BUZZ

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - TRAVEL & INDULGENCE -

All those so-called It Girls, rock stars and Brit­pack alumni have got a lit­tle tired of par­ty­ing. Now what they really need is some healthy food, the min­is­tra­tions of a top-notch spa ther­a­pist and a good lie-down.

Lon­don’s Met­ro­pol­i­tan by COMO at 19 Park Lane has obliged. Fol­low­ing a two-year, mul­ti­mil­lion pound makeover, the Met­ro­pol­i­tan has moved away from the party mood of the late 1990s and early noughties, when pa­parazzi loi­tered out­side the ho­tel’s mem­bers bar, to a more typ­i­cally zen COMO offering where the em­pha­sis is on calm­ing interiors, a holis­tic day spa and even spa cui­sine.

When it opened in 1997, the Met­ro­pol­i­tan tapped the style zeit­geist and its lat­est in­car­na­tion, cour­tesy of de­signer Linzi Cop­pick, is no dif­fer­ent. The 144 gue­strooms and suites have been trans­formed into un­clut­tered ur­ban re­treats with the use of light and dark tim­bers and in­tri­cate fret­work in­spired by nearby Hyde Park, over­looked by the ho­tel. The colour pal­ette is calm, rooted in na­ture with pops of yel­low to en­liven the mood.

Each room is kit­ted with a king-sized bed “float­ing” on a tim­ber base and an over­sized win­dow seat in mocha che­nille. The bang-up-to­date push-but­ton tech­nol­ogy in­cludes com­pli­men­tary Wi-Fi, Ne­spresso ma­chine and Loewe in­ter­ac­tive tele­vi­sion with on-de­mand mu­sic and a ded­i­cated yoga chan­nel.

DON’T MISS: An af­ter­noon in the Shamb­hala ur­ban day spa where you’ll find well­ness cui­sine and col­lab­o­ra­tions with lead­ing spe­cial­ists, in­clud­ing Reiki mas­ters. There are six treat­ment rooms and a 24-hour gym.

DIN­ING IN: At the Ja­panese-Peru­vian Nobu, try chef Mark Ed­wards’s black cod with miso or yel­low tail jalapeno sashimi. The fa­mous Met Bar, which opened to non-mem­bers four years ago, of­fers cock­tail mas­ter classes, a DJ and lunch and din­ner seven days.

DIN­ING OUT: Hot to trot (book­ings es­sen­tial) is Kitty Fisher’s Wood Grill in May­fair’s Shep­herd Mar­ket or check out Sexy Fish at Berke­ley Square.

ASK THE CONCIERGE: Shop­pers should make for nearby South Aud­ley and Mount streets, the lat­ter trans­formed from a quiet col­lec­tion of tra­di­tional May­fair es­tab­lish­ments into some­thing much more con­tem­po­rary with Er­dem, Lan­vin, Bremont and Chris­tian Louboutin. Drop by Lon­don’s new­est, best-kept se­cret — gourmet sand­wiches “to die for” at Cafe Mish. Al­though petite, this new­comer to Shep­herd Mar­ket punches well above its weight, with pro­duce from some of Lon­don’s most fa­mous sup­pli­ers.

CHECK­ING IN: Rooms from £299 ($627). More: co­mo­ho­tels.com.

ALSO TRY: Bel­mond El En­canto, Santa Bar­bara, Cal­i­for­nia; The Mercer, New York; Ho­tel Cipri­ani, Venice.

CHRISTINE McCABE The hand­some Span­ish colo­nial-style Bacara Re­sort & Spa in Santa Bar­bara, Cal­i­for­nia, has com­pleted a $28 mil­lion up­grade of all 358 gue­strooms, now kit­ted out with mar­ble bath­rooms, four-poster plat­form beds and iPad mi­nis • Anan­tara has un­veiled the first four of 15 two-storey, pri­vate sea-view res­i­dences at the Layan Phuket Re­sort in southern Thai­land; each fea­tures three to five bed­rooms, pri­vate infinity pool, liv­ing and din­ing rooms, full kitchen, me­dia and spa rooms and an on-call but­ler • Le Meri­dien has opened a sec­ond ho­tel in Bhutan; sit­u­ated 10 min­utes from the in­ter­na­tional air­port on the Paro River with views of the Hi­malayas, Le Meri­dien Paro River­front fea­tures 59 gue­strooms and suites, a day spa, swim­ming pool and fit­ness cen­tre • The Hong Kong-based Ca­chet Ho­tel Group has cho­sen Cabo San Lu­cas, Mex­ico, for its first re­sort project; Ca­chet Co­ra­zon will fea­ture a re­de­vel­oped 77-room ho­tel open­ing next year and a new-build 204-room re­sort de­but­ing in Jan­uary, 2018 • Next month Six Senses opens 53 sump­tu­ous pri­vate apart­ments at Courchevel in the French Alps; the apart­ments have ac­cess to a day spa and 24/7 concierge; weekly rates from $US6150 ($8498) to the end of April.

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