The Ubud Hanging Gardens

The Ubud Hanging Gardens

The Ubud Hanging Gardens Bali’s Sustainable Getaway By Mackenzie Lowry It’s been said that bamboo restores emotional calm and stimulates creativity. So why not literally build a sanctuary upon those ideas? Ubud Hanging Gardens is a series of villas built on bamboo stilts in the Bali hillsides. The goal was to create a space magical and authentic, yet still harmonious with nature. There could be no better execution of this goal than Ubud Hanging Gardens. Ubud was built by over 700 local craftsmen, and reportedly only one tree in the forest had to be moved to make way for the villas. The attention to details in this high-top getaway is impeccable. Bamboo-topped funiculars were built as a method of easy transportation throughout the levels of Ubud. The stones used to create the walkways were individually cut from the local river and imprinted with leaves from a local fern. The steps were built from the local volcanic ash of Mount Batur. The all of the resort’s spa products and recipes include plants from the hotel’s exotic garden. The resort is surrounded by rice fields, ancient temples, mountains, forest, local villages, and abundant rivers free for you to explore. The hotel also offers diverse activities that you might not get the chance to try anywhere else. While taking a dip, guests can indulge in floating sunset dinners in ‘The Most Amazing Pool in the World’, five-star spa experiences, Balinese cooking classes, local village treasure hunts, traditional painting lessons, chakra meditation, open top VW rides, and even mountain biking. Between sleeping on bamboo stilts, practicing your cooking, taking a dip into infinity,...
El Cosmico Hotel of Marfa

El Cosmico Hotel of Marfa

El Cosmico Hotel of Marfa The Cosmos Come to Texas By Mackenzie Lowry El Cosmico “the cosmic one” is located deep in the heart of Marfa, Texas. Technically, it is advertised as a hotel, but it feels more like an adventure waiting to happen. Guests have the option of taking shelter in a full-size tent, an Indian-style teepee, a funky old restored trailer, or an intriguing “yurt,” which is basically a thicker, round tent. El Cosmico also has a bathhouse for guests, as well as a community kitchen, and a very colorful “Hammock Grove.” This hippie dream vacation is not just about relaxing in bright red 70’s trailers. El Cosmico offers a chance for play and learning, while also connecting with your inner spirit. They host cooking and songwriting workshops, art classes, concerts, cultural events, community activities which change from week to week. Even the town of Marfa has plenty to offer. Built up from cattle ranchers, the town is now populated by artists and young individuals with exciting ideas, making for a quirky combination of locals. El Cosmico is inspired by “a long American history of hippies, nomads, bohemians and those living a life of self-determination.” The founder, Liz Lambert, wanted to create a place where people can feel an open connection to the land they walk on, while also actively taking part in an artistic community. Lambert has a philosophical view of living. “Mañana is the anticipation that it might happen today, and it might just as likely not. Either way, it’s not that big of a deal. Eventually mañana arrives and the tomorrows of our dreams,...
Italian Design Open House

Italian Design Open House

Italian Design Open House The Entryways of Milan By Lauri Lyons Throughout the centuries Milan has always been a city renowned as a crossroads for design and culture. Nestled between France, Austria, the sea and mountains, Milan has a distinct flavor that sets it apart from its European counterparts. However, Milan has kept much of its beauty behind an industrial facade that hides its artistic interiors and lush gardens. Now, an Italian design open house is available at the touch of our fingertips. With the publication of Entryways of Milan – Ingressi di Milano (Taschen) people are finally getting a glimpse into the sublime entrance halls of Milan’s public buildings and private residences. The book’s editor, Karl Koblitz grew up in Berlin and was inspired to explore built environments and how they shape our daily lives. While working on this book he migrated from door to door, to gain access to spaces overlooked by the general public and design world. The book features a stunning array of 144 of Milan’s most artistic entrance halls and architectural configurations that define Italian Modernism from the 1920’s – 1970’s. The photographs juxtapose elements of stone, geometry, and murals that contain a symphony of hues that shift from cool earth tones to vibrant bursts of technicolor. Entryways Milan is not only a visual homage to interior design, but it also serves as a detailed City Guide of Milanese architecture that includes the address of each featured location and essays by renowned Italian architects Gio Ponti and Piero Portaluppi. If you love all things Italian or have a fetish for design, step into la...
Portugal’s Secret Boutique Hotel

