*notcot - , 03:10 - 0 Notes

ESPA Spa: Istanbul EDITION hotel

mainespa.jpg A fun mix of materials and geometric, multifaceted textures… the ESPA Spa: Istanbul EDITION Hotel. Designed by Hirsch Bedner Associates, it is “inspired largely by Turkish traditions, with design elements that echo the Hammam customs and atmospheric elements of Istanbul” to create a contemporary, luxurious space filled with embossed bronze floors, chocolate brown marble, cast bronze sinks, walls of crystals, horsehair walls, mirrored glass tiles, and more. Almost an intentional aversion to straight lines, paths and corridors lead you through kinks everywhere, creating a mysterious effect as you explore the unknown relaxation space… Take a peek at some of the design sketches before, and a peek at the newly realized Espa on the next page!

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*notcot - 03.22.11 , 00:20 - 0 Notes

Six Senses Spa, Paris

spa0.jpg This post is part of a NOTCOT series on inspiring, independent design thinking, brought to you by Saab. At Saab, we believe in independent thinking. It’s in everything we do. Learn more here.

From surreal bent wood cocoons, to augmented reality projections on the screens outside the pod windows showing you real time views of the Eiffel Tower… even though you are UNDERGROUND… to a stunning living wall… the Six Senses Spa Paris is transformative on so many levels. Oh! And it even has its own secret elevator from the Westin, Place Vendome, for tose who wish to drop down to their subterranean oasis without stepping foot outside. The interior is designed by French architect Pierre David, integrating the elements of light, wood, stone and earth. The vertical garden that greets you as you enter from street level is created by landscape artist Patrick Blanc. The combination of greenery, gorgeous eco-centric design, and technology had me visually inspired as it was… combine one of the most diving massages, and it was hard to leave the cocooned underground haven… if only there were bird’s eye view looks at the Eiffel Tower projected BELOW your head when face down looking through the massage table hole… i kept being tempted to peek to stare at the projected views outside my pod window! See pictures of this Six Senses oasis on the next page!

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*rugenius - 03.18.11 , 01:35 - 0 Notes

NotVentures Roundup

roundup notventures #1502 notventures #1488 notventures #1515 notventures #1530 notventures #1519 notventures #1485 notventures #1506 notventures #1505 notventures #1496 notventures #1511 notventures #1526 notventures #1513 notventures #1512 notventures #1509 notventures #1523

Get your weekly travel inspiration from NotVentures. To find out more about each destination, click on its individual image.

*rugenius - 03.11.11 , 00:57 - 0 Notes

NotVentures Roundup

roundup notventures #1408 notventures #1406 notventures #1452 notventures #1461 notventures #1422 notventures #1425 notventures #1415 notventures #1462 notventures #1407 notventures #1473 notventures #1478 notventures #1444 notventures #1467 notventures #1460 notventures #1475

Whether you’re after breakfast with giraffes, the world’s hotspots for food, table tennis or underwater cave exploration, you’ll find something to inspire your next journey in this week’s roundup from NotVentures. To find out more about each post, click on its individual link.

*notcot - 03.06.11 , 02:00 - 0 Notes

Views of LA, Four Seasons Suite Style

anothermain.jpg The idea of a staycation is bull. It has recently been brought to my attention that i spend so much time in hotels in every city except my own (LA!) that i should get to know some of the ones in my backyard better. Ugh, questioning whether this is a ‘staycation’ (i recoil similarly to “jeggings”) led to discourse on what a “vacation” really is… and you can’t knock it till you try it, so when the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills offered me a suite, it seemed like the perfect excuse to give it a try.

So what IS a vacation? A change in perspectives. A break from your everyday. A chance to explore, relax, indulge, be pampered, be left alone, enjoy room service,… whatever it is you need! The Online Etymology Dictionary says: vacation - late 14c., “freedom or release” (from some activity or occupation), from O.Fr. vacation, from L. vacationem (nom. vacatio) “leisure, a being free from duty,” from vacare “be empty, free, or at leisure”. Staycation implies that location matters. But to me (and from the etymology), vacations are merely a state of mind! As i wrote over at OpenForum, vacations can be minutes or hours even, it’s all about perspective!

