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What’s Hot: Design Maven Tara Bernerd’s Spring Travel Hit List

Where to go and what to do this season, according to London’s leading lady of design.

Tara Bernerd portrait Photo: Graciela Cattarossi

Tara Bernerd is the consummate world traveler. The globe-trotting interior designer—whose highly anticipated projects currently include the Four Seasons, Fort Lauderdale, and downtown LA’s Equinox Hotel—is never in one place for very long, splitting her time between her Tara Bernerd & Partners offices in London and New York, jaunting from project to project around the world, and fitting in a few relaxing days here and there at her chalet in Gstaad.

This spring, Bernerd will bounce from London to Hong Kong to Milan and beyond, completing new hospitality projects along the way and sourcing fresh inspiration for the next ones—all while planning a summer wedding in Switzerland. Here, the connoisseur of all things art and design shares her list of not-to-miss spring (and summer) gallery openings, design fairs, and hotel debuts.

Hamiltons Gallery

“I’ve worked with Hamiltons Gallery’s Tim Jefferies in London for years. Tim has an amazing eye and represents an incredible array of photographic artists, including some of my personal favorites, such as Irving Penn and Erwin Olaf. The gallery recently opened an exhibition of works by photographer Robert Frank—the impressive show runs through May 11. I’ll also make a point of visiting Hamiltons’ booth at Photo London in May, and certainly at Art Basel in June.”

Muji Hotels

“The Japanese retailer, Muji, has entered the hospitality business with three new hotels—one in Shenzhen, another soon to open in Beijing, and a third branch in Tokyo (to launch next year). I travel a lot in Asia and we currently have hotel projects in both Hong Kong and Osaka, so I’m interested to see the design they have come up with and how this reflects their ethos as a retailer.”

B&B Italia at Salone del Mobile

“I try to get to Salone del Mobile as often as possible, and this year I’m looking forward to seeing the new look for B&B Italia created by Citterio and Partners. B&B’s new kitchen venture with Arclinea has also been on my radar for a while and is due to launch at Salone, too, so I’ll be sure to check it out.”

Tara Bernerd Palm Court the Principal London

Palm Court, the Principal London.  Photo: Palm Court the Principal London

The Principal London

“We are delighted to be working with Barry Sternlicht of Starwood Capital on the Principal London at Russell Square, which will be opening its doors April 16 [with a grand opening coming in June]. The building is set in the heart of Bloomsbury and has quite a legacy, so we have respected that, marrying the old with the demands of the new. We’ve reinstated the iconic Palm Court, and have reconfigured the lobbies and reception, as well as 334 bedrooms and suites. We hope that this will give the historic landmark site a new lease of life.”

Tara Bernerd Hotel Splendido

Hotel Splendido.  Photo: Hotel Splendido

Belmond Hotel Splendido

“I am so busy organizing the wedding that I have left the honeymoon to my fiancé. We’re planning to go in the summer, and I can’t imagine we won’t end up in Italy on the Amalfi Coast, in Ravello or Positano. The Belmond Hotel Splendido in Portofino is impeccable, from the people who work there to the setting. Belmond is a brand to be reckoned with, and as well as being a huge global player, it is my ultimate go-to when I’m in Italy. I traveled last summer to Ravello and stayed at the brand’s Hotel Caruso, which was epic—possibly one of the most beautiful places in the world. It’s a magical setting and, on a personal note, holds some special memories.”

Ocean Liners: Speed and Style

“This Victoria and Albert Museum exhibition exploring the golden age of ocean travel is at the top of my list for the next time I have a weekend in London. We are currently working on a 56-meter Perini Navi yacht, so it’s very relevant and will be a great source of inspiration. Although it will be the design aspect of the luxury vessels I’m particularly interested in, the exhibition promises to delve into the lifestyle on board these boats also. It will be fascinating to see what has changed in the world of luxury travel and, indeed, what is still important today.”

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