|Baccarat Hotel & Residences|
by The Daily Telegraph, September 23, 2016
Hotel Principe di Savoia, Milan
It’s always a mistake to think that fashion is about a search for the new, the exotic, the unknown and the uncomfortable. Of course, it is in part a search for those things (just look at the 4in spike-heeled slipper Miu Miu is offering this season for something truly cruel and unusual). But just like anyone else, fashion people enjoy the comforting, the familiar, the cosy and the frankly luxurious too.
In addition, fashion weeks are an endurance test during which a gigantic herd of international press criss-crosses continents like wildebeest on a biannual migration over the veldt. So when all the editors land in Paris, Milan, New York or London, they are tired, hungry and cross and, if they’re wearing the season’s high heels, their feet hurt. No wonder they want a little pampering.
In Milan, the best hotel for such gentle treatment is unquestionably Il Principe di Savoia. This grand old neoclassical pile, now part of the Dorchester Collection, has hosted such epicures as Maria Callas, Edward VIII and Eva Perón in the past. Catering to the whims of these guests has honed the skills of the Principe’s staff so that they are infinitely accommodating of even the shrillest prima-donna blogger.
During Milan Fashion Week, the amber-lit Principe Bar is an unofficial common room for designers, stylists, models and writers, though it’s a common room in which the drink most commonly asked for is not a lager top but a vodka, lime and soda (76 calories per glass if you’re counting – and everyone is).
For those lucky enough to stay – rather than merely refuel – here, the rooms are sumptuous and lavish. The curtains have so much swagging, so deftly arranged, it’s as though they were expecting to make their own catwalk debut. The lighting in the bathrooms, reflecting as it does off marble, is somehow especially flattering. And there’s a swimming pool... though the idea that anyone would actually be wetting their hair before a day of shows is obviously ridiculous.
Position means status at the shows, and whether you’re front row or standing at the back matters, but what matters more is where you stay while you’re there. And nowhere is more fashion-friendly in that most modish of cities, than Hotel Principe di Savoia.
Doubles from £260 ( dorchestercollection.com ).
(By Sasha Slater)
Le Bristol, Paris
This Palace hotel in the centre of Paris is a jewel of the Oetker Collection. The rooms have all the belle-époque chandeliers and Hermès soaps you could wish for. The La Prairie spa will smooth out even the most frazzled fashion faces. And the resident Birman cats, Fa-Raon and Kléopatre, add a touch of well-loved anarchy. Be sure to visit the hotel’s new Café Antonia, inspired by the original doyenne of fashion, Marie Antoinette, with a menu by acclaimed chef Eric Fréchon.
Doubles from £705 ( lebristolparis.com ).
Baccarat Hotel & Residences, New York
The first hotel from the 250-year-old crystal brand, Baccarat Hotel & Residences sits right across the street from Moma, and is like an elegant Parisian hôtel particulier, mixed with the contemporary aesthetic of its midtown location. There’s a barrel-vaulted bar with a terrace overlooking the museum, the first Spa de la Mer in the US and a 50ft indoor pool. Spot the never-seen-before Baccarat pieces twinkling around the hotel.
Doubles from £610 ( baccarathotels.com ).
Baccarat Hotel & Residences
(By Francesca Syz)
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