Hotels


30
May 13

Celebrity Hotel Review: The Baglioni London

Big news! I’m moving to Thailand. Phuket to be precise. This may seem a bit out of the blue but if you follow me on Twitter, you’ll have noticed me (t)wittering on for the last few months about visas and form-filling, car-booting and packing boxes – with a fair amount of despair and tears thrown in along the way. At times, it’s felt like it was never going to happen but – hooray! – it’s finally all come together and it won’t be long now until  I’m blogging from the beach. But, as excited as I am to go, I’m also a little bit sad to be saying my goodbyes. The only thing for it, is to bow out of Blighty in style. So when the swanky celeb-frequented Baglioni Hotel in London invited me a long for a visit how could I say no?

Low_51460822_Baglioni_Hotel__London_Exterior

The Baglioni sits has a primo position with Hyde Park and Kensington Palace on its doorstep.

Lucky Stars: Al Pacino, Halle Berry, Will Smith and Italian film producer Dino di Laurntiis have all been spotted soaking up la dolce vita at the Baglioni. Other big Hollywood names have checked in here too but if I tell, I may find myself “sleeping with the fishes”.

The Lowdown

The the first thing I noticed as I walked into the Baglioni’s bijoux lobby, was the wonderful fragrance that wafted around me. It’s not a particularly new trend for hotels to have their own signature scent but this one was particularly inviting, kind of citrusy and warm, instantly making me think of Mediterranean climes. The decor too, was conducive to on-the-spot relaxation; all flattering lighting, polished walls and deep velvet sofas, with the sound of a tinkling wall of water cascading in the background. The crowd of at-ease guests and power-lunchers that peppered the room were a stylish bunch, lots of suited and booted business-types and raven-haired beauties – my husband straightened his back and I immediately wished I’d worn bigger earrings.

Low_51462011_Baglioni_Hotel__London_Lobby_1

The lobby at the Baglioni. All shiny and smelling like Sorrento.

We could get dressed up later though. For the minute all we wanted to do was rid ourselves of bags and relax. It had been a rather demanding morning, up at 5 a.m. for what turned out to be a five hour drive down from Manchester followed by a visit to Thai embassy, but equanimity was quickly restored with a friendly welcome from the reception desk. We’d arrived a little bit earlier than expected so were informed that our room wouldn’t be ready for another couple of hours. But, this was hardly an inconvenience: the hotel couldn’t be in a more desirable London location, with Kensington High Street just around the corner and Hyde Park opposite. We toddled off for a spot of lunch and a hand-in-hand stroll around the park and before we knew it we were checking into our executive suite with splendid views of the pretty green places we’d just been exploring.

Low_51860959_Baglioni_Hotel_London_Royal_Suite_2

The Royal Suite at the Baglioni Hotel London

Celebrity guests usually to opt for the opulent Royal Suite, a five-bedroom, high-ceilinged number with sweeping views of Kensington and Hyde Park. We were privileged to have room 505, a spacious top-floor room with terrific park views, an enormous marshmallow-soft bed and a ridiculously decadent black marble bathroom stocked with divine-smelling Baglioni amenities. There weren’t any bedside sockets – where to charge? – and the black-out blinds had an inch gap around them making for an early rise but other than that, I lapped up the chic Italian designer feel of it all.

The Highlights

The Baglioni has 67 rooms, with 49 suites, though the smooth service and discreet atmosphere, allow you to feel like you’re the only people staying there. It was only when we returned downstairs for dinner at the glam Brunello restaurant that we remembered there was a world outside of our gold-clad cocoon of a room. The mod-Baroque dining space with its central glass bar and Murano glass chandeliers made for a rather theatrical setting for what would be an absolutely delicious meal.

Low_51907963_Baglioni_Hotel__London_Moreno_At_Baglioni_Restaurant_2

Brunello Restaurant at the Baglioni Hotel

We opted for flutes of Prosecco, and flirted with the excellent wine list before settling on a bottle of Contado Aglianico del Molise, as recommended by the very clever sommelier. Hubby was raised in Italy and is sometimes guilty of being a little bit picky when it comes to Italian food, but he couldn’t fault any of the three courses. Silky carpaccio dotted with raw baby vegetables, rocket and Parmesan, was followed by melt-in-the-mouth tortelli di burrata with burnt butter and hazelnut, and a delightfully light white chocolate mousse with passionfruit sorbet. After dinner, we really should have ventured out for a nightcap in Knightsbridge but given our classy surroundings it seemed madness to leave, so we sat outside on the terrace sipping on digestivi. Perfetto.

The next morning, we lingered over breakfast, reluctant to leave our little slice of the sweet life in London, but sadly the time to say ciao came around all too quickly – just as it seems to be doing in real life. As we walked through the revolving doors to our waiting car, we wondered what lay ahead in Thailand and thanked the Baglioni for sending us off in style.

 

Go There

Baglioni Hotel London available from £145 per person per night. Price is based on two adults sharing a double room on a B&B basis and includes VAT. For booking and further information please visit www.baglionihotels.com or call 020 7368 5700

Book car hire at www.rhinocarhire.com or call 0845 508 9845

I stayed as a guest of the Baglioni Hotel, however, my views, as always are 100% my own.

 

 


17
Apr 13

Celebrity Hotel Review: The Peninsula Shanghai

By the time I reached The Peninsula’s revolving door, I had spent nearly three weeks jumping in and out of ferociously driven cabs, had checked in and out of nine different hotels, had whirled round some twenty-odd restaurants and bars, had sipped cocktails till dawn in a nightclub boasting its own shark tank and had scouted and shopped the entire length of Nanjing Road (and then some). Burn out was dangerously close.

But I wasn’t going to let this 24/7 365-city beat me and was sure that a couple of nights at The Peninsula would be just the reviver I needed. Although, I’d never stayed at this hotel before, I have been deeply and madly in love with The Peninsula Hong Kong for a long long time. When I was a kid I used to wander through its glorious high-ceilinged lobby listening to the silver clinking and wishing I could squeeze in amongst the glamorous ladies taking afternoon tea; in my twenties I knocked back cocktails with friends at Felix; and as a grown-up (ahem) I love nothing better than a day luxuriating at what must surely be one of the finest spas in the world. So, its Shanghai sibling had a rather a lot to live up to. I checked in expecting nothing short of perfection.

