Wow Factor: The Moroccan Riad
Instead of staying in a traditional hotel, experience a slice of Moroccan culture by staying in a riad, or small hotel converted from a traditional Moroccan home or palace centered around a courtyard or garden. Marrakech is bursting with stylish luxury riads, many of them European-owned. For a taste of something more authentic, check out Riad Kniza. This is one of the city’s most luxurious riads, which also happens to be Moroccan-owned. Dating from the 18th century and restored with traditional artisan-crafted materials, this 11-room gem is owned by a renowned Marrakech antiques dealer, who also doubles as a tour guide whose client roster includes former American presidents and celebs like Brad Pitt and Nicole Kidman.
Caught the latest Google Doodle? It’s an interactive mobile by Alexander Calder. Turns out we share a birthday!!!
Wow Factor: Antique Meets Modern Chic
This hotel is simply beautiful. Small artisan details abound at each turn, such as wood carvings, paneled ceilings, alcoves containing Roman busts, and stained glass doors. The interior design fuses traditional and contemporary design elements perfectly, creating a stylish interior space inside a former 18th century church vestry. The fashionable interiors combine the best of classic Andalusian design, including decorative painted tilework and rooms surrounding a multi-story courtyard accented by a Moorish fountain. One of a kind antique furniture, restored with modern fabrics and bold accents, can be found throughout. The staff is friendly and helpful, and with only 25 rooms, the hotel has a cozy, boutique feel.
When it comes to guitars, sometimes looks are everything. That may be blasphemous to the experienced, gig weary Rock God whose guitar has been beaten, burned, and abused before being duct-taped together again by a dedicated roadie. But, for the fledgling guitarist dreaming of licks, riffs, solos, and leads, looks are what matters, or more specifically it’s the mental image of what they will look like playing that counts. That image is what sustains them through the long road from Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to the distant horizon of Crazy Train and Stairway to Heaven. The road is bumpy and sometimes brutal, but it is the image of standing in front of a mirror looking awesome with their new guitar riding at their side that will, at times, be all that keeps them playing.
Moroccan design meets modern luxury at Sofitel Fes Palais Jamai. The hotel is filled with corridors accented by colorful stained glass windows and Moroccan lanterns that give off dancing patterns of light. French-inspired chandeliers showcase high artisan-crafted ceilings, and much of the furniture features carved gold accents and deep jewel tones. Abundant tile and woodwork fill the halls of this distinguished hotel, which used to be a palace, dating back to 1879.
Add a splash of color to your room with these beautiful contemporary rugs from Sonya Winner. Her rugs are filled with geometric shapes and colorful bursts of energy throughout each of her collections.
These unique chairs, designed by South African designer Katie Thompson, are perfect for world travelers and those looking to bring a little adventure into their home. Katie’s company, REcreate, produces recycled furniture, lighting, and interior accessories from found objects that combine high-end finishes with eclectic South African flair.
There just isn’t much travel gear out there that can double as rolling luggage and a backpacker’s backpack. In fact there’s nothing that can touch Eagle Creek’s Switchback Max series. For a recent trip to Spain and Morocco that involved 5 flights, 6 train rides, and a long-distance bus journey, as well as all the regular taxi, bus, and subway trips, I was searching for that perfect combination: luggage that would roll in airports and lobbies, giving my back a much-needed rest, and luggage I could carry on my back for the unpaved alleys of Morocco’s labyrinth medinas, where most roads are too narrow for vehicles.
It seems everywhere you go in Spain, you’re chasing Ernest Hemingway’s shadow. Plenty of restaurants and bars, in Madrid especially, lay claim to the fact that the ever-traveling writer once ate or drank there. But Botín has written proof to back up their claims: in the last scene of Hemingway’s famous novel “The Sun Also Rises,” the main character, Jake, dines at none other than Botín:
We lunched upstairs at Botin’s. It is one of the best restaurants in the world. We had roast young suckling pig and drank rioja alta. Brett did not eat much. She never ate much. I ate a very big meal and drank three bottles of rioja alta. —Ernest Hemingway
These fun cookies will make you smile. Just pick up a mustache cookie cutter and get baking!
[ via Eat Cake Be Merry ]