Conde Nast Traveler

« The 2010 It List | Main | The Best of Celebrity Travel 2009 »

December 22, 2009

The Latest Grand Dame Revamps

The lobby at Milan's Principe di Savoia

by Ondine Cohane

One of the main hotel trends I have noticed in the last few years is the revamp of the grand dame properties. Basically after these places become a little fusty the owners inject a good amount of cash, hire a hot shot interior designer, add a few funky details like a great spa or bar, and voila the place gets a whole new round of buzz and a new generation of guests. Among the impressive models for this kind of reinvention (and there are lots more): La Mamounia's redesign by Jacques Garcia (Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston added to the celeb quotient when they went to grand opening over Thanksgiving), the Pierre's $100 million refurbishment and a new Le Caprice restaurant, the Plaza Athenée with its great Champagne bar, and the Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat in the south of France. The Hotel Bel Air in Los Angeles is currently closed for renovation, but I am expecting the same kind of buzz after its unveiling in 2011, with a new spa and villas among the additions.

Another recent debut that I am excited about is Milan's Principe di Savoia following a $50 million redo. Rock star designer Thierry Despont--who was behind other such reinvented classics as Claridge's and the Dorchester--has given the place new life, added some suitably sexy new suites, and brought in the former DJ from Miami's Delano to pump up the bar scene. But the centerpiece is a new rooftop pool with its great views of the city--and the Alps on a clear day. Of course, the fashion crowd is already jostling for a prime room for the spring shows.


click to post a comment >

About this blog
The editors at Conde Nast Traveler answer questions and share travel secrets, tips, and dispatches

Twitter: CNTraveler
Email: Daily updates



Featured in Alltop

Prices and other information were accurate at press time, but are subject to change. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

EXPRESS SIGN-UP Sign up for one of our exciting panels and receive the latest news, travel offers, and event invitations from Condé Nast Traveler and our valued advertising partners.
Traveler Magazine




I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its User Agreement, Privacy Policy, and Mobile Terms and Conditions.

iPhone App:

Create personalized postcards out of your favorite travel photos!

Learn More ›
Subscribe to our free RSS feeds:

Get the latest destinations picks, hot hotel lists, travel deals and blog posts automatically added to your newsreader or your personalized homepage.

Learn More ›

Special Advertisement

Contests, Sweepstakes & Promotions