OFFICIAL FERR ARI DEALER
Ferrari of Austin Sporty, elegant, versatile: that’s the Ferrari California. Since the 1950’s, in fact, this particular model has been the Prancing Horse’s finest embodiment of all three characteristics. Now, however, the new California T adds a radical innovation to that honourable tradition whilst still retaining the model’s highly renowned versatility. The T in its moniker refers, of course, to the development of a new 8-cylinder turbo engine that combines reduced emissions and fuel consumption with exeptional performance underscored by blistering pick-up due to zero turbo lag and a torque curve that adapts to suit each gear change. Equally, the retractable hard top transforms the California T from a chic coupé into a sleekly sophisticated spider in a mere 14 seconds. A refined semi-aniline leather-trimmed cabin also offers the modualr spaces of the signature 2+2 configuration and underscores the car’s extraordinary versatility. Ferrari of Austin invites you to discover the mystic of the Prancing Horse.
For more information, contact your authorized Ferrari dealer: Ferrari of Austin 4108 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78756 Telephone: +512.380.0231 www.ferrariofaustin.net ©2014 Ferrari North America, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Packages start at $149. Gift Cards Available. Longhorn Racing Academy is conveniently located at Harris Hill Road Raceway just off of I-35. approximately 25 minutes south of Austin and 45 minutes north of San Antonio.
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NEW HOMES FROM THE $200s - $700s SANTARITARANCHAUSTIN.COM | RONALD REAGAN @ HWY 29 | 512.201.8507
C A S T L E R O C K · D AV I D W E E K L E Y · G R A N D H AV E N · H I G H L A N D H O M E S · R Y L A N D H O M E S · S C O T T F E L D E R H O M E S · W I L S H I R E H O M E S
Matt Fajkus Architecture 900 East 6th Street Suite 100 Austin, Texas 78702 _ 512.432.5137 _ www.mfarchitecture.com
contents FEATURES appunti
Mack, Jack & McConaughey: Uniting the Austin Community for the Children
See You in London!
Welcome to Paradise: Nassauâ€™s Beach House Villas
Beauty 411: Get Ready for Spring 2015
Meet Me in Cartagena: A Junction for Color, History and Luxury
The Jamaica Bucket List
Photo provided by Hotel Saint Cecilia, Austin.
Fun for Foodies
42 46 48 50 52 54
Guest Editor: Joah Spearman
British Invasion A Cup of Love Hit the Beach! Calm After the Storm All in the Details
New and Electric
Interview with a Concierge
62 24 VETTAMAGAZINE.COM
The Ultimate Staycation
Passport to Style
80 TRENDS: Spring in Your Step 84 Resort to Style 96 TRENDS: Lovers in Japan 98 Brasilia 106 TRENDS:Tropical Heat 108 The Coolest of Blues 122 124 126
When in Toronto
A Curated Touch of Life Eastern Adventure & Tranquility
Two Tickets to Paradise Be Here Now
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KIDDY TRAVEL From personalized luggage to handy travel tips, bring your little ones along and share the joy of travel with a new generation… that also flies in style.
STAFF Publisher Managing Editor Art Director Director of Business Development Web & Social Media Director Assistant to the Publisher
Coral Talavera Andrés Mattei Alana Ortiz Lisa Chappell Miller June Leal Carolina Rios
EDITORIAL Editor-In-Chief Assistant Editor Lifestyle & Features Editor Fashion Director Events & Lifestyle Photographer Contributors
Coral Talavera Paige Tyrrell Olga María Czarkowski Tania Quintanilla, TQ Photo Alejandro Mendoza, Studio Invitro Joah Spearman Kelsey James Katy Kinney Andrew Long Rachel Madorsky Kristen O’Brien Jennifer Swanson
COVER CREDITS Model: Breanna Young from The Campbell Agency Photographed by Tania Quintanilla CONTACT INFO EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS firstname.lastname@example.org CAREERS / INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITIES email@example.com LETTERS TO THE EDITOR firstname.lastname@example.org EVENTS / PARTNERSHIPS Lisa Chappell Miller email@example.com SPONSORSHIP / DONATION REQUESTS Andrés Mattei firstname.lastname@example.org
LOCAL FLAVOR Check out some of the coolest local destinations, eateries and events, updated regularly on our site.
FOR ADVERTISEMENT INQUIRIES email@example.com (512) 887-8008 POSTAL ADDRESS PO Box 2711 Georgetown, TX 78627 OFFICE ADDRESS 1500 W 6th Street Austin, TX 78703 WEBSITE AND SOCIAL MEDIA vettamagazine.com facebook.com/vettamagazine twitter.com/vettamagazine instagram.com/vettamagazine pinterest.com/vettamagazine VETTA is also on Google+
MORE LUXE TRAVEL Join us online for more exotic destinations, top hotels and luxury accommodations worldwide, as we present more hot finds we simply could not fit in the issue!
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contributors JENNIFER SWANSON
Contributor for VETTA and VETTA HOMES Jennifer Swanson is a media professional with over twelve years of experience in fashion consulting, marketing/branding/public relations and luxury lifestyle editorial. The UT graduate has lived in Barcelona, London and New York City. After receiving a BA with honors in Spanish and Retail Merchandising, she gained the majority of her post-college experience from jobs held in NYC working for Felissimo Design House, Pomellato, Cartier, Louis Vuitton North America, Rachel Roy, Reed Krakoff and Zink Magazine. Her work has been featured in Zink (USA, Canada, Russia, Europe, Latin America), Downtown Austin Magazine and more.
Travel and Lifestyle Expert, and Guest Editor
KATY KINNEY Stylist, Entrepreneur and Contributor for ESTILO Educated at Paul Mitchell, Katy Kinney has worked in some of the most successful salons in the country. A beauty industry connoisseur, Katy brings with her priceless salon experience and incorporates her product knowledge into her quickly growing Lakeway, Texas boutique salon. At Salon U, she offers a highenergy, warm and professional service, which complements the precise skills and techniques of both Katy and her team. Renowned for her keen eye and grasp on fashionable trends, she is thrilled to be a growing force in Austin, passionately canvasing her talent for each and every guest.
Joah Spearman is the co-founder and CEO of Localeur, an Austinbased startup that has helped hundreds of thousands of travelers around the world experience local. Localeur’s iPhone app has been featured in Huffington Post, the LA Times, Mashable and countless other outlets. Before Localeur, Joah was the founder of SXSW’s official style showcase, Style X, and also produced style experiences for ESPN X Games.
ANDREW LONG Personal and Business Coach at Ultra Life Coach and Permanent Contributor for MIND
RACHEL MADORSKY Counselor, Relationship Therapist and Contributor for AMORE Rachel Madorsky, LCSW is a psychotherapist and relationship expert. With over 18 years of experience in the field, her love for her work and the Austin community keeps growing with each client she serves. Rachel’s therapy practice focuses on empowering individuals and couples to have more love, more joy and more peace in their relationships and in their lives.
ALEJANDRO MENDOZA Lifestyle and Events Photographer The Guatemalan native is not only an ace behind the camera, he’s the head of the multimedia design firm that is Studio InVitro, a creative powerhouse responsible for original videos, advertising and branding for very cool clients. Add to his resume rowing, whitewater rafting, climbing and basically anything short of flying like Superman. This Olympic-level athlete is all about the outdoors.
Andrew Long is an accelerator, creator, and writer. His strategic life coach practice assists clients, in the shortest amount of time, to broaden and deepen their business, relationship, and personal life outcomes.
If you’d like to write for VETTA Magazine, contact our Editor through email (firstname.lastname@example.org). There are lots of editorial opportunities in print, as well as online, for you to share your work with our thousands of readers.
315 E CESAR CHAVEZ ST AUSTIN, TX 78701
CELEBRATING THE WORLD!
elcome to our Destinations Issue. Get swept away in all the inspiring sights and trends we’ve gathered from around the globe, and find the next corner of the world to add to your bucket list. There are close to 20 countries represented in this issue (and more online), along with all their beautiful colors, cultures, tourist spots and distinct flavors. It was such a huge delight to learn these trends and influences, as well as to capture these amazing images for our readers. The team was excited to open up about their travels and horizons and to share each of our stories; I for one could not wait to jump back into a plane. For those of you who don’t already know it, I’m not from Austin. I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, where I lived until coming to Texas a little over a year ago. Although I am passionate about worldwide languages and cultures, the place that I called home is that tiny 100 x 35 mile island in the middle of the Atlantic. Not everyone knows a whole lot about Puerto Rico. In fact, some of the made up notions about there are actually laughable, but the fact of the matter is that myself – along with almost a million expats – yearn for that gorgeous 73-degree-weather-patch of land full of sun. Some of the best beaches in the world are there; some of the most delicious dishes are part of our local cuisine and there’s an amazing nightlife. Imagine the shops and music of Miami, combined with the beaches of Hawaii, the crazy traffic of New York and an even crazier government than the mainland’s (politics may actually be our national sport). If you’ve been to Puerto Rico, I’d love to know what you thought of the place (hoping you got past the colonial gorgeousness of the docks). If you’re planning your visit and need a guide, drop me a line. I’d love to share the Island’s best-kept secrets...
Coral 30 VETTAMAGAZINE.COM
Photo by Tania Quintanilla.
Top and bottom: Views in the historic district of Old San Juan, in Puerto Rico, the Publisher’s hometown.
MACK, JACK & MCCONAUGHEY
Uniting the Austin Community for the Children by jennifer swanson Top: The trio is back to unite Austin for their namesake event this April. Bottom: Shot of last year’s festivities.
SPN analyst and legendary football coach Mack Brown, ACM award winning recording artist Jack Ingram and Academy Award®-winning actor Matthew McConaughey are back again April 16-17, 2015 in Austin, Texas for Mack, Jack & McConaughey’s (MJ&M) third year in action. This organization raises money to empower children and enhance their lives on a number of levels. Some are facing health and fitness obstacles, and others, fatal illnesses. MJ&M works in hopes of providing kids the best
quality of life under their given circumstances. It’s a great, high-energy event where movers and shakers come together for the sake of humanity and make a real difference in other people’s lives. MJ&M will be hosting a number of events over the weekend, offering something for both men and women. Opening night kicks off at Austin City Limits Live at Moody Theater with a beautifully curated gala, appearances by local star athletes from the University of Texas and a concert. Previously featured musicians have
included Grammy Award-winning artist John Mellencamp, Sheryl Crow and Jack Ingram. This year’s headlining performer is soon to be announced. “We will have another great year of music this year,” added Ingram. “I always appreciate my friends being willing to step up and perform to help us make MJ&M the most impactful, fun event of the year. Two nights of non-stop talent — it is not to be missed.” A live auction will also take place the same evening and tends to include items such as unique art, cars, motorcycles and all-inclusive, exotic travel packages.
Golf, music and philanthropy. Join VETTA for performances by Jack Ingram, Willis Alan Ramsey, Jon Randall, Jessi Alexander, Keith Gattis, Will Hoge, Bobby Pinson, Allen Shamblin, Bruce Robison, and more. Late night host and Emmy® award winner Jimmy Kimmel to emcee.
In addition, MJ&M hosts an annual celebrity golf event, another main attraction and fundraiser perfect for those who enjoy outdoor activities. It’s an opportunity to let your hair down while mingling with the stars and compete! The 2015 tournament will occur at Spanish Oaks Golf Club on April 17th, a jam-packed day that will also include a once-in-a-lifetime fashion show chaired by model and designer, Camila Alves McConaughey. The latter is a popular option among the ladies and fashionista types. While Badgley Mischka and Lela Rose were the participating runway designers the first two years, this year’s featured line will be MILLY — a collection of bold, advanced contemporary fashions with a feminine edge by designer Michelle Smith. The fashion show will be held at the W Hotel with Neiman Marcus. The night will conclude back at ACL Live at the Moody Theater with a Jack Ingram & Friends concert with Jimmy Kimmel. Little Big Town, Lyle Lovett, Bobby Pinson and dozens of the biggest names in music have participated over the past two years, and year three promises to be the best yet. Don’t miss all the fun on April 17th! VETTAMAGAZINE.COM 33
With all of these events, MJ&M has raised over $2 million in the past two years, reeling in over $1 million from its two days in 2014 alone. This year, the foundation hopes to surpass that. “We could not be more pleased with the outcome of MJ&M,” said Coach Brown. “Friends from across the nation came together to support this amazing effort for our kids and our community, all while having a great time that they will never forget. We cannot wait to make an even greater impact in 2015.” MJ&M continues to mark the lives of children throughout Texas, California, Louisiana and more than 23 countries around the world. Every year, MJ&M supports select organizations that share the principals’ goal to empower kids. Funds raised through MJ&M in 2015 will support The Rise School of Austin, just keep livin Foundation, HeartGift, CureDuchenne and Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas. “Camila and I are proud to partner with our dear friends to raise awareness and money for these important charities,” said Matthew McConaughey. “We always have a great time and have made numerous new friendships over the past two years. That’s what it’s all about — coming together to help kids succeed.” (mackjackmcconaughey.org) VETTA
appunti FUN FOR FOODIES
AUSTIN FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL 2015 by paige tyrrell images courtesy of austin food & wine festival
et ready to loosen your belts, because the annual Austin Food and Wine Festival is returning April 24-26th at Auditorium Shores. In an area marked by tents offering tasty cuisine and some of the country’s top wine and spirit brands, this event is a great place to meet skilled culinary exhibitors and catch cooking demonstrations by innovative, A-list chefs. These topnotch chefs bring to light new trends in the industry and could quite possibly feature some “food science” — which involves cooking with liquid nitrogen to alter the molecular composition of certain foods and combine them to achieve unlikely flavors — in addition to other unique methods. Austin Food & Wine Festival tickets, as well as headlining chef announcements and additional event information, are available online. There are a number of passes to choose from. The “Allin” pass is $550 and includes: Saturday and Sunday access to over 40 culinary demonstrations; beer, wine and cocktail tasting; all day access to The Grand Taste (home to over 100 food, wine and beverage exhibitors) and a Tim Love hands-on grilling experience. There is also a “Weekender Pass” available for $250 and includes: Saturday and Sunday access to over 40 culinary demonstrations and all-day access to The Grand Taste. There will be a “Feast Under the Stars” special event for $250 that includes a five-course meal prepared by the chefs exhibiting. Additional evening events of the festival that require tickets are “Taste of Texas” ($150), “Rock Your Taco” ($200) and “Sips & Sweets” ($75). Chefs such as Aaron Franklin 9 (Franklin Barbecue), Paul Qui (Qui & East Side King), Tim Love (Iron Chef Champion and Owner/Chef of Love Shack, The Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, TLC Catering, White Elephant Saloon, Queenie’s Steakhouse & Woodshed Smokehouse) and Tyson Cole (James Beard Foundation Award-winning Owner/Chef of Uchi & Uchiko) represent some of the previously highlighted talent. (austinfoodandwinefestival.com) VETTA
CURES SAINT VINTAGE RECOGNIZES A CHAMPION FOR CANCER AWARENESS.
eloved jewelry designer and two-time cancer survivor Paige Jansen-Nichols presented Christina Applegate with the first ever “Saint Vintage Love Cures Award” at the 2nd annual unite4:humanity event hosted by Variety. The actress was recognized for her inspirational contributions of a hero toward the fulfillment of Saint Vintage’s mission, finding a cure for cancer. The beautiful, star-studded event took place on February 19th at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. In addition to the award presentation, Saint Vintage also set up a gifting lounge, with some of the most beautiful stars of film and music in attendance. The guest list included: Halle Barry, Queen Latifah, Demi Lovato, Busy Phillipps, Sarah Hyland Pink, Zendaya, William H. Macy, Jeff Bridges, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Josh Hutcherson, among others. Saint Vintage is a vintage-inspired jewelry line that gives back to cancer research year-round, providing portions of proceeds from every purchase to various charities. VETTA
SPOT YOURSELF in our social shots and you could win an amazing prize! Just send us an email to AUSTINSOCIAL@VETTAMAGAZINE.COM with your name and the event you were shot in, and youâ€™ll be eligible to receive exclusive prizes and service certificates. Want to double your chances? Tag yourself in our Social Media pages and get free tickets and VIP access to our most exclusive soirees. Go to VETTAMAGAZINE.COM to see our full list of prizes and eligible events.
