Travel with Christina Valhouli: Destinations

VP Plaza España Design | Spanish interior design firm Studio Gronda designed the hotel’s 12th floor Ginkgo Sky Bar. This spectacular terrace with direct access from the street provides covered and uncovered areas and will win your heart with its almost 360-degree views of the city of Madrid.

LA’s new Hotel Figueroa originally opened in 1926 as a women’s hostel. A lengthy renovation transformed the space into a stylish hotel that’s also a cultural hub, along with a restaurant helmed by a James Beard-nominated chef. We’re thrilled to see a renewed focus on reducing the use of plastics, and the new Akyra TAS Sukhumvit Bangkok nails it. This stylish hotel has a serene color palette as well as a rooftop bar, and gets high marks for giving guests refillable stainless steel water bottles as well as reusable shopping bags. The quaint village of Bray in England has long been a gastro destination, as it’s home to the Michelin-starred Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck and The Waterside Inn by Alain Roux. It is now also home to the new Monkey Island Estate, from YTL hotels. Located on a private island on the River Thames, New York-based Champalimaud Design tackled the interiors, which are inspired by animals as well as river boats. andBeyond is opening its first lodge outside of Africa – andBeyond Vira Vira in Chile’s Lake District. Adventure enthusiasts can go horseback riding and fly-fishing along the Liucura River. One of the most stylish places to stay in Madrid is the new VP Plaza España Design, which has a striking look. Don’t miss the heated outdoor pool with a transparent floor. Chicago has two new hotels, including the Hotel Julian, located in the historic Atlantic Bank Building, as well as Claridge House Chicago, located along the Gold Coast.

Next time you’re in Milan for Design Week, be sure to stop by Aimo e Nadia, a collaboration between chefs Alessandro Negrini and Fabio Pisani and gallerist Rossana Orlandi. The design is richly textured and fun, with textiles from Etro, and the menu focuses on simple Italian fare. Otoño in LA’s Highland Park showcases progressive Spanish-inspired food, Spanish beers and craft cocktails. The renovated 1920s space includes one custom interior graffiti mural by the Spanish artist PichiAvo. Bistro Pierre Lapin in New York is filled with décor from boutiques and markets throughout Paris, while the menu highlights classic French fare. London’s Novikov, which made waves for its Chinese-Japanese fusion cuisine, is opening an outpost in downtown Miami, with interiors by Adam Tihany. London’s Rovi is a new restaurant concept from the Yotam Ottolenghi team. Expect open fire cooking and fermented foods.

The island of Porquerolles in France is now home to the Fondation Carmignac. Housed in a renovated Provençal farmhouse, the collection includes over 300 pieces of contemporary art and can only be reached by boat. The Baltimore Museum of Art honors native son John Waters with the first major retrospective of his career in his hometown,” John Waters: Indecent Exposure. Don’t miss the Balenciaga Master of Couture exhibit at Montreal’s McCord Museum, which showcases a collection of the designer’s dresses and accessories. The Swedish photography museum Fotografiska is set to open a new location in London, featuring artwork by Helmut Newton and Sally Mann. The new V&A in Dundee, Scotland, was designed by Japanese architects Kengo Kuma & Associates. The exterior is crafted from cast-stone panels to resemble a ship, and the exhibits will showcase Scotland’s design heritage. Herzog & de Meuron converted a police station into the Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage & Arts in Hong Kong. The space includes landscaped courtyards and venues for contemporary art and culture. Mark your calendar for the Sao Paulo Biennial, which takes place in a modernist pavilion designed by Oscar Niemeyer as well as locations around the city.

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