HIGH ON HOTELS:Canaves Oia

Hey, so first up today is Happy Anniversary to us!!! And we couldn’t have thought of a better post than this one to celebrate the occasion…A place with which we are head over heels in love without even visiting it in person is Santorini, Greece… For it houses such gorgeous and jaw-dropping properties that our love for it only increases by the day.

So, today in our High on Hotels series we throw some light on Canaves Oia. The property strongly believes in turning moments into fond memories for all their guests! And talking about guests, it has been the preferred choice for celebrities like Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Gerrard Butler, Angelina Jolie, Chiara Ferragni, Lucy Mecklenburgh, Laila Monteiro, Tata Werneck and Layla Monteiro.

We have learnt that Canaves Oia Luxury Resorts and Villas is located on the southern tip of Oia in Santorini, comprising of four properties: Canaves Oia Hotel, Canaves Oia Suites, Canaves Oia Villa and Canaves Oia Sunday Suites. Each property delivers a boutique, luxury and private experience to all guests.

The Canaves Oia brand began with the launch of the hotel, which led to the property’s “boutique” concept. 18 uniquely designed suites are complemented by uninterrupted caldera views and a pristine pool with hanging chandelier, among other assets.

With the success of Canaves Oia Hotel, Canaves Oia Suites soon followed. Featuring a similar concept to the hotel with an extra touch of sophistication, each of the 29 suites includes either a plunge or infinity pool and an unrivaled level of comfort and service.

Canaves Oia Villa is right next door. This impressive property follows the minimalist style of its neighbours with whitewashed walls and splashes of colourful art. It features three en-suite king-sized bedrooms, spacious living areas, a fully equipped kitchen, private dining experiences and easy access to Canaves Oia Suites’ holistic spa.

Canaves Oia Sunday Suites launched in 2017 with an alternative luxe style. White sculpted donkeys line the outdoor infinity pool while a nautical décor adds elegance to each of the eight independently designed suites.Here, a new level of privacy is provided to guests during their Canaves Oia experience.

Wow, are already dreaming holidaying here with our loved ones 🙂  And this time we shall talk less and let the place absolutely overwhelm you!

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Binging time at Canaves Oia Hotel

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Grand Suite at Canaves Oia Hotel

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Honeymoon Suite at Canaves Oia Hotel

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Stunning capture of Canaves Oia Hotel

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Dining time at Canaves Oia Suites

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A beautiful capture of Canaves Oia Suites

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How about some pool time at Canaves Oia Suites?

Spa with a stunning view at Canaves Oia Suites

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Canaves Oia Villa

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Meal time at Canaves Oia Sunday Suites

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A capture of Canaves Oia Sunday Suites

Few other important details to note about the properties is that you could reach here from the airport either in a private transfer or shuttle transfer. Also, reference the connectivity with public transport, these are situated about 50 meters away from the bus station. And, their last order on room service is 10.45 pm!

Finally, closing with a quote of Kylie Bax with which we can surely agree, “Greece is the most magical place on Earth.”

Pictures Courtesy: Canaves Oia

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HIGH ON HOTELS: 137 Pillars House,Chiang Mai

Well, for all those who have been waiting for the latest post in our “High on Hotels” section- the wait is over!!! And we are certain that you would be quite pleased with what is coming your way… Thailand is a favourite with many of us, and this time around we have explored a beauty in Chiang Mai called 137 Pillars House. Towards, the close of this post- we are certain that you would agree that it is a beauty with a difference! Here is all that we found out…

Q: Why a stay here would prove to be the most memorable one?
A: In addition to the naturally gracious Thai hospitality, exquisite cuisine and sensational spa treatments, the boutique experience at 137 Pillars House is unique due to its rich colonial history as it is built around an original teak homestead that dates back to the late 1800’s which has been lovingly restored.  It evokes an experience that goes back to a bygone era which is still evident throughout the house.  As the winner of the coveted Travel + Leisure’s Best Resort in Asia Award which is voted by the readers, this perhaps is a testimony to its memorability; together with its high year round occupancy and a high percentage of return guests.

