Are you a WANDERLISTA?
Do you embrace the art of travel through culture and style?
Meet Andria Mitsakos, publicist, writer, accessories designer and global wanderlista.
From Manhattan to Mykonos (and everywhere in between), she voyages far, authoring a virtual passport for the creative cognoscenti.
Currently Instagramming her way through Greece.
Are you a WANDERLISTA?
Thanks @kellywearstler and @marieclairemag for choosing my white ostrich sleep mask from @dearosaathens for your must-have list…it’s the ultimate travel accessory! #accessories #style #fashion #ff #travel
The duration of my stay at the Datai has been one filled with wonder and fascination. Narrowing done just five things was not easy but the below are just some of my favorite things about this tropical paradise.
1. Beach Villas- “designed to follow an environmentally sustainable framework. Contemporary interiors enhanced with touches of nature and rainforest accents”
* Outdoor rain shower
* Private pool
* Private sun deck
2. The Spa
* Four spa pavilions located in a tropical rainforest
* The Datai massage, Balinese massage, and warm stone massage
3. Having my blackberry almost snatched by monkeys :)
4. Helicopter rides above Datai Bay with Peter Wesley Brown (see above photo)
5. Rainforest exploration (or at least admiration ;) ) The Datai is nestled inside an ancient tropical rainforest.
*Photo credit: Peter Wesley Brown
It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I’m at the center of it all. Two hundred thousand people are expected at Chichen Itza on Friday, December 21st. Where will I be? After a shaman cleanse and a temezcal (sweat lodge ceremony), I’ll toss on a Miguelina caftan and head to the Day Zero Festival, 24 hours of music, performing arts, installations, spiritual teachings & the finest artists in the galaxy, with a new music compilation curated by Damian Lazarus.
This week, I’m taking refuge at Papaya Playa, A Design Hotels Project. Cocooned by the jungle on a pristine stretch of the Caribbean coast, lies a raw-luxe camp with an urban spirit – a communal playground for a creative community seeking reconnection with nature and themselves. Together with Emilio Heredia, owner of the existing Papaya Playa Beach Bungalow Resort, Design Hotels™ has created a destination in paradise. It’s rustic, bohemian and I love it.
Daily reports until…December 22nd?
Fur: a perfect travel companion
Freezing cold on the plane sound familiar? Fur is an ultimate travel companion. In addition to the cashmere socks in your carry-on, it’s the perfect cozy-up piece to accompany you in the sub-zero interior airline cabin. But more than that, I love Quentin’s direction in his new collection. Pieces that not only will keep you warm, but when traveling, they are the show piece of your wardrobe. Pack the black and grey essentials, then toss some Quentin on to finish off the look.
My Winter Travel List (Peloponnese): Helen of Troy, the face that launched a thousand ships, was also the queen of Sparta. Rich in natural beauty and romance, it’s no wonder that the Southern Peloponnese region was the birthplace of the most beautiful woman in the ancient world. And, as luck would have it, it’s the same region (Laconia) where my family is from in Greece. So I’m going to channel my inner Helen of Troy and make the 3.5 hour trek from Athens this winter and check out Kinsterna Hotel & Spa, which owes its name to the Byzantine word for the age-old cistern around which it is built and which, for centuries, has breathed life into the surrounding fertile land, towering trees, and olive groves. Bring it on, winter, I dare you.
I’ve lived and traveled in the Caribbean for a lifetime and, of course, rum and the Caribbean go hand and hand. I had the red Mount Gay cap years before they were accessible. I’ve been behind the scenes sipping from the barrels at Appleton Estate in Jamaica. I tasted Chris Blackwell’s ‘Blackwell' rum from the beach at Goldeneye long before it ever went into a bottle with a label. And, having a gorgeous Cuban client in Mexico, have spent many nights enjoying the perfect Havana Club mojito.
Rum and Greece never dawned on me. Do they even have it on the list? This is the land of ouzo, mastiha and tsipouro. So when I was taken to Baba Au Rum in Athens this week, I knew it would be added to my top bar list in the world (and a must for my City Break: Athens project). I was introduced to this watering hole last summer by a friend of mine, and this week, I was re-introduced to it again.
