Month: November 2018

L.A. – Westside

A “city guide” to LA is a bit of an oxymoron. The city of angels is a compilation of towns and areas all classified as “Los Angeles,” but living in their own identity. In reality, it’s more like a bunch of small cities met, dated for a while, broke up, and are as cordial as possible when they run into each other at yoga class. That being the case, we have kindly split up our guide to Lala Land into three parts so you’re not stuck in traffic on the 405 for 100 hours.

A lot of guides are coming out are saying that LA has outgrown the entertainment industry and is shedding it’s Hollywood cliche. We are here to tell you…that’s BS. In the last five to ten years, more startups, artists, designers, and the like are relocating to the sunny side of the country, which has certainly diversified the landscape. After all, let us not forget the emergence of “Silicon Beach.” Even still, the entertainment industry will always reign supreme and we are here for it.

Speaking of Los Angeles dominating certain industries, we can all agree that LA is at the top of it’s food game. Between the ethnic haven of San Gabriel, the taco stands in Culver City, and the new big name restaurants in DTLA- there is no shortage of grub. The art and fashion scene in LA offer visitors tons to do, with new boutiques, galleries, and designers popping up daily.

The thing is, this is not a “new” LA, and locals will tell you that. The rest of the country is just now starting to appreciate what the city has to offer. Which is a lot. Minus the traffic.

Check our guide to the westside of LA (and before you roll your eyes and say how Venice has sold out, and that the only good food resides east of the 10, have yourself a read).

Where to stay

Palihouse Santa Monica

With locations in Santa Monica & West Hollywood, Palihouse defines itself as “not a boutique hotel and not a luxury residence.” All of it’s locations capture a little bit of both worlds – and that’s what we love about their properties. The Santa Monica location is three blocks from the beach, boasts gorgeous courtyards, and has a bar that is classic enough to make you feel like you’re not in 2018 – or even in Los Angeles altogether. But you are. And that’s awesome.

Surfrider Malibu

The interior of Surfrider is what we all picture when we think of a lazy Sunday at a beach house. If that beach house was a decorated to perfection by someone like Gwenyth Paltrow. In actuality, Surfrider is housed in a re-done 1950s era motel and has everything from surfboard storage, to a heated outdoor shower, to complimentary Grown Alchemist skincare products. You can also book surf safaris, picnics, and hiking adventures via there front desk. Which you should obviously do.

The Native Malibu

The Native sustained some serious damage due to the Woolsey fire this past fall. At the moment, it is closed for repairs, but they will reopen some Spring 2019. We could not think of a better way to support a small businesses in re-building than booking a night (or four) at this place.

This is another beautiful Malibu hotel on the PCH. It has 13 individually designed rooms complete with the dreamiest mid-century modern furniture your instagram feed can imagine. It’s about a 6 minute drive to Point Dume – but if you don’t feel like hitting the surf quite yet, feel free to lounge on your private patio or on your Casper mattress.

Where to Eat

Gjusta Venice

We probably don’t need to tell you about Gjusta. Brought to you by the people behind Venice mainstay Gjelina, and their take-away shop GTA (and new Japanese fusion spot, MTN), it’s one of our (and most likely your) Venice favorites. Everything is great aside from the seating, which is usually taken at all hours of the day. Go anyway- and buy some peach jam to take home as a souvenir.

Rustic Canyon Santa Monica

Jeremy Fox is a legend in the vegetable world- and Rustic Canyon is his staple. A veggie-forward restaurant in Santa Monica, this is everything you want in healthy, inventive California cooking. The menu changes daily based on what is in season (very sustainable!), and their wines are equally as good as the food.

Loqui Culver City

We understand that saying “westside” and “taco” is against certain LA rules. But trust us – this place is amazing. There will be a line and there will also be a lot of people taking photos of their food. If you can move past that situation (figuratively and literally), then make sure to order the homemade flour tortillas. The other great thing is that Loqui is located in The Platform, so you can peruse stores afterwards.

Father’s Office Culver City

You’ve been to the Montana location of this place, and if you haven’t you are doing everything wrong. Head to the Culver City location because it’s bigger, but it’s still our favorite burger in LA.

Bay Cities Santa Monica

This is a great Italian sandwich. If you are headed to the beach for the day and decide that you need something on the go – this is your spot. And if you aren’t headed to the beach for the day, we are pretty sure this will still be your spot.

Gjelina Venice

You’ve already heard of Gjelina and you’ve most likely already eaten there. Even though this spot is a Venice veteran and isn’t “under the radar,” you should still go (or go back) because the pizza is as good as ever, and their vegetable dishes are second to none. We spring for the mushroom toast and the squash blossom and burrata, but you really can’t go wrong with their endless options.

Where to Drink

The Lincoln Venice

The Lincoln does a lot for us. It’s large enough for bigger groups. It’s loud enough where things aren’t awkward, but not so loud where you can’t have an intimate conversation. The music is good, and the drinks are too. Oh, and it’s arguably the coolest bar in Venice.

