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Entries in travel (96)


Merging Sensibilities

Yesterday, was a day for walking and more walking. It was about exploring Budapest's many gorgeous neighborhoods and attractions. While strolling through one of trendiest parts of town, I spotted Menza, an úber cool and modish restaurant frequented by a young and hip crowd (and apparently the place to see and be seen). Although its name refers to canteens from the Socialist era, its interior design and cuisine provides a more sophisticated take on the past, fine tuned to match contemporary sensibilities by merging the savoir vivre of modern downtown restaurants with the relaxed atmosphere of Budapest's 1960s coffee bars. The fare was delicious, but the decor and ambiance even more so. It was a mix of 1970's chic with a casual contemporary flair.

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Off To New Horizons

It's official, I'm finally on vacation mode!! After being submerged in projects for the last six months, this evening I'll be embarking on a much anticipated two-week long trip to Easter Europe. I'm crazy excited to be exploring brand new territory and tour three amazingly gorgeous cities like, Budapest, Vienna and Prague. But of course, on our way back we'll be making a mandatory stop in my ultimate favorite European city, Paris, to celebrate the birthday of our dearest friend Josefa. I can't wait to discover all the beautiful and designy treats these places have to offer, and of course, gather plenty of inspiration to share with you. Don't worry, I won't leave you hanging for the next two weeks. I'll be posting as much as I can during the trip, plus I'll be Twittering my way through so you can follow my whereabouts. xo 


Getting In The Mood

A month from today, I'll be embarking on a two-week long trip to three of Europe's most fascinating cities: Budapest, Vienna and Prague. I have always heard wonders about all of them, so I'm really looking forward to exploring everything these capitals have to offer, especially all the great design I'm about to be exposed to. While doing my usual research for fun places to stay in, I came across this ultra cool hotel in Prague's city center. The creation of Czech designers Roman Vrtiska and Vladimir Zak, the Moods Hotel is designed to a T. Everything about it is simply magnificent. I can't stop drooling over the mix of textures, materials, colors and graphics they used throughout the 51-room hotel. From the moment you walk in, Moods offers a unique and welcoming experience to its guests. Their attention to details is just delightful. As part of the quirky design, they came up with the idea of displaying chapters of a famous Czech book everywhere. You can start reading them from the lobby all the way through your bedroom and even the bathroom. If you're lucky to stay in multiple rooms, you might be able to finish reading the whole book. Beautiful design and a love of literature – how cool! How clever is that?

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Sleeping Among Art

Through my travels I have stayed in very special places, but this charming guest house in Tielrode, Belgium, looks out of this world. Originally an old shipyard, B&B Tielrode is part of an art gallery owned by jewelry designer Sofie Lachaert and painter Luc d’Hanis. The husband and wife team decided to open the two-rooms accommodation to welcome guests from all over the world. The decor is “minimalist, as in pure, poetic, and sensible — we have a lot of respect for materials and people. And it’s not at all posh,” says Sofie. They decorated the rooms with a whimsical mix of modern furniture and artifacts from the gallery, creating an inviting and cozy place to enjoy a great weekend. “The breakfast ceremony is also very intimate, very special. It’s served in the gallery and it’s very royal, so to speak. It’s served on beautiful tableware with candles, music, decoration and so on, and it's quite a feast,” she explains. What a marvelous experience it must be to stay in this place!

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Contemporary Modernista

There is a new trend in travel that focuses on the lodging experience. A concept that's all about staying in places that make you feel stylishly pampered yet at home. Barcelona's El Palauet Living embodies these fine qualities offering their guests a cool and unforgettable stay. All six exclusive flats, each with 1600 square-feet, are decorated in a 'Contemporary Modernista' style that consists of reproducing decorative features of the building in handcrafted Corian furniture that appears to be retro-illuminated. Although each suite is uniquely decorated, they all merge the old and new beautifully, helped by the calm palette of white, cream and grays. To top it all off, there is a private spa on the rooftop terrace for the exclusive use of the residents with splendid views of the Catalonian city. Triple sigh!

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Stirring the Senses

Today, I want to take you on a little trip to Athens and explore the stupendous interiors of the New Hotel, recently opened in the oldest part of the Greek capital. These rather scrumptious interiors are the handiwork of award-winning Brazilian visionaries Humberto and Fernando Campana, known for their alluring carnival-themed designs in everything from furniture to shoes. Taking traditional Greek culture as inspiration, the designer brothers sought the help from local university students to design some of the furniture using recycled materials. The New Hotel keeps in theme with the colorful, modern and innovative character of other Yes! Hotels, like the Semiramis Hotel designed by Karim Rashid. This is absolutely a must-visit place for anyone who's planning to swing by this ancient city and have their senses stirred by the unique and artful decor.

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Dreaming In Color

What's fun about staying in cool hotel rooms is having the chance to enjoy a different sleeping experience. I love the anticipation of discovering what my hotel rooms are going to surprise me with, especially when I know the hotel's concept is to decorate each room in its own particular style. One of the newest additions to Paris' 1st arrondissement, “Le Crayon is a patchwork of ideas illustrated through the rich and continuous dialogue between materials and colors within the 27 rooms, all of them different, all of them unique.” By far, my favorite room is the groovy suite, where French designer Julie Gauthron took artistic license to create a magnificently fun atmosphere by mixing a number of textures, styles and wallpaper patterns. Even her young daughter added her personal touch by coloring in one of the wallpapers. “Le Crayon is a new version of the guesthouse, the home of a Parisian artist who welcomes you and invites you to spend a pleasant and colourful time.”

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Live Like a Nolitan

New York City is often referred to as the capital of the world, so people visiting this magnificent metropolis shouldn't expect less from the hotels they stay in. What makes this city so special is all its different and picturesque neighborhoods. Nolita, one of the coolest (and my favorite) just got a new hot spot that everyone has been talking about and expecting with much anticipation. The Nolitan Hotel recently opened its doors to offer luxurious downtown living with blissful boutique hotel services and amenities, creating a distinct New York City experience.

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