31May

Anne Fritz’s Dream Destination

We are delighted to kick off this guest blogging series with Anne Fritz of The Jet Set Girls.  Anne and Hope’s blog is my go-to for travel, beauty, and fashion tips! Follow them on Twitter: @JSGAnne, @JSGHope. Today, Anne shares with us her Dream Destination:

Where is your dream destination and accommodations?

 

Right now it’s the W in Vieques. I love the Out Islands of the Bahamas—they’re so secluded and the beaches are pristine. You feel like you’re halfway around the world, but really you’re only 30 minutes from Florida. I imagine that Vieques has that same feel. I’ve been dying to go ever since the W opened last year.

The W Vieques is a luxury hotel in Puerto Rico.

W Vieques, Puerto Rico


Who would you take with you?

It just so happens that I am going—with my hubby for a romantic birthday trip.

 

The W Vieques features a Living Room with a bar and lounge area.

W Vieques - Living Room

W Vieques is located on the Bay of Vieques in Puerto Rico.
W Vieques Bay
The W Vieques is a luxury resort in Puerto Rico on the bay of Vieques.
W Vieques Aerial View

Vieques is an island located off the east coast of Puerto Rico. It is the largest of the Spanish Virgin Islands, and has been one of the Caribbean’s Best Kept Secrets – until now! It is a popular wedding destination thanks to its amazing beaches and food. Travelers can easily reach Vieques via small planes from San Juan.

 

27May

10 Best (Almost) Deserted Islands

Travel and Leisure’s new post about the Best Secret Islands on Earth inspired me to write about these stunning islands. Many of them are just off the coast of popular destinations and offer a great opportunity to experience real solace in the middle of a busy vacation!

1. Gozo, Malta

This hilly landscape in the Mediterranean will take you to another place and time with castle ruins and a Bronze Age fortress

This Mediterranean island is the perfect place for a secluded getaway.

Gozo

2. Robinson Crusoe, Chile

It’s easy to understand why this island inspired the novel Robinson Crusoe

Robinson Crusoe Island in Chile is so beautiful that it inspired the novel.

Robinson Crusoe Island

3. Gotska Sandon, Sweden

This island is covered in moss and pine trees

Gotska Sandon is located in Sweden.

Gotska Sandon

4. Skopelos, Greece

So perfect, they filmed Mama Mia! here…

Skopelos, Greece, is where Mama Mia was filmed.

Skopelos

5. Pico, Portugal

Great wine and footpaths through lava landscapes left by the volcano

Pico is an island off the coast of Portugal that has a volcano.

Pico

6. Mabul, Malaysia

Exceptional diving and wildlife, comparable to the Galapagos Islands

Mabul is a beautiful Malaysian island.

Mabul

7. Jicaro Island, Nicaragua

This 1 acre island is actually in the middle of Lake Nicaragua and has 1 resort, the Jicaro Island Ecolodge

Jicaro Island is an island in Lake Nicaragua.

Jicaro Island

8. Great Barrier Island, New Zealand

A great place for adventure seekers and the most untouched destination in New Zealand

The Great Barrier Island off the coast of New Zealand is one of the most untouched islands to be found.

Great Barrier Island

9. La Maddalena, Italy

Off the coast of Sardinia, has white sand beaches, secret coves and rare birds

La Maddelena is an island off the coast of Sardinia in Italy.

La Maddelena

10. Desert Islands, United Arab Emirates

These 8 islands are about 2.5 hours from Abu Dhabi and are filled with historic sights and exotic wildlife

The Desert Islands are about 2.5 hours away from Abu Dhabi.

Desert Islands

Categories: Leisure,Luxury Travel,Top 10
Tags:
20May

Best Summer Cocktails

 

The best summer cocktails contain fruit and are served cold.

Summer is almost here, and that means BBQs, beach, pool, and patio brunches! These delicious cocktails perfectly pair with summer food and activities. Try adding fruit garnishes for a little extra flavor and glamour.

