Dream Paris Itinerary: VIP Airport Assistance is a MUST!

One of my most important Travel to Paris Tips:


VIP airport assistance service:

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I truly can’t recommend this enough.

Even if you don’t fly private, you can get treated like you do as you step foot of the plane.  Its extra to set this up but totally worth it to skip the custom long lines and security as you arrive and depart.

You’ll be greeted at the aircraft door  (not by baggage claim) and escorted  the quickest way through the airport. Its so nice to have a guide to just follow since you will be half asleep still and you don't have tothink about anything.

They will lead you in a separate line through customs and all the way to get your bags and right to your driver. When you depart they will also take you step by step all the way to your gate.

The day I was departing the security line was about an hour long and having this service was worth it to skip that line.

If you're interested in this service for Paris or other destinations please let me know.

This service is available in different airports and is different for each one but inquire for more information.

Dream Paris Itinerary: Activities

My recent trip to Paris proved yet again that you don't necessarily need to have a preplanned itinerary, because adventure always awaits. However, I am a firm believer in at least having some insight on activities that are unique to my travel destinations... and Paris with all it's history, is no exception. Here's a few things that absolutely should be on your list of "must do's": 

Activites:

Seine Cruise: 

Take a private boat along the canal with unparalleled views of the eiffel tower. This is accompanied with wine, champagne, snacks and lots of memorable moments. See below as its on the list for one of the best ways to view the Eiffel Tower. 

 

Sidecar

I didn’t understand what this was till I saw the side car’s myself. At first look its terrifying but it was so much fun and a way to explore Paris differently! Four Seasons set this up for us and can be booked easily anywhere you stay. Retro Tour is the best company to use for this. 

 

Tourist Attractions:

Eiffel tower:

You can see this from all over paris and I love seeing it in every different angle. But for me seeing it at night is the BEST! Make sure to catch it sparking and take a boomarang snap :)

Few Eiffel Tower tips:

  • Some of the best ways to view the Eiffel Tower is not right at it. Here are a few of my favorite spots to view it. Climb the Montparnasse tower or the 284 steps of the Arc de Triomphe to view spectacular views at both. Also Printemps shopping center, Post de Bir-Hakeim, and Rue Saint Dominique all have great views of it. As mentioned above my favorite way to view was getting on a boat and viewing it from the water. 
  • I recommend seeing it in daylight early morning when there isn't crowds and also  shortly before twilight, so you can experience it at sunset and also after dark.
  • If you are like me and want exercise on your trip.. climb the stairs! Great exercise and you're skip the lines for the elevator. 

Shopping:

Lets get one thing straight.. Parisians know a thing or two about fashion and just walking down the street will feel like you're flipping through a page of Vogue. Here are a few of the best shopping spots in Paris:

  • The Marais- known for its little boutique stores. Think jewelry and fine art!
  • Louvre and Tuileries District- High end designers like Versace and Hermes.
  • Les Halles and Rue de Rivoli- Charming shops and very trendy
  • Boulevard Haussmann and the Grand Boulevards- Department stores
  • Champs E’Lysees- Very touristy so wouldn't be my first pick for shopping  but if you want, just enjoy the street scene, and avoid the major shops - but do pop into the little boutiques unique to Paris and buy yourself a little French treasure. Laduree is on this street and it’s a touristy paris must, though I prefer Carette Paris for great Macarons located at Trocadero and The Place des Vosges. 

Major Sites: 

The Louvre- Buy the 15 euro and go see the Mona Lisa... You're in Paris after all,  and its a MUST for a first time visitor.

Notre-Dame Cathedral- One of the great Parisian icon cathedrals located along the Seine River and is absolutely beautiful

Versailles Palace - Located 14 miles southwest of paris and during the summer the gardens outside are Beautiful.

Arc de Triomphe- Climb to the top and get 360 views of paris ( 8 euros for the climb)

 

Dream Paris Itinerary: Restaurant Report

Dream Paris Itinerary: Restaurant Report

Going to Paris is as much about the sights as it is about the food. If you're a major foodie... you might even go so far as to say it's number one on the list of priorities. 

I loved my trip to Paris and I'm still dreaming of the amazing dining experiences. I can't wait to go back for more. But in the meantime - here's my list of must visits:

Le Stresa- It’s a small little Italian restaurant with the tables almost on top of each other but the food is absolutely amazing! A MUST in Paris. The pizza, burrata and carbonara pasta are incredible.

Frenchie- One of the best dining experiences I have ever had. It’s hard to get a reservation and you need to book in advance. It’s a pre-set menu (you pick from 2 options in each course) and it changes seasonally. Highly recommend!

L’ Avenue - This is the hot spot and if you are going to spot a celebrity it will be here. We were sitting next to some well known Parisian fashion designer and the  Vogue editor without even knowing it. Also the desert is Ahhh-Mazing get the flourless cake, cheesecake and apple tart.

My Favorite Moments from Frenchie:

Sweet Love for :

Other foodie Hot Spots:

Cinq Mars- It's a small cozy and very unpretentious but the food is SO good!

Mama Shelter- Has one of the best rooftops in paris and tasty brunch on Sundays

Apicius- It’ s a chateau in the center of Paris and its a place to get dressed up and spend some money at a fancy dinner.

Cafe Shirvan- lots of different spices and a blend of cuisines great for sharing with friends and having a real experience.

Chez George- Delicious and chic, great for Dinner.

Titty Twister- Yes that's the name! This is for the nightlife scene and you're guaranteed to have a good time.

Andy Wahloo - Has lots of neon and bright lights making for a bright night! The menu has plenty to choose from a hot trendy choice!

Derriere- A cheeky eatery that resembles eating in a friends home (you actually sit in a home)

Lavomatic- They have a great menu of fun cocktails!

Prescription Cocktail Club- Another great cocktail list

Dream Paris Itinerary: Hotel Report

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Going to Paris is ALWAYS a good idea...

...Going to Paris during the holiday season is an ESPECIALLY good idea.

I had only been to Paris one other time and it was in the summer. Visiting in the winter I gained a new perspective on Paris. It was completely different and I would pick the winter over and over again. Hands down. 

The goal of my trip was to see the best hotels in the city but I also got to experience so much more which I’m looking forward to sharing with you. 

I've broken up my trip report into three sections: Hotels, Dining, and Activities.

First up: The Hotels:

Four Seasons George V 

If it’s your first time in Paris it’s an absolute must to stay at this beautiful Palace in the Golden Triangle. I honestly didn’t want to leave when it was time to check out.

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Why do I love this hotel so much? Let me tell you: 

  • It's extraordinary floral display designed by Jeff Latham consumes the main areas and they have stationed a fun rose mirror display you can go take pictures in (major photo op!). It’s just so well decorated.

  • The three Michelin star restaurants won’t disappoint either. I dined at La George and my taste buds were in Four Seasons heaven… the french onion with parmesan ice cream is divine. Also  Breakfast was a major highlight of the trip. The french toast is the BEST french toast you will ever have! The breakfast isn’t cheap but if you book with me, I’ll get it included for you!

  • They have a a wine cellar 45 feet below ground with 50,000 bottle of wine and is on of the true historic hidden treasures in the city.  The oldest bottle is a 1792 Madeira, and the most expensive is a magnum Petrus 1964, ringing in at 40,000 euros. They offer complimentary tasting 3 times a week that I would love to set up for you. Talk about amazing experience! 

  • They can setup tours for you as they did for me. We went on a Sidecar (a motorcycle with a sidecar attached) adventure throughout Paris. It was such a blast and they pick you up right at the resort and take you around. 

  • They have a pop up spa but come May 2018 their new spa will be ready and believe me when I say it's going to be unbelievable-- I was treated to a sneak peak at the pool and let me just say:WOW.  

  • The suites are where it's at (budget allowing of course!). Each is beautifully decorated and the penthouse has exceptional views 0f the Eiffel Tower.

  • Overall the service was by far the best of all I experienced in Paris. This is my first choice to send clients.

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Additional Amenities when booking via Jetset & Travel:

  • Save 15% when booking a month in advance

  • Daily full American breakfast for two people per bedroom, served through In-Room Dining or in the hotel restaurant (including buffets)

  • Spa credit of USD100 once during stay

  • Upgrade of one category, based on availability at time of check-in

  • Complimentary basic Internet in all guest rooms; complimentary premium Internet in all suites


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I was absolutely blown away by this hotel and the more time I spent exploring it the more I wanted to see! It is newly reopened after a major renovation and every single detail was taken into consideration. Top reasons why I love this place:

  • Every room comes with tailor made 24/7 butler service (sign me up!).

  • The rooms are beautifully decorated with unique art pieces and details you won’t find at any other hotels. For example: a Hermes leather coffee maker (I mean is this real?!)

  • Location Location Location!  Talk about walking distance to the Louvre, Place de la Concorde and minutes away from other major & historical attractions in Paris.