Portugal’s Secret Boutique Hotel

Visit Portugal’s Secret Boutique Hotel Explore the Charm of Areias do Seixo By Mackenzie Lowry A stay at Areias do Seixo is to enter into a timeless world in Dos Cunhados, Portugal. Peace and good energy radiate from every direction and there is never a need to check your watch as each moment speaks for itself. Areias de Seixo started with a dream of creating a place that could house guests from all over the world while providing an experience that is new and magical. The fairytale resort is uniquely designed with surprising elements of nature arousing your sense of sight, smell and sound. Areias de Seixo is located by the water and a pine forest and they ensure that guests get the full experience of the location including trees growing inside some of the rooms. When time becomes a foreign concept, guests can enjoy the authentic food at the restaurant or the mixed company at the bar. The spa, pool, art room, and organic garden are all open for exploration. For those in love with the nightlife, Areias de Seixo’s atmosphere is an easy place to make friends, especially when the guests are all gathered around a bonfire for some free red wine. The attention to detail in the gorgeous design and setup proves that the hotel is passionate about what it’s trying to offer. This Iberian gem offers up a striking interior and concierge service that will make your experience seem specifically designed for you. Areias de Seixo reveals the magic is real. Photos © Areixas de...
Siesta In La Rioja Spain

Siesta In La Rioja Spain

Siesta In La Rioja Spain The Battle of Wine Festival By Michaela Barnes La Rioja is home to world-renowned wineries, local gastronomy, architecture, culture, museums, outdoor adventures, and beyond. Set in north central Spain it is considered to be one of the greatest wine regions in the world. The region spans more than 57,000 hectares, the most acreage under vines of any wine region – yielding 250 million liters of wine annually. Dating back to the 13 th century, one of Rioja’s most famed heritage events, Batalla Del Vino (Battle of Wine), is held annually the last week of June on St. Peter’s Day, in the town of Haro. Wine cellars and restaurants donate gallons upon gallons of wine to thousands of residents and visitors who engage in a friendly battle of wine while enjoying live music along the town’s cobbled streets and picturesque Spanish squares. Led by the town’s mayor, on horseback, a procession of people all carrying jugs, bottles and buckets filled with red wine, winds through the town to the Cliffs of Bilibio. The madness of the annual wine battle starts with everyone tossing wine on each other until all are soaked from head to toe. During this battle anything that can be used to hurl, spray or launch thousands of liters of wine all over the crowd is used. After the battle, people return to the town to “parade” to the Plaza de la Paz, for the Haro Wine Festival Bullfights held in the town’s bull ring. 8 Things To Do Before You Get Wasted Batalla Del Vino provides visitors with an opportunity immerse in...
Brian Mazza’s NY City Guide

Brian Mazza’s NY City Guide

Brian Mazza’s NY City Guide A Hospitality Guru Serves Up the High Life Manhattan’s man about town and hospitality and fitness guru,​ Brian Mazza, has built a long standing reputation for owning and operating many of New York’s finest hot spots. When he’s not on the glamorous job you can catch him working out and exploring his favorite New York locations. Now you can follow in Brian’s footsteps from Soho to the Hamptons with his curated NYC City Guide. BRIAN MAZZA’S ‘A’ LIST NEW YORK CITY GUIDE ● Restaurant​ ~ All of our Paige Hospitality Group restaurants are some of my favorite places to be in NYC- even when I’m not working. The Ainsworth’s, The Chester + Southampton Social Club. Pepe Rosso is also one of my go-to’s. ● Cafe or Bar ~ I love Soho House in the Meatpacking District. ● Hotel ~ My absolute favorite is The Four Seasons. Their service is impeccable and the rooms are beautiful, as are the views of Central Park. ● Shops ~ Bergdorfs Mens. ● Art Space ~ Gagosian Gallery which is walking distance from my apartment. Their exhibitions are always captivating. ● Outdoor space ~​ Pier 40’s soccer field, Madison Square Park. ● Wellness Center ~ Tone House is my favorite workout facility in the world. ● Leisure Experience ~ Hanging out in my Chelsea neighborhood with my wife and...
Europe by Train

Europe by Train

Europe by Train From Oxford to Las Ramblas By Calum Hill My friend Matt and I  recently graduated from university in Southampton and parted our separate ways. I studied journalism and Matt studied film and television. Three months later, I was working in a brassiere in Oxford. It was closing down for refurbishment during January, so I decided I wanted to spend the month travelling. Matt was working in Notting Hill Theatre in London and January was a quiet month as there weren’t many shows on.  I contacted him to discuss a possible week away. During our internet scour we stumbled across interrailing and discovered it was rather cheap for a month long ticket during January. Our inspiration was to see a vast array of European countries. We were still young and wanted to see as much of the world as we could. Visiting six countries in one month wasn’t bad . As neither of us drives we spend a lot of time on trains, so it was second nature as a form of travel, making the navigation much easier. The idea of sleeping on night trains also meant we’d have more time to travel and spend less money on rooms. The Dream Becomes Reality… “You come to France and you don’t speak French?”, said the taxi driver. “We’re travelling around Europe, we can’t learn every language”, I replied humorously. “Oh mon dieu, je nele croire, bonne chance.” I was unsure what the taxi driver had said so I remained quiet for the proceeding journey. It’s an oddity conveniently favouring the English, most countries speak English and most Europeans...
Escape to St. Lucia

