It’s happening again. Gala night, an important dinner or whatever it is, and you were meant to be there by yesterday at this point, and you’re nowhere close to being dressed.
The problem? Your wardrobe has got 2014 written all over it, you were spotted in that outfit only three nights ago, this one last week… in other words you’ve got nothing to wear.
It’s time for a shopping spree. That’s a no-brainer…but where?
We’re going out on a limb here and assume that you’re after quality, latest trends and possibly bespoke tailoring. If that’s the case, may we humbly suggest what you already know. Paris, New York, London and Milan. Let’s be clear we’re not reinventing the wheel on that front.
However, where we can really impress, is in helping you choose the right hotel from which to stage the shopping extravaganza you’re about to indulge in … because it’s an absolute headache choosing a hotel close to where all the shopping action is.
Every hotel on your radar is minutes away from this or a stone’s throw away from that, and it can all get confusing very quickly. So we’ve done all the analyzing so you can just focus on the shopping.
If you want to be in and out of your hotel like a credit card-wielding assassin, don’t want to be lugging bags all day and tipping every taxi driver in the city…. here’s our definitive guide to the boutique hotels that’ll avoid you all that.
Every item on this list is, at most, a 15-minute walk away from iconic shopping meccas. Oxford Street, 5th Avenue, Le Faubourg Saint Honoré, Champs Elysées, they’re literally minutes away…
Hotel Barrière Le Fouquet’s
The Hotel Barrière Le Fouquet’s regularly attracts politicians, movie stars and fashionistas ready to raid every single designer store on the Golden Triangle.
And the excellent Spa Diane Barrière is THE antidote to ease that after-shopping fatigue and there’s nothing quite like walking back into those Jacques Garcia-designed interiors to round off your day. Bruce Willis, Belmondo and Jack Nicholson (to name a few) were all guests and the hotel’s got the looks, feel and discretion to welcome such glitterati within its walls.
The rooms here are among the most spacious in the City of Light and grant you access to a 24-hour butler service. For epicures, the hotel is home to five restaurants, including the timeless Fouquet’s Paris, so don’t miss out on this exclusive experience.
Ham Yard Hotel
Firmdale hotels have garnered a reputation for gorgeous and extravagant designs and though the Ham Yard Hotel is not the most “out there” in that department, it’s definitely the most ambitious. Not content with just setting up a hotel in the West End, the Ham Yard’s owners have gone off and created an urban village complete with a bowling alley, private cinema and shops… we told you it was ambitious.
Whether you’re eyeing Oxford Street or Bond street for your shopping, you’re only a sweet 10 minutes away and after a day out, you’ve got the promise of Soho’s night life and the theaters right at your doorstep. But if you jut want to stay in, the classic bowling alley is worth your time and mingling with the young crowd of the rooftop bar is a must.
Created by Lord Byron’s valet nearly 200 years ago, the Browns Hotel has seen its fair share of poets, writers in residence and… inventors (the telephone was born here) over the years. These days you can find all sorts of types gathered for its afternoon tea, but the common thread is that they all seem to be sponsored by the likes of Saville Row and Prada. And with Bond Street and Oxford round the corner they have no reason not to be.
Sleek and fashionable. the crowd reflects the design but don’t expect anything over the top. The hotel looks great for the 21st century thanks to Olga Polizzi’s tasteful touch up, but it’s no Claridge’s or Charlotte Street Hotel. It’s a bit of a Goldilocks, and that’s a great thing, because everyone here is made to feel right at home, even the little ones…
In between shopping raids, you owe it to yourself to give the afternoon tea a try, so close your eyes and book away
Mandarin Oriental, Milan
Since its opening in 2015, the Mandarin Oriental Milan brought the sexy up a notch in the Quadrilatero district, and is easily a benchmark for what a modern urban hotel ought to look like. With a prime position in Milan’s most fashionable quarter and designer stores literally right around the corner, this is a fashionista’s dream come true.
An underground pool, a Feng Shui inspired spa and one of the trendiest bars in Milan also await guests, while the Antonio Citterio interiors are a joy to behold. As the Quadrilatero is not only fashionable but historical, you can spice up your shopping spree with some sightseeing as La Scala and the Duomo which are only minutes away. For impeccable style and a top location, this is exactly where you should be in Milan.
Bulgari Hotel Milan
Set in an 18th century palazzo and within a walled off garden, you could be fooled into thinking that Milan is hours away, but thankfully, that’s just an illusion. The Bulgari Hotel Milan is at the heart of the city and you’re within walking distance of all the fashion stores that it has to offer.
Everyone here is a proponent of La Bella Figura attitude and these super sleek interiors definitely match the crowd that you will find here.
This towering 46-storey hotel is a masterpiece.
Ideally located at the heart of Soho, you won’t even need a cab to get to the famous 5th Avenue from here. The hotel’s Bar d’Eau is one of the trendiest rooftop bars in the Big Apple, and its floor to ceiling windows grant exceptional views of the Hudson River.
Crosby Street Hotel
You won’t find a trendier boutique offering than the Crosby Street Hotel in New York, nor one better located for your shopping needs.
The hotel bears the hallmark design of the Firmdale group and has even got a private garden in space-starved New York (good luck finding that elsewhere!). Located on the ground floor of the hotel, the Crosby Bar serves up excellent food– including gluten free options– and top notch cocktails to match.