Stay In Good Company
By Mollie Reese
Stay In Good Company captures the fond memories and traditions, past advice and future excitement of these places. Introducing a global audience of mindful slow travelers to the welcoming hospitality of family raised and run homestays.
Stay In Good CompanyNov 26, 2022
S4. | E9. Haweswater Hotel | Cumbria, England | Owner Steve O’Sullivan Invites You To Travel Back In Time To Celebrate Timeless Decor, Natural Surroundings, And Tasteful Dishes
“You can look in your bedroom and it looks old fashioned, yes there might be a TV and a kettle, but fundamentally, you feel like you’re stepping back in time. We really want you to come and feel relaxed, almost as if you are in a different age. People will come and say it's like stepping into an Agatha Christie novel, and that to me is a sign of success.”
We’re in great company with Steve O’Sullivan, Owner of the Haweswater Hotel, an Art Deco hotel he happened upon and meticulously restored to its former grandeur. Reminiscent of the 30’s rich textures and vivid textures, the Haweswater embodies a design defying the passage of time.
Here, guests can experience this unique and characterful hotel in an extraordinarily secluded spot, set amidst a stunning haven for wildlife in the Lake District of Cumbria, England. All are welcome to go for a short stroll or pack a picnic for a long hike, sit by the fireplace sipping on a craft cocktail or savor the regional flavors refined by renowned chef Mark Greenaway.
In this episode, as we begin to celebrate the festive season, Steve tells of the hotel’s storied past, how his team brings it to life today, and how he is invested in seeing it so for generations to come.
[1:40] From studying at Cambridge to spending a career in consulting, Steve saw a lot of similarities in his business experience that he wanted to invest in his next project - the “wounded animal” that was the Haweswater Hotel.
[5:15] “You know how Google works, you try to find something and it tries to sell you something. In this case it tried to sell me a hotel.” Was it a mistake or meant to be?
[6:40] Steve shares the history of the storied halls of the Haweswater Hotel over the past 90 years since its inception in 1937, a magnificent piece of Art-Deco Architecture for its time as part of the Haweswater Dam project enacted during the global depression.
[13:20] What exactly is Art Deco design? “We look back on it with nostalgia, but at that time it was futuristic. A time of travel, of reinvention.”
[15:50] Why staying at the Haweswater Hotel is a cross between a scene from Snow White and a visit to your slightly wealthy relative’s house.
[20:45] Expect to Dine In Good Company in the English countryside - from an expertly crafted and refined tasting menu upon arrival to the hearty comfort food perfect after a long day’s hike.
[32:10] The Spirit of Christmas is very much alive at the Haweswater Hotel - with the classical Christmas jazz playing as guests cozy up by the fireside with a glass of mulled wine or a plate of mince pie.
- High Street Walk
- Haweswater Reservoir Walk
- Old Corpse Road Walk
- Lowther Castle
Visit For Yourself
S4. | E8. La Fortuna Atitlán | Lake Atitlán, Guatemala | Stay Off Grid At One Of The Most Picture Perfect Hotels In The World With Owners Steve & Kat
“In general, when you live in the United States and in Canada, I think to some degree we take for granted how we’re brought up with education around the environment. And I’d say the thing that we’re most proud of is that, in us building this way, has also created in the community an understanding for environmental practices which I don’t know were necessarily there before.”
We’re in great company with Steve & Kat, Founders & Owners of La Fortuna Atitlán, one of Tripadvisor’s “Most Picture Perfect Hotels In The World,” located on the stunning shores of Lake Atitlán, Guatemala.
Since their own worldly travels and adventures seeking out this corner of paradise, Steve & Kat have spent the past 13+ years building by hand and with the support of their local community, an intimate and family friendly “nano boutique hotel,” where guests can relax in the lush jungle, soak in a wood burning jacuzzi, and enjoy one of the most spectacular lakes in the world while experiencing what it is like to live 100% off the grid.
In this episode, we learn how a Canadian and American fell in love with each other, this sense of place and its people, and the dream to share it with guests from around the world. While the journey may not have been picture perfect, the experience they paint for guests certainly is.
[1:50] The story of how Steve, originally from Phoenix, Arizona and Kat, originally from Toronto, Canada met while traveling in Costa Rica - falling in love with each other and the dream of building a boutique hotel based on their shared knowledge of environmental protection and experience in the Latin American tourism industry.
[6:00] How a young Steve and Kat spent their first two years of married life separated - Steve building La Fortuna Atitlán by himself with his bare hands in the remote wilderness of Guatemala, and Kat back in Toronto keeping business moving and the vision alive from afar.
[11:40] The journey to reach La Fortuna Atitlán is worth the soothing boat ride, serene volcano views, and mystery into the hidden design of the boutique hotel itself.
[13:25] Beyond their retro VW Bus placed precariously at the shoreline, Steve and Kat left their piece of jungle untouched - a 5 acre playground to explore with only 5 bungalows, all entirely off the grid, delicately set throughout.
[16:20] How the impacts of their eco-hotel went beyond their intent to protect the natural environment - instilling these eco-friendly practices into their local community, with this mindful tourism driving better education and nutrition as well.
[19:30] There’s something for everyone - individuals, couples, families and groups - to do, to learn, to explore, or simply to rest and enjoy around the property and the neighboring lakeside towns.
[25:00] What to expect to sip on and savor while at La Fortuna Atitlán - from fresh ground coffee grown on their own finca to internationally inspired dishes created by local culinary school chefs, from a refreshing welcome drink to cocktails crafted with local rums and mezcals.
- Quetzalteca aguardiente, Guatemala’s “strong liquor”
- Sergio "Checo" Pérez, Mexican Formula One racing driver
- Zacapa Rum
- Botran Rum
Visit For Yourself
S4. | E7. Santani Wellness | Kandy, Sri Lanka | The First & Only Luxury Wellness Resort ‘In Harmony With’ Human Sustainability & Wellbeing With Founder Vickum Nawagamuwage
“We created a wellness paradigm that is very different from the first wellness establishments - from a yoga studio, to a wellness resort, to apps - and created a holistic approach that makes scientific sense, that makes common sense. That actually makes people understand the reality of what we are in today, rather than worry about the symptoms that they are feeling.”
We’re in great company with Vickum Nawagamuwage, Founder of Santani Wellness in the serene Kandy setting of his native Sri Lanka. Here, he’s created the first and only award winning luxury wellness resort to focus on ‘human sustainability’ - where he believes that protecting the world means protecting you as a human being, and of course his guest first - providing wellbeing through every sense of the experience for body, mind and soul.
Having traveled the world as a consultant, exploring his own career induced chronic stress healing journey, he found a global demand and newfound mission to address the modern mental health pandemic - starting with the ancient practices, sense of place, and welcoming hospitality of Sri Lanka.
In this episode, Vickum graciously shares his own personal story, the research and evolutionary realization that he has pursued, how his guests can learn about and discover this path to wellness for themselves, and where he hopes to take this practice next.
[1:45] Born and raised in Sri Lanka, Vickum left to pursue a career of chasing higher education and climbing the corporate ladder in the US, where like so many others, he experienced for the first time the incredible stresses exerted on the mind and body from the struggle of modern day living.
[6:15] And yet stress itself is not the enemy, it is what drives us. Vickum shares how his recent revelation about the evolution of human nature led him to realize the disparity with how we manage it today.
[11:00] It used to be about survival of the fittest and thus it was most important to feed our bodies. Now, without that physical stress to survive, it is about how we train our minds to evolve, and yet we neglect to feed our minds with the necessary information and relaxation it needs.
[21:30] What a shift from a curative health care system to a preventative one could look like, how Santani Wellness is leading this holistic approach to making fit not only our bodies, but our minds and spirits too, and why Sri Lanka is the perfect place to start.
[29:05] A day in the life of a guest at Santani Wellness is completely customized to the individual - from the morning energizing yoga, to the meals, excursions, activities and treatments, from the evening calming yoga, to every experience and conversation in between.
[32:10] How Vickum originally found this 116 acre tea plantation and pristine forest that had the “natural energy” he was looking for to evoke those feelings in guests, and how the resort’s “architecture of silence” allows nature to speak for itself to guests.
[38:40] Expect to indulge in gourmet wellness cuisine following the Ayurveda philosophy of ‘Rasa Haya’ which translates to ‘six tastes', where the emphasis is on taste based nutrition balancing sweet, sour, salty, pungent (spicy), bitter and astringent (drying).
[56:15] Beyond building two other locations - Kirana, a Santani Villa in Bentota and Sama, a Santani Retreat in Kosgoda - Vickum explains where he is taking the concept of Santani Wellness next.
Visit For Yourself
S4. | E6. Craveiral Farmhouse by Belong | Alentejo, Portugal | Chief Dream Officer Pedro Franca Pinto Is Creating A Circular Economy Starting With A Countryside Estate
“At the time I knew I was going to be a father, I started thinking to myself what I really wanted to give as an example and a legacy. Not in a material perspective, but in terms of what I wanted to do with my life. Having kids increased that intergenerational perspective. I changed from a short term vision to a long term vision.”
We’re in great company with Pedro Franca Pinto, Chief Dream Officer of Belong, a multifaceted business model where he hopes to create a sense of community and circular economy connecting agriculture and culinary experiences to hospitality and the natural environment, which he first envisioned and invented with his concept Craveiral Farmhouse, a countryside estate in Alentejo, Portugal.
After starting his career as a Lisbon lawyer, Pedro had bigger dreams for future generations, wanting to impart a positive impact with the world around them, valuing a symbiotic relationship with nature above all else. Once Pedro swapped his city office for what land he could afford on the unspoiled Alentejo coast, he dove into the unfamiliar hospitality industry full of passion, purpose and curiosity.
In this episode, Pedro shares how he brought Craveiral Farmhouse to life, between luxury and sustainability, between the connection to nature and the comfort of modern life. While this is his first realization of Belong, he shares much more about all that it can become.
[1:50] Pedro shares his life changing moment. From following his parent’s wishes in pursuing a career as a lawyer in Lisbon to becoming a parent himself and pursuing a lifestyle of positive impact that will leave a legacy.
[6:30] Set alongside one of the “best coasts in Europe,” why Pedro chose the region of Alentejo to build Craveiral Farmhouse - from the unspoiled land to the circular conditions needed to support the local community.
[11:45] How creating a resort with restaurants and a working farm is not the end goal, rather a means to regenerate the region through a circular economy.
[17:00] Guests can expect to experience a sense of freedom and authentic countryside life - from picking strawberries, to petting goats, to finding the chickens’ eggs - while enjoying the comfort of modern amenities.
[21:30] “Belong, Giving Shape To Meaning” goes beyond a sense of place to stay. We learn about how the other pillars of growing & tasting, nature, experience and school all play a part in this world Pedro is bringing to life.
[27:00] Pedro explains what a future schooling system could look like where children don’t specialize in a certain career path, but rather learn to innovate and collaborate across a multitude of skill sets.
[29:40] Belong will continue to expand with new properties focused on adult wellness, gastronomy paired with local wineries, and a farm to skincare product line.
Visit For Yourself
S4. | E5. Dexamenes | Peloponnese, Greece | Imagineer Nikos Karaflos Transformed A Seaside Abandoned Wine Factory Into A Conscious Luxury Resort
“After almost one century, repurposing the building was also very significant for the people, especially the older ones, that used to remember the place from their childhood as a working factory, in its full glory. It was like reviving history in a different way with a different use.”
We’re in great company with Nikos Karaflos, Imagineer of Dexamenes, a well deserved title for someone who took his previous studies, professional background and worldly travels, and created a new-generation, award-winning, conscious-luxury resort that focuses on hospitality as an experience through art, wine, nature and local culture.
Inspired by his homeland in the western Peloponnese region of Greece, Nikos took a 1920’s abandoned wine factory along one of the most unspoiled stretches of coastline, and transformed it into a platform of hospitality, cultural activity and conscious wellbeing.
In this episode, Nikos shares the significance of this project to his family’s past, his personal passions, and the hopes and dreams he has for his children and the generations to come that will sustain this sense of place.
[1:30] Nikos explains how a multifaceted career - having studied engineering, worked in architecture and now transforming hospitality, has led him to the title of “Imagineer.”
[5:10] It takes one thing to design a hotel, it’s another to run it - as Nikos learned how to create a space and experience for guests’ physical needs, intellectual needs, needs to learn more about the region, the culture, the history.
[7:30] How an abandoned wine factory came into the hands of the Karaflos family and what a childhood of studying the property’s history in school and playing on its sandy beaches, inspired a sense of mystery and intrigue for Nikos to one day preserve.
[10:30] From the black currants or “raisins” trade era, to the need to convert the excess supply of grapes into wine, this century old wine factory stands as a landmark of this region’s agricultural past and present.
[18:30] Ever wonder what it is like to stay in a wine tank with the light from the sand and sea pouring through the steel cutout door and the rich color of the grapes still staining the walls?
[23:20] Nikos found a trusted team in K-Studio, a local yet world renowned architecture firm, whose restoration of the buildings themselves made sure to reduce and reuse materials in their intentional interior design and landscaping, bringing in nothing artificial to the sense of place.
[31:15] What happens when you go beyond local cuisine and wine pairings, into the world of gastronomy curated with contemporary art and performance art? An immersive experience that you can only be a part of at Dexamenes.
[36:10] With Ancient Olympia just down the road, local winery tours of Mercouri Estate and Brintziki Estate, shopping at the open air farmer’s market, and Greek mythology focused hikes through Folio Oak Forest, there is much to explore around western Peloponnese.
Visit For Yourself
S4. | E4. hinter | Quebec, Canada | Co-Founders Emily Padan And Mauricio Padilla Design Innovative Spaces Hidden In Nature With Minimalist Design And A Climate Positive Business Approach
“It slowed me down. It made me realize so many beautiful things around me. I paid more attention. I paid more attention to what the fire crackling sounded like, to the chipmunks outside, the snow falling around me.”
We’re in great company with Emily Padan and Mauricio Padilla, Co-Founders and Owners of hinter, where they design innovative spaces hidden in nature with minimalist design and a climate positive business approach for guests to experience the world like never before, starting in Quebec, Canada.
hinter is a collaborative project - crafting spaces with like minded architects, concepting interiors with soulful designers, curating partnerships with local artisans - all with the intention to create destinations where guests can leave behind their baggage and find themselves in nature.
In this episode, Emily and Mauricio share how they are inspired to build a space where their community can be inspired, and how recently this inspiration has led them to grow their sense of place naturally, digitally, and internationally.
[1:40] How they took the leap into a new relationship and new business together - Mauricio from a career in the software industry, and Emily from a career as an elementary school teacher.
[3:35] From growing up with the backdrop of the Andes in Ecuador, to seeking out hikes across Canada, to falling in love with the Nordics during international travels - Mauricio got lost in the beauty of the natural world, finding his way home with hinter.
[11:45] As they look back on their 1 year wedding anniversary, Emily shares why having a “third thing” is healthy in any relationship.
[16:50] How “hinter,” German for “behind” or “hidden” came to be - from being hidden in the woods to leaving behind your baggage to be present with yourself.
[21:30] hinter is much more than just a space to stay, they are spaces to inspire - “livable showrooms” filled with unique work by local artists to be experienced and purchased directly.
[25:40] Sustainability is ingrained in every inch of Hinter spaces, so much so that Emily and Mauricio have made it their mission to give back more than they take.
[30:30] Wanting to have more impact beyond the physical property itself, “the hinter planet” is building a community and conversation in the digital world around design, culture, sustainability, wellness and more.
[37:40] Coming Soon - the hinter outpost, a landscape hotel and hidden gem nestled in the nature of Vermont, reimagining what hospitality can be when you learn from the past and build towards the future.
Visit For Yourself
S4. | E3. Masseria Potenti | Puglia, Italy | Space To Breathe And Laughter With Guests Are The Ingredients For Happiness With Chiara Tommasino And Her Family
“For me it was important to have this beautiful example of generosity from my family, from people in Puglia. And even if they have nothing, they always want to share what they have. And of course they always want to know everything about you.”
