The Top 5 Celebrity Hot Spots in Glitzy St. Barts

St. Barts (short for Saint Barthélemy) has long been the vacation destination for the stars.

When the hustle and bustle of Tinsel Town becomes overwhelming, A-listers retire to the white sands and designer shops of this glamorous French-speaking Caribbean island. It has become quite commonplace for travellers to be dining at a restaurant a table over from Jay-Z and Beyonce or laying out on the beach next to Jennifer Lopez. Celebrities constantly dock their jaw-dropping yachts in St. Barts and make their mark on the island’s beaches, restaurants and nightlife. If you’re in the mood to vacation like the rich and famous on your trip to the island, make sure to check out these five celebrity hotspots!

Sip champagne with Queen Bey at Nikki Beach St. Barth

Nikki Beach can best be described as the ultimate luxury beach club. The sensory experience combines pulsing music, gourmet food, living art and avant-garde fashion overlooking the warm white sands and crystal blue waters of the beach. Celebrities flock to Nikki Beach, and the club has played host to famous pop divas Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Gwen Stefani and more.

Make a posh purchase at Rue De La Republique alongside Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

Celebrities know how to shop til they drop and if you can’t beat ’em, might as well join ’em! Rue De La Republique is a street located in Gustavia, the capital of St. Barts. Luxury shops such as Hermes, Cartier, La Perla and more can be found here and bumping into former Victoria’s Secret Angel and actress, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and her actor beau, Jason Statham, just might be on the agenda!

Stay in komfort like the Kardashian Klan at La Banane

La Banane is a former boutique hotel turned private luxury villa that boasts European furniture, a large swimming pool and most of all, exceptional privacy. Tall palm trees and walls shield high-profile guests from interested onlookers –  a must-have for a family like the Kardashians. La Banane is perfect for travellers looking for comfort and tranquillity.

Eat the most important meal of the day with the very important Karlie Kloss at Bar de l’Oubli

This favourite breakfast spot has been the scene of many celebrity spottings. From the Kardashians to high fashion model, Karlie Kloss, the popular haunt is crawling with A-listers chowing down on delicious morning delights. Enjoy a plate full of fluffy pancakes, served with a side of glamorous celebrity.

Give a wave to Matt Damon on a neighbouring yacht!

In St. Barts, yachting is not a luxury – it’s a way of life. Celebrities like Matt Damon, Leo Dicaprio, Simon Cowell and Salma Hayek have all enjoyed some quality time on multi-million dollar mega-boats. There are several companies that allow travellers to rent yachts and live the high life. An online search engine, Yacht Charter Fleet, is easy to use and aids in finding the perfect yacht in St. Barts to suit all individual needs and desires.

Luxury Hotel Hopping On The Island Of Saint Barthélemy

Saint Barthélemy, or St. Barth’s, is a small French island located in the Northern Caribbean. This island is well known for its glitz and glam and is a big draw for wealthy travellers and celebrities who want to get away and unwind.

Just head to the main port called Gustavia and you’ll be blown away by the luxury yachts and sailboats bobbing in the clear blue Caribbean water. It’s basically like the St. Tropez of the Caribbean.

Girl at Beach Exotic Island

I’ve been to this island many times and each time is an experience not to forget. I’m always blown away by the beauty and luxury that this island has to offer. Every detail is perfect. There are a number of insanely gorgeous hotels here which are mostly small and privately owned which I love because you get such a special and unique experience. No big resort chains. A lot of the time you will meet the owner wandering around the property talking to the guests. It’s very personalized, and when I travel I prefer to stay at places like this.

Blonde Blogger at Beach Chair With Palm Trees and Sand

Photo: @serenohotels

During my recent trip, I had to stop by one of my all-time favourite hotels, Le Sereno. Just walk through the reception and to the view and you will know why. Set on a secluded private beach with water a hundred shades of blue and giant palm trees swaying in the breeze. I could relax by their beachfront infinity pool every day and never get tired of that view – it’s pure heaven. The design is very chic with whitewashed buildings set into the lush jungle flora and fauna. This hotel is family owned, and you can tell how much this family loves their little piece of heaven on earth.