DANCING WITH THE STARS VETTA had such a blast at Dancing with the Stars Austin on December 7th. Congratulations to Katrine Formby, Cassie LaMere and Francie Little, as well as all the dancers who did a phenomenal job at this year’s event. A starstudded judging panel included Ed Clements, Jeff Jumonville and Chuck Woolery. (Photos by Alejandro ‘Tico’ Mendoza, Studio Invitro)
MARSHALL MONITOR HEADPHONES Every traveler needs some great over-ear headphones for flights to tune out distractions and get some shut-eye. Headphones, $200. marshallheadphones.com
MY TRAVEL ESSENTIALS
“ZERO TO ONE” BY PETER THIEL I go through a few new books a month. Whether digital or hardback, they provide my entertainment while traveling. Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of books by successful entrepreneurs and investors like Peter Thiel who was one of the earliest investors in Facebook and co-founded PayPal. Available for $27. zerotoonebook.com
GUEST EDITOR: JOAH SPEARMAN
TORTOISE & BLONDE BOWERY There are a lot of hipster frames these days, but I love this NYC-based company because its CEO is an optometrist, not a graphic designer. Perfect Amber frames: $95. tortoiseandblonde.com
Joah is the co-founder and CEO of Localeur, an Austin-based startup that has helped hundreds of thousands of travelers around the world experience local. Localeur’s iPhone app has been featured in Huffington Post, the LA Times, Mashable and countless other outlets. Before Localeur, Joah was the founder of SXSW’s official style showcase, Style X, and also produced style experiences for ESPN X Games.
BUCKETFEET BY JAYSON ATIENZA This company is based in Chicago, but partners with designers from all over the world. I wore this pair by designer Jayson Atienza throughout my birthday trip to Europe last year. Sneakers, $68. bucketfeet.com
EXPERIENCE LOCAL, EVERYWHERE Everyone loves to travel, and the best part of a trip is usually finding some amazing local restaurant or shop. I’ve turned this concept into a business. My startup, Localeur, aims to help people experience local wherever they go. Localeur was named the best new startup in Austin last year, and last month was named one of the top travel apps to use in 2015 by Forbes (along with Instagram and Uber to name a few), so I’m excited about the new year of travel.
SIR AND MADAME “URBAN SOPHISTICATE” TEE I finally found a t-shirt that describes my approach to life from this local Chicago boutique. Available for $35. sirandmadame.com/collections
In 2014 alone, I took over 40 trips to places like Chicago, L.A., London, New York, Paris and San Francisco. Since a lot of what I’m doing is experiencing cities the way a local would, I pay a lot of attention to local attitudes and trends and shop almost exclusively from locally-owned boutiques or brands native to that particular city.
WE ARE THE PROCESS “THE ORIGINAL NOKAHOMA” SNAPBACK Hats are great travel items for keeping the head warm and shading sun from your face. I’ve become friends with people behind every brand on this list, and the guys behind this Atlanta streetwear brand are some of the best designers I know. Snapback hat, $35. wearetheprocess.com/store
RESERVE YOUR SPOT AT THE STARTING LINE TODAY! Experience Circuit of The Americas in your own car and test your driving ability in an exotic car, all to benef it abused children in Travis County. Held At:
AUSTIN’S OWN NON-STOP SERVICE TO HEATHROW INTERNATIONAL by lisa chappell-miller
AS WE APPROACH THE 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF THEIR DAILY NONSTOP SERVICE FROM AUSTIN (AUS) TO HEATHROW (LHR) – AND THE POSSIBILITY OF 100 CONNECTIONS – VETTA SALUTES BRITISH AIRWAYS FOR MAKING AUSTIN-BERGSTROM TRULY INTERNATIONAL!
Inside Heathrow International, London.
n just under 10 hours, Austinites can enter a new wing of the world just beyond the sliding doors of bustling Heathrow. Traveling on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, passengers in route are treated to impeccable service and amenities including multi-course meals and special cabin features that control the lighting, filter the air to provide moisture and help avoid jetlag and post flight headaches. Landing in London at approximately 10am, rested and ready to go, there is so much to see and do! Yes, you can jump on a tour bus with a 1-day pass for £25.50 ($39 USD) and see all the 55 typical tourist spots, but why not do as the locals? A nifty alternative is to grab the Heathrow Express (for speed) – or an Uber (for luxury), or an Addison Lee (for convenience) – and venture out into some of the hottest local spots. VETTA recommends traveling during July and August (when the temperatures are in the mid-70s) to escape the Texas heat. THE TOWN OF WINDSOR For the English cottage life experience, visit Windsor, a lovely little town, close to Heathrow but steeped in history. Windsor is easily accessible via the Heathrow Express in 15 minutes. The Dutchess of Cambridge Pub is directly opposite Windsor Castle. This traditional English pub frequented by locals has fantastic food. The Mitre is a Victorian pub dating back to 1850. Within it, the notoriously Victorian Lord Craven Grill is known for its steaks,
HISTORIC CHARM, URBAN COOL AND MODERN SWAG ARE EASILY FOUND JUST OUTSIDE OF HEATHROW INTERNATIONAL. From a hip shopping experience at Son of a Stag, to the traditional jousting outside of Blenheim Palace, to chic cocktails at Aqua at the Shard, London has something for everyone.
while their cocktail bar Old Mary’s (downstairs) features three unique rooms where tradition is served with a modern twist. It is rumored that Old Mary’s may be haunted by the weeping of the ghost of Mary, a beautiful kitchen maid who was in love with Lord Craven but was found dead by stabbing before the two could run away together. URBAN CHIC Aqua at The Shard is on the 31st floor of Western Europe’s tallest building. Make a reservation thru Open Table and take in 1,000 years of London’s visual history in one view with a cocktail or dinner! RICH HISTORY Blenheim Palace is the 2,000-acre home to the Dukes of Marlborough and the birthplace of Winston Churchill, and has been featured
in blockbusters such as Harry Potter, The Avengers, as well as several others. Built between 1705 and 1722, the palace has 187 rooms and is an extraordinary example of the English Baroque period of architecture. The view as you approach the palace is often sited as the finest natural view in England. The public rooms and gardens are open to the public. Great for individuals and families alike, you can hike the grounds, visit the maze or even arrange a boat to fish! LONDON SWAG London, known as a mecca for men’s wear, means a stop at Son of a Stag. Offering Euro hip men’s jeans, perfect to bring back to the state so that you stand out in our Austin casual world! Make sure to stop by Emma Willis for a custom shirt to take your look to the next level.
THE SUITE LIFE When you are ready to head back to your real life in Texas, consider one last fairy tale stop: The Windsor Suite at Heathrow, an ultra VIP experience for travelers. Behind a plain white door, this luxury suite of lounges was once only accessible to royalty, dignitaries and the mega rich on a pre-approved “list”. Now anyone who can afford the $3,000 price tag can be picked up by limousine and skip all the airport hassles by having one of the suite’s employees check you in, process your security screening and handle your luggage arrangements. While this is acuring on your behalf, you are free to munch on some light snacks or have a coffee or cocktail (if so inclined in the morning hours) until it’s time for your limo to deliver you to the steps of your plane destined for Austin. (Sorry, no pictures available). VETTA VETTAMAGAZINE.COM 45
THE JUNCTION FOR LONDON TRADITION AND MODERN COOL 1
1. Fur Felt Bowler Hat ($335; villagehatshop.com) 2. Slim Fit Traveling Tailoring Birdseye Suit ($1,995; us.burberry.com) 3. London Wall Clock by Pedro Velasquez III & Jason Do (touchofmodern.com) 4. Razor Gift Set by Pankhurst London ($335; mrporter.com) 5. MK1 Leather Wallet (bondandknight.com) 6. Vintage Map Lined Umbrella by London Undercover ($120; mrporter.com) 7. Sterling Private Jet Cufflinks ($150; touchofmodern.com) 8. Herringbone Tweed Derby Boots (thombrowne.com) 9. Necktie 1923 Blueprint Pillow ($40; allmodern.com)
A CUP OF LOVE Vodka, Coffee & Philanthropy
t’s been almost a year since legendary actor and entrepreneur Robert De Niro launched his vodka brand, VDKA 6100. The trendy spirit, made from the freshest seasonal whey and natural spring water, has made its way into some of the star’s restaurants and hotels, as well as some of the chicest clubs around the globe. Meanwhile, last summer we witnessed the release of his lovely wife Grace Hightower’s coffee line: Grace Hightower & Coffees of Rwanda. In an effort to educate about her philanthropic mission to empower African communities, Hightower De Niro has helped craft an exquisite line of products. Featuring medium, dark and espresso roasts with subtle hints of flavors like chocolate, caramel, raisin, cherry and citrus, Grace Hightower De Niro’s namesake coffee line provides a generous selection for java enthusiasts in search of a new flavor experience. Also, the company does more than satisfy coffee lovers; it honors and benefits the farmers behind it. The product line celebrates the rich, diverse flavors found throughout the region while also promoting direct sourcing, fair trade and ethical, environment-friendly practices. Each year, Grace makes frequent trips to Rwanda where she visits the coffee farmers who work so diligently to help produce her namesake line.
SOME OF THE BEST THINGS IN THE WORLD HAVE JUST BEEN PERFECTLY COMBINED BY ROBERT DE NIRO AND GRACE HIGHTOWER. A TREAT FOR COFFEE LOVERS De Niro and his spouse have fused the two fabulous brands harmoniously to create a craft cocktail called Quik Pik Me Up. This refreshing vodka-infused coffee cocktail served over ice with hints of lemon juice and maple syrup is the perfect drink to cozy up to this February. QUIK PIK ME UP: 2 oz. Coffees of Rwanda Light Medium Roast Infused VDKA 6100 0.5 oz. Lemon Juice 0.5 oz. Maple Syrup GLASSWARE: Rocks. GARNISH: Serve like a traditional Italian Shot of Espresso (Lemon Slice). INFUSION PREPARATION: Infuse VKDA 6100 with fresh coffee beans for 12 hours (1 bottle = .25lb) or flash infuse by grinding .25lb of coffee beans and then throwing ground beans into a bottle of vodka and shaking it vigorously. PREPARATION: In a cocktail shaker or mixing glass, add lemon juice, maple syrup and two ounces of the coffee infused VKDA 6100. Add fresh ice and shake. Strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a slice or wedge of lemon. VETTA
HIT the BEACH ITâ€™S A LITTLE BIT HARD TO DO IT IN CENTRAL TEXAS, BUT TRANSPORT YOURSELF TO THE SHORE, LET YOUR FEET SINK IN THE SAND AND ENJOY THE WIND IN YOUR FACE.
The shore at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
1. Top and Ring Side Hipster Bottom by Melissa Odabash ($110 each; everythingbutwater.com) | 2. Geo Floral Swim Tunic Cover Up by Milly ($265; bloomingdales.com) ) | 3. Cadiz Braided Leather Flip Flop ($165; nordstrom.com) | 4. Waxwear Travel Kit ($148; jackspade.com) | 5. Panama Hat (jcrew.com) | 6. Dannijo Brianna Crystal Chandelier Earrings ($495; bloomingdales.com) 7. Regatta Ring ($110; dunejewelry.com) | 8. Brown Suede Sandals with Gold Metal Shells ($1,875; giuseppezanottidesign.com) 9. Espadrilles by Agua Bendita ($219; everythingbutwater.com) | 10. Acapulco Palms Board Shorts by Tommy Bahama ($88; nordstrom.com)
CALM AFTER THE STORM
After the hit of Cyclone Ita, Lizard Island Resort is reborn into a little piece of heaven.
izard Island is truly secluded from the rest of the world. After Cyclone Ita devastated this petite Great Barrier Reef Island in April 2014, it was hard to imagine the property reemerge as such a beautiful haven for relaxation. Almost 12 months down the track, and following a massive rebuild and remodeling effort, the isle and its resort have set a re-opening date. Beginning this March, guests will have access to Lizard Island’s understated, barefoot luxury once more, with new resort additions including a standalone two-bedroom suite. The Villa comes with its own plunge pool, wraparound deck, and views of the Coral Sea. The Pavilion now features a separate lounge offering ocean vistas, and the Sunset Point Villas have more plunge pools. Inside are design nods to the reef, with an earth-tones palette complemented by pops of coral, blue and gold. A dedicated wine and cheese room has been added and the island’s spa has been relocated and expanded to include a dedicated manicure and pedicure room. One thing that hasn’t changed is the spectacular diving and snorkeling, with some of the world’s most dazzling marine life steps from your room. (lizardisland.com.au) VETTA
all in the details TAKE YOUR EXQUISITE TASTE ON THE ROAD.
