Tag Archives: travel

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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Cusco, Peru

A journey down to South America to visit the city of Cusco, Peru.

I could barely sleep on the overnight Lan Airlines flight down to Peru on our next leg of #OnlyInSouthAmerica adventure. Machu Picchu has been on my travel wish list since I fist learned about it in elementary school but before we could make the main trek we started out in Cusco, the historic capital of the Inca Empire before the Spaniards conquered it in the 1500s. You can see the layers and layers of history and culture – the original Inca walls resting under European style architecture. You discover a city that is more rich and mystical than what meets the eye  as you learn about the centuries of battles, a lost culture, a mixture indigenous roots and Spanish influence and a strong connection to the earth. Mostly in Cusco, I enjoyed walking the little narrow streets, up and down the corridors, looking at the women in their amazing hats as they went about their day.

Most people ask me first about altitude sickness. I did not get sick, however, I would get winded on the first day walking up hill and just overall felt tired I think from lack of oxygen. By my 3rd day in Peru I was totally back to normal. It also made the effect of one pisco sour feel like you had ten… which I kind of loved. I also loved the flavor and effect of coca tea which was offered everywhere we went as a way to help ease altitude sickness… mostly for me it was like drinking ten cups of coffee.

Other things about Cusco I loved: the ceviche game here is STRONG. I have yet to have a ceviche as good since. The San Pedro market was amazing to see. An aisle for meat, an aisle for flowers, an aisle for cheese, an aisle for potatoes, it was endless and so rich with culture. Also, fruit smoothie with beer in it- game changer. Cacao tea, who knew! Wandering through all the little shops tucked away in courtyards to hunt down the perfect alpaca sweater or hand made pottery bowl was also very fun and with a very friendly exchange rate.

As a place that has such a strong unique culture there are exotic things you can try such as chicha beer (it was purple!) made from corn or the most popular dinner dish for locals- guinea pig… both things I’m glad I tried but I’ll leave those (and the frog juice to cure headaches!) to the locals.

If I ever find myself on the way to Cusco again I’ll look forward to the way the city transports you not only to a different place but what feels like a different time…

A journey down to South America to visit the city of Cusco, Peru. A journey down to South America to visit the city of Cusco, Peru. A journey down to South America to visit the city of Cusco, Peru.

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Snapshots from Savannah

A trip down to savannah, georgia and a stay at SCAD's Magnolia Hall.

Looking back on a few days off where I looked forward to what is in store for 2015. We are already planning shoots in Palm Springs, Paris, and Argentina so this year, though just born a week ago, is already full of dreamy promises. Doing what you love most for a living means you’re willing to commit more time to it than a typical job so it’s not often I take a day off or have a moment to reflect on all we’ve done and the amazing people we’ve met.

After spending Christmas in Texas with my family, I found myself in Savannah, a place I call home – my adopted home. Like New York and Paris, I am at my best self here, but unlike the two metropolitan cities, in Savannah I come to relax. To walk her beautiful parks at dusk, to feel the damp southern air kiss my skin under an umbrella of enchanting moss hanging from live oak trees. We eat, we drink, we spend afternoons whittling away the hours on big southern porches while we outline our dreams for another year but always leaving much open to new directions we could never anticipate.

*PS- An update on my Savannah recommendations - I love walking Whitaker street from Gaston to Broughton and popping into little hidden boutiques and amazing home decor shops. One Fish Two Fish led me to score two amazing new bedside lamps.

Of course the food scene in the south is one of the biggest draws. Now added to my “MUST EAT” list is The Florence for dinner and for lunch Green Truck Pub has the best burgers IN THE WORLD. I called it.

The only thing that could make Savannah even more dreamy is having the utmost pleasure of staying at SCAD’s Magnolia Hall. The southern mansion of my dreams that sits atop Forsyth Park (see the view from the front porch on a foggy night above). In 2014 I had the great honor of working with SCAD, covering their Savannah campus that makes the word “impressive” a tremendous understatement. Remember when we went to Lacoste after that?… it only gets better. Thank you SCAD for the southern hospitality and adopting me into your family, it’s an inspiring group of people.

A trip down to savannah, georgia and a stay at SCAD's Magnolia Hall. A trip down to savannah, georgia and a stay at SCAD's Magnolia Hall. A trip down to savannah, georgia and a stay at SCAD's Magnolia Hall.

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Oscar de la Renta Boutique

Staying in the paradise imagined by fashion design legend can only mean there are going to be some glamorous fashion moments which we found at the resort’s Oscar de la Renta boutique and opened a whole new world of destination luxury shopping. Here it’s resort wear 365 days a year from darling garden dresses to a floating sea of chiffon caftans, perfect beaded mules that are effortless and comfortable for a resort but still put together and chic. They carried every color earring you need to make a true entrance for dinner, which we would call our “Elizabeth Taylor moments”. It’s funny, I’m typically very minimal with my jewelry but here  in this explosion of Caribbean color it felt right to wear a big bold colored jewels, obviously, Oscar knows how to dress a woman for resort life. At dinner Kelly was wearing a beautiful pair of coral ODLR earrings so glamorous when sparkling off the evening night light and when she took them off I had a horrible reaction at how sad she looked just “normal”. From that moment on we were dripped in Oscar’s crystals and jewels. Usually when I think of the brand I think strictly about fashion, about the iconic women he dressed, our version of American Royalty, that I forget about the home wares! Candles and picture frames,  beautiful ocean fish dishes he created from his inspiration of Punta Cana and all the beautiful objects that make a home feel truly special that ladylike way only Oscar de la Renta can do.

ODLR_Botique_Tortuga_Bay_02 ODLR_Botique_Tortuga_Bay_03

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