Laguna Beach ~ so many surf brands have their home base in the OC ~ and recently so many hotels with special designer suites ~ but somehow i never heard about the Casa Surf Project over at La Casa del Camino until now! The hotel is perched less than a block from the beach, has an old spanish styled look and feel… and somehow the smell and hallways remind me of college… something frat house-y about it? Or maybe that was the crowd too… fascinating thing about the Casa Surf Project is that they gave 10 brands and their designers 10 suites, and let them have their way with it - “Action sports icons like Billabong Men’s and Billabong Women’s, Rip Curl, etnies, Roxy, Quiksilver, L* Space, Lost International along with Riviera Magazine and Glaceau have teamed with Southern California’s finest designers to create the Casa Surf Suites with a portion of the proceeds from each room donated to key charities for the first year.” I love the moroccan inspired Lost room… how far they took the decor, and the furniture choices… you have to see how fun the lights looked at night! And the way they really customized the walls… so beautiful! Billabong and Quicksilver are my other favorites ~ see more pics on the next page, and see full information on each suite here!
So after a bit of hotel horrors ~ and bouncing in and out of the vitale over the last week ~ with sf gift fair and macworld happening, SF hotels seem a bit packed… just decided to check out the Clift Hotel in San Francisco which is part of the Morgans Hotel Group (with those awesome “The world needs to discuss it over drinks. The world needs more interesting.” ads i adore.)… they were nice enough to upgrade me to experience one of their suites, and i’m currently working at that “through the… orange… looking glass” feeling table above… and really, between the bizarre world within it and the stunning city views here, it’s hard to focus! It’s also incredibly calming and relaxing with it’s lavender entry way, light grey carpeting, and light wood furnishings… exactly what i needed after quite the crazy last few days! Go take a peek into their fun, spacious, suite i’m living in for the next few days on the next page!
Looking down out this huge concave window in my Hotel Vitale room, has been strangely mesmerizing and inspiring to stare out of… from the spiderweb mess of bus cables to the curved arcs of the road and diamond of the cross walk and just watching the traffic/people flow through it… it kind of looks like a math or physics diagram…
Anyhow, Hotel Vitale has been one of my favorite spots to hide out in San Francisco since i moved out of this city… and while i’ve been in quite a few different rooms, this is definitely one of the most unique. I sleep better than usual in their beds… this room has a nice tub with a view… and this ridiculously large window! As well as the usual nice huge desk space to work at… and chaise to lounge on. Take a peek at a few pictures of the view in both day and night, as well as a peek at the room!
I passed out as soon as i sat down on the plane from SLC to LAX ~ i barely remember take off ~ and then suddenly when turbulence jolted me awake somewhere in between, all i saw out the window were surreal and stunningly dramatic shadows on snowy mountains… and i was so mesmerized, then something kicked in, and i half awakenly grabbed my camera, and felt like i was dream shooting all the way back to LA. So fun to see the world from that view ~ such a nice perspective shift from what’s felt like a very conceptually nazel gazing last few days. I love the way the snow transitioned into dessert… and into cities… and the way roads are carved into the snowy tree filled mountainside… the way the city glowed with the hollywood sign and downtown popping out as we landed… Take a look on the next page!
I had one of my “wow, i love LA” moments as i was flying in from NY the other night… after not sleeping the night before, i crashed hard in a strange and contorted position for 5 hours on my JetBlue flight home, and as my eyes started to open, i was disoriented and fascinated by the sparkles of the city below me. It was such a clear night. and the colors felt different… i couldn’t help but wonder if it was the increase of things like LED billboards that are so blindingly bright when i’m on the ground changing the landscape of lights from above. They felt brighter and sharper ~ twinkling as we approached… and of course, i couldn’t help but snap a few pics to share with you. Also, nice placement of your URL, JetBlue, it’s as if you knew people would be taking pics out of the window… or just looking out of the window constantly…
Mmmmm. Doing that bicoastal commmute again, this time thanks to the Macallan folks who have brought me out to NY for an event tomorrow night, more to come on that later though. Long day of travel ~ popped over on JetBlue (i miss Virgin America, they spoil me with wifi. I thought i might be happier without it when flying, but i was wrong) ~ luckily i feel like i’m at home away from home as i slipped in to The Mercer Hotel ~ another Andre Balazs property, this one in the heart of Soho… and i absolutely adore it. Got in, got room service, and got to work! Well, after taking a bunch of pics of all the little design details that grabbed my eye. Also bonus points to them for super fast room service and bringing me some benadryl at midnight. They’ve been so kind and taking such good care of me here already! And so many details of this room make me want to go home and remodel already… Ready to take a peek?
