Hotel Spotlight: The Crane Resort, Barbados

The luxurious gem that is The Crane Resort located on the East Coast of Barbados has long been regarded as one of the Caribbean’s most iconic and truly treasured luxury properties. With sprawling ocean views, lush gardens and the most courteous staff on the island, a stay here will encourage rest and relaxation in its highest form.

Blogger in bathing suit at the beach

Photo: @Carajourdan

Once you check into your suite, unpack your bags and let the sounds of the ocean and island birds transport you to paradise. Better yet, take a stroll and grab a seat at one of the properties award-winning restaurants.

If your stay happens to fall on a Sunday, enjoy a brunch at L’Azure for a generous serving of gospel music and a side of quintessential Caribbean delicacies.

Crane Beach Barbados

Photo: @jteixphotography

After you’ve serviced your appetite, get lost in an open air market that emphasizes the best of Caribbean culture at every turn.

With a coconut in one hand and a camera in the other, walk down the colourful streets of Barbados and immerse yourself in everything that the island has to offer. And for a few moments of sensory overload, run, not walk to Cutters of Barbados for the best flying fish and rum punch your tongue will ever taste.

Crane Beach Barados

Photo: @cranebarbados

When all is said and done, relax by the waves or make your way to the Serenity Spa for a holistic approach to wellness.

This truly unique experience evokes both elegance and adventure in one package. So trust us when we say that no trip to Barbados is complete without The Crane.

A Chic Instagram Guide To Manhattan

Spotted: You, roaming around the Upper East Side, looking utterly confused if I do say so myself. Need a little help finding the hotspots around the chicest parts of Manhattan? No problem. That’s a secret I’ll definitely tell. We know you’ll love these Instagram-worthy spots in the Big Apple.

XOXO, Siren.

The MET

Photo: @gemypham

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Start your journey at the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The gorgeous Beaux-Arts building is only the beginning of the masterpieces found within. Once you’ve snapped a picture on the iconic Met steps or by the fountains, head on inside and take in all the incredible collections the museum has to offer.

@newyorkpalace

Lotte New York Palace

Take a cab to 455 Madison Avenue, the famous Lotte New York Palace. Head into Villard for one of the best brunches you’ll ever have or book a treatment at the hotel’s world-class spa. Maybe your very own Chuck Bass is waiting for you with a dirty martini at the hotel lobby bar, Trouble’s Trust.

@hotspotsofamsterdam

Shops on Madison Ave

Once you’re nice and relaxed, take a stroll down Madison Avenue for a window shopping session or pop into Céline and finally buy that bag you’ve been dreaming of. Commemorate the moment with a photo of the picturesque street lined with luxury stores and delicate building facades.

@flexdith

NoMo Soho

Ready for dinner? NoMo SoHo has you covered. Take your photo under the leafy arc before enjoying a delicious meal. We recommend the Kale Salad and Pappardelle pasta.

@jstnrnd

Top of the Rock

Nothing says chic like Rockafeller and there is no better place to catch the sunset than at the Top of the Rock. The whole city is laid out in front of you, a concrete playground waiting for you to explore.

Central Park

Photo: @parisinfourmonths

Central Park

Lunch at the Boathouse, a stroll through the tree-lined path, feeding the ducks at The Pond in Central Park. A day in the life of Blair Waldorf and the perfect place to capture an enviable Instagram photo.

Sarabeth's New York

Photo: @yuyuchien

Sarabeth’s

You can’t spell chic without b-r-u-n-c-h. Head to Sarabeth’s Central Park South for a mouthwatering late Sunday morning meal. Indulge in the Lemon & Ricotta Pancakes or the Toasted Coconut Waffles. More of a savoury person? How does Classic Eggs Benedict or Vegetable Frittata sound?

The Top 5 Best Bites In New York City

As the sun begins to shine and the weather heats up, it’s time to head outside and explore all that New York has to offer. Here are our top five places to brunch, lunch or sip margaritas in the Big Apple.

