How To Make The Edit
So What is The Anthology Edit?
I’ll elaborate, but before we get into all that, let me introduce myself. I’m Kate Sullivan, luxury travel designer.
[“Ooooh, travel designer, aren’t we fancypants? Too good to just say ‘travel agent’?” Nope. There’s an actual difference - travel agents take orders and execute them; travel designers dream and create and concoct personalized itineraries that bring your deepest desires to the fore and answer needs you didn’t even know you had. So there.]
In the course of doing my job (and traveling personally for fun and research), I encounter all kinds of cool stuff - cool hotels, cool restaurants, cool bars, cool shops, cool experiences, cool people.
It seemed somehow greedy to be collecting all this information and not sharing it with anyone else.
Whether you’re a fellow travel designer, fellow traveler, or just a rando on the Interwebs who likes reading about hotels, welcome!
What are the criteria for selection?
What helps a hotel make it onto my list?
Well, I do love a fancy hotel…I love to feel pampered and taken care of but not suffocated. I want service to be friendly and super-competent but not stuffy. As a Virtuoso-affiliated travel advisor, I’m lucky enough to have access to a ton of amazing 5-star properties.
That being said, I also love a great boutique or family-run property. I don’t have any preconceived ideas about star ratings or lack thereof – sometimes I’m finding hotels on TripAdvisor just like you.
So what do I love?
A super comfy bed with lots of pillows – I like a pillow fort while I sleep (sorry, boo)
A big bathtub with tons of great-smelling toiletries. Nothing makes me crankier than getting into my room and seeing there’s no bathtub. Bonus points for Hermes, Le Labo, Byredo, Molton Brown, etc…if I’m paying top dollar to stay at your property, I want to feel pampered in the shower.
Decent closet space but also DRAWERS. Sometimes I think I’m the only person left who likes to unpack their suitcase upon arrival.
A healthy room service menu – healthy both in offerings and breadth
Room to spread out
A nice view is appreciated but it’s not a priority
A great bar with friendly bartenders but not where you’ll necessarily HAVE to talk to someone
A restaurant where you won’t be judged for eating alone
A clean aesthetic with a muted color palette
A spa with great massages. Other treatments are appreciated but, honestly, every time I opt for something other than a massage, I spend the entire treatment thinking, “I really wish I was getting a massage right now.”
Soft scrambled eggs for breakfast. Non-negotiable.
Confession: I am a VERY picky eater. The list of things I do not care to eat is long and random. I’m also lactose intolerant and have a variety of boring health issues. Between those factors, things like tasting menus can be hard for me. So I appreciate restaurants with healthy, delicious food that’s inventive and well-presented, but where they’re able to cater to specific needs. Or where the menu contains enough variety that I can take care of myself (Seafood served in cream sauce? No thank you.).
First, please know that I own the URL shoppingisacontactsport.com because for years I considered making that my blog title (I guess I can probably let that one lapse now).
I take my shopping SERIOUSLY. Particularly when shopping while traveling. Nothing brings me greater pleasure than finding something both emblematic of its place but that also speaks to me that I can bring home to remember my travel experience over and over.
In no particular order, favorite items I’ve picked up while traveling include:
My army green jacket from Beams, purchased in Tokyo. Totally androgynous, clean lines, goes with everything.
A pair of Nike Air Maxes, black with silver swoosh and bronze metallic laces. Picked up in Berlin (slightly dodgy part, of course). A security guard at a Guns n’ Roses concert wouldn’t let me in until I told him where I got those sneakers.
My favorite hair product, also picked up in Tokyo, this time at a 7-11, of all places (and thankfully available on Amazon).
The best kind of store for me? Ye olde concept store - I love a mix of cool clothing, great-smelling bath products and candles, affordable jewelry, clever paper products, and ideally some stellar sweets as well.
Tendencies: monochrome, asymmetry, neutrals, texture, contrast, androgyny.