Palm Springs, California
Charlotte Lucas

Parker Palm Springs has long been a favorite for the stylish West Coast crowd in search of a desert escape. And a recent renovation designed by Jonathan Adler has breathed fresh—and colorful—life into the popular resort.

Set on fourteen acres in Palm Springs, the resort is full of winding paths that lead to gardens full of fruit trees, secluded pools, grassy areas where hammocks swing between trees, and even a spiked lemonade stand. It’s the kind of place where it would be easy to spend an entire day outside, soaking in the Southern California sun. “It almost felt like it was a little maze through the property, separating these beautiful spaces,” Charlotte Lucas says. Lucas traveled to Parker Palm Springs with her husband last year.

Of course, Lucas also loved the design in the hotel’s interiors. “Every corner was well-designed,” she says. “There were a lot of things that were original design, and a lot of things that were in keeping with its original mid-century style.” There are five restaurants and bars scattered around the property—each seemingly more charming than the last—but Lucas especially loved Mini Bar. Full of gold and jewel tones, the opulent restaurant’s plush loveseats are the perfect place for a classic cocktail and bite. “We spent a lot of time there,” Lucas says. “It was a hidden gem.”   


Known to be a vintage shopping mecca, Palm Springs—and specifically Palm Canyon Drive—is full of finds for those in search of a vintage caftan for poolside. “My husband begrudgingly went shopping with me,” Lucas laughs.

“There are so many wonderful art galleries there,” Lucas says. From contemporary fine art to incredible photography collections, there’s no shortage of galleries for the art enthusiast to peruse in Palm Springs. Be sure to check out Elena Bulatova Fine Art, which is internationally renowned for its colorful contemporary art.

Some of the most famous architects and designers of the mid-century era lived and designed in Palm Springs. Today, it’s one of the top destinations in the world for architecture tourism. In addition to annual home tours, there are several local companies that offer guided tours through neighborhoods. “It’s a neat thing to do while you’re there,” Lucas says. Make reservations for The Modern Tour, which features former homes of celebrities including Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, and Elizabeth Taylor.

Canyon Point, Utah
Patrick Lewis

It would be hard to name a more visually stunning hotel in America than Utah’s  Amangiri. “Even the shower drains at Amangiri are phenomenal,” Patrick Lewis says. Lewis has only visited once but says that he thinks about his travels there every day. “I fell in love with it.”

Known as a favorite for Hollywood stars in search of privacy (Kim Kardashian and Kanye West celebrated Kim’s birthday in Amangiri) and billionaires looking for a luxe retreat, Amangiri is tucked into the curve of a cliff facing across the desert to a distant mesa. Composed entirely of geometrically designed buildings in creamy hues that blend into the surrounding desert, the 600-acre resort is modern, monotone, and very soothing.

“It’s all clean lines and very minimal,” Lewis says. “In a world where everything is over designed, it feels like a hideout.” What first drew Lewis—and many others—to the resort was its spa, which is inspired by the Navajo. The hotel’s pool is built into a rock formation, and inside the spa is another stone-lined step pool with desert views. There’s also a yoga pavilion with mesa views that offers candlelit yoga most evenings and full moon yoga after dark. “The spa is incredible, but really the whole resort is just beautiful,” Lewis says. “I can’t wait to get back.”


These early morning rides, which launch directly from the resort, offer views of nearby Lake Powell, desert formations, and the Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument.

There are numerous trails around the resort, and expert guides offer the chance to explore the gorgeous Utah landscape by horseback, regardless of your experience level.

“The resort will schedule any day trips or experiences that you might want,” Lewis says. “You can take helicopter rides to Grand Canyon. We went to Antelope Canyon one day and chartered a boat on Lake Powell another.”

There’s no better way to see the stunning landscape surrounding Amangiri than by climbing to the tall peaks overlooking the valley. Get close to Amangiri’s most dramatic rock formations via ferrata, a protected climbing route, that has you up against the cliffs taking in the breathtaking scenery.

London, England 
Barrie Benson

Last fall, Barrie Benson traveled to London with her good friend Chandra Johnson, owner of Myers Park’s SOCO Gallery. The pair have recently launched a company that identifies artists whose work translates well into decor like wallpaper or textiles. “That was the impetus for the trip,” Benson says. “She was in charge of the art days, and I was in charge of the design days.”

