This week on The Journal, we take a look at this year’s hot spots and what to do when paying them a visit. From Cuba to Sicily, and from Barcelona to Los Angeles – we’ve got you covered on where to shack up.
Cuba has seen a massive surge of interest due to warming relations with the US, which means pressure on the already limited amount of quality hotels. Johnny Considine, the Irish-born Cuba travel expert, has lived on the island and organising tours since 2004, is therefore very much in the midst of a gold rush. His company www.esenciaexperiences.com helps you tailor your Cuba holiday and access the best of the private villas. If you’re going in May, make sure you visit the contemporary art Biennial – when all of the city’s studios open up.
Personally, I’ll be spending a few weeks in California this summer. Kicking off with a week in Los Angeles, we’ll be holing up in hotels like SLS Beverly Hills, Chateau Marmont and the rugged-but-lovely Roosevelt Hotel – all offering smashing pools, bars and a dash of celebrity spotting. As notorious burger lovers, we’ll naturally be eating a lunch or two over at In N Out Burgers, but also spending time and money on serious eats such as Melisse, Night + Market, Providence and Pizzeria Mozza. When it comes to walking it off, very little beats an early morning walk (and yoga if you’re up for it) in Runyon Canyon. Oh, and we’ve already covered the Golden Coast in one of our earlier posts, so make sure you check it out.
If you’ve been around for a while, our love for Italian islands should come as no surprise – we even named one of our limited edition watches after one! Another favourite of ours, Sicily, is a constant hotspot for villa holidays and adding to the mix is the Massimo Villa Collection. Founded by local Massimo Provenza, it now represents 50 properties on the island, ranging from modern seaside homes to rural hideaways, including in Sicily’s fashionable southeast, with the towns of Noto and Ragusa leading the way.
As mentioned, when it comes to pools, LA hotels know their stuff. Another opening with a rooftop pool to boast about is The Serras in Barcelona. This new 30-room luxury hotel lies on the waterfront and obviously lets you plunge in the cobalt waters, but also enjoy some real heritage – and good food. The hotel once housed Picasso’s first studio and now features impressive Michelin-starred chef Marc Gascons. Until Soho House opens here in 2016, and perhaps afterwards too, this is very much the place to be.