Month: July 2019

Mini Ibiza Guide: Our Hit List

It’s summer, we have to talk about Ibiza. Once a destination for all-night dancing and severe hangovers, the island has had quite the rebrand in recent years with an influx of wellness businesses and British expats looking for sun-trapped laptop spots. It’s not all about the nightlife – these days the chill does tend to outweigh the clubbing. 

We asked those in the know for a quick list of their favourites. It’s not too late to get booking – Ibiza in fall is divine. 

Image via @paradiso_ibiza

Where to stay

  • Paradiso Ibiza Art Hotel – this hotel was simply made for Instagram – check out that millennial pink. Each of the rooms at the PARADISO has Marshall speakers, a Smeg fridge and colorful furniture characteristic of the 70’s. The hotel also has its own gallery that hosts three exhibitions per peak season.

Cas Gasi
  • Cas Gasi Boutique Hotel – surrounded by orchards, 450 olive trees and fragrant fruit trees. The romantic 19th century farmhouse is whitewashed in classic Ibiza style and offers just 10 rooms. An excellent base for exploring the countryside and the pool is gigantic. The head chef is from Valencia so expect lots of paella. Did we mention they have two hotel dogs? 
  • Los Enamorados – the owners of this 9 room hotel were certainly not afraid of taking risks – just look at the outlandish decor. Based in North Ibiza, Los Enamorados is full of quirky antiques and one-off pieces. The Peruvian chef is masterful with fresh fish and massages are also available. 
  • Sir Joan Hotel – a retreat for the party animal or quiet introvert alike. The 38 rooms and suites tie into a nautical theme with stripped wood yacht floors. Also features a pool, bar and penthouse with views of Ibiza’s Old Town.
Los Enemorados

Where to eat

  • Restaurante Cala Bonita – here a Spanish chef produces simple yet sophisticated dishes showcasing local produce and seafood. It’s also adjacent to the beach. Try the ‘Arroz con Bogavante.’ 
Cas Gasi
  • The Boat House Ibiza – a tiny jungle in the heart of Ibiza. The relaxed atmosphere hits you as soon as you arrive with huge hammocks on the beachfront. Food is served in tapas form and coconut water makes the perfect accompaniment. 
The Boat House
  • Casa Colonial Ibiza – this restaurant and bar distill their own gin (LAW) on the premises. The Thai and Mediterranean-French fusion food will convince you to stay for dinner – served on the large colonial-style terrace. 

Best beaches

  • Cala Comte – pedalos to hire, sand dunes, 15 minute drive from San Antonio.
  • Cala Saladeta  – quiet, snorkelling available, accessed by walking. 
  • Agua Blancas – nudist-friendly, favourite among residents, 10 minute drive from San Carlos. 

Where to shop

  • Junco yi Mimbre is the best local emporium for anything raffia or woven. From beautiful bags of all shapes and sizes to furniture, hammocks, shoes, and more, it’s all here. Prices are up to 300% cheaper than hotels or fancy boutiques. A close walk from the new Sir Joan hotel.
  • Don’t miss the on-site concept store at Los Enamorados hotel for high fashion mixed with some more local, affordable items. One of the owners is a former magazine editor, so we trust his judgement.
Los Enamorados. Image via Style Junkies
  • The boutique at Experimental Beach Club is the most “Ibiza” of the bunch. Pricier than it should be, but a great curation of women’s and men’s clothes, bathing suits, and jewelry.

