SEP/OCT13 Jet-Setting the World

SEP/OCT13 Jet-Setting the World

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SEP/OCT13 Jet-Setting the World | SEP/OCT 2013 my next two month jet- setting around the world covering the world of Luxury Travel and Hospitality. Stay tuned to my Instagram. NewYork to/from LasVegas for YLC and LTX 2013, MEXICO RivieraMaya ARGENTINA BuenosAires ITALY w/ Rubin Singer Rome Florence Venice SCOTLAND Edinburgh ENGLAND London. Carlos Melia curating the world of Luxury Travel & Lifestyle by experience. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends

 

(*) Sponsor Airlines: Delta Airlines (Business Class) + American Airlines + GermanWings

 

Las Vegas: Young Leaders Conference + Luxury Travel Exchange 2013 + The Venitian Hotel
Mexico: ILTM Americas + Rosewood Mayakoba
Italy: The First Luxury Hotel + Hassler Hotel + Villa San Michelle + Four Seasons Firenze + Hotel Cipriani + The Gritti Palace + Westin Europe & Regina.
Scotland: Nira Caledonia + The Balmoral + The Royal Scotsman Orient Express Train
UK: The Goring Hotel

(*) 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 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.

PERU South and North

PERU South and North by www.carlosmeliablog.comPERU South and North   |  Itineraries by Carlos Melia  |  Based on my last visit to Peru, I have curated this Peru Experience for my clients, visiting Lima, Cusco, Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley, Pisac and then off to Iquitos to sail on a luxury cruise along the Amazon River. Continue reading PERU South and North

The Royal Scotsman by Orient-Express Trains

The Royal Scotsman by Orient-Express Trains  |  Orient-Express  |  OMG !!!! I am BEYOND excited to announce that I have just been confirmed by Orient-Express Trains, to join them on the The Royal Scotsman experience on a journey from/to Edinburgh in traditional style and elegant comfort, unparalleled way to explore the very best of Scotland and the Highlands. Getting my Tuxedo ready. Four fabulous nights in the heart of the Highlands: The Royal Scotsman Classic Journey leads past mountains, castles and romantic coastlines to some of Scotland’s most scenic landscapes. This will be my fourth Orient Express Train around the world. SOOO EXCITED!!!! Thank you Orient-Express and Delta Airlines. More to come and all to be posted here. BTW this trip comes along with a previous visit to Italy also by Orient-Express Hotels, staying at Villa San Michele (Florence) and Hotel Cipriani (Venice) along with my partner Rubin Singer. My October 2013 is looking FABULOUS so far. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends

 

(*) To book your own travel experience, do not hesitate to contact me either by email carlos@carlosmelia.com<mailto:carlos@carlosmelia.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.

 

(**) 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, InstagramYouTube and/or pining me on Pinterest. Also check out my new page Carlos Melia Recommends.

El Encanto by Orient-Express

El Encanto by Orient-Express by www.carlosmelablog.comEl 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.

El Encanto by Orient-Express by www.carlosmelablog.comWe 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.

El Encanto by Orient-Express by www.carlosmelablog.comAs 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.
El Encanto by Orient-Express by www.carlosmelablog.comAll 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.
El Encanto by Orient-Express by www.carlosmelablog.comThe 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.
El Encanto by Orient-Express by www.carlosmelablog.comDining 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.
El Encanto by Orient-Express by www.carlosmelablog.comI 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.
El Encanto by Orient-Express by www.carlosmelablog.comOrient-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

El Encanto by Orient-Express by www.carlosmelablog.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 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.

St Martin or St Marteen by Carlos Melia

St Martin or St Marteen by Carlos Melia  |  429 Magazine  |  My full article about my experience in St Martin is OUT and ONLINE at dot429 Magazine featuring my La Samanna by Orient-Express. Check it OUT. Read more about St Martin  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 Small Travel Groups at Coups de Coeur. I am an experienced Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of LGTNetwork, 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.

