Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A week in St. Barth's with Le Sereno

Last week, I visited one of the most exclusive islands in the world, Saint Barthélemy. I had the most amazing stay at, Le Sereno St. Barth's. Le Sereno is is an intimate St. Barth's beach hotel and spa with just 36 suites and three, large four-bedroom Villas. Inspired by the island’s magical contradiction of luxury and simplicity, renowned Parisian designer Christian Liaigre has helped Le Sereno earn its reputation as the most stylish and private sanctuary among a select group of St. Barth's hotels.   

Located on the beach at Grand Cul de Sac and spanning 600 feet of pristine shoreline, Le Sereno is one of only a handful of St. Barthélemy hotels that can claim a beachfront location. The beach is basally a private beach to the hotel. Le Sereno has a beach front gourmet restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, a bar and lounge, and 24 hour room service. Le Sereno also offers a beachfront fresh water swimming pool (which I absolutely loved), a lovely spa, water sports equipment, a fitness center, and private airport transpiration. 

You really have nothing to worry about when you vacation at Le Sereno. Le Sereno is so exclusive, they recently hosted all of the Victoria's Secret Angels for Victoria's Secret's first ever T-V Swim Special

I stayed in a one bedroom Grand Suite Plage room, which I would actually consider a suite. From the living room, you can step onto the sun deck, which overlooks the sparkling turquoise ocean. The sun deck has a private terrace, which I definitely utilized during my stay. The room included a King size bed, and furnishings by Christian Liaigre. 

A bubbly welcoming from Le Sereno.

A delicious breakfast with omelets, fruit, and hot chocolate. 

My morning routine of drinking coffee and checking my Instagram feed.

My private terrace overlooking the ocean.

Potato tortelli with pesto.

Fresh fruit salad. 

Chocolate cake and a bubble bath. Need I say more?

Relaxing in the pool. Bikini by Luli Fama.

Luckily, the weather was perfect while I was in St. Barth's. I spent a lot of time at Le Sereno's private beach and pool.

On my private terrace. Dress by Flynn Skye. 

On my second day, I decided to rent a Jeep. I like to explore islands on my own time, instead of being dependent on cabs. You are so limited with where you can venture off to with cabs. Plus, I like to pull over and take photos. Le Sereno partnered up with Hertz, making it super easy for guests to rent cars. They even offer special package rates for a room including a rental car. I rented this Jeep Wrangler because I like to be up high when I drive, and I also like to feel like Indiana Jones! 

Driving to the main town and capital of Saint Barthélemy, Gustavia, was so much fun and definitely an adventure. I drove to Gustavia everyday, sometimes twice a day. I know the roads and back roads so well, I honestly feel like a local now.
Ville de Gustavia, Saint Barthélemy. 

Dress by Hermant & Nandita, Sunglasses by Sunday Somewhere, Bag by Valentino. 

Walking through the streets of Gustavia. Romper by Lovers + Friends, Sunglasses by Chanel, Shoes by RAYE.

Necklace and rings by Shashi. 

The perfect Chanel accessories for my trip.

I've always wanted to visit Eden Rock St. Barth's, and I finally got the opportunity to on this trip. I love the Eden Rock, and it is actually on the way to the town of Gustavia. I enjoyed a late lunch, and a lot of sun on their beach. The food is so delicious, and the gift shop offers really great contemporary brands. I highly recommend stopping by the Eden Rock St. Barth's If you are visiting the island.

Soaking up the sun at the Eden Rock St. Barth's. Coverup by Tiare Hawaii, Sunglasses by Sunday Somewhere.
A super delicious margarita pizza at The Eden Rock St. Barth's.

I stopped and took a few photos in front of the beautiful Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, Gustavia. This historic church was built in the nineteenth century, and is such a magical site to see in St. Barth's. Everything in the town of Gustavia is within walking distance. This is very convenient for those who want to shop, eat, and take pictures. 

The front of Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, Gustavia, Saint Barthélemy. 

Sunglasses by Tom Ford, Jewelry by Gorjana.

Dress by Rococo Sand, Sunglasses by Tom Ford, Sandals by Christian Louboutin. 

Sandals by Christian Louboutin. 

Dress by 724, Necklace by Vanessa Mooney.

I am really looking forward to staying at Le Sereno again next year! I hope I've encouraged you guys to explore Saint Barthélemy, and booking your stay stay with Le Sereno is for sure the way to go for the ultimate St. Barth's experience. It will be a a vacation that you will never forget!   


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Weekend Getaway: Eau Palm Beach

This weekend, I headed a few miles north of Miami Beach to Palm Beach, and stayed at the ultra fashionable and fabulous, Eau Palm Beach. Eau Palm Beach is far from mainstream. Situated on a private beach on seven acres of oceanfront with lush tropical gardens, guests are welcomed with champagne, breathtaking ocean views and cooling tropical breezes.   

