ESCAPE leads readers on a stylish tour of the great resorts and private retreats of the Caribbean and Florida, and illuminates the role played by architects and decorators in creating the fantasy getaways that established this part of the world as a legendary playground for the wealthy and titled."
-- Pilar Viladas, The New York Times


"Hermes Mallea's ESCAPE chronicles our love affair with the Caribbean, weaving together iconic images and capturing Jet Set glamour. Readers can dream of innovative hoteliers, amusing house parties, celebrities, and fantasy architecture in a region that came to be known as the American Riviera."
-- Stephen Lash, Chairman, Christie's  


"Mallea takes us back to a time of unparalleled elegance-six decades of a particular kind of island glamour, where women changed for lunch and then again for cocktails, and Cole Porter played piano at Round Hill. Whether it was Bermuda in the '30s, Jamaica in the '50s, or Mustique in the '70s, these exclusive tropical playgrounds featured an enviable simplicity, both casual and sophisticated. Yes, there was the unfortunate invention of madras, but there was also the restrained luxury of Babe Paley and the whimsical architectural confections of Oliver Messel. Escape is a passport to paradise; if only it still existed."
-- Jay Fielden, Editor in Chief, Town & Country


  • "Hermes Mallea's ESCAPE is a fascinating study both of social history as well as of design and architecture of the Caribbean region. I congratulate you on this meticulously researched study. I of course love every reference to Oliver Messel and was delighted by your research and images that you have found."
    -- Thomas Messel's, author, designer & nephew of Oliver Messel

    The publication of your beautiful book, ESCAPE, extends your previous research on Cuba - Great Houses of Havana - and puts the island into the context of the greater Caribbean region. ESCAPE encourages an artistic and social assessment of overlooked architectural sites. Your book comes just in time to expand the marketing of Cuba, leading to a better understanding of the region's shared history and diverse culture. Given the new diplomatic situation, ESCAPE will serve as a source of inspiration for many visiting Cuba and continuing on to the rest of the Caribbean, especially those arriving on cruise ships
    --Victor Marin, Coordinator of UNESCO's Caribbean Capacity Building Program