Leading the Way
This Week on Indagare: A revamped classic dazzles on the French Riviera; member discoveries in Aspen, Buenos Aires, St. Barth and Snowmass, an invitation to join a behind-the-scenes fashion tour in New York City and meet Nanette Lepore; an insider’s top hotel, restaurant and shopping finds in Jaipur and beyond. Plus, Just Back from Palm Beach.
This Month’s Dream: French Riviera
There’s no question that the most glamorous place to stay on the French Riviera this spring will be the brilliantly revamped Hôtel du Cap. No, it’s not the hotel you’re thinking of (Antibes’ Eden Roc, the property that usually gets the attention along this fabled coast). Rather, it’s the Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat that’s garnering well-deserved buzz this season. Sitting on the idyllic peninsula between Nice and Monaco, the hotel was showing years of wear, so the owners shut the property for 14 months and invested more than $1 million per room to refashion the villa for the 21st century. The iconic marble interiors and lobby rotunda by Gustave Eiffel were restored, and new additions include a large spa as well as eight sexy new suites, the only ones with private pools on the French Riviera. These new rooms will, undoubtedly, be the hottest ones to book this summer, their cool factor rivaled only by the hotel’s legendary beach Club Dauphin that’s reached via a private funicular.
Indagare Access: Friends of Fashion
Kathleen Beckett has long been a fashion insider, first as a contributor to such glossy titles as Elle, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, then as a plugged-in couture matchmaker with her personal shopping service Black Book. Now, the stylish New Yorker has launched Friends of Fashion, a social community whose members are invited to private shopping parties (some at the designer’s studios or homes), as well as intimate events hosted by such big-hitters as Donna Karan, Proenza Schouler, Nicole Miller and Cynthia Rowley. On March 15, Beckett will take a select group of Indagare members on a behind-the-scenes tour of New York’s Garment Center, a neighborhood in peril due to outsourcing and new rezoning. The Indagare tour will get a chance to speak with some of the Center’s talented craftspeople and hear about the history of this famous fashion center. The afternoon will conclude in Nanette Lepore’s showroom for an intimate shopping opportunity hosted by the designer herself. Read about the tour and the Q&A with Beckett.
Why Go Now: Jaipur
Travelers headed to Rajasthan this year should know about the most exciting recent openings in Jaipur and outlying cities, and writer Fiona Caulfield, the author of the beautiful Love India travel guide series, is the perfect guide for all-things stylish, authentic and off-the-beaten path. There’s the recently opened boutique hotel in Jodhpur, “in the heart of the old city at the foot of the Mehrangarh fort;” in Jaipur, meanwhile, don’t miss the hip new café lounge that has booths and is nestled in a leafy garden; for foodies, Caulfield also recommends top local spots for parathas (flaky flat bread), aloo tikki (fried potato patty), and lassies. Shoppers should check out Caulfield’s best small boutiques for hand-block-printed fabrics, including one headed by a designer who works with such big fashion names as Stella McCartney, and the unique store whose founder creates gorgeous wearable fashion, as well as gives back to the local community. “Conscious travel” is a huge focus for Caulfield whose guides highlight countless socially and/or environmentally sustainable businesses.
Just Back From…Member’s Rants and Raves
Many Indagare members returned from their recent winter travels to share travel dos and don’ts with the community. The Viceroy in Snowmass garnered rave reviews, as did the Pike House villa on St. Barth’s and the little-known Limelight Lodge in Aspen. Let-downs included the Viceroy on Anguilla, where service was “so bad it was almost comical,” according to the member who visited. A more successful trip was Ashley Bradley’s journey to Uruguay and Argentina. Traveling with her husband and two other couples, Bradley visited Estancia Vik, a property that made a perfect base for exploring the region (she includes the group’s favorite restaurant and activities in her postcard). She also shares picks on Buenos Aires, including the authentic and old-world place for custom riding boots. Read her postcard.
New on Indagare: Just Back from Palm Beach, Cheat Sheet to Munich, Germany, an editor’s favorite finds in Florence a review of Zürich’s venerable Alden hotel, hiking in Switzerland, advice on eating and dining in Burgundy and shopping in Cape Town. Coming soon: a destination report on Ho Chi Minh City, New York dining news and the reopening of a favorite romantic getaway on the West Coast.
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