contact us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right.

Anywhere, Anytime

Global

3238441451

Were travel, art, architecture, fashion, food and adventure meet. Founder and global adventurer Geren Lockhart was "Born Packed" when she started traveling at a young age and never stopped. This site follows along on her journey. 

EXPLORE

Filtering by Tag: Travel

THE ALILA HOTEL IN UBUD, BALI

Geren Lockhart

AN OASIS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BALI JUNGLE. THIS HOTEL IS A GREAT SPOT TO RELAX AND EASE INTO THE CULTURE OF UBUD.

The Alila Hotel in Ubud, Bali is a unique and calming world where design meets jungle. From Denpasar airport, the property is an exciting and sometimes shockingly beautiful ninety min drive up into the mountains. We spent our first night in Bali here and would recommend it to anyone visiting for a longer stay as a great entry point. Waking up to the sunrise and the jungle monkeys roaming around was a lovely entry to a new world.  The food throughout our stay was a highlight, somewhat expected since it’s a program that was framed out by Elke and Ray from Locavore in downtown Ubud. Locavore is one of our favorite spots to experience food on the planet. Elke and Ray are visionaries and magicians who practice their art through the idea of integrating European technique with only local ingredients. These ideals are still in place at the Alila, putting their best foot forward when the restaurant is serving it’s decadent must have breakfast every day. This is NOT a lukewarm hotel buffet set-up. There was a multitude of beverage options and tons of small plates to try. The menu changes daily and you are encouraged to order 3 or 4 things, and if you’re sharing you can go even crazier, the portions are manageable and are meant to give you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the food of Bali, to immerse yourself in the place. 

The grounds are lush, and the all of the spaces are well designed and still Balinese enough that you don’t feel like an urban alien dropped into the middle of an ancient civilization. Rooms are comfortable and chic if not ultra luxurious. The personal products through the property, room and spa are all from the locally produced namesake brand, and they’re great! Enough so that we not only squirreled away the ones from our room but went a bit crazy in the spa store stocking up since we didn't have an idea of when we might return. 

2016-03-30 04.12.15 3.jpg

The highlight of our stay was the pool. An "infinity-ish" moment set near the edge of a cliff and perfectly laid out so you can enjoy laying in the pool as much as relaxing beside it. Save a day for this. A full mid morning to sunset to immerse fully in the experience. Lunch in the lower-level grand scale lounge area, dip in and out of the pool, the sun, and the very comfortable beds as you wish. 

Relaxation is pretty much guaranteed here and as with most properties in Bali the rates are a great value for the level of the stay. 

 Alila Ubud


EXPLORE


LOLITA EL BULLI STYLE

Geren Lockhart

Lolita-El-Bulli-Ketchup-Guns.jpg
Lolita-El-Bulli-Food-2.jpg
Lolita-El-Bulli-Lips.jpg
Lolita-El-Bulli-Fish-And-Chips.jpg
Lolita-El-Bulli-Orders.jpg

Meet Mauro Buffo, notable chef who's been in many of the best kitchens in the world. Most noteworthy were the four "courses" or seasons that he was a part of the team at El Bulli. I had the pleasure of having met Mauro through mutual friends in New York, and then a few years later embarking on what I like to call the insider foodie tour of Barcelona with him. We landed in Spain from different corners of the world and started the tour of Mauro's favorite spots inside and just outside Barcelona. Many of the team that Mauro was a part of at  El Bulli had since moved onto their own or other endeavors and we were able to partake of those new successes. My favorite Barcelonian was Albert Raurich who's place Dos Pallilos (two chopsticks) made for a real "situation" for me. Albert was at El Bulli in the beginning and stayed for well over a decade before stepping out on his own. I will be writing about our visit to El Bulli and our many meals at Dos Palillos soon, but for now it's a focus on Lolita, a perfect tapas spot formerly helmed by Albert Ferran and called Inopia. We were in town the weekend the switchover happened from Inopia to Lolita and yum is about the best way to sum it up. We sat down at a high bar along the wall and began ordering basically everything on the menu. A menu which is formed from a tight edit of heightened standard tapas fare, from ham to sardines to burgers all made differently with standout details added. The hot dogs are served with toy guns full of catchup which made for fun and good photos. The highlight of the night came when we literally ran into Albert Raurich as he was winding down from the service at Dos Palillos and joined us for cocktails and desert. He was heading to Lolita for a chill after work chef snack and an evening cocktail. I can admit that it felt like I was somehow privy to a life that I hadn't earned, but very much enjoyed being a part of. I suggest the Gin & Tonic which was all the two chef's drank and it's somewhat of a ceremony for them end of shift. Mauro currently makes food magic happen high up in the alps at the Vigilius Mountain Resort in Lana, Italy. 

