Jet Set: A Recap of My Trip to Bermuda

A little over a week ago, I had the pleasure of spending a beautiful, glamorous weekend on the gorgeous island of Bermuda. I had never been before, so when my friend, Sarah Bray, the newly named editor-in-chief of Gotham, Hamptons, and Beach magazines invited me to join her and a lovely group of influencers and designers on a trip hosted by the Bermuda Tourism Authority and Rosewood Bermuda, I jumped at the chance. For the past year, Sarah has been dating a native Bermudian and has grown to love Bermuda. As such, she thought it would be wonderful to bring other design and luxury travel lovers including Young Huh, Gloria Gonzalez, Amy Stone, and Madeline O’Malley from Architectural Digest on a wonderful trip. I have been fortunate to be invited on a number of sponsored trips, but this one actually felt like a vacation. Every detail was impeccably planned and this bona fide city lover is now dreaming of another beach vacation. Next time, I will definitely need to bring Fabian!

Even the airport is beautiful in Bermuda as you can see in this photo as we were landing. Just on the other side of the parking lot is the sparkling blue ocean. Sadly, I can’t say the same about Houston’s airports.

We stayed at the newly renovated Rosewood Bermuda in the tony Tucker’s Point area of the island. My room was well-appointed, spacious, and the bed and bed linens were divine.

The best part of my room was my large, private terrace overlooking one of the many pools on the resort and the beautiful ocean. I elected to take my breakfast outdoors on my last morning in paradise before heading back to reality.

{The View from my Terrace}

{The Rosewood’s Private Beach Club | It was a little chilly for getting into the water, but I enjoyed a lovely afternoon at the beach with the glorious feeling of the toes and crashing waves between my toes.}

{The View from the Window in the Hallway Outside of my Hotel Room}

{Every View at the Rosewood Bermuda Seems to Be Stunning}

{A Pool at the Rosewood Bermuda}

{The Reflection Pool at the Rosewood Bermuda Spa}

On our first evening, we were treated to the loveliest dinner at a private home, Old Walls, which dates back to the 1600s. Bermuda was founded in 1609 and is still a British Territory. Everyone drives on the opposite side of the road and there is a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II hanging above a fireplace in customs at the airport.

As a design lover, I always relish the chance to get a glimpse inside of old houses. This one certainly did not disappoint. The house is in incredible condition and features a typical stepped, limed roof and a pretty pink exterior. Bermuda is the land of pink sand and pink houses!

{We Were Greeted with Delicious Cocktails}

{Every meal we had was not only delicious, but featured a spectacular table setting, like this one by the lovely Selange Gitschner, a native Houstonian and long-time Bermudian of Das Fete, the event planning an production company she runs alongside her husband, Matthew Strong.}

{The beautiful table included only flowers that are native to Bermuda including local roses and begonias as well as antique English silverware and napkins.}

{The Lovely Grounds at Old Walls}

{A Magical Setting}

{The Original Lime Kiln at Old Walls}

{The Incredible View from Old Walls}

{Cocktails and Conversation: Young Huh captured Sarah Bray and I Chatting}

On Day 2, we stopped at this beautiful spot before heading to a scrumptious breakfast at The Village Pantry. Notice how clear the water is!

After breakfast, we made our way over to the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art which features works from artists from all over the world who used Bermuda as their muse. I was struck by this portrait of a Bermudian boy.

Next, we wandered over to the island’s Annual Agricultural Exhibition. For Houstonians, it was like the Bermudian version of the rodeo, only more elegant. There were English-style equestrian competitions as well as agricultural competitions featuring awards for categories like Best Rose, Best Bermudian Onions, and Best Chickens. So charming!

{Beautiful Native Roses}

{This clever display looks like an oil painting, but it is actually a shadowbox with a fresh flower arrangement.}

{A Fancy Silky Chicken}

{Bermudian Architecture}

After the Agricultural Exhibition, we were treated to a lavish lunch at the private, members only Coral Beach and Tennis Club. It was ultra glamorous in the 1950s and 60s– think Slim Aarons and the charming interiors seem encapsulated in time.

I love seeing the decor in the bathrooms at old clubs. How cute is this?