1. ‘Go Clean’ Beach Set ($60; nordstrom.com) 2. Eiffel Tower Ring Holder ($12; sikara.com) 3. iPad Case and Beach Tote by Lilly Pulitzer (neimanmarcus.com) 4. Initial Luggage Tag ($10; travelsmith.com) 5. Chic and Chilly Eye Mask ($28; henribendel.com) 6. World Tote ($36; marcjacobs.com) 7. Credit Card Mirror ($18; marcjacobs.com) 8. “Oui” & “Non” Zip Pouch by Kenzo ($240; barneys.com) 9. Prism Cosmetic Leather Case ($95; tumi.com)
TECH CHEATSHEET APPS AND WEBSITES TO BRING OUT THE POLYGLOT IN YOU
FLIGHT IS BOOKED AND BAGS ARE PACKED… NOW THERE’S THE SMALL DETAIL OF COMMUNICATING IN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE.
nrich the joy of travel with a handy e-toolset that will allow you to smartly take on your next foreign adventure. In countries where English isn’t widely spoken, it’s essential to learn some key words and phrases, but even in places with an abundance of English speakers, you’ll find that locals tend to respond better when spoken to in their native tongue. Here are some hot picks: FODOR’S TRAVEL PHRASES APP If you’re looking for a handy phrasebook that will teach you the basics, check out the Fodor’s Travel Phrases app, which features everyday phrases (with recorded pronunciations) in 22 global languages. But if you want to know more than “Where is the nearest bank?” and “thank you,” you’ll need to do some studying. The next time you’re planning an international trip, consider practicing the local language with these 7 indispensable language-learning apps and websites. (fodors. com) LIVING LANGUAGE If you’re serious about learning, consider signing up for an online course from Living Language, with offerings in 20 languages. Available in a variety of course lengths and costs, the lessons combine vocabulary, grammar, audio conversations, and cultural notes. Games, puzzles, and e-tutoring with native speakers are other popular features. Apps for the iPhone and iPad offer full course content, interactive games, and flash cards on the go. If you don’t want to pay for a course, Living Language’s Free Resources section affords a variety of language-specific PDFs that are useful to travelers or anyone looking to build vocabulary in a language they’ve already studied. (livinglanguage.com) MEMRISE Visual learners should head to Memrise, a site that features countless categories of so-called “mems,” user-generated mnemonic flash cards that rely on graphics, humor, and imagination to implant new vocabulary in your memory. The site hosts thousands of free courses in many languages; you can also upload your own mems for other users to view. Because the content is entirely user-generated, the quality may vary, but when mems work, they really work. (memrise.com) DUOLINGO Incredibly well-designed and user-friendly, Duolingo is a free site that teaches users languages through drills, requiring a mix of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. An “immersion” section allows you to read real-world articles while helping to translate them. Beyond that, Duolingo makes studying fun by awarding
you points for lessons completed and bonuses if you do well; a social aspect allows your friends to see your progress and vice versa. If you wish, Duolingo will send you daily reminders to study, which is easy to do, even while you’re on the go, if you download their free app. Currently, the site offers instruction in Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese (Brazilian), Dutch, Irish, Danish, and Swedish. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can study multiple languages simultaneously at no extra charge. (duolingo.com) BUSUU With an international community of more than 40 million registered native speakers, Busuu relies heavily on its customers’ efforts to help teach each other. Beginners’ lessons use flash cards for learning new words and phrases, but advanced lessons involve writing and answering questions that will be reviewed by native speakers on the site. Dialogues, writing exercises, and audio recordings are also part of the mix, but grammar-focused lessons, video units, and printable PDF files are only available via paid memberships. However, the free lessons are available on-the-go via Busuu’s apps. The site offers instruction in Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian, Polish, Turkish, Arabic, Japanese, and Chinese. (busuu.com) FOREIGN SERVICES INSTITUTE Deceivingly simplistic in appearance, the Foreign Services Institute features extensive text and audio resources for more than 45 languages. Designed by professional linguists for the U.S. government, these free materials are of the highest quality, created with the aim of aiding users gain fluency. Lessons are organized around grammar and repetition, and in addition to more popular languages, the site offers resources for learning lesser-studied options like Romanian, Igbo, Serbo-Croatian, and many more. Note that though the site hosts governmentsponsored learning materials, which are in the public domain, it’s actually run by private individuals. (fsi-languages.yojik.eu) LIVEMOCHA If you want to interact with native speakers, try Livemocha, which provides lessons in more than 35 languages. Reading, writing, speaking, and listening are studied separately on its platform, with structured lessons that first present new material before asking users to apply what they’ve learned. Premium membership isn’t free, but you can earn lesson credits by tutoring other clients (e.g., editing something that they’ve written in your native language, or giving feedback on their pronunciation via audio recordings). Livemocha also allows its users to access virtual classes or book private tutors for online sessions. (livemocha.com) VETTA VETTAMAGAZINE.COM 57
NEW&ELECTRIC 2015 CES HIGHLIGHTS by paige tyrrell
he International Consumer Electronics Association drew a large crowd once again to its annual conference in Las Vegas this January. The 2015 event hosted 2.2 million square feet of high tech innovations from over 3,600 different booths. Featuring gadgets we have only dreamed the future would hold, CES introduced concept cars that drive themselves, elevated virtual reality headsets, pocket-sized drones, self-adjusting/motorized smart belts, beds that quell your childrens’ fear of monsters and other cutting-edge products across multiple industries. While these inventions are some of the most imaginative ones, many of the featured products are things that will soon be popping up in daily life.
Curved television sets and computer monitors seem to be the new trend that’s sweeping the nation. These new sets are so appealing, because they enhance the viewing experience. The curve of the screen appeals to the curved state of your eyes and engages your peripheral vision so that you feel immersed in what you are watching. This curve that mimics your eye shape also makes the picture clearer around the edges, giving you the impression that you’re watching something with a wider field of vision. One of the most appealing aspects of the curved screens is that the picture has more depth, which gives the viewer an almost 3D-like experience (without the glasses). Keep your eyes open for Sharp’s new Aquos TV and Samsung’s SE790C curved monitor.
Another immersion gadget is the Open Source Virtual Reality (OSVR) glasses by Razer, which encourage hacking. These glasses are designed for developers to play-test virtual reality games and are loaded up with tools — a gyroscope, accelerometer, a compass, a surround-sound codec that allows you to add 3D audio and USB ports so you can easily connect controllers or anything else you find necessary. Razer plans to make the schematics and 3D files easily accessible so you can design and print your own goggles. This reality-alters Hacker Dev Kit will be released in June 2015 and will only cost $200. Not all products at CES are aimed at altering reality; some are focused on ensuring nothing fantastical exists… under your bed. The Sleep Number “SleepIQ” bed for kids is equipped with digital sensors within its mattress that pick up on motion and pressure. There are a number of notable features, including: a head tilt position to help relieve stuffy heads, an alert to your phone that lets you know when your kids are restless or out of bed, an application that allows them to remotely turn off the lights once they’re safe under the covers, a soft under-bed lighting so they’re never completely in the dark and most importantly — a feature that checks for monsters under the bed. By hovering a smartphone or tablet in the direction under the bed, a small monster icon appears on the screen and determines if the coast is clear. Perhaps the most futuristic-looking of all is the F015 Luxury in Motion concept car by Mercedes Benz. The car is about 17 feet long (approximately the length of a Cadillac Escalade), but is low to the ground like a sedan. There are four lounge style seats for passengers that sit facing each other. The back two are able to swivel 30 degrees, while the front two are able to turn completely around, in case you actually have to drive the car. The steering wheel folds into the dashboard, because you aren’t really supposed to drive it… it drives itself. The outside lights change colors based on who’s driving — blue means the computer and white means a human. It is expected that by 2025, many cars will be self-driving, so the distinguishing feature will be the space and luxury this car provides. Although Marty McFly’s version of 2015 had flying cars, hovering skateboards and 3-D Holograms, this year’s CES gave us some hope about the uber-futuristic world we are all so eagerly expecting. Impressive gadgets and groundbreaking tech were present at every corner of the worldwide convention and they did NOT fail to impress. (cesweb.org) VETTA
INTERVIEW with the
n the world of travel, the people we owe the most gratitude to are those of service such as the concierges. Have you ever wondered what their life must be like, day in, day out, always helping others? VETTA talks one-onone to Steven Leigh, a man who has dedicated the last 25 years to unconditional service to his clients as a sought-after concierge. The San Antonio native shares his thoughts and wonderful experiences, as well as the challenges at his new home: Hotel Ella.
CONCIERGE by jennifer swanson
BEHIND THE DELICATE SCIENCE OF SERVICE, STEVEN LEIGH HAS BEEN CATERING TO DISCERNING GUESTS FOR OVER 25 YEARS. HERE’S WHAT INSPIRES AND FULFILLS HIM.
8. What are the top three activity recommendations you have for patrons looking for an authentic Austin experience? The Capital tour, Midnight Cowboy and our locally owned restaurants. You can’t get any of these in another city like Austin!
2. What do you enjoy most about your day-to-day work as a concierge? All of the different questions I get from one guest to the next and meeting new, interesting people who are from local and faraway places. It certainly isn’t dull. 3. Who or what inspires you? The daily challenge of the job and questions inspire me. When a guest comes to me and thanks me for making their visit a success, that’s much better than any tip I can receive.
6. What has been the most challenging aspect about your job? Keeping up with change in an ever-evolving city, especially here in Austin where we keep getting mentioned on every list from “Best Places For Singles” to “Top 4 Foodie Cities” in the country. 7. If you weren’t working in this capacity, what other career path would you see yourself in? I was a flight attendant for 4 years in between hotels, so I’d like to go back to that for the travel aspect. I learned a lot and travelled to over 60 countries. My passion is for my dog, Linus, as well as travel. Life is about experience for me.
1. How did you first decide you wanted to pursue a life of service? I fell into it accidentally. One of our concierges was leaving the hotel I was working in, and my manager asked me if I wanted the position. I didn’t know what a concierge did, but after about a month I was hooked and felt it was the best job in the hotel.
4. What dream destination would you love to work at if you could choose any place in the world? Costa Rica… beautiful, quiet and very nice people.
5. Has your career taken you on any unforeseen adventures? I’ve been a concierge in Washington DC, Virginia, Philadelphia and Texas. I’ve loved living in each place, and I think of that as an adventure: learning about new cities, places, cultures and people.
Photo by Alejandro Mendoza.
9. What are the top two things a concierge cannot do without? We MUST be detail oriented and resourceful. We rely on all of our contacts. We have to know where to turn to get the answers needed. Working with a great team doesn’t hurt either, but at the end of the day, it all comes down to you and your abilities. This career is wonderful, but it isn’t for everyone. VETTA
INDULGE IN OLIVE + M
Are you ready to drink your way to better health? Now you can thanks to the founders of YourTea.com. Engineered by a team of qualified Chinese doctors, Your Tea’s best selling program, Tiny Tea, offers tasty, organic blends designed to not only help you lose weight, but also remove toxins and boost your immune system and skin health. Tiny Tea’s Teatox programs are available in 14 or 28-day packs as well as in glutenfree formula. Tea lovers can choose from an assortment of blends such as: Fertility Tea (great for reproductive health and can help with reducing painful endometriosis), Anti-C (aids in cellulite removal), Her Tea (for energy and revitalization (females), Man Tea (unisex blend to enhance muscle mass and size while promoting a lean, cut frame) and more. The Tiny Tea team recommends consuming all of their teas hot rather than on the rocks in order to achieve maximum results. A playful, global brand that gives back via “Charitea,” visit their website to see newest additions to the collection, get health tips and recipes, and learn more about their philanthropic endeavors. (america.yourtea.com)
WONDERFUL COCONUT OIL
Coconut oil is used in many natural beauty products, and for good reason: It’s naturally antibacterial and antifungal, it’s an excellent moisturizer, it can penetrate hair better than other oils, and smells amazing. Is there anything more luscious than coconut oil? We can’t think of anything. But we can think of at least a dozen amazing uses for it in your very own home that don’t require spending a fortune on store-bought products. In fact, all you need is one thing: Raw (and preferably organic) virgin coconut oil.
Inspired by the incredible benefits of Olive Oil, local entrepreneur and beauty expert Mariska Nicholson has founded Olive + M, a yummy line of cleansing and hydrating body oils to renew and refresh the local beauty scene. Using fresh, natural ingredients dedicated to the wellness of the body and youthfulness of the skin, Olive + M now has launched 3 fabulous products. All formulas are free of GMO’s and man-made chemicals, and all of their products are handcrafted in Austin, Texas in small batches.
“OLIVE + M IS PART OF A MOVEMENT IN THE SKINCARE INDUSTRY TO GET BACK TO THE BASICS. CLEANSING AND HYDRATING WITH COLDPRESSED PLANT BASED OILS IS A LUXURY TO DISCOVER.” - Mariska Nicholson, Founder If you want to learn more and take a handson approach to beauty and wellness, we recommend their Body Kitchen by Olive + M, a one-of-a-kind, sublime skincare experience. Inspired by the bounty of Mother Nature and created with the fresh, local ingredients often found in the refrigerator and pantry of any American kitchen, Nicholson wanted to share her passion with patrons on a personal level. Designed for eight to ten guests, The Body Kitchen features a live kitchen display by the founder, who prepares hydrating and exfoliating masks and scrubs for the face and body, such as the wildly popular antioxidant-packed and cellulite-shrinking Coffee and Olive Oil body scrub. With her personally curated assortment of essential oils — each with its own properties that calm or invigorate the skin and senses — she will share unique DIY skincare recipes. It isn’t just farm-to-table; this is a farm-to-face experience. (oliveandm.com)
STAYCATION by coral talavera
magine a luxury suite in the middle of the woods, where the air incessantly smells of lavender and dreams. Imagine sitting down at a fine restaurant floating on water, covered in lush greenery, where your cell phone won’t even get a signal. Imagine detaching from it all and getting lost in yourself and (if you’re in good company) someone whose visit invigorates and restores you. VETTA found out that it’s quite simple to achieve all this: Stay at Lake Austin Spa Resort. Nestled along the shores of scenic Lake Austin in the beautiful Texas Hill Country, Lake Austin Spa Resort offers guests the sanctuary of a world-class spa and the warmth of a best friend’s lake house. Their yummy all-inclusive vacation packages include accommodations in one of 40 charming lakeside guest rooms, three gourmet meals daily, indoor and outdoor fitness activities and classes, and a selection of spa and body treatments. The resort has received numerous awards from prestigious national travel and spa magazines since its multi-million dollar renovation and expansion in 2004. Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, Allure, the Zagat Survey, Health, Garden Design, SpaFinder Lifestyle, Spa Magazine and American Airlines’ Celebrated Living magazine have recently honored Lake Austin Spa Resort as one of the best in the country and in the world. Situated on 19 lakefront acres, Lake Austin Spa Resort is just 30 minutes from downtown Austin and Austin Bergstrom International Airport.
