Summer is almost here, and you deserve a vacation…or three. We’ve teamed up with Henri Bendel Creative Director Pina Ferlisi to match up the best 2015 getaways with the must-have accessories for your trip.
Half the hassle of traveling for us is packing. We want to match our duds to our destination, balance comfort and cool and do it all in a carry-on. So we tapped Henri Bendel Creative Director Pina Ferlisi for tips.
“Keep your wardrobe simple and mix it up with jewelry and the right bag,” Ferlisi says. Though she travels light, she always makes room for a travel candle for atmosphere and for multipurpose accessories like an oversized cashmere scarf.
Bendel’s summer collection was inspired by one of our favorite things, boho beach breaks, like the sunny days and languorous nights Ferlisi loves spending in Tulum.
“Being exposed to new cultures and experiences allows me to take more risks in my work. As Diana Vreeland said, ‘The eye must travel.’”
Where to Go: Tulum never goes out of style. It became a top bohemian-chic retreat when the supercool Coqui Coqui hotel opened 10 years ago. The perennially hip escape is best in summer, when the vibe is decidedly more chill than in the booming winter months. On your list of must-dos: dinner at the buzzy Hartwood, where New York transplants Eric Werner and Mya Henry cook up whatever’s fresh from the market; a tour of the Mayan ruins and the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, the largest protected area in the Mexican Caribbean and a UNESCO World Heritage Site; and plenty of beach time.
Where to Go: The fashion capital’s renovation of its waterfront, La Darsena, means there will be ample space for Expo Milan (a.k.a. the World’s Fair), which lasts through the end of October. Expect an Epcot Center’s worth of international delicacies when 140 countries bring their most beloved dishes to venues all over the city. And once the stroopwafel- and empanada-eating crowds subside, the city will be infinitely more walkable. On those sunny days, stroll the fabled Corso Como pedestrian shopping stretch, and swing by the rooftop of the sleek Armani Hotel, where every detail is carefully considered, from the Armani-branded water to the goatskin furniture. For dinner, do Italian food right with a meal at Tokuyoshi, where wunderkind chef Yoji Tokuyoshi crafts such dishes as “fake risotto Milanese,” which is made from celeriac and potato spaghetti and served with mussels and black truffle. He calls his cuisine “contaminated Italian.” We call it sublime.
Baha Mar, Bahamas
Where to Go: All eyes are on the Bahamas. That’s because the developers of Baha Mar — a village, beach resort, shopping mecca, nightlife draw, you name it — have spent some $3.5 billion to create a new destination in the Caribbean to rival nearby Atlantis. The elegant Rosewood is for now the only place to stay in what’s fast becoming the Bahamian Riviera. Nonetheless, come summer expect New York’s moneyed set to arrive on these shores for Vegas-style casinos, authentic Caribbean cuisine and endless stretches of white sand beach.
Where to Go: This summer the breeze in the Windy City is coming from a host of stylish design hotels opening their doors. There’s the swanky new Virgin, in a retrofitted Art Deco masterpiece with a gorgeous rooftop bar; the Roman and Williams–designed Chicago Athletic Association, tucked into a circa-1893 Henry Ives Cobb gem; and the hip Freehand. Of course, there’s plenty to do beyond your hotel's doors. Check out the city’s architectural landmarks on a tour along the river, or spend all your time eating at places like Grant Achatz’s renowned Alinea (or its kid sister, Next), Stephanie Izard’s Girl & the Goat, or the newly opened, California-inspired Presidio. Walk it off with a stroll on the lakefront or in vast, glorious Millennium Park.
Where to Go: Yes, that is Gisele over there in the bikini. But don’t be intimidated: Trancoso is where A-list Brazilians go to escape the limelight — and ATMs, and stop lights, and high heels. Everyone here is someone. What is there to do? Grab a table at the open-air Los Negros and order a round of caipirinhas. Feast on Bahian dishes like bean fritters at O Cacao. Play futbol with the locals on the Quadrado. Or simply relax on the terrace of your bungalow at Uxua Casa Hotel & Spa.
Where to Go: Move over, Hamptons. Shelter Island takes center stage this summer with the opening of the stylish Chequit Hotel. The shabby-chic decor is perfect for a languorous weekend when all you want to do is laze around and actually read a book. There’s not much else to do on the island, and that’s precisely the point. But should you want to see and be seen, reserve an outdoor table at the Vine Street Café or grab provisions at the café's market and picnic on one of the many lovely empty beaches.
Where to Go: Forget what you think you know about downtown LA. It’s undergoing the kind of renaissance not witnessed since the motion picture industry landed here a century ago, with gorgeous old theaters being restored, new museums, and chefs moving east on I-10. A clubby vibe permeates the Ace Hotel Los Angeles all day and night — especially in summer, when the rooftop pool is backed with bathing beauties Zenning out to the sounds of a live DJ. True, nobody walks in LA, but in compact Downtown, you can break the rules. Check out Frank Gehry’s swooping Disney Concert Hall and the neighboring 12-acre Grand Park, as well as what will be the stunning Broad Museum, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and filled with contemporary art spanning the last 60 years.
Where to Go: Marrakech’s little sister is stepping into the spotlight with the opening of several blissed-out new riads. Case in point: Palais Amani, which features Moroccan tiling and colorful textiles. Step outside your whitewashed room and you’re immediately swept into the energy of the medina, where life goes on much as it did half a millennium ago. Make sure to look up: The rooftops are often bedecked with drying calfskin, stretched after being treated then dunked in vats of colorful (and pungent) dye. Test your bargaining skills at the souks, which are entertaining enough to dazzle you, whether this is your first time or your 30th. Then make your way to Les Trois Saveurs for a classic Moroccan lunch.
Puerto Rico and Vieques
Where to Go: San Juan is just a short flight from New York, but Puerto Rico feels a world away. This authentically Latin city and beach destination has emerged in recent years as a luxury hub of the Caribbean, with super-swank hotels and high-luxe fashion designers flocking to its shores. Check out the Condado Vanderbilt, where native son, chef Juan Jose Cuevas, makes magic at his 1919 restaurant and new oceanfront bistro, Ola. Or hop a puddle jumper to Vieques, where the W Hotel & Spa, designed by Patricia Urquiola, has brought a little swagger to this otherwise sleepy sister island. Kick back with your partner, get a spa treatment, hike El Yunque (the only tropical rainforest in the United States National Forest System) on the mainland, and don’t miss swimming in the bioluminescent bay, a swath of sea that literally glows in the dark.
Where to Go: The southern beach towns of Jimbaran and Seminyak are the can't-miss destinations on this gorgeous Indonesian island. During the Northern Hemisphere’s summer, the heat here subsides and the rains are not yet falling, making it an ideal time to visit. Splurge at the Ayana Resort & Spa in Jimbaran — or opt for the more affordable Ize Seminyak, in the boho-chic town of Seminyak. Either way there’s tons to do, from learning to surf off Echo Beach to getting your dharma cleansed at one of the many Hindu temples (we love the centuries-old Petitenget Temple). Looking for another sort of thrill? Sidle up to the bar at Potato Head Beach Club, where the party goes on all night and day.