My first visit to Iceland based in Reykjavik and exploring beyond

Iceland

My First visit to Iceland based in Reykjavik and exploring beyond | Iceland | It is like living in Jurassic World. One Glacier after the other, Volcanos, Geysers, hundreds of breathtaking Waterfalls, Lava Fields…. Still debating why Iceland is green and Greenland is covered on Ice, but from what I gather after my week research, this originated in a group of Vikings, trying to keep other to come to Iceland to enjoy the spectacular landscapes and taking over the lands.

If you wish to explore further or need assistance curating / planning / booking your next trip to Iceland ? Contact me directly at +1-917-754-5515 or info@carlosmelia.com


Blue Lagoon Iceland

INSTAGRAM PHOTO/VIDEO CURATED TRAVEL GUIDE
Follow this link to see all my photos and videos of my week exploring Iceland from/to Reykjavik and beyond. Photo/Video Curated Instagram Travel Guide. and/or my Instagram STORIES


Snaefellsnes Peninsula Iceland

ITINERARY
During my week in Iceland, I took Reykjaivik as my base and from there I took day tour to different locations, to be: Jokulsarlon Glacier LagoonGolden CircleSnaefellsnes Peninsula & National Park and beyond.  I also spent one night at the Blue Lagoon – where I stayed at the newly opened The Retreat Hotel & Spa. See my full week in photos and videos click here


Hotels in Iceland

HOTELS
While in Reykjavik I spent my nights at the following hotels. EXETER Hotel + APOTEK Hotel + BORG Hotel all three by KEA Hotels Group. Now the highlight of my stays in the main capital, was the very exclusive Tower Suites Hotel, feature only 8-Suites and the the only one offering panoramic views over Reykjavik’s Peninsula and City. I also spent time visiting other properties like Canopy Hotel, KONSULAT Hotel and ION City Hotel. For my only evening away from Reykjavik, I spent it at the new ( open one year ago ) The Retreat Hotel & Spa in the Blue Lagoon. I would risk to say, the only luxury property as of today in Iceland, featuring your own private access to the Blue Lagoon, away from the hundreds of tourists flocking there, but still with the option to join, if you wish to have both the private and public experience.

Book Online, any of these hotels – preselected by me – by clicking on the following links: Reykjavik Tower Suites Hotel/APOTEK Hotel / EXETER Hotel / Canopy Hotel / KONSULAT / BORG Hotel / ION City Hotel / 101 Hotel . Blue Lagoon The Retreat Hotel & Spa.

For a more bespoke and personalized Hotel Booking Experience and VIP Amenities ? Book your stays directly with me, and enjoy Extra VIP Amenities – such as Upgrades + Breakfast + Early Check IN and/or Late Check Out + Food and/or Spa Credits among others – at select hand-picked properties around the world. Contact me directly at +1-917-754-5515 or info@carlosmelia.com


Restaurants Iceland

RESTAURANTS
I spent the whole time in Iceland, trying their amazing variety of fresh Atlantic Ocean Fish. My favorite casual dining experience was at MAT BAR Tapas Restaurant. And the Fine Dining Highlight was my Chef-Table 7- Courses Dinner at MOSS Restaurant ( recommended to receive their firs Michelin-stat soon, becoming the only restaurant in Iceland as off 2019, with a star) located at The Retreat Hotel & Spa in the Blue Lagoon. Our evening there, began sabering Champagne bottles a the private Chef’s Cava, to move on to the Chef’s Table. Other restaurants I tried while in Reykjavik where: APOTEK Kitchen, KOL Restaurant, FISH MRKT. One of the great things about Reykjavik, is their charming and cozy Cafes. Some of my favorites were Reykjavik Roasters, Strofan Cafe and Babalu.


