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May 2011

Sybille de Margerie

Béatrice Delamotte

Colours, emotion, luxury and creation are Sybille de Margerie’s leitmotivs. Voted best interior designer for  her work on The Grand Hotel in Amsterdam last fall, she recently completed the design of the luxury Mandarin Oriental hotel in Paris, the opening of which is anticipated to be this summer. During a quick interview between two flights, she tells us the secret to a no-fuss journey.

Are you more of a hand-carry, trunk, suitcase, travel bag, backpack or no baggage person ?
Suitcase or travel bag, it is essential that I can take it on-board with me. Practicality is much more important to me than the model. Depending on the destination, I take as little as possible. For that reason, I have a vast choice: soft suitcases, hard suitcases, bags… My trick is to carry my entire life with me, so that I don’t waste time on arrival

Is your suitcase very organised or a bit of a jumble ?
I pack very methodically. But it still doesn’t take me very long to prepare it. I am used to travelling often, I never forget anything. I always have everything I need according to my commitments, and the weather 

What are the essentials for your suitcase ?
A swimsuit and my running shoes. Wherever I go, I either swim or run every day. Other than that, I always have a notebook in my bag, an iPod to listen to whilst running, an iPad for films, and my presentations etc. And of course, a book. That is essential

What kind of wash-bag do you have and what are its essentials ?
My wash bag is soft, and lined with material. It’s practical if a perfume ever leaks, it won’t go over the rest of my bag. Otherwise, I only take what is necessary (make-up, toothpaste and tooth brush), in the right size so that I don’t have to check my suitcase. And my perfume, Chanel N°5. For the rest, they always have everything you need in the hotel. I don’t bother with things that are not necessary. It’s already such a nightmare getting out your computer, taking off yours shoes and belt…

What do you bring back from your travels ?
Photos, memories, emotions, ideas that are linked to the people I met and the places I visited. Otherwise, I buy things and send them back if they are too much of a hassle. I have objects brought back from all over the world at home. And of course, lots of photos. That being said, my trips are always very efficient. I spend as little time away as possible so I can be close to my children. I usually have meetings all day, then I go out in the evening and take the plane back the next day. But I always try to set aside some time for myself to visit antique shops and art galleries

Clever tips

I travel light and save space to bring things back, particularly for my children. I always take carry-on baggage to avoid check-in and save time. I make sure that my things are well folded and prioritise my least wrinkle-prone outfits. Always check the weather of your destination. And don’t forget to bring some warm clothing because of air conditioning

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