Month: August 2019

Niki Rein, founder of Barrecore

As the founder of the cult brand Barrecore, Niki has spent her professional life turning fitness into a lifestyle. Her love affair with the fitness industry began in 2000 when she started teaching yoga. When she moved to London in 2009, she was surprised to find barre fitness was not being taught anywhere and the first Barrecore studio was born. As a mother and entrepreneur, finding work/life balance is key and she’s a huge advocate of frequent trips, which help her switch off.

Follow her on @niki_rein and @Barre_core

Image via standard.co.uk

Name three of your favorite hotels? Why are they your favorites?

  • Casa de los Neveros, Granada, SpainThis perfect spot in gorgeous Granada is across the street from the breathtaking Alhambra. There are small local restaurants and local galleries at the doorstep.
Granada. Image via Bucket Listy blog.
  • Kempinski San Lawrenz, Gozo – Warm and welcoming, yet cool from the heat of Malta sun. I love the incredible local sculpture they have around this gorgeous 5 star hotel. Also, home to Barrecore’s first retreat.
Kempinski San Lawrenz. Image via Active Traveller.
  • Shutters on the Beach, Santa Monica, CA – This charming beachside boutique hotel is in one of my favourite ‘woo-woo’ neighborhoods. A reiki treatment, chakra balancing session or yoga class is just a stone’s throw away from this casually luxe hotel.
Shutters on the Beach.

What is the best hotel amenity you’ve ever encountered?
All the things at Soho House hotels. You literally just have to bring your clothes. They have the rest sorted.

Soho House Barcelona. Image via Dezeen.

What three songs are on your OOO playlist?

  • Sir Duke – Stevie Wonder
  • She Makes Me Laugh – The Monkees
  • Can’t Stop the Feelin’ – Justin Timberlake

Do you have any favorite travel hacks (ways to score an upgrade, methods of getting your meal first on a flight, etc)?
I always sit on the aisle of the middle four seater section and pick a row that is empty or has two sitting on the far two seats. This way, I am very likely to have a seat next to me free to spread out in coach. I also order a gluten free meal (because I am) but also because special meals are delivered first. The perk is that I can pull my eye mask down sooner on an overnight flight.

What do you always bring with you in your carry-on?
Chocolate. I will never fly without good chocolate. Montezuma 73% buttons are the absolute best travel buddies.

Who is your dream “co-pilot” (travel partner- dead or alive), and why? 
My partner Ruben. Sounds cheesy but he has a zest for life I have never experienced before. We have a little girl and I swear he is more kid-like when travelling than she is. It’s the best!

Anxiety and burn-out are big topics these days. How do you combat them, and how do you use travel to do so?
Mini 3-4 day trips are my cure all for burn-out. It’s too easy to get wrapped up in work and life stressors. Escaping for a short time is a sure way to learn something new that has nothing to do with daily to-do’s. I am always amazed at how I come back with answers to problems at hand after a mini trip!

Do you have any tips or tricks for beating the dreaded jet lag?
Yes! I always drink Nuun tablets (electrolyte replacement) when travelling and drink loads of water. Sleeping as much as possible by taking magnesium tablets 30 minutes before hoping to fall sleep, which help relax body and mind and keep restless legs at bay. Depending on length of flight, I will take another dose a couple hours before landing. The intense hydration and shut-eye make the flip side so much easier!

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?
Any town near San Sebastian, Spain – the food, sea, summer sun and close by winter ski make it heaven on earth!

Beach or City or Mountain? Beach (but mountains within 3 hours drive)

Alone or with someone else? With someone

In flight wifi- good idea: yes or no? Terrible!

