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The Bryant Park Hotel aims to ensure its visitors’ suitcases are fashionably filled upon checkout.
This story first appeared in the January 25, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The boutique hotel — located a stone’s throw from the white tents of New York Fashion Week — has recruited Benefit Cosmetics and Coup de Coeur Shopping Tours to offer a four-hour, customized shopping spree throughout New York.
The shopping package for two, featured on the hotel’s Web site, is available starting at $1,195 a night plus taxes for a junior suite, or $1,395 a night plus taxes for a Bryant Park Suite, complete with a living and dining area.
Hotel guests who opt for the shopping tour will be greeted with a welcome bag from Benefit Cosmetics — filled with its star products such as Bad Gal Lash mascara and Benetint lip and cheek color, along with a gift certificate for a makeup lesson and brow shaping. They will also meet with a personal shopper — or style guide — from Coup de Coeur, a company founded by former FIT classmates Lucia Marcelle Tait and Amanda Sheppard. Tait said the style guide will map out a shopping tour based on the clients’ answers to Coup de Coeur’s Style Questionnaire, which asks about their measurements, lifestyle, travel schedule, favorite pieces of clothing and style icons.
“Each tour is tailored to the needs of the client,” said Tait, who said the company works with retailers throughout Manhattan that offer myriad perks. For instance, if a client is in search of a black-tie gown, Barneys New York will fill a private fitting room with dresses, jewelry and shoes. Bergdorf Goodman will also ensure the dressing room is full upon arrival and smaller boutiques offer discounts. Scoop will subtract 20 percent of the bill and Intermix doles out $50 gift cards, said Tait. The style guide curries shoppers from store to store on foot or by taxi, but Tait said about 80 percent of her firm’s clients opt for a car service.
Alison Haljun, vice president of consumer marketing for Benefit Cosmetics, said, “This [tour] offers Bryant Park Hotel guests the opportunity to see New York City through the eyes of an experienced shopper.”
It also introduces out-of-towners to quaint, tucked away shops that they likely wouldn’t find on their own. Some of Tait’s favorite spots are the West Village sublevel boutique Covet. All of the 14- and 18-karat gold baubles, rings and necklaces in the shop are designed by Covet’s co-owner Alexa Garner Sidaris. Another West Village favorite of Tait’s is The Bathroom, which stocks luxury bath and body products, home scents and gifts. “This is an opportunity to learn about new stores and designers,” said Tait.
The shopping day is capped off with a visit to a Bloomingdale’s Benefit counter, where clients are given a one-on-one makeup lesson followed by brow shaping.
“At the end of the shopping day you’re a little bit exhausted, so it’s a great time to perk up your complexion with a makeup application,” said Haljun. Referring to the shopping package, she said, “It has the potential to revolutionize how women shop boutiques and department stores because it turns the whole shopping experience around to focus on them. This is what women want: a more customized beauty and fashion experience.”
Bryant Park Hotel introduced the package this month, and plans to offer it through December. The hotel’s director of sales and marketing, Bonnie Somerstein, who connected Benefit with Coup de Coeur, said, “Our guests are very cutting-edge and want to know the latest and greatest in style, fashion and luxury. To have their very own shopping consultant is the ultimate in service and luxury.”