Vacations are lovely, but the requisite pre-vacation research — on where to stay, what to see, what to do and, most importantly, where to go — can be tiresome. Thankfully, we have some very knowledgable friends over at Indagare, the members-only, luxury-travel service that makes it easy to create top-tier, highly personalized itineraries. Aesthetes, adventurers and libertines alike can all stitch together their dream vacation from the vast, expert-vetted resources available through the site.
To help us with our summer getaway planning, we tasked Indagare to come up with a list of five destinations — spanning from Greece to Newfoundland — that are filled with hotels, restaurants and activities that hold particular appeal for design lovers. Read on as Indagare shares insider tips on the best spots to see, stay and visit in each destination.
The Dutch capital is the kind of city where you’ll have the most fun blending into the local scene, whether it’s by soaking up the vibe at a canal-side café or by exploring on foot, bike or boat. The city is a culture lover’s delight but advance planning is advised, and arranging a good guide, art expert or historian is crucial to helping you navigate the crowds and the treasures.
- Indagare Adored Hotel: Conservatorium
- Don’t Miss: A canal orientation tour by boat to see the best examples of Dutch architecture.
- Indagare Access: For those who would like to explore the city through Rembrandt’s life and work, plan a tour with a specialist that looks at the city through the lens of Rembrandt’s life. A visit to the Rijksmuseum with an art historian allows guests to see both the masterpieces as well as the museum’s lesser known gems. Another can’t-miss tour for garden aficionados is a visit to the Aalsmeer Flower Auction, the largest of its kind in the world.
Where else can you find thirteen Michelin-starred restaurants, nine World Heritage sites, some of the world’s most beautiful Gothic and modernist architecture and more than two miles of beaches in one European city? Cross L.A. with Paris and you’ll get a sense of the mix of history, fashion, relaxed rhythms and creative energy that pervades this charming Mediterranean port city. Here you can walk from a palm-lined beach to the Barri Gòtic neighborhood and onward to an Art Nouveau–era avenue, all in the course of an afternoon.
- Indagare Adored Hotel: Cotton House Hotel
- Don’t Miss: Shopping in the bohemian neighborhood of Gràcia, which is also home to Casa Vicens (Gaudí’s first major commission that will open to the public for the first time this fall). Incorporate a visit to Casa Vicens with a tour of Gaudí’s finest works, including the Sagrada Familia and the Park Güell.
- Indagare Access: A private, after-hours visit to Casa Milà, one of the best examples of Antoni Gaudí’s unique vision. Indagare can arrange for your guide to be a member of the Milà family, who commissioned Gaudí to build the iconic monument.
After visiting the historical sites of Athens and seeing the striking beauty of the Ionian islands, spending time in the peaceful surroundings of the Peloponnese is the perfect conclusion to any Greek vacation. Comprised of lofty peaks, bountiful vineyards and sun-soaked beaches, the history-rich peninsula covers nearly 6,000 square miles of rocky, untamed terrain. Flush with myths and fables (Helen of Sparta called the Peloponnese home), the region is awash with temples, museums and archaeological sites and was even host to the first Olympic Games held in 776 BC.
- Indagare Adored Hotel: Amanzoe
- Don’t Miss: Amanzoe’s beach club, which offers three pools (one specifically for children), in addition to a bar, lunch restaurant and water sports.
- Indagare Access: A private helicopter to shuttle you around the region; gliding over the stunning scenery.
Described by poet William Wordsworth as a “treasure whom the earth keeps to herself,” Lake Como is the center of a region that’s both wild and civilized, decadent and low-key, enormous and intimate. From the grand hotels to the flavorful cuisine, life on Lake Como is all about indulgence. Days, too, should be spent soaking in the splendor of the region, whether hiking its dramatic mountains or exploring the opulent villas that line its shores.
- Indagare Adored Hotel: Il Sereno, which is set to open this August, will be the area’s first luxury property with a contemporary design aesthetic.
- Don’t Miss: Villa Balbianello, which has interiors filled with the whimsical artifacts (like rare African terracotta masks) left from its former owner Guido Monzino, an explorer and one of the first Italians to climb Mount Everest. The property was also featured in such films as Casino Royale and A Month by the Lake.
- Indagare Access: The best way to take in Lake Como’s dramatic landscape is by boat. From the water, one can embark on a tour, passing the lake’s most famous villas including those belonging to George Clooney and Richard Branson, as well as the home that was once occupied by Winston Churchill (who was known to paint in the gardens).
One of the most remote sections of Canada, Newfoundland, which sits off the northeast coast of Nova Scotia, is closer to Dublin than Calgary. With deeply Irish and English influences, the island has its own culture, which revolves around the magnificent landscape and wild seas. It is also home to one of Canada’s most special hotels, the Fogo Island Inn.
- Indagare Adored Hotel: Fogo Island Inn
- Don’t Miss: Ordering a cocktail made with iceberg ice, which supposedly stays frozen longer than average ice cubes
- Indagare Access: The best way to understand the island is by touring around with a local. Community hosts will share stories about growing up and living on the island, the local economy and what the addition of the Inn has done for the place and its tiny population.