Anita Hughes' 5 Fave Vacation Spots

Lake-Como-by-Anita-HughesOur guest today: Anita Hughes Why we love her: Her books are a lovely escape from the daily grind!

Her latest: Lake Como

The scoop: Hallie Elliot has a perfect life. She is an up-and-coming interior designer in one of San Francisco’s most sought after firms, and has just recently become engaged to Peter, a brilliant young journalist. But when she stumbles upon Peter and her boss in what seems to be a compromising position, her trust in her perfect life is shaken.

So Hallie escapes to Lake Como, Italy to spend time with her half-sister, Portia Tesoro, an Italian blueblood dealing with the scandal of a public estrangement from her cheating husband. While staying in the Tesoro villa, Hallie falls in love with the splendor and beauty of Lake Como, and finds work designing the lakeside estate of a reclusive American tech mogul. The caretaker of this beautiful estate is a handsome man named Angus, and Hallie finds herself drawn to his charm and kindness, despite hints of a dark secret in his past.

But just as Hallie is beginning to find her footing on Italian soil, she uncovers a family secret that upends all the truths she’s believed about herself, and calls into question the new life she’s built in Lake Como.

Our thoughts: You'll love this delicious read--our fave of hers so far!

Giveaway: TWO copies! Leave a comment and you'll be entered to win!  We'll choose the winners after 8am on August 11th.

Fun Fact: Anita lives at The fabulous St. Regis resort! #socool

Where to read more about Anita: Her website, Twitter and Facebook.

Anita Hughes' 5 Fave Vacation Spots

20101121_fff_0023-editc1. Lake Como, Italy. I've always been fascinated by Lake Como. It is a magical setting - a gorgeous lake surrounded by snow-capped mountains and grand villas dating back to the eighteenth century. Even though I felt like I was on vacation there when I wrote Lake Como, I'd love to visit again in real life. (I went once, when I was twelve). I'd particularly like to stay at The Villa D'Este which is one of the most famous hotels in the world and a favorite of movie stars and European royalty. And of course if I crossed paths with George Clooney's speedboat, that would be an added perk!

2. Capri, Italy. This is another place I visited when I was a child and absolutely captivated me. Capri is an island off of Naples you reach by ferry. What I love most about it is there are no cars. You wander around the main square without any fears of being run over. I would love to hike up to Anacapri (where Tiberius lived in Roman times), and explore the grottos (underwater caves) in a wooden boat. My favorite hotel is the Quisisana. It is a beautiful white building right on the main square with incredible views and gorgeous interior design.

3. Cannes, France. I guess one could say I'm fascinated by beautiful hotels perched on the water! The Intercontinental-Carlton in Cannes is on the Boulevard Croissette - the site of the annual Cannes Film Festival. It is also across the street from the beach, and the sand is always covered with yellow and white beach umbrellas. The Boulevard Croisette is lined with boutiques representing all the famous fashion houses and the people watching is spectacular!

4. Waikiki Beach. I know most people love the outer islands, but growing up in Australia, whenever we travelled to America we stayed in Honolulu for a few days to break up the flight. I fell in love with Wakiki Beach - the smell of suntan lotion, the tiki torches, the feeling that everyone was on vacation. I have a soft spot for The Royal Hawaiian Hotel - which is still painted pink, and I love the Halekulani - which is right next door and has a wonderful restaurant facing Diamond Harbor called "A Room Without A Key."

5. Laguna Beach, California. I might be partial because I live here, but it is a terrific town. The village center is filled with restaurants and galleries and tourist favorites like The Candy Baron and The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. There are always a few volleyball games going on at Main Beach and the gelato and frozen yogurt selection is fantastic. I am a huge fan of The Montage, The Ritz and The St. Regis, but some of the smaller hotels like The Surf And Sand are also fabulous.