137 Pillars House Chiangmai , Thailand 17-1-12

Q: What all facilities would you find in the room?
A: 137 Pillars House has 30 suites all of which are white, contrasting with the rich wooden teak homestead and furnished with rich Jim Thompson silks and fabrics in a deep green, a vibrant red or a dark teal.  Suites have high polished wooden floors, black and white mosaic tiles in the bathroom, a deep soak standalone claw footed bathtub, outdoor showers, large verandahs complete with the signature 137 rocking chair and exquisite furnishings throughout, with stunning orchids and bespoke amenities. Modern comforts and a contemporary interpretation of colonial design that marries the old and new.

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137 Pillars House Chiangmai, Thailand 18-1-12

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Q: Elaborate on the facilities in the hotel for in-house guests?
A: The hotel houses the Jack Bain Bar, Wine Cellar and Dining Room among others.  Recreation facilities include the Spa, Gymnasium and Swimming Pool.  The hotel’s cooking classes are very popular and guests find it hard to stop at just one spa treatment! Although an intimate footprint guests can immerse themselves in the resort with in-suite dining, multiple dining areas and cuisine options, spa, wellness programs and classes.

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137 Pillars House Chiangmai, Thailand 19-1-12

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Q: A must try restaurant in the hotel and why?
A: The hotel has two restaurants and they both offer different experiences, one with Thai food which is hugely popular worldwide and which most guests want to experience and keep coming back for more (as well as doing the cooking class so they can recreate their favorite dishes when they get home for their family and friends).  Palette – a intimate dining experience for up to 20 people, also exhibits local artworks and offers exquisite western food options and daily specials, using organic ingredients.

137 Pillars House, Chiangmai, Thailand 20-10-12

Q: Please throw some light on the USP of the hotel?
A: Rich Colonial History, gracious Thai hospitality, bespoke experiences such as- delicious cuisine, the spa –actually hard to name just one.  Also, a great location in an historic area of Chiang Mai and within literally 5 minutes walking distance of upmarket boutiques, galleries and restaurants along the river. Personalized guest experience with all guests assigned a butler who remains in touch with guests both on property and off property. Thoughtfully designed, spacious suites and balconies offering guests a “private residence feeling” instead of a guest room. It is an Oasis in the city or even, a Sanctuary in the city.

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Q: Could you share a little about the connectivity of the hotel?
A: Guests who stay in a hotel of this caliber prefer to use the hotel transportation, but the hotel is easily accessible by those who want to use the local tuk tuks and other local transport options.

Q: Further to the earlier question, what is the easiest way to get to the hotel from the airport?
A: By hotel limousine which even has free wifi and is a seamless, relaxing and elegant way of getting in and out.

 Q: For all the prospective guests and shopping lovers, please tell us about the closest shopping hub to the hotel?
A: Literally around the corner from the hotel is a renowned artisan store -Villa Cini showcasing the best of Thai silk products, ceramics and weaving (bespoke handbags, lifestyle items) then, vintage and traditional Thai sarongs at  Fai Sor Kam and Sop Moei Arts for handicraft items. The street offers wonderful colonial era architecture.

Q: Lastly, if one got back at 2 am to the hotel, what is it that one would get to eat?
A:
Currently the kitchen closes at 11.30pm and re-opens at 5.30am as there has been no demand in the last 4 years of operation – but this is also under review to consider some menu options to be made available at such hours.

Pictures Courtesy: 137 Pillars House

 

HIGH ON HOTELS: KC Resort & Over Water Villas

Hey! So for those who were waiting to know all about yet another exotic destination, the wait is finally over. This time around we are sharing all that we have unravelled about this gorgeous property situated in a paradise called Koh Samui- KC Resort & Over Water Villas. Knowing about this place has only pepped up our love for Thailand. When you shall read this post, you shall know exactly what we are talking about…

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Q: Why a stay here would prove to be the most memorable one?
A: Feel on top of the world from the exclusive paradise retreat KC Resort & Over Water Villas as you admire the views of Chaweng Bay, the stunning sapphire Gulf of Thailand and tropical Matlang Island. The luxury hillside hotel is a romantic hideaway nestled amongst lush nature with exotic accommodation, a sublime infinity-edge pool and elegant dining venues in the sky.

