Carlos Melia Recommends eNews March 2016 is online featuring Miami and beyond


Carlos Melia Recommends eNews March 2016 is online featuring Miami and beyond
| Carlos Melia Recommends eNews | The March 2016 issue of Carlos Melia Recommends eNews is out and online, featuring this month, my recent trip to Miami, Florida. A week scouting for new and classic hotels and restaurants. The featured hotel of this month is Hotel Paradies in Ftan, Switzerland. And weare sharing the mention by Man About World Magazine, naming me as a ” Travel Planning Expert “. Read more. Carlos 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. Also check our scheduled Travel Groups. 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

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Miami Beach photos by Carlos Melia

Miami Beach Postcards by Carlos MeliaMiami Beach photos by Carlos Melia  | MiamiUnited States |  Some photos I took during my recent trip to Miami, which I love. For more, follow my Instagram Miami Photo Gallery. Also check my posts on Hotels, Restaurants and Wynwood Walls. Carlos Melia Luxury Travel Curator – www.carlosmelia.com Continue reading Miami Beach photos by Carlos Melia

My week curating new and classic hotels of Miami Beach

The Betsy Hotel Miami BeachMy week curating new and classic hotels of Miami Beach  |  Miami, United States  | Following my recent post, on my list of curated Restaurants in Miami Beach, based on my recent visit, I bring to you my experience curating new and classic hotels of Miami Beach. I spent a week in Miami, experiencing at first hand the a select group of hotels in various locations of Miami Beach and beyond. See below my comments, videos and photos. Follow my Instagram Miami Photo Gallery. Continue reading My week curating new and classic hotels of Miami Beach

WYNWOOD WALLS STREET ART

FullSizeRender 4WYNWOOD WALLS  STREET ART  |  Miami, United States  | Miami now has its own SOHO vibe. Wynwood is a neighborhood in Miami, Florida. It is north of Downtown Miami, with two major sub-districts, the Wynwood Art District in northern Wynwood, and the Wynwood Fashion District. During my last visit to Miami, I came to explore these districts, which everyone talk about. I must say I was quite unimpressed, particularly by the Fashion one. I mean nothing you haven’t seen before, and the area looked like a ghost town, completely empty. As for the Art District, it was rather more interested and crowded. Full of art galleries, and small cafes, eclectic bars and restaurants. Contains over 70 galleries, museums and art collections. What I did find very attractive, were the Wynwood Walls.  Continue reading WYNWOOD WALLS STREET ART

MUSTs and MISS South Beach Miami Restaurants list

Miami BeachMUSTs and MISS South Beach Miami Restaurants list  |  Miami, United States  | Last week I spent 5 days in Miami Beach. I came to review and experience a few new luxury hotels (post to come soon), and at the same time do a revision of the restaurant scene. Of course this was not my first time to Miami, as a matter of fact I have spent half of my life coming here, and I have seen many transformations and faces of Miami and SOBE, over the years. I tried a few options either new to me or new to the Miami Beach Scene. Here are my MUST and MISS South Beach Miami Restaurants list, based own experiences.  Continue reading MUSTs and MISS South Beach Miami Restaurants list

Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels

Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels  |  Miami Beach, Florida  |  Last week, I spent the entire week in Miami Beach and I got to stay and preview the recently inaugurated Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotel Group.  I have stayed with them before, at their sister properties in Bangkok and London, also under the Metropolitan brand, having great stays. Metropolitan Miami is located in South Beach, off Collins Avenue between 24th and 25th. Only two blocks away from the W South Beach and the SETAI South Beach. Despite the hotel not being right on the water, the property consists on two sections divided by a charming and quiet street called Miami Beach Drive. The building over Collins Avenue is where the main building, with the hotel and restaurant, is located. The section next to the boardwalk, with direct access to the beach, is where the lovely pool area and outdoor lounge is located. The hotel is already the comment of the town, and is trending on site like TripAdvisor as number one option in Miami.

Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.comMetropolitan Miami a 74-room Miami hotel in the heart of the Miami Beach Historic District, overlooking America’s most iconic beach. A new hotel poised to become an essential Miami Beach experience, Metropolitan Miami Beach delivers the perfect blend of rest and revelry, urban modernity and period charm by way of light-filled rooms, a COMO Shambhala Urban Escape, and leading-edge interiors by the Italian designer, Paola Navone.

Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com During our visit the hotel was still under construction and in soft opening mode, so mind my comments coming from a hotel that is still in the process of settling down and get going. Metropolitan Miami opened its doors approximately three weeks ago. Despite remaining under construction for almost 50% of their total capacity, we were never affected nor bothered by noises or workers. Moreover, we could not tell the hotels wasn’t fully functional, other than the Hydrotherapy Pool being out of service for a few more weeks.

Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.comMetropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com We stayed at one of their Metropolitan Ocean View Rooms (size: 394 – 436 square feet). This is their third room category.  The decor Art Deco luxury, by the Italian designer, Paola Navone is very minimalistic, with lovely soft light green, grey and cream tones, very SOBE like. I have seen similar concepts in South Beach, but not as refined and balanced, at hotels like the Townhouse. Rooms are on the small side. I love the fact of having cool marbles floors and being flooded with natural light. The only aspect I did not like from our room – matter of personal taste – was the open closets. I much rather prefer to have a sliding door, specially in rooms of this dimensions. For a little extra, you can opt to have the same room type, with a private balcony. Metropolitan Miami is pet friendly, but be aware, that if you travel with your pet, like we did, there is a DAILY extra cleaning fee of USD 50 (which among us, I think is outrageous, specially when the hotel is entirely done with marble floors with only carpets in some common areas and hallways.) See the Video of our room

Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.comI would have to say, the weakest links at the hotel were: (1). The check in process and (2). Breakfast. (1). Check IN was conducted in a very dismissive way. Being such a new property you would expect more enthusiasm and warm welcoming factor by the front desk agents. I mean, if after three weeks of opening, this is the attitude…. what can be expected down the road. We had, a subject to availability, upgrade courtesy to a higher room type, which immediately was denied upon Check IN. I complain in a very polite way, and said I would not mind waiting a little bit longer to Check IN if this would mean being upgraded. To this once again, the same dismissive agent said, that there were no higher category rooms available. Honestly felt like they were nickeling and dimming the upgrades.!!! I still wasn’t 100% content and insisted, and when they realized I was not going to go so easily, they granted it. Now I ask myself, wouldn’t it had been easier and more welcoming to do it from the beginning, avoiding this unpleasant situation ? So I let them know that I was going to go for lunch, at their restaurant, and come back later. One and a half hour later I was Checked IN at the upgraded room.Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com

Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com(2). Breakfast at their beautiful restaurant was not in sync with the looks of the room. We had a bad experience on our first morning, and when the General Manager asked about it, we explained that the buffet was very basic, that the coffee was like dirty water, that the French Press was not working properly, that the timing for the delivery of the food was wrong… etc etc etc. A la carte was OK, and during my entire stay, I always ordered the MET Breakfast, but again the timing was wrong. That we were going to go somewhere else for breakfast for the following days of our stay. He insisted on us having breakfast at his expense the following morning, giving them the chance to try the breakfast service once again. Well we did, and again was bad. This time we were even more disappointed, because not only the breakfast was basic and all of the above, once again, but they spoiled our option to enjoy a lovely breakfast somewhere else, which would have been OK for us. Once again we understood from the beginning that we were staying during Opening SOFT Mode.

Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.comThe best experience of our stay, I must say was spending the day at their Outdoor Pool and Lounge. Not only the pool is beautiful, but their staff go above and beyond to make you feel relax, welcomed and taken care off. If you are lucky, like we were, you will get Leticia to be your host. She was not only spooling Rubin and I, but also our little Schnauzer Bruna #TravelwithBruna. We also enjoyed afternoon cocktails with some friends and family.

Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.comAt the beach, Metropolitan Miami has its own beach area, with chairs, umbrellas, cabanas and food & beverage service. The hotel charges a USD 20 Resort Fee per room per day, but this does not include the use of the umbrellas nor cabanas which are extra. The semi private access to the beach is directly by the outdoor pool, throughout the boardwalk and to the beach.

Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com On our last night, since my parents were in town, we decided to host a quiet dinner at their restaurant Traymore. Unlike breakfast, I have to say that service was on point and food was delicious. Both the hotel and restaurant are yet not very popular, so it lacked of an ambiance, but to be honest, that was EXACTLY what we were looking for after ongoing nights out dining at Lincoln Road, SOHO House, Cecconi’s and The Dutch at W South Beach.

Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.comAs I said at the beginning, the Hydrotherapy Pool still remains closed at the moment of our visit, but the Fitness Center and Spa are fully operational. Signature COMO Shambhala Spa, located on the eighth floor, there are four treatment rooms and the COMO Shambhala Terrace, where wellness juices are served amidst sunshine views across the Intracoastal Waterway and city. The spa also features a steam room.

Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.comAmong hotels on Collins Avenue, Metropolitan by COMO, Miami Beach, has one of the best locations: an enviable position for shopping, dining and entertainment, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Guests benefit from easy access to Miami’s city highlights, including the Lincoln Road shopping and entertainment districts, as well as the Miami City Ballet and Bass Museum of Art. Several rooms in the hotel have a water view, be it the Atlantic Ocean or the Intracoastal Waterway and Lake Pancoast. Miami International Airport is a 25-minute transfer by car. The hotel offers Valet Parking for USD 38 per day.

Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.comSo overall it was a nice experience. I would love to return later this year, once they are more settled to experience the signature service by COMO Hotels I have enjoyed before in Asia and Europe. So stay tuned. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends
Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.comMetropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com(*) To book your own travel experience, do not hesitate to contact me either by email carlos@carlosmelia.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.
Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com

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Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com

iFly Indoor Skydiving in Orlando

iFly Indoor Skydiving in Orlando  |  Orlando, Florida  |  Indoor skydiving is as close as you can get to skydiving without actually jumping out of an airplane. It is so realistic that professional skydivers practice their moves in the tunnel, but safe enough for virtually everyone — from three-year olds to adults of any age. I have done real skydiving in the past, and saving the differences, you will get the same feeling of freedom and the adrenaline.

Round one was pretty interesting. After a 10 minutes quick training and getting all my skydiving gear, I was ready to take my flights. No experience is needed, just a sense of adventure and an attitude for fun. The wind tunnel is 12 feet in diameter and over 50 feet high. When you enter the flight chamber, you are lifted up by winds of up to 145 miles per hour. You are flying from the instant you enter the flight chamber and as you work one-on-one with your instructor you experience all of the sensations of free falling in the safety of controlled flight conditions. Totally out of context, I must mention that all the instructors, specially mine were very very handsome, just extra motivation to try.

Round two was much better and easier as you can see on the video above. Each rotation in the tunnel is a full minute, so two one-minute flight rotations in the tunnel equals the free fall time in about three skydives. And that’s all air time – the good stuff – no jumping from an airplane or hard landing! Prices and packages from USD 60 per person on. For more information www.iFlyorlando.com. Have a great flight. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends

(*) To book this tour, 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 IGLTA, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network.

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Downtown Disney Villa

Downtown Disney Villa  |  Orlando, Florida  |  A fun way to end your evening while in Orlando, is to visit the Downtown Disney Villa, featuring multiple entertainment and gourmet options. Pleasure Island, Planet Hollywood, live music and performances, all happen at this villa.

