I feel like I’m stepping into a New York fantasy as I walk into the cool monochromatic marble lobby of The Surrey Hotel. Suddenly I’m no longer that city girl schelpping bags from the subway (the bellmen already took care of those), I’m a more refined lady as I stand a little taller and move a little slower among my new immaculate surroundings. Located on the prettiest stretch of East 76th St between Madison and Fifth Avenues, The Surrey is every bit as elegant as its address would suggest: a 1920′s Beaux Art townhouse with a soothing muted color palette, luxurious furnishings, and Lauren Rottet designed interiors. But it’s Upper East Side posh with a decidedly modern attitude–and one that I love as I spot Chuck Close’s enormous tapestry of Kate Moss welcoming me in the hallway.
I’m not checking into The Surrey just for any ol’ occasion, however–I’m here to get ready for my wedding, and as with anything wedding related, there was a lot of thought put into this decision. First and foremost, I wanted a hotel that is photogenic, and every square inch of the Surrey certainly was. There’s not a bland corner to found on property–from the plush Bar Pleiades (described by my friend as the architectural interpretation of a Chanel bag) to the peaceful and artfully designed rooftop garden. The public and private areas of the hotel also house an impressive modern art collection, which adds interesting variety to the space. Rooms at the property are split into salons and suites with each one graciously appointed in neutral palette of creams, beiges, and greys lending a sophisticated and soothing feel to the space. Salons, which range from 330 to 570 square feet are single rooms outfitted with hand-painted wardrobe armoires, oversized desks, spacious sitting areas, and Duxiana beds complete with custom Sferra bedding. Suites, which can go up to 660 square feet, contain separate living areas, small kitchens, dining tables, soaking tubs, and private terraces. As a bride though, I’m going all out and zip up the elevator to the very top floor–The Penthouse Suite. (more…)
Ahh, The Hamptons. The hamlet at the very end of Long Island is always in the media and on the travel list of the chic jet-set for a good reason: it really is incredibly beautiful and relaxing. But like any place that gets a little too popular, it can start to lose a bit of its natural character during peak season, which is why my favorite time to visit is actually the fall. So with foliage in full bloom and the weather still considered warm, I headed out for a weekend of relaxation and rejuvenation (and of course, an obligatory visit to the beach).
My favorite town in the collective “Hamptons” is East Hampton, with its charming town center, pristine beach, good restaurants, easy access to wineries, and overall calm atmosphere. It’s not as rowdy as its neighbor to the west, Southampton, and still more refined than its sea-side neighbor to the east, Montauk–but within easy distance to either town so you can still party or surf to your heart’s content. My idea of a good time in the Hamptons however, involves neither activity–I am getting away after all–so I prefer to eat, drink, and be cozy.
Luckily, I was staying at c/o The Maidstone,, a quaint Scandinavian lifestyle hotel right in the heart of East Hampton. With a restaurant serving some of the finest Scandinavian food I’ve ever tasted, a cozy lounge with cocktails that rival the best in Manhattan, and Hastens luxury beds in every room, the hotel immediately met all my Hampton vacation requirements and more. (more…)
For New York City dwellers, few things are as important to our well-being as simply getting away. Of course there are the obvious options — jaunts to the Hudson Valley or the Hamptons, but starting off a weekend of relaxation by sitting in traffic always seemed less than ideal. Instead, I prefer to search for sanctuaries in the city — whether a hidden restaurant or a quiet bar to enjoy a cocktail overlooking snowy streets — where I can retreat to at any time. My latest discovery is the Shibui Spa, a tranquil Japanese-inspired spa located in the luxurious Greenwich Hotel.
