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We’ve turned our backs on the so-last-week minimalist Miami masterpiece and resisted the eastern allure of the A’jia Hotel, laying our love instead upon Ian Schrager’s fabulous, favoured-by-starlets Gramercy Park Hotel in New York


Style A bohemian rhapsody
Setting East Side storeys

Why this week? Sightseeing in the city becomes bearable once more, as Manhattan’s car bonnets start to lose their egg-frying capabilities. So, with temperatures eased and lovely leaves on the trees, you’ll find that New York City has bags of autumn appeal. There’s also a three for two offer on suites at the moment.

Our favourite bits The Rose Bar and the Jade Bar – both popular NYC hangouts where the city’s gilded youth quaffs cocktails by candlelight, overlooked by Warhols and Basquiats from the wall. We love the ‘best-of’ amenity collections in the bathrooms – selected by the editor of Allure magazine. They include Hamadi shampoo, Mario Badescu body lotion and Håkansson skincare. The splurgesome Penthouse has its own kitchen, dining room and library. The lofts each have their own seating areas with superb views of Lexington Avenue and quirky, well-chosen pieces of furniture from all over the world.

Mr & Mrs Smith say gramercy-bar“From the moment Mr & Mrs Smith stepped foot in godfather of boutique boltholes Ian Schrager’s revamped version, we knew we’d found the sexiest dirty-weekend rendezvous imaginable. Collaborator Julian Schnabel’s (an artist and filmmaker) influence is palpable throughout – dark, eccentric and heavily perfumed, it isn’t just a visual sensation, but an olfactory one. Even the air is sweetly scented. The foyer is pure theatre: above our heads, suspended from the Cypress-beamed ceiling, was a huge Venetian-glass chandelier. Forget common-or-garden marble flooring for this five-star retreat – here, we had Moroccan floor tiles and a French rug, hand-woven with a mediaeval-looking design, to pad across en route to the front desk. As for that heavenly smell – it’s a spicy scent from perfumier Le Labo, created especially for GPH (as its known to New York’s in-crowd), and it’s blowing the ooh-là-là factor through the roof. I loved the sultry darkness of our boudoir, which, thanks to an imaginative decor, was a world away from its modern-day Manhattan location. Deep cerulean walls, port-tinted velvet, tapestry chairs, hand-stitched leather – this building may be steeped in recent history, but the rich hues of its interiors transport you to back to the Renaissance…”

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