Neighbor Venice

Neighbor is technically a restaurant, but we have never come here for dinner. This is a perfect spot to meet someone at 4pm on a Wednesday when you want to chat over a glass of wine and maybe a small plate for good measure. The entire space looks like it was decorated by Domino Magazine and we highly recommend sitting on the patio.

Hinano Cafe Venice

If you’ve never been to Venice before and for some strange reason still believe that it’s the seaside town we all saw in Lords of Dogtown – you’re going to be bummed out. But we have a solution for you and it’s called Hinano Cafe. It’s an old school Venice bar and not one where you are ordering craft cocktails. That said, it’s a good place for a beer after surfing and you can’t go wrong with their burger.

Mon Li Malibu

We wouldn’t really classify this as a “bar” but it certainly needs mentioning, especially if you love cocktails. For $150, you are taken on a tour of the gardens around Calamigos where most of the cocktail ingredients come from. You then embark on a cocktail tasting experience that is unlike anything we’ve done before. Don’t worry, they give you (very good) sustenance during the course of the tasting so you don’t, you know, pass out or anything. Make sure to take an Uber home.

Where to get Coffee

Bar Nine Culver City

Bar Nine is a beautifully minimal, industrial looking cafe in Culver City. They roast their own beans in house and pride themselves on sustainability. We ordered a latte with hazlenut milk and would be just fine starting our morning with that beverage everyday because it was that good. If you’re hungry, they have great pastries to-go and a small food menu as well.

Primo Passo Coffee Co Santa Monica

Right on Montana Avenue is one of our favorite coffee shops. Primo isn’t necessarily the place that you would go to work all day, but their coffee is amazing and the branding of the place makes it that much better. We usually get and almond milk latte and a bag of beans to take home with us.

Rose Cafe Venice

This Venice staple is always a good choice for an afternoon snack. Though you could go for a full blown lunch and be just as happy, we prefer to sit in the cafe area with our laptop and munch on one of their homemade pastries.

Moon Juice Venice

This isn’t coffee, but that is why you are here. Moon Juice is our favorite juicery in LA and has locations in both Venice and Silverlake. We can’t get enough of their mylks but if a solid healthy pick me up is what you need – anything from their menu will do.

Shop

General Store Venice

This beautiful boutique in Venice carries a handful of our favorite designers and perfect CA inspired home goods. Pick up cedar roped incense or the perfect ceramic bowl or a beautiful woven basket to hold all the blankets you’ll need when you are sadly no longer in California.

The Platform Culver City

The Platform is an outdoor “mall” of sorts in Culver City. They have rotating pop-up shops that keep things interesting (previously hosting LA art gallery Tappan Collective) and mainstays like Reformation and Frida Salvador.

Christy Dawn Venice

LA based designer Christy Dawn opened her first brick and mortar a few years ago. If your planning on taking a day in Topanga Canyon or Malibu to roam around the mountains and need the perfect boho dress that fits just right – this is your place.

MedMen Venice

As we all know, you can now legally buy marijuana in California. If you didn’t know that already…we can’t help you. If you did, and you’re looking for a place to do so on the westside of LA, we are going to send you to MedMen. It’s the opposite of walking into a “weed” store and feels like more of an upscale “cannabis” experience, if you will. They curate their collection carefully and though things are very focused on branding – they do put an emphasis on selling product they stand by.

Flowerboy Project Venice

One part cafe, one part flower shop, and one part boutique, there are very few things you can’t get here. 

Where to buy gifts

Burro Venice

Burro is a perfect place to snag a gift for the folks back home. They have affordable home goods, jewelry, and books to take back to those who didn’t get to bask in the LA glory.

Tortoise General Store Venice

This place specializes in Japanese homeware and we wish we could buy everything. Since you probably need something of reasonable size to fit in your carry on – this is a perfect spot to pick up but will probably keep.

To Do

Will Rogers State Beach Pacific Palisades

This is a great go-to when you don’t have time to drive all the way into Malibu, but still want to get away from the Venice crowds (and maybe something a little cleaner). Keep in mind parking is tricky here but they do have a lot that you can pay for.

Lechuza Beach Malibu

If you’re heading into Malibu but Zuma is packed, go for Lechuza beach. At the intersection of Broad Beach and Bunnie Lane, you’ll see an access point. You’ll ditch the crowds but you won’t have to drive hours north or south of LA. Make sure to bring a snack because this is not the type of place you’ll want to leave. In the event you forgot to take our advice, just stop at the Reel Inn for a beer and some seafood on your way back.

Mercado Sagrado Topanga Canyon

As far as craft fairs go – Mercado Sagrado wins them all. It’s an annual fair but if you happen to be in LA while this is going on – definitely grab tickets. This outdoor market features local artists selling whatever it is they make. Don’t expect to find dream catchers and poorly woven hats – this is a very well curated design flea with a wellness and music component to boot.

Santa Monica Farmers Market Santa Monica

There are tons of farmers markets to choose from in LA, but the Santa Monica farmers is one of our favorite. It has all the organic produce you can dream of and if you’re already hungry when you get there, great food stands to grab a breakfast taco or something sweet.