We’re in great company with Chiara Tommasino, who alongside her brother, Walter and parents, Maria Grazia and Paolo, steward Masseria Potenti, a 16th century farmhouse set on a 320 acre estate amongst endless olive groves and vineyards on the Apulian coast.
As a family living two lives between the North and South of Italy, the Tommasino’s dreamt of returning to a sense of home where they could share laughter and love with their guests paired with refined hospitality, a strong agricultural identity, and the culinary traditions of their region.
In this episode, Chiara eloquently tells how Masseria Potenti is the realization of this dream - passionately made with life’s sweetest ingredients - her family’s recipe for “La Dolce Vita” that they share with guests from all around the world.
[1:45] Chiara grew up with her time and her heart split between Puglia and Milan. As a multi-passionate herself, she shares the beauty of that life enjoying the best of the North and South of Italy.
[4:30] Puglia is full of authenticity and tradition - from the agriculture to the cuisine, the habits of the people to the festivities throughout the year.
[8:30] “I always thought we dream if we are missing something. If you need to believe in something and push towards that idea.” Chiara explains how Manduria called her family home.
[12:30] There are a lot of lively conversations and expressive arguments around the Tommasino’s family table when discussing how to run the masseria, but one thing is for certain…no one sits down until everyone is in agreement.
[20:30] A day in the life as a guest at Masseria Potenti starts with a bountiful breakfast of fresh fruit cakes, a morning enjoyed by the sea, lunch exploring the surrounding area, and upon returning home, an al fresco dinner sitting under their iconic fig tree.
[24:15] There are many ways to discover a hidden Apulia, connecting to its traditions and terroir - from courses in mediterranean cooking to wine, cheese and olive oil tasting, from a stroll in the countryside to a picturesque setting for a yoga retreat.
[31:20] Chiara is cooking up a retreat and residency program for those slow travelers looking to stay, to refresh, to make, to learn and to connect with the local community.
- La Scarcedde Pugliese - traditional Easter bread with egg in the center
- Maisai Potenti
- Monastero dell’Incoronata
- Mandarinetto Liqueur - Pugliese digestif made of mandarin oranges
- Mirto Liqueur - Pugliese digestif made of the berries of the myrtle plant
Visit For Yourself
S4. | E2. São Lourenço do Barrocal | Alentejo, Portugal | José Antonio Uva’s Labor Of Love Blends Slow Development, Slow Food And Slow Travel Into A Rich Sense Of Place
“Throughout the last two centuries you have had many generations of craftsmanship that never changed. We looked at that and thought, ‘This is exactly how we have to base our work, we’re going to bring this property back to life using the same techniques and the same families who built it initially.’”
We’re in great company with José Antonio Uva, the 8th generation of his family to steward São Lourenço do Barrocal over the last 200 years. What was once an estate and ancient small farming village - which stood the test of time and turmoil of well sought after land - José Antonio has carefully and slowly brought back to life using local materials and craftsmanship.
Today, it stands strong as a remarkable hotel of understated luxury - a place to call home, where farm and landscape sing in harmony - along the Monsaraz foothills of the world renowned wine region of Alentejo, Portugal.
In this episode, José Antonio shares how a childhood of storytelling and time as a teen traveling the world, led him to return home determined to bring the community back to life in a manner that respected its unique ecology and ancient history, so others could feel at home here as he always has.
[1:40] After owning Barrocal since the 1820’s, José Antonio’s family lost the estate in the midst of national turmoil the same year he was born, which resulted in a childhood hearing myths and memories from generations past.
[3:30] When José Antonio’s family regained ownership of their estate almost a decade later, they found it in disrepair and while his parent’s focused on revitalizing the farmland, José Antonio took it upon his young adult self to develop a plan to renovate the farmhouses.
[8:00] A story of “Slow Development.” What each generation built upon the estate over 200 years as a young nation developed its national identity and local villages refined their artisanal crafts.
[16:00] How José Antonio’s ancestors planted some of the region’s first vineyards and grew its grape growing community to become one of Portugal’s most well known wine regions, still to this day.
[29:30] It’s common for guests to arrive at Barrocal with an entire agenda planned but once they witness the understated luxury and sense of place surrounded by ancient oaks, olive groves and vineyards, they adapt to the slower way of life.
[35:00] To this day, Barrocal produces organic and biodynamic wines using grapes native to the terroir of Monsaraz, blended with a spirit of innovation and ancient techniques to honor the generations past.
[41:50] There’s so much to discover Barrocal’s legacy and natural surroundings - from olive oil and wine tastings to horse riding and birding, from beekeeping and flower arrangement workshops to boat or hot air balloon tours, from spa and wellness to stargazing, from pottery and traditional spoon carving workshops to cooking and cocktail classes.
Visit For Yourself
S4. | E1. Borgo Santo Pietro | Siena, Tuscany, Italy | Claus Thottrup’s Award Winning And Regenerative Estate Is An Ancestral Sanctuary Reimagined For Modern-Day Pilgrims
“When people drive up through the gates, and they come up to the reception and have their first welcome drink, they cancel virtually everything they had planned outside the gates. Because they realize, maybe these 3 to 4 days they’ve decided to stay at Borgo, there's so much to do and there's so much they would like to experience.”
We’re in great company with Claus Thottrup, Founder and Owner, along with his wife Jeanette, of Borgo Santo Pietro, an award-winning 300 acre estate and luxury boutique hotel - with encompassing restaurants, a holistic spa, organic skincare range, and extensive working farm they call home - build upon nearly 2,500 years of history, legend, mysticism and sacred healing rights, found in the heart of the Tuscan countryside.
Originally from Denmark, the Thottrup’s lived and worked in London for many years before they decided upon building a life in Tuscany for their family. Being inspired to create a type of retreat where they would imagine staying during their own travels, they soon realized the desire to share their vision with the world, welcoming guests to the destination that Borgo has now become.
As we welcome in Season 4 of this series, Claus celebrates the slow evolution it took to weave together their backgrounds in design, building development and restoration, their passion for good food and wine, their dedication to organic production and its sustainability principles, their appreciation of craftsmanship, artisans and antiques, and their love of nature and its curative properties all in order to create the retreat that is now Borgo Santo Pietro.
[1:45] The story of how two Danes met at an Italian restaurant in Copenhagen, pursued careers in property development and fashion design in London, before longing to call Italy home.
[6:30] Little did the Thottrup’s know when they went on a search through Tuscany for a private family home, that they would find Borgo Santo Pietro and it would have other plans for them…
[15:00] After their own worldly travels, Claus and Jeanette refused to adopt the “no mentality” and instead aspired to ensure “you can have what you want, when you want, where you want.”
[19:30] Guests can experience gardens and gastronomy abound - from pop-up dining events in the vegetable garden to the weekly farmers market, from a Tuscan style cooking school to wood-fired pizza classes, from onsite chocolate, ice cream and cheese production to vineyard tours and wine tastings, from microgreens plated at the Michelin-starred restaurant Saporium to the fermented snacks found in the suites.
[33:30] “For me it’s fundamental, it’s the only future,” explains Claus when he discusses the importance of sustainability in the entire ethos behind Borgo and their surrounding community.
[42:00] Jeanette’s natural skincare line, Seed To Skin which is grown, developed and produced on property, was inspired by a holistic lifestyle change and spiritual connection to this sense of place.
[53:15] The perfect summer holiday for the Thottrup’s includes sailing around the Mediterranean Sea so naturally they built their own sailing yacht, Satori, for guests to enjoy a slow traveled and sustainably focused excursion.
[1:06:20] Every season in Tuscany serves its purpose and there is beauty to be found in each and every one.
- London Fine Dining at Pétrus or The Ledbury
- The Sword In The Stone at The Abbey of San Galgano
- Sammarco from Castelli dei Rampolla
- Satori Yacht | @satoribyborgosantopietro
- PN Homes | Italy and UK
Visit For Yourself
- Borgo Santo Pietro Website | @borgosantopietro
- Borgo Santo Pietro Wines | @borgosantopietrowines
- Borgo Santo Pietro Saporium | @borgosantopietrosaporium
- Seed To Skin Website | @seedtoskintuscany
S3. | E15. Three Iconic Lodges | Washington, Pacific Northwest | Daniel Sullivan, Resident Beekeeper Hosts Honey Bees For Visiting Guests And Locals Alike
“You can propagate the work by sharing the work. And so its exciting for me to sit down with all walks of life - every genre of person possible, professionally, athletically - and this translates to them.”
In honor of National Honey Month, we’re in great company with Daniel Sullivan, Owner of Shipwreck Honey and Resident Beekeeper of three iconic Pacific Northwest lodges - Salish Lodge & Spa, Cedarbrook Lodge and The Lodge at St. Edward.
In partnership with these lodges, Daniel has created bee programs that raise awareness around American beekeeping and sustaining the honeybee population, while also ensuring these lodges are able to produce enough honey to share with every visiting guest and local alike, giving all access to honey as it should be - always fresh and all natural.
As we close on Season 3 of this series and look forward to the change in seasons this fall, Daniel paints a picture of what it is like to host honey bees and humans in harmony, sharing a sweet taste of what a future with a world full of bees and honey abound looks like.
[1:45] As a child growing up in Washington watching his Grandfather tend to his own bees, Daniel found himself in early adulthood wanting to similarly live a life that was self-sufficient, had a sense of freedom, and promised a sustainable and positive future.
[9:00] Honeybees create honey to keep themselves warm and to feed their own colonies during the winter. Beekeepers like Daniel must be responsible in only taking what could otherwise go to waste.
[13:50] The flavor, perfume, color and bouquet of honey depends on the time of year and the plants the bees are pollinating.
[17:15] Honey has numerous health benefits…topically for your skin and hair, in wound or burn treatment, as an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial ingredient in recipes, in soothing your throat and acting as a cough suppressant when you’re sick, just to name a few.
[27:40] How Daniel creates an environment that is safe for the honey bees and the hotel guests alike.
[39:40] Salish Lodge & Spa has been famous for over 100 years for its four-course Country Breakfast with the iconic Honey from Heaven™ service where honey from Daniel’s own hives is poured from high above guests’ plates onto buttery house-made biscuits.
[46:35] Cedarbrook Lodge highlights an inspired menu elevating the honey from the on-property apiary that Daniel manages inclusive of seasonal scratch cocktails such as the aptly named “Bee’s Knees.”
[49:55] The Lodge at St. Edward features Daniel’s apiary near the bountiful chef’s garden steps from Cedar & Elm restaurant, which is led by Chef Luke Kolpin, former chef at Noma in Copenhagen and Canlis in Seattle.
[56:40] The future is sweet for Daniel and his community of farmers as they collectively look to open a farm school for children and parents alike to learn about the importance of honey bees.
Visit For Yourself
- Salish Lodge & Spa Website | @salishlodgespa
- Cedarbrook Lodge Website | @cedarbrooklodge
- The Lodge at St. Edward Website | @lodgeatstedward
- Shipwreck Honey Website | @shipwreck_apiaries
S3. | E14. Desolation Hotel | Sierra Nevada, California | Chet Pipkin, Founder Of Belkin, Is Now Building a Community Of Modern Adventurers Who Want A Greater Connection To Nature
“Could a group of people come together to do the right thing for the environment, the right thing for the community, the right thing for the people that work there, the right thing for the guests and have a sustainable business?”
We’re in great company with Chet Pipkin, Founder of the recently realized Desolation Hotel in the Sierra Nevada region of California, with two distinctly different nature experiences - one in Lake Tahoe, an oasis of serenity in the midst of a bustling town, and the other in Hope Valley, a historic resort and remote escape.
With a focus on delivering exceptional experiences both inside the resorts and outside of them, Desolation Hotel has become more than a place where modern adventurers can stay and relax during their vacation. It has become a basecamp for exploration; a launching pad for touring, enjoying and celebrating the wonder that is the great American West.
In this episode, Chet shares his inspiring perspective on what it is like to be a lifelong learner and entrepreneur, a believer in the magic of relationships and connection, both to others and with nature.
[1:00] After founding Belkin in his parent’s garage which transpired into more than four decades creating exceptional experiences in the consumer electronics industry, Chet Pipkin yearned to build a community that would synthesize his passion for tech with his love of outdoor exploration.
[5:15] Chet explains his similar approach to technology and hospitality, “Do the hard work upfront to make the experiences simple.”
[17:30] Faced with the choice to create a nature experience for those outdoor enthusiasts in the bustling town of Lake Tahoe or in the untouched and secluded Hope Valley, Chet and his family decided, why not do both?
[19:30] Desolation Hotel took not only its name, but great design inspiration from the Pipkin family’s decades exploring the Desolation Wilderness.
[27:30] Adventure is in season every season at Lake Tahoe with summer water sports, hiking and biking, and winter skiing available all around town.
[31:15] Look up at the fall foliage and take in the views of the night sky at Hope Valley, the perfect place to connect to nature and experience the 100 year history of hospitality on property.
[38:15] How Desolation Hotel is a big experiment in sustainability of not only a business, but in the land, community and guest experience as well.
- Skiing in Heavenly Valley or Van Sickle State Park
- Hiking the Tahoe Rim Trail
- Maggie’s Restaurant
- Sorensen’s Cafe
Visit For Yourself
- Desolation Hotel Website
- StayInGoodCompanyDH for 15% off a stay, valid until 12.31.23
S3. | E13. ACME Hospitality | California, USA | Sherry Villanueva Celebrates 10 Years Of Crafting Innovative Food & Beverage Concepts And Boutique Hotels Sprinkled Around California
“It’s someone's 50th wedding anniversary. They’re celebrating a new baby. We’ve had surprise engagements. We’ve had people mourning the loss of someone they loved. Every human emotion and experience you can imagine is being shared around this table. And I feel it is this huge responsibility we have to care for that, to nurture it. To create lifelong memories for our guests.”
We’re in great company with Sherry Villanueva, Founder and Managing Partner of ACME Hospitality celebrating 10 years of creating happiness for her guests and teams alike, with innovative food & beverage concepts and boutique hotels sprinkled around California.
Over this time, Sherry has curated a village of hospitality loving hosts, gastro-geeks, delightful diners and ravenous regulars throughout Santa Barbara, Palm Springs, the Sierra Nevada Foothills and soon San Juan Capistrano.
In this episode, Sherry delves into the deep connection she has with her two historic hotels in California’s Gold Country, the National Exchange Hotel in Nevada City and the Holbrooke Hotel in Grass Valley, lovingly restored by local artists, designers and craftspeople. Listen as she invites us all to experience 165 years of history and welcome a change in the seasons, as we say goodbye to our Indian summer and hello to a warm festive winter.
[1:45] Sherry spent a career traveling the world tracking trends, learning a lot about human behavior before founding ACME Hospitality for “people passionate about caring for people.”
[6:40] The moment the stars aligned for Sherry happened to be in her own backyard of Santa Barbara, CA when she was tapped to revitalize a neighborhood called “The Funk Zone.”
[10:30] A look back at 10 years of ACME Hospitality includes lots of laughs, a lot of tears, and learning “how to pace and embrace the chaos.”
[13:20] Get to know Santa Barbara’s culinary scene with ACME Hospitality through The Lark, the restaurant that started it all, Loquita, serving authentic Spanish tapas, La Paloma Cafe, celebrating Santa Maria traditions, The Helena Avenue Bakery, where everything is scratch-made, Lucky Penny, spinning out wood-fired pizzas, Tyger Tyger, with its vegan Thai cuisine, Santa Barbara Wine Collective, a tasting room featuring small family run wineries, and Pearl Social, a music and cocktail lounge.
[18:20] When Sherry set off to restore two historical boutique hotels in California’s Gold Country, she wanted to ensure a deep sense of community - stewarding culturally significant properties, supporting local purveyors, investing in local non-profits, and connecting to nature.