Swimming at the villa in St Barts

Photo:@ villamariehotels

I also stopped by one of the newer hotels on the island, Villa Marie. I had been hearing a lot of buzz around this new property so I wanted to check it out. Villa Marie is also family owned, the family owns a few other hotels in France but decided to spread their roots to the Caribbean. The theme of this hotel is without a doubt bohemian, tropical chic. Rich textures, colours and prints in every direction. Much different than the sleek Le Sereno, but just as lovely. Villa Marie is set high up on a hill with gorgeous views of Flamand’s Beach (one of my favourites). The grounds and pool are very private, surrounded by palm trees, bougainvillaea and the sound of parrots in the background. It’s like your own little private tropical bungalow. And as expected, the service is exceptional and both properties.

Once the reality of where you are has set in, St. Barth’s is a great island to explore and enjoy the natural beauty. The beaches are mostly secluded and so gorgeous. Take a 15-minute hike down to Colombier Beach and be the only person there. Be sure to bring snorkelling gear as you can walk out into the ocean and swim with sea turtles and starfish. Or, hike up to the beautiful natural swimming pools in Grand Fond and go for a dip. Luxury and nature at its best!

Girl in a sundress at the beach

Photo: @ambhasaa

The 10 Best Brunch Spots In Paris, France

Oui, Oui, Paris.

If you find yourself in the city of light (and definitely love) this sunny season, we urge to check out a few of our top brunch spots. Of course, we could point you in the direction of the usual suspects including lunch at the Eiffel Tower or outside of the Louvre – but we won’t.

We recently spent 48-hours in Paris and filled those two days galavanting around the city, hitting up landmarks and local’s only spots that easily reinvigorated our mind and soul. If you’re heading there for a quick add-on or a short layover, definitely add these foodie spots to your must-eat list.

Here are our top picks on where to feast for 48-hours in Paris, France.

Café de Flore

Photo: @mssa_90

1/ Café de Flore: This is one of the oldest and most noteworthy coffee houses in all of Paris. If you’re looking for the quintessential boulevard seating this is a must-visit. This 6th arrondissement café is also known for their famous clientele and superb menu offerings. Enjoy!

Photo: @sto.let.odinochestva

2/ Republique Of Coffee: Mexico meets Paris at this 10th arrondissement coffee shop. With a regular rotating variety of beans sourced from around the globe, you can expect seasonal sips including chai lattes paired with a delicious slice of pumpkin bread.

Le Pain Quotidien Paris Charonne

Photo: @veronicaegelund

3/  Le Pain Quotidien Paris Charonne: We’re not over avocado toast! This 11th arrondissement eclectic foodie spot is turning out some of the best dishes in all of Paris. It also happens to be located in a neighbourhood that celebrates art and culture, so grab your coffee to go and galavant around some epic galleries.

Photo: @lisakastleen

 4/ La Comete: This modern bistro celebrates simplicity with the finest selection of luxurious lattes and buttery croissants. Located in the 11th arrondissement, this charming location boasts an interior that warms the heart and food that feeds the soul.

Photo: @parisinfourmonths

5/ Café Oberkampf: This tiny foodie spot is cooking up some of the healthiest bites and bold cups of coffee around town. We recommend their all day brunch offering or the absolutely decadent Halloumi tartine.

Photo: @charlenedahan

6/ Muscovado: If you’re looking for a no-fuss brunch, this is the spot! From bagels to pancakes and everything in between, you simply can’t go wrong with this American-style eatery.

Photo: @celinablanche

7/ Cafe Kitsuné: With several locations around the globe, this it-girl coffee spot will prove to get you more likes than you imaged if you post a snap to social.

Photo: @jadazjjj

8/Restaurant Le Meurice Alain Ducasse: Housed inside one of Paris’s most gorgeous hotels, this Michelin-rated decadent brunch spot is not for the faint of heart. Except high-tea offerings paired with local ingredients sourced from France.

