I think I need a holiday. I have spent the past 2 days in bed with a migraine. Too much stress, too many deadlines, not enough time to breathe. I’m dreaming of running away to a piece of paradise somewhere special. Welcome Beyond hand picks the most beautiful and unique vacation properties around the world. I lost my heart in Florence on my first and only visit. A truly magnificent city and beautiful people (perhaps that is why I lost my heart!). My fantasy return involves this beautiful hotel, Riva Lofts. The trouble is there are too many stunning properties on Welcome Beyond‘s books as you will see…
Still dreaming of a getaway. Perhaps Locanda al Colle in Camaiore, Tuscany. Stylish and well appointed with an eclectic yet luxurious decor with hints of the 40s and 50s. A relaxed retreat for international travellers. Even better this is not an hotel but a home open to guests. Perfect base for exploring a part of Italy that I can never forget.
And as much as I love the easy elegance and luxury of the above properties (hardly rustic I think you would agree) the property that tugs at my heart is The Beachouse in Vendays-Montalivet, Medoc, France. Memories of lazy family holidays in a shack right on the beach come flooding back. A house that is not too precious. Where it is all about family and friends, fun and days spent lost in the sand dunes. Bliss! Want to join me?
To end of the week I thought I’d show some photos of one of the best designed hotels I’ve ever seen. The Firmdale hotels includes 6 London locations and a new one that opened in SoHo in October. “Firmdale Hotels’ owners, Tim and Kit Kemp believe that ‘hotels should be living things, not stuffy institutions’. Kit Kemp has designed all of the interiors in a fresh contemporary English style. Her mixture of colour and texture, modern and antique together with an impressive art collection, has combined to create a unique look and style.” The colours and patterns are gorgeous and these rooms look SO comfortable I want to crawl through my monitor and into one of the beds.
Jackie Caradonio wrote us yesterday with the following: “I’m always checking out Desire to Inspire for great images and great interiors as I am an interiors/architectural photographer. I love when you showcase great photographers as it gives me something to strive toward. =) Anyway, I photographed this little 14-room hotel in Austin, Texas, called the Hotel Saint Cecilia recently and thought the interiors were so fun that you guys might be interested in taking a look. Lots of original, vintage pieces mixed with new, hip décor. I’d be honored if you guys wanted to show them on the blog.” WOWZERS. This hotel is so chic, glamourous and fun, and the photos are fantastic. Thanks so much for sharing these with us Jackie! (Check out her website here).
Marit, a DTI regular, wrote us recently about her resort in Indonesia and we had to share this dreamy place with everyone. Those of you living through a terrible winter (like myself), I am warning you that the photos below might result in a few tears shed so I recommend having a tissue on hand. “Your blog has been a big inspiration to me as we’ve been designing our resort and home in West Papua, Indonesia. We’re an eco resort in the true sense of the word, using only reclaimed wood in the construction of our 11 cottages, dive shop, restaurant, and pier. I could go on and on about that stuff, but I think the aspect that might be of most interest to you is our Water Cottages, designed by UK-born but Australian-based architect Viv Faithfull at WH Architects in Melbourne. There are 8 of them built on stilts over a tranquil lagoon.”
“I designed the sideboard in the first photo and our Javanese craftsmen built it. It took 18 men to move it into place! The rattan furniture was made in one of the local villages. Together with Conservation International, we made a project to bring rattan artisans from Bali to Papua. The local villagers now have an income that doesn’t rely on unsustainable exploitation of marine resources. And we have great, locally made furniture!”
*sniffle sniffle* See? I told you! Thanks so much Marit for sharing your incredible home with us. Maybe one day….
My sister found the following photos on this website advertising exotic villa rentals. Luxurious and modern – yep, I’d stay there.