Washington, D.C. might seem more like a place to escape from than to these days, but across the pond are fabulous cosmopolitan capitals just waiting to wow. Chic boutiques, culinary treats, hip bar scenes, and rooms with a view will make your summer sizzle with a “capital” S!
Ritz Paris – Paris
School might be out for the summer, but you’ll be tempted to hit the (cook)books while staying at this gorgeously renovated property. Ritz Escoffier Paris shares the talents of top French chefs to allow guests to bring home the best souvenir of all—culinary skills worthy of the hotel’s wonders of gastronomy. Four years and a $450 million reno bill were worth the wait, as every detail is perfectly placed and oh so tres chic. And if you have kids in tow, compromise an itinerary of wandering historical sites, elegant lunches at Les Jardins de L’Espadon, and masterpiece-gazing at The Louvre with a jaunt over to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Disneyland Paris. The Fantasia Gardens’ Victorian property even offers Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty suites for your little prince and princesses.
The May Fair Hotel — London
Since 1927, when King George V and Queen Mary offered their seal of approval, this tony boutique property has served as an icon in a place long known as High Society’s playground. The luxury hotspot offers supreme elegance and style, befitting an official hotel to the British Film Institute and London Fashion Week. The May Fair Bar is the place to see and be seen, while the hotel itself is an oasis for those wishing to do neither. A sumptuous afternoon tea can be enjoyed at the May Fair Kitchen, though we prefer to hit the eatery (and its wine list) for Mediterranean small plates to round off a day of exploring.
The New Hotel – Athens
Celebrate a city of rich history and impressive ruins at a unique property with a decidedly modern flair, so hip it landed on the RockStar Hotels list. In fact, it feels more like checking into an art installation rather than the former Olympic Palace Hotel in the center of Athens. Eclectic and eco-sensitive, designers inspired by street culture have filled this service-minded hotel with custom-made furniture and fixtures that play against views of the Acropolis and nearby Constitution Square. Unwind with a Hot Sea Shell Massage at the New Sense Spa, or an al fresco sunset drink at the rooftop Art Lounge while perusing one of the lounge’s 2,000 art tomes. Opa!
By Sascha Zuger