Hits of culture

Eames Foundation Pacific Palisades

Head to the Pacific Palisades to check out this landmark of mid-20th century modern architecture. Eames is a household name and The Eames House, or Case Study House #8 as it’s called, is some of his best work. Make sure to make a reservation before hand.  

The Getty Villa Pacific Palisades

If we are being honest, we go to the Getty Villa mostly for the Villa itself rather than the collection. If it’s the collection you’re interested in – we are going to send you to the Getty Center in Brentwood. The Villa is basically what happens when a very rich oil tycoon loves art so much that he builds a “gallery” modeled after the most luxurious house known to the Roman World. It’s stunning as are the gardens, and the history isn’t too bad either.

Museum of Latin American Art Long Beach

Okay so technically Long Beach is on the westside of LA county and we’ll take it. Going to Long Beach can be a tall order, but we promise this will be worth it. The Museum of Latin American art was built in 1996 and is the only museum of it’s kind in the country. Yes, you heard us correctly – in a country where tacos are a way of life, there is only one museum exclusively dedicated to the artwork of people from Latin America.

Where to Workout

Go hiking

Los Liones trail will take you all the way to Topanga for a beautiful hike. If you’re looking for something quick to get done before a morning meeting, take Temescal Canyon trail’s basic loop which is about 2.6 miles. If hills aren’t up your alley, take a walk or a jog along Palisades Park in Santa Monica.

Love Yoga Venice

This yoga studio offers flow, prenatal, restorative and more. The bright and airy studio is unmistakably Californian with bright blue floors and plants hanging. If you find yourself hungry after class, you’re in luck because it’s down the street from Superba Food & Bread.

Sweat Pilates Culver City

These classes going to kick your ass. Sweat offers a few different class options – we recommend starting with their “Classic” in order to make sure you understand the basic of what they are serving. Most of the classes are on a reformer and some have cardio involved as well. Good luck.

Secret Rendezvous

Old Lightning Marina Del Rey

Behind Scopa Italian Roots you’ll find Old Lightning. There is only room for about 30 people at a given time which helps to keep this place hush hush. The mid-century tiki bar favors rum and tequila cocktails, but has an extensive spirits menu in case that’s not your thing.

Blind Barber Culver City

You’ve probably heard of Blind Barber which doesn’t make it much of a secret, but the team behind the “bars behind the barber shops” consistently make you feel like you’ve stumbled upon something no one else knows about. Even when they do.

Point Dume Malibu

So Point Dume might be one of the more popular places on the PCH – but the staircase down to the cove is not. If you’re looking for a secret rendezvous mixed with romance, head down the staircase (it’s a bit of a trek, but totally worth it), around sunset with a bottle of California Pinot.

Remote Office

Little Beach House Malibu

So we realize this is a very exclusive “office,” but if you are a SoHo house member with access or a day pass – this should absolutely be where you head to knock out emails. With a prime location right on the beach and an open air interior, you won’t even feel like you’re missing out on the 75 degree day passing you by. Little Beach House have valet parking and a buffet at lunch, and even music that comes in during the evening – so you can truly stay there all day.

Groundwork Coffee Venice

If you can’t get into Little Beach House, head over to Groundwork Coffee. Groundwork is an LA staple with multiple locations across the city, and the Venice location is great. With long communal tables, healthy food for lunch, and (drum roll please) outlets – this can be your office any day of the week.

Superba Food & Bread Venice

Superba is a lot of things. It’s the kind of place you show up at 9am to get some work done and find yourself staying at all day. They have an open air dining area and food that is too pretty not to photograph. You can use your laptop for most of the day in certain areas, but it’s a nice enough place to take a lunch meeting if you need to. We love their “In Purgatory” eggs and their kale toast (because we are in LA) – but you can’t really go wrong with anything on the menu.

Andrew Barker, Chief Brand and Content Officer at C Magazine

Andrew Barker is one of those dapper dudes who look like they’ve stepped out of a Georgio Armani-styled film from 1985. He’s one of those people who has been genetically blessed with extreme good taste- we’re pretty sure he came out of the womb with the ability to choose what other people would want. It’s no surprise that he is an award-winning editor, content creator, and consultant. Prior to joining C Magazine in California as Chief Brand and Content Officer earlier this year, and making the big move to Venice, LA, he was Editorial Director of Mr Porter in London where he was voted 2017 BSME Editor of the Year in the Style category by his UK industry peers. Before that, he was the Executive Editor of Business Of Fashion  and worked on the Evening Standard newspaper for eight years – five of them spent as the Editor-In-Chief of ES Magazine. In addition to his role at C Magazine, you can find Andrew’s writing in FT How To Spend It and Monocle. To top it off, he didn’t yell at us for once spilling red wine on his Balenciaga shoes- that’s just the kind of lovely man he is.

Follow Andrew Barker on Instagram @andrewebarker

Off the top of your head- 3 favourite hotels, anywhere in the world. Go!

