October 15th, 2009
With its hot climate and even hotter club nights, we had no problem getting friendly with Miami Beach.
Clad in red, white and baby blue, a stylish suite at the Townhouse Hotel puts you steps from South Beach at a sweet price. Its cool touches like mini beach balls on the beds, bicycle rentals and a spacious rooftop terrace for daytime sunning and nighttime revelry make it a hot home base. From $95 a night, Townhouse Hotel, 150 20th St., Miami Beach, 305-534-3800, www.townhousehotel.com
Once you’re done lounging up top, simply head downstairs to the BondSt Lounge. The Miami outpost of the lauded Manhattan resto by the same name serves up sushi and sashimi, like lobster tempura with yellow tomato dressing and chive oil, to satisfy your sea cravings. BondSt, 150 20th St., Miami Beach, 305-398-1806, www.townhousehotel.com/bond.asp
With an abundance of design stores, we’d advise bringing back something to adorn your own townhouse. At Jonathan Adler, one of our faves, score whimsical white pottery, or a witty pink piece from his new Barbie-inspired collection. Jonathan Adler, 1024 Lincoln Road Mall, Miami Beach, 305-534-5600, www.jonathanadler.com
Jump headfirst into the city’s opulent, glamorous nightlife at The Florida Room. The modern-day piano lounge designed by Lenny Kravitz, which boasts a Lucite Grand (a replica of the one Lenny has at home) and a roster of international DJs, kept us dancing till the wee hours of the morn (4 a.m. to be exact). The Florida Room at the Delano Hotel, 1685 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-674-6152, www.delano-hotel.com
October 8th, 2009
The sand is tinged with specks of pink coral and the houses are painted lilac, yellow and aquamarine. With its lush green vegetation and crystal blue waters, colour reigns on the island of Bermuda.
The new Tucker’s Point Resort oozes colonial charm. Large, airy rooms are decorated in bold florals, soft stripes and pastel ginghams. Sip Rum Swizzles poolside, play crocket or have your fingers and toes painted pink at the spa. From US$300 a night, 60 Tucker’s Point Dr., Hamilton Parish, Bermuda, 441-298-4000, www.tuckerspoint.com
Rent a scooter and explore the island’s glorious beaches; Horseshoe Bay, Elbow Beach and John Smith’s Bay are the best along South Shore for powder-soft sand and stunning waters. Tobacco Bay near St George’s is good for snorkelling.
The Lobster Pot (6 Bermudiana Rd., 441-292-6898) is a local institution with a nautical décor and some of the best seafood in town, while the elegant Seahorse Grill at Elbow Beach (441-239-9303, www.mandarinoriental.com) is perfect for a romantic dinner à deux. Tip: Bermuda is pure old-world charm and locals love to get dressed up when they go out. Some restaurants have a dress code so pack a pretty frock or two.
October 1st, 2009
Christened Europe’s new Riviera, the former Communist Croatia’s central Dalmatian Coast is hopping. The spectacular island of Hvar, known for its lavender, is a sun-blessed oasis with Venetian architecture, a rich history and a bustling nightlife.
Away from the bustle of the Old Town (but still less than a 10-minute walk), Amfora Hvar Grand Beach Resort is the ultimate escape. For a dip, hop between the hotel’s cascading pool or opt to float in the adjacent Adriatic (tip: the sea is usually warmer) and sunbathe at the Bonj les Bains with the likes of Ivanka Trump. From $280 a night, Hotel Amfora, Majerovica bb, 21450 Hvar, +385 (0)21 750 750 .
The fresh seafood options are endless but Restaurant Bounty, near the entrance to the Old Town and along the harbour, is a must. Always packed, stay near and you’ll eventually snag a table outside. Try the selection of fresh white fish (tip: it’s priced by the kg so ask for smaller portions) and the seafood spaghetti is divine. Restaurant Bounty, 21450 Hvar, +385 21 742 565.
The booths set up at the entrance to the Old Town are packed with souvenirs like lavender oils, honey and other trinkets, but a piece by jewellery designer Vanja Mijac is a striking souvenir. Find Mijac's pieces at Bijou Art near the cathedral, Trg Sv Stjepana, 21450 Hvar, +385 (0) 21717 740.