“DOLCE FAR NIENTE” Although the resort offers an impressive array of activities, you’ll quickly master the art of simply doing nothing…
Lake Austin Spa Resort soothes the soul in an intimate, relaxed atmosphere featuring comfortable public areas, peaceful grounds and nature and wildlife trails at the foot of the cool, blue Lake Austin. Both the mind and the body are enriched through programs taught by staff and special guest instructors. You can choose from a plethora of activities, including indoor and outdoor fitness and water activities, or indulge in one of their innovative wellness and discovery programs… still, it is so easy to simply do absolutely nothing. If a guest just wants to relax and clear the mind from stress and the city chaos, we strongly recommend a stroll down their abundant organic Healing Gardens, from which herbs are picked daily to be used both in the kitchen and in select spa treatments. More than 1,000 species of plants, herbs, vegetables, spices and wildflowers fill the lush organic gardens. Lake Austin Spa Resort was among the first to create gardens specifically for growing herbs used in spa treatments. It is simply breathtaking! If you’d like to learn more about them, the Director of Flora and Fauna offers classes and demonstrations on gardening topics and aromatherapy weekly. VETTAMAGAZINE.COM 65
Get ready to fully recharge with possibly the best sleep of your life. It is easy to melt away in the Egyptian cotton sheets and down comforters or to doze off in the Kohler steeping tubs. The 40 lakeside guest rooms are exquisitely designed, with casually elegant décor and furnishings sourced from around the world by co-owner Mike McAdams and his team. Their fourteen newly renovated luxury lakeview rooms evoke reflection and relaxation with every detail. Rooms feature custom-designed furniture, signature lavender spa amenities and luxury cotton spa robes. Some suites have private wildflower gardens and hot tubs (yes, please). Want to make the most of your stay? The Lady Bird Suite honors Lady Bird Johnson and includes a sitting room, fireplace, private wildflower garden and an amazing hot tub. Meanwhile, guests better bring an appetite for healthy chic cuisine, as Executive Chef Stéphane Beaucamp serves three delicious healthy meals daily. The culinare ace blends French influences with local inspirations to cook up healthy mouthwatering dishes; 66 VETTAMAGAZINE.COM
healthy cooking classes are scheduled throughout the week. If you want to savor the Lake Austin experience, even if it’s two hours at a time, make a point of booking a fabulous spa appointment. The LakeHouse Spa at Lake Austin Spa Resort offers more than 100 massage, body and skincare treatments and therapies, in a variety of treatment location options (and best of all: no kids allowed). Take your pick of outdoor garden cabanas, screened verandas and private tandem suites. Enjoy healing and indigenous treatments based on ancient principles of aromatherapy, Ayurveda, hydrotherapy, Moortherapy and Thalassotherapy. The multi-million dollar 25,000-square-foot expansion and renovation was completed in 2004 and includes spacious men’s and women’s locker rooms, outdoor Palm Pool, hot tub and cabanas, a Junior Olympiclength lap pool in the Pool Barn, and two acres of terraced foliage and aquatic gardens. Exquisite, calming and extremely luxurious, Lake Austin is most definitely, the ultimate staycation. VETTA
Inside the breathtaking Blue Room and Lake Austin’s Spa House.
This awardwinning resort is truly one of Austin’s hidden gems, wellworth the trip for out-of-towners.
Wednesday, March 11, 2015 JW Marriott Hotel 10:30 am - Silent Auction Begins 11:30 am - Ballroom Doors Open 12:00 - Neiman Marcus Fashion Show 12:30 pm - Luncheon Program Honorary Co-Chairs Kendra Scott & Carla McDonald Event Co-Chairs Cynthia Harkness Tracy Brown Lisa Youngblood Sarah Mansour
Keynote speaker KVUE News Anchor, Terri Gruca
For more information visit: http://celebration.austin.zetataualpha.org/
by coral talavera
IN A TRIBUTE TO HOMES THE WORLD OVER, AS WELL AS IN CELEBRATION OF THESE CULTURES IN AMERICA, WE HAVE CREATED A GUIDE OF COUNTRIES, TASTES AND COLORS, AND THE PERFECT PAIRINGS TO CREATE A LUXE, WELL-DESIGNED SPACE. VETTA IS PROUD TO INSPIRE THE IMMENSE JOY OF TRAVELâ€¦
View from one of the suites at the Palais Namaskar in Marrakech. (palaisnamaskar.com)
Out with the bland, in with the intricately ornate! Moroccan décor is embellished, rustic and organic. Inspired by the dessert and defined by its eastern character, the style can be hard to polish but it’s very fun to shop for. Morroccan architecture, design and décor are the beautiful result of a creative blend of African, Arab and Mediterranean styles; its traditional elements include ethnic motifs and decoration patterns that have been absorbed from various cultures. It’s simple to give a modern setting a Moroccan look, through the use of floor and wall tile, key furniture and decor accessories, forged metal lanterns, carved wood furniture and ornate mirror frames. Our favorite elements are the large floor pillows and Moroccan poufs, and of course, one can never go wrong with a luxe Moroccan rug.
1. Embroidered Camel Pillow ($35; cb2.com) 2. Vintage Throw Pillow ($250; babasouk.ca) 3. Vintage Moroccan Pillow ($245; 1stdibs.com) 4. Arch Designed Moroccan Leather Pouf ($209; ikramdesigns.com) 5. Morroccan Wedding Baskets ($50; westelm.com) 6. Moroccan Rug from Woven Accents (1stdibs.com) 7. Moroccan Leather Chair with Metal and Bone ($695; badiadesign.com) 8. Frattini Moroccan Star Sculpture ($223; kathykuo.home.com)
1 Interior Design by Ashley Astleford. Photographed by Dan Piassick (astlefordinteriors.com).
A time-honored Mexican home is accentuated with deep and bold color, begging designers for bright hues of red, blue, and green. However, the vibrant and rustic nature of Mexican art and dĂŠcor can be modernized and refined, through a curated combination of traditional Mexican elements and contemporary pieces. Use of modern artwork, darker wood tones and carefully selected neutrals and metals can help portray an intentional Mexican-Modern eclectic style. Want to consult the experts? We recommend Astleford Interiors in Dallas, a firm specialized in Hacienda Chic. 1. Untitled by Jano ($2,800; rogallery.com) 2. Blue Flower Bouquet Serigraph by Nadien Prado ($375; rogallery.com) 3. Made-to-order Talavera Ceramic Tiles (talavera.com) 4. Deb Haugen Mexican Surf Trip Throw Pillow (denydesigns.com) 5. Clear Glass Star Light (hometownevolutioninc.com) 6. Mayan Wool Throw ($199; cb2.com) 7. Pieces N Play Domino Set ($48; dwr.com) 8. Mexico Pillow, Carina Print (houzz.com)
Dreaming of India
Hindu inspiration can range from the vibrant color palette of traditional weddings, to the softer elements of meditation rooms in Bali. Calming elements of jade can be beautifully paired with brass and rich neutral knits, for a space with contemplative perspective. Meanwhile, the rich colors of raspberry, cobalt and purple can be toned with more muted tones, for a sophisticated living space. One of our favorite eclectic combinations is the use of a mid-century modern coffee table and a crisp sofa, paired with traditional Hamsa Hands and bright elephants, as showcased in this space designed by Leighton Design Group in NY.
1. Dreaming of India Pillow Cover ($30; dotandbo.com) 2. Jaipur Studded Beaded Linen Throw Pillow ($120; jonathanadler.com) 3. White Mother of Pearl Nightstand ($995; abchome.com) 4. Gangajali Pot ($80; cb2.com) 5. Buddha Figurine ($40; cb2.com) 6. Indian Lapis Lazuli Low Table ($3,800; 1stdibs.com) 7. Wool Wrap Pouf ($129; cb2.com) 8. Set of Pitalas ($90; cb2.com) 9. Indian Openwork Box ($1,315; 1stdibs.com)
5 Top left: Private Residential Project by Leighton Design Group for a client in Rochester, NY. (leightondesign.com) Top right: Interiors designed by Katie Leede (katieleede.com)
In contrast to our other featured styles, Scandinavian favors a monochrome palette for a cooler overall sensation. Nordic design today is minimalist, understated and starkly modern. On this occasion, we have paired the signature neutral wood tones and creams with a modern shade of mustard for depth and a bit of warmth. For the authentic style, as defined in Europe, try a definitive black and white contrast, as in this featured living room.
1. Sanderson Rug ($880; coppenhagenliving.com) 2. Grasshopper Floor Lamp ($875; dwr.com) 3. Austin Chair ($249; cb2.com) 4. Restore Basket ($109; dwr.com) 5. Edgewood Side Table ($199; crateandbarrell.com) 6. Willa Blanc Pillow ($70; crateandbarrell.com) 7. Basis Citrine Pillow ($20; cb2.com) 8. Herringbone Pillow ($50; crateandbarrell.com) 9. Lambskin Rug ($395; crateandbarrell.com)
5 2 3
See more global design trends and inspiration in our GLOBAL STYLE Issue of VETTA HOMES Magazine this fall.
Take your pick: from the dock, to the hot sand to the cool pool, these beach house villas offer some serious recreation.
PARADISE by jennifer swanson
uring the chilly winter months, the biggest treat for most is escaping to the sunny beaches of a tropical oasis. Located 179 miles from the coast of Florida, you will find a grand version of just that on Paradise Island. Imagine descending upon the turquoise waters of the Caribbean to Nassau, Bahamas where your personal boat captain greets you on the docks and ushers you over to your private, fully furnished seaside villa. Highly regarded as one of North America’s premier builders, Brennan Custom Homes teamed up with Sterling Financial Group to construct five exquisite villa homes which have recently hit the market, complete with luxurious custom designs, hassle-free services and amenities that are sure to please as much as their mesmerizing oceanfront views. Located on the exclusive western end of Paradise Island, Bahamas from beachside to harbor side, private villa homes are a portrait of modern luxury, featuring its own private waterfront pool and lush tropical landscaping with unobstructed, crystal blue water views. There are on-site maintenance employees to care for both the yard and pool,
so these remain in pristine condition at all times. Additionally, each villa has its own personal chef, concierge, laundry service, housekeeping, land and water transportation as well as a private dock, which can host up to a 150-foot boat. The designers took every aspect into consideration when building and furnishing these homes. “The house interior was designed to fully take advantage of the island site, the beach and ocean views. We wanted the furnishings to be comfortable and inviting to relax and lounge through the whole day,” said Brennan, chief architect behind Brennan Custom Homes. The setting allows you to feel like you are outside even though you are inside. You can sit comfortably on your living room couch, den, or dining room, but still feel like you’re on the beach by simply looking out your window. The interior of the home is soothing with neutral beach colors (taupes, grays, whites) from floor to ceiling, plush couches, sliding doors to separate the den from living room and lots of tall windows. On the second floor, you will find additional bedrooms, bathrooms, custom-made Canadian furniture and organizational closets, balconies and a patio. Fans of green living will be excited to know that in addition to their beautiful designs, these villas also have sustainable components. This luxury development utilizes its own onsite VETTAMAGAZINE.COM 75
A beautiful, sophisticated commercial project, the construction of the Beach House Villas gave back to the local economy by providing 60 jobs for local workers and highly skilled craftsmen.
The villas kiss the shore, offering a breathtaking view from the master suites.
water purifying system — an important aspect as fresh water is a hot commodity when it comes to island life. All of the wastewater is recycled through this specialized purification system, rendering it drinkable. “The wastewater treatment plant from Texas purifies the sewage to the point the manufacturer claims it’s drinkable water. In fact, we don’t do that,” says Brennan. “We use the water created for landscaping. This is a great system for water re-use on a project.” There are also six cisterns that collect rainwater which are utilized for gardening purposes. In addition to incorporating reusable water practices, the architects thoughtfully designed the homes to keep electric costs down. “We have insulated the villas very well to keep air conditioning to a minimum so energy bills are also less,” added Brennan. The property comes complete with back-up generators for the common areas and for each villa, should they be needed. “The homes we built at the Beach House Villas are perfect for everyone from empty nesters to those with families,” says Brennan. Located just down the beach from the Atlantis Resort, there is a plethora of activities for singles or families to enjoy on both Paradise Island and Nassau. Water and sport lovers can choose between jet skiing, Olympic sail boating, parasailing, swimming with the dolphins at Dolphin Cay, tennis and golf. Visiting the aquarium is a must for families, and those looking for vibrant nightlife can taste it at the theater or the casino at Atlantis. Bar hopping, concerts, shows, and luxury shopping are also some of the activities that will spice up your retreat. The island is host to multiple hotels and over thirty restaurants, so there is plenty of variety to choose from. If you want to expand your horizon, day trips are available for diving, snorkeling, fishing and island hopping. The Bahamas is a collection of over 700 islands and cays. Whether you are looking for a quiet retreat, desire a private yoga class or massage session at your humble abode or are in the mood for more island action, your private concierge at the Beach House Villas can help you plan your day. 76 VETTAMAGAZINE.COM
Exclusivity is valued in Nassau, and it’s a nice place for the rich and famous because it’s reportedly illegal to harass stars here (you cannot legally approach celebrities and ask to take their photograph). The eye-catching destination has been a favorite of stars who enjoy getting away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Celebrities who have purchased homes on the island include Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, Chuck Norris, Sean Connery, Nicholas Cage, Tiger Woods, Elvis Presley and more. In addition to its culture and aesthetic appeal, Nassau is a tax haven that is not only beautiful, but also easily reachable. With global flights coming from places such as Canada, London, New York, Boston, Italy, Germany, Spain and China, Nassau has the number one airport in the Caribbean. The airport is clean, modern, and organized with Canadian influence from the Vancouver Airport Authority. In 2013 alone, Nassau welcomed a whopping 5.5 million visitors and that number was surpassed in 2014. One bonus of being a Beach House Villa owner is the option to receive VIP customs treatment and be expedited through the process to avoid lines. The private, world-class designed Beach House Villas hit the real estate market last Fall. With one already sold and one reserved, these exquisite stone and stucco villa homes go for $5.5 to $8 million. If sand between your toes, a tropical climate and the calming sound of the ocean factor into your ideal retreat, this might be the perfect spot for you. For what you get, this price range would be unheard of in the United States to own such prime, waterfront real estate with all its bells and whistles. From its convenient services and luxurious living quarters to its stunning oceanfront views and intimate pool settings, owners can truly experience an elevated version of island living at the Beach House Villas. (beachhousevillasparadiseisland.com) VETTA
Views of the interiors, reflecting the uncluttered, laidback lifestyle of the Bahamas.
