96 Hours in Peru covering as much territory as possible | Peru | A few weeks back, invited by LATAM Airlines Business Class, Belmond Journeys and Hotels Peru, Rubin and I decided to come for 3 nights / 4 days – ha ha ha yes you read right 96 hours, to explore to main higlights of the marvelous country and intriguing culture. This wasn’t my first time in Peru – for work or leisure – I have been many times, but indeed was Rubin‘s first visit, and I mastered a well curated itinerary, that would take us from Lima, to Cusco, Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu and Sacred Valley, in a natural flow enjoying the services of all our hosts… Well, unfortunately not all came along as planned. For more photos and videos on my journey in Peru, visit my Instagram Photo Gallery of Peru.
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Chronicles of my recent visits to Buenos Aires | Buenos Aires, Argentina | So once again I am back in, my home town, Buenos Aires – Argentina. These chronicles, as a matter of fact, are the result of my last two trips, with a very small time lapse in between. The main reasons of my trips were, ( first trip ) surprise and celebrate my mother for her Birthday and ( second trip ) connecting from New York to Rio de Janeiro, were I will be during August, attending the RIO 2016 Summer Olympics, as the official travel agent for NBCUniversal’s VIP Guests and Executives. Let’s begin and hope you enjoy my insider tips of my city , chronicles of my recent visits to Buenos Aires. For more tips and recommendations, check and follow me on Instagram, to see all my minute-to-minute past/current/future post and experiences on BUENOS AIRES. Continue reading Chronicles of my recent visits to Buenos Aires
THAI Cooking Class at the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok | Bangkok, Thailand | After a long night out in Bangkok which began in full luxury and ended up right in the underground scene, I was awake pretty early, with a pounding headache and hangover, but determine to conquer the day ahead, which included an full morning Thai Cooking Class at The Oriental Thai Cooking School of the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, follow by a 3-hours Khlong tour of Bangkok. So my first stop was shades to conceal the damage of my late night out, and ultra healthy breakfast over an ultra spicy Khao Tom soup to sweat away the many bottles of Champagne I had. After that I was ready to start my day and master the arts of Traditional Thai Cooking. See and follow my full Instagram Photo Gallery on Bangkok… Continue reading THAI Cooking Class at the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok
Hotel Quintessence Mont-Tremblant | Mont Tremblant, Canada | Hotel Quintessence was the headquarters of my visit to the lovely town and ski resort of Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada. Favorite among A-Listers, bon vivants and celebrities, Hotel Quintessence is Tremblant’s preeminent boutique hotel, offering unparalleled beauty, comfort, luxury and service in the heart of the Laurentians. Quintessence, is the fifth and highest element in ancient and medieval philosophy that permeates all nature and is the substance composing the celestial bodies. The entire hotel and service work in empathy and sync with this concept, assuring an unique experience of this quaint and charming destination. Continue reading Hotel Quintessence Mont-Tremblant
Belmond Hotel Cipriani | Venice, Italy | One of the most iconic hotels in the world, if there is one. You name it, celebrities, head of states, tycoons, religious leaders, multimillionaires, influencers… all have either stayed of visited, this very first property of Belmond Hotels in the entire world. Yes, indeed, this is where the story of sophistication and luxury all began, hidden in the exclusivity of Giudecca Island, only 7 minutes away, on your own private riva, crossing Venice‘s Grand Canal from Piazza San Marco. And this time, was our time to stay, and enjoy this oasis of finesse, savoir vivre and refinement. Continue reading Belmond Hotel Cipriani Venice
Villa San Michele Florence |Florence, Italy | The best of Florence away from Florence. Locate in Fiesole, just 15 minutes away from the center of Florence, a former monastery nestled on a hilltop amid lush trees and terrace gardens, this luxury boutique hotel enjoys unparalleled views across Florence. Fiesole, one of Florence’s most scenic regions, Villa San Michele overlooks the historic city and the Arno Valley below. A 15th-century national monument, Villa San Michele is a work of art in itself. Frescoes and ancient carvings decorate its rooms, while its formal Italian gardens are a delightful retreat. Sit on a private terrace surrounded by woodland, birdsong and the cypress-studded Chianti hills. Superb Tuscan cuisine and fine wines are served on a beautiful alfresco loggia. And yet the treasures of Florence are close at hand. Experience all the elegance of Italy’s great history and culture, while enjoying the ambience of a private home. Continue reading Villa San Michele Florence
ANDAZ West Hollywood | Los Angeles, United States | This week we stayed at the ANDAZ West Hollywood, yes the same one that made the news this week for the LGBT Wedding of the Editor in Chief of The Advocate Magazine. For those of you not familiar with the brand, ANDAZ represents a refreshing take on the boutique-style hotel by Hyatt Hotels (aka. sort of the W Hotels for Starwood), offering an atmosphere that is personal, vibrant and uncomplicated. Each hotel features the most adventurous, globally influenced design, yet also inhabits the sights, sounds and tastes of its surrounding neighborhood. Located over Sunset Boulevard, just a few steps away from La Cienaga Boulevard, in the heart of West Hollywood and close to Beverly Hills.
