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.

5 Chicago Spots To Boost Your Instagram Game

In the market for an enviable Instagram feed? Chicago’s got you covered.

With trendy restaurants and amazing street art and alley murals, The Windy City is the perfect place to take cool snaps to share with all your followers.

Here are Chi-town’s 5 most Instagrammable spots.

The Hampton Social

The Hampton Social

It’s all in the name of this River North restaurant. The Hampton Social is made for social media, with a trendy plant wall and a pink neon sign that reads “Rosé all day” – #ourmantra.  We’ll never say no to a chic eatery, pink wine or a selfie to prove we were there.

Flamingo Wall

@flamingorumclub

The Flamingo Wall

A slice of the tropics exists in the city at The Flamingo Rum Club, located at 601 N. Wells Street. Outside of this Cuban cabaret, you’ll find a turquoise wall with a giant, pink flamingo mural, waiting to pose with you for your next Instagram pic.

Stan's Coffee + Doughnuts

Photo: @oliviacarswell

Stan’s Donuts & Coffee

Instagram foodie bloggers, you dough-not want to miss out on a visit to Stan’s Donuts & Coffee. The photo-ops are endless with all of the colourful, delicious-looking treats. After you’re done taking pictures, it will likely take all of your willpower to not jump over the counter and devour every doughnut behind the glass.

3 Arts Cafe at Restoration Hardware

@caffeinecouture

3 Arts Club Cafe at Restoration Hardware

This incredible café is straight out of a fairytale. With a giant crystal chandelier hanging overhead, glass ceiling, a running fountain, live trees and exposed brick, it’s practically an indoor enchanted forest and the perfect place to snap like-worthy photos. Romantic enough for proposal pics, perhaps?

Wabash Arts Corridor

@jdjudah

Wabash Arts Corridor

A moose blowing bubble gum exists and you need to take a picture of it and/or with it. The Wabash Arts Corridor (WAC), located at Wabash Avenue, is dedicated to creating a “living urban canvas” which only helps your Instagram feed that much more. This moose mural is cute, sassy and your ticket to the best Insta page by far.

Cover Photo: http://3artsclubcafe.com/

Summer In The City: A Guide To Chicago, Illinois

If there was an award for a city that takes full advantage of the summer season, we’d give it to Chicago. Once the winter’s snow has melted this city heats up in full-force, making it one of the world’s best places to go out – with your friends, your date, or even your parents (we tried it!) – and enjoy your favourite drink or two. From beach parties to raging city parties to boat parties, to weekend-long-festival-parties (hello, Lollapalooza), there’s a spirit that’s undeniably contagious.

Also famous for its food, Chicago has a lot more to offer than just the Midwestern comfort food it’s known for – foodies will love the unlimited ethnic restaurants nestled throughout the city. As for neighbourhoods you can’t miss, Wicker Park has the best vintage shops, independent boutiques and trendy eats. Pilsen is also worth checking out – this up-and-coming south-west side neighbourhood is sure to bring out your artistic side as you’re surrounded by bold murals and the lively, creative spirit of the area.

For more of our take on the hottest places to stay, dine, drink and play in The Windy City, check out our Chicago city guide:

STAY:

Chicago City Guide

Photo: @thedrakechicago

The Drake Hotel: Bucket list

At The Drake, Chicago’s famous 1920s hotel on the Magnificent Mile, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time as you’re dazzled by the high ceilings met with crown moulding and grand chandeliers. A stay in this high society palace will make you feel like one of Chicago’s elite. Join Princess Diana, Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe (whose initials, alongside Joe DiMaggio’s, are still carved into the bar of the Cape Cod Room) on the roster of the Drake’s A-List guests.

Photo: @sohohouse

Soho House Chicago: Stylish/ cultured

Soho House’s newest location in Chicago’s West Loop is a must for those chic and cultured travellers. The industrial bones of the 110-year-old building met with the intricate design and character – that only the Soho House brand can create – is why we love this hotel. For a panoramic view of Chicago, check out the rooftop pool bar where you can swim on a hot afternoon, or cuddle by the fire on a chilly evening. But the best part about a stay at Soho House Chicago is access to the private members club, where you’ll mingle with the club’s interesting and creative-minded members.

