Machu Picchu

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I always say, the best places in the world are the hardest to get to. An eight hour flight to a one hour flight to a thirty minute bus to a three hour train to a 4am alarm clock to a thirty minute bus to here. Totally worth the journey when “here” is the amazing Machu Picchu. Being there, when the doors opened (and relieved we didn’t fall off the mountain on the bus ride up!) in the quite morning air, soft diffused light, and sounds of nature alone was more of a spiritual feeling of being one with the history of humanity, earth, and astronomy. A connectedness that is so easy to forget or not feel in our real lives at work in New York City.

We spent the first part of the morning hiking up paths to vista points, turning back to take it all in, photograph the majesty then continue on until we reached the farthest perch. We sat for a very long time, made some time lapses, watched birds soar through the valley, inhaled the smell of incense from people who came to meditate and feel the energy of this astonishing place and just be. Be in the moment. I was there, one of my dream places, and this moment meant so much to me.

Our entire journey to Machu Picchu was arranged by Grey Line tours which I can now highly recommend. Our private guide who took us to the citadel, Hector, was incredible and patient with us. He let us do our thing, took us to the best photographic spots and peaceful places and waited until we were ready for all the information… and boy did I have A LOT of questions. I won’t fill you in on the history of Machu Picchu, hello wikipedia, or even share too many photographs. I think, for this moment, it is best lived and I hope everyone has the chance to experience this place as I have and feel that thing which can not be expressed in pixels but in LIFE.

Machu Picchu. Did it. As my Dad and I like to say “Check.”

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Resort Chic

There is nothing like getting away from the winter months, packing a light suitcase and going someplace warm. Any place warm. I love dressing for my travels, be it adventure wear for #onlyinsouthamerica or polished L.B.D’s for Parisian nights.

Usually when I think of “resort” fashion I imagine a lot of bright colors and printed patterns which is not really my personal style. So why should it have to change just because you’re on vacation? On a recent trip down to Miami, Kelly and I shot a fashion editorial for the minimalist at heart while also letting the latin culture find influence into our shoot. I loved how the walls of Casa Claridge, our location for this sitting, reminded me so many places in Cusco and I’m instantly transported back to the terra cotta floors and dusty stucco walls.

Here is our take on resort fashion, a study of simplicity and the classics, pieces you can then wear over and over again and if you’re lucky, maybe to some places like these

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AboveMonique Lhuillier dress || Monica Rich Kosann Earrings

Below~ Wes Gordon dress || Monica Rich Kosann Bracelet || Fragments studs

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Hiram Bingham

All my life I have dreamed of taking the Hiram Bingham to Machu Picchu. Pulling up to the station in Cusco to board we found the proud historic royal blue train cars waiting for us in pristine fashion. My heart fluttered as I peered in the windows, a foreshadowing of what was to come in glimpses of white linen table tops and sparkling glasses just waiting to be filled with life. Usually when I choose to take a train it’s because I want to be able to work for those few hours of a journey…. but not here. The beauty of the old train cars, the history of luxury travel, the celebration they created demanded all your attention. We sat on red velvet seats and drank pisco sours to the beat of live musicians in the lounge car. We took pictures and smelled the fresh mountain air off the back of the last train car while we wound around and around mountain passes. We dined on classic Peruvian food paired with locally made wines and watched the river  flow by in a happy steam leading us right to the heart of Machu Picchi and the next leg of our adventure found only in south america Hiram_Bingham__01 Hiram_Bingham__02 Hiram_Bingham__03 Continue reading…

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Inkaterra La Casona Hotel

fireplace615 Finding a balance between historic and new is a very fine line. I have never stayed in a hotel that has walked that line more perfectly than Inkaterra La Casona.

Tucked away on a quiet square just a few blocks from the main hubbub, this very small 11-suite luxury boutique hotel subscribes to the discrete way of life where luxury exists in pride, quality, history, upkeep and experience. Why I love it: the hotel was originally built as a mansion in the 16th century first occupied by Conquistadores and to this day maintains the design and architecture of the original manor.

So here is how it goes, you step into an antique carved wooden door back in time, the smell of eucalyptus dances around your body. They hand you a cup of the local ‘coca tea’ which comes in handmade pottery crafted by the owner of the hotel. This was my first experience with coca tea which was not unlike a green tea in taste, coffee in effect but most notable made from the same plant used to produce cocaine. So there’s that. On the second floor you find your suite, peacefully facing the inner courtyard dripping in colonial history and begging to be instagrammed (which I did here, and here, and here and here, and here). The room is warm and soft with original textile murals, baroque wood colonial furniture and those beautiful Spanish accents including white adobe walls so thick each room has to have it’s own wifi. The heated tile in the bathroom leads you to one of those perfect bathtubs which can (and if you’re me, will) be filled with a bubble bath infused in local aromatic oils. Biggest surprise… when you get into bed at night to the roaring fire at the foot of your bed, you’ll find a chocolate on your pillow and a hot water bottle under your sheets.

The best part about this hotel aside from the beauty of preserved history is their commitment to the future through conservation and programs such as Carbon Neutral. Beautiful and smart- doesn’t get more perfect than that.

 In sum, TOTAL ROMANCE.

A stay at the luxury botique hotel Inkaterra La Casona Hotel in Cusco, Peru A stay at the luxury botique hotel Inkaterra La Casona Hotel in Cusco, Peru A stay at the luxury botique hotel Inkaterra La Casona Hotel in Cusco, Peru A stay at the luxury botique hotel Inkaterra La Casona Hotel in Cusco, Peru A stay at the luxury botique hotel Inkaterra La Casona Hotel in Cusco, Peru

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