Month: January 2019

Carissa Barrett, Director of Retail at BYREDO

If people actually had 9 lives to live… Carissa Barrett might have lived them all. This Long Island native started out working in the NYC club scene in the 1990s, booking DJs for the TriBeCa and Soho Grand hotels (both of which are famous for their parties). She then found her way to San Francisco for a “break,” where she experimented with cooking classes at Kitchen On Fire (an award-winning cooking school where each class is taught by Michelin-starred chefs!), and learned about wine from master sommelier Peter Granoff. It was there that she realized her passion for scent. After stints managing retail at Prada, Jimmy Choo, and Saint Laurent, that same passion led to her current role as Director of Retail at Byredo– with amazing stores in NYC, Stockholm, Paris, and London. Byredo is the best perfume and scented candle company ever – trust us, you will ditch that Santal 33, and never look back.

There is much more to know from this woman who is dubbed “the human Zagat” by her friends, is an OG burner (she went for 5 years in a row, “when it was not as cool, and you didn’t have to fight for tickets!”), has danced with P Diddy at Space Ibiza during her backpacking years, and is a perpetual globe trotter….whew!

Read on for travel tips that include where to find handcuffs as an amenity in Paris, amazing soundtrack ideas, and where to get a great cup of coffee in Marrakesh.

Follow Carissa Barrett on Instagram @pennytothelane

What are 3 of your favorite hotels?

Mandarin Oriental Bangkok for the service, Soho Beach House Miami for the view and beach beds to relax, and the Hidden Hotel Paris for the room with the handcuffs.

What is the most unique hotel amenity you’ve ever encountered?

T-shirts and a rain parka, found in the mini bar – so smart.

What hotel room design element can you not live without?

A “do not disturb” switch by the bed, so you don’t have to get up to put the sign on the door.

What is/are your favorite “offices” while traveling?

The beach at the Soho Beach House Miami, The Standard pool in LA, Dumbo House pool and lounge area in NYC, The Standard Miami pool, and the Design District outdoor cafes in Miami.

What 3 songs are on your OOO playlist?

Maree Basse – La femme a la peau bleue

Pearljam – Rearview Mirror

Red Hot Chili Peppers – By the Way

Travel can be about the little luxuries…like a super amazing cup of coffee. Where was the best one you’ve had?

This is a tough one because most hotels have terrible coffee, but in Morocco, it’s great- and La Mamounia has the best.

Anxiety and burn out are big topics these days. How do you combat them, and how do you use travel to do so? Any favorite hotels for this, specifically?

Always stay at a hotel with a beach or a pool to decompress every morning- even if you get only 20 minutes of sun, it helps with the natural vitamin D and leaves me feeling fresh. Soho Beach House Miami has both options so you can choose amazing pool or beach – love it there. 

You travel a lot for work – what are your tips for making it as easy and relaxing as possible? Any favorite hotels to stay in that help accomplish this?

I always travel with a steamer, so that I can easily steam my work clothes (simple tip, but a super useful one, we think!). Good pillows and a great mattress are key- I always look for that in a hotel. Sometimes I call ahead to make sure they have foam pillow options, and enquire on the mattress situation- if I don’t like their answers, I don’t stay. Some hotels will make sure they have the foam pillows for me (and bring them in). The Hotel Therese in Paris always takes care of me, and Hotel 1898 in Barcelona does, too.

What’s your go-to outfit for getting through security quickly, and still looking good?

Nike track pants and zip-up hoodie, with a cool baggy T-shirt underneath.  I don’t believe in wearing jeans on the plane- you get bloated up in the air, and they leave marks on your legs… so if you need a quick change to a dress or skirt for a meeting after the flight, you look terrible. Comfort first. I also wear my Saint Laurent leather jacket on top, to add my own style element.

What is your most used travel emoji?

Palm tree or martini glass.

If you could swap suitcases with anyone in the world at baggage claim, who would you swap with?

Lady Gaga- I am sure her wardrobe is ridiculous, and I would be all over it.

Who is your dream “co-pilot” (travel partner- dead or alive), and why?