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Over Water Villa Outdoor View (1)

Q: What all facilities would you find in the room?
A: Each room has king size bed and sofa, large bathroom with Jacuzzi bath and rain shower. The rooms are equipped with in-room technology such as 42” LCD satellite and cable TV. Each room also disposes of air condition, in-room safe, minibar, complimentary tea and coffee facilities, bathrobes, hairdryer and complimentary wi-fi.

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Deluxe Jacuzzi Suite (3)

Q: Elaborate on the facilities in the hotel for in-house guests?
A:
In our resort you can experience infinity swimming pool, fitness center, the View restaurant, Wine lounge, Panorama bar, Mayang Sari spa, Sauna and Steam room.

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Fitness Center
Outdoor Thai Massage Salas

Q: A must try restaurant in the hotel and why?
A: The View restaurant offers a relaxing retreat for those who seek a definitely different dining destination. With a fresh new concept, and an innovative team of chefs, you can experience home-crafted cuisine like no other, taking simple food to another level. In keeping with the spirit of home-crafted cuisine, much of our produce is locally sourced and a selection of cured meats and breads are crafted in-house for use in the restaurant. Tasty flights are also on hand with a selection of three progressive wines, aptly paired with tasting bites.

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Q: Please throw some light on the USP of the hotel?
A:
KC Resort is situated on Koh Samui’s most exciting beach, the resort offers tranquility and unforgettable scenery just minutes away from soft white sands and the lively Chaweng Centre, a hotspot for shopping, dining and dancing.
The divine accommodation includes our signature range of over water villas designed with relaxation and indulgence in mind. Offering a total of 95 rooms, suites and villas all guests are pampered with a full range of modern in-room amenities.

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Q: Could you share a little about the connectivity of the hotel?
A:
On Koh Samui Island, there is no public transport but only taxi. We provide daily shuttle service to the Chaweng beach, which is located in the center of Koh Samui. Shuttle service operates 4 times per day and it’s free of charge for all in-house guests.

 Q: Further to the earlier question, what is the easiest way to get to the hotel from the airport?
A: The easiest way to get to KC Resort is to book airport transfer provided by hotel or take outside taxi. We are located only 10 minutes away from the Koh Samui airport.

 Q: For all the prospective guests and shopping lovers, please tell us about the closest shopping hub to the hotel?
A: The closest shopping mall “Central Festival Samui” is situated in the heart of Chaweng and its only 10 minutes from our resort. This mall describes itself as “the most complete and largest lifestyle shopping complex in Samui”.

Q: Lastly, if one got back at 2 am to the hotel, what is it that one would get to eat?
A: Our resort take last order at 22:30, however around us you can find many restaurants and small shops which you can reach within walking distance.

It looks like a true beauty with incredible offerings to make the overall experience a memorable one, what say?

Pictures Courtesy: KC Resort & Over Water Villas, Koh Samui

High on Hotels:Alila Villas Uluwatu

Hey Everyone!!! The enthusiasm and excitement for the new series is rather overwhelming as we are learning about such fabulous properties one after another which are actually tempting us to book our next holiday each time around!

The latest one too is not going to disappoint you even a bit. Think of a spectacular hotel in a gorgeous destination and the answer in the right order would be Alila Villas Uluwatu in Bali. What’s more is that this place has welcomed a number of high profile international celebrities as well.