Bagels NYC

Photo: @thestoriedtable

Sadelles

If you’re looking for some New York classics, Sadelles is the place to be. With freshly sliced smoked salmon and hand rolled bagels, Sadelles is hard to beat for your brunch fix. The bagels, voted as ‘The Absolute Best Bagel in New York’ by Grub Street, are dusted with Icelandic fleur de sel and cracked black pepper. Just hang around until someone shouts “hot bagels”, and you’ll never want to leave.

Photo: @stantonsocial

The Stanton Social

What better way to start your day than sipping on a mimosa and munching on Oreo cookie pancakes? Located on the lower east side, The Stanton Social is the product of a stellar collaboration between celebrity Chef/Owner Chris Santos and Tao Group owner Rich Wolf. The dishes represent tastes from a variety of cultures and ethnicities with everything from a full raw bar to Lobster Roll Sliders. The Stanton Social combines luxury with 1940’s glamour and is the place to be for every and any occasion.

Photo: @beautyandessexnyc

Beauty & Essex

This decadent, star-studded restaurant, unveils its beauty in the back of a pawn shop and down a winding staircase. With four dining rooms (two private), two bars, a lounge and a women’s bathroom with a personal salon, Beauty & Essex is its own version of food-heaven Narnia. Start off with some cornmeal fried oysters; continue with the Beauty & Essex burger, made with brisket, short rib and lamb and lastly (but definitely not least), top it off with a box of vanilla beignets with chocolate hazelnut crème and raspberry jam. Need I say more?

Photo: @sistersnacking

La Esquina, SoHo

It’s been a long day and you’re in desperate need for a margarita. The only place to be is La Esquina. A taqueria by day and an underground Mexican fiesta by night, La Esquina will quench that five-o-clock thirst. Indulge in the Elote callejero (grilled corn with queso cotija and chilli powder) alongside sliced Angus rib eye tacos and Mexican slaw. If you’re feeling antsy, get those dancin’ shoes on and enjoy a selection of tequilas at their renowned tequila bar. Olay!

Gansevoort Meat Packing District

Photo: @summertonsfeldt

Gansevoort Meatpacking

Take a dip at the Plunge Rooftop Bar + Lounge at Gansevoort Meatpacking. With 360-degree views of the Manhattan skyline, your cocktail will never taste fresher. Float on with Atlantico Rum, fall crazy in love with Fifty Pounds Gin, or sit back with some Don Julio Reposado Tequila. Wash it all down with pan-seared Atlantic salmon or Applewood smoked bacon grilled cheese. Have you left yet?

How To Spend 48 Hours In New York City

You’ve arrived in New York City with your luggage in hand and your hopes in store. With only 48 hours in the big city, where do you start? As the city that never sleeps, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the hundreds of things to do and see.

Lucky for you, New York has something for everyone. Your 48 hours starts now!

Gansevoort Meatpacking District

Photo: @gansevoort

For the shopaholic:

Among the Big Four fashion capitals of the world, New York coined the phrase “shop till you drop.” The optimal day for the shopaholic starts in SoHo – one of the city’s most eclectic shopping regions. From designer boutiques to bargain emporiums, SoHo seems to have it all. After a morning in SoHo, make your way to Greenwich Village, stopping at Washington Square Park to refuel and recharge. The Bleeker Street shopping scene entirely plays tribute to the village’s rich musical history. On the weekends, your likely to catch local musicians and vintage street markets. Next on the shopping tour is the modish Meatpacking District. Don’t be misled by the cobblestone streets – this trendy district defines high-end shopping. Cap off a long day of shopping with a cocktail at the Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC rooftop.

Wake up the next morning and do it all over. Spend the day with Tiffany, Cartier, and Prada on the famous Fifth Avenue.

Best food in NYC

Photo: @smorgasburg

For the foodie:

Whatever your taste, New York is home to hundreds of Michelin-star restaurants and authentic dives for locals and tourists alike. We recommend beginning the day with brunch on the Lower East Side. From Sadelles to Stanton Social, this progressive neighbourhood has quickly become an NYC brunch hotspot. Walk off that boozy brunch on the High-Line in Meatpacking District, taking in picturesque views of the city. Still hungry? Check out Chelsea Market for a range of delectable bites and snacks. Time for happy hour. Head over to the Standard Biergarten for a well-deserved beer and a game of ping-pong. We promise your food coma is well worth it and is sure to give you a good nights sleep.

