Perfect Praiano – Casa Angelina!

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CASA ANGELINA

The next stop after Florence, was the gorgeous town of Praiano on the Amalfi Coast. Hop on the Frecciarossa to Naples as I did for one of the nicest express train trips in the world and spring for First Class… it won’t cost you much more and trust me, it’s fab. From here the driver will whisk you south through Positano and onto Praiano, breath-stealing views included.

I checked into Casa Angelina – a shiny white, modernist sanctuary perched on the cliffs as you enter Praiano. It’s fresh and crisp with perfect views across to Positano to match. Days here will be spent luxuriating poolside on the decked terrace or make your way down the cliff elevator and the next 200 steps to ”One Fire” – THE beach club of Praiano where Casa Angelina guests get the full VIP treatment with a reserved section of waterfront lounges, bottled water and designer Italian snacks. Don’t come here for the food it’s all about the scene (and the cocktail list!)… rest assure, the crowd this beach club attracts is as smooth as the music the DJ spins. Expect to mingle with local families and the international jet-set who come to One Fire for its laid-back chic ambience and perfect crystal-clear water. Stay until sunset as the music and the mood gets louder. Oh and tell the owner Piccoletto I sent you, he’s the perfect host!

Casa Angelina makes a great base to lay your weary designer head along the Amalfi Coast. The compact all white rooms are comfortable and cool - just add some colour to the open wardrobe to brighten it up a bit! It’s only a few minutes around to Positano (a hotel shuttle can whisk you there and back) but its best attraction is the beach club below. Oh and breakfast from the restaurant terrace was a lovely way to start the day… HOT TIP: Don’t forgot to try a bombolino.

I’d definitely recommend dining at the hotel’s restaurant “Un Piano nel Cielo” one night where the elegant terrace and its perfectly romantic Amalfi views is breathtaking (just beware of the “water” menu – bottles here go for EUR180! – I thought I was seeing double!). I’d also recommend dinner at La Strada, up the steps from Casa Angelina in Praiano proper. It’s all about stairs on the Amalfi Coast… so girls swap out those heels for stylish flats!

Highlight of my stay at Casa Angelina? … meeting the interesting guests that the hotel attracts such as Andrew Weitz of The Weitz Effect (Andrew is an ex-talent agent turned trusted go-to style guru to LA’s elite) and the stylish Californian couple Anna (of the blog Busy and Beautiful) and Adam Ackerman (a successful Amazon entrepreneur) … needless to say we had the best of times.

Contact me today to book Casa Angelina and to receive the full Where’s Brent Been VIP treatment upon check-in!

A Room with a View!

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PORTRAIT FIRENZE 

Slipping into Portrait Firenze – the latest luxury hotel offering from the Lungarno Collection was an easy task, I’d heard all about its legendary sister property Portrait Roma so was excited to experience the unveiling of their brand new Firenze outpost. As it happened, the first stop on my three-week Italian sojourn turned out to be a beauty.

Not exactly a fashion hotel, though it is steeped in fashion pedigree (it’s part of the luxe Italian hotel empire owned by the very chic Ferragamo family) and it’s attracting the world’s luxury travel flash-pack who are arriving in droves. Distinctive, and I think masculine interiors shine here at Portrait Firenze… this is refined luxury on the banks of the Arno. Being only a short hop to the Ponte Vechhio, the hotel is also located in a perfectly central position.

My spacious suite overlooked the Arno (80% of rooms do) and I felt as if I was floating over this famous river with the breathtaking views from my bedroom and sumptuous sitting room, it even came equipped with a hidden (but welcomed) wet bar and kitchenette, though I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to do with the later….

I dined at Hotel Lungarno’s restaurant ‘Borgo San Jacabo’ my first night with the gorgeous Caroline Corteau from Lungarno Collection (she looks after all of my bookings) and the interiors here are as pretty as the food (loving the grey felt furnishings) *I suggest you book a table on the terrace for maximum romantic effect.

Lunch of “Fiocchetti di Pera in Salsa di Taleggio e Asparagi” at Trattoria 4 Leonie was as good as I remembered and my final dinner was at Fusion Bar and Restaurant at Gallery Art Hotel where I dined on the freshest sushi (seriously so delicious, I ordered it twice) and mingled with Firenze’s beau monde. It was a Lungarno weekend!

Combined with a whirl around Florence’s stylish shops and world-famous attractions (can you ever tire of gazing at The Duomo?)  and a visit to the Pontormo e Rosso Fiorentino exhibition at Palazzo Strozzi, my stay in Florence at Portrait Firenze was a perfect one.

Make sure you book your next Florence stay at Portrait Firenze directly with me for the following exclusive Where’s Brent Been amenities:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability.
  • Daily Buffet breakfast, for up to two in room guests.
  • A bottle of Italian sparkling wine in room upon arrival.
  • One-way transfer to airport or rail station.
  • 50 EUR Food & Beverage credit.
  • Early check-in/late check-out. (subject to availability)

For more insta-inspiration follow me here: http://instagram.com/wheresbrentbeen

Merida to Mexico City!

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Flowers Tekik de RegilHere are a some final scenes from my latest Mexico Riche adventure. We whirled around the Yucatan staying in beautiful 17th century haciendas, witnessed breath-taking cathedrals and even did a cooking class with Christian Bravo at historic Hacienda Tekik de Regil. Exclusive pop-up lunches at private cenotes are also part of the Mexico Riche allure.

This is authentic Mexico .. our way. It’s small-group luxury touring with a contemporary twist. Join us August 17 where we kick off again on the Riviera Maya!