We stayed at a Suite, which was very comfortable, located on the 10th floor. These expansive one-bedroom accommodations offer a total of 800 square feet of space and views of the legendary Sunset Strip and Los Angeles city skyline. Enjoy listening to your Geneva Sound System among striking modern décor and artwork including Eero Aarnio’s playful orange abstract plastic puppy, Harry Bertoia’s trademark Bar Stools and an aluminum Cellula chandelier accentuated by Swarovski crystal pendants. Suites feature a separate living and sitting area as well as a sunroom with floor-to-ceiling windows to ensure that you don’t miss a minute of the Hollywood happenings. Andaz West Hollywood is a non-smoking hotel. LATHER bath and body products.
The hotel has a fantastic 24 hour fitness center, overlooking Sunset Boulevard, but this is something that you find at most luxury or 5-star hotels within the Los Angeles area. The rooftop pool is quite nice as well, despite we were not very lucky with the weather, as you can see by the photos below. The views from the pool are not the most spectacular.
Some of the amenities I enjoyed were: Free WiFi Access, limited on bandwidth, but still good for emails and work matters. Free pastries, coffee and tea every morning at the lobby. Complimentary, non-alcoholic minibar that is replenished daily. Free access to MAC Stations and printers.
Since we were on a very tight schedule and social events for Rubin Singer Couture, we did not have time to try/experience the restaurant at the hotel. But we did order room services for breakfast every morning, and it was fine in quality and price.
The hotel offers Valet Parking. The cost was approx. USD 30 x day with unlimited times. Usually they were very good with timing, and having the car ready.
I really enjoy the concept and style by ANDAZ properties. The only comment I have about ANDAZ West Hollywood, which I have not experience at the other properties in the past, is that they perhaps border too much with informality. When the Front Desk Agent or Valet Parking calls you “Dude”, I mean, I truly enjoy sophisticated things that are also the most simple, but maybe they go a bit beyond simplicity. What do you think ? Overall, a great stay, location and reasonable price. Mostly, we were happy to stay in a LAX hotel, which didn’t have the stereotype LAX attitude and crowd, where everyone thinks is someone, if you know what I mean. The views of the Hollywood Hills on one side and the Sunset Strip and downtown Los Angeles were a plus. Andaz West Hollywood the most sophisticated things are also the most simple. You may read my reviews staying at other ANDAZ properties in the past here. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends
(*) To book your own travel experience, do not hesitate to contact me either by email email@example.com or phone # 917.754.5515. Check our schedule bespoke groups, escapes and retreats at Coups de Coeur. I am an experienced Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of LGTNetwork, IGLTA, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network.
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Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa | Paradise Valley, United States | Update from my last stay OCT 2013.!!!! if you dine at Elements, know that the kitchen closes at 9PM (yes does not make much sense but it is what it is) Elements is a FAB restaurant. You MUST ask for table #41. I think that one of the best views from the rooms is from Room # 229. Now carry on reading my previous post. Enjoy. !!!
The Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain along with the Four Seasons Scottsdale, where both my favorite stays during my week exploring Scottsdale and Phoenix in Arizona. I felt that both properties offer exactly what I envisioned my experience would be, away from the urban areas, surrounded by the iconic Arizona desert. Perched on Camelback Mountain in an exhilarating blend of serenity and vitality. One of the most coveted retreats in Paradise Valley, Sanctuary a AAA Four Diamond Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. With trend-setting architecture, copious modern luxuries, and culinary delights, our boutique resort will draw you back, time and time again.
Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain enjoys a legendary history filled with Hollywood celebrities and international tennis stars. The story begins in the early 1950s when the unique mountainside property was bought by a group of prominent investors including Hollywood stars John Ireland, Joanne Dru and Sydney Chaplin, Charlie Chaplin’s son.
I was hosted at one of their Spa Suites, one of the largest Scottsdale suites, offers 1200 sq. ft. of vibrant décor and contemporary amenities, including a lava rock fireplace and a wet bar in the spacious living area. These Scottsdale suites feature an airy patio that surrounds the living room and bedroom. Large walk-in closets and a vessel sink enhance the spacious bathrooms, which include a separate shower and vanity, two sinks, and an outdoor soaking tub. My suite was the Topaz Suite, since all are named after a gemstone.
One of the highlights of my stay at the Sanctuary, was dinner at Elements overlooking the sunset over Paradise Valley. You can read my post here. But the breakfast the following morning was as equally spectacular or even more beautiful, this time overlooking the dawn.
I am sure you will agree looking at the photos I did while enjoying a healthy breakfast. Either if you are staying at the Sanctuary or not, Elements by Food Network celebrity and Executive Chef Beau MacMillan is a must.
One of my favorites was to spend the afternoon laying at their infinity-edge pool overlooking Camelback Mountain, the palm trees and breathtaking views over Paradise Valley. FYI their pool is open 24 hours, so feel free to jump at any time.
Unfortunately timing did not allow me to experience their Spa, which features a menu of Asian–inspired services in twelve indoor & outdoor treatment rooms, so I wont be commenting on that. But I did have time to enjoy their state-of-the-art fitness facilities, including Pilates, meditation, Yoga, fitness & nutrition consultations by certified instructors and Personal Trainers. Arizona is very popular among professional athletes for its year round fantastic weather, and the Sanctuary is one of the favorite spots for those coming out of state. If you enjoy swimming, there is a special program at their outdoors lap pool taught by Olympic gold medalist Misty Hyman. Recognized as the Paradise Valley Racquet Club throughout the 1950’s and renamed John Gardiner’s Tennis Ranch in 1965, our property continues a legacy of championship courts and professional coaches.
The hotel was undergoing some renovations and expansions during my visit, a multi-million dollar renovation that will yield an exciting new experience this Fall.
Situated 8 miles north of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, and 5 minutes from downtown Scottsdale. Sanctuary is conveniently located for Arizona travel, while still offering a serene hideaway to guests. In terms of location, Sanctuary has a true advantage over the Four Seasons Scottsdale, for those in Arizona for business, but still looking to unwind after office. Literary and Oasis in the desert. When booking by CarlosMeliaBlog.com you will get the following extra amenities: Continental Breakfast for two Daily. Also available with Room Service + One 30 Minutes Spa Treatment or 50% off 60 Minutes Treatment, per Room, Once During Stay + Subject to availability at time of reservation Upgrade on Mountain Vista Casitas and Spa Casitas. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends
(*) To book your own travel experience, do not hesitate to contact me either by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone # 917.754.5515. I am an experienced Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of MLGTPP, IGLTA, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network.
(**) Follow me around the world curating the best on Luxury Travel and Lifestyle by subscribing to my Facebook Page Carlos Melia Recommends, liking my Facebook Page, following me on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and/or pining me on Pinterest. Also check out my new page Carlos Melia Recommends.
Capri Rainbow enjoy your color | Press Release | A 3 days Gay Event that will involve the whole island: tourist operators, shops, services. The island of flavors and aromas, the sun and the artists,in occasion of “Capri Rainbow 2013” will burst into innumerable colored atmospheres. “Capri Rainbow 2013” the blue island is colored by rainbow and rediscovers its ‘open mind’ side. From 6 to 9th September between cultural events, excursions, sea, food, wine and fun / September 6-9, 2013
An exclusive holiday package for gay travellers, to discover the island by concerts, exhibitions, gourmet tasting, trekking, excursions, white party, fashion show, swimming naked in the blue sea and much more. The scents of the island, the sun, the artists, the ancient flavors will explode in elegant rainbow-colored atmosphere.
