Leading the Way
This Week on Indagare: Favorite finds from Florence, a city full of palazzo hotels and authentic osterias, Melissa’s Just Back From Marrakech and La Mamounia appraisal, a special beach-chic hideaway in Brazil and a Q&A with its fashion designer owner, and the latest from Miami and where to go for President’s Day weekend.
Favorite Finds: Florence
To celebrate New Year’s, Indagare editor Simone Girner returned to Florence, one of her favorite places in Italy. Since last June, the city has a new mayor (34-year-old Matteo Renzi), who has been called Italy’s Obama and who has promised to infuse the famous city of stone with a breath of fresh air. This means restoring the old (post-renovation, Piazza Santa Maria Novella has never looked better), but also a focus on more contemporary projects. Some of Simone’s top discoveries during her trip include a just-opened fourteen-suite boutique hotel in a beautifully restored palazzo; a relaunched museum in the former showroom of Italy’s most controversial 19th-century art dealer; and a tiny osteria, which is such a well-kept foodie secret that locals were shocked when she found it.
Why Go Now: Marrakech
Indagare founder Melissa Biggs Bradley returned to Marrakech in December with some trepidation, having heard that the Moroccan city had been transformed into a Miami for Europeans. Luckily her fears were not justified—and she came back raving about the revamped La Mamounia. “It has emerged as one of the most knock-your-socks-off hotels that I have ever seen,” she writes. “Almost every surface has been hand-crafted—from the acres of elaborate tile work to the spectacular carved wooden doorways and hand-stitched leather in each dressing room.” The visit also reminded Melissa of all the details that make a trip to this exotic north African city magical, from strolling in Yves Saint Laurent’s Majorelle Gardens to shopping the labyrinth of the souk, all of which she has compiled in a list of ten city musts
This Month’s Dream: Uxua
When Wilbert Das arrived in Trancoso, the 16th-century fishing village in Brazil’s southern Bahia, it was love at first sight. Says the longtime creative director of fashion label Diesel: “Trancoso has it all: amazing people, stunning natural beauty and a totally authentic, groovy vibe.” Last year, the designer opened a handcrafted and special boutique hotel in the center of Trancoso, which has been the insider spot to book ever since. Uxua has just nine individually designed casas, which blend into the lush setting and reflect the destination’s laid-back atmosphere. There’s a beach club with elevated day beds, a bar located in a restored fishing boat, and communal meals prepared around what’s fresh from the sea that day.
Just Back from…Miami
Many members have reached out for travel ideas for President’s Day weekend, and while many of the top resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico are booking up fast, there’s still availability for sun-seekers and skiers (contact our booking department for help). U.S.-based travelers weary of the tightened airline security might also consider (re)visiting standbys, like Miami, as did Indagare editor Henley Vazquez during the holidays. “Given the circus that is commercial air travel these days, who wouldn’t rather jump on JetBlue, settle into a sexy hotel a few hours later and eat out at a hip restaurant every night?,” she writes. “Miami is quick and easy, especially for East Coast travelers, and these days whether traveling with your children or sneaking away with a spouse, those qualities are paramount.” Some new hotels that will be drawing a stylish crowd this season: the Betsy, which has Colonial-inspired decor and a buzzing restaurant, BLT Steak, and W South Beach, a beachside resort with a Bliss spa, a hip bar-lounge and contemporary guest rooms. Read Henley’s Just Back from Miami
Member Discoveries; Rants & Raves
Share with the community where you spent the holidays. Some reviews that have already been posted: a new boutique hotel on St. Barth’s, a rave for the Four Seasons Jackson Hole and for the St. Regis at Deer Valley; an update on a visit to Winvian. Logged-in members can add reviews, discoveries and recommendations under Rants and Raves in the Discussion Boards. Add your finds now and read others.
Save the Date:
Please join us on Thursday January 21 as we co-host an evening celebrating internationally acclaimed artist Bettina Werner. The event will take place in the private loft of the artist on Wall Street at Downtown by Starck. Read more about the Bettina Werner event.
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