My latest travel obsession isn’t a destination (well, that’s for a different post), but rather a bag that’ll get me to any place of my heart’s choosing. I’m a proud member of the “carry-on only club” and that applies to destinations near and far. In fact, on a recent two week sojourn to Asia this past January, I managed to pack everything into one carry on bag, and even had enough clothing options to shoot a few outfit pics. Being this dedicated isn’t easy — it requires foresight, determination, clothes rolling skills, a really great bag, and occasionally sitting on that bag. The first few requirements can be learned, but the great bag — that must be discovered — and finally, after so many years of hauling not-the-greatest carry on luggage around the world, I’ve found Lipault.
What I love about Lipault bags is that they are made from soft nylon that is incredibly durable but also bendable and has more give than traditional luggage. What this means is that a) I can stuff my bag to the max and then some and b) it’s easier to cram into tighter spaces because the bag sides don’t take up valuable space. The soft material also makes the bag itself very lightweight — an important consideration when I have to stuff the bag into overhead compartments or carry it up or down stairs. Because the soft side luggage bends to accommodate what I’m putting inside, I find that I don’t have to use the outside compartments too often — a plus since I like to keep everything in one place. The wheels provide a smooth roll and I love that there are handles on both sides, making carrying it that much easier. Lipault also contains a collection of 0% Foldable Luggage, which folds flat when not in use and saves valuable space in my already small NYC apartment. The luggage comes in black, brown, grey and five bright colors. This yellow is my favorite and has already garnered many compliments on recent trips. Check out this and larger bags (in case you don’t do the carry-on-only thing) at Zappos.com.
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…)
We recently caught up with celebrity brow specialist and makeup artist Kristie Streicher, who has an incredibly keen eye for stylish, often eco-friendly finds. In addition to grooming famous brows in New York City, volunteering with her father’s nonprofit organization (Divine Spark) and amassing what Vogue dubbed a “killer vintage wardrobe,” Kristie recently opened the new Kristie Streicher Beauty Bar inside L.A.’s Warren Tricomi salon. Here are her latest obsessions: (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’m a bit of an expert on surviving long haul flights, given that my first 17 hour one was at the tender age of 6 (we have a lot of relatives in Asia). Even as a young one, I distinctly recall thinking, “Man, this sucks” as I took in the plane’s stale air, questionable food, and roaring overhead noise while barfing into an air sickness bag. Since then, experience and technology have been great aids in reducing the airplane’s assault on the five senses so far that I even LIKE long haul flights (but capped at 17 hours tops). My tips at dealing with the pains of traveling:
1. Feel: As every travel-related site and dermatologist will tell you, airplane air is bad and dry, wreaking havoc on complexions (read: breakouts) and your throat. You have to stay moisturized. I like to prepare first by stocking up on water after TSA frisks me. You may be thinking, “Why should I buy water when I get it for free on the plane?” True, but I can’t be the only one that gulps down their tiny airplane ration of water two minutes after receiving it. I also remain terrified by a story a friend’s father told me. He was stranded on the tarmac for 4 hours, parched and hungry, after the flight attendants ran out of provisions. I’d prefer for that not to be me. Experts also tell you to avoid drinking on the plane as alcohol dehydrates, but if you are a nervous traveler, I don’t see the harm in slightly indulging. A friend of mine has a long time fear of flying and kind stewardesses routinely used to give her shots of tequila on the plane. Worked for her, and she even did one with Flava Flav one time at 6 am. (more…)
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…)
If you’re heading out of town for a summer vacation (the latest east coast heat wave has sent everyone packing!), we’ve got a couple travel essentials for you:
By now, we’re all used to slathering or spraying ourselves up with a minimum of 30 SPF before leaving the house. What about all those overexposed areas like your lips, nose and ears that need touch ups throughout a steamy hot and sunny day? Ideal for any sun-worshipper or cautious nature-lover during the summer – Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream Targeted Sun Defense Stick SPF 50 fits the bill!
What better way to accessorize your beat-up suitcase or weekender than with LaLucca’s leather luggage tags? Available in seven bold colors (with hot pink lining!), these little leather tags will help set your luggage apart while you travel in style. Available at www.lalucca.com for only $31 each.