Cross over to Brooklyn on day two for the infamous Smorgasburg food market. As the largest open-air food market in America, Smorgasburg is sure to be a foodie fan favourite.

Top of the Rock

Photo: @msharaf

For the tourist:

Spend your morning surrounded by the history of Ellis Island, accompanied by the Statue of Liberty herself. Catch the ferry back to the city and head over to the Rockefeller Center. Tour Radio City Music Hall and take the elevator up to the Top of the Rock Observation Deck for exquisite views of the city skyline. More views? Spend sunset at the Empire State Building, ending off the night with a visit to Times Square. The day may be over, but the action never sleeps.

No trip to New York is complete without Central Park. Wake up the next morning and embrace your inner New Yorker. Grab a coffee and bagel to enjoy throughout your stroll down Central Park. Make sure to visit the John Lennon Memorial, if you’re lucky you may stumble across a private concert!

Best of New York City

Photo: @lizzygra

For the culture vulture:

As a cultural capital of the world, New York boasts a variety of galleries, museums, and theatres. Visit the world famous Guggenheim Museum and the Museum of Modern Art. Spend the afternoon at a Broadway Matinee, and cap off the night laughing at the Comedy Cellar. You never know who will show up and surprise you.

Spend day two in hipster-haven Brooklyn. Explore Williamsburg, grab a book from Mermaids and pass the afternoon reading in McCarren Park. You’re sure to enjoy some peace and quiet away from the bustling city. While in Brooklyn, make your way to Dumbo. Often overlooked, this waterfront neighbourhood boasts breathtaking views of the Manhatten skyline. Ride your bike around town and embrace the culture.

Bali, Indonesia Travel Diary: Uluwatu

I’m back with my Bali travel guide. Today, I’ll be sharing everything you need to know about Uluwatu. Uluwatu was my first stop in Bali, and was the reason I fell in love with the island so quickly. Located on the southern end of Bali, right on the coastline, it is famous for its beautiful beaches. It is full of eco resorts, concept cafes, beautiful beach clubs, and everything in between. Here’s my little black book:

Bali Indonesia

Food in Bali, Indonesia

Beach in Bali Indonesia

As a part of my collaboration with The Asia Collective, I stayed in La Joya Balangan. The property is comprised of several villas and is the definition of shabby-chic. I highly recommend this hotel to those who are looking to be immersed in nature but be warned, it is not for those who are looking for the comforts of a luxury resort. The villas are essentially large huts which have gorgeous interiors, but also have a portion between the wall and the roof that is open. La Joya Balangan is located right next to its sister hotel, La Joya Biu-Biu, which boasts the most incredible view of the ocean. You will most definitely need to hire a driver to get around from here as Uluwatu is quite expansive.

Where to eat

Uluwatu, like Seminyak, is full of gorgeous cafes, these were my favourites:

Drifter Surf Shop & Cafe: An Australian concept shop and cafe which has delicious avocado toast, acai bowls, and basically all things delicious.

Food in Bali Indonesia

Nalu Bowls: Hands down, the best acai bowl I have ever had in my life. Order the Maverick, it’s incredible. Nalu Bowls has several locations around Bali, but the one in Uluwatu is at Single Fin Beach Club, which boasts a spectacular view of the ocean.

Food in Bali

Restaurants in Bali

Coco & Poke: Also located at Single Fin Beach Club, Coco & Poke offers fresh and flavourful poke bowls.

Food in Bali

Restaurants in Bali

Bukit Cafe: This joint serves all-day breakfast. We ended up going for dinner where I ordered their shakshuka and my brother ordered the burger – delicious.

Hamburgers and French Fries in Bali

What to do

Uluwatu Temple: Located on top of a cliff on the ocean, the Uluwatu Temple offers a view that will literally take your breath away.