Where to dance at night

  • DC-10 – a former airplane hanger where the plans soar low over the outdoor terrace, giving the audience an adrenalin buzz! Circo Loco on Mondays is the best night. It may be pricey, but the 150 EUR VIP bracelet is 100% worth it for the extra bar (easy drinks), a cleaner washroom, and a special patio exclusive to your group. The average age is older at around 30-40 – a nice change from other clubs.
  • Hi Ibiza – the night to go is Black Coffee on Saturdays. South Africa’s DJ Nathi Maphumulo has collaborated with some of the biggest names, including Akon, Alicia Keys, Drake, David Guetta, Usher, Pharrell Williams, Diplo, Kelly Rowland, Beyonce and Jay Z. The Glitter Box night skews towards a younger crowd, bringing dancers, fierce performers, drag queens and music together.
  • Pacha – an old school favorite that’s been kicking about since 1973. Go for Flower Power on Monday nights: a retro hippy party where colorful and free-spirited characters come together to dance to hits from the 60’s and the 70’s.

Where to dance in the day

  • Experimental Beach Club – the original ‘day party to sunset’ spot. Reserve in advance to ensure a table, and graze over amazing light bites and white sangria for hours, while you watch the sunset over Es Vedra. Must order: the watermellon feta salad and the squid a la plancha.
Experimental Beach Club. Image via White Ibiza.
  • Beachhouse – pretty easy to get into if you have a large crew and can’t find reservations in the smaller options. On a soft sand beach (rare in Ibiza) and offers good food with huge portions for sharing. Great spot to swim. Close to the airport too – the perfect place to welcome friends who have just arrived.
Beach House

Florencia Cavallo + Elise Labau Topaloglu, Co-Founders of Golden Edit

Nomads from birth, Florencia Cavallo was born in Argentina and lived in Buenos Aires until her family moved to Australia and Elise Labau Topaloglu was born in the south of France and grew up in St Barths, a French-speaking Caribbean island.

They met in New York through their work in fashion PR. Together, they developed the idea for e-commerce site Golden Edit, which launched in 2018. Here, they bring together their favorite brands from around the globe – from Australia to Mexico, Colombia, Turkey, Ecuador, and everywhere in between. As two women whose lives merge fashion and travel seamlessly, we were keen to hear their tips:

Hotel Can Simoneta in Mallorca. Image via My Premium Europe

Name 3 favorite hotels, anywhere, off the top of your head. Why are they your favorites?

  • Belmond Hotel Splendido in Portofino: One of the most glamorous resorts in Italy where you can truly enjoy ‘la dolce vita.’ The views! The food! The décor! It’s an absolute dream.
  • Hotel Can Simoneta in Mallorca: Exclusive, intimate and oh-so romantic. The property sits on a cliff in Canyamel overlooking the sea and is made of a number of restored and altered 140 year old buildings.
  • Twin Palms in Surin Beach, Thailand: A stylish boutique hotel with a jaw-dropping lagoon pool where you can truly get away from it all. A sweet smell of fresh lemongrass lingers throughout the entire resort. It’s pure bliss. 

What are your favorite “offices” while traveling?

The best part of travel is discovering new places, so it’s always a welcomed surprise when you stumble across a gorgeous tucked away café where you can work for the day, while people watching the locals. For a place that feels like “home”, we love The Wing.

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

Portable phone charger, Lucas’ Papaw Ointment, water (staying hydrated in-flight is key to beating jetlag!), a straw hat too big to fit in checked baggage, noise-cancelling headphones and a set of bikinis in case bags get lost.

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

We try to do as much research as possible before heading to a new destination, but the magic really happens when you arrive and start wandering around and getting lost in a new place.  Talking to the local community is the best way to discover hidden gems. Locals always give the best advice – whether it’s in a big city like Berlin, or a small seaside town.

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

Frances Mayes (played by Diane Lane) in ‘Under The Tuscan Sun.’

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

A white tee, linen pants, straw bag large enough to fit our laptop, and Birkenstocks we can easily slip on and off. 

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? 

Florencia: My husband and I dream of opening a little restaurant in the south of Italy (not that there’s shortage of them!); an intimate space offering simple, home-cooked food and to-die-for local wine. Of late, it has become more of a ‘goal’ than a dream… stay tuned!  

Elise: As for us, we dream of turning a plot of land we recently bought in a natural reserve in southwest Turkey into a beautiful glamping destination. Picture the glamorous African Safari experience in Tanzania or Kenya without the wild animals, and overlooking the Aegean instead.

