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Since 2011, Andaz Hotels has worked with Women for Women International (WfWI) to provide women in war-torn countries with economic opportunities and be positive catalysts for change. Through these efforts, the Andaz Holiday Bazaar was born.
The Andaz Holiday Bazaar is a virtual pop-up shop offering locally inspired, unique gifts with proceeds donated to WfWI. The hotel brand collaborated with its Cultural Insiders from around the globe to curate the bespoke online Holiday Bazaar available through e-retailer, Joyus.
With everything from custom created home décor to one-of-a-kind artwork and artisanal food, here are a couple of our favorites:
We've said it before, but boy do we love a well-stocked hotel gift shop. After a recent visit to the Paramount Hotel, where we found nifty travel gear and Big Apple-themed tchotchkes, this week it was the Raffles Hotel in Singapore that had us acting like a kid in a candy store, inspecting every single item displayed on the shelves.
And believe us, there was a lot.
Located next to the fountain courtyard, the gift shop is like an ode to the entire Raffles Hotel, every ounce of its fabled existence neatly preserved in an endless array of crockery, loose leaf tea tins, tea towels, vintage travel posters, stuffed animals, leather-bound notepad holsters, and pretty much any other form of souvenir you can think of.
A true hotel geek would be hard-pressed to enter here and not walk out with some kind of goodie.
Here's a quick look at a few of our favorite Raffles-branded things:
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Ever since Rudy's, a Portland-based hipster barbershop chain, vacated its spot at The Standard Hollywood earlier this year, the hotel has been experimenting with different pop-up concepts. And currently, an LA-based art book shop called Book Stand has installed a 30-day retail residency in the space, based on the theme of plants.
Yup, plants. An entire assortment of art books, magazines, vintage tomes, films, art, pottery and "ephemera" all glorifying nature's different forms of greenery. Kind of a nice change of pace for a hotel mainly known for blacklisting guests and publishing ads of people peeing and drooling.
Out of curiosity, we hunted down a few of the titles that will be included in the shop, and found neat-o items like the zine Sunday Mornings at the River, or photographer Arno Fischer's 1978 monograph The Garden, or Avec, the first issue of a Korean lifestyle magazine devoted entirely to flowers.
Reminding us of a cross between the tchotchke-packed Opening Ceremony at Ace Hotel and the Delano's tiny magazine stall in Miami, Paramount News is a small retail space whose shelves are artfully filled with an array of nerd-tastic Manhattan-themed travel goodies. A few of the trinkets we spotted included…
Flight 001 travel gear, a decent selection of novelty wallets (we liked the one designed like a nametag, with "Hola, me llama" printed on the front), whiskey flasks, laptop cases, journals, tin boxes of colored pencils, miniature Statues of Liberty, Bigelow toiletries, Assouline travel books, and local magazines and newspapers.
We almost sprung for a giant foam hand shaped like the Statue of Liberty, but then remembered we hardly ever go to sports events. Plus, we live here, so a NYC souvenir isn't really something we need...
Originally launched in Seattle in the 90s, Rudy's Barbershop is a bona fide hipster institution, offering traditional mens and womens haircuts in retro barbershops across Portland and LA. This summer, the team headed all the way out to the East Coast to open a new location at Ace New York.
So far, the shop has received warm welcomes from places like Racked and New York Magazine, the latter reporting that the shop offers "oft-tattooed stylists who cater to both men and women" and is "consistently well-soundtracked with the likes of the Raveonettes and Rufus Wainwright."
Yup, sounds about right.
As many know, the Ace New York does more than just put people up for the night. A Michelin-starred restaurant, action-packed lobby, oyster bar, frequent art exhibits all play into the hotel's hip, bustling atmosphere.
Opening Ceremony, the Ace's hipster Stop & Shop located off the lobby, is perhaps one of our favorite places in the hotel. We've found wallets, vintage magazines, sunglasses, travel-sized Scrabble boards—you name it, the store has it. Trouble is, the selection is often too overwhelming, and with all the cool stuff, we never know what to pick.
To save us from our debilitating dillydallying, it's Afar magazine to the rescue! The travel mag recently published an interview with OC's founders, who revealed the one item in the store they're currently most proud of: Elmex toothpaste.
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The latest output from the seemingly endless fount of hipster goodies commissioned by The Ace Hotel will slip around your wrist, smell like an old English saddle, and make you look super cool at, say, an outdoor music festival.
At least, that's the intention behind the new Ace X Tanner Goods Bracelet (above), which comes in tan and black, and has the Ace Hotel & Swimclub Palm Springs logo etched into it. You can snag one for $50 a pop, which is about a third of the price you'd pay for an actual room at the hotel. So now you must ask yourself: is it a 335 square-foot King Lounge in Palm Springs I want? Or three handmade leather bracelets? Decisions, decisions.
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Now, a new retail space, named Safira, is being added to the giant lobby, and it will function as the hotel's go-to spot for a whole slew of fancy thingamajigs and what's-its like silky dresses, perfumes, art books and sunglasses. Dream is referring to the shop as an "inventory of must-have brands from around the globe." Well, "must" is a relative concept, but we doubt they'll have any trouble luring guests in. The fact that Safira is located right next to the elevators doesn't hurt, either.
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It's that time of year, kids. SPRING BREAK! We know, because South Beach is full of the young and the restless right now, all of them on the prowl.
But if you haven't found that perfect bikini for your beach break just yet, you can always wait until you check into your hotel. We popped into the new GuyandGirl Boutique at Shelborne South Beach recently and found a coolly curated collection of hats, sunglasses, bags, summer fashion, sunscreen, accessories--and yes, bikinis.
Not surprisingly, the swimsuits with the most animal appeal caught our eye. Like this number...
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Love pink stuff? Love New York City's The Plaza Hotel? Hate the high prices ($75 headbands!) of the pink-perfect Eloise shop at The Plaza? We're with you all the way. There's some relief however, as The Plaza has just opened a Betsey Johnson holiday pop-up shop in the lower-level Shops arcade at the hotel.
We just went and roamed around it ourselves, and though it's itsy-bitsy, it definitely packs the pinkest punch. The store associates told us that Betsey wanted the shop chock-full of accessories, and that it is; her sparkly jewelry, funky watches, quilted clutches and even winter hats are everywhere. Rest assured they've got Betsey's signature clothing line as well, in all its crinolined, punky princess glory. The only thing iswhen we expressed interest in a particularly stunning necklace but in a larger sizewe were told that items are already beginning to sell out. Thankfully if you're that hard-up for something sparkly to wear to your holiday shindig, there are other Betsey shop locations around the city.
If you go, the Betsey Johnson pop-up is only open until January 9.
This week, we take a look at a new indie jewelry collection that has recently popped up inside the W Leicester Square. PDB Jewelry (it stands for 'Pure Dead Brilliant') is a Bali-based company whose cuffs, earrings, rings and necklaces tend to have cute, weird little sayings emblazoned straight into the metal. Which, somehow, makes them a perfect fit for the often-blunt hotel idioms of W.
It was during a routine Twitter browsing session that we came across an excited fan's 88-character message about spotting the big "O" at none other than the Montage Beverly Hills. Now, this hotel has been known as a haven for celebrities for some time now—Mariah and Nick threw their baby shower there, for crissakes. The swanky hotel also accommodated a newly-homeless Maria Shriver when she needed a place to stay.
It was yesterday afternoon when @ttcrebekah's Oprah sighting took place—in the gift store, no less. We'd imagine, after the crazy giveaways her old show was known for, she's probably got the extra cash to pick up a few "nice things" for the house.