The getaway included stops at some of the city’s most glamorous spaces, including several created by Martin Brudnizki, the renowned designer known primarily for his work in swanky restaurants and exclusive clubs, such as the famed Annabel’s in Mayfair. “We got a last-minute invitation from Hannah Cecil Gurney,” Benson says. Gurney, whose father founded the design house de Gournay, is now the director of the company known for its whimsical and luxurious handpainted wallcoverings. “She reached out to see if we wanted to have a drink there. The space was really inspirational.”

The pair also loved The Ned, another social club that’s a see-and-be-seen destination for the city’s elite, and it also includes a hotel. Set in a historic building that was once a bank, amenities at The Ned include a pool inspired by Roman baths, an underground lounge inside a former bank vault, and ten different restaurant and bar concepts in one space. “We stayed with a friend who is an artist,” Benson says. “But if we could have stayed anywhere, we would have stayed at The Ned.”


“Amanda Brooks, who used to be an editor at Vogue and the fashion director for Barneys, has moved to England and has a store called Cutter Brooks in Stow-on-the-Wold,” Benson says of the style icon’s charming shop, which includes gifts, home decor, and textiles. “We hired a driver to take us there.”

While they were in the Cotswolds, the pair also made a stop at this village cooking school and farm shop. “It was a cooking school and a farm and a restaurant,” Benson says. “It reminded me a bit of Reid’s in Charlotte. We had such a fun time there.”

Set in a former fire station in London’s Marylebone neighborhood, this restaurant has long been known for having a star-studded and fashionable crowd—and an exclusive waiting list for tables. “It was a fun place to see,” Benson says.

Los Angeles, California
Erin Dougherty

Designer Erin Dougherty, who owns Myers Park’s Isabella, draws inspiration from the entire state of California. “It’s hard to pick a favorite city there,” she says. But if she were forced to pick one spot, it would be Los Angeles. “The last time we stayed in LA, we stayed at the Sunset Marquis in West Hollywood,” she says. “The location was great, and I was able to walk to all the design shops on La Cienega Boulevard.”

But it wasn’t geography that initially drew Dougherty to the edgy but luxurious hotel, which has long been known as a favorite for celebrities, especially musicians—it was the hotel’s artistic vibe.

Since opening in 1963, its patrons have read like a guest list for the Grammys, having played host to everyone from Steven Tyler and Bob Marley to Pharrell Williams and Justin Timberlake. Many of the musicians come to record at the Nightbird Recording Studio, a renowned studio tucked beneath the hotel.

“Another cool thing is that in the lobby of the hotel is the Morrison Hotel Gallery,” Dougherty says. “The gallery is known for fine art music photography and represents more than 125 of the greatest music photographers and their archives.”

Scottsdale, Arizona
Kelley Vieregg

Originally built in the 1920s as the winter home of a wealthy New Yorker, Royal Palms offers Old World charm in a serene desert setting—all just steps away from Scottsdale’s bustling shops and restaurants.

“It’s old Arizona,” Kelley Vieregg says. Vieregg was born in Tucson and grew up in the area. “It’s nestled at the foot of Camel Back Mountain, and there’s something about the overall feeling—seeing the terra cotta, smelling the pinon wood, feeling the arid desert climate—you can sit outside and really experience the mountains.”

The resort, which is set on nine acres, is known for its Spanish Colonial architecture, Italian-style gardens, and inviting terraces. The perfectly manicured grounds, filled with fountains and blooming flowers, are ideal for exploring, while the palm tree–shaded pool is great for relaxing.

Rooms at Royal Palms share the same dedication to detail and focus on highlighting the area’s beautiful scenery. Many include their own courtyards and patios, and all are designed in an understated Spanish aesthetic with colors from the surrounding desert. “It’s well designed in the Southwest vernacular,” Vieregg says.  “The overall effect is warm and inviting.”

“Fox Restaurant Concepts—which just opened Flower Child in Charlotte— has a slew of excellent restaurants in the area,” Vieregg says. “The interior at The Henry has this beautiful Donghia wallpaper, and it’s just fabulous.”

“It is just a little gem,” Vieregg says of the vintage goods shop. “It’s on this series of streets that used to be filled with old Southwestern Native American shops and now has wonderful little makers like farm-to-table restaurants and charming shops.”

“Everyone should at least see the Biltmore,” Vieregg says of the iconic hotel known for its geometric architecture and Art Deco style. “It’s a completely different aesthetic but a great place to visit.”

Scottsdale has a rich architectural history that includes some classic mid-century modern stunners. Frank Lloyd Wright’s circa-1930s summer home, Taliesin West, is a must-visit while in town.