I’m a bit obsessed with print recently. I mean, i always love/d print, but extra aware of it and all its design nuances at the moment. Beyond that, i can’t seem to help fixating on the way digital/online medias can translate back out to print in the real world well ~ and how integrated ads can be beautiful and/or enhance the content. Ran into this little booklet for the first time at a hotel and love not only the concept and execution, but also the design!
Daily Candy has a beautiful Los Angeles pocket sized city guide that is perhaps one of the most thorough (SO many of my favorites and many more are included!) guides to places to eat, sleep, shop, and more in LA! Design is fun and readable, adorable little icons and extra notes and illustrations tucked away in each page. It’s also light on the branding/advertisements Only a few Jet Blue ads inside with fun creative and copy of course! On the front it mentions it is in partnership with the Viceroy Group and Urban Retreats. As far as positioning, seems like great positioning to get Daily Candy in front of boutique hotel guests ~ particularly those who may not know the mailing list yet. Lovely idea, beautifully executed, i’d rather grab one of these than a Wallpaper guide, etc. if i’m sending a friend off to explore LA ~ now i’m curious what other cities exist! And how to find them! Take a peek inside this LA guide on the next page…
UPDATE: Just in from Daily Candy - there are NYC and LA guides. the NYC guides were made last year and can be found at the 5 W hotels in NYC. The LA ones just arrived in the Viceroy and Urban Retreat hotels last month! “They were penned by the NYC and LA editors respectively. It’s the first time we’ve printed our favorites in such a fashion and they are being well-received in both markets. The great thing is it’s everything we love — Not just the “latest and greatest” but they also include mention our tried and true favorites.”
On unexpected popups i wish i could teleport over to, this news was too fun not to share when it just showed up in my email! Photos by Hiroyasu Masaki (punkfloyd).
Ace Hotel and Japanese retailer Isetan Shinjuku are curating a pop-up shop for the holidays. Ace Hotel is in Seattle, Portland, Palm Springs, and New York. Culture, collaborations, and a design aesthetic that mixes uncluttered comfort with a bohemian vibe are Ace’s trademark—informed by each city’s sense of place. It’s a gathering place for neighbors and guests alike. We at Ace love Japan, and we’re excited to be able to come to Tokyo and bring all of our recent product collaborations to the heart of Shinjuku.
Isetan will be showcasing gifts from Ace that give you a sense of the hotels and their cities. Products include collaborations with Pendleton Woolen Mills, artist Evan Hecox, Generic Man, Dean Markley, Fjallraven of Sweden, Mackintosh, Coto, Le Labo, Wings & Horns, Project No. 8, Pearl Plus, and many others. Products from Rudy’s Barbershops will also be available for the first time in Japan. Come find something Wednesday Dec 2-Friday Dec 25.
The Ace Hotels practically radiate visual inspiration at every turn… but at the Ace Hotel Palm Springs add being at the foot of the mountains in Palm Springs with that crisp desert sky at night as you float in the pool and hot tub ~ only to run out and press the “Make Fire” button on one of the many fire places surrounded by adorably designed chairs as you look up at the Stan Bitters ceramics ~ or wander to the bar where what appears to be the coolest sunglass wearing stuffed bear you will ever see is perched behind the bottles ~ challenging the coolness of the coyote of a mascot above the reception whose silhouette is all around the hotel… and the THINK signage in the lobby “compliments of IBM corporation” is just priceless. OH! And there are yurts too… with beautiful domed skylights colored with geometric gel patterns… and hammocks too! So as you can see, there was too much besides my room, that i couldn’t help but share with you… so MANY pictures on the next page. I hope you enjoy them as much as i do!
