As Pride Month comes to a close in the US and Londoners gear up for the Pride Parade on 8 July, we wanted to spotlight two of our favourite hotel reviews from gay couples traversing the globe. Here, BAFTA-winning producer and author of the novel Different for Girls heads to New York City with her wife on a particularly historic weekend. Plus, writer Nadja Spiegelman – her 2016 memoir I’m Supposed to Protect You From All This explores the relationship between mothers and daughters (it was also named a Vogue Best Book of the Year) – takes her love to Marrakech, where they feel right at home in each other’s arms.
Jacquie Lawrence at The New York Edition in NYC
Our New York weekend break coincided with Donald Trump’s inauguration and the Women’s March, so the city was even more hyped up than usual. That’s all very well and good during the day, but what do you do when you need a little calm and quiet at night? Stay at luxury hotel the New York Edition, that’s what! It’s bang on Madison Square, literally eye-to-eye with the Flatiron, but you’ll not hear one siren squeal; one yellow cab beep; or even the shouts from an overzealous frat party.
The hotel itself is a former mercantile building, so not only is it handsome to look at, it has stayed true to its solid, high-ceilinged interiors. Furniture design is slightly Scandi in style with chunky, blonde-wood furniture and minimalist styling, but it’s not at all stark: rather it is cosy, carpeted and soundproofed to the nth degree. When we arrived, the lobby’s warmth was a welcome relief from the cutting New York wind; there was a roaring fire and the most exquisite scent from oversized burning candles. Read more…
Nadja Spiegelman at Dar Zemora in Marrakech
I’m sitting at the tiled table on our private terrace in Palmeraie-set sanctum Dar Zemora. To my left, my Mrs Smith lies on an outdoor bed with a white canopy that billows softly in the breeze. Past her, an olive tree, heavy with black fruit; through the leaves, a glimpse of the hallucinatory bright blue of the swimming pool. The only sounds are the birds, the chugging of the sprinklers over the lush lawn and the far away, melodic adhan (call to prayer). We feel marvellously tranquil and alone; and yet, think of anything we might want – a steaming mint tea, a plate of cookies – and the discreet staff, dressed in flowing white during the day and black at night, miraculously appear. It’s impossible not to feel like royalty here, complete with the sprawling palace and gardens.
From the instant we arrive at the airport, there’s an unspoken promise of luxury. Other taxi drivers await their charges with paper signs, but ours (easily arranged through pleasant emails with the riad’s English proprietor, Lindsay) holds an elegant rectangle of carved wood with engraved, looping letters spelling ‘Dar Zemora’. The name means ‘Zemora’s house’ and the proprietors chose it in part for the sonority of the word, reminiscent of ‘amour’. In the seven volumes of press clippings displayed in the hotel’s entrance, this riad is listed over and over – deservedly so – as Marrakech’s most romantic. Rarely have Mrs Smith and I spent a weekend so cocooned, so wrapped in each other’s arms and thoughts. Read more…