Kerið Volcanic Crater Iceland

HIGHLIGHTS
It is hard to pick one, since it was a week full of amazing experiences and breathtaking striking scenery, but to name two, I would have to say my Full Day Tour Exploring the Golden Circle, which ended with a night stay at The Retreat Hotel & Spa at the Blue Lagoon. In a way, I feel that if you are in Iceland only for two days, this would be the perfect experience to see Iceland in a nutshell. This tour will take you to see things like Pingvellir National Park –  located in a rift valley between the tectonic plates of North America and Eurasia, along the Almannagja fault along the Pingvallavant Lake – largest lake in Iceland. Gullfoss Waterfalls ( or Golden Waterfalls ). Geysir Thermal Area. Kerið Volcanic Crater and Lagoon. And from there, off to relax at the Blue Lagoon for a few hours, or like I did – by staying overnight at The Retreat Hotel & Spa. Another great experience – I should mentioned – for those interested in Architecture and design, are to visit both HARPA Concert Hall (joining the behind the scenes tour as I did ) and  Hallgrimskirkja Church. And the fabulous organ by Phillipp Klais – who surprised my month ago with the organ at Muscat’s Royal Opera in Oman.


Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

TOURS, EXPERIENCES & GROUND SERVICES
My personal selection of Tours, Experiences and Ground Services for Iceland, curated based on my own recent travel experiences. Click on the links below to book any of these Regular Group Tours.

Interested on a personalized and bespoke itinerary customized only to you and your needs ? Contact me directly at +1-917-754-5515 or info@carlosmelia.com

Reykjavik

DAY 01 // CITY TOUR REYKJAVIK
The best way to be acquainted with this charming city and some relevant facts, to better enlighten your Iceland exploration, on a 3-hours city tour of Reykjavik. Stops by Hallgrímskirkja Church ( Photos: 01 / 02 / 03 & Video 01 ) , PERLAN Observation Deck ( Photos: 01 / 02 / 03 ) , HARPA Concert Hall ( Photos: 01 / 02 ) and Reykjavik Harbor ( Photos: 01 / 02 )

Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

DAY 02 // JOKULSARLON GLACIER LAGOON FULL DAY TOUR
Full Day Tour to Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon ( 14 hours ). The scenery of volcanic formations, small villages, highlands and lowlands, waterfalls… coming from Reykjavik, is simply breathtaking. Full day away from the capital for a day, off chasing Glaciers to Jokulsarlon. Did you know Iceland has over 500 volcanos. Stops at Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon ( Photos: 01 / 02 / 03 / 04 / 05 / 06 & Videos: 01 ) VIK Fishing Town and Black Sand Beaches ( Photos: 01 / 02 & Videos: 01) Seljalansfoss Warefalls ( Photos: 01 / 02 / 03 ) and Skatafellsjokull Glacier.  ( Photos: 01 / 02 / 03 )

Gullfoss Waterfall

DAY 03 // GOLDEN CIRCLE + BLUE LAGOON
Full Day Tour of the Golden Circle, ending at the Blue Lagoon ( 8 hours ). This tour represents in a nutshell, all that Iceland is known for. From Volcanos to Lava Fields, Glaciers to Waterfalls, Geysers, rift valleys and of course the dreamy Blue Lagoon experience. My day began at 9AM driving along the beautiful Þingvellir National Park to visit the Almannagja Fault Path. Pingvellir National Park, located in a rift valley between the tectonic plates of North America and Eurasia, along the Almannagja fault along the Pingvallavant Lake – largest lake in Iceland. ( Photos: 01 / 02 / 03 / 04 & Videos: 01 / 02 ). Next stops were Gullfoss Waterfall or “Golden Waterfalls: ( Photos: 01 & Videos: 01 / 02 ), Geysir Thermal Area – The original one that gave the name to all others around the world. There are only four active geyser in the world – Iceland, two in North America and New Zealand. Today Strokkur geyser is the most active in Iceland, erupting every 5-10 minutes. ( Photos: 01 / 02 / 03 & Video: 01 / 02 ). Next Kerið Volcanic Crater ( Photos: 01 / 02 / 03 / 04 & Videos: 01 ). My day came to an end upon arrival to the Blue Lagoon ( Photos: 01 / 02 / 03 / 04 / 05 / 06 & Videos: 01 ) for my overnight stay at The Retreat Hotel & Spa ( Photos: 01 / 02 / 03 / 04 / 05 & Videos: 01 / 02 ). Spent a lovely evening chilling by the Blue Lagoon and at the private Spa for the hotel guests. That evening I was hosted at the Chef Table for a 7-course wine paired dining experience at MOSS Restaurant ( Photos: 01 / 02 / 03 ). Following morning I indulged over Spa Treatments and around noon I headed back to Reykjavik for the remaining of the day ( approx. 40 minutes drive).

