Posts Tagged ‘Pacific’

Exploring Maui, Hawaii: A Sunset Sail on the Alli’i Nui

4v1c8831-2

Sailing at sunset on Maui

On my recent girls trip to Maui, I decided to take a sunset cruise to check out the scenery by boat. After reading many reviews, I booked on the Royal Feast Dinner Sail aboard the Alii Nui.

4v1c8786

Bare feet aboard the Alii Nui

This two 1/2 hour adults-only cruise provided transportation to and from our hotel (the Andaz Maui at Wailea), and I liked that the luxury sailing catamaran was capacity controlled so that guests plenty of space. The $189.00 all-inclusive price included unlimited cocktails as well as dinner and transportation (gratuity is not included).

giffer

Up go the sails on the Alii Nui

The dinner menu included appetizers such as local vegetable crudités, caprese skewers, cheese and crackers and wide array of selections for dinner. Prime rib, Kiawe smoked baby back ribs, sushi, and crab cakes were very popular. Everything I tried was good but food was not the main focus of this sunset cruise. The full bar with cocktails, beer and wine were also included. There was even a selection of Scotch and after dinner liquors.

fullsizerender

Magic hour aboard the Alii Nui

The crew of the Alii Nui made us feel taken care of before we even got to Maalaea Harbor. They were great about confirming pickup time at the hotel via text and our transportation arrived promptly. Guests were looped in on the plan for the evening, and the high staff to guest ratio was nice. Everyone was ready to have a good time before we took off our shoes once we boarded the 65′ sailing catamaran for this barefoot sunset dinner cruise.

img_9416

Pineapple over the Pacific

While the cruise was not a tour, the crew was available to answer questions and made sure everyone got enough cocktails and food. They even offered to take pictures of the guests, which was a nice touch. The music selection was nice and played at a non-intrusive volume.

4v1c8824-2

Blue hour aboard the Alii Nui

I must confess that boats are not my favorite mode of transportation. But sea sickness wasn’t an issue for anyone during this smooth sail.

img_7381

Sundowner aboard the Alii Nui

Alcohol brands were premium and cocktails did not seem especially strong, but everyone was having a great time. There were also plenty of non alcoholic beverages as well as coffee and tea. Guests seemed fond of the signature Slip 56 signature cocktail and the Alii Nui Mai Tais.

img_9497

Obligatory sailing selfie with Zan Aufderheide

The other guests were friendly and the boat offered enough space above and below deck for guests to spread out. Everyone seemed to enjoy the experience of taking in the blue Pacific waters and the gorgeous sunset and West Maui views.

fullsizerender2

Sailboats, sunset and windmills and moody clouds

The Alii Nui crew had service down to a science and the separate bathroom facilities for men and women were appreciated.

A little video of the Royal Feast Sunset Cruise on the Alii Nui

I started to think that Christopher Cross might be onto something with this sailing stuff!

img_8820

Happy customers aboard the Alii Nui

I was impressed with the value for money of the Royal Feast Dinner Cruise on the Ali’i Nui. The Alii Nui offers a wide variety of other charters including whale watching, snorkeling trips to Molokini and Turtle Point, and other speciality cruises. Our experience was so positive we hope to take one of their snorkeling trips on a future trip to Maui.

Alii Nui Sailing Charters
Toll Free (US only): 1- 800-542-3483 Ext. 1 Local: 1-808-875-0333
info@aliinuimaui.com

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Stay at Las Alamandas in Jalisco, Mexico

DSCF3589

My favorite hammock at Las Alamandas

I recently visited Mexico’s Costalgre for the first time, spending a few nights at Las Alamandas resort. Located about About 120 km south of Puerto Vallarta, getting to the resort takes more than 2 1/2 hours along a long, winding, and frequently bumpy road from the PVR airport. It’s clear from the moment you arrive that the best and worst thing about Las Alamandas is it’s remote location.

Photo May 03, 10 55 04 AM

The bougainvillea-filled courtyard

Located on 1,500 acres and with only 16 suites (which can accommodate up to 42 guests), Las Alamandas is incredibly private and the type of property that gets bought out for weddings and celebrations. Old press clippings in the hotel’s library feature images of Hollywood celebrities spending New Year’s Eve here. The hotel has also served as a backdrop for a bunch of catalog and photo shoots. Las Alamandas is also a favorite of honeymooners, again because of it’s privacy and tropical romantic charm.