Escape to St. Lucia

Escape to St. Lucia The Land of the Light By Sophie Ball They call St Lucia ‘Land of the Light’, although there was little trace of that light when we landed at Hewanorra airport. Instead, we were met with grey skies and a languid, muggy, heat that threatened to betray the superlatives usually attached to the island. The next day the clouds gave way to rain, but not UK rain - the kind of endless drizzle that dampens your soul. This was tropical rain: abandoned, prodigious, and exhilarating in its intensity. This was the kind of rain that allows an island, which rarely sees temperatures below 25c, to boast of some of the most verdant vegetation in the world. The next day the sun pushed through the clouds, and for my British, city-dwelling self, it was like waking up to the world in HD. Plants were greener, the sand was whiter,  and voices were louder. There is a kind of steamy, sensual promise to St Lucia, it has an unbridled fertility that is apparent in everything, from the variety of the vegetation: 60 different types of mango grow here, to the dancing at Jump Up - a weekly street party held at Gros Islet. They say desperation breeds discontent and on an island where “anything grows” and you have “poverty but not starvation”, there is no trace of that desperation. In its place are a curiosity and inherent optimism that breathes credence into that very Caribbean idiom tings b’riite. It’s an interesting and revealing attitude when you take into account the history of St Lucia. In 1778, the British...
Soledad O’Brien Dispatches

Soledad O’Brien Dispatches

Soledad O’Brien Dispatches A Reporter’s Life On the Run Interview by Lauri Lyons TV journalist Soledad O’Brien has tirelessly crisscrossed the globe to report breaking news and produce social documentaries for CNN, Al Jazeera, and HBO. We were lucky enough to catch up with Soledad en route to the airport for her annual Starfish Foundation Gala, through which she works to assist young women scholars get to and through college. Here is the veteran reporter’s take on how she lives life on the run. For your big stories that you’ve covered (Hurricane Katrina, Thailand tsunami, Haiti earthquake) what are the logistics and preparation time for getting you in the field and on camera? Soledad O’Brien:  I’m sitting in traffic on my way to Newark airport. So, I’m living your website. The logistics are usually pretty crazy, but I work at CNN, and they are pretty amazing at that. They are just masters of the logistics.  They would have a whole apartment, and then their goal is just to get you physically there. Then I travel with stacks of books and printouts, and any information I can find. While I’m on the flight, I’m reading. We’ll often travel without knowing very much. For example, I know there’s an earthquake in Haiti,  but what’s the history of Haiti? How did Haiti become a country? What are some of the big stories and issues in Haiti?  You spend the entire flight reading until you really understand all the different contexts of the story, while somebody else is trying to figure out how to get you in. Then you get in there, and,...
The Sultans of Style

The Sultans of Style

The Sultans of Style Taking Fashion to the Streets Interview by Lauri Lyons Once again, the intrepid fashion photographer John-Paul Pietrus has been making rounds on the international style circuit. He recently made a pit stop in the Ottoman Empire to shoot a Young Turk fashion story in Istanbul. Did you ever have a desire or fantasy about going to Istanbul? John-Paul Pietrus:  I always had a desire to visit Istanbul as it is this fantastic place historically, the merging between East and West, so it has this allure related to Orientalist fantasies and folklore, which I wanted to experience even in modern day terms. Was this your first time visiting Istanbul? This shoot was my fifth visit. I really love Istanbul. What was the inspiration for your story? The concept was about an opulent Orientalist fantasy and the meeting of East and West. Who was on your team? The styling was done by Lucia Liu and Fatos Hanlim. The model was Tian Yi. The hair was  done by Bon Chou and the makeup was done by Adam de Cruz. The stylists and model flew in from Beijing and the makeup artist and I flew in from London. I hired a Turkish production team and a local photographer, Pinar Lauridsen, to shoot the behind the scenes video. Pinar was already a good friend of mine from my previous visits to Istanbul, so it was wonderful to work and hang out with her. Where is the model from and why did you choose her for the story? I hired Tian Yi because she has a very delicate beauty with a...
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