Katarina, what made you decide to start your blog, Style Jaunt?
It was just an idea I had for a long time. I love shopping and I love travel, especially really stylish and interesting hotels. I’ve got a lot of cool ideas in store for 2013 – a complete editorial overhaul. I’m really excited about it! So sign up for my RSS feed to stay up-to-date.
You’re a freelance travel and hotels writer, what’s the best hotel you’ve ever stayed in?!
This is like asking a mother which child is her favorite! I recently traveled home to Arizona for a conference and stayed at one of my all-time favorites, the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North. I love everything about it – the beautiful desert scenery, the attentive staff, but especially the décor. They’ve done such a great job with a Southwestern design that’s genuine without being kitschy.
Other places that I’ve recently stayed and loved are Ceiba del Mar in the Mayan Riviera because it’s wonderfully understated and romantic, and Hotel Monaco in Portland. Kimpton just knows how to do things right. They have several Hotel Monaco’s in their portfolio, but each one is different and special to the destination. The Portland hotel has one of the best Kimpton free wine hours I’ve seen – really eclectic, just like Portland. When I visited, they had a Henna tattoo artist and a man making balloon animals. It’s a ton of fun! And if I could design my apartment based on a hotel, it would be Hotel Saint Cecilia in Austin.
If you could jump on a plane right now, where would you go and why?
By default, this answer is always Croatia. I was born there, so my heart always pulls me in that direction. It’s popular for its beaches, which are beautiful, but there are so many more places that I think people really miss when they travel there – the art and cultural scene in Zagreb, Plitvice Lakes National Park and Nikola Tesla’s home in Lika, the castles in Slavonia. But I’m also dying to visit New Zealand, several places in South America, and all of the tiny but fascinating countries across Europe like Latvia and Montenegro. I’ve also only ever driven through Austria and every time I do, I am dying to stay and explore.
Describe your travel style for us…
I’d call myself a chameleon. My travel style really depends on the destination. I can be a total beach bum, or I can be Mrs. Do-and-See-It-All. That’s the beauty of travel!
What are your beauty essentials for travel?
I love all-in-one makeup palettes, like the Stila Travel Palettes. Solid perfume is great, too, because it doesn’t count against your TSA liquid limits. L’Ombre dans l’Eau has a great line. Facial cleansing wipes are great for the same reason. I carry a pack of Neutrogena Deep Clean Oil-Free Cleansing Wipes with me on the plane and, just before landing, refresh with one of those and a skin hydrating spray.
Do you have a favourite city or place for shopping?
New York City, where I live, is an obvious choice. But I’ve also had a lot of fun exploring some lesser-known spots, like the West End in Portland. It’s got some of the coolest independent boutiques I’ve ever seen! If you go, don’t miss Radish Underground or Pinkham Millinery. The woman at Pinkham designs and constructs these amazing handmade hats and fascinators. I went and all I could think about was Kate Middleton.
Do you recommend a particular brand of luggage?
Not really. I think you should get whatever works for you and your budget. I take my kate spade Leslie tote (a gift from my girlfriends for my wedding!) everywhere, though.
What’s your favourite article of clothing in your suitcase?
I recently came across this great accessories company called Cuyana and I am taking their Merino wool scarf with me on pretty much every flight. It’s cute and practical – I can keep warm on the plane without having to carry a bulky sweater. It’s a cool company whose designs are inspired by countries around the world.
What technology items do you take with you for blogging from the road?
I keep things pretty simple – my MacBook and my camera.
And finally…do you have any upcoming trips planned?
I’m heading to Miami soon. I’ve never been and I am excited to check out the shopping scene and South Beach’s local style!