Kate Walsh has been a prime-time star since 2005, when she earned fame for her role as Addison on Grey's Anatomy. While the spin-off series Private Practice just ended its six-year run, the native Californian isn't taking a break to relax, with trips to Vienna, Washington, D.C., and possibly the Middle East coming up this year. There’s also her fragrance, Boyfriend—the bottle of which was inspired by the Venetian glass and gold frames at Le Meurice hotel in Paris. Here, the actress talks to us about her more memorable trips, favorite hotels, and more.
Tell me about your recent trip to Belize.
I was there with Oceana [an ocean conservation organization] to bring awareness to the importance of conserving the barrier reef, which is essential for the island fisherman and protects the island from storms and hurricane. This was one of the most pristine and rich reefs I’ve ever been to.
We stayed at a little place called Turtle Inn, which is owned by Francis Ford Coppola. There was no TV, and only one area you can get Internet. It was so quiet and relaxing, and the food was great. It was just about being in the water, lying in hammocks, and taking boat rides to snorkel at different islands.
What are a few of the most memorable trips you’ve taken?
Going on safari in Kenya and Tanzania was amazing. We were there during the wildebeest migration, which happens every year in July; it was epic. You’re so socialized to see zoo animals, or the Discovery Channel, where you’re waiting for the narrative. I remember really understanding that they don’t go back to their caves or cages at night. This is where they live.
What are your go-to hotels?
Eden Rock in St. Bart's is my all-time favorite. It’s family run, and so special. I’m a big design hound, and in New York, I love the décor of the Greenwich Hotel. It’s really cozy, and you feel like you have your own New York apartment. The Hotel de Russie in Rome is also amazing. And the Parker Palm Springs is a really special place; it’s family-fun and super chic.
You're going away for two weeks and can only bring a carry-on bag. What do you pack?
I’d go with my rolling Louis Vuitton. I’m a huge fan of traveling light. I use plastic roll up bags to push all the air out, and it also decreases wrinkles. I like to keep it simple. In summer, it’s shorts, tops and sandals—always a pair of Havaianas. I love dresses in summer because they’re easy: one piece and boom.
Where are you going next?
I’m going to Vienna next month for the Hollywood Foreign Press. I’m an opera fan, so I’m going to visit the Vienna State Opera house. From there, I’m building a trip either to Italy or Spain. There’s a flamenco festival in Seville, and my makeup artist dances in it. Then I go to Washington, D.C., to lobby for wind power for congress. And I’m hoping to do a USO trip to visit troops in the Middle East.
Brooke Porter is an associate editor at Travel + Leisure.