How to Travel Like Someone That Does It For A Living

On The Beach
Photo: Co Rentmeester/Getty Images

Isabelle Mical knows a thing or two about looking chic while on vacation. After 20 years of managing cosmetics and fashion brands at big corprations like LVMH and L'Oreal, the French-born Communications Director felt a need to pivot her profession live toward a sector "lined to human values." That's what led her to arguably the most luxurious hotel brands in the world -- Relais & Chateaux. Ever since, looking chic has basically in her DNA. Below, we drill Mical on where to go, what to pack, what's in her beauty arsenal. Trust us, she's got the insider's scoop on all of it.

What makes the perfect vacation?

The perfect vacation means complete and total disconnection from your daily life. So, to be immersed in full nature, with likely no car and a social life that revolves around the locality of the destination. Perfect vacation: we once found a small island in Croatia, and now we go and get lost there each summer for two weeks.

Where is your absolute favorite place in the world to visit?

Italy is a second home to me I go each year to Venice for the Art and Architecture Biennale, as well as Rome. I dream to go to two: Relais Châteaux Dunton Hot Springs in Colorado which has amazing private cabins in the forest, and the Wickaninnish which is a gorgeous resort perched on the edge of the wild west coast of Vancouver Island in Canada.


What do you never travel without?

A high dose of curiosity.

What is your packing strategy?

Leave room in luggage to bring back local artisanal curiosities.

What's so special about the Relais & Chateaux brand?

Resistance to trendiness. The hotels you find that are associated with Relais & Châteaux are run like private homes located in some of the most beautiful, protected spaces in the world and owned by passionate and entrepreneurial people who are culturally anchored and care so much for their environment.

What's next for the brand?

A new digital campaign focused on the theme of creating delicious journeys. This will launch in June online. Each Relais & Châteaux hotel and restaurant will be showing its own vision and story of deliciousness.

Which hotel in your portfolio do you think is the most Instagrammed?

Saint James Paris.

What's your cure for jet lag?

Drink a lot of hot water with lemon.

Most importantly, what's in your beauty arsenal when you travel?

Bioderma Solution Micellaire, Shisheido's Synchro Skin Glow foundation, Yves Saint Laurent's Touche éclat, Clinique's Stay Matte Powder, Chanel's lipstick color l'indépendante.

What's the best meal you've ever had on a vacation?

In Marseille France when Chef David Kinch from the incredible Manresa did a residency, coming from his home base of California to cook and with chef Gerald Passedat at Le Petit Nice. It was the most perfect combination of the Pacific Ocean and Mediterranean cuisines.

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