Top 10 Best Summer Cocktails:

This Kumquat Caipirinha is a spin on the classic Brazilian cocktail.

Kumquat Caipirinha

1. Kumquat Caipirinha
This delicious spin on the Brazilian cocktail has soy caramel sauce (omg), lemon juice, raw sugar, kumquats, cachaca, and ice. This sounds perfect for a chic summer white party or cocktails by the pool with the girls.

The Royal Blush Cocktail is perfect for summer parties.

Royal Blush Cocktail

2. Royal Blush
This drink changes from green to pink! It has cherry puree, vodka, lime juice, simple syrup, mint leaves, and dry sparkling wine (like brut Champagne).

White sangria is easy to make and tastes delicious.

White Sangria

3. Sangria
Sangria is good anytime, anywhere! It is really easy to make and both the red and white are delicious. Try the white with Champagne, vodka, white wine, ginger ale, and any kind of fruit. It’s best if you let the ingredients soak for a day or two prior to drinking and let the flavors of the fruit really percolate.

A good Bloody Mary is the perfect brunch drink.

Bloody Mary

4. Bloody Mary
Another classic, great at those brunches on the patio, or for a little “hair of the dog” cure the next morning by the pool. Try using grated horseradish and Tobasco with your tomato juice and vodka. Blue cheese stuffed olives are always a nice touch as well.

The bazooka bubblegum cocktail is a great drink to serve at parties.

Bazooka Bubblegum Cocktail

5. Bazooka Bubblegum Cocktail
The pink color and bubblegum flavor make this drink fun for parties. Mix vodka with double bubble to achieve the bubble gum taste.

El Diablo is a cocktail that mixes beer, tequila, and creme de cassis.

El Diablo

6. El Diablo
This is a sophisticated version of beer, and is a good option for the men at your summer soirees. Mix tequila, ginger, beer, and creme de cassis and prepare for the compliments!

A Mint Julep is the perfect summer cocktail.

Mint Julep

7. Mint Julep
This classic cocktail is not for the faint of heart! It tastes great but packs a punch. Whiskey, mint, soda, water, sugar and crushed ice are the main ingredients, so it’s a relatively easy drink to make.

A French 75 cocktail is a great cocktail for those who love Champagne.

French 75

8. French 75
It’s just a little more intense than regular Champagne! Use Champagne, gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup.

A sidecar is a great summer cocktail.

Sidecar

9. Sidecar
A classic cocktail with a sugar rim, Cognac,, Cointreau, and lemon juice.

A mojito is the perfect summer cocktail.

Mojito

10. Mojito
Who doesn’t love a mojito? It’s super refreshing, perfect for the pool or beach. Mix mint, lime, rum, sugar and club soda for the perfect drink on a hot summer day.

Check out this
epicurious article
for recipes!

Categories: Leisure,Top 10
Tags:
18May

Haute Hotel: Alvear Palace Hotel

The Alvear Palace Hotel is located in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Alvear Palace Hotel

The Alvear Palace Hotel in Buenos Aires, Argentina is known as “The Grand Dame of Buenos Aires” for a reason! This stunning hotel is located in Recoleta, the most exclusive neighborhood in BA. It offers direct access to shopping, museums and sightseeing. Alvear has an old-world style and has incorporated elements of Empire, Louis XV, and Louis XVI interior design. They have enhanced this style by adding art by renowned Argentine artists.

The beautiful lobby of the Alvear Palace Hotel.

Alvear Palace Hotel Lobby

The personalized and attentive services are another thing that set Alvear apart from the rest. Their Butler Service will unpack, draw you a bath whenever you like, give you complimentary garment pressing, and help you pack when it’s time to leave. Don’t have time to shop? Don’t know where to shop? Alvear’s Personal Shopper has got you covered. The shopping specialist can either do all of your shopping for you, or take you on a personalized shopping tour.

The Alvear Palace Hotel offers afternoon tea.

