Mad Men: Hotels for Today's High-Powered Ad Executives
The style, sexiness, and glamor of Don Draper and his lifestyle are quickly becoming a mainstay of popular culture. But even though Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce may be a fictional agency, the advertising industry of the real world still has an allure (now partly fueled by the show, of course) for its sleek tendencies and over-the-top tactics for wooing clients. We've done our research and come up with hotels that modern day Don Draper's will love, so grab a fresh drink, tell Joan to hold your calls, and take a look after the jump!
New York City
THEN: Manhattan is Don's primary stomping grounds, especially now that he's swapped in the house in Ossening and his West Village bachelor's pad for a swagged-out penthouse that he shares with Megan. Of course, the early days of SCDP were launched from a suite in the Pierre. But despite Don's sharp suits and sleek look, he his creative spirit has always helped him fit in with the hip downtown crowds.
NOW: New York has changed a lot since the 60s, and the Midtown that SCDP once inhabited is now clogged with tourist traps and overpriced dining: Today's creatives look elsewhere to entertain and tend to find themselves Downtown. The Thompson LES is an oasis of gorgeous design on the still-slightly-gritty Lower East Side. Ad execs will appreciate the chic rooms, swanky bar, close location to some of New York's best nightlife, as well as the pool, sauna, and fitness center available to guests.
THEN: Don has a very special connection with California. It was the home of his soul mate (and legal wife, Anna); he once went off the radar during a business trip and disappeared to a hippy-esque commune for several weeks; and Don's impromptu engagement to Megan took place during a trip to L.A. The state clearly speaks to Don's deeply creative spirit and untamable nature. While L.A.'s glitz has a tendency to be skin deep, we wouldn't be at all surprised if Don's (possibly ongoing) midlife crisis takes him out west permanently.
NOW: When L.A.'s style and creativity are done right, the results are always stunning. A case in point is the SLS at Beverly Hills, which may be one of the best design-forward hotels in the entire country. The Philippe Starck-designed rooms are sleek and spacious with super luxurious beds and massive bathrooms. The large outdoor terrace has some of the best views in the L.A. Modern ad executives will love the scene, but someone like Don Draper may be annoyed by some of the hotel's "design over function" issues: Neither of the two pools, for example, are deep enough for swimming.
THEN: Now that he's married a Canadian, Don will most likely be spending more time up north. Even though Megan's family is in Quebec, we can't help but feel that the 60s in Toronto would've been a fun playground for one of Don's trips (and if we've learned anything, it's that Don is at his most spontaneous while traveling).
NOW: Toronto's art and design scene are thriving, and the hotel in the epicenter of the creative scene is the Thompson Toronto. Like its sister property in New York City, the scene here is young, hip, and hedonistic, drawn in by the hotel's sleekly designed rooms and top-tier cuisine at Scarpetta. Ad executives would be wise to woo clients at the rooftop patio, which has some of the best views of the city. The only drawback is no fault of the hotel's: Canada's supremely harsh winters mean that this highly coveted outdoor space is only usable for a small portion of the year.
THEN: It seems that major news and corporate upheavals seem to follow Don Draper most closely during holiday weekends during the summer. Even though he is often robbed of his family time outside of Manhattan, most of the SCDP team shack up in the Hamptons in the warmer months.
NOW: Ad executives looking to be a part of the "potential client" scene would do best at a place like the Capri. The hotel serves as a hub of Southampton's already thriving summer social scene and is host to some of the area's best parties, hosting live DJs at their pool parties every Friday and Saturday night. The beach is a short drive away, but for anyone looking to make up for the loss of a Lucky Strike caliber client, it's hard to do much better.
THEN: As the British contingent of SCDP, Lane Pryce has the difficult task of running a fledgling agency and maintaining a transatlantic relationship with his wife and family back in London. But if we've learned anything about Lane in the three seasons he's been on the show, it's that his marriage is rocky at best, and many of his returns home are usually done on his hands and knees begging his wife for forgiveness.
NOW: There's a good chance that a repenting Lane (or a visiting modern-day Don, Roger, or Pete, for that matter) would pickthe Milestone Hotel as their London base for wooing clients. The hotel oozes class, elegantly designed with individually furnished rooms, a health club with a spa, fitness center, resistance pool, and sauna. What really tips the scales, though, is the personal butler and chauffeur services, which makes any ad executive's stay in London even easier, no matter how busy their schedule.