For this year’s gift guide, we put the call out to Tablet Plus hotels from around the world, requesting their ideas for what makes a great present in 2019.
Every year, we ask ourselves the same question: what do you get the traveler who’s seen it all? This holiday season, we decided to branch out. Instead of giving you our own gift recommendations, we asked some of our favorite Tablet Plus hotels for theirs.
Our request resulted in a mix of luxurious, practical, creative things from all over the globe, an array of ideas and tastes befitting their international personalities. Truly, a worldly gift guide.
3 Bento-Inspired Shopping Bags
Ibubumi // USD$9
Inspired by the Bento bag, here’s a clever, reusable shopping bag that adjusts size based on the occasion. Tie it tightly and it’s tiny. Loosen the knot and it expands. When it’s empty, fold it up and it’s easily transportable. A natural choice from an Indonesian resort that prides itself on sustainability. Buy it at ibubumibali.com →
Recommended by: Alila Seminyak
There’s always room for another good hotel in Bali — and when you see the Alila name, you can generally assume that that’s what you’re going to get. They’ve got a knack for combining stylish modern architecture and clever, immersive landscaping to create the sort of sequestered seclusion that’s absolutely essential in a place as busy as Seminyak.
Creative Couples: Collaborations That Changed History
Assouline // USD$50
From Angella Nazarain comes a splashy, gorgeously photographed chronicle of the process and intimacy behind some of the most fascinating power couples in the world. The publisher, Assouline, is especially known for their “beautiful books” — and particularly beloved by a place that knows the genre well, one of Tablet’s most literally literary hotels (see: each of their guest rooms named for a famous author). Buy it at assouline.com →
Recommended by: Le Pavillon des Lettres
Located in the 8th arrondissement, Pavillon des Lettres is styled as a literary hotel, each of its twenty-six rooms named for a well-known author, from Baudelaire to Zola, Ibsen to Kafka. But though its luxuries may be subtle, it’s by no means only a hotel for bookish types.
Saint Jane Microdose CBD Gloss Kit
Saint Jane Beauty // USD$75
Saint Jane lip gloss — in four different colors — spiked with 50 mg of CBD. A mixture of glam and tranquility that’s extremely on-the-nose coming from one of the most appealing bungalow-hotels in California wine country. Buy it at saintjanebeauty.com →
Recommended by: Solage Calistoga
Napa Valley, California
There’s no clearer expression of Napa Valley’s rustic agricultural history than a home-grown architectural style, even if “rustic” doesn’t really capture the appeal of the bungalows here — Solage is about as urbane as the wine country gets, with interiors that owe more to city loft apartments than farm houses.
Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee
Volcanica Coffee // USD$90
Blue Mountain Coffee is famous with coffee aficionados around the world, and it’s such a commodity that it needs to be regulated by a government board to ensure its reputation remains unsullied. Jamaica’s own Strawberry Hill hotel recommends the product from Craighton Estate, a five minute walk from the resort. But as their stuff isn’t available online, we’ll point you towards the board-certified Volcanica. Ask anyone — this stuff is expensive for good reason. Buy it at volcanicacoffee.com →
Recommended by: Strawberry Hill
Irish Town, Jamaica
Though the original Georgian house on Strawberry Hill was destroyed in the hurricane of 1988, the new building maintains a traditional feel. The bungalows are built to meticulous nineteenth-century specifications. It epitomizes bygone colonial living at its finest, the perfect place to have a rum punch and wear white linen.
Notebooks by Mary Katrantzou
Mary Katrantzou // USD$62
These aren’t just notebooks, they’re fashion. By Greek designer Mary Katrantzou, each cover of these limited edition pieces consists of up-cycled fabrics from past fashion lines, part of an effort to reuse old materials. Over on their website, you can even see each fabric’s previous life on the runway. Buy it at marykatrantzou.com →
Recommended by: Santorini Secret Suites & Spa
Hospitality works a bit differently in Santorini. Since everyone gets an incredible view, hotels define theirs by elevation to make it exhilarating; since all the cuisine bursts with ultra-fresh flavor, they work regional curveballs into their plates. And so forth. Santorini Secret distills the formula instead of upending it.
