I have always loved traveling, exploring new cities, finding offbeat adventures, and immersing myself in local culture. And judging by the fact that you’ve found your way here, my guess is that you do as well.
Thanks to three pivotal figures in my life, I have had the privilege and opportunity to travel the world, meet incredible people, and learn what it means to work hard from a very young age. My grandmother Eileen Ford, founded Ford Models and was later joined by mother, Katie Ford.
When my mother finally left the modeling world, it was to build her non-profit, Freedom for All, to fight modern-day slavery and human-trafficking (so yes, I would say I grew up surrounded by a force of powerful women).
My father, André Balazs, is a hotelier whose properties include hotels such as The Chateau Marmont, The Mercer, Chiltern Firehouse, Sunset Beach, and The Standard hotels in LA, Miami, and NYC. So, I not only grew up in the hospitality and fashion world, I lived it.
Few people know this, but I used to be a housekeeper — I can make a bed wrinkle-free in seconds. I have worked in hotels and restaurants all of my life, in every position imaginable; housekeeper, marketing manager, staff canteen dishwasher, waitress (though I’m quite clumsy, so that was fairly short-lived)…
Mere days after being promoted from hostess, I managed to spill red wine, pasta with tomato sauce, and a platter of oysters served over ice, onto three different guests simultaneously. Needless to say, I was fired. Thankfully, they liked me enough to re-hire me…but never as a waitress again. So that’s me. A ridiculous, clumsy, farcical human being who loves traveling and the world of hotels and restaurants to no end.
I have always wanted to share the tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years to help people bring the luxury of the hospitality industry into their own homes (it should be your sanctuary!) and share the travel recommendations that I’ve compiled from friends and locals. And not the typical tourist stuff…I can find that anywhere. But unique, special, and interesting places that have been filtered by someone I trust.
So, let’s assume you trust me… *cough cough*… here we go!
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