Walking into the hotel, I immediately feel a sense of calm and privacy. There are no travelers rushing about or too many staffers greeting you at every turn. Instead the concierge smiles and directs me to the spa — a short elevator ride one floor down — where when I arrive, the receptionist already knows me by name. The spa artfully blends luxury and tranquility, with a heavy emphasis on Japanese design and treatments. The focal point of the spa is a lantern lit pool (one of the largest I’ve seen in the city), which is surrounded by a 250-year old Japanese farmhouse, artfully constructed using antique Japanese craftsmanship. Here guests can lounge and enjoy tea or dried fruit before or after their treatments. (more…)
For trendy moms, especially those enamored with their kid looking like an enfant chic, this is the sample sale of the year! I must have wandered into the beautiful Bonpoint boutique so many times wishing I could afford, well, a sock. I was happy to find out that everything is more than half off, and the selection is great with sizes well-stocked. Here are the details below, and some advice: head over early and bring a book or three. Oh, and leave the stroller at home as they’re not allowed, but better to maneuver with hands-free!
In New York, there’s always a wait for anything good! After my long-anticipated facial with Cecilia Wong, I can now see why she is considered a guru for facials in a city full of the best spas and salons. It was difficult to choose from Cecilia’s carefully crafted menu of treatments, but I finally settled on the Hello, Moisture facial treatment since autumn is upon us and moisture will be harder to come by! I admired Cecilia’s own flawless and glowing skin as she welcomed me to her downtown spa location, a spacious and airy oasis over the hustle and bustle of the city. As we sat down, Cecilia reviewed my concerns, and actually custom tailored the facial to my needs. I have a tendency to get patches of red, irritated skin as the seasons change, which were addressed with the soothing facial. (more…)
Sometime this September, I will have lived in New York City for seven years…which means, I am officially a New Yorker! To celebrate, I invited my best friend to stay with me at the very aptly named New Yorker Suite at the Carlton Hotel for a weekend getaway when she was in town a few weeks ago. The stylishly appointed 1,050 square foot penthouse suite embodies the all the fantasy, glitz, and romance of the city’s past and present, while the lower Midtown location makes it uber-convenient for visitors (her) and residents (me) alike. (more…)
Remember how I had OCC? Well, it’s flaring up again.
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC) just debuted its Fragmented Alice Colour Collection and it’s now available! For the first time, the cult makeup artist favorite is collaborating with a painter, Chicago native Gail Potocki, whose hauntingly beautiful, twisted series Fragmented Alice paintings present what the brand calls a “uniquely macabre” take on C.S. Lewis’s Alice in Wonderland.
I checked out Gail’s paintings recently at a launch event, where OCC Brand Manager and Director of Makeup Artistry Courtney Tichman demonstrated the limited-edition collection. After gazing at Alice’s often forlorn, oil-painted expression, enhanced by layers and layers of color, I was instantly inspired to go home and play with my makeup. What seemed like unwearable shades at first in the OCC collection turned out to be delightfully sheer, majestic, even psychedelic! (more…)
I decided a few weeks ago that I had to end it all… frizzy hair, that is! This summer in particular, I’ve been wearing headbands and scarves incessantly (love the Hermes Twilly colors!), just trying to keep a bird’s nest situation from taking place atop my head. With thicker hair and a sudden plethora of baby hairs, I began earnestly exploring hair treatments. After an abundance of research and polling women for the secrets to their beautiful hair, the one came most highly recommended was the Brazilian Blowout. The keratin-based treatment eliminates frizz and straightens hair for up to three months, and can even work on hair that’s been chemically treated. The unique thing about the Brazilian Blowout is that besides smoothing and de-frizzing, it actually improves the health of your hair by creating a protective protein layer around the hair shaft. The result is smooth, healthy, and shiny hair–my dream come true! (more…)
Welcome to Part Two of my nude shoe obsession.
As I’ve searched for nude pumps, ankle strap sandals and the like over the years, I’ve noticed that it’s really — really — hard to find the right shade of nude. To truly elongate the leg, I prefer a shade that matches my skin color as closely as possible. But too often, the leather is almost brown (too tan) or almost white (too light). Once in a while, I find a near-perfect match. This time, it’s in Coye Nokes Spring–Summer 2013 collection. (more…)