Carly, welcome to Luxury Travel Beat’s Tripping With segment. What are you up to at the moment?
Thank you so much for having me! I just finished a busy month of shooting and hosting the official Twilight (Breaking Dawn Part 2) premiere and American Music Awards red carpets. The last big shoot of the year was the Golden Globe nomination announcements, so I’m now prepping for Awards Season which I’m covering for the TV Guide Network. I’m particularly looking forward to the Oscars this year! But before that I’m heading off to Hawaii and Gstaad in Switzerland for Christmas and New Year.
You grew up in Scotland, which part of it would you most heartily recommend to a first-time visitor?
The countryside in Scotland is so beautiful. If you like golf or country clubs I recommend Gleneagles and Turnberry. And of course visiting the castle and the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. And shopping in Harvey Nichols!
How about LA?
What I love most about LA is its diversity; there really is something for everyone! Beach, mountains, city, town…you name it, L.A. has it. My favorite spot is the Chateau Marmont because it really encapsulates old Hollywood glamour, and there’s always an interesting crowd there. I love the new Nobu Malibu too; Executive Chef Gregorio Stephenson has done an incredible job with the menu and it’s right on the beach so you can eat fabulous sushi with the waves almost crashing on your table. For hiking I love Griffith Park and recommend visiting the Observatory for stunning views of the whole city. And shopping and people watching at Sunset Plaza in West Hollywood. It has a very European feel which, being European, I love.
You obviously travel a lot for work, but when you want to go somewhere for leisure, what kind of holidays do you typically go for?
It really varies depending on my mood and time of year. I like to go back to Europe and visit my friends in London, Paris and Rome, and in the winter I love going on skiing holidays to Aspen or Gstaad. But to truly relax I take inspiration from the film, The Beach, and like to go to places that resemble it! My favorite being the St. Regis Bora Bora where you can jump off your deck into the crystal clear, aquamarine lagoon. It’s nature’s largest swimming pool!
You’ve interviewed very many interesting people in your career. Which one of them would you most see yourself having a fantastic time with travelling? And why?
I think Cameron Diaz would be the most fun to travel with; she’s got such a lovely personality, fun spirit and sense of adventure…there would never be a dull moment. Although she is much sportier than I am so I’d probably feel inadequate!
Apart from being a television presenter and a journalist, you’ve also acted in films. You’re seated on a very long flight to the other side of the world, which film would you most want to see in the airplane’s In-flight entertainment guide?
A film of mine or a film in general? If it’s the former then definitely Unstoppable because it’s so gripping and timeless! If it’s the latter then I think a James Bond film is always a great way to get into the jet set spirit. I’ll tell you which film I wouldn’t want to see and that’s Denzel’s new film Flight! It’s absolutely fantastic, but has one of the scariest plane crash scenes I’ve ever seen!
What is your earliest and best travel memory?
My first travel memory is a tad cliché – going to Disneyland with my parents. I absolutely loved it (especially the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, which I still love!) and America. I think that was when I decided when I grew up I wanted to move to the States. It’s all thanks to Tinker Bell!
How about worst?
A bad early travel memory that stands out is feeling very bold and insisting on going down the cliffs of Santorini on one of their infamous fast donkeys while my parents took the cable car. The donkey took off at such a speed and I was allergic to it, and ended up, after seeing my young life flash before my eyes, being dropped in a pile of dung at the bottom of the mountain and crying all the way back on the boat to Crete!
If there’s one hotel you’ve stayed at that redefined luxury for you, which one is it?
Hands down, the St. Regis Bora Bora. It’s just such an incredible, magical place, beautiful resort, perfect waters, stunning setting, the best staff and phenomenal GM, Michael Schoonewagen. With the St. Regis Kauai in close second. The St Regis Bora Bora was featured in Couples Retreat and the St. Regis Kauai in The Descendants. I think in general St Regis hotels redefine luxury. There’s a good reason they win all the hotel awards! I’ve heard the new one in Bal Harbour is incredible so that’s on my must visit list.
It’s hard to top Bora Bora, but something I’ve always wanted to do is take a boat from St. Tropez to Hotel du Cap to Monaco to Capri and end up in Sardinia. I’ve visited all of those places, but never the whole thing in one swoop. I’d love that.