While in Palm Springs at the Ace, i was told that i HAD to go see the Integratron. How good a word is that? I didn’t even know what it meant, but was instantly intrigued. So, while on super secret brainstorm adventure in Palm Springs this weekend, we jumped in the car, took off an hour into the desert not quite sure what to expect… although we did know that it had something to do with amazingness, alien abductions, domes, a sound bath, and something about our neurons getting massaged. Dome + sunset + desert = gorgeous pics.
So while i’m still on my thing about circles lately ~ and concentric circles from directly below… the architecture of the Integratron blew my mind to wander around in… and honestly, i think there must be something wrong with me, because the Sound bath (you lay on the mats in the dome, and they “play 9 quartz crystal singing bowls live, each one keyed to the energy centers or chakras of the body, where sound is nutrition for the nervous system.” and it’s on Rolling Stone Magazine’s 2009 Hot List) ~ i couldn’t lay through the whole thing, it made me feel like i wanted to scream and dissonant sounds vibrating through my head just started to hurt. BUT that being said, it was pretty amazing the way they resonated around the space… really staring at the architecture and lighting as the sunset around us was far more fascinating to me. So take a peek at the random pics on the next page… LOVE the colors in the desert sunsets…
Don’t mock. It’s friday night. I know. It’s friday the 13th even! And honestly, as many events and people are convening in LA for a combination of art events, MOCA anniversary, and so much more this weekend ~ after that endless travelfest the last month and a non stop week since i touched back down ~ i couldn’t help myself when a few fun folks said “Ok!” to having our own top secret brainstorm session where we’d clear the weekend and meet up in Palm Springs. So after a delicious (intellectually and nourishingly) breakfast meeting at Chateau Marmont, i hopped back in the car and drove east… running super low on sleep and high on ideas, i stumbled into the Ace Hotel Palm Springs, and into Room 214 with only my laptop/camera bag and purse… and have been sucked into photoshopping and before i wander back out to feed myself and see whats going on with the wedding folks right outside… i just had to share this little oasis with you. Stepping in, life slowed down, mind felt clearer, body felt calmer. And the welcome card tells me “Life is not about surviving the storm, but learning to dance in the rain.” Wise words to live by ~ so let’s dance? I have a feeling there will be much more to share this weekend… the Ace family always does manage to get me so inspired with their attention to details, great design, and just awesome experiences…
Between Oxford and Stockholm, there was a last minute irresistible reason to change plans and detour through Paris to have dinner as a guest of Dom Perignon in Versailles! In the style and room that Louis XIV dined… ok, quite honestly, for something that “once in a lifetime” feeling, how could you turn down such an opportunity? So that meant hopping on a train to London in the morning, then Eurostarring it over to Paris, and then into the infamous Hotel de Crillon (according to wikipedia, it’s one of the oldest luxury hotels in the WORLD), where a matte black Dom Perignon bag filled with matte black goodness and lots of history and background information on the world of Dom awaited me on the desk to dive into in the few hours i had to prepared before for dinner. So before we get into Versailles… here’s a peek at design details of Hotel de Crillon and the lovely packaging of the Dom Perignon materials! (As you’ll see, they LOVE stacks of cards/imagery on gorgeous paper in various sizes… even with gilded edges…)
Just a quick peek at last nights festivities ~ i’m currently at the Broad Summit at the Boon Hotel up in the Russian River Valley ~ what is it? “So. You may be wondering what this party is all about. In short, The Broad Summit was an idea hatched over Margaritas at SxSW. Maggie has “organize a retreat” on her life list, Aubrey is a party planner, Laura Mayes is a conference organizer, and Helen Jane supplies wine and cheese for the entire Internet. We talked about how fun it would be to have our blogger friends in one place for the weekend. Tipsily laid plans don’t often come to much, but we’re an unusually efficient group.” Basically its like a blogger/tech ladies summer camp (fall camp?) of sorts, but with wine, massages, bonfires, pajama parties, hot tubs, and fun sponsors! So, yes, i’m totally at a tech conference north of SF… and the bonfire was so pretty, had to share a few quick pics with you! (More random pics keep popping up over on my twitter) ~ so first take a peek at the awesome fire, and the surroundings on the next page!
