotel was getting ready to add Grammy Award-winning songstress, Adele, to it’s rapidly growing celebrity guest list.

 

The Lowdown

Hot young things do well in Vegas and Sin City’s hotels are no exception. Strutting its stuff in the centre of the Strip this year’s latest looker is the brand-new achingly cool Cosmopolitan Hotel. The haute hotel started as it meant to go on with a crowd-pulling New Year’s Eve party drawing in those from the highest echelons of the celebrity galaxy. Jay-Z and Coldplay brought in the bells with a show-stopping performance at the Cosmopolitan Marquee Club, with superstar spouses Beyonce and Gwyneth Paltrow in attendance alongside Rihanna, Kirsten Dunst, Florence Welch, Blake Lively and Jennifer Love-Hewitt.

Cutting into the middle of the Las Vegas skyline, with views of the Strip, the Bellagio fountains and the Red Rock Mountains, the Cosmopolitan sits right in the centre of the action and has become a magnet for every big-time celebrity in town. VIPs can enter anonymously through a series of secret access ways and elevators but mere mortals shouldn’t feel aggrieved as the designed-within-an-inch-of-its-life hotel lobby has more than enough gloss and glamour to make you feel like an A-lister.  Entering the hotel, the brilliant sunshine of outside is replaced by the electric glow of enormous digital walls projecting avant-garde images and groovy patterns across the shiny coal-coloured floor. Glittering at the other end of the vast ground level is the world’s largest chandelier, containing more than two million sparklers, covering three floors and housing five cocktail bars within its giant crystal curtain, it was quite possibly the most ostentatious over-the-top hotel decoration I have ever seen in my life – I loved it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The hotel also has no less than eleven restaurants including the wickedly popular Wicked Spoon and favourite of Jay-Z and Beyonce, Scarpetta – apparently the new-mum-to-be loves the exclusive restaurant’s authentic Tomato and Basil Pasta. Along with these well known celebrity haunts, there’s also a special discreet eatery, a nameless “secret pizza” joint hidden down an LP-lined corridor on the second floor where Justin Beiber recently managed to avoid the “fever” on a date with Selena Gomez.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Highlights

Essentially all the rooms are suites here; designed as residential-style spaces each comes with a balcony – not easy to find in Vegas – drop-dead gorgeous designer bathrooms, kitchens and state-of-the-art electronic gadgetry. Studio, one, and two bedroom suites are available, as is the Bamboo Pool’s duplex party pad, The Lanai. Not advertised on the website though and reserved for only the highest of high-rollers and super-celebrities like Lady Gaga and Bono are the hotel’s high-flying flashy penthouse suites. These flamboyant accommodations include a multitude of magnificent rooms, as well as a private screening room, a fully-stocked and downright decadent wet bar, a pool table, spa bathrooms and a wraparound terrace for an incredible 360 degree view of the city.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following its grand opening on New Year’s Eve 2010, Marquee Nightclub at the Cosmopolitan has become Vegas’ most spectacular space. Boasting a fifty-foot ceiling, chandeliers (of course), a four-storey wall of screens and coliseum-style seating around the central dance floor this designer hotspot has attracted all the beautiful party people you would expect – Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton have both partied heartily here. Nicole Scherzinger chose to celebrate her 33rd birthday this year with an extravagant aqua-bash at the Marquee Nightclub’s Dayclub where lounging about in plush cabanas with private infinity pools, and dancing on the rooftop terraces of the triplex bungalows, was the order of the day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And when all that partying, dancing, gambling, eating and drinking has taken its toll the hotel’s Sahra Spa and Hamman is on hand to restore your energy levels. Inspired by the desert landscape, this swanky spa is as glam as the rest of the hotel. Long dramatic hallways with double, and even triple-height ceilings, and chalky coral-coloured walls lead past glimmering pearl-studded waterfalls to cocoon-like treatment rooms where you can be buffed, rubbed, plucked, polished and pampered ready for your next Vegas night out.

 

STAR STYLE

 

 

Strut past the burly club bouncers and dance the night away in this fabulous pair of colour block suede stiletto pump from Vionnet by Zanotti

£579

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas: Tel 702-698-7000; Cosmopolitanlasvegas.com. Doubles from $350

 

Featuring WPMU Bloglist Widget by YD WordPress Developer