Photo: @thefrenchbrunett

9/Ladurée: Perhaps the most famous macaroon in the world, this French eatery also boasts dishes that will leave your soul satisfied and your sweet tooth smiling. This quintessential Parisian tea room is perfect for a bridal shower, or even a brunch with your bestie.

Photo: @majamalnar

10/Hôtel Plaza Athénée: Is this not the most photographed spot in all of Paris? We’ve definitely seen this photo before! If you’re looking for a breakfast that will fill your Instagram feed with gorgeous shots of food and the Eiffel Tower, look no further. Be sure to book your room in advance, as this luxury hotel is a highly sought after spot.

The 7 Most Instagram-Worthy Spots In Paris

Ahhhh, Paris. Exploring the city of lights evokes such a sense of romance, non? Truly, there is no better place in the world to live la vie en rose-coloured filter. So grab your Longchamp and Chanel sunnies and let’s go discover the most Instagrammable locales in the city!

 

@katie.one

1/ Eiffel Tower: 

Arguably the most iconic landmark in Paris, the Eiffel Tower has served as the backdrop for millions of people’s special moments. Engagements, weddings, family reunions, the Eiffel Tower is the main identifier in all of their photos. Take your very own snap with this piece of Parisian history.

@yokonailart

2/ Disneyland Paris – Sleeping Beauty Castle: 

This inspired castle is pink perfection and sole proof that dreams really do come true. Up the magic on your Instagram feed and take a photo in front of the whimsical Sleeping Beauty castle.

@vivaluxuryblog

3/ Ladurée: 

Made famous by its pretty pastel packaging and mouthwatering macarons, a post at Ladurée will make you the envy of Instagram followers everywhere. Once you capture the perfect photo of your treats, you’re left with the delicious task of devouring them all!

@janna.ne

4/ The River Seine: 

A beautiful river that runs through the city, the famous River Seine provides travellers with an amazing backdrop for enviable Instagram photos. The intricate architecture of the bridges photographs beautifully and you can also take a river cruise for the most incredible views of Paris.

@inzigoudezeune

5/ The Louvre: 

An architectural marvel, The Louvre Museum evokes the artist in all of us. For a modern twist on your Instagram page, pose in front of the Pyramide du Louvre, a stark contrast to the historic buildings of the museum that house priceless works of art, including DaVinci’s famous ‘Mona Lisa’.

@mashagavr

6/ Au Vieux Paris d’Arcole: 

When Paris is in bloom, Au View Paris d’Arcole is the place to be. The cutest restaurant that ever was is a dream of purple with vines of wisteria and pretty lilac patio furniture.

@katie.one

7/ Eiffel Tower Carousel: 

Another photo-op exists beside the Eiffel Tower in the form of a delicate carousel. The gilded merry-go-round with its ornately painted horses makes for a stunning and romantic shot.

5 Questions With Olivia Lopez Of Lust For Life

Millennial muses possess a keen editorial eye and a willingness to try new trends, and for that, we thought we would spotlight another personal favourite.

Olivia Lopez’s love of all things lifestyle fills our feeds with a healthy dose of daily inspiration. With nods to travel and fashion, this is one blog you absolutely need to bookmark.

Here are 5 questions (and answers) with Olivia Lopez of Lust for Life.

Olivia Lopez Lust for Life

1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your blog?

“I’m a photographer based in Los Angeles, and Lust for Life was a journal I started a few years ago to document my perspective on personal style and my obsession with music and culture. It’s evolved a long way since the early days of blogging and now serves more as a portfolio to showcase the different creative collaborations I take on that intersects in design and travel.”

2. Are there any photo editing apps that you swear by?

VSCO and Snapseed are great for creating a mood and signature look to your images.”

3. What are your top five cities, and what trips do you have lined up this year?

“My five favorite places I’ve visited is Rio, Havana, Porto, Mexico City and the South of France. I’d love to visit Casablanca and Buenos Aires this year.” 

4. What city or country served you the best meal, and what was it?

“Best culinary trip I’ve taken was in Barcelona, which serves up the most savoury food from casual dining to the high end. I loved everything from the salty tapas paired with cava to the exploding olives at Disfrutar.” 

