Globetrotter: Serdar Kutucu

Portrait of Serdar Kutucu

Portrait: Courtesy // Additional photos: Papaya Playa / Ham Yard Hotel / Casa Malca / San Giorgio Mykonos

Travelling offers a sense of luxury and freedom, but everyone has their own personal definition of what that is. For me it’s about diving into people's culture and exploring how they live and think.

A destination can be seen in different ways, depending on your purpose. Are you travelling for business or leisure? Is the stay short or long? Factors like these can really alter your view of a place. Whether you discover a destination on your own or with friends who are locals also makes a big difference.

Papaya Playa Project

When it comes to luggage, I like lots of different brands. Rimowa is definitely an all-time classic. I am currently using a lot my Caravana weekender bag and I am really looking forward to the new travel collection of Horizn Studios in Berlin.

I tend to pack rather fast and intuitively. I don’t think too much about it usually, and I just grab the first things that I feel are suitable.

My ideal co-passengers would be my best friends. We all live in different places, so I meet them rarely. However, I also enjoy traveling alone and I appreciate the moments of disconnection during a flight; I like to read, think and reflect on things that are happening in my life.

Ham Yard Hotel

Deal with jet lag by ignoring it. Give all your energy as soon you land and try to live as a local.

If you are looking for an all year-round summer destination, I would suggest picking Tulum instead of Miami. It still maintains its authenticity, making it an excellent choice.

Athens and Lisbon are quite underrated. Both cities have a long history, rich culture, very nice surroundings, close proximity to the sea, international airports, great food, fun people, exciting nightlife and fantastic weather...

Casa Malca

I always shop till I drop when I visit New York. Dover Street Market is one of my usual stops, as well as the Osklen boutique and some other brand stores that you don’t find in Berlin. However, I must say that Berlin (where I am based), also offers great choice. For example, it’s rather impossible to leave Andreas Murkudis' store with empty hands; there's always something exciting to be found there.

It's rather difficult to pick one favourite hotel. There are so many that I like, and each for a particular reason. I adore the Louis Hotel in Munich for its cosy rooms that overlook the Viktualienmarkt, the Ham Yard for its comfort and great service and the La Reserve Ramatuelle in St. Tropez where you go to de-accelerate and rejuvenate. I also like the Les Bains in Paris, a hotel that does not feel exactly like a hotel and where you can expect the unexpected. Last but not least, San Giorgio Mykonos is great for its laid-back atmosphere. But what I enjoy most is making new discoveries.


If I were to run my own hotel it would definitely be great fun! It would be in front of the beach, somewhere in the Mediterranean, and would stay open longer in season than other hotels; May and October are actually the nicest months there. It would have a farm and outdoor terraces where like-minded people would come together for endless lunches and spontaneous dinner parties. Guests would be treated like friends, food would be prepared by locals and served family style. All in all, it would offer a cosy, laid-back atmosphere and make people feel at home immediately.

As a hotel guest, I am very easy to please. I just expect the obvious things to work very well, which can sometimes be a challenge. But with the right hotel choice, there is not much that can go wrong for me.


I always look forward to returning to Istanbul, where I feel at home. The city is full of energy while I love discovering new things every time I visit — which, unfortunately, is not as often as I would like. The cultural scene is very vibrant, with IKSV being the leading institution. Also, the restaurants and bars are among the best in the world. My latest discovery is Nopa, a fantastic meat restaurant in the Nişantaşı neighbourhood and is owned by the founders of The House Café, Canan Özdemir and Ferit Baltacıoğlu. I also like hanging out in Karaköy, Pera or Cihangir, where I meet old friends and spend hours sharing ideas and experiences.

While I adore the seaside, it's rather hard to beat the mountain views, especially during the winter. I recently travelled to South Tyrol where I was in Lana, close to Merano. The Vigilius Mountain Resort there, which is designed by Matteo Thun, can only be reached by a lift and offers stunning views of the Dolomites. The experience of waking up in the morning, before you even get up from bed, is one of a kind.

Connecting with locals can help you explore a destination and only with their help can you truly discover its secrets.

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