My husband- because he lets me choose everything, and goes along for the ride, and in the end is super happy with the results. He is flexible and able to adapt if we get somewhere and decide to change the entire itinerary. 

If you’re going to a new place, and your friends have not been there, what do you consult for advice?

Tons of places: Tripadvisor, Google to look at hotel websites and restaurants, local food apps (if applicable), Eater lists, Condé Nast articles, Culture Trip, and I ask people on social media.  No one option in my opinion is 100% – so I need to dig deeper to find the right information for my lifestyle.

Best travel advise you’ve ever received, and from whom?

The best advice has been from other foodies that travel the world- if I trust you choosing my food, I can trust you with my hotels and other recommendations. But I also like to be independent, and look for the best restaurants myself…I research hotels and places to go for months, and I feel nobody else can do this for me – so I feel like I take people’s advice with a grain of salt, add it to my list, and then pick it apart to find what suits me best. 

What is your favorite travel book – for at home, or abroad- and why?

Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor, by Tim Lawrence Brooks, because it reminds me of my youth and my home.

What’s your favorite room service experience ever?

Mandarin Oriental Bangkok

If you could quit your job and follow the “Mamma Mia” dream (ie open a small hotel in a foreign land or on a remote island), where would you do it?

Turks and Caicos or the Maldives, or Lake Como in Italy.

Beach or City or Mountain? 

Beach

Alone or with someone else? 

Depends – usually with someone

In flight wifi- good idea:

Yes

Lost luggage, or lost phone? 

Luggage

Airplane food- Y/N? 

No

Fantasy mini bar/fridge item? 

Green juice

Early check-in/ late check-out? 

Early check-in

Favourite subscription service you’ll never delete? 

iTunes

In flight cocktail – Y/N? What kind? 

Yes- champagne: Billecart salmon rose

Favourite travel app? 

onefinestay

Uluwatu, Bali

Welcome to 2019, people. When January 1 rolls around, we all try to “reset” and abide by the healthy rituals we may or may not stick to throughout the year to come. One of the best places to really set your intentions into play is none other than Bali, Indonesia. One of our favorite towns in Bali is Uluwatu. We head here to get away from the crowds, and to hit up our favorite yoga spots, healthy eats, and gorgeous hideaways.

Uluwatu doesn’t play into the spiritual tourism of Ubud or the “expat tech” scene of Canguu. Instead, it appeals to those who have the image of Bali before everyone seemed to tack it onto their Top 10 Lists of places to go.

Pretty much the only place you can find a quiet getaway, Uluwatu offers gorgeous beaches (some say the best in Bali), beautiful hotels, and one of the island’s most important temples. If you want a true wellness retreat, head to the tip of the island and check out this stunning town.

Where to stay

Uluwatu Surf Villas

If you’re going to take a trip with your friends, and maybe you’re looking to surf, you should stay here. The design is something we can stand behind and they have villas that are 1-3 bedrooms. The restaurant, Mana, is super affordable and we couldn’t love the location more.

Gravity

Though it’s not on the beach, Gravity is a wonderful, affordable option in Uluwatu. It boasts stunning view from each of its pools, and is eco-friendly. With rooms that open up onto gorgeous balconies, it’s the perfect place to relax if you can score one of their 15 bungalows.

Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay

You caught us red-handed. This is a Four Seasons hotel, and we are perfectly comfortable saying you should stay here and that it feels anything but generic. If you can swing it, stay in one of their villas- each with gorgeous clawfoot tubs that look onto Balinese gardens. 

The Ungasan Clifftop Resort

As you might assume, the Ungasan is set atop limestone cliffs looking over the ocean in Uluwatu. It’s stunning, and you’ll only need to creep Instagram to agree with us. With one of the best beach clubs sitting just below it on the sand, this private getaway feels exclusive and hidden – a bit like it’s made just for you.

Alila Villas Uluwatu

If you want the true luxury experience, Alila is your spot. It will thin out your wallet for sure, but the gorgeous minimalist design, luxury rooms, and beautiful spa are 100% worth it. Basically, we would live here. Some rooms open up onto private pools, and if you need more TLC than that, they have an organic spa that caters its therapies to your individual needs. Yes.

