“Ugh! Don’t you wish we were still there?” Three months after our honeymoon, this has become my weekly mantra of sorts. It’s like I’m almost disgusted that we are no longer trekking through mud and staring with our breath held at 400-pound gorillas. Luckily, I’ve been granted the opportunity to relive what I’ve taken to calling “The Best Trip EVER!” (capitalization and punctuation compulsory) by writing a few articles about the whole fabulous adventure. The first came out in the January issue of Robb Report, and I’m so happy my editors decided to keep that first sentence in. From what I hear, it narrowly escaped the axe, but I do just love it so! more»
Normally around this time, between taking down the Christmas tree and writing the dreaded thank-you notes, I get a little sulky. But this year, I’m just way too pumped about work toÂ succumbÂ to the post-holiday blues. Despite a ridiculous amount of present-giving and party-going, I managed to amass quite the archive of new work over the last monthâ€”from photoshoots abroad and at home, to articles on Mexico, Italy, and Africa. But I just about went all over the globe to perfect this piece about the hottest wedding locales of 2013 for Destination Weddings & Honeymoons magazine. From an elephant ceremony in Phuket to quickie nuptials at the airport in Amsterdam, I think I covered just about every conceivable dream wedding out there. Here’s hoping 2013 is just as fun! more»
The first time I went on a cruise, I disembarked with the mostly-correct notion that ocean liners are for old people with more interest in the 3 o’clock waffle station by the pool than the daily ports-of-call. So when I agreed to write a piece for Robb Report about the return of luxury to cruising, I first had to convince myself that it was even true. My plan of action included reading David Foster Wallace’sÂ A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do AgainÂ (well, maybe that part was just for kicks), followed by jumping on board the new Oceania Riviera for its maiden voyage from Monaco to Barcelona. Somewhere between the ship’s Canyon Ranch Spa, its Wine Aficionado wine cellar, ten restaurants, a Bon AppĂ©tit culinary school, and yes, a plethora of ridiculous poolside snacks and cocktails with umbrellas, I decided that my first cruising forayâ€”along with its geriatric guestsâ€”wasn’t the only ship experience out there. Rather, my second go-round was totally age appropriate and, yes, even luxurious. By the time we docked in Barcelona I was a convertâ€”maybe not for every trip, but at least a few more before I hit retirement. more»
Rather than unceremoniously dump all of my recent articles together in one post (as I’ve been known to do), I’ve decided to simply choose my latest favorite and stick with just that. Don’t be fooled by those poofy ottomansâ€”Azadeh Shladovsky is a singular designer in so many ways, not the least of which is her uncanny ability to actually talk about her work in a manner that makes sense to others. Clearly the woman uses both sides of her brain, which is something I can appreciate as a left-handed gal in a right-handed man’s world.
Guilt consumed me during breakfast this morning when I realized that my last post was nearly two months ago. It became almost unbearable when it occurred to me that my two or three regular readers (you know who you are) might have even noticed my absence, and perhaps even shaken their heads in collective disappointment. So I’ve scurried back to my hotel room to fix that during the 30 minutes I have before heading out to yet another Jamaican resort. No commentary hereâ€”except to pick up an August issue of Robb Report and check out my feature on breathtaking Patagonia. Can’t wait to return home to see this bad boy sitting in my mailbox. more»
I still kind of can’t believe that I got to go to Patagonia earlier this year. The weird side effect has been that virtually nothing else seems to get my dander up the same way since. The New York skyline? Psh. The Mediterranean Sea? Meh. South Beach? Ho-hum. I guess I’ll just stay home and stare at this page featuring Tierra Patagonia in the May issue of Robb Report instead. more»
I find it truly amazing that I’ve been to 12 of what Robb Report deems the world’s top 100 resorts. That means way more decadent dinners, drop-dead gorgeous suites, panoramic vistas, and mind-numbing spa treatments than I deserve. What I’m most pumped about though is the volume of my photography that made it into the articleâ€”from the bush of South Africa to the vineyards of Chile to the beaches of Mexico and Seychellesâ€”even my hyper-critical self can’t help but sit back and sigh contentedly at these pages! more»
Summer is just around the corner here in New York, which means I will start wanting a beer any day now. There’s nothing quite like a cold one on a hot day, right? Perhaps I’ll break my piggy bank open and buy one of these amazing hand-carved St-Louis Les Confidents beer glasses from which to drink. And while I’m at it, I’ll count out a few extra pennies for a custom table from Bespoke Globalâ€”something to put my glass on, of course. A girl can dream… more»
I wish I could recommend running out to pick up the January/February issue of National Geographic Traveler to check out my articles on Northeast ski lodges and the South African Cape winelands, but alas, I’d imagine that it’s surely on its way off of newsstands to make way for March/April. I’d like to blame my tardy posting of these stories on the following: 20-plus hours of flying in order to move just two time zones, hikes that last long enough to make your kneecaps shake, my annual harrowing battle with influenza, alternating successful and failed attempts at “tumbling,” and, oh yes, wedding planning. And speaking of that last oneâ€”we’re getting married at one of the properties mentioned in these two articles. Here’s a not-so-subtle hint.