5. What’s are the pieces you never leave home without? 

“My camera, a good book and a journal.”

Olivia Lopez Lust for Life

Stay: The Diplomat Boutique Hotel | Merida, Yucatan, Mexico

 The Diplomat was conceptualized and designed with comfort and guest experience in mind. As a small Boutique Hotel (with just four suites) we are able to focus on the details and provide completely personalized service, starting before the guests even arrive. Email contact is made to assist with planning their stay, the drive, rental cars, private yoga sessions or salsa lessons.

We have forgone the traditional reception desk and formal check-in in exchange for sitting, chatting, sipping (over complimentary cocktails) while discussing restaurant recommendations, hacienda history, advice on Ruins to see, cenotes to dip in and routes to take. Providing local insight makes all the difference when travelling to a new land.

As the Diplomat is just four suites guests enjoy a sense of calm and total relaxation, recharging for their exploration of the Yucatan.

The Diplomat _ View

Breakfast

The morning starts out with complimentary access to our tea & coffee bar where we have unlimited fresh coffee and a selection of loose teas as well as Jamaica (iced hibiscus flower tea) available from 8:00am onward.

Our served breakfast is ever changing, seasonal and often inspired by fresh local ingredients. Some mornings we serve The Diplomatic Huevos Rancheros with fresh corn tortillas topped with refried bean, a nice crispy fried egg layered with Oaxacan cheese, a chipotle tomatillo salsa and topped with lettuce, radishes, avocado & pickled onions. On the side we serve our house-made mango habanero sauce.

Other mornings we create sweet breakfasts with French toast soaked in canela (cinnamon), rum and Mexican vanilla, topped with toasted coconut, pecans and almond and most importantly cajeta (the Mexican version of Dulce de Leche), with a delicious side of coconut yoghurt.

A plate of fresh local fruits allows guests to experience new flavors and is designed with sharing in mind. We make all of our own breads, salsas, sauces and jams and feature them in The Diplomat Shop for our guests to take home with them.

The Diplomat Hotel Mexico Sunny Bar

Botanas

Inspired by vibrant cantina favorites, we serve a variety of snacks to guests when they arrive and also if their chilling poolside in the afternoon. Jicama sticks with chili, salt & lime, fresh house-made tortilla chip or other salty snacks that go perfectly with a cold artisanal beer or a fresh margarita.

The Diplomat Breakfast Credit Marion Vicenta

Cocktails

We’ve become known for our margaritas, always shaken and on the rocks with local sea salt. The perfect ratio has been painstakingly sampled and tested over many years and even more bottles of tequila.

The Diplomat Colonial Suite

Suites

Our spacious suites include photos of the Yucatan taken by both Neil & Sara, accents include antique typewriters, vintage fans and globes. All rooms are outfitted with the same amenities, but each has its own character and individual style. All of our rooms have their own bathrooms and sitting areas, free wifi, smart TVs, Fans and A/C along with bottled water.

We serve a wonderful hot breakfast with plenty of local fresh fruits and guests will have access to our tea & coffee bar with fresh juice each morning, all included with the room. In the evening we have a complimentary tequila and mezcal bar for guests to sip while relaxing poolside.

The Diplomat _ Waterfalls

Shop

Our little Diplomat Shop has a carefully curated selection of Mexican products including hand-woven textiles, artisan works, jewellery and one of a kind handicrafts.

The Diplomat Frontier Lounge

Suites + Rates
Rates are seasonal, it’s best to reference our website as the prices are always up to date. Prices start from $195 USD upwards for the holiday seasons. All four suites are priced equally, we have three spacious King Suites and one poolside Double Suite. As we are just four suites it’s possible to for 4 couples to rent the entire hotel and have the place to themselves.

The Diplomat Hotel Mexico Facade


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The 5 Best Beachfront Restaurants In Mexico

A meal with a view, its what we’re all after and the best place to find it this summer is Mexico!

This Caribbean paradise is chock-full of restaurants that are perfectly situated on white-sand beaches, which all happen to be waiting for you take a seat and savour.

