Category Archives: Honeymoons

Day 3 – Portofino-Cinque Terre

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Day 3 we had decided to eat breakfast at the hotel ( delicious ) and head to Cinque Terre. We took the train from Santa Margarita to the furthest village Monterosso. There is an unlimited train ride option which we purchased. Monterosso is beautiful but due to the tourist influx, become a tourist town. 

  
         It was gorgeous. 

     Edit  Edit  Edit  EditWe thought we could take  the ferry from Monterosso to Manarolo but at lunch time the ferry wasn’t working so we took the train to Vernazza. We ate lunch here and then decided we were going to do the hike back to Montirosso. (1:45 m).

The hike was not super easy. This was my first real hike and it wa a super fun but stressful in places where there was nothing to hold on to !

Made it back with my recovering achilles  tendon , so all good there.  

  

  

  

   

  

  

  

  

  

A drink after this crazy hike followed by a train ride back to Portofino  and another dinner at Puny. ( yes – again!). 

Off to Tuscany next. 

Day 2- Portofino, Italy 

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We were well rested this morning , having slept 12 hours !! The bedroom was so dark and we had no screaming kids ! 

We got ready and walked down to the town on Portofino. The Belmond has 2 properties here. One high up on a hill ( where we were staying ) and one right on the water ( Belmond Splendio Mare). The hotel has a shuttle service back and forth every 20 mins as well. 

   

Walking this path led to the habor. For a fishing town , it has some very beautiful high end designer stores. 

I love buying fruits as they taste so different and natural. 

  
Morning espresso. A Double. 

  

Pictures below of the harbor. 

   
     
Lunch was at a restaurant called o Magazin. Delicious fresh pasta and seafood. 

   
 

Portofino is around 1:20 mins drom Thr UNESCO world heritage site of Cinque Terra. More on that day 3. 

We ate dinner at a restaurant called PUNY. Super food. They take themselves quite seriously and if they don’t think you should , they will advise against cheese in their food lol. 

The speciality if this area is pappardelle pasta , made with pesto and tomato sauce. 

Steven our waiter shared that Denzel Washington is a big fan and has come back at 1 am ( after an earlier meal) to prepare this with the chef. 

In any case ,  the pasta and the fish we ate were so delicious we decided to come back the next night. 

Dessert was gelato ! 

10 year wedding anniversary celebrations- NYC

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Hello all,
Last post of 2012!
It was our 10 year wedding anniversary on the 28 th. Since we just had our 2 nd baby 6 weeks ago , a vacation was not possible.
I decided to plan a ” Stay-cation” , a term my friend D introduced me to!
With my mom in law here to watch the kids , we managed a 3 pm check in.
Now, being peak season at MO , I was expecting a standard room , as that’s what I paid for. But in this business , it’s REALLY about who you know! Thank you S.D. Rooms, service were all top notch. It was very festive and their NEw Year Eve Gala is very popular.

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Room 4730. Park and water views. It was gorgeous. A super home, away from home!!

We popped a 10 y bottle of Bollinger champagne , also a decade old. It was yummy !!
We had a drink at the bar, before heading to Marea.

Now, we have been to Marea before , hubby more times than me. Their bone marrow pasta is just divine.

The meal was good. We ordered the 6 course tasting. Found the service snobby and the sommelier wasn’t friendly per say. Still waiting for the tasting list he’s to send us.
It’s a great place if you are into seafood.
Here are pics from the dinner.

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We had a great evening – but comparing the service at Atera vs. Marea, I just wasn’t impressed.

Overall , I would say to try it for sure!

Brooklyn Fare in Feb, and I just can’t wait for that meal. Pics when we go there.

Here’s to many many more decades with the man who gets me and makes me so happy. ( Granted , gets me annoyed too!- I love you. ).

Day 5: La Samana

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Day 4: was started off by us rushing for breakfast. One of the joys of vacation is not putting an alarm , though sleepy heads like us can really sleep 10 hours straight!
We made it ( barely) and then I went for a site inspection.
The villas here surpass any villa hotel properties that I have seen. Not only are they immaculate , but the super high ceilings just lends a very airy and spacious feeling to the 3 and 4 bedroom.
They all come with your own butler as well.

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The villas all have huge terraces and balconies. No direct beach access though. All rooms and bathrooms were equal in size too.

The other room that I liked was the one bedroom terrace suite. I saw the one that Donatella Versace stayed at.
I love the layout of this room.
It was a terrace outside the room , a sunken step down living room to the right and bathroom and bedroom to the left.

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We then went to Marigold to walk around and we ate lunch at a little shack by the beach. We ate “Lolo” which is bar-b-que. it was delicious.

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OE hotel is going to do a huge renovation of the lobby and restaurant starting August 1 st and from the sounds of it, it will be neat and also ready in 2 months !

Villas in off season cost $2000/ nt which is a bargain if you get a few friends to join you.
So let’s talk about your next vacation. 🙂

Day 4 St. Barth and check in at La Samana

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We woke up late as we watched “Safe House”. The hotel had a nice selection of movies on demand.
Breakfast was at Indigo. It was nice. After breakfast we lounged at our pool , then went for a couples spa treatment at the Clarins Spa.
The massages were good , though the few annoying things were that
A. The room was so brightly lit it was a little weird for the massage.
B. the outdoor shower in the private massage room didn’t have shampoo or anything so you had to use the communal ones.
C. Face wash, face cream were all missing. It was really not up to par with a 5 star hotel spa in terms of amenities.
D. In a hotel there are always snacks at a spa , lemon/ cucumber water etc. all that was missing.
E. the dressing room consisted of 2 sinks , 1 changing room and 1 toilet.
This was disappointing , for the money they charge they need to be more tuned in to what’s needed.
We had fun though and we then made our way to the airport.

