WHERE TO STAY BY FASHION CITY

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words by Danielle RansomTravel

These five hotels have a special place in my heart, and my career.

Since I began travelling for fashion, I have had the opportunity to stay in some of the most amazing places, and some not so amazing.

Every five star hotel I have had the fortune of staying in provides good service, quality food, and cool amenities, but there are only few that craft the kind of experience that stays with you.

Each of these hotels are like a home away from home for me. Always on the “run”, I do appreciate the immaculate hospitality my most loved hotels are able to provide for me.

NEW YORK, Gramercy Park Hotel

$560/night (standard) and $1,520/night (luxury)

This is practically my second home in New York. Mostly because it is only a couple of blocks from my home and whenever my parents are in town they always stay at The Gramercy. As soon as you walk in you realise where you are, one whiff of their signature scent - a heady woodlands - and I feel nostalgic for the times with my family in this hotel. One summer, my girls and I took refuge here when our apartment was unbearably hot due to a lack of air-conditioning.

Perhaps better suited to the winter months with its dark interior, it has a very warm and cozy feel - like a wonderful winter vacation. The rooms are each a work of art with lush vintage furniture in beautiful jewel tones. And the position, situated at the end of Lexington Avenue, means there is little traffic and provides a peaceful retreat from the noise of the city.

LOS ANGELES, The Sunset Tower Hotel

$575/night (standard) and $1,875/night (luxury)

I have always been attracted visually to art deco architecture. And The Sunset Tower is a perfect example of the style I so often gravitate toward. The environment is laidback, the staff are accommodating, and I feel a sense of calm despite being in the midst of Hollywood. I brought my girls along with me once while I was working a red carpet, and the staff were so helpful in getting us settled.

This hotel has held on to it’s soulful spirit, with only a few touch ups over the years. It is old-school Hollywood at its finest. The Penthouse Suite would be my first pick when I am in town because it has the most unbelievable view. The Deluxe King Suite is also a desire. My one tip: ask to be as high up as possible to get the most out of the iconic views.

The rooms here have a lot of special memories for me, and if I am entertaining (the sitting area and workspaces are very comfortable). The Chateau Marmont is also a short walk (or Uber ride) away.

FLORENCE, Villa Cora

€330/night (standard) and €1,300(luxury)

Situated five minutes from the heart of Florence, this hotel sits atop a hillside and looks down on the city. It feels like staying in a very big house, everything is noble and grand here. The Moresque Room is the most majestic. Traditional busts dot the room, backdropped by frescoed ceilings, baldachins, and ornate gold accents. One thing I love is that I can call in advance and order room service without checking in, which is convenient for when I’m rushing to the hotel late after a days work.

Villa Cora has two in-house restaurants, Il Pasha (gourmet, classic Italian) and a garden restaurant, which sits right next to their pool. I always order the pappa al pomodoro, which is so delicious - a true Florentine dish!

PARIS, Peninsula

€845/night (standard) and €3,690/night (luxury)

This is by far the most luxurious hotel I have ever stayed in. The rooms are gigantic and truly something special. The walk-in wardrobes are bigger than most closets you see in New York. Inside the wardrobe you have a valet service to send laundry for dry cleaning or have items sent up to your room you do not wish to lug yourself.

The rooms are well thought out, convenient and high tech. The desk is filled with office supplies like post-its, scissors, paper clips, tape - everything I could ever need during a stay for fashion week. For stationary lovers like myself, this is the kid-in-a-candy store feeling I rarely experience elsewhere.

I especially love the spa mode in the bathtubs. Press a button and the lights are dimmed while relaxation music plays in the background. After a gruelling Fashion Week schedule, this is the kind of sanctuary I look forward to escaping to. I am a shut-in when I stay here.

LONDON, Claridges

£945/night (standard) and £2,790/night (luxury)

If you want a taste of old England, stay here. It’s a convenient spot for me to come during London Fashion Week as it’s only a short distance from Savile Row and Bond Street where I am often meeting clients.

The rooms can be re-arranged however you see fit. Complimentary fresh flowers, champagne and a Burberry trench coat are waiting for you after check-in. And I love being able to light a fire during the winter, especially when the weather is muggy. When I have a moment off work, I make it my mission to stop by Scott’s - they serve the best seafood and it’s only a short walk from the hotel.

Most luxury hotels leave you feeling a little weary about bringing kids along, but Claridges has you covered when you’re with the little ones. From family-sized apartments, games and activities, to babysitting services available when you need. The hospitality is very personal and exceedingly child-friendly, my girls even get little welcome packages.

Now you know where to stay, but where should you eat? We have you covered here.

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