Stories for: International

Hotels, International, TravelFalling for Milan

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.   READ MORE

Dining & Nightlife, Hotels, International, TravelThe Ritz- Carlton, Powerscourt


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. READ MORE

Dining & Nightlife, Hotels, International, TravelFairmont Peace Hotel

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! READ MORE

Hotels, International, Interviews, Travel5 Questions With: Tamara Heber-Percy

Tamara Heber-Percy is the co-founder of one of our favorite travel brands, Mr & Mrs Smith, which just launched their US site earlier this month (also check out their fabulous blog!)  We love learning about unique and luxurious hotels, so we jumped at the chance to pick the brains of one of the most travel savvy experts out there- and find out her current obsessions!

 

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Dining & Nightlife, Hotels, International, TravelThe PuLi

Shanghai, I noticed, is a city that is somewhat obsessed with grandeur. Walk into any restaurant or hotel and chances are, you’ll almost feel as if you’ve walked into a banquet hall.  Red and gold are liberally used in architecture and decor throughout the city- and it’s impossible not to notice the range of bright colorful lights that constantly illuminate the urban skyline.  So in this city that can often be flashy, the understated and elegant PuLi Hotel is all the more a welcome respite for discerning travelers.  Branded as an “urban resort,” the PuLi strives to be a different type of experience for the Shanghai visitor: the soothing ambiance, round the clock butler service, Zen aura, and focus on wellness makes this as close as you can get to a retreat in the middle of the bustling city.  It’s one of the newest and most acclaimed luxury properties in Shanghai- so I made a point to check in- and check out the PuLi last month. READ MORE

Dining & Nightlife, Hotels, International, TravelShangri-la Tokyo

“This is Shangri-la,” said the concierge, nodding towards the thousands of sparkling chandelier crystals that illuminated silk tapestries and gilded artwork that decorated the hotel’s sky lobby.  Located in the top floors of a corporate park and perched above Tokyo Station, the Shangri-la Tokyo, certainly was  every bit the oasis worthy of it’s namesake, a gem among the city’s skyscrapers.  Last month I ventured to Japan for the first time, and took the opportunity to check in- and check out- the newest luxury hotel in Tokyo. READ MORE

Accessories, Beauty, Fashion, Hotels, Insider's Obsessions, International, TravelInsider’s Obsessions: Andria Mitsakos

I think I speak for all of us at TDO when saying that I’m just a bit envious of Andria Mitsakos, wanderlista, designer and PR guru.  Always a lover of travel, Andria first came onto the scene in 2003 as the president of AMPR, a hospitality communications firm representing an international roster of exclusive travel and lifestyle brands.  Many of her clients have  made it into TDO in our lust lists and travel obsessions.  In 2010, Andria channeled her worldly and well cultivated style into another one of her passions- design.  She launched a collection of exotic skin handbags while living in Italy. Her line, Dea Rosa, is a tribute to her late grandmother and focuses on clean lines, a streamlined color palette, and affordable, luxurious styles. Having spent time and many many email conversations with Andria, I can attest to the fact that her warmth attracts new confidants, while her little black book connects her to old friends in the media, travel and fashion industries- making her the ultimate insider!  Below she shares with us what makes her life so fabulous!

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Dining & Nightlife, Hotels, International, TravelThe Ritz-Carlton Cancun

Located at Kilometer 14.5 on Cancun’s posh “hotel zone,” the Ritz Carlton Cancun easily occupies the best real estate on the famed strip.  It is located within a stone’s throw from all the luxury shopping the city offers, is far from the traditional “party zone,” and boasts the best beach of all the hotels in Cancun. Combine that with a resort that is both family and couples friendly, large ocean view rooms, and award winning service-  it’s easy to see why the Ritz-Carlton Cancun was top of my list when I booked my Mexican vacation last month. READ MORE

Hotels, International, Obsessions, TravelMaroma Resort & Spa

Even the road to Maroma is a sight to see- bright tropical blossoms and birds scattered among the lush mangroves that line a unpaved path to the resort. Make sure to pay attention on the drive in- as there are multiple forks in the road- but only one will lead you to the the seaside paradise.  Set upon a spectacular private beach, Maroma is nothing like many of the other resorts in the Riviera Maya.  Though owned and operated by luxury hotel group Orient-Express, in many ways Maroma still feels like the private property that architect Jose Luiz and his wife Sally called their home for years.  It’s a place where I left my room door open as I milled around and where I could be happy just spending hours on my private porch.  Every morning I walked the forty steps or so to the pristine beach, coffee in hand, to watch the sun rise accompanied only by my thoughts and the soothing crash of the Caribbean waves.  This was the magic of Maroma- a place that lets you unwind, relax, and feel as if the entire property was there just for you alone. As an Orient-Express hotel, Maroma offers best in class service- what they call “homemade hospitality.” Each guest is taken care of on an individual and tailored basis- where every need is met in a very behind-the-scenes way.  You’ll never see the effort that goes into making each moment perfect- just that when you wake up- a steaming hot pot of coffee is already waiting on your porch table, that the beach is free of debris any time you want to lay out, and when you come back from an evening excursion, hundreds of candles will guide you back to your room.

Before I visited Maroma, I had read so many reviews from travelers telling me how special the property is- but I realized that it’s a place where words and even pictures can’t do it justice (though I will try). It’s just one of those sanctuaries you’ll have to visit. READ MORE

Fashion, International, Los Angeles, Shopping, TravelSwimming in Seafolly

Believe it or not, it’s finally starting to feel like summer in Southern California (OK, yes, the weather is practically perfect year-round but only now have we been hitting the 90s on a regular basis!). For a swimsuit pack rat, this means heaven — and time to stop parading around the kitchen in my new orange-striped Seafolly Capri separates. Finally, I get to take them outside!

Seafolly, a popular Australian swimwear brand, has been around since the mid-70s selling “sexy yet practical” suits. You can instantly spot the subtle retro influences of the brand in its latest line of ultra-feminine, chic suits and beachwear, from strategically placed ruffles and cutouts to polka dots and sailor stripes. Upon first checking out this season’s styles, I — like many bloggers and editors — immediately fell in love with the one-piece Goddess Boyleg Maillot (about $150). It’s supposed to be great for hourglass figures but I was worried that the boy-leg cut would shorten my already short legs, so next on my list were the shirred Capri separates ($77 for the top and $64 for the bottom, as seen on Victoria’s Secret model Jessica Hart, left). I love how the convertible bandeau bra-top makes my non-existent bust look, well … busty! READ MORE

The Daily Obsession draws from the expertise of a coast-to-coast editorial team offering dedicated readers reports of the most luxurious products and trends. We provide sophisticated and relevant angles on the latest fashion trends, must-have beauty products, insider interviews, travel destinations and of course, our current obsessions.

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