Where Our Team Went this Summer

As a team of travel pros, we are extremely fussy when it comes to picking destinations, whether that’s work or play. It’s all about the dream trio: enough sun, a beautiful hotel and good food. Read on to hear where we settled this summer:

Ibiza

Maya, Co-Founder & CMO – Ibiza, Cornwall & Greece

This summer I’ve actually travelled far less than usual, as the focus has been on building Safara’s hotel booking site and membership – coming soon! Instead of taking a couple of longer breaks or most of August off (as is the culture in London) I chose to instead do a few mini breaks, which have been far more chill for work/life balance:

Los Enamorados , Ibiza


Ibiza, twice – I’m that person who talked sh*t about Ibiza for about 10 years. I really thought it must be very young, very expensive, and very douchey – boy, was I wrong! I love it so much that I’ve been there three times in the past two summers. For my “how to chill in Ibiza” tips, check out our Ibiza guide.

Cornwall, UK – I fell in love with this place when I had the chance to go for a friend’s 40th birthday. It has an amazing art school, so there’s a strong creative presence there amongst the locals, and nature that you just can’t beat. Amazing beaches, spooky ghosts (there were numerous pentagrams in the old house we were staying in!), wildflower bushes, galleries, plus delicious ice cream and scones. Be sure to check out the James Turrell works at the Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens.

Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens

Greece – Mykonos and Santorini – I’m going this Friday for my last summer hurrah, and for my first time to Greece. Will of course report back with tips for our Safara members.

Cas Gasi, Ibiza


Where did you stay? What was special about it? 
Sir Joan and Cas Gasi in Ibiza were amazing but polar opposites:

  • Sir Joan is five minutes from the airport and walkable to Ibiza Old Town and the clubs.
  • Cas Gasi is located deep in the central north. Great if you don’t want to leave the hotel – it’s perfect there, just as it is. Think: freshly grown tomatoes, a gorgeous pool, and tons of reading nooks. And just a few rooms in a 200 year old formerly private estate. The hotel is also close to a ton of under-populated beaches that are 20 minutes away by car.

Best thing you ate/drank and where?
Fresh squid ‘a la plancha’ and the watermelon mint and feta salad at the Experimental Beach club in Ibiza.

Highlight? Top tip?
I’m hoping the best is still yet to come in Greece…

Joey, Co-Founder & CEO – Lithuania & all over the US

Where did you go this summer? Why?
San Francisco (2x), NYC (2x), Seattle (2x), Las Vegas, Miami, Lummi Island in the San Juans, Sun Valley Idaho, and Vilnius Lithuania. The 4th of July with family brought me to Lummi and Idaho. A hunt for family history took me to Lithuania.

Emblem SF. Image via Fathom Travel


Where did you stay? What was special about it? 
I spent a few nights at the Emblem in SF and loved their perfect bathrooms. The Pacai Hotel in Vilnius is a revelation. Constructed out of a 15th Century mansion, they balanced modern touches whilst preserving the historic structure throughout. With the exceptional service and the perfect location in Old Town, this place is worth a spot on everyone’s new hotel list.

Pacai Hotel in Vilnius

Best thing you ate/drank and where?
Lithuanian potato pancakes are next level. Get them everywhere.

Highlight? Top tip?
Visiting Vilnius with my parents was a truly special experience as we tracked down our roots from the 1800s. I’d recommend anyone doing this kind of exploration, wherever you’re from. To stand on the ground where your ancestors stood, especially when so much of the details of their history has been lost, is a remarkable feeling. 

Chloe, Marketing Consultant – Glamping in Navès

I went to Navès, which is a small town about 70 miles from Barcelona (where I live).

Where did you stay? What was special about it? 
Forest Days – a beautiful spot for glamping. It has five bell tents for an entire five hectares of land. Each tent area has its own dining area, eco-friendly bathroom and – most importantly – spectacular views. You are so close to nature that you feel free and healthy.

Best thing you ate/drank and where?
The owner would leave a basket full of goodies outside the tent around 8am. We would unpack like a present you open on Christmas morning. The weekend was spent drinking my favourite Cava Mas Macia.

