Stay Safe & Staycation During COVID-19
As we enter the second travel season amid a continued Global Pandemic, it feels like it’s time to make a seriously strong case to keep ditching the suitcase in favor of staycations. Other than the obvious tips — like upgrading your thread count and finally buying the crisp, white hotel robe of your dreams — the following staycation ideas feature some simple, effective, and dare we say “fun” ways to transform your home’s ambiance to match your favorite boutique hotel for upgraded at-home holiday when a traditional vacation may be out of the cards…
Select a Signature Scent
Have you ever wandered into a concept shop or hotel lobby that had a delicious, lingering scent about it that made you think “I’ve gotta know what that is and can I eat it”? We’ve all been there! And after hosting my immediate family (aka my Quarantine Crew) for a housewarming brunch recently, the third compliment after “your house is so cute” and “that french toast casserole was delish” revolved around how they loved the way my home smelled — leaving them saying, “I need to up my scent game”.
This stuck with me and made me think of the first time I went to Anthropologie when I was a teen and discovered their “Capri Blue” candle — immediately recognizing the “Volcano” smell again when house sitting for a friend years later. Scent is so closely tied to memory — so let’s make these days smell a little sweeter… or earthier!
Pro Tip: Why not seek out a signature scent for your staycation that reminds you of your favorite travel destination? Think of the lingering smell of Parisian espresso on your denim jacket, the ripening citrus trees of Mexico, or the Pacific Northwest’s fresh, mossy forests you once hiked through….
To bring the great outdoors inside, I recommend the Tender Earth Candle by East Fork — which comes in a stunning stoneware vessel that can double as a planter once it’s finished burning though!
Create a Luxurious Gathering Place
Every great boutique hotel seeks to make a statement when you walk through their doors — whether it be with a water feature, extravagant floral arrangements, opulent lounge decor, or all of the above — these thoughtful designs are often there to draw your eye to the hotel’s main gathering point. The magnetic place where you can share a drink with your travel companions, listen to jazz from a local trio, or enjoy the resident chef’s latest creations off of equally delicious dishware… before the Pandemic.
Producing a “feeling” or “vibe” — especially one that requires a certain “je ne sais quoi” style gravitational pull — can be a challenging concept to master in your own home but it can be done incredibly well with the right showpiece… especially if it’s one you can already find in a majority of lux hotel lobbies! Transport yourself to the stylish lounges you miss and enjoy your DIY Mini Bar Cocktail (more on that later!) under the elevated ambiance of a contemporary electric fireplace by Modern Flames — which can coincidentally be found in resorts across the globe.
Pro Tip: With wall-mounted designs that can be self-installed by any seasoned DIY-er to 3-Sided, Built-In Clean Face Electric Fireplaces for a panoramic view — like the Landscape Pro Multi — you can customize yours to feature the perfect media combination to suit your personal style and use it as an opportunity to unlock your design vision for your at-home hotel’s private lounge.
Get the Good Soap
It’s time to stop stockpiling those Aesop samples and splurge on a full size item that you can savor for months to come. Try going with The Chance Companion to get a bundle deal on their iconic Hand Wash and Body Balm duo — the packaging and fragrance I am sure you’ll recognize from either the last bougie hotel you stayed at or the bathroom of that coffee shop downtown where a cappuccino costs $5. It reeks of modern, minimalist decadence and after this year — you deserve a bit of that.
Pro Tip: Save the “good stuff” for when you’re staycationing to make it last longer and feel even more special since it’s not… the most practical purchase.
Pick Out Prints
What do the most stylish boutique hotels have that your home may be missing? Big, beautiful statement prints! So tuck away any excessive amounts of clutter-inducing family photos and take down those thumbtack installed posters so you can get your home staycation ready. Start by selecting a few artist prints that compliment your decor to create a more curated environment without compromising on cozy.
Pro Tip: Try to research some local artists to support creatives in your area or look up a design shop you remember from past travels to grow your contemporary art collection. May we recommend this abstract Laurie Maun print you can snag from our all-time favorite shop called Yowie?
Raid the (DIY) Mini Bar… & “Room Service” While You’re At It!
One of the most wild things I have ever done in my life was crack open a $15 hotel branded chips and salsa pack from a mini bar when I was a kid — I’ll never forget the rush… and subsequent deduction from my allowance. Experience a similar euphoria you can only get from eating glorified convenience store snacks from a tiny fridge by creating your own DIY Mini Bar for your staycation! Trust us, this step is crucial…
Use the shopping list below to get inspired:
- Botanical Curiosity Cola from Fentimans
- Sparkling Mineral Water from Topo Chico
- Ready-to-Drink Kin Spritz from Kin Euphorics
- Single Serve Coffee Packs from Vesta
- Voodoo Kettle Potato Chips from Zapp’s
- Nut Mixes and Crostinis from Di Bruno Bros
- Gourmet Pure Cacao Bars from Raaka
- Cherry Chai Jam from Brins
- The Travel Kit from Ace Hotel
Pro Tip: Yes, buy the teeny tiny bottles of spirits for a more authentic Mini Bar experience and when the snacks run low — skip the delivery app and place an order for some “Room Service” directly from that independent restaurant you’ve been eyeing.
Have a Stay At Home “Spa Day”
Stay safe, skip in-person services, and purchase some self-care treatments from your favorite spa or skincare brands to spend an afternoon melting away the stress of everyday life. Set the tone with Naturopathica’s Chill Aromatic Alchemy featuring a blend of sandalwood, lemon verbena, and neroli blossom used by Heyday to begin their elevated boutique spa services — prior to putting on the Weekly Reset Set facial mask by Loops.
Next up, use up those bath bombs from Lush that have been accumulating under your sink (maybe all at once?!) to soak while listening to trendy mixes by the top boutique hotels… because some of them have their own online playlists.
Pro Tip: Once you’re finished spending some time relaxing — pop by the “gift shop” aka the online merch hubs for your favorite boutique hotels and show your love for them from afar by indulging in some exclusive merch — like this hearty diner mug from El Rey Court , a “Do Not Disturb” tee from Starlite Motel, or maybe even Lokal Hotel’s chic playing cards.
Elevate Your Loungewear
It is likely time to retire your tired sleepwear and learn how to relax in an elevated set — because you’re worth the price of fancy sweatpants! Stay comfy all staycation long but feel put together enough to run out for fresh croissants close to home with this elevated sweat suit from Entireworld. Made with high-quality materials and trendy hues — you may end up wearing this well past brunch and into cocktail hour.
Pro Tip: If you have an outdoor space or are lucky enough to own a pool — why not also refresh your outdoor accessories and swimsuit ahead of your staycation to make it feel like even more of an occasion. May we suggest an ultra-chic, outdoor Fire Table from Grand Canyon Gas Logs for a good time?