Las Vegas’ new Palazzo Hotel, Resort & Casino gilds the Vegas lily…
D.C’s High-End Bistro
Westend Bistro by Eric Ripert. Where else but the Ritz-Carlton Hotel would you find the chef of New York City’s award-winning restaurant Le Bernardin? Eric Ripert is wowing the moneyed diplomats of the Foggy Bottom neighborhood with his luxurious comfort food, including fish burgers with saffron aïoli and a salad of local greens gussied up with truffle vinaigrette. Two caveats: side dishes must be ordered a la carte and the hand-made cocktails are a pocketbook risk at $12 per glass. The pomegranate-spiked West End cocktail, and a tangerine tequila named after the chef, are particularly irresistible. 1190 22nd St. N.W. Foggy Bottom. No lunch Sat. & Sun. 202/974-4900. Reservations suggested. AE, D, MC, V. Median entrée price: $22.
London’s Angelic Brasserie
Angelus. Owner and renowned sommelier Thierry Tomasin hits the right notes at this wonderful French brasserie in Lancaster Gate. Styled with art deco mirrors and banquettes in a 200-year-old converted former pub, Angelus has a reputation for unrivaled Paris-style brasserie cuisine. The foie gras creme brûlée, egg cocotte, Dover sole with risotto, or roast mallard with wild mushrooms are as good as they get. Light bites, such as beef tartare, cinnamon-scented salmon, and rum baba, are served at the bar. The owner Tomasin is sure to select a classy bottle from the comprehensive wine list. 4 Bathhurst St. Bayswater. 020/7402-0083. Reservations essential. AE, MC,V. Median entrée price: £9.
In Puerto Rico, Tapas for the Trendy
El Toro Salao. Bullfighting posters hang on one of the two-story-high walls in El Toro Salao, which means “the salty bull” in Spanish. This tapas restaurant was opened by restaurateur Emilio Figueroa, who helped turn the southern end of Calle Fortaleza into the city’s top dining destination. Although it is not located on painfully hip South Fortaleza, El Toro Salao’s brash attitude makes it a clear part of the SoFo bunch. There are plenty of small dishes to share, as well as heartier fare like blackened tuna in sweet paprika, and grilled octopus with a sun-dried tomato vinaigrette. Diners can sit in the dining room, which has a bar illuminated in red, or at one of the tables that spill out onto an adjacent cobblestone square. Wear your coolest clothes because the crowd will be checking you out. 367 Calle Tetua. Old San Juan. 787/722-3330. AE, MC, V. Closed Sun. No lunch. Median entrée price: $18.
NYC’s Stylish Stay
Duane Street Hotel. Amid Tribeca’s historic warehouse buildings and trendy art galleries sits the Duane Street Hotel, a fashionable addition to the neighborhood. Inside this intimate property, the ‘beca restaurant takes up most of the lobby. Upstairs, comfortable rooms with either soft lilac or green apple walls are swathed in light, which streams through loft-like windows. Hardwood floors, flat-screen TVs, and compact fold-up desks give the rooms a modern, playful feel, while cashmere throws and fresh flowers add touches of romance. Sophisticated bathrooms feature slate floors, showers with half-glass doors, and “We Live Like This” brand amenities. Don’t fret about the lack of a fitness center. Guests are invited to use complimentary passes to work out at a nearby Equinox. Pros: great location; in-room spa treatments available through Euphoria Spa Tribeca; turndown service with Jacques Torres Chocolates. Cons: no DVD players in rooms; restaurant bar has only five seats. 130 Duane St. Tribeca. 212/964-6400. www.duanestreethotel.com. 45 rooms. In-room facilities: safe, Wi-Fi (no fee). In-hotel facilities: restaurant, room service, bar, business center, public Wi-Fi, no-smoking rooms. AE, DC, MC, V. Rooms start at $300.
Park City Goes Chic
The Sky Lodge. Hip urban chic meets rustic beauty at Park City’s newest luxury hotel. Strategically located in the heart of historic Old Town, on the corner of Main Street (the epicenter of the Sundance Film Festival), the posh property boasts access to Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley. Rooms are spacious, starting at 1,260 square feet, and feature decks with cedar hot tubs and scenic vistas of the Wasatch Mountains. Modern amenities like flat-panel HDTV’s and iPod cradles are available as well as high-end luxuries like 400-thread count Anichini Egyptian cotton linens. Aprés-ski bunnies and off-season guests can indulge in the nightly complimentary cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the guest-only Sky Club. Guests can also indulge in Japanese-inspired services at Amatsu Spa, or convene for a sumptuous meal at one of three on-site restaurants, including Fin, Easy Street Brasserie, and Easy Street Bakery. Pros: advanced stocking of groceries available upon request; underground heated garage with valet. Cons: 35 minutes by car from the airport; rooms are pricey. 201 Heber Ave., Park City, Utah. 435/658-2500 (ph.). 435/615-6751 (fax). www.theskylodge.com. 33 rooms. In-room: safe, kitchen, refrigerator, DVD, Wi-Fi. In-hotel: 4 restaurants, room service, bar, pool, gym, spa treatments, laundry service, concierge, parking (fee), no-smoking rooms. AE, MC, VC. Rooms start at $925 (but a promo rate of $625 is in effect through April 13, 2008).
Las Vegas’ Luxe Suites
The Palazzo Resort, Hotel & Casino. When it opened its doors in January 2008, the $1.8 billion, all-suites Palazzo added even more luxury to the already luxury-heavy north end of the Las Vegas Strip. Nestled between the sprawling Venetian and the ornate Wynn, the new hotel is an understated blend of style and sophistication. Wide passageways and a three-story waterfall highlight the airy casino; upstairs, suites come standard with sunken living rooms, marble bathrooms, and linens from Anichini. Elsewhere on the property, Las Vegas’ first Barneys New York attracts upscale business travelers and big winners alike, while foodies line up to sample CarneVino, the latest restaurant from Mario Batali. Jersey Boys, the acclaimed Broadway musical, opens this spring. Pros: combination printer/fax/scanner in every room; remote-controlled Roman shades. Cons: no poker room; hard-to-get-to entrance for taxis coming in off the Strip. 3325 Las Vegas Boulevard S. Center Strip. 866/263.3001. www.palazzolasvegas.com. 3,066 rooms. In-room: safe, DVD, Ethernet, Wi-Fi. In-hotel: 12 restaurants, room service, bars, pool, gym, spa, laundry facilities, laundry service, concierge, executive floor, public Internet, public Wi-Fi, airport shuttle, no-fee parking, some pets, no-smoking rooms. AE, D, DC, MC, V. Rooms start at $199.
Contributors: Alia Akkam, Charyn Pfeuffer, Elana Schor, Mark Sullivan, Matt Villano Alex Wijeratna