Highlight? Top tip?
The highlight of my trip was when my fiancé proposed to me under millions of stars by our tent! Make sure you hike up the Busa cliffs as you will see such amazing scenery and take a dip in the wonderful Lake of Sant Ponç. 

Annabel, Editorial Producer – Tuscany, Wales & Helsinki

I began the summer with a holiday in Tuscany (including two nights in Florence), a weekend at home in Wales (once the heatwave hit London and I had to flee) and then a press trip to Helsinki where I wrote a story about going to a festival alone for Refinery 29 followed by a few days there with a friend.

Flow festival

Where did you stay? What was special about it? 
Our villa in Tuscany was a converted monastery that fitted in 12 of us. The rooms were huge with high ceilings and the garden had a small pool. In Helsinki, I stayed at Marski by Scandic first (the central hotel partner for the festival that served amazing buffet breakfasts) then a beautiful AirBnB by Hesperia Park. The archipelago of Helsinki consists of around 330 islands and Lonna was my favorite for its incredible restaurant, serving fresh produce grown on the island.

Tuscan villa
Islands off Helsinki

Best thing you ate/drank and where?
A lot of gelato in Florence and salmon in Helsinki. The open sandwiches with rye bread are great – especially the prawn one served at Loyly sauna. Finns love a ‘Long Drink,’ which is gin with grapefruit flavored juice – dangerously drinkable… Flow festival’s food was 50% vegan/vegetarian so all really healthy!

Tuscan villa

Highlight? Top tip?
Dancing around the Tuscan villa after countless Aperol Spritzes, watching Solange, Mitski and Nao performances at Flow, jumping in the Baltic sea after a sauna… Again and again.

Loyly sauna

Fede, Full-stack Developer – Amsterdam & Italy

I went to Amsterdam and Italy to spend time with friends and family. We organised a small festival (for the eighth year running) on Trentino’s mountain.  

Trentino. Image via Italy Magazine

Where did you stay? What was special about it? 
Stayed with friends and family – my childhood room is now my nephews’!

Troost Browerij, Amsterdam

Best thing you ate/drank and where?

In Amsterdam I had the best burger ever at Troost Browerij. In Italy I had an incredible slow-cooked pork on gravy and roasted hazelnuts with sweet puree at Rifugio Bindesi.

Rifugio Bindesi. Image via La Voce de Trentino


Highlight? Top tip?
In Italy the festival was great as always. The energy was amazing – I’m so proud that we made it happen!

Best Hotel Pools Around the World


We know the feeling too well – traipsing around a sticky city feeling like you’re covered in pollution, slithering onto public transport to make meeting after meeting. Sometimes the only way to deal with a work trip in the summer is to slip into a pool at the end of the day. Without doing research, good ones are hard to come by – you can never spot rooftop pools from below and many are kept secret on purpose. But don’t sweat it – we’ve done the digging for you. Here are our favorites around the world: 

Faena Hotel Miami Beach, Miami

Found in Miami’s art district, this hotel’s aesthetic has a lot to live up to. And they nail it. Matching the hotel’s bright red and white theme, the stunning pool is begging for a #myofficetoday Insta brag. There is also entertainment every night so definitely check out the Living Room for drinks, snacks, and live music.

Hotel Charlee. Image via CNT.

Hotel Charlee, Medellin

In the bustling Parque Lleras district, you’d never spot the high rise pool at the top of this 18-storey hotel. The building may be gigantic but there are only 42 rooms, which are generous in size. The on-site Lucia restaurant offers some of the city’s best Italian food and the hotel often puts on DJ nights so you can let loose after a day in the “office.” 

Memmo Alfama. Image via Lisbon Shopping Destination

Memmo Alfama, Lisbon

Here, the showstopper is the red-tiled pool, which matches the red roofs of Lisbon and the best rooms look over the Alfama and Tagus River. For breakfast, pasteis de nata are aplenty. Even in the winter, the rooftop is the place to be with fire-pits to huddle around. The chill is worth it for the view. 