  • The Sense Spa is absolutely breathtaking. The pool itself makes you feel like you're in a fairy tale! (Stay tuned for a post on the best Spas in Paris!)

  • They are host to a Karl Lagerfeld designed Grand Apartment that will blow your mind. It even has a bookcase that opens to reveal a secret huge closet.  It also has a separate room just for his cat! So adorable and I would personally just stay in this room to be at this hotel (it's more than nice!)

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Additional Amenities when booking via Jetset & Travel:

  • Upgrade at time of arrival, based on availability

  • Complimentary Continental Breakfast for two daily, either in room or in restaurant, for duration of stay

  • $100 USD equivalent Food & Beverage credit to be utilized during stay

  • (Early check-in, late check-out, subject to availability

  • Complimentary Wi-Fi


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This boutique property in the left bank feels like you're walking into your Aunts house. It's so cozy, inviting and perfect for those looking for a boutique property. Why I LOVE it:

  • With just 48 rooms and suites the thoughtfully decorated rooms are both charming and comfortable even down the the pillows on each bed are specially picked for that specific room.

  • The lobby/ great room is so well designed and doubles as the breakfast nook. You just want to sit here and read a book by the fireplace. For a very long time.

  • The Spa’s main room is filled with guerlain perfumes as if it was your personal pampering room.

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Additional Amenities when booking via Jetset & Travel:

  • Full breakfast included

  • Special VIP welcome  


La Reserve Apartments

This is not your typical hotel. It's as comfortable as if you're staying at a friend's apartment in Paris - but all the amenities one expects at a hotel. I surprisingly LOVED it. Reasons why:

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  • The location is right outside of the Eiffel Tower and I mean right outside. You can see it from the patio which has amazing views at sunrise and sunset.  If you’re like me and enjoy getting a run in while on vacation than you’ll love this morning run. You can see the Eiffel tower with no crowds! Amazing! 

  • If you have a multi-generation family or a group of friends this setup is so ideal. We had a 3 bedroom plus a 2 bedroom and it was all together on the same floor so the doors could remain open and it’s one big condo! Just hanging out all together in the living room is a priceless experience.

  • Also my favorite part was having breakfast each morning together and having a personal butler come in and make you everything right in your PJ’s. You just can’t get this in a hotel. They even taught us how to make french eggs! They also setup a lovely dinner party in the evening

  • If you want a massage just snap your fingers and it can be set up for you! We were able to  experience this one of the perfect mornings. Do it! 

  • It's SUPER private with NO signs on the door so you have no idea its located where it is.. If you're a celebrity with Paparazzi or want to go incognito… this is the spot.. I know a few celebs that will stay here while in Paris ;)

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Additional Amenities when booking via Jetset & Travel:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability

  • Continental breakfast daily, freshly prepared and served by dedicated maid in guest apartment

  • A complimentary 50-minute massage for up to two people, per room, once during stay

  • Welcome bottle of Michel Reybier Champagne

  • For any stay of 2 nights or more - complimentary roundtrip airport transfers

  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability

  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

I went to multiple hotels but if I had to pick my top, it would be the above. Other hotels that are on the top of my list that were also visited:

 

Guest Room at Le Saint

Guest Room at Le Saint

Le Saint

Super cute boutique style hotel, located in the Saint Germain area. You can pick your flowers from the lobby to bring to your room!

 

 

Le Royal Monceau

Super trendy and stylish with veuve gondolas on display in the courtyard with fake snow they also have a large movie theater with movies continuously playing.  It’s a similar SLS hotel vibe.

 

Hotel Ritz Paris

Very traditional Paris hotel - this is where you'll find the  famous Hemingway Bar!
Also I can get you the VIP airport service complimentary with your stay!

 

Saint James

 This colorful country estate is great for travelers that want to think outside the box and want a something fun and a little wild (they even have a cheetah room).

 

Le Pavillon

 Boutique hotel in a great location for walking to the main attractions

 

Le Meurice

Absolutely LOVE the restaurant for breakfast- might be the best breakfast atmosphere in all of paris. Very classic feel and a grand spa. 

 

La Reserve

Small boutique hotel, luxe but cozy design featuring lots of romantic red tones. Love the living room bar to just sit and enjoy a cocktail. This was previously an old home that they renovated into a hotel.  La Reserve recently won best hotel in the world.

 

Peninsula

 Very fresh and traditional and they have the cutest christmas market currently outside the hotel which I loved!

Mandarin Oriental

 Very modern, clean and sleek with lots of White toned decor including a goose- down bedding.

 

If there is any hotel you're curious about that's not on this list, or you want to know more about the hotels that are, don't hesitate to contact me! Stay tuned-my next post is all about my favorite restaurants from this trip! 

Guide to Traveling the Amalfi Coast

What a piece of heaven!!

First off- I would NOT recommend driving anywhere in the Amalfi coast.

It’s only one road and it’s VERY VERY narrow. I heard about this but didn’t believe how small it really was. I highly suggest you get a private driver -  it’s well worth the money. If you can avoid the summer months like JUNE I would- it’s overly populated and super Hot!!

Since we're talking about the weather: It’s very common for you to wake up and have it be cloudy (it’s the marine layer but it will burn off around 12 and the sun will come out!

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The easiest way to get to Amalfi is via Naples airport you can either get a taxi, train or ferry to any of the places in Amalfi coast. This destination is more of a lay on the beach, rent a boat, drink wine, spritz and champagne, over eat good italian food, and  repeat.  

I visited Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi, Ravello and Capri - which I'm excited to divulge about each below, BUT I think my favorite part of Amalfi was Capri though for those asking so I’ll start with this one first.


The water was the most beautifully clear and undescribably blue color. 

The water was the most beautifully clear and undescribably blue color. 

Capri

It's so picturesque with pastel colors everywhere.  It's an absolute must to take a boat tour around the island and also go in the blue grotto- it's a fun experience!

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Also there are 2 “sides” to the island:

Capri, the main town where most of the hotels and restaurants are, and Anacapri.

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Anacapri is actually the top of the island. There are some cute shops and restaurants up there. Also Lemon Spritz are a MUST. during the day its really busy from all the tourist coming in from the cruises and just to check it out but it really becomes magical when they all leave and its much calmer. Ideal to stay over! I personally missed this since it closed 2 days earlier but I was DYING to go to the beach club Fontelina- its suppose to be “heaven on earth”. You have to make a reservation but put it on the list. Its a reason for me to come back!

 

Restaurants:

  • De Paolino: A total MUST while in capri. It's a lemon orchard turned family owned restaurant. Their tagline is 'Dining under a sky of Lemons'. Of couse, theirs is the best Lemoncello in all of Capri. Oh, and you must have the lemon ravioli- so good! 

  • Giorgio al Cucciolo:  This is a classic place. This restaurant is located in Anacapri, on the top of the island, and requires special transportation. Be sure to make an advance reservation. Amazing panoramic views and gorgeous sunset. They also have live music a plus!

  • Buonocore: Hands Down, the BEST gelato I’ve ever had. Because they make their cones fresh on the spot, the entire road smells like a bakery. It's heavenly. You'll find yourself unable to resist a gelato each time you pass by. Don't resist.

  • Da Gelsomina: Food comes from their gardens and wine from their vineyards. Known for their ravioli capresi.

  • Aurora: This is a really fun (and beautiful) place to dine. It's considered a celebrity hot spot and you’ll see photos of all the celebrities on the wall as you're eating.

  • J K KITCHEN Restaurant & Lounge Bar:  A charming restaurant that serves traditional Mediterranean cuisine, with its large panoramic terrace (uh, hello mesmerizing views). 

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Best Hotels:

J.K. Place Capri- a dazzling white villa on the cliffs above Marina Grande on the island of Capri. The hotel is set in manicured gardens with astounding views over the Bay of Naples.

J.K. Place Capri Pool. One of the best views in Capri.

J.K. Place Capri Pool. One of the best views in Capri.

The Capri Palace Located in Anacapri, the most exclusive and unspoiled part of Italy’s island of Capri, it stands way above sea level, overlooking the open Mediterranean Sea and the Gulf of Naples.

Quisisana Hotel- The traditional Italian decor and architecture is breathtaking. located right in the heart of Capri, just steps of the Piazzetta.

Caesar Augustus- Perched on the cliff edge, a thousand feet above the sea surrounding Capri, it was originally built in the 1850s as the private residence of a wealthy German businessman and now is one of italy’s finest luxury hotels.


Sorrento

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This is a very central place in Amalfi and isn’t as common as the other towns although its bigger and has a lot more shopping than the others. They are  known for leather sandals, leathers, limoncello, endless streets to get lost in.

I felt it wasn’t as expensive as the others as well. Since it has a ferry port to all the other locations, tourists will just stay here and do day trips to the other places. Also the train goes straight to Naples from here and also Pompeii for a day trip! The hotels weren’t spectacular but it was just fine!