Photo: @holidayjones

Holiday Jones: Road less travelled

When we want to step off the beaten path of Chicago’s downtown, we head to Holiday Jones upscale boutique hostel. Burrowed in the ultra-hip and cool Wicker Park neighbourhood, you’ll be guaranteed good vibes and even better company. Not your average hostel, Holiday Jones – a stay that provides the five-star hotel experience with hostel pricing – places you in the midst of art galleries, live music, clothes to be thrifted, and all the coffee, beer and cocktails you could ever want. Not sure about hostelling it? Don’t worry, both private and shared rooms and bathrooms are available.

DO:

Photo: @signatureroom95

The Signature Lounge at the 96th: Bucket list

One of our favourite things about Chicago is the stunning skyline. So why not enjoy your drink of choice with the best view in the city? The Signature Lounge, 96 floors above the John Hancock Centre (yes, that John Hancock) is a must when choosing a bucket-list-worthy drinking spot in the city. Try out our favourite cocktail, the Signature Room Punch, or choose for yourself from the extensive specialty cocktail menu. Well worth the extra cost, you can also enjoy fresh, local cuisine while sipping in style and taking in the unbeatable view.

Photo: @riverroastchi

River Roast: Stylish/cultured

For a night spent drinking alongside the picturesque Chicago River River Roast is a must. The truly unique drink menu features cocktails titled Illegally Smuggling Ginger and Morpheus is Fighting Neo, as well as a number of fun craft beers. Drinks aside, our favourite thing about River Roast is the vibrant atmosphere. Don’t be surprised if you see a group of young Chicagoans pulling up on their boat and hopping over onto the patio to keep the party going in their private booth.

Photo: @sparrowchicago

Sparrow: Road less travelled

For the city’s secret best cocktails you’ll want to head to Sparrow – a local classic nestled in the Gold Coast neighbourhood. This old-school establishment radiates the vibe of Chicago’s iconic hotel lobby bars. Known for their rum cocktails, we recommend the Twelve Mile Limit a rum and rye focused cocktail with French cognac, pomegranate grenadine and lemon. If you’re looking to keep the party going after Sparrow closes, we suggest you head over to one of Chicago’s infamous 4 a.m. bars, although Sparrow itself stays open until 3 a.m. on Saturday nights.

EAT:

Photo: @loumalnatis

Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria: Bucket list

Chicago is a city that’s famous for its deep-dish pizza. As pizza lovers ourselves, our favourite deep-dish spot is a classic, Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria. If you’re already crossing this authentic Chicago must off your bucket list, you should probably try the Malnati Chicago Classic, which layers lean sausage, extra cheese and vine-ripened canned tomatoes over a garlic butter crust. Need we say more?

Photo: @asklar88

Schwa: Stylish/cultured

You’ll find Schwa on the fringe of the creative and cool Wicker Park neighbourhood, just outside of Chicago’s downtown. The culinary artists under the direction of Chef Michael Carlson make all dishes at this foodie heaven into a work of art. The menu allows you to choose your own serving sizes, as you’ll be getting fed grasshopper portions of delicately plated meals. There is also an option to BYOB – just ensure you make a reservation, as they won’t seat you without one at Schwa.

Chicago Summer Series

Butch McGuire’s: Road less travelled

Known for its infamous after-hours, 4 a.m. bar status, Butch McGuire’s has a reputation for being a party hot spot in the Gold Coast. What most people don’t know is they also have amazing pub fare. If you’re looking for great food and that won’t hurt your wallet, we suggest heading to Butch McGuire’s Irish pub for some fish and chips, baby back ribs or our favourite, the Butch’s Burger, topped with bleu cheese, grilled onions and mushrooms.

SEE:

Magnificent Mile and Millennium Park: Bucket list

We love the Magnificent Mile because of the big-city feel you get on this upscale stretch of Michigan Ave. For the full Chicago experience, stroll down Mag Mile and find the best dining, shopping, entertainment and architecture. You’ll eventually hit Millennium Park, another one of our favourites, which is home to the famous Cloud Gate sculpture, better known as “The Bean”. You probably have a Facebook friend (or five) who’s taken a picture in the reflection of this architectural phenomenon. So don’t forget your selfie stick, because you won’t want to head home without your own rendition.