You have an hour to spare at the airport. What would I find you doing? 

Dream: soaking up our favorite book. Reality: Sending last minute emails. 

Where’s your next trip? Why? If vacation, why did you choose there?

We’re headed to Mallorca, Puglia, Calabria and Sicily for a never-ending summer!

Beach or City or Mountain?

Beach, always! 

Early check-in/ late check-out?

Early – so we can change and go straight to the beach!

Window or Aisle?

Window (to daydream while looking at the clouds)

Guide to The Catskills by photographer Ernesto Roman

A quick getaway for busy New Yorkers, The Catskills is less than three hours from The Big Apple. The Catskills Mountains are swathed in forests, which teem with wildlife and offer incredible hikes for nature starved urbanites. We couldn’t think of anyone better to ask about the must-dos in the area than local photographer Ernesto Roman. Creative Director of Deer Mountain Inn, he lives and breathes the rustic Catskills lifestyle. Here are his top tips:

We know you live in upstate NY, but let’s say you were to take your dream staycation. Where would you stay?

  • Deer Mountain Inn:  Your Catskills getaway dreams come true. A classic, turn of the century construction, offering a rustic dining experience with wood-burning fireplaces, cozy entertainment lounge that is private for inn guests and hundreds of acres to explore the outdoors.
  • Camp Here Here: A fun glamping experience with a great restaurant, but they only run in the summer.
  • There are amazing, unique private properties around The Catskills that may only get through airbnb. One of them is Mystic Lodge, located in a dairy farm in Bovina, which offers you a secluded teepee experience perfect to disconnect and be one with nature.

Favorite places to eat on the daily? What do we order?

  • Circle W Market: in Palenville & Catskill. Get the Great Red Ruben (with Pastrami for the meat lovers), The Niobe Wrap (for the veggies) or the Avocado toast (for the sriracha lovers). But really look out for their daily specials!
  • Silvia in Woodstock. Offer daily specials like $1 oysters happy hour on Tuesdays. Usually, I go for the chicken or the bibimbap. 
  • Prospect at Scribners in Hunter. They are open daily for breakfast (not dinner) so get the pancakes!

    Extra tip: If you’re visiting during the weekdays, I will emphasize to check business hours before driving to restaurants. Most places are closed Mon-Wed

Where would you go to eat for a special occasion? What are they known for?

  • Gaskins (Germantown): Wood-fired oven dishes, locally sourced ingredients with a small-town vibe.
  • Deer Mountain Inn (Tannersville). Go for the seasonal (Michelin star) Chef’s Tasting Menu, small bites (get the fried chicken) and craft cocktails. You can sit next to a wood-burning fireplace or a table with mountain views.
  • Brushland Eating House (Bovina). A dining destination for most, it’s a great place to reward yourself with a nice dinner after a countryside drive. Love their iron cast dishes and pastas.

We’ve lost our luggage. Where would you suggest we get a new wardrobe?

  • Warren Street in Hudson. You will find anything from thrift stores to ateliers.
  • A favorite is Mutiny, an exquisite boutique with a hand-picked selection of brands including accessories, publications, writing goods and the best incense I’ve ever smelt.

What are your favorite bars around town? What should we be ordering?

  • The Tavern at Rivertown Lodge (Hudson): ask about their organic wines selection
  • The Maker Hotel (Hudson): A new addition to the list. You’ll find an elaborated cocktail list. The kind of place you could go for some absinthe or brandy.
  • Brunette Wine Bar (Kingston): I always feel the vibe is ‘sparkling rose’
  • West Kill Brewery (West Kill): Beers are seasonal and they rotate. There’s always something new to try. Really into the Kaaterskills IPA right now.

Best place for an AM pick me up? Either coffee, green juice, or tea?

We have an entire afternoon free, and are looking to do some damage to our credit card. Where should we go?