Cap Rocat, Mallorca, Spain

Palacio Belmonte, Lisbon, Portugal

Uxua, Trancoso, Brazil

What is the most unique hotel amenity you’ve ever encountered?

Hermes soaps at Le Bristol in Paris

What hotel room design element can you not live without?

A view

Where would you go to digital detox or just generally to get off the grid?

Providencia, an island in Colombia with no wifi and a beautiful reef for diving with sharks

What 3 songs are on your OOO playlist?

Andrea Boccelli’s Amore album helps me relax when I fly.

What is your most used travel emoji?

The wave                                                    

Do you have any favorite travel hacks?

I keep my One World status at Silver so I can get lounge access, business check-in, TSA fast track, bulkhead legroom seats and bring 2 suitcases, even when I fly economy.

What do you always bring with you in your carry-on?

B&O headphones, an iPad with Netflix series and docs, a cashmere eye mask, green tea bags.

Have you or would you travel alone? If Y/N, why?

I’ve done a road trip from New Orleans to Nashville via Memphis alone. If I were to do it again, I’d only do it if I were on a trek or a course.

If you’re going to a new place, and your friends have not been there, what do you consult for advice?

NYTIMEs, FT, and my top travel journalist friends who write for those titles.

What’s your favourite room service experience ever?

Breakfast on the terrace. Especially in Paris. 

Best travel advice you’ve ever received, and from whom?

The eye has to travel. Diana Vreeland. 

Who is your dream “co-pilot” (travel partner- dead or alive), and why?

My best friend Theo who will always laugh at a catastrophe and entertain me through delays and disruptions.

Anxiety and burn out are big topics these days. How do you combat them, and how do you use travel to do so?

I spend a month in Europe in the summer making my way around the Mediterranean, stopping in my favourite places and discovering new ones.

Do you have any tips or tricks for beating the dreaded jet lag?

An IV drip upon landing, going to bed late (but not drunk) on the first night, waking up and going straight to an exercise class the following day

What is your favourite travel book – for at home, or abroad- and why?

I’m always reading different books rather than returning to the same one.

What’s your go-to outfit for getting through security quickly, and still looking good?

I have a knitted cotton Missoni blazer which is as soft as a jersey sweater but smart enough for business class when worn over a shirt. Don’t wear denim, it’s too stiff to sleep in.

If you could quit your job and follow the “Mamma Mia” dream (ie open a small hotel in a foreign land or on a remote island), where would you do it?

The Balearics- but I’d like one on each, and a boat to shuttle between them.

Did you always want to work in the travel industry OR travel for work as a major part of your vocation? How did you get into what you do now that requires travel to be such a large part of your job?

I wrote my first travel piece for The Observer (UK) when I was an intern. I went to Petra, Wadi Rum and the Dead Sea and after that I was hooked.

You travel for work. A lot. How did you get into doing what you do? What advice would you give someone who wants to get into the travel industry, or have travel as a critical part of their job?

Your first work placements are critical. Find a mentor you can learn from and ask them for help in your development. They will more than likely be honoured.                              

Beach or City or Mountain?

Every year needs to feature all three in some form. 

Alone or with someone else?

With someone else. 

In flight wifi- good idea: yes or no?

NO WAY

Lost luggage, or lost phone?

Phone

Airplane food- Y/N?

Yes but vegetarian and supplemented by bringing my own. 

Fantasy mini bar/fridge item?

Billecart Salmon rosé champagne

Early check-in/ late check-out?

Late check out

Favourite subscription service you’ll never delete?

Apple Music

Favourite travel app?

TransferWise – I have dollar, pound, and euro accounts and can cheaply and rapidly move money between them.

Window or Aisle?

Aisle always. I use the toilet nearly every hour. 

Mia Zee, Director of Marketing and Brand at RE/DONE

Mia is the quintessentially sweet California dream girl, though she prefers to wear black. She’s the Director of Marketing and Brand at sustainable denim & apparel label RE/DONE, and was one of the first employees who helped build it into the global luxury brand it is today. RE/DONE was born online and now sell world-wide, in stores like Brown’s in London and Barney’s in NYC. Mia is responsible for crafting the brand’s voice, and developing the overall marketing strategy across channels including social media (they have 300k instagram followers!), email promotion, influencer marketing, press, and events. She has also managed their brand partnerships with cool new and heritage brands like Hanes, Solid & Striped, and classic penny loafer company Weejun’s. Before RE/DONE, Mia spent four years as a professional ballet dancer living in Munich, Germany, before returning home to her native Los Angeles. She currently lives in West Hollywood and spends her time exploring new restaurants and playing with her two pet rabbits.

What is the most unique hotel amenity you’ve ever encountered?

Recently, I stayed at St. Martin’s Lane in London for work. I only had one charging adaptor, but so many devices to charge. The room has USB charging ports which were actually a lifesaver. Computer, phone, iPad, Kindle, headphones – I was fully charged and it was amazing.

What hotel room design element can you not live without?

