Here at Mr & Mrs Smith we love Immodesty Blaize – not just for her looks, but also her travel savvy. While the glamorous burlesque star may not be the most inconspicuous guest, she was the ideal person for us to send incognito to review Il Salviatino in Florence. For more fantastic luxury travel advice, see p102 of the August issue of Country & Town House as Ms Blaize features in my monthly travel column for the glossy magazine. Meanwhile, here’s the uncut version of Immodesty’s globe-trotting fantasies…
Whisper to us your top tips for a sexy escape…
A dirty weekend is no time for budgeting – you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the hotel, not sightseeing, so splash out on the hotel. Go for romance and choose a room with an amazing bathroom or Jacuzzi, or a fabulous view. Even if it’s just a hut in the countryside, make it memorable. Imagine you’re in your own movie and play the part you’ve always dreamed of from start to finish. And, if you can, give yourself plenty of time to plan your weekend bag as travelling light is a strategic art, and you’ll want to feel your best.
What are your favourite hotels and what makes them so special?
I really loved Il Salviatino in Florence, which I reviewed for Mr & Mrs Smith. It’s the height of class and elegance and you are waited on hand and foot by your own personal ambassador. It’s set in lush hills, you feel like royalty when you stay there.
Cliveden in Berkshire is always an experience, right from the huge sweeping driveway and fire-lit torches as you approach the house. Its boathouse on the river, Spring Cottage, is where Profumo and Christine Keeler rendezvous’d, so you can’t help but be seduced by the whole atmosphere.
Any packing tips or secrets to looking and feeling your best when you travel?
I’ve built up a capsule travel wardrobe that does not crease and tends to be neutral (black!) – I always look out for dresses that work for day and night. Then I pack accessories like belts, Hermés scarves and a box of jewellery for dressing an outfit up or down. Wolford is a godsend for dresses and bodysuits that pack down to the size of a stocking for the teeniest overnight bag. I always pack travel candles so my room will always smell nice, plus citronella – as mosquito bites look and feel hideous. A travel steamer is brilliant for refreshing clothes and even a hairdo! I think so long as your skin and hair and nails are all immaculate you’ll always look groomed even if you’re wearing a bin-liner. So I prioritise beauty products, most ranges do travel sachets so you don’t have to take the bottles. Shades are all important for concealing bags and looking glam or sleek even when you feel like crap.
Describe your dream mini-escape…
There’s a remote town Pocos de Caldas in Brazil, five hours from Rio – every February it has its own unbelievable carnival of ‘fantasias’ – huge feathered gods and goddesses. I’d make a pilgrimage there with someone special. We’d learn to samba under the stars with the locals, and immerse ourselves in the bizarre isolated fantasy world. Well, it’s either that or the Caribbean island St Barths where of course I would go in a heartbeat over and above anywhere, just for the relaxation (St Barths pictured, view from Hotel Guanahani & Spa).