Where can we get our dose of culture where we won’t be swarmed with other tourists?

We’re looking to party….like a local. Where should we go?

We’d love to see some live music. Where to?

Favorite secret spot to get some alone time?

  • The Leanto at Deer Mountain Inn: One of the best views of the Catskill Mountains. It’s a 15min hike from the Inn and has been my favorite place to bring a book, get some fresh air, meditate, and catch sunsets.

Tips and tricks for getting around town?

  • You can get away with taking Amtrak from NYC to Hudson and relying on Uber/Lyft or just walking around. Other than that, you definitely need a car, no way around it! Add a good 20min to anywhere you go in the summer. Traffic doubles up everywhere, especially the queues at the gas stations!
  • Parking at Kaaterskills Falls gets super crowded during the weekends. There’s not a lot of options. If you park on the sides of the road, you’ll probably end up with a parking ticket, so go as early as possible.

Let’s just say we are single – where are the babes hanging out?

  • This is a tough one. Being single upstate ain’t no joke. As a rule of thumb, just hit the bars. If you are solely relying on dating apps, well…bless your soul.
  • In terms of people watching, follow the crowds, head out to the big festivals or gatherings such as Field and supply, Phoenicia Flea, the Basilica Soundscape or all the summer pool parties.

And if we are coupled up – what is the best date spot that will actually have a table?

Where should we go for some ‘forest bathing,’ or a nature walk (if not a full-on hike)?

  • Kaaterskills Falls: work your way up from the bottom. You can also explore the trails on top of the falls for an easier hike and check out the viewing platform. There are numerous trails to explore.
  • follow their founder and naturist extraordinaire Laura Silverman on a nature walk, foraging class or forest bathing experience.

Where would you go with your sketch pad or journal?

  • Storm King: a 500 acres outdoor museum and sculpture park (in case you haven’t been yet). You’ll be inspired.
  • Overlook Mountain: the most impressive view of The Catskills.

You need to work, but the wifi is down at work/home. Where do you go?

  • The nearest hotel lobby, as they may also have a generator because you never know.

Where do we go to work out like a local? What are the trends that everyone’s into these days? 

  • The great outdoors! There are plenty of lakes, hiking and mountain bike trails to go around. You will also find a lot of yoga studios spread out through The Catskills. Winters are long in the mountains, so if you’re not a skier/snowboarder, you’ll be looking for your classic gym chain (YMCA, Planet Fitness, etc) just to jump on a treadmill. 

We’re jetlagged AF. Where do we go to treat ourselves, spa or massage-wise?

Anything else you want to add in terms of interesting activities or must-see/do’s?

  • Hiway Drive-In or Drive in 32 for an old school drive-in movie theater experience. Watch a film under the stars!
  • Lil Deb’s Oasis – A vibrant and colorful Caribbean-style restaurant. It’s a women-powered and community-oriented business with occasional art installations and performances. The fried fish dish and sweet plantains sides make me feel right at home.
  • Preserved Instincts – This an electronic music sanctuary. Probably my favorite, most unexpected Catskills find. A beautiful main street storefront in a tranquil town.
  • Town Tinker Tubing in Phoenicia. Feel like a kid again!
  • The Soiree on the railway: a curated train ride experience throughout the Ulster and Delaware railroad tracks. Passengers travel on a restored 1940’s train, sipping on champagne, wearing their finest summer attire while listening to a live Jazz band. This event happens once a year in the summer and is hosted by
  • Don’t forget to come up in the Fall, the foliage is spectacular!

Brighton, England

If you ask any stressed out Londoner where they head for a beach break, it’ll be Brighton. The capital of kitsch is just 1.5 hours away and the ideal place to trade the smog for some sea air. 