Outlet to charge my phone next to the bed. It is the first thing I look at in the morning and last thing I look at before bed. Also, it isn’t really a design element, but I need a really comfortable bed. I love sleeping.

What is/are your favorite “douchey offices” while traveling?

Any Soho House. There is comfort in consistency.

Travel can be about the little luxuries…like a super amazing cup of coffee. Where was the best one you’ve had?

I don’t drink coffee, but last fall, I was in Istanbul and after a super touristy day where I explored Hagia Sophia, Sultan Ahmet Mosque, and the Basilica Cistern, I stumbled upon a very charming little café nearby and had the most delicious fresh mint tea. It was the perfect late afternoon refreshment.   

Anxiety and burn out are big topics these days. How do you combat them, and how do you use travel to do so? Any favorite hotels for this, specifically?

I work Monday-Friday out of RE/DONE’s office in a not so beautiful part of Downtown LA. If I go too long without a break, I feel antsy. I always need my next getaway to look forward to and try not to go too long in between trips. Even if it is just a little weekend getaway, it is good to have something every 6 weeks at least.  

You travel a lot for work – what are your tips for making it as easy and relaxing as possible? Any favorite hotels to stay in that help accomplish this?

I really enjoy my alone time on the plane to completely disconnect. That always helps me zen out before I land and inevitably need to do a million things. Also, when booking a hotel, I try to stay as close to my work as possible to cut down on the commute time. Last time I was in NY for work, I stayed at the Marlton Hotel, which was so cute and cozy. The location is great.

What’s your go-to outfit for getting through security quickly, and still looking good?

RE/DONE | Originals stretch double needle crops in black. They are so comfortable – I can sit for hours in them. They are like yoga pants, but they still hold you together and have a back pocket that I use to stow my phone as I check in and go through security.

RE/DONE | Hanes Classic tee in black or white, a black turtleneck cashmere sweater and my beat-up old Nike AF1’s in white. I skip jewelry or boots with hardware to avoid setting off the metal detector.

Who is your dream “co-pilot” (travel partner- dead or alive), and why?

Anthony Bourdain. No Reservations and Parts Unknown inspired me to travel. The way he would absorb and experience the local culture fascinated me. He’s been everywhere and knows what not to miss in each city. Plus, I know I would eat well.

What is your favorite travel book – for at home, or abroad- and why?

I am a sucker for historical non-fiction. I get to travel to a different time and place through the pages. I recently finished George, Nicholas, and Wilhelm: Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War I, which I highly recommend. It was educational, entertaining, and shockingly relevant to global politics today.

What’s your favorite room service experience ever?

Every time I’ve ever ordered room service, but if I had to be specific, it would have to be when I was like 8 years old in Hawaii with my family. We would go every Thanksgiving to the Mauna Lani on the Big Island. I ordered fries, took a bite of one and put it down because it was too hot. Without realizing it, my mom then picked up that same fry and ate it. My sister and I thought it was the funniest thing ever and laughed for a solid 30 minutes after.  

Alone or with someone else? With someone else!

In-flight wifi- good idea? Never

Favorite subscription service you’ll never delete? Netflix!

Seville

Seville is the capital of Andalusia and is located in the Spanish midland, surrounded by stunning mountains. The best possible advice we can give you is not to go here in July or August. The heat can be oppressive, and the city turns into a ghost town. That is, aside from the unfortunate tourists that didn’t get the memo. During the remaining 10 months of the year, this place will absolutely win your heart over.  With cozy streets, delicious tapas, and vibrant culture, it’s hard for us to find things not to love about Seville.

Seville is the birthplace of Flamenco and yes, that fact alone makes everyone here just a bit sexier. It’s home to the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and regardless of your religious preference, we promise you will be floored by the architecture. Roaming the cobblestone alleyways, you’ll hear Spanish guitar and smell Boquerones or Pringa from the nearby restaurants.

In fact, we would be fine skipping the site-seeing all together and drowning ourselves in sangria and tapas as the sun goes down. Unfortunately for us, there is so much to see that our plan won’t really hold up. 

Where to stay

Hotel Alfonso XIII is the crown jewel of Seville hotels. The style is classic and old, and it’s in pristine condition. You can’t find a better hotel breakfast – with three different restaurants, we expected that to be the case. If you prefer something more personal, Hotel Monte Triana is everything you need. This stylish boutique hotel has each room named after a city the owners have visited. To make it even more adorable, each one is decorated with art the couple has collected from their trip.

Where to eat & drink

The name of the game for breakfast in Seville is “Pan Con Tomate” with “Cafe con Leche.” You can’t go wrong with that order and it’s as simple as it is delicious. Head to Bar Alfalfa and grab yourself a seat by the window to watch beautiful Andalusians stroll by while sipping your coffee.

The best restaurant in town for lunch is La Brunilda Tapas. This place opens at 1 pm and takes no reservations so get there early. If you can’t get a table don’t go crazy, walk over to Triana market instead. Buy something on the go from one of the many food stalls there is to choose from.

