Carved into the side of a mountain, high atop Guatemala’s Lake Atitlan, sits the tranquil yet stylish Casa Palopo. The boutique luxury resort consists of only 7 rooms with the crown jewel being the villa on the highest perch, a perfect home to share with girlfriends or a small traveling group. The picturesque pool, the outdoor fireplaces, and the one-of-a-kind decor, with many items imported from Africa, make this a total fantasy of living. From veranda to veranda it’s impossible to feel stress here when all your eyes gaze upon is a view of nature’s spectacular show.
I wish I could have spent a thousand nights here, tucked away into the side of the hill, spending my days painting the ever changing colors of the sky and feeling the beauty of life discovered in Guatemala.
Kelly wears a dress by Jonathan Cohen, belt purchased from a local Guatemalan market.
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A child of the 90s I grew up with this fantasy of Paris I found in movies. The hotel suite that perfectly frames the Eiffel Tower in its windows, bouquets of flowers and white walled gardens where fluffy white cats come to lay in the sun before evenings in little chic black dresses and dinners where each course comes with a wine pairing. I found that glamorous Paris I so long ago dreamed about at Le Bristol Hotel.
I have been lucky enough to find myself in Paris quite often, and from time to time I can be caught in a daydream of what it would be like to live in this city that captures my soul. When I come to Paris I mostly just take my camera and walk. Walk for days. It never gets old to me, I never run out of things to photograph or be inspired by. Never, not even when I stayed in the most lovely apartment, have I desired to “stay in”… that is until I stayed at the Le Bristol. Already as I write this at Charles De Gaulle airport the memory of our suite feels more like lying half awake in a garden day dreaming all afternoon.
There is not a single detail of this hotel, which opened in 1925 in the heart of Paris’s fashion district, that isn’t wonderfully glamorous and idyllically French. From the dazzling array of chandeliers to the 18th century Toile de Jouy decor, it is unapologetically luxurious. It’s no wonder it attracts the stylish clientele to match from movie stars to entertainers and (to my pleasure) fashion photographers. It even had a place in Woody Allen’s movie Midnight in Paris.
During World War II the Hotel Le Bristol became the American Embassy and even harbored a Jewish architect who would later design the stunning glass and wrought-iron elevator I described as what it must feel like to travel inside a diamond.
Of course they have a beautiful spa, wonderfully opulent bars and restaurants tucked here and there around the hotel corridors, but it was what we discovered on the 6th floor that really took our breath away. A pool designed in the likeness of a large sailboat as imagined by Professor Pinnau, who most notably designed the yachts for the Onassis family, wrapped in walls of windows with sweeping views of Paris and most beautifully, Sacre Coeur. While the pool was a popular spot in the afternoons, it was early in the morning alone with the sunrise I found it to be one of the most peaceful places in Paris.
But perhaps the most surprising feature of this incredible hotel are the two fluffy white cats that live amongst the marble and roses. There is nothing more charming than having afternoon tea in the hotel’s garden with company of a furry little friend at your feet.
90 years after her opening here she stands, a lovely as ever….
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Discovering Tulum has been on my list for a while now. My friend Claire, who I recently featured in a post about appreciating friends, wrote a perfect go-to guide to Tulum I’ve had bookmarked in my Travel Lust folder for a while now. When Pandora Jewelry reached out to me to bring to life their summer collection, some of which are inspired by palm leaves, I knew my dreams of Tulum would come true.
Traveling is always such an adventure. You have a mental image of what a place is going to be and then what it is in actuality once you get there. Tulum is that fantasy place, bohemian and still a bit wild so much that you can’t believe a place like this still exists. I’m sure 30 years ago it was even more authentic. Everything is a bit sandy, a lot of locals do not speak English, air conditioning doesn’t really exist, nor the need to wear shoes. In Tulum, you’re supposed to spend your days on the beach, keeping life simple and natural.
I chose three key pieces of Pandora Jewelry’s summer collection to take with me, the Tropical Palm Ring, Tropical Palm Necklace and Tropicana charms which felt appropriate with their graphic leafy palm tree patterns that mimicked the canopy of leaves I quite often relaxed under as a respite from the afternoon sun. I love that now, since my return, when I look at these pieces I’m instantly transported back into that summery feeling from this Mexican oasis.
See my discovery of Tulum, what I wore, where we stayed and more below!
Above~ Waiting to go to dinner at Hartwood in Rachel Zoe’s Leona Ottoman Linen dress, with Pandora Jewelry’s Tropical Palm Ring, and Tropicana charm bracelet and all natural hand woven tote I picked up at Coqui Coqui.
We stayed at the Papaya Playa Project which we enjoyed very much. It’s comprised of white adobe buildings you maze your way through. We had a “New Casita” which was a two floor loft facing the ocean with huge bathtub on the 2nd story porch.
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I‘ve always dreamed of traveling and I feel so very lucky that my job takes me around the world to be witness to and capture the wonder and beauty of different cultures, natural marvels, and lifestyles. One of our most recent journeys was to the island of Bali to shoot Cuyana’s summer campaign. We added a few days to the trip so we could truly experience the island, hosted by our friends and Bali natives at John Hardy who know the island so well. Staying at the Villa Campuhan was one of those pinch-me moments when your wanderlust dreams come true in the pure definition of paradise…we ate only the freshest food in an open air pavilion overlooking the Balinese ocean, we drank coffee with the sunrise and spent the hot afternoons swimming and reading. This special place fit right into LoveGold‘s summer of #wanderlust campaign… I can’t wait to see where other people travel to over the next few months and if they are lucky enough to be adorned in luxurious hand crafted gold like I was. Here is what I wore at the breathtaking Villa Campuhan…gold to match the sun, white to keep cool, anything to flow like the ocean and only bare feet ~
Above & below John Hardy Bamboo Collection gold and diamond pave cuff and ring // MAIYET skirt & Ralph Lauren top
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