Anyhow, that is the last you’ll hear of staycations here. Upon arriving at the Beverly Hills Four Seasons, not at all far from home, i was on VACATION! Impeccable service from their kind and friendly staff, new toys to play with (Jambox!), the surprise of a stunning suite on the 15th floor facing east… giving me views over Beverly Hills to Sunset Strip, Hollywood sign, Downtown, and snow capped mountains glistening in the horizon, dining room resulted in a little impromptu dinner party with delectable room service from Culina downstairs (the burrata…mmmm), gorgeous weather meant poolside relaxing to catch up with old friends… Vacation! A definite much needed perspective shift both physically and mentally has left me even more inspired and energized this weekend! So take a peek at the gorgeous views and into suite 1518 on the next page!

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*rugenius - 03.04.11 , 00:58 - 0 Notes

NotVentures Roundup

roundup notventures #1330 notventures #1370 notventures #1374 notventures #1384 notventures #1389 notventures #1335 notventures #1346 notventures #1394 notventures #1344 notventures #1326 notventures #1339 notventures #1358 notventures #1336 notventures #1363 notventures #1386

This week’s NotVentures roundup is full of travel inspiration from around the world. Do you fancy at trip to the cloud forest, Istanbul or the French alps? Find out more about each destination by clicking its individual image.

*notcot - 03.02.11 , 14:10 - 0 Notes

Mondrian Soho Sketches

mond0.jpg Sketches! I love when fun sketches come through the inbox ~ these are from the much anticipated Mondrian Soho that just opened in NY. Fun to see the direction the designers headed with it and where it evolved to. Morgans selected Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz, the visionary behind the re-imagined Mondrian Los Angeles, to create Mondrian Soho in collaboration with their in-house design team.

“Noriega-Ortiz’s design for the hotel draws inspiration from Jean Coucteau’s 1946 romantic French fantasy film “La Belle et la Bête.” A powdery French blue color palette unifies the hotel interior and a custom carpet adorned with a rose vine design provide entryway to the jewel-box guest rooms, whose interiors features large dramatic mirrors, 10-foot ceilings and floor-to ceiling windows. No decorative art is hung in the rooms as the views are intended to be adornment enough and set the tone and scene for the guest.”

Sounds like a dream ~ and now i keep help imagining Beauty and the Beast (yes, the old disney one) and some of this lovely designer furniture coming to life… can’t wait to see it in person, but for now, take a peek into their world on the next page!

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*notcot - 03.01.11 , 13:20 - 7 Notes

Adding Passport Pages

passport0.jpg It’s back! I felt so free again this morning when my passport came back. There’s something about not having a passport on hand that feels like being trapped… albeit trapped in a HUGE country. On fun firsts, i finally reached the point where i had to add passport pages. One of the silly things i have been curious about since i was a kid, it now looks a bit frankensteined with completely different pages sewn and taped into the center! So, of course i had to take some pics to share the details of how it turned out! Take a peek on the next page… they even had some fun with the quotes and graphics!

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*rugenius - 02.25.11 , 00:37 - 0 Notes

NotVentures Roundup

roundup notventures #1277 notventures #1273 notventures #1289 notventures #1285 notventures #1315 notventures #1296 notventures #1276 notventures #1316 notventures #1308 notventures #1278 notventures #1256 notventures #1312 notventures #1265 notventures #1297 notventures #1250

Get some getaway Friday travel inspiration from NotVentures. To find out more about each destination, click on its image.

*notcot - 02.21.11 , 14:32 - 3 Notes

EF Live the Language Ads

language0.jpg These ads will make you want to go on an adventure, learn a new language, explore new foods, make new friends, fall in love… with a city, a person, a whole new life… Absolutely stunning typographically happy advertisements set to fun music showing you how to LIVE THE LANGUAGE ~ EF Language School style. I haven’t been able to get them out of my head since i first found them on Wanken. These videos are Directed by Gustav Johansson, D.P: Niklas Johansson, fsf, Typography: Albin Holmqvist, Music: Magnus Lidehäll, and Produced at Camp David. Go get lost in Paris, Barcelona, London, and Beijing on the next page…

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*rugenius - 02.18.11 , 00:24 - 0 Notes

Notventures Roundup

roundup notventures #1239 notventures #1215 notventures #1216 notventures #1220 notventures #1204 notventures #1243 notventures #1246 notventures #1200 notventures #1218 notventures #1208 notventures #1227 notventures #1212 notventures #1213 notventures #1219 notventures #1248

Get inspired for your next escape with NotVentures. To find out more about each destination, click on its individual link.

