With all things recreation, from restaurants to bars coming off the ho-hum age, why should malls be left behind? That is probably a question mall owners asked themselves (and perhaps others) before they launched into what could best be called a mall-makeover binge. Result? Swanky, multi-storied destinations dotting America’s shop-o-sphere, attracting nothing less than Louboutin-clad footfall with the finest five-star style concierges, personal shoppers, exclusive lounges, and fine dining! That gave us the idea to venture far and luxuriously wide, do what we do best, and curate a list of the top five! Call it divine extravag-ention?
5. Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica, Calif
A modern, open-air shopping destination, the new Santa Monica Place has all of L.A. talking. The mall does laidback luxury à la Santa Monica. But luxury it is, with everything from Burberry Brit and Barneys Co-op to Hugo Boss and Louis Vuitton. A custom-designed Bloomingdale’s made especially for the beach-chic lifestyle is perfect for style seeking. “It’s all topped by a rooftop Dining Deck with six chef-driven restaurants and gorgeous views of the city, the mountains, and the Pacific.”
Sunny open spaces, ocean breezes, and an airy central plaza are accompanied by The Market, a new home for artisanal, gourmet, and organic foods that is now open. Clearly, food takes the cake here with such a delightful host of offerings. There’s a raw food restaurant even. A professional-level class at The Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savories is fit for a day sans shopping. And equally, fit as a pre or post-activity even if you’re indulging. A money exchange buys and sells more than 80 currencies, and their concierge can book tours and sporting events.
4. Beverly Center, Los Angeles
Located at the edge of West Hollywood, the mall is minutes away from LA’s affluent neighborhoods. So its status as Southern California’s premier fashion destination means over 100 distinctive specialty boutiques such as Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Saint Laurent Salvatore Ferragamo, and also Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s. Not to mention Hollywood glamour and Personal stylists who shop for top celebrities but could work with you when available. Halston Heritage, L.K. Bennett and Z Zegna also recently joined the merchant mix. All the more need to call that stylist!
Or the concierge who can arrange for a car or limo service, unless you drive into the Grand Valet and go express directly to the Level 7, Luxury Wing. Besides shopping assistance in Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and six other languages, and 100 stores accepting the Union Pay card used by international clients, the center can even arrange the Penthouse Suite at the next-door Sofitel Hotel. The upscale dining destination, The Capital Grille, is merely the cherry on top of this retail cake.
3. Americana, Manhasset, N.Y.
Peter Marino designed Americana Manhasset is on the tony North Shore of Long Island. Only 20 minutes from New York City, the mall is as far removed from the concrete-box concept as one could imagine. Seasonally landscaped gardens surround its modern glass buildings, and unlike other malls, there are no department stores present.
But before you exclaim in shock, prepare to settle into the private shopping suite where you can review clothing, get a wardrobe consult, or partake of custom-tailoring. With a bevy of complimentary Personal Shopping services, there is also the one-of-a-kind 14,000 square foot Hirschleifers multi-brand boutique will for all kids of fabulous offerings. “Americana’s two world-class restaurants, Cipollini Trattoria and Toku Modern Asian offer excellent food in sophisticated yet comfortable settings, both perfect for a relaxing lunch or dinner after a day of shopping.”
2. Bal Harbour Shops, Bal Harbour, Fla
Famous for their concept stores, one-of-a-kind merchandise, and limited edition items, Bal Harbour Shops has more than just a magazine and an app to their credit. Nestled in between koi ponds and palm trees, the exclusive shops in Florida’s sunny Bal Harbour include names like Moncler, Alexander McQueen, Piaget, de Grisogono, Graff, Versace, Miu Miu, Carolina Herrera, Escada, Roberto Cavalli, the new Chanel boutique and Neiman Marcus. Reason enough for patrons to fly in from all over the world to check out the mall its luminary designers.
The Neiman Marcus store and the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort have, in fact, partnered to provide a unique “Closet Service,” allowing guests to have wardrobe pieces pre-selected. Hotel guests can then find the items in their room upon check-in. With events such as Saks Fifth Avenue hosting YSL’s National Artist and Marchesa’s personal appearance at Neiman Marcus and, it is a mall less, more social setting.
1. The Shops At Crystals at CityCenter, Las Vegas
When in Vegas, head to The Shops at Crystals, and along with that shopping list, remember to carry over-the-top style as well. Because both are welcome at the world’s largest LEED Gold certified retail district, the latter is greater still. The center hosts nights such as the one of fashion and philanthropy with celebrity stylist and Fashion Police co-host George Kotsiopoulos!
Another thing it hosts is world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly’s dynamic glass sculptures along with rotating fashion exhibits. Housed within the CityCenter, space is ‘mall’ less, ‘21st-century park’ more, with a flower carpet, ice sculptures, a multi-faceted glass canopy, and a three-story sculptural Tree House. In short, the ultimate interactive experience! Speaking of interaction, they have an exceptional concierge service, which can secure reservations at restaurants and shows within the MGM Resorts International collection.
The place also offers electric vehicle charging within the complimentary 24-hour valet, besides other things. And by “other things,” I mean the largest Louis Vuitton store in North America plus more high-end flagship stores than any American shopping destination.