DAY 04 // REYKJAVIK
Back in Reykjavik, I spent the day checking out different hotel options in town, and after a lovely lunch at APOTEK Kitchen ( strongly recommend it ), I went for a private behind the scenes tour of the HARPA Concert Hall ( Photos: 01 / 02 ) . Designed by world-renowned Icelandic-Danish artist Olafur Eliasson and Danish firm, Henning Larsen Architects.

DAY 05 / SNAEFELLSNES PENINSULA FULL DAY TOUR
My last full day exploring Iceland, was spent on an – 11 hours tour – to the breathtaking region of Snaefellsnes Peninsula, in western Iceland known for its dramatic landscapes. Our day began driving along following Jules Verne steps, to the Center of the Earth, towards Snaefellsnes National Park and the Snaefelljokull Volcano. Some scenic stops were Hvalfjörður + Vatnaleið ( Photos: 01 / 02 / 03 ) + Kirkjufell ( Photos: 01 / 02 & Videos: 01 ) + Djúpalónssandur Dritvík Beach ( Photos: 01 / 02 / 03 / 04 & Videos: 01 ) + Lóndrangar ( Photos: 01 / 02 / 03 / 04 / 05 & Videos: 01 ).


American Airlines Business Class

FLIGTHS
For this trip I flew American Airlines Business Class non-stop from Dallas to Reykjavik ( flight time 7 hours 30 min ), to get all my OneWorld and Advantage miles. But from New York City – where I am based, as well as from many other destinations in the United States and Worldwide, there are plenty of airlines flying into Iceland. Their national carrier is Icelandair.

Book your flights directly with me
Contact me directly at +1-917-754-5515 or info@carlosmelia.com


Reykjavik Iceland

INSTAGRAM PHOTO/VIDEO CURATED TRAVEL GUIDE
Follow this link to see all my photos and videos of my week exploring Iceland from/to Reykjavik and beyond. Photo/Video Curated Instagram Travel Guide. and/or my Instagram STORIES

Carlos Melia | www.carlosmelia.com | @carlosmeliablog

10 days exploring Sri Lanka from Colombo and beyond

Cape Weligama Sri Lanka

10 days exploring Sri Lanka from Colombo and beyond | Sri Lanka | I have just returned from a 10 days trip to the beautiful island of Sri Lanka. Such a magical experience. But most importantly, given the latest tragic events, myself and my two clients – traveling along with me – we felt totally safe. Sri Lankan’s are such warm, welcoming and friendly people – a true feeling of a predominantly Buddhist Country.

If you wish to explore further or need assistance curating / planning / booking your next trip to Sri Lanka ? Contact me directly at +1-917-754-5515 or info@carlosmelia.com

Glamping in Sri Lanka at Wild Coast Tented Lodge

INSTAGRAM PHOTO/VIDEO CURATED TRAVEL GUIDE
Follow this link to see all my photos and videos of my 10 days exploring Sri Lanka from/to Colombo and beyond. Photo/Video Curated Instagram Travel Guide.

Ceylon Tea Trails

ITINERARY & HOTELS
During my 10 days, we moved by private land transportation. I explored Hatton and the Tea Plantations with a stay at the breathtaking Ceylon Tea Trails. From there I move on to YALA National Park with stay at Wild Coast Tented Lodge. While in Yala we did a Safari searching for Leopards, Elephants and lots of monkeys. From there we moved to the beach district of Cape Weligama with stay at Cape Weligama Resort – here was total relax and unwinding. All 3 properties mentioned above, by the Resplendent Hotels Group and under the Relais & Chateaux group. Next destination was Galle and the UNESCO World Heritage Galle Fort. There I stayed at the very charming Galle Fort Hotel, but also spent sometime at the Amangalla by Aman Resorts, both located within the fort walls. From there, before heading back home, I spent 24 hours in Colombo with a stay at the Shangrila Hotel Colombo.

