Posts Tagged ‘honeymoon’

Bula from Fiji!

The view flying to Savusavu in Fiji

I’m thrilled to be on assignment for Glamping.com here at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort.

I haven’t been in Fiji since my honeymoon many years ago so It’s a pleasure returning to this South Pacific island country of which I have fond memories.

My daily posts will be running on the Glamping.com blog so be sure to check it out if you want to learn what it’s like staying in thatched roof hut at one of the world’s first eco-luxury resorts.

— Jen

The musical greeting by the staff at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort in Fiji

Poolside at the resort

The interior of Garden Bure 18

Jean-Michele Cousteau Resort – Fiji Day 1st

Day 2 at Jean-Michele Cousteau Resort in Fiji

Day 3 at Jean-Michele Cousteau Resort in Fiji

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A Stay at Ladera Resort, St. Lucia

When your room is missing a wall, it definitely qualifies as Glamping

On my recent trip to St. Lucia, I stayed at two different properties, both in the Soufriere area of the Island. First up was Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort.

Next, I stayed at Ladera Resort for 3 nights, which I covered in detail for the Glamping.com blog (Arrival and Day 1, Day 2, Day 3).

Ladera’s pool sits below it’s bar and Dasheene Restaurant

The two hotels are located close to each other. Ladera even sends guests via shuttle a few times a day to Sugar Beach, since the resort is located in the lush hills between the Pitons, and not right on the ocean.

Not surprisingly, we bumped into some of the same couples we met at Sugar Beach. It makes sense to move around if you’re spending more than a few days on St. Lucia, and the combo gives a nice mix of beach and rainforest and two very different vibes.

Left: Swing over the pool in our room  Right: The indoor “living room” of PR 3 had Piton views

Ladera is the more unique of the two resorts. Since the rooms are all missing a wall, guests are truly getting a 5 star glamping experience. You’re at one with the elements, be it sun, rain, or stars. You’re not exactly roughing it though, the wooden rooms have all the necessary creature comforts (including wifi). But if you’re the type who is going to freak out if you see a gecko in you’re room, then Ladera probably isn’t for you.

Cool in-room amenity: a star chart and binoculars

I love resorts with a non-generic vibe and personality, so I adored Ladera. I also thought the food at Dasheene, their on-site restaurant, was the best of the hotel restaurants I tried. The Caribbean kingfish and jerked shrimp on sugar cane skewers were standouts, and cocktails were a few dollars less expensive than those I drank at nearby resorts.

The mosquito netting is sexy– and helpful when your room is missing one wall

Left: Colorful tiles in the rainforest themed Rainshower Right: The rainshower could easily fit two people… or maybe five

St. Lucia is definitely a couples destination. There were a lot of honeymooners at Ladera, and the hotel is situated for maximum privacy. Missing a wall does mean that you hear the nature outside, the cicadas at night, and the occasional couple in the throes of ecstasy in the next room (good for them!).

Side by side sinks in the wooden bathroom of PR3

Ladera has a top notch staff that can help arrange sightseeing, tours, or any other needs you might have. Their spa is very basic, but the technicians are great (I got a very reasonably priced deep tissue massage that hit the spot).

Ladera’s vibe is eco-chic: wood, boulders, and exposed to the elements

Funky pots and sexy shadows are part of Ladera’s organic charm

Ladera’s social center is the pool, bar, and restaurant area. The bar has spectacular sunset views and saves the best front-row seats for in-house guests. Non hotel guests have to pay a cover fee just to check it out. Local musicians play during brunch and dinner, and the vibe is casual Caribbean elegance and divinely laid back.

Waiting in the bar at Ladera

Lush green landscaping and fun tiled ponds add to the resort’s charm

The Spa might not look fancy, but the treatments are fantastic

The gym is good for working off the rum-based cocktails and fabulous breads served at breakfast

A friendly local in the bar

Peg, a local bird, joined me for breakfast

What I liked most about Ladera was how fun it was. The food was fine-dining quality, but there are just enough local touches that keep it unpretentious and decidedly not stuffy. The guests were also low key and chill. Tables are adorned with madras napkins, and squirt guns meant for fending off local birds who invite themselves to your meals and want in on your tasty bread basket at breakfast.