The Christmas Spirit is already falling over and building up at the Disney Villa, with live music an a very peculiar Mickey Mouse shaped Xmas Tree.
I recommend saving one night to visit the Villa, and enjoy the more adult side of the Disney franchise. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends
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Marriott Grande Vista Resort in Orlando

Marriott Grande Vista Resort in Orlando  |  Orlando, Florida  | In the magical heart of Orlando is Marriott’s Grande Vista, offering spacious villas and guestrooms just minutes from Orlando’s most famous attractions I have been for the last 3 nights at the Marriott Grande Vista Resort in Orlando. I came to visit my family, who have a global timeshare and every time we come to the area of Florida, it is with Marriott properties.
This time I am happily surprised. We got a huge villa on the top 5th floor, overlooking the pond with a fountain in the center, all surrounded by lush vegetation and palm trees, although being located quite urban close to SeaWorld and International Dr. One master suite with king-size bed, private bathroom and jacuzzi. Direct access to the unit’s balcony.
A second bedroom with two twin beds and again a private bathroom. Each room hast its own flat TVs, and a good closet space. This villa also has and adjoining studio unit, which by a private foyer becomes one, allowing families or big groups to have up to 6 people in one villa.
Villas feature separate living/dining areas and fully equipped kitchens with cookware and tableware. Also includes full laundry room.
The gym at the hotel is very good.Free weights and Cardiovascular equipment. Complimentary fitness classes. There are also tennis courts, volleyball, and golf courses. Fitness centers are a very important amenity in a hotel for me, and here I must say I feel very happy with it. Fully equipped, overlooking the marina.

The outdoor pool area is also quite big with two pools one for swimming and one for relaxing and playing. Also three heated whirlpools.

If you are planning to spend a few days in Orlando, and want to be away from the hustle and bustle from the parks and the Disney Villa, but still close to everything, then Marriott Vista Grande is a great four stars option to do so, at least it worked out pretty well for us, allowing us to be all together in the same villa, but still each have its own space and privacy. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends
 (*) To book this property, 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 IGLTA, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network.
TIP – Now you can read CarlosMeliaBlog in multiple languages. Just go to the bottom of the page and choose the language of your preference at the Google Translate drop down menu. Enjoy.!!!

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EPCOT Center a sweet lovely nightmare

EPCOT Center a sweet lovely nightmare  |  Orlando, United States  |  Today I spent the whole day at EPCOT Center, part of the Walt Disney World complex at Lake Buena Vista in Orlando, Florida. Done EPCOT Center approximately over 10 times, and I must say that this time, although it is always a lovely experience, it was rather more like a sweet nightmare. Not my plan of a holiday anymore to be fully honest.

Thirty years ago, was my first time there, and at that time I remember it was quite mesmerizing, avant-garde and shocking, featuring cutting edge technology, the promise of a future life in Mars or the Moon…. among many other things. Nowadays the park and the whole offer, feels a bit outdated to me.
My favorite at EPCOT Center has always been and will be the area where countries from around the World are featured for their culture, dance, architecture and people. Most of the time I follow my itinerary, having lunch in Morocco, fish and chips in England, tea in China, a few shots of sake in Japan and dinner in France.
In all fairness, for those that have never been to the park before, from the reaction I perceived from the people around me, both adults and children, is that the park is still very entertaining. But in a way I think it has lost its edge and main purpose which was to show Tomorrow’s Land.
 Provably Mission Space has been my favorite attraction and ride this time. The worst I would give it to Universe of Energy, with a long and boring movie hosted by Ellen DeGeneres.
 I started the day with lots of energy and happy to spend the full day with my parents. Then I started fading, wearing out, getting tired, bored, and annoyed by the number of people out and about. At the end I was totally cranky, not interested at all and ready to head out back to my hotel. I either think I am getting old, or I have seen enough already, and my interest has shifted to other areas, that not particularly involve spending a full day at a park cueing for hours to go on a ride. But hey that is me.
Cost per tickets vary depending on the combo and number of park under the Disney franchise you plan to visit. My plan was and is only to do EPCOT so the price for the single ticket was USD 89. Enjoy your day at EPCOT. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends

 

TIP – Now you can read CarlosMeliaBlog in multiple languages. Just go to the bottom of the page and choose the language of your preference at the Google Translate drop down menu. Enjoy.!!!

 

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