To help you out on your search for the perfect dinner locale, we’ve narrowed it down to the top 5 beach front restaurants in Mexico.

Best Beachfront Restaurants in Mexico

Los Cabos: COMAL

Located in Los Cabos’ beautiful, contemporary Chileno Bay Resort and Residences, a part of the Auberge Resorts Collection, COMAL presents its patrons with authentic and mouthwatering flavours from the region including duck carnitas and market crudité. The three-level restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor seating with panoramic views of the water. The chic atmosphere paired with the masterfully crafted dishes make for an über-romantic evening with your loved one.

Sun umbrella and beach beds on tropical beach

Cancun: La Habichuela

For 38 years, La Habichuela has been serving up incredible Caribbean-Mexican cuisine with spectacular sunset views on the side. This incredibly designed restaurant with floor to ceiling glass windows is situated in the hotel zone and overlooks the Niputche Lagoon. Whether you’re seated inside or in the lush garden area, you cannot miss the breathtaking sunset over the water. Pink, orange and yellow hues in the sky enhance an already delicious meal.

Best Beach Front Mexican Restaurants

 

Tulum: Be Tulum

The rustic-chic decor is just the start of the beauty that Be Tulum brings to every dish they serve. Each meal is plated to perfection and all taste as incredible as they look. Hidden from the road, visitors to Be Tulum are treated to the awe-inspiring reveal of the restaurant’s fabulous atmosphere and tranquil beachfront views. To feel like a VIP and dine like one too, this is absolutely the place to Be.

Mayan Riviera: Coral Grill and Bar

Mayan Riviera: Coral Grill and Bar

The Viceroy Hotel in Mayan Riviera boasts some of the best beachfront dining in the region. The Coral Grill is the perfect dining option for those in search of a fresh meal as they serve up locally caught seafood and organic produce – truly the definition of “from farm to table.” The Viceroy also offers Dining Experiences – to step up the romance, request a private dinner on the beach, complete with candlelight and exotic flower arrangements.

Best Beachfront Restaurants Mexico

Acapulco: Zibu

For a unique twist on Mexican cuisine, try Zibu who offers a fusion of Mexican and Asian ingredients dubbed MexTai. The combination of the two makes for an incredible menu with items such as marinated fish with julienned mango and Indian nut to sweet coconut soup. Overlooking vast blue waters and vibrant green hills, the restaurant’s terrace defines dinner with a view.

Icing & Glitter Spends 72 Hours On The Shores Of Tulum

Tulum has been on my travel bucket list for the past year, so when the trip was finalized, I was practically jumping out of my skin with excitement. I visited Cancun about three years back, and as much as I enjoyed it, I had no plans of making a trip back there, primarily because I found that all it really had to offer was the all-inclusive experience. Tulum, however, is a completely different ball game. There is no shortage of things to do and there’s truly something for everyone. From the Mayan ruins to the Cenotes, to every single Instagrammable restaurant I visited, Tulum truly holds a special place in my heart. I put together a travel diary for those of you who decide to visit, which I highly recommend you do!

How to get there: Tulum is about an hour and a half away from Cancun. You can get there using either a private car or shuttle service, but be sure to book in advance to avoid any confusion once you get there. My hotel organized a car for me, which cost about $190 for a round trip.

Where to stay: Tulum isn’t the place for you if you’re looking for an all-inclusive experience. Most hotels are small, secluded and have an eco-feel to them. I stayed at Mi Amor Hotel which I cannot recommend enough. It’s located about five-minutes away from the main hotel strip, with a stunning view of the ocean. Although you can’t go into the ocean on account of the hotel being located on top of rocks, the beach is a two-minute walk away. The staff are extremely warm and helpful, arranging everything from transportation to snorkelling equipment for me to borrow.

Where to go: There are an endless amount of places to explore in Tulum. Since I was only around for three three nights, I barely touched the tip of the ice berg and would happily go back in a heart beat.

