Category Archives: TRAVEL

THE TRAVEL FILES: PENSAO AGRICOLA IN PORTUGAL

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Pensão Agrícola is a small rural hotel(only six rooms) located between the historic town of Tavira and Cacela Velha, a picturesque clifftop fishing village in Portugal. The original farmhouse was built in 1920 as a wedding present to the owners’ only daughter and it remained a working farm until 1970. After 40 years of neglect, the memories of those more prosperous times have been preserved and incorporated into the current architectural project by Atelier Rua. On the shady terrace next to the farmhouse, guests can enjoy a delicious, generous breakfast, or take other light meals by the plunge pool. Thanks to the owners’ eye for detail and care to preserve precious curiosities, each room is a minimal delight, with carefully considered details such as industrial lamps from the 1940 and 50s, and pieces by local artists including Joana Astolfi and Márcio Vilela.

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A RUSTIC CHIC HOLIDAY RENTAL ON IBIZA, SPAIN

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This beautiful villa is a luxurious vacation rental located in Ibiza, isolated on more than 10,000 square meters of land, with a spectacular view of the sea. From here you can watch the sun set every day of the year. Even in the summer, when the island tends to get more crowded, this is still a rather quiet and peaceful place, perfect to calm down and relax. The building, which is about 150 years old, had been abandoned for 40 years. It had no ceiling and the walls were crumbling and there was no electrical wiring. Renovations took about five years. However, the first two years were spent gathering permissions and getting all paperwork in order. The house is protected due to its location close to the sea as well as its age. The owner about the interior design: “We wanted to respect the building and the land, the simplicity of the place, so we kept all the aspects the house had 150 years ago, creating a dialogue between the past and the present. Therefore, the rooms were kept the same and the house was decorated in a simple and discreet manner with simple wooden furniture, kilims and individual pieces we collected throughout our travels.”

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THE TRAVEL FILES: CASA COOK HOTEL ON RHODES, GREECE

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Casa Cook is a brand new hotel brand by travel company Thomas Cook. Their first hotel, which has recently opened, is on the island of Rhodes, Greece. The boutique hotel has 90 rooms, each coming with a small private swimming pool. The design is a collaboration between architect Vana Pernariv, interior designer Annabell Kutucu and design agency Lambs & Lions. I think the result is beautiful: there is a lot of white and natural materials such as wood and rattan give a rustic chic vibe. Casa Cook Hotel: “Our aim is to set a new standard among holiday resorts. We want to create hotels that connect and inspire like-minded travelers. Those who like to eat local and adventure authentic. Who thrive on style and value well-being. At Casa Cook, there will be no one-size-fits-all architecture. No repetitive interiors. Each hotel will have its own distinct personality and will inspire through the use of eclectic, evocative design. As well as through embracing and integrating the native culture of each location.” More information can be found here on Casa Cook’s website.

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MALIBU FARM CAFE AT THE MALIBU PIER (LOS ANGELES)

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Swedish born Helene Henderson has a two-acre organic farm in Malibu. For years she has been organizing cooking classes and hosting farm dinners out of her home and recently she has openend Malibu Farm, a cafe & restaurant at the Malibu Pier in Los Angeles. Helene: “We are not a big corporation or funded by investors, we are a locally owned small business. Our food is super simply prepared, there are no secret ingredients. We order everything organic, but none of our local small farmers are certified, and our big suppliers, do not deliver 100% organic 100 % of the time. I naively thought when I opened the cafe, that organics were easy for restaurant to source – it is not. It is a daily and challenging struggle.However we are proud of the products that we serve and believe we put the best possible produce available on every dish served”

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WEEKEND ESCAPE: A HOLIDAY HOME IN SAYULITA, MEXICO

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This colorful holiday villa, called Casa Dos Chicos, is located right on top of a hill overlooking the Pacific Coast of Sayulita, Mexico. The house has been redecorated using a mix of minimal and clean lines combined with colorful Mexican accessories. Casa Dos Chicos can be rented for events (imagine having a wedding here!) and/or holiday villa accommodating up to ten guests. The property features four beautifully decorated suites, a swimming pool, a tree-top Jacuzzi with ocean views, and a Mexican-style open air living area which includes a rooftop living room and kitchen/dining room dramatically linked by a bridge. Sayulita, which has been called “Mexico’s best kept secret”, is on my list of places-to-go-to. The small charming town with a great vibe has lots of good restaurants and boutiques. You can visit Casa Dos Chicos’ website for more information and bookings.

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A SMALL BUT BEAUTIFUL HOME ON ANTIPAROS, GREECE

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This villa on the Greek island of Antiparos is a former stone ruin that has been converted into a stylish two bedroom summer home. It is surrounded by two acres of land which gives a lot of privacy. The summer home has completely refurbished by well known Greek architect Fania Sinaniotis. The modern touches, such as the metal kitchen table, contrast beautifully with the raw wood and whitewashed beams. I love the old wooden shutters that are now being used as partition doors between the kitchen and living room. The house can be rented as a holiday home, for more information you can contact Antiparos Escape Villas.

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STYLISH HOLIDAY SUITES & VILLAS ON MYKONOS, GREECE

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I received an email from Elena, introducing me to Agnandi. This small complex of summer suites and villas on Mykonos (Greece) has been created by her parents almost 25 years ago. Elena and her husband (both are architects) are the co-owners of Agnandi and they have renovated the property during the last 2 years. About Agnandi: Freshly renovated by the owners-architects, only 500 meters uphill over the new port and within an easy 5 minute car-ride from Hora, nestles Agnandi, an ideal summer get-away for a quiet and relaxing holiday. Surrounded by two and a half acres of lush garden filled with geraniums and bougainvilleas, are 18 independent residences, varying in size, that offer all the comforts of a perfectly set country home, coupled with the personalized services of a hotel. I have been to several Greek islands (I love Greece!) but have never been to Mykonos. After seeing these beautiful images of Agnandi, this place is now high on my list of places to visit! Please visit Agnandi’s website for more information and bookings.

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