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Suitcase Series

Suitcase Series: Alicia Rountree-Zannier

Founder and Creative Director of Alicia Swim, Alicia Rountree-Zannier, was born and raised on the island of Mauritius, and is the epitome of natural beauty.

Growing up by the ocean, Alicia was passionate about swimwear from a young age. After starting her career as a model she created her line of simple, well-tailored swimsuits – crafted from high-performance, sustainable Italian fabrics – that share the spectacular beauty and special character of Mauritius. 

We talk to Alicia about island life, her most memorable travels, and why Mauritius is still her ultimate escape.


What is the first trip you remember taking?

My parents used to take us on summer holidays to London. Because we come from Mauritius, visiting a city was an exciting holiday. I remember going to the Science Museum (and loving the games you could play there), shopping for toys at Hamleys, and finding cool outfits. In Mauritius there was really nothing you could buy fashion-wise, and I was always so excited to bring things home and show my friends.

What’s been your most memorable trip and why?

I went to the Amalfi coast two summers ago, I had been dreaming about visiting for years. My husband proposed on that trip and it was a time where he and I really enjoyed every second, without thinking too much about work. We were just in the moment. We both have our own businesses so it’s sometimes hard to switch off.

 

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A post shared by Alicia Zannier (@aliciarountree)

Where or what is your escape?

I’d say my favourite escape is Mauritius. I love going back home and spending time with my family. I feel that I’m at peace once I land there, I don’t have to be or do anything special, basically. You don’t need anything fancy to feel good – all you need is a bikini and a T-shirt. I love to eat fresh coconuts in the morning and fuel up on tropical fruits and vegetables from the garden. It feels like a cure every time I’m there, mentally and physically. 

 

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A post shared by Alicia Zannier (@aliciarountree)

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve taken from your travels?

Choose the people you travel with wisely, as moments can be lived so differently if you’re with people who share the same values as you.

If I could go anywhere tomorrow I’d go to:

I’m craving a meal from my favourite restaurant in Paris: Yen in La Sixième (the 6th arrondissement). They make the most delicious fresh-tofu starter and mouth-watering soba noodles.

How would you spend an ideal afternoon in your home?

In Mauritius my ideal afternoon would start with a trip to the local market in the south, where I’m from. I would buy a dholl puri which is a kind of savoury pancake made with Dal, and then go for a long walk on the beach with our dogs and my sister. I’d finish the afternoon with a sunset paddle board session.

 

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A post shared by Alicia Zannier (@aliciarountree)

What’s your idea of a luxury holiday?

Taking the time to discover and experience the place you are in. I feel like the moments created and the people you are surrounded by make a holiday extra special.  

Where do you get your holiday inspiration?

I have travelled around the world quite a bit as a model so I’ve been lucky to discover some great places, many of which I want to go back to and discover as a tourist.

If you could sit next to anyone – dead or alive – who would it be? 

My father passed away earlier this year and I would just love to give him a big hug and talk about anything and everything.

How do you recover from jet lag?

I try to get in the time zone of the place I’m going to as soon as I get on the plane, I drink a lot of water and I don’t take any naps the day I arrive.

Your flight’s delayed an hour and your phone’s out of battery. How do you pass the time? 

I always travel with my iPad and computer, and always have some work to do and emails to catch up on.

Favourite hotel?

All the Zannier hotels. They’re my husband’s hotels, but I’m not biased! They really are so special. Each one is different and takes each country‘s values and what makes the destination so special into consideration. They’re also in some of the most incredible places on the planet: Cambodia, Vietnam, and Namibia to name a few. You’re also always so well taken care of. 

 

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Favourite airline?

I have recently been travelling on Air Belgium and I’m really impressed by the service, as well as the comforts and pricing.

What’s on your travel playlist?

I usually listen to my husband‘s playlist he’s better at putting them together. I generally like calmer music when I’m on holiday.

Where next?

I’m going to New York with my husband; we haven’t been in three years. I used to own an apartment in Nolita and lived there for over 10 years. I’m excited to see what’s new in terms of shopping, restaurants, and museums, as well as seeing my friends.

FIRST THING THAT COMES TO YOUR MIND…

Hand-luggage essentials?

Cashmere baby pillow.

Pack: roll or fold?

Fold.

Inflight book or inflight film?

Film as it’s the only time I feel I can catch up on movies!

Music or podcast?

Podcasts.

Time killer on a long-haul flight?

Healthy snacks. 

Holiday tipple of choice?

Bellini. 

Bucket list destination?

Brazil or Australia.

Best shopping gem found abroad?

A pair of customised and embellished Levi’s jeans.

Beach or city?

Beach.

Ultimate holiday treat?

Massages.

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