(n.) an extended period of leisure and recreation, especially one spent away from home or in travelling.
Given the first part of this definition, we’ve had the holiday of our lives, so far. No irony here. This won’t be another complain-about-Covid article. Getting closer and closer to the light at the end of the tunnel, we stay positive about our last year’s experiences and optimistic about the ones ahead of us.
We really did have a great holiday. We explored our postcodes through an extreme staycation. We were tourists in our own homes, we broke out of our own bubbles, and we saw the world anew. We had the longest holiday ever. We took a decent break from the crowds, the queues, the noise, the jet lag, the tourist traps and all the annoying counterparts of the vacation. There were no crying babies in the restaurants, no packed with sweating bodies clubs, no FOMO at all. We mastered beauty routines and baking technics. We skipped all the unpleasant family meetings. We saved money on all the things we weren’t allowed to do, and it is time to start spending them.
Thinking of all the lucky ones, who got stuck on their vacations because of pandemic restriction and turned their holiday spot into a temporary home, got us dreaming of all the exciting places we wish to be quarantined at for a few weeks (or more).
Ever since travel restrictions have started lifting, we are making lists, plans and arrangements, crossing fingers and saying our prayers that our time will come to travel again. For months now, we have been rearranging packing cubes in our heads, so we can keep our travel routines in shape. We are more than ready to escape any minute now, and it’s getting stressful.
To relieve some of this tension, we will write down the places that are fuelling our fantasies. If this doesn’t help, maybe a plane ticket will do. Let’s try.
This luxury get-away had us at the Michelin-starred restaurant but it has so much more to offer. Built more like a typical Puglian village than a hotel, with its own bell-towered church and central piazza, it is divided into three sections, featuring 63 hotel rooms and 28 outlying villas which each include a private pool of their own. Completed with every amenity you could ever hope for – six restaurants, three bars, four pools, two private beaches, a championship golf course and a sybaritic spa.
Located on Puglia’s coast near the fishing town of Savelletri Di Fasano, the hotel opened in 2010, born from the visionary concept of the Melpignano family and designed by the architect Pino Brescia. The entire resort has been built from scratch using time-worn tufo limestone. Its rustic elegance is enhanced by the light of thousands of warm candles every night. No wonder, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel chose it as their wedding setting.
Service is both superb and charming, adding to the boutique feeling of the hotel. The rooms are decorated in cool, muted tones for a calm and relaxed feeling. Each of them gets a personal butler, who is available throughout your stay to help you with whatever you might want. The only problem is deciding what it is.
Hôtel Les Deux Gares
Tucked down a narrow alley between two of the city's major train stations – Gare du Nord and Gare de l'Est, Hôtel Les Deux Gares is one of the new Parisian hotspots with interiors by designer Luke Edward Hall. The perfect background for the selfie generation, this affordable Wes-Anderson-style boutique hotel is a cool combination of English chic with French soul using bright colours and Art Deco furniture.
Hall wanted his first large-scale interior project to look like “the home of a bohemian Parisian collector” rather than a hotel. To achieve it, he sourced antiques from various decades, French wallpapers, English carpets, vintage lighting, and an eclectic mix of fabrics, patterns and prints. The result is a flawless manifestation of his style – romantic, nostalgic and playful.
The Good Time Hotel
Continuing the Art Deco theme but on the other side of the Atlantic. This time the colour palette is reimagined in pastel hues, but just as playful.
Following the celebrity-favourite candy-coloured restaurant in the Miami Design District, Swan, the musician Pharrell Williams and the entrepreneur David Grutman join forces once again on a new venture – The Good Time Hotel.
100,000 square feet of public space – this includes 266 rooms, a restaurant, a bar, a gym and a pool club – are situated prominently in a central, historical section of South Beach along Washington Avenue. Each guest room comes complete with “all you need and nothing more”, including custom bedding, bespoke drapes, pink rotary dial phones and a leopard print bathrobe. The latter is essential for having a good time in The Good Time Hotel.
La Colombre d’Or
For a taste of the discrete and picturesque countryside of France, look no further than La Colombre d’Or – a refined mixture of great art and art of living.
The family-run inn started life in 1931, hosting 20th-century masters as Pablo Picasso, Jacques Prévert, James Baldwin, Matisse, Léger, Calder, César – all of whom were regulars and often donated their works in exchange for a stay or a few meals.
Today it has grown to a 25-room boutique hotel with a museum-worthy art collection and celebrity clientele. Snuggled between Nice and the Alpes Maritimes, this intimate establishment has kept its true soul despite legendary status.
Time slows when rose wine flows here! The lovely swimming pool adds to the spectacular scenery, and the best part is that it is heated, so you can enjoy swimming among the pieces of art even in March.
Nomad Hotels London
London’s coolest new hotel is here. Being an especially long time coming – the team started working on the hotel in 2012 – NoMad London looks to have been worth the wait.
The brand successfully translated its casual but sophisticated New York style and transformed the Bow Street Magistrates' Court into a 91-room hotel as an entirely new building within the existing one while much of the original architectural features were preserved and woven into the design. Overall the interior has an old fashioned, bohemian and glamorous feel, blending together multiple modern design influences.
Public areas include a casual 'booth food' restaurant, a signature library space and a 100-capacity function room in the former courtroom as well as a basement lounge bar in the old coal vaults.
All food in its both restaurants will be directed by the executive chef Ashley Abodeely, following the split of the wider NoMad group with the high-profile US-chef Daniel Humm and his Make It Nice Group at the beginning of 2020.
So, why don’t you book a table and take those fancy new shoes out to dinner?
Maybe, the most spectacular location on the whole island of Capri, overlooking the sea and the dramatic Faraglioni rock formation. Designed by Le Corbusier as a private villa in the 20s, today this truly stunning cliff-side escape in Capri is an elegant retreat, with fabulous food, two outdoor pools and the most glorious sunsets.
The décor and furnishings at Punta Tragara Hotel echo that of a traditional island villa, with the added elegance of contemporary architectural details. It is enchantingly chic, yet refreshingly down to earth with archaeological artefacts, vintage and contemporary works of art placed all over.
First things first, watch the sunset while enjoying an aperitif at the bar before dining ‘al fresco’ on the veranda at Monzu restaurant!