Given my quick itinerary I only spent one evening at the super charming Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel and would happily stay there again to further explore this wondrous region. Inside, it’s filled with vintage handwoven textiles, tile floors and fire places, and outside surrounded by luxuriant jungle. Don’t miss the guided Orchid Trail where you see them living, not in decorative cache-pots, but in trees surrounding the hotel.
Finally we have sunshine again! After one too many of our chilly damp days, I was ready to high tail it to Palm Springs and stay at the über cozy and chic Hotel Lautner in Desert Hot Springs. If you can’t own one of John Lautner’s iconic architectural
masterpieces, this is a rare way to experience his vision and style through an extremely thoughtful, 21st century renovation. Each room sports a private garden, a svelte kitchen and cool decor. Fall is a magnificent time to visit the desert with Joshua Tree National Park nearby and there are fantastic restaurants, shops and cafes such as Birba & Cheekys in Palm Springs proper.
A visit to the El Encanto Hotel, one of the newest jewels in the crown of Orient-Express, is the perfect “stay-cation” for those of us who live in Santa Barbara. It’s also one more stunning option for those visiting and needing lodging. The expanded terrace of the original 1918 building designed by Winsor Soule takes full advantage of the extraordinary view toward the sea with the Channel Islands grounding the horizon line in the distance. The hotel is aptly named, “The Enchanted”, and I find that I am too, sitting here on a balmy, summer evening.
I recommend an early supper outside at a bar table, the fresh ahi salad and a grapefruit/elder flower cocktail topped off with a stroll around the property before crossing the street to see a great film at the adjacent Riviera Theater. Vive el verano!(Long live the summer!)
At the end of your sunny day, enjoy a sunset stroll on the exquisite coastal path leading to the Santa Barbara Four Seasons Biltmore and indulge in their divine lobster salad and a nice cocktail on the outdoor patio. I’ve been a patron of this charming hotel since I was two, celebrating many special events there, as well as casual spontaneous occasions over the years. In our ever-changing world, this property remains a serene, classic place of awesome beauty and uniqueness in the world. Standing in the gardens, looking past the glowing “lighthouse” tower of the Coral Casino surrounded by swaying palms and out over the sea to the islands is forever an enthralling and magical experience. I keep these views, vistas and memories close to my heart.
Shown left is a shot taken at the stunning Limantour Beach last fall. Here you can walk the brisk beach as well as the trails through the amazing grasslands surrounding the estuary. After a day in the sun and wind, relax at Manka’s and dine at their new sister property Sir and Star at The Olema.
The photo above and left were taken at Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech. This stunning garden is a true oasis in this ochre city, filled with magnificent cactus, palms, water features and cubist architecture. The property was created by Jacques Majorelle, a French artist who moved to Morocco and pursued his true passion; painting. In 1917 he purchased the property, built an artist studio and began the gardens that were an expression of his other passion; botany. Eventually Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge bought the property and beautifully restored it and also created a magnificent museum for their collection of Berber Artwork. Closer to home, a visit to Lotus Land is like going on an exotic holiday, with many luxuriant gardens. Ganna Walska and Jacques Majorelle seem much like kindred spirits.
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