Although I pass the old Lido Spa Hotel on my way to the office every day, I had yet dared to hurdle over the potholes and construction equipment to make it inside the hip renovation now known as The Standard. A project of famed New York hotelier André Balazs (as in the on/off boyfriend of Uma Thurman who also worked his magic on the Raleigh and the infamous Chateau Marmont), The Standard is a born-again holistic oasis. Though the architectural structure and classic rejuvenation features remain (sauna, hamam, mud), gone are the blue-hairs who in their robes and slippers used to pad about the lobby of the 1960s elderly retreat. I have yet to indulge in the $25 spa access pass, but I did commit to another form of therapy involving a soothing potation.
The bar is tucked off to the side of the lobby in a little nook not unlike a library. In fact there is a wall of books and a few cozy chairs in case you prefer your dry martini with a twist of Molière. I asked to see the cocktail menu but was told they were in the process of creating a new one, so I challenged the bartender to create something special. I cant believe this, she said. This is my first night. The lovely Waleuska did not crack under pressure; she gracefully mixed Grey Goose vodka with ginger infusion, mango purée, and simple syrup, and garnished the suave cocktail with an orange slice and two purple clitoria flowers (yes, they are edible). The ginger therapy costs $14.
Starts: Nov. 7. Daily, 2006