Freehand LA. Image via @rayywanders

Freehand, LA

This tropical pool has graced many Instagram accounts thanks to its vibrant color scheme. Grand Central Market is also just four blocks away and it’s well worth the walk. The rooftop is plastered in pink pool accessories and the award-winning Broken Shakes serves fun (but lethal) cocktails for an after work drink. 

Palace Hotel. Image via marriot.co.uk

Palace Hotel, San Francisco

Just off Market Street, this sophisticated hotel is styled in Beaux Arts decor. Everyone knows San Francisco weather can be unpredictable, but never fear as their pool is heated and covered by a stunning glass roof. The hotel is also family-friendly, so don’t be afraid to bring the kids along and tack on a holiday once the meetings are finished. 

Image via McCarren Hotel

McCarren Hotel & Pool, NYC

You may have heard of this one as McCarren boasts one of New York City’s largest outdoor swimming pools. Based in Williamsburg, the hotel was designed by the same man behind LA’s Chateau Maumont, so you know it won’t disappoint. The pool area is a feast for the eyes with bright colours and a jungle of plants and palm trees.

Six Senses Maxwell, Singapore. Image via Deluxe Destination

Six Senses Maxwell, Singapore

One for the foodies, this Art Deco hotel is opposite the famous Maxwell Food Centre and all hotel guests get complimentary scoops of ice cream served from a cart. The 25-metre long lap pool is the perfect place to work it off. Don’t miss the Rose Bar & Lounge, which serves rose wines and champagnes.

Ohla Barcelona. Image via e-architect.co.uk

Ohla, Barcelona

Smack in the middle of the city, it’s a mystery why Ohla’s rooftop pool is never crowded, which guarantees a relaxed vibe above the Barcelona madness. The views across the city are spectacular. As for the rooms, you’ll find rain-showers and lovely touches, such as a pillow and sheet menu. 

The Curtain. Image via Design My Night

The Curtain, London 

A favorite for creative entrepreneurs, this Shoreditch hotel has a tequila bar and rooftop pool that often plays ‘90s hip-hop, so needless to say it’s buzzing. On a Sunday, the nearby Columbia Road Flower Market is a must-see and Silicon Roundabout is just 10 minutes away, so tech industry folk love it for the easy weekday commute. 

Harsha Chanrai, CEO of Saira Hospitality

After cutting her teeth at some of the biggest hotel brands in Asia, such as Six Senses, The Aman in Sri Lanka and The Fullerton Hotel in Singapore, Harsha broke out on her own to launch Saira Hospitality in 2015. A non-profit enterprise, Saira Hospitality creates partnerships between communities and luxury hotels by empowering locals and providing hotels with a committed workforce. Their pop-up hotel schools have taken place in The British Virgin Islands, Mexico and LA, with more to come. A truly global citizen, Harsha travels constantly, but was brought up in London and now calls New York her home.

Follow her on @harshachanrai

Name three of your favorite hotels?

Six Senses Llamu. Image via Telegraph.
  • Blakes, London – I love that it’s still undiscovered by many and blends into the street so easily. It’s the first boutique hotel I ever discovered as a child living in London and where my love of hotels and design began.
Blakes Hotel. Image via Design Boom.
Hotel San Cristobal. Image via
Dwell.

What do you love most about working in hospitality?
The people. I feel like we’re a certain breed of people. We look to get the most out of every experience, work or play, and we blend them as much as we can. You can always tell when someone has the hospitality gene, something we always try and identify in our students. They have a natural instinct to connect, to serve, to spread happiness – whether in the spotlight or behind-the-scenes. Hospitality, at its core, is really what it means to be human and as Mohammed Ali said, “service to others is the rent we pay for our room here on earth.”

Cherry blossoms in Kyoto.