Local Charente Crafts
Creations Dragonfly // From USD$25
This isn’t your typical hotel gift shop. Instead, it’s filled with artisanal works by local Massignac craftsmen, from a hand-painted porcelain mobile by a member of the International Academy of Ceramics to a foldable, oak-handled knife with a design dating from the 13th century. And yes, the local works include cognac. Buy it at domainedesetangs.com →
Recommended by: Domaine des Etangs
To the extent that there is such a thing as the “typical” castle hotel, Domaine des Étangs is a departure. The storybook stone château, flanked by fortified towers, is present and accounted for. But rather than shoehorn a dozen modern hotel rooms into a medieval floor plan, here they’ve done something slightly more clever.
Huile d’olive Réserve Familiale
Chateau Virant // USD$21
Produced by the award-winning Chateau Virant, this is a local, Aix-en-Provence olive oil that’s described as “complex, creamy and balanced.” You’ll find it on the tables at one of our favorite French hotels, and since their restaurant is the proud owner of a Michelin plate distinction, we think you can trust their taste. Buy it at chateauvirant.com →
Recommended by: Hotel Le Pigonnet
French landscapes have inspired countless artists. Paul Cézanne lived and worked in Aix-en-Provence: back when Hotel Le Pigonnet was a private estate, he used to carry his easel through the gardens, taking his own painterly snapshots of the old chestnut trees and the views of Sainte-Victoire mountain in the distance.
La Mer Products
La Mer // From USD$30
Luxurious skin care found in the world’s best spas. The Crème de la Mer is their signature. Buy it at cremedelamer.com →
Recommended by: Park Hyatt Paris Vendome
Leave the tourists to gawk at the ostentatious facade of the Hôtel Ritz on the Place Vendôme. The smart money is on— and presumably in — the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme, just steps away, a row of discreetly converted Haussmann-style office blocks with only a small sign to mark the way. Here, of course, the interior’s the thing.
Ounass // USD$40
This one speaks for itself. Buy it at ounass.com →
Recommended by: Ostraco Suites
Mykonos is certainly no well-kept secret, but you don’t have to go far to get away from it all. High on a hillside above the city center you’ll find the Ostraco Suites, a stunning complex of 21 whitewashed suites with an astonishing view of the Aegean and the sort of private and insular atmosphere that only a small family-owned hotel can provide.
Designs by Anke Drechsel
Farfetch //From $100
“A precious example of uncompromising embroidery,” everything from this boutique German designer was personally designed by Anke Dreschsel and brought to life by expert craftsmen and master needlework. The modern design of her work, from the silk cushions to the embroidered creatures, has a charming contemporary feel that works especially in well in contrast to the renovated historical structures at, say, a Tuscan hotel in Siena. Buy for someone with good taste. Buy it at farfetch.com →
Recommended by: Lupaia
We’ve all seen more than a few hotels that could fairly be described as “Tuscan rustic,” but Lupaia makes most of them look like half-measures. Here the farmhouse charm is cranked up to eleven or twelve, especially in its open kitchen, where a daily four-course dinner is made out of produce from the hotel’s own organic garden.
The Classic Machined Pen
Schon DSGN // USD$80
This is not your average pen. Designed and perfected by the engineer who founded Schon DSGN, it’s a compact, portable, painstakingly produced piece that not only comes in different colors, but different materials, from brass to aluminum to titanium. And when you look at the price, consider that it’s so durable it’s intended to “outlast the user.” Get it for someone responsible. Someone who signs things. Buy it at schondsgn.com →
Recommended by: Laurent Vernhes
New York City
Tablet co-founder and CEO. If you appreciate his gift recommendation, you can check out the Top 25 Coolest Hotels he just recommended to Forbes. Or read the story of his recent trip to Georgia for The Agenda.
The Kaufmann Mercantile Guide
Princeton Architectural Press // USD$20
A book by the Kaufmann Mercantile store, it reflects the ethos of the shop — a commitment to craftsmanship, durability, and a refusal to skimp on quality. The book is something of a daily life how-to guide, with subjects that range from brewing the perfect cup of coffee to caring for raw denim. Every tip is paired with an artisanal Kaufman product to help with a job well done. Buy it at amazon.com →
Recommended by: Michael Davis
New York City
Tablet co-founder and CCO — and someone who splits wood, shucks oysters, and masters other simple pleasures.
Tablet Hotels Gift Certificate
With Bonus Tablet Plus Membership!
Of course, the best gift recommendation on this list might be a Tablet gift certificate — especially one that comes with a complimentary one-year membership to Tablet Plus. Purchase a Tablet gift certificate for the traveler in your life for any amount you’d like (minimum $50) and we’ll include a free year of Plus, a $99 value.
Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, name and email of the recipient, and the desired certificate amount, and our elves will start creating your gift.