WHERE TO GO IN MAY? - Petite Passport

1 May 2024



This month in ‘Where to go in May’, we travel to destinations where design, art, and nature play important roles. In New York and Lisbon, we can attend exhibitions and tours during their design festivals. In Mallorca, we can combine beach time with art and crafts. In Athens, we open our eyes to James Turrell’s work, while in Scotland, we seek to minimize sensory stimuli.


To help you out in your decision making we’ve rounded up the 5 best destinations to go to this month, including some tips on where to stay, eat, shop and go.


New York, United States



Design festival, female-led boutiques and primitive modernism


From May 16 to May 23, New York is all about design during NYCxDesign. Whether you’re exploring Manhattan and attending the panel discussion by Norm Architects and Bang & Olufsen on May 20, or doing a gallery tour at Pierre Yovanovitch’s showroom, who is launching a new collection with Christian Louboutin, there’s plenty to discover. In Brooklyn, the Atlantic Avenue Day of Design is a new event on May 18 where you can get to know Downtown Brooklyn’s independent boutiques (and their unique products), often run by women. At Café Kitsuné, you can attend Mud Talks at 3:30 pm the same day, organized by Mud Australia, where, among others, editor-in-chief of ELLE Decor will discuss retail, community, and conscious shopping. And while you’re in Boerum Hill, make sure to visit Porta, a shop run by women who curate and sell beautiful tableware.


Where to stay? Also in Boerum Hill, Downtown Brooklyn, you’ll find the Ace Hotel designed by American design duo Roman & Williams, known for La Mercerie and the first Ace Hotel in New York. They drew inspiration from primitive modernism in the interior, creating communal spaces that invite the artistic community to gather, while the rooms serve as calm retreats with a color palette of brown, green, and anthracite.


Find more recommendations in New York here


Mallorca, Spain



Crafts, UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Spanish townhouse


When you think of Mallorca, you might envision the older travel enthusiast who enjoys hiking and cycling, but the largest Balearic island also has a surprisingly artistic side. And we’re not just talking about Joan Miro’s studio on the outskirts of Palma. From May 9 to 13, Xtant takes place, a festival celebrating the art of crafts through talks (including one by Li Edelkoort), workshops, and markets. Swedish brand Dusty Deco has an apartment filled with art and (their own) designs that you can visit by appointment. Gallery L21 also exhibits work by contemporary artists.


Where to stay? Sollér is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a picturesque village with narrow streets and cozy squares surrounded by the majestic Tramuntana mountains. In the heart of the village lies Meem Townhouse, a traditional Spanish townhouse converted into a hotel with 7 suites. All suites feature a soft color palette and comfortable beds. They also have a small garden at the back of the house where you can enjoy a local breakfast in the mornings.


Find more recommendations in Mallorca here


Scotland, United Kingdom



Nature, Royal Family and a beautifully designed lodge 


For those who travel to immerse themselves in pristine nature, booking a ticket to Scotland is a must. Start in Edinburgh, where you can satisfy your morning appetite with a croissant from Lannan Bakery. Then head to the largest national park in the United Kingdom, Cairngorms National Park. Expect forests, mountains, and of course, the well-known lochs (where true diehards love to take a refreshing dip). These are perfect conditions for a slow walk, shedding the daily stress step by step. Want to see some sights? The Scottish home of the Royal Family, Balmoral Castle, is open for visits during the summer months. Looking for more hotspots? Don’t miss out on Tarmachan café for a great cup of coffee.


Where to stay? Gairnshiel is one of the most beautiful places to stay when visiting Cairngorms National Park. Gairnshiel Lodge can accommodate up to sixteen people, so if you have a large family or want to take your company into nature, this is the place to be. The Cottages are smaller (for 4, 7, and 8 people) and offer the same calm interior focused on comfort, luxury, and of course, the surrounding nature.


Find more recommendations in the United Kingdom here


Lisbon, Portugal



Portuguese designers, 18th-century hotel and Lisbon Design Week


Lisbon also attracts design enthusiasts this month during Lisbon Design Week from May 22 to 26. Throughout the city, you can visit exhibitions and, more importantly, admire the latest collections from Portuguese designers at really cool locations. For example, Diogo Amaro presents his furniture collection inspired by the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and Japan at Santa Clara 1728. Also worth checking out is the open studio of Further Ther and Studio Mirante. Of course, you also need some time to eat and drink. Favorite spots in Lisbon include Dramatico, Prado and Kefi Greek Bistro.


Where to stay? It’s especially unique to stay at a location that’s part of the program, like Santa Clara 1728. This 18th-century stately home in the Alfama district has six suites, a spacious lobby, and a breakfast room with a long table where dinners are also organized in the evenings. All of this is designed by Studio Manuel Aires Mateus, who is also participating in Lisbon Design Week with a special exhibition.


Find more recommendations in Lisbon here


Athens, Greece



James Turrell, Kolonaki and natural wines


The capital of Greece is becoming increasingly popular as a city trip destination, and those visiting Athens this month are in for a treat because the Gagosian Gallery is exhibiting the work of American light artist James Turrell (until May 25). The gallery is located in the Kolonaki district, an upscale area built against Lycabettus Hill, offering a stunning view of the city. Just a ten-minute drive from the Gagosian Gallery is the restaurant Pharaoh, which opened its doors just over a year ago and is now the talk of the town. Why? Their focus on a wood fire kitchen, natural wines, and great music.


Where to stay? At Monsieur Didot in the Kolonaki district, you’ll stay in a townhouse with spacious rooms, some of which have their own terrace. You step into a piece of history as this was the place Yoko Ono and John Lennon briefly called home when they visited the city incognito. Books play a significant role in the hotel, so some rooms have large bookshelves filled with inspiring reading material.


Find more recommendations in Athens here


Credits: Openingsimage Miro Mallorca by Petite Passport 1) Ace Hotel Brooklyn provided by Ace Hotel) 2) Meem Townhouse by Petite Passport 3) Gairnshiel Lodge by Nathalie van Reeth and Maarten van Meerbeeck 4) Dramatico by Petite Passport 5) James Turrell at Gagosian Gallery Athens by Stathis Mamalakis, courtesy the artist and Gagosian


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