Valentines…The time of the year when we celebrate Love and Romanticism has to be a unique and romantic experience, to create life long memories.
Do you want to have a real Princess worthy experience on Valentines Day? Have you imagined the most romantic, luxurious and truly unique experience for you and your loved one? There is one place that can fulfil your most extravagant dream.
Al Mahara which means”The Oyster Shell” in Arabic is known as one of the best Seafood Fine Dining restaurants in Dubai and beyond.
The luxurious experience starts before arriving to the restaurant, when entering the sumptuous 7 stars hotel Burj Al Arab. The enormous hotel lobby was meticulously decorated with giant red hearts made out of natural red roses. Stepping through the hotel doors you are immediately transported into a luxurious paradise that celebrates love and romance. There are so many details, so many perfectly decorated places to admire. The journey continues up on the escalator passing the aquarium wall on the right and the waterfall fountain on the left which was all covered in red roses hearts. At this point you will be already feeling like hypnotised by the grandeur and magic of this place.
The interior design of Burj Al Arab is of palatial proportions. The colours are vibrant and rich, inspired by the four natural elements. It was built in order to be the symbol of wealth and power.
On the way to the restaurant you will be escorted by a very friendly staff member and taken into a golden elevator all the way to the majestic entrance of the Al Mahara Restaurant. That is the moment of pure bliss and excitement, when you look through the “shell” shaped tunnel entrance and see the fascinating “world” waiting for you at the other end.
The first thing your eyes will discover is the beautiful blue light of the aquarium with the colourful sea life swimming peacefully inside and creating a spectacular atmosphere. Beautiful and delicate rose petals, orange, yellow and red, are scattered all over the dinning table that sits gracefully in front of the majestic aquarium wall, right in the middle,
While walking towards the table you feel like a king stepping towards his throne. All the staff members around are welcoming you and are ready to be at your service the soonest you make the tiniest gesture. After being handed the Special Valentines Menu, with an exclusive selection of seafood dishes, two complementary glasses of champagne are brought to the table by the most attentive waiter. That is the moment when you start enjoying the great and romantic atmosphere that is surrounding you.
To continue the string of pleasant surprises, two small Hermes perfumes, thoughtfully chosen, are waiting on the table among the rose petals, with a note saying that they are for you to take home and enjoy. And if this is not enough, a very special rose is waiting in the vase, as a gift. Its petals are marked with a shimmering gold writing: Happy Valentine’s Day!
After all this overwhelming and incredibly thoughtful welcoming the first course dish arrives. The food on the plates is beautifully presented and truly delicious. The next courses follow, each one is different but refined and at the end the glorious desert brings excitement and joy in everyone’s eyes! It just looks spectacular: a sweet and tasty sculpture of a rose that melts in your mouth, revealing a delicious strawberry syrup inside.
All this time, a saxophone player is entertaining the guests with relaxing notes, enhancing the magical Atmosphere.
For the entire evening you will be amazed how thoughtful and attentive everyone is, for example if you want to use the restrooms or even to have a cigarette they will escort you all the way wherever you would like to go.
Their attention to detail is second to none.
Our journey continues with the one and only, the city of the future, the unforgettable, the small but mighty: Singapore
I call it Sensational Singapore because this was the first word that came into my mind when I found myself “hanging” off the curvy sides of the infinity pool in the Sky Park of Marina Bay Sands.
While overlooking the whole of the city and posing in all different ways, I was admiring the greatness, the breathtaking views and the surrealism of this very unique and futuristic pool I felt incredibly inspired.
“Swim on top of the world”
I have to admit that I have an “artistic” obsession about the whole area of the Skypool at Marina Bay Sands and even if it was not my first time there, I could not stop from taking pictures over pictures over pictures…day or night. I just feel totally in awe of this mesmerising unique place in the world. I can’t have enough of it. And if you go there you will know why.
“Amazing views from one of the most iconic swimming pools in the world”
The city view from the Sky Pool is stunning during the day or night but on the opposite side is another impressive view: the beautiful Gardens By The Bay.
When I found myself up there, relaxing and enjoying the bubbly jacuzzi, overlooking the greatness of the Gardens’ landscape I really had the feeling of being transported to the future: it is an “out-of-this-world” place with an award winning futuristic architecture.
(I will be back with a whole post about the Gardens By The Bay in Singapore as they deserve to be praised and admired separately)
If you ever find yourself in Singapore a visit at the Sky Park in MBS should be a priority on your travel path and make sure you spend some relaxing time at the Sky Pool. It will create lifetime memories and you will definitely want to go back, as I did. It is kind of addictive….
