This issue is devoted to the pursuit of summer pleasures—or the 21 BEST REASONS WE KNOW TO LEAVE HOME…and counting. After all, we’ve included everything from the new Pelican Hill resort on California’s Newport Coast to more faraway places like the Molori Safari Lodge in South Africa. Along the way we suggested the clothes to pack, the cameras to buy, and, if that weren’t enough, some last-minute recommendations from a few of our wisest contributors around the world.
Han Feng, designer
The best way to escape the bustle of Shanghai is to take a two-hour train ride to the Fuchun Mountains and head to the Fuchun Resort, which has the most beautiful tea lounge I’ve ever seen. Much like the luxe spas in Indonesia and Thailand, this resort has a good mix of Asian-inspired treatments, and the modern Chinese design is exquisite, with three outdoor granite whirlpools, perfect for taking in the striking tea plantations.
Kim Akhtar, journalist
Just stopped off in Barcelona and had to tell you about the Hotel Casa Fuster. This grand white building was built in 1908 by a wealthy Majorcan who fell in love with the daughter of a Catalan marquis; it was a symbol of his love for her. So Taj Mahal, n’est-ce pas? I loved the Tyrian-purple Deco sofa in the downstairs restaurant. Each of the 105 rooms is spacious, and the suites, despite their size, feel intimate. The staff is equally lovely. While there, I got to know one of the hotel managers, Cesar Royo, a fabulous host, always willing to chat over a glass of chilled Cava. Then on to Madrid, to El Rastro, the weekly Sunday flea market. Even if you don’t want to buy anything, it’s still worth a stroll past the stalls selling just about everything imaginable. My friend May found a spectacular set of 17th-century doors that she bought for her mother’s farmhouse in Córdoba.
Michael James O’Brien, photographer
At Lady Carole Bamford’s Daylesford Organic, on Pimlico Road, you’ll spot Chelsea blondes leisurely sipping Champagne at communal marble tables and Christopher Bailey of Burberry buying provisions. These days I keep returning to David Iglesis’s Gallery 25, which specializes in unique 20th-century decorative art but feels more like a chic flea market. Its knowledgeable staff will even rewire the lamp or upholster the chair you buy. Believe it or not, East London still remains the epicenter of nightlife and creative energy. In a converted Victorian warehouse called Boundary, one of the hottest tables in town can be found at a subterranean restaurant of the same name serving classic French and English dishes. In May, Boundary opened a hotel with 12 rooms on the first two floors, plus five suites. Each room’s decor is dedicated to a legendary designer, from Charles and Ray Eames to Andrée Putman and Mies van der Rohe.
Carla Sersale, hotelier
When in Rome…a ten-minute walk from the best shopping on Via dei Condotti is the Hotel Locarno, still one of my favorite places to stay. For dinner, Terra di Siena is as Tuscan as you can imagine—it’s the real deal. The Forconi family brings back all the olive oil, wine, and cheese from their monthly trips to Siena. For a real treat, across the street from the Ara Pacis Museum you must sample grattachecche, a Roman version of sorbet—shaved ice topped with fruit syrup, coconut, and preserved cherries—which will set you back only five euros. If you can bring home just one souvenir, head to Roma-Store, in the heart of Trastevere, for a mecca of exquisite rare fragrances.