Left: Drinking a coconut in the bar Right: an omelette made to order for breakfast

Ladera isn’t cookie cutter or generic, and neither are it’s guests. It’s an unforgettable place to spend a few days for a special occasion like a romantic weekend away, an anniversary, or a honeymoon.

A jerked fish wrap for lunch in the bar

Ladera’s bar menu had killer chicken satay, and rum and lime cocktails

Caribbean kingfish for lunch at Dasheene Restaurant at Ladera

The band sets up before dinner in Ladera’s Bar Area

Guests gather poolside to take in the spectacular Piton sunsets

Guests thinking about Ladera should know that it’s not located right on the beach, and while their is shuttle service available, I didn’t even use it as I spend my days at the pool or exploring the surrounding area. There are plenty of taxis available should you miss scheduled shuttle service to Sugar Beach.

Paradise Ridge at night

Ladera Resort

Soufrière,

St. Lucia, West Indies

Resort Reservations: 866-290-0978

reservations@ladera.com

Rates start at $475.00

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The Bird’s Nest at Tiamo Resort South Andros, Bahamas

The screened in porch off the master bedroom of the Bird’s Nest

During my recent stay at Tiamo Resort, I got to tour the Bird’s Nest with General Manager Wilfried Vincent.

Relaxed island luxury in the living room of the Bird’s Nest at Tiamo

While all the villas at Tiamo offer quite a bit of privacy, The three bedroom Bird’s Nest definitely steps up the luxury a notch or three.

The Bird’s Nest features a full kitchen

Set back a bit from the the other villas, The Bird’s Nest offers even more privacy. Plus there is 1400 square feet of private terrace over two levels. The layout features a master bedroom upstairs (with a large and lovely screened in porch just off it) that feels like you’re floating among the palm trees (hence the name Bird’s Nest).

Left: Kitchen details Right: dining table in the Bird’s Nest

The decor is island elegant and sophisticated, and totally unfussy. There are two bedrooms are on the ground floor, making the layout ideal for a couple traveling with children, teens, or staff. The Bird’s Nest is the only accommodation at Tiamo that accepts children under the age of 12.

The 3 bedroom private villa features a pool

I’m not surprised one of Hollywood’s sexiest celebrity couples chooses to come back to Tiamo and stay at the Bird’s Nest every year. It offers secluded privacy and luxury and is only steps away from all Tiamo’s other facilities.

One of the two bedrooms on the ground floor of the Bird’s Nest

Two beds in one of the downstairs bedrooms

I loved the master bedroom’s hand painted Bahamian curtains

Palm trees sway outside the bedroom off the master bedroom

The master bathroom features a tub and separate shower

Glass tiled details in one of the downstairs bathrooms

Another gorgeous day on Tiamo’s private beach on South Andros Island

 

Tiamo Resort & Spa

Driggs Hill – South Andros Island, The Bahamas

Phone: (1) 786 374-2442 (from USA) / (1) 242 225-6871 (from Bahamas)

Fax: (1) 242 369-2335

reservations@tiamoresorts.com

Tiamo Resort is a part of Small Luxury Hotels Of the World.

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Almost a Private Island: A Stay at Tiamo Resort South Andros, Bahamas

The view from the dock when you arrive at Tiamo Resort on South Andros Island

My recent stay at Tiamo Resort felt like I was on a private island, without the crazy price tag. Located on South Andros, one of the Out Islands in the Bahamas, Tiamo is remote. I got there via a flight to Nassau, and then a 20 minute hop on a puddle jumper, a short drive in a taxi, and finally a 10 boat ride before pulling up to Tiamo’s private dock and catching a glimpse of the uncrowded beach, floating loungers, and crystal clear Caribbean water. It was worth the multiple forms of transportation.