Even the most cynical city dweller won’t be able to resist the fairground rides, cotton candy and ‘Stick of Rock’ (Google it). There’s also a proud green focus here – Brighton often wins award for its eco credentials thanks to its beach cleaning, burgeoning vegan scene and pioneering politicians. The LGBTQ+ community has played a huge part in putting the city on the map. Brighton’s Pride celebrations are considered the best in the UK and this year Britney is headlining, need we say more? 

Before you read on, don’t miss our best tip: for quieter beaches, take a 15 minute train ride from central Brighton to Hove. You can thank us later. 

Photo via Day Out With the Kids

Where to stay

Drakes Hotel

Located right on the seafront, this townhouse is as quintessentially English as they come and loved by Cate Blanchett, Kylie Minogue and Woody Allen. If you can, book the circular room with couple sized bath overlooking Brighton Pier. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped right into a postcard. Don’t miss the Drakes Viper cocktail before perusing the Modern British menu. 

Artist Residence

Above the green patch of Regency Square, this bohemian Artist Residence was the first of the boutique brand. The ping-pong in the basement tells us that the crowd is younger and perhaps more sociable than other hotels in the city. Decorated by artists, rooms are curated for creative eyes and filled with antiques. Don’t forget that breakfast is served until midday – these guys know what they’re doing. 

Harbour Hotel

The real pull for this hotel is the underground spa. Built within the exposed bricks of the old smugglers’ tunnel, you’ll find six treatment rooms, a heated indoor pool, sauna, steam room, Scandinavian hot tubs, a hydrotherapy pool, and gym. There are plenty of seaview rooms to choose from and Harby’s bar offers a relaxed setting for drinks and dinner. 

Photo via The Travel Magazine

Where to eat

Little Fish Market

Looking for sustainable seafood? This place should be your go-to. The tasting menu includes six courses and recent favourites include: Hand Dived Scallop, Mussel Curry With Apple and Gigha Halibut. Add the wine pairing – you won’t regret it.

Cafe Marmalade

The first thing you’ll notice about this cafe is the beautiful handwritten menus (you’ll understand once you see them). For breakfast, the coffee is spectacular with a bacon sandwich (a British staple) and lunch means healthy salads and veggie quiches. 

Isaac At

Practicing ‘farm-to-table’ perfection, every ingredient is sourced from a local supplier on a daily basis. Notably, Isaac At claim to be the only restaurant in the UK to offer an all English wine list. We’re particularly intrigued by their desserts: Barmley & Chervil Sorbet followed by Pear, Cobnut & Lemon Thyme then Almond Cake. 

Photo via Isaac At

Where to drink


Wine minus the guilt – a no brainer. Plateau focus on ethical farming, sustainability and organic wines. Their friendly staff mean newbies aren’t intimidated by a tasting. Offering a choice of around 20 wines a day, the list is updated regularly too. 

The Gin Tub

This bar hit the headlines a few years back by banning phones. Whether you’re for or against the idea, the lack of technology means you can focus on present company and enjoy a fantastic cocktail or two. Their Happy Hour works out as extremely good value. 

The Mesmerist Pub

One for the beer drinkers in the heart of Brighton Lanes, this pub spans three floors so you’re guaranteed to find a spot. Saturdays draw in the crowds ready for a night of dancing whilst Sundays offer classic ‘Roast Dinners.’ 

Photo via The Independent

Where to dance 

Number 32 Duke Street

Here you have all three: a restaurant, bar and nightclub venue. From 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays, the tables are cleared and people hop out of armchairs to get ready for the DJs. Expect RnB, hip-hop and pop classics. 

The Haunt

Expect a lot of themed music nights at The Haunt, from ‘80s Party’ to ‘SH*T POP.’ Entry costs just £3 and in the past they have hosted fantastic British bands, such as Hot Chip, The XX and Wild Beasts. 

Casablanca Jazz Club

Locals love this spot for the atmosphere and warm welcome from the staff. A reliable option for those who want a no-fuss live music experience. Don’t expect anything ‘fancy’ – this place is founded upon grit, good stories and classic British charm. 