We grabbed lunch at Maya’s to go. A great cute place for salads and sandwiches.

We got to st. Marteen by 4 pm and rented our car. It’s so different than St. Barth that you can’t even compare. This island has casinos and it’s very big in feeling.

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Checked into La Samana and ate dinner downtown at Bamboo – average food. Great ambience.
Our room at the hotel is a renovated 1 bedroom suite. Beautiful water 🙂

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Hotel Guanahani Check in, hello Toiny for site inspection: day 3

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So, we had breakfast at Isle de France ( it was continental not American ). We then relaxed on the beach and then packed up and headed to our next destination .
The hotel Guanahani (http://www.leguanahani.com/ ) was opened in 1986 and since it sits on the reserve the waters are very calm and ideal for snorkeling and wind surfing.
We are staying the serenity suite room #1. It’s a 2 bedroom suite with a private pool and a view of the ocean. It has2 bathrooms , a steam room , 2 showers , a jacuzzi , kitchenette and it’s split level. Heavenly. So perfect for friends or families traveling together.
I don’t know why more people don’t travel here till time of year. Weather is better than in the winter months and the prices are 50% off. We will return here as its just spectacular.

Pics of the Serenity Prestige suite, # 1.

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The spa here is managed by Clarins. Rooms have been renovated since 2011 and still ongoing.

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THE ADMIRAL PRESTIGE SUITE- 3 bedroom with wrap around terrace

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I saw the Marigold suite. Same as ocean front rooms on cove side. This is 2 bedroom.

Ocean bedroom suite with pool. 6 like this. Pending renovation.

3 bedroom villas ( admiral being my favorite ) Along with the serenity room where we were staying.
Some rooms are renovated , some are not.

Beach front 1 bedroom
Ocean prestige suites

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Hotel Toiny (http://www.letoiny.com/États-Unis) site inspection was this evening. It is a 15 villa property. All have private pools. The rooms are French Colonial in feel. The restaurant Le Gaiiac features innovative French cuisine with a Creole influence. Its the first Relais Chateaux property in the Caribbean to receive a Grand Chef Distinction. This property is for someone who is seeking a quiet place to relax, here is no direct beach access, there is a short drive to the nearest beach, but its not as soft and powdery as the other beaches on the island. It a great surfing spot though.

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Pistachio financiers, chocolate macaroon and a citrus bite

The restaurant manger, has just arrived from NYC/ CT. He used to be the manger at Alain Ducasse, Essex house, in NYC. The hotel has planned a $1 mill renovation of the restaurant . ( It could do with an update). The chef is a Michelin star chef.

The food was the best that we have eaten on the island. I HIGHLY recommend it!! A MUST go to , for anyone visiting St. Barth.

Good bye Eden Rock, Hello Christopher hotel, check in at Isle de France: day 2

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So, we slept well last night in our gorgeous duplex. 🙂 We were up by 9 am, ready to go to eat breakfast. It was a vast, scrumptious spread of fruits, cheese, breads, egg, bacon, chicken sausage, home made jams, fresh pressed juices, all while overlooking the beach! 🙂 Some last minute packing and then soaking up the sun in our beautiful terrace at Eden Rock. The breakfast was just super.

We left, and as always, were lost again. I had a lunch meeting with The GM at hotel Christopher. http://www.hotelchristopher.com ( the pictures on the website have not been updated since the renovation, so perhaps my pictures sell the property better.) I would not sell this necessarily to families with young kids, as I think young kids do enjoy the beach and direct access is great to have. There are 2 beaches very close to the property that one can access. It’s a great property- very contemporary, but not cold in feeling. They have 13 rooms that have a small terrace that overlooks the Ocean. Very spacious, beautiful rooms, decorated in Asian/ Italian influenced styles. The Ocean Suites, were just spectacular- on the 2nd floor, bright, great views and unobstructed views of the Ocean. The spa is one of the only ones on the island that has treatment rooms facing the ocean. Now, thats a perfect spa ! Also, some great promotions at the property- credit for your stay to be applied daily towards food or spa. The more you stay, the more you earn. One of the more affordable rooms on the Island, but the only draw back, is that it doesn’t have a beach. It has a super large infinity pool, great views, 2 fantastic restaurants. I really liked the hotels and I had happy clients return!

After lunch, we checked into Hotel Isle De France (www.isledefrance.com/ voted 4th most beautiful hotel in the Caribbean, by Conde Naste readers) and did a site inspection. The hotel is very open in feel. As soon as you walk into the property, you feel like you are on the water, it just has a very tranquil feel. The rooms are all white and light grey.

A 3 bedroom suite # 43

We decided to try dinner at Taiwan hotel, restaurant Parci. They were orignally only serving to hotel guests, but recently have

allowed other guests. It was a great recommendation.

It’s taken close to 2 hours to upload the pics and post all this, so till tomorrow night, bon nuit! 🙂

Have you been to either of these hotels? what did you think of them? share your thoughts and feedback with me.