You travel a lot for work, was this something you were seeking in a career? If so, how did you go about designing your career life to include so much travel? How do you make it as relaxing and fun as possible?
Yes, I love traveling and couldn’t imagine my life without it, even if it’s just exploring a new neighborhood in Brooklyn. Whether it’s Namibia, Mexico or India, we’re totally open and excited to bring our pop-ups to communities globally. I’m a huge fan of “pool meetings” when we’re on a project at 9am. Love to start the day with team morning meditations – optional always. I’m a huge advocate of work/life balance. If we can get out on a boat one morning and island hop we’ll definitely do it. Our partners are a blast and we laugh at the situations we get ourselves into. Like when I walked out of the shower one day in Mexico and there was a cow at my front door staring at me.

Namibia. Image via Natural World Safaris.

Have you or would you travel alone?
Yes – it’s important. To connect with yourself, to make yourself feel a little uncomfortable. A friend once asked if I feel loved when I’m alone. It’s important to cultivate that.

If you’re going to a new place, and your friends have not been there, what do you consult for advice?
I haven’t found a concierge company that I love as of yet. I like to do a tonne of my own research with online articles or asking friends of friends. Then I compile it into a Google Doc that I share with close friends when they go.

What was your favorite room service experience ever?
The little breakfast crepes at Cliveden House, just outside London. Few people can make them so thin with a hint of orange and still hot upon arrival.

Cliveden House. Image via CNN.

Best travel advice you’ve ever received, and from whom? 
Get Global Entry – Michaelangelo L’Acqua.

Who is your dream “co-pilot” (travel partner- dead or alive), and why?
Anthony Bourdain – what a legend. He recognized, embraced and shared the value of the local experience. And didn’t seem to take himself too seriously.

Travel can be about the little luxuries like a super amazing cup of coffee. Where was the best one you’ve had?
Carnitas in Todos Santos, King Coconuts in Sri Lanka, Hole in the wall Gyoza in Kyoto, Baked Crab Hand Rolls in LA.

Sri Lanka. Image via Lonely Planet.

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?
I don’t know about ‘Mamma Mia,’ but that’s always been my dream! It changes, but today: Comporta, Portugal.

Comporta. Image via CNT.

Where’s your next trip? If vacation, why did you choose there?
Ibiza and Formentera! Taking my entire family this August – they’ve never been. I lived there for a brief moment and want to share the magical parts of the island with them.

Mallorca.

Beach or City or Mountain? Beach

Alone or with someone else? With someone

In flight wifi- good idea: yes or no? No

Lost luggage, or lost phone? Phone

Airplane food- Y/N? No

Fantasy mini bar/fridge item? iSodi – their Cacio e Pepe and Lasagna

Early check-in/ late check-out? Late check out

Favorite subscription service you’ll never delete? Insight Timer

In flight cocktail? What kind? Mescal Negroni

Favourite travel app Safara – when it comes out. Seriously!

Window or Aisle? Aisle

Yoga or hotel gym? Yoga.

Top 10 Cool Down List

As much as we adore the sunshine, summer wreaks havoc on our bodies. Scorched skin, an unquenchable thirst, hair so dry you could snap it – we need all the help we can get. Thankfully, our Safara Insiders are experts in keeping cool as they spend a lot of the year travelling in warm climes. Overheating and overpacking? Forget it – look no further than these top 10 products:

1.  Coconut & Mint Cooling Mineral Mist 

We have to start with a mist. You won’t find better than this deliciously cooling all-over body spray from Little Barn Apothecary. Made with peppermint, aloe leaf juice, fresh virgin coconut, pure organic aloe water, and rich ocean minerals, all the ingredients are as natural and as gentle as can be. 

2. The Ordinary – 100% Plant-Derived Squalane – recommended by Safara Insider Maria Maleh

Heard of squalane? It’s a hydrocarbon that is naturally found in the skin. This product will help you top it up, resulting in supple skin and super shiny hair. 