Where to shop


Don’t leave the UK without trying seaweed beauty brand Haeckels. This shop stocks a whole bunch alongside Grown Alchemist, Tangent and plenty more. 

Wolf and Gypsy

Do as the Brits do and take yourself thrift shopping. You could spend hours in Wolf & Gypsy sifting through one-off treasures. Don’t rush it. 


Vinyls are slim and can slide nicely into your carry-on. There, we’ve given you permission to go crazy at Resident: the best record shop in Brighton. 

Dowse Design

Your friends will be seriously pissed if you don’t bring back a present. Don’t leave it till the airport lounge – Dowse Design have got you covered with jewellery, art prints and ceramics. 

Photo via Trouva

What to do

Time for a cliché: let’s talk about the British weather. We’ve saved you the hassle of coming up with rainy day alternatives by choosing a few ourselves. 

If it’s sunny, head to Pavilion Gardens, walk down the coast, hop between shops in North Laine and we’d highly recommend the street art tour. 

If rain persists, cheer yourself up with treats and arcade games at the Pier then take shelter in The British Airways i360, which presents the best panoramic views whatever the weather. 

Photo via Thousand Wonders

Quick hit of culture 

Everyone knows that the ocean is a huge inspiration for artists so it’s no surprise that the city has some great museums to check out. 

Start with Brighton Museum for photography or LGBTQ+ themed work whilst Two Kats and a Cow is a smaller option, launched by three painters (so it’s bound to be good). Finally, Fabrica is all about new work as Brighton’s hub for contemporary art, based in a former Regency church building. 

Photo via Brighton Museum

Annabel Herrick, Travel Journalist + Copywriter

Annabel is a freelance travel journalist and copywriter with a background in PR for tourism boards, like Visit California and the Brecon Beacons National Park.

All in the name of a story, her articles have included glamping in New York for Stylist, seeking out yoga shalas in Sri Lanka for VICE, snowshoeing in Quebec for The Week, trying ‘vinotherapy’ in Bordeaux for Suitcase and writing UK travel guides for Conde Nast Traveller.

She balances adventures with commercial copywriting projects for big lifestyle brands like Casio, Google and Coca-Cola, whilst practicing yoga whenever possible, she often consults for wellness brands on the side.

Follow her on Instagram @annabelherrick

Name 3 favorite hotels, anywhere, off the top of your head. Also, why are they your favorites?

One that always sticks in my head is Source de Caudalie near Bordeaux, run by a sister and a mother, surrounded by vineyards and a stunning ‘vinotherapy’ spa. Burgenstock Resort in Switzerland was huge but the views were phenomenal (so much so I cried when they showed me my room). I also stayed in The Parker in Palm Springs once which was a dream and I’m still getting through the amazing freebies, like Aqua Di Parma products. I slept with Lady Liberty at my feet when glamping on an island off Manhattan for Stylist. I’ll never forget that.

As a creative, what places do you find most inspiration for your work?

I find I work really well in airports because there’s a time limit! I like the bustle. Hotel rooms work well too, especially if there’s a time difference as it means the UK is asleep and emails calm down.

Dream places to visit as an artist, musician, filmmaker, and why?

California has to be up there – working for Visit California changed my attitude to ambition. I stopped hiding it like a classic Brit. I think we could all do with a dose of their positivity. If you have a creative idea, they’re all for it.

What are your favorite “offices” while traveling?

I had a day pass at Fora the other day (a hospitality/coworking hybrid) which was beautiful. The founder Katrina launched the Big Chill festival and there’s lots of musical influences in the design, like vinyl players. Montreal does cafe culture beautifully (especially in the winter when people hide from the cold).

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

Home to the Brecon Beacons in Wales. There’s no signal in my mum’s house, which is a beautiful little listed building sloping up a hill in Crickhowell. It’s the only place I can really switch off.

You travel a lot for work…was this something you were seeking in a career? If so, how did you go about designing your career life to include so much travel, and how do you make it as relaxing and fun as possible?

