She Came to Stay is an international travel magazine
We document an enchantment with the living theatre of the hotel, honouring unique, creative and authentic hospitality endeavours, from the historic, iconic and luxurious to the small, unheralded and delightfully eccentric.
Transcending the idea of travel as yet another consumer choice, we celebrate individual vision and lived experience. We get to know the people behind the places we’re staying and hear their stories.
As champions of ‘deep travel’, we hope to inspire travellers who, like us, crave meaningful immersion, authenticity, visual eloquence, sensual frisson and everyday alchemy.
She Came to Stay is an online native, while also engaging and fusing with emerging and traditional media. Content offerings beyond the original web and social presence will include a monthly email newsletter, a print annual, an enhanced iPad magazine, curated playlists and short films.
We are always happy to partner with other cultural influencers and are keen to share and extend our knowledge and perspective.
Our expertise includes content strategy, editorial concepts, web production, traditional publishing production, photography, film & TV, social and branding.
We are first and foremost passionate about travel, and see this as an experiential extension of our love of visual art, architecture, design, fashion, food and wine, wilderness, history and politics.
Branding, Custom Content and Social Influence
We work beyond traditional media and agency structures as well as geographical borders. We create custom content solutions that extend your brand vision and harness the power of compelling, authentic editorial.
Press and Reuse
We are happy to discuss content licensing or reuse of text and images. We’d also be delighted if you’d like to tell your audience about us. For all press and licensing enquiries, contact email@example.com.
Advertising and Sponsorship
Tell Us More
Who is the ‘she’ behind it all?
Our founder and creative director is Donna Wheeler, a veteran travel writer and digital publisher. ‘She’ works with a global team of photographers, writers, art directors and digital producers in Australia, Hong Kong, France, Italy and the UK.
How did She Came to Stay come about?
Having worked in travel publishing for many years, and going on to write a series of guidebooks and numerous travel features, Donna was aware that, while there was a proliferation of thoughtful, intelligent and beautiful online magazines and blogs about interiors, art and fashion, those emerging as a dominant force in the online travel space rarely prioritised the kind of travel experience she was interested in.
She had also begun to notice that she could fall head-over-heels in love with a hotel, B&B or guesthouse, often quite unexpectedly, and that these places profoundly shaped her understanding of a destination. Beyond a longing for a way to document and curate her own experiences, desires and aesthetic, she was certain that creating a showcase for the places that could so inspire her, and teasing out the stories behind them, would find an audience.
Donna also believed that travel should be an oppurtunity for dialogue and a force for change. ‘I witnessed this in Tunisia first-hand, where a small number of creative, visionary, and often very brave, hotel and B&B owners built a small but very powerful alternative to the large multinational resorts – the accepted narrative of what travel to that country had long been about. In effect they changed, and continue to change, not only the experience of the travellers they welcome, but also the way Tunisians themselves imagine their place in the world’, explains Donna.
Lastly, she hoped the project might engender like-minded partnerships and collaborations.
How does She Came to Stay choose the hotels or B&B?
While we appreciate, and often desire, things like outright luxury, hipness, newness and stylishness, Donna had realised the intense emotional reaction to ‘place’ she experienced, and began to seek, often had little to do with these things, whether they were totally absent or there in spades.
It also had very little to do with whether or not a place was urban, rural or remote. Rather, it became obvious it was all about the way in which the owners and/or creators had articulated a very specific, very individual vision.
Ancient Romans believed that the home, and domestic objects, possessed something akin to a soul, an animus, and we wonder if there is a level of vision and engagement which does, in fact, imbue a place, and a lived experience, with deeper resonance. In his book In Motion: The Experience of Travel, the New Yorker’s Tony Hiss talks about a ‘revelatory sense of wonder’, an instantly recognisable sensation that radically alters our perception of not only where we are but who we are.
While this isn’t an uncommon phenomena for travellers to encounter in the natural world, it’s something that’s far more elusive in the places we rest, eat, bathe, love and sleep, the places we choose to stay. It’s this potent quality that we aim to discover and explore.
OK, but what, in a nutshell, does it for you?
Individual vision, embodiment of place, multi-layeredness, a two-way conversation, surprise, sensuality, guts and grace. And, of course, beauty, however unconventional that might be.