 

Side note: Day trip to Pompeii- I was so surprised by how much I enjoyed this. Old roman town that was ruined by volcanic and still stands. Did a walking tour 2 hours 14 euro and 13 euro to get in. About 20 min train ride from Sorrento and 2 Euros each way. Be warned, all school kids travel on this train, so getting a driver is ideal to avoid the influx of children heading to and from school. 

 

Restaurants:

  • Terrazza Bosquet at Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria, Sorrento:  It’s One Michelin star and gorgeous views of the Bay of Naples.

  • Antico Franceschiello:  It is one of the few Historical Restaurants in Italy. It boasts 100 years of experience. You'll enjoy a warm ambience, and breathtaking views on Capri. It proposes a genuine and delicious menu with a particular attention to high quality products.

  • O’ Parrucchiano:  A traditional restaurant "The Museum of Hospitality" open since 1868.  It's located in the historical centre of Sorrento, just a few steps from the Cathedral.

  • L’Antico Frantoio: It offers a rustic and airy ambiance with a wonderful terrace overlooking the Gulf of Naples and Sorrento. It offers a typical local cuisine: Seafood combined with genuine local products and it will be the right place to taste a good pizza as well.

Hotels:

La Favorita:  Experience a charmingly older feel with ceramic floors but still a great hotel.  Breakfast was wonderful with a delish omelet station.  The Sax bar upstairs us a highlight and it's in a location in the heart of Sorrento.

The Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria: This is a family-friendly luxury destination resort located in the town centre of Sorrento. The building is secluded from the main square by private gardens with citrus groves.

Bellevue Syrene:  You'll love this romantic, luxury hotel perched on a cliff in Sorrento.

 


Positano

This is the place that comes to mind when you think of the Amalfi coast: The architectural buildings and homes built all the way into the hills and the landscape just  filled with beautiful colors. 

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Arriving up to it on a boat, its beauty took my breath away. It's much smaller than I thought it would be and it's filled with STEEP hills (bring your walking shoes). Commonly unknown is there is an entire other side you need to see. Explore behind the Puppeto Hotel and follow the steps for a much more calm vibe. 

Another highlight is going to Le Sirenuse Hotel. Even if you're not staying there you have to go sip cocktails, its pure Italian  glamour here and the views are THE views! I really enjoyed the live DJ and the great drinks. The beaches in front with the fun and colorful umbrellas really are a fun sight too! You need a whole day just to relax under the umbrellas!  

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If you have the time my personal highlight in Positano was a 15min drive away to Praiano which is a smaller version of Positano and that's where you'll find Casa Angelina.  It's super modern as discussed below but it's a must for drinks or lunch if you're not staying there.  If you want some great nightlife try out On The Rocks, its a club built into the rocks but it's a late night grotto club when it gets busy!

 

Restaurants:

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  • Le Sireneuse: Absolutely amazing views, amazing drinks, enough said.

  • Rada:  Modern Italian, with gourmet cooking and great ambiance. You'll find this restaurant above the nightclub built into the rocks.

  • Chez Black:  Positano’s first and oldest restaurants, very classic. . It’s one of those iconic places on the beach that you must try. Try the seafood!

  • Da Adolfo: A place you simply must go for lunch. You can take a boat from the Positano dock for added fun!

  • La Cambusa: Great Seafood, add to your list!

 

 

Hotels:

Le Sireneuse: located in the heart of Positano. All the rooms are full of light and decorated with a combination of antique and contemporary furniture, contrasting cool whitewashed walls. The floors are covered with colourful tiles from Vietri. Most rooms have a balcony or terrace overlooking the azure sea where at night the gentle sound of waves can be heard.

A Room at the Casa Angelino, Positano Italy

A Room at the Casa Angelino, Positano Italy

Casa Angelina- Chic and secluded boutique hotel that is more of a lifestyle.Cut into the Amalfi coastline in charming Praiano. With a clean, refreshing aesthetic and touches of refined Italian elegance, tranquillity is the theme at this cliff-side boutique hotel. It has its own beach club just nearby and its away from the crowds.

lI San Pietro: The most high end and most classic Italian hotel in ALL of Italy, but a very pretty price tag and the majority of the time you need to book out a year in advance (especially in the summer months). It  overlooks the bay of Positano, surrounded by scented gardens


Amalfi

I honestly expected so much more from Amalfi, I don’t know if it's because it was one of the last stops on my list and maybe everything seemed to blend together? I'm can't put my finger on it, though maybe it is because it is on the smaller side-you can see the entire town just by going on a 1 hour walk!  I just thought this town would be the best so I expected much more.   It's still fantastic, I just enjoyed the other towns much more. 

 

Restaurants:

 

Hotels:

Amazing Pool at Santa Caterina, Amalfi 

Amazing Pool at Santa Caterina, Amalfi 

Santa Caterina- I stayed here and thought it was wonderful! Just outside Amalfi proper and a 3min shuttle ride in. The pool is made right into the rocks and was just SO cool that you could jump right into the ocean from it as well.


Ravello

This place was adorable! People had always told me to go here, so of course it was on my list.  I just so happened to go on a beautiful day and was wearing a sundress. The weather took a turn and on the way up about 20 minutes from Amalfi the sky got cloudy and it NO JOKE starting hailing and was freezing cold. I had no sweater or anything! 

 As soon as I arrived I walked into a little shop and bought a beautiful cashmere sweater! But the shops and little coffee shops are so cute! Totally worth a trip up there and if you want to escape the crowds and get in some relaxation stay up there!

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Restaurants:

Hotels:

Belmond Hotel Caruso- Set into the cliff edge, around 350m above sea level over tiered groves of lemons and olive vines, it’s your private balcony over the Mediterranean. The infinity pool and pool area is pure relaxation and stunning with the views.

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My favorite photos from my experience on the Amalfi Coast: 

Guide to Traveling Rome, Italy

Rome was the least desired place on this Italy trip agenda due to all the history, which I am not personally a fan of but I was actually pleasantly surprised and it wasn’t what I expected.

I do have to say out of the places I visited it's still the last on this list but I need to give it way more credit than I had originally planned.

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Two of my favorite activities during my trip were in Rome which I will describe below. Walking around is surprisingly easy and there is so much to see. I did notice the most tourists here.

I also thought all the hotels I went to were wonderful and I would recommend them all. I also threw money in the Trevi Fountain so that means I will return... right?

 

 

 

Hotels:

I stayed at 3 different hotels in Rome! Yes, lots of moving around but I wanted to see them all! 

Palazzo Dama

This modern boutique hotel is in the city center with only 29 rooms. It’s a very old building that held parties for the elite Romans in the 18th-century and is now transformed into a hip, minimalist style hotel.

The bar and restaurant are glittering and lavish with Blue velvet chairs, gold and white pieces with large fashion coffee books everywhere.

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 It overlooks the outdoor garden Patio with a Pool (this is the only hotel with a pool in the city center of Rome). They even have a night club Raspoutine that’s open Friday and Saturday nights.

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I arrived starving and believe this was the only meal of the trip that wasn’t Italian food but it was an amazing mix of asian and pacific coastal cuisine  with items such as dim sum, fish and ceviche. I stayed in the Jr. Suite and the bathroom was ALL marble- hello bathroom dreams.

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The only "negative" about the hotel was the internet was very weak, so don't count on getting any work done here quickly due to the slow connection. 

 

Hotel DOM

The street that this boutique hotel is on is very charming but I did find it interesting that it’s across the street from Rome’s Anti-mafia headquarters. So this means at all times there are 2 men standing outside with large guns. I guess you know that no one will be breaking into your hotel room since it's always guarded.

If you're a non-ganster this hotel is adorable, including the little rooftop terrace with a bar! It has a sexy, chic feel to it.  It was built in the 17th century and the walls in the rooms are the brick which I loved!

The bar at the entrance was pretty busy for this little hotel and it's very speakeasy feel-Cool vibes.  I do have to mention the rooms facing the street aren’t quiet and you can hear people at all times outside of the anti-Mafia building. The staff was incredible and so accomodating!

Rooftop Bar at The Domo in Rome, Italy

Rooftop Bar at The Domo in Rome, Italy

Bar / Lounge at The Domo in Rome, Italy

Bar / Lounge at The Domo in Rome, Italy

Bar / Lounge at The Domo in Rome, Italy

Bar / Lounge at The Domo in Rome, Italy

The First Hotel

Yes this is the name of the hotel and it does get confusing especially if you stay at multiple hotels. It’s another boutique hotel with 29 rooms and in the heart of Rome.

It’s very elegant and  modern with contemporary art throughout the entire hotel made by Italian artists and your room is your very own gallery experience during your stay.  Their goal is “To be aesthetically luxurious while giving you the delightful sensation of feeling completely at home.”

They did a great job of this from the very beginning at check in. They also have fantastic rooftop terrace with a bar and stunning views of the city.  I can’t forget the 2 Michelin star dinner which is a must if you're staying there.

