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Marc Newson’s Travel Picks

Understated is not a word usually associated with Aussie designer Marc Newson and his glossy creations. But the man behind the luxe-mod interiors of New York’s Lever House Restaurant (390 Park Ave.; 212/888-2700), and the space-age Ikepod watch promises just that for his latest project: a revamp of Qantas’s A380 cabins and airport lounges to be completed this spring. "They’ll be very understated, but very cool," he says. We catch up with the trailblazer for his finds and faves.

Great Stay

My favorite hotel in the world is the Okura (2-10-4 Toranomon, Minato-ku; 81-3/3582-0111; doubles from $370) in Tokyo. I find it reassuring that it’s barely changed since it opened in 1962. Service is most important, and the hotel is renowned for it. The staff is truly interested in your well-being. They’re so efficient and discreet, you don’t even think about it.

Food for Thought

I try not to snack, unless I’m in Thailand, where the street food is fantastic. But I like going to Toraya (www.toraya-group.co.jp), in Tokyo and Paris. They make the most delicate and delicious sesame macaroons. In London, I recommend Fry’s Turkish Delight chocolate bars, which you can get at any sweets shop, and in Sydney, Harry’s Cafe de Wheels (Cowper Wharf Rd., Woolloomooloo; 61-2/9357-3074) for the best pie and peas.

Pajama Party

I get my nightshirts from Charvet (28 Place Vendôme; 33-1/42-60-30-70), in Paris. Just the idea of nightshirts is hilarious, but they’re actually very practical. They’re highly underrated.

Getting Steamed

When I travel, I like to have a steam bath and a massage. In Moscow, I head to the banyas, or baths. Similarly, the onsen (hot springs) in Japan are incredibly relaxing, cleansing, and beautiful. They can also be quite social, and I always go with friends.

Tea Time

When I go to Japan, I stock up on tea. I especially like the hoji-cha, made by roasting tea leaves, from the Ippodo tearoom in Kyoto (Teramachi Nijo-agaru, Nakagyo-ku; 81-75/211-3421). It’s supposed to be good for you, and the tearoom is a fine place to enjoy it.


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