Fort Louis Marigot St Martin

Fort Louis Marigot St Martin  |  Saint Martin, The Caribbean  |  Located on the French side of the island only minutes away from Marigot, the capital of the French side. Drive all the way up to the top of the hill and walk the rest of the way. S-T-U-N-N-I-N-G views over Marigot, Marina Fort Louis, the bay and if you are lucky the silver sunset.  Continue reading Fort Louis Marigot St Martin

Loterie Farm Resto Alfresco

Loterie Farm Resto Alfresco  |  Saint Martin, The Caribbean |  Have lunch on the top of the trees, yes literally. That is what they told me, and I was OK… I have seen enough in this life so nothing quite surprise me anymore, but at the same time I always end up being surprised THANK GOD or life will become too boring right. Love to be outdoors connecting with nature? Or are you a daredevil and love extreme sports? Well there they have them both! Loterie Farm is a secret hideaway nestled in the hillside of Pic Paradis on French Saint Martin where you can wine, dine, climb, hike and glide over the treetop canopy. It is truly an eco-tourism and gastronomical experience you’re not likely to forget or find elsewhere. Shame on me, I only had lunch ha ha ha and a few local drinks.  Continue reading Loterie Farm Resto Alfresco

AMTRAK Los Angeles to Santa Barbara

AMTRAK Los Angeles to Santa Barbara  |  California  |  So here is a funny story. After a week of work in Los Angeles for Rubin’s Special Appearances for Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills, we were invited by the new Orient-Express property El Encanto, to visit them in Santa Barbara. So we book our car to drive along the Pacific Coast on last Saturday morning, enjoying the lovely views and the amazing weather. Well not quite so. !!!!! A week before our trip, we realize that both of our Driver’s Licenses were expired. This shows we are both, although non of us are born in the United States, that by now we are two true New Yorkers – who needs to drive when you live in the heart of Manhattan right ?

So the questions was ? How to get from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara, in time, not to miss our relaxing weekend at El Encanto.  We both knew that the drive was an experience itself, with all the lovely views of the Pacific Coastline… so we were disappointed to miss that. Luckily we found the right option, Amtrak Pacific Surfliner. If you have read my previous reviews on Amtrak, I have not been one of their fans in the past, but I must say that this time, they brought the European Rail service flashback to us. Connecting San Luis Obispo and San Diego through Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, the Pacific Surfliner offers a unique vantage on the Southern California seascape. To get a closer look, you’d have to be on a surfboard.
So went online and USD 95 Business Class Round Trip after, we were at the beautiful Union Station in Downtown Los Angeles, ready to board our train, for our Hitchcock style weekend at El Encanto in Santa Barbara.
The ride was smooth, enjoying during the second half of the journey, lovely views of the Pacific coastline. The train did approximately 7 stops before reaching our destination, Santa Barbara, on time.
Onboard, you may enjoy some basic snacks – trust me, more than some airlines offer you these days, complimentary WiFi, bathrooms  and comfortable seats. reclining 45 degrees. The perfect, hazard free to driving, which in the end would have been useless, since all we did in Santa Barbara was sleep, eat and drink, therefore… no room for driving.
Trains, most of the times in the United States, are synonym or low class or ghetto. Although I can relate to that in some way, if compared to trains services in Europe, here is what I have to say about the Pacific Surfliner – practical, comfortable, punctual, quick, hazard free and with lovely views. We arrived to Santa Barbara in approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes, right to head to El Encanto and enjoy our lunch out on the Terrace overlooking Santa Barbara from our view on the hills, on a stunning sunny day. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends

(*) 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 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.

Hotel Check IN El Encanto Santa Barbara

Hotel Check IN El Encanto Santa Barbara  |  Santa Barbara, California  |  Just arrived and Checked IN at the iconic, recently renovated, sophisticated and very laid back and relaxing El Encanto by Orient-Express in Santa Barbara. Only 2 hours away from Los Angeles, we will be here relaxing and spoiling ourselves for the weekend, after a long week working in Los Angeles for Rubin Singer’s Special Appearances with Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills and a fun social nights out in Beverly Hills. Luxury bungalows dot the lush gardens with sweeping views of Santa Barbara’s Riviera overlooking the Pacific Ocean.Orient-Express. At our suite now, after a lovely lunch at the Terrace on a gorgeous sunny day. Time for a nap. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends


(*) 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 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.

Private dinner at La Cave by La Samanna

Private dinner at La Cave by La Samanna   |  Saint Martin  |  Without a doubt, the best dinner I had during my last visit to Saint Martin, was the private dinner at La Cave by La Samanna Orient-Express.  Perfect for private celebrations or specialty group dinners, La Cave offers a unique dining experience in an atmospheric wine cellar. Curate your own tasting menu with an expert chef, complemented by the fine wines that line the cellar.  Continue reading Private dinner at La Cave by La Samanna