Go Away With … Mandana Dayani

Mandana Dayani

By Jae-Ha Kim
Tribune Content Agency
February 28, 2017

Many fans of reality TV are familiar with Mandana Dayani from her days on “The Rachel Zoe Project.” A former attorney and vice president of Zoe’s fashion empire, she offered a cool and calm presence on the sometimes frenetic series. Dayani has parlayed her love of vintage pieces, fashion and antiques into a new career with the tech start-up, Everything But the House, which makes estate sales accessible online. Based out of Los Angeles as EBTH’s chief brand officer, Dayani took time to talk with us about her favorite places, some of which she highlights on her Instagram feed.

Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?

A. I’ve traveled to many places and love experiencing and learning about different cultures, but my favorite vacation destination would have to be Paris. I love everything about the city — the history, fashion, architecture, food, culture, interiors and energy. Fashion will always be my greatest love and all my fashion heroes are rooted in Paris.

Q. To someone who was going to Paris for the first time, what would you recommend that they do during their visit?

A. Didiet Ludot is one of my favorite vintage fashion destinations. It’s like the most well-curated museum of vintage couture. L’As du Fallafel may not be the sexiest eatery, necessarily, but it is the best falafel I’ve ever had. It’s also in the Le Marais (neighborhood), which is always fun to visit, especially for its great shopping.

Q. What untapped destination should people know about?

A. Iguazu Falls. I recommend viewing from both sides of the border so you can get both perspectives of the immense waterfalls. The Argentina side gives you a closer experience, but the panoramic viewpoint on the Brazilian side is absolutely breathtaking. Words cannot describe it and photos don’t do them justice. The sheer magnitude of the falls is so awe-inspiring and is the most humbling experience. You can’t help but feel so small in the presence of such a majestic and powerful wonder of nature. And Punta Del Este in Uruguay. I loved it.

Q. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from your travels?

A. Don’t feel like you need to restrict yourself to an itinerary and definitely stay away from making too many plans. The best experiences I’ve had traveling are the times I’ve gotten lost in a city, eaten street food and experienced the local culture. I used to spend a lot of time and effort visiting tourist attractions, which I never found as memorable.

Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?

A. My favorite weekend getaways are Santa Barbara, Cabo San Lucas, Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, Rosewood Mayakoba in Riviera Maya.

Q. Where is the most romantic destination?

A. Cadaques in Spain is where my husband and I visited on our honeymoon. It’s a little fisherman town that was frequented by artists like Dali and Picasso. The picturesque landscape, cobblestone streets, Vespas and local culture — it’s just so untouched and romantic.

Q. What are your favorite hotels?

A. Hotel Du Cap Een Roc, San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara, Las Ventanas in Cabo San Lucas, The Carlyle in New York City, Hotel Bel Air, Le Meurice in Paris, The Alvear Palace Hotel in Buenos Aires, Claridge’s in London, Hotel Il Pellicano in Tuscany and Chromata in Greece.

Q. What are your five favorite cities?

A. New York City, Paris, Istanbul, Nantucket, Capri.

Q. Where would you like to go that you have never been to before?

A. I would love to experience the culture and the food of Marrakesh. Yves Saint Laurent used to call Marrakesh home and its influence emerges in some of my favorite collections of his.

Q. When you go away, what are some of your must-have items?

A. I always pack lots of skincare items, a silk pillowcase, cashmere pajamas, tech adapters, a camera, Polaroid and sanitizing wipes.

Q. What would be your dream/fantasy trip?

A. A safari in Botswana with my husband and daughter.

Q. What kind of research do you do before you go away on a trip?

A. I only take referrals from friends!

© 2017 JAE-HA KIM


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