You have to truly absorb what follows and we are quite sure that this post is going to leave you feeling like you just experienced heaven on Earth.  Let’s get started and share with you all that we found out from the hotel representatives.
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Q: Why a stay here would prove to be the most memorable one?
A: Alila Villas Uluwatu and the Alila Hotels Group live by our motto “Surprisingly Different”. All aspects of our operations are designed to be tailored to specific and individual guest needs and desires. It all starts off with our “Personal Preference Menu” that is sent to guests once they have made their booking. This allows them to personalize their stay prior to their arrival so it is all ready for them upon check-in. In this “Personal Preference Menu”, guests can personalize aspects ranging from pillow size, dietary preferences, room facilities to experiences they would like our Leisure Concierge to take them on. Speaking of experiences, Alila Villas Uluwatu believes the local culture plays a huge part in delivering a complete destination experience and therefore has created “Journeys by Alila”. These journeys are designed to take guests on an authentic experience through various cultural and environmental aspects of Southern Bali and we strive to keep these as original and “off the beaten track” as possible, so guests can enjoy something unique during their stay. In addition to these, we also organize special events at the resort ranging from Spa experiences to romantic dinners as well as regular complimentary yoga classes.
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Q: What all facilities would you find in the room?
A: Here is the list of all that is available:
– Private pool
– Outdoor dining
– Private cabana
– Host (Butler) service
– 24 hours room service
– Complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access throughout the resort
– Gourmet bar
– In-room safe
– Espresso coffee and tea-making facilities with range of luxury whole leaf TWG teas
– Oversized LED TV in every room
– Docking station with iPod
– Double His and Her vanity with complete range of bath amenities
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Q: Elaborate on the facilities in the hotel for in-house guests?
A: Alila Villas Uluwatu has two restaurants; The Warung, which provides authentic Indonesian cuisine and The CIRE, which provides International cuisine. All villas have private pools and we also have an infinity pool shared by all guests situated on the edge of a cliff with views over the Indian Ocean. In addition to this, we have a Yoga pavilion, fitness centre, spa, library, 24-hour clinic and complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the resort.
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CIRE - Wine Room

Q: A must try restaurant in the hotel and why?
A: The Warung is our must try restaurant as it provides a true taste of Indonesia for anyone looking to discover the destination’s culinary side. The restaurant serves organic and wholesome Indonesian cuisine in a setting that promotes communal sharing and provides fantastic views over our famous “Sunset Cabana” and the Indian Ocean beyond that.

Q: Please throw some light on the USP of the hotel?
A: Apart from all the points shared above, Alila Villas Uluwatu is unique in the sense that it is the first resort in Indonesia to have been built and operated at the highest level of certification by EarthCheck standards. This is because we utilize many ESD measures including local materials, water conservation with soaks and rain gardens and a waste water management system, using local plants from the special Bali savannah ecosystem, the deliberate use of sustainable/recycled materials, protection of the natural environment, and measured work practices throughout construction. In addition to this, Alila Villas Uluwatu’s attention to detail, our world famous “Sunset Cabana” and our distinct architecture makes the resort a unique experience in Bali and beyond.

Q: Could you share a little about the connectivity of the hotel?
A: Alila Villas Uluwatu provides luxurious transport for our guests that includes light refreshments, Alila hospitalities, in-car Wi-Fi and possibility of ordering from our food menu during the ride and have the meal ready upon arrival. The resort is located just 30 minutes away from the International Airport and airport pickup can be arranged by Alila. Bali is not famous for its public transport and for good reason, people usually drive or take taxis on the island as there are no trains and just one bus line.

We are truly falling short of words to define this beauty by the name of Alila Villas Uluwatu!

Pictures Courtesy: Alila Villas Uluwatu

 

It’s all about…Travel!

Let’s confess it straight up, we are damn excited about this blog post as today, we both will share about something that always gets us kicked… Yes, it is all about our travel-an exercise that surely gives us a high. Let us be humble enough to admit that we explore our own areas of residence with as much excitement and that is why you would find their mention here as well. Without any further delay, we share with you few of our memories which are rather special to us…

Q. One place which I toured recently and want to go back to in no time…
Shagun-Tuscany because it has green hills, brown paddy fields, mid-century small towns, over fried pizzas, Chianti wine and amazing gelato.
Sonali- Japan as I loved just everything about it.

Q. One Airport which left me amazed in the near past…
Shagun- Mmmm all the airports amaze me with their lack of simple good food. I love Delhi airport so much in that sense!
Sonali- Honestly, until recently I had not seen the Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai and have to admit it is really impressive. Some of its sections are truly splendid.

Q. Things I usually shop before I leave a place?
Shagun-
Definitely travel toiletries and travel sickness pills.
Sonali- I love checking out the Duty-free shops and as a habit, I have to pick up magnets as souvenirs. The magnets on my refrigerator have mostly been picked up from various airports I have been to recently.

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Q. We love our Wine and Italian Food…my recent favourite experience…
Shagun-
In a small town in Sardinia called Oresei, there is a Pizzeria called Villa Fumosa. They have the best Ravioli and the best pizzas in the world- try Marianara!