{What’s not to love about this view and yellow cabana stripes?}

{Another Fabulous Lunch and Table Setting by Das Fete}

{A Chic Moment}

{A Charming Dining Room at the Coral Beach and Tennis Club}

{Bermudian Architecture at Coral Beach}

{After lunch, we moved over to the croquet lawn.}

{We were greeted by Pimms Cups and a waiter in a typical Bermudian outfit of Bermuda shorts and high socks.}

One of my favorite parts of the trip was seeing some of the stunning houses on the island. Bermuda has a very high standard of living and there are plenty of gorgeous homes all around the island, including this equestrian estate.

{Michael Bloomberg’s house is supposedly across the water.}

{A Blue and White Bermudian Charmer}

Speaking of blue and white, on the second evening, we were treated to a dinner at the Rosewood Beach Club that was curated by AERIN using her tabletop collection with Williams Sonoma Home.

{Lovely Details}

{AERIN recently collaborated with Rosewood Bermuda to develop a new line of in-room amenities featuring her Coral Palm scent.}

{The Rosewood also offers a new AERIN Fragrance Bar featuring all of the AERIN fragrances. Guests can simply ring the Fragrance Bar who will appear at their doorstep with all of the fragrances for them to choose from. This is such a nice feature for anyone who likes to travel light or who might be forgetful when packing. Luckily for me, AERIN Rose de Grasse is my signature scent.}

{With my Lovely Friends, Sarah Bray and Young Huh}

On the last day, we visited the Hamilton Princess Hotel for an “Art at the Pink Palace” tour. The hotel is home to an impressive collection of art featuring David Hockney, Donald Judd, and Andy Warhol, as seen here.

{Afterward, we boarded the “Calabash”, a classic sailboat and went on a dreamy sail around the island. We listened to Bob Marley, drank rosé, and enjoyed the beautiful scenery and one another’s company.}

{The Bermudian Shore as seen from the Sailboat}

{Ahoy, Captain!}

{Can you believe these colors are real? I didn’t use any filters or edit the photos. Bermuda is just picture-perfect.}

I know this post was much longer than usual, but I was too excited not to share all of the beauty from our trip with you. I am already trying to figure out when I can go back with Fabian (whose birthday is today!). Bermuda is a special place filled with kind, warm people, a rich history, and beautiful vistas everywhere the eye can see. If you haven’t been, you should seriously consider it. The weather is perfect nearly year-round, there are no Zika-carrying mosquitos, the island is very safe, and for those of you on the East Coast, it’s a super easy flight.

{Photography by Paloma Contreras for La Dolce Vita, Unless Otherwise Noted}

Jet Set: Relais Christine Paris

I have been a francophile for as long as I can remember, but my two trips to Paris have really taken my obsession with all things French to a new level. As such, I am already dying to go back to Paris and am working on convincing Fabian to come with me in March to shop one of the antique fairs I visited on my trip in October. Travel is such a huge source of inspiration for me, both in a personal and professional sense. I see these trips as an investment in my personal and cultural enrichment and as a way to continue developing my eye. Part of what makes me a good designer is that I constantly expose myself to different places and as such, get out of my normal realm, fine tuning my eye to see and understand details I may not have been exposed to otherwise.

I’ve considered staying in an apartment in the 7th Arrondissement again on our next trip, which I did and loved on my last trip. It was so fun living like a local, going to the local coffee shop and bakery every morning. Croissants don’t count when you’re on vacation! However, I recently came across Relais Christine, in the St. Germain de Pres (6th Arrondissement) and it is tempting me to stay in a hotel. From the beautiful facade with its ivy covered walls, chic awnings, and Juliet balconies to the newly renovated interiors which are swathed entirely in Pierre Frey fabrics, this stunning property has made it to the top of my list! I’m not completely sure what to do, though. If you’ve happened to stay at Relais Christine in the past, I’d love to hear about your experience. What is your vote– should we rent a cute apartment or stay at Relais Christine?


