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Entries in travel (104)



A destination that's always been on my short list of places to visit is Salzburg, Austria. I guess I've always been drawn to this Alpine city for its history and my love for Mozart. Just an hour away from Salzburg and set smack in the middle of beautiful rolling hills, the Hotel Wiesergut re-opened its doors after a complex renovation and extension by GOGL Architekten. Their goal was to upgrade the existing traditional structure with purist architecture and transform it into a modern retreat that exudes organic warmth and comfort. By using local wood, natural stone, granite, glass and exposed concrete they created a timeless style putting nature at its center. The furnishings were entirely commissioned to Austrian designers who gave a contemporary twist to classic materials like linen and weather-beaten leather, all of which factor prominently in the hotel’s design concept. I'm really impressed with their attention to detail which gives the the hotel its harmonic and elegant overall impression. No doubt Hotel Wiesergut has become yet another reason for me to cross the pond and visit my beloved Salzburg.

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Please don't think I've abandoned you, but between a load of new projects and a nasty cold that hit me right before I left to help my dear friends with their wedding, I haven't had a moment to fulfill my blogging duties. The good news: I'm feeling better and back in action. So having just arrived from sunny Florida, where color abounds, I felt this bright and happy London apartment was the perfect inspiration for the day. Formerly a carpenter’s studio, this charming rental property was designed by Jack Mama and Nina Tolstrup of Studiomama. All the wood and streamline design gives this pad a wonderful Scandinavian vibe—just with the right amount of color splashes to make any stay quite cozy. It's the ideal lodging alternative for those who want to feel like a local.

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What started as a big dream and a project between two close friends, culminated in the first design hostel in São Paolo, Brazil. The stylish 'We' Hostel is housed in an early 1900s mansion, which adds character to the design of this low-cost inn. The urban chic decor is divine with a relaxed and unexpected mix of styles and restored flea market finds. Every space has an eclectic and interactive atmosphere that offers comfort, style and the refinement of any boutique hotel.

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Warm and inviting with the unmistakable sense of Scandinavian coziness is what makes Copenhagen’s new Nordic restaurant Höst a delicious setting to dine. Norm Architects has created an organic environment in an urban setting by using “materials that age gracefully: recycled wood that has washed up on the west coast, granite in uneven pieces, concrete with clear structures and deviations, old cast iron and dented zinc. All of this is offset by a warm trickling light, soft wool rugs and lambskin”. Norm has even designed an exclusive dinnerware collection for Höst to compliment the raw and minimalist beauty of the space. I'm in love. This place is to dine for.

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I'm happy to see coffee houses breaking away from the Starbucks model. Don't get me wrong. I love Starbucks and all, but after seeing one in every corner of Manhattan, it's refreshing to find cool and modern versions sprouting around the globe. Newly-opened Café Craft reinterprets the Parisian neighborhood coffee shop experience. Its striking interiors, dominated by the contrast of black and white, were designed by Parisian Studio Pool offering locals a beautiful space where to relax and work while enjoying a delicious cappuccino or a snack. This one is definitely going on my must-visit list for my next trip to Paris.

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Behind the facades of four old town houses in the old part of Ljubljana city, Slovenia, lies the modern interiors of the Vander Urbani Resort. The hotel's design, by architects Sadar and Vuga, is based on a kaleidoscopic play of 3D patterns in different materials and reflections. All 16 rooms and suites are designed in soothing colors, soft lines, exquisite materials and custom-designed furniture pieces, creating an intimate atmosphere and a unique living environment for the stylish traveler. One of my favorite features is the mirror-encased bed in one of the suites and the unexpected play of textures and patterns that create a luxurious yet welcoming place to stay.

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Every so often, I'm delighted to come across original hotels where the design concept is for every space to look completely different from each other. Recently opened, the Modez Hotel in Arnhem, The Netherlands offers its guests a unique experience through its eclectic look. Located in the middle of the city's Fashion District, thirty plus Dutch fashion designers were invited to design all twenty rooms of the hotel, each bringing a surprising concept that characterizes their personal styles. Although they're all wonderful, I happen to love the guestroom designed by Caroline Evers with her fun and quirky use of knits throughout the guestroom—including lamps, curtain, decorations and even chairs fully covered with knitting. Wouldn't it be interesting to have the chance to sleep in all twenty rooms and be pampered with so many different styles?

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A gem of a city, Stockholm is truly magical. The fact that it spreads out over 14 islands makes it a stunning setting and a unique place to visit. I immediately fell in love with it and left with the a strong desire to go back. There was much to see and do, that five days were not enough—especially with over 80 museums and attractions. For Swedes design is not a luxury but a lifestyle that comes natural and effortless. There isn't a spot in the Swedish capital that's not touched by that wonderful Scandinavian style. I can only imagine what the rest of the country looks like. Here are some photos of my visit to prove my point. Happy Sunday!

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