The Sky Pool is part of the Sky Park that is a whole entertainment area and includes restaurants, bars, terraces and the Observation Deck that are open to the outside public but the iconic infinity pool is open only to the guests of the hotel.
It was my second time in Singapore and both times I stayed at the amazing Marina Bay Sands hotel so I will be describing and reviewing it in a different post in order to allocate more time and space for more details and opinions.
ALWAYS travel with a meaning and create unforgettable memories !
When a new year starts and another year finishes I feel it is time for great journeys and fabulous places to be discovered and very much enjoyed. And I DID! oh yes I did enjoy every single one of them.
Over the last month of 2014 and the first month of 2015 I travelled to six different countries and had been on more than 12 international flights, and some of them were over 10 hours flying. It was a true “marathon” of superb adventures and stunningly beautiful places that I am so excited to share.
First stop was the capital of Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur
As they call it: incredible Asia.
A dear friend of mine suggested a hotel that she knew I would like so I trusted her.
Traders Hotel turned out to be not the very high end and luxurious type of place that I usually go for, even if it is a 5 stars hotel and it is part of the Shangri-La group (which I love).
Most importantly is that it has a great view towards the Petronas Towers which is the most iconic and must-see place in Kuala Lumpur, the trademark of the Malaysian capital.
I have to admit that the moment I opened the curtains and looked through the windows towards the majestic towers in front of my eyes, I couldn’t complain too much. This place is worth mainly because of the Twin Towers view. So make sure you book a room overlooking them!
Even if we were there during the Monsoon season the weather was still very pleasant. I loved the smell of the fresh air in the morning after the rain stopped.
I had a particular morning of complete relaxation and enjoyment while I was sitting on the terrace of the coffee shop in our hotel. Looking at the beautiful park in front of me, bathing my eye view into the most purest and freshest green, breathing the wet and warm air, sipping on my morning Cafe Late, it was pure Bliss! And even the jet lag feeling had totally vanished.
When I am with my sister sometimes we are like kids. So we spent a whole day in some of the Shopping Malls in KL: Pavilion Mall, KLCC (the most popular with tourists), Fahrenheit88. We had a lot of fun around the pretty and cheerful decorations and of course we took a lot of selfies. Every decoration looked so pretty and sweet that we couldn’t resist from not acting like children.
One of our daily must-dos activities was having massages. Asia is very well known for great and affordable massage places and Spas.
We could not resist the temptation so we really spoiled ourselves with different massage techniques at the very well known Thai Odyssey, which is a chain of trustful and professional Spas with branches in many different locations in the Malaysian Capital and beyond.
Eventually we didn’t explore too much of Kuala Lumpur as our main goal was to spend more time in Singapore. But I do recommend it as a stop over for a couple of days maybe and I do promise I will be back and enjoy much more of the whole of Malaysia.
Now, off to the next stop! The very much anticipated and meticulously planned trip to Singapore!
Rushing to finish the next post!! Bye Bye!
Sparkles and joy everywhere I go, everyone I see, everything I do is filled with a true special feeling of positiveness and content. I call it THE MAGIC OF CHRISTMAS.
The most special time of the year when everything around us becomes magical, shinier, gets that particular aura all around…and we know is Christmas!
When I think about the festive season I think of 3 major “ingredients” that would make it truly special:
- A great location that reflects the true magic of Christmas spirit
- At least one member of family to be around
- Lots of activities to do in the Christmas spirit, especially Christmas dinner
Every year, december is a truly unique month, once because it the time of the year when I get to meet my sister and twice because is filled with the magic of Christmas and the sparkle and joy of the New Year celebrations.
It has become a habit for me and also a real challenge to find the best place so we can spend the festive season in the most amazing and glamorous way possible.
After a long time researching I decided that Hong Kong will be the perfect destination for us. The whole city is filled with beautiful decorations and amazing places for lunching and dining in a true Christmasy way.
CHRISTMAS EVE DINNER
I am, by nature, a very demanding person. I love to have a reason to celebrate and to add great memories to my life from my travels. So for me Christmas Eve has to be fantastic, has to be THE ONE great moment of joy!
In order to get this we must have the Perfect location and the Best entertainment.
And I found ALL these in a unique and amazing place: FELIX RESTAURANT at THE PENINSULA HOTEL HONG KONG
Felix restaurant organised a night to remember and we had an absolutely amazing time spending Christmas Eve there. The place looked glamorous and had a really engaging live band singing. The location is the best, overlooking the Harbour and the City.
I had that feeling of entering a very glamorous and festive place.