Uluwatu Temple

Uluwatu Temple

Uluwatu Temple

Sundays Beach Club: Since it is on the coastline, Uluwatu is known for its beach clubs. With limited time in hand, I decided to check out Sundays Beach Club. I’m happy to report that I could not have been more pleased with my decision. It is located inside the Ungasan Clifftop Hotel, where, upon entering the property, you are greeted by a hanging infinity pool. After this, you take a cable car down a cliff to go to the beach. I’ll never forget the jaw-dropping view of the beach and jungle on the cable car ride down; I had goosebumps. The beach club itself is phenomenal. The water is pristine, the music is upbeat, the service is spectacular, and the food is to die for. During sunset, there is a bonfire where you can make smores and admire the view. The entrance fee is IDR 300,000.

Sundays Beach Club Bali

Sundays Beach Club Bali

Food at Sundays Beach Club Bali

Bukit Sari Agro Coffee Luwak: Luwak coffee, the most expensive coffee in the world, is made from poop. No joke. The Luwak is a mongoose that picks out the best coffee beans, eats it, and then poops it out. The beans are then cleaned, roasted, ground for consumption. At Bukit Sari Agro Luwak Coffee, we were offered 12 variations of teas and coffees are grown at their farm for free and charged IDR 50,000 for a cup of Luwak coffee. I wasn’t brave enough to try the coffee, but my brothers really enjoyed it!

Coffee in Bali

Waterfalls in Bali

The Top 5 Most Brag-Worthy Locations In Bali

Bali is a land which welcomes dreamers and wanderers, in search of impossible natural beauty and incredible adventure. Bloggers are have long been drawn to Bali and its picture-perfect views. Here are just a few of the most geotagged locales in Bali.

Cliff Edge Resort

Photo: @nesterandco

La Joya Villa & Bungalows

For a picture on the edge of the world, stay at the breathtaking La Joya Villa & Bungalows.  Sit on the ledge of their frequently photographed hot tub and capture the panoramic ocean view behind you.

Photo: @world.vacations

Kamandalu Resort, Ubud 

This five-star resort provides the perfect backdrop for many inspiring Bali shots. Whether it’s a fun photo in the infinity pool or a meditative pose in front of the lush palms, Kamandalu Resort is hard to ignore when scrolling through a newsfeed!

Hideout Treehouse AirBNB

Photo: @hideoutbali

AirBnB

There are plenty of available AirBnB’s in Bali that can get you incredible shots like this. Take a browse through their website and see if you stumble upon this secret bamboo glass-enclosed hut in the rainforest.

Sacred Monkey Forest

Photo: @mrwilsonchen

Monkey Forest, Ubud

Get your photo taken with a friend – a monkey friend that is. A walk through the Monkey Forest allows you to immerse yourself in nature and get acquainted with the local wildlife. This certainly is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for those living in countries where common wildlife tends to be squirrels.

Waterfalls

Photo: @__kaolee

Banyumala Waterfalls

Do go chasing waterfalls. The Banyumala Twin Waterfalls is a dreamy locale to spend some time decompressing and taking in the natural beauty of Bali. Capture a photo in front of the falls to make the moment last forever.

7 Niagara-on-the-Lake Wineries To Try This Summer

Nothing pairs better than a warm summer day and a chilled glass of wine.

Lucky for Torontonians, we are just a short drive away from Niagara-on-the-Lake aka wine country. Here, dozens of wineries await to host city dwellers for an afternoon of wine-filled delight.

Check out 7 wineries to sip at this summer.

7 Niagara-on-the-Lake Wineries To Try This Summer

Photo: @winnieluong

Peller Estates

The well-known Peller Estates is the perfect place to stop in for a wine-tasting after a sunny morning spent riding bicycles through quaint Niagara-on-the-Lake. The picturesque manor is set on a sprawling estate with a grand driveway to the front entrance. An extremely cool ice bar (pun intended) can be found on the property, where patrons can taste a selection of the winery’s delicious ice wines. There is also an on-site restaurant that serves impressive fare and wine tours are available upon request.

