During my last visit to Paris, I was invited to stay at the chic-modern and avant-garde hotel Le Royal Monceau by one of my favorite hotel chains in the world, Raffles Hotels. Been to the hotel, a few times, in the past, having drinks at the iconic Le Long Bar or enjoying a lovely dinner their one-Michelin-stared Italian restaurant Il Carpacio, but this was my first time staying overnight with them. We were hosted at one of their lovely Junior Suites. Located on the prestigious Avenue Hoche, only steps away from the Champs-Elysées, Arc de Triomphe and elegant Parc Monceau, Le Royal Monceau Raffles Paris is ideally located for guests to fully experience the rich and vibrant atmosphere of Paris.
On my regular travel column for the morning show Un Nuevo Dia on Telemundo NBC Universal, this time I was live, along with my Miniature Schnauzer BRUNA, to talk about and give my recommendations on Traveling with Pets. See you on the next one, to talk about ” Frequent Flyer Programs “.
On the road again for a week. Off to Paris or Rubin Singer Resort 2015 Fashion Week, followed by a fun weekend with friends in London. Reviewing Le Royal Monceau Paris by Raffles Hotels, Mandarin Oriental Paris. Staying at La Reserve in Trocadero. THANK YOU Michael Romei at Les Clefs d’Or for arranging our dinners specially our favorite at Le Voltaire. Internet access and time will be limited, therefore I might not be able to blog or post as usual. I invite you to follow my hour by hour experiences, reviews and tips on hotels, restaurants, and more at my Instagram @CarlosMeliaBlog. Let’s keep the conversation going.
I have to admit, I have never been a fan of Cancun, and most of the times I have visited Riviera Maya, I have gone to Maroma Beach and up, like Tulum. But I think, the new NIZUC Resort, has changed my mind, and I would consider a pre/post experience at Punta Nizuc. The rumor says, the original plan was to create residences by Aman Resorts, but the project was stopped. Mexico based hospitality group Brisas took over and develop the project in full. Funny enough, the moment I stepped foot into the property, my first feeling was ” Mexico meets Asia” and question was, … was anyone from Aman Resorts or COMO Hotels involved into this project, and funny enough in some way they were.
One of the many activities you can experience and do, during your stay and visit to the very lovely Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa, is the Mexican Cooking Master Class, by the charming and fantastic Executive Chef Juan Pablo Loza. Learn the secrets of traditional Mexican gastronomy from the Executive Chef. Return from your vacation a master of Mexican cuisine. The cooking class took place outdoors at a traditional Mayan Villa, within the premises of the resort. That same night, I also join Chef Juan Pablo, to the Chef Table, and let him lead me through a feast of flavors in a delectable tasting session. Specially selected dishes represent the very best of Mexican cuisine. Bon Appetite
CarlosMeliaBlog LIVE w/ Rashel Diaz at the studios of NBC Universal in New York, for my collaboration as Travel Expert at the morning show Un Nuevo Día on Telemundo.Telemundo is the leading Spanish speaking channel, and “Un Nuevo Dia” has recently won the Day Time Emmy as Outstanding Day Program in Spanish.
Right after our visit to the “La Citta Bianca” of Ostuni, in Puglia, South of Italy, we carried on to our next hotel for the night, this time we not only where staying at a Masseria (local farm house) but also, a working vineyard and olives plantation, which promised a great afternoon overlooking the sunset over local wines and olives, and dinner. The estate called Le Fabriche covers about 20 hectares of grapevines, centuries-old olive trees and Mediterranean Maquis. From the panoramic position of the “Serre Tarantine”, the 17th century farmhouse, the Masseria, overlooks this rural amphitheater designed by nature and by men over the centuries. The Masseria offers stunning views of the Ionian sea which is only 4 km far.
The White Town of Ostuni. Transiting, from north to south, the lovely Valle D’Itria, province of Brindisi, in the region of Puglia, South of Italy, along the coast of the Adriatic Sea, I did a brief stop at the White City of Ostuni. From the road below, it appears like a mirage of white light. From the ancient town, up the hill, you can admire beautiful scenery. Via Cattedrale, divides the medieval heart named Terra in two. Stroll through the narrow alleys, steep stairways, craft shops, and restaurants, courtyards and piazzas, where white houses are dotted with geraniums.
I think my favorite destination, during my recent visit to the South of Italy in Puglia, was Gallipoli. A destination which apart for offering stunning beaches and attractions, is also important for its historic centre and its architectural beauties. Gallipoli is also know to be the main LGBT hotspot in Italy, particularly during the summer – Maco Beach, is just and example of that. Gallipoli, from the Greek “Kallipolis”, means “Beautiful City”, and indeed it is. On the coast of the Ionian Sea, part of the Salento region, and the province of Lecce.
One of the many exciting real experiences, I truly enjoyed during my recent visit to Puglia, in the South of Italy, was other than the Wine & Olive Oil Tasting at a real Masseria, the real Italian Cooking Class at da Bruna Ristorante , with Bruna herself, outside of Lecce in the region of Salento. Our cooking class focused on pasta, and the best part was, that at the very end, we had to eat our own cooking. Well that, plus the AMAZING sauce Mrs Bruna prepared for us, from her secret recipe. She and her staff were so sweet and funny, making the class truly enjoyable and educating. Of course, I reinforced the fact that I cannot cook, but well, I just went along with it ha ha ha…. no just kidding, I can, but in a very basic and beginners rank. I guess I have other great qualities to be a good husband. Check my video here. If I would’ve had more time, I would definitely included da Bruna Ristorante as one of my dinner plans, you should, true local authentic Italian experience.