"21" took on a whole new meaning Wednesday evening, when the venerated hotel held a glamorous fete to celebrate - you guessed it - their 21st property, the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort in Puerto Rico. Back in New York, the temperatures may have been dropping outside, but hosts Brooke Shields, Mary Alice Stephenson, Euan Rellie and Lucy Sykes Rellie, Olivia Chantecaille and Ren Grady, and Zani Gugelmann welcomed their well-heeled friends to the second floor of the storied hotel, which was transformed into a warm salon complete with romantic candlelight and lush flower arrangements. Guests the likes of Ann Caruso, Brad Goreski, Lionel Geneste, Andrew Fry, Monique Pean, and Geoffrey Bradfield took full advantage of this throwback to the days of John Jacob Astor (whose mother, Caroline Astor, founded the hotel in 1904) by checking out the banquet sized rooms, including a historic library that houses John Jacob Astor's original collection of books that he commissioned for the hotel. In the main room, musician Kate Edmonson paid tribute to the hotel's jazz history by playing live music accompanied by a five-piece band. It also was where - incidentally - partygoers ultimately congregated to refresh their cocktails and partake of the Jean George Vongerichten-catered delectables like panko crusted seared tuna.
But there was another reason to celebrate that night. Alexis Bittar, one of the first of the so-called "statement" jewelry designers who has a long-standing fan club in Brooke Shields and countless other style influencers, unveiled his latest jewelry line that very evening. Appropriately called "The St. Regis Collection by Aleixs Bittar," it pays homage to the social doyenne Caroline Astor. A number of his latest pieces were available for bidding at a silent auction, all the proceeds of which went to UNICEF.
Throughout the evening, I got a chance to ask some of our most notable guests to share with us their favorite St. Regis experiences. The ever-chic Amanda Ross (in Gregory Parkinson) told me that her most recent and favorite memory was dining at Adour Alain Ducasse, with a small group of friends that included Decades' Cameron Silver. "Delicious, cozy, and decadent," was how she described the evening (and, of course, the food). Andrew Fry was hard-pressed to choose a single favorite, but he did reveal that he will be going to Arkansas this Thanksgiving for a traditional Southern celebration. Euan Rellie, on the other hand, did not hesitate in the slightest with his pick: The Lanesborough in London. "It is the most extravagant and romantic hotel in the U.K., and maybe even the world," he declared. In fact, he and his wife (and evening co-host) Lucy Sykes plan on spending New Year's Eve there. Well, at least we know of one couple who will surely be kicking off 2011 in style!