For anyone with a New York reference, think Mulberry Project meets Miss Lily’s…all poured into an a giddy, art deco cocktail with a tiki twist. It’s sexy and intimate and everything a great drinking den should be. Rums from Madagascar to Martinque share shelf space with super varied labels of high brow vodka, gin, tequila and mezcal, whisky, vermouth and brandy. A light tapas menu keeps you noshing while consuming and the outdoor ‘open window’ bar is a favorite place to perch.
So while I started #mygreeksummer with ouzo and the occasional tsipouro, I’ll end it as I ease into the winter Caribbean vibe. Rum in hand.
The Edmy skirt from Miguelina has been a summer staple and it takes up virtually NO space in my weekender (which is perpetually packed hopping for effortlessly hopping from Greek island to Greek island this summer). I love wearing it over a one-piece for a great night look.
Le week end's agenda is the darling village of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. Last night, I slept in silence at the charming Hotel Gounod, named after the famed French composer known for Ave Maria and opera Romeo et Juliette. As the oldest hotel in the village, it’s steeped in history (Gounod wrote Mireille here). Their tea room is remarkable, and host to one of the most outstandingly eclectic collection of religious art I’ve ever seen. Strange to some, but it just kind of works. Rooms are lovely, service is exceptional and location is in the epicenter of the village.
Style tip: When the temp is up, embrace the bustier trend. I picked up this top from Provence’s own Souleiado (The house is famed for their ‘French Indiennes,’ gorgeous cotton-printed fabrics that landed in Marseille in 1648 and soon flourished by the high middle class and royals.) and pair it with a maxi skirt for an effortless summer look. I love the red.
While there’s always a Missoni bikini in my holiday wardrobe, I figured why not indulge in the entire fashion house and sleep surrounded the famed zig-zag print (plus it reminds me of my TriBeCa apartment which I designed with my interior designer mother, Stella, and while I love being in Europe in the summer, New York still tugs at my soul).
This week, I’ve bedded down at Villa Marie, owned by the super-chic brand, Sibuet Hotels. On Ramatuelle’s hill, the hotel overlooks the gorgeous Bay of Pampelonne, known for its famous beaches. This season, the hotel introduces its new Missoni Suite, designed by the company’s president (and style maven), Jocelyne Sibuet.
Décor includes a baroque influence, which mixes harmoniously with classic Riviera 50’s and 60’s style and, of course, plenty of bikini-inspired prints.
I’ve spent Thanksgiving in Shanghai. Christmas in Antigua. New Year’s in Rome. This week, I’m bedding down on the Côte d’Azur for Fourth of July. While I won’t find any backyard BBQs and high school parades, I will be celebrating my favorite American expats on this day, Sara and Gerald Murphy, the creators of beach culture in this region and my absolute heroes when it comes to living well. Mention Sara and Gerald Murphy to almost anyone and they say, “Who?” Even here in the South of France, where they set up their home (aptly named Villa America), people just stare at me blankly. The Murphys were the definition of bon vivant and ‘live well’ they did. Surrounded by the icons of their time: the Hemingways, the Picassos, the Fitzgeralds, Cole Porter, and so many more, they were the leaders of the party, the ones that these people looked to when they wanted to celebrate, and celebrate properly. Here’s to many fêtes.
How to travel through Europe for two months without checking a bag, by Wanderlista. American Airlines JFK-LHR-NCE. First stop: Saint-Tropez.
Even though I’m a barefoot junkie when it comes to my holidays (I once went five days on Harbour Island without shoes; match that with 10 days in the Maldives), I’m not so keen on showing it all when you’re in a city, or on an airplane.
Nearly-bare paws are meant for soft pink sands or for strolling from your water’s edge chaise to your 5pm lunch on Mykonos. (Exceptions made for the Alaïa I had on tonight at the Trevor Live event. I’m confident that my chic city-dweller readers out there know the difference between sexy, sky-high and non-appropriate flat sandal. Read: your feet get dirty in the city, and on the plane, who wants to see your feet? Of course there’s the entire TSA thing, etc but let’s ignore that, shall we? I just flew from SJU to JFK and my travel companion remarked that I looked like a racehorse on my tip-toes going through the full body scanner).
