Leading the Way
Just Back From: Paris
Two week’s ago, Indagare’s Melissa Biggs Bradley traveled to Paris on the inaugural flight of Air France’s A380, the world’s biggest and greenest (most fuel-efficient) plane, which now flies between New York and Paris daily. Once arrived, she found the capital abuzz with a flurry of recent openings. New hot spots on the culinary scene include Les Enfants Terribles, the first Paris restaurant of acclaimed hotelier Jocelyne Sibuet; Café Germain, the latest offering of the Costes brothers; and 114 Faubourg, a cool eatery in the 8th arrondissement where you may spot Carla Bruni Sarkozy. Equally exciting are additions to the shopping scene, including designer India Mahdavi’s first Paris showroom; lovely new spots for children’s fashion, including Papillon and a traditional offshoot of the wildly popular Bonton. Plus, the redesign of the city’s favorite tea salon, the revamp of a major palace hotel, Le Bristol, and the opening of Hôtel Récamier, a boutique property French Elle dubbed the “chic new address in St.-Germain-des-Prés.” Read Bradley’s top twelve not to miss in Paris this season as well as reviews of numerous new restaurants and boutiques.
Editor’s Insights: Riviera Maya, Caribbean & Beyond
Unlike in 2009, last-minute travel deals are becoming increasingly rarefied—as are waived night minimums during busy times—so it’s not too early to start thinking about your plans for next year’s Spring Break and President’s Day Weekend (the latter falls on Valentine’s Day in 2010). Among the most popular destinations for U.S.-based travelers during these early-year breaks are such beach enclaves as Mexico’s Riviera Maya, Costa Rica, Palm Beach and Caribbean islands like Antigua, Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands and St. Barth’s. Our editors have traveled to all these hot spots recently and they understand that the key to a successful holiday is finding a resort that resonates with the kind of experience you are seeking. They also know the small but significant differences between, say, the design-conscious Rosewood Mayakoba and the more bohemian Esencia, and where the newly opened Banyan Tree, the Mandarin Oriental and Maroma fall on the Riviera Maya. To read about other favorite discoveries editors made on recent trips to the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America and Europe, and what properties will work with your next trip, contact our advisory and booking department at 212-988-2611 or via email.
Give the Gift: Indagare
If you enjoy Indagare, consider giving a membership to friends or family who you know love to travel. You can send a membership beautifully packaged in a black box with three destination Black Book guides of your choice, or in a digital version, which will be electronically delivered on the day of your choice. Each option can be further customized with the addition of specialty travel products from Smythson and a personalized gift card. Gift boxes can be sent either to you or directly to the recipient. For details or to order, call us at 212-988-2611 or click here: Gift Membership.
Member Raves: Tuscany
Indagare member Karen Klopp wrote to us about her recent trip to Italy, raving about a family-run retreat in the Tuscan countryside near Siena. “Italy is filled with extraordinary destinations but none as evocative and ephemeral as Castello di Vicarello,” she writes. “Carlo and Aurora Baccheschi Berti have lovingly restored this twelfth century hilltop castle into a glorious retreat. Enter the ancient courtyard and you are part of the family.” One of the draws of Vicarello is its renowned cooking school, headed by Aurora who is currently working on a cookbook. Another Indagare member contacted us for the best Italian cooking classes, and Vicarello shares the list with three other acclaimed spots where guests learn the ins-and-out of preparing flavorful Tuscan cuisine. Read more about Tuscany.
City Debuts: Hong Kong
There’s no shortage of luxury hotels in Hong Kong, but the city’s newest boutique property, the Upper House, offers two details that are rare—and hugely appreciated—in the metropolis’ hotel scene: space and serenity. The beautifully designed, minimalist rooms are enormous and all have views (the hotel occupies the top eleven floors of a gleaming glass tower in Central). Add to that a top-floor restaurant by star chef Gray Kunz (it’s been booked solid since opening), fabulous in-room amenities and easy-to-stomach room rates (beginning at $375), and it’s easy to see why the Upper House is fast becoming the place to book in Hong Kong. Across the harbor in Kowloon, new lounge-dining venue Hullett House is generating buzz: as expected of a property headed by the hip Aqua group, you don’t come for the food but for the cool vibe and people-watching.
New on Indagare: A member postcard on Banyan Tree Mayakoba and on a family getaway to Blackberry Farm, Just Back from Rome, including a new boutique hotel to know, Temenos reopens on Anguilla. Coming soon: destination reports on Punta Mita, Dallas, St. Petersburg and Hanoi, plus city updates on Marrakech and Hong Kong.
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