Sofía Sanchez de Betak—“Chufy” to those who know her best—is a multihyphenate art-director-fashion-consultant-designer who is known for both her taste in style and in travel. Having grown up in Argentina, Chufy divided her time between the big city of Buenos Aires, the wild regions of Patagonia to the south, and her father’s hunting lodge in the northern Argentinian province of Entre Ríos. Today, she travels the world consulting for luxury travel and fashion brands, including a recent campaign with Roger Vivier and an ongoing partnership as global explorer for The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts.
Clearly Chufy is the kind of woman who thrives on keeping a packed itinerary, while on the road and also at home in New York. In addition to the launch of her clothing line at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, and Colette on June 1, Chufy has also officially released her first book, Travels with Chufy, published by Assouline, launching at Bergdorf’s next month and currently available online. The book is a meditation on de Betak’s unique approach to travel. Whether it’s a Naples hotel where every guest leaves a copy of their favorite book, a luxurious eco-retreat in the remote Brazilian beach town of Trancoso, or a ryokan in Kyoto operated by the same family for three centuries, she has the keen ability to always find the singular, hands-down best place to stay—off the grid but still utterly luxurious. After all, as Chufy says, where you lay your head can completely transform the way you experience a destination.
In advance of the Travels with Chufy launch at Bergdorf’s on June 1st, we’ve asked de Betak to share a couple of her tips from the book—how to jet around the globe with ease, and how to show up at any destination around the world and experience it like a local.
Here, some pearls of wisdom and a few sneak previews of the book’s wanderlust-inspiring destinations:
Look for history.
Don’t trust anything too new, says de Betak. The Tawaraya Ryokan in Kyoto is an inn operated by the same family for over three hundred years. “So you know they’re doing something right.”
Home is where the heart is.
“I always look for a house, a family, or owner-run place to stay at. Whether it’s a guest house, or a little place above a restaurant that only has a couple of rooms,” says de Betak. A perfect example is the guest house of Asli Tunca, one of Istanbul’s most prominent interior designers—where you can experience an exquisite home and get personalized sightseeing advice from one of the city’s most elegant insiders.
Don’t write off tourist traps.
“There’s a reason you can trust tourist traps,” says de Betak. Consider checking out ruins on the Greek island of Rhodes, for instance, but don’t show up before 5 p.m.— chances are most tourists will have already come and gone, and you can enjoy sunset among the ruins in peace. “And usually there’s a side street nearby with something interesting on it, like my favorite place to stay on Rhodes, the Marco Polo Mansion.”
Dress for the destination.
“Whites are for Patmos, and colors are for Kastelorizo,” says de Betak of two of her preferred destinations in the Greek islands. “And when I’m in Japan I always like to bring some silks and kimonos. You stick out a bit but it’s part of the fun.”
And also dress for the climate.
“When I visit Estancia Arroyo Verde in Patagonia, I always bring my gaucho clothes.” What does that entail, exactly? Take a peep at de Betak’s new clothing line to find out.
Say no to mid-flight beauty rituals.
“All I do for beauty is drink a lot of water and perhaps a little bit of moisturizer,” says de Betak. “I once sat next to a woman who was painting her nails on the flight and thought it was quite disgusting. It’s intrusive for everyone around you. Beauty is for before or after the plane, not during.”
“I always pack a lot of light silks and thin materials that way the suitcase isn’t too squished. And you have more room to bring home souvenirs.” When she visits Mike’s Camp on Kenya’s exquisitely remote Kiwayu island, for instance, it’s all about bringing light maxi dresses, a good bikini or two, and not much else.
Don’t be afraid to try new things.
Staying at Caravan Tokyo—an impossibly cute trailer parked in one of the downtown commercial districts—is an immersive experience. And while staving off jet lag in a couple of square meters might not appeal to everyone, de Betak insists it’s a prime location for walking around and experiencing everything the city has to offer, including some really stellar fish markets with some of the best sushi around. “It’s one of those things that as a traveler you don’t have a choice,” says de Betak. “In a place like Japan they might offer you some food and you aren’t quite sure what it is, but that’s part of the fun. You can’t fly halfway around the world and not be down to try some strange new fish in Japan.”Read more at:bridesmaid dresses australia | formal wear brisbane