251415

The Peninsula Shanghai

Lucky Stars: The Peninsula keeps its famous client cards clasped very close to its chest but Scarlett Johansson, Hugh Jackman, Jacky Chan, Michelle Yeoh and a host of high-profile expat footballers like Nicola Anelka and Didier Drogba are a few of the big names that have been spotted here. 

 

The Lowdown

…And perfection it was. I’m sorry if this post sends you rushing for the vomit bucket, but I am going to gush. Everything from The Peninsula’s position on one of the loveliest corners in Shanghai (staring down the Bund, backing onto the former British Consulate gardens and overlooking the buzzy Huangpu River with the space-age skyline of Pudong glittering across the water) to the hand-carved soap dishes in the bathrooms had me in raptures. Walking into the hotel’s light-filled lobby was like stepping into Somerset Maugham novel – with stylish cerulean green walls, voluptuous velvet chairs, tiered chandeliers and vivid flower displays. I immediately starting speaking in a clipped accent and looked for a small boy to fan me. I was at home – or rather, a wonderful fantasy version of home.

Peninsula Shanghai

Deluxe River Suite at The Peninsula Shanghai. Swoon.

Better still, our room turned out to be a Deluxe River Suite, perched on the corner of the building boasting an astounding view of the city through its gracefully large windows. I hoovered it up with my eyes – window-side dining table, inches thick Chinese rugs, artworks, ceramics, little lacquer boxes filled with petite fours. Naturally, I played it cool while the reception manager was with us but the minute he left I literally leapt, skipped, twirled and squealed my way around all 1100 palatial square feet. There was a bedroom with a bed so soft and cosy it was like lying on a bundle of baby seals (I would imagine), a dressing room with a built-in electronic nail dryer and a cool little housekeeping box where you could deposit washing, for it to magically appear a few hours later without ever having had to endure the inconvenience of speaking to an actual person. The bathroom too was impressive with his ‘n’ hers sinks, a TV in the wall above the jumbo tub and tons of delicious DAVI amenities. As I swanned back into the living room, my husband gave me one of those approving marrying-a-travel-writer-paid-off looks as he sunk into the sapphire blue sofa by the fireplace. I felt more rested already.

Peninsula Shanghai251411Dressing room image

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Highlights

I knew I had to visit to the spa from the minute I saw this picture of the pool. I mean, come on, just look at it – what’s not to love? And, I have to say, it was even more beautiful in the flesh, all sunlight and terraces, squishy sofas and scented air. I spent my first morning here enjoying an amazing private yoga session with Kasia, the spa manager and all-round lovely person, and can now completely understand why celebrities and the super-rich fly their personal trainers around the world with them. That level of encouragement is incredibly motivating and thoroughly addictive. Topped off with a blissful Peninsula signature treatment involving ESPA perfumed oils and an otherworldly level of pressure and I was ready to take on the world again, never mind just Shanghai.

Peninsula Shanghai

Pool at The Peninsula Shanghai

Dining at The Peninsula was equally as memorable. At Sir Elly’s, the flagship restaurant, plate after beautifully presented plate of absolute deliciousness was served up with panache. Each one so perfectly balanced that instead of feeling bloated and sleepy halfway through, which I know from lots of important research can often happen with tasting menus, we worked our way through every bite and still found space to squeeze in some post-dinner cocktails at the rooftop bar. But then again, how could we resist this?

251371

Sir Elly’s: A rooftop bar worthy of any bucket list

Checking out was of course a heartbreaking experience. I really wish I could find some niggle to counterbalance my review but I’ve tried and I can’t. It was perfection from start to finish. The hotel is gorgeous, the food is sublime, the staff are intuitive to the point of being mind-readers, and the spa alone is worth travelling to Shanghai for. If you want to do this most magnificent of cities in style, The Peninsula is the place to be.

I stayed as a guest of The Peninsula, however, I also stayed in eleven other hotels in the city and this was my top pick. My views, as always are 100% my own.

GO THERE

The Peninsula Shanghai, +86 21 2327 2888; www.peninsula.com; Doubles from £270.

Finnair has daily flights to Shanghai from both Manchester and Heathrow via Helsinki. The below return fares include taxes, service and booking fees starting from:

Manchester – Shanghai Business class: £1855.36 Economy class: £542.36

London – Shanghai Business class: £1869.37 Economy class: £556.37

Tickets can be booked at www.finnair.co.uk or 0870 2414411.  For more information please see www.finnair.co.uk For up to date offers and news please follow us on twitter @finnairuk. Finnair also have daily flights to Beijing and Hong Kong in China.  Finnair also fly to Chongqing and begin flights to Xi’an, China in June 2013.

Finnair also fly to 7 other Asian cities too in Singapore, Japan, Korea, India and Thailand plus Hanoi, Vietnam beginning in June 2013.

 


14
Mar 13

Shanghai: Celebrity-style

The camera loves Shanghai. Marlene Deitrich and Anna May Wong swanned around its sultry streets whilst filming Shanghai Express way back in the Thirties. Its European-style mansions and colossal colonial buildings were as much the star of the show as a young Christian Bale in the Spielberg classic Empire of the Sun. While recent years have seen Tom Cruise leaping off the Bank of China Tower in Mission Impossible III, Emily Blunt and Bruce Willis let loose in Looper and 007 arriving for the first time in mainland China in Skyfall.

And with its heady mix of bustling streets, honking cars and neon-wrapped skyscapers crossed with tree-lined boulevards, historic buildings and pretty parks it’s easy to see why this super-exciting city is catnip to movie producers, cinephiles and celebrities alike. It’s fast becoming one of Asia’s top celebrity hotspots – the last Shanghai film festival was graced by movie stars Matt Dillon, Mischa Barton, Susan Sarandon and looks set to attract more big names this year. So, on my recent visit it seemed only logical to stop by a few of the places where they regularly roll out the red carpet.

P1010466 (2)

Shanghai, a superstar of a city.

The Peninsula Shanghai

Perfectly positioned in a discreet spot at the end of the Bund, The Peninsula Shanghai hotel has seen a host of movie stars, musicians and world-class athletes stroll through its revolving doors. Renowned as one of the finest hotels in China, the vibe is old-school glamour  - as is the guest list which includes Scarlett Johansson, Hugh Jackman, Jacky Chan and Michelle Yeoh, as well as expat footballers Nicola Anelka and Didier Drogba. 

