Best of CH 2018: Travel

Destinations, drives and adventures that we still dream about

Circumnavigate the world—time and again—in 365 days. That’s what our editorial team did in 2018. From revisiting old haunts in the USA’s Rust Belt to combatting sandstorms in the Gobi Desert, we approached every destination with wide eyes and curiosity. We flew, drove and hiked our way across the continents and the following stories reflect the diversity of these experiences. We travel because of an insatiable desire. Our goal, however, is to encourage others to do the same—to be inspired to feel as we do. Return to New Orleans. Look at Tokyo through a different lens. Or simply sit back with a glass of wine somewhere out there… after reading these.

by Mike Sakas

Dinosaur Bones, Calamity and Gear: Exploring the Gobi Desert

After the sixth hour of a biblical sandstorm, we’re feeling fairly confident about the $1,800 Hilleberg tent that we’re huddled inside—especially considering the rest of the campsite blew down hours ago. During the desert storm, two members of our expedition were injured and needed to be evacuated: one suffered a concussion, the other a scorpion sting. So while it’s the middle of the night, we’re wearing sturdy boots, a headlamp, and desert-ready clothes in the shuddering, sand-filled tent. As it turns out, when you’re looking for an adventure in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert, you’re likely to find one… Read more.

Courtesy of Bacchanal Wine

Word of Mouth: New Orleans

When visiting New Orleans for the first time, one thing becomes immediately apparent: the stories are true. There are wildly talented musicians playing music on the street; oak trees that are hundreds of years old are scattered throughout the city; second line parades are common; it’s swampy, sweaty and the air is heavy. Visually striking and strangely emotive at almost every corner, NOLA is a city that genuinely feels alive. From seeing live music (from bluegrass to bounce), to going on a gator tour, eating beignets, or visiting the delightfully creepy Pharmacy Museum, there are plenty of essential experiences in the Big Easy. We’ve selected some lesser-known favorites that represent the diversity and magic of this dynamic city… Read more.

by Paul Jebara

Road Trip: Coast to Coast in Puglia, Italy

Visitors seeking to explore Italy’s sun-drenched Puglia region are spoiled immediately upon arrival. With Adriatic to the East and the Ionian to the West, a less-than-one-hour driving distance between the two coasts means the cliff-hugging seaside towns, ancient archeological sites, and everything in between can be efficiently explored by car. For being the heel to Italy’s boot, Puglia is relatively flat, hosting sprawling olive groves that dominate the landscape and the country’s olive oil production… Read more.

Courtesy of Bad Luck Bar

Word of Mouth: Drinking + Dining in Detroit

Everyone who visits Detroit wants to tell you about the city’s continued resurgence; perhaps even more so than the residents living through it and making it happen. Much of this fervor comes from the fact that the Motor City houses so many interesting bars and restaurants. And even the more conceptual ones—a macabre speakeasy or multimedia art installation and music venue, for example—deliver on quality… Read more.

by Mike Tommasiello

Adventure and Action with the Icelandic Search and Rescue Team

Iceland—with its active volcanos and glaciers—is a dream destination for photographers, outdoors enthusiasts and anybody choosing to eschew traditional beachside vacations for a little more adventure. We were recently among those aforementioned types, as we joined Luminox and the Icelandic Search and Rescue(ICE-SAR) team for the launch of their ICE-SAR Arctic 1000 series—a collection designed for an elite group who live in accordance with the motto: “every second counts…” Read more.

Courtesy of the Imperial Hotel

Word of Mouth: Tokyo Design and Architecture

Shrines and temples hidden in lush gardens can be found right next to futuristic glass skyscrapers in Tokyo. The dense, exciting city can verge on visual overload for many, with countless colors, shapes, textures and breathtaking views filling the landscape. Of course, architecture continues to be valued at an extremely high level in a country that excels in artistic and creative disciplines. From Yoshio Taniguchi’s sublime Hotel Okura to Frank Lloyd Wright’s legacy at the Imperial Hotel, ingenuity can be found throughout the Japanese capital, making the city a design adventure with inspiration at every turn… Read more.

Courtesy of Babylonstoren

Babylonstoren Farm Hotel, Cape Wineland

Babylonstoren is so idyllic, it’s almost unfathomable. A working farm that dates back to 1692, the beauty of this vineyard is two-fold: nature and natural talent. The former is thanks to its location in the Cape Winelands, where bucolic landscapes are met by stunning mountain vistas and all is illuminated by rays of gold South Africa sun. The latter is due to Babylonstoren’s owner, Karen Roos, a former magazine editor with a serious knack for highly detailed yet wonderfully understated design… Read more.

by Evan Malachosky

Word of Mouth: Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, moated off from its suburbs by the ribboning of three rivers (the Allegheny and Monongahela and Ohio) finds itself in the midst of a revolution. On the banks lie—vacant and, in many people’s eyes, obtrusive—the remnants of a fruitful industrial economy. Steel mills, smog and successful, sinful businesspeople make up the foundation of Pittsburgh history, but since the turn of the 21st century, imagination, a bit of willingness, and the help of the national spotlight have turned Pittsburgh from an industrial icon into an artful, gastronomic flicker in the historically dull Rust Belt. From contemporary art museums and galleries, to remarkable restaurants, comedy clubs, gimmicky but fun venues (think: themed bars and stripper karaoke), countless public parks and sublime outdoor spaces, Pittsburgh will make a delightful impact on even the most worldly traveler… Read more.

by Alessandro de Toni

The Shanghai EDITION Hotel Opens Near The Bund

The latest EDITION Hotel has officially opened its doors, this time in ShanghaiThe Shanghai EDITION is the cherry on top for a city that has seen its powerful growth manifest into becoming one of the most vibrant cultural hubs in Asia. It’s also a milestone along Shanghai’s path to becoming a global lifestyle capital… Read more.

by Josh Rubin

CH Edition: Morocco

COOL HUNTING Edition hosted travel experiences are our version of a couture line. Like the fashion analogy, they’re a halo product, a pinnacle, a dream. They share our curiosity as editors, are shaped by the people we know and meet during our research and are laced with powerful, scenic, emotional, delicious, reflective, layered and beautiful moments. Each experience—Zambia (twice!), Cuba and now Morocco allow our guests to see a place through our eyes, meet locals, experience things most tourists can’t or don’t seek out with an added benefit of traveling in a group of 24 people who would likely never consider traveling in a group, each curious, creative and well-traveled… Read more.