Bulgari Resort Bali

Perched on the very edge of the coast, and owned by one of the most renowned Italian luxury jewelry houses (BVLGARI, which was started way back in 1884), this hotel is luxury defined. If you can’t afford to come here or it isn’t your honeymoon or something, come for lunch. The architecture and views are stunning, and the spa is also to die for.

Where to eat

The Cashew Tree

If you are needing a casual, healthy lunch, this is your place. We order a salad and a smoothie, and call it a day. That said, pretty much anything on their menu is a great go-to for getting rid of your 2018 guilt, and starting off on the right foot. 

Dugong Restaurant

If you’re looking for high-end Indonesian food, a great pool, and good drinks, Dugong is your best bet. It’s not the casual cafe that might come to mind when you think of your trip to Bali, but it’s a great place to splurge on dinner and take the sunset in. It’s also located in a resort where you can have a drink by a gorgeous pool – and we fully encourage doing just that.

Mana

We love the minimalist design as much as we love the fresh poke bowls. With communal tables and an all-day menu, Mana satisfies everything we could ever need. We almost put this in our “where to work” list, but we decided the food was too good. Oh, and it’s located in in the Uluwatu Surf Villas camp, which is where we told you to stay.

Fat Chow Temple Hill

We would call Fat Chow “temple chic” if the term existed. A fairly funky restaurant, everything is the space is repurposed…except the food. With a pan-Asian focus, we love this place for it’s lack of pretension and focus on flavor. And of course, the general vibe that makes us feel right at home.

Where to drink

Single Fin

Located on Suluban Beach, Single Fin is a great spot for a cocktail or a bite. It truly shines on Sundays when you can catch live music, but it’s a great place to grab a drink any day of the week. Even if you don’t run in from the surf, chill here to catch a great sunset.

The Station

If you’re not looking for an all day beach club fiesta, but you are still interested in a libation, The Station is your place. We come here for a beer and a hang and we love it. With communal wood tables and a chalkboard menu, we love the general ease of this bar. Also: no shirt, no shoes = no problem, here.

El Kabron

This spot has purple lights and a stage, and also white comfy couches placed everywhere. We can’t call it a bar because it’s a kind of a restaurant, kind of a club, and also has a pool. But if your cocktails leave you wanting to swim and you are looking for a great view, this is your spot. 

Where to dance

Ulu Cliffhouse

Come here around 5pm to get a cocktail and watch the sunset. Then order another cocktail. Then stay, because this place turns into a dance club that turns up the house hits and if you’re lucky, some reggae.

OMNIA

Bringing in world class DJs to this low key Bali town, Omnia is more of a day-club but you can absolutely hit the dance floor, too. You can also find yourself a seat at the restaurant if you find that you’ve had one too many. We love the views and they also have a pool for those who need to cool off.

Where to break

Suka Espresso

This is arguably the best coffee in Uluwatu. Get a latte, espresso (as the name would suggest), or an iced coffee. The great news is that you can also order simple but delicious healthy eats. Come here before your beach time for a solid start to the day, or a for a midday break.

Drifter Cafe

Located in the back of a surf shop, Drifter offers garden seating and a mean cacao smoothie bowl. We love their coffee, and it has a few treats if you need something sweet midday.

Kafein Balangan

Kafein is full of character and looks a bit like a shack. It’s super cute and has a great cup of coffee. We love the casual vibe and encourage you to spend a lazy morning here.

Where to work

The Cashew Tree

As we mentioned, Cashew Tree is an all day cafe. It’s also a great place to post up with your laptop and has outlets for you to power up. It serves coffee all day (which is necessary for that jet-lag), and its general ambiance keeps us going.

Bukit Cafe

This is more of a cafe than a work space, but it’s a great place to spend your day. It has smoothies, bowls, and “mashes,” and also serves a good cup of coffee for that caffeine fix. It allows laptops during most hours.

What to do

Sunday’s Beach Club

At Sunday’s, you pay an entrance fee that includes snorkle gear, kayaks, a food & beverage credit, and your lounge chair. If that doesn’t get your attention, the perfectly situated beach set-up should swoon you.