House of Holland Spring/Summer 2015 during London Fashion Week
SPRING INYOUR STEP
WELCOME TO HIGH HEEL HEAVEN. 8
1. Suede Peep Toe Mule Slide in Ming by Gianvito Rossi ($760; neimanmarcus.com) | 2. Crystal Crown Ankle Wrap Sandal in Orange by Rene Caovilla ($1,695; bergdorfgoodman.com) | 3. Savoy Heels by Jeffrey Campbell ($170; jeffreycampbellshoes.com) 4. Marissa Calf Hair Fringe Sandal in Tropical Leopard by Sophia Webster ($560; neimanmarcus.com) 5. Lythe Mixed-Media Platform Sandal by Jimmy Choo ($1,195; neimanmarcus.com) | 6. Made to Order Floral Fabric Pump by Manolo Blahnik ($695; bergdorfgoodman.com) | 7. Iriza Pump by Christian Louboutin ($695; us.christianlouboutin.com) 8. Tribute Patent Leather Platform Sandal in Light Rose by Saint Laurent ($895; bergdorfgoodman.com) 9. Pensamoi Velour Pumps by Christian Louboutin ($1,395; saks.com)
5 7 6
AUST I N FAS H I O N WE E K APRIL 10TH - 18TH AFW.FASHIONXAUSTIN.COM
#AFW2015 | #AUSTINFASHIONWEEK
BEAUTY 411 GET READY FOR SPRING 2015
Brown Definer by Laura Mercier ($20; lauramercier.com)
GET THE RUNWAY’S MOST SOUGHT-AFTER LOOKS. by katy kinney
hank the Gods our makeup bags can be much lighter this spring, as clean and fresh are the new look! Swap out shadow blending brushes, while bold straight lines are in, for a meticulous cat eye liquid liner, and tame mascara. Pick just one or two pastel shadows, to pop symmetrically under or over lids, keeping things easy on the eyes.
Moire’ Liquid Eyeliner by Yves Saint Laurent Beaute ($34; neimanmarcus.com)
Focus is placed on deep brows, for a straightforward look, and a stunningly bold, pouty lip. To enhance brows, grab an angle brush dipped in a Brow Pot or Powder, a shade darker than your hairline and voila! Taking our cue from a topography map, build dimension to your lips by outlining them with a lip liner from within the rainbow of red! Think pin-up style lipstick, pulling from the 40’s and 50’s, when even though food may have been in short supply, there were bright lips aplenty! Colors ranging from dark plum through baby pink are all sexy shades this spring. Finish lips with a coinciding shade of matte lipstick and let everyone around you hang on your every sultry word! ‘More is More’ would be a fitting motto for this Spring clothing lines, with all its fussy patterns and texture. Conversely, the opposite banner waves for spring’s hair! Runways went back to the basics styling strands in the glamour of simplicity. Arching the various effortless styles, a center part, and substantial length were a common thread. Make no mistake, the short bobs of last year’s naked necks have transcended into a golden age of dramatically long hair. The longer the better.
Lip Color by Tom Ford Beauty (tomford.com)
Velvet Matte Lip Pencil by Nars ($26; sephora.com)
If you are one of us, gritting your teeth through the painful stages of a grow out, at your next salon visit, ask your stylist to texturize your bangs and shorter layers to a nice blend, making hair appear longer. Minimize on breakage by wearing flowing natural waves, or a few big loose curls starting at the jawline. To accentuate the clean, off the face look, sport a high messy bun, a slicked back low pony, or an over the shoulder braid. Braids resembling the renaissance era are all over the scene. Be it an intricate fishtail, French or basic braid updating your look, you will be in good company! VETTA
Dress by Alexander McQueen ($4,395; Neiman Marcus). White handbag by Prada ($3,700; Saks Fifth Avenue).
EXCHANGE LESS-THANIDEAL-WEATHER FOR A CHIC AND SUNNY SETTING. LOVELY PRIMARIES CONTRAST WITH A GORGEOUS STORY OF BLACK AND WHITE PERFECTION. RESORT TO
photographer Tania Quintanilla | wardrobe Robert Mitchell | hair Robert Grimes makeup Kelsey James | model Breanna Young from The Campbell Agency
Striped crop sweater by Milly ($260; Julian Gold). Black shorts by Stella McCartney ($1,495; Neiman Marcus). Earrings by Aqua Howlite ($195; Valentineâ€™s Too).
Dress by Stella McCartney ($1,355; Neiman Marcus). Wedges by Marni ($830; By George). Sunglasses by Tom Ford ($425; Neiman Marcus).
Black tunic dress by Celine ($1,700; By George). Trainers by Jimmy Choo ($625; Neiman Marcus).
Color block dress by Roland Mouret ($1,940; By George).
Ivory silk blouse by Theory ($285; Saks Fifth Avenue). Silk printed crop pants by Stella McCartney ($865; Neiman Marcus). Black patent sandal by Prada ($490; Saks Fifth Avenue). Sunglasses by Chloe ($426; Neiman Marcus).
Hummingbird navy sweater by Stella McCartney ($845; Neiman Marcus). Crop trouser by Etro ($715; Neiman Marcus). Teal and navy sandals by Chloe ($495; By George).
Tank by Akris Punto ($440; Saks Fifth Avenue). Shorts by Raoul ($240; Julian Gold). Sunglasses by Tom Ford ($425; Neiman Marcus).
Color block ribbed sweater by Jonathan Simkhai ($395; By George). Hat by Eric Javits ($125; Saks Fifth Avenue).
H E LLO
AUSTI N FEBRUARY 12 – APRIL 27
AUSTIN’S STREET FURNITURE IS WAKING UP AND WANTS TO TALK TO YOU HELLOLAMPPOSTAUSTIN.COM
C R E AT E D B Y
CO M M ISSIO N ED BY TH E CIT Y O F AUSTI N ART I N P U B L I C P L AC E S P R O G R A M
I N PA R T N E R S H I P W I T H ART ALLIAN CE AUSTI N
LOVERS IN JAPAN TAKE FLIGHT WITH VETTA AND INDULGE IN A CULTURE THAT IS STILL AS RICH, BEAUTIFUL AND COLORFUL AS IT WAS IN THE OLDEN DAYS OF THE SAMURAI.
Japanese floral print cross body bag by Luisa Cevese Riedizioni ($108; farfetch.com)
SS15 Menâ€™s Long-Sleeve Floral Shirt (etro.com)
Vintage Japanese Floral Pin ($55; chairish.com)
Bracelets and Hair Accessories by Marc Jacobs (marcjacobs.com)
Kose Sekkisei Emulsion Facial-Moisturizer ($50; beauty.com)
Unikko Huppu laptop case ($99; marimekko.com) Vintage Gold Japanese Lantern ($440; chairish.com) Lola Shoes by Carmelina
Japanese Terry Slippers by Desigual ($50; us.amara.com)
Gabardine Bicolor Espadrille Sandal in Nero Baltico by Prada ($750; neimanmarcus.com)
Maxi Printed Scarf by Etro (etro.com)
Sumo Figurine ($25; cb2.com)
Baggu Striped Beach Bag (dwell.com)
Tsubaki Beauty Oil by Boscia ($46; sephora.com)
Hokusai Hardcover Book ($120; mrporter.com)
Multicolor Sneakers by Etro (etro.com)
CrÃ¨me Eye Liner in Eggplant Purple ($24; Laura Mercier). Chaos Eyeshadow ($20; Urban Decay). Lip Pigment in Old Gold ($21; MAC). Kohl in Smolder ($16; MAC). Pink Nouveau lipstick ($16; MAC). Earrings ($50; Helene Jewelry). Bracelets ($55; Helene Jewelry). Ring ($135; Sikara). Large necklace ($125; Helene Jewelry). Small necklace ($75; Helene Jewelry).
A R B I S A I L
LET VETTA TRANSPORT YOU TO A PLACE OF AMAZONIC BEAUTY AND GORGEOUS JEWELS, WITH SHIMMERING FLOWERS OF SAPPHIRE, GOLD AND EMERALD. photographer Tania Quintanilla styling Coral Talavera & Jennifer Swanson hair Robert Grimes makeup Kelsey James model Roxanna Redfoot from The Campbell Agency
Lipstick in Neon Orange ($16; MAC). Rosebud Salve ($6; Sephora). Green agate ring ($56; Eliza Page). Green and black necklace ($105; Eliza Page). Single stone ring ($40; Helene Jewelry). Double stone ring ($55; Helene Jewelry). Earrings ($60; Helene Jewelry).
Eyeshadow #92 ($21; Make Up For Ever). Eyeliner Effet Fauz Cil Shocking in Black ($30; Yves Saint Laurent). Hypnose Mascara in Excessive Black ($28; Lancome). Lipstick in Please Me ($16; MAC). Single purple necklace ($65; Helene Jewelry). Single white necklace ($65; Helene Jewelry). Berry stretch bracelet ($18; Francesca’s). Clear stretch bracelet ($22; Francesca’s). Berry leaf bracelet ($18; Francesca’s). Leather bangles ($60; Helene Jewelry). Jeweled bangles ($60; Helene Jewelry). Triple round necklace ($32; Francesca’s). Round multicolor necklace ($28; Francesca’s). Three stone ring ($85; Helene Jewelry). Single stone ring ($60; Helene Jewelry). Earrings ($55; Helene Jewelry).
Midori Eyeshadow in Green ($12; Sugar Pill). Crème Liner in Eggplant ($24; Laura Mercier). Eyeline Effet Fauz Cils Shocking in Black ($30; Yves Saint Laurent). Hypnose Mascara ($28; Lancome). Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Biscayne Park ($25; Nars). Beaded necklace ($55; Helene Jewelry). Double green drop earrings ($65; Helene Jewelry). Wooden bangles ($55; Helene Jewelry). Leather bangles ($60; Helene Jewelry). Gold leaf bracelet ($395; Sikara). Gold leaf cuff in Mint ($55; Helene Jewelry). Squared seafoam bracelet ($14; Francesca’s). Sunflower stretch bracelet ($14; Francesca’s).
Crème Eye Liner in Eggplant Purple ($24; Laura Mercier). Crème Eye Liner in Cobalt ($24; Laura Mercier). Lip Pigment in Old Gold ($21; MAC). Femme Rouge Velvet Crème Lipstick in Muse ($30; Hourglass Cosmetics). Yellow necklace ($40; Helene Jewelry). Floral necklace ($28; Francesca’s). Crystal earrings ($60; Helene Jewelry). Coral floral stretch ($22; Francesca’s). Multicolor floral stretch ($28; Francesca’s). Navy woven leather bangle ($65; Helene Jewelry). Chartreuse cuff ($60; Helene Jewelry). Gold and blue leather bangles ($60; Helene Jewelry). Ring ($40; Helene Jewelry).
Laura Mercier Crème Eye Liner in Eggplant ($24; Laura Mercier). Sugar Pill Cosmetics Midori Eyeshadow in Purple ($12; Sugar Pill). Yves Saint Laurent Eyeliner Effet Fauz Cils Shocking in Black ($30; Yves Saint Laurent). MAC Lipstick in Patisserie ($16; MAC). Lani beaded floral necklace (hair) by Langford Market ($24; Langford Market). Drop earrings by Francesca’s ($16; Francesca’s). Blue square necklace by Francesca’s ($32; Francesca’s). Red bead necklace by Langford Market used as headpiece ($30; Langford Market). Chain bracelets by Francesca’s ($16 & $18; Francesca’s). Leather bangles by Helene Jewelry ($60; Helene Jewelry). Mint bangle by Francesca’s ($22; Francesca’s).
Limitless 15 Hour Cream Shadow in Neptune ($25; Smashbox). Limitless 15-Hour Cream Shadow in Riches ($25; Smashbox). Eye Kohl in Smolder ($16; Mac). Hypnose Mascara in Excessive Black ($28; Lancome). Lipstick in Neon Orange ($16; MAC). Vetta necklace ($275; Helene Jewelry). Two layering necklaces ($65 each; Helene Jewelry). Green stretch bracelet ($25; Langford Market). Earrings ($48; Helene Jewelry). Snakeskin cuff ($75; Helene Jewelry).
Tropical HEAT EXOTIC PRINTS, RICH COLORS, BRIGHT METALS AND SHIMMERING STONES MAKE FOR A HOT AND SULTRY LOOK.
1. Summer Dreamin’ Necklace ($369; harperhallam.com) 2. Shades of Grey Earrings ($169; harperhallam.com) 3. Paint the Town Tote in Rust Boa ($460; kellywynne.com) 4. Johnny Pink Clutch ($464; bluandbaker.com) 5. Sir O’Malley 46 Sunglasses in Vintage Brown ($510; neimanmarcus.com) 6. Gloss Fusion Lipstick by Dolce and Gabbana in Tropical ($36; sephora.com) 7. Burmese Python Cuff ($413; vincentpeach.com) 8. Bleeker Carry-on Dopp kit ($135; coach.com) 9. Regular Fit Cotton Shorts by Hartford ($165; mrporter.com) 10. Ombreé Wool and Silk-Blend Scarf by Paul Smith ($195; mrporter.com)
TASTE taste TASTE
A P R I L 2 4 - 2 6 , 2 015 Featuring:
HUGH ACHESON JAMIE BISSONNETTE & KEN ORINGER RICHARD BLAIS TYSON COLE JASON DADY GRAHAM ELLIOT BRYCE GILMORE ANTONIA LOFASO JENN LOUIS TIM LOVE TONY MANTUANO PAUL QUI CHRIS SHEPHERD LEVON WALLACE JONATHAN WAXMAN TANDY WILSON ANDREW ZIMMERN and many more!
BUY TICKETS AT austinfoodwine.com
THE COOLEST OF BLUES DRESS UP IN LAYERS OF DENIM, CRISP CERULEAN LINENS AND CASUAL SWEATERS. VETTA HAD TONS OF FUN MIXING IT UP IN SHADES OF URBAN CHIC BLUES.
photographer Tania Quintanilla wardrobe Graham Cumberbatch hair Jorge Buccio makeup Kelsey James model Macaden Arnell from The Campbell Agency
Denim chino by Naked Famous Denim ($150; Service Menswear). Jacket by Lanvin ($1,995; By George). T-shirt by Estilo ($35; Estilo). Sweater by Tomas Maier ($460; By George). Grey slip-on shoes by Common Projects ($407; By George). Vintage necklace ($135; Service Menswear).
Suit by Tombolini ($1,295; Capra & Cavelli). Stadium jacket by Obey ($78; Service Menswear). Zebra print buttondown by Oxford Lads ($108; Service Menswear). Sneakers by New Balance ($75; St. Bernard Sports).
Knit Indigo shirt by Kapital ($235; By George). Indigo button-down by Kapital ($303; By George). Sunglasses by Randolph ($209; St. Bernard Sports). Vintage necklace ($135; Service Menswear).
Corduroy necktie by Alexander Olch ($98; Service Menswear). Pocket Bandana by Grei ($65; By George). Cardigan by Inis Meain ($518; By George). Suit jacket by Tombolini ($1,295; Capra & Cavelli). Buttondown by Culturata ($225; Capra & Cavelli). Jogger pant by Globe ($75; St. Bernard Sports).
Pleated pant by Engineered Garments ($240; By George). Crewneck shirt by Hartford ($88; Service Menswear). Vintage necklace ($135; Service Menswear). Woven trucker jacket by Kapital ($406; By George). Watch by Nixon ($150; Service Menswear). Scarf by Rodd and Gunn ($95; St. Bernard Sportswear). Monkstrap shoe by John Lobb ($1,395; By George).