[26:35] The National Exchange Hotel with its Victorian era spirit, is full of rich colors and patterns, opulent furnishings, lovingly restored original features, and mysterious details around every corner that continue to surprise guests as they explore further.
[33:40] Sherry explains how two towns such as Nevada City and Grass Valley, which may be just minutes apart, can feel worlds away. Nevada City, full of true craftsmen, sets the scene for a Hallmark movie, while Grass Valley with its rugged edge, is the heart and grit that built the industry.
[38:40] The Holbrooke Hotel, where modern luxuries blend seamlessly with a historically unique, rustic-yet-refined, one-of-a-kind property, features the oldest saloon in California serving patrons for over 165 years.
[48:00] Since opening another boutique hotel, Azure Sky in Palm Springs, Sherry is setting her sights on San Juan Capistrano, with another hotel and two restaurants opening soon.
- Around The Table Cookbook by ACME Hospitality
- The Bear TV Series
- Good Morning Supply Co.
- Setting the Table by Danny Meyer
- The Maker Hotel in Upstate New York
Visit For Yourself
- ACME Hospitality Website
- The National Exchange Hotel Website in Nevada City, CA
- Holbrooke Hotel Website in Grass Valley, CA
S3. | E12. Tabacón | Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica | Mario Mikowski Celebrates 30 Years of His Family’s Thermal Resort And Spa At The Cusp Of A Lush Rainforest And Iconic Volcano
“It's a big challenge to get somebody who, and rightly so, is trying to enjoy their honeymoon or family vacation, to take time to think about nature, to think about the community. Some people may just be there to raft and zipline, to have a nice meal and a massage, to enjoy the hot springs and move to the beach. It’s a project of trying to get your guests first informed, second to raise enthusiasm, and hopefully that will lead to action.”
We’re in great company with Mario Mikowski, Second Generation Owner of Tabacón, a tropical haven and leading sustainable hotel located at the base of the Arenal Volcano. Here guests can enfold into the diversity of the rainforest and immerse into the wellness offered by its naturally flowing hot springs.
After taking over the family business from his late father at an early age, Mario has seen and steered Tabacón into being a globally recognized and awarded luxury hospitality and experiential travel destination nestled in one of the most visited regions of Costa Rica.
In this episode, Mario looks back on 30 years of Tabacón, commemorating the vision of his father he continues to consider in his daily decisions and celebrating the pura vida memories it has created for generations of guests.
[2:10] Mario looks back at his family’s 3 generations of hospitality in Costa Rica and the common threads between - architecture, entrepreneurship, nature and wildlife - that today celebrate 30 years of Tabacón.
[6:55] Where there is an active volcano, there are likely hot springs. But Mario’s father, Jaime, didn’t want just any hot springs, he was on the search for the perfect combination of temperature, volume and mineral content. To do what with, you ask…?
[12:00] What makes the town of La Fortuna so special beyond being known worldwide as “The Capital of Eco-Adventures,” the most recognized and most visited region of Costa Rica.
[25:40] Picture immersing yourself in more than 900 acres of a pristine rainforest reserve, the world’s largest network of naturally flowing hot springs, complemented by cascading thermal waterfalls, serene river pools and an internationally renowned spa. There is nothing artificial about this wellness oasis.
[34:20] With a new Executive Chef comes a complimentary vision for Costa Rican dining paired with sustainability. There’s a setting and seasonal plates for every occasion, always locally sourced to showcase the finest Costa Rican cuisine.
[45:00] Mario poses a question on the culture of tipping, “Are you supposed to bring your personal practices from home to a different country, or are you supposed to adapt to the culture of where you are visiting?”
[58:45] Why early December is the best time to visit Costa Rica - the rainy season is replaced with Christmas holiday spirit in the air and red and green tamales on the table.
- Hotel Presidente in San José
- The Leading Hotels of the World
- Small Luxury Hotels Considerate Collection
- Virtuoso Sustainability Community
- 5inco Amigos Cervecería Artesanal producing Tabacón’s “IPAva” exclusive beer collaboration
Visit For Yourself
S3. | E11. Nantipa | Santa Teresa, Costa Rica | Harry Hartman & Mario Mikowski Offer Barefoot Costa Rican Luxury And Blue Zone Wellness Experiences At Their Beachfront Boutique Hotel
“And you have to try new things, and Costa Rica is the place to do it safely. Fear of heights? Go ziplining. Issues with the ocean? Take a surfing lesson. Eat new things. There's so much interesting stuff that you can try. If you don’t like it, spit it out. It’s fine. It’s barefoot luxury, nobody’s going to judge you.”
We’re in great company with Harry Hartman and Mario Mikowski, good friends and great Owners of Nantipa, where they provide a sense of serene escapism and barefoot Costa Rican luxury for guests at their beachfront boutique hotel on the Nicoya Peninsula, which is recognized by UNESCO as one of only 5 Blue Zones in the world, revered for its secrets of longevity, health and happiness presented by its population.
Nantipa provides a sense of escapism in this emerging hot spot that is the ultimate place to be and not be seen. Harry and Mario first opened Nantipa’s doors in 2019 to redefine the concept of luxury with ease and sustainable practices at its heart. The result is a destination that offers tranquil bungalows, suites and villas, a vibrant community, gastronomic hub and growing reputation for surfing, wellness, and the ultimate Pura Vida experience.
In this episode, Harry and Mario banter back and forth about their Tico Beach Experience where a thriving ecosystem, full of smiling people and unparalleled hospitality, contributes to what they believe is the secret to the Blue Zone lifestyle.
[1:40] Harry and Mario banter back and forth about how their friendship dates back to kindergarten and includes a mutual sense of humor, focus on family, interest in American football and love of dogs.
[3:45] When Harry purchased beachfront property for his family in the charming town of Santa Teresa, Mario immediately saw the opportunity to build an authentic and sustainable boutique hotel to stand apart from the sea of all inclusive resorts.
[9:40] Nantipa sits along the tip of the Nicoya Peninsula which is recognized by UNESCO as 1 of only 5 Blue Zones in the world - where people are known to live the longest and most healthiest lives due to a combination of fresh and local diet, purpose in community, connection to nature, and movement of body.
[15:10] The Costa Rican “Pura Vida” lifestyle is a way of living that is joyous and optimistic, and the hospitality experienced at Nantipa - from the warm smiles at check in to the friendly conversations at the bar - are a testament to that.
[22:40] The world’s first ever “Blue Zone Wellness Experience” goes beyond a spa treatment in a serene natural setting, to a traditional balanced “Casado” dish presented for lunch, to the local beach cleanup guests can join in picking up micro plastics - a truly holistic approach to wellness as a lifestyle.
[26:20] Expect to dine in good company at Nantipa and around town with Costa Rican favorites ranging from arroz con pollo, patacones, ceviche, picadillo de papa, flan de coco and so much more!
[30:00] Santa Teresa attracts great diversity, from adventure seeking travelers and backpackers in search of authentic experiences, to celebrities like Gisele Bündchen wanting to settle down in a vibrant and thriving small town.
[40:20] Not only is connecting with locals important to understand a sense of place, but having lunch with an elderly resident provides an even greater perspective on how to have both appreciation for its past and empowerment to steward its future.
Visit For Yourself
S3. | E10. Los Poblanos | Albuquerque, New Mexico | Matt Rembe’s Historic Inn And Organic Farm Gives A Taste Of The Southwest From Home Grown Lavender To Hand Crafted Liquor
“It became this trifecta: gardens, farming and architecture. And then the pressure was on. We couldn’t use food that we were buying from Sysco Foods, it had to be food off this property and food from the Rio Grande River Valley. The land was challenging us to do the right thing, the place was challenging us to do the right thing.”
We’re in great company with Matt Rembe, second generation Owner and CEO of Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm, iconic for it’s Santa Fe styled architecture and set in the heart of the Rio Grande River Valley amongst 25 acres of lavender fields, enormous cottonwood trees and lush formal gardens.
With a rich heritage and continued appreciation for sense of place, it has taken the Rembe family decades - since 1976 in fact when Matt’s parents first purchased a piece of the property to raise their four children - to reunite the properties and undertake a preservation plan to maintain the architecture, gardens and open farmland in perpetuity.
Today, Los Poblanos is seen as one of the most magnificent stays in the Southwest given its family focused values, tenured community involvement, locally crafted design, regenerative agriculture, field-to-fork dining and artisan lavender product line.
In this episode, Matt shares what it was like to grow up on this land, how his time away always seemed to call him back home, and how now he is looking forward to passing this stewarding responsibility along to the next generation.
[1:40] Matt looks back on what he coined a “Huckleberry Finn childhood”, growing up as the youngest of 4, working the farm when told to, otherwise having fun getting dirty exploring the great outdoors.
[3:50] Los Poblanos was always much more than a farm to Matt’s parents, Penny and Armin, once they discovered the historical significance of the buildings about the property originally designed by the “Father of Santa Fe Style” architecture, John Gaw Meem, dating back to 1932.
[8:00] Over the past 20 years Matt explains how his family took on the preservation of this property, starting as a 6 bedroom BnB to today, a multifaceted business boasting a 45 bedroom boutique inn, 25 acres of organic farms and formal gardens, artisan lavender product line, spa and wellness experiences, award winning casual fine dining, small batch distillery and craft cocktail bar, event space, retail shop and cultural programming.
[16:30] Matt explains his love for his home state of New Mexico, while being one of the poorest states in America, it is one of the richest in culture and community, and Matt feels a real sense of responsibility in playing his part.
[20:40] When you look out at the sprawling lavender fields, taking in their aromatic scent and blue-violet hue, realize there is much more to these flowers - as biodynamic, organic, low water use crops that create value added products for economic development.
[29:45] The intentional “Hide and Reveal” architecture and garden design of Los Poblanos is meant to evoke different feelings and heightened senses as you progress throughout the property’s “Cultural Landscape.”
[37:10] “What is the palette of the Rio Grande River? What is the flavor profile of this sense of place?” Learn how a collaborative effort by numerous Los Poblanos team members went into the distillation of their new western and lavender gins.
[46:00] Physical wellbeing is engrained in the culture at Los Poblanos and guests can experience it through the Hacienda spa, lavender products, wellness activities and daily interactions with others about the property.
[51:50] It is a collaborative community affair to create the Rio Grande Valley Cuisine that is constantly evolving out of Campo’s kitchen.
Visit For Yourself
S3. | E9. Within The Wild | Kachemak Bay, Alaska | Kirsten Dixon Offers Transformative Backcountry Adventures And Wild Alaskan Cuisine At Her Family’s Boutique Lodge
“So we have a lot of differences, our own individuality, but we enjoy the common ethos and mission that binds us. And that is to bring people into the natural world and have them experience why we live this way and what we find valuable in it. And we want to show people and share with them, and that binds us all together.”
We’re in great company with Kirsten Dixon, Founder and Head Chef of Within The Wild, a luxury Alaska adventure company and Tutka Bay Lodge, an award winning boutique lodge along the Gulf of Alaska. Over thirty years ago, Kirsten and her husband, Carl left their city life in Anchorage to live in the wilds of Alaska and to this day, they share their home with guests from all over the world, offering transformative adventures and cuisine within the natural world.
Tutka Bay Lodge is a 35 acre property with a rustic luxury 6 cabin retreat that is the perfect jumping off point into a world of excursions into the Alaskan wilderness, from bear viewing to glacier trekking, kayaking to fishing, hiking the backcountry to helicopter adventures, tide pooling to bird watching, natural and cultural history lessons to daily culinary sessions.
In this episode, Kirsten paints a picture of the bounty of the land and sea that surrounds her, the full heart (and in the Dixon’s case, stomach) that comes with running a family business, and how their commitment to sustainability and future generations are instrumental in the preservation of this place she calls home.
[1:40] Kirsten met her husband, Carl on her first day as an ICU nurse in Anchorage. A year later they quit their jobs, sold everything and moved to the remote wilderness of Alaska. Kirsten reminisces on the past 40 years, raising two daughters and running numerous lodges.
[6:25] How a couple from Paris transitioned from being Kirsten’s guests to her great friends, inviting Kirsten to visit in Paris and attend Le Cordon Bleu where her culinary passion came to life.
[13:45] Having an appreciation for the natural world can look and be experienced in different ways, as Kirsten prefers to take in the aesthetics while Carl can be found pursuing active adventures.
[14:45] Dive into the Dixon’s universe they are creating with the help of 4 generations of their family in South Central Alaska - from their home base of Tutka Bay Lodge, to their quaint café La Baleine in their neighboring artistic town of Homer, to their newly acquired floral farm with 35 acres of peonies as far as the eye can see.
[21:00] As Kirsten and Carl grow older, they have made it their life’s mission to do good for their future generations, preserving and protecting not only the land they call home, but their pocket of paradise that surrounds them.
[24:00] The journey to Tutka Bay Lodge is part of the remote Alaskan wilderness experience, whether you arrive by seaplane or boat, and the adventure does not stop there…
[29:10] Guests can expect to dine in good company enjoying the creative expressions of numerous chefs who present wild Alaskan cuisine with Russian, Asian and native influences, foraged from the mountains, grown in the gardens and fished from the ocean.
[39:15] When Kirsten first saw her neighbor’s old crabbing boat, it was an eyesore. Now with a little tender love and care - and good taste - it’s her favorite spot to bring guests.
[46:50] The future of Within The Wild focuses on younger generations, teaching local and visiting children how to cook cultural cuisine and to explore the old growth forests across the bay.
- Pico Iyer Journeys
- Be The Wild Non-Profit
- Living Within The Wild, Cookbook by Kirsten and Mandy Dixon
Visit For Yourself
S3. | E8. Cuyama Buckhorn | Cuyama Valley, California | Jeff Vance & Ferial Sadeghian Reimagined A Timeless Roadside Resort Where Community, Local Food And Artistry Flourish
“As far as the people that have to do with Cuyama Buckhorn, the ranchers and farmers that have been there for a long time, you will never leave a dinner with them where you don't get some new story that is worthy of a chapter in a book. They’ve been out there their whole lives and it's always fun to hear what they have to say.”
We’re in great company with Jeff Vance and Ferial Sadeghian, Owners of Cuyama Buckhorn, a timeless roadside resort in the heart of California’s high desert. Originally built in 1952 experiencing decades of glory days as the local watering hole for a booming oil town, Jeff and Ferial have taken meticulous care and personal attention in restoring the historic mid-century architecture and design, while bringing it into a new era with luxurious modern amenities.
Today, Cuyama Buckhorn is an intimate getaway for out of towners and a trusted community center for locals alike, filled with thoughtfully crafted meals, a bar where conversation flows effortlessly and revitalized rooms with stylistic nods to the past.
In this episode, Jeff and Ferial share how a mutual interest in exploring the world of hospitality, looking for a remote property that could provide an unexpected and unassuming destination experience, turned into so much more. How the joy of shared experiences with the local community, the creative spirit and sense of place at Cuyama Buckhorn in particular, creates a connection to the natural beauty of Cuyama Valley.
[1:30] Jeff grew up in and around Los Angeles with a bar seat view into the world of hospitality before pursuing a career and founding a company in architectural design. Ferial, originally from Iran, grew up with a love of travel and food, as she explored much of Europe and the Middle East with her family before finding her way to Los Angeles and joining iDGroup.
[10:00] Jeff “peel’s back the wallpaper” to share his personal connection to Cuyama Valley and the storied history of the Cuyama Buckhorn during its glory days throughout the 50’s & 60’s as a community watering hole in a booming oil town.
[14:35] It was an unexpected but welcomed involvement in the local town from the beginning for Jeff and Ferial, hosting an artist residency with storytelling opportunities around the property, and supporting independent farmers in what is considered a food desert due to big agriculture’s control over the local land.
[28:40] The Buckhorn is brimming with unexpected and unpretentious farm-to-table comfort food and farm-to-glass cocktail and wine programs where guests can enjoy meeting the farmers, foraging for ingredients, tasting the barrel-aging process as they savor the company they’re in.