So what do I wear traveling to these destinations? Forever an Italian shoe fan, I just picked up these gorgeous Sergio Rossi Perforated Lace-Up Leather Spectators in bianco. Amazing with skinny white jeans (another summer travel staple) and t-shirt, this is your shoe-go-to when you’re boarding the plane in Milan for the one-way ticket to Mykonos. Oh, yes, I also bought that today. These lovely shoes will go into my hotel room closet at Kivotos and won’t come out until I’m off to my next locale.
Travel tip: When going through TSA, always put your shoes, scarf, blazer, jewelry in your first plastic bin so you can get dressed right away while waiting for your carry-on to come through. Saves time and toe-stands!
If anyone has seen my summer beach wardrobe, then they know I love to rock the caftan. The perfect staple from beach to street in an instant, (and easy to pack), caftans should be an effortless part of your summer wardrobe. However, I’ve noticed many women ask how to buy the right ones. Which work well and which don’t? And, as a slim, 38-year-old woman, why do I feel the need to cover? Step into my closet…
In a recent interview, I was asked how I describe my personal style. I answered, “a bohemian Audrey Hepburn.” I certainly have my share of fitted sheath dresses perfect for work or a Milanese aperitivo, but even Holly Golightly is quick to grab that super dreamy drape of fabric that ever so perfectly wafts around her lithe figure on a sultry summer evening. While a caftan might not work for a New York power lunch, it works rooftop at Soho House, and, most importantly, works in all of your summer hot spots.
Now I’ll share all my faves and why. Each shot in gorgeous locales by the fabulous Peter Wesley Brown.
I’ve long been a fan of Missoni Mare, the famed Italian fashion house’s beachwear line. I would typically skip using the seaside cover-up in the day and transform it to dress at night with flat sandals. I have this gorgeous webbed silver one that I practically lived in two summers ago. The sash added a bit of definition and I wore it with and without a slip underneath, depending where I was. We also featured it with the Dea Rosa SS12 evening bag in lizard and satin.
Last year, I met designer, Miguelina Gambaccini at a party in New York and we were fast friends. Her white, Rachel Caftan led me all the way through my Grecian odyssey last summer (and was the centerpiece for the Dea Rosa Spring/Summer Collection). Daytime over a bikini, the Rachel worked as well as when paired with a slip underneath at night. Sometimes I’d add a skinny python belt to cinch it up a bit. Flat sandals or wedges complimented it perfectly. Now, I’m so obsessed with Miguelina’s entire line, that my suitcase is usually filled with her caftans and airy dresses; peppered with my Missoni staples I’m ready to tackle any resort location.
My other caftan go-to is Vicente Ganesha’s line in Ibiza. Made in India, the prints stand apart and the light cotton works absolutely everywhere. They typically run about 150 Euro or so, so if you’re not heading to Ibiza this summer, but know someone that is, tell them to snatch-up a few for you. Last summer, I actually flew to Ibiza from Athens for just under 40 hours of caftan shopping and some beach time with friends. Trust me, they are well worth it.
So how do you know what’s right for you?
*Choose fabric that breathes since you’re going to be wearing a lot of it; skip the polyester or blends. Silk works, but at night only as you don’t want suntan lotions to stain.
*Buy a size down. Most women don’t buy clothes that fit them. Trust me on this: you’re smaller than you think.
*Pick one that has a slit up the front to show your bronzed gams – just a hint of skin is enough.
*Invest in a great skinny belt and leave it in your suitcase – it skinnies you up in no time!
*Channel Jade Jagger…pile on the bracelets, big rings, chunky necklaces. I love vintage jewelry from House of Lavande.
*Pack two pairs of flat sandals. One super simple in a solid metallic and then something with a bit of bling. I’m loving the Flat Slingback Thong Sandal from K Jacques and the Lanvin Toe-Ring Wedge Sandal.
Email me for more tips on how to embrace your inner caftan!
I don’t usually post about my PR clients unless they’re part of my round-ups that focus on various trend and style, but I was SO excited about this property re-opening in San Juan, that I had to share it with all of you who didn’t just get the normal press release.
