Hotel San José is a little urban oasis in the heart of downtown Austin and the first lodging concept from hotelier Liz Lambert, who you might remember from El Cosmico in Marfa. What once was an old motor lodge from the 1930‘s has now been transformed into a clean and minimal bungalow-style hotel. Oh, and forgot your swimsuit? Ask the front desk for a Dipster, a disposable bathing suit. Honestly!
With Cinco de Mayo just around the corner, my deep adoration for Mexico has been called to mind. It’s been three years since I was last there, when my husband and I got married in San Miguel de Allende, and I’m just jonesing to go back. Perhaps a relaxing trip to the beach this time, at the ever luxurious Las Ventanas in Los Cabos? This breathtaking Mexican-Mediterranean ‘window to paradise’ has been on the top of my travel wish list for some time . . . and you can see why.
Situated in a small hilltop town near the Ionian Sea in the Basilicata region of Southern Italy is Palazzo Margherita, is an intimate resort owned by director Francis Ford Coppola. A former 19th century mansion houses nine charming rooms, each decorated with hand-painted fresco ceilings and restored marble floors, private courtyards and lush gardens. And not only does the hotel serve homemade Italian cuisine, it also shows old Italian movies nightly in the salon. Sounds like a dream, right? Andiamo, let’s go!
It’s been too long since I last went camping. Although I don’t consider myself a hardcore camper (i.e. car camping is totally fair game in my book), I do love the outdoors and enjoy sleeping in the backcountry – especially when there’s a campfire and s’mores involved. Enter Shelter Co: a pop up lodging service catering to people, like me, looking for that occasional luxurious outdoor lodging experience in just about any location in California. European canvas tents, Adirondack furniture, Pendleton blankets, fire pits and fully stocked coolers are ready to be set up at your next family renunion, wilderness wedding, or weekend getaway. Awesome.
Giraffe Manor, a luxury boutique hotel located 12 miles outside of Nairobi, was set up by the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife as a breeding and conservation center for the endangered Rothschild Giraffe. Can you think of anything better than waking up in Kenya to feed a herd of giraffes over your breakfast table?! Sign me up!
The next stop after Cambodia: Northern Vietnam. We spent the first couple of nights on a privately chartered boat, traversing through multiple clusters of limestone islets that make up mystical Ha Long Bay and occasionally taking a break from the stunning scenery to explore cavernous caves, visit floating fishing villages, and kayak to hidden lagoons. Bustling Hanoi, a stark contrast to serene Ha Long Bay, was next on the itinerary. I took great pleasure in walking through the streets of The Old Quarter amidst the abundance of scooters, plethora of street food vendors, and boundless shops selling textiles and handicrafts. And the only way to keep up was to sustain oneself on deliciously sweet and fragrant Vietnamese coffee . . . lots of it.