[42:00] Whether you choose to hike, mountain bike or drive the Hidden Valley of Enchantment, there are interesting roads in all directions leading to the California coast, wine country or scenic central highway.
[47:00] There’s much growth and prosperity in the future for Cuyama Buckhorn, from refining the culinary menu, continuing community events, crafting wood fired dishes, concepting a spa experience and stewarding a sustainable garden.
- iDGroup Independent Design Group
- Flamingo Hotel, Las Vegas
- Jonathan Gold, Los Angeles Times Restaurant Critic
- Johnston Horse Camp
- Hidden Creek Ranch
Visit For Yourself
S3. | E7. SAGRA | Farm Stays Across America | Founder & CEO David Rust Is Creating & Collaborating On Accessible & Exceptional Guest Experiences Celebrating People, Place & Harvest
“This experience felt very unique because it was deeply authentic. They were walking the ranch with the rancher. They were eating food that was not only grown onsite, but then also sourced from the cheesemakers, the oyster farms, the beekeepers, and they were even meeting those producers.”
We’re in great company with David Rust, Founder and CEO of SAGRA, a new collection of curated individual Farm Stays and experiential Farm Retreats in partnership with regenerative farms across the US where guests have the opportunity to connect with each other, the sources of our food, and the people who thoughtfully grow it.
Whether staying in a quaint private home on a dairy farm, taking a glamping adventure on the coast of a shellfish estuary, or savoring fully-serviced accommodations amongst seasonal produce, the SAGRA experience is the perfect home base for a day of exploration on the farm, unwinding in a serene natural setting, visiting nearby sights and shops, tasting the freshest food, and connecting with the people who passionately produce it.
In this episode, David shares how an interest since childhood led to a passion for a new business concept and activism in a community looking to make farming more relatable and accessible as we look forward to a new food future.
[1:40] How growing up visiting his extended family’s farm in Germany and agriturismo in Italy turned into a passion for farming and understanding farm culture in his adult life, even while pursuing different careers across different cities.
[7:00] It was both a slow progression and a special moment in time that brought David and his co-founders to create and actively pursue the concept of SAGRA.
[11:10] “Get your hands dirty, or don’t.” David shares more about his mission in making agriculture accessible to everyone, regardless of their level of interest or experience.
[13:40] A look back to the beginnings of SAGRA in 2019 when David joined forces with the family behind Stemple Creek Ranch, a regenerative rotational grazing cattle ranch in Northern California, to prototype and practice this agricultural hospitality experience before opening an east coast experience, Hill Farm in Vermont.
[17:20] How SAGRA is part of a broader food and farm community, “Whether it’s Dan Barber or Alice Waters, they’re deeply passionate about telling a story, whether through cooking food, making a restaurant, or in our case allowing you to book a stay.”
[20:10] The meaning behind “SAGRA,” an Italian word for a harvest festival, a celebration of food and community.
[24:45] David explains how “hope and active optimism are powerful tools for change”, both for regenerative farmers and their guests who seek out to experience and learn more about those better ways.
[31:20] Meet the 4 Farm Stays joining the SAGRA family this fall: Studio Hill in Shaftsbury, VT, Reverence Farms in Saxapahaw, NC, Silver Penny Farm in Petaluma, CA and Zuma Canyon Orchids in Malibu, CA.
[42:20] What David and his team at SAGRA are looking for in future Farm Stay locations, experiences, and types of farms, sharing their stories and supporting their businesses by broadening awareness and appreciation, one stay at a time.
Visit For Yourself
- Chef’s Table on Netflix
- Dan Barber of Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Westchester County, NY
- Alice Waters of Chez Panisse in Berkley, CA
- Cowgirl Creamery in Petaluma, CA
- Biggest Little Farm Documentary
S3. | E6. Aragosta at Goose Cove | Deer Isle, Maine | Chef And Owner Devin Finigan Serves Up So Much More Than Lobster At Her Seasonal Restaurant And Seaside Cottages
“But that was really my dream. I wanted a tasting menu and to highlight the seafood. And to go forage this property and use the moss and the wild cranberries and the ocean. I mean, the ocean is literally in my backyard here, and I wanted to bring that to the plate.”
We’re in great company with Devin Finigan of Aragosta at Goose Cove. As an acclaimed chef and proprietor, a proud mother and community activist, Devin curates the best of Maine’s bounty through her creative palate for food and hospitality.
Having traveled the world learning from some of the best chefs, Devin was inspired to make Maine her home, committing to the community of fishermen and farmers who source local ingredients from the island and the ocean around it. Since 2019, she has restored Goose Cove with its 21 acres of lush greenery and rocky coasts, to house a heavenly seasonal restaurant with cozy vintage cottages for guests to have a taste of her own “chef’s dream.”
In this episode, Devin shares all of the senses that can be found on Deer Isle, Maine from the mossy forest floor to the salty sea air, from the wildflowers gracing her dishes to the cracking of the wood fired stoves, and what makes those memories so meaningful for her family and her guests alike.
[1:30] Devin paints a picturesque memory of growing up in the mountains of Vermont, working in her father’s restaurants, gardening and milking the cow with her mother, enjoying homemade ice cream, butter, and maple syrup with her three sisters.
[3:40] Without a formal culinary education, Devin shadowed in Michelin starred kitchens around the world, from Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry, Dan Barber’s Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and Kyle Connaughton’s SingleThread Farms where she learned to “highlight the ingredient as it is.”
[7:45] With its original location on Main Street in Stonington, Devin set out to create beautiful dishes “from the heart,” with a feminine touch of course.
[13:25] After deciding to relocate her growing family to restore an old restaurant and cottages along the forested coastline of Goose Cove, Devin’s young daughters are learning their way around her culinary world as “momma’s helpers.”
[15:20] Fishing is the way of life in Deer Isle, and Devin thought what better way to highlight the prized catch of the town, than by naming her restaurant “Lobster” in Italian.
[23:50] Overnight and dinner guests alike can dine in good company with Chef Devin’s multi-course tasting menu that is no fuss, no frills, just fun.
[30:30] Guests can “live a chef’s dream” by supporting local fishers and farmers, from scallops and oysters to carrots and mesclun.
[36:15] From farming her own oysters to harvesting honey from her beehives, from private dining greenhouses to a craft cocktail beach bar, from collaborations with other local female chefs to restaurants around the world, Devin continues to build upon her island destination.
Visit For Yourself
- Maca de Castro in Mallorca, Spain
- Le Labo Fragrances
- 44 North Coffee
- Clé Tile
- Stonington Farmers Market
- Harbor Cafe in Stonington, Maine
- PenBay Farmed Scallops
- Four Season Farm
- Fine Line Farm
- Long Cove Sea Farm
- Verjus in Paris, France
- Table by Bruno Verjus in Paris, France
- Crown Jewel in Portland, Maine
S3. | E5. Agriturismo Acetaia Sereni | Modena, Italy | Umberto Sereni And His Family Create A World Around Experiencing Traditional Balsamic Vinegar Perfected Over Four Generations
“A normal day in the countryside starts with a local breakfast, then you can enjoy a tour of the farm where you understand from the vineyards to the final product, how we produce this product. You can go into the tasting room where you can try all the balsamic vinegar, then have lunch with traditional Emilian dishes with balsamic vinegar. So from the grape to the final plate you can understand the process.”
We’re in great company with Umberto Sereni, General Manager of Agruturismo Acetaia Sereni working alongside his parents, Pier Luigi and Elisabetta, and siblings, Francesco and Frederica, in stewarding the family name and business.
As the 4th generation to produce and preserve the most precious vinegars in the world, Acetaia Sereni remains synonymous with the quality and craft that goes into Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena DOP.
In this episode, Umberto shares his passion for welcoming and educating guests from all over the world, inviting them to visit his family’s Agriturismo where they share best of the Emilian culinary traditions, Modena experiences, and Italian hospitality, topped with Acetaia Sereni “Black Gold.”
[2:15] Since the 1930’s the Sereni family has stewarded the terroir of the Italian countryside, producing some of the most precious vinegars in the world.
[5:50] For the past 10 years, Umberto expresses how he’s welcomed in the challenges in learning how to run a restaurant and hospitality business, while his guests are welcomed to experience this way of living in person.
[8:00] What Umberto has learned from his visionary of a father, Pier Luigi in inventing the concept of tours and tastings to showcase their craft, and his dedicated mother, Elisabetta in her passion for supporting their family’s work and workers.
[14:30] Sandwiched between Modena and Bologna in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy is a small piece of paradise perched upon a hilltop, surrounded by vineyards and panoramic views.
[16:20] From cooking and baking classes to ebike and horseback tours, from test driving Ferrari and Lamborghini motorcars to sitting poolside for Aperitivo paired with Parmigiano Reggiano, there is so much to savor at and around Agriturismo Acetaia Sereni.
[19:00] What makes Acetaia Sereni one of the best and last Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena DOP products, from owning the full “grape growing to bottling,” appreciating the slow aging process, and reserving certain barrels for special moments.
[23:40] Expect a touch of balsamic vinegar blended in or drizzled on every plate at Sereni a Tavola, from breakfast to dessert, and even mixed in an Aperitif or two.
[33:30] The future of Acetaia Sereni is focused on innovation and preservation of balsamic vinegar, passion and investment in family and hospitality.
Visit For Yourself
S3. | E4. La Peetch | Grasse, France | Makenna Held Welcomes Historical Foodies And Aspiring Home Chefs Alike To Stay At “The House That Julia Child Built”
“That is such a beautiful thing that is very human - this desire to nourish and be nourished in that process of cooking. It changes from this labor, to something that’s more joyful.”
We’re in great company with Makenna Held, owner of La Pitchoune, a country home in the French Riviera which just so happens to be “The House That Julia Child Built.”
Here in this 1960’s intimate yet luxury cottage with its iconic pegboard kitchen, Makenna welcomes historical foodies and aspiring home chefs alike to visit as guests in her home and students of her Courageous Cooking School.
In this episode, in true Julia Child fashion, Makenna gives a humorous and honest peek behind the scenes of what it takes to build a business, restore a storied home, raise a loving family, rebut stereotypes, and tend to curious guests, all with a swift flip of a pan and “courage of your convictions.”
[1:30] Makenna opens up about her ironic upbringing - raised by Francofiles but certainly not Foodies, before falling in love with food and hospitality, but not pursuing a career in either.
[4:00] There’s much Makenna has in common with the late Julia Child, a cherished American cook - from her “muppety” tall stature to taste in college and love for French cooking.
[6:50] How we wish the walls of La Pitchoune could talk of the dinner party conversations between M.F.K. Fisher, James Beard, Simone Beck, amongst others that spearheaded the “slow food movement” in 70’s America from the countryside of Provence, France.
[11:10] It was love at first sight for Makenna - seeing the heart shaped shutters of La Pitchoune featured in a New York Times article - that caused her to ask the question, “Wouldn’t it be cool to own Julia Child’s house?”
[33:20] Why the Courageous Cooking School is not a “cooking school” and the “cooking” is only one tiny piece of the experience.
[45:00] What makes Grasse a “community in transition,” best known as the world’s perfume capital but untapped beyond that, and what Makenna and other locals are doing to revitalize its potential.
[50:30] How Makenna plans to make the Courageous Cooking School more accessible and affordable - from day classes in her new restaurant in town to training videos and live workshops online.
[55:00] As a thought leader and activist in today’s hospitality scene, Makenna opens up about a special documentary project her team is taking on to bring back the lost stories and shine a light on the LGBTQ+ community’s important role in making American cuisine & hospitality what it is today.
[1:00:30] As Julia Child often said,”Have the courage of your convictions,” what about the word “courage,” the intentional and informed risk taking, drives Makenna through her day to day life and business decisions.
Provence, 1970 by Luke Barr
Slow Food: Flavors and Memories of America’s Hometowns by Michael James
Diasporican: A Puerto Rican Cookbook by Illyanna Maisonet
Visit For Yourself
La Pitchoune: Cooking in France on Magnolia Network
S3. | E3. Bliss & Stars | Cederberg, South Africa | Daria & Heine Rasmussen’s Wellness Focused Wilderness Retreat Infused With Astronomy And Gastronomy
S3. | E2. Tributary Hotel | Willamette Valley, Oregon | Chef Matt Lightner’s Boutique Luxury Hotel Paired With A Progressive Culinary Experience
“How can we rethink what the standards are for immersion? We don’t hide things. The kitchen’s open. We take people through the downstairs into the cellar. It’s basically your home. It’s that heritage of place, capturing this time and being able to share that.”
We’re in great company with Matt Lightner, a world-renowned and awarded chef with a passion for bringing people closer to nature through his innovative farming, immersive dining, and sensorial hospitality experiences.
His latest venture as Chef and Partner of the recently restored and newly opened Tributary Hotel and its adjoining restaurant ōkta, blends all of this together in the perfect presentation of what makes the Pacific Northwest so rich as a region - a place Matt lovingly calls home and invites guests to too.
In this episode, Matt shares how his passion for hospitality goes beyond people and place - to create immersive experiences that evoke all of the senses and celebrate the change in seasons.
[2:00] From a young age, out of necessity, Matt Lightner found a passion for cooking with his hands and a love for watching people gather together over a meal.
[3:30] Inspired by El Bulli during his time in Spain and the trend in immersive dining in Europe, Matt returned to Portland, set on creating futuristic and progressive experiences around food.
[4:10] It didn’t take long for Matt’s unique approach to cooking to catch the attention of the hospitality industry as he won Food & Wine’s Best New Chef and was nominated for James Beard Rising Star Chef while at Castagna, before moving to New York and quickly collecting two coveted Michelin stars for his restaurant Atera.
[5:40] With a longing to return to the Willamette Valley to put the Pacific Northwest, its rich agricultural landscape and wine culture on the world map, Matt is doing exactly that.
[16:45] How a restored historical building in the heart of downtown with its craftsmanship attention to detail, is juxtaposed in an intentional manner, to the design of its adjoining restaurant where the attention to detail is on the food itself.
[19:00] Paying “Tribute” to the terroir, the waterways and the weather, Matt explains the meaning behind both Tributary Hotel and its restaurant ōkta.
[25:40] “Bed and breakfast” is an experience unto itself at the Tributary Hotel with woodfired baked goods, farm fresh eggs, larder crafted vinegars and oils, all presented in a way that evokes grazing.
[31:00] The story of a ceramist shows the power of building and growing as a local community of growers, vintners, artists, makers and purveyors.
[33:20] The seasons inspire the menu. Hear why this summer’s menu is titled “The Kindle.”
elBulli, Girona, Spain
Atera, New York City, New York
Portland’s Restaurant Scene
Visit For Yourself
S3. | E1. Hotel Saxkjøbing | Lolland, Denmark | Claus Meyer’s Gastronomic Entrepreneurship Has Created A Movement In New Nordic Cuisine And Community Beyond Fine-Dining At Noma
“I don’t want people to feel like they are in Copenhagen, I want them to feel like they are in the countryside. We don’t want food to be too meddled around with and manipulated with. We want people to feel close to where all the products come from. Of course we have a focus on everything local and seasonal because nature’s just right outside our windows.”
To welcome in our third season, we’re in great company with Claus Meyer, a culinary entrepreneur known for creating the “New Nordic Food Movement” - where he has inspired a new generation to rediscover local and sustainable produce through his world-renowned restaurants, cookbooks, TV shows, cooking schools, nonprofits and community events alike.
Growing up visiting Hotel Saxkjøbing in his homeland Lolland, Denmark, Claus made it his personal mission to restore this 200 year old gathering place to its former glory for townsfolk and distinguished guests alike. Today guests can experience a “Taste of the Seasons” through every touchpoint - from the flowers in the rooms to the communal weekday dinners, from the stone fruit at the farmstand to the town festivals taking place outside the hotel’s doorsteps.
In this episode, Claus shares how his past sparked a passion for finding ways in which food can bring about happiness, and a purpose in bringing people together to celebrate those moments.
