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The Bar at La Banane in St Barths

La Banane, St Barths

San Giorgio in Mykonos (above and below)

Rain? What rain?

Cocqui Cocqui in Mexico (above and below)

The White House in Daylesford, Victoria, Australia

As a respite from monsoon season we’ve been checking out some of the gorgeous places (see above) to stay as featured on the hotel website The Common Pursuit.

We like its simplicity. No words, just lots of pictures of hotels, guesthouses and self-catering boltholes from cabins in the wilderness to Alpine chalets all over the globe. It’s not a booking site, just a sumptuous bit of hotel porn. Go on, get ogling and dream of sunnier climes.

Bethan Ryder, News & Travel Editor


The sun is starting to stay up that little bit longer now and I can’t help but daydream about the great outdoors and the idea of pitching a tent in a couple of months time. Even better would be to pitch a wigwam (love that word), or perhaps a tipi.

Of the numerous posh camping websites that have popped up all over the place lately, my favourite would have to be Canopy and Stars. Who needs a tent when you can hire a yurt?

I urge you all to ditch the hotel this summer and opt for the canvas option instead and try to enjoy the rugged countryside that this beautiful country has to offer.

Lucy, Style Assistant x



There’s a somewhat frustrating trend happening in the hotel world these days. To draw crowds, more and more hotels are relying on peripherals — espresso bars, pop-up shops, gastropubs. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with good coffee or a happening bar scene, but sometimes hotels lose their focus on the rooms themselves — in theory, the backbone of the business. And this is a shame. To stay in a well-designed hotel room is a treat. So what makes for a thoughtful design? My preferences tend towards the more minimalist end of the spectrum, perhaps from having lived in Asia for so many years. But really it’s the feeling of openness that I am addicted to. It’s an invitation to relax. And that’s an invitation I can’t turn down. Here are three hotels whose rooms I’ve found truly exceptional…

The PuLi, Shanghai

The PuLi in Shanghai is an example of the most intelligent kind of interior design. For an urban hotel to create such a feeling of spaciousness within a relatively small space is quite a feat. First of all, when you walk in, there’s a lattice-like screen, which creates a kind of foyer. This helps the room feel more like a studio apartment that just your standard hotel room. Then, the bedroom and bathroom are divided, just barely, by two sliding partitions that can be tucked into a single column of solid wall. So you can choose to leave the screens open and it feels quite expansive. The TV, which hangs on this center column, kind of just floats. It’s nice to be able to watch television without staring at an expanse of blank wall. I found this to be a very clever design trick.

Another thing I love about the PuLi is that beneath the wall-to-wall window facing JinAn Park, there’s a daybed, and I’m quite a sucker for a good daybed. In the bathroom, you have a similar layout, with the bathtub is right beneath the window too. So there are plenty of places to be horizontal and still take in the excellent views of the city. Read the rest of this entry »

Where Close to Watford, just half an hour outside London, at the end of the Metropolitan line you’ll find yourself in the luxurious grounds of The Grove.

The look Super sleek and polished, with plush velvets, gilding and chandeliers that still look cool – we loved spending time in the Blue Room. And if you have any musical leanings, the grand piano is there to be played on.

USP This summer’s sculpture park is a cut above, with an ambitious collection of art tastefully placed around the immaculate lawns of the old manor house. Wandering around the grounds after a lush buffet lunch in the Glasshouse, we came across some great pieces in surprising places – the Red Rope Ball by Colin Rose sits precariously atop an ancient 80ft tree, Lucy Unwin’s dancing ladies made in steel make a joyful addition to the kitchen garden and Mathew Lane Sanderson’s Lou II is splashed out in the pond.

While you’re there Don’t miss out on the signature treatment in the Sequoia spa, three and a half blissful hours of exfoliation, honey wrap, massage and facial – we were so relaxed we were horizontal. If you’d rather stay outdoors, the 18-hole golf course is renowned for its exciting layout.

The Oitavos, Quinta da Marinha, Cascais, Portugal…

Where Set within the Sintra Cascais Natural Park, on the wild west Atlantic coast close to Guincho beach and town of Cascais.

The Look Avant Garde meets space age meets slick luxury. Due to some clever architectural workings, each of the 142 guest rooms has a spectacular sea view. But that’s not to say what’s inside isn’t beautiful – spaces are minimal, light-filled and chic; doing the less is more thing with style. The hotel is in the middle of a golf course, but golf widows/widowers are warmly welcomed and catered for, with a fabulous spa, indoor and outdoor pools, an equestrian centre and tennis club.

USP This is the ultimate mix of sleek luxury set in a wild landscape – perfect for enjoying nature, from the comfort of your pristine pool-side daybed. If you’re on your honeymoon (first, second or even third), there’s a special Romantic suite built in the secluded grounds with private outdoor pool and personal butler.

While you’re there For a bit of culture take a small trip to the nearby towns of Cascais, Estoril and Sintra, for centuries of history and architecture. If all that relaxing has become tiresome, there’s world-class wind and board surfing on some of the most beautiful beaches on the coast. Fend off cabin fever with a night out in Lisbon, a 20-minute cab ride away.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Atacama, 40,541 square miles of desert running down the Pacific Coast of Chile, gets an average of no rain per year. It looks like the Moon. Or Mars. But it’s a tiny bit easier to get to. And when you do arrive in just about the most opposite landscape from Britain it’s possible to be, you can trek in national parks, admire volcanoes and geysers, visit archeological sites, ride horses in awe-inspiring landscapes, and, when the sun goes down, get a very sore neck from gazing up at the world’s best view of the Milky Way. And, goodness, there may be no rain, but there’s a torrent of stylish hotels. Here are three… Read the rest of this entry »

What better way to introduce a little green into your life than a luxury staycation in an Ecopod on the banks of Loch Linnhe, in the west coast of Scotland. It may be planet friendly, but it has all the indulgences of a five-star hotel – design classics (Eames, Pieff et al), modern appliances, supreme comfort and a knock-out view.

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Next time you check in to a Morgans hotel in london (that’s The Sanderson and St Martins Lane) there’ll be an intriguing and thought-provoking alternative to the usual minibar. They have collaborated with those marvellously wise people at The School of Life to offer good ideas for every day thinking and provide a midnight feast of intellect, inspiration and ideas from your hotel room.

You can learn to fuel a conversation, feed your brain, drink in those words and pour out your thoughts via little provocation cards, books, reading prescriptions, and a book for your dreams and fears. You’ll have to bring your own Pringles, then.

Vicky, editorial assistant

I like buying lots of back issues of Vogue on eBay (it’s a great way to get fashion and design inspiration) and was flicking through June 1990 this morning, only to find a brilliant article on French design doyenne Andrée Putman. Whether it’s creating her legendary checkerboard bathroom for Morgans hotel, New York, in 1984, or the minimal Art Deco reinvention of a Cologne watertower in her Hotel im Wasserrturm (the newest project at the time of the article), I love her style, her approach and her outlook, typified by this quote from the article…

Read the rest of this entry »

It can be tricky to do incredible style and cosy, but look…

A flight to Switzerland is all that’s between you and this slice of log-cabin heaven. Thanks Japanese Trash for showing us.

As the team behind Livingetc, the UK’s leading magazine for modern interiors, we’re always out and about, scouting for inspiration. And when we see something that makes our design minds flutter with joy, we’ll share it with you here. To purchase the digital version of the magazine, click here.

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