Lolita


EXPLORE


FORMENTERA IS PARADISE

Geren Lockhart

Formentera-Flag.jpg
Formentera-Architect-Offices.jpg
Formentera-Clothesline.jpg
Formentera-Castle.jpg
Formentera-Fish-House.jpg
Formentera-Power-Unit.jpg
Formentera-Power-Lines.jpg
Formentera-Fish-Houses.jpg
Formentera-Cliffs.jpg
Formentera-Ibiza-Farewell.jpg

The sexy, chic, and relaxing island of Formentera was high on my list of places to visit while I was based out of London last year. It is a small island that is part of the Islas Baleareas sitting off the coast of Spain in the Mediterranean Sea. The beauty of Formentera is an underexploited secret sitting just south of Ibiza. There is no airport. You fly into Ibiza, taxi to the port, and then ferry to the island. That is an adventure in itself. I recommend renting a car for your time on Formentera. They are reasonably priced and prove necessary to freely see what you want to while you're in residence. The island is small but not walkable if you want to partake of the many beaches, experiences, and sites to be seen.

IN-RESIDENCE / Dotted throughout the island and almost all out of sight from the main roads are small luxury resorts, bo-ho chic party spots, and bungalows on the beach. There aren't any large properties on the island. Below are my three picks for places to stay on the island. Two a bit more lux, posh, and chill and one a bit more affordable, with an authentic beach party vibe. All good, and all worth going back to again. 

Es Mares Hotel & Spa • A 20 room luxury boutique property situated in the main city of San Francesc. This enclave of breezy chill is very centrally located and makes for easily jetting to any part of the island. The property is pared back with a beach decor that feels very mediterranean. The restaurant and spa are excellent so even if you're not laying your head here I recommend dropping in for an afternoon or evening. Book here ∞ hotelesmares.com

Es Ram • With just 8 double rooms and 4 villas this is definitely an exclusive luxury eco-resort. A gorgeous property that is completely secluded a mile down a sand road a thirty minute drive from the ferry.  This is the kind of property you can stay put at for an entire stay. You will feel like you live here from the moment you arrive. This is small footprint luxury at it's best. The staff is welcoming and the common areas, rooms and villas are stunning and stylish. The grounds make you want to meander for hours. With pools and lots of lounging bungalows, the days will slip away. Book here ∞ esramresort.com

Las Banderas • Located directly on Mitjorn beach a 20 minute drive from the ferry in one of the most historic buildings on the island this bo-ho chic 8 room property is an enjoyable place to stay. The rooms are basic but well maintained and have the kind of character you want. Each room has an outdoor area with ocean views and you're just steps from the sand. The food and drink are good but not stellar and the outdoor bar area is a great place to watch the sunset. I stayed here and left having had a great time and feeling like it was a great value. Book here ∞ hotelresidenceformentera.com

Formentera-People.jpg
Formentera-People-Kiosk.jpg
Formentera-Can-Dani.jpg
Formentera-Fancy-Restaurant.jpg

FOOD / I didn't have a bad snack or meal while I was on the island and there are ton's of small spots that sit right on the water.  As an island just off the coast of one of the most foodie nations on earth with mostly Italian visitors. The expectations for food and beverage are lofty. 

People • The chiringuito (aka beach bar) sits directly on Platja de es Pujols is where you will end up often. No matter where else on the island you are if you're like me you will find a way to be there for lunch or cocktail hour on more than one occasion. The libations are divine - think huge delicious refreshing adult beverages made with fresh ingredients served over crushed ice - and the snacks are above par for beach food. 