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Sonali-
My bestie sure knows my answer. The best Ravioli I have had is at this Italian place in New Delhi called 28 Capri Italy and the icing on cake being that they serve some good wines as well. And not to miss the amazing Risotto I recently had at the Coffee shop in Park Hyatt,Chennai.

Q.The yummiest meal of recent times…
Shagun-
Ah that one is so difficult… But like I said earlier I loved Pizza Marinara in Orosei.
Sonali- I am big on Spaghetti and I still remember the yummiest one I had was at JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, Dubai and believe it or not but it was an in-room dining experience.
I also really enjoyed the South East Asian food at The Spice Route at The Imperial Hotel in New Delhi.

Q.The most interesting cafe/restaurant I have been to…
Shagun-
The Artist was pretty interesting in Bucharest, Romania. The food, the presentation and the staff are all brilliant and for much lesser price than what you would pay in any other European city.
Sonali- Indian Accent in New Delhi…

Q.The hotel I loved the most?
Shagun- 
Ritz Carlton, Berlin only because I stayed at the Presidential Suit and it’s amazing. The sound system was enough to impress me. Also, the Curtain Bar makes some of the best cocktails.

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Sonali-
Cinnamon Bey, Bentota for two major reasons- their buffet spread was outstanding and love it when you get done with sitting by the pool, you have the option of walking by the beach in no time.
And one hotel which I really love is Amari Orchid in Pattaya.

Q. A good budget hotel that I would recommend…
Shagun- Villa Gemella in Baja Sardinia. It’s amazing and the staff is so helpful and sweet that you could hug them and kiss their cheeks.
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Sonali-
Queenswood Cottage in Nuwara Eliya, it is cozy and clean.

Queens Cottage


Q.The most romantic place I have lately been to?
Shagun-
Again Tuscany because all we could hear was buzzing of bees, all we could see were vineyards and flower beds, there was sun and wine. It’s perfect for romancing.
Sonali- Can I share three please? Hahaha… Well I actually want to because all three places quite well sum-up the my-kind-of-place concept. So in no particular order, one of them has to be Joe’s Downstairs in Phuket, I think I went there on my last night of the trip and I am glad I did for the view and food were amazing!

Joe's Downstairs
I absolutely love Sirocco in Bangkok, the ambience is so overwhelming. Surprisingly, the third place too is in Thailand but in Pattaya and it is the Hilton Hotel, sipping a tasteful drink in its open area is truly divine.

Q.The most adventurous thing I just loved doing?
Shagun-
I can’t say adventurous but definitely a lot of fun was doing a small excursion in the Mediterranean Sea and seeing some of the most beautiful untouched beaches and coves.

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Sonali-
Lately, have tried some rather fun stuff whether it was snorkeling or tubing- I really loved it.

Q. The spa I loved the most recently?
Shagun-
Spas are the best in Asia and the last I really enjoyed was Alaya in New Delhi, in Europe I don’t really go to spas.
Sonali- One of my best spa experiences to date has been at The Oasis Spa in Bangkok.

oasis                                             Picture Courtesy: The Oasis Spa

Q. That one buy from my travel which is dear to me?
Shagun- I indulge in exotic perfumes while travelling and I bought a Lorenzo Villoresi fragrance recently from Florence. I really treasure that.

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Sonali-
One of the hottest pair of heels I picked up were from a night market in Pattaya, though inexpensive but they were so chic. Sadly, had to part ways with them sometime back…

Q. The most impressive car journey of recent times…
Shagun-
  The road journey through Mount Teidein Tenerife, Spain was really fascinating because the landscape is completely different and something that one has to experience.
Sonali- The drive around Nuwara Eliya is rather fascinating as you are exposed to one tea garden after another.

Q. A quick guide on three cool places:
Shagun-
Paris: Go beyond the luxury spark of Champs-Élysées and explore the district of Montmartre but if you spend time at the former then don’t miss Guerlain. I love their classic fragrances. Another secret is Nicolai who also descends from the Guerlain family. She has her stores at few places in Paris and offers really exotic and unadulterated fragrances. Spend time in public parks because that’s the best thing about this city. Just sit and watch the Parisian life, read a book and sip wine or do just about nothing; the symmetrical green beauty will definitely calm you. Besides, don’t go to Louvre because you must. It is huge and there is no way you can see everything in one visit. So, plan your Museum visit well and go to the galleries that you really want to see.