Peninsula Shanghai

The Peninsula Shanghai, perfect in so many ways

Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund

It’s been A-list all the way since this Bund-side beauty opened its doors in 2010. With its beautifully restored Art Deco architecture, swinging Long Bar and swish spa it’s easy to see why the Prince Consort of Denmark, the Crown Prince of Luxembourg and Belgium and Princess of Sweden have all given the Waldorf Astoria the royal stamp of approval. Movie stars Faye Wong, Michelle Yeoh, Susan Sarandon and Matt Dillon have all been spotted here too. As has Richard Branson, whose wife is said to have insisted on staying in the swoon-y Deluxe River Suite. Can’t say I blame her.

waldorf deluxe river suite

Deluxe River Suite at the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund

URBN

This quirky little hotel in downtown Jing An and is famous for being China’s first carbon-neutral hotel. URBN might not seem like the obvious choice for a celebrity city break but this 26-bed boutique hotel is brimming with personality and has seen Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Olivia Wilde and Paris Hilton check-in to its environmentally-friendly confines.

Suite

Celeb-favourite, the Courtyard Suite at URBN

M on the Bund

M on the Bund is Shanghai institution and one of the first international standard restaurants in the city, the exhaustive list of celebrities who have dined here could merit an entire blog. Everyone from Halle Berry to Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe to the crown prince of Holland have  soaked up the spectacular views of Old Shanghai from M’s AH-mazing rooftop terrace.  Other high-flying diners include the Ferragamo family, tennis star Andre Agassi, the queen of Thailand, Prince Edward and media tycoon Rupert Murdoch.

04-Terrace

Whatever you do in Shanghai, don’t miss a trip to M on the Bund

Glamour Bar

The utterly gorgeous Glamour Bar is the champagne-sipping sibling of M on the Bund. Part intellectual salon, part pink-tinged party pad, it’s a huge hit with well-heeled locals and visiting celebrities alike. It’s also the location for Shanghai’s up-and-coming literary festival and has welcomed Matt Groening, Amy Tan and children’s author HRH Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands.

17-Cocktail-Bar

The utterly gorgeous Glamour Bar

M1NT

A staple of Shanghai’s party scene, M1NT is packed with eye-candy from its surreal shark tank to its white-hot views of the city to its sky-high celeb count. Clive Owen, Naomi Campbell and Adrien Brody have spotted, Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonzo have revved their engines at post F1 parties and the boys from Blue, Macy Gray and Justin Timberlake are just a few of the big names that have performed here.

m1nt-lounge-008

M1NT

Bar Rouge

With its ultra-glamorous vibe and jaw-dropping views, Bar Rouge has long been a hotbed for celebrity gawking. This rooftop roost is where Scarlett Johansson was spotted dancing up a storm and where Tom Cruise held the MI3 wrap-party. Other celebrity revellers include Quentin Tarantino, Kanye West, John Cusack, Formula One drivers and tribes of top models.

Bar Rouge

Bar Rouge

 

GO THERE

Finnair has daily flights to Shanghai from both Manchester and Heathrow via Helsinki.

The below return fares include taxes, service and booking fees starting from:

Manchester – Shanghai Business class: £1855.36 Economy class: £542.36

London – Shanghai Business class: £1869.37 Economy class: £556.37

Tickets can be booked at www.finnair.co.uk or 0870 2414411.  For more information please see www.finnair.co.uk For up to date offers and news please follow us on twitter @finnairuk. Finnair also have daily flights to Beijing and Hong Kong in China.  Finnair also fly to Chongqing and begin flights to Xi’an, China in June 2013.

Finnair also fly to 7 other Asian cities too in Singapore, Japan, Korea, India and Thailand plus Hanoi, Vietnam beginning in June 2013.

 


29
Oct 12

Celebrity Hotel Review: Ten Manchester Street, London

Following on from an ultra-relaxing stay at luxury hotelThe Landmark London, Mommy Dearest and I nipped just a few streets away to sample the delights of a much smaller, but no less stylish, star-filled hotel in the city. Celebrity singers and firm friends, Kylie Minogue and Natalie Imbruglia have shared some girlie time together at the bijou Ten Manchester Street Hotel and we liked that idea, so decided to do the same.

Ten Manchester Street Hotel

The Lowdown

Ten Manchester Street Hotel is situated on a slice of prime London real estate, around the corner from the chic boutiques of Marylebone High Street, and walking distance to the West End, and couldn’t be in a better position for a girlie break in the city. And it’s everything a boutique hotel should be: low-key, luxurious, stylish and a little bit decadent. 45 guests rooms are spread over five floors, with the penthouse level being given over to the show-piece Grand Suite which boasts a separate living room furnished with cool Christopher Guy furniture and creamy marble bathroom loaded with Aveda products.

Junior Suite at Ten Manchester Street

All of the rooms are kitted out in a classy palette of brown, gold and cream with lots of glossy surfaces and fancy fabrics. The rooms aren’t large – even our junior suite was on the dinky side – but they are incredibly comfortable with statement chairs and sofas, dramatic hand-made mirrors and silky-yellow padded  headboards above beds swathed in Egyptian-cotton sheets with an off-the-chart thread count. Downstairs, the small black-marble clad reception leads to an intimate bar/lounge/restaurant and chic all-weather cigar terrace. It’s all very polished, as were our fellow guests.

 

The Highlights

Boutique hotels come with a expectation of personal service and Ten Manchester Street certainly excelled in that department. The reception and concierge staff were friendly and helpful, with everyone we passed from the cleaners to the bar staff offering a cheery nod and “Hello”. After noticing me snivelling miserably with a horrible head cold – my runny nose and freakishly-red eyes were probably a clue too – the concierge arranged for a nice big pot of hot water, honey and lemon to be sent to my room.  A lovely, thoughtful touch which I was incredibly grateful for and which, of course, meant they could do no wrong in my eyes from that point onwards!