Cenotes are arguably the best part of Tulum. I visited two while I was there, the first being Cenote Dos Ojos which was an otherworldly experience. It’s a natural freshwater body located within a cave where you’ll find bats and fish, and the water is quite literally clearer than that in a swimming pool. This was a particularly memorable experience for me as I faced my fear of water in order to explore it. The Cenote is actually quite deep, so you can even dive there if you’d like to, although I was pretty sure my heart would stop beating if I even tried. Next to Cenote Dos Ojos is Cenote Nicte-Ha which is an open waterbody. Nicte-Ha has a bit of a whimsical feeling to it on account of the leaves and lily pads floating about.

You cannot leave Tulum without exploring the Mayan Ruins of Tulum. They are located on the beach and take about an hour and a half to walk through. I personally didn’t get a tour guide, choosing instead to read through while I walked around. Be sure to arrive early as it becomes jam-packed with tourists as the day progresses. The ruins open at 9, and although I arrived at 10 it was still a tad too crowded for me.

Where to eat: The food was quite possibly my favourite aspect of Tulum. On my first night, I dined at Unico, which had excellent ratings and was conveniently located within my hotel. The food was absolutely delicious, I highly recommend the Wild Snook.

On my second afternoon, I ate at Posada Margherita, a shabby-chic Italian joint located right on the beach. With the food, you can hardly go wrong with everything – it’s all prepared fresh and bursting with flavour. I tried two of the pasta dishes, both of which were delicious. Afterwards, I visited the beach right outside, and out of all the beaches I visited, this was the cleanest one in Tulum.

The most memorable dining experience I had, however, was at Gitano, a Mezcal Bar and restaurant. The interior has a rustic feel to it, with wooden tables and boho-chic tapestry. Gitano is located in the jungle side of Tulum, and at night, the whole restaurant is lit up with fairy lights and chandeliers within the trees, giving it a dreamlike quality. I went on a Friday night, which I think is the best night to go. There was a live band unlike anything I’ve ever heard – the manager, Seth (who is truly wonderful) described it as Indian Jazz on account of the sitar player. At 10pm, there was a DJ who played the most incredible music which was sort of a transition between the soothing live band and a harder DJ who comes on later at night. Now regarding the food, I ordered the ceviche, and three types of tacos (beef brisket, fish, and shrimp), all of which blew me away. The beef brisket one in particular was unforgettable. The drinks here are also to die for – it will put anything you’ve had in the past to shame. I ended my meal with guava cheesecake, something I never thought I would enjoy but could have happily gone to eat seconds of.

On my last night, I visited Safari for dinner, which was recommended to me by the manager of Gitano. Now if you’re after a super luxe experience, Safari isn’t for you. It’s a very basic restaurant, completely bare bones – the operations are conducted out of a food truck, but my goodness the food is to die for. The Shrimp A Mole Verde tacos were the best I’ve had in my life, and the rice and beans gave a new meaning to the dish. The owner, Luis, has been in the food industry forever, having worked everywhere from New York to Australia, so he really knows what he’s doing.

Tulum Travel Diary
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The 5 Most Beautiful Beaches In Cuba

There is nothing quite like parking on a soft-sanded beach with a plush towel and your favourite bikini to catch some much-needed Vitamin sea.

Warm rays hitting your bronzed skin and beads of salt water dripping from your hair, the beach is where you belong. If you’re craving that unmistakable Caribbean heat, we’ve got you covered.

We set out to find the five best beaches in Cuba to soak up the sizzling Cuban sun.

Best Beaches in Cuba

Photo: @britneylhope

Playa Los Flamencos:
White-sanded beaches and lush, swaying palm trees as far as the eye can see, Playa Los Flamencos is 22 km of relaxing perfection. This quiet beach is the perfect escape for those looking for a day full of peace. Whether you visit this beach solo to retreat for a while or with loved ones to spend quality time with one another, Playa Los Flamencos provides the perfect tranquil atmosphere.

