Just in time for the return of international travel, the world’s chicest homes away from home have gotten even smarter
Words by ANDREW BARKER
Galleria Vik Milano
Room 524, decorated by MARCELLO JORI, at GALLERIA VIK MILANO.
What could be more Milanese than culture, art and fashion colliding in one place? A hotel housed in the most jaw-droppingly beautiful luxury mall in the world, perhaps? With its vaulted arches and central glass dome, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II was built for the king of the same name in the late 1800s. Today it is the first city location from the Uruguay-born Vik Retreats hotel group, which gained popularity over the past decade or so with its art-focused properties in South America. Galleria Vik Milano has 89 individually designed rooms with stucco Veneziano walls, site-specific installations and artworks sourced from around the globe. Across the hotel you’ll find old and new peacefully coexisting, whether that’s handpainted frescoes and a cast of Auguste Rodin’s The Thinker in the lobby or the rooftop pizzeria, offering red and white varieties that are wood-fired the Neapolitan way. There’s no better place to pick up some new-season Prada, since you can even pop over in your slippers. galleriavikmilano.com.
Le Bristol Paris
The Le Bristol Paris colonnade. Photography by Éric Deniset.
Right on the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré and within skipping distance of the flagships lining Avenue Montaigne — you couldn’t plot a better location for a fashion hotel, and this one has completed a decade-long renovation just in time for its upcoming centennial. During the pandemic, work was underway on updating rooms and suites as well as a new courtyard garden, entrusted to renowned landscape designer Arabella Lennox-Boyd, who has selected narcissi and tulips for springtime and white bougainvillea and pink roses for summer — all blooms native to Paris. What really makes this hotel unique, though, is the introduction of three on-site ateliers: There’s a cheese-aging cellar, an in-house chocolate factory and even a flour mill in the basement so that Michelin-three-starred chef Éric Fréchon has fresh pastries, pralines and perfectly ripe cheeses for his diners. Deserving of a final mention is Socrate, the resident white cat, who’ll greet you in the lobby with a haughty meow as if he owns the place. oetkercollection.com.
A new courtyard garden features blooms native to Paris including narcissi and tulips
The Carlyle, New York
Guests of The Carlyle in New York can now stock up on their skincare essentials at the new LA MAISON VALMONT.
In the historic Upper East Side, with the flagships of Madison Avenue on its doorstep, The Carlyle has delighted native New Yorkers with its unbeatable hospitality, moreish martinis and live jazz for decades. Now it has a spoiling spa to match its illustrious Bemelmans Bar. Opened at the end of last year, the Valmont Spa uses cosmetics by the Swiss brand of the same name, which has offered antiaging treatments since 1985. Its creams are made with ingredients sourced in the Alps, and the wellness offerings, primarily focusing on rejuvenation, include a 90-minute treatment featuring an Oxylight for the face and a regenerating collagen mask that leaves harried faces feeling nourished and beaming. Moreover, there is a new La Maison Valmont boutique next door, with art on the walls by Sol LeWitt and custom Murano glass light fixtures, where you can stock up on the cult skin products you just experienced, not to mention fragrances from sister brand Storie Veneziane. rosewoodhotels.com.
The Carlyle’s Bemelmans Bar has delighted native New Yorkers for decades — and now it has a spoiling spa to match
The Painter’s Room at Claridge’s in London, designed by Bryan O’Sullivan Studio. Photography by Justin DeSouza.
It’s all go at Claridge’s, the Mayfair hotel that has seen fashion greats including John Galliano and Diane von Furstenberg conceive everything from its suites to its Christmas trees, and counts Anna Wintour and Carolina Herrera among its regulars. But while work continues on its basement spa, it has recently opened a new cocktail bar, new suites and an art gallery. The Painter’s Room arrives under the hand of Bryan O’Sullivan Studio, with a centerpiece hewn out of pink onyx and a wall mural and stained-glass window by British artist Annie Morris. Order a Saint Remy — a spin on a martini inspired by Van Gogh’s Almond Blossom — and a waiter will deliver it wearing a jacket in the trademark blue of the original street-style photographer Bill Cunningham. The plays on the hotel’s Art Deco design heritage continue upstairs in the sumptuous new Mayfair Suites — all mirrors and marble, with scallop-backed furniture, also by Bryan O’Sullivan. And the ArtSpace, which opened in time for the Frieze art fair late last year, will return again this spring with a new show following the success of an inaugural Damien Hirst exhibition. claridges.co.uk.
Feature image: Room 208, decorated by Mario Schifano, at Galleria Vik Milano.
This story originally appeared in the Spring 2022 issue of C Magazine.
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