3. EasyAcc Handheld Fan

Small, stylish, and we love this turquoise color. Enjoy a little breeze wherever you are, whether that’s stuck in traffic or on the beach. 

4. Vitamin C Glow Protect Lotion SPF30, from The Body Shop – recommended by Safara Insider Nick Ferman

 “Feels lovely, protects your skin from the sun and from pollution – useful as I’m always on my motorbike!” 

5. skyn ICELAND Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels

We trust this Icelandic brand to know a thing or two about keeping temperatures low. Within ten minutes, this gel patch will ease puffiness and soothe tired eyes. Includes concentrated doses of ingredients, such as ginkgo biloba leaf extract, shea butter and thyme. 

6. 100% Australian Tea Tree Oil – recommended by Safara Insider Nikki Brand 

This agile product has multiple uses, such as household cleaning. But when it comes to skin, tea tree oil deep-cleans pores and relieves redness (perfect for summers in the city). The pure leaf is sourced from arid plains of eastern Australian. 

7. Citrus Verbena Deodorant by L’Occitane 

Zesty and fresh, this deodorant stick is enriched with organic verbena and citrus fruits. With absolutely no toxic ingredients, alcohol or parabens, your skin is kept protected and balanced whilst minimising odour. 

8. 8 Faces Boundless Oil – recommended by Christina Perez 

If you haven’t tired alma yet, you need to. Containing powerful antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and a rich source of essential fatty acids, amla is the most antioxidant rich ingredient in the world. 

9. Cucumber Aqua Gel by Pratima Skincare 

Had a little too much sun? Look no further than this cooling blend to ease sore skin. Organic cucumber, aloe and healing Brahmi is the ultimate mix to guarantee radiance. You could also slather on after shaving. 

10. Organic Lip Balm – recommended by Safara Insider Sarah Murrell 

Don’t forget about your lips, they need some summer TLC too. Hand-blended in England, this velvety-soft lip balm is made with organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Apricot Oil and Beeswax, which means moisture all day long. 

Nick Ferman, Group Brand Special Projects at Luxottica

Nick started his career in Italy in the early 00s before moving to London in 2005. After launching a number of contemporary fashion brands, his lifelong passion for The States (he can go on and on and on about rock ‘n’ roll and Bukowski) saw him develop and manage a cultural and retail swap between Carnaby and New York’s Lower East Side. Currently at Luxottica, you can find him conceiving global partnerships for the company’s brands, such as Ray-Ban, Persol and Oliver Peoples. He started writing songs at 40 and is currently trying not to get another speeding ticket with his grey Moto Guzzi. His time is split between London, Milan, Amsterdam and Stockholm but he would rather be in South Sardinia, his happy place.

Follow him on his motorbike here: @NickFerman

Riad Tizwa. Image via The Kindreds.

Name 3 favorite hotels, anywhere, off the top of your head. Why are they your favorites?

  • Riad Tizwa, Fes, Morocco – stay in ‘the’ ground floor room. Opening the wooden doors with a huge lock will make you feel you are entering your own castle. The charming bathroom with smudged tiles are worthy of a decadent prince. Home cooked breakfast everyday by the loveliest staff.
  • The Line, K-Town, LA – A hipster hotel with nice and attentive staff! Architect Sean Knibb did a pretty good job with the rooms, modern but with a 70’s feel, the furniture was made bespoke for the hotel by local artisans. Floor to ceiling view in every room, pick one facing the Hollywood sign.
The Line. Image via CNT.
  • Little Hoi An Central Boutique and spa, Hoi An, Vietnam – An oasis of tranquillity in the City of Lanterns. The colonial style rooms are straight out of a movie and they have the best beds. Make full use of the spa, every treatment is superb. 15 minutes walk from the fish market.
Hoi An. Image via The Wanderbook.

What hotel room design element can you not live without?