Restaurant at Ten Manchester Street Hotel

Of course, a few sniffles weren’t going to stop Mum and I from making the most of our day out in London. The streets surrounding the hotel were brimming with pretty little boutiques, and nearby Selfridges made for the perfect spot for catching up with Auntie T for some champagne-fuelled chit-chat.  But by the end of the afternoon, the Beechams and bubbles combo was taking it’s toll and the only thing that was stopping me from collapsing into my super-sized invitingly white bed was the need for a good feed. Thankfully the dining room was a welcoming spot with the same cosseted feel as the rest of the hotel; all soft-lighting, dark brown and gold tones with statement furnishings like the Asian-inspired lacquer screen that separates the eating area from the swish little cocktail bar. We both settled on the steak and it arrived juicy and delicious-looking with a square-shaped stack of thick-cut chips. It was excellent. And so was desert, which inspired by our cake-in-bed event the night before, we asked to be sent to our room (I can see this becoming my favourite new hotel habit!).

It was easy to see why celebrities love this little hideaway, the atmosphere is warm, the location perfect for a post-shop drop and the staff make you feel like you’re staying over with friends – rather posh, stylish friends but friends nonetheless.

Go There

Ten Manchester Street, Tel +44 (0)207 3175 900; www.tenmanchesterstreethotel.com; Doubles from £169 


22
Aug 12

Celebrity Hotel Review: The Landmark London

London is always a wonderful city to visit in the summer but following on from the success of our fabulous and over-all-too-quickly Olympics and with the party still to come at the Paralympics, our capital city has well and truly positioned itself at the centre of the travel universe. So, here’s a wee look at two celeb-studded hotels in the city. First up, the rather lovely Landmark London Hotel.

The Landmark London, built in 1899 it’s one of the last great Gothic revival railway hotels.

LUCKY STARS: Katy Perry, Keira Knightly, Jack Black,Justin Timberlake, Freddie Flintoff, Myleen Klass and the Manchester United football team.

THE LOWDOWN 

The Landmark was originally constructed as an elegant railway hotel for the well-heeled travellers of the “golden age of steam” and although our grand tour had only brought us from Manchester and Glasgow, it seemed fitting that Mommy Dearest and I arrived directly from  the Marylebone station platform. After hours of negotiating  the London Tube system (getting lost on more like – Mum and I are proof positive that a poor sense of direction genetically disposed), the sight of the hotel’s magnificent Victorian architecture and the promise of some old-school service couldn’t have been more welcome. Crossing the threshold, weariness was replaced with wonder as we entered into a world of creamy marbles, softly-lit chandeliers, enormous floral displays and Victorian neoclassical oil paintings. While we were still wow-ing over the beautiful interiors we were discreetly checked-in and whisked to our room as all the while the sound of a piano tinkered in the background.

The elegant North Entrance of the Landmark Hotel London

Any travel tensions that may still have been lingering quickly disappeared when we saw our delightful and downright enormous Executive bedroom. Celebrity guests of course opt for the sprawling Landmark or Presidential suites but as The Landmark boasts some of the biggest rooms in London – 300 in all – all tastefully appointed in the classic Victorian tradition, you won’t feel short-changed. The bathrooms too are a treat with a huge soaking tubs, walk-in showers, twin sinks and a generous collection of White Company amenities. Oddly though, for such a thoroughly British hotel there were no tea and coffee making facilities in the room.

The Landmark Suite

THE HIGHLIGHTS

The Winter Garden restaurant

After a couple of hours lounging on our feathery bed it was time for dinner. And the location for our mother and daughter meal couldn’t have been more perfect. The Winter Garden restaurant sits at the heart of a beautiful eight-storey atrium at the centre of the hotel. Frocked-up and famished, we settled in amidst the towering palm trees, juliet balconies and soaring glass ceiling and were feeling very special indeed – a sweetly smug sensation that was only further enhanced by the arrival of Thierry Henry at the next table (Gasp. Tweet).

The classic menu and warm service were loyal to the hotel’s traditional aesthetic, however the waiting time was not – a late start and a forty-five minute between courses left us nodding into our empty breadbasket. When the food did arrive though it was delicious – Mum declared me her favourite daughter (I’m her only daughter) as she devoured her lobster risotto – and the thoughtful offer of our waitress to send dessert to our room for a cosy cake and TV combo more than made up for any delays.

Having skipped the Mirror Bar (a favourite celebrity cocktail bar hidden at the back of the hotel) in favour of Baileys creme brulee in bed, and having ran out of time to visit the chic TwoTwentyTwo restaurant and bar, there was one other hotel hot spot that I wanted to visit. The Landmark’s swanky spa and health club is as popular with the  well-groomed Marylebone locals as it is with the guests and was said to have been Katy Perry’s first stop when she stayed at the hotel. Featuring a 15-metre pool, sauna, steam room, whirlpool, monsoon showers and four cocoon-like treatment rooms for some luxe-y treatments – try the ESPA Advanced Super Active Facial for a cover-girl glow.

Indoor swimming pool at the Landmark, something of a rarity in London and a lovely spot for a few hours pre or post-spa lounging

Overall this is one of the most reasonably-priced and grandest five star hotels you can stay at in London. Situated opposite Marylebone Station, and short stroll from the lovely Regent’s Park, this beautiful old grand dame is perfectly located for exploring all that London has to offer, although you may, like us, find it hard to leave such lovely surroundings.

GO THERE

The Landmark London, Tel: +44 (0) 20 7631 8000; www.landmarklondon.co.uk; Double rooms from £250.


19
Jun 12

Best Hong Kong Hotels for Celeb-spotting

If you’ve ever read my bio you’ll know that if there is one place in the world that I love above and beyond all others, that place is Hong Kong. I grew up on this spectacular little island and spent much of my childhood skipping between school and the pool,  spending my pocket money in street markets and occasionally celeb-spotting – my most memorable being a city-wide search for Madonna while she was in town filming of Shanghai Surprise.

Hong Kong Harbour @Lee_Cobaj

Well, it seems twenty-odd years on I’m still doing the same, only this time I’m flitting between spas and rooftop pools, splashing my hard-earned cash (still mainly at the street markets) while searching the city’s haute spots for the latest celebrity sightings. And try as they might to hide behind oversized sunnies and burly bodyguards, celebrities are often spotted leaving their lavish hotels. Along with the legendary Mandarin Oriental (which I’ve featured previously) and the iconic Peninsula (which I will no doubt feature at some point) here’s a handful of other great Hong Kong hotel’s for star-spotting:

THE UPPER HOUSE

It’s been A-list all since the Upper House hit the Hong Kong hotel scene in late 2009. In fact, Gwyneth Paltrow stayed here while filming her scenes for Contagion and loved the Upper House so much she recommended it on her everything’s-lovely lifestyle blog Goop. I have to agree with her choice, this chic city-centre hotel is swoon-worthy at it every turn. The design is both subtle and sensational with chic minimalist interiors made up of great swathes of Italian limestone, bamboo panelling and stunning sculptures. The rooms are HUGE by Hong Kong standards and all come with show-stopping spa-bathrooms overlooking the city or harbour, ultra-luxe modernist furnishings and a truly incredible range of amenities – think an entire range of REN goodies including eye-cream and night cream, as well as yoga mats, iPod Touches….the list goes on. Along with a spectacular Michelin award winning restaurant (be warned, you’ll need to book well in advance) it’s clear to see that the Upper House will be providing all-star service to the rich and famous for a long time to come.