7 Niagara-on-the-Lake Wineries To Try This Summer

Photo: @twosisters_vineyards

Two Sisters Vineyards

Located right next to Peller Estates, make Two Sisters Vineyards a stop on your journey through Vineland. This winery was built with love, fostered by two sisters (hence its fitting name) with a passion for wine and family. Whether it’s a wine tasting, vineyard tour or light lunch at Kitchen 67, this stunning winery provides the perfect backdrop to a romantic summer afternoon. It’ll be hard to tell if you’re in Ontario or Nappa Valley!

7 Niagara-on-the-Lake Wineries To Try This Summer

Photo: @theblondielocks

Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers

If you’re not so much a wine connoisseur and spirits are more your thing, pop into Dillon’s – a small batch distillery specializing in gin, whisky, rye, vodka and more. This family-run business is a fun way to spend an afternoon sipping on homemade Canadian spirits in The Sipping Room.

7 Niagara-on-the-Lake Wineries To Try This Summer

Photo: @nicoleberends

Konzelmann Estate Winery

As Niagara’s only waterfront winery, Konzelmann Estate Winery is a must-see. The vineyards back right onto the lake, creating a spectacular optical illusion- think infinity pool but with rows and rows of grape vines. Skip the lunch reservations because once you’re in the wine cellar, you are treated to a full charcuterie experience. Tuscany or Niagara? You won’t know the difference.

7 Niagara-on-the-Lake Wineries To Try This Summer

Photo: @jacksontriggsniagara

Jackson-Triggs Vineyard

If you’ve ever been to a dinner party in Ontario, you’ve likely come across a bottle of Jackson Triggs wine. It is safe to say that this wine is a staple for Canadian homes. The winery’s estate is a modern architectural marvel and the perfect place to spend a Niagara afternoon.

7 Niagara-on-the-Lake Wineries To Try This Summer

Photo: @brucemcadams

The Foreign Affair Winery

Located in Vineland, The Foreign Affair Winery is proudly Canadian with a giant moose statue right out front. The patriotic theme even runs through their delicious wines. Siren’s personal wine recommendation? Apologetic Red. The bottle’s label reads “Sorry” on the front, “Not Sorry” on the back and the wine is described as: “An astonishing world-class wine, made by talented, hardworking, law-abiding, polite, friendly, pragmatic, peace-loving, apologetic, grateful and self-deprecating Canadians.”  

7 Niagara-on-the-Lake Wineries To Try This Summer

Photo: @decoreattravel

Redstone Winery

A stellar mix of chic, modern and rustic can be found in Beamsville, at the incredible Redstone Winery. Perfection is found when sitting out on the beautiful patio overlooking the vineyard, sipping wine and dining on mouth-watering organic cuisine while watching the summer sunset.

A Virtual Guide To The 15 Best National Parks In Canada

Get your Parks Canada Discovery Pass and explore all the nature Canada has to offer.

From wildlife to glaciers and white sand beaches, Canada’s diverse fauna and flora will have something to satisfy your type of adventure.  

Here are our top 15 national parks to explore this year.

Get To These 5 Incredible Destinations On Your Tax Return

It’s that time of year – little brown envelopes are appearing in mailboxes everywhere with a long-awaited piece of paper tucked inside. No, not your Hogwarts acceptance letter – arguably better, it’s tax return time.

If you’re feeling the itch to travel but don’t know where you’re going to come up with the money to get to your dream destination, look no further than your tax return.

Even if you only see $800 staring back at you, these five incredible places are not out of reach!

Photo: @hidemycoat

Miami, Florida

Soak up the sun in sizzling Miami, where the beach is hot and the nightlife is hotter. With roundtrip flights out of Toronto starting at CAD $366, you’ll be on the golden sands and trendy streets of South Beach before you know it! A perfect spot for a girls trip or Bachelorette party.

Photo: @tayseesnyc

New York City, New York

In the famous words of Frank Sinatra, if you can make it to NYC, you can make it anywhere. The good news is, you can absolutely make it here! Round trip, non-stop flights out of Toronto are only CAD$472. To further cut costs and enjoy all the city has to offer, don’t stay in Manhattan – try Williamsburg! It’s trendy and fun with a lot of great brunch spots. Spend some of your days exploring vintage shops and getting lost in the Brooklyn burrow.