One of the best things about Eau Palm Beach is their amazing Forbes award-winning 42,000 square foot spa. The spa offers a salon, nail "Beautique", a bath lounge that includes steam rooms, saunas, and jacuzzis, and a relaxing outdoor "Self-Centered Garden". After a relaxing day at the spa, enjoy dinner at one of Eau's four culinary restaurants, all offering different savory cuisines. 

I have great news for you guys! Eau Palm Beach has an amazing promotion going on right now. You get a third night free on Ocean View category rooms and higher. This offer is valid through Labour Day to November, so hurry and book your beach getaway before they sell out! 

The gorgeous and super modern living room. All rooms and hallway decor are by Jonathan Adler. 

From the hallways, to the rooms themselves, I am ob-sessed with the modern and playful interior decor by Jonathan Adler. His beautiful pops of color, funky chandeliers and furniture, playful wallpaper, and overall fun decor make me want to design my own home with all Jonathan Adler designs. I stayed in a fabulous Ocean View Suite, and every corner of my suite was screaming to be photographed. 

Dining room.

Master bedroom.

Beach Getaway Accessories. Bag by Saint Laurent, Hat by Valdez Panama Hats.

The amazing soaking tub.

Master bathroom selfie. 

I am obsessed with the wallpaper and artwork in the hotel by Jonathan Adler!

Eau Palm Beach has a beautiful beachside restaurant called, Breeze Ocean Kitchen. Breeze Ocean Kitchen is a celebration of Floridian cuisine featuring Latin, Caribbean, Asian and American flavors. You can sit back, relax, and enjoy a cold tropical drink with amazing ocean views! 

Enjoying lunch with the most beautiful view. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Dubai & Abu Dhabi, UAE with The Ritz-Carlton

After a quick weekend in London and Paris, and a six hour flight later, I had finally made my way to Dubai! I stayed at the amazing Ritz-Carlton, Dubai Financial Center, which is a luxury retreat located in Downtown Dubai. If I could describe this hotel in two words it would be luxurious, and sophisticated. This location is definitely a relaxing place to getaway to, with exquisite service. The airport is only 20 minutes away, and it's located just ten minutes from The Dubai Mall, and the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world! Not to mention, there are great restaurants within walking distance.

From the front desk, to housekeeping, to the spa and gym staff, to the culinary staff, to the friendly gentleman who open the doors when you walk into and leave the hotel, every staff member at this location is amiable and so helpful. The Ritz-Carlton, DIFC offers seven restaurants and bars, including an excellent steakhouse, Center Cut  

On the balcony, looking at my incredible view. Sunglasses by Dita.

The amazing suite I stayed in is called, The Ambassador Suite. I felt like royalty in this spacious 1,303 sq. foot suite. The suite has a powder room, an office, a sitting room (to watch T-V), a living room, a dining room, a bar- fully stocked bar with everything you could want, and a vast balcony with a table and two lounging sun chairs. The large bedroom includes the most comfortable King bed with 400-thread count Egyptian cotton linens, and a feather down comforter. The beautiful and immense bathroom occupies a large marble tub, (which I used everyday), and a separate shower with a rainforest shower head.

The Ambassador Suite.

 I was greeted everyday with a beautiful (and delicious) culinary gift. Whenever I came back to my room from an afternoon of exploring, there would be a new gift. Each day, the gifts got larger, ultimately ending with a chocolate cake and an enormous fruit platter. This fruit platter is actually given to each Sheikh that stays at the hotel. I guess I was a real-life Princess Jasmine in Dubai. That's why I love the Ritz-Carlton, they really go out of their way to make you feel special, and definitely well fed! 

 On my first full day in Dubai, I visited the Emirates Mall for lunch, and then headed to see all of the sites. My first stop was the beach, I've always wanted to take a picture in front of the Burj Al Arab, the only seven star hotel in the world. 

Standing in front of the Burj Al Arab.

 After a little shopping, and more eating, I headed to The Dubai Mall area to see the Burj-Khalifa (aka the tallest building in the world). The Burj-Khalifa is 160 stories, and you can actually buy tickets to visit the top, but unfortunately, I did not have enough time to do that. The Burj-Khalifa beats the World Trade Center in NYC in height by 54 stories. After more site seeing, I headed back to The Ritz-Carlton, DIFC for a little downtime before dinner. I visited their indoor pool at the spa, and then got a blow out at the hotel's salon. That evening, I had dinner at the seven star hotel, the Burj Al Arab. 

At 160 stories, The Burj Khalia is the tallest building in the world. 

 On my second day in Dubai, I went on a desert safari. I was a little skeptical at first because it is very hot in Dubai in August. That day it was 111 Degrees/44 Celsius. Thankfully, the tour guide had his air conditioned SUV running nearby, which made it completely tolerable. You are literally in the middle of the desert, miles away from roads and civilization for a few hours. I am actually very happy I did this, because I got some of the best pictures I have ever taken, and I did something most people will never do in their lifetime. I love the quote, "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." 

