Pop diva Beyoncé Knowles seems to have been making the most of Paris earlier this spring. She posed for Harper’s Bazaar at Hôtel Ritz Paris, the Place Vendôme property owned by Mohamed Al Fayed (formerly of Harrods). She and husband Jay-Z chose to stay just 500 yards away at Hôtel Le Meurice, part of The Dorchester Collection. Its 3,230-square-foot, seventh-floor rooftop Belle Etoile Suite is surely one of the sexiest in the city, with 360-degree views of the French capital and a 250-square-foot walk-in closet that’s big enough for the traveling attire of any global entertainer. The hotel also boasts a rather sweet sustainable touch: Head chef Yannick Alléno’s menu incorporates honey from the bees living on the roof of Paris’ famous Opéra Garnier.
The Dorchester, London is celebrating its 80th birthday this year with a couple of commemoratives. Working closely with London mayor Boris Johnson, 80 trees are being planted in strategic spots around the city. And while you’re staying at the hotel, try bar manager Giuliano Morandin’s recreation of the Dorchester of London, a cocktail first invented in the 1930s by the era’s top barman, Harry Craddock. Morandin’s version, stirred not shaken, is half dry gin, a quarter rum and a quarter “forbidden fruit”—a blend of cognac, pomelo, citrus and honey.
In other London hotel news, Kate Middleton and her family spent the night before the royal wedding at The Goring, a discreet property that has been owned by the Goring family for 101 years. That evening, Queen Elizabeth opted to entertain her royal cousins from various European dynasties at a more public hotel, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park.
Ah, romance. That’s what Sol Kerzner had in mind when he brought in a rumored 1.5 million tons of sand to make the Maldives’ Medhufinolhu Island five times its original size to hold One&Only Reethi Rah, a magnet for elite honeymooners from around the world. Mark Hehir, the property’s new general manager, is one of the finest hosts around. English journalist Piers Morgan is gamely attempting to replace Larry King with his new CNN show, Piers Morgan Tonight. In doing so he’s also giving some of America’s top hotels lots of business: Morgan says he considers the Mandarin Oriental, New York his home when he’s in Manhattan, and, over on the west coast, his base is the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills (A Four Seasons Hotel).