Sneakers by Vans ($65; Service Menswear). Henley sweater by Inis Meain ($398; By George). Cord Western shirt by True Grit ($125; St. Bernard Sportswear). Shirt by Sand ($178; Capra & Cavelli). Back-zip jogger pant by Dries Van Noten ($720; By George).
Button-down by Theory ($195; Estilo). Jeans by Fabric & Co ($400; By George). Sweater by Ted Baker ($175; St. Bernard Sports). Glasses by Raen Optics ($280; St. Bernard Sports). Loafer by John Lobb ($1,225; By George).
MEET ME in CARTAGENA A JUNCTION FOR COLOR, HISTORY AND LUXURY by coral talavera
ack your bags, Austin. VETTA is taking you to the gorgeous City of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. Colorful, lively and historic, Cartagena is a perfect destination for elite tourists looking for sunny weather, tropical lush greenery and some pretty exquisite venues. Cartagena is a gorgeous fishing village on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, with excellent beaches, a historic old town (that’s entirely walkable) and beautiful colonial architecture. It’s also one of the safest places in the country, so it’s no wonder it’s a popular port of call for cruise ships. Need a break from exploring the cobblestone streets? Stop at an outdoor cafe for excellent pastries and people watching. Off the northern coast, it’s the fifth-largest city in Colombia and the second largest in the region (after Barranquilla). True to its Spanish heritage, it received the name after its namesake settlement in 1533; hence the amazing colonial architecture and historic structures that still shine throughout. In 1984 Cartagena’s colonial walled city and fortress were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
VETTA was blown away by the rich history and beautiful sights of the Walled City of Cartagena, Colombia. Large-scale public art, Spanish architectural heritage and amazing color come alive everyday throughout this vivacious city. This and opposite page: Photography by Tania Quintanilla.
At any given moment, you may come across the gorgeous colors and layers of traditional Colombian garments all around the city.
ACCOMODATIONS SAN PEDRO HOTEL San Pedro Hotel and Spa is located in the San Diego district on San Pedro Mártir Street. A majestic house with tons of history, it’s an exciting and delicate homage to the town’s narrative and character. San Pedro Hotel is drenched with a refreshing atmosphere and colorful French colonial scenes, with carved pillars, personalized furniture and perfect Colombian handcrafted products and antiques. Every nook and cranny is a work of art. The boutique hotel only offers 8 luxury rooms, a swimming pool in the principal courtyard, a terrace and a beautiful spa. (sanpedrohotelspa.com.co) QUADRIFOLIO HOTEL Named for the four-leaf-clover figure that forms a common motif in Spanish Colonial Colombian architecture, the Quadrifolio is a bit of a time capsule. This luxury hotel is in a historic Spanish colonial residence in Cartagena de Indias, with an outdoor pool, exquisite suites with high ceilings and lavish balconies. Featuring large windows that overlook their lush garden, rooms are equipped with all the modern amenities. Guests of the Quadrifolio can relax on the rooftop terrace in the hydro-massage tub and enjoy city views. The Quadrifolio also has a speedboat that can be rented for day excursions. The Caribbean Sea is only 500 ft away. Rafael Núñez International Airport is a 20-minute ride away. (hotelquadrifolio.com) CASA SAN AGUSTÍN A luxurious small hotel lovingly restored and reimagined for a new generation of travelers, exquisite Casa San Agustín echoes Cartagena’s fresh contemporary style and colorful Caribbean sensibility. Refined yet relaxed, its trio of colonial era whitewashed buildings exudes the warmth of a magnificently appointed private residence. Located within Cartagena’s walled Old Town, the hotel features 24 guest rooms and 6 suites, each taking its color cue from the nearby Caribbean Sea. The country’s abundance of seafood and exotic ingredients inspires the contemporary coastal Colombian cuisine of Alma, the hotel’s signature restaurant, and its charming bar and nearby alfresco courtyard – two picturesque settings for conch, ceviche and custom-crafted cocktails. (hotelcasaagustin.com)
FINE DINING CANDE RESTAURANT A fantastic sample of the local fare, Cande offers yummy seafood, fruits and local delicatessen, to high-end patrons with a discerning palate, who enjoy typical Colombian fare. (restaurantecande.com)
ERRE BY CHEF RAMON FREIXA According to Executive Chef Ramon Freixa, Erre is the place where happiness and passion for exquisite flavors unite, hailing from the mystical Mediterranean, and merging the style of pre-Colombian local cuisine. (errederamonfreixa.com) MAREA Mussles, shrimp, squid, fish, you name it; Marea is synonymous with superb sea fare. Alongside their sought-after seafood rice and yummy traditional dishes, their lobster is simply outstanding. (mareabyrausch.com)
Left: Isla Múcura offers unmatched views of the Caribbean Sea, lounging seaside at Punta Faro Hotel. Bottom: Some of Cartagena’s yummiest traditional treats can be found at El Portal de los Dulces. Photo by José Daniel Quintero.
THINGS TO DO ISLA MÚCURA Múcura Island is located in the district of Bolivar in the northern coast of Colombia. The sunny patch of land lies nearly 2 hours into the Caribbean by boat from Cartagena. It’s part of the 10 island San Bernando Archipelago. The islands, whilst beautiful and secluded, are not especially well known as Colombian tourism destinations. Hotel Punta Faro is the only hotel on this satisfyingly small island, which can be kayaked around in about an hour. Punta Faro offers just over 50 rooms, a gorgeous private beach, a variety of fun activities, and amazing buffet-style meals. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, with fantastic open air showers. In short, it’s pretty much everything you could want in a Caribbean island hotel. EL PORTAL DE LOS DULCES Proud in the historic colonial city lies the Portal de los Dulces. It’s a place of lively commerce for the people of Cartagena, chock-full of typical candy, rich pastries, cakes, chocolates and endless goodies of coconut, guava, fried plantain and a thousand exotic ingredients. All the merchants are placed in their stalls under vaulted portals and happily greet tourists with a sweet tooth. It’s a place that truly transmits the passion and color of the city. VETTA
T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F T E X A S AT AU S T I N / S C H O O L O F H U M A N E C O L O G Y D I V I S I O N O F T E X T I L E S A N D A P P A R E L \ 5:30pm Immersed in Cotton Room / 7:15pm Runway Show \ Free Admission / Tickets available at Box Office \ Frank Erwin Center
Presenting Sponsor Elite Sponsor
THE FASHION MENTORS, ED LEHMANN PHOTOGRAPHY, STUDENT GOVERNMENT, SENATE OF COLLEGE COUNCILS, FASHIONABLY AUSTIN, AUSTIN AMERICAN STATESMAN
TORONTO DISCOVER THE CONTEMPORARY CHARM OF THE THOMPSON HOTEL.
by jennifer swanson
ocated in the heart of Toronto’s most popular district, King West, you will find the cool, luxurious Thompson Toronto Hotel. This upscale venue opened in 2010 features works by renowned artists along with an exceptional rooftop lounge that has the best, breathtaking 360-degree panoramic views of the city. It’s a popular place for celebrities, tourists looking to get a taste of the local culture and a top choice for Toronto Film Festival and Fashion Week attendees who want to be close to the action. Whether you are in town for business or for pleasure, the Thompson Toronto Hotel offers some great spaces and amenities. These include free wifi access, a business center,
screening room, various event spaces, an exclusive 40foot rooftop infinity swimming pool complete with cabanas, a 24-hour gym and an ultra-chic underground nightclub. The 102 ultra-sleek guest rooms, designed by Studio Gaia, open to floor-to-ceiling windows, boasting amazing views of the cityscape and Lake Ontario. These window walls are complemented with dark hardwood floors, contemporary furnishings and an airy atmosphere with contrasting accents in rich orange and cool white. Also within the hotel, guests can enjoy meals or beverages at any of its five venues. There is the upscale, 24-hour Thompson Diner (rumored to serve an outstanding burger), the brand new Colette Grand Café which offers fine French cuisine, the Wabora Sushi (Japanese fusion), the Rooftop Lounge (featuring many beverages and a smaller menu with items from sliders and tacos to calamari and quesadillas) and the Lobby Lounge (a dramatically lit
Beautiful modern interiors, delicious cocktails and luxurious amenities make the Thompson Hotel the place to be during Toronto Fashion Week or the Toronto Film Festival.
SURROUNDED BY ART AND CHIC SHOPPING, THE HOTEL AND ITS AMENITIES OFFER TONS OF ECLECTIC APPEAL.
Take a dip in their exclusive 40-foot rooftop infinity swimming pool, complete with cabanas.
spot perfect for meeting friends for drinks). These delicious eateries and gorgeous lounges are appealing, especially during the coldest of winter months when venturing outside can truly be a chore. Nevertheless, those looking to explore the area outside the hotel and discover fun activities need not travel far. The Thompson Toronto is centrally located in the spot to see and be seen, with some of the city’s hippest restaurants and clubs. The top three recommended restaurants nearby include: Blowfish Restaurant & Sake Bar, Rodney’s Oyster House and Lee Lounge. You’ll find Trinity Bellwoods Park located near Queen West, which offers free tennis court access. It is a popular hangout for hipsters and a place where you can have pizza delivered to you in the park. Local favorite bar/restaurants in the vicinity include Milagro, Czehoski and Terroni, while cool coffee shops include White Squirrel and Sam James Coffee Bar. The neighborhood offers a ton of eclectic art galleries and shopping experiences — some fun things to try. Between Spadina Avenue as far as Trinity Bellwoods Park and south of Queen Street is Toronto’s Fashion District. It has become a hub for small (but some of the best) home furnishings stores, offering
anything from high-end custom designs to modern, retro and vintage items. Going more couture, Toronto Fashion Week generates quite a buzz in the city every March and October. The Thompson Toronto is a great place for traveling industry personnel. From here, it is just a five-minute car ride or fifteenminute walk to the main show venues. Attractions further away from the hotel to consider are Casa Loma and Blue Yorkville. At Casa Loma, you can enjoy dining in a 1920’s-style restaurant with amazing views. Visit Blue Yorkville to work up an appetite beforehand while shopping “the mink mile.” Situated in Toronto’s trendiest part of town, it is not surprising that the Thompson Toronto Hotel has attracted the likes of prominent celebrities such as Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, George Clooney, Bill Murray, Bradley Cooper, Kim Kardashian and Amy Adams, among others. In addition to its surrounding culture, the hotel is also easily accessible as it lies in proximity to the downtown airport as well as Toronto’s financial district. Whether you are visiting Toronto for work or play, the Thompson Hotel is sure to be a convenient choice and enjoyable stay. (thompsonhotels. com/hotels/thompson-toronto) VETTA VETTAMAGAZINE.COM 123
A CURATED TOUCH OF LIFE AUSTIN, MEET LILEE
ailboxes all over Austin will be thrilled to learn about the launch of Lilee, an Austin-based, luxury beauty and lifestyle monthly subscription box featuring full-size goodies ranging from jewelry to makeup, skin care, stationery, small consumables, coffee and tea, and just about any other fabulous find suited to today’s 30-to-40-something sophisticate. Packed with products from well-known prestige cosmetics lines, baubles from beautiful boutique brands, and oneof-a-kind trinkets, the $49 per month price point is well worth the $120 in gorgeous goodies you’ll receive!
Lilee represents all the aspects of a woman’s style. Whether she leans toward the more romantic, sophisticated, multicultural or modern, the Lilee box features products that speak to every woman. Lilee also tells a story. On a rotating 4-month basis, the theme of the box will change as Lilee and her 4 best girlfriends travel the globe in search of the products they love to share. One of the most unique features of Lilee is the box itself. The gorgeous black and pink box is completely free of branding. Once you’ve gathered up your monthly goodies, just add a bow, write a little message on the blank note card also included every month and share! Upcycling has never been so easy or so classy!
“Lilee believes in bringing thoughtful products into the spotlight by brands both big and small to make your every month gorgeously unique. From scarves and tea to sparkles and lipstick, gift yourself with “where’d-you-get-that?” moments and get whisked away in the Lilee spirit by sharing your new favorite discoveries with your girlfriends, too.” – Felicity Fromholz
By now you’ve realized that Lilee is definitely not your average subscription box! Lilee’s goal is to foster an environment that creates the opportunity for discovery, change and transformation; an environment that promotes a sense of exploration mixed with the exchange of things and ideas. She’s about quality products with personality, a beautiful story and a little whimsy. (lilee.com) VETTA
“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” - Confucius
EASTERN ADVENTURE & TRANQUILITY 5 Must-See Cities To Explore in China by olga maria czarkowski
China has become one of the most prevalent destinations for travelers. While most focus on China’s rapid transformation, China is still a country full of tradition, extraordinary treasures, and stunning sceneries. It is also a great place to eat, shop and find peace of mind. Due to China’s size and significant legacy, it’s no surprise that embarking on a trip there can be a daunting step for inexperienced travelers. To help guide you, here are VETTA’s top five suggestions of cities to visit during your next trip China.
XI’AN Xi’an is one of VETTA’s favorite Chinese cities and probably the central most important city in Chinese history. It is well-known for the great number of historic sites and museums that contain artifacts exemplifying its rich history. Many dynasties started and fell in this very city. While Xi’an currently appears as a modern city, it is still extremely traditional. The must-see stop here is the Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum, which is one of the world’s greatest archaeological sites. Here, you will find an entire life-sized army built from terracotta (“baked-earth”). Each soldier is different from the next, and they are all modeled in detail to represent real soldiers from the army of China’s first emperor. The statues have different looks, sizes, shapes and thus, personas. You can find archers, officers, cavalrymen, warriors all lined up in three sections. The most surprising fact is that these artifacts were completely hidden until being discovered in 1974. Originally, they were painted, but once uncovered and exposed to the elements, their color faded. Many more statues remain intentionally buried in the hope that future innovations in technology will discover a way to preserve their color upon extraction. Foodies should not leave Xi’an without trying their famous traditional noodles. The city has many amazing noodle restaurants featuring festive and luxurious décor. You’ll find the colors gold and red everywhere. A number of these decadent eateries have the appearance of five-star hotels. One of the highlights of this meal is watching the preparation process of homemade, hand-pulled noodles. It is very interesting to see how the noodles are created from scratch. We promise that these will be the best noodles you will ever devour in your life! So whether you are into history or food, Xi’an is an ideal place to visit and experience both.
NANJING Nanjing is one of the four great ancient capitals of China. It has long been one of Chinaâ€™s most important cities, having served as the capital city for six different dynasties. It is a city that has survived many difficulties throughout history, but has managed to protect its beautiful landscapes and touts numerous peaceful locations. For example, there is Xuanwu Lake Park, a magical place, where you will find tranquility and peace. You can ride a small boat around the lake, join the people doing tai chi, enjoy the locals performing traditional dances or simply walk around the park. It is a very inspiring place, and even though most do not speak English, everyone can understand and experience the enchantment of this great park.