Cool woods, cashmere soft carpets, one-off sculptures and a corner view to die for. I want to live here. Forever.

Just look at this bathroom. Amazing. And did you spot the REN Rose Otto bath oil on the side? There’s also a monsoon shower and celeb-style dressing room out of shot.

The Upper House Atrium with the most dizzyingly beautiful art installation by Japanese artist Hirotoshi Sawada

The stunning sky-walkway to Cafe Gray Deluxe – Gwyneth’s order of a club sarnie doesn’t do the Michelin award winning menu justice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RITZ-CARLTON HONG KONG

The Ritz-Carlton is another new kid on the celebrity-hotel block and has become something of a superstar itself, having achieved the lofty title of the World’s Highest Hotel. So it comes as no surprise then that a hotel of this stature would have equally amazing guests to match. Lady Gaga chose the Ritz as her hangout of choice when she was recently in Hong Kong – in fact I seem to be inadvertently  stalking her at the moment, having followed in her footsteps via the The Dorchester, the Fairmont Pacific Rim Vancouver and The Setai. Anyway, the lady has clearly got great taste in hotels and the Ritz-Carlton is no exception. There is so much more to it than its record-breaking status suggests: cutting-edge contemporary décor meets unadulterated luxury, sublimely good service and some of the most incredible views you’ll ever see. I had read a previous review of the hotel which suggested the hotel’s stratospheric  positioning made Hong Kong feel distant and dislocated. But for me it had entirely the opposite effect; Hong Kong had never looked more beautiful, more jewel-like and lovely. The cityscape meandered across the South China Sea, as the Kowloon West harbour bustled below while the mountains lazed in the haze. I just wanted to put my arms around it and tell it how much I loved it. Sigh.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong. The world’s highest hotel soaring between the 102nd and 118th floors. One for everyone’s Bucket List!

There’s no doubt Lady Gaga would have checked herself into the best room in the house, the Ritz-Carlton Presidential Suite. Taking up the nearly the entire 117th floor, this heart-stopping haven features swathes of crystal chandeliers, walls inlaid with mother-of-pearl and this incredible bathroom.

The World’s Highest Swimming Pool on the 118th Floor of the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong. Quite possible the coolest pool in the world.

 

THE FOUR SEASONS

This is where Victoria Beckham chose to stay on her recent trip to Hong Kong. And how do I know this? Because when I popped along for a visit, I noticed an uncanny resemblance between the view I was seeing and the one that VB recently tweeted! See for yourself in the pics below.

The Four Seasons is of course renowned as one of the best hotels in the city. Located front and centre of Hong Kong harbour it too offers spectacular views of the harbour and city. The design is much more contemporary than you might expect from the suave Four Seasons brand with a MOMA-like lobby, high-ceilinged super-chic restaurants and large, luminous, ultra-luxurious spa. I didn’t get the chance to stay over (this time) but I did stop by for a splendid Thai massage in a suite overlooking the Star Ferry terminal – heaven – and very special dinner at the extraordinary Caprice – think posh frocks, a ballet-like service and food that tastes even more divine than it looks. Highly regarded by Hong Kong hotshots there’s no doubt that the Four Seasons will be staying on the celebrity circuit for the foreseeable future.

The Fabulous Four Seasons Hong Kong

 

“LOVE Hong Kong!!! Check this view out!!! X VB”

And check out this view! Pretty much the same as Victoria’s. Definitely the fabulous Four Seasons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Caprice is another great place for celeb-spotting, also mentioned by Gwyneth Paltrow in her Goop blog and said to be a favourite of Nicole Kidman’s too. A Hong Kong must do.

 

THE LANDMARK MANDARIN ORIENTAL

Even though VB chose the Four Seasons on this occasion, the sleek and tres chic Landmark Mandarin Oriental is the usual crash-pad for the fashion pack. Stella McCartney and Georgia Armani are both known bedded down between its 400-thread-count sheets – although not together of course – while models, muses, buyers and bigwigs fill the tables at O Bar and Amber. Sitting pretty, slap-bang in the middle of the city the Landmark’s main draw is its high-design concept and easy access to all the essential A-list shopping Hong Kong has to offer – Harvey Nichol’s is next door and every big name luxury brand from Bulgari to Vuitton are just a (precious) stones throw away. Inside, the hotel is intimate and self-assured. Rooms are spacious and stylish with the likes of shamelessly-decadent soaking tubs and three (!) plasma TVs. With no time to spare, all I could manage was  a quick tour and an exquisite lunch at Amber – the only HK hotel to make it onto the S.Pellegrino 50 Best Restaurants in the world list – but that little taste was enough to have me longing for more.

The Landmark Mandarin Oriental’s L900 Suite with its catwalk-like corridor is the preferred choice for the fashion set

L900 Suite Bathroom – another swoon-worthy Hong Kong Hotel tub

 

Have you spotted any celebrities in Hong Kong? Stayed at any of these A-list hotels? I’d love to hear your comments!

 

GO THERE: 

Finnair flies daily from Manchester and London Heathrow to Hong Kong. 

The below fares are ‘starting from’ return fares and include taxes and service fees:

Manchester-Hong Kong: Business class: £2326.00 Business class Campaign for Mid Week travel: £2076.00 Economy class: £667.00

London LHR-Hong Kong: Business class: £2321.00 Business class Campaign for Mid Week travel: £2067.00 Economy class: £658.00 

For more information call 0870 2414411 or visit www.finnair.com . For up to date offers and news please follow us on twitter @finnairuk. Finnair also have daily flights to Beijing and Shanghai in China.  Finnair began flights to new destination Chongqing, China in May 2012. 

