As a citizen of the world, I’ve never been a tourist. As a matter of fact, I try to avoid them at all costs! So when we go to Puerto Vallarta we avoid the north part of the coastline and stay on the southern coast where there are no cruise ships or “trendy” bars. We liked that Garza Blanca was a family friendly luxury beach resort. The property offers all inclusive hotel packages as well as room only hotel rates (which is the route we went). The waters were warm and protected and the sand was bright white! We learned to paddle board in the calm bay, participated in a Strawberry Full Moon ritual on the beach and practiced Kundalini Yoga in the trees! Garza Blanca has all of the amenities that you family and friends would need without leaving the comfort of the Resort.
Affiliated with the Garza Blanca Preserve (and just up the hill) is the super hip and visually stunning Hotel Mousai. We did not stay here this time (but will next time for sure!) but did take them up on their amenities including a 5-Star sushi dinner and roof top infinity pool that overlooks the bay. The hotel screams exclusive and high end. A must see, a must eat, a must stay (and swim) for sure!
Years ago I found a beautiful, at that time almost uninhabited, cove called Yelapa. I almost hesitate to mention it since it was such a quite place far from the tourists. Alas, now the day boats come and go regularly. To my surprise though, it still remains very much untouched. Especially if you stay past the daily “prime time”. It was in Yelepa that I parasailed for the first time the good old fashioned way; right off the beach with just a harness! I love an adventure, it keeps you young!
Ride the local water taxi if you want the “real” experience. We go to the bus stop by our hotel and ride it past Jolla de Mismaloya to the last stop Boca de Tomaltan. Then walk down to the bay to catch the local water taxi. Follow these images to know that you are there!
In a past life, I have stayed at the Hotel Lagunitas which is right on the Playa. It was neat to show Serena around the hotel, We even got to peak into the room that I once stayed in (pictured below). There is nothing better than sleeping in the open air of these huts listening to the ocean breathe. A truly meditative and expansive experience.
We rented a Jeep through Eneterprise to take the hour drive up the coast to the little town of Sayulita. Known as a surfing paradise with 10 incredible surf breaks, the village is friendly, colorful and down to earth; a true representation of Mexican heritage and culture.
Tucked way from the hustle and bustle is Villa Amor Boutique Hotel. The property offers a one of a kind experience with 25 unique and beautifully-designed oceanfront luxury villas it is just a short walk to Playa Sayulita. It is a truly magical and very romantic experience.
Kimpton has done it again and this time it is in the form of their lifestyle resort Seafire! A brand new, sprawling and truly magnificent resort at the far end of Seven Mile Beach. The open air design of this property offers water vistas every chance it gets! We enjoyed a front row seat to our last sunset in Grand Cayman over drinks at one of their many dining destinations and got lost in their winding gardens that lead to secret sanctuaries. A must see and for me a MUST STAY next time we are on the Island.
This beautifully sprawling property is the essence of Luxury for Grand Cayman. The resort has a photo opp around every corner, breathtaking views, 6 restaurants, la prairie spa, and two outdoor pools. It is a one shop stop for a restful and luxurious vacation on the Island. Our girl gang loved dinning on the outdoor terrace with the sea breeze and of course Serena and I ran around the beautiful property and snapped same photos!
If you like to find your luxury and relaxation in the comfort of your own home, might I recommend Coral Stone Condos. The eight of us stayed here (in two condos of corse!) which is conveniently located RIGHT next to the Ritz! The property has all of the amenities of being at home; that is, if your home is beachfront with endless views from your private patio and comes with a lovely and friendly staff to assist you in your every need! Serena cooked us a beautiful family dinner in our state of the art kitchen and we relaxed in the private infinity pool and jacuzzi every evening! This property is perfect for family getaways and adventures with your friends!
We’re not fisherman, just loungers. But that didn’t make a lick of difference for the crew of Georgia Girl Charters who are known for their incredible fishing expeditions. Our captain and first mate took us on an amazing adventure as we sailed to lunch then to Sting Ray Bay where we made out with the puppies of the sea! Did you know that kissing a Sting Ray will bring you 10 years of good luck? I’ll let you know if it works!
I hired Cayman’s photographer Julie Corsetti of Deep Blue Images to take some memorable photos of our birthday girl and her gals. It was a great experience where we all stepped out of our comfort zone to feel beautiful and confident.
Thank you so much Lori, Marcie, Patti, Cecily and Caroline for trusting Serena and I in this vision. And of course to our favorite resort line Lotta Stensson for the gorgeous dresses! We’ll always have the memories! xoxo
I love to pack for a trip! It’s part of the fun of traveling! Now, I don’t know how many people can say that, but for me, it is the beginning of the adventure, I also pride myself on rarely checking luggage. The eagerness of going right out the airport doors and getting on with the adventure is worth all the preplanning. With that in mind I have a few tips that might help.
Decide on a color palette
A few weeks ago, Beth @styleatacertainage was commenting about taking clues from the colors in any scarf when wondering what to wear. Good advise. In this case I took a wonderful Lotta Stenssen Kaftan as my inspiration and ended up choosing a cobalt blue and coral red combination.
Travel comfortably but look stylish
I Always travel in jeans a T shirt and a coat or sweater and scarf . In this case I will be going into a chilly city and then on to the islands, so I choose dark jeans a white T and a tomato red trench and a colorful scarf.
Take multi- purpose clothing
Slip dresses are a saving grace and can go from beach cover-up to dinner with a quick change of shoes and earrings.
Loose pants and a blouses or Tee’s are light to pack and can go from breakfast to the market or the beach.
Bathing suits and scarves. I always overpack these. One piece suits double as body suits scarves as sarongs. Swimwear addicted!!!
Shoes take up a lot of space so think these out carefully.
If you are taking sneakers make them light and travel in them. Slides. In this case flats in Denim. Heels! A splurge really but worth it even if I don’t use them.
Cosmetics. Here you have to take small jars, that goes without saying. I have a very simple routine so that takes up little space. Sunblock, night cream, day cream. That’s it. A bit of eye makeup and lipstick and I’m out the door. My hair on the other hand is usually …. well I’m bored just thinking about it.
Jewelry. Don’t forget this. It can take a simple look and polish you up.
Don’t forget the perfume. In this case I’ll take Vetiver from Le Labo.
Remember your color palette everything has to go with everything. I take a carry on and a large tote with my purse inside it.
My routine a week before I leave is this. I take out a rolling rack or go to the spare room closet and start choosing items and moving them over. I take everything that inspires me, is in the right color palette, or just speaks to me. I don’t judge (yet).
After that I start adding and omitting and making a list of what is missing. Over time I end up with about a third of what I originally brought in. Don’t worry about being without something. In the end I wear about two thirds of what I’m taking and I’m never lacking. You will see how empowering it is to go relatively unencumbered and still
Look Fabulous .
There is nothing like a staycation to quickly regenerate the spirit.
Denim on Denim (The Texas Tuxedo ) was a trend I have always shied away from. In this case I embraced it and loved the look! Between the embroidered jeans and the vintage Levi’s jacket I could not have been more appropriately dressed to arrive at The Firebrand Hotel n Whitefish. Thank you Lori and Dan Avrill for allowing us to shoot on location.
Mixing the feminine and masculine always has a surprising effect. A camo or leather jacket over an evening gown for instance. In this case the army jacket with the print skirt worked well with the ever so on trend corset belt. And, high heels always work with a pencil skirt.
For cocktails and dinner a robe like dress with a short neutral slip makes for a comfortable dinner look. The print is a great backdrop for the YSL cross body bag and a statement necklace and vintage cuff seal the deal.