Browsing Tag

Luxury Travel

Alesandra Dubin travel: Viceroy Bali
Travel

My Travel Style

One of the most beautiful things about travel is there is truly no right or wrong way to approach it. Do you like to go off the grid for months at a time, or are you all about short and frequent jaunts? Are you about beaches or bustle? Travel is whatever it means to you!

My travel style is bit all over the place. I find perhaps no greater joy in the world than a five-star hotel — nor an epic campsite. I love upper-class cabins and puddle jumpers that vibrate and rattle suspiciously. (That’s how you know you’re alive, right?) I’m all about tropical islands, but OK, I’ll accept an itinerary without a beach (as long as the shopping is good).

It’s been fun to reflect on all these preferences and personal travel style choices since blogger Johnny Jet — check out all of his amazing travel tips BTW — asked me to contribute to his “Travel Style” section. The popular Q&A part of the site asks celebrities and travel media types to share a little about themselves and their travel habits. I was honored to be asked to share, and here’s an excerpt of what I came up with. (Read the full interview here.)

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Monserrate cable car ascent, Bogota, Colombia
Travel

8 Reasons to Travel to Bogota, Colombia (Despite What People Tell You)

On our connecting flights into Colombia earlier this month, we encountered a horrible person. This is not unusual on a plane, but the encounter was so pronounced that it left a prolonged bad taste that colored the beginning of our trip.

We were flying into Cartagena, where we began our Colombian adventure. The guy on the plane, an American, had long ago fallen in love with the city and had visited there 78 times, he said (but who’s counting?) — and had bought property and established some kind of nonprofit. He was in love with Cartagena, obviously, and told us we’d love it.

Then when we told him we were heading to Bogota as our next stop, he said this, actually out loud and not in his head: “You’re going to absolutely hate it. First of all, you’ll probably get kidnapped. And then of course, you’ll be sick from the altitude, which would ruin your whole trip even if you weren’t kidnapped. Also it’s freezing. I wish you had my email address so you could tell me afterward how much you hated it and I was right.”

Legit, this monologue happened. At one point I told him, “OK, stop talking now.” Neighboring passengers rolled eyes. It got awkward.

Much as we wanted to, we found that we couldn’t immediately brush it off. While in Cartagena, David and I asked several people (Colombians) how we might expect to find Bogota when we got there. And, frankly, we were not comforted by their answers. Many people underscored the danger of assault and also the altitude and weather challenges.

So several days later, by the time we took off from Cartagena on our way to Bogota, and someone sitting next to me on the plane made the sign of the cross, I felt a sense of dread.

But spoiler: In the end? We absolutely loved Bogota. Maybe even more than we did Cartagena, though that city is more of the seaside Caribbean vibe that is typically more my vacation speed. Here are all the reasons Bogota ranks high on our list of experiences: Continue Reading

Ambergris Caye, Belize
Travel

6 Bucket-List Islands I’ve Seen… and 7 More I Need to Visit Before I Die!

I recently had the chance to pitch and write a story for Bravo TV’s The Daily Dish called “13 Islands You Have to See Before You Die.” Of course, this was also a chance for me to sit at my desk wanderlusting madly.

In the piece, I included a mix of some of my favorite islands on earth… as well as an approximately equal number of places that I haven’t yet seen with my own two eyes — but have on my bucket list for sure.

From natural landscapes plucked from fantasies to all-night European party destinations, behold the picks I culled together (as the list originally appeared on The Daily Dish) so that we can all start making our plans — or at least building our dreams — to cross off every last one of these beauties.

How many have you visited so far? And which island are you dying to visit next? Continue Reading

St. Regis Punta Mita Remede Spa Lounge
Travel

#Spagoals: 11 Insane Destination Spas Around the World

Just like how little kids dream they could possibly count every grain of sand on every beach on earth, I like to dream I could visit every single one of the most epic destination spas on earth one day. That’s a reasonable goal, right?

With input from well-traveled friends, I rounded up of some of the world’s greatest destination spas for a recent travel story. Turns out I’ve only personally been to two out of the 11 I ended up including in the piece, so I’ll be adding the rest to my bucket list!

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Private island vacation , 2015 travel trends
Travel

Bon Voyage! 5 Over-the-Top Travel Trends You Need to Know About Right Now

[Mini drumroll…]

I’m excited to share that I’m now working with Bravo TV’s fun entertainment, pop culture, and lifestyle destination on the web, The Daily Dish! As the freelance contributing editor, I’ll be producing all kinds of lifestyle content, including beauty, fashion, food, entertainment — and a whole slate of fun travel stories.

To that end, I’d love to share my latest piece on 2015 travel trends, which originally appeared on the Daily Dish.

I hope it inspires some great holidays in the waning summer weeks and beyond!

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La Quinta Resort & Club at sunset
Family Life, Travel

Twins’ First Holiday! 5 Things I Learned About Taking Babies to Hotels

After you have babies, it’s all about firsts: first foods, first consonant sounds, first time crawling, first time pulling up to stand.