For a more bespoke and personalized Hotel Booking Experience and VIP Amenities ? Book your stays directly with me, and enjoy Extra VIP Amenities – such as Upgrades + Breakfast + Early Check IN and/or Late Check Out + Food and/or Spa Credits among others – at select hand-picked properties around the world. Contact me directly at +1-917-754-5515 or info@carlosmelia.com

Cooking Class Sri Lanka

HIGHLIGHTS
The highlights of my visit to Sri Lanka, were the time in Hatton exploring the Tea Plantations, and the breathtaking scenery. Cape Weligama and the gorgeous beaches. The time watching the elephants roam free at YALA National Park. The private Sri Lankan Cooking Class we did on the outskirts of Galle. And my day exploring Colombo. All my 10 days exploring Sri Lanka and all the experiences can be seen on my Photo/Video Curated Instagram Travel Guide.

Qatar Airway Business Class

FLIGHTS
From the United States to Sri Lanka, I flew ETIHAD Airways Business Class via Abu Dhabi. And on the way back from Sri Lanka back to the United States on QATAR Airways Business Class Suites via Doha. The QATAR Airways experience was THE BEST.

Book your flights directly with me
Contact me directly at +1-917-754-5515 or info@carlosmelia.com

Sri Lanka

INSTAGRAM PHOTO/VIDEO CURATED TRAVEL GUIDE
Follow this link to see all my photos and videos of my 10 days exploring Sri Lanka from/to Colombo and beyond. Photo/Video Curated Instagram Travel Guide.

Carlos Melia | www.carlosmelia.com | @carlosmeliablog

PERU 2019 Small Travel Group curated and hosted personally by Carlos Melia


PERU 2019 Small Travel Group curated and hosted personally by Carlos Melia | PERU Small Travel Group | After decades traveling and exploring the world on my own, I would like to extend an open invitation, for you to join me on a discovery of some of my favorite destinations, hotels, experiences around the globe. – Carlos Melia


Lima, Cusco, Machu Picchu & Sacred Valley

From the golden Inca treasures in Lima and Cusco to the mystic citadel of Machu Picchu, see Peru through the eyes of local connoisseurs. Handpicked hotels and exclusive experiences, including Belmond train through the breathtaking Sacred Valley. Visits to Maras Salt Plains, Pisac Market and Morray terrace. Indulge over exotic Pisco Sour and market fresh ceviches; special surprises at every turn. Extend your wanderlust to the Amazon, to Lake Titicaca and Arequipa…. > Read More

My week in Photos & Videos exploring Palma de Mallorca


My week in Photos & Videos exploring Palma de Mallorca |
Palma de Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain  Follow my week exploring Palma de Mallorca, from Deia to Canyamel. Featured stays at Belmond La Residencia and Park Hyatt Mallorca. > See more

(*) To book your own travel experience, do not hesitate to contact me either by email carlos@carlosmelia.com or phone # 917.754.5515. Bespoke Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of VIRTUOSO, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network. www.carlosmelia.com

(**) Follow me around the world curating the best on Luxury Travel and Lifestyle by following me on Instagram Facebook or Twitter.

ROGUE Magazine Gentlemen’s Lifestyle Guide ” Globetrotting with Carlos Melia “


Jetsetter and Bonvivant, for over 25 years, Carlos Melia has developed a personal brand as a world leading Luxury Travel Curator. He has become a full-service bespoke Travel Agent, Travel Blogger, Concierge, Hospitality Consultant and Celebrity Wedding Planner, earning the mote of “Little Marco Polo”.Carlos weaves from one destination to another creating a personal reportoire of Luxury Travel & Lifestyle by journalling his experiences, one step at the time.. > Read more @ ROGUE MagazineCarlos Melia Luxury Travel Curator – www.carlosmelia.com

(*) To book your own travel experience, do not hesitate to contact me either by email carlos@carlosmelia.com or phone # 917.754.5515.  I am an experienced Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of LGTNetwork, VIRTUOSO, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network. www.carlosmelia.com

(**) Follow me around the world curating the best on Luxury Travel and Lifestyle by following me on Instagram Facebook or Twitter.