Other Hotels: 

Hotel del Russia -Great location at Lionardo devinci location (Piazza del Popola). The Dining spot for lunch is fantastic in the courtyard garden in the middle of the hotel.

Rooftop View of the Le Jardin de Russie

Rooftop View of the Le Jardin de Russie

Dining Patio in the Le Jardin de Russie

Dining Patio in the Le Jardin de Russie

Also, they have a beautiful spa:

The Spa at Hotel del Russia in Rome, Italy

The Spa at Hotel del Russia in Rome, Italy

 

Portrait Roma

Super little with only 14 rooms and I loved that it was owned by the Ferragamo family (the designer) they had fashion and shoe quotes elegantly placed through the hotel. The rooftop views were absolutely stellar!

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Jk Place Roma

As soon as you walk in you feel like you're in a extravagant living room! I really love the bright and modern feel of this boutique hotel and the service is out of this world!

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Travel:

There is a train to Rome from almost everywhere in Italy. Also the airport is one of the main hubs for incoming  flights.  I came from Milan and jumped on a flight that was only an hour but you can also take the train.

Food: 

Pierluigi

This restaurant has been around since 1938. You'll find great Italian Seafood here and it has a great wine room downstairs that can be turned into a private dining room

Dal Bolognese 

This is the spot for great people watching and great food.  

Casina Valadier

This is more romantic and they have terrace that has panoramic views of the city.

Edy

Tons of Italian classics flavors here and outdoor seating is lovely.

Lian Club

This waterfront bar and has live music and great vibes.

II Pagliaccio is very nice with an extravagant 10-course meal

 

Food Activities- Because why stop at just eating food!  

Rimessa Roscioli  Wine and Food Tasting Experience  

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This was so fantastic and only 65 Euros per person. They do it every night at 8pm but you need to book a reservation ahead of time. Learn the origins, history and stories of Italy’s wine, regions and foods while tasting through the flavors of the best artisan producers of Italy in a group setting where you meet people from all over the world and get to enjoy dinner with them while being guided by a professional sommelier.  

 

 

 

 

Cooking Class

Have you ever wanted to fly to Italy and learn to make pasta!? Well I always have and I absolutely think it should be on everyone's list.

I found the perfect class to take, it was as if you're in a house cooking lunch overlooking an Italian square with live street music- because it’s all of this and more!  

What I loved was we began at the market, decided what we were going to make, bought all the materials and went back to cook it!  We made fresh Gnocchi with homemade tomato sauce, the best mushrooms I have ever had, veal and finally this incredible Italian dessert.

If you want to know how to sign up for this just ask me and I’ll get you booked for this amazing experience! 

Sightseeing:

Colosseum, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, The Vatican, and Spanish Steps.

There are definitely more but those are the main ones!

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Favorite Photos from Rome:

Guide to Traveling Lake Como / Bellagio, Italy

Whenever I think of Lake Como I think of the elite crowd of villa owners,  successful businessmen and women from around the globe and of course George Clooney!

I wanted to be a part of this luxury town and see what it was all about so this was on the top of my list for this Italy trip!

Located just below the Southern border of Switzerland, Lake Como is basically as far North as one can go in Italy. If you have time I would also put Switzerland on your list, even if you pop over for a day trip while staying in Lake Como.

The best way to get to Lake Como is by train from Milan and then snag a driver from the train station to your hotel. Or if you want to skip the train, take a driver all the way up.

No matter what you don’t take the bus from the train station. It will take forever and apparently its the public transportation for the school kids as well- you won’t have a seat and these kids don’t move.

I recommend at least 3 days up in this area as there is 3 main areas to see Bellagio, Como and  Varenna. I also recommend taking a day to just hang out and relax at your hotel.

Hotels:

GRAND TREMEZZO :

Arriving at the Grand Tremezzo literally took my breath away as I looked up from the street to the left and on the right side was the lake with a bar, beach and floating pool.

Beach and Floating Pool at The Grand Tremezzo

Beach and Floating Pool at The Grand Tremezzo

You walk into the entrance with large roses greeting you and beautiful flowers throughout the resort. It's location I thought was pretty spectacular being in the heart of Lake Como, with unparalleled views of Bellagio and set away from the crowds of people in Bellagio. If you want to head to the other side, it's only a ten minute ferry ride away.

With it's 100 windows overlooking either the blue waters of the lake or the flowering greenery of the park, the hotel provides 76 rooms and 14 suites, including 8 hyper-exclusive Rooftop Suites, with panoramic views from terraces and outdoor Jacuzzis for the most special experience.

I highly recommend getting a room with a patio overlooking the lake. Waking up in the morning overlooking Bellagio is something I will never forget.  It has 3 breathtaking pools (one floating on the lake!) one in the back where it has the BEST pizza - you can eat it while laying by the pool (don’t worry no one will judge!).

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Spend one full day at the exclusive luxurious Spa branded by ESPA with hammam, nail bar and sauna that has a window to overlook the lake and a relaxing pool half indoors half outdoors, 2-hectares lush secular park including a flood lit clay tennis court and jogging path, and five different restaurants and bars offering the culinary art of the famous Italian Chef Gualtiero Marchesi.  

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Breakfast Buffet at The Grand Tremezzo at Lake Como, Italy

Breakfast Buffet at The Grand Tremezzo at Lake Como, Italy

The breakfast buffet is out of this world and was absolutely the best one out of all the stays I had in Italy. I was very impressed by the Italian hospitality and highly recommend this resort to enjoy a real vacation.

Additional amenities when booking through Jetset & Travel:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability

  • Daily buffet breakfast already included in rates

  • 60 Euro SPA credit to be utilized during stay (valid only for treatments and not for retail products, not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)

  • Complimentary entrance to Villa Carlotta and its Botanical Gardens

  • Complimentary WiFi for entire stay

  • Italian wine tasting at L’Escale Fondue & Wine Bar (3 flights of wine)

  • Free entrance to Villa Carlotta and its Botanical Gardens

  • With minimum of 5-nights stay, 30 minutes Boat Tour on board the Water Limo RUY, the Grand Hotel's very own period lancia boat to discover the Lake's magic in exclusive style

  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability

Other great hotel picks:

Villa D’Este is an expansive property with an Italian feel. It’s also a great property for families with kids.

Il Sereno is fantastic but it’s very modern so not what everyone likes when being in Italy, it’s also on the smaller side, home to 30 hotel rooms. 

 

Dining: 

 The options on property are great, but also Helvetia down the street from the hotel is a good causal choice.  Ask for Peter or Roberto :)

Also Bellagio has some great choices: The Salice Blu restaurant,  La Fontana for their great pizzas and cute little outdoor setting.

Views:

 The short hike behind The Grand Tremezzo has absolutely beautiful views of Bellagio.

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When you're in Como take the 7-minute funicular ride up to the little town of Brunate, for incredible views of Lake Como, and the chance to see another adorable town.

Sights:

You have to go get lost in Bellagio.  

Also here is where you'll find the best silk scarves and gelato that is a must have. I would recommend taking a boat ride through the lake and also visiting the Villa Carlotta and its Botanical Gardens gardens.

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Favorite Photos from Lake Como, Italy

Guide to Traveling Florence, Italy

If you're traveling to Italy soon (or even thinking about it!) Florence should definitely be a stop on your list. 

I was surprised how much I would like Florence. The city is beautiful and for my first stop in Italy I was very impressed. There is plenty to do, see and eat here!

Hotels:

  • Westin Excelsior.  This is where I stayed. It’s a great location where you can walk pretty much everywhere. I would recommend the Deluxe river front room so when you open your window you’re overlooking the beautiful views of the river!

  This was my first look at Italy, and I was super impressed.

 

This was my first look at Italy, and I was super impressed.

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Aperol Spritz at the Westin Excelsior, Florence, Italy

Aperol Spritz at the Westin Excelsior, Florence, Italy

The breakfast buffet in the morning won’t disappointment and I recommend getting it with your room (hint: I can get this for you).

They have a station for eggs made your way, tons of pastries, cereals, and of course a mimosa area where you can pour a glass or 2 or 3 of champagne. The restaurant on the rooftop has amazing views, and do order the aperol spritz. It was the best one the whole trip.

Other hotels worth looking into:

  • The St. Regis (which is across the street from the Westin) The spa is intimate, with 2 treatment rooms but they have a silver and gold treatment room suites that blew me away. If you need a massage during your trip please go here!

 

 

The beautiful entrance to the St. Regis in Florence, Italy. 

The beautiful entrance to the St. Regis in Florence, Italy. 

The Gold Treatment Room at the spa at The St. Regis Florence, Italy.

The Gold Treatment Room at the spa at The St. Regis Florence, Italy.

Considered the best in the city. I didn’t get a chance to check it out this trip but from what I know its amazing!