I worked as a waitress in a luxury hotel for the whole of my teens and through that got a job at a PR/marketing startup. Coming from a national park and doing a French degree, I think it’s built in me. But it also means I have incredibly high expectations – nowhere has been as beautiful as my mountains at home (yet). When I went freelance two years ago, the biggest draw was freedom. Not being restricted to a 9-5 is so liberating and I realise it suits me so well. Being jolted out of my comfort zone through travel (seeing other cultures, meeting various nationalities, hearing languages) is really good for inspiration. I always come home buzzing with ideas. The line between work trips and holidays is blurred, but I’m working on it…

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

Culture Trip is incredible for city break roundups, they seem to have everywhere covered. My favourite travel magazine Suitcase is great for long form. I also do shout outs on all social media channels and that works well.

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

I always put an OOO on explaining the time difference. If I’m working remotely, I try to balance that with exploring by getting all my work done first thing in the morning, so doing half and half if I can. It normally means I don’t get much sleep but I just power through.

Do you have any tips or tricks for beating the dreaded jet lag?

I interviewed the ‘sleep scientist’ Matthew Walker for VICE once and he gave some really good tips, such as having least 12 hours of wakefulness from the moment you wake up on the plane to when you go to sleep in the new time zone. As well as getting as much natural daylight as possible once landed.  

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

I lived in Paris for a year and I miss the coffee there so much. And the bread.

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?

At home. I plan to open a yoga retreat at some point. Having lived in Wales, Manchester and Bristol, I really try to push UK travel as I think we have so much to offer outside of London, which I love, but the city does soak up too much of the attention in my opinion.

Beach or City or Mountain?

Mountain! I’m from Wales after all. The higher up, the better.

Favourite subscription service you’ll never delete?

NY Times probably now I have it, I’m addicted. I could give or take Netflix and Spotify.

Favourite travel app?

I’d love to mention my walking app client Go Jauntly, which is free. They offer user-led trails guided by photos. They’ve just launched in the US!

Stephanie Muhs, Events Manager at 1stdibs

An expert in finely tuned event planning, Stephanie has worked with many covetable brands from major media to charities, such as Town & Country MagazineWWD, and The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Based in New York, she’s now on the events team at 1stdibs; the leading marketplace for the most beautiful things on earth, bringing together the world’s most sophisticated designers and curators. As she navigates a career in luxury experience and design, here we speak to her about the travel memories she holds close.

Follow her adventures @sjmuhs

What are 3 of your favorite hotels?

  1. Cavas Wine Lodge, Mendoza: You’re made to feel like family as soon as you arrive. The property is small and they go out of their way to get to know all of their guests, plus their wine cellar is legendary.
  2. Four Seasons Lanai: One of the only Four Seasons Properties I’ve visited and definitely the nicest! The poolside service offers everything from frozen fruit to a sunglasses cleaner, as well as organising authentic and engaging activities. It works – you never want to leave the property (except to go to the golf course, which has the most spectacular views in all of Hawaii!)
  3. Cameron House Hotel, Loch Lomond: Visiting Scotland in the fall is really hard to beat and this hotel makes you want to make it an annual trip. Plenty of amazing and authentic dining options on site, plus so many nearby local spots that are always happy to have you.
Photo via Cavas Wine Lodge

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

Places that genuinely represent and support the local culture. Whether they are a large resort or a small boutique property, it’s important the staff appear genuine in showing their enthusiasm about their local customs. That could mean food, activities or a concierge whose energy is contagious. These interactions drive a large part of my experience.

What hotel room design element can you not live without? (ex: master switch by the bed)

Access to fresh air! Even if it’s a window that I have to pry open, I need to be able to get a breeze in the space.

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

I head to my family’s cabin on the coast of Maine, Mount Desert Island. I went there for 8 weeks after my son was born and barely turned on the TV. The nature changes so quickly and dramatically – it’s wildly entertaining.