Pilsen: Stylish/cultured

You’ll know when you’ve arrived in Pilsen, as this Mexican-American south-west side neighbourhood definitely has its own distinct sense of place. We love the vibrant murals and public art that’s wrapped around every corner and hidden in the most unlikely of places. Visitors will find galleries and studios, independent coffee shops, vintage boutiques, and of course ample spots to indulge in authentic Mexican cuisine. Pilsen is also home to the National Museum of Mexican Art, a cultural institution we’d rate as a must-see.

Get active – bike, run, rollerblade: Road less travelled

If you’re headed to The Windy City you better pack your workout clothes. Chicagoans are very active and can be found running, biking and rollerblading around the city. For visitors, one of the best (and most fun) ways to get around and see all the city’s sites is by bike. For bike rentals, we recommend trying out Divvy Bikes. There are thousands of Divvy Bikes situated around the city for rental easily with a credit card (costing USD$9.95 for a 24-hour pass).

Don’t Miss: The Architectural Boat Tour

We love this tour because of the stunning views the 90-minute boat ride brings. Whether you’re an architecture buff or not, you’ll probably love it too. You’ll sip a cocktail and listen to the unique story of Chicago’s history while cruising down the Chicago River with the seamlessly architected city towering on either side of you. This tour is a must for visitors and locals alike.

Transportation: The L, lyft or Uber

Unsure how you’ll make it around to your top choices of the city’s 77 neighbourhoods? Get acquainted with the L. Chicago’s elevated rapid transit system runs 24-hours a day and will help you get from point A to point B. The L is a great alternative to taxis and Uber, with adult fare only amounting to USD$2.25. That said, if you’re in a hurry we suggest ridesharing with Lyft or Uber as it can take a while to get around on public transit in the big city.

72 Hours In Real Del Mar, Mexico

This was my first trip to Mexico and for a someone that grew up in the southernmost part of the Southern Hemisphere, it was a long time coming. Especially as I had now relocated to the icy North and settled in Toronto, February seemed like a really good time to visit.

Thankfully getting there is very easy. The direct flight from Pearson into Puerto Vallarta airport combined with a quick transfer to the Real del Mar resort, meant that I was on chaise lounge, armed with a cocktail by 3PM. Our hosts, Exclusive Resorts, a members-only vacation club that provides access to some of the world’s most sought after vacation property, had taken out all the stops to make sure we arrived on time and in style. In Real del Mar, they operate a range of tastefully built, private villas, each with four or five bedrooms, a large reception area, a full kitchen and a lavish infinity pool overlooking the inimitable Bahia de Banderas. The villas are perfectly designed for families and groups travelling together. Beyond the villas, Real del Mar offers a range of amenities that include tennis, yoga, in-residence massages and spa treatments and of course access to a wide range of watersport based activities.

Our first day took us to the quaint surf village, Sayulita. Just 30 minutes north of Real del Mar, the positive vibe of this quirky little town, is palpable from the moment you emerge into the busy main street. Restaurants, peddlers, street vendors and an impressive retail selection, are all clustered together under the trademark colourful banting, strung between coconut trees. We wasted no time and stopped at the Sayulita Café on Revolution Avenue, for their famous grilled fish tacos, washed down with an ice-cold, Pacifico. The availability of fresh seafood, as you might imagine is plentiful. It’s not uncommon to have five to six different types of fish and a host of other crustaceans on the menu. All at exceptionally reasonable prices.

Post gastronomic satisfaction, we wandered down to the beach to book our surf lesson. Sayulita beach has several businesses offering surf lessons, each that seem well equipped and properly run. Our choice, Lunazul Surf School, was no different. The lessons cost about $50 USD for two hours and include your board and a rash vest. Fortunately, the beach has formed in such a way that the surf is quite tame on the eastern side, but the swell gets bigger on the western side. Depending on your skill level, you have your pick of the surf. Naturally well stayed on the eastern section, though! The surf coaches were patient and very professional, I think you would have to be, considering our skill level. Our lesson ended as the sun was going down, after drying off at Lunazul HQ, we headed up to the main street to catch cab back to the resort.

