A Gourmet visit to Porto and stay The Yeatman Wine Hotel & Spa| Porto, Portugal | Two weeks ago, I joined a week trip by Relais & Chateaux Hotels and Restaruants, to visit all their current properties in Galicia, Spain and all over Portugal. After a lovely stays in Santiago de Compostela at A Quinta da Auga Hotel & Spa, and crossing to Portugal to Amarante with stay at Casa da Calçada, our journey continued onwards to Porto… This is my report on the third night. Stay tuned for the rest in upcoming blog posts. 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 Gourmet visit to Porto and stay The Yeatman Wine Hotel & Spa
My exciting eventful week curating the world of luxury travel attending ILTM Cannes 2016 | ILTM Cannes, France | After several months traveling around there world non-stop, I have a few days at home in New York, to seat down and start debriefing and blogging about some of the highlights of my recent travels. First post, my exciting eventful week attending ILTM Cannes, which took me from New York to Madrid, Spain, onwards to Nice, Cannes, Monaco and Monte Carlo, France. ILTM – International Luxury Travel Market, is the place and event where luxury travel advisors and media, like me, gather in search of what new – coming – trending in the world of luxury travel, and like in my case, to scout for and curate, unique travel experiences to offer both my discerning leisure and corporate clients. So here we go, hope you enjoy my post. 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 ILTM Cannes 2016. Continue reading My exciting eventful week curating the world of luxury travel attending ILTM Cannes 2016
My private pre-opening viewing of the Ritz Paris | Paris, France | Today, I was among one of the few lucky chosen ones, to enjoyed a private pre-opening behind-construction walk-around of the iconic Ritz Paris, schedule to re-open next March 2016. I was introduced to the lovely mock up suites, the traditional and brand new restaurants and bars, the new inner garden, the exclusive and unique Chanel Spa and much more…, by the hand of Monsieur Manfred Mautsch, who has been with the hotel now for over 20 years and gone through two renovations…
Continue reading My private pre-opening viewing of the Ritz Paris
Lunch at AMAN Canal Grande Venezia | Venice, Italy | Today I was invited to come and see the newly inaugurated AMAN Resort in Venice, the AMAN Canal Grande. Locate only minutes away from the Ponte Rialto and the Rialto Mercato, this 24 rooms property is in the middle of everything, but still an oasis of tranquility and sophistication within the historic district. The Palazzo Papadopoli, was built in the 16th century by the architect Gian Giacomo dé Grigi. I was picked up at 11AM sharply by my own private Riva boat, and taking along the Grand Canal to the main gates of the property. This is the way all guests arrive to the hotel. Sweeping staircase rises through two levels to arrive at the reception area for the Dining Room, which overlooks the Grand Canal and serves Italian and Asian cuisines. This is situated on the piano nobile – the grandest floor of the palazzo. The main dining area is housed in the ballroom – a Rococo gilded room decorated with mirrors, frescos and the original chandeliers. The Yellow Dining Room and the Red Dining Room lie adjacent to the ballroom, with views over the Grand Canal and the resort’s Garden Terrace respectively. Of course I chose the main ballroom. Continue reading Lunch at AMAN Canal Grande Venezia
El Encanto by Orient-Express | Santa Barbara, California | Over a month ago, after our work week in Los Angeles for Rubin Singer Couture, we were invited by the recently opened and now third hotel property in the country by Orient-Express, the iconic El Encanto. The old glamour getaway from Hollywood now back, meticulously restored to capture all the original romance and sophistication that endeared it to both the Santa Barbara community and vacationers in search of seclusion and charm. Original architectural features have been lovingly brought back to life, while modern additions include an expansive outdoor swimming pool and beautiful boutique spa.
We were too tired to drive from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara, so we made the smart decision to take the AMTRAK Pacific Surfliner Business Class Train, from the lovely Union Station in downtown Los Angeles (which you will recognize from many movies), to our final destination, on a panoramic journey that took us approx. 2 hours and 15 minutes.
As soon as we arrived to the station, our host and driver was awaiting for us with a sign under El Encanto. The perfect way to begin our weekend experience. Check IN was smooth and since our bungalow was yet not ready, we enjoyed a lovely lunch at the outdoors terrace, which in the days to come will become our regular for breakfast and lunch enjoying semi -spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and Santa Barbara.
We were hosted at a Premium Bungalow was indeed quite lovely and comfortable. We had our own private entrance with a small patio and a one bedroom suite, full of windows to portrait the views of the gardens. although we would have hoped for some more space for our clothes and suitcases, where the closet is linked right to the bathroom area, next to the shower, which made it a bit of a hazard at some point.
All Premium Bungalows feature: King-size bed, Large writing desk, Marble bathroom with separate bath and rainforest shower, Private garden or patio. Other accommodation options are the Luxury Suites and the Bungalow Suites.