You travel a lot for work…was this something you were seeking in a career? If so, how did you go about designing your career life to include so much travel, and how do you make it as relaxing and fun as possible?

Definitely not something I planned on. However, travelling for the final event is the last step after months of planning. I try not to get out of a routine too much so I bring my own tea, try to exercise at local referred fitness spots and always have my travel sized amenities packed and ready to go. My skin can’t take switching products so I am always stocked with minis of my favorites and throw in samples collected from my online shopping habit…

Do you have any favorite travel hacks (ways to score an upgrade, methods of getting your meal first on a flight, etc)?

For reservations, if I can’t get our party (4 or 6) into the reservation time, I almost always request a smaller party and call on the day to say we forgot someone!

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

Avène Thermal Spring Water religiously and compression socks shamelessly.

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

In Punta del Este, Carlos Melia (who helped us plan our honeymoon) made sure we never had a dinner reservation earlier than 11pm. We thought that sounded crazy but he could not have been more right! We tried one of the ‘early’ seatings at 9pm and were surrounded by a crowd a lot younger or way older.

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?

Mallorca De Palma.

In flight wifi- good idea: yes or no?


Lost luggage, or lost phone?


Early check-in/ late check-out?

Late checkout.

Hot List: Our Insiders’ Favorite Places to Stay in LA & NYC

Major disclaimer: we do not fall into the camp of ‘LA/NY or bust.’ When it comes to US cities, we fully love and appreciate the great towns that span America. However, we do find ourselves in these two hubs quite often for work. The good news: they are both great cities to play in. Consider them your ‘bleisure’ capitals.

We tapped our Insiders and rounded up a list of their favorites places to stay and play in New York and Los Angeles. Read on for more.

PUBLIC Hotel, New York, NY

“This is the hotel I opened alongside the godfather of boutique hotels, Ian Schrager. This hotel is a new idea, breaking the mold from what the big hotel groups were doing in the market at the time – PUBLIC offers ‘Luxury for All.’ This means it’s a luxury-designed hotel at an affordable rate. The design of the rooms and public spaces are exactly what was missing in downtown Manhattan. A true playground with five bars, all serve a different purpose, design, and experience. A one stop shop when you are traveling to NYC.” – Sebastian Puga, VP of Brand Marketing at PUBLIC Hotel

Photo via PUBLIC Hotels

Chateau Marmont, Los Angeles, CA

“The Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood, California. I stayed here at a pivotal time in my life. It reminds me of embarking on a new chapter, and of unearthing new and interesting parts of myself. (And I got into the best kind of trouble at The Chateau Marmont, because that’s just what you do there!)” – Tori Ainsworth, Marketing Director at Christy Dawn

11 Howard, New York , NY

“The 11 Howard is my favorite crash pad for a long weekend in NYC. Its beautifully designed interiors are full of thoughtful details, including a signature scent when you walk into the lobby. The rooms themselves are lovely and inviting, with custom-designed pieces that really elevate the experience. And the Grown Alchemist products in the rooms are definitely worth snagging.” – Kimiko Ninomiya, Marketing at Soho House

Photo via 11 Howard

The Native, Los Angeles, CA

“The Native in Malibu, California, is a hotel for the people. I stayed for just two nights and still speak regularly to their General Manager and Sound Bath Practitioner (yes, I realize that was the most LA thing that has ever been typed).” – Amelia Mularz, US Editor for Mr. & Mrs. Smith

Photo via The Native

The NoMad Hotel, New York, NY

“I’m a real fan of perfect, thoughtful hospitality that doesn’t feel forced or overwhelming – the team at The Nomad is really good at that. Their Library Bar is the kind of place I dream of when I’m in New York, and it’s true that the chicken they serve at dinner is a very special dish (and I never order chicken at restaurants!)” –  Nina Anakar, Chef & Founder of Ziza Mediterranean 

Photo via The NoMad

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