The agency Aura Capri, specializing in luxury events and personal concierge services, for three days has made available 500 packages. A big cultural event and entertainment which will host conferences on the topic of gay tourism in Italy with special guests, film screenings, musical performances, a symphony concert, walks to discover the most hidden corners ; in addition, a true gastronomic journey between the traditional dishes of Capri, then a tour of the island by sea.
Finally, space for fun: free admission in the most exclusive island, a dinner show and a White Party in the bay of Marina Piccola, in one of the most exclusive places of the island, “La Canzone del Mare” where also Rupert Everett spent his holiday in April 2013. Immersed in the fun of the foam-party, floating in a swimming pool overlooking the sea, dress code “White” , people will enjoy the freedom that only the night knows how to give , in the light of the caprese moon.
The package Capri Rainbow 2013 includes:
– Welcoming service from/to station or airport of Naples the day of arrival and departure
– On request Private transfer round trip from / to railway station / port / from the airport / port
– Transfer by hydrofoil Naples – Capri – Naples
– Private transfer from the port of the island of Capri to hotels and return
– Luggage porterage on arrival and departure from Capri
– Accommodation in 4 * Hotel in formula roulette with bed and breakfast for 3 nights
– Card with benefits and discounts of 10% at our partners
– Free access to cultural events and activities of Capri Rainbow
– Free entrance in the Night clubs affiliated to Capri Rainbow
– Free entrance to museums in Capri and Anacapri
– Tour of the island by boat with a stop below the Faraglioni
– Evening Concert in the Certosa di S. Giacomo di Capri
– Path of food and wine evening through the historic center of Anacapri
– Dinner buffet, show and White Party in one of the most exclusive places of the island:” La Canzone del Mare”
Find out more information on packages available at www.caprirainbow.com. For info and reservations: email@example.com
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(**) Press Releases are submitted by CarlosMeliaBlog.com users, not by Carlos Melia. They do not represent the viewpoint of CarlosMeliaBlog.com nor an endorsement by Carlos Melia.
Recreate the Gilded Age in the Playground of Gatsby | Newport, Rhode Island | Ocean-side mansions surround the charming coastal city of Newport, which was once a playground for the rich and famous of the Gilded Age. Built in 1909 by Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt of the illustrious family of the same name – prominent figures in the 1920s and who to this day remain one of the richest families in US history – Vanderbilt Grace, as it is known today, retains the history of this time with unmatched heritage, yet modern service.
While Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of The Great Gatsby, hitting theatres this May, boasts Leonardo DiCaprio in its distinguished cast, it was the 1974 adaptation of the novel that featured the grand Newport mansions. As Gatsby fever starts taking hold, Vanderbilt Grace is offering guests a chance to explore this historic city with the Grace Gatsby package, inclusive of two nights’ accommodation with Champagne breakfast, tickets to the iconic Newport mansions, a sunset sailing cruise taking in the historic sites of the city and a vintage five-course dinner for two with wine pairings at the hotel’s fine dining restaurant, Muse by Jonathan Cartwright. Created by Group Chef de Cuisine Jonathan Cartwright, the vintage menu is modeled on a Vanderbilt family menu from 1912 and is a tribute to the mansion’s long and celebrated history.
The Grace Gatsby package includes:
> Two night stay at Vanderbilt Grace
> Two Newport Mansions Passports (includes admissions to any five of the following: The Breakers, Chateau-sur-Mer, Chepstow, The Elms, Green Animals Topiary Garden, Isaac Bell House, Kingscote, Marble House and Rosecliff)
> Sunset sailing cruise for two
> Champagne breakfast for two each morning
> Vintage Vanderbilt five course dinner for two with wine pairings
> Welcome gift
Rates start at $1110 per couple.
(*) Valid from 25 April 2013 until 30 September 2013, subject to availability. This offer must be booked at least two weeks in advance.
(**) To book your own travel experience, do not hesitate to contact me either by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone # 917.754.5515. I am an experienced Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of MLGTPP, IGLTA, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network.
(***) Follow me around the world by subscribing to my Facebook Profile, liking my Facebook Page, following me on Twitter. and/or pining me on Pinterest. Also check out my new page Carlos Melia Recommends.