Loads of sockets – never enough these days with all the devices we have – and light switches that are easy to find and operate. 

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

South East Sardinia. Unpretentious, friendly people, the best sea I have ever seen (go to Chia beach). Fradis Minoris is the best seafood restaurant I ever tried, in the middle of the Nora lagoon.

Chia Beach. Image via Visit Sardinia.

You travel a lot for work…was this something you were seeking in a career? How do you make it as relaxing and fun as possible?

It was. I’ve worked long and hard to achieve a position where I get to manage projects at a global scale. The main thing is to develop skills that are transferable in different markets. Always download a lot of movies and series to kick back (Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars is a current favourite), do at least one new thing (bar, gallery, book shop, I recently discovered delicious Berlin restaurant Lokal) and don’t feel bad about staying in if the day has worn you out.

Lokal. Image via Time Out.

What 3 songs are on your OOO playlist?

  • Red Bone, Childish Gambino
  • There Is No Time, Lou Reed (listen to the lyrics, could have been written now)
  • Outrageous, Calva Louise.

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

  • Pukka green tea bags
  • Drakes cashmere scarf
  • Noise cancelling head phones
  • Persol 714 folding shades (in black)
  • A good rock and roll biog (Seymour Stein’s Siren Song is excellent).

If you could swap suitcases with anyone in the world (alive or dead) at baggage claim, who would you swap with?

Glenn O’Brien, in his TV Party days.

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

Book your essentials early, improvise the rest (from my friend Manuela, the most adaptable person I know).

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

Don’t drink too much alcohol, only attend functions ‘ you have to attend,’ don’t look at your phone, find time every day to do at least one thing you love (going to the cinema on my own, learn a new riff on the guitar). I apply the above to travel, work or play.

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

I’m writing this whilst on holiday in Sicily. What’s better than a Cremolata for breakfast?

Beach or City or Mountain?

Beach!

In flight wifi- good idea: yes or no?

Noooooo!

Fantasy mini bar/fridge item?

Italicus, just try it.

Lilly Alice, Freelance PR Consultant & Fashion Influencer


Lilly was born in Germany but now splits her time between London and Berlin (whilst fitting in a lot of travel in between). Having partnered with the likes of Paul Smith, Selfridges, Stella McCartney and Adidas, she is a classic ‘multi-hyphenate’ millennial with serious ambition. Since going freelance, Lilly has built an enviable list of her own fashion PR clients and grown her Instagram following to an enormous 100k. Loved for her dog selfies, killer sportswear and glamorous holidays, her Stories often feature her partying in Ibiza with the coolest crowd. Needless to say, her tips are not to be missed.

Follow her adventures on @LillyAlice1.

The Standard NYC. Image via standardhotels.com

Name 3 favorite hotels, anywhere, off the top of your head. Why are they your favorites?

All places have a super chilled vibe but great service. Town Hall Hotel is my favourite – I used to book a room there every once in a while even though my flat was only a five minute walk away.

Soho House Berlin. Image via Cntraveller.com

What hotel room design element can you not live without?
Master switch by the bed.

You travel a lot for work, was this something you were seeking in a career? How do you make it as relaxing and fun as possible?
I never thought I would have the opportunity to travel so much so I didn’t really plan it. What I did plan though is to run my own business/work as a freelancer to be able to all have all the freedom in the world. I think the best thing is that I now know so many great people all over the planet so whenever I travel I will try to meet up with friends and get to know a new city that way.

Image via Town Hall Hotel

What 3 songs are on your OOO playlist?
Parallaxis – Traumprinz
Kanedo – Beach Side
Your Eyes – Julain Collet, Jakob Oschmsnn

Best travel advice you’ve ever received, and from whom?
My mum: the only thing you will ever need is a credit card…. 

Do you have any tips or tricks for beating the dreaded jet lag?
I don’t but if someone does, please tell me!