[2:00] How an early childhood of canned food and microwaved meals in rural Denmark - led to an extended stay, an appreciation for terroir, and a passion for cooking in Gascony, France - before calling Claus home inspired to use “deliciousness as a weapon against unhappiness.”
[7:50] Who and what inspired Claus to have “an appetite for dreaming big” which we all now know today as the New Nordic Cuisine movement.
[10:20] How Noma was never intended to be “The Best Restaurant In The World,” rather a food lab to explore the potential of local ingredients.
[19:25] Claus explains his approach to building new ideas, new projects - from restaurants to cookbooks, TV shows to cooking schools, food production companies to non-profits, that can stand on their own without his intervention.
[23:15] The 215 year old history of Hotel Saxkjøbing in being one of the first royally recognized inns in Denmark, to being a home away from home for Claus during his childhood, to recently being given the opportunity to return it to its former glory.
[28:20] The small countryside town of Sakskøbing, is surrounded by stone-fruit farms, historical castles, scenic fjords, and dense forests to explore.
[34:30] From floral decorated dining rooms to communal dinners for guests and townspeople alike, from the cooking school and farm stand across the street to festivals celebrating the season’s bounty, how and why food is a focal point of this hotel and its town.
[44:00] What’s to come from Hotel Saxkjøbing from live musical performances to the opening of a micro-bakery collaboration with a notable Copenhagen baker.
Sakskøbing Madhus Food School
Madens Folkemøde “The Food People’s Meeting”
Visit For Yourself
S2. | E15. The June Motel | Ontario, Canada | April Brown & Sarah Sklash Share How Two Best Friends Created A Boutique Motel Brand Perfectly Paired With Good Wine And Great Vibes
“We would convince our girlfriends to come down on the weekend, drink some wine with us and learn how to wallpaper all the rooms. Our families and our friends really stepped up and it felt like everyone was really pitching in to help us transform this property. Looking back now, this was such a time of our lives.”
To close out our second season as we celebrate the beautiful turning of Spring into Summer, we’re in bright company with April Brown & Sarah Sklash, two best friends who share a love for discovering new travel destinations, good wine and creative design, all of which they passionately bring to life as co-founders and owners of The June Motel in Ontario, Canada.
Seven years ago they quit their jobs in Toronto and jumped head first into the world of motels, rolling up their sleeves to renovate a dingy roadside motel and reimagine it as the boutique motel brand it is today. A beautiful space where people can come together with their people and enjoy the good life’s simple pleasures for a few days.
In this episode, April and Sarah share their story behind their now two motels in Prince Edward County and Sauble Beach, and what to expect soon from a third. While it’s not all pretty in pink, it certainly calls for a toast to their perfect blend of naiveté and tenacity, as these ladies know there is always a reason to celebrate with a little bubbly.
[1:40] How 20 years of friendship can evolve from being sorority sisters to city living corporate career women, and how a few girls' trips abroad can inspire this new business brainstorm.
[5:00] What started as a search for a location to host a women’s wine retreat quickly turned into the purchase of a dingy roadside hunting and fishing motel with a small budget yet big dreams for what it could become.
[12:50] If “June” were a person…April and Sarah have imagined her to be a young woman from the 60’s…fun, trendy, retro, bold, eclectic and confident.
[17:20] Shortly after opening one motel, they got the itch to do it again, this time with a whole new set of challenges to tackle along the way and the added pressure of a camera crew filming every move for their Netflix Series, “Motel Makeover.”
[24:45] What makes the Prince Edward County location perfectly positioned for culinary and wine country excursions and how the Sauble Beach location evokes a nostalgic beach town vacation.
[27:10] From buttery lobster rolls to morning yoga in the garden, from a glass of wine around a bonfire to sunset live music on the poolside patio, there’s much to “eat, sip and play” at The June.
[33:00] A hint at what is to come as Sarah and April seek out a third location to build upon their vacation experiences for their guests.
Visit For Yourself
S2. | E14. Live Oak Lake | Waco, Texas | Isaac French’s Entrepreneurial Roots And Seven Stunning Cabins Nestled In The Heart Of Texas
“Trying to be as gentle as possible with what was already there because it was incredibly beautiful, it was just like a diamond in the rough. There was just a lot of polishing and refining. It really felt like it was taking shape, kind of like a sculpture when you’re chipping away all these pieces and you begin to actually see the figure and form of what you’re creating.”
We’re in great company with Isaac French, Founder of Live Oak Lake where guests can find respite, restoration and relaxation at modern lakeside cabins nestled in nature, yet right outside of the charming downtown Waco, Texas.
After growing up just minutes down the road, Isaac spent time in the Pacific Northwest where his deep love of nature and the principles of timeless design that best harmonie with it, took root. Upon returning home, Isaac and his wife Helen took their Southern hospitality to new heights in creating Live Oak Lake.
In celebration of Father’s Day, Isaac pays homage to the values and entrepreneurial spirit rooted in his large family tree, and what he hopes to pass on to his newborn son and the next generation of the French family.
[1:30] Having grown up down the road with 9 siblings in a family of entrepreneurs, agriculturists, artists and tradespeople, Isaac shares what drew him back home and what he is building here.
[11:00] Isaac’s advice in pursuing an entrepreneurial career is to “always be learning.” Make mistakes, find a mentor, get your hands dirty and do it yourself to learn how it’s done.
[3:30] From a dream concept to a chance glance at a Zillow Listing to building reality, how Live Oak Lake came to be.
[25:00] From the gated driveway to the cabins nestled amongst the live oak trees to “The Commons” patio, pool, pergola and dock, Isaac paints a picture of the setting, like “stepping into another world.”
[26:55] Isaac describes the inspiration behind the minimalist design of these cabins intended to disappear into nature.
[38:00] Beyond Live Oak Lake, Isaac hopes to inspire and help others create their own landscape hotel concepts throughout other underserved markets or “hidden gems” all around the world.
[42:55] What Isaac hopes to teach his son Lucas in fostering a sense of curiosity and creativity, just as he was blessed with learning from his own parents as a child.
The French Family’s Businesses in Deary, Idaho
Homestead Heritage Farm & Community in Waco, Texas
Magnolia in Waco, Texas
Den Outdoors Home Plans
Olsen Kundig Architecture & Design
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JUSTTODAY5 for 5% off
S2. | E13. Berber Lodge | Marrakech, Morocco | Romain Michel Meniere’s Timeless Retreat Celebrating Berber Culture And Customs, Craftsmanship And Architecture
“The whole project is the research of happiness when you are a child. I myself, had a very happy childhood in my grandparents’ house in Switzerland, when they were growing their own garden.”
We’re in great company with Romain Michel Meniere, Founder and Owner of Berber Lodge who with the help of other creators with their own refined taste, took this stunning atmosphere and historic place, turning it into a timeless retreat nestled at the foothills of the Atlas Mountain in the countryside of Morocco.
A French-Swiss Interior Architect and Designer with years of worldly travels and cultural experiences under his belt, Romain now calls Morocco home, working as an interior designer for many Marrakech’s most popular hotspots, before deciding to open his own hotel, showcasing his passion for mixing local architecture with tasteful interiors and a modern take on traditional Moroccan cuisine.
In this episode, Romain reminds future generations of travelers to appreciate life’s simple pleasures - sightly nature, nourishing food and of course, good company.
[1:45] Born and raised in Paris, Romain finished his education in Geneva, moved to Milan to begin his career in interior architecture and design, and lived in the United States running his own furniture business before coming upon a midlife crisis.
[4:00] What started as a brief visit to Marrakech turned into a love for the local Berber style of architecture, the purchase of land to build his own house, and many projects brought on by friends Romain made in the community.
[9:15] The story of how Arabic architecture came to be and how Romain respects that tradition and those rules in his renovation and new concepts today.
[13:50] How Romain has learned along the way in his hospitality adventure, from finances to food, and all of the excitement in between.
[22:30] The importance of preserving this sense of place and the simplistic lifestyle and genuine happiness it creates for Romain’s guests and team members alike.
[27:55] Mediterranean, Moroccan and Middle Eastern flavors meld together in the many dishes and drinks guests can savor while dining at Berber Lodge.
[31:15] There are so many culturally immersive experiences from desert drives to picnic lunches, weaving workshops to horseback rides, pottery classes to dinner with locals.
Visit For Yourself
S2. | E12. Rockhouse Hotel & Skylark Negril Beach Resort | Negril, Jamaica | Paul Salmon’s Sister Properties And Iconic Restaurant In This Turquoise-Watered Caribbean Town
“Historically, foreign investment in developing economies like Jamaica have been pretty exploitative and extractive, and we wanted to see how we could approach this in an entirely different way and partner with our team in the success of the hotel.”
We’re in great company with Paul Salmon, Founder and CEO of both the Rockhouse Hotel, an award-winning boutique hotel perched on a cliffside overlooking crystal clear Caribbean waters, and Skylark Negril Beach Resort, a tropical escape for the modern traveler, nestled on the sandy beaches of Negril, Jamaica, as well as a managing partner in the beloved Caribbean restaurant Miss Lily’s.
Originally from Australia, Paul found himself working on Wall Street in New York City before finding his home in hospitality. Over the past 25 years, he has become a thought leader in the practice of sustainable tourism, setting a standard for how a foreign hotel operator can do so responsibility in a developing country.
In this episode, Paul paints a vibrant picture of his passion for his team, the Jamaican culture and cuisine, the Caribbean coastlines and cool vibes, while having some laughs and sharing some stories along the way.
[1:30] Growing up in Australia, Paul found his passion for hospitality working in restaurants and nightclubs throughout college before moving to NYC to pursue a career in banking on Wall Street…of which he quickly realized was not his calling.
[3:20] You know it’s a good story when it begins with “Well, I was dating this girl…” as Paul explains what brought him to Jamaica for the first time, making him fall in love with the country and culture.
[4:50] Rockhouse was 20 years old when Paul decided to purchase it with some friends back in 1994, with architecture inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright having hosted famed guests such as XYZ
[7:35] Thinking beyond the hotel, Paul and his team set out to support the local Negril community and infrastructure by setting up the Rockhouse Foundation back in 2003, transforming childhood education for Jamaica’s students and teachers.
[14:00] For being a small town, guests can experience very different views and vibes of Negril with Rockhouse situated on the cliffs and Skylark Negril nestled on the beach.
[17:05] From the friendliness of the staff to the freshness of the food and beverage found in the restaurants to the feeling of refresh found at the spa, the vibrancy of Jamaican culture shines through.
[33:30] As an original partner in the iconic Miss Lily’s Jamaican restaurant in New York City, it was only natural to bring the restaurant home to its Caribbean roots at Skylark Negril.
Skylarking by Horace Andy
The Grey in Savannah, GA
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S2. | E11. Fattoria San Donato | Chianti, Tuscany, Italy | Discover The Most Authentic Toscana History, Traditions And Celebrations With Angelica And The Fenzi Family’s Agriturismo
“And so you really are able to experience and meet the world from a very small and beautiful place, which makes you really aware of what’s around you. Its a very cosmopolitan place in the countryside next to a tiny town.”
We’re in great company with Angelica Fenzi, the 4th generation of the Fenzi family to play her part in savoring, refining and celebrating the history of Fattoria San Donato, a small medieval village, working farm, winery and agriturismo immersed in the rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside.
Fattoria San Donato and the Fenzi family will always hold a special place in my heart and memory as it was here that Nick Beyer got down on one knee and asked me to marry him, set to the scene of the sun setting over the vineyards, as we nestled into a private picnic paired with the most perfect wine.
As we celebrate the 1 year anniversary of our engagement, it brings me the greatest, most sincere pleasure to share this story of the place and the people that inspired Stay In Good Company.
[2:25] From a cherished childhood growing up on her family’s agriturismo, Angelica moved to London to study anthropology and then Milan to study food and wine, before returning home with that education and appreciation for the terroir and architecture at Fattoria San Donato’s doorstep.
[8:10] Its a whole family affair to keep the fattoria fully functioning with Angelica overseeing the marketing, weddings and events, her sister Fiamma taking care of the animals, and her sister Benedetta learning her way around the vineyard and winery.
[10:15] What Angelica’s parents have taught her about kindness, generosity, and passion for food and wine.
[11:50] How San Donato came to be, dating back to when it was a hilltop medieval village first documented in 971 AD, to when the Fenzi family purchased the property in 1932, slowly turning it into the farm, winery and agriturismo it is today.
[19:00] Expect to experience all of your senses when you arrive at San Donato - the warmth of the sun, the smell of rosemary, the view of beautiful green hills, the taste of a crisp glass of Vernaccia, and the sound of laughter coming from the courtyard.
[22:40] There’s so much of Tuscany to explore without having to leave San Donato - from cooking classes to truffle hunting, a dip in the pool to yoga and meditation with horses, you’ll learn the techniques, the history and the intention behind these cultural experiences.
[26:45] Since the beginning, the Fenzi family has realized they too are guests passing through this place and thus their respect for nature allows the grapes to speak for themselves and be a reflection of the terroir.
[42:00] What Angelica and her sisters aspire to do in being the next generation to steward San Donato, from showcasing more art, collaborating with local craftspeople, and continuing to celebrate the Tuscan gastronomy.
ASD Piuma Sacra (Sacred Feather)
Things to do about San Gimignano
Santo Spirito Square for aperitivo in Florence
Volterra where Twilight was filmed
Small towns of Monteriggioni & Abbadia a Isola
Visit For Yourself
S2. | E10. Château De Saint Paterne | Normandy, France | Ségolène De Valbray’s Motherly Touch On Her Renaissance Period Château Where All Guests Are Welcomed Home
“I find it very important to cherish the past but not make it something where you lose your freedom. I think freedom is the most important thing and it’s the way we’re educating our kids also.”
We’re in great company with Ségolène de Valbray, Proprietor of Château De Saint Paterne, a 15th century château that has seen many periods, trends, notable guests and historical events pass through its stoned and storied walls nestled in Normandy, France.
Ségolène left her life of worldly travels and Parisian splendor to join her husband, Charles-Henry in renovating his family’s home while raising their own 3 boys. In 1998 they opened its doors, welcoming international guests to stay in a space harmoniously blending authenticity and originality, eclectic objects and local antiques, French cuisine and fresh produce, cozy corner fireplaces and grand poolside gardens.
As we celebrate Mother’s Day, and all of the women whose nature it is to nurture their guests and welcome them like family into their homes, Ségolène exudes genuine grace in speaking to her purpose as both a loving mother and loyal proprietor.
[1:45] From a life full of travel, to an education in Paris, what drew Ségolène to fall in love with the total package - the man and the château.
[4:40] With the family château abandoned for 30 years and in need of much repair, a young Charles-Henry decided to take it upon himself, with little money and experience to his name, to preserve this piece of history.
[9:00] This 15th century château has lived many lives, from a fortress during the Hundred Years’ War to a home for King Henry IV’s mistress, from a summer house to the headquarters of the local resistance against the Nazis, a converted hospital on the battlefront of D Day in Normandy to a family residence in need of repair.
[21:00] Raising 3 boys at Saint Paterne with no game plan, no rulebook to follow, just some wise advice from her grandmother “in putting herself first” to be the best version of herself as a mother of her boys.
[27:45] Ségolène shares the secret to living a lifestyle of service and hospitality - making time and space to retreat and refresh.
[33:20] A lover of quirky things with color and character inspired Ségolène to not only outfit the château, but to collect and curate a shop called Les Objects Particuliers.
[41:30] Expect Charles-Henry to treat you to traditional French cuisine with seasonal flair and a healthy side of vegetables.
[45:40] With a home away from home in Provence, guests can stay amongst centuries-old olive groves and vineyards producing the best rosé in the world.
Visit For Yourself
S2. | E9. ACRE Resort | San José del Cabo, México | Visit ACRE Resort, Stuart McPherson’s Lush Sanctuary For A Smaller, Bespoke And Experiential Stay
“ACRE is a jungle oasis in the middle of the desert. When you drive the dirt road and get to us for the first time, trust me when I say, you are stunned at what you come across.”
