"There is only taste or its absence" is one of my favorite lines, from so long ago that I actually can't remember who wrote it. The same words could be applied to style, on the surface perhaps even more amorphous and harder to define. In the T+L lexicon, style refers to a quality or state of being that is forward-thinking (whether avant-garde, modern, or a classical reinvention); authentic (original and appropriate to its setting or genre); and attention-worthy. Each October, in Travel + Leisure's annual Style Issue, we consider a range of people and places—cities and neighborhoods, hotels and resorts, shops and restaurants—with a high style quotient that are transforming the travel experience.
Finding the newest and best, and getting our readers there first, is encoded in this magazine's DNA, so when Turtle Inn, Francis Ford Coppola's latest resort in Belize, reopened after being destroyed by a hurricane, we dispatched contributing editor Richard Alleman. For a fresh look at Paris, we asked Francophile and fashion editor Kate Betts to give us her take on the city where she once lived and has frequently visited for nearly two decades. Contributing editors Guy Trebay and Ian Buruma consider different aspects of national style: Trebay writes about the Anderson Valley in California, a farming and wine-growing oasiswhere the 1960's and 70's trend for dropping out remains a distinctly American expression; Buruma reports on the new Korea, where a modern democracy is being forged even though sharp divisions—between North and South, between Eastern traditions and Western-style consumerism—remain. Also this month: our annual survey on the World's Best Spas, and another of my favorite stories, by contributing editor Lynn Yaeger, on that 21st-century shopper's passion—vintage clothing, and where to find it coast-to-coast.
Far from being an abstract concept, style is the embodiment of culture, an indication of the way we live now—and where we're heading next.