Perhaps the royal couple can be blamed (or credited) with the incredible amount of coverage that Seychelles is getting lately. Or maybe it’s just one of those best-kept secrets that’s no longer much of a secret. Whatever the reason, I’m seeing the African isles everywhere this monthâ€”on the cover of Budget Travel, in the latest issue of Islandsâ€”and don’t forget my honeymoon destination piece in this month’s Destination Weddings and Honeymoons. And thoughÂ Robb Report appears to be on-trend by including two Seychelles resorts in its November private islands feature (written and photographed by yours truly), the magazine was actually quite the trailblazer for this of-the-moment destination when they ran my feature on the future of this pristine island-nation back in January. more»
Try as I might to ignore the earlier and earlier arrival of holiday fever each year, Robb Report has a way of getting me in the mood all too soon with its over-the-top Ultimate Gift Guide. I wish I could say that the backyard aquatic complex featuring a 50,000-gallon shark tank was on my list, but alas, my holiday budget falls just a hair under $11 million. Perhaps if I save my shillings,Â thisÂ one-of-a-kind and extremely-affordable-at-just-under-$1-million FabergĂ© snakehead cane handle might end up in a certain lucky someone’s stocking! more»
Working my way out of a serious backlog of written work here. Rather than give each article its own post though, I’m clumping them into groups that have little to no logic or orderâ€”if only to be able to leave for St. Lucia tomorrow with some small semblance of a sense of accomplishment. First up, we have two home articles: one highlighting the amazingly inspired Francis Sultana’s premiere furniture collection, and another debuting Bisazza’s first ever bathroom collections. And I’ve also thrown in my article on Valmont skincare for no good reason at all.
I swear it is one big coincidence that the November/December issue of Destination Weddings & Honeymoons magazine featuring two of my articlesâ€”one about honeymoons for adventurous couples and another on island-hopping in the Seychellesâ€”just happens to coincide with my own engagement. It definitely gives the impression I’ve had nuptials on the brain for some time. True or not, at least John and I can rest assured that I’ve done my homework for one seriously awesome honeymoon. The wedding? That might be a bigger challenge. more»
It never occurred to me how much I love writing about home design until someone recently opined “how boring” it must be when compared with travel writing. I couldn’t disagree more! I guess it’s just one of those unforeseen side effects that comes with loving an architect. Of course, it does beg the question: are there actually people out there who don’t care about fade-resistant leather and underwater speakers as much as I do? In that case, I’ll leave these articles on Dedon’s newest outdoor furniture lines and Duravit’s latest bathroom innovations sans the additional commentary.
Despite the fact that this article makes my visit to Seoul’s Chaum Center sound almost like a trip to Wonkaland, I did learn quite a few valuable things about myself during my stay: 1. I am claustrophobic but, if cheered on by several nurses at once, will power through a 30-minute MRI; 2. I only have 11 sets of ribs, as opposed to the usual 12. This occurs in about 10 percent of humans; and 3. I (still) pass out when having blood taken. more»
I’m deep in the throes of a project that is so un-Jackieâ€”a magazine for the LA Dodgersâ€”but I just had to take a seventh-inning stretch to post my three articles from the 2011 Best of the Best issue of Robb Report. Check out Amanfayun’s brand new ancient spa, the stunning residences at the Four Seasons Resort Seychelles, and Snaidero USA’s debut of some seriously rad bathrooms before the magazine slithers off newsstands to make way for July! more»
As is common among Texans, I often find myself insisting that lakes are the better choice in the lake vs. beach debate. Of course, we mostly make this argument due the fact that Texas’ idea of waterfront is either the oil-drenched Gulf of Mexico or the brown sludge that passes for the Rio Grande. My article in the May issue of Robb Report about West Lake’s tranquil glass-like water and romantic arched footbridges definitely helps my argument though. Who needs sand and waves when you have willow trees and sampan boats?! more»
With winter and spring in the middle of what seems like a never-ending wrestling match here in New York (today, winter is winning), it’s quite a comfort to pick up the April issue of Robb Report and reminisce about my trip to Ani Villas in Anguilla last December. Look at that gorgeous turquoise pool! Alas, my swimsuit hasn’t seen the light of day since. more»
Thus far, I’ve spent the better part of this year thinking about China, Korea, and now Mexico. As a result, I had all but completely forgotten about this article covering Italian glassmaker Seguso’s first furniture collection, which ran in the February issue of Robb Report. What a nice surprise to randomly flip through a magazine and see something unexpected with my name on it! more»
The older I get, the less I care about the holidays. It’s a simple fact of life that a Barbie Dream House just can’t brighten my life the way it once did. That said, I got the best gift ever this year when I came home from my holiday to see a stack of Robb Report’s January issue featuring my cover photo and feature story on Seychelles. Spreading the magazines out on my kitchen table like a nerdy little boy with his favorite Magic cards (remember those?!), I swear I felt a flicker of those elated heart palpitations I used to know so well. Happy New Year, everyone! more»
December means a lot of things to me: frantic Christmas shopping, crowded airports, and pulling my George Costanza-esque puffy coat out of the closet, to name a few. But one December delight I can always rely on is Robb Report’s obscenely thrilling Ultimate Gift Guide. This year, I covered the residential theme park. If you have two acres of land and $20 million to spare, you are in luck! My theme would definitely be Candy Land. Ideally, almost everything would be edible. I’ll be sure to keep that delectable fantasy in the forefront of my mind as I weather the torrential mob of shoppers at the Union Square Holiday Market this weekend.