SUZHOU Suzhou is one of the most beautiful panoramic cities in China because of their stunning landscapes and vast, famous gardens. The metro area is home to over 6.9 million people, the majority of whom speak Wu (a Chinese dialect). Suzhou is often compared to Venice because of its zigzag streets and canals. Suzhou offers quite a variety of sites for a tourist to discover. The gardens alone can be traced back to 6 B.C., and all the gardens are beautifully maintained in their original magnificence. One of the top gardens to see in the city is the Lingering Garden, which is a renowned classical Chinese garden. It is recognized, with other classical Suzhou gardens, as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the past, the garden housed the rich and politically connected people to the emperor of China. As such, the Lingering Garden served as an example of social status. The garden is not extremely large, nor too small. It incorporates all of the aspects of a traditional (and older) Chinese garden: water bodies, a small pond, rock formations, bamboo grove, a bonsai collection, ancient Chinese Architectures, pleasant walking paths (both open and covered) and several secluded spots for tranquility, contemplation and exploring. In addition, there are spectacular performances featuring traditional Chinese music on a boat floating the pond, which entertains at regular intervals. Inside the garden, you will also find a teahouse for refreshments. We recommend trying their unique blooming tea. VETTAMAGAZINE.COM 129
BEIJING A trip to China is not complete without visiting their capital city, Beijing. Beijing is one of China’s better-known historical points of interest, with the Great Wall of China serving as one of its main attractions. It is definitely worth climbing, especially to experience the extraordinary views and purchase a souvenir plaque, which states: “I climbed the Great Wall of China on (insert date)!” There is a toboggan slide exit available for those seeking an added element of adventure on the way down. Other historic attractions include: (1) Tiananmen Square which is the fourth largest city square in the world and is named after the Tiananmen gate located to its North, separating it from the Forbidden City. (2) The Forbidden City, one of the largest and well-preserved ancient structures, houses a Chinese imperial palace. (3) Lastly, the Summer Palace is where the Emperor would go to escape from the rest of the world. One pleasant surprise was a beautiful boat, made completely of marble, on which the Emperor himself laid to soak in the stunning surroundings and peacefulness. (Photo by Jennifer Swanson.)
SHANGHAI Sitting along the Yangtze River Delta in Southeast China, Shanghai is a city that is highly frequented as a business-oriented destination. However, there are many tourist attractions and great shopping opportunities to be found. While Shanghai is a magnificent modern city, you should not miss the Bund (ZhongshanÂ Road). This area has remained virtually unchanged and is instantly recognizable as one of the most well-known landmark waterfronts. Make sure to also visit at night so that you can cruise on the Huangpu River and take in the beautiful city lights. Shanghai has various temples, stunning gardens and a very impressive skyline. One truly amazing garden to explore is the Yu Yuan Garden and Bazaar Shanghai. This destination can be easily accessed using the MRT Yu Yuan Garden Station. The Oriental Pearl TV Tower offers another outstanding sight, which we recommend for those not afraid of heights. From the top of the tower, you can enjoy an extraordinary view of the entire city of Shanghai. If you are looking to shop, head over to Nanjing Road. This walking street is touted as the first commercial road in Shanghai, thus it is the most bustling and prosperous street. At the time it was first built in 1851, it had only four department stores. Now, Nanjing Road has turned into the number one shopping area in the city. So when it comes to shopping, all roads lead to Shanghai! VETTA
The JAMAICA Bucket List by olga czarkowski
Jamaica is probably synonymous to most with white beaches, a fruity drink and delicious Caribbean food, but this tropical haven has so much more to offer! Full of unique adventures, Jamaica is a place for sightseeing expeditions, vibrant culture, history and natural wonders. If your bucket list includes amazing food, great music and unforgettable activities, heart-racing Jamaica is a must!
Top left: Exotic Fruits and traditional Jamaican cuisine. Top right: Seaside lounging is almost the national sport on the Island. Bottom: View from the waterfront lounge at the Golden Eye Hotel.
From left to right: Historic Walled City dates back to Colonial times in Kingston; Dunns Rivera Falls’ natural beauty; Dolphin Cove delivers thrills and family fun.
With sandy beaches, rainforests and everything in between, Jamaica’s natural treasures are as varied as their thrilling tourist attractions.
LUNCH AT DEVON HOUSE Located in the heart of Kingston and conveniently around the corner from the Bob Marley Museum, this stunning heritage site is one of Jamaica’s most celebrated historical landmarks. Devon House sits quietly in striking contrast to busy city life, allowing you to appreciate the culture that existed during the late 1800s. The mansion is the architectural dream of Jamaica’s first black millionaire, George Stiebel, constructed during the late 19th century. Furnished with a collection of Jamaican, Caribbean, English and French antiques, the Devon House is also home to an extensive collection of Jamaican art. Shops on site contain locally made art, cigars, preserves, spices and coffee. Guided onehour tours of the house are held regularly throughout the day. The tour guides are adorned in traditional dress and offer a short performance that includes singing traditional African-influenced songs and dance, giving you a vivid taste of local culture and history. Lunch at Devon House is most recommended. Stopping at the Grogg Shoppe, VETTA found that the highlight of their menu is the curry goat-a must try. It’s served with a side of breadfruit, rice, beans and salad. Are you hungry yet? Save room for dessert, because an ice cream cone at the famous
Devon House’s “I Scream” is not to be missed! A household name across Jamaica, the ice cream shop sells more than 27 flavors. Fan favorites include mango, sorrel, rum raisin and Bordeaux cherry, rocky rivers, Devon stout and sour sop. BLUE MOUNTAINS COFFEE TOUR The Blue Mountains, which form the longest mountain ridge along the eastern edge of Jamaica, provide the ultimate coffee growing environment. While many of us can drink Blue Mountain at Starbucks, sipping a fresh brewed cup on the very mountains where it is cultivated certainly merits a place on your bucket list. VETTA visited the Craighton Coffee Estate (historic coffee farm) in the Blue Mountains and tried one of the most expensive cups of coffee in the world, all while taking in the stunnig views of the mountain paradise! The one-hour guided tour takes you on an invigorating and educational hike that highlights the process in which the world’s most prized coffee is grown and harvested. We found it to be a very spiritual and relaxing place, with a quiet atmosphere and breathtaking views. You can hear the birds, see the most amazing sunrises/sunsets, smell the flowers, enjoy the fresh air and hike or ride a bicycle around the paths that lead to the top of the mountain. The historic plantation
house was constructed in 1805 by George Craighton and has been linked to many notable figures in Jamaican history, including two governor-generals. The mission of the Craighton Coffee Estate is to maintain the highest quality coffee. VETTA learned that Blue Mountain Coffee contains more antioxidants than most fruits (cranberry being the closest one). APPLETON RUM TASTING In the heart of Kingston lies Jamaica’s deep rum tradition. One of the highlights from our trip was participating in an official tasting that sampled rum blended by Joy Spence, the first female Master Rum Blender in the world. She received this title in 1997, and several years later two more female Master Blenders from Guatemala and Scotland joined this exclusive circle. The Appleton Estate, which is located on the South Coast, is home to Jamaica’s oldest sugar factory and rum distillery where some of the best Caribbean rum is made. Guided tours of the Appleton Estate walk you through the history of sugar cane processing and the production of rum. We also got to explore the modern factory where the Appleton Estate rums are produced and bottled. You can finish up at the estate’s restaurant, which serves authentic Jamaican cuisine. TOUR OF PORT ROYAL / FORT CHARLES Port Royal is a city located at the mouth of the Kingston Harbour, in southeastern Jamaica. Founded in 1518, Port Royal’s proximity to trade routes made it a haven for pirates like Blackbeard and Calico Jack in the 17th century. The guided tour of the Ft. Charles’ museum consists of displayed relics housed in two small rooms on the site, and a walk-through of its outlying structures, including the Giddy House, which is a fun experience, even for grown-ups… don’t leave without testing the amazing effect of walking on the Giddy House’s sloping floor!
The area survived an earthquake in 1907. At present, Port Royal is a tranquil little town where fishing and limited tourism are its main foci. It also serves as the headquarters of the Jamaica Defense Force’s Coast Guard. Although it’s not exactly as it was in its days of infamy, you’ll find vestiges of its past still evident. DUNN’S RIVER FALLS One of Jamaica’s biggest attractions is the Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios. It is a very touristic area where cruise ships stop regularly and every type of excursion is available for the taking. The actual Falls Guides take you along the travertine rock route of this 600-foot climb to the top, where you can view the waterfall as it flows into the sea. The whole experience might take about an hour. Make sure to bring a waterproof camera to document your fun in the water. The views are stunning as well and are not to be missed. The Spaniards called the area “Las Chorreras” — the waterfalls or springs — and it is truly one of the most beautiful spots on the island. DOLPHIN COVE Dolphin Cove is a marine park which allows visitors to swim with dolphins and other marine life in their natural environment. Have the experience of a lifetime as you get up close and personal with these beautiful, amazing animals. Included are mini-boat rides, glass-bottom kayaking, snorkeling with stingrays, watching shark shows and private beach access. BOBSLED RIDE (AND MORE!) AT MYSTIC MOUNTAIN Bobsledding is not just an Olympic sport. Mystic Mountain, a rainforest located in Ocho Rios, provides you with the unique experience of being part of the Jamaican bobsled team for a short spell. It is described as one of the top attractions in Jamaica. Adventure seekers first get into their sky explorer seats where they will experience the views of the forest and the Ocho Rios Bay on their way up the mountain. Once at VETTAMAGAZINE.COM 135
the top, there are plenty of activities to choose from (bobsled being one of them) which include fun rides filled with adrenaline and speed. Alternatives such as a waterslide and infinity edge pool, butterfly attraction, hummingbird garden and canopy ziplining are all available. If guests build up an appetite onsite, they can enjoy a meal at their restaurant overlooking the bay. JUNGLE ZIPLINING Although nowadays you can zipline in many countries, it is not every day you get to zipline on the longest one (1,065 feet long) in the Caribbean! Chukka Caribbean Adventures organizes one of the best ziplining adventures in Montpelier and is highly recommended. Get a bird’s-eye view of Jamaica’s rolling hills and the Great River while riding on a zipline above the tree canopy. Heights range from 250 to 1,600 feet. Each tour includes an off-road ride in a six-wheeler and samples of freshly picked coconut, pineapple and sugar cane. The zipline consists of nine platforms, one of them vertical, which is kind of scary, but super fun and very safe. Top: Nature and tourism collide in fun attractions as zip lining, hiking, scuba diving and more. Bottom: Underwater wildlife flourishes in the warm Caribbean waters.
SCOTCHIE’S FAMOUS JERK No trip to Jamaica would be complete without trying some authentic Jamaican local cuisine. Jerk is a local Jamaican spice specialty, and Scotchie’s is one of the island’s most famed jerk spots. We recommend sampling the traditional style jerk chicken and pork at Scotchies. It is prepared for hours on a wood grill, ensuring that the meats are juicy and never dry out over the long cook time. These meats are cooked to perfection. Spiced just right, you can add heat to your preference, but be warned! The hot sauce is made from the super strong, scotch bonnet pepper — a staple in Jamaican cuisine. A little pepper packs a lot of punch. It has even been featured on the U.S. Travel Channel’s “No Reservations” hosted by popular culinary personality Anthony Bourdain, filming there just a few weeks before our visit. BEACH AT MONTEGO BAY Last but not least on our list is a leisurely trip to the beach. With some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Jamaica’s water is clear and warm, even during winter months. The beach is the perfect place to enjoy a rum punch made with Appleton Rum, Jamaica’s number one drink. We truly hope that you enjoyed our bucket list suggestions and that you are already planning your own adventurous visit to Jamaica. Here are a few additional popular activities the island offers: night swimming in the blue lagoon, bamboo rafting down the Martha Brae River, reggae concerts, the Bob Marley Museum, horseback riding on the beach and shopping at the Montego Bay craft market. See you shoreside! (visitjamaica.com). VETTA
Left: Daytime magic at the Blue Lagoon. Bottom: Bobsled ride. Photo by Garvin Gray.
VETTA found high-speed fun at every turn during our escape to the Caribbean.
elationships can be one of the greatest sources of joy. The place where we feel the most loved, safe and happy to be alive. They can also be hard. Most of us who have been in a long-term relationship might agree that there are times when managing our life together can get pretty dark. So what makes a great relationship great? After two decades of helping couples improve and transform their lives together, the number one request I receive is: “We need help with communication.” Here are four steps to make not only our communication, but our relationships more loving successful and strong. You may have heard of the first three: listen, seek to understand, validate. The fourth is say “yes” more.
4. Saying Yes: Many of us have been raised in a culture where saying “no” and being skeptical gives us the upper hand. We don’t want to come across as naive or dumb. While having discernment is a good thing, too often we block goodness and wonderful new experiences from our life simply from the habit of saying “no.”