Photo May 02, 1 57 26 PMPhoto May 02, 1 56 43 PM

Left: colorful stairs Right: welcome drinks served in coconuts

Las Alamandas offers activities from horseback riding to kayaking to fishing. But it’s also a great place to do absolutely nothing. Wifi only works in the common areas, so it’s a great place to unplug and recharge.

Processed with VSCOcam with 6 preset

the gorgeous swimming pool

The resort is extremely private, which makes it clear why celebrities might like it so much. There is no way a paparazzi is going to be able to photograph you in an unflattering swimsuit on one of the property’s private beaches. The main stretch of beach, which my Domo Master suite was situated directly above, was experiencing unusually strong wave and current activity due to seismic activity in the Pacific. This was a bummer since it made the beach unusable, but the owner told my husband she had never seen the waves that large before.

Photo May 02, 2 12 04 PM

A cozy banquette at Las Alamandas

I stayed in the Domo Master Suite which was large, with a king sized bed, a living and dining area, an outdoor jacuzzi, and seating area. Only the bedroom had adequate air conditioning and fan coverage, so the rest of the indoor space was not all that usable. The patio was nice and used often, with a great hammock and comfy sitting area. The staff would deliver my morning coffee here and it was a very pleasant spot to gaze the Pacific ocean and wake up.

Photo May 02, 3 05 34 PM

The living room of our Ocean front master suite

The living room of the Domo Suite was large, but lack of good air-conditioning and a fan made it mostly wasted space.

Photo May 02, 3 06 53 PM

flower petals on the bed at Las Alamandas

DSCF3593

One of the daily gorgeous touches at Las Alamandas

The welcome greeting on the King-sized bed. The bed was not the most comfortable, but it was adequate. The bedroom had a fan and small air conditioning unit for when the breezes weren’t enough.

Photo May 02, 3 09 11 PM

The master bathroom featured dual sinks

The master bathroom had dual sinks and a fantastic shower which was large enough for two people and had ample water. It was hot during my stay so the outdoor jacuzzi never got used.

DSCF3580

Well-placed hammocks are abundant at Las Alamandas

My favorite amenity, a well-place hammock, is where Las Alamandas truly excels. I was happy spending the afternoon here with a book and a quick call to room service for a round of freshly made margaritas.

Photo May 03, 1 11 47 PM

Foosball in the gallery at Las Alamandas

The public spaces in the property are beautiful. There is a gallery complete with a foosball game. The only time I saw other guest was during meal times, hen eating breakfast and lunch at La Palapa restaurant or dinner at Oasis. For more about dining at Las Alamandas, check out my previous post, Mexican Food in GIFs: Dining at Las Alamandas here.

Photo May 03, 6 28 29 AM (6)

The view from La Palapa restaurant at Las Alamandas

Las Alamandas was relaxing, rustic, and stylish. The staff was very nice and accommodating. It’s also for those who don’t mind privacy and a bit of a hassle to get there. If you want a bar scene, you’re better off staying in Puerto Vallarta. Las Alamandas’ remote location isn’t close to much of anything, so you should expect to stay on site for your visit (unless you’ve booked excursions through the hotel).

 DSCF3604

Margarita with a view

My trip was booked through Suzy Xiu at Smartflyer. You can book directly through the hotel’s website and check out Las Alamandas special offers section here.

Photo May 02, 2 12 33 PM

Succulents near the beach

Las Alamandas is great choice for couples and families looking to get away from it all who don’t mind getting to the resort’s location. If you’re not a fan of bumpy roads, the hotel can book you a transfer to and from the Puerto Vallarta airport in a small Piper airplane.

DSCF3601DSCF3576

Left: Current warning sign during my stay Right: unusually strong waves 

DSCF3697-2

Lookout Point at Las Alamandas

Lookout point on the Las Alamandas property is great place to take in the sunset. The staff can also provide a picnic or cocktails to enjoy while you watch the sunset.

DSCF3677

The beach at Las Alamandas at dusk

DSCF3687

Killer sunset views along the Pacific

Las Alamandas could not be any prettier. It’s easy to see why it’s a popular property to buy out for weddings and other private events.

Photo May 05, 6 19 42 AM (1)

If bumpy roads aren’t your thing, book the Piper!

