Crafting a New Cool - Full-Time Travel

Crafting a New Cool

Crafting a New Cool

A new wave of hand-forged hotels

In an industry constantly trying to one-up itself in newness, the travel spotlight on handcrafted experiences distills luxury down to its simplest, most authentic form. From an abandoned medieval hill town in Italy to an island off the coast of Newfoundland, these high-impact, craft-driven destinations are the real deal, authenticity-approved.

Inn Crowd

The covetable handcrafted objects outfitting rooms at the Fogo Island Inn can now be scooped up at the new Fogo Island Shop. Look for modern versions of age-old concepts from this tiny island located off the Northeast Coast of Newfoundland: Nosegay-Compass Points Heritage quilts, handmade wooden ice mallets, crocheted mats, birch brooms and thrum mittens all support the overall mission of the non-profit Fogo Island Inn: Place-specific hospitality and contemporary design that honors the rich history and tradition of the island. This wildly beautiful 29-room inn, built on the rugged, rocky edge of the island’s coast, features everything from a full roster of dining, lounge, bar and reading rooms to roof-top wood-fired saunas and outdoor hot tubs—all of it to promote the economy and heritage of the island.

Field Notes

Fishing—and the traditional wooden boats that go with it—are an integral part of Fogo Island’s history and cultural ethos, maybe the most integral. As an ode to this deep history (it is said that these wooden boats hold the knowledge of the people), the Fogo Island Inn’s foundation has developed a heritage collection of wooden boats as well as a program for high schoolers to continue learning about the longstanding tradition. Inside the hotel, each of the guest rooms is outfitted with a Punt Chair, designed by Elaine Fortin and named after the workhorse of the traditional boats. She applies the same boat-building techniques—using the natural curves of the juniper and spruce trees—that were traditionally used to create the structural ribs of the punts.

Launch Pad

Sextantio Santo Stefano di Sessanio is as much a rescue mission as it is a hotel. Sextantio brought back the abandoned medieval village of Santo Stefano as a diffused (“scattered”) hotel dedicated to preserving a simple, craft-driven way of life in the mountains of Abruzzo, Italy. Museum-like in its pursuit of authenticity, the property showcases its commitment to craft with hand-stuffed woolen mattresses, hand-hewn plank beds and heavy, traditional woven coverlets that are handmade on premises. Cobbled lanes, uneven floors, textured stone walls and open fireplaces add to the experience of stepping back in time. Their motto: “A hotel that defines a new dimension of luxury.”
Tip: Add bread-making and weaving classes to your luxury agenda.

"From an abandoned medieval hill town in Italy to an island off the coast of Newfoundland, these high-impact, craft-driven destinations are the real deal, authenticity-approved."

The Brag

Craft your own concoctions at the “Lavendar Lab” located within the family-owned Los Poblanos inn in Albuquerque, New Mexico. From its rolling lavender fields, hand-harvested and crafted salves, shampoos and soaps stock the guest rooms (and are sold in their onsite Farm Shop). Enjoy the work of others throughout the property’s cluster of architecturally significant historic buildings with mega-watt craft chops (do not miss the Peter Hurd fresco, carved wooden doors and mantels or the intricate iron door handles and gates). Specializing in heirloom varieties, and including rare and endangered crops like Chimayo chiles and brown tepary beans, the hotel’s bounty feeds its new restaurant, Campo.

Short List

Getting Crafty Around The Globe

Tour family weaving houses and studios dedicated to the Zapotec weaving tradition in Teotitlan de Valle, Oaxaca. A comprehensive view of regional textile history and arts is on view at the Museo Textil de Oaxaca.

Japan’s Mingei movement celebrates the beauty of crafts made by ordinary people and used in daily life. The go-to appreciation source: Tokyo’s Japan Folk Craft Museum.

In Grottaglie, Italy, the entire village is steeped in ceramics. Tour studios, shops and showrooms, including the legendary 18th-generation earthenware company Nicola Fasano, then stop by Museo della Ceramiche Grottaglie for a history lesson. 


THE BRAG: @Los Poblanoes

SHORT LIST: @Museo Textil de Oaxaca

There's more to Greece than the white and blue buildings and the surrounding Mediterranean Sea. If you're planning a visit, check out these places below!