September 24th, 2009
Paris is best enjoyed one neighbourhood at a time, so we settled in the charming pedestrian area of Montorgueil, once painted by Monet, for a week of pâtisseries, bistros and boutiques.
You won’t find many hotels in this quaint Parisian quarter, so opt for the cute and cozy Carroussel rental apartment and its quirky mix of old and new. Up above, old wooden beams, down below, new hardwood floors and a cherry red kitchen that stows a handy washer/dryer. The spot is so quiet, you might be fooled into thinking you’re living outside city limits. €91 per night for seven nights, through Paris Hideaways, http://studio.provaction.com
Your morning ritual must include pain au chocolat from the best bakery on the main market street, La Maison Stohrer (pictured), est. 1730. Its pastries are so good, you’ll seriously consider mortgaging your home to have the pâtissier FedEx you a dozen every day. 51, Rue Montorgueil, Paris, +33 01 04 13 01 61, www.stohrer.fr
The area is brimming with trendy bars inhabited by Paris' young and restless, so make it your aim to stumble into a different establishment every night. At the simply named 2éme Arrt, you find good drinks, tasty tapas and a friendly owner who’ll join your table and chat you up. 49, Rue Montmartre, Paris, +33 01 40 26 75 51.
Down rue Montmartre and its side streets, you’ll find French favourites Cotélac and Zadig & Voltaire. But for those with a shoe fetish, step into 58m for gorgeous soles by French designers Avril Gau, Sartore and Michel Vivien, and soft, sumptuous bags by Jerome Dreyfuss. 58, rue Montmartre, Paris, +33 01 40 26 61 01, www.58m.fr
September 17th, 2009
While close in proximity to each other, the Italian cities of Naples and Capri are a lesson in contrasts. We delightfully dabbled in both the gritty and the grandeur.
Located a few hundred paces from the bustling Naples train station, the UNA Hotel is conveniently located and a little oasis in the midst of the city’s madness. In soothing shades of green and beech, rooms are quiet and serene. Make sure you don’t miss the bountiful breakfast at the hotel’s own rooftop café, complete with views of downtown. From €89, Piazza Garibaldo, 9-10, Naples, +39-081-5636901, www.unahotels.it
Located on the small Megaride island alongside the grand Castel dell'Ovo and a bevy of other outdoor cafés, Le Bar is the coolest of the bunch for a good cocktail, conversation and even hooka if you have the hankering. The drink list is long, the crowd young and trendy, the atmosphere cool and relaxed. Le Bar, Via Eldorado, 7, Naples, +39-081-7645722.
In the morning, head for the docks and board a hydrofoil to Capri where shopping is an otherworldly experience. For the sandal-obsessed, a visit to L'Arte del Sandalo Caprese is a must. Cobbler Antonio Viva has been making them for decades. Sophia Loren and Jackie O are a couple of his former clients. Via Orlando, 75, Anacapri, +39-081-8373583, www.sandalocaprese.it
With the money you saved skipping the overnight stay at a pricey hillside hotel, treat yourself to some of the best cuisine on Capri. The family-owned Aurora restaurant is known for its Mediterranean cuisine and high-profile celebrity friends. Order “pacchero,” a pasta dish of parmesan and zucchini flowers, and you’ll go home very happy. Aurora, Via Fuorlovado, 18-22, Capri, +39-081-8370181, www.auroracapri.com
September 10th, 2009
We spent a weekend in Europe’s “other" fashion capital living la dolce vita.
The AC chain of hotels is to southern Europe what The Standard is to the U.S.—modern design at retro prices. From the transparent bathroom sink countertops crafted from a solitary piece of glass to the stylish cocktail lounge downstairs, its Milan outpost is fit for a Donatella-in-training. Other posh perks include a complimentary mini bar and breakfast (not to mention a cute and attentive concierge). From €120, Via Tazzoli, 2, Milan, +39 02 20424211, www.ac-hotels.com
No need to dash to Florence for your Elio Ferraro fix. The store that’s renowned for its unparalleled collection of vintage couture and décor has opened up shop in Milan. Conveniently, it’s just around the corner from the AC, so you don’t have to carry your bags of Valentino very far. Via P. Maroncelli, 1, Milan, +39 02 43113202, www.elioferraro.com
10 Corso Como isn’t just a shop, it’s a destination. The brainchild of Carla Sozzani, look-alike sister to Vogue Italia editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani, it takes up an entire palazzo housing a book and music store, gallery, boutique, outdoor café and indoor restaurant—all of which bubble over with a bounty of beautiful people all hours of the day. Corso Como, 10, Milan, +39 02 29013581, www.10corsocomo.com
The elegant old-style eatery Osteria Stendhal offers good vino, tasty Italian fare and Milanese specialties like saffron-infused risotto. We feasted on a decadent dish of gnocchi with veal ragout and truffle oil that almost made us forget about the Armani bag we touched, but couldn’t take home. Via Ancona, 1, Milan, +39 02 6572059, www.osteriastendhal.it
September 3rd, 2009
Why wait for next summer to say I do? A destination wedding takes the stress out of the venue search (and puts a neat cap on the guest list), and even your future monster-in-law looks better with a tan.