Afternoon Tea at the Alvear Palace Hotel

The dining and bar options at the Alvear have been patronized by businessmen, socialites, and celebrities since the 1930s. La Bourgogne is their French dining option. L’Orangerie is the grand dining room that hosts the amazing breakfast buffet and Sunday Brunch. The Sunday Brunch features an international buffet with shellfish, seafood, wild game, and desserts. Their acclaimed afternoon tea features fine teas, cakes, fresh fruit tarts, warm scones, and aspecial “Alvear Blend” of tea.

The Lobby Bar is an exclusive venue that serves great cocktails. The Cigar Bar offers havana cigars and fine chocolates and liquors.

The La Prairie Spa at the Alvear Palace Hotel includes steam rooms, saunas, pool, and relaxation rooms.

Alvear Palace Hotel Spa

The Alvear Spa and Fitness Center is the perfect place to relax! The steam baths, saunas, a ludic pool, relaxation rooms, and La Prairie products and treatments.

The Alvear Palace Hotel is a great option when trying to choose accommodations in Buenos Aires. Even if you don’t choose to stay there, the Afternoon Tea, Sunday Brunch, and Lobby Lounge are worth a visit!

11May

Top 10 Luxury Honeymoon Destinations

Mystique Santorini is a great honeymoon destination in Greece.

Mystique Santorini

1. Santorini, Greece
This amazing destination was created from a volcanic caldera, whose rim now hosts luxury hotels. From this elevated point you can view spectacular sunsets and views of the Aegean Sea. If you head down the cliff you will find shopping, amazing beaches, delicious food, and local wineries. Don’t forget to explore the Akrotini, a prehistoric settlement preserved under volcanic lava.

 

Where to Stay: Mystique Santorini

Mystique is perched on the rim of the caldera and has an incredible infinity pool, luxurious cave-like rooms carved into the cliff, and relaxing neutral tones.

 

 

The Palais Amani is a beautiful hotel in Fez, Morocco.

Palais Amani, Fez, Morocco

2. Fez, Morocco

 

Fez is Morocco’s second largest city and is bustling with bazaars and shopping opportunities. In the town center you will even find snake charmers and fortune tellers! Go to Old Medina of Marrakech for rugs, leather goods, and other travel souvenirs.

Where to Stay: Palais Amani

Palais Amani underwent a 3 1/2 year restoration that brought its existing features back to life and added work from local artisans. The spa offers massages in a room overlooking the hotel’s garden, and the rooftop bar has great views of the city below. Each room has embroidered linens, luxurious bathrobes, and complimentary embroidered slippers.

The Cap-Est Lagoon Resort & Spa is a luxury resort in Martinique.

Cap-Est Lagoon Resort & Spa

3. Martinique

 

This unique island can be considered the Paris of the Caribbean. It’s upscale and has over 150 restaurants. The locals close shop at noon for lunch and always eat out, which has led to the development of so many restaurants. Their cuisine is a delicious blend of French and Creole dishes. There is also a good nightlife, shopping, and sightseeing.

Where to Stay: Cap-Est Lagoon Resort & Spa

This resort has contemporary villas with Franco-Caribbean design. The soft, minimalist decor and lagoon views create a super relaxing and tropical vibe!

Villa San Michele is one of the most luxurious hotels in Florence.

Villa San Michele, Florence

4. Florence

 

Italian food, wine, Renaissance art & architecture, just enough sightseeing, and Italian fashion – need I say more?

Where to stay: Villa San Michele

This facade of this amazing hotel was designed by Michelangelo. If that isn’t cool enough, it’s also located on top of the hill of Fiesole so it has views of Florence and the Chianti countryside. The hotel amenities have great views, too. The heated pool and the open air restaurant, Loggia, look out over the city.

The Shangri-La Hotel Paris was once the home of Prince Roland Bonaparte.