📍Kokkinopilos. Preveza
📍Verliga Dragon lake, Thessaly
📍Ithaca island, lonian Sea
📍Aoos springs lake, Epirus
📍Lake Prespes, Macedonia
📍Balda di Stringa waterfalls, Epirus
📍Meteora, Thessaly
📍Pelion, Thessaly
📍Lake Zorika, Epirus
📍Mt Lakmos
📍Crete island, Aegean Sea
📍Gistova Dragon lake, Macedonia

Reel: @farawayfarers

Swim or kayak through the limestone cliffs of the Twin Lagoon, a must-visit destination for those traveling to Coron, Palawan, Philippines. It is called "twin" lagoon because it consists of two lagoons separated by a limestone cliff, with one lagoon on top of the other. The water in the inner lagoon is warm and clear, with a stunning turquoise color that makes it popular for swimming and snorkeling.

Reel: @travelifejournal

Take a dip in a series of seven saltwater lagoons located in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. The Lagoons of Baltinache are known for their beautiful turquoise waters and unique geological formations. The high concentration of minerals in the water gives it a unique buoyancy that makes swimming in the lagoons a unique experience.

Reel: @everchanginghorizon

Watching the sun rise above the clouds at Haleakalā National Park is one of the most memorable experiences you could have. Haleakalā is a Hawaiian name that means “House of the Sun” and is an awesome place to watch the clear night sky and stars fade away as the sun lights up the sky and the earth.

Reel: @girlchill_sunset

Just 1 hour from Shanghai by train, Cherry Blossom Valley is a popular tourist destination, particularly in the spring when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. The valley is named after the thousands of cherry blossom trees that cover the area and create a stunning display of pink and white flowers. The trees were originally planted in the 1980s by a group of Japanese experts who were invited to China to help with reforestation efforts. The best time to visit is typically in late March or early April. Get there early to beat the crowds!

Reel: @cyncynti

New Zealand is unbelievable. See it for yourself:

1. Fiordland National Park
2. A classic backcountry hut trip
3. Blue Pools walk
4. Hooker Lake
5. Milford Sound
6. Lake Pukaki

Reel: @kylekotajarvi

Surrounded by lush greenery, towering karst mountains, and the river flowing through, the Detian Waterfall is a popular tourist attraction and a symbol of the close relationship between China and Vietnam. It is the largest waterfall in Asia and the fourth largest cross-border waterfall in the world.

Reel: @sophoebelous

Escape to a serene and peaceful oasis away from the bustling city of Marrakech at Le Jardin Secret—a beautiful and historic garden where visitors can escape the noise and chaos and enjoy the beauty of nature. The garden was originally built in the 16th century and is home to many different species of plants, including exotic flowers, citrus trees, and palm trees.

Reel: @hypermiggzz

For a magical moment and bucket list travel experience, visit the end point of the annual monarch butterfly migration. Starting in August, the monarchs travel 2,800 miles south from Canada, making a temporary home amid the towering trees of the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Mexico, where the two most popular sanctuaries to view them are el Rosario in the state of Michoacan and Piedra Herrada in Estado de México. Standing in silence while thousands of delicate wings beat in unison is something you'll never forget.

Reel: @juliiathompson

There's just something beautiful about snow covered landscapes like this popular attraction in southwestern Utah. Known for its unique geology, @brycecanyonnps_gov consists of a series of natural amphitheaters, called "hoodoos," formed by erosion of the rock layers.

Photo: @nathanleeallen

As we experience a couple more weeks of winter, we can't help but dream of tropical destinations like Hawaii. The warm water, sunny skies, and consistent waves make it an ideal destination for surfers. Hawaii has a vibrant surf culture and community and is also a beautiful place to explore outside of the water, with lush green mountains, stunning beaches, and unique cultural experiences.

Reel: @christopherballadarez

1. @sequoiakingsnps, California
2. @canyonlandsnps, Utah
3. @olympic_nps, Washington
4. @whitesandsnps, New Mexico
5. Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, Arizona
6. Knik Glacier, Alaska

Reel: @nathanleeallen

Imagine getting caught in the rain while kayaking at one of the most beautiful and popular destinations in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. Known for its stunning turquoise-colored lake, surrounded by the majestic Rocky Mountains, Lake Louise is home to diverse wildlife, including grizzly bears, elk, and moose.

Reel: @reneeroaming