The gardens at the property, despite of the recent renovations and the opening (last March 2013) are lush and beautiful, surrounding the main house, the pool area, the casitas mexican style construction, and the spa. Seven acres of gloriously landscaped gardens offer sweeping views of Santa Barbara and the Pacific Ocean. Drift through the rare flora and enjoy the balmy West Coast evenings. The fitness studio, whether you’re into pilates, yoga, core fitness or boot camp, the Fitness Studio features a variety of classes to ensure that you stay in shape. You’ll also find cutting-edge cardio equipment, a TRX training system and Kinesis fitness products.
Dining was quite a paradox, among beautiful outdoors terraces and views, stunning classic and avant-garde style and deco, with patronizing attitude by staff and management and sorry to say but must be true to our own experience blunt and boring menu. The least I expect from a retreat as such, if for them to tell me repeated times I CAN’T do this or that, and being in self choice to relax and unwind in a semi remote location, I expect the restaurants and gourmet offer to be quite enjoyable and tasteful. Their approach an innovative menu offering contemporary California-coastal cuisine infused with Asian touches, French flair, which unfortunately for us did not work.
I spent one of my afternoons on my own, biking around the property and off to the town and waterfront of Santa Barbara, experience which was quite enjoyable, specially on my way back, with their engine-equipped bikes, which helped me with the steep slopes of the area. After that, since Rubin had already left, I decided to stay in enjoying the coziness of my bungalow, and enjoy dinner en privé, next to my fire place zipping through local wine and listening to music.
Orient-Express are big shoes to fill, and when you get such an iconic property as El Encanto, the bar sets even higher. I would give El Encanto a few more month to simmer, settle down and reach the level of service, Orient-Express customers and new comers expect from such a legendary group. Most definitely I would return to relax, unwind and be pampered at he so called North American Riviera. 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. I am an experienced Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of MLGTPP, IGLTA, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network.
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Hotel Check IN La Samanna by Belmond | Baie Longue, Saint Martin | Long overdo, since I Checked IN three days ago, but I have been having too much fun and also the Ocean Front Villa I am being hosted by Belmond is so HUGE that I have to find the way to video tape the entire villa without getting you guys bored. Welcomed to Saint Martin island in the Caribbean. This beautiful island, shared by France and The Netherlands. La Samanna is located on the French side, over the Caribbean Sea, in between stunning Baie Longue beach and Cupecoy. I am staying for a total of 3 nights, and I must say I would just move in. Continue reading Hotel Check IN La Samanna by Belmond
HUB Porteño homemade luxury experience | Buenos Aires, Argentina | Their slogan is Live you own local experience in Buenos Aires, and this is the HUB and heart of this new project that opened only three month ago, in the heart of the district of Recoleta. They propose six experiences based on all or any of the following: Art, Entertainment, Countryside, Tango, Culture and/or Polo. From the moment you step foot into HUB Porteño, you can feel and experience the sophistication and exclusiveness, achieved by using only native elements, materials and creations. Continue reading HUB Porteño homemade luxury experience
Le Negresco Hotel unexpected Palace | Nice, France | If we talk about traditional hotels that exude luxury and charm, well I would risk to say the Le Negresco Hotel in French Riviera is on the top of my list. The minute you walk by the door and enter the lobby of the hotel, a fairy tale of sophistication unfolds. Le Negresco first opened its doors on January 8th, 1913. The hotel, designed by Henri Negrescu, immediately attracted a brilliant international clientele, Kings of the old and the new world. Jeanne Augier is the guardian of this myth. Owner of the Palace since 1957, this great lady – with deeply-rooted convictions – has devoted her life to the preservation and the development of this unique heritage. Continue reading Le Negresco Hotel unexpected Palace
Hotel Check IN Park Hyatt Paris Vendome | Paris, France | Yes, yesterday I made it back to Paris, all the way from Moscow. I arrived late in the afternoon to check in at the stunning, sophisticated, exclusive and very well located Park Hyatt Paris Vendome Hotel. As its names implies, located steps away from Place Vendome, Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Place de la Concorde and of course Opera. Below is the video of my room.
My Park Deluxe King is an oversized 30 to 40-sq.-metre room finished in exquisite detail with wood, bronze and silk, complementing a king bed with luxurious linens, generous work area with high-speed Internet access and limestone bath with soaking tub and stone-enclosed rain shower. Serene courtyard views from the three windows. Bathroom amenities such as plush robes and Blaise Mautin toiletries.
More will come later, since so far I have been only able to check in, go out for dinner, have a great drink at the Le Bar at the hotel, and go to sleep. Le Bar is an ideal place for international travelers to mingle with Parisians as they soak up the arty atmosphere and sip creative cocktails. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends
(*) To book this property, 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 IGLTA, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network.
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(*) 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.
Hotel Check IN National Hotel Moscow | Moscow, Russia | One of the landmark hotels of the city of Moscow, located right across the Red Square, the Kremlin and the National Museum. Built in 1903 by famed Russian architect Alexander Ivanov, Hotel National has been an awe-inspiring historic landmark for more than a century. Member of The Luxury Collection. Check out and follow my Instagram Photo Album on Russia. Continue reading Hotel Check IN National Hotel Moscow