Day two offered a smorgasbord of activities. Feeling somewhat energetic, we headed to the resort beach and joined a sunrise yoga session. The discomfort I found with contorting my body into seemingly unnatural positions was instantly remedied by the sheer beauty of the sunrise over the bay. This was a genuine Sun Salutation! We took our (recovering) post yoga bodies down to the water and met with the resort manager. We were greeted by a wide selection of freshly caught (almost alive in fact) seafood that we could choose for dinner that night.  After much deliberation, we opted for six lobster and large bag of shrimp, to be cooked and delivered to our villa that evening. Bliss! The balance of our day was spent by the Resort’s beautiful infinity pools, punctuated only briefly by the delivery of food and beverages by the faultless service staff. After a solid dose of vitamin D we were no longer white washed, so we headed up to the villa to devour our beautifully cooked seafood.

The last full day and our hosts at Exclusive Resorts had booked us a real treat; a day trip on a catamaran! Our transfer collected us at 8 AM and took us to the La Cruz Marina, about 15 minutes drive from the resort. We were welcomed by the jovial crew and given breakfast as we boarded the beautiful motorized catamaran. The company, Ally Cat Sailing Adventures, made sure we were kept in supreme comfort throughout the day. The fully serviced experience includes all food and drinks, non-motorized water sports and transfers to the Isla Marietas National Park, an island off the coast of Real del Mar. The trip was further improved by the regular spotting of whales on the way to the islands. Mid-December through March is whale season and sightings are very common. We must have spotted more than five different humpback whales during the day’s excursion. We ate, we drank, we tanned, we SUP’d, we snorkelled and then on the way back, we danced to pop music on the main deck all the way back to the marina. It was a truly action packed day and one that will be remembered for years to come.

Our last night was spent at the Resort’s restaurant, sharing highlights from our trip while feasting on dishes from the extensive menu. We all agreed that the combination of the fun activities, great food, superior service and extensive resort amenities made a trip to Real del Mar, with Exclusive Resorts, unforgettable.

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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Island Hopping 3 Ways X Thailand

A diversity of dreamy experiences exists within the hundreds of islands scattered along Thailand’s Southern coast – how do you choose just one adventure to embark on? You don’t. With a convenient and rather inexpensive ferry system, today’s traveller can easily check multiple island extravaganzas off the bucket list.

Known as the “land of a thousand smiles”, there is no doubt Thailand boasts some truly extraordinary experiences – both on luxurious and cultural levels – that can quite literally be consumed using all five senses. Crystal-clear blue seas and white sand shores are inevitable in Mother Nature’s artistry along every shore, and dedicated foodies will have no problem finding truly hands-on culinary experiences that extend beyond the classic Pad Thai or Green Curry.

The Thai word, “Koh” directly translates to “Island”, and precedes the name of each of our recommended Thai hotspots: Ko Tao, Ko Pha Ngan and Ko Samui. Take a look at our suggestions below – this island trio is sure to satisfy all of your Thai travel aspirations, regardless of your budget!

Beautiful beach of Koh Tao, Thailand

DIVE IN: Koh Tao

Koh Tao is an ideal first stop of the three islands in Thailand, especially if you intend on obtaining your PADI open water diving license. It is one of the world’s more affordable places to receive this internationally recognized certification, which will undoubtedly come in handy throughout your upcoming island explorations. Expect to come across multiple world-class dive sites as the islands are known to have a wide variety of marine wildlife: from manta rays to whale sharks, to vibrantly colourful fish and coral reefs.

If you don’t have the time to commit to a full scuba diving certification, there is no shortage of prime snorkelling spots around the island that can be experienced either through an organized group tour or on your own. Koh Tao’s Shark Bay is accessible from the beach shore and offers clear, shallow waters for the chance to explore a variety sea life and coral formations – if you’re lucky, you might catch sight of a Blacktip Reef shark or Green sea turtle!

Sleep: With warm and friendly hospitality, panoramic breakfast buffet views and the island’s most Instagram-worthy infinity pool, you can’t go wrong booking a suite at the Aminjirah Koh Tao.