Padang Padang beach

If you’re a surfer, this is one of the places to hit up. We can’t say it’s the only break in Uluwatu that is worth the ride, but it’s an absolute must visit. If you don’t happen to surf, feel free to come here to check out the waves, lay on the sand, and take in the sights.

Nyang Nyang Beach

Nyang Nyang might be the last beach in Bali where you can go for a walk at sunset and find yourself totally alone. The hike down to the beach is an experience on it’s own, and one we recommend. If you’re looking for a swim, this isn’t your game plan- but if you want to take a few moments on your own or perhaps a solo camping trip, then head here.

Where to get your hit of culture

Uluwatu Temple

Perched on top of a cliff, Uluwatu Temple is one of Bali’s most important temples. The monkeys are aggressive, but don’t let them deter you. The cliff-side walk on the way to the temple is a bit of a religious experience on its own. They have sunset Kacek dances to end the day, and we recommend trying to catch one during your stay.

GWK Cultural Park

Garuda Wisnu Kencana statue depicts Vishnu and is designed to be one of the world’s largest and highest monumental statue in the world. The park itself has a ton to do – from a shopping center to traditional dance performances. It seems a bit touristy, yes – but we truly recommend it.

Where to work out

Morning Light Yoga Studios

Throughout Bali, Yoga reigns supreme. We love Morning Light Yoga Studio, which is located in Uluwatu Surf Villas. The outdoor practice space is surrounded by jungle, and their are 90 minute classes offered every day. They also offer retreats which span from mysticism to yoga & meditation.

Surfing

There are so many places to surf in Uluwatu. We don’t necessarily recommend any of these breaks for the absolute beginners, but if you have experience, head to Dreamland, Bingin, or Balangan to catch the waves.

Bali Training Center

If you’re interested in Muay Thai, go to Bali Training Center. The owner found a passion for Muay Thai in Phuket but couldn’t find a decent gym in Uluwatu, so he opened one himself. For the intense workout some might crave, you can definitely count on this place to kick your ass.

Where to relax

Karma Spa

With a menu of Asian-inspired holistic remedies, Karma Spa is one of our picks when it comes to unwinding. Karma has locations across the globe, but we truly feel like the experience they offer you, overlooking the cliffs in Uluwatu, is spectacular.

Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay

If you have a little extra cash, please splurge on the spa at the Four Seasons. Do it for us, and for yourself. You will have a private “room,” which is more like a hut, overlooking the beach, with fantastic service.

  

Nicole Humphreys, Founder of August Effects

You know those people who jet off to a foreign land and seem to live the idyllic island life that you dream about while sipping your third cup of coffee and plugging away at a Google doc? Well, one of those people happens to be Nicole Humphreys.

Nicole traded in her job at a non-profit in LA to move to Bali for the better part of a year. Though she now splits her time between the gorgeous island and the states, she began her company August Effects during her time there. August Effects sells beach and home goods that are 100% hand crafted by local artisans in Bali. Bonus point? Every purchase equals a donation to Bali Children Foundation.

Constantly on the go – Nicole has explored much of Asia using Bali as her launching point, and continues to preach the nomad life far and wide. We can’t say we aren’t just a little jealous…

Follow her adventures @nicolealexandra86 and her company @augusteffects.

What are 3 of your favorite hotels?

1. Aetas Glamping, Palawan, Philippines – One of a kind glamping experience overlooking the rice fields in El Nido, Philippines. The service is truly out of this world exceptional!

2. Four Season, Chiang Mai, Thailand – One of the most gorgeous hotels I have ever stayed in. The room was essentially a glamorous tree houses with unbelievable views.

3. Korakaia Pensione, Palm Springs, CA – A romantic, serene, gorgeous bed and breakfast with tons of special touches. Highlights are the incredible breakfast served on their patio each morning, the old movies they play outdoors every night, and the exceptional service.

Photo via Korakia Pensione

What are your favorite “offices” while traveling?

