Break Off a Piece of a Grand Hotel
You don't have to stay there to take a bit of the glamour home with you
Anyone who's ever walked by Claridge's, Raffles, or the Waldorf-Astoria has been moved by everything those names imply. But you don't have to stay there to take a bit of the glamour home with you.
Every famous hotel sells stuff with its name on it. This is money terribly spent (which might just be the definition of a splurge). After all, your dog gives neither a kibble nor a bit if he's eating from a Beverly Hills Hotel bowl. And yet there's something so perfectly insouciant about that dog bowl, isn't there? Leaving it out in the backyard like "The Pink Palace" means nothing to you. You're not claiming familiarity with the hotel so much as letting a familiarity be inferred; it's a lie that's littler than little and paler than white.
The charitable interpretation is that you're paying homage--to a time when a hotel name could stand for something grand. In any event, the way things are headed, all these hotels will follow in the footsteps of the Plaza and be converted into condominiums by 2015. So grab your piece now.
Acapulco: Las Brisas backgammon set. Carretera Escénica 5255, 011-52/744-469-69-00, brisas.com.mx, $59.
Beverly Hills: Beverly Hills Hotel ceramic dog bowl. 9641 Sunset Blvd., 310/276-2251, thebeverlyhillshotel.com, $53.
Dallas: Mansion on Turtle Creek apron. 2821 Turtle Creek Blvd., 214/559-2100, mansiononturtlecreek.com, $25.
Hong Kong: Peninsula teddy-bear mug. Salisbury Rd., Kowloon, 011-852/2920-2888, hongkong.peninsula.com, $16.
London: Claridge's Eau de Toilette. Brook St., Mayfair, 011-44/20-7629-8860, claridges.co.uk, $73.
New York City: Waldorf-Astoria tote bag. 301 Park Ave., 212/355-3000, waldorfastoria.com, $50.
Palm Beach: Breakers jigsaw puzzle. 1 S. County Rd., 561/655-6611, thebreakers.com, $20.
Paris: Plaza Athénée baby bootees (translation: "My first steps at the Plaza Athénée"). 25 av Montaigne, 011-33/1-53-67-66-65, plaza-athenee-paris.com, $42.
Pebble Beach: Lodge at Pebble Beach cooler. 1700 17-Mile Dr., 831/647-7500, pebblebeach.com, $48.
Rio de Janeiro: Copacabana Palace ceramic tumbler. Av. Atlântica 1702, 011-55/21-2548-7070, copacabanapalace.com.br, $12.
Singapore: Raffles half-yard glass, with stand. 1 Beach Rd., 011-65/6337-1886, singapore-raffles.raffles.com, $54.
Venice: Hotel Danieli ceramic figurine. Castello 4196, 011-39/041-522-6480, danieli.hotelinvenice.com, $36.