Room rates at Las Alamandas start at about $260 per night.

Las Alamandas Resort
Carretera Federal 200 km 83.5
Costalegre, Jalisco, Mexico

Toll Free US: 1888 882 9616
Toll Free Mexico: 1800 8366640
Tel 52 322 285 5500

​General Information: info@alamandas.com

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sunset Time Lapse Videos from Las Alamandas, Jalisco, Mexico

DSCF3687

Palm trees and Pacific ocean views at sunset 

I recently returned from a trip to Mexico, where I stayed at Las Alamandas for the first time. Located 120 kilometers south of Puerto Vallarta, along Jalisco’s Costalegre Coast, Las Alamandas is situated on it’s own 1.500 nature reserve which offers up several different vantage points to take in the stunning views of the Pacific ocean at sunset.

The second I saw the property I knew I’d be making time lapse videos on my iPhone 6.

Sunset time-lapse video shot on the beach at Las Alamandas

I clipped my camera mount to an agave plant on the beach in order to get this perspective. The waves were unusually strong, due to seismic activity in the Pacific.

On our last night at the hotel, we drove up a rocky road to Sunset Point, where we took in the stunning views while enjoying cocktails and cake (we were celebrating my husband’s birthday).

DSCF3710 (1)

Sunset Point’s spectacular views

I clipped my camera mount to the table to shoot the time-lapse below on my iPhone 6. It was very windy and so the resulting video is not particularly smooth, although the views are still rather beautiful. While I love the compact size of my iPhone 6, wind is one of the elements where shooting with a heavier camera can yield better results.

Sunset Point time lapse from Las Alamandas

When shooting into the sun with a mobile phone, there is going to be flare. Sometimes the flare has flair, sometimes it doesn’t work as great. But the view is still spectacular.

Processed with VSCOcam with c7 preset

Sunset stroll along one of the private beaches at Las Alamandas

Las Alamandas Resort

Carretera Federal 200 km 83.5
Costalegre, Jalisco, Mexico CP 48850

Toll Free US: 1888 882 9616
Toll Free Mexico: 1800 8366640
Tel 52 322 285 5500

info@alamandas.com

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

iPhone 6 Time-Lapse Sunsets at the St. Regis in Punta Mita, Mexico

Purple sunset at the St. Regis Punta Mita

I recently went back to the St. Regis Punta Mita for a few days of fun and relaxation. My Life’s a Trip’s Ukraine-based social media manager, Anastasia Chernykh, joined me for the trip which was our corporate retreat. This was Anastasia’s first trip to Mexico, and she had not seen Punta Mita’s colorful sunsets anywhere but here on the blog .

We made a point of watching the sunsets together while enjoying margaritas and trying the time-lapse function on the new iPhone 6.

Happily Ever After Sunset at the St. Regis Punta Mita

The newlyweds added a nice bit of detail to the beach scene, but the iPhone 6 camera doesn’t seem to know where to focus with the waves moving in the background. I’m unclear is if this is user error on my part, or a quirk of the iPhone’s build in time-lapse function.

Beach Club Pool Sunset at the St. Regis Punta Mita

This was one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve seen, even for Punta Mita. I wish I would have let the camera run a few minutes longer at the end. Much of the beauty of Punta Mita’s sunsets is the vividly colorful afterglow that comes after the sun has dipped below the horizon, and if you have the battery power and space, it’s always best to let the video shoot longer than you think you should. You can always trim the video before uploading and sharing.  The iPhone 6 time-lapse focus again concerns me, I tried to set it to a specific palm tree, but I have to take into account that I had a few margaritas before shooting this video.

Watching the sunset on the beach in Punta Mita, Mexico

Travel Tip: Punta Mita has the prettiest sunsets I’ve seen on the planet. Even if you’re not staying at the St. Regis, book dinner at the Mita Mary restaurant on the beach and check out the sunset view from the Beach Club infinity pool.

The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort

Carretera Federal 200 km 19.5 Lote H-4,

Punta Mita, 63734 Punta Mita, NAY, Mexico

Phone:+52 329 291 5800

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Facebook YouTubeTwitterSubscribe via RSSSubscribe via RSSSubscribe via RSSSubscribe via RSSSubscribe via RSSSubscribe via RSSSubscribe via RSS