Amsterdam: Don’t miss apple crumble with cream at Winkel Café. It’s the best for sure! Amsterdam has some really cool vintage fashion shops if you are into that kind of stuff. I also really like the fact that you can just walk through the city along the river and through the small pretty streets. Absolutely can’t miss the typical Dutch French Fries with Mayo.

Berlin: It is extremely laid-back and that’s the beauty of it. The more rugged you dress, the more accepted you will feel. Dressy with too much make-up is a big no. I love the fact that I can walk in any restaurant and bar wearing whatever the hell I want from ripped jeans to a high slit dress. Confidence in oneself is the key to cool here. My favourite coffee places are Father Carpenter, Concierge and Bonanza.

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Berlin has some amazing shopping boutiques all though Mitte and lot and lots of vintage shops. I would definitely suggest a trip to Lunettes for some nice vintage glasses and to much more expensive Mykita for their metal optical glasses or sun reflectors. If you are here in summers then go a little on the outskirts of the city and you will hit some really scenic lakes surrounded by woods. It’s amazing to take a dip while the sun is shining or just lay next to your picnic basket. Lastly, this is something I suggest everyone- go to Das Hotel Bar in Kreuzberg for the best vibe and Moscow Mule.

Sonali-
Japan:  There are ample places to get good food so don’t worry so much. I got everything with ease whether it was Italian or Indian food and obviously I did try the local cuisine as well. Do indulge in some desserts for sure since you’ll see such variety; make sure you binge big on them! In case you have not heard of this before, then sharing for your benefit- take the train instead of the taxi as much as possible for it is relatively inexpensive.

Sri Lanka: I absolutely loved Nuwara Eliya and Bentota. Make sure you experience going to a tea factory in Nuwara Eliya and remember to take tea for your loved ones back home. The super markets have a great variety of tea brands on offer. There is a small Strawberry Farm which we visited which had strawberry as a major ingredient in each of its dishes.

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Also, you have to visit The Grand Hotel, not just for the fact that it is steeped in history but you will feel so welcomed that you actually wouldn’t want to leave.  Each meal here was worthwhile. And for the beach lovers like me, Bentota would be fun. Try water sports, indulge in massages and do a lot of nothing just sitting by the beach.  Booking a cab for the entire stay turned out to be a wise decision for us.

Jaipur, India: I had to share this in some blog post or the other as I am amazed with the good food the place offers and it is not just their local cuisine but other cuisines as well. Here are few places I have eaten at lately and all of them were outstanding-  Handi has lip-smacking tandoori and Mughlai food,  Dragon House at Country Inn & Suites for amazing Chinese food and The Forresta Kitchen & Bar offers great ambience and good food.

Q.Travel tips…
Shagun- Never eat in touristy areas. Don’t be an ignorant traveler. Do your research well and be on top of things. I always read up a bit and make notes that I carry along. If there are some really nice restaurants that I want to visit then I make reservations in advance. I would also suggest spending in some good walking shoes as one ends up being on foot a lot of times and uncomfortable shoes can really kill the fun. If you are travelling in Europe then no matter what the weather be, always keep a jacket along.

Sonali- I quite agree with Shagun, I too as a habit always read up on a place before my visit. It is best to keep a stole or a jacket for the flight to ensure you are comfortable with the cool temperature.  Keep a sling bag for sure so that you are not moving around with your big-branded bag all day long. Also, not to miss wet wipes, mints and gloss- you must have easy access to them throughout. Something which helped me a great deal during a recent holiday, I kept my hand carry light so even though I had a connecting flight, it really helped control the fatigue.

So, hope you enjoyed this post as much as we did putting it together for you… And make sure you always make some time to TRAVEL for you only live once 😉

What Not To Do In Paris

Bonjour Monsieur, Bonjour Madame!

Going to Paris? Predictably you have planned gliding to the top of Eiffel tower, walking through Champs Elysée and shopping at Gallerias Lafayette, besides other expected things on anyone`s itinerary. But I assure you that my this post will  save a lot of your precious time and help you view Paris from a different perspective; one that is much Parisian.