Photo: @ohhcouture

Tulum, Mexico

From Toronto, fly roundtrip, non-stop into Cancun for CAD$421 and take a 2-hour transfer along the jaw-dropping coastline to gorgeous Tulum. Relaxing on the beach or by the pool of a chic AirBnB, it’ll be hard to believe you got here on your tax return.

Photo: @whole.being

Quebec City, Quebec

Take the VIA Rail Canada for a sweet CAD$150 this year and visit a city close to home. Quebec City has all the old-world, European charm one could ask for without breaking the bank. If trains aren’t your thing, a non-stop, roundtrip flight from Toronto will get you there in a little under two hours for CAD$345.

Photo: @elenacanostyle

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

If you’re in the mood for a bit of a splurge all while keeping within a reasonable budget, the Dominican Republic is the place for you. Santo Domingo, the colonial capital city of the DR, has recently been revamped and is having a major moment. Merengue dancing in the square, dinners on a quaint restaurant patio during the sunset – Santo Domingo has romance down to an art. Fly roundtrip, non-stop into Punta Cana from Toronto for CAD$1,740 and find yourself in Santo Domingo in a mere two and half hours via airport transfer!

Brazil Bound: 5 Restaurants To Try Right Now

Brazil is known for its beautiful beaches, lively cultural festivals, and mouth-watering cuisine.

From authentic churrascarias to restaurants inspired by local Brazilian ingredients fused with European influence, there is no shortage of delicious dishes across the country.

If you’re planning a trip to Brazil, put these 5 restaurants at the top of your list. There’s something for everyone, whether you’re in the mood for Moroccan fusion, Brazilian comfort food, or the country’s renowned grilled meat.

From Mani, a quaint restaurant in the suburbs of São Paulo run by a world-traveled husband-and-wife team, to Confeitaria Colombo, an old school joint in Rio de Janeiro, these are the 5 best places to grab a bite in Brazil.

Zaza Bistro

 

Zaza Bistro, photo @zazabistro 

If you’re in the mood for Moroccan fusion (or just amazing food in general) Zaza Bistro will be your jam. Inspired by the owners’ global travels, the delicious food and elaborate Moroccan décor has claimed it the number one spot to eat in the Ipanema area. With dishes ranging from tuna tartare with ginger teriyaki and sprouts, to Udon pork belly with organic mushrooms and chives, plus a range of gluten free desserts, you’re in for a treat at Zaza.

Mani Brazil

 

Mani, photo @manimanioca

A quaint, minimalist restaurant in the suburbs of São Paulo, the organic, always-changing dishes make Mani an absolute must. Inspired by Brazil, Spain, and Italy, the husband-and-wife team continuously create plates that fuse cultural tradition with worldly modernity. Every dish, from the smoked salmon toast with pupunha quiche to the lamb and couscous with saffron, is plated beautifully and made with heart.

Fogo de Chão

Fogo de Chão, photo @fogorestaurants

Brazil is known for its high-quality meat, and what better place to find it than an authentic Brazilian steakhouse. Fogo de Chão is one of the country’s most renowned churrascarias, grilling 15 different cuts of meat, a tradition the founding brothers learned when they were young boys growing up in the countryside. As meat lovers from all over the world began to flock, they started to expand globally, but nothing beats the original.

Brazil

Confeitaria Colombo, photo @confeitariacolombo

Situated in the Centro area of Rio de Janeiro, you can sit down for a bite, or grab one of their scrumptious snacks to go. The classic, old-school vibe is characterized by intricate wooden furniture, staff dressed to the nines, and floor to ceiling mirrors that make the whole place seem never-ending. Start your meal off right with some tasty battered shrimp, enjoy a main such as their hearty hamburger, and indulge in one of their many baked goods for dessert.

Brazil

Dalva e Dito, photo @dalvaedito

If you’re up for Brazilian comfort food, check out Dalva e Dito, a fine dining restaurant created by one the world’s top chefs, Alex Alata. Fusing regional dishes and using unique local ingredients, it has become a Brazilian gem. The spacious, rustic interior is only made better with a floor to ceiling glass kitchen that invites diners to see how their food is prepared.