Saturday, July 09, 2005

A life of grime

A vibrant sub-culture is emerging from the tower blocks and clubs of some of Britain's most deprived areas. Fiona Sturges charts its rise

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Theatre review - Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others, Lyric Hammersmith, London

It was always going to be a risk. If ever there was a group whose songs should not be tampered with, it's The Smiths. The band are viewed as the most influential act of the Eighties and Morrissey one of its icons. Mess it up, and the Morrissey mafia will come down on you like a ton of bricks.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Sleepover: Hotel Triton

A bed for the night in San Francisco
By Fiona Sturges
Sunday, 3 July 2005
The Independent on Sunday

The location

In the heart of Downtown between the Theater District and Chinatown and with Union Square nearby.


Celebrity-designed suites courtesy of Carlos Santana, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers' Anthony Kiedis, the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia and actor Woody Harrelson. Designs vary from zebra-print headboards and burnished orange walls to more tasteful brown and cream. "Eco rooms" have air filtration units, energy-saving lighting and organically grown linens and towels. All rooms have recycling bins and even the cleaning products are kind to the planet.

The comfort factor

All the rooms are sound-proofed, air-conditioned and have huge, low beds. Guests can send for a free yoga kit and tune in to the 24-hour Yoga channel. Zen Dens are primed for full relaxation with incense sticks, mechanical chimes and The Book of Buddha on the bedside table. Satellite TV and the internet are in every room.

The bathroom

Small but sparklingly clean, with Aveda toiletries and your very own rubber duck.

Food and drink

There is no restaurant. Early evening drinks are served amid the golden columns and plum-coloured sofas in the lobby. The European-style Café de la Presse next door does a good breakfast.

The people

Definitely a young person's hotel, it's a favourite among musicians and media types. The staff can take the relaxed ethos a bit too far, however: checking in and out took ages and a white shirt was bundled up with the bed linen, never to be seen again.

The area

Should all your clothes go, the streets around Grant Avenue are stuffed with boutiques, lurking in the shadow of Union Square's bastions of consumerism: Macy's, Saks 5th Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman. Across the street is the entrance to Chinatown. You will have to hop in a cab to seeGolden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz.

The access

All the rooms, except the designer celebrity suites, can be reached by wheelchairs. Children and pets welcome.

The damage

Rates start at $124 (£68) per night though check the website for special offers.

The address

342 Grant Avenue, San Francisco (001 415 394 0500;