Best Beaches in Cuba

Photo: @katebialowas

The beach at Memories Varadero Beach Resort:
Memories Varadero is a fun and lively paradise with the beach to match. Spend your day taking part in dance lessons, water sports and volleyball on the warm sands while meeting people from all over the globe! For those a part of Memories Varadero’s Diamond Club, get away from it all with your very own private section of the beach. Shaded tiki huts and comfy lounge chairs await!

Best Beaches in Cuba

Photo: @waheedaharris

The beach at Sanctuary Grand Memories Cayo Santa Maria:
Turquoise waters and velvety sand envelop the lucky visitor who set foot on the beach at Sanctuary Grand Memories Cayo Santa Maria. This adults-only shoreline offers a much-needed reprieve from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Travellers coming to Cuba in search of #nofilter beauty need look no further than this little stretch of heaven.

Photo: @sar_rosie

Playa Bacuranao:
If you’ve come to Cuba for historic Havana and only have a short time to dedicate to some sun worshipping, the perfect beach locale does exist. Playa Bacuranao is located only 12 kilometres away from the city and provides travellers with a quick beach escape. Sky-high palm trees, crystal-blue waters and a warm stretch of sand, you would never guess you’re so close to the busy Havana streets.

Best Beaches in Cuba

Photo: @britneylhope

The beach at Memories Holguin Beach Resort:
Family fun in the sun is the motive for the beach at Memories Holguin. Set up camp on the beach, slather on the sunscreen and have your very own sandcastle building competition. Gather as a group down by the bright blue water to partake in the many water and land sports offerings to make family memories to last a lifetime!

24 Hours In Havana, Cuba

Havana is a magical city that never fails to inspire a hopeful wanderlust in all of us.

Between the cobblestone streets, colourful facades and intricate architecture, this Cuban gem proves to be spectacular both day and night. We were fortunate enough to spend some time wandering the city streets with Nexus Tours. This wonderful add-on was a day trip during our stay with Memories Varadero Beach Resort.

Once the bus unloaded and we started to get our bearings, the clock struck nightfall and to our surprise live music, laughter and lights flooded the proverbial city walls. We were treated to amazing sounds, sights and smells of local cuisine and culture. Roadside churros were a must, as was dancing and singing with the vibrant and kind locals.

There’s something so touching about spending time in a city that has captured the imagination of so many. It came as no surprise that Havana conquered the heart of literary great, Ernest Hemmingway. An infectious inspiration can be found in everything you see and do in that city, and it certainly occupied my heart in a more profound way than expected.

If Havana is on your radar (which is should be), check out a few of our top city picks.

Eat: Habana 61
61 Habana, La Habana 10100, Cuba
Voted number one on Trip Advisor, this tourist and local hot spot is packed with outstanding culture and cuisine. We were told to make reservations in advance of visiting the city, as this quaint restaurant tends to fill up fast. If you’re looking for the best meal for your money, the lobster with garlic is otherworldly.

Sip: Café Fortuna Joe
Calle A, La Habana, Cuba
This quaint bar and eatery presents a proud display of vintage typewriters and toilets as decor, as well as sofa seating underneath the stairs. The tables are made from old cars and the ambience will make you feel as though you’re spending time in a traditional Cuban home. Additionally, the expansive menu boasts the most reasonable pricing for everything from small plates to sips. Be sure to taste the El Padrino cocktail, a white rum wonder.

Sleep: Memories Miramar Havana
5 Avenue Between 72 and 76, Miramar, Havana 11400, Cuba
You can experience the heart of Havana in this perfectly situated hotel. This lovely spot is tucked away in a residential neighbourhood and has everything from a pool, to restaurants and even two bars that can whip up the best mojito you’ve ever had. If you’re looking for easy access and a feeling of being part of the local culture, look no further than this hot spot.

Do: Tropicana
72 A, La Habana, Cuba
We were treated to a 2-hour show of stunning costumes, a spectacular set and amazing choreography at the one and only Tropicana. Set in a tropical oasis, the live music and dancing started as soon as the Cuban rum started flowing. Our eyes were sincerely glued to the stage, as every act was better than the last. While a live show might not be for everyone, this is certainly one thing you definitely need to cross off your bucket list.