We’re in great company with Stuart McPherson, Co-Founder and Owner of ACRE Resort, 25 acres of abundant greenery, featuring elegant treehouses, organic farms, private event spaces, and an award-winning bar and restaurant, tucked in the foothills of San Jose del Cabo, Mexico.
Stuart and his fellow Canadian comrade and Co-Founder, Cameron Watt traveled to Los Cabos for a short getaway over 10 years ago and never left, falling in love with the lush land, the serene beaches, and the values of their local Mexican culture and community.
As people all around the world celebrate Mexican cultural heritage this Cinco De Mayo, Stuart passionately portrays what that cultural connection and celebration means to him, his team and his guests that now call ACRE home, time and time again.
[1:35] How two Canadian comrades, Stuart McPherson and Cameron Watt came to Los Cabos for a short getaway from their world of finance, and found themselves wanting to stay forever. And stay they did.
[10:10] There is so much more to experience about Mexican culture outside of Cinco De Mayo, as Stuart learned the importance of family, pride in hard work ethic, and commitment to his neighbors.
[16:00] Sustainability was not part of Stuart’s world prior to building ACRE Resort, but it now makes up most of it today in every aspect from furniture design to farm to table dining.
[20:30] How the devastation from Hurricane Odile back in 2014 turned out to be the best change of course for ACRE Resort to become what it is today.
[22:15] From a farm to table restaurant to fractional ownership villas and now a treehouse hotel, Stuart and his team have been busy bringing ACRE Resort to life - and the rankings and awards from Travel + Leisure, Cosmopolitan and Architectural Digest have taken notice.
[27:00] Expect to explore the grounds full of mango & citrus orchards, organic farms, an animal sanctuary with resident chickens, pigs, ducks, horses, donkeys, peacocks and even a camel.
[33:10] With a new chef at the helm collaborating with ACRE’s farmers, the farm to table concept is thriving more than ever with fresh salads, sides, sauces, and cocktail garnishments galore.
[36:40] After a trip to Oaxaca to see rural agave farms and small batch mezcal being made at its source, Stuart knew this bespoke craft was too good to be kept a secret and thus La Tierra de ACRE Mezcal was born.
[43:30] What's to come at ACRE Resort…between a potential beachfront property, a mountainside hotel expansion, and much more in store.
Art Walk San Jose del Cabo
Visit For Yourself
S2. | E8. Blue Apple Beach | Cartagena, Colombia | Enjoy Guilt Free Beach Life In The Colombian Sun At Portia Hart’s Blue Apple Beach
“The places that I remember when I’ve traveled are not necessarily the ones with the highest thread count sheets or the shiniest silver cutlery, it's the places where I feel I’ve made a connection. And one of the constant comments we get is, ‘I came here thinking that it was for me, and the thing that’s most touched me is learning about the people here.’”
We’re in great company with Portia Hart, Founder and Owner of Blue Apple Beach, a boutique hotel and beach club where like-minded locals and in-the-know visitors can enjoy guilt-free-beach-life in the Colombian sun.
What started as a place Portia created to satisfy her own tourist desires - to enjoy lazy days, vibrant music and delicious food in a beautiful setting - turned into much more. Today, this is a place for the young at heart, who want to enjoy life without causing harm to others or to the world around us.
To continue our celebration of our planet Earth this month, Portia humbly and humorously shares her story of creativity through resource sustainability and community belonging, in building her boutique hotels, beach clubs, bars and a not-for-profit foundation, all rooted in the culture of Cartagena.
[1:40] From growing up in the gray UK with Carribean blood, Portia was destined to return to an island with much more sun, while making a few eclectic pit stops along the way.
[6:00] With a love of languages and sense of adventure, Portia was keen to learn Spanish and immerse herself in her new home with the local Latin and Afro-Colombian culture.
[9:30] With a change in vision and change in heart, Portia opens up about her first impressions of sustainability and humble business development in welcoming in the Colombian culture.
[11:15] As a tourist herself, Portia explains how she kept finding business opportunities to open several other boutique hotels, beach clubs, bars and a not-for-profit foundation in Cartagena.
[14:45] From a privileged background, Portia graciously shares how she suddenly became aware of how shielded she was from the reality of what happens when you do not take care of your local community and land.
[19:30] Busy by day yet quiet at quiet night, Portia paints a picture of what makes Blue Apple Beach very laid back yet serious about serving good food and fun vibes.
[25:50] From being a “one-click purchase” business to now making everything onsite and by hand with local artisans, everything is so much more meaningful.
[32:40] “I’m not building a community, I was very fortunate to be accepted by a community.” Portia shares how diversity and inclusion in hospitality makes it a better experience for everyone.
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Doughnut Economics by Kate Raworth
Visit For Yourself
S2. | E7. Panorama Glass Lodge | Hella, Iceland | Experience Sleeping Under The Northern Lights At Sabrina Dedler’s Scandinavian Inspired Cabins
“It’s wonderful what nature’s capable of. Sometimes I can't believe that this is real, what’s happening here in the sky. This crazy dance show in the sky is just above your head. It’s really unbelievable. Everyone should see it one day.”
We’re in great company with Sabrina Dedler, Co-Founder & CEO of Panorama Glass Lodge where guests can sleep under the stars, or gaze up at the northern lights and the midnight sun, right out of the comfort of a cozy bed or hot tub, nestled in the privacy of spectacular Icelandic scenery.
When Sabrina convinced her husband Andreas to move from Switzerland to Iceland after having a dream of creating a glass house to gaze at the sky, he didn’t hesitate to do just that. After opening their first location in 2017 on secluded land, the cabins became the most popular in all of Iceland. With the comforts of a personal sauna, hot tub, hammock and cozy bed, the Dedler’s soon realized this recipe was worth repeating.
To continue our celebration of our planet Earth this month, Sabrina paints us a picture of not only the auroras, but the stunning scenery that she and her family steward, hopeful that guests can enjoy it for generations to come.
[1:30] Always an artist, whether through baking, makeup, or now architecture and interior design, Sabrina shares how she took her talents from her homeland of Switzerland to her latest adventure in Iceland.
[2:30] It was love at first sight for Sabrina, both in visiting Iceland and in meeting her now husband and Co-Founder, Andreas.
[6:00] From dream to reality, how the idea of a glass cabin came to life in secluded Iceland.
[11:30] Attention is in the details…no matter where you look in the cabins, around the natural scenery, or up at the night sky.
[14:30] To this day, seeing the Northern Lights dance across the sky sparks joy for Sabrina and all she shares them with.
[17:20] Guests can expect to fully immerse themselves in a Nordic Viking storybook world surrounded by a curation of local artisan decor.
[25:50] Sustainability is at the core of the Panorama Glass Lodge experience, from renewable energy, to locally sourced organic toiletries and cosmetics, to the trees planted on the property every summer.
[28:40] With two locations of cabins currently, and more to come very soon, guests can experience West Iceland ocean views and South Iceland mountain views with no light pollution in sight.
Visit For Yourself
S2. | E6. Tranquilo Bay | Bocas del Toro, Panama | Renee Kimball’s Eco Adventure Lodge Where Reef, Rainforest And Their Inhabitants Converge
“Our approach has always been to be a permanent part of the community in which we live. We believe this colors all the decisions we make. When you begin with a permanence mindset and you know you’re in it for the long haul, you make different decisions than if you expect to be around for a season of life.”
We’re in great company with Renee Kimball, Owner & Chief Steward of Tranquilo Bay, an Eco Adventure Lodge in Bocas Del Toro, Panama, sensitively positioned among the convergence of three ecosystems, providing a spectacular opportunity for guests to comfortably immerse themselves in one of the most biologically diverse places on earth.
Since relocating their families from Houston, TX to build what would become Tranquilo Bay back in 2000, Jim & Renee Kimball along with their friend Jay Viola, have built a team and a place in the hopes that all guests feel like family when they visit, and that each guest experience is unique with the breadth of excursions they have to offer.
To continue our celebration of our planet Earth this month, Renee sincerely expresses her passion for and commitment towards her local people and sense of place, stewarding the resources entrusted to her, so they flourish for generations to come.
[1:25] From a young age, Renee realized her fortune in being adopted into a family full of southern hospitality, which instilled in her core values such as caring for and stewarding her neighborhood, that stand true today.
[4:05] “We wanted to do something different. We weren’t exactly sure what different was going to be.”
[5:50] How a map, a small boat and a machete led to the purchase of 19 acres in 2000, now 200 acres that make up the Private Conservation Reserve today.
[10:55] From a local saying, to a physical place - the blending of cultures behind the name Tranquilo Bay.
[13:00] Renee gives a glimpse into the journey to get to “an island off of an island”, to experience all the vibration and vibrancy that the all-inclusive Eco Adventure Lodge has to offer.
[20:00] Panama is home to the fruit of the earth…bananas, coconuts, chocolate and tropical fruits galore.
[25:00] How the local town of Bocas del Toro is similar to the soup rondón, it is known for - a blend of flavors and cultures.
La Gruta Cave, Isla Colon
Nivida “Bat” Cave, Isla Bastimentos
Visit For Yourself
S2. | E5. Playa Viva | Juluchuca, Mexico | David Leventhal’s B Corp Certified Regenerative Resort On The Coast Of Mexico
“For me that word, ‘reciprocity’ is key to what it means to be a regenerative traveler. And how you move through the world can either be in reciprocity, and honoring the people you meet along the way and having an equal exchange, or it can be seen from an old paradigm of extractive.”
We’re in great company with David Leventhal, Co-Founder and Owner of Playa Viva, a unique Eco Luxury destination, “Where Your Vacation Meets Your Values.” With something for everyone, guests can expect to enjoy the rugged, unspoiled beauty of Mexico in the guilt-free luxury of an environmentally conscious resort dedicated to sustainability and regenerative practices.
Playa Viva was officially founded in 2008, honoring and stewarding the history of its land, instilling Core Principles and becoming an integral part of the community of Juluchuca, Mexico. Earlier this year, Playa Viva was recognized as the highest rated hotel to earn a B Corp Certification for their social and environmental impact.
To kick off the celebration of our planet Earth this month, David shares how hospitality can positively impact and transform you, the communities and ecosystems you visit, and how we all can play a part in making our planet better for the next generation.
[2:30] First a conservationist, then a “dualist” focusing on social impact and environmentalism, how David approaches travel with reciprocity.
[4:40] What led David to create a hospitality experience he wanted as a traveler himself, with a sense of meaningful community and a place where “vacation meets your values.”
[6:40] When the opportunity to purchase the land that would become Playa Viva presented itself, David soon learned about its rich history, with its nearby archeological site and turtle sanctuary.
[9:45] Playa Viva was founded on 5 Core Principles to the Ecosystem and Community it inhabits, which still stand strong today.
[18:10] Plan to experience a complete immersion in the local community through sharing meals, daily yoga, large communal lounging spaces, and local land and sea excursions.
[25:30] How to experience local life in Juluchuca, from artisanal coconut macaroon shops, visiting the children in local schools, the families behind the salt flats, and so much more.
[28:10] The importance of the local watershed and the sustainability efforts guests can not only witness, but play a part in when visiting Playa Viva.
[31:25] David shares more about the process of applying for a B-Corp certification and his surprise at and gratitude for being the highest rated hotel.
[37:50] How curiosity leads to education which then inspires impact.
Visit For Yourself
S2. | E4. Mo’ | Puglia, Italy | Paolo Colombo’s Timeless Trullo Architecture Creates An Ambiance In A Corner Of Puglia, Italy
“Mo’ is now. It’s a place to enjoy the time. We take this approach, this idea and we try to create an ambience with architecture, something eternal. Something where you go, you enjoy, you remain in a space, in a moment.”
We’re in great company with Paolo Colombo, Co-Founder along with his partner Carlo, of Mo’ a place for an understated luxury holiday, where light, life and well-being are abound in this new concept of travel.
Nestled in the scenic surroundings of Puglia, Italy, Mo’ is made of many traditional trulli unique to this region and surrounded by olive groves and vineyards. With a contemporary take on the timeless historical buildings, enriched with art and design, and brimming with energy and lightness, guests can enjoy boundless experiences that incorporate all their senses.
In this episode, Paolo shares how his approach to architecture with his A++ Group, goes beyond the design of the space to developing new sensory emotions and true sustainability for the wellbeing of those who inhabit it and steward its surroundings.
[1:30] Because you’ve probably been wondering… Mo’ is colloquial for “right here, right now.” Paolo shares how in a corner of Puglia, you’re able to enjoy the present with this new concept of travel.
[3:00] From growing up aspiring to be an architect to founding his own company, A++ where architecture is the foundation for real estate, technology, sustainability and of course hospitality.
[5:30] Paolo explains how a sustainable approach to architecture inspires his team to create a place, a setting with an ambience for optimal human condition.
[14:30] There is so much to experience at Mo’ to truly capture all of your senses, from facilitators leading personal training sessions, yoga lessons, massages, gourmet dinners and tastings, to the paddle court, playground, outdoor cinema, relaxing pool and rows of gardens and olive groves to explore.
[26:20] More to come from Mo’...from modernized trullos (traditional Apulian dry stone huts with conical roofs), more communal event spaces, and a renovated masseria (fortified farmhouse) downtown.
[32:00] Paolo explains how Mo’ is situated in a village, Valle d'Itria, that is the ideal destination for slow travelers wanting to explore places where time stands still.
[40:40] If you were to Dine In Good Company with Paolo, he would introduce you to Puglia’s world of wine and best kept secret…gin.
Visit For Yourself
S2. | E3. Post House Inn | Mount Pleasant, South Carolina | How Kate & Ben Towill Recreated “Village Charm” At Their Coastal Restaurant And Inn
“You are basically in someone’s house and you just feel like this is so fun. You know everyone’s name by the time you leave and everyone knows you. And it’s a really personal experience.”
We’re in great company with Kate & Ben Towill, Founders and Owners of Post House, a home away from home for staycationers and travelers alike in the heart of the Old Village of Mount Pleasant, SC.
With a longstanding history as the neighborhood hub dating back to 1896, some hundred years and many iterations later, Kate and Ben have reimagined Post House to now present a contemporary take on the local landmark, bringing people together, in celebration, over good food, drink, and company.
In this episode Kate and Ben share how their past careers and collaborative projects brought them into the world of hospitality, and just how much they enjoy raising their family and staying true to their community through their continued creativity.
[1:20] A set designer walks into a trending NYC restaurant and meets the English chef and owner….the rest is history.
[4:15] A theatrical approach to how Kate & Ben design their spaces, inspire their teams and commit to a culture of continuous improvement and enjoyment.
[10:00] The story of how a cross country bike trip led to the beginning of Basic Projects, their design and development company, with a mission of breathing new life into old buildings.
[16:15] In creating a house filled with love and bringing their children along on their journey, Ben & Kate are teaching their children “If you can dream it, you can do it.”
[18:30] How opening a restaurant and inn at the start of the pandemic was a blessing in disguise in being there for the local community.
[32:00] Experience a taste of waterfront “Village Life” during your stay with sailing, fly fishing, bicycle rides, packed picnic lunches, boutique shops, soda fountains and ice cream galore!
Visit For Yourself
S2. | E2. The Rose Hotel | Tralee, Ireland | Richard & Eibhlin Henggeler’s Elegant Hotel Honoring Their Family’s Irish Heritage And Daughter’s Genuine Legacy
“We feel it's no coincidence that hotel came up for sale. We were determined to decorate it, to renovate it, in a way that reflects the spirit of Dorthy and the elegance of the Festival.”
We’re in great company with Richard & Eibhlin Henggeler, owners of The Rose Hotel, in Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland. Now, before they took on this hotel as a labor of love, I must share my personal connection with and admiration for the Henggeler family.