Also: Hotel Lungarno and  Villa San Michele 

Food:

Trattoria 4 Leoni

Trattoria 4 Leoni

Its in a little court yard type of street. Get there a little early and get a glass of wine across the street for 4 euros while you wait for your table (reservations recommended) you can bring your wine to the table if you haven’t finished it. The food is amazing here and I let the waiter order for me. Just got the signature pasta dish which changes all the time but this is the type of place you can ask the waiter for suggestions. Also highly recommend their Lasagna.

 

It's adorable with flowers and candles on each table and food was the best meal I had in Florence, actually the best in Italy. I just stumbled upon it and walked by and then kept thinking about it and went back! I'm SO glad I did! The Buffalo Mozzarella Caprese and Pesto Gnocchi were to die for! They are both a MUST HAVE but I’m sure everything is good.

Buffalo Mozzarella Caprese at I'l Paiolo

Buffalo Mozzarella Caprese at I'l Paiolo

Pesto Gnocchi at I'l Paiolo

Pesto Gnocchi at I'l Paiolo

Other Restaurants to check out: Osteria Santo Spirito, La Giostra

 

Exploring:

  • Views:  

Piazzale Michelangelo is the spot for beautiful sunsets. It's very touristy though but it's worth it to take a bottle of wine and sit and take in all the view as well as people watch! As mentioned before the Westin excelsior has the best rooftop for views. Order a aperol spritz there for happy hour.

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  • Sights:
The Duomo, The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, Italy

The Duomo, The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, Italy

 The Duomo is beautiful to see, it has beautiful marble and detail all on the outside.

The Markets are the best in Florence and they have one right in the touristy section with great prices for hand bags and leather jackets. I thought I would keep seeing more places like this throughout Italy and didn’t - so be sure to stock up here!

 

  • Daytrips:

Pisa is an hour away but to be honest I wasn’t very impressed. If you have the extra time or are really into history and seeing the leaning tower then go but its basically just 20 minutes of shops and than you see the leaning tower. Its just 8 euros each way on the train so super easy and cheap.

The Prada factory is 1 hour away and everything is 50% off. There are buses that take you there.

Milan is a 1.5 hour trip on the train- an easy day trip if you are into fashion and want to check out this fast paced city.

Venice is a 2 hour train ride away.

Tuscany is very close, only an hour away and you'll have access to some of the world's best wineries. 


Favorite Photos from my visit to Florence: 

Heading to Italy? 10 Tips to Make the Most of Your Trip

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”Italy is a dream that keeps returning for the rest of your life” 

It’s true what they say about Italy… I can’t stop thinking about it. 

I was lucky enough to spend 16 packed full days in this beautiful country. There is just so much to do and see that you can come back multiple times and still find yourself exploring new things.

This time, I hit Florence, Lake Como, Rome, and the Amalfi coast and I’m excited to be sharing some insight and personal recommendations on each location.  

I love sharing and spilling all the best secrets of my travels with you, so please read on! Soak it all in until I’ve convinced you it’s time for your own trip to Italy! 

Make sure to connect with me the moment you’re ready to start planning so I can help you plan the trip of a lifetime - like it was for me. 

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10 Tips to Make the Most of Your Trip to Italy: 

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1. Keep an eye open for the champagne at breakfast and make yourself a mimosa each morning- You’re on vacation! In Italy! 

2. Prosecco is served like water… you actually pay for water but your first glass is usually complimentary of Prosecco. (This is a plus in my book!) 

 

3. Trains: 

-Bring a book for the train rides, most don’t have wifi. It’s a great opportunity to unplug. 

-Make sure you arrive to the stations a little in advance as it will take some time to get your tickets if you haven't booked in advance (I like to be on my own schedule and take the train time I decide on day of, so I don't book in advance but it can save you a bit of money if you want to plan it out.)

-Once you get your tickets, be sure to validate it from the yellow machine before you enter (big fines are imposed  if  you’re caught without it validated, and they do come around and check).  

(I should write a book on how to use European trains since it can be confusing at times, but once you do it a few times you’ll love it!) 

4. Be VERY careful of pick pockets especially at train stations and crowded areas. They are very good at their job and I’ve heard quite a few stories of it happening to people I know. 

5. Its hard to just hail a taxi in Italy.  Go to the closest hotel or restaurant to call one if needed. Also don’t rely on Uber or Lyft here. 

6. You don’t have to tip, only if you want to at times. You will notice you have to pay a coperto or cover charge for sitting and eating. Don’t be surprised when you see this extra line item. Mostly between 2-8 euros

7. When asking for a morning latte at breakfast don’t be surprised when they just bring you just warm milk! (this happened to me) be specific with your order, and be sure to ask questions about what you’re ordering so you receive what you’re expecting!

8. Avoid traveling to Italy in high season (summer). You will experience longer lines, expensive rates and the heat! The ideal time to explore Italy is September/ beginning of October.

9. If you plan to visit churches make sure you bring along a conservative sweater or cover up as your shoulders can’t be exposed. 

10. Avoid restaurants right next to popular tourist areas. They are typically more expensive and not as good as the hidden gem, “hole in a wall” type places.

Try local dishes when visiting the specific areas. My favorites:
Gnocchi in Sorrento, Seafood in Amalfi, Caprese salad and lemon drinks in Capri, Pesto in Cinque Terre. 

Stay tuned for my upcoming series detailing my trip!

I can't wait to share it all! 

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Some of my favorite photos from the trip: 

Casa Catarena, Tulum Mexico: Luxury Meets Privacy

Casa Catarena, Tulum Mexico

If you're looking for the perfect tranquil escape that includes the very best of luxury, my recent trip to Casa Catarena in Tulum, Mexico has me convinced this retreat should be on the top of your list. 

Beachside Cabanas at Casa Catarena, Tulum

Beachside Cabanas at Casa Catarena, Tulum

What You Need to Know:

  • This is a private, beachfront villa set on a beautiful lagoon. It's the perfect location for a true beachy getaway, with luxury services including a personal butler and a chef. Though you're only approximately 10 minutes away from the Tulum Strip of shops and restaurants, you'll notice a stark contrast between a regular resort where you're surrounded by other vacationers. One of my favorite benefits is not having to fight over beach chairs as you quite literally have the beach to yourself. One one side is a stunning, calm lagoon, with the other side set on the private beach. It's known to be a great celebrity escape, but I think it's perfect for anyone wanting to truly recharge.
  • Included in your stay is a Villa Manager who will arrange all the details of your vacation, including all your custom cooked meals, activities and transportation. You can spend your days relaxing at the pool, or on a beach-side bed. This lovely Tulum Villa comes with plenty of beach toys so you can choose a more adventurous experience and explore the lagoon on kayaks or snorkeling gear. You can even go for a float down Sian Ka'an or enjoy the town of Tulum which is just so unique and filled with Instagram worthy moments! 
  • It's easy to explore the Riveria Maya right from the Villa's beachfront location. It's 3 miles to the Mayan Arch entrance to the Sian Ka'an Reserve, 17 miles to cave adventures at Cenote Aktun Chen and 40 miles to the main Riviera Maya resort area. If you’d like to explore the region’s other beaches, head to Barceló Maya Beach, 25 miles away, or Catalonia Yucatan Beach, 27 miles away. Play a round at Campo de Golf Puerto Aventura, 26 miles away, or perfect your game at one of two tennis courts about 27 miles away. Plan on a 73-mile drive from Cancun International Airport to Casa Cantarena.

It's hard to choose what's more beautiful here, the day or the evening... When the sun is out, the Villas are surrounded by so much natural beauty against the backdrop of one of the most beautiful ocean views possible... but imagine enjoying your custom cooked meal as the sun sets and sharing the view and each other's company as the stars begin to light up the night sky. 

Just after sunset at the Casa Catarena in Tulum, Mexico

Just after sunset at the Casa Catarena in Tulum, Mexico

Important Details:

Hotel Rooms Available: 7 Total Beds

Spa: In room treatments avaialble

Perfect for: multi-generational family getaways, couples, celebrations

Nearby Hot Spot Restaurants: Hartwood, but your private chef creates amazing meals at the Villa itself. 

Fresh coconut juice is delivered poolside while you enjoy the tranquility.

Fresh coconut juice is delivered poolside while you enjoy the tranquility.

More photos from my trip to Casa Catarena, Tulum Mexico:

The Top San Francisco Landmark Hotel

Ritz Carlton, San Francisco

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Highlights

-       This historic traditional hotel was transformed about 2 years ago with a $7 million renovation to the contemporary beautiful feel it has today. You will still see modern- yet-timeless decor  throughout the hotel such as the the traditional fixtures like the lobby fireplace and the Italian marble bathrooms.

-       You can’t beat the location of this property in San Francisco located on Nob Hill and is steps away from Union Square, the ferry building, the financial district and lots of shopping! This property is truly an extension of the city.