A wonderful surprise arrived in my inbox just as I was making a harried attempt at packing for our 10-day trip to Austin: my two articles (+ accompanying photography) for Robb Report’s Top Villas of the World round-up, featured in the October issue. I’m so happy with both this piece, which is for Twin Farms in Barnard, Vermont, as well as the spread for North Island (coming up momentarily). There’s nothing like getting great news right before leaving town!
Glenmere Mansion, whose photos I posted here in May and are now in the July issue of Robb Report, is one of few properties that has really stuck with me over time. If there’s one thing I love about a resort, it’s the feeling that each space is unique and has something special to offer. Glenmere accomplishes that in spades. The property also won me over with 24/7 snacking stations (there’s always room for scones!), a gorgeous library stocked with art books ranging from the Impressionist greats to Jeff Koons, and bottomless brunch Bellinis usingâ€”and this is important!â€”real peach purĂ©e. So, apparently, the way to my heart is no secret: endless proportions of food, booze, and art!
I’ve never been much of a fish gal. I prefer furry things, and underwater creatures aren’t exactly the snuggling type. But I must admit that after speaking with Okeanos Aquascaping co-owner and super-passionate aquarium lover Martin Schapira, I totally get the whole underwater world appeal. Granted, I’d probably have to settle for something more fishbowl-like as opposed to Okeanos’ shockingly expansive (and expensive!) aquariums, but alas, I do have a newfound appreciation for my little undersea friends.
Writing the same article twice is definitely a test in creative mettle. Luckily I had eight hours of uninterrupted work time in the form of a CDG-to-JFK flight to knock out my second piece about the One&Only Cape Town for Robb Report’s 2010 Best of the Best issue. It was even enough time to write my article about the Four Seasons Resort Seychelles for the same issue. Such productivity! And I still managed to watch the barely-entertaining, often-embarrassing duo of Ricky Gervais movies so thoughtfully chosen by American Airlines. more»
I’d been holding off on posting anything not Seychelles-related in an attempt at some sort of cohesion. So now that that’s over and done with, I can finally post this article I wrote about Anthony Lawrence-Belfair’s custom furniture and new fabric collection for the April issue of Robb Report. I also shot the photos, some of which were previously posted on here (and some of which also ran in NY Spaces).
The second piece I wrote for Robb Report’s February travel issue is this feature about the new villa suites in the under-construction Octavius Tower at the Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. I had really wanted to get out there to see them in person but deadlines and holidays collided and it wasn’t in the cards. I wonder: which of the villas would I have chosen to stay in? I do love me some floor-to-ceiling marble, so perhaps the Greek-inspired Constantine Villa. As I always say, it’s not a bathroom without an Esmerelda onyx-lined bathtub surrounded by Doric columns. more»
The February issue of Robb Report likes to rub it in our East Coast faces that there are warmer places in the world right now. Though I’m not doing much traveling these days, I did write a couple of pieces for the magazine’s annual travel issue: the one above about the first American globe maker (not at all the snooze-fest one might imagine), and another about three new villa suites that just opened at the Caesars Place in Vegas (coming shortly).
My write-up about the appropriately-named UFO chandelier from Dutch designer Brian Rasmussen and Italian lighting studio SID ran in the December issue of Robb Report. Each year, in preparation for the holidays, the magazine compiles an outlandish list of insanely expensive gifts for their Ultimate Gift Guide. The wildest part of this year’s issue though is that one of the ultimate gifts was actually purchased: the $1 million duo of a ‘54 and ‘11 Mercedes. Gosh, and all I wanted this year was an electric toothbrush.