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.
Who would you take with you?
W Vieques, Puerto Rico
It just so happens that I am going—with my hubby for a romantic birthday trip.
W Vieques - Living Room
- W Vieques Bay
- 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.
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
2. Robinson Crusoe, Chile
It’s easy to understand why this island inspired the novel Robinson Crusoe
Robinson Crusoe Island
3. Gotska Sandon, Sweden
This island is covered in moss and pine trees
4. Skopelos, Greece
So perfect, they filmed Mama Mia! here…
5. Pico, Portugal
Great wine and footpaths through lava landscapes left by the volcano
6. Mabul, Malaysia
Exceptional diving and wildlife, comparable to the Galapagos Islands
7. Jicaro Island, Nicaragua
This 1 acre island is actually in the middle of Lake Nicaragua and has 1 resort, the Jicaro Island Ecolodge
8. Great Barrier Island, New Zealand
A great place for adventure seekers and the most untouched destination in New Zealand
Great Barrier Island
9. La Maddalena, Italy
Off the coast of Sardinia, has white sand beaches, secret coves and rare birds
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
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:
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
8. French 75
It’s just a little more intense than regular Champagne! Use Champagne, gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup.
A classic cocktail with a sugar rim, Cognac,, Cointreau, and lemon juice.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Cap-Est Lagoon Resort & Spa
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, 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.
Shangri-la Hotel 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Anantara, Kihavah, 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!
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 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
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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!