Finnair also fly to 7 other Asian cities too in Singapore, Japan, Korea, India and Thailand.

 


14
Feb 12

Dubai’s Chicest Boutique Hotel: The Desert Palm

Well the snow has finally arrived (boo!), so it seems like the perfect time to chase away those winter blues with a visit to a warmer corner of the world. This week I’ve sought out some much needed sunshine with a girlie break to the sparkling city of Dubai. Along with Prague, Tom Cruise chose this Arabian Gulf city as one of the filming location for his latest flick, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, and it’s easy to see why. Not only is there plenty of opportunity to soak up the sun and shop till you drop, but there’s also a wealth of chic places to eat, cool spots for cocktails and some seriously super-luxe hotels. Eager to discover the best that the city had to offer I checked-in for some fabulous off-the-radar rest and relaxation at the city’s chicest boutique hotel, the Desert Palm.

At more than 160 stories, the Burj Khalifa is currently the tallest building in the world

The Lowdown

My stay at the oasis-like Desert Palm Dubai had me cooing with delight from the moment we were picked up from the airport by a chauffeur driven car decked-out with iced-towels, Voss water and deep leather seats. Even though I knew beforehand that the Desert Palm was home to a world-class polo club as well as an haute hotel, it still came as a something of a surprise to pull up to its frangipani-filled gardens and vast green fields peppered with show-ponies. Far from the madness of the metropolis, while still being close enough to be able to see the cityscape twinkling in the distance, it was obvious why camera-shy celebrities, royalty and visiting Emirati choose the Desert Palm for as their Dubai hideaway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The hotel was not at all what I expected in this city of superlatives; Dubai boasts the world’s biggest shopping mall, the world’s tallest fountain, as well as the world’s highest bar, highest restaurant and highest swimming pool. All of these are housed in the world’s tallest building – the Burj Khalifa which Tom Cruise was brave/mad enough to jump off in his recent flick and they can be reached via the world’s highest elevator. In a city that clearly likes to show-off, it wasn’t unreasonable for me to expect a lot of big city bling and over-the-top ostentation. Not so at the Desert Palm though, instead of showy affectations the hotel has opted for low-key luxe in the form of sleek creamy-coloured marble floors, shiny dark woods, and tactile furnishings which cleverly highlights its collection of perfectly-positioned artworks and equine sculpture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First impressions had left me suitably impressed but after a seven-hour night flight and a four-hour leap forward in time we were in dire need of a big bed and a wee sleep. Our room, a Palm Suite, was as swish as the rest of the hotel and surprisingly spacious – spacious enough in fact for two ladies with 50kg of luggage between them to not fight over wardrobe space. And we needn’t have worried about sharing a bed too as it was enormous enough for us both to sprawl out without ever risking waking the other. Along with these winning features, our room also had a stunning spa bathroom with monsoon shower and plenty of REN amenities, a baffling array of technology and view over the open-plan lobby and pretty green polo fields.

 

 

 

 

 

The Highlights

For a small hotel its highlights are many. Days can be spent lounging by the temperature controlled infinity pool – warmed in winter and chilled in summer for optimum swim conditions – walking or jogging around the perfectly manicured grounds, horsing around at the resident riding school or simply sitting on the terrace watching polo whilst indulging in a spot of cream tea. Tucked away on the lower level of the main building there’s also the wonderful LIME Spa which managed to lure us away from all ground-level activities for a whole afternoon with its wonderful massage treatments and hot and cold therapy rooms and showers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s when the sun goes down that the Desert Palm really comes into its own though. The hotel’s fantastic foodie credentials and buzzing bar pull in an eclectic crowd of trendy expats, in-the-know out of towners and local urban prince and princesses. We booked into Rare, which as the name suggests features a menu of rare meats and prized game, and despite our best efforts to show some restraint ended up nearly bursting out of our frocks after sampling some of the finest steaks we’d ever had the pleasure to try. Although our room was within waddling distance we couldn’t resist the warm ambiance and cool vibe of the terrace and ordered up some champagne and shisha at Red Bar. With the city glittering in the distance, the smell of fruity tobacco in the air, and the prospect of three more days at the Desert Palm ahead of us, we agreed that we were experiencing the dreamiest of Arabian adventures.

Outdoor dining at Rare

 

Champagne and Shisha on the Terra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Star Style

 

 

 

Make a confident and stylish entrance to any hotel lobby with this gorgeous trolley case. Luxury Italian luggage label Brics have teamed up with Missoni to create this limited edition travel candy which will make you the envy of all other guests. Available from www.caseluggage.com

 

 

 

 

Go There

Emirates Tours www.emiratestours.co.uk offers a 3 night package to Desert Palm, Dubai www.desertpalm.com from £695 per person. Based on two people staying 3 nights in a Palm Deluxe Room with breakfast daily. It includes return Emirates Economy Class flights from London Gatwick and return private car transfers. Valid for travel from 1st July to 15th September 2012.

 

 


16
Jan 12

Detoxing Celebrity-style at the Canyon Ranch Miami

 It would be fair to say that after three back-to-back trips in less than a month, followed by a Christmas and New Year feasting frenzy, I could now happily weigh-in alongside a team of Russian shot-putters and am a prime candidate for gout, in fact if I carry on at this rate I will have no feet by February. So, something has to be done and I’ve come to the shocking conclusion that I am going to have to eat less and move more. And where better to start this radical new regime than at the Canyon Ranch Miami Beach, Hollywood’s favourite wellness retreat.

Now, I do love a trip to the spa but I’ve never really felt the urge to use my holiday time to detox. It just doesn’t sound much … fun really, but with a guest list that includes Shakira, Eva Longoria, Terri Hatcher, January Jones, as well as Jason Statham and Gerard Butler (spas aren’t just for the ladies any more!), the Canyon Ranch promised to be more than your average health spa. There may be 230 classes a week, resident doctors, nutritionist and physiotherapists, and a lofty keep-fit philosophy but there are also lashings and lashings of luxury and a fair amount of fun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On arrival, I was pleased to see that the lobby was definitely more Kenzo than Tenko, showcasing original Art Deco features of the original Carillon Hotel alongside the upscale elegant designs of New York architect David Rockwell. The rooms too were plush, inviting and surprisingly large – even by American standards – each with vast living rooms and kitchens, spacious spa-style bathrooms and broad balconies overlooking the ocean.

