5 Instagrammable Pink-Drenched Destinations
Pink, the widely used name for that soft hue you get when you mix red and white, wasn’t a thing before the late 17th century. At that time, it was just a type of flower. Today, this saccharine shade is synonymous with femininity, love, innocence, and youth, made popular by Marilyn Monroe and her fuchsia gown in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and Funny Face’s “Think Pink” number.
It went from being a strong colour, suitable for boys, in the early 1900s, to being representative of the female gender a century later; from a symbol of fragility and passivity to a symbol of androgyny, resistance and female empowerment, with the recent movement of wearing pussyhats (bright pink knit caps) during Women’s Marches in the United States as a feminist statement.
While certain folks are reclaiming and redefining the colour as a way to tackle much larger social issues, it remains an enchanting tint on its own that deserves an entire Instagram account dedicated to it. Here are a few of the prettiest, most picture-perfect places for pink lovers to bask in.
The Gallery at Sketch, London
The quirkiest F&B destination in London where each eclectic room transports you to a different world, Sketch is a collaborative effort between restaurateur-owner Mourad Mazouz and French Michelin-starred chef Pierre Gagnaire. Inside lies the Gallery restaurant, designed in 2014 by French-Iranian architect India Mahdavi, the queen of colour. A teahouse from the 18th century that has bagged several accolades and continues to be the most Instagrammed destination in London, the Gallery is drenched in a dusty, feminine, gentle, candyfloss-like pink. Mahdavi calls it a “pink that is like the essence of pink”.
The bubble-gum pink walls are lined with 239 comical sketches and drawings artist David Shrigley, lending a light-hearted contrast to the polished mid-century modern interior. Dressed up with rose gold accents, vintage zig-zag marble floors, and plush, rounded furniture in a matching blush tone, it is every Wes Anderson fanatic’s Parisian dream come true.
Pink Sands Beach, Harbour Island, The Bahamas
Imagine blue skies, emerald waters, and the pinkest shore you’ve ever stood on. This is what it’s like to be on Harbour Island’s Pink Sands Beach in the Bahamas. The most beautiful beach on which to sunbathe and build otherworldly sandcastles, it is named after its most iconic feature. Spanning more than three miles, it gets its soft pink hue from foraminifera, which are microscopic single cell organisms that live under reefs and rocks.
These coral insects boast bright pink shells. When they’ve died, they get crushed by waves, washed ashore, and mixed with the sand, thus making them appear pink. Besides the beach, this Caribbean island (also known locally as Briland) is also home to dainty cottages from the colonial era, English-style abodes, as well as a diversity of seafood, contemporary restaurants such as The Dunmore Club Restaurant and Rock House Restaurant.
Hawa Mahal, Jaipur, India
Residing in India’s appropriately named Pink City, Jaipur, Hawa Mahal is basically the South Asian version of the Grand Budapest Hotel. The beauty of its facade lies in its complex symmetry, uniformity and intricacy. Otherwise known as the Palace of Winds, the five-storey marvel is defined by its tall latticed windows that offer an abundance of ventilation through the interiors.
Carved out of red and pink sandstone and built in 1799, it is part of the City Palace and extends to the women’s chambers, where royal female figures (confined by purdah) could also look out into the streets without being seen in public. With traditional ornate details and regal columns, it merges Indo-Islamic Mughal architecture with Indo-Aryan Rajput architecture, while a coat of pale pink gives it a contemporary facelift—originally painted for Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria.
Lake Hillier, Western Australia
This curious work of nature looks like someone filled a lake with Pepto-Bismol. Situated on Middle Island in the Recherche Archipelago of the land down under, Lake Hillier is a salt lake that’s unlike your average transparent, turquoise, or murky body of water. It is literally drenched in bright pink, as if it were a portal to an alternate universe where the trees are made of chocolate and the grass is rainbow-coloured.
Thought to have gotten its hue from a micro algae with a rosy pigment that is commonly found in saline lakes, it sits encircled by gum trees and sand dunes that keep it away from the blue ocean beside it. And if you were wondering, yes, it is safe to swim in, so get ready to waterproof those polaroids.
The Don CeSar Hotel, Florida, United States
Built in the 1920s, this retro, Art Deco-influenced gem along St. Pete Beach is Florida’s best-kept secret, bringing a whole lot of first-rate class and style to the American state most known for its reputation as a party animal. Designed by American architect Henry Dupont, the beachside hotel from the Jazz Age boasts Moorish and Spanish architecture and its iconic pastel pink facade, which has attracted celebrities and dignitaries including the likes of Al Capone, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Franklin Roosevelt.
It was originally inspired by the design of The Royal Hawaiian in Waikiki, which the architect elevated to create a contemporary castle, complete with beamed ceilings and arched doorways. Despite going through a dark period from the 1940s to the 1970s when it deteriorated into nothing more than an obsolete house of pigeons, it’s been given a new lease of life in the last decade to bring back its old-Hollywood charm.
Hero Image: Sketch, London