Head over to the website for more! http://www.mexicoriche.com

Puebla Cathedral

Sam Hacienda Temozon

 

LE Miami Party!

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Narell and Suzy at W Pool PartyIt’s not all hard work you know! Doing biz with the best of the best in the luxury travel industry tends to always turn into a party.

It’s been a fun week here in Miami at the ultra fabulous LE Miami travel show and the highlights were the Edition drinks party hosted by Ian Schrager at the chic Bass Art Gallery, the opening LE Miami party at W South Beach and of course the Firmdale Hotels dinner at Juvia hosted by the very fabulous Narell Devine.

Dani and Jason at The Edition drinks party Anton from Edition Hotels

Bryan at The Edition Hotels eventFinally, after a week of intense luxury travel match-making, we all let out hair down at The Mondrian South Beach, but the real party continued poolside at The Delano where we swayed to sultry tunes under the palm trees until the very early hours.

Till next year gorgeous!

LE Miami!

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Tiffany and meDay one of LE Miami has been fun, first up, drinks with JoAnn Kurtz-Ahlers where I learnt all about the hottest new destination Fogo Island and had the great pleasure to meet up with my luxury travel gal-pal Tiffany Dowd (@luxetiffany) and Jorge Collazo from Gansevoort Turks & Caicos.Jorge & TiffanyThen it was into an Uber and onto Juvia for dinner hosted by Mr & Mrs Dolder (from the luxe spa retreat The Dolder Grand in Zurich) and Conservatorium Hotel (the chicest hotel in Amsterdam). On the guest list?? Assorted luxury travel celebrities!
Dinner at Juvia Juvia Dinner Ana

From Tulum to Chichen Itza!

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We will met you in CancunMEXICO RICHE

As you would have read, my fascination and love for Mexico has reached epic proportions with the creation of my very own exclusively tailored, luxury adventures - Mexico Riche. Teaming up with Annette Zubani (Nettie Z) we launched our inaugural tour May 25 with a group of intrepid luxury travellers ready to experience Mexico our way. It was a huge success!

Take a look at our website for more information and join me for our August 17 departure. Netttie and I will meet you in Cancun then whirl you around the amazing Yucatan Peninsula and take you places you never thought possible… a private viewing of Chichen Itza when the crowds have gone? You got it when you travel with Mexico Riche!

Here is a selection of photos from the trip Tulum to Chichen Itza, can’t you just see yourself in them?

Also head over to our facebook page for further updates and a diary of our first trip. Contact me for all the details

 

Tulum & Papaya Playa Project!

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Papaya Playa Project Lunch at Papaya Playa Project was on the agenda Saturday. This eco chic resort has led the way in Tulum for sustainable tourism and is a feature of the ultra fabulous Design Hotels group. It’s a bit like Mykonos meets Mexico.

While we grazed on shrimp and mushroom quesadillas , Peruvian fish crevice and chicken fajitas (marinated in achiote mixed with bell peppers and red onion), Rose was being swilled beachfront by gorgeous super models topping up the de rigueur tan. Get it?

This restaurant / beach club at Papaya Playa Project is windswept, eco-chic glamour in Tulum. A place where mirror balls hang from the palm trees and a DJ mixes exotic beats to a perfectly sunny background.

Why not check in to one of the beachfront cabañas or the private residence with a few friends – it comes complete with its own private infinity pool. Contact me directly to book, I have all the insider details and will have the charming (and handsome) GM César look after you personally.

Lunch at Papaya Playa Project Lunch Papaya Playa Project

A Weekend in Cancun!

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Brent Beachside Nizuc Good morning from Mexico! Our first Mexico Riche tour starts Sunday and we decided to head down early for a sneaky weekend at Nizuc Resort & Spa to see what all the fuss is about (it’s on ALL the Hot Lists!).

Nizuc is a stunning resort for sure, with sexy, sleek architecture and interiors to match. Think dark Michoacán stone floors and sustainable tropical timber detail, it has an Aman like quality to it, mixed with some GHM asian appeal… Amanyara meets The Legian?

Favourite place to luxuriate is the adults only infinity pool La Punta , this bleached beachside beauty with its breezy restaurant wins my vote. It’s all rustic timber shutters and traditional thatched palapa roof … the perfect beach club restaurant and the black detail on the sun lounges and umbrellas lends a sophisticated feel.

Cancun has never looked so chic!

La Punta Nizuc

 

Infinity Pool Nizuc

Le Sirenuse!

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While I pack for Mexico, I can’t help but be excited for my next travel adventure. A visit to Positano and a check-in at the very chic Le Sirenuse.

See you in June.

Thank you Poppy, this is beautiful.

Hola Mexico Riche!

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Swimming Pool - Rosas & Xocolate

Swimming Pool – Rosas & Xocolate

HOLA MEXICO RICHE!

I am so proud to finally launch the first (of many) curated Where’s Brent Been? branded global adventures next Sunday.

For my first foray, I have collaborated with my great friend Annette Zubani and together we take you on a culinary and design adventure through the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. Twelve uber-fabulous guests will meet us in Cancun next Sunday for twelve days of exotic fun as we wine and dine our way through the Yucatan, starting at the very chic Esencia Private Estate. We will visit important archaeological sites too, such as Chichen Itza and (our favourite) Uxmal. The odd impromptu beachfront cocktail reception should prove entertaining and just wait till we do over Mexico City in fab Grupo Habita style and check into Condesdf.

Stay tuned, I will be blogging the fun, live from Mexico next week. Also follow us on Instagram

And if you would like to experience Mexico up front and personal with Mexico Riche, join me on my next adventure in August. It’s authentic luxury made my way. Jump over to the website for all the details.

 

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