The adults-only, all-inclusive Casa Velas Boutique Hotel in Puerto Vallarta might just be the best-kept secret on the Pacific Coast.
Extremely private and exclusive, we’ve never felt so posh and pampered as we did during our weekend stay. Poolside mahi mahi ceviche and bubbly are an afternoon must in the cool white cabanas, while the private beach club (with sushi bar and lap pool) beckons come evening.
The dads can golf while the girls get pampered in the immaculate hydrotherapy spa, plus there are private villas for your VIPs.
So, how about renewing those vows…?
From US$240 per person, including golf and spa treatments, www.hotelcasavelas.com
See snaps from our trip on today's Editors' Diairy.
August 27th, 2009
If your summer fling-cum-fall romance needs a travel test, skip the commitment of Paris and head to Montreal’s newest gem, Le Petit Hôtel.
This 24-room boutique hotel on cobbled St-Paul Street in Old Montreal has a simple and stylish look with splashes of orange and exposed brick and stone walls. With thoughtful small touches, like massaging shower jets, professional-quality Elchim hair dryers, and Wii Fit consoles (with lime green yoga mats) in every room, these are the sweetest loft suites in all of Quebec.
But if he ends up being a traveling dud, say au revoir at YVR.
Rooms from $195. Le Petit Hôtel, 168 St-Paul W., Montreal, 514-940-0360, www.petithotelmontreal.com
August 13th, 2009
Pack your gladiator flats and keep it simple with a getaway itinerary that can all be done on foot.
With views over Lake Union, the Space Needle and the Experience Music Project, Pan Pacific Seattle lets you map out your day from the comfort of your soaker tub. Extras like steamers, bath salts and Herman Miller desk chairs make all the difference. From USD$249. 2125 Terry Ave., Seattle, 206-264-8111, www.panpacific.com
For the ultimate in eatertainment, stroll the aisles of the massive Whole Foods at the base of the hotel with its tempura bar, outdoor seating, and excellent bubbly selection. 2210 Westlake Ave., Seattle, 206-621-9700, www.wholefoodsmarket.com
The adorable new Free People store near Pike Place Market brings to mind a quirky, American Audrey Tautou. Don’t miss its girlish lingerie. 101 Stewart St., Seattle, 206-441-3659, www.freepeople.com
Adjacent to the hotel is the impeccable Vida Wellness Spa, whose Green Tea facial ($130) can take five years and 200 packs of cigarettes off one’s face in 60 minutes flat. 2200 Westlake St., Seattle, 888-865-2630, www.vidawellness.com
A plate of oysters at dusk on the patio, paired with an Oregon pinot, may just be the prelude to a kiss—and if they say “get a room,” yours is mere steps away. Seastar Restaurant & Raw Bar, Pan Pacific Seattle, 2125 Terry Ave., Seattle, 206-462-4364, www.seastarrestaurant.com
August 6th, 2009
The boss is sending you to London on business. You think England, but she meant Ontario. While you can’t change your ticket, you can treat yourself to a little leisure. Travel + Leisure, that is.
The magazine is opening a fleet of travel shops and YVR is the first locale. In the domestic terminal, before passing through security, we found ourselves the perfect day bag, a light duffel by The North Face ($60), as well as a high-gloss carry-on by Heys ($94.99) and a chic black leather passport wallet by Calvin Klein ($45).
So you won’t be hitting High Street, you can still travel high style.
Travel + Leisure Travel Store, Domestic Terminal, Vancouver International Airport, 604-303-7723, www.yvr.ca