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Shop an elevator ride away for inaugural guests staying at Washington hotel


WASHINGTON — With all the warnings about traffic restrictions and human congestion surrounding inauguration activities, shoppers could be scared off from venturing out to the stores to buy that new evening bag for a ball or commemorative baby bib to bring back home.Guests at the St. Regis Hotel, however, have no excuse. A miniature version of a Neiman Marcus department store has been set up in the lobby since Thursday and it will remain open until the last ballgoers have their Manolos shined and their bow ties tied.And what if you can't make that perfect bow? Young women in gowns are on hand in the evening to do it for you on your way out the door.Female party attendees - or those happy to watch festivities on one of the many TVs set up at every turn in the hotel, including the lobby, bar and restaurant - can sidle up to the Eye Bar for eyelash application or a makeup touchup, for free."The makeup artist has been very, very busy," said St. Regis general manager Laura Schofield.It's sort of like the Hollywood suites set up for celebrities during awards season - but these people are paying.There have been brisk sales of cold-weather gear like cashmere scarves and Ugg boots. Schofield predicts commemorative gear will become the focus once Barack Obama takes the oath of office, and Neiman Marcus' Bonnie Mann, normally the women's coat and sport shop at the store in Mazza Gallerie, notes that backless bras and hosiery - last-minute ball essentials - are stocked.She also has sold a fur cape and expects to ring up a draped red Vicky Tiel Couture gown for $4,830. The potential customer had taken it up to her room to try it on."When you're in a hurry to get somewhere and get packed, you're going to forget something," Schofield said. "If Neiman Marcus doesn't have it here, they will hop on the Metro and get it for you from the store."This is the first pairing between the retailer and hotel, but Schofield plans to do it again for other big events. The in-hotel shop has also attracted locals who didn't want to go farther than they had to in this unusually chilly snap of weather, she said.Saks Fifth Avenue is offering similar in-hotel boutiques in the two Washington Ritz Carlton Hotels and a makeover service at the Fairmont Hotel. ugg boot Cheap ugg bootsBuy ugg bootsuggs

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