{Photography via Relais Christine}

Jet Set: Sonoma’s Farmhouse Inn

It’s no secret that I love California Wine Country– particularly the Napa Valley. I haven’t spent much time in Sonoma, except for the occasional jaunt to Healdsburg on our Napa trips and one full day spent there on one of our first trips to the area over ten years ago. I think part of the reason is that all of our favorite haunts are in Napa. In years past, we have visited one or even two times in a year. I think if we lived in Northern California, we would be there at least once a month. I always feel so happy and serene when we visit, although it could just be the wine talking! In all seriousness, it is such a beautiful place and I always feel so inspired by seeing the passion people have for winemaking. It is a beautiful and pure thing, derived from the earth and brought to life with love, blood, sweat, and tears. Wine is truly poetry in a bottle. 

I am ready for another visit, but Fabian says he’d rather go somewhere we haven’t been somewhere we haven’t been before this fall. Perhaps the perfect compromise would be a trip to Sonoma rather than Napa? If I can convince him, I know exactly where I would want to stay– the Farmhouse Inn in the Russian River Valley. The property looks unbelievably charming with its crisp white interiors. The rooms also seem so cozy and well-appointed. Farmhouse Inn has also been named the #1 Hotel in California by Travel & Leisure for the past two years in a row, which says a lot!

Where are you hoping to jet off to next?

{Photography via Farmhouse Inn}

Jet Set: Marquis Faubourg Saint Honore Paris

Marquis Faubourg 1

I have admired Michele Bonan’s beautiful work and chic aesthetic since I first came across the JK Capri Hotel several years ago. Michele, like most of the European designers I admire, has a true knack for bringing together elements from various periods and design movements to create a beautifully layered look. One of his most recent projects is the Marquis Faubourg Saint Honoré in Paris, which opened just a few years ago. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, Fabian and I are heading to Paris again in a few weeks and this time around, we will be staying at this chic, fifteen room hotel set in a beautiful, historic 1730 mansion which once belonged to the Marquis de Lafayette. The hotel features many of the design hallmarks Michele is known for including traditional architecture, in this case, Louis XVI fireplaces and exquisite millwork mixed with mid-century Italian furniture, a mostly neutral palette, and a few carefully-selected pops of color. It will be such a treat to finally experience one of Michele’s projects in person!

marquis faubourg 2

marquis faubourg 5

marquis faubourg 10

marquis faubourg 4

marquis faubourg 3

marquis faubourg 5

marquis faubourg 6

marquis faubourg 8

marquis faubourg 7

marquis faubourg 11

marquis faubourg 9

Paloma Signature

{Photography by Brittany Ambridge for Domino}

Jet Set: Ett Hem Stockholm

Ett Hem Guest Room Lead

The other day, while perusing Instagram, I noticed that a couple of people I follow were in Stockholm and were staying at the Ilse Crawford-designed Ett Hem hotel. I was struck by the beautiful interiors which are a testament to Ilse’s brilliant ability to create layered, eclectic spaces. We also happened to install a beautiful project on Monday that also features a mix of mid-century Italian and relaxed Belgian influences, so it seems that I am feeling inspired by this type of look lately. I find that Europeans execute eclectic mixes better than anyone else because of where you are. Chances are, a space in Italy, France, England, or in this case, Sweden, is likely to be centuries old, with architecture from a previous period, so as the decades pass, things are added and you end up with an eclectic interior that came to be in a very organic way.

The Ett Hem likely came together much more quickly as it was a hospitality project, but the interiors have so much character. Opened in 2012, the hotel is housed in what used to be a private residence built in 1910 and is now home to 12 rooms in the Embassy Quarter of Stockholm. It was very important to the hotel’s owner as well as to Ilse that the hotel be comfortable and feel as if you were a guest in a friend’s home. I’d say the cozy, chic interiors certainly seem to deliver on that promise. I guess I’ll have to make my way to Stockholm sometime in the future to find out for myself!

Ett Hem Library

Ett Hem Living

Ett Hem Living 2

Ett Hem Lobby

Ett Hem Lounge

Ett Hem Guest Room

Ett Hem Bath

Ett Hem Guest Room 3

Ett Hem Marble Bathtub

Ett Hem Suite

Ett Hem Gate

Paloma Signature

{Photography by Paul Massey for House & Garden UK}