Travel | A Continuous Lean. - Page 3

Flight of the Rimowa

Aug 2nd, 2012 | Categories: Travel | by Michael Williams

It’s not everyday you get cruise down the Hudson river, circle around the statue of Liberty and then buzz back along Manhattan’s West Side in a vintage German Junkers JU-52. That’s exactly what the iconic German luggage maker Rimowa organized for a lucky few last evening. There’s a real connection to the Junkers too, it’s not just marketing (though it was a marketing thing, a very fun marketing thing).

In 1937, Richard Morszeck (son of Rimowa founder Paul Morszeck) introduced the first pieces of Rimowa hand luggage made from aircraft grade aluminum, the same material that was used to make the German airplanes of the era — the Junkers 25 among them. The cases proved popular for the sturdiness and light weight that was provided by the aluminum construction. Then in the early 1950s the company introduced the ribbed exterior texture (inspired again by the aircraft exterior) which has become a calling card for the brand. If you see a groved silver metal case, you know it’s a Rimowa.





Checking In | Mezzatorre Resort

Jun 7th, 2012 | Categories: Checking In, Italy, Travel | by Michael Williams

The post about my time in Ischia wouldn’t be complete without talking a bit about my hotel on the island, the Mezzatorre Resort & Spa. I spent a good amount of time looking for a place to vacation for a few days before some business meetings I had in Europe this past week. I really wanted to further explore the coast of Italy, because in past years I have spent these early June trips in the south of France, a destination I hold as one of my most loved places for R&R. This year though I was hoping for something that could live up to the great times I have had before. Needless to say, Mezzatorre and Ischia far exceeded any expectations and has raised the bar for next summer.

Finding a place for me to vacation is not the easiest task. On business I don’t really have a lot of concern for where I will stay — often a Hilton of any color will suffice. So long as it is clean and well kept, I’m golden. But, when it comes to a vacation now that’s a whole other story. I agonize over where to stay when it comes to some of my few true holidays. Trip Advisor can be helpful, but I find most of the people on there are insane or just very easily won over and have tendencies to over rate things. So I’ve learned to look to people — people whom I consider to have all-around good taste — for advice based on their past experiences.

This time around I was looking to stay somewhere on the Amalfi Coast and I couldn’t seem to come up with anything I liked under $1200 a night (which is insanity as far as I am concerned unless it is a honeymoon situation). Eventually though I found the perfect person to ask for advice and he in turn offered up the Mezzatorre, which ended up being the perfect solution. That man? None other than Mr. Tom Kalenderian, the smartest man in menswear, Barneys New York GMM and all around good guy.





Escape to Ischia

Jun 4th, 2012 | Categories: As it happened, Italy, Travel | by Michael Williams

The islands of the Tyrrhenian Sea recently served me as the ultimate respite from my hectic life in the city. This past week I enjoyed three very short days off the coast of Napoli tending to the sun and sea in the paradise that is Ischia. And don’t feel like you need to wait until Agosto to enjoy the islands of Italy, June is the perfect time to visit as prices are better and crowds thinner, but the weather couldn’t be better.

The islands of southern Italy are famous for their idyllic surroundings and relaxed atmosphere. Capri is by far the best known of the bunch, but my vote goes for its larger sibling Ischia. The more time I spend on the Mediterranean, the more I want to be there. Frankly, it’s a very well-fed and well-tanned vicious cycle that is not to be missed.





Checking In | Viceroy Riviera Maya

Apr 18th, 2012 | Categories: Checking In, Travel | by Michael Williams

The ultimate vacation, for me, is the tropical getaway. I travel quite a bit for work, and love seeing new places, but rarely do I block five days and relax on a beach. That’s exactly what I did this past week. My girlfriend and I (she’s responsible for a few pictures here too, so you know) headed to Mexico to fully ensconce ourselves in the blood pressure lowering confines of the Viceroy Riviera Maya.

The resort is set up as a series of villas, tucked into a heavily forested part of the Mexican coastline. It’s like a well appointed Spanish speaking version of Swiss Family Robinson with an emphasis on delicious food and super attentive service. Everywhere you turn there’s a very pleasant Viceroy staffer happily willing to help get you a towel, clean your sunglasses or help you with anything you could possibly need. And it’s not crowded — and that is key. While we were on the property, we barely saw more than four or five guests. No lines for anything, ever. No trouble getting your preferred cabaña on the beach, no waiting for a table at one of the restaurants. Coming from the insanity of the city, this was crucial to the relaxation factor. We needed waves, sun and a salty breeze, not lots of people.





Pachyderm Proof | Greg Chapman for Globe-Trotter

Apr 2nd, 2012 | Categories: England, Made in England, Travel | by Michael Williams

Americana loving Brit designer Greg Chapman spent a year and a half traveling around the world with the Globe-Trotter Safari Air, a case that he purchased at the revered company’s shop in London’s Burlington Arcade after a meeting with brand Creative Director Gary Bott. A little while later, Chapman approached Globe-Trotter and Bott about collaborating on a modified case that incorporates some modern day considerations — though nothing too crazy like wheels — and then set out to create a small run of special edition Globe-Trotters based on the company’s functional 1912 Stabilist series.

More history on the inspiration for the Greg Chapman x Globe-Trotter collaboration:

In 1912, the Stabilist series were bespoke manufactured Globe-Trotter luggage that featured special functionality for the Victorian traveler; such as wardrobe trunks, hat and shoe cases for travel by horse drawn carriage, rail and cruise liner.





Becoming a Globe-Trotter

Jan 6th, 2012 | Categories: England, Travel | by Michael Williams

Still made in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire England using original manufacturing methods, Globe-Trotter luggage has over the years built a cult following among well heeled travelers the world over. The process of making these incredible instruments of exploration has largely remained the same for over a hundred years — something not too many luggage makers can boast (though there are still a handful who can).

The company recently released a video highlighting the making of its iconic cases. More on that construction process from the Globe-Trotter craftsmanship page:

Each case is uniquely constructed from vulcanised fibreboard; a special material invented in Britain during the 1850’s consisting of multiple layers of bonded paper. Handles are produced by the leather team who also form the iconic Globe-Trotter corners over a period of 5-days on antique Victorian presses.





Escape to Carneros.

Jan 1st, 2012 | Categories: California, Travel | by Michael Williams

Without a doubt the most relaxing and enjoyable days of 2011 were spent within the beautiful confines of The Carneros Inn. A group of friends and I spent the weekend at the Northern California resort this past fall — an experience I can’t seem to let go of. Having never been to the Napa Valley, the time at Carneros was the perfect introduction to one of the most amazing places in North America. Honestly, I’m disappointed I haven’t visited sooner in life.