Friday, May 30, 2014

“Did a coconut mojito really make me cry?” My visit to The Modern Honolulu

I just returned from a week in Waikiki and was fortunate enough to stay at The Modern Honolulu for my first time.  From the moment I arrived I was delighted and astonished. The Modern Honolulu defines themselves as “cosmopolitan chic," and that’s exactly what they are.  Sexy and sophisticated.  The aroma of plumeria greeted me immediately upon entry. Now I’ll be the first to admit that at the very mention of perfume (AH-CHOOO!) I sneeze uncontrollably.  But this scent was so very subtle and perfect. I found myself popping down to the lobby throughout the week just to catch another whiff. Well, either that, or to catch another glimpse of the quirky Herbie Fletcher original broken-in-action surfboard back splash.

The rooms were aesthetically divine, so crisp and clean looking; all white with a slight pop of Hawaiian color. I was relaxed just looking at the décor.  No tacky artwork or paisley bedspreads in sight. There are only 310 guest rooms in this hotel, the perfect size boutique setting that I so love.  There was a wedding occurring while I was there and it was absolutely beautiful.  You can actually have your guests sit on chairs IN THE POOL.  Talk about a unique.  (Okay, I should mention that the upper pool is a 4 inch wading pool, but the perfect WOW factor for your wedding!).

Friday, May 9, 2014

The Magical and Peaceful Bulgari Bali is the Definition of Namaste

When I arrived in Bali on January 6, 2014, I was taken back by how much tourism has destroyed the peaceful island that I had remembered when I was nine years old. Staying on the Kuta Beach area in Bali feels a bit like being in an Asian version of South Beach, Miami. Crowded with lots of tourists, loud and a little dirty, kind of neon with lots of hotels, restaurants, beach hustling locals and outdoor shopping malls. 
The next beach town close by to Kuta is called Semiyak. This area of Bali is more the American version of Kuta Beach. A little more secluded than Kuta with hidden luxury hotels off a main strip filled with small, amazing restaurants and unique, boutique shopping. 
By day three, we reach Ulawatu Beach or Dreamland Beach where my family and I had afternoon tea at sunset to celebrate my birthday in Bali. They named it Dreamland Beach because 20 years ago when Bali was filled with mostly surfers, they would come here and lay out naked after a long day of ripping through the epic waves. Que entering the Bulgari Resort ...

The Bulgari Bali is the definition of namaste to me. The resort is located about 45 minutes from the airport and is on the only part of the island where you can see the sun rise and set in the same location. When you enter the grounds, you are greeted by security and you must be on their list in order to enter the property. The gates open and the first thing you see is a temple which looks down over the cliff of hidden suites and villas over looking the ocean throughout the grounds. At the main lobby we met our guide who took us around the hilly property on a golf cart. When staying at the Bulgari, you can call the front desk to have this person take you to other areas of the resort like the spa, two restaurants, infinity pool and sun deck with luxurious and modern lounging areas or the sun cafe where we enjoyed our afternoon tea. The property has a magical Asian inspiration throughout but in tradition with other Bulgari properties, they hold true to their Italian traditions in their restaurants. The modern suites of dark woods and natural stone are situated in the cliff side, so you wake up to glass walls that can open up to your infinity plug pool over the Indian Ocean. You literally can see the ocean and its never ending waters right from your bed. Na-ma-ste