  1. Don`t queue up for the lifts at Eiffel Tower- The tower as you might know has three levels and the lifts go up-till the second level first, which also means that the special skip-the-line tickets get you till here. From the second level, you have to again stand in a long queue to get to the top. You must also make sure that you have the right tickets for going to the top floor or a reservation at the restaurant there. I went till the second level and decided against going to the top level simply because I lacked patience of again waiting in a tiring queue. But, it definitely will be worth going to the top floor in the evening to enjoy wine and dinner at the restaurant there. However, this one does call for a personal experience and stance, so I would not strongly push you against it. All I will suggest is taking the stairs instead of the lifts and booking skip-the-line tickets in advance, which will ensure a quicker entry.
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  1. Don`t shop the obvious from the obvious- Paris is a great place for fashion goods and there is no denying that but don`t get trapped into international luxury labels alone. Visit Gallerias Lafayette for the number of choices it offers and also the beautiful building that houses it but do not waste more than an hour here. I was actually really turned off seeing long queues of tourists outside many big stores. What`s luxurious about lining up to shop anyway? Too tacky for my taste! Then comes the famous Champs Elysée, which houses the biggest flagship store of Louis Vuitton and many labels to die for and then comes St. Germain district that not only has insane number of stores but also Cafe de Fleur, where you might run into Kate Moss and Mario Testino if it is fashion week time. However, I will still suggest you to not shop at the above mentioned and rather explore on your own much more Paris specific brands and boutiques. Walk your way through small little streets of le Marais, Bastille and Belleville districts and you will find boutiques that can surprise you with unique choices. Like, I discovered Mademoiselle Chapeaux. This place makes beautiful customised hats. You can buy ready-to-wear or book an appointment in advance to get one made just for you. Only a lady knows the value of a well fitted hat. Isn’t it? These things you can only discover by your own-self. Dare to enter shops that please you and not just brands that you know of. The chic in you deserve more than Champs Elysée, etc. And don`t forget to buy a French perfume 🙂DSC_0088
  1. Don`t waste money in expensive bars and restaurants- There is no restaurant I like in Paris more than the Parisian gardens. The symmetry and the style that outlines every inch of the gardens is impeccable. It is one of the rare cities, where I wanted to grab a bottle of wine and sit in a garden than seat myself in a fancy Michelin star one. You must definitely go to nearby Versailles, no matter how less or more time that you have. Within Paris, you should spend some time in Jardin du Luxembourg. There are many beautiful gardens that you can go to but these two are my top recommendations, besides any quite and peaceful garden that you might find conveniently when your body begs rest. It is actually a great way to discover the real Parisian life. You can even grab a book if you like or just see young and old Parisians play Boules, the typical French garden game.DSC_0273
  2. Don`t treat the Louvre as a must see SPOT- Neither the Louvre and nor the Mona Lisa that it houses are must see spots. The Louvre is a MUSEUM where you must go expecting to see art and history you grew up reading about in books. This place requires few days to be seen and not hours. If you truly are an art enthusiast then grab a book ahead of your trip and understand the different types of art it has. Maybe you can, depending on your time plan on seeing only certain parts of the museum or some specific gallery. Honestly, you will not be crucified for not seeing this place on your trip to Paris. You must visit it only if you are sincerely interested.
  3. Don`t neglect Montmartre- Probably, it is Moulin Rouge that you will want to limit yourself to because of the famous Nicole Kidman starrer movie by the same name. But trust me it is more you want to see. Go uphill the Montmartre district till the Basilica of Sacre-Couer, the big white church at the top of the hill. This village like district stands many must see places like the Moulin de la Galette (originally, a windmill and later turned cabaret where Van Gogh used to pay visits), Au Lapin Agile (20th century cabaret that used to be frequented by Picasso, Maurice Utrillo, and Toulouse-Lautrec), Bateau Lavoire (youth hostel where Picasso and many important poets and artists lived), Place du Tertre (artists square),La Maison Rose (the building of this restaurant features in one of Maurice Utrillos famous paintings), besides a lot more. And yes for all those Amelie lovers like me, you must not miss Les Deux Moulins, the restaurant where Amelie used to work in the movie. Now don`t tell me you are not tempted to see this district full of artsy surprises.DSC_0305

P.S: For some beautiful pictures from the fashion capital click here. 

