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.