SF’s Most Stylish Trendsetters Discuss Their Holiday Destinations

We asked three of San Francisco’s most stylish pretty young things, event planner Rebecca Revel, photographer Anna-Alexia Basile, and boutique owner Pia Cohler where they’ll be spending the holidays. Find out what they will be doing come Christmas morning and where they’re ringing in the New Year.

Rebecca Revel, Event Planner 

Revel is the founder of Martinibird, the tech elite’s go-to party planning company.

unspecifiedPhoto Credit: Drew Altizer

Destination: A few years ago my parents decided to spend their time between my home state of Montana and Tucson. We’ll head southwest for the New Year to spend time with them and my brother’s family. We’re excited to see our niece and nephew!

Packing list: It’s all about comfort and flexibility when I’m with family. I’m obsessed with Pladra’s [outdoor clothing] because it fits well and can be worn anywhere. I’ll also bring some light cashmere and my Barbour jacket, because it gets chilly in the evening.

Lodging: Perhaps at my parents’ house, although we’re also considering a getaway at Tanque Verde Ranch, a great horse ranch surrounded by endless saguaro cactuses and southwestern skies.

Tanque Verde Ranch
Tanque Verde Ranch

On the agenda: Visiting Tubac, Arizona. This charming, small, historic town has attracted artists from across the country since the 1950s.

Must-see tourist attraction: Saguaro National Park is a gorgeous place to hike.

Favorite restaurant: We’ll be going to El Charro Cafe—the nation’s oldest Mexican restaurant—in continuous operation by the same family since 1922.

August Morgan cocktail napkins
August Morgan cocktail napkins

Holiday hostess gift: I’ll be bringing a set of August Morgan cocktail napkins. I can’t decide between the Uno Mas and Fiesta/Siesta set, so I’m taking both. Perfect for my mom and dad’s famous cocktail hours.

Celebratory drink of choice: There is so much to celebrate this year—my husband and I will be spending our first holidays together as newlyweds in our first home. So Champagne seems appropriate! Although I can’t say no to a good martini over a long game of dominoes.

Christmas morning routine: Stockings, coffee, the twinkling lights of a Christmas tree, and homemade brunch. Cozy at home with our two dogs, Diesel the Labrador retriever and Frankie the corgi.

New Year’s Resolution: Waking up with a smile on my face!

Anna-Alexia Basile, Photographer 

With more than 6,000 Instagram devotees, @annaalexia is an eclectic artist you need to follow.
Photo Credit: Anna-Alexia Basile

Destination: Palm Springs, baby!

Packing list: Bikini, large sunhat, and silk kimonos…very December-appropriate, no? And I never travel without at least three lip stains.

Lodging: I love starting off with a few nights at The Saguaro, the most colorful and fun hotel in Palm Springs, and then ending up at the Ace for a calmer, retro vibe.

The Saguaro Palm Springs
The Saguaro Palm Springs

On the agenda:  Soak up the sun and take lots of photos. Time away from the city gets my creative juices flowing. I love being in an environment I’m not used to and using that sense of newness to feel inspired.

Must-see tourist attraction: Robolights!! I accidentally stumbled across this the last time I was in Palm Springs while I was looking for Frank Sinatra’s old home. Robolights is a fantastical Christmas world made of sculptures comprised of recycled materials. Creator Kenny Irwin Jr. is said to work on this ever-growing project for 10–12 hours a day 350 days a year. While the space is incredible during the day, for the holidays Irwin Jr. weaves millions of lights into the installation that make it just as, if not more, awe-inspiring at night.

Favorite restaurant: El Jefe, The Saguaro’s restaurant. I always get the jalapeño celery margarita, the Coachella Valley dates and the Saguaro Caesar. And after dinner, you can work off your buzz with some ping-pong, surrounded by The Saguaro’s cool neon sculptures, or dip back into the pool! Killer food and amazing post-dinner activities? Win win.

Shops you’ll visit: I’m a sucker for California thrift shops…especially at stylish older lady havens like Palm Springs. My routine is always to hit Angel View thrift before checking into the hotel. It’s filled with $20 gala gowns, $2 gorgeous one-piece vintage bathing suits, and a great selection of cool, early 2000’s skinny sunglasses.

A balsam fir candle
A balsam fir candle

Holiday hostess gift: It’s so easy to accumulate excess material goods around the holidays—I like giving gifts that go away. My favorite holiday hostess gifts are either special homemade drinks that can be shared with everyone, like Holiday Sangría (seasonal fruits soaked overnight in cinnamon whiskey, then mixed with pinot grigio, soda water and spices), or something special that’s just for the hostess, like a balsam fir candle.

Celebratory drink of choice: Celebration or not, I’m a tequila girl and I can never say no to a jalapeño margarita!

Christmas morning routine: I’m a Christmas aficionado; pretty much all year round I wake up telling myself “It’s Christmas!” to get super psyched for the day. Then on Christmas morning I try to sleep in as late as possible (and still pretend to be sleeping even after I’m awake) to torture my younger brother, who runs from room to room trying to rally everyone to open gifts. Once everyone is up and at ‘em, we open a few presents while munching on my great aunt’s holiday cookies and then go play family tennis!

New Year’s Resolution: If nothing else, be like nothing else.

Pia Cohler, Boutique Owner

Fashionistas are flocking to her namesake shop, Pia the Store, in Jackson Square.

unspecified-7Photo Credit: Angie Silvy

Destination: This year, my husband and I will be celebrating Christmas at home in Marin with our families, who will be flying in from New York and Norway. We just moved in so we are excited to host this year! It’s been a busy year—we got married and I opened my new store, Pia, so a staycation feels right. For New Year’s, we are going to Hawaii with friends.  

Packing list: For Hawaii, I am packing bikinis by Melissa Odabash and Le Swim. We did a ton of research for the store and both lines offer gorgeous swimwear you can actually swim in. I’ll also bring my favorite Ultracor workout wear for afternoon yoga classes.

Lodging: We’re staying at our friend’s house.

Wailua Bay in Kauai
Wailua Bay in Kauai

Photo Credit: Kauai Visitors Bureau

On the agenda: Karaoke, board games, and paintball.

Must-see tourist attraction: Me doing a hula dance!

Favorite restaurant: Our friends’ place is off the beaten path, far from any city, so outings will be small, local spots.

Fornasetti Sole di Capri candle
Fornasetti Sole di Capri candle

Holiday hostess gift: I love giving gifts—choosing just the right item for a special friend. I don’t want to give away the surprise! But if I had to say, it would be a Fornasetti Sole di Capri candle!

Drink of choice: Champagne, always Champagne. My favorite is Ruinart Blanc de Blanc.

Christmas morning routine: Cinnamon and orange tea and listening to Edith Piaff. My sister gave my mom her best-of CD when I was around 9, and I have listened to it ever since to get me in the Christmas mood.

New Year’s resolution: None. My thought is, if you realize there’s something you should and could change about your life to make it better, don’t wait until the end of the year to do it.