Eco chic and simple Bahamian cottages at Tiamo

Tiamo is a perfect example of the difference between nice and fancy. It’s hella nice, but not overdone to the point where the facilities are competing the gorgeous environment. I stayed in a Pool Villa (room #2) which was a very nice version of a typical Bahamian cottage. It was super comfortable with a king sized bed, writing desk, large walk in closet and screened in sitting area and small plunge pool. But it wasn’t over the top– the bathroom was located at the back of the villa under a thatched roof. This made it feel authentic rather than an architect’s showplace.

The island chic bar at Tiamo is a nice place to relax before sunset

Tiamo also has a 3 bedroom house called the Bird’s Nest that I will cover in a separate post. The point of Tiamo is to enjoy the unspoiled beaches and chillax. There are lots of water activities to keep you busy– snorkeling, scuba, paddle boarding among others, and South Andros is a major spot for bone fishing (which is a fly fishing technique where you are propelled on a boat with a tower). 

Dining tables set around the pool also have a view of the beach

After less than 24 hours here, my traveling companion, Zan, dubbed Tiamo “Chill Island.” This is truly a place to get away from the stresses of everyday life. You’re not going to have to get up at dawn to claim two lounge chairs because your villa already has them waiting for you. With only ten villas, and one private house, crowds are never a problem.

Waffles in paradise

Meals are included in the room rates and activities are scheduled around them. There is a cooked to order breakfast in addition to a buffet, lunch is served between 12-2pm. At around 5 pm Happy Hour begins in the bar and the friendly staff will get you some snacks if you’d like to nibble on something (or feed the on-property iguanas) while taking in the spectacular sunset.

Caprese salad on the deck for lunch at Tiamo

Portion size isn’t huge (which I appreciated) and the staff could make alterations for allergies and dislikes, etc.

Chic, simple and not overdone interiors at Tiamo

The other guests on the island were all friendly, but you rarely see them at other than meal times because they might be off bone fishing while you’re paddle boarding. The staff is super friendly. Both the Marine Master, Lee, and Nick, who worked with him, made sure that our snorkel times and activities worked with both tides and meal times.

Left: The thached roof shower and glass tile in the bathroom Right: side by side sinks in my pool villa

The resort has free wifi throughout, and the mini-fridge in our villa was filled with Bahamian sands beer. There is some incredible snorkeling in the area and scuba diving as well. Or you can rent a boat by the hour and go waterskiing or sailing or deep sea fishing. Or just laze in a hammock and read.

Algotherm amenities in bathroom at Tiamo

Paddle boarding quickly became my favorite because you could glide effortlessly over graceful stingrays and lemon sharks in the shallow water just off Tiamo’s dock.

A friendly Andros iguana (Cyclura cychlura cychlura) basking in the sun at Tiamo

The entire resort can be rented out for events like reunions or weddings, but there really doesn’t seem to be a need to do it. With only 11 rooms, it’s far from crowded. At one point, Zan looked down at the deserted stretch of white sand beach and yelled “Wilson!” a la Tom Hanks in Castaway.

Welcome drinks at Tiamo

Since the resort is remote, staff (and supplies) are all brought in by boat. So meal times are fixed and there isn’t 24 hour room service. But it wasn’t a problem. Julien, who runs the front office, made sure we had coffee delivered to our villa before dawn on the morning we had to depart.

A Caribbean blue cocktail at Tiamo

At Tiamo the food is good, but not haute cuisine. If you need a celebrity chef, you’d be better off staying in Nassau.

Sands Bahamian beer and a killer South Andros sunset at Tiamo

I also appreciated that cocktail prices were reasonable ($12 for a margarita– or 2 during Happy Hour) since there aren’t a lot of options other than those in-house.

Tiamo’s private dock

Tiamo is chic and relaxed luxurious Caribbean getaway and a great option for honeymooners or those who don’t need a night life scene while they are on vacation. Due to the remote and relaxed authentic style of the resort, children under 12 are not allowed unless they stay in the Bird’s Nest.