-       As you check in you’ll be greeted with warm towels and a fortune cookie from the original factory who created them based here in San Francisco. If you’re traveling with kids they have the cutest kids check in desk and kids area to make them feel welcomed.

-       The rooms are beautiful with contemporary navy blue and gray décor and simple pieces.  The Italian marble bathrooms are of course my favorite part. Its great for families because they have 1 bedroom suites with connecting rooms to either king or double beds as an option. I also highly recommend the Club Lounge rooms which are on the top floors and  provide you access from 6am-10pm to the luxury lounge. They have  4 food choices daily with coffee, wine, beer, and mixed drinks throughout the day (unlimited). Also loved the champagne tasting and caviar service around 5pm. It’s worth the little extra cost for the room to experience this daily. Its also the only luxury lounge in all of San Francisco.

Details:

Hotel rooms: 336

Spa: Small spa with 3 treatment rooms but expanding to 6 by the end of the year

Great for: couples or families (although there is no pool)

Nearby Hot spot restaurants: Parallel 37 on property

Added amenities when booking through Jetset & Travel:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Early check-in, late check-out, subject to availability
  • Full American breakfast for two daily, up to $38 per person including tax
  • $100 USD Equivalent Resort or Hotel credit, (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full, not valid on tax or parking)
  • Complimentary Wi-fi

Welcome to Tropical Paradise

Turks & Caicos | The Destination

Highlights

-       When you land in Turk & Caicos you have truly found PARADISE! The water is iridescent turquoise with white sand beaches. The beautiful coral reefs block the waves making it the calmest water in the Caribbean. I highly recommend you go snorkeling or diving as its one of the top 3 most beautiful reefs in the world. Now I’ve checked off 2 places from my list!

-       For those traveling from the East coast of the US it’s a pretty easy trip.. just over an hour flight from Miami and 3 hours from New York.

-       If you’re looking to just relax and sit on the beach and have some active days mixed in, it’s the perfect destination. For beach and relaxation just walk outside your hotel.. for activites choose between snorkeling, diving, horse back riding in the sand/ ocean, chartered boat rides, paddle boarding, jet skiing,  shopping in the little town, going to a local fish fry.. the list goes on.  

-       This island is known for never feeling crowded and visitors can always find a private stretch of beach where you can watch your real-world stress float away with a Caribbean cocktail in hand.

-       Weather you’re looking for an infinity pool, five star spa, family properties or the best views of the beaches, there is an array of different hotels from luxury private resorts and villas, to larger scale all inclusive properties.

I have had picked a few of my favorites below.. Please feel free to ask me questions on additional properties not listed.

Top Hotels:

The Shore Club-  The newest hotel on the island with 106 of the BEST rooms. It’s the first resort to be on Long Bay which is about a 5minute drive to Grace Bay. Everything is uber-luxury and comfortable with crisp cream and blue decor.. I’m pretty much obsessed with their 1 bedroom ocean front suites as well as the Penthouse and villas opening soon. They have 4 pools with fantastic cabanas. The beach is pretty narrow but what’s crazy is you can walk out for 2 miles into the ocean and be able to stand the whole way out! They have great pricing currently because its new but these prices will go up soon. The scene and night life isn’t currently as active as other resorts on the island but I can see it getting there.

Grace Bay- The relaxed sophistication of this established luxury property is known for its great scene and live music nightly. Its an all-suite resort with an authentic, Caribbean flavor whichexpands 11-acres consisting of different buildings for families, romantic couples, estates with multiple bedrooms and private villa’s. They believe destinations are built on exceptional people and you feel this from the staff as soon as you walk on property. They have multiple pools and activities on the beach which make this property one families come back to year after year.

Amanarya- Take a 30 minute drive up the dirt roads in a private resort range rover and you will arrive at the secluded and peaceful property which is the most luxury and private resort on the tip of the island. Amanarya is known for its exceptional service and complete relaxation. You honestly won’t need to leave the resort since they have tennis courts, a movie theater, library, pools, beaches, kids club, spa and more. I recommend booking a room with a private alcove to wake up and take a dip in your own private piece of ocean.

Gansevoort – With 91 guest rooms including 32 suites and 4 penthouses this makes for an urban chic boutique resort with Caribbean luxury. Because of its size and being the smallest property on grace bay they truly cater to personalized service. What I loved was the buzzer on the umbrellas at the beach whenever you needed something. You don’t have to worry about waking up early to save a spot on the beach. Its one of the widest beaches giving you plenty of options for seating, even at full occupancy it won’t feel crowded. There is plenty of activities to do right out front from paddle boarding, sailing and kite surfing. They also have one of the largest pools with turquoise towels which bring all the colors together (I loved this little detail) If you’re going for a special occasion I would recommend pre-booking dinner on the beach, this was an incredible experience with amazing sunsets. Can’t forget the exhale spa and fitness classes they have daily.  Great for younger couples or groups of friends.

Gansevoort Villas- opening winter 2018 –Located on the spectacular southern shore of Providenciales in an area known as Turtle tail. Its just 2.5 miles from the Gansevoort on Grace bay. Imagine arriving at an oceanfront Villa and as you step into the front doors you can see straight through to the infinity pool and turquoise waters. Now imagine every whim is serviced by the dedicated concierge and services staff. The sophisticated architecture is a mix of contemporary and open spaces with an elegant use of natural materials, blending indoor and outside spaces. Don’t forget about the private ocean level docks which you can sunbath naked if you even wanted! Perfect place to throw a party or just hang with relatives or friends for a few days! Hands down one of the best places I have ever stepped foot in.

 

Added Amenities you'll receive when booking through Jetset & Travel:

 *Each hotel is different but have similar ones to the below.

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily Continental breakfast for up to two in-room guests
  • $100 USD Equivalent Food & Beverage credit
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

The True Meaning of DAYLIFE

1 Hotel, South Beach Miami

Highlights

-       Looking for a fresh, clean vibe when heading to Miami!?  This luxury property is everything you want and need, with crisp white linen and natural living plants surrounding the resort its going to give you that healthy living feel.

-       The room quality of this hotel is exceptional and some of the biggest rooms in Miami. Even the standard room has plenty of room at 700 sq. ft. They have an iphone in every room which they call the 1 guide. You can do everything from text the concierge, your mom or  browse 26000 publications. The amenities are filled with locally sourced items such as local beer, local products, and food. Also a perk is you have unlimited amounts of filtered water.. you don’t have to pay a fortune for multiple water bottles.  You will also notice the hangers, door signs are all made from recycled paper, they excel at being a Leed certified hotel. I was surprised to hear they have 21 different categories of rooms and a bonus is multiple connecting configurations.

-       The Bamford Haybarn Spa is a MUST when staying here! The brand comes from Europe and its their first spa in the US. You can indulge in holistic treatments based on a heartfelt connect with nature. The design of this spa is clean and fresh with a little oasis of a relaxation area in the middle of the treatment rooms. Its connected to the first ever Spartan gym – think mud races.. yeah I put it together once I saw this place.. read on... I was about to take a class when I saw guests jumping over a wood wall- its for the fit and I wasn’t ready just yet for it! Classes and gym access is complimentary for all guests. I was happy to see a Soul Cycle  right next door and decided to take this class instead J, but do know it cost about $30 for 1 class… It’s a class you drink the coolade in.. but it’s a great sweat! I also noticed that everyone in Miami is so fit.. anyone else ever feel that way!?

-       The food quality is top notice. From the morning buffet with healthy to savory options and multiple juices you will love this choice at Beachcraft. Also the spa/ gym café plnthouse is all vegan and delicious!

-       My favorite part of the hotel thought is the rooftop pool and bar. These views might be the best I’ve seen of Miami and its just SUPER cool. They have 4 pools from lounging around chill to a kids/ family pool, the spa pool and of course the adults only rooftop, which is all about the #daylife vibe!  

-       Do you ever walk into a hotel and want to know the meaning behind the name? Well I do and I loved the meaning.. you can be 1 with yourself at 1 hotels! I felt it.. now you just need to experience it!

Details:

Hotel rooms: 426

Spa: 12 treatment rooms. Products include: Bamford signature items, Knesko, Coola, Nuelash

Great for: Trendy adults, Bachelor and bachelorette trips, couples and incentive trips.

Nearby Hot spot restaurants:  Beachcraft breakfast buffet is great, Tom on Collins, STK on property another win. 

Life in Balance

Miraval, Tucson Arizona

Highlights

-       Mindful is the essence of this wellness destination resort which is dedicated to inspiring Life in Balance . Its located 55 minutes north of the Tucson airport. As soon as you step on property you feel a sense of ease. Its hard to put into words what this feeling is but if I had to pick one word I would sum it up as healing. I can see how people come here after a divorce or trauma or just need a break from life. It personally made me slow down and learn the importance of meditation practice. Something I have never participated in but can see the results from being here these few short days.

