Ben de Lisi: My Life In Travel

'I'm a beach bum - bare feet and a sarong is my idea of happiness'

Camping with my parents and two brothers in New Hampshire. I loved the beautiful waterfalls, rivers and lakes.

Best holiday?

Always at The Belvedere Hotel on the island of Mykonos with my partner, Gerardo. It's idyllic. The sea, the sand and the people make it totally relaxing.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

Poole for its beaches and Yorkshire for the countryside.

What have you learnt from your travels?

That no two places are really alike - each has a distinct character and quality that makes it unique.

Ideal travelling companion?

My partner Gerardo. We travel together as much as possible; whenever I take a holiday it's with him.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

I'm definitely a beach bum - bare feet and a sarong is my idea of perfect holiday happiness.

Greatest travel luxury?

A cashmere throw for winter holidays and brand new underwear to travel in - there's nothing quite like it!

Holiday reading?

My last holiday read was The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. It transported me to another place in time.

Where has seduced you?

The island of Capri. It's exclusively beautiful and once you are there, you feel very much a "Caprese". You don't have to rely on cars to get around and the food is incredible. The people are wonderful, too.

Better to travel or arrive?

Arriving is always exciting. When you step outside the plane and feel the jolt of the heat, take in the new light and smells - it makes you happy to be alive.

Worst travel experience?

Travelling with Olympic Airlines. For one of my annual Mykonos trips, I turned up at the airport and found out there was an Olympic Airlines strike, which they hadn't told the passengers about. I managed to get an Alitalia flight the next morning to Milan, where I had to wait until the evening for a connecting flight to Athens. When I arrived at Athens I found there was a strike there, so there were no flights to Mykonos. I was so fed up that I ended up spending a fortune on a helicopter to the island.

Worst holiday?

Going to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, many years ago. It was my idea of hell.

Worst hotel?

A hotel I stayed at in Paris a few years ago. The hotel I normally use for business trips was full so we booked a Eurostar package - it turned out to be a hostel near the Gare du Nord. I didn't unpack and luckily we only had to stay one night - never again!

Best hotel?

The Oberoi in Lombok and the Four Seasons Gresham Palace in Budapest - total luxury. The Oberoi is phenomenal. Some of the rooms have their own pools while the bathrooms are enormous; the size of a central London flat. In the morning the pool is strewn with tuberoses and in the evening there are candles dotted around the rooms. The Four Seasons is to die for.

Best meal abroad?

All the food in Capri. My favourite place to eat there is La Fontelina.

Favourite walk/swim/ ride/drive?

My favourite walk is in the Lake District, my favourite swim in the Aegean or Caribbean Sea and my favourite drive is from Los Angeles to San Francisco.

First thing you do when you arrive somewhere new?

Make my room my own with photos, candles and throws.

Favourite city?

Barcelona. I love anything remotely affiliated with the 1950s. You can walk past a shop front or laundry and see the most amazing ceramic tiles in 1950s patterns. At the same time it has a very contemporary feel and the buildings are so decorative and grand.

Where next?

Turks and Caicos.

Fashion designer Ben de Lisi appears as a mentor on 'Project Catwalk' with Liz Hurley on Sky One, 12 January, 8pm

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