Shangri-la Hotel Paris

5. Paris

 

A pretty obvious choice, but a great one nonetheless! Amazing food, sightseeing, entertainment, shopping, and opulent hotels sound like a pretty great way to spend a honeymoon.

Where to Stay: Shangri-La Hotel Paris

The building that is now the Shangri-La Hotel Paris was once Prince Roland Bonaparte’s home (Napoleon’s nephew). It was recently resorted to its former glamour and offers some of the largest rooms and suites among luxury Paris hotels. Most rooms have Eiffel Tower, Seine River, or the Louvre views.

The Gansevoort Turcks and Caicos brings urban luxury to the tropical environment.

Gansevoort Turks and Caicos

6. Turks and Caicos

 

This is one of the most underdeveloped islands in the Caribbean, and the tourism industry mostly caters to an upscale clientele. They have some of the most beautiful beaches and several luxury resorts to choose from.

Where to Stay: Gansevoort Turks and Caicos

Experience modern urban luxury in a tropical setting. The 7000 square foot infinity edge pool is one of the hotel’s best features, and they also have the famous Bagatelle Bistrot.

 

The Missoni Hotel Edinburgh is a luxury hotel that incorporates Missoni's eclectic modern style.

Missoni Hotel Edinburgh

7. Edinburgh, Scotland

 

Edinburgh is a beautiful destination, offering rolling Scottish hills, castles, vibrant theater scene, hiking, and sightseeing.

Where to Stay: Missoni Hotel Edinburgh

This hotel is exactly what you would expect from the Italian fashion house. The hotel was designed with distinctive use of color, pattern, and textiles.

The Viceroy Bali offers luxurious accommodations just minutes from Ubud.

Vicory Bali

8. Bali, Indonesia

 

Bali is an amazing place with tropical beaches, forests, cliffs, museums, historical towns and temples. The resorts promote spiritual health and well being, and there is a general aura of tranquility. Definitely a place to get away from it all!

Where to Stay: Viceroy Bali

The Viceroy consists of 25 villas on a secluded ridge of the Pentau river, just minutes from Ubud, one of Southeast Asia’s most charming villages. The villas are super luxurious and offer everything you could need, including espresso machines and private pools.

The St. Regis Resort Princeville offers luxurious accommodations on one of the most beautiful Hawaiian islands.

St. Regis Resort Princeville

9. Kauai, Hawaii

 

Kauai has everything a couple who loves the outdoors could need – tropical beaches, hiking on the Na Pali coast, and kayaking on the Wailua River.

Where to Stay: St. Regis Resort Princeville

Relax in the infinity pool overlooking Hanalei Bay, lay out at the private Pu’u Po’a Beach, or golf at their 2 courses.

The Anantara resort in the Maldives offer luxurious overwater villas.

Anantara, Kihavah, Maldives

10. Maldives

 

Experience white sand beaches, remote location, privacy, and delicious tropical food. The islands are located along the trading route of the Indian Ocean, resulting in an interesting mix of cultures.

Where to Stay: Anantara, Kihavah, Maldives

These overwater villas offer the ultimate tropical getaway surrounded by white sand, coconut palms, and reef waters full of marine life. The famous underwater restaurant is a once in a lifetime experience!

 

2May

Mother’s Day Trip & Brunch

Are you taking your mom on a luxury vacation for Mother’s Day? These restaurants in popular vacation destinations feature decadent brunches that are sure to make Mother’s Day special for you and your mom!

San Francisco, CA

Foreign Cinema serves one of the best brunches in San Francisco.

Foreign Cinema Brunch

Where to stay: The Ritz Carlton San Francisco Residence Club

Urban luxury at Union Square, with direct access to the best shopping in the city!

Where to Brunch: Foreign Cinema

This theatrical restaurant offers delicious dishes such as homemade pop tarts with real fruit inside, balsamic fried eggs, and Dungeness crab croque monsieur. And of course since it’s in San Francisco, they have a ton of fresh seafood, including an oyster bar, mussels, prawns, and lobster. There are 3 dining rooms to choose from, the main space with the kitchen and bar, a lively courtyard where old movies are played at night, and a quieter art gallery space. A secret (delicious) item not on the menu: beignets.

