Posts Tagged ‘wedding destinations’

Exploring the Big Island of Hawaii: Sunsets at the Fairmont Orchid

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Kohala Coast Sunset on the Big Island of Hawaii

Gorgeous tropical sunsets are the stuff Hawaiian post cards are made of. The Kona and Kohala Coast of the Big Island offer some spectacular spots to watch the sun dip below the horizon and enjoy the last rays of the day. The lagoon at the Fairmont Orchid Hotel  was my favorite sunset spot on my recent trip to the Aloha State.

Big Island Sunset Time-Lapse

I shot the sunset time lapse above using the Time-Lapse function on my iPhone 6s on the lagoon beach at the Fairmont Orchid, which is a popular gathering spot around sunset.

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Last light off the Kohala Coast of the Big Island

After sunset, the Fairmont Orchid hotel offers stargazing opportunities for guests a few nights a week, with giant telescopes set up right on the property and an on-site astronomer.

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Big Island sunset at the Fairmont Orchid

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Sunset at the Coconut Grove 

The Fairmont Orchid’s Coconut Grove is a popular choice for destination weddings on the Big Island. The scenery is pretty spectacular.

Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii

1 North Kaniku Drive
Kohala Coast, Hawaii  96743
TEL + 1 808 885 2000
FAX + 808 885 5778

orchid@fairmont.com

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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

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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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