-       Before you arrive its essential to review the activities  they are offering during the time you are there and make a skeleton schedule of the most important activities and classes you want to participate in. They do and will sell out. I also recommend you leave some space for free time and any classes you hear good things from others while there.. They have classes from nutrition, to dealing with trauma, to fitness classes and meditation.

-       The meals and all food is included into your stay and its so nice to either just grab a fresh juice or have healthy choices daily to pick from. They always have a breakfast and lunch buffet with fresh options that are healthy and flavorful. You can also order off the menu for daily specials. I was lucky enough to try the shrimp and it was divine. Dinner is a 4 course meal and its one of the few health destination spa’s that you can actually order wine! (additional cost).

-       Like a typical spa of course they have numerous spa treatments. I do have to say its not going to be your 5 star luxurious spa experience but the quality of the therapists make it that healing experience, and also a must while you are staying here after all the hiking and fitness classes you will be participating in.

-       The Beds, ok so you’re not in your room very much since there is so much to do but the beds..I’ll say it again. They are so comfortable and you honestly just melt into them. They even have them for sale so if you want a Miraval bed you can purchase it.

-       This is a memorable place to come with a group of girlfriends. If you have 8 of more ladies the rate will come down. Talking about a group, the Miraval Villas are the ultimate accommodations with 3200 square feet and 2-3 bedrooms. Each villa includes a large patio with a private infinity pool, fireplaces, gourmet kitchen, outdoor shower (big enough to have a party in) and spectacular views of the Santa Catalina Mountains. This is were all those celebs like Oprah stay J

Details:

Hotel rooms: 134

Spa: 26 treatment rooms. Products include: emerginC, ESPA, Dennis Gross, La Bella Donna, Morrocanoil

Great for: Ladies trips, solo trips, couples guests looking for a recharge    

Nearby Hot spot restaurants: Recommend staying on property since its all included.  

MIRAVAL PACKAGE RATES INCLUDES:

• Luxurious newly renovated guest room

• $175 resort credit per person, per night

• Participation in a wide array of activities including yoga, fitness and meditation classes, hiking, mountain biking, challenge courses, and healthy living lectures by Miraval specialists

• Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and smoothies

• All non-alcoholic beverages

• Round trip transfers from Tucson International Airport

Glam Meets Rustic Rural Mountain Town

Aspen , CO | The Destination

Highlights

-       When you think of Aspen you think of the rich and famous mixed with glam and skiing which it is but its also filled with history, culture and personality. It’s a must see winter and summer destination with so much going on including multiple events and festivals like the the Food and Wine Festival every June which draws people into this destination. 

-       The flight can be pricey flying into aspen even if it’s a close by destination (LAX- ASPEN in the summer can be around $850 round trip) but the airport is so close to all the hotels and you will avoid a 4 hour drive from Denver airport. Looking out the small airplane window might be the best mountain views you will ever see!

-       Night life in Aspen is fantastic and you will find the town bustling on the weekends. Hotspots for going out are Jimmys, J-Bar at the Hotel Jerome, Caribou Club (need to be on the list as it’s a members club), Belly Up (great live music), 39 Degrees (great apres ski) also great restaurants include: Casa Tua, Ajax tavern (best fries in town), Cache Cache, Matsuhisa (sushi), and Meat and Cheese (great for lunch).

-       Aspen mountain itself (aka AJAX) is an expert mountain and geared towards adults with its hard terrain and night life. Buttermilk and Snowmass are the family friendly mountains and if you’re visiting with kids, I would recommend you stay over on the Snowmass side since it has the best ski programs for kids at the Treehouse Kids Adventure center (ages start at 8 months of age). It's such a family oriented mountain compared to Aspen. 

-       If you want to see the best views in Aspen head to Maroon Bells (open in the summer months for hiking around the lake). Also take the gondola up Aspen mountain to the sundeck for stunning views of the rocky mountains!

Want to visit Aspen in the winter??  I would recommend booking by October 1st to receive  discounted rates. Listed below are my top choices for the area as well as the added perks you receive when booking via Jetset & Travel. Specials throughout the year are always at my fingertips additionally to these perks below. Just ask me!

Top Hotels

St. Regis Aspen

The year-round 179 guest room resort exudes a Gilded Age glamour that befits its prestigious location at the base of Aspen Mountain. With marble luxurious bathrooms and butler service you will be treated with the highest level of service here.  They also have a remede spa that has 15 treatment rooms, the perfect location to relax after a long day on the slopes and the best spa in Aspen!

Hotel Jerome, An Auberge Resort

This historic Hotel embodies the essence of elevated Rocky Mountain living. Its 93 guest rooms date back to 1889 which brings it culture and soul. The hotel features a mix of contemporary and authentic Western furnishings, modern luxuries, historic charm and dining options that highlight locally sourced cuisine, all while being located in the heart of town. Looking to stay in a room with a ghost, I got you covered and can make your wishes come true :)

The Little Nell

Aspen's most legendary hotel, and indulge in exquisite five-star service and access to America's most famous mountain town. Guests enjoy exclusive ski-in/ski-out privileges, a cosmopolitan yet intimate ambience, luxurious amenities and unparalleled seasonal packages like going cat skiing or even driving the cat, summer jeep tours which include champagne and star gaze, and first track programs that will have you on the slopes before everyone else!

Viceroy Snowmass

Located on one of North America's greatest mountains and just minutes from downtown Aspen and the centerpiece of the Snowmass Base Village, this spectacular ski-in/ski-out resort offers custom-designed residences with granite-counter kitchens, private sundecks, fireplaces, high-definition televisions and Wi-Fi. Relax by the spa’s waterfall-fed soaking pool before your holistic, Ute-influenced treatment. Dining choices are inspired, as is après-ski action. And the resort has been praised for its sustainability efforts, helping to preserve the pristine Rocky Mountain playground outside.

Added Amenities you'll receive when booking through Jetset & Travel:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily Continental breakfast for up to two in-room guests (except J Bar)
  • $100 USD Equivalent Food & Beverage credit
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

Want to head to Aspen but don't have the budget for these hotels. I would recommend The Limelight Hotel right next to downtown Aspen and walking distance to everything! If you're looking at the Snowmass side The Westin Snowmass is a great location ski in/ ski out and I have great relationships with both of these hotels. 

Luxury Meets Vibrant Vegas Nightlife

The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas

Highlights

-       This trendy Vegas hotel is still keeping its cool, hip, young vibe! I say this because every 2-3 years Vegas typically has a new hotel that is considered the hotspot but they have stayed consistent with updates and keeping this title since they opened in 2010.

-       If you're looking to stay on the Las Vegas strip with a view, this hotel has got you covered.   They have the perfect suite that has the only wrap around terrace on the strip... only problem is you might not want to leave your room. In fact all their rooms are pretty spacious, clean and modern. The bungalow and penthouse even offer Oribe products, my all time favorite hair line but they aren’t cheap.

-       For you Spa lovers like myself, you have to check out the treatment room that is a penthouse suite! I'm calling all my friends to have a SPArty here!  The Spa also includes a vibrant hair salon (called Violet hour), makeup and a nail area to get ready for a night out on the town. In this spa, you'll be surrounded by locally sourced sand stone which will have you relaxed within minutes and taking a nap after your wild night out.  I recommend you try the signature Hammam treatment with a full body massage or if you’re looking for a facial, the cream of the crop is the 80 minute Decadent. Youth. Glow treatment which uses the most coveted technologies by HydraFacial, Intraceuticals and NuFace.. sign me up!

-       They have 3 distinct pools including Marquee Day Club the only pool on the strip to stay open even in the winter (they have an enclosed tent over it), this is the PARTY POOL. If you’re looking for upbeat music with out the crazy party head over to Boulevard pool. Not only does it have a vibrant social scene  during the day but when the sun goes down between Memorial Day to Labor Day you can watch your favorite classic movies right outside at the pool every Monday night starting at 7pm (complimentary for hotel guests. Just $5 for non-hotel guests)

-       Whether you’re looking to grab a quick bite or you want the full nightlife fancy dinning experience, the collection of restaurants is endless and spectacular. They have 22 unique culinary spots and you can’t go wrong with any of them. My favorite for atmosphere is the speak easy Rose. Rabbit. Lie , they have great live music and a fun modern supper club vibe. Zuma, which servers modern Japanese cuisine is the newest addition to the hotel. Other favorites include: STK, Scarpetta, Momofuku, and eggslut for a quick breakfast grab! I almost forgot to mention, one more.... because it’s a SECRET, you can call it... Secret pizza. I’ll have you find this one on your own (because its more fun that way, hint its down a ally) but each month they have a special pizza of the month and it won’t be on the menu, you’ll only know about it if you ask, so make sure to ask for the monthly special.. and guys.. its GOOD pizza.

Details:

Hotel rooms: 2,995

Spa: 32 treatment rooms. Products include: Intraceuticals, eminence, HydraFacial, NuFace, pure Fiji and many more

Great for: Trendy adults who want to be in the scene.   

