For June, our theme is wanderlust and we could think of no better person to wax poetic on foreign adventures than Kate Thorman, a professional travel writer. Kate’s impressive credentials include being an editor for Mr. & Mrs. Smith as well as the host/producer of the web-based travel and food program The Innocents Abroad. (In fact, she’s actually the cofounder of the show’s production company Abbott & West.) If you think you had the itch to explore before, we can guarantee that you’ll be ready to pull the trigger and book your next plane ticket after reading her travel-savvy posts this week.
Back in the day, when I was young and broke (okay, maybe not that long ago), I knew all about finding a good, cheap hostel or homestay. After all, travel is about exploring a new place, not worrying about where you sleep, right?
And then I discovered boutique hotels, where pedigreed designers decorate rooms I could only dream of living in. And the food is exceptional, the bar is right there, and they often give you free cookies and fancy bath products. I was ruined.
In the last few years, I’ve stayed in some pretty exceptional not-your-average-hotels. Here are a few of my favorites – go ahead, give them a try. Your bank account might regret it, but you definitely won’t…
High Road House, London (pictured above)
It may be way out in West London, but this Soho House outpost is worth the trek. Somewhere between a stylish country inn and a chic urban members club, High Road House is a dream of insanely comfortable beds, vintage radios playing jazz as you enter your room, and rustically tiled bathrooms filled with superlative Cowshed products. Downstairs, in the members’ club living room, listen to media types (Colin Firth is a regular) hob-nob while you eat the best avocado toast of your life.
One of the world’s most famous hotels in the early decades of the 20th century, this glamorous grande dame on Singapore’s waterfront has managed to stay current – and just as elegant. Once the haunt of the likes of Rudyard Kipling and W Somerset Maugham, its bars and terraces overlooking coiffed gardens still feel just as romantic as the ceiling fans spin in the tropical humidity.
Just a couple hours by train out of NYC, this charming town on the Delaware Water Gap is an artists-escaping-from-the-city haven, much like Hudson and Aspen, and the elegant Hotel Fauchère is its centerpiece. Its restaurant is award-winning, the affiliated French boulangerie next door reminds me of Paris, and I still daydream about the hot chocolate the owner brought us as we sat in rocking chairs on the front porch.
Until the Ace and King & Grove open their outposts in LA this year, Palihotel is my go-to there for design-y, relatively affordable, and super trendy hotels. Rooms are a minimalist vintage-garage-sale aesthetic, if a little dark for my taste, but I love the lobby/café area, now the popular The Hart and the Hunter restaurant, as well as the serene little interior patio. They also give you a free tote from Nudie jeans and 15% at their boutique down the street…