Juan y Andrea • A posh beachfront restaurant that has evolved from a small bar founded in 1972 into a see and be seen hot spot today. The food is good, the drinks are classic and it's an experience worth having for the people watching alone. Situated on a secluded beach almost at the end of Playa Illetes the journey is almost as good as the place itself. juanyandrea.com

Can Dani • A true foodie level experience in the middle of the island. Eating al fresco in the courtyard makes this a great dinner choice and you will certainly have a memorable meal. The chef works primarily with local ingredients, and with those simple beginnings she makes magic happen. I recommend the tasting menu, a luxurious valuecandaniformentera.com

Formentera-Beach.jpg
Formentera-Food.jpg
Formentera-Ice-Cream-Elephant.jpg
Formentera-Wine-Jugs.jpg

BEACHES / The beaches are the number one reason to visit Formentera, While they are all gorgeous my favorites were: 

  • Cala Saona
  • Platja Migjorn
  • Platja des Canyers
  • Platja Tramuntana
  • Platja de Ses Illetes 

LIGHTHOUSES / There are three on the island, two that I visited primarily because they offered vistas that I wouldn't be privy to. They were breathtaking cliffs on both occasions with interesting surrounding areas. 

La Mola • the highest lighthouse on the island it sits atop a 1200 ft cliff. The best part about visiting this spot was the scale it gave to the island. I ventured out my first late afternoon and ended up dropping into the "Hippie Market" which is really more of and artisanal market. Situated on the main road in El Pilar de la Mola and open Wednesday and Sunday afternoons this is a must do if you're in the area on those days. Please while you are there pick up some leather bracelets from the charming leather worker. I bought two and have much to my dismay lost them in my travels. I loved them so much I sometimes daydream about heading back just to procure some more.

Es Cap de Barbaría • this lighthouse is a bit more off the beaten path, but it's worth the drive. The views are stunning and you get a chance to hike a bit further and see a watchtower that was used to protect the island in century's past. The watchtower is stunning up close. (there is a photo at the top of this story with people providing scale)

beach2.jpg

Formentera is a magical place not far from civilization geographically but very far in reality. It is a part of the world that still moves slowly most of the time. The air is fresh, the water is sparkling, and you breath. Really breath when you are there. The cultures of Catalan, Spain, and Italy collide to protect what it means to be living completely in the moment. The residents are welcoming and the tourists I encountered were all relaxed, mostly Italian and there for the same reasons I was. While it's not an easy location to get to from Los Angeles or New York where I spend most of my time. I know I will be back to this tiny piece of the world again in this lifetime. I'm counting down the days.


EXPLORE


BYRON BAY AUSTRALIA

Geren Lockhart

BYRON BAY, NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA 

Stunning beaches, a bubbling foodie culture, gorgeous green countryside, and a chic beach vibe make for the perfect well curated peace out. I was lucky enough to experience Byron when I spent a long weekend there earlier this year.

STAY //

  • Atlantic Guesthouse / Communal living at it's best among a compound of houses and room blocks surrounding the courtyard Airstream. Family style share kitchens and chill out areas are great for meeting your fellow travelers while whipping up a great bbq or a healthy breakfast. The clean chic beach theme rooms are well appointed and sport comfortable cozy beds. Ask for a room upstairs so you can take in the green view and the sunsets. Read more on born packed. atlanticbyronbay.com.au

EAT// 

  • St. Elmo / Tapas and Spanish influenced mains, alongside the best cocktails and wine list in the area. Read more on born packed.  stelmodining.com
  • Harvest Cafe & Deli /  A short drive down the coast but so very very worth the trip. A hopping main restaurant serves amazing breakfast and lunch offerings. Be prepared to wait a bit as they are in demand. The deli next door serves up their wood fired breads and sports a cheese cellar that would make Murray's jealous alongside a meat locker that's not to be missed. Stock up on their sauces and treats for the kitchen back in Byron. harvestcafe.com.au
  • TOWN / Karl and Katrina Kanetani are big chef's in a small town. There are two TOWN's. Uptown which is for dinner offering sophisticated tasting menus and Downtown offering up breakfast and lunch that is thoughtful and complex and accessible without reservations or with a group. townbangalow.com.au