*notcot - 02.17.11 , 13:25 - 1 Notes

Airplant Overload in Veracruz

airplant0.jpg I was the girl sitting in the back of the old shiny black pick up staring up into the trees as we drove through Veracruz up into the coffee sanctuary… AMAZED. And constantly taking pictures of the spiky clusters covering ancient trees from trunks to tips… and upon closer inspection they are air plants! Bromeliads! Tillandsia! So this post is a special one for my mom… who somehow manages to keep my TINY air plants alive and flowering while i’m out of town, and somehow has hers flourishing and growing new bits all the time in her courtyard! And the species covering these trees are just like the ones that you will find hanging in little glass orbs, sold in lots of succulent centerpieces, and every where from trendy gift shops to nurserys… and here they are covering huge trees!

So all through the little hike in the coffee sanctuary, i was enamored by the sheer number of plants and how well they thrived, it was amazing the larger trees even stayed alive seeing how covered they were at times! And close up the tiny baby ones were SO cute. I kept imagining how they climbed their way up there… picturing those super slow time lapsed plant nature documentaries… seriously, it is mind blowing how many spiky clusters there were. And it was like EVERY tree. I guess the locals are used to it. In the little town of Coatapec where we were staying (bummed i forgot to take a pic! it was dangerous while in the middle of the street though!) i kept seeing growing tiny clusters of air plants around the middle of TELEPHONE LINES! Right in the center! Like where you’d see sneakers hanging… Anyhow! Check out some pics of them on the next page and see why i was so mesmerized ~ also take a peek at the adorable retro truck we rode around in!

p.s. if you want some, or just to estimate the amount of airplant value on one of those trees ~ Airplants4U.

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*rugenius - 02.11.11 , 01:55 - 0 Notes

NotVentures Roundup

roundup notventures #1180 notventures #1175 notventures #1171 notventures #1183 notventures #1146 notventures #1166 notventures #1151 notventures #1155 notventures #1192 notventures #1194 notventures #1191 notventures #1196 notventures #1198 notventures #1184 notventures #1190

Happy Friday! Here is your weekly dose of escapism courtesy of NotVentures. To find out about these great destinations, click on their individual images and check out NotVentures for more travel inspiration.

*notcot - 02.07.11 , 22:15 - 1 Notes

Operation Window Seat: LAX-MEX-VER

aeromex0.jpg Adventures with Kahlua begin today, car came to fetch me for the airport when it was still dark… hopped on a plane to Mexico City, and the change in scenery happened so quickly… from Mexico City (awesomely mesmerizing circles at the airport) after a few delays… hopped a tiny plane to Veracruz (which had some crazy windiness, trouble landing, and ended up circling out in the Gulf of Mexico… check out the insane white caps in the pics!)… then hopped in a suburban for another 2 hours out to Coatapec near Xalapa… where we quickly joined the rest of the group who had been hanging out at the 150 year old Cantina for a good chunk of the afternoon. So before i pass out from quite the surreal travel day… take a peek at the latest Operation Window Seat! Still inspires and fascinates me to no end to see the world fly by far below, and all the patterns and textures and colors that emerge…

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*rugenius - 02.04.11 , 01:00 - 0 Notes

NotVentures Roundup

roundup notventures #1094 notventures #1099 notventures #1109 notventures #1091 notventures #1122 notventures #1120 notventures #1097 notventures #1108 notventures #1105 notventures #1118 notventures #1103 notventures #1124 notventures #1107 notventures #1125 notventures #1104

Beat the midwinter blues with some gorgeous travel inspiration from NotVentures. Where will your next adventure take you?

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