So far, so good. And after a good night’s sleep in my jumbo bed I’m up and at ‘em. The Canyon Ranch does have a reputation for taking a serious approach to health and fitness though so I fully expected warm cabbage-water and wheatgrass for breakfast but no, instead – and much to my delight – I’m presented with a plentiful plate of organic blueberry pancakes, coming in at less than 300 calories, including the syrup! So this is how those celebs manage to stay so skinnylicious! Here’s the recipe if you want to try it out yourself (you really should). And if you love this recipe as much as I do, you can find more here

Whole-Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes with Fruit
Ingredients
1/2 cup bread flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup cane sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoon aluminum free baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 large egg
1/4-1/2 cup 2% milk
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup berries or chopped fruit  (Blueberries and bananas work well in this recipe.)
12 tablespoons pure maple syrup Instructions1. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients. In a medium bowl combine remaining wet ingredients and mix well. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until smooth.
2. Lightly coat a griddle or large sauté pan with canola oil. Place on burner over medium heat until hot. Portion approximately 3 tablespoons batter on griddle and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon berries or chopped fruit. Cover fruit with 1 additional tablespoon batter and cook until bubbles form. Flip and cook other side to golden brown.
3. Serve 3 pancakes topped with 2 tablespoons of maple syrup.Serving Information
Makes 6 (3-pancake) servings, each containing approximately: 365 calories, 70 gm. carbohydrate, 6 gm. fat, 54 mg.cholesterol, 10 gm. protein, 469 mg. sodium, 4 gm. fibre.

Loving the idea that eating healthily could taste so good (this Canyon Ranch even allows alcohol, unlike its sister resorts in Tuscon and Lenox, but, of course, here the cocktails are organic, the beer biodynamic and the red wine green) I’m now convinced the keep-fit side of things will be a breeze too.

 

 

 

 

 

I bypassed the enormous indoor rock climbing wall, the spectacular state-of-the-art gym overlooking the ocean, and the four swimming pools and instead opted for my first ever Zumba class. Zumba was invented in Miami and claims to be an easy-to-follow, Latin inspired, calorie-burning dance fitness party. Sounds fun right? I thought so. I like a party and, although the only time I really dance is on nights-out when copious amounts of alcohol seem only to serve to enhance my natural dancing ability, I felt sure I could hold my own. Not so. My first ever Zumba turned out to be a somewhat humiliating experience as within moments I came to the sudden, stark and sober realisation that – I can’t dance! While the rest of the class, including a couple of nip-tucked octogenarians, pranced around the room in a series of highly-coordinated hip-shaking movements, I found myself flailing about like a mad jellyfish, facing the wrong way (more than once) and gasping for air like a guppy. Strangely though, I loved it and by the end of the sessions I was caught up in the feverish good fun of it all and happily ran around the room high-fiving strangers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was only one thing to remedy this sudden outburst of American-like enthusiasm and that was to head to the spa for some calm downtime. A 70,000 sq.ft shimmering, mosaic-covered sanctuary awaited me. Two floors of gently-lit sumptuous rooms, tropical “experiential” showers, pools of healing waters, thermal cabins, soaking tubs, laconiums, and an igloo (yes, really) made for a fabulous A-list experience. The massage too (just about) lived up to its $240 price tag with a hundred minutes of pounding, pressing and pulling inspired by ancient techniques used on Thai warriors.

Needless to say, as I enter into 2012 I believe that these celebrities have got the right idea and from now on I will be stuffing myself with pancakes, embarrassing myself at Zumba and all-day spa-ing wherever possible. Who’s with me?

GO THERE

Canyon Ranch Hotel and Spa, Miami Beach: Tel 305-514-7000; http://www.canyonranch.com/miamibeach/; From $400


12
Dec 11

Picture Perfect Prague: The Mandarin Oriental

I’ve been so busy jetting around the world these last few weeks (don’t hate me) that I’ve not had time to think about the fast-approaching festivities. So far, I’ve not sent any cards, bought any presents, or put up the tree – not good! I need to start channelling some serious Christmas spirit soon or before I know it the Big Day will be here and I’ll be twinkle-less, tinsel-less, trying to whip up a dinner out of tins of tuna, while wrapping garage-bought gifts in tinfoil. So where might be the perfect place to put me in the mood for forthcoming festive season? Why Prague of course. Home to cobbled streets and horse-drawn carts, awe-inspiring architecture and charming castles; during winter there will certainly be snow and throughout December there’s a beautiful Christmas market. Prague’s picture-perfect appearance also makes it the ideal backdrop for a Hollywood blockbuster and films like Amadeus, The Chronicles of Narnia, Casino Royale, and most recently the new Tom Cruise movie, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, have all been shot in the city.

The Lowdown

Whether it’s for work or pleasure, when the A-list are in town then their hotel of choice is inevitably the gorgeous Mandarin Oriental. Discreetly located at the end of a quiet lane in the elegant Mala Strana district, the 99-room property is squirreled away from prying eyes yet still close to the action. Sitting in the shadow of Prague castle and just a few minute walk from the Charles Bridge and the Vltava River it offers the perfect celebrity hideaway.

Kevin Spacey and John Malkovich are two superstar guests that have been reported in the press, Katie Holmes and little Suri were spotted playing in the nearby park, and Wayne and Colleen  Rooney chose the MO as the location for their make-it or break-it holiday last year. Loads more stars have stopped by but secret entrances and private suites far from prying eyes have prevented them from being papped and the tight-lipped concierge was giving nothing away!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the street, an understated (and easily-missed) archway leads to a honey-coloured terrace surrounded by the smooth white walls of what was once a 14th cloisters. Inside, the warm and intimate lobby area portrays the kind of timeless elegance the Mandarin Oriental group does so well – think luxe-y contemporary design blended seamlessly with period features, smartly-clad staff, and a cool orderly vibe.