I stayed here once back in 2003 and hosted a party on the hotel’s rooftop for a client launching a new travel company. We all love a good rooftop and The Water Club had it - super great music (I still have the playlist in my iTunes and gave the CD to everyone I know…it was called Water Down tempo) amazing views and gorgeous food.
Now, that rooftop could tell some stories. And finally, once again (thanks to new ownership and management), it’s the hottest address with the coolest look: with a $2.5M renovation well underway, the San Juan Water and Beach Club Hotel is ready to take its rightful place as the local Mecca of hip, with music designed by international DJs, lively parties and celebrity stopovers (I am personally looking forward to the new playlist!)
Located on the corner of famous Isla Verde beach, the hotel takes its cues from the sapphire-blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean and incorporates them into its chic décor. Mist, the rooftop bar and resto boasts ‘socializers’—small plates you can share—prepared with fresh, locally grown ingredients. And the hotel even has this cool new “Tu Deseo” (My Wish List) wish board mounted in each guest room. From extra towels, a sunrise aqua yoga session, to local fruit with their room service breakfast, “Tu Deseo” allows you to have just about anything you want.
San Juan is less than four hours from NY - daily flights on JetBlue make it fun too. Go now!
I was working my way down the famous Shanghai Bund (and its bevy of gorgeous hotels) when I came across Les Suites Orient, a super-luxe retreat that practically spills you into the Huangpu River and the Pudong skyline.
Comfortably contemporary, this boutique hotel is located only a few steps away from the famous Yu Garden and only 15 minutes away from the bustling city center and the Pudong Lujiazhui Finance District.
With two sister hotels in Taipei (a city on my list for 2012), the 168-room Les Suites 168 rooms is designed with a nod to the city’s famed Art-Deco style complimented by an eastern sensibility. A palette of muted earth tones dominates the rooms, creating an oasis of calm. As I entered the neat and uncluttered space, a view of the city scene leisurely cascaded from the window.
I love being in a hotel room, where everything is in its rightful place. No looking for light switches, touch pads, trash bins, bath amenities. Even if all of these things weren’t obvious, you didn’t have to look for them. And it was all so modern and superbly designed I wanted to whisk off the architect to my TriBeCa apartment. The guest rooms at Les Suites are a paragon of space planning.
Shanghai is the future, and true to the city’s ‘wired’ atmosphere, I became obsessed with the hotel’s use of innovative technology enhancements. All guest rooms feature entertainment amenities including free Wi-Fi access, iPod dock, stereo system, DVD player, and thoughtful details such as an Illy espresso machine (love!) and weather display panel on the bathroom mirror. Two other impressive technological features include the room key card, which also serves as an instant electronic transportation card with a credit amount for use in taxis, buses, and metro, and the Les Suites Orient smart_life phone, providing guests with a mobile phone to be used out of the hotel for local and international calls and direct access to the hotel’s operator for directions and translation needs.
The hotel was a mix of international business and leisure guests (predominantly male during my stay) and quite a few would wind down at the laid-back and cozy cigar retreat, which features a menu of cognac, fine wines and selected tapas. True to its name of DongXi (meaning “west and east”), Café DongXi offers all-day dining menu featuring a perfect mix of eastern and western cuisine in a supremely relaxed atmosphere. With comfortable chairs and sofas, the stylish venue complements Cafe DongXi’s casual, informal and sociable dining concept after a day in the energetic city. Menu faves included roasted Beijing duck salad, reinvented with an orange marmalade sauce and a gorgeous spicy and sour soup.
With its supreme privacy and sense of serenity, Les Suites is the ideal retreat for manic travelers like me to slow down the pace and savor time in a calm atmosphere. I loved returning there at the end of a day filled with meetings. On one rainy day I felt perfectly content to ensconce myself in the hotel, thanks to the number of leisure facilities, including a fitness center complete with a Zen space for yoga and meditation.
On my next visit to Shanghai I might just venture down The Bund to see what else it has to offer, but truth be told, I would be perfectly content repeating my visit to Les Suites Orient.