The Above Par Culture Edit: Spring 2024

Welcome to The Above Par Culture Edit. This monthly column curates hotel openings, art exhibitions, commerce launches, and cultural happenings around the globe. In this edition: A Parisian nightclub enters Midtown, Carbone has been dethroned, and Sri Lanka welcomes a 12-villa paradise. People like LaGuardia now. 

Creedit: Simon Brown

Warren Street Hotel 

British designer Kit Kemp’s whimsical signature is evident at the newly-opened Warren Street Hotel. It’s the third New York property from London-based Firmdale Hotels, with splashes of color, artwork, and fabric across 69 guest rooms and common spaces. It’s a minimalist’s nightmare; thankfully, I’m not a minimalist.


Credit: Pauline Shapiro

Silencio New York 

Anyone acquainted with Paris nightlife knows rue Montmartre’s Silencio. Thankfully, an Air France ticket is no longer required for New Yorkers who want a slice of David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, as the nightclub opened its second location on West 57th. Expect open space with dim lighting and crimson accents meant to encourage mingling and dancing. Table service is available, but who wants to sit? 

AREV St. Tropez

We’re dreaming of warmer months spent relaxing amongst olive trees and beaches on France’s Côte d’Azur, and AREV St. Tropez is that dream personified. The design is brought to life by Madrid-based designer Luis Bustamante, with a crisp and clean feel packed with whites, reds, and blues to complement the colors of the French Riviera. The 43-room property opened this month. 


Carbone has been dethroned. COQODAQ is officially queen of the hot reservation monarchy. This restaurant opened back in January and has steadily taken over the algorithm of every New Yorker’s social media account. It’s a place to indulge in champagne and Korean fried chicken; it’s a rowdy-ish atmosphere (lots.of.champagne) offset by caviar service and Hermès hand soap in the bathroom. 

Away x Soundwave Collab 

Introducing Away’s Soundwave Collection. The limited-edition drop harnesses soundwave visuals with a color palette of pinks, blues, and oranges for a finish that’s funky but still wearable. The brand partnered with electronic music community Resident Advisor and DJs/producers Eli Escobar and The Carry Nation on a curated playlist and campaign shoot, and an intimate media dinner to honor the drop was held at Public Records, followed by drinks and dancing from 10 to 2. 

Kotiyagala, Sri Lanka

Award-winning architect Mano Ponniah is the genius behind Kotiyagala, a serene 12-villa paradise set between Sri Lanka’s Yala National Park and the Indian Ocean. Jungle safaris and night treks are available for booking, though we encourage guests to carve out substantial time to enjoy the on-site ayurvedic spa and en-suite pool. 

Target x DVF 

Diane von Furstenberg designed a line at Target. This makes-sense collab abounds with florals and primary colors and comes off the heels of the tartan minis and rugby polos of the successful Target x Rowing Blazers edit. A launch party was held at The Shed, an enormous quasi-greenhouse and cultural center plopped in the middle of Hudson Yards. (The jury will always be out on how we feel about the costly Honeycomb-esque Vessel, but The Shed is impressive; it’s a movable venue cleverly designed to adapt to program needs.) 

Janu Tokyo 

Aman Resorts, a luxury five-star resort group with a penchant for exclusivity, has unveiled a new venture in Japan this month with Janu Tokyo. Per-night rates hover at the $1,000 mark in comparison to the ~$1700 Aman Tokyo for a rate that’s nearly sliced in half. Guests can still expect top quality with sun-drenched and modern designs at Janu, though. We’re excited to see more. 

Instant Vacation® SPF 30 launch 

Vacation, a cult-favorite SPF brand known for its dedication to Baywatch-style retro branding, has launched Instant Vacation. It’s an SPF30 that gives a hint of sun-kissed tan with hazelnut oil, shea oil, and cocoa butter for added moisture. And gourmand lovers, this one’s for you: the cocoa-hazelnut scent smells good enough to eat. (Don’t, though.) 

LaGuardia is… loved now? 

And finally, LaGuardia was ranked from worst to best airport in a passenger survey a la this CN Traveler article. As a native Queens-er, I don’t know how to feel about this. I still prefer Terminal 4 at JFK.

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