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
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: READ 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.
Much like people, certain cities have an indescribable indie cool-factor. Austin, Texas is one of those cities, with serious street cred for the live music scene, its fervent support for local artists, friendliness, and laidback vibe. Mention Austin to anyone and inevitably the response will be, ‘OMG, I LOVE that city!!’ or ‘Is that where Friday Nights Lights is filmed?’ The answer is yes, and clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose. I took the opportunity to form my own opinion for New Year’s, trading NYC and its overpriced, crowded, cold bars for breezy Spring temps in the midst of January, let’s-just-have fun demeanor, and uniqueness. I wish I had gone for South by Southwest, but there’s always Austin City Limits! Below, some of my favorites from checking out the town: READ MORE
Aquamarine waters, white cliffs, Blue Mountain iced coffee : the essence of irie (Rastafarian for total peace of being) at the Rockhouse in the always relaxed Jamaica. Unlike the frenetic lights-on energy of Vegas, the 24/7 availability of New York, the debauchery of Jamaica is the guilty pleasure of doing nothing and then feeling not guilty at all for doing it.
Thanks to you guys, I discovered the hotel via Twitter-surfing (special thanks to the Bergdorf account) and then via its hordes of accolades (a favorite of Travel and Leisure, GQ, Brides) for a four-day long-needed girls trip back in May. Jamaica is mostly known for the ease of all-inclusive packages like Sandals, but the extremely attentive staff, four-star accommodations, and stone’s throw ocean access make it just as facile and a favorite of people like Nanette Lepore and John Slattery, who visit every year.
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. READ MORE
Recently we had a chance to chat with Washington Post food & travel editor Joe Yonan who recently published the book Serve Yourself – a guide to cooking for one. As a single New York gal, I’ve often struggled with figuring out exactly what and how to make my own dinner. Yes, it sounds silly- but I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve actually developed a strategy for ordering off Seamlessweb. So I was eager to read Joe’s new book and jumped at the chance to find out a little bit more about the man himself- and his life in food and travel. READ 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. READ 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. READ MORE
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