Articles and Essays

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36 Hours in Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto, the former imperial capital of Japan, is a vibrant mash-up, an ancient city electrified by the breathtakingly new. Cruise the futuristic food halls of a department store, gaping at the perfect fruit and glistening sea creatures, before zipping up to the traditional floor, with its kimonos and tea (Read More…)

Elle Decor Goes to Tokyo

Japan’s capital is a compelling study in contrasts—sprawling yet full of intimate neighborhoods; ancient yet up-to-the-minute. Here’s how to navigate its riches.

Read excerpted article here

El Cosmico: Trailer Made

Three days before its grand opening party, El Cosmico was humming. Under the big West Texas sky, a crew of artists, musicians, and designers poured concrete floors for the hotel’s outdoor showers, raked gravel along meandering pathways, and transformed salvaged regional materials—abandoned oil drums, ranch fencing wire—into lobby furniture and shade structures.

The brainchild of Austin-based hotelier Liz Lambert, El Cosmico is a new kind of lodging: part trailer park, part creative commune—“a Trans-Pecos kibbutz (Read More…)

North Lake Tahoe’s New Look

A new Ritz-Carlton and a slew of shops and restaurants are bringing a dose of fresh glamour to this renowned playground.

SkiingSurrounded by 18 ski resorts—the densest concentration of slopes anywhere in America—Lake Tahoe is a winter-sports paradise. But despite its abundance of on-mountain thrills, the region has been lacking, somewhat, in off-slope amenities—unless you count the casinos and an all-night bar scene (not to mention attendant bachelor parties) on the lake’s south side. No longer. (Read More…)

36 Hours in Austin, Texas

AustinThe city’s unofficial motto, “Keep Austin Weird,” blares from bumper stickers on BMWs and jalopies alike, on T-shirts worn by joggers along Lady Bird Lake and in the windows of independently owned shops and restaurants. It’s an exhortation for a city that clings (Read More…)

T+L’s Guide to Kyoto, Japan

Japan’s ancient capital has one foot in the 14th century and the other firmly rooted in the 21st.

KyotoWhile the megalopolis of Tokyo catapults itself into the future, Kyoto—renowned for its temples, shrines, and vibrant geisha culture—has grown cautiously. Two years ago, the government banned rooftop and flashing ads and put a cap on building height to preserve the centuries-old landscape. Now, a surprisingly modern city is emerging as stylish restaurants, shops, and inns pop up in 19th-century machiya, or wooden merchants’ houses. (Read More…)

Photo Essay: Rajasthan, India

P1030804At first, I tried to resist the seduction.  I felt that there was something shameful, whorish even, in tourists lusting after color, pointing their cameras at a retreating pink sari, or a flash of red turbans. Yet over and over again I swiveled toward the colors, camera in hand, as if magnetized.  I was in northwest India for ten days, reporting a story for the New York Times about traditional arts in Rajasthan—a region renowned for its riotous visuals, and beset, as throughout India, with crippling poverty. (Read More…)

Save or Splurge: San Francisco

14savesplurge600.1ON $250/DAY

SLEEP Carved out of a 1920s hotel, the new Hotel Vertigo in Nob Hill (940 Sutter Street; 415-885-6800; recently emerged from a cinematic makeover inspired (Read More…)

The Skill Set

Indian artisans are breathing new life into old traditions.


If you close your eyes and block out the visual cues — the red ocher 18th-century buildings, the brightly colored bazaars, the monkeys scrambling maniacally over the dusty rooflines — you would still know you were in Jaipur, India. The country’s center of traditional craftsmanship has a distinctive soundtrack (Read More…)

Elle Decor Goes to Athens

Hip hotels, restaurant and museums are transforming the city of Socrates.

Read excerpted article here.