What is your favorite travel book or magazine- for at home, or abroad- and why? 
I love Suitcase magazine – they have amazing tips on what to pack and where to travel. It also has a super cool look.

What’s your go-to outfit for getting through security quickly, and still looking good?
A nice tracksuit in black with easy trainers in a cool colour, no jewellery.

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?
Holbox, Mexico.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve purchased abroad and brought home (or tried to carry-on) from your travels?
A dog.

Lilly’s dog Heidi

You have an hour to spare at the airport. What would I find you doing?
Working on my laptop.

Where’s your next trip?  China for work.

In flight wifi- good idea: yes or no? YES.

Lost luggage, or lost phone? LUGGAGE.

Airplane food- Y/N? NO∙

Favourite subscription service you’ll never delete? SPOTIFY.

Best US Hotels for Dogs – Chosen by City

If you’re travelling for work, don’t underestimate the power of bringing your pet along. Watching them splash in the sea or roam a new park is an instant stress reliever. Some hotels even offer to take them off your hands so you can concentrate. Dogs are a (wo)man’s best friend and the ultimate travel companion after all.

We know researching dog friendly places to stay takes time. In the US, petsmart hotels are aplenty, you just need to know where to look. So, we’ve made it easy and narrowed it down to our favourite hotel per city: 

Hotel 50 Bowery

1. NYC: Insta fame at Hotel 50 Bowery 

The team at Hotel 50 Bowery welcome pets with open arms. There is no fee but they ask for notice in advance so they can get you and your pup set up (including a dog bed and bowl). Local recommendations on pet-friendly parks and restaurants are provided, which are super useful. Beware: they love to share photos of their guests’ dogs on Instagram.

Hotel 50 Bowery

2. Miami: Epic Pet Getaway at Kimpton EPIC Hotel

All animals are welcome at the Kimpton – no restrictions and no hidden fees. Pets are even encouraged at the pool. This hotel have truly perfected the art of pampering your pooch. Yes, mats and bowls are standard, but you may not expect Yip-Yap breath mints, pedicures and one-hour daily walks as part of the Epic Pet Getaway package. 

Babba Canales recommends: “The Standards, especially in Miami.”

Quick tip: Two pets of any size are welcome for no additional fee at The Standard Miami. Both dogs and cats are permitted, no discrimination here!

3. San Francisco: Outdoor Dog Run at Hotel Nikko 

Four-legged friends are in for a treat at Hotel Nikko. A luxury bed, toys and accessories are gifted for every dog, including a beautiful Nikko branded leash. The outdoor dog run is a great spot for playing and making friends whilst owners can enjoy the health club, sauna, steam room, pool and hot tub.

Hotel Nikko

4. LA: Pawdicures at Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, Santa Monica

Here there is no hierarchy between dog and owner – dogs are presented with their own bed, bowls and treats on arrival. Once settled in, dog-sitting and walks are available on request. In partnership with local pet store The Healthy Spot, guests get 10% off toys and treatments, which includes pawdicures and furcials. They even arrange dog-friendly weddings with tiaras to boot. 

Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows
Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows. Image via Here Magazine.

Lilly Alice recommends: “Bio-Hotel Stanglwirt in Kitzbühel (Austria) and the Nobu Hotel in Ibiza.”

Quick tip: Bio-Hotel Stanglwirt offer dog-sitting and a bone on arrival!

Safara Insider Lilly Alice
Nobu Hotel Ibiza. Image via Thailand Tatler

Quick tip: The Hoxton launches Hox Hounds  

Written in woofs and barks (until translated), the new Hox Hounds site has everything you need to know about staying at any Hoxton with your dog. All Hoxton hotels – from London to Chicago – offer dogs their own custom-made dog bed, Do Not Disturb sign, and dog-friendly Mutt Manual written in dog, of course. So, always bear Hoxton in mind as a reliable option when looking for last minute dog friendly hotels. 

Hoxton Chicago
Safara Insider Christina Perez


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