Much Love,

Shagun

Well Travelled Tenerife

Summers by definition (our definition atleast) mean a beach holiday. Bikinis, tankinis, summer hats, sunscreens, flip-flops, pina-coladas and more become the key essentials. My recent trip to Tenerife, Spain was all about these and here I am sharing a tiny part of my Travel Diary with you guys. To tell you a little about it, Tenerife is the largest of the seven Canary Islands. Being a volcanic island, it is not exactly green but a beautiful blend of high peaks, clear waters, barren roads and lot of adventure. On the one hand there are famous beaches such as Playa de La Vistas, Los Cristianos and Playa de Las Americas that will make you feel like a small part of a big tourist crowd and on the other hand there are those like Playa de La Teresitas that don´t just beautifully beam with their golden sand but also give you enough sense of peace and alone time. Saying that, this island will give you enough space to meditate and party your head down when you like.

Tenerife is not that big and is well connected by a highway. We had hired a cute little Audi for 9 days (its actually cheap) and encircled the island in just a few hours. Since, our experience was good, I can actually suggest hiring from Gold Car. Its a beautiful experience to drive on a smooth highway running through small mountains and right next to the sea.

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Starting with my favourite beach of all, Del Duque is for people who constantly seek all things chic. Being located in the buzzing Costa Adeje, this beach was in fact a short walk away from our hotel, H10 Costa Adeje. The sand is a beautiful mix of white and grey and the water is all blue (I know that is a little obvious). However, this beach is a a little rocky and not the best place for swimmers. But girls have something more to look forward to. Check out below the images of this shopping center, `Centro Commercial El Mirador´ lining the beach. It is super stylish with tiny cosy cafes and shops selling everything luxurious.

That also reminds me that you can´t hit a chic beach without a fit body. Well, I myself  love Gymondo for being the new age way to fitness. Whenever, I find time during the day, I switch on my laptop and start training with this online fitness studio. I specially love their beach body workouts. At the moment the videos are only in German but exercises ask for no language. 😉 Subscribe for the trial period and see how you like it and do share the feedback.

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And when you be done with water, sand and sun, then take a drive down to a pretty little town, La Oratova in North Tenerife. Here you can spend a day walking through old lanes featuring the typical ancient Spanish wooden doors and balconies. When tired, rest by at some cafe and drink local wine for prices so cheap that you will be surprised. I am sharing below lots of pictures from this small pretty town simply because small towns and countryside fascinates me like nothing else.

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Every other door got my attention with its exquisite carvings.

 

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And the lanes in which you can just get lost and not care about the world…

 

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There is something very royal about Spanish wooden architecture.

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Tenerife is also a proud owner of Parque Nacional Del Teide (Del Teide National Park). It is one of the the most visited heritage sites of the world. To excite you a little bit, this place is extremely similar to Mars in terms of geographical conditions and serves as a testing site for robots. This place is a must see for it makes you feel like in a different world that of rocks and lava. And just BTW films like ‘Planet of the Apes’ and ‘Star Wars’ were also shot here. The way to Teida is an experience in itself that you should not miss and you can easily drive to the highest permissible point from where you can take a rope-way and get further up to the peak.

TIP- Book your tickets beforehand for the rope-way. Also, if you want to trek up till the crater then you have to make prior reservation on their official website. Lastly, do carry a warm jacket with yourself as the temperature keeps falling as you go higher.

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Way  to the Teida is extremely beautiful and one that you will always remember.

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Mount Del Teida

On our way back, we stopped by at this beautiful and quiet beach, El Medano. It´s a black sand beach but great if you don’t want to see lot of people and get some alone time. However, know that there is a section of the beach that is exclusively for naturists.

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Another of my favourite things from this place was whale and dolphin watching. Seeing them in the most natural surroundings is way more chic and fun than seeing them dance in a zoo. I am sharing this picture below to give a fair impression of how close you can see them from. I could hear the whales breath. Yea, that close!

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And now getting to my favourite part- `fashion´, here are my beach essentials for 2014. You can click on any photo to view enlarged gallery (and also read captions).

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xoxo