DRINK // 

  • Barefoot Brew Room / Simply the very best coffee in the area. A small hole in the wall just around the corner from St. Elmo. commongroundaustralia.com
  • Bayleaf Coffee / Great Coffee, Great Breakfast and it's just across the street from Atlantic Guesthouses. Owned by the roasters of Marvell Street coffee the coffee is top notch and the food isn't far behind. Be prepared to wait during the peak hours they've got the market cornered in Byron. Location Info

MUST DO //

  • Bangalow Market / A country upscale foodie version of what everyone in LA loves about the Rose Bowl. A must do if you're lucky enough to be in town when it's on. bangalowmarket.com.au
  • Hike the Lighthouse Trail / Ideally timed with sunrise or sunset this hike is a must do while you're in Byron. You will wind down the coast walkway and past some of the most famous beaches in the world on the way to the lighthouse and the easternmost point of the Australian continent. Rounding the tip you spy Tallow Beach below before you pop into the canopy and hike through the woods on the back side of the loop. byron-bay.com
  • Beaches /   They're all beautiful. They're all different. Don't pick, just go to all of them. Ensure you don't miss. Main Beach, Tallow Beach, Cosy Corner, LIttle Wategos and Wategos.  byron bay beach listing
  • Byron Bay Massage / Katie Connolly is a magic maker. She will come to you at the Atlantic Guesthouse and your life will be better. A variety of services and very well vetted therapists means you're in good hands, literally. I booked a massage just before hitting the road again and it made a huge difference in my travel experience. byronbaymassage.com.au 

BRING BACK //  

  • Super Awesome / cool surf spot on the main drag in Byron. Snag a tee or a backpack. Worth the luggage space. superawesome.com.au
  • Island Luxe / A chic for anywhere edit of high end and unknown designers some global and some local.  With outposts in both Byron Bay and Bangalow it houses styles for you and the new beach house you are slowly decorating in your head as each moment here passes.  No doubt you will begin imagining future summers here within an hour of landing. Islandluxefacebook
  • AHOY / Bright and playful accessories, clothes and home stuffs from around the world. Curated to match an overall theme each season there will be something you NEED here. ahoytrader.com
  • Our Corner Store / In Bangalow this small store on the main drag is packed to the gills with creative finds and great treats to bring home to those that didn't get to tag along. Pop in after lunch at TOWN ourcornerstore.com.au
  • One Teaspoon / If you're in need of a party dress or a bathing suit. This is your shop. Fun young and ready to dance is the best way to put it. oneteaspoon.com.au

RADIO // Triple J Radio 

TRAVEL STACK //4 Wheel carry-on & a tote. Bring your tablet and your phone, no computer needed. Swimsuit, sunhat and sunblock are musts. I picked up a Jack & Jac towel and some All Tomorrows Parties sandals in Sydney which became instant staples in the travel stack. They've been on every beach adventure since. 

TRANSPORT //  Fly to Gold Coast Airport from Sydney on Quantas.co.au and rent a car from Europecar.com. I had an Audi A1 the whole time I was in Australia and I couldn't recommend it more. 

WHEN TO GO // December to March which is the Australian summer is the best time to visit. New years eve is a big blowout but a bit less chic even though the fashion flock from Sydney make a showing. 

CONNECTED // Hotels and restaurants are Wi-Fi equipped, and when not directly connected you will get a signal most areas with your locally equipped mobile phone. Pick up an Australian SIM from Vodafone.co.au at Sydney Kingston airport just outside the customs check. All you will need is an un-locked mobile phone and a passport. 

POWER //  You will need adaptors for your US based electronics. Multi-port options save suitcase space and the Apple international adaptor kit is a must own. 

VISA //  Most countries require a visitor visa to enter the country. It's an easy on-line process that needs to be completed prior to arrival. Web link


EXPLORE


MARKETPLACE