Uncrowded beaches had Zan yelling “Wilson!” a la Tom Hanks in Castaway

There is a spa and small gift shop as well, but I was so relaxed and enjoying the natural beauty of South Andros, spa treatments seemed unnecessary.

Waterskiing is just one of the water activities to choose from at Tiamo

Unforgettable Sunsets on a chilled out island

Tiamo Resort & Spa

Driggs Hill – South Andros Island, The Bahamas

Phone: (1) 786 374-2442 (from USA)

Fax: (1) 242 369-2335

reservations@tiamoresorts.com

Rates start at $903.60 (per villa for two people, including food, transportation to/from the airport and most activities) note* alcoholic beverages and some activities are additional

Tiamo Resort is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World

 

Disclosure* This post would not be possible without SLH Hotels and Tiamo Resorts, who arranged for the resort to hosting me for two nights

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A Stay at Paws Up’s Cliffside Camp

Western chic decor & a ridiculously comfy bed  at Cliffside Camp

When I was recently in Montana covering The Resort at Paws Up for the Glamping.com blog, I got to stay in the resort’s newest camp, Cliffside. Part of what I love about Paws Up is that all the resort is constantly evolving.  They refine service, try out new activities, and all of the camps have their own special charms. I’m not sure I could pick a favorite. But Cliffside has a lot going for it.

Left: Comfy patio furniture at Cliffside Camp Right: I stayed in Castle Crag, named after a Montana mountain peak

Cliffside has a dining pavilion with incredible views of the mountains and Blackfoot River. It’s also the first camp I’ve seen with a tent complete with a huge copper tub (perfect for honeymooners or a romantic weekend away). The patio furniture at Cliffside was also especially comfortable. 

A River Runs Through It: Looking down the Blackfoot River at Paws Up Cliffside Camp

Mike, the camp butler, made sure everything worked well at the camp, and all our activities and transportation was arranged.  Don’t let the term “butler” put you off. The Camp Butler is way more like a concierge than a camp counselor. Mike had everything ready for making s’mores at night and was a big fan of using Reese’s Peanut Butter cups in lieu of plain old chocolate. He also taught me his preferred method of toasting marshmallows.

Tent with a tub at Cliffside Camp

The bed at was crazy comfortable, and topped with a heated blanket with dual zone control, should you be snuggling with someone who prefers a different temperature on a cool Montana morning. I really did not want to get out of that bed! But it’s nice to know that a hot shower awaits in the toasty warm bathroom.

Pine trees through the tent flap at Cliffside

Copper side-by-side sinks in the bathrooms at Cliffside Camp

The firepit at Cliffside Camp is where the smore’s action goes down at night

Cliffside has such a great dining pavilion that it’s a really lovely place to eat. Tom, the camp chef, taught me that pancakes made over an open flame simply taste better (and the Madagascar vanilla doesn’t hurt either). He made omelets to order for guests at breakfast, too. No one had an issue handling my food allergies, either.

Camp Chef Tom, taught me that pancakes taste better when cooked over an open flame

A variety of snacks & drinks were available during the day at the camp pavilion, which is nice. There is also a great communal living room and games should you be looking for entertainment.

Chef Tom cooks an open air omelet at Cliffside camp

Looking up the Blackfoot River the deck of the dining pavilion at Cliffside Camp

The Blackfoot River was used as a location in the Robert Redford/Brad Pitt film  A River Runs Through It. It doesn’t hurt to have that river running through your camp, either. It’s mighty pretty (and great for fly fishing).

Dusk along the Blackfoot River at Cliffside Camp

During my stay at Cliffside, all the summer tents were being swapped out for insulated versions to keep campers happy during the fall months. Paw Up Cliffside Camp is open for glamping through October. You can read more about my stay at Cliffside on the Glamping.com blog.

This post would not be possible without Glamping.com & The Resort at Paws Up, who sponsored my stay at Cliffside Camp.

 

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