The moment my husband and I stepped into the stunning open-air atrium of the Rosewood Mayakoba, we knew we had just entered not just a resort, but a fantasy. As we were greeted with a freshly blended green mojito welcome drink as we overlooked the lagoon and pool, I felt the stress of city life getting left far behind. The warm, breezy air invited us to shed layers both literally and figuratively (work projects begone!) as we took in the staff’s warm welcome which would follow us throughout our visit. The contemporary luxe style of the resort complemented the natural surroundings so well and mirrored the property’s attitude of respect for the local Mayan culture and traditions. (more…)
I sunk deep into a plush brocade love chair in the lobby of the Grand Hotel Tremezzo, a fresh cappuccino in hand, and sighed. Outside, the late afternoon sun warmed the pristine blue waters of Lake Como and I watched, transfixed, as it danced in sprite-like patterns across the surface ripples. Hotel lobbies are not my usual venues of choice for relaxation or inspiration, but there I was, sitting in one, in complete awe of the moment and willing time to pass just a little bit slower.
At first glance, the Grand Hotel Tremezzo seems so spectacular, so ornate, that it left me feeling a little breathless as I took in the lavish tableau before me. Built as an Art Nouveau palace, the hotel is richly furnished in period décor, its soaring rooms painted in regal shades of red, blue, and gold, housing a wealth of antique art and artifacts. It didn’t take long however, before I oddly began to feel at home (the nicest one I could imagine having, that is) as I wandered into the more private and intimate areas of the property. A reading room, located right off the lobby, had an eclectic mix of brightly hued sofas positioned around coffee tables that gave it a residential feel. A little further down, a cozy game room, housing an authentic 1800s billiards table, beckoned as I walked past. Unable to resist, I completely ignored the fact that I didn’t even know how to play ball, and challenged my travel partner to a game of pool. (more…)
Most travelers to Portugal no doubt have Lisbon on their list of must-visit cities. But it’s actually in Lisbon’s outskirts that lies the real gem of the country. Sintra, located just forty minutes or so away, has long been the summer and vacation destination of centuries of Portugal’s monarchs- and for good reason. Nestled between the Sintra Mountains and the Atlantic Coast, this colorful city- also a UNESCO World Heritage site- boasts a charming downtown and centuries of rich culture and history all set amongst a lush natural setting. And it’s this jewel that Penha Longa Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort calls home.
I’ve totally been bitten by the travel bug again lately- but sadly have been grounded in NYC. So I invited my jet setting friend Andria Mitsakos, otherwise known as the Wanderlista, to share her recent travels to Milan with us. Read carefully and take notes for her chic tips on where to go and what to do in this fashionable Italian city. We’re dying to go already!
Most people don’t fall for Milan. I’m one of the exceptions, drawn to its nexus of style.
On a recent weeklong trip to work on the Spring/Summer 2012 collection for Dea Rosa, I visited two hotels, The Gray and Hotel Straf. Both are precisely central, with the Duomo at the end of the street, La Scala and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele round the corner. My favorite gelateria, Grom, is a stone’s throw away, and, the central location of both properties affords you the opportunity to fall through the front door of the city’s top department store, Rinascente. I had met my perfect accommodations.
The Gray hotel looks glossy, with a solid, mirrored rectangle as an awning. On the left as you enter is a small cocktail lounge, boudoirish, with velvet banquettes; the reception area is replete with a giant fuchsia-upholstered swing. My suite was a triplex and twice the size of my TriBeCa apartment. The foyer featured a sauna, the mid-level was the bedroom, sitting area and desk, and the loft was home to the walk-in closet and bathroom. This place could easily doubly as my Milanese pied-à-terre. Beds were super comfortable, lighting perfect and the staff lovely and gracious. (more…)
Travel and PR guru Sarah Evans is one of the most worldly and savviest people we know. As the managing partner of J Public Relations, Sarah represents amazing hospitality clients from global luxury brands like Fairmont Hotels & Resorts to special boutique properties like Windham Hill Inn. She’s also incredibly stylish to boot- a product of being both an avid world traveler and sophisticated New Yorker. We sat down with Sarah to get the deets on her latest obsessions: (more…)
Big Sur, California is one of the most amazing, awe inspiring places I’ve ever been to and a must visit for anyone traveling to San Francisco, Los Angeles or anywhere in between. I’ve been meaning to visit ever since my best friend from college did the drive down Highway 1 years ago- so when I was in California earlier this year, I decided to plan my entire trip around the same route. At the advice of one of my friends, I decided to check out Ventana Inn & Spa, an iconic property located right above the waters of Big Sur.
In so many ways, I feel that Ventana Inn embodies the rugged, organic grandeur of the town in which it resides. There is a certain authenticity to the property- from the way the buildings coexists with nature, to the genuine love of the area that their employees have, to the local ingredients used not only in their dinner menu but also in their spa menu, to the overall ambiance of wellness and peace. There is nothing engineered or over the top about this place- but rather a resort that is truly in line with their motto- the essence of Big Sur. (more…)
It’s really difficult for me to pick a favorite Ritz-Carlton property as I’ve had such a spectacular experience at every one I’ve visited, but if I had to call one out for being exceptionally amazing- it would have to be the Ritz-Carlton at Powerscourt in Ireland. Nestled among the lush gardens and rolling hills of Powerscourt Estate just 30 minutes south of Dublin, The Ritz-Carlton provides the ideal setting for visitors who want to immerse themselves in the romance of Ireland. Having long been a Ritz-Carlton fan, I decided to check in, and check out, the hotel when I was in Ireland last month. (more…)
To me, the Ritz Carlton Los Angeles at LA Live, is quintessentially Los Angeles: glitz, glamour, and grandeur all wrapped up into a very private, very VIP experience for its guests. The hotel is situated at Downtown LA’s bustling city center and shares the building with the JW Marriott, but the second you walk into the Ritz Carlton’s private lobby you feel that you’re being transported to an urban oasis. Located on Fl 22-26 of a 54 story sparkling modern glass building, The Ritz Carlton has just 123 rooms- each featuring a wall of windows looking out onto the cityscape and the Santa Monica mountains. It’s one of the newest and most talked about luxury properties in LA, so when I was in town last month, I made a point to check in- and check out the Ritz Carlton. (more…)
The Fairmont Peace Hotel, located at the prestigious junction of Nanjing East Rd and The Bund in Shanghai was one of the most unique properties I’ve ever visited. Walking inside immediately transports you to the city’s most glamorous decades- the 1920s, 30s, and 40s where lavish galas were hosted almost every night at the hotel. The Peace Hotel recently underwent an extensive renovation before reopening in 2010 under the Fairmont brand. The renovations preserved much of the authentic charm of the original property, while incorporating modern touches and conveniences. As someone who has always been very attracted to Shanghai’s old school glamour, I decided that the Peace hotel was a must visit! (more…)
Equal parts fairy tale, opulent opium den, and downtown high-rise the new Mondrian SoHo brings an eclectic mix of fantasy and luxury to the edgier part of the neighborhood. The 25 story, 270 room hotel is the third Morgans property to be branded under the Mondrian name- joining its LA and Miami counterparts, delivering a signature sleek, trendy and exclusive vibe. I had the opportunity to tour the hotel during its soft opening. (more…)