For dinner, restaurants open at 8 pm at the earliest (we are in Spain after all). However, Cañabota, one of our favorite restaurants in Seville, is also one of the few that stay open all day without being a tourist trap. Perfect if you’re still on another time zone and want to have early dinner. Cañabota is famous for its extensive fish menu and is a must for couples.

For a group of friends, we would rather go for a late dinner at Lobo López. Great atmosphere, solid food, and your chances of meeting eyes with that cute Spanish guy are actually pretty high.

For a traditional Seville experience, go to Plaza Alameda de Hercules. This plaza is filled with young, hip locals who live nearby or come to hang out as the evening passes by. There are restaurants back to back, so pick whatever restaurant you’re feeling at the moment. Our favorite is Arte y Sabor but really, you can’t go wrong.

Where to get a coffee

Don’t be thrown off by the hectic street traffic surrounding Torch Coffee Roasters. The coffee in this place is great- and will absolutely satisfy you coffee-snobs out there.

Ofelia Bakery is a modern looking coffee place offering the tastiest treats you can find. All homemade, and (thanks to American influence) a lot of vegan and gluten-free options, in case you’re in need of that type of thing. The vegan chocolate brownie will changes lives. Their menu changes daily but if you see it on there – please, for us, order it.

Where to shop

There are tons of cute shops in the heart of Seville. Go to Calle Rioja and start with a mandatory visit to BIMBA Y LOLA and then work yourself down the street from there.

Where to see some hits of culture

Real Alcazar de Seville is the royal palace in Seville. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and if that’s not enough to convince you to go here, you should also know that this place was used as a backdrop for Game of Thrones. Knew we would get you with that one. When you go, make sure you tour the entire palace. The botanical gardens inside are truly not to be missed.

If you can’t get enough of the greenery, go to Parque de María Luisa. Rent a bicycle, buy an ice cream, and enjoy the surroundings. Plaza de Espana, that pays homages of Spain’s 48 provinces, is part of the park and you can rent a boat to take out into in the canal that surrounds it.

If you’re more the history type, head to Torre del Oro. An amazing old military watchtower, Torre del Oro has a tour focusing on the city and how it came to be.

Where to work out

Go to Parque de María Luisa where there are yoga classes held several days a week. Enjoy the fresh air with those deep inhales.  

Where to party

DadáBar. There is nothing fancy about this place. We love that! Come here, let go, and dance a little bit. We don’t feel the need to say much more. Just know you should go.

If you’re looking for something more upscale, check out Lobby Room. It’s a great time, and open late (this should be a given with almost anywhere in Spain). Be sure to get churros with chocolate sauce on your way home. There are Churroterias all over in Seville, and they are always a good idea for a late night snack after drinking one too many glasses of cava.

What to do

There are great rooftop bars around Seville, and seeing the city from above is truly breathtaking. The one closest to the main cathedral is part of the EME Catedral Hotel. Warning: there will be a few tourists here but it’s worth it.

A Flamenco show is an absolute must see while you’re in Seville. This city is the birthplace of this traditional dance. Museo del Baile Flamenco (C/Manuel Rojas Marcos 3), which hosts several one-hour courtyard shows each evening is a great option. Or, if you’re planning in advance, buy a ticket for one of the shows at Tablao Flamenco Los Gallos.

Best place for IG stories

Metropol Parasol, also known as Las Setas (The mushrooms). This is an amazing architectural site that you wouldn’t necessarily expect in an old Spanish town like Seville (it feels extremely modern, in contrast to the surroundings). The wooden construction is made up of six platforms in the shape of large mushrooms. It is the best 360-degree view of the city and is the perfect backdrop for your ‘gram letting everyone know you’re in Seville. And they’re not. Come here just before the sunset, when the light is the most beautiful to see the city. Just make sure to put your iPhone down for a moment and take in the view for what it is: stunning. 

Where to get some R&R

AIRE Ancient Baths Sevilla. As you may glean from the name, AIRE is a bathhouse. To be specific, it is a palace they turned into a bathhouse. And I guess we should really just call it a spa. You can book services and enjoy the gorgeous facilities. They even have a large jacuzzi on the roof where you can enjoy the view of the main cathedral next door.

The treatments are fantastic but not quite the standard spa experience. Instead of getting your massage in a private room, you will be guided into a main area where others are also getting treatments done. The room is beautiful and has dimmed lighting, candles, and soothing music. We love it but it’s obviously not for someone who needs four walls between them and their spa neighbor.

Where to work- ie creative remote “offices”

We love getting a start on the work day at Hotel Alfonso. With three restaurants, there is plenty of room and lots of choices when it comes to food and drink.

The place that will really spark your creativity is Un Gato en Bicicleta. Originally a bookshop, it has now incorporated a cafe where you can come and work for the day – and maybe even enjoy it. There are magazines and books everywhere, and in the back, they even have a ceramic studio.




Carly Lockwood, Marketer at Remote Year

Carly Lockwood is a creator, marketer, and builder of both online and offline communities. As a marketing consultant for Remote Year, she definitely understands the need and love of travel more than the average bee. After two long years jaunting around the world (working remotely – this wasn’t just an Eat, Pray, Love moment!), Carly now resides in beautiful British Columbia. She is currently on the hunt to orchestrate a lifestyle that allows her to travel to the land of empanadas a few months out of the year and still keep her home base.