Eibhlin, who to me will always be Mrs. Henggeler, was one of my favorite elementary school teachers growing up outside of Baltimore, MD. We held a special bond, that of an Irish Celtic Knot one could say, because as my younger sisters and I traveled the country and soon the world, competing in and performing Irish Dance, Mrs. Henggeler was always the one to approve of our absent papers and to be there every year without fail, watching us dance in the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, while her daughter Dott proudly represented The Rose of Tralee.
Now many years have gone by and while the Henggeler’s have faced many hardships, their love for their Irish heritage and the relationships like ours, that have blossomed as a result, are stronger than ever.
For this episode, I’d like to honor Dorthy’s spirit with an Irish Blessing, "May the Irish hills caress you. May her lakes and rivers bless you. May the luck of the Irish enfold you. May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you."
[2:20] From pen pals to a proposal, Dick shares how he fell in love with Eibhlin, her family, and her home in Ireland.
[6:45] Eibhlin explains how over time she’s honored her Irish heritage by staying closely tied to family, football and of course, Irish dancing.
[8:30] What about The Rose of Tralee International Festival changed the Henggeler family’s lives and inspired their legacy.
[14:45] When The Fels Point Hotel went up for sale, Dick and Eibhlin were determined to restore it in a way that reflected the spirit of their Dorthy and the elegance of the Festival.
[24:00] Wanting to create a true family atmosphere, Dick thought it would be a good idea to bring the tradition of an American Thanksgiving to a hotel in Ireland and what resulted was…
[33:45] Whether you enjoy a spa day while sipping on afternoon tea or watching a football match cozied up to Dott’s Bar, everyone is welcome!
[40:40] Eibhlin shares what she believes Dott would be most proud of in seeing The Rose Hotel and all that it embodies today.
[45:05] What it's like to walk down the cobblestone streets of Tralee, listening to traditional Irish music and meeting the Irish people.
[57:10] The meaning of St. Patrick's Day as an immigrant, celebrating the culture of a small little island with people around the world.
- The Rose of Tralee International Festival
- The Coast of Ballyheigue, Ballybunion, Fenit
- Denny Street
- Seán Óg’s Traditional Irish Bar
- Siamsa Tíre, The National Folk Theatre of Ireland
- Blennerville Windmill
Visit For Yourself
S2. E1. Fattoria Lavacchio | Chianti, Italy | Faye Lottero’s Feminine Touch On Her Organic Lifestyle Agriturismo Full Of Tuscan Wine And Hospitality
“Because I’m curious, I taste a lot of wines. Because I don’t come from a wine making family, I created my own taste by tasting and discovery. I don’t have any limits.”
We’re in great company with Faye Lottero, owner of her family estate, Fattoria Lavacchio, a place full of history between centuries-old vines, olive trees and Tuscan Dolce Vita.
Originally built in 1700, the Lottero family made the estate their home in 1978 and after enjoying her childhood here, Faye returned in 1999 to lead the way for the biodynamic agriturismo that it is today, known for its excellence in wine, olive oil and “Organic Lifestyle.”
In this episode and in celebration of International Women’s Day, Faye shares about the importance of relationships - from her love of her family to her service in the community, from her care for the land to the curiosity of her mind, from a respect for tradition to a vision for innovation.
[1:30] From pursuing a career in law to returning home to the family farm, what inspired Faye to welcome guests onto their land and learn with them along the way.
[6:30] While agricultural tasks are often stereotyped as jobs for men, Faye enjoys her days out in the vineyards with many other women on her team.
[8:20] Being given the freedom to pursue her own dreams, Faye is inspired to raise her children with that same mindset.
[15:50] How the symbol of a Cedar Tree, representing the longevity of a dynasty for noble Italian families, now stands for the past, present and future stewardship of Fattoria Lavacchio.
[26:30] Whether guests pick out a picnic spread in the bottega, sit down to a multi course dinner and wine pairing, or take part in a cooking class, expect to experience “Tuscany on a plate.”
[29:15] In collaboration with other local ladies, master distiller Priscilla Occhipinti and botanist Mara Fiesolani, Faye created a vermouth made of botanicals from her biodynamic fields aptly named Bouquet.
[31:30] How truffle hunting with her dog taught Faye to truly appreciate the constant change in nature and the importance of biodynamic farming in recreating life in our land.
[35:45] How creativity, curiosity and no experience led Faye to create the first DOCG Chianti wine without sulfites.
[45:00] Faye explains how collaboration over competition is key to the growth of the entire community.
[58:40] “In Italy you live to eat” and this is why most of the traditions for the Lottero family happen around the table.
- Cafe Capriccio Tuscan Culinary Tours
- Castello del Trebbio
- Women in Wine at Agricola Foradori & Agricola Occhipinti
Visit For Yourself
Ep. 15 Kanalhuset | Copenhagen, Denmark | Lennart Lajboschitz’s Local Community Focused Boutique Hotel In The Historic Christianshavn
“We tried to make the hotel for the local people, for the tourists that come, for the businesses that can think outside of the box, for those that come because of activities and also for celebrations.”
We’re in great company with Lennart Lajboschitz, Founder and Owner of Kanalhuset, a boutique hotel nestled amongst the many heritage protected buildings and cobblestone streets along the Christianshavn Canal in the heart of Copenhagen, Denmark.
For years, Lennart has played an instrumental role in fostering social interaction between locals and tourists alike in Copenhagen, with experience in creating Absalon, a community space in the Vesterbro neighborhood, and Hotel Hornbækhus, in the more quiet part of northern Zealand. Kanalhuset is no exception as its communal dining and variety of activities build a connection between local patrons and foreign guests alike.
In this episode, Lennart passionately shares how his family inspires his lifelong values and daily business decisions, and how even in the happiest place on earth, never being satisfied leads to a world of curiosity and creativity.
[1:20] From humble beginnings selling broken umbrellas at flea markets to a successful exit of his global retail chain, Flying Tiger, Lennart shares how his family inspires his business decisions every step of the way.
[8:00] “How do we take the hotel out of the hotel?”
[17:30] Lennart explains the responsibility he feels in actualizing the values he believes in to make the world a better place.
[21:15] Expect to hang out with local people and enjoy a communal dinner. Even join in the running club, yoga club, or knitting club to experience the local culture!
[23:50] Picture this…a historical building with nostalgic style, bright artwork and modern Scandinavian design.
[29:00] The first signs of spring lead into warmer summer days and long summer nights to enjoy in the gardens and along the canals.
[36:30] How “trying to stay frustrated all the time” inspires Lennart and his team to constantly innovate and dream up new concepts such as…
- Flying Tiger
- EEN Kobenhavn
- Smørrebrød, a traditional Danish open-faced sandwich
- The Little Mermaid Sculpture
- Amalienborg Palace, home of the Danish Royal Family
- The Meatpacking District
- Freetown Christiania
- Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
- Glyptotek Art Museum
- Tivoli Gardens
- Ett Hem, Stockholm, Sweden
Visit For Yourself
Ep. 14 Walden Retreats | Johnson City, Texas | Blake Smith’s Luxury Camping Redefining The Outdoor Experience In The Heart Of Texas Hill Country
“The landscape looks a lot like many of the places we lived and traveled in East Africa, and so it seemed like a natural fit to take inspiration from places we’d gone to and try to create something similar here because it looked the part.”
We’re in great company with Blake Smith, Founder and CEO of Walden Retreats, where he has the great privilege of creating an escape into nature in the heart of Texas Hill Country that brings guests a renewed sense of place and self.
Since 2016, Walden Retreats has provided guests the ultimate comfort of a luxury hotel in safari style canvas tents amidst the adventures of the outdoors. Located just west of Austin and north of San Antonio, there is much to do and to discover on 96 private acres along the Pedernales River.
In this episode, Blake sheds light on his business development journey, his passion as a result of his upbringing and international experiences, and the community surrounding the retreat he is creating back home.
[1:20] How time oversees in East Africa working for a non-profit inspired Blake to bring that sense of safari adventure, campsite lodging and kind hospitality back home to the Texas.
[8:00] With no roadmap, Blake faced too many challenges to count in educating investors, council members, contractors, and finally potential guests on the new frontier he was creating.
[11:35] “We live in a high pressure world full of activity that we often don’t take the time to sit down and think.”
[15:10] What started as a concept in business school, proved the perfect market opportunity and provided the necessary professional framework, to bring the idea that would become Walden Retreats to life.
[19:00] From a drive down a long dirt road, the scene is set with a mood of mystery upon entering the secluded property.
[22:22] How Blake’s wife Sarah brought the design of the spaces to life from the rich cultural pieces inspired by her time living in Indonesia to a more modern and refined approach to the accommodations.
[28:15] Whether you want to catch an old country concert, two step the night away, find an antique treasure, or enjoy a crisp glass of wine, the hillside towns around Walden Retreats welcome visitors to explore.
[32:55] What inspired Matthew McConaughey to partner with Blake and his team in creating the Longbranch Ranch and all the “unexpected” experiences yet to come!
[35:30] Blake spills the tea and sets the table for their upcoming supper clubs in collaboration with local Austin chefs and much more on the horizon.
[49:00] “I went for a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees.” - Henry David Thoreau
- Casper Mattress
- Public Goods
- Field Company Cast Iron
- Lukenbach Dance Hall
- Fredericksburg, TX
- Altstadt Brewery
- William Chris Vineyards
- Enchanted Rock, TX
- Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey
- Longbranch Bourbon
- Longbranch Ranch Experiences
- Sway Thai Restaurant
Visit For Yourself
Ep. 13 Matetsi Victoria Falls | Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe | Experience Sara Gardiner’s Conservation And Community Focused Safari And Retreat
“For me it wasn’t falling in love, it was growing up in love with these beautiful parts of the world and the wildlife experiences.”
We’re in great company with Sara Gardiner, Co-Founder of Matetsi Victoria Falls where she, along with her family and team, offer the ideal combination of safari, river and relaxation, all wrapped up in warm genuine Zimbabwean hospitality.
Matetsi Victoria Falls is the embodiment of the Gardiner family’s dream to marry their passion for conservation and luxury hospitality, in order to sustainably protect one of the most beautiful landscapes in their home country of Zimbabwe, the 136,000-acre wilderness area that is Matetsi Private Game Reserve.
In this episode, Sara shares why she counts her blessings every day that this dream has become a reality, and how through it she is able to conserve vast areas of pristine wilderness and create opportunities for her local Zimbabwean community.
[1:20] A special childhood growing up in the Zimbabwean bush inspires Sara’s passions today to protect her community, landscape and wildlife.
[5:00] How Sara finds purpose in her name, meaning “I remain,” especially having returned home after many years traveling abroad.
[6:00] As a family, the Gardiners share a commitment across generations to give back to Zimbabwe all that it has given them.
[10:00] What started as hosting friends and family for long Sunday lunches to now, the hospitality of welcoming guests from all corners of the world to Matetsi Falls, as if it were their own home.
[11:20] Matetsi Falls is a quite large, “pocket of paradise” situated on 136,000 acres of preservation along the Zambezi River and only a short drive down the road from one of the Seven Natural Wonders of The World.
[15:00] Guests can expect to share their surroundings with seasonal birds, roaming warthogs and bush bucks, elephants looming over the trees and hippos popping up in the river.
[17:20] The reclaimed and repurposed roots of the luxury safari lodge are paired with artisanal pottery, fabrics and furniture from the craft of the local community.
[19:30] How Sara is taking a personal stance with her family’s passion project, to change the narrative on Zimbabwe.
[21:40] “People come to Africa for the wildlife, and they come back for the people.”
[22:50] From sunrise safaris to sunset boat cruises, meditative canoe rides to walking safaris immersed in the landscape, night drives to see nocturnal species to bush dinners celebrating local dishes.
[29:40] With a positive human presence, the team at Matetsi Falls learned that if you give Mother Nature time and space to heal, she will come back to life.
[36:15] What to look forward to out of Matetsi Victoria Falls from continued conservation efforts, new employment opportunities for local Zimbabweans, and the development of a new lodge with a fresh perspective.
- Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
- Greenline Africa Trust
- The Jafuta Foundation
- Mummy’s Angels
- The Honde Valley, Zimbabwe
Visit For Yourself
Ep. 12 The Joshua Tree House | Joshua Tree, CA & Tucson, AZ | Sara & Rich Combs’ Field Guide To Desert Living
“It’s built off of that design for ordinary experience where it’s all about the simple moments getting people to slow down a little bit. Look out and see the sun set, see the sun rise, see the moon rise. That was something we never really noticed before living in the desert.”
We’re in great company with Sara and Rich Combs, Co-Founders and Owners of The Joshua Tree House, where they create spaces designed and immersed in awe inspiring natural locations such as Joshua Tree, CA and Tucson, AZ.
After leaving their full time jobs to pursue freelance design in 2013, Sarah and Rich set off on a road trip from San Francisco to New York that changed their lives. Realizing throughout their travels that they had to sacrifice either design or nature in their accommodations, they set out in 2015 to create spaces that celebrate both.
In this episode, Sara and Rich passionately share how the difficulties of the past couple of years in this world have created an even greater need for nature’s power to heal, and how they feel so grateful to be able to offer that time and space to reflect and reset for guests.
[1:25] From high school sweethearts to making the desert their home, how Sara and Rich met and the welcome addition they’ve recently brought into their lives today.
[3:30] A desire for a change of scenery from their computer screens turned a cross country road trip into “a creative retreat from the city.”
[7:20] Unbeknownst to them as 3rd generation innkeepers, the Combs family has hospitality in their blood.
[9:10] The intention behind Flora’s name and what Sara and Rich hope for in raising their daughter surrounded by nature.
[10:55] With each of their three properties, Sara and Rich built up their confidence in renovations along the way.
[16:40] In designing and decorating JTH spaces, Sara and Rich strive to blur the indoor and outdoor together so the landscape becomes the focus.
[21:40] From the towels and mugs to the scent and music, how highlighting the artisans in their local community gave them a support system they never could have expected.
[27:40] “We believe the more you’re out in nature, the more you’ll want to take care of it.”
[34:35] Looking to complete their road trip, Sara and Rich have their eyes set on Marfa, Texas as the next JTH home.
[36:20] The best JTH experience is one with no plans and here’s why.
- 1% of profits go towards the Mojave Desert Land Trust and Friends of the Sonoran Desert
- Joshua Tree National Park hikes: North View, Hidden Valley, Barker Dam
- Joshua Tree restaurants: La Copine, The Copper Room, The Red Dog, Kitchen in the Desert, Pappy + Harriet’s, Luna’s Sourdough Bread
- Saguaro National Park hikes: Hugh Norris, Kings Canyon, Valley View
- Tucson restaurants: 5 Points, Penca, Coronet, Seis Kitchen
- The Desert Museum
Visit For Yourself
Ep. 11 Tops’l Farm | Waldoboro, Maine | Sarah Pike’s Seasonal Food And Lodging Experiences Where Forest, Farm And Coast Converge
“Tops’l really is an expression of mine, and I am learning how to share my love of making charcuterie and bringing this property to life while being really honest and transparent that it’s a lot.”
We’re in good company with Sarah Pike, owner of Tops’l Farm nestled on 83 acres in Midcoast Maine, where she, along with her crew, provides seasonal food and lodging experiences in a way that allows folks a deeper connection to themselves, their loved ones and nature.
Having grown up on a farmstead in Maine, it took Sarah many years to return home and find what would become Tops’l Farm, which today hosts a sprawling campground of chic cabins and stocked camp store, a quintessential cottage and renovated farmhouse, an intimate event barn and riverside yurt for entertaining, and a variety of gardens and furry farm friends around every corner.
In this episode, Sarah shares with us what “Main Life Simplified” means to her and how she hopes guests will follow their curiosity in reconnecting to nature one starry night, one blueberry at a time.
[1:22] From the time her parents “ruined her life” by moving to Maine to build a family homestead, Sarah quickly learned what life looked like building towards a dream.
[8:05] How a weekend back at home picking apples with her family gave Sarah a desire to create that experience more often.