In Bali, I am always on the go and work primarily out of coffee shops and co-working places. My go-to is called Dojo and it is located in the heart of Canggu, Bali, right next to Echo Beach. It is set up as an open-air concept with a bamboo roof overhead and a big pool if anyone needs a work break. They have an amazing café there to keep you well fed and caffeinated while you work. Every night Dojo offers different lectures,speaker, and activities for their members. The vibe is collaborative and everyone helps each other out. When you sign up, you join their Facebook group where everyone shares tips, apps, business advice, etc. Highly recommend the Dojo as your office if you pursue the digital nomad life.

A similar co-working place is Hubud in Ubud, Bali. The structure and vibe are incredible and the people are all amazing.

Lastly, my favorite coffee shop in Bali to work from is called Koloni. Great food, coffee, fast Wi-Fi, and comfortable set up.

Where would you go for a digital detox or just generally to get off the grid?

The Philippines! I just went for my 30th birthday and it is the ultimate way to get off the grid and have a digital detox. This is because there is pretty much no Wi-Fi so you can’t be tempted to get on your phone. It is also a pretty difficult place to get to – think multiple flights, long car rides, boat rides to different islands, etc. It is worth it though. You feel like you are completely off the grid and forced to live 100% in the moment!

What do you always bring with you in your carry-on?

My August Effects bikini bag as it’s the perfect size for toiletries, noise cancelling headphones, my kindle, and my night shades (this is a must have for being able to sleep!).

 Best travel advice you’ve ever received, and from whom?

I am kind of adapting this question as I learned a lot about the importance of packing after I went on Semester at Sea and traveled to 13 countries in 4 months. I find it so helpful for all my travels that I want to share it:

“Focus on making sure you have all the toiletries you need to feel clean and stay healthy while traveling and don’t focus so much on clothing.” 

You can always buy more clothing wherever you are in the world but it is difficult to buy essential cosmetics and toiletries in certain countries.  This made me realize that the clothes you do pack should be multi-purpose if possible. One of the things I always have in my carry-on is my August Effects sarong, since it’s lightweight and I can use it over my shoulders, as a blanket, or as a cover up.

Anxiety and burn out are big topics these days. How do you combat them, and how do you use travel to do so?

Meditate. This is something I started doing a few years ago and it has not only changed my life but changed how I travel. I use the app Headspace and do a 10-15 min meditation every morning right when I wake up.

Travel can be about the little luxuries…like a super amazing cup of coffee. Where was the best one you’ve had?

Peloton Supershop. This is my favorite café/coffee shop in Canggu, Bali. It is fully vegan café with some of the most gorgeous, unique and delicious food I have ever had in my life. It also has my all-time favorite cup of coffee. I order the flat white with coconut milk. Pro tip: ask them for the large size (it is not on the menu!).

Rank the following, from most to least important to you, re: what you seek in a hotel experience:

Location, comfortable, doesn’t break the bank, locals hang out there, unique, has a pool, architecturally intriguing, dope minibar.

If you could quit your job and follow the “Mamma Mia” dream (i.e. open a small hotel in a foreign land or on a remote island), where would you do it?

Gili Air! There are three “Gili” islands off of Bali that are around an hour or two boat ride. My favorite of the three is called Gili Air. It is tiny island that no cars are allowed on. People get around via bike or horse and buggy  and you can walk around the entire island in about 45 min. There are bars and restaurants that line the island and everything is right on the beach. I spent my 1-year honeymoon there at a tiny hotel that a couple from Europe opened. They have been there for 15 years now and have never looked back. This would definitely be an amazing place to live out the dream of opening a small hotel on a remote island!

In flight Wifi, Y/N?

No!

Fantasy mini-bar/fridge item?

Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee

Favorite travel app?

Maps.Me – it is a free app where you download a map of the destination you are headed to (do this when you have wifi). Then when you are at your travel destination, you can use the app without wifi to look up anything you need while there!

Kat Heiberger, Yoga Teacher & Ayurvedic Health Coach

Our New Years resolutions include attending more than 1 yoga class a month and re-committing to that wholesome diet we promised ourselves…a year ago. One person that can truly help us get back on track is Kat Heiberger. 

