Latest Articles in Travel

Scandic Grand Central in Stockholm

The Scandic Grand Central, Stockholm

Greetings from Sweden! I'm traveling in Stockholm to cover the 2012 Furniture and Light Fair and my home away from home for the next few days is the Grand Central, the flagship of Swedish super hotel brand Scandic that opened in November of 2011. Housed in a building that dates from 1885, the hotel is designed by Koncept Stockholm and is mix of Ace Hotel swank, with a touch of 19th century Viennese luxury, and, of course, Scandinavian chic. The designers call it "a love affair between the grand Vienna-style city palace and street life of Stockholm." It's located just a couple blocks down from the T-Centralen station (the transit hub of Stockholm), which is ultra convenient for travelers relying on trains. For those who don't mind hoofing it—and in a city as scenic and comfortably scaled as Stockholm, my preferred route of travel even in the current -5° Celsius weather—the hotel is within walking distance of Gamla Stan (the historic old town) and Östermalm (where design district is located). It's also three metro stops from Södermalm (the section filled with great boutiques, cafes, and fashionable twenty-somethings). Let's have a look inside the hotel.
February 5, 2012
Kex Hostel in Reykjavik, Iceland

Kex Hostel, Reykjavik

Any traveler who’s been drawn to the magical desolation and unique energy of Iceland and its people knows that finding interesting places to stay has been quite a challenge. Last May this all changed thanks to Kex Hostel, a new hostel concept that was an instant hit with locals and tourists alike. There are 16 bunk-bedded dorm rooms—and if you aren’t a 20-something backpacker anymore you can stay in one of sixteen private rooms, two of which have a private bath.
January 31, 2012
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The Dylan, Amsterdam

Last year I spent two nights at the luxurious Dylan Hotel in Amsterdam, and I'm excited to share my photos of the place. It's located in central Amsterdam, along the Keizersgracht canal, in a cluster of historic buildings that includes part of a 17th century theater; an 18th-century bakery and alms house; and a series of canal houses. There are historic architectural remnants throughout the property, including giant wooden roof beams (in my attic guestroom!), original twisting stone staircases, and yellow bricks that date back to 17th century that line the entrance hall. It opened as a hotel in 1999 and recently underwent a renovation; just last year, the design firm FG stijl redesigned ten rooms in an adjacent historic building. When I was there, they were still under construction, but I recently received photos of the completed spaces, and they're lovely. Take a look!
January 12, 2012
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Paris Versus New York

It's rare that a series of visual puns has much of a shelf life, but Paris Versus New York, a punchy book of illustrations comparing and contrasting the two cities from Vahram Muratyan merits repeated reading. His keen eye and flat, graphic style both work in the service of some pretty incisive criticism. Finding equivalents, contradictions, and remarkable similarities in the unique cultures of each place, Muratyan feels more like a crack pop ethnographer than gimmick artist. Check out the slideshow that follows to see how the City of Light stacks up against the Big Apple. You might think you know both, but I guarantee that you'll be surprised by this deft little book, which is out January 31st from Penguin. Images Reprinted by arrangement with Penguin, A member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., from "Paris versus New York" by Vahram Muratyan Copyright (c) 2011 by Vahram Muratyan.
January 6, 2012
Mike Matas Journey Across India

Mike Matas's Travel Videos

In addition to working at Facebook and formerly gigging at Apple, Mike Matas is one hell of a photographer. And thanks to this trio of videos he's made of three pretty serious treks across parts of the globe, we all get to revel in his work. And as a webby kind of guy, he's organized things so that we see these still images at DSL speed. Like 4000 in the span of three minutes. You'd think that this pace would be too disorienting to confer any meaning, and that's part of the point, but when little eddies of calm momentarily repel the crushing tide, there's little more elating. Here are three videos from his Vimeo site, including a new one dedicated to a trip he took to Japan.
January 5, 2012
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The Saguaro, Scottsdale

This 5.5-acre property is a much-needed hotel option in Scottsdale and a welcome splash of color in the mundane beiges of the Sonoran desert. Despite breaking out from the shackles of traditional design, Peter Stamberg and Paul Aferiat of Stamberg Aferiat Architecture still paid homage to the landscape and the Southwest by blending the original buildings' classic "International style" architecture with the invigorating colors of twelve indigenous flowers.
December 20, 2011
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Danish Design, Curated by Morrison

While in Copenhagen recently, I had the chance to visit the recently renamed Design Museum Denmark (formerly the Danish Museum of Art & Design), and to check out their current exhibition, the quirkily named "Danish Design–I Like It!" British designer Jasper Morrison combed through the museum's extensive archives to put together a personal tour of the country's design highlights from mid-century onwards. The exhibition, which is on view until December 30th, offers a colorful and fascinating look at a wide variety of Danish-designed objects and furnishings, from the iconic to the obscure. Here's a peek at the goods on view.
November 22, 2011
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A Visit to HAY Copenhagen

I just returned to the office from a trip to Copenhagen spent reporting a handful of stories for the magazine and scouting future projects. A highlight of the trip was my visit to HAY, a fantastic store dedicated to contemporary Danish design that's set in a historic building overlooking Strøget, the city's main pedestrian thoroughfare. I spent more than an hour in the store in a kind of happy design daze, gawping over the lovely sofas, chairs, rugs, tables, and miscellaneous gifts and gadgets. Here are some photos from my visit. I'll share some of my other favorite Copenhagen discoveries online over the next couple weeks.
November 15, 2011
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Hôtel Americano, New York City

Carlos Couturier and Moises Micha have ten hotels in Mexico under their brand Grupo Habita, but now they’ve stepped out of their comfort zone to build a hotel in New York City. What makes Hôtel Americano unique from prior projects? There is not much color and no art, a far cry from their previous hotels, known for their contemporary art pieces. For the hoteliers, neutrality meant no distractions and no competition with the bounty of art already in the area. Hotel Americano pushes boundaries, working with small spaces and making special features like the rooftop pool and restaurant functioning in the cold of winter as it does in summer days. "It's not about trendiness," Couturier explains. "Everything is about the architecture, the interior design..."  
October 31, 2011