Veuve Clicquot was generous enough to bring me to Reims again this year to join their intimate harvest festivities (read: honored they let me come do a day of manual labor with their friends/family). I kid you not. I spent half a day in the beautiful hot champagne region sun from the break of dawn fighting jetlag clipping grapes and working my way through the rows while chatting with friends old and new. So there you have it, my excuse for why posts slowed down and got so quiet. Also minimal wifi. But really, it turns out that the best way to slow me down is tire me out! Because i certainly had no problem running around, drinking late, and still posting before bed on the last trip…
So on the next page you can take a look at my experience from sunrise to learning how to pick grapes, to wine breaks (at 9am!), to crating the grapes away, to seeing them pressed… all the missing steps from last year… it’s fascinating really to see what happens between the fresh grapes and the bottling to spend time in les crayeres. And we were back at the Verzy country estate which has some of the finest grapes behind it ~ the grapes we picked will be in the 2019 Veuve Clicquot La Grand Dame if we’re lucky, so far they are saying it is a phenomenal harvest! And if nothing else, they’ve at lease guaranteed that i will have to purchase a bottle (or case!) just to see where my grapes went! So see the process first hand on the next page!
I’m sitting at that desk, in that chair, as i write to you… I don’t even know where to begin, as you know, i’ve been a bit quiet the last few days as i was whisked off from LA to Paris and driven to Reims as soon as i touched down to go meet up with Veuve Clicquot for the start of the harvest. Which means, packed to the gills schedules, lots of champagne, a day of manual labor picking grapes, incredible experiences with friends new and old, and so many photographs to share with you! So with hundreds of photos awaiting, running on minimal sleep and having just hopped a train over to London from Paris ~ i find myself trying to catch up in the stunning Hazlitt’s in Soho. I’m going to walk you through things a bit haphazardly, but know there are MANY posts in progress to come! So first take a look at where i’ve landed to spend the day writing/photoshopping/processing my thoughts to share with you!
Huge thanks to Mr and Mrs Smith, they’ve helped me find a few hotels i may not have found on my own, and as my first stop, i’m blown away. Hazlitt’s in Soho. There is something incredible about being surrounded by walls of old books and paintings, georgian period furniture… and nice speedy wifi, bluray players and flat panels hidden behind mirrors… coupled with a huge bath tub and a thrown like wooden toilet… and motorized shades and skylights… its fascinatingly comforting to step in from the midst of Soho and into another time period, but equipped with all the tech-infused modern amenities i couldn’t survive without. Firstly, i’m just going to show you what you’ll find inside my room (honestly, i’m so tired and have so much to do, i’m hiding out for a little while, so i’ll go shoot and share some of the other amazing shared spaces later!) ~ but for a quick background… “Hazlitt’s was created in 1986 from three unspoiled 18th century townhouses, built in 1718… the hotel takes its name from William Hazlitt, perhaps the greatest of all English essayists and critics…” He both lived and died here in the 1800s when it was a boarding house, and all of the bedrooms here are named after people who lived in or has some connection with these buildings… my room is named after Mrs. Teresa Cornelys ~ a viennese opera singer and lover of Casanova, with whom she even has a child! So while i get back to catching up, take a peek at the stunning suite ~ and i’m just so inspired and excited by all of the walls of books and clawfooted fixtures around the property!