Kat was a Project Manager at The Martin Agency before committing to become a yoga teacher full time, and getting certified as an Ayurveda Health Coach at Ayurveda World NYC. She traveled to Rishikesh, India to complete her 200hr YTT in Ashtanga & Hatha yoga, and currently teaches at Hosh Yoga in Brooklyn, NY.

She gains inspiration from each of her trips, and continues to explore the globe from Peru to Italy. Follow her travels at @kat_heiberger.

What are 3 of your favorite hotels, anywhere in the world?

1. Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, Aguas Calientes, Peru –  Inkaterra a sprawling commune literally inside the jungle with hummingbirds flitting around outside your door. I also took a lot of design inspiration from this place… white walls, dark wood, soft velvety browns, shiny copper, bright pops of orange and red and lots of eucalyptus.

2. El Albergue, Ollantaytambo, Peru. This is a farm-to-table hotel in a quaint little village in the Sacred Valley of Peru where you can walk around the grounds, tour the farm and enjoy an authentic and very special pachamanca lunch outdoors. I don’t know what’s better, their local coffee or the mountain view from bed.

3. Ripplewood Resort, Big Sur, California –  I mean Big Sur, in general… what a special place. This resort offers a series of log cabins right on the river. You can make a fire indoors and outdoors, go swimming, fishing and just take in the cool, crisp mountain air. It’s rustic, it’s simple, it’s a dream.

What hotel room design element can you not live without?

Wood-burning fire place in the bedroom. Once you experience falling asleep to the crackling of a simmering fire at the foot of your bed, you really can’t not put that on your “must have in my dream house” list. 

What are your travel wellness tips for staying healthy on the go?

Hydration! My number one tip is to drink more water than you think you need or than you even want to. I also try to keep up with as many daily, Ayurvedic rituals as I can while traveling (tongue scraping, drinking hot water in the AM before coffee, using essential oils, finding any place, any time to do a little yoga). Keeping up with the little things help a lot. And then just let the rest go and don’t worry about eating all the croissants or having a bottle of wine at lunch. Wellness is also a state of mind!

What 3 songs are on your OOO playlist? 

‘Going Up The Country’ Canned Heat

‘Meet Me In The Morning’ Bob Dylan

‘By The Light Of A Magical Moon’ T.Rex

What do you always bring with you in your carry-on?

Essential oils. I always carry travel bottles of lavender (to chill out), lemon (to add to drinking water for internal cleansing & immune boosting effects), doTERRA’s DigestZen (a blend to help prevent digestion from being a problem), and a homemade blend of eucalyptus & tea tree (to help keep sinuses clear during cabin pressure). Oh and ginger chews – these also help with cabin pressure, nausea and boredom.

Have you or would you travel alone? If Y/N, why?

Yes! I would definitely and I have, sort of. I went to a remote town in northern India in 2017 to do my 200hr yoga teacher training. It was the first time I had ever traveled solo, and so far away! Of course I made friends with my fellow students once I got there but just making the decision to do it, preparing for it, navigating foreign airports and transportation and adjusting to a whole new world on my own was a big adventure for me. I think I learned a lot from that experience and would encourage everyone to step out of their comfort zone like that at least once. 

Rank the following, from most to least important to you, re: what you seek in a hotel experience:

Comfortable, unique, close to things, architecturally intriguing, doesn’t break the bank, locals hang out there, has a pool, dope minibar.

Anxiety and burn out are big topics these days. How do you combat them, and how do you use travel to do so? 

The main way I combat anxiety and burnout is yoga. Even though teaching yoga has changed my relationship with it a bit, I still always, without fail, turn to my own practice whenever I feel stressed, confused, sad, overwhelmed (and all the in between). I didn’t have a huge AHA moment with my yoga practice but when I reflect back on it, I recognize that I would be a mess today had I not discovered it’s unique ability to help you silence all the noise. And travel is honestly a close second. I think it’s essential for people to get out of their bubble, out of their comfort zone, see how other people live (the good and the bad). Travel gives you the kind of fresh perspective to which almost nothing else can compare.

In flight wifi- good idea: yes or no? 

Nah

Lost luggage, or lost phone?

 Lost luggage

Favorite travel app?

Units Plus! I’m so bad with conversions…

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