Have you ever seen an improv show? The actors are making things up right there on the spot. It’s vulnerable, exciting and incredibly fun. Life is the same way. We’re all making it up on the spot, so let’s learn how to make it more fun. In improv, the main rule of play is called: “Yes, and.” It means whatever idea you bring to the table, I am going to accept it, appreciate it and add something supportive to it. For example, if you say, “There is a kangaroo in the parking lot.” I might say, “Yes, and it just stole our car!” 1. Listen: Let’s be honest. We like to Versus: “There is a kangaroo in the talk and we like to be heard. Being parking lot.” Followed by, “No, there’s listened to helps us feel that we not, that’s ridiculous.” In the first matter and that our thoughts and example, after only two sentences, feelings count. Real listening is a we can see that the possibilities are way of connecting. Many of us listen endless. We are in agreement about simply by not talking. We nod our what happened and that scene will heads while we think about what we likely go on to be a fun adventure. In are going to say next. Real listening the second example the scene is over comes from a quiet mind, genuine as quickly as it began. We disagree curiosity and openness. We can gain with what the person said and made incredible insight and clarity, simply them feel wrong. Game over. Even from listening and being heard. Let’s though these examples are silly, we agree to practice listening better and do the same thing in our relationships. more often to our partner. We look for how the other person is by rachel madorsky, lcsw 2. Seek to Understand: in Steven wrong and we stop the train. One of Covey’s best selling book The 7 the secrets to having a happy, longHabits of Highly Effective People, habit #5 is “Seek first to understand, lasting relationship is the pursuit of shared projects and goals, both then to be understood.” This guidance also appears in the Prayer of large and small. Saying ‘yes’ to each other not only helps us accomplish Saint Francis. Seeking to understand is the direction for what do with our dreams and goals, it actually leads to ideas and solutions that we our minds while we are listening to our partner. We open our hearts and could never come up with on our own. In communication with our lover, minds to understand where the other person is coming from, why they partner or spouse, it’s important to feel that we are on the same side. feel the way they do and what it really means to them. When we say, “Yes, and,” we support each other and become a team. It takes some skill and maturity to listen with an intention to understand, Places to Say Yes: Practice saying “yes” to your partner, “yes” to because it means being willing to temporarily put down our point of yourself and “yes” to life. view that we undoubtedly think we are right about. We press the pause
TWO TICKETS TO PARADISE THE POWER OF SAYING “YES” IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP
button on our own agenda and stay open while we take in and listen to the other person’s perspective. We do this knowing that the kindness we extend to our partner will be returned to us as we too will have an opportunity to share deeply and honestly. If we practice it, this one can be a life changer. 3. Validate: When our partner has finished talking, we then have an opportunity to say something. Before we jump into explaining our side of things, first try sharing with them what you think you heard them say, using their words if possible. This allows our partner to feel validated and gives them an opportunity to let us know if we heard them correctly. The next step is to let your loved one know you understand their perspective. For example, “I can see why you would feel that way because...” Once our partner feels heard, accepted and validated, she/ he is in a much better position to listen and be open to our point of view. From here, real caring, connection and compassion can begin. 138 VETTAMAGAZINE.COM
Yes to Your Partner: Yes, I will rub your shoulders for ten minutes, AND I will tell you how much I appreciate you. Yes, I will go see that action/ superhero/sci-fi movie with you, AND I will get us some of our favorite candy while we watch. Yes to Yourself: Yes, I will pamper myself more often, AND I will start by getting myself that massage. Yes, I will wear that outfit to the party, AND I will practice dressing in a way that truly expresses who I am! Yes to Life: Yes, I will meet with that business coach, AND start making plans and taking action on my real dream. Yes, I will go on that vacation we keep talking about, AND I will start looking at dates and making plans today! *Warning: Saying “yes” often may result in a significant increase in energy, passion, closeness and enjoyment in your relationship and in your life! VETTA
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e all want to be somewhere else. We have phantom pangs of missing out on something wonderful. It must be better over there, because look, I can see it on my Facebook feed. Then the cryptic, pinging tweets begin; something about a margarita sunset that will last deep into the night. Soon, there are incessant minuteto-minute Instagram posts clanging for your attention. You scan the photos. It seems like everyone is there, except you. Suddenly, your whole body surrenders to a social media coup d’état. Lamenting, you hear yourself thinking, “Why am I here when I could be there?” Surely we are all missing out on something. It must be true, or at least we think so. Each push notification falsely reminds us so every nanosecond we are plugged in. In fact, let me glance at my smart phone right now, because surely there is something I need to know this very instant, like… oh yeah, my BFF just sent me the funniest video of…There is a shorthand phrase for this –– FOMO, or fear of missing out. We have come to believe there is something better than the present moment. We forsake our own genuine moment for someone else’s. Sadly, no one truly meets Willie Nelson anymore. As soon as he or any other celebrity is spotted in public, what do most people do? Hyped up on adrenaline, they whip out their smart phone and start snapping selfies or videoing. It is an instant future jump. They can’t wait to show all their friends, friends of friends and few random strangers of their fortune. And if the video goes viral, well then, OMG.
to open the video app. When I looked up, I wasn’t sure what exactly had happened. The fish had vanished like a Houdini parlor trick. I had diverted my eyes only momentarily, for two seconds tops. At first, I thought it squirmed out of the heron’s beak, but I didn’t hear the water splash. I stared at the bird a bit dumbfounded. When my eyes came back into focus, I noticed a huge lump in its throat. Only then, I figured it out, and I let a few unprintable words fly out of my mouth. The heron accomplished the seemingly impossible feat of swallowing that fish whole. For five minutes, I had been one with that great blue heron, until I stepped out of the moment and into the future. I was left only with a temporary lump in my stomach for missing out on such a grand experience. As I continued on my walk, I kept rehashing the course of events over and over. I was right there — a mere eleven feet away from that heron, so where did I go? After my self-chiding and frustration subsided, I made a mental note to practice staying in the moment more often and to notice whenever I begin to stray. It is an ongoing challenge. Sometimes, it is as simple as noticing my breaths. Deep belly filled ones. I feel my breath slowly rise and fall in my body. Daily,I sit quietly practicing so my intentional breathing becomes automatic throughout the day,, especially when stressed. I’ve come to realize two major habits that dislocate me from the moment are “what if” vs. “what is” and “forecasting into the future or comparing the moment to the past.” Both bring into play either something that already has or hasn’t happened. These are merely fictional projections or past memoires and neither actually exist. Only the present moment is real and alive.
BE HERE NOW
There are times I notice I may be feeling uneasy about a particular thing, and my thoughts become preoccupied by it. Once again, It’s funny how the moment this takes me out the present. by andrew long slips away. The thing the Red I acknowledge my brain is built Headed Stranger frequently to solve problems and that is meets is an iPhone at the what it is trying to do. To come end of an extended arm. back, I intentionally give it a Technology is supposed to become our connecter, but instead different problem to solve, something that is at hand or I want becomes our distance. I am certainly not immune to this. One to accomplish. day, I was walking along the river at sunset and spotted a great For example, I’m travelling to Vancouver next month. I’ve already blue heron clenching a thrashing fish in its beak. The vision in checked the historic rain patterns and have appropriate rain front of me couldn’t have been more cinematic. Light brown gear, but I keep worrying how much it is actually going to rain. reeds were framing the heron as it stood at the riverbank. The Naturally, I want it to be sunny. When I find myself fretting over sun was sparkling diamonds across the water behind it in a this, I realize there is nothing I can do about the weather. It will be halo. I was in awe. Anticipation looming, both the heron, and I what it will be. So instead, I invest that energy into things that will stood silently. I knew any minute this majestic bird was about impact me today — like reviewing documents for a client, editing to devour this huge fish, but I had no idea how. It was as if I an upcoming article or playing the piano. A surefire remedy to was experiencing a National Geographic documentary in real snap me back into the moment is a gratitude list. Exactly as it time. I then had this interrupting thought about my brother. sounds, I begin to randomly say to myself things I am grateful Before he moved away months earlier, we used to frequently for, including tiny ones, like the special sea salt I use to cook walk that same path in the evening. I knew he would have with. Remember, the past is long gone and the future will turn loved to see this impending feat too. How I wished he were up eventually. The here and now is the only place you can be. with me. It then occurred to me my phone was in my pocket. Spend all your time there and enjoy fully. VETTA With my heart racing, I quickly pulled it out and glanced down
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14. Mulberry: Mulberry is a well-known wine bar and New American style restaurant in the heart of downtown Austin. It has received praise for its unique cozy atmosphere, carefully prepared cuisine, and an expertly curated wine list. Come in for a yummy dinner or for a glass of rich wine at this stylish venue on the corner of 3rd and Nueces. (mulberyaustin.com) 15. Andrew Long: “How can I become the person I want to be or know I am?” That question is the beginning of the journey, and once asked, can hardly be ignored. Strategic coaching helps you identify your self-imposed obstacles, their origins, and how to efficiently move through them in real-time. Call Andrew to start your journey… (ultralifecoach.com) 16. TX Real Estate People: This hip new real estate firm has just opened its doors downtown and is ready to serve Austin’s elite clientele, whether you are looking to sell or buy residential, commercial or ranch property. On the corner of 1st and Comal, this top-notch brokerage brings the knowledge and passion only 3rd and 5th generation Texans can offer. (txrealestatepeople.com) VETTAMAGAZINE.COM 143
17. Winn Wittman Architecture: Recognized and featured in countless national media outlets, Winn Wittman is one of Austin’s top architects, thanks to his uncompromised vision of innovation and sleek aesthetics. Behind some of Austin’s most notable multi-million dollar properties, Winn and his team are ready to start working on your high-style dwelling and materialize your heart’s desires. Call for a free consultation. (winnwittman.com)
18. MONÉ Media International: Your next campaign needs to be cohesive, creative and competitive; let the experts put it together. With cutting-edge services and award winning online and offline revenue generating strategies, many clients in Austin have already discovered why MONÉ simply works. With turnkey PR, Marketing, Web, Design, Social Media and Branding solutions, MONÉ will design a smart, cost-effective campaign that will surely catapult your brand onto the spotlight. Call today for a free quote. (monemedia.com) 19. Fleur de Nuit Boutique: Now open at The Domain! Exquisite lingerie from across the globe comes together under one roof: Fleur de Nuit Lingerie Boutique. Experience sensuality, the finest textiles and chic designs through their beautiful selection of in-stock and custom made pieces. Love isn’t blind, so turn yourself into a flower of the night. Gift cards are available. (fleurdenuitaustin.com)
20. We Olive: This chic venue provides a relaxed atmosphere and a gateway to fresh, artisan olive oils and flavorfully unique balsamics. Customers can enjoy artisan wines, local microbrews, and Small Bites menu with friends and family. A wide array of custom presents are available, as well as rich experiences for corporate gifting. (weolive.com/austin)
21. Rae Cosmetics: High performance makeup, mesmerizing color or convenient kits for everyday use, you’ll find it all at Rae Cosmetics. Centrally located on 2nd Street, Rochelle Rae and her talented staff will meet you for an in-depth consultation or a fabulous beauty appointment. Get ready to shine at your next big event. Gift cards are available. (raecosmetics.com) 22. Sikara & Co: Sikara is a modern fusion of jewelry, travel and love for life. Every piece in their chic downtown boutique is a reflection of founder Mousumi Shaw’s life as a first generation Indian-American and her travels to over 40 countries. Gift cards are available. (sikara.com)
23. By George: For the past 35 years, By George has offered a unique shopping experience in their three Austin stores: the Flagship location on Lamar, with men’s and women’s shops housed under one roof, and a woman’s boutique on renowned South Congress. Now you don’t have to travel all the way to Austin to shop, as their virtual storefront now serves as an extension of the distinctive boutique experience. (bygeorgeaustin.com) 24. CCB Designs: CCB Designs teams with the homeowners and builders to manage the selection and specification process for a timely, well designed home. The CCB Designs team also coordinates with current homeowners on Kitchen and Bathroom remodels. The overall budget is managed with contractor bids and selections to achieve a finished project that meets the design and financial goals. (ccbdesigns.net)
25. Lotus Asian Art & Antiques Gallery: The shop brings together exquisite Asian artistry from the Han Dynasty to today’s prolific talents. Lotus houses ancient and contemporary art, antiques, and decorative elements from across Asia. Featured works include sculpture, fine pottery, paintings, textiles, furnishings, and hand-painted screens and scrolls. (lotusasianart.com)
26. Maureen Stevens: A creator of well-edited and immensely functional spaces, Maureen is a talented designer and stylist in Austin, who ads energy and elegance to any project. “Add refreshing to classy, a dash of ‘oomph’ to sophisticated and you’ve got a recipe for my style aesthetic.” (maureenstevens.com) 27. Platinum Realty: Forget everything you know about real estate service. Platinum Realty is an Austin real estate team that is redefining what it means to go “above and beyond”. Everyone needs a friend in the real estate business who has the knowledge, dedication and integrity you can count on. This is what they do and love! Ring or email to see how they can help with your next luxury real estate hunt. (platinumrealtyaustin.com)
28. Endever Furniture: Endever Furniture and Design is an Austin based company specializing in custom furniture. They take pride in meeting the needs of their customers from start to finish and offer from custom dining tables to reclaimed wood walls and raw material sales. See how edgy and modern meet rustic old world sophistication. (endeverfurniture.com) 29. Salon U: Each of their handpicked stylists has been trained with extensive color and cutting courses and more importantly, time behind the chair. You won’t go wrong with our trained hands in our favorite canvas: your hair! Receive star treatment at their Lakeway location, including lashes, extensions, makeup and more! (512-266-4010; salonuaustin.com)
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30. Amber Heart: Under the KW Luxury brand, Amber Heart is one of Austin’s top luxury agents. In 2009 she earned a Triple Gold Medal, placing her among the most productive individual agents in the country and was ranked #8 among Top Individual Agents in the greater Austin area by the Austin Business Journal. She is a member of the Keller Williams Luxury Home Division, The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist, a member of the prestigious Million Dollar Guild and a Certified Negotiation Expert (a designation clinched by less than 1% of agents). (amberharthomes.com) 31. Cuyana: Say hello to the brand that is all about fewer, better things. Cuyana means “to love” in Quechua and every piece they design is imbued with our love for quality, timelessness, and beauty, making you fall in love with your closet all over again with every piece. (cuyana.com) 32. Young & Fabulous: It’s your source for trendsetting women’s fashion, providing exclusive designs in women’s apparel and accessories offered from around the world. Dedicated fashionistas can find captivating, apparel, shoes, handbags and accessories, many of which have been spotted on Hollywood starlets and featured in leading fashion magazines. (youngandfabulous.com) VETTAMAGAZINE.COM 145
HEAD FOR NORWAY
onsidered one of the most beautiful places in the world, Disney’s animated megahit Frozen helped turn Norway into a top European travel destination. While the unparalleled and striking beauty of Norway’s snow-covered mountains and fjords (long, narrow inlets of deep blue water between soaring cliffs) have lured travelers for years, there is much more to do than just admire its natural splendor. Oslo, one of Norway’s liveliest cities, is a cultural metropolis of hip restaurants, vibrant nightlife, and worldrenowned museums. Don’t miss the spectacular National Gallery, or Nasjonalgalleriet, which boasts the country’s biggest collection of Norwegian art. Want an insider’s tip? Book a table at Oslo’s De Fem Stuer in the historic Holmenkollen Park Hotel Rica for stunning views over the city and delicious Modern Nordic and international cuisine. Nearby is the famous Holmenkollen ski jump, a modern marvel and the only steel ski jump in the world. Norway attracts visitors year-round. The most popular season to go is summer (when the days are longer and the sun shines around the clock), but to avoid crowds, autumn is far quieter (and cheaper). January and February are extremely dark and cold, so avid skiers and snow lovers should aim for March, but those itching for a glimpse of the spectacular Northern Lights can best view them any time between late autumn and early spring.
Photo by Christian Bothner.
OFFICIAL FERR ARI DE ALER
Ferrari of Austin Passion and innovation. They are at the heart of every vehicle that bears the Prancing Horse emblem and are the driving force behind everything we do at Ferrari of Austin. Whether you are new to the Ferrari family or a devoted enthusiast, our team of sales and service professionals share in your appreciation for unprecedented luxury and exceptional performance---both on the track and off. Visit us today and share in an experience that only a Ferrari dealership can provide.
Ferrari of Austin 4108 N Lamar Blvd Telephone: +1-512.380-0231 www.dealer.ferrari.com/ferrariofaustin All trademarks and copyrights are exclusively rights of Ferrari S.p.A.
Ready, Jet Set, Go! Discover over a dozen countries and their amazing travel spots!