[10:45] What about Tops’l Farm’s piece of land “where farm, field and forest converge,” showcases the best of Maine.
[12:40] As working parents with no prior experience, Sarah and her husband went for it and learned a lot along the way.
[16:22] How Tops’l Farm was created to share the ease of spending time in nature, allowing guests to arrive as they are.
[18:33] The sailing heritage behind the name Tops’l Farm, and no, it is not short for “top soil.”
[23:45] From sitting around a fire, to taking a nap in a hammock, to reading a book next to the sheep, what guests can expect to experience amongst 83 acres of activities.
[27:10] Exploring Midcoast Maine from its white sandy beaches and oyster farms to its inland hiking trails and vineyards.
[33:30] It’s those little moments in between that allow for a magical connection to this place and these people.
[37:25] Expect “joyful event planning” whether for weddings, family reunions or retreats at Tops’l Farm.
[39:00] What an intentional pause means for Sarah in her own life, and how she creates a space for other women to experience that as well each season.
[43:40] How an entire life spent gathering people around the table led to seasonal culinary experiences pairing the best of Maine’s cuisine.
[54:30] Sarah and her husband are ready to get their hands dirty in the garden and their apple orchards, bringing cider into their ecosystem.
- Pemaquid Beach Park, New Harbor, ME
- Do Pause | You are not a To Do list. by Robert Poynton
- Forest Hut, Wengen Switzerland
- Morse’s Sauerkraut, Waldoboro, ME
- How to Live a Good Life by Jonathan Fields
Visit For Yourself
Ep. 10 Chateau Herálec | Herálec, Czech Republic | The Kasperová’s Romantic And Storied Castle Overlooking The Czech Highlands
“I realized it was better to work for yourself than for somebody else. And especially, we’re building something that hopefully will last for many generations to come.”
We’re in great company with Karolína Kasperová, Head of Marketing at her family’s boutique hotel, or should we say romantic and storied castle, Chateau Herálec, overlooking the stunning Czech Highlands.
As a multi-generational entrepreneurial family with numerous successful business ventures across different industries, The Kaspers found their first hospitality project in renovating a 4 century old devastated chateau into a stunning, award-winning boutique hotel. Now with 19 artistically crafted rooms, wandering gardens, and a gastronomic restaurant and luxury spa to complete the stay, the warm familial atmosphere is palpable throughout the property and the people.
In this episode, Karolína shares what it is like to be raised by and to work alongside family, the shared values that drive them all forward, and the bright future for this world of hospitality they’ve created in their quiet countryside Vysočina community.
[2:30] “Work hard but stay humble.” What it's like being raised by two entrepreneurial parents alongside 3 close siblings while building numerous family businesses.
[5:15] From winning an auction on a rundown castle, to transforming it into their next business adventure, a boutique hotel.
[9:20] Beyond being known around the hotel as “The Castle Lady,” how Karolína’s mom nurtured a family and tended to their guests at the same time.
[12:55] Karolína opens up about her learning disabilities that made her academic path unclear until she found her place and purpose in hospitality.
[18:30] As the family grows, adding future generations, how her generation is inspired to grow the business to support these “extra mouths to feed.”
[20:28] How artifacts found during the beginnings of the renovation process in 2004, proved the castle had been around since the 13th century.
[28:20] With the symbol of a rose, Chateau Herálec pays homage to the history of the castle while showing guests the dynamic yet relaxing experience in modern day.
[30:53] How a personal love for the natural skincare brand in L’Occitane, turned into a luxurious Spa partnership.
[34:15] Ever wanted to play real life Clue in a castle? Chateau Herálec hosts a “Murder Mystery on a Weekend” stay and experience.
[37:22] A locally led restaurant inspires seasonal dishes and ensures surrounding suppliers are well supported.
[41:45] Spring and fall bring some of the best ingredients right from the castle’s backyard…from edible flowers and herbs to chestnuts, mushrooms and potatoes.
[43:24] What to look forward to from the next generation of Kasperová’s contributions to Chateau Hreálec.
Visit For Yourself
Ep. 9 The Bull Inn | Totnes, England | Geetie Singh-Watson’s Organic And Ethical Pub And Hotel
“So there was lots of working around these nooks and crannies, and I love a nook and cranny. There’s nothing better than a wobbly corner that’s been there forever and you’ve just embraced it to make it a piece of art in the corner of a building.”
We’re in great company with Geetie Singh-Watson, founder and owner of The Bull Inn, nestled in the English riverfront town of Totnes, where she brings her storied experience in organic cuisine and living to her eclectic, radical and ethical pub and hotel.
From growing up in a socially and environmentally conscious commune, to working in a deceiving hospitality industry, Geetie was inspired to open the first certified organic pub in the world, in London. After falling in love with a farmer and moving to the countryside town of Totnes, Geetie set her sights on renovating and restoring The Bull Inn. Come 2019, she opened its doors to nine beautiful rooms, a self catered, four-bed apartment across the road and a truly supplier led, organic restaurant.
In this episode, Geetie shares with the perfect blend of humility and passion, how her business follows the planet, people, profit ethos, governing what her team buys, how they trade, and how they work as a collective to deliver on this promise.
[1:25] How growing up in a commune gave Geetie a sense of fight and passion for the countryside.
[3:45] From introducing the First Organic Pub to the world back in 1998…
[7:50] To bearing witness to “Food Citizens'' demand for how society is now built around food…organic, seasonal, values driven, fair trade.
[11:42] After many years introducing London to a warmer style of hospitality and a better way of eating, a farmer draws Geetie back to the countryside of Devon.
[13:43] Never wanting to be wasteful, what it was about the rundown Bull Inn that excited Geetie of its potential.
[17:28] Geetie is stubborn like a bull when it comes to preserving the history of the name and the character of the building.
[20:49] “In order for people to create a self belief that they can live a really ecologically balanced lifestyle, they have to experience the pleasure you can get out of it.”
[23:02] Whether you come into the pub in your muddy boots or sit at the bar in your high heeled shoes, everyone’s welcome.
[24:55] What makes the “No Bull Rules” to work, to dine and to trade by so noble while ensuring there’s no bull sh*t.
[33:50] The creativity it takes to prove even historical buildings can be rebuilt to live sustainably.
[37:00] How Geetie and her husband have built The Baddaford Collective, a community of chefs and growers around Totnes.
[41:20] The intentional gathering space for community change makers and craftsmen and women created in the Albatross.
[59:10] A few final words about the pleasure behind the hospitality that makes The Bull Inn what it is today and what fuels Geetie to continue to create spaces and conversations like this.
Visit For Yourself
Ep. 8 Il Ghiottone Umbro | Todi, Italy | Thomas & Lisbeth Tviis Hansen’s Danish Design To Their Italian Home And Kitchen
“It’s more about seeing a different way of eating, cooking, experiencing life. Experiencing Italy. When we go to visit a local farmer who makes cheese, wine, olive oil, that you can see that you can live in a different way.”
We’re in great company with Thomas Tviis Hansen, of Danish origins, whose love for Italian food, wine and hospitality led him and his wife Lisbeth to create Il Ghiottone Umbro nestled in the medieval Umbrian hilltop town of Todi.
Having previously owned and operated an Italian restaurant and enoteca in Copenhagen for over a decade, Thomas and Lisbeth were ready for a new adventure come 2010. One that brought them closer to the roots of this fantastic “cucina” that had filled their lives with joy for so many years.
In this episode, Thomas shares how together they renovated an old stone building into a light and airy home where they welcome guests to experience the simplicity, honesty and fantastic taste of the Italian Kitchen.
[1:34] From owning an Italian inspired restaurant in Copenhagen to venturing to the source, what inspired Thomas and his wife Lisbeth to move to Italy.
[7:00] Considered “Tuscany’s little sister”, the undeveloped and real nature of Umbria as a culinary destination.
[7:45] Missing the culinary scene in Denmark, Thomas crafts non-traditional Italian dishes that even his neighbors can’t resist.
[11:45] The humor behind the name “The Umbrian Glutton” and its different meanings in English, Danish and Italian.
[13:30] Thomas and Lisbeth’s Danish minimalist design shines bright in contrast to their home’s historical stone building.
[15:30] The beauty in Il Ghiottone Umbro being on the cusp of countryside and the corner of town.
[17:15] “I’m allergic to hotel buffets.” What to expect from Thomas’s breakfast menu that changes daily.
[19:15] How a Cooking Stay introduces guests to a different way of eating, cooking, experiencing local produce and pasture to live in a different way.
[23:18] Thomas and Lisbeth’s Kitchen Notes are a bundle of Italian seasonal recipes…with a twist.
[26:26] What to expect from the seasonal harvest in the Umbrian countryside.
[28:26] Todi is a beautiful hilltop town that truly feels alive with locals living their daily lives.
[37:30] What a different perspective a small and slow stay can give to your travels, like Thomas & Lisbeth’s recent trip to Venice.
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Ep. 7 Constellation Creek | Sierraville, California | Georgie Bisval’s Creekside Cabins Under The Stars
“It’s a huge campfire. I can’t tell you how many laughs and memories and friendships have been forged around that fire. It’s where people gather, we all look at the stars. The sky is the best sky I’ve ever seen in my life.”
We’re in great company with Georgie Bisval, Co-Founder and Owner of Constellation Creek, a magical place for people to switch off, gather, create and reconnect with nature and life’s simple pleasures in the quiet corners of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Back in 2019, Georgie and her husband, Sebastian stumbled across six acres of stunning forestland, creekside cabins and star-filled sky views in need of stewarding. Since then, they’ve poured intention, love and care into their outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, creating a tranquil base to disconnect from the chatter of everyday life, relax and rebalance.
In this episode, Georgie shares about her family’s pursuit and purpose behind Constellation Creek, the cozy and eclectic touches that make a stay in the modern cabins memorable, nature’s playground where kids and pets roam free, and the starry skies and soothing sound of the babbling creek included in every reservation.
[1:22] From growing up in Scotland and England, to traveling the world with a career in journalism, to pursuing a dream to own a place where creatives, art lovers and musicians could gather.
[7:33] As two entrepreneurial spirits with different strengths, Georgie and Sebastian are the perfect pair to own their own family business.
[8:50] Why nature is the best gift to give a child.
[10:38] Don’t expect WiFi when you visit Constellation Creek and there’s a reason why.
[16:40] Upon first view of a winding creek, a 10 year search for a property finally came to an end.
[21:10] What to expect when you stay at Constellation Creek, from the comforts of home to the nostalgia of record players.
[24:06] A glimpse at the natural beauty of gathering around a fire, watching for shooting stars, and the adventures to be had around the creek.
[27:00] “Look up” at the sky and at one another.
[30:12] The seasonal changes bring out the best that Mother Nature has to offer. From bird watching to swimming in lakes, the changing of the leaves to powder days full of winter sports.
[37:55] The mountain town of Truckee is the perfect pit stop on the way to Constellation Creek.
[40:07] How Georgie and Sebastian plan to broaden their dream and open their doors to disadvantaged children.
- Webber Falls
- Lakes Basin
- Truckee Food Stop
- Moody’s Bistro Bar & Beats
- New Moon Natural Foods
- The Drifter’s Table
- Sierra Hot Springs
Visit For Yourself
Ep. 6 La Tavola Marche | Le Marche, Italy | Ashley Bartner’s Little Slice Of Paradise Down A Long Dirt Road
“It’s so easy to get caught up with keeping up with The Joneses, that when we got to rural Italy, it was your garden that was important. Who cares what you’re making, what are you growing? It was just a different emphasis on what was important.”
We’re in great company with Ashley Bartner, Co-Founder and Co-Owner of La Tavola Marche, where she and her husband Jason, invite you to “discover Italy at its roots…if you’re willing to muddy your feet that is.”
Back in 2007, Ashley and Jason left the hustle and bustle of NYC in search for a slower way of life, finding themselves as American expats in the Marche countryside of Italy. Here, they’ve created La Tavola Marche, a unique culinary experience where guests actively participate in Italian culture through seasonal activities paired with local artisans, farmers, and wine makers while staying in a 500 year-old farmhouse agriturismo.
In this episode, Ashley shares what led them to curate these experiences - searching for the best seasonal local ingredients, hands-on cooking classes, and the conviviality of the table - connecting with their guests and local community through food, culture, and land.
[5:28] “Oprah says live your wildest dreams, and so I think we should move to Italy.”
[11:36] How being a young foreign couple full of curiosity in a small Italian town led the locals to take Ashley and Jason under their wing.
[20:25] “Walk away.” Having to give up on one house seems meant to be in hindsight having come across their current home.
[28:15] The significance behind “La Tavola Marche” in celebrating everything that happens around the table. Even if it is not in perfect Italian.
[32:15] “You’re coming to get your hands dirty and muddy your feet,” from picking vegetables in the garden to learning whole hog butchery if your appetite allows.
[42:15] A peak at what’s on the menu at La Tavola Marche and how it varies season to season.
[47:30] Gardening tips and tricks begins with…bigger is not always better.
[49:37] There’s no such thing as the “Slow Food Movement” when you live on an Agriturismo in the countryside of Italy.
[1:00:45] Where to venture out in search for the best views, seafood, gelato, and of course wine.
[1:06:45] Expect to find some more animals in residence at La Tavola Marche in their next chapter.
- Ristorante Bar Martinelli in Apecchio
- La Rustita in Fano
- Trattoria Bar Nadia in Fano
- Gelateria Makì in Fano
- Cantina Terracruda in Fratta Rosa
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Ep. 5 Nos Maisons Parisiennes | Paris, France | Delphine Prigent’s Charming Hotels In The City Of Love
“We want to put an accent on conviviality because we want to have a nice atmosphere in our hotels. It’s like your home can be beautifully furnished, beautifully designed, but if there is no soul, you don’t feel comfortable.”
We’re in great company with Delphine Prigent of Nos Maisons Parisiennes, where she and her parents welcome guests into their three “Parisian homes,” in the heart of Paris, France. Here they showcase and share the character and modern hospitality of their city that they love so much.
What began in 1991 when Isabelle and Hervé Prigent purchased their first boutique hotel, turned into a lifelong passion for the French “art de vivre” or “art of living” with their collection now including the Hotel de Londres Eiffel, Signature Saint-Germain-des-Prés, and most recently Le Petit Chomel.
In this episode, Delphine shares why after worldly travels, she was drawn back to Paris to join her parent’s business, share in their familiar hospitality, bring soul to their spaces, and build a team that welcomes guests as if they were good friends.
[3:50] How several years of life abroad, traveling to iconic cities and pursuing a career in fashion, gave Delphine a dynamic viewpoint of the world while appreciating the charm of her home in Paris.
[6:05] Even before buying their first hotel, Delphine’s family heritage was rooted in hospitality and baking, honoring French culture across generations.
[7:47] A glimpse into what makes each Parisian home unique. From their neighborhood streets, balcony views, rich architectural history, and local culture and community.
[11:20] Creating an atmosphere of conviviality and discreet luxury through the design and service or their boutique hotels.
[17:20] A unique experience shows how the Prigent family goes out of their way to show their guests their local views of Paris.
[19:54] Every team member is considered an extension of the family. And every Christmas, they are celebrated and treated as guests.
[22:38] Local delights amongst the tourist areas to dine and shop like a local.
[27:56] As one of the few family owned hotels in Paris, the Prigent’s pride themselves on offering the most local and genuine hospitality.
[33:25] Why Delphine is grateful to have learned loyalty and respect from her parents.
[35:16] Looking beyond Paris, the Prigent’s plan to open their family home in Normandy for guests to experience the French coast and countryside.
[40:06] Delphine shares some of her favorite guest stories and friendships she’s fostered along the way.
- Le Royal Brasserie on Rue de Grenelle
- Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche Department Store
- Luxembourg Gardens
- Rodin Museum Garden, L’Augustine Café
- Café Varenne
Visit For Yourself
- Londres Eiffel Website
- Signature Saint Germain Website
- Le Petit Chomel Website