In the middle of the Arabian Desert wearing Trina Turk. 

At 8am, the tour guide picked us up from the hotel and then headed towards the desert. It takes about an hour to get there. Wherever there is. There were signs on the highway that pointed to Abu Dhabi (which is only an hour away) and Saudi Arabia (which is even closer). Before he could drive off of the road and onto the sand dunes, the tour guide had to get out of the car and release air from the tires. I had never seen anything like this before. This has to be done in order for the tires to grip the sand. It also keeps you from flipping over. We stopped at a few random desert spots to take the most beautiful pictures. It's crazy how the tour guide knows where to go in the middle of sand dunes with no map or directions. 

After an intense (but super fun) drive through the sand dunes, I arrived at Al Awir Desert Safari Camp Site. There was a man who let me take pictures with the friendliest falcon. There were also sand buggies, but it was just too hot for me to go farther out into the desert. 

Fun Fact: Falcons only eat the meat of the animals they kill. The will not even eat meat that is offered to them by a human. 

Fun Fact: Camels are much like dogs, with a life span of 11-18 years.

My favorite part of the safari was riding the camels. Camels are very kind and friendly creatures. I asked why they had their mouths covered, and was told that camels eat absolutely everything and store it in their humps for future meals. Although, that is very clever, they can also eat very bad things like metal and garbage without even knowing it's bad for them. The covers on their mouths are to protect the camels from eating things that they shouldn't. 

Dress by Chelsea & Walker, Sunglasses by Porsche Design, Sandals by Chanel. 

After a hot afternoon in the desert, I went back to the hotel to relax and enjoy the Ritz-Carlton's Club Lounge. The Club Lounge provides complimentary culinary and beverage presentations throughout the day. That evening, I had dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Zuma. Zuma is actually within walking distance to the hotel.

Dress by Trina Turk, Sunglasses by Thierry Lasry, Shoes by Valentino. 
On my third day, I had lunch at Pier 7, at the Duabi Marina. Pier 7 has seven floors, with a different type of restaurant on each floor. The Dubai Marina is so beautiful, with rows of skyscrapers in every direction. 


After three wonderful days in Dubai, it was time to head to Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi is only an hour drive away from Dubai. I stayed at the amazing Ritz-Carlton, Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal, which is basically a palace. This hotel is the most beautiful hotel I have ever stayed in. If I felt like royalty before in Dubai, I truly felt like a Queen in my suite at The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi. 

The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal offers a luxury beach resort experience minutes away from the city centre, and located across from the iconic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. The Ritz-Carlton, Abu Dhabi also has the largest pool in Abu Dhabi at 1,600 square meters.

The largest pool in Abu Dhabi. 

A gorgeous chocolate display from the Ritz-Carlton, Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal that was almost too pretty to eat..Almost!

Another special greeting from The Ritz-Carlton, Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal. 

The beautiful suite I stayed in is called, The Venetian Executive Suite. The suite was much like my grand suite in Dubai, with a powder room, an office, a living room, a dining room, a large bathroom with double sinks, a separate bathtub, and a vast balcony. The view from my suite was the gorgeous Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.       

Standing in from of the famous Etihad Towers. 

With only two days to explore Abu Dhabi, my first stop was Emirates Palace. Emirates Palace is a grand beachfront hotel that used to be a place where only royalty could stay. Now, Emirates Palace is a hotel open to the public. Across the street from Emirates Palace, are the Etihad Towers, which most people recognize from the famous car scene in Fast and Furious 7. It was very cool to see the buildings in person.  

At Emirates Palace. Earrings by Kendra Scott. 
 The theme inside Emirates Palace is gold. Inside the lobby is a gold ATM. Basically, you can input your own money inside the ATM, and receive actual gold bars in exchange. The minimum is $1,000 USD. I ate lunch at an Italian restaurant called, Mezzaluna. The cuisine was so amazing, I went back the next day for the exact same thing. Another fun thing about Emirates Palace, is that you can order 24k gold cappuccinos. These were very yummy.

24 Gold Cappuccinos.

 On my last day in Abu Dhabi, I wanted to visit Sheikh Zayed Mosque. Thankfully, The Ritz-Carlton, Abu Dhabi offers a shuttle service that leaves every 30 minutes to the mosque. As a woman, you can only enter the mosque If you are completely covered and your hair cannot show either. The mosque is truly beautiful inside and out, and is a must see. I was told by the hotel to go during sunset to get the best photos.

In front of Sheikh Zayed Mosque.

It is very quiet, and calm inside. Prayers can be heard throughout the day, and it is such an amazing experience.  
Sheikh Zayed Mosque at sunset. 

 Now, I can finally say that I have been to the Middle East. Thank you so much Ritz-Carlton, DIFC and Ritz-Carlton, Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal for hosting me on a trip of a lifetime! I hope I have inspired others to visit both Dubai and Abu Dhabi at least once in their lifetime.