And now for some news south of the border.
I just found out that fashion designer Diesel has expanded into the hostelry business with the opening of Uxua Casa, a hotel in Trancoso on Brazil’s Bahia coast. The nine one-, two- and three-bedroom cottages are right by the town’s square but also just a five-minute walk to the beach. Trancoso sounds right up my alley: a barefoot chic village with just the right mix of hip but still low-key.
Another place on my wish list is Buenos Aires. Director Francis Ford Coppola has already had a second career as a hotelier with resorts in Guatemala and Belize, and now the Hollywood legend is turning his attention to Palermo Soho, the chicest neighborhood in Buenos Aires. Jardin Escondido debuted in early February with six bedrooms and a spacious studio. It sounds the perfect size for a weekend rental or a house party–the property includes a solar-heated pool, three levels of pretty gardens and an outdoor kitchen where you can sample grilled local steak.
In neighboring Uruguay, Jose Ignacio has also been on my radar (I keep hearing rumors that a Setai hotel is going to open there, but it is still a way off) and its newly opened Estancia Vik, a 4,000-acre ranch by the ocean, sounds worth a visit. The 12 suites are accessorized by the work of local Uruguayan artists and outdoor activities include riding the horses that make their home there (there is also a polo field), kite surfing, and fishing. There is even a chapel for those looking for a destination wedding site.
And in Mexico’s San Miguel de Allende, one of the country’s most beautiful colonial towns, Orient Express has just added Casa de Palma to its Casa de Sierra enclave. The 18th century mansion includes six suites with private plunge pools, copper tubs and flat screen TVs.