When it comes to travel, I’ve written here about our firsts as new parents since the twins were born: my first business trip at 12 weeks postpartum, our first couples’ driving trip away without babies, our first trip by air since they were born.

At last, just as the twins turned 10 months old, I’m excited to share about our first holiday together as a family of four… which also included the twins’ first hotel stay, and their first time in the pool. (Spoiler alert: too, too fun and such a special and cherished family memory!)

Here’s what we did: Continue Reading

Seychelles, tropical paradise Indian Ocean island nation
Uncategorized

6 Outrageously Over-the-Top Africa Vacation Ideas

It’s Monday morning after a holiday weekend, and I was feeling a little groggy — not quite awake yet on my weekly conference call, guzzling coffee, trying to look alive. But when I got organized to put up today’s guest post, I found my inspiration real quick. I’m up, I’m up! Helloooooo big world.

And I suspect you will feel alive too, when you let your wanderlust dreams run wild, thanks to the second-in-a-series post from GeoEx Africa expert Starla Estrada. To refresh, Starla has adventured through 17 African countries (modes of transportation: on foot, 4×4 vehicles, quad bikes, kayak, canoe, hot air balloon, helicopter, various small aircraft), and she’s off again this Friday for a month of exploring on the continent.

Before she goes, she’s provided her spectacular picks for over-the-top Africa vacation ideas. I’m so excited to share them with you here:

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St. Regis Punta Mita beach at sunset
Travel

Luxury Romantic Travel: Bidding Adiós to Bebés for a Punta Mita Getaway

When is a vacation more than a vacation?

I’m going to tell you straight up. It’s when you have seven-month-old twins, and you’re getting on a plane for a getaway without them for the first time since they were born. It’s when you watched with major FOMO other people’s travels on Instagram during the summer your babies were born and you were post-op and in the weeds with two newborns and in love with the new cuties, but also in WTF-is-going-on mode. It’s when you’ve never in your entire life needed or deserved another vacation as badly.

Those were the circumstances behind our trip to Punta Mita, Mexico, such that I was literally skipping through LAX on the way out of town. Of course, we were going to miss our sweet babes madly, but they would be safely in the care of four deeply doting grandparents.

So on this trip, we were off to the St. Regis Punta Mita, a getaway planned for pure luxury — no camping, no remote locations, no crazy string of planes, trains, and automobiles this time for obvious reasons. Just the most luxurious beach-and-pool vacation we have taken since our honeymoon in French Polynesia. Just sheer luxury romantic travel this time, thank you very much. Continue Reading

Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills
Los Angeles Living, Travel

A Luxe Babymoon Staycation (Or Combatting the Summer Pregnancy Symptom Known as FOMO), wee

I often hear people talk about how awful it was for them, or must be for me, to be heavily pregnant in the summertime. And I generally disagree wholeheartedly—it’s been mostly fine! But there is one majorly uncomfortable issue with being pregnant in these hot months, and it’s not the heat. Here’s the real reason why summertime pregnancy is tough: FOMO.

Given I’m carrying twins—and big ones at that, about six pounds each (!!) at last measure—I outgrew maternity jeans weeks ago, and closed-toed shoes on my swollen dogs sound like torture. So, thanks especially to my wardrobe of flow-y caftans and maxi dresses from the likes of Rachel Pally and T Bags, being pregnant in the summer suits me just fine (notwithstanding that three-week period when our home AC decided to poop out, because: Murphy’s Law).

But there’s this: Summer is my jam. My husband has always said I have a solar battery, and I get totally charged when things heat up. I want to be everywhere, every weekend: somewhere far flung out of town, somewhere fab within driving range, or at the beach or hiking right here in L.A.

Now that I’m close to 36 weeks pregnant and using a motorized cart just to get around Target, aint none of that happening.

My best friends all planned a camping/July 4 party weekend in Northern California, and I gulped with—what was it? Envy? Longing? (Maybe acid reflux.) It would be the first time, pretty much ever, that I’d miss out on a trip like that. I even sort of half considered, “Well, maybe…” and then I’d remembered that these days I cannot actually turn over in bed without David’s help, or make it to the bathroom at night without using multiple pieces of furniture as crutches, or that I could go into labor any day. So even relentlessly, mercilessly festive me had to admit it was time to wave the white flag on that idea.

But! We had a plan. Continue Reading

Four Seasons Sayan, Bali
Travel

Hotel Review: Four Seasons Bali at Sayan

Those of you who know me personally know how infrequently I find myself without words. It’s not really my thing. But the Four Seasons Bali at Sayan will do that to a girl.

On our recent trip to Bali, we had limited time (as usual — sigh), and decided to spend it in the jungle area around Ubud, versus hustling to also see the beach at Nusa Dua, for instance. We loved Ubud (read: I’m obsessed with it) and spending our days there was the right choice. One thing we did do for variety, however, was to split our time between the Viceroy Bali and the Four Seasons. We’d drooled over the Viceroy and had to be pried away from it — and then when we saw the Four Seasons, we felt we’d died and gone to heaven a second time. Continue Reading