Nearby Hot spot restaurants:  They property has 22 restaurants including top favorites:  STK, Scarpetta, Momofuku, eggslut, Zuma, Secret Pizza

Added Amenities you'll receive when booking through Jetset & Travel:

  • Autograph Lounge Check-in (open 6am-10pm)
  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability (One tier upgrade subject to availability. Premium Suites excluded (Wraparound Terrace Suites and above)
  • Complimentary buffet breakfast "Invited Guest Line" for two daily for duration of the stay
  • $100 USD equivalent Food & Beverage credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full, Food & Beverage credit not applicable at the following venues: Marquee Dayclub & Nightclub, Beauty & Essex, Zuma and Juice Standard. Credit not valid for gratuity. Guest must post Food & Beverage outlet charges to their room folio to receive the credit. )
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

Mix of Japanese minimalism and Californian coastline

Nobu Ryokan, Malibu

Highlights

-       This boutique Japanese garden vibe hotel has 16 one-of-a-kind luxurious suites that overlook the beautiful Malibu coastline. As soon as you step into the rooms you can smell the reclaimed teak wood with a mixture of their signature lemon grass NOBU essence scent. You will even find Japanese suede that lines the hallways and lush gardens throughout the property to give that tranquil sanctuary feel.

-       My favorite part of the suites, is the covetable teak soaking tubs which represent the traditional Japanese design. All you need is a cup of tea and it pretty much feels like you’re out of California and in Japan.

-       Everything but the running water you can control yourself with the  in-room iPad, to opening the curtains to view the waves to setting the alarm clock in the morning (you may just want the ocean waves to be your alarm clock at this place though… just saying).

-       This hotel is for the minimalist who wants to relax in a peaceful retreat and escape from their hectic lifestyle. The attention to detail with the linens, towels, and bathrobes will have you saying awe after your first night here. Rooms start in the $2000’s and you can’t book directly via the site. Please contact me if you’re interested in a one of a kind stay here.

 

Details:

Hotel rooms: 16 suites

Spa: NO, but they have an outdoor pool with pool service

Great for: Writers, Couples (not good for kids or families)  

Nearby Hot spot restaurants:  Nobu Malibu- a must if you stay here of course, Malibu farms is close as well. 

Enchanting Spa Escape with Mediterranean-inspired, All-Suite Casitas

Rancho Valencia, San Diego

Highlights

-       Yes, thats right this is the bathroom (above picture).. I might just sleep in this room :) . This beautiful property has 49 all-suite casitas, which are sophisticated with a luxury rustic feel. Each room has an outside fireplace and patio, where you can sip on wine while the sun goes down. They make everything so comfortable and peaceful. Did I mention they provide full size Natura Bisse products in the bathroom!? I'm kinda a product junkie :)

-       Each morning they will arrive at your door step with freshly made orange juice and a newspaper.  How is that for service and feeling like a queen!?  

-       The two dining locations on property are in a beautiful room surrounded by outside olive groves and gardens. I had lunch at the Pony Bar and also got to head into the kitchen beforehand to meet the chef who had just got a fresh delivery of vegetables from the garden -true farm to table at its finest.  The servers look like they are going to go ride a horse afterwards with their cute themed uniforms. I got the cashew burger and it was fantastic, just loved this rustic, hand crafted cocktail lunch spot! 

-       If you’re an active tennis player you will LOVE this place- They have an  award winning tennis program and afterwards you can dine at the farm to table Veladora restaurant.

-       My favorite part of the hotel is the SPA... I know not surprising but THIS SPA takes it to a whole new level.  I enjoyed a sports massage and couldn’t of asked for a more relaxing spa atmosphere. The spa is all about customization and the spa director thrives on making that perfect match between you and the right therapist.  The pool, yoga studio, nail room, yoga studio and workout facilities are all top notch.. did I mention the yoga studio!? Really this yoga studio has a platform out on water where it looks like an active wear advertisement could be shot. It's a secluded oasis and I think I need to come back with all my friends to show them! They did just launch The Wellness Collective Retreats and I left info about what they offer. If you want to escape for a spa retreat- you must sign up for one of the dates. (see below and contact me for more booking details).

Details:

Hotel rooms: 49 suites 

Spa: Yes, Its an oasis of a spa- when you think of a spa day this should be what you think of!  Products: Natura Bisse, ISUN skincare *retreat offerings below

Great for: Wellness minded groups of friends, solo, couples, rooms are great for families as well since they have separate pull out couches.

Nearby Hot spot restaurants: Besides Pony Room and Veladora restaurant there is Eve in Encinitas, Trilogy Sanctuary in La Jolla, Cucina Enoteca, Brigantine, Jake’s all nearby

WELLNESS COLLECTIVE RETREATS

Did you know that Scientists are increasingly convinced that the majority of disease - potentially up to 95% - is preventable through making healthy choices? It was previously thought that genes were fixed for life. However, sequencing of the human genome has taught us that many genes change in response to how we care for ourselves. Lifestyle factors like how we exercise and sleep, the pollution we are exposed to, our stress levels and state of mind, and what we eat and drink can ultimately change our genes and impact our longevity.

 This cutting edge science is called epigenetics and The Spa at Rancho Valencia Resort in North County San Diego has just launched an amazing calendar of retreats lead by leading wellness experts focusing on epigentics called the Wellness Collective. Each retreat offers 3, 5 and 7 night package options starting at $3,750 including:

-          Accommodations

-          VIP personal wellness concierge service

-          One-on-one consultation with Dr. Lee Rice, DO, FAAP, FAOASM, founder of the   Lifewellness Institute and Chief Wellness Officer with the Wellness Collective

-          Daily workhops and lectures

-          Three healthy spa cuisine meals per day and daily cold pressed juice delivery

-          Daily personal training or private fitness session

-          Daily 90-minute spa therapy customized to your individual needs

-          Unlimited group fitness classes including yoga, Pilates, spin, barre, TRX, and more

-          Nightly wellness turndown amenity

-          Welcome wellness gift

 

Upcoming retreats include the following: 

•             Nutrition & Toxicity - May 7-13

•             Sleep & Respite - July 9-15

•             Relationships & Connection - September 17-23

•             Stress & Balance - November 12-18

Please email me at abell@smartflyer.com if you're interested. 

Hip & Comfortable Meets San Diego Vibrant City Life 

Pendry, San Deigo

Highlights

-       Created for the modern traveler who appreciates classic comfort with a contemporary edge. This is a new addition to the Montage brand but with a little younger, hipper client in mind.  As soon as  you step in the door you feel that “cool” vibe right away with its impeccable detail and modern pieces. 

-       Pendry collaborated with entertainment architect Andy Massi who has worked with the big night life scene in Vegas, so you know its going to be off the hook!  His team runs 3 restaurants on property:  Lionfish, Oxford social club, and poolhouse the rooftop lounge. They hooked the fish in the mouth on all three area's and I was super impressed. Lionfish- coastal cuisine. I got to experience a delicious meal. This place is the HOTSPOT! It was packed with the who’s who in San Diego on a Thursday night. Reservations are recommended. If you’re a frequent diner or a big VIP they will make you, your own person chopsticks with your name on them (see photo below).  Great menu options- Big-eye Tuna Pizza, Spicy Grilled Octopus, Keep it Classy sushi roll, and Brussel sprouts. (see below picture with Chef JoJo Ruiz). Oxford club is the lounge but it seems more like a club when you're in there. They made all the tables low to the ground and are meant to be danced on. Its a great place to let loose with a group of friends around the open tables.

-       In addition to these 3 outlets, the hotel has a total of 6 dining areas which include  Fifth and Rose, a classic cocktail lounge that feels like you’re in a living room. If you like cucumber and honey try the “where's my Yacht” cocktail.. you must drink it with your pinky up!  Provisional Kitchen which serves all 3 meals of the day. I enjoyed breakfast here and the avocado toast was delightful. Nason's Beer Hall where you can grab local beer before you hit a baseball game!

-       The deluxe and premier rooms are a tad small but what I loved was the marble and leather features which make it so stylish and modern. If you’re looking for more room I would recommend the grand or executive suite. They also have a poolside suite and you will be that person living it up with basically your own corner of the pool!

-       This hotel is in the perfect location if you want to be in San Deigo. If you’re in town for a baseball game at Petco Park or want a fun night out on the town.. you’re in the perfect area to explore it all.

Details:

Hotel rooms: 317

Spa: Yes, 4 treatment rooms- very small but very well done with marble and modern design throughout the spa. Products- Naturopathica

Great for: younger/ hip friends,  business travelers. Those that like the night life.  

Nearby Hot spot restaurants:  Lionfish (within property), Bottega Americano- contemporary Italian –American, Shout House- its fun with a dueling piano bar, Herb & Wood, Puesto 

 

Added Amenities you'll receive when booking through Jetset & Travel:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily Continental breakfast for up to two in-room guests (except J Bar)
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi