Sat. May 28th, 2022


A bedroom at the Hotel Il Tornabuoni in Florence
A bedroom at the Hotel Il Tornabuoni in Florence © Stefano Scatà
Restored frescoes in the Beatrice Suite at Il Tornabuoni
Restored frescoes in the Beatrice Suite at Il Tornabuoni © Stefano Scatà

As locations go, Via Tornabuoni is as mint as it gets in Florence. Years ago by pedestrians, it puts you within about five minutes walking distance of everything from the Marino Marini and Palazzo Strozzi museums to Procacci (mid-afternoon brioche al tartufo, check) to the delightfully beautiful Ginori 1735 boutique – not to mention every other big luxury brand. Now it has its own bustling hotel: Il Tornabuoni, whose 62 rooms and suites fill the 12th- to 13th-century Palazzo Minerbetti, beautifully just across the street from the Spini Feroni Palace, or Ferragamo HQ. The design is full of Renaissance maximalism (really full; the color scheme has to think twice): jewel tones – stripes, solid fabrics, chevrons – deck walls and ceilings, velvet and passementry are everywhere, and exotic equatorial prints hang throughout. But there is a certain joy to the whole. And Procacci brioches (this can be said twice). iltornabuonihotel.it; from € 400

Rooftop views of Florence from Hotel Il Tornabuoni
Rooftop Florence Views from Hotel Il Tornabuoni © Stefano Scatà

Find your Anguilla

Aurora Anguilla
Aurora Anguilla © Darren Ornitz
The Aurora Anguilla is a remake of the former Resorts & Residences by CuisinArt
The Aurora Anguilla is a remake of the former resorts and residences by CuisinArt © Darren Ornitz

Anguilla may not be as picturesque as the nearby St Barths, or as easily accessible as Antigua, but its beaches, water and corals stand out from anywhere on earth. This month, the old Resorts & Residences reopened by CuisinArt (an unpleasant name but long one of the best places on the island, at Rendezvous Bay) after a complete remake by its new owners as Aurora Anguilla. The upgrade is thick with a wow factor, starting with the resort’s private airline service, offered from key markets in the continental US (meaning you, NY / Boston / DC / Miami; commercial flights meanwhile land in St Martin, a 30 -minutes away by ferry). Then there is the Aurora International Golf Club, where the championship course – the island’s only – is being redesigned by Greg Norman, who is also installing a new nine-hole short course on the premises. Finally, the food: everything is made by Abram Bissell, who led the kitchens at The Modern and Elf Madison Park in New York (which makes him a five-star Michelin man), and which created a hydroponic farm and orchard on resort grounds to set up his five restaurants here. The decor is fresh and modern – white, wood, rattan, pieces of daylight. And that beach? Fortunately, it is completely unchanged. auroranguilla.com, from $ 999


Made in Mexico

Casa Polanco in Mexico City
Casa Polanco in Mexico City

Casa Polanco opens softly in an early 20th-century neocolonial mansion

Casa Polanco opens softly in an early 20th-century neocolonial mansion

Architect Claudio Gantuz restored the hotel over four years

Architect Claudio Gantuz restored the hotel over four years

Rather feel like a chic friend’s home – the pursuit of so many hotels with variations on that description – Casa Polanco opens this month softly in Mexico City, in an early 20th-century neocolonial mansion that was once home to a series were prominent Mexican families. Architect Claudio Gantuz designed a contemporary reaction next door, connected by an elegant wooden and glass corridor, bringing the guest rooms to a total of 19. All of them look green: some of the property’s courtyard, others the Parque Lincoln. The four-year-old restoration has maintained enough original architectural design to make things feel like Old Mexico tiles; antiquities and maps; some seriously decorated plaster and stonework – while the low Italian art and furniture are all 21st-century CDMX. From $ 380


Your own private Galapagos

Snorkeling in the Galapagos Islands
Snorkeling in the Galapagos Islands © Aqua Expeditions
The 50m, seven-cabin Aqua Mare superyacht
The 50m, seven-cabin Aqua Mare superyacht © Aqua Expeditions

There will be a compelling new reason to move the Galápagos to the top of the 2022 wish list next spring with the launch of Aqua Mare, a 50m, seven-cabin private yacht from Aqua Expeditions, the outfit worn by the Peruvian Amazon, the Mekong and Indonesia’s “coral triangle”. It may be a new destination for them, but this archipelago is a familiar area for the company’s founder, Francesco Galli Zugaro, who previously worked for a private expedition company in the Galápagos. That expertise combines with a product offering on the Italian-built ship that is hard to beat: modern stabilization technology, a top speed of 17 knots and a cruising distance of 4,800 nautical miles, which is better than any other yacht in the area. Four decks, large suites, indoor-outdoor lounges and menus created by Peruvian super-chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino will bring the sociability; the military-grade tenders, exceptional access; and Aqua’s two physicists on board will be there to put land, sea, history and wildlife all in context. aquaexpeditions.com, starting at $ 9,450pp for a seven-night cruise

@mariashollenbarger

Aqua's onboard physicists will assist with Galápagos expeditions
Aqua’s physicists on board will assist with the Galápagos expeditions © Aqua Expeditions





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