Jan 10 2011

hotel intercontinental bali

we made our first trip to bali a few years ago after several visits to jakarta and other indonesia cities. the stories we had heard were all true – that it is unlike any other place on earth – that the people are the most open and centered and friendly you have met. the entire week there was magical and this hotel was perfect for us traveling with 2 small boys. every pool you saw all over the sprawling resort was swimmable or you could at least get in to your ankles and walk around. the rich dark woods and light stone and white pebbles of the local architecture created a subdued serene environment. the beach at jimbaran bay had hordes of large coral rods, large seashells and every sort of ocean treasure you could hope to find. I have been to some beautiful places but bali is by far my favorite…

InterContinental Bali Resort
Jalan Uluwatu 45
Jimbaran 80361, Indonesia

Jan 5 2011

milano alpen resort

This was an unusual find north of bergamo, way up in the italian alps. we drove through bergamo and into an industrial nondescript area for a while – then slowly we rose higher and higher on the highway as we drove farther. at some point the landscape drastically changes to sharp rock and mountain formations, the grass and green trees and greener than the ones below and the houses start looking like ski chalets. this was an old hotel that was renovated into a boutique hotel recently. it was in the middle of a great little village with several small movie cinemas and a playground next door. the rooms and the design of the entire hotel and facilities were spectacular…

Hotel Milano Alpen Resort Meeting and Spa
Via Silvio Pellico, 3
24020 Castione della Presolana

Dec 28 2010

hotel relais corte guastella – verona

one of our favorite hotels in the world – this small family-owned hotel is located about 1/2 an hour outside of the city of verona. the owners are a lovely couple and have 2 small children of their own. there are only 8 or so rooms and a standalone apartment that we have stayed in the past 2 years. it is very peaceful and serene – located in the middle of some cornfields with some small towns nearby. you can find a few small osterias and an ice cream shop that is open until midnight in nearby sommacampagna…

here is a book I had put together of some shots during our stay there

from their website:
The hospitality and welcome are the key words and the principles with which comes the beautiful Relais Corte Guastalla, nestled in the hills of Verona. Aspects that deeply express the nature and character of the owners, Orietta and Franco, and who find themselves in a journey in the ancient court. “Our guests are free to move inside the residence as if they were at home. We do not like the formality.We were good travelers and we took notes attending international hotels, trying to bring the best in our relais. We like our guests, in mutual respect, they can take a dip in the pool, walk in the park, find a romantic corner, chatting in the lounge, live freely and experience the joy of a unique moment. ”
Relais Corte Guastalla is not a Hotel but a charming relais, an exclusive place, where the confidentiality and privacy are guaranteed by the uniqueness of the architecture and by the freedom that guests can spend in their holiday.

hotel relais corte guastella
Via Guastalla Vecchia 11
37060 Sona – Verona (Italy)
Tel: 0039 045 6095614

Dec 15 2010

hotel aire de bardenas

an amazing destination designed my great friend and college alumnus, Mónica Rivera

From Wallpaper: Navarre, Spain looks like the surface of the moon, and Barcelona architects Emiliano Lopez and Mónica Rivera’s Hotel Aire de Bardenas like a lunar colony. Named after the wind that rolls in over the Bardenas desert, the hotel is a cluster of eight pale boxes around a main hall. They sit a little eerily, like the relic from 2001: A Space Odyssey, in the middle of a wheat field between a national park and the town of Tudela. Wind and dust weren’t all Lopez and Rivera had to worry about. This was the hotel owners’ first building, and money and time were scarce. ‘We tried to find evocative ways to assemble simple materials,’ Rivera said, and so the cubes – each one holds one or two rooms, with ten others in the central building – are built from prefab panels, while reused produce boxes from local farms ring the complex as a windbreak. But this isn’t just a glorified outpost. Lopez and Rivera designed the 22 rooms with clean lines and sleek, powder-coated steel to balance the rough world outside. The rooms center on what the architects call ‘inhabitable windows:’ big, glassed-in pop-outs where you can sit and contemplate the desert without getting sand in your espadrilles.


Ctra. de Ejea, Km. 1,5
31500 Tudela
Tfno. 948 11 66 66
Fax   948 11 63 48


Emiliano  López
Mónica Rivera
C/Pintor Fortuny, 28 2do
08001  Barcelona
t/f [+34] 93 317 6902

Dec 5 2010

banqueting house, gibside

years ago when milo was born, we rented these ‘castles’ outside of london. heidi found a great resource called the landmark trust. the houses and castles are furnished and can hold 2-10 people. this one was on a huge estate in northumbria and had been a tea house folly overlooking a pond below….

from their website:

Gibside was inherited in 1722 by George Bowes, a landowner and public figure made rich by coal. After his first wife died, he made Gibside his home and set about embellishing the park. The Banqueting House seems to have been finished by 1746. It was designed by Daniel Garrett, a former assistant of Lord Burlington’s, to stand in the highest part of the park, looking over the Derwent valley.

When we first saw The Banqueting House in 1977 it was almost entirely roofless and the porch and crocketed gables had collapsed. The park, now happily transferred to the National Trust by the Earl of Strathmore and open to the public, was let to the Forestry Commission and The Banqueting House was hidden by trees.

Here was, however, an important building of most original design, part of a famous landscape. The Forestry Commission agreed to give up their lease of it and the Strathmore Estate then sold us the freehold. Most of the missing stonework was found nearby and inside we were able to save much of the plasterwork and joinery of one room. But the Great Room was just a shell: here we replaced only the main elements of Garrett’s design, known from an old photograph.

The Banqueting House now stands in a grassy clearing, looking down to an octagonal pool and the valley beyond. Nearby, the Column of British Liberty rises high above the trees and a little further off lies the Gibside chapel, designed by James Paine in 1760 to hold the remains of George Bowes, ancestor of our Queen.

the landmark trust

Booking enquiries Phone 01628 825925
Email bookings@landmarktrust.org.uk
The Booking Office is normally open Monday to Friday 9am – 6pm, Saturday 10am – 4pm.