Follow Carly Lockwood on Instagram @carlylockwood

Off the top of your head- 3 favorite hotels, anywhere in the world. Go!

  1. The Fairmont Hotels! They are nostalgic for me as they remind me of cozy winter trips up to Lake Louise and Whistler.
  2. I know I have done something right if I am staying at any Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts.
  3. On a local note, the Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino, BC. This oceanfront boutique hotel is the coziest damn place you will ever stay in. With floor to ceiling windows, you can watch the waves crash right onto the rocks below. Tip: go during storm watching season!

What hotel room design element can you not live without?

Air conditioning.

What is/are your favorite “douchey offices” while traveling?

I have spent quite a few weeks working from a hammock by the ocean! My friends at Remote Year started an IG account called @digitaldouchebag – you will see only the douchiest of places we have had the opportunity to work. 

You travel for work- a lot. How did you get into doing what you do? What advice would you give someone who wants to get into the travel industry, or have travel as a critical part of their job?

The demand for work flexibility is becoming more and more common. I would suggest applying the “remote” filters and reach out to startup and tech companies that are implementing these benefits. As for advice, the “on the road” lifestyle is not for everyone. Talk to people who are doing it and understand both the up and down sides of it.

What is your most used travel emoji?

The poop face

If you could swap suitcases with anyone in the world at baggage claim, who would you swap with?

GREAT QUESTION. Anyone with better style, clean clothes and probably and most importantly, a clean record really.

If you’re going to a new place, and your friends have not been there, what do you consult for advice?

I tend to go straight to the nearest cafe or bar for a beer (become a fast local). From there, you ask the barista, the bartender, meet new local friends, and really dive into the insider scoop on where to go and, more importantly, where the tourist traps are. Human-based referrals always lead to off the beaten path adventure.

Best Travel advice you’ve ever received, and from whom?

Before leaving on my epic journey, my step-dad advised that I act like a sponge: absorb every experience, interaction, smell, taste etc. On a more practical note, someone told me to travel with noise-canceling headphones and plane, bus and train rides have never been the same.

Anxiety and burn out are big topics these days. How do you combat them, and how do you use travel to do so?

Such an important question! Regardless of how my Instagram looks, I went through some long periods of anxiety and feeling depleted.  The upside is you get to face all the emotions, but with incredible views.

Listen to your body and build a workout, meditation or “me time” regime. It’s important to have a little bit of routine, especially when your environments are constantly changing. A few friends had remote therapists, which was extremely helpful to them.

Do you have any favorite travel hacks?

I am always the last person to board the plane. This may make people anxious as people tend to line up right away – even though we all have our assigned seats. I do this so I can scan the entire aircraft for any vacant rows to sprawl out in. If I see one, I simply take the window seat, buckle up and wait for take-off before I stretch my legs out across the row. I promise I am not an asshole!

Travel can be about the little luxuries…like a super amazing cup of coffee. Where was the best one you’ve had?

Vietnam has the best iced coffee. Hands down.

Beach or City or Mountain?

Where the mountain meets the ocean.

In-flight cocktail?

No. Hydration is very important. ( I can hear my mom smiling at this)

Window or Aisle?

Window – most underappreciated view!

Celine Bossart, Writer & Content Creator

Céline Bossart is a New York-based freelance writer and content creator in the spirits and luxury travel spaces. Her written work and photography have been published in BillboardHarper’s BazaarELLE DécorTown & CountryLiquor.com, and more. In her spare time, Céline enjoys traveling, smashing the patriarchy, sipping fortified wines, and nerding out over cocktail history (preferably all while wearing a silk bathrobe). Follow her adventures on Instagram via @celineb0ss

Off the top of your head: list 3 favorite hotels

  1. Rosewood Mayakoba on the Riviera Maya (because why wouldn’t you want to cruise around a lagoon to get to your sexy villa).
  2. The Ned in London (because it’s just pretty- on top of having excellent bar programs).
  3. El Palauet in Barcelona (because it’s super whimsical and brings together modern luxury and old world architecture).

What is the most unique hotel amenity you’ve ever encountered?

I once stayed at the W London and they had a gigantic mobile bar that you could order to your room (it was called Mega Bar — like minibar, but huge. Get it?). Anyway, they rolled it up to my room and made me a cocktail and it was pretty cool. The disco ball inside was a nice touch.

What hotel room design element can you not live without?

Pillow variety. There’s nothing worse than having 4 to 6 of the same damn pillow. Everyone has their preferences! I also enjoy a good USB port or universal outlet literally anywhere in a room. Those always come in handy if I happen to have forgotten adapters.

What is/are your favorite “douchey offices” while traveling?