Devour: Sink into massive beanbags and catch happy hour cocktails at Fizz Beachlounge for an unforgettable sunset experience.

Experience: With the island’s natural vibe of pure zen relaxation, yoga retreats such as those offered by Shambhala Yoga Centre can provide you with the ultimate detox to strengthen your body and mind.

Aerail Koh Mae view, Koh Phangan, Thailand

BREAK FREE: Ko Pha Ngan

If you can recall anything about this lively island, it’s likely that Ko Pha Ngan is best known for its famous Full Moon Parties. Once every lunar month on Haad Rin’s crescent-shaped strip of shoreline, a low-key beach by day transitions into a once in a lifetime party that lasts until sunup. In high tourism season, the beach populates with crowds of up to 30,000 neon face-painted backpackers, enjoying mixed drinks in sand buckets and choreographed fire performances.

Accommodations run anywhere from $5/night backpacker party hostels to luxury resorts on the pricier end. You’ll quickly discover this island has an abundance of first-class offerings –Ko Pha Ngan is not necessarily all about a constant buzz of music and expensive beach clubs. The further north, the more remote and quiet the beaches are. Here, you can escape to some of the country’s most luxurious resorts while still having access to Full Moon Party celebrations. 

Rest: Experience utmost bliss with your loved one at Santhiya Ko Pha Ngan Resort & Spa. A true gem to the island, the resort offers a variety of stunning private villas engulfed in lavish greenery and cascading pools – the ultimate paradise utopia in Thailand.

Devour: Known for its service excellence and cultural ambiance, The Bistro at The Beach is considered to be the premier Ko Pha Ngan restaurant. Don’t miss the signature Gai Pad Med Ma Muang – a delectable stir-fried chicken dish topped with roasted cashews, chili jam and Phangan fresh pineapple.

Experience: Learn how to cook like a culinary pro while crafting the perfect Thai plate – whether it be Tom Yum soup, Penang Curry, or Papaya Salad. For the ultimate foodie experience, find a class that includes a tour of the famous Thong Sala food night market.

Tropical beach and coconut palms in Koh Samui, Thailand, Asia

WIND DOWN: Ko Samui

The next piece of paradise in Thailand, Ko Samui is the largest island of the three and is well-known to be suitable for all types of travellers. While it is certainly a bustling tourist hub full of stimulating experiences, Samui still offers the freedom and relaxation for those looking to do their own happy wandering. Whether you’d prefer to explore the land by foot or navigate the twisting highland roads by motorbike, expect no disappointments in this island’s magical scenery.

Samui has several waterfalls, although the two Na Muang Waterfalls are the most picturesque. Tree roots form a natural staircase that lead to the base of the falls where massive purple rocks sit. Other must-see landmarks include the 12-metre tall Big Buddha Temple, locally known as Wat Phra Yai, as well as Lamai Beach, a laid-back community that sits south of Chaweng district.

Sleep: If you don’t mind blowing your Baht, Ko Samui is known to have some truly luxurious accommodation retreats. Ease off in one of Code Ko Samui’s chic penthouse suites to enjoy striking views of the area’s turquoise sea.

Devour: Indulge in fine Thai and European dishes at Second Nature, where East cuisine meets West. Whether you’re looking for special occasion dining or a more casual, bar lounge environment, this Lamai Beach restaurant will suit your fancy.

Experience: If you’re working with a smaller budget, you’ll have no problem finding traditional Thai massage salons every few steps amongst the town with prices as little as 200฿ – or about CAD$7.50 – for a FULL body aromatherapy or reflexology foot massage!

Picture this: All of the culture, cuisine and warm hospitality found in Thailand’s major mainland cities, but accompanied by endless sun-lounging, towering ocean-side cliffs and palm tree-coated shorelines.

If Thailand has been forever on your to-do list, what are you waiting for? With the country’s various offerings, this island-hopping itinerary can be customized to hit all of your ultimate holiday goals. Between Koh Tao, Ko Pha Ngan and Ko Samui, the Gulf of Thailand has everything your dream vacation desires, regardless of your travelling taste.