Each room has its own unique features, some have vaulted ceilings, some have sweeping arches, and all have beautifully polished antique parquet floors, tactile furnishings, and enormous comfy beds draped in navy silks.  The standard rooms are a bit on the squeezy side but I had the pleasure of staying in a Junior Suite which boasted a separate living room with big wide windows and views over the cobbled streets of Mala Strana. Understated luxury was the order of the day and the lovely limestone bathrooms were packed with lavish touches like highly-covetable range of Aromatherapy Associates amenities, duvet-like robes and a tub so deep it called out for a Hollywood-style bubble bath. The star treatment continued come bedtime with a turndown service that included lavender-scented pillow mists on the bedside table. All that was left to do was to order some (pricey but delicious) room-service and retire to my cloud-like bed. Heaven.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Highlights

I was so looking forward to sampling the delights of the spa. I’d been for a massage at the Mandarin Oriental Macau years ago and still felt relaxed just thinking about it, so expectations were high. I wasn’t disappointed. Although the feel of the spa was still distinctly Mandarin, the design cleverly embraces the spa’s unique history as a former Renaissance chapel; walking through the hotel’s secret passage feels like stumbling into a private museum. Beautifully preserved pieces of history dotted the corridor and, once inside, glass walkways hover above ancient church ruins and fantastic original frescos decorate the walls. A bright spacious lounge awaited, complete with screened relaxation areas and tea lounges, and infused with a sense of monastic calm. The sense of serenity continued through to the treatment rooms where my therapist, Andrea, skillfully kneaded my sightseeing-weary body into blissful submission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other highlights include Essensia, the hotel’s restaurant. I only made it down for a superb breakfast (with the best smoothies ever) but the dinner menu was a mouth-watering selection of  local Czech dishes and Asian cuisine that I was sorry to have missed. Chic bar, Barego, is the place for people-watching, celebrity-spotting and mixes a mean cocktail.

 

Star Style

 

Danni Minogue is said to adore the Aromatherapy Associates range used by the Mandarin Oriental Spas and I have to agree – they’re lush. I absolutely fell in love with their heavily (and heavenly) scented products. Try the fabulous De-Stress Muscle Rub £20 for 150ml for an in-house rub down.

 

 

 

 


14
Nov 11

Vancouver’s Hautest Hotel: The Fairmont Pacific Rim

With the new movie from the Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn, about to hit our screens and no doubt throw fans of the vampire series into frenzy, I thought that it would be a good time to pop over to the film set (and one of my favourite cities) – Vancouver.

 

 

I adore this town. Where else can you go whale-watching, skiing, cycling and shopping all in the same day? The nightlife is pretty good too! I’ve spent many happy days strolling around Stanley Park, shopping on Robson (I’ve spent more money in MAC than I care to admit), sipping cocktails at the city’s stunning rooftop bars, as well as exploring the surrounding countryside all the way from Seattle to Whistler. However, this time my dear friend (and gay boyfriend), accompanied me on a visit to Vancouver’s hottest hotel and celebrity hangout, the Fairmont Pacific Rim.

 

 

 

The Lowdown

Vancouver was already a seriously good-looking city when the 2010 Winter Olympics came along and gave it a dazzling new waterfront facelift. Staking a gold medal position in the heart of the action was the shiny Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel which, since its opening a little over 18 months ago, has attracted more than its fair share of celebrities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was obvious from the moment we entered the smart, marble-clad lobby, decorated with indoor waterfalls and beautiful people, that the Pacific Rim was all about ‘urban glam’. Impressive floor-to-ceiling windows allow light to flood in, while traditional touches like a fireplace and a grand piano warm the space. Upstairs, the alluring Oru Restaurant is sophisticated, polished and the kind of place that’s packed every night of the week with city slickers, super-skinny model types and, of course, celebrities. Cindy Crawford and Nicole Kidman have both been spotted spending time in the hotel. The boutique feel continues half-way up the building to the swish Willow Stream Spa and at the chic rooftop pool – the private cabanas made the perfect spot for some afternoon champagne sipping.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a check-in as smooth and sweet as maple syrup, we’re shown to our room; one of the Signature rooms on the corner of the tenth floor. The minimalist, though opulent, design of the lobby (think tactile fabrics, chic chandeliers and contemporary artworks) carries through to the deluxe low-key lodgings. It’s spacious and packed with high-tech gadgetry, but all of these fantastic features slip into the background when we see what is far and away the hotel’s best selling point, the ah-mazing views!

 

The Highlights

The views are quite simply incredible and induced a fair amount of decibel-busting squeals from GBF and I as we took in the spectacular 270 degree panorama of the majestic North Shore Mountains, the Coal harbour coastline (complete with seaplanes dipping in and out of the water) and a glittering cityscape. And where was the best place to enjoy this stupendous view? From the bathtub of course!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click on the link to see the bathroom reveal! Fairmont Pacific Rim – View from the Bathroom

 

The next morning, following an exquisite sleep I awake to the sound of Matthew tinkering on his laptop. He sees me rise from my slumber and promptly presses a button to adjust the lighting, then presses another button to open the blinds, and rustles up some coffee on the Nespresso maching – clearly we’re in gadget heaven! After I indulged in an early morning bubble bath – I could have luxuriated there all day admiring that view –  it was off to Giovane for a fab deli-style lunch and a quick tour of the hotel.

As special as our room was – and it was very special – it paled in comparison to the all-out extravagance of the hotel’s unbelievably glamorous Speciality Suites. The show-stopping Chairman Suite, with its enormous master bedroom, two living rooms, a 500 square foot spa bathroom and a Balinese-style terrace, cascades over two floors showing off double-height views of the city and harbour. It’s clear why this suite is a favourite of flamboyant rock stars like U2 and Bon Jovi, it is certainly a superstar of a space. Lady Gaga, on the other hand, prefers the privacy of the penthouse Presidential Suite which is accessed by private elevator, sprawls over 2230 square feet, has an enormous marble spa bathroom with jacuzzi and, of course, a heavenly view.

 

 

 

 

 

We spend the rest of the day sunbathing at the rooftop pool and lounging around the fabulous Willow Stream Spa, where we drink champagne in the Jacuzzi till the sun goes down. We smugly agree that the Fairmont Pacific Rim is the perfect celebrity hot spot.

 

Star Style

 

 

 

A great pair of jeans will take you from day to night in Vancouver. I love these navy-blue babies from cool Canadian brand, Domino – Jessica Alba and Kirsten Dunst are just a couple of the celebrities that have been spotted wearing them.

Domino Candy Navy £90

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fairmont Pacific Rim: Tel 604-695-5300; http://www.fairmont.com/pacificrim; Rates from $229 CAD

Featuring WPMU Bloglist Widget by YD WordPress Developer