All the excitement in the air filled our hearts, we spent a night to remember!
We will always refer to it as one of our most amazing and perfect Christmas nights.
Here is how it all felt, looked and tasted like:
I just love to be surrounded by the right crowd of people and this time it was exactly what I hoped for.
Ladies and gents, couples or small groups, were all very elegant and shiny. Everybody was enjoying sipping from their glasses of champagne, chatting and giggling, happiness and joy all around…and lots of bubbles 🙂
All tables were decorated in the Christmas spirit and had Christmasy little presents waiting for us to open and enjoy during the night. So first thing we did was to “decorate” ourselves and cheer with a first glass of champagne for the wonderful night that was ahead of us.
There was a designated place for dancing and a great live Band that truly made our night. The guys and girls from the band were incredibly entertaining,beautifully dressed, guys wearing tuxes and the girls long red dresses, their songs and moves were just the right thing to keep our Christmas spirit up and our joy really high.
We had a set dinner menu of 8 courses (two options: vegetarian or meat+seafood) and they were beautifully presented even if some of the dishes weren’t anything special in taste…but they looked great and for that particular occasion was good enough.
It was a night to remember. I would do it again and again.
Christmas was splendid, was magical and great fun because of this place..
Felix Restaurant thank you for the most amazing Christmas Eve!
CHRISTMAS DAY DINNER
HAVE A WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS!
Make your life journeys amazing!
Let’s continue the scenic journey through the enchanting Gardens of Lake Como Villas.
This place is a true inspiration for the romantic at heart or for anyone that loves to be surrounded by perfectly tailored landscapes and nature.
The Villa has a true majestic position, on a hill top, at the very end of the town, secluded for enough privacy and tranquility.
The elegant Villa Melzi is located in Bellagio and is a short 10 minutes walk from the city centre. The actual stroll to the villa is a delight: beautiful mountain views on the right and picturesque sights of the pretty town on the other side.
The English styled gardens of Villa Melzi are the main attraction for the visitors. The delightful landscape stretches out along the Lake shore, giving a true visual sense to the hill top of the Bellagio Peninsula.
Having a stroll through the Villa perfectly manicured gardens feels like stepping into a different world, more peaceful and tranquil, a totally relaxing experience. At that time I really understood why poets and writers considered this place fascinating and truly inspiring.
The inside of the villa is not open to public as it is still being under private ownership. The villa orangery was transformed into a small museum where you can find a few artefacts during the Napoleonic era.
I would say that the real meaning of this place is to admire the true splendour of the gardens and the natural beauty around.
Helpful guides and useful links:
Before visiting Villa Melzi I recommend checking their official website: Giardini di Villa Melzi (Gardens of Villa Melzi)
that offers plenty of information about the place, true historical facts and great maps of the gardens.
Another must-see villa in Lake Como is Villa Carlotta with its superb Italian botanical gardens.
The villa also features a small but significant collection of marble statues and a majestic entrance with beautifully embellished iron gates, intricate stone stairs and fountains.
The colourful and varied botanical gardens of Villa Carlotta look like a true rainbow in the sun light. A true delight for the eyes and senses.
In order to add more romanticism to the place, the Villa shelters the famous portrayal of The Last Kiss from Romeo and Juliet. My favourite was this statue by Antonio Canova that made me see how real passion and desire can be reflected through an authentic masterpiece.
The Journey to the Villas or going back is a real pleasure. As I mentioned in my previous posts, Lake Como Ferry service is a reliable means of transportation between the Lake villages and it can be truly recreational.
I enjoyed every minute of this trip, breathing the fresh air and admiring the beautiful nature, enjoying the sunshine.
Lake Como area will always remain a place of unparalleled beauty, romanticism and pure tranquility.
It transports you into a a world that looks and feels like having stepped out of poetry and story books.
Make your life journeys amazing! You only live once!
I have always been fascinated with big and elaborated gardens, the kind that you could easily get lost inside but you wouldn’t regret it…
Lake Como is “blessed” with lavish gardens of the astonishing beautiful villas that have become the main attraction for anyone that visits this fairytale place.
Italy it has been one of my favourite places to visit and will always be…
I refer to it as the country that can make anyone fall in love…literally
It has a charming romantic air about it whether I go to a big city or to the countryside it is truly special, has that ideal beauty and it is a true delight for the eyes and a true treat for the tastebuds.
I made a true habit of visiting Italy for a few times each year and I can never have enough of its superb scenic natural beauty, the very tasty food and wine, the beautifully preserved towns and cities full of history and great architecture.