I want to say the pool anywhere, but I’m a crotchety old grandmother type at heart and I can’t see my screen when it’s sunny, so that’s an issue. I love working at bars. The lobby bars at The Ned and the Blakes Hotel in London are awesome, and the bartenders are super friendly. Is that douchey? It’s the best I can come up with. Also, I’m a better writer after a cocktail or two.

What 3 songs are on your OOO playlist?

This one is hard because I listen to different stuff all the time depending on my music phase. My default is anything by The XX. But here are three specific songs I’m into right now:  Best Friend by Sofi Tukker, shedontknowbutsheknows by Tove Lo, and My My My! by Troye Sivan

Travel can be about the little luxuries…like a super amazing cup of coffee. Where was the best one you’ve had?

I will never forget my experience at Coutume in the 7th Arrondissement in Paris. They let me do a stage there as a coffee roaster for a few months, so that was pretty cool.

Anxiety and burn out are big topics these days. How do you combat them, and how do you use travel to do so? Any favorite hotels for this, specifically? 

I actually have Lyme disease and am in pain/exhausted literally all the time; I think it’s the little things that help me keep on keeping on. I carry around two sleep masks (one gel and one silk) for airplanes and other modes of transport. I also like to keep protein bars on me so that I don’t have to resort to eating quick and easy garbage. Currently, I’m hiking almost 200 miles along the Camino de Santiago, so I have a bunch of those in tow along with some plant-based protein from this brand that I really love, Truvani. In terms of using travel itself as a means of combating my fatigue or physical woes, I generally will take advantage of spas or hot tubs/steam rooms within my accommodations whenever I get the chance. I love a good massage or soak.

You travel a lot for work – what are your tips for making it as easy and relaxing as possible? Any favorite hotels to stay in that help accomplish this?

Never underestimate the power of self care. For me, this comes in little presents to myself that keep me looking forward to taking care of myself while on the road. Usually that’s new travel-sized beauty products either from Birchbox, duty free, samples I’ve been sent, whatever it may be; new baby moisturizer, a new shade of blush, a sugar scrub; it literally doesn’t matter. I just like the idea of cracking open a fun little treat after a long travel day. Travel-sized candles are great too and can instantly make a hotel room feel a bit more serene and cozy.

What’s your go-to outfit for getting through security quickly, and still looking good?

I have this awesome cashmere hoodie from Leimere; it’s soft and lightweight and layers easily. I’ll wear that under a leather jacket along with a big travel scarf that can double as a blanket (I always WITHOUT FAIL am freezing cold on airplanes). So you just throw the jacket and scarf on the belt and move on with your life. I also don’t care what anyone says or thinks about Uggs. I will travel in those until the day I die.

What is your most used travel emoji?

It’s not travel-related, but probably the black heart. It’s goth and minimalist and chic. (EDITOR’s NOTE: this is our @safaratravel favorite, too!).

If you could swap suitcases with anyone in the world at baggage claim, who would you swap with?

Victoria Beckham for obvious fashion reasons. She also probably smells great.

Who is your dream “co-pilot” (travel partner- dead or alive), and why?

My boyfriend. He’s the best human being to travel with and the greatest adventure partner ever; his shoulder is also very comfy to sleep on while in transit.

If you’re going to a new place, and your friends have not been there, what do you consult for advice?

I honestly just use Google Maps. I’ll search for whatever I’m in the mood for (e.g. coffee, cocktails, whatever it may be) and I’ll take however much time is necessary to narrow down the nearby options to what I determine to be the coolest. And then I go find out for myself (I have to say my intuition is usually pretty on point). I’ve found some really great places that way, and there’s a satisfaction in knowing that I chose it without the influence of anyone else’s opinion. Sometimes though if a hotel has a good concierge, I’ll chat with him or her to get a feel for what’s going on nearby in terms of restaurants and bars, et cetera. They’re always very dialed in (it’s their job, of course).

Best travel advise you’ve ever received, and from whom?

Probably my dad. He’s traveled for work his entire career and throughout my whole life, so I inherently believed growing up that life on the road was normal, and that rang true for me in my adult life. It’s certainly not for everyone but it’s definitely in my DNA (my parents actually met on an airplane). Anyway, his philosophy is that you just go — to him, it’s not really a question. And you make it a lifestyle.

What is your favorite travel book – for at home, or abroad- and why?

Shantaram. It’s 900+ pages, so it’s a commitment (and it’s heavy if you’re reading the physical book), but so worth it. I read it while backpacking alone for three months back in 2012 and it rocked my world.

What’s your favorite room service experience ever?

It’s gotta be the Mega Bar at the W London.

If you could quit your job and follow the “Mamma Mia” dream (ie open a small hotel in a foreign land or on a remote island), where would you do it?

Well, I’ve been very lucky in that my job itself is basically a travel movie moment constantly. But if I were able to just go rogue and open a place of my own wherever I wanted, I’d likely choose Marrakech or Istanbul. Those are two of my favorite places on earth.

Lost luggage, or lost phone? 

Luggage (get that $$$)

Airplane food- Y/N? 

Yes (if biz class)

Fantasy mini bar/fridge item? 

Bottled cocktail

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