A gastronomic overnight flight aboard the Montgolfière in Monaco

A gastronomic overnight flight aboard the Montgolfière in Monaco  | Monaco | Transitioning from my week in Cannes attending ILTM Cannes 2017, to my upcoming week in Spain and Portugal, I spent an overnight in Monte Carlo and Monaco. This was my second time there, and I always enjoy coming during the Christmas time, to see all the decorations and the Monégasque Christmas experience. A synonym for prestige. A place where the international elite gathers, a harbour for the most beautiful yachts, a prestigious destination, and home to some of the world’s most celebrated events including the Grand Prix and the Monaco Yacht Show.  For more tips and recommendations, see all my minute-to-minute past/current/future post and experiences on Monaco & Monte Carlo. Continue reading A gastronomic overnight flight aboard the Montgolfière in Monaco

My week in the Cote d’Azur – French Riviera attending ILTM Cannes 2017

My week in the Cote d’Azur – French Riviera attending ILTM Cannes 2017  |  ILTM – International Luxury Travel Market | As every year, December is my time in the French Riviera, taking part either as hosted VIP Media or Buyer, to ITLM Cannes. This is the best luxury travel event to network with other luxury travel colleagues and international suppliers. This is my week in the Cote d’Azur – French Riviera attending ITLM Cannes 2017. For more tips and recommendations, see all my minute-to-minute past/current/future post and experiences on ILTM Cannes 2017.

Continue reading My week in the Cote d’Azur – French Riviera attending ILTM Cannes 2017

My day exploring Villa & Jardins Ephrussi de Rothschild

My day exploring Villa & Jardins Ephrussi de Rothschild  |  Cote d’Azur, France | During my last time at the French Riviera, attending as every year ILTM Cannes – International Luxury Travel Market, I was invited by Raffles Hotels and Accor Hotels to spend a full day in Cap Ferrat, at the very lovely Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild. Here is how my day went along. You may see all my photos and videos from my recent trip to Cote d’Azur at my Instagram @carlosmeliablog

Continue reading My day exploring Villa & Jardins Ephrussi de Rothschild

A first overnight stay at a Ryokan at Kanamean Nishitomiya by Relais & Chateaux

A first overnight stay at a Ryokan at Kanamean Nishitomiya by Relais & Chateaux  |  Kyoto, Japan | One of my all time travel bucket lists and dreams, was to stay at a traditional Japanese Ryokan. So when I planed my visit to Kyoto, I made sure that my first night would be spent at one. The one I chose was the Kanamean Nishitomiya by Relais & Chateaux, one of the ryokans which have survived in the modern surroundings of downtown Kyoto. This is the report of my overnight stay indulging in Japanese tradition of hospitality. You may see all my photos and videos from my recent trip to Japan at my Instagram @carlosmeliablog  Continue reading A first overnight stay at a Ryokan at Kanamean Nishitomiya by Relais & Chateaux

A Mediterranean beach and gourmet escape to Algarve with stay at Bela Vista Hotel & Spa

A Mediterranean beach and gourmet escape to Algarve with stay at Bela Vista Hotel & Spa  |  Algarve, Portugal | After a week in Portugal exploring the country from North to South, it was the last night of my visit, and the best way to say farewell, was by an overnight beach and gourmet escape to the Algarve region, to indulge over Portuguese Mediterranean lifestyle. Off I went from Cascais to Algarve, a 3-hours drive connecting this two lovely – mind very different beach resorts. As we arrived to the Algarve, we checked in at the grande dame of Algarve, the Bela Vista Hotel & Spa. After my week in Portugal, I am confident to say I have become an expert in the destination and curated a portfolio of amazing local suppliers. You may see all my photos and videos at my Instagram @carlosmeliablog   Continue reading A Mediterranean beach and gourmet escape to Algarve with stay at Bela Vista Hotel & Spa