Los Angeles, CA

The Four Seasons Los Angeles in Beverly Hills serves amazing brunch.

Four Seasons Los Angeles Brunch

Where to Stay: The Peninsula

Classic Beverly Hills luxury in a great location.

Where to Brunch: Four Seasons Hotel (Beverly Hills)

The Four Seasons BH brunch is known for three things: serving a variety of delicious food, being expensive, and celebrity sightings. The service is impeccable and they offer a several food and beverage stations, including breakfast food, Bloody Marys, sushi/Asian food, cheese, and desserts. The Four Seasons is doing a special Mother’s Day Brunch, reservations highly recommended.

New York

Essex, located in the Lower East Side, serves amazing Sunday brunch.

Essex New York City Brunch

Where to Stay: Waldorf Astoria

New York elegance and an amazing location on Park Avenue.

Where to Brunch: Essex

Head to the Lower East Side to Essex, where you will find a delicious brunch for only $20 that includes 3 Bloody Marys, screwdrivers, or mimosas! This chic white, lofty space is the perfect place for a Mother’s Day Brunch. Enjoy classic brunch items, like the manchego mac & cheese, lobster benedict, Mexican Matzo Brei (scrambled eggs, tortilla crisps, monterey jack cheese, avocado, black beans and pico de gallo) and The Deep South (chicken fried steak, biscuits, eggs, and sausage gravy).

Boston, MA

Stella, located in Boston's South End, serves delicious brunch.

Stella Boston Brunch

Where to Stay: Ames Hotel

One of Boston’s newer hotels, featuring chic and modern luxury.

Where to Brunch: Stella

Stella offers simple Italian food and a cute atmosphere. The entire place is white and includes a great outdoor patio. Enjoy traditional breakfast foods, like bagel and lox, frittatas, parfaits, and eggs benedict.

Miami, FL

The Biltmore Miami serves a lavish Sunday Champagne Brunch

Biltmore Miami Sunday Champagne Brunch

Where to Stay: Biltmore

An iconic Miami hotel that has accommodated countless celebrities and public figures with superior service and elegance.

Where to Brunch: Biltmore’s Fontana

The Sunday Champagne Brunch at the Biltmore is a legendary affair that combines European flair with Latin flavor and Miami’s own unique style. There is live entertainment and a lavish buffet, including caviar, shellfish, smoked salmon, carved meats, fresh omelets, pastas, sushi, and a wall of spectacular desserts.

Scottsdale, AZ

Fred's at Barneys New York in Scottsdale offers a sophisticated Sunday brunch.

Fred's at Barneys New York Scottsdale

Where to Stay: Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

Modern luxury inspired by its stunning desert surroundings.

Where to Brunch: Fred’s at Barneys New York

Mom is sure to love Fred’s, which features a bright, open space with views of Old Town. Brunch is elegant and relaxing, featuring a Bourbon Street Brunch, bagels made from scratch, and live New Orleans jazz. The flavored iced tea and specialty cocktails are also delicious! A huge bonus of brunching at Fred’s is that it’s located in Barneys New York! After eating and sipping on mimosas, go to Barney’s for some Mother’s Day shopping.

Chicago, IL

Elate in Chicago serves a great Sunday brunch.

Elate Chicago Brunch

Where to Stay: Elysian Hotel

Where to Brunch: Elate

This rustic, modern, and casually sophisticated restaurant is adjacent to Hotel Felix, Chicago’s first LEED certified hotel. Brunch dishes at Elate include breakfast pizza, braised pork and egg tostada, and creme brulee pancakes. The special Mother’s Day prix fixe meal begins with a buffet of muffins, fruit, pastries and cheese. Guests can choose from 3 entrees, and finish with dessert. Don’t forget the bottomless mimosa for $20!