Which is the most famous shop in the world? Although Wikipedia declared it to be Walmart, yuck yuck, Girlahead gives the mantle to Harrods, the two-hectare London emporium that has anything you might need (she once mistakenly bought a 800ml Riedel Sommelier glass there). Its motto is, indeed, Omnia omnibus ubiquo, anything for everyone, Right now, if you want anything Dior-associated, head for Harrods – nearest luxury hotel, MANDARIN ORIENTAL LONDON HYDE PARK.
Over the forthcoming festive season, there are, thanks to owner LVMH, two Dior pop-ups. One is a gingerbread house, based on ‘Monsieur Dior’s Atelier’. The second is an ephemeral gift shop. Also, in homage to Christian Dior’s love of gastronomy, there’s a new café, House of Dior. Yes, it is quite obvious Dior is spending heavily at the moment: its value has soared from $4.6bn in 2017 to $8.9bn today and it, and its co-creative directors, Italian Maria Grazia Chiuri and Brit Kim Jones, are obviously apples of LVMH’s Bernard Arnault’s eye. He is spending at Harrods, is throwing jewellery and perfume advertisements at quality outlets, and showing culture by presenting Kim Jones’ forthcoming menswear collection in Cairo this coming weekend.
As far as we know, however, there are no plans for a Dior hotel (it’s Louis Vuitton which, it is rumoured, may turn part of its Paris headquarters into lodging). Let us switch to hotels that are symbiotic with shops and malls. First on the list is Majid Al Futtaim Group’s KEMPINSKI MALL OF THE EMIRATES in Dubai, fully integrated with Ski Dubai and over 900 stores in the symbiotic Mall of the Emirates. There’s a 14-screen VOX cinema, a theatre, and another hotel, Sheraton. Do your grocery goods at Carrefour, buy a few undies at Marks & Spencer, dine in one of 100-plus eating places and collapse into bed exhausted. For the record, by the way, the world’s biggest shopping mall is the 708-store Iran Mall, still being constructed in the northwest of Tehran. Owner is Ayandeh Bank, which does not seem to have included hotels in future plans.
And then we have famous hotels with outstanding shopping. Here, The Peninsula scores, with superb brands in its Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai properties – what will there be in the forthcoming THE PENINSULA LONDON? Think of hotel-run boutiques and concept stores and WYNN LAS VEGAS and WYNN BOSTON HARBOR; SANTA MARINA RESORT MYKONOS, Luxury Collection; ONE&ONLY REETHI RAH, MALDIVES; FOUR SEASONS BANGKOK (impressive art gallery), and ANDAZ TOKYO are all high up any list.
Oh, by the way, Harrods did toy with adding a hotel to its portfolio. A CEO was even appointed, and the idea was to whack beds into a Harrods Warehouse. But that was aborted. It is fortunate that some ideas have born fruit. Air Harrods owns two London Stansted-based aircraft and can charter others, and Harrods Aviation is 24/7 doctor for any plane, at Stansted or Luton airports. Yes, anything for everyone.
Let’s hear the current Podcast, too: