Checking In: The Scott Resort & Spa

The Scott Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona is the most photogenic hotel I have ever stayed in. As soon as I walked into the lobby before ever checking in, I took out my camera and started shooting every angle I possibly could: think Anthropologie catalog. While the design is modern and almost minimalist it still exudes an upscale vibe that you would expect from a luxury hotel.

I recently checked in for two nights and had a wonderful stay. The staff is extremely gracious, the rooms and property are gorgeous, the food was incredible, and the location is central to the Greater Phoenix area.


The Scott Resort & Spa


The Scott Resort & Spa Lobby


The Scott Resort & Spa Lobby


The Scott Resort & Spa Lobby


Canal Club Bar

Checking In:

I want to note that checking in at The Scott Resort & Spa is a feast for the eyes. The check in desk behind it has built in shelves with painted portraits of people (no clue who they are) but I could not take my eyes off of it. It is like nothing I have ever seen before. Beyond that – once you are all checked in, you don’t just get a key for your room, you get a pink billfold with a key, hotel history, activity schedule, two travel logs, and a log with your room number and phone number for the hotel.


The Lobby: 

The most beautiful part of the hotel in my opinion! The Scott Resort & Spa took their time placing each piece of furniture whether it be rattan, leather or even a comfy sofa. The design elements almost make you feel like you are in a showroom for outdoor living. There is no shortage of greenery, modern white decor, wood elements, and pops of color throughout. Some of my favorite pieces in the lobby included: bar carts, backgammon game boards, pineapple lamps, and the Canal Club.

Beyond the lobby is 2 outdoor pools with plenty of chairs and cabanas as well as outdoor seating and a fire pit.


Scott Resort & Spa Lobby


Scott Resort & Spa Lobby


Scott Resort & Spa Lobby


Scott Resort & Spa Lobby


Scott Resort & Spa Lobby


The Scott Resort & Spa Lobby


The Scott Resort & Spa Lobby


The Scott Resort & Spa Lobby


The Scott Resort & Spa Lobby


The Scott Resort & Spa Lobby


The Scott Resort & Spa Lobby


The Rooms:

During my stay I checked into a Pool King Guest Room. The best part of the room was the spacious balcony overlooking the pool and the Nespresso coffee bar. The overall room offered very generous space, separate bathroom and sink, pillow top bed, in-room safe, mini bar, plush bathrobes, and spa inspired bath amenities.

I really liked that the hotel is smaller and not crowded. Since each of the buildings only offered two floors, you did not have to walk far to reach anywhere on the resort and I could walk right down the stairs and into the pool or the lobby.


The Scott Resort & Spa King Pool View


The Scott Resort & Spa King Pool View


The Scott Resort & Spa King Pool View


I had the opportunity to eat at the Canal Club during my stay and the food was incredible. The paella on the dinner menu stood out so I ordered it – and surely enough it was cooked perfectly. If the paella is the only dish you get here, it will be the best!

The Canal Club also has a bar in the lobby that you can get incredible drinks from. I highly recommend the Helen & Maude – its a take on the Cuban Mojito. The bartenders are extremely friendly and personable – and above that, they craft cocktails in a way that is memorable.


The Canal Club


The Canal Club


The Canal Club


The Canal Club


The Canal Club


The Canal Club


Canal Club


Canal Club


Canal Club


The Scott Resort & Spa is not an overly big property, as there are only 2 floors in each building of rooms – but within the grounds there are 2 pools, one with sand entry, fire bowl, a plethora of seating options, and a fireplace (for cooler evenings).

You can get yourself a drink and enjoy the seating options or lounge poolside. I opted for the Aperol Spritz!


The Scott Resort & Spa Outdoor Areas


The Scott Resort & Spa Outdoor Areas


The Scott Resort & Spa Outdoor Areas



The Scott Resort & Spa Outdoor Areas


The Scott Resort & Spa Outdoor Areas


The Scott Resort & Spa Outdoor Areas

Additional Information:

  • Address: 4925 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
  • Phone: (800) 528-7867
  • Distance from Phoenix Sky Harbor: 14.8 miles ~ 20 minutes
  • Parking: on site, you can park right outside your building
    • Uber is widely available
  • Reservations are encouraged for The Canal Club
  • Wifi for a fee
  • Spa on site – has 6 treatment rooms

Pin for your Pinterest:

Checking In_

Disclaimer: I was a guest of the Visit Phoenix Tourism Board, but as always, opinions are entirely my own. 

Checking In: Seagate Hotel & Spa Delray Beach, Florida

Sargent Photogrphy

The Seagate Hotel & Spa is located in Delray Beach, Florida among the Palm Beaches. Nestled beautifully within the Delray neighborhood, it has easy walking throughout the city to many bars, restaurants and shops.




Lobby and Reception


Sitting Area


Sitting Area


The hotel has a private country club with 18 holes for golf and 9 tennis courts, a beach club, private beach access with umbrellas and chairs, pool, and 2 restaurants offsite that you can take their shuttle to for use during your stay.

Downtown Delray Beach The Seagate Beach Club

Delray Beach

Hamlet Country Club



Seagate Beach Club

I love that the property is a boutique property and isn’t overly big – it felt more catered to the guests. There was never any lines to check-in or out or a wait for anything. The pool was also never crowded.



  • High speed internet
  • Concierge
  • Newspaper delivery
  • Twice daily housekeeping
  • Business center
  • Luxury car service – available from 8-11 within a 3 mile radius of the hotel. First come basis.
  • 24 hour valet
  • Seagate spa
  • Steam rooms
  • Fitness center with classes
  • Outdoor pools with Jacuzzi
  • Seagate Beach Club’
  • 24 hour room service
  • Pool bar service 11-5 daily

The Room:

During my stay I checked into a Deluxe King Room. Offering 500 generous square feet of space right in the heart of Delray, oozing with luxury. Some of the features I loved most about the room were the balcony overlooking the pool, the deep soaking tub with bubble jets, gorgeous marble bathroom, super soft Egyptian cotton sheets, and the nightly turn down service that came with a box of delicious chocolates and a purple orchid.

Bonus: I slept with my doors open for that nice Florida breeze as it isn’t too hot yet and I could hear the water lightly.


Deluxe King Room


Deluxe King Room


Minibar Snacks


Luxury Bath Amenities


Sitting Area


Nightly Turn Down




Balcony Views

Room amenities:

  • SMART Room Technology
  • 42″ HDTVs
  • DVD players
  • iHome docking stations
  • In-room movies
  • Three telephones
  • Mini-bars
  • Microwaves
  • Safes
  • LEED certified
  • Luxury Egyptian cotton linens
  • Luxury bath amenities by Gilchrist & Soames
  • Keurig coffeemakers
  • Umbrellas
  • Glass-enclosed walk-in showers
  • Lighted makeup mirrors
  • Blow dryers
  • Robes
  • Slippers
  • Scales


Due to my busy schedule I did not get to dine in any of the fabulous establishments within the hotel but I did order room service my last morning and it did not disappoint. I was delivered the fluffiest of pancakes with pancakes.



Loved my short stay with Seagate Hotel and Spa! Boutique luxury is my favorite kind of luxury and the hotel met and exceeded my expectations in every way.


Additional Information:

  • Address: 1000 E Atlantic Ave, Delray Beach, FL 33483
  • Phone: (561) 665-4800
  • Distance from West Palm Beach Airport: 19.2 miles ~ 30 minutes drive
  • Parking: 24 hour valet

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seagate hotel and spa

Disclaimer: I was hosted by the Palm Beaches Tourism Board and the Seagate Hotel, but as always, opinions are entirely my own. 

Checking In: Puri Gangga Resort, Ubud Bali

Puri Gangga Bali

My very first stay in Bali was at Puri Gangaa Resort. I traveled over 42 hours by land and plane to get to this resort and arrived very late at night. I did not know what to expect when I woke up ..

When I rolled out of bed you could hear me yell “UnBALIevable!!” as I looked over my balcony and into the Bali jungle. There was a low fog early in the morning and no one was out wandering around. I had Bali to myself and that was my first impression with this love affair I have with Indonesia.


Bed Views


Balcony from room

The Hotel:

Puri Gangga is a boutique luxury hotel about 25 minutes from the city center of Ubud.  Only offering 20 rooms to its guests over 4 categories but sprawled out among the property. When you arrive, you check in outdoors, and then walk through the property to get to your room. You will notice throughout there is greenery, the daily offering, and local details special to the Balinese culture.


For me, the details really stood out at this hotel.


Walking through Puri Gangga




Daily offering








Overview from the balcony to the right




Exploring the grounds


Beautiful finds


Exploring the grounds


Exploring the grounds


To me, I felt like every detail was with purpose: every statue, stone, flower, door, and the landscape – it was all planned to welcome guests into the Balinese culture.

The Room:

During my stay I checked into a Suite Room, which overlooks a rice terrace and the pool. I loved my room because it had the most perfect view I could ask for!

I had a king size bed, a large en-suite bathroom that had both a shower and a sunken bath (that overlooked the rice terrace), a TV, a wardrobe, spacious balcony, wifi, bath amenities, coffee, tea, and more!








Hotel Activities:

I love that the hotel is small in number of rooms but big on land and activities. Since there are only 20 rooms, the pool was never crowded, I could always get a spa appointment, and all the extra activities the hotel offers weren’t over crowded.




Towel Hut


Bali Jungle






Princess Bath


Princess Bath


Spa Entrance

The spa on property is amazing! I think I went 2-3 times during the duration of my stay for massages and I got what I call a “Princess Bath.” There is a tub in the massage room and after your massage they fill it up for you and but flowers in there and give you hot tea to enjoy. Its an open air room so you feel like you are in the jungle. One of the best baths I have ever had. I highly recommend treating yourself to this experience as it is one for the books.

My favorite activity on property was learning how to make the daily offering with coconut leafs. I was the only person who came and it gave me one on one time with the lovely woman who was showing me how to make them. We ended up making several of them and she was so kind.



Some of the free activities on site include:

  • Yoga
  • Afternoon Tea
  • Morning walk
  • Bike
  • Dance lesson
  • Making Bokor
  • Rindik


The restaurant on property, Kailasha, offered an expansive menu. I could choose to dine in my room or head over to dine in, which is outdoors, overlooking the jungle. I did a combination of both dining in and in-room dining.


Breakfast with a view


Afternoon Tea


Grilled Chicken


I think my favorite was all the fresh local fruits and juices. I am a big fan of fruits! I love them when they are just perfect.

Overall Experience:

When I arrived in Bali I was so sick. I cannot stress enough how well Puri Gangga took care of me. They only thing that made my throat feel good was hot tea and they always brought me more. I couldn’t sleep and requested movies and they brought me some to watch in my room. The staff is unbelievably hospitable.

I loved the hotel and exploring the grounds – the property is so gorgeous and was a great first stay in Bali. Its very private and a great place to relax.

Additional Info:

  • Address: Sebatu – Ubud – Bali Desa Sebatu Gianyar, Bali – Indonesia 
  • Phone: +62 361 902222
  • Distance from Ngurah Rai International Airport (Denpasar): About 1.5 hours without traffic.
  • Distance from Ubud City Center: About 30-40 Minutes without traffic
  • Currency: Indonesian Rupiah
  • Voltage: 230 V. Frequency: 50 Hz. Power sockets: type C / F

Checking In: The Royal Hawaiian Hotel


The The Royal Hawaiian in Oahu deserves every one of its 5 star accolades and should be on everyone’s list should they visit the island – which I highly recommend. I had the pleasure of staying with the hotel for a week in September over Labor Day and everyday I asked myself “I don’t have to leave, I can stay here forever, right?” There are many great hotels in the world, but the Royal Hawaiian left a lasting impression making me want to return every year for a week to rejuvenate.



Opened since 1927 – the hotel is in its 90th year of operation this year and celebrating.


I selected the Royal Hawaiian primarily for its location on Waikiki Beach. I could walk out of my hotel in less than a minute and enter a pool or continue walking an additional 30 seconds and hit the beach. I really could not have asked for a better location. As an added bonus, this sun chaser was blessed with getting both sunrise AND sunset views from the beach and balcony of my room. Already I have everything I want and I haven’t even told you about the hotel, the staff, the food, the activities – you are in for a treat!


The hotel is notable for being the “Pink Palace.” You really can’t miss it if you find yourself on Waikiki Beach. Another item they are known for is their Mai Tai – which you can find at Mai Tai, a bar on the hotel grounds that overlooks the beach. Trust me when I say, you are going to want to drop in and have one – it was not my drink of choice prior to arriving and now I make them at home ALL the time. THAT GOOD.


The Hotel:

When you arrive to the hotel, you are family. You are welcomed by the staff and given a lei. From the moment you arrive and are welcomed into this beautiful oasis on the beach, you become a part of something special. You can feel the Aloha around you and I just get chills writing this – but you can feel that your time is going to be amazing during your stay, and it was.


Royal Hawaiian


The hotel reception, lobby and shopping areas have an open air concept, which traditionally I don’t like in warmer regions, but the way the hotel is designed, there is always a breeze and it was never hot, hot. It was the perfect paradise weather you would expect in Hawaii. I actually love the grounds of the hotel and did not mind that it was outside. I feel like it gave me more of the Hawaiian vibe I was after and that I could truly be in the moment there and not surrounded by walls.


Iconic Breezeway


Open Seating


Lounge Area

The hotel offers two buildings for lodging: Historic Building and the Mailani Tower. The Historic Building is the original hotel, and the Mailani Tower came later, offering a more luxurious experience to its visitors. Mailani means “treated in a royal manner” and that you will be. However, the grand suites that the hotel offers are located in the Historic Building with traditional decor.


Instagram Famous Surf Boards

During my stay I did stay in the Mailani Tower and it was everything I imagined. When I arrived I was escorted to the tower for a private check-in with the concierge staff there. Once checked in, I entered the doors to the private lounge and used the elevator to go up to the 8th floor where I stayed. When I got off the elevator, I realized the hallway only had rooms on my right hand side and windows to the left – which I quickly realized, it meant every room HAD A VIEW!! This was not an ordinary view, no. This was the BEST view one could ask for. I could see sunrise and sunset from my balcony, overlooking Waikiki Beach. I could list a million reasons worth of booking this hotel – but the views are my number 1. I rarely get up before 5:00-6:00am – but every morning here I was happy to be awake and most mornings, the sky was layered like cotton candy during the sunrise. One of the most marvelous things I have ever seen.


I checked into the Mailani Premier Ocean Room. Located on floors 8-17, these rooms have a contemporary design (which does not include the gorgeous wallpaper you see in the rooms of the Historic Building) but they are still beautiful.

Room Features:

  • 2 double beds
  • 37″ LCD TV
  • Ottoman
  • Work Station
  • Balcony with 2 chairs and a table
  • Luxurious bath amenities
  • Toto washlets
  • In-room coffee and tea
  • Ipad for ordering room service and exploring

The Mailani Tower experience is a bit different from staying in the Historical Building. Your trip here will be amazing no matter where you stay, there are just a few more luxury options when you stay here in the Mailani Tower.


Mailani Tower Benefits:

  • Private check-in
  • Dedicated concierge
  • Mailani Lounge access overlooking the pool area
    • Continental breakfast each morning from 6:30-9:30am
    • Cocktails and canapes each evening from 5:00-7:30pm
    • Occasional music guests or activities

What I loved about the Mailani Lounge was the amazing staff and the food. The food is plentiful and it was different everyday, giving you the opportunity to taste the chefs favorites. They say they offer continental breakfast – but believe me when I say, it was more than enough, and I ate here every morning. Think flaky pastries, breads, fresh fruits, yogurts, fresh juices, champagne, and so much more.



The hotel has so much to offer! My favorite place to spend my days was the pool. I mean, look how beautiful it is! You can see how easy it is to go between the pool and beach as well – just a quick walk through the sand.


Royal Hawaiian Pool


Royal Hawaiian Pool Cabanas

I did spend two days in a private poolside cabana – and highly recommend this to anyone visiting. There are only a handful of cabanas around the pool but what I liked was that each one had two chairs outside of the cabana for sunning and two spacious couches inside. I love the Millennial Pink color of the chairs, and the poolside umbrellas match. If you needed a break from the sun, you could just head underneath the covered cabana to reapply sunscreen and take a break.

**Chairs and towels are available free to guests around the pool. The private cabanas are available for a fee.


Royal Hawaiian Poolside Cabanas

**Side Note: as someone with very fair Irish skin, I want to note that I did spend a lot of time outside by the pool and did not burn at all. I do however wear SPF 100.

Definitely book the Luau. The Royal Hawaiian offers the only Waikiki beachfront Luau and everything about it was sensational. This was actually my second Luau and I loved the location on the beach and seeing the sunset, the food options were endless and the show was amazing. It is a wonderful story of the Royal Hawaiian and its heritage and a must do when visiting Oahu even if you don’t stay here at the hotel.


Royal Hawaiian Luau


**Tip – book in advance AND I highly recommend booking a premier seat in one of the front tables. I did sit in the front row and the seeing the show from that vantage point was an incredible experience, especially during the end scenes of the show with the fire.


Royal Hawaiian Luau


Royal Hawaiian Luau


Royal Hawaiian Luau

The Luau is composed of two parts: the food and the show. Both equally amazing. Try as much of the food as possible as it was all scrumptious.


Luau Dinner


Luau Desserts

The Food:


Poi With Fresh Salted Salmon,
Ho Farm Tomatoes And Maui Onion
Ahi, Shrimp And Tako Poke On Ice Bar

Sliced Pineapple, Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Honeydew,
Kula Strawberries, Mojito Style Mango

Island Coleslaw, JA Farms Caesar Salad With Portuguese Bread
Croutons, White Anchovies And Pipikaula
Ho Farms Tomato And Cucumber Salad
JA Farms Baby Greens With Assorted Dressings And Condiments
Local Island Chicken, Garlic Fried Rice
Wok Fried Choi Sum With Crispy Shallots
Roasted Vegetable Curry

Korean BBQ Kalbi Ribs
Chinese Steamed Mongchong With Ginger And Scallion

Royal Hawaiian Bread Pudding, Pink Haupia Cake
Halo-Halo Flan, Waialua Estate Chocolate-Coffee Tiramisu


Halo Halo Flan


Waialua Estate Chocolate-Coffee Tiramisu

**Gluten-Free, Vegetarian and Vegan Options Available


Royal Hawaiian Luau


Royal Hawaiian Luau


Royal Hawaiian Luau


Royal Hawaiian Luau


Royal Hawaiian Luau


Royal Hawaiian Luau


Royal Hawaiian Luau


Royal Hawaiian Luau


Royal Hawaiian Luau


Waikiki Beach is gorgeous and the water is a blue that exudes the paradise vibe you feel while visiting. The hotel has umbrellas you can rent on the beach if you need some added coverage or want to stay out all day or you can grab a towel and pick a spot on the sand.


Waikiki Beach


Rent a beach chair


Royal Hawaiian View from the beach


Each morning in front of the hotel surf lessons are available for those interested.


Sunrise or Sunset:

The beach is a great place to see both! Every morning and night the sky lights up in a variety of colors that were so spectacular – this was easily my favorite thing to do every single day.







Other Resort Activities:

  • Royal Hawaiian History Tour
  • Floral Lei Making
  • Hawaiian Quilting
  • Lauhala Bracelets
  • Shopping – think all things Pink and Pineapple



The Royal Hawaiian offers a variety of dining to its guests. During my stay I ate at Mai Tai, the Luau, ordered room service, ate in the Mailani Lounge,  and grabbed a treat from the bakery. All of the food was very delicious.

If I had to pick a favorite, I would say the fresh pineapple scones from the bakery and the chicken wings from Mai Tai were the absolute best!


Open Air Seating


Bakery Seating


Mai Tai Restaurant


Mai Tai


Mailani Lounge Breakfast


Pineapple Scones



Absolutely loved the hotel and the staff. The hospitality was excellent and every need was met and every expectation far surpassed. If you want to visit Oahu, The Royal Hawaiian IS the hotel to stay at. They have everything at the hotel – and if you really wanted to relax, you would not have to leave if you did not want to.


Flower on Property


View From My Balcony


Additional Information:

  • Address: 2259 Kalakaua Avenue Honolulu, HI 96815
  • Phone: 808.923.7311
  • Airport: Honolulu – distance to hotel ~25 minutes depending on traffic
  • Parking and Valet available
  • To Book the Luau –> here 



Disclaimer: This post was written in collaboration with The Royal Hawaiian Hotel & The Luxury Collection








10 Photos To Inspire You To Visit Bermuda


I am currently in Bermuda and IN LOVE with the country. This is my second time visiting and the entire island is so picturesque.

Here are 10 photos from my camera that I hope inspire you to visit this gorgeous island ❤




Views from Fairmont Southampton


Colorful homes


Private Beach at Fairmont Southampton




Fairmont Southampton Pool





Pretty Palms


Views of the golf course and beach from Fairmont


Pool side hangs

Checking In: Aria Penthouse Las Vegas

Ice Cream Party

Recently when I was Las Vegas I stayed at the Aria for one night in a One Bedroom Penthouse Suite.

The Aria is located in a great location, about halfway down the strip and in the center of excellent shopping, ,restaurants and shows. The hotel has over 4000+ rooms and over 500+ of them are suites. The hotel offers over 150,000 square feet of gaming space and over 500,000 square feet of meeting space – you could say the hotel is quite large.

The hotel has been awarded 5 stars by Forbes Travel Guide AND five diamonds and it truly shines throughout. When staying in the Penthouse Suite you are staying in the Sky Tower which gives you access to luxury privileges, some before you even arrive at the hotel:

  • Luxury Airport transportation – I had limo service
  • Dedicated concierge
  • Sky Suites Lounge – nightly wine and cheese pairing from 400pm-1000pm
  • Poolside pampering
  • Other benefits such as priority buffet line, priority dinner & nightclub reservations, enhanced turn down service, etc.

Limo service


Sky Lounge Lobby


Sky Lounge Lobby


One Bedroom Penthouse Suite:

The room itself is one level and about 1465 square feet in size and equipped with 2 bathrooms, a bedroom, living room AND a dining room. The room is broken down into 3 sections: the bedroom and master bathroom, the dining room and bar area, and then the living room which has a bathroom and a workstation. Each section has a TV from 42″-52″ in size – bedroom, bar and living room – and the bathroom is equipped with a 20″ TV.

The bedroom is so cozy! I loved that when I laid in the bed I just sank right in to the 300 thread count linens AND had views of the strip from the bed. Personally I like to sleep in the middle because I find too often people prefer one side over the other and middle gets ignored.

My two favorite features in the master bath are the steam shower and the whirlpool tub. I am a true believer that baths are a stress reliever and can make you feel like a new person. Add whirlpool jets and I am ready to take on the world.

One of the things I really loved about this room was the use of a tablet – which gave me access to control the rooms temperature, lighting, book spa treatments and order food. I didn’t have to call anyone and it was a simple touch screen that was user friendly. I also had access to over 2,000 digital newspapers – if you think about that for just a second, how amazing is technology that you have access to worldwide news at the press of a button? Pretty spectacular.


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Living room

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Living room


Second Bathroom


Work Station


Living room

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Dining room


Bar area


Mini bar






Sitting area


In bed

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Master bathroom

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There are so many dining options at Aria from take away, room service, brunch, breakfast, lunch, and dinner – you will never go hungry. Because my stay was short, I only dined room service for breakfast during my stay. I will say that the food came very quickly and was really good. I would definitely order it again.

If you do get a chance to dine in the hotel there are several highly rated restaurants to choose from – but since I did not dine at them I cannot give them a review.


Room service breakfast


During my stay I did enjoy a 50 minute Swedish massage. I am a big fan and supporter of the spa – mostly because I like to relax and have an hour to myself uninterrupted (which is hard to come by).

The lounge/waiting area of the spa has multiple options for snacks and beverages. Accompanied with plush seating and ambient music – it was the perfect lean into my treatment. When I left my massage I was too relaxed and decided to take a dip in the outdoor plunge pool to wake up a bit.

*Out of respect for the other people in the spa – I did not take any photos of the areas where people are dressing or relaxing.






Private spa plunge pool



I would stay again for a longer period of time. I only stayed one night so I did not get to experience all the hotel has to offer – but based on the room, the service, the spa, and the dining – I would definitely stay again. It was definitely a luxury experience.

Additional Information:

  • Address: 3730 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89158
  • Phone: 866-359-7111
  • Distance from airport: about 10-15 minutes depending on traffic
  • 24 hour gaming in hotel
  • The Shops at Crystals is right next door

Checking In: Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes Orlando Florida

Ice Cream Party-4

The Ritz Carlton is easily one of my favorite hotel brands. I know exactly what I am getting when I stay there: top notch customer service, attention to detail, a luxurious property – each decorated and unique in its own way, delightful food, and memories that will last a lifetime.


Staying with the Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes was an easy pick for me because I love Orlando, Florida. The city truly has something for everyone of every age. From theme parks, dining, golf, museums, NASA, and so much shopping!

The Hotel:

This is one of the biggest hotels I have ever stayed in, coming in with 582 guest rooms, a 40,000 square foot spa, 47,000 square feet of in-door meeting space, and 11 dining options! With influences of Italy you will notice throughout in the architectural design. The location of the hotel is situated on the lake and around the Greg Norman designed golf course – there is beautiful views from every angle of the hotel.


Welcome Circle of the Hotel

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Lobby Area

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Balcony Lake View

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Balcony Sunset

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Main Hotel Pool


Executive Suite:

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Welcome Snacks

I stayed in an Executive Suite during my stay that was a club level room, giving me access to the Club Lounge.

The specs of the room:

  • 960 sq. feet
  • Separate bedroom with king size bed
  • 2 balconies
  • 2 bathrooms
  • Master bathroom equipped with separate marble shower and tub & a double sink vanity
  • Work station
  • Coffee and Tea
  • 65″ HD LCD TV in the master bedroom
  • 65″ HD LCD TV in the living room
  • iPod docking station
  • DVD player
  • Cable and satellite TV with premium movie channels
  • Vanity
  • Generous sized walk in closet

I found the room to be extremely spacious. There is an option to get 2 double beds and would be perfect for friends or a family who want to share a room. With multiple seating options inside and outside, it will never feel crowded.

The master bath is absolutely gorgeous! The marble is a lighter shade and really makes the room shine. If you love taking baths like I do, then you will love it.

One of my favorite features of this room was having two TV’s – one in the bedroom and one in the living room. It gives you the option to watch TV in bed and/or in the living room from the couch or chair. Plus – if you have kids or friends staying with you, they can both be in use at the same time and everyone is happy.

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Living area

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Living area

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Second bathroom

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Living area

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Lounge in the Bedroom

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Walk-in Closet

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Work Station

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Master Bath

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Master Bath


Club Lounge:

I am a big fan of the Club Lounge. Other than the amazing service, scrumptious food and exclusivity to Club Level guests – I would say the next best thing was the view from the lounge.

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View from the Club Lounge

Club access also gives you 2 pressed garments per day, a dedicated concierge team throughout the day, wifi, work stations, a media room with movies and games, and complimentary Ritz Kids programming for up to 3 kids per room.

The Club Lounge offers 5 culinary presentations a day with alcoholic beverages available 11 a.m – 10 p.m. daily.

  • Breakfast 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • Lunch 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Light Snack 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Hors d’Oeuvres 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Desserts, Candies and Cordials 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
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Wine Station

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Club Candy Wall

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Lunch Items



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The best cookies EVER!






The Spa:

With over 40,000 square feet of space, you can only imagine how incredible the spa is. Located on multiple levels, the spa also has its own pool, cafe, fitness center, and barber shop.


I enjoyed a 50 minute relaxing massage during my stay and left feeling like a new person. One of the coolest features of the spa is that they grow their own herbs! I don’t think it gets more personalized than that.

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Spa Herbs

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Spa Pool Cabana







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Spa Balcony


With 11 options to choose delicious food from – you can essentially dine somewhere new everyday. What I love about the restaurants is that they source local ingredients and ingredients from their own farm, Whisper Creek.

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I dined at Highball & Harvest while I stayed at the hotel and was overly impressed by the food. The food is southern and the mixture of ingredients blew me away. I asked my server for her recommendations based on the area and everything she recommended was top notch. The restaurant has both indoor and outdoor dining options.


Indoor dining


Outdoor Dining

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The showstopper for me was the shrimp and grits. I actually did not even want this dish – but I am so happy I got it. The grits had more of a creamy texture because there was goat cheese mixed in – and the dish was just exquisite. If this is the only dish you can eat in Orlando – I promise it will be worth it.

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I also tried a charcuterie board that had so many amazing meats and cheeses on it – I only wish I had more people to share it with.

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For dessert I went for chocolate – and the cool part of this dish was the popcorn flavored ice cream.. I know, it sounds strange, but I promise, it was amazing. It paired perfectly with the chocolate and do-it-yourself mint.

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Do make sure an order a cocktail! I tried the mojito and the mint was just as fresh as could be – possibly the best mojito I have ever had.




I loved my stay the this Ritz Carlton hotel. It is easily accessible to all the theme parks, the decor was gorgeous, loved the food, the staff was extremely helpful and gracious, I felt relaxed after getting a treatment at the spa, and to be honest – I did not want to leave! I will definitely be coming back in the very near future.

Additional Information:

  • Address: 4012 Central Florida Parkway Orlando, Florida 32837
  • Phone: 407-206-2400
  • Distance from airport: 10 miles
  • Shuttle available (24 hour notice required) for guests to Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Universal Studios and Sea World
  • Access to lazy river pool at the JW Marriott next door

Pin for later:

Ice Cream Party-4


Disclaimer: I was hosted by the Ritz Carlton, as always opinions are entirely my own

*Some photos were provided by the hotel



10 Luxury Hotels In The United States You Should Not Miss

10 LuxuryHotels inThe USATo BookNOW

I have been loving my time in the United States and exploring more of my own country recently. I made it my mission to see more of the United States and less abroad this year – but don’t get me wrong, I love to travel everywhere. I have been utilizing weekends and holidays to travel to different cities in the USA and exploring new hotels to share with all of you.

I thoroughly enjoy the variety of luxury properties throughout the country. They are all unique in their own ways and standout on their own for various reasons. Currently, the below list are my top 10 favorite luxury hotels in the United States and I highly recommend them. From top notch customer service, beautiful decor, exquisite dining, spa treatments that will leave you feeling like a new person, and memories that will last a lifetime.

I am a bit persnickety when it comes to picking “favorites” because I feel like every place has its own charm, but these stood out above the rest.

Ten Luxury Hotels you should not miss:



  1. Salamander Resort and Spa – Middleburg, Va


    Entrance to Salamander Resort


    Spa Pool


    Private Spa Suite Courtyard



    ROom Service Breakfast

  2. Aria – Las Vegas, NV –


    Penthouse at Aria


    Outside Spa Pool


    Sunrise from the Penthouse at the Aria

  3. Omni Montelucia – Scottsdale, AZ




    Hangout Area




    Dinner – Salad


    Beautiful Outdoor Hallway


    Beautiful Tiles

  4. The Cosmopolitan – Las Vegas, NV

    Boulevard Pool

    Boulevard Pool


    Vegas Views from the Terrace Suite at the Cosmopolitan


    Champagne Bar


    Living Area

  5. Fairmont Washington – Washington, D.C.


    Fairmont Gold – King Bedroom


    Penthouse Bath



  6. Amara Resort – Sedona, AZ


    Amara – Sedona


    Amara – Sedona


    Lobby Area


    Buttermilk Waffle


    Lobby area

  7. Resort at Squaw Creek – Lake Tahoe, CA


    Resort at Squaw Creek


    Dining at Resort at Squaw Creek


    Fog in the morning


    Resort at Squaw Creek

  8. Goodstone Inn – Middleburg, VA


    MIddleburg, VA


    Goodstone Inn Grounds


    Room Decor


    Goodstone Inn Grounds


    Breakfast at Goodstone

  9. Primland Resort – Meadows of Dan, VA

    Primland Lodge Aerial 0698

    Primland Resort






    Enjoy a nightcap fireside



  10. Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes – Orlando, FL

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    Pool & Golf Course

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    Welcome Snacks

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    Club Candy Wall

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    Spa Herbs


Checking In: Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas


One thing that I truly love about Vegas is that there are many hotel options. Of all the places I have stayed visiting this magical city, The Cosmopolitan has by far surpassed all my expectations. While it is a luxury hotel, it is not overdone or pretentious. Its the right amount of luxury and mix of modern details. The Cosmopolitan is a Ritz Carlton Partner Hotel – and I well, I do love the Ritz Carlton. This was a good fit for me.

The location of the hotel is just about in the center of the strip putting you at arms reach of everything – including the best shopping in the city!

After visiting Las Vegas 9 times over the years, I can say with certainty, this has been my favorite hotel stay in the city.

Welcome to the Cosmopolitan

When you walk into the lobby area, tall columns of visually pleasing images flow. While I was waiting to check-in I was mesmerized by the pops of color across them. A lot of hotel lobby’s tend to be quiet or offer minimal visuals, but I found this area to be one of my favorite hotel check-ins.

The check-in process went by very quickly – all the happy agents were ready to get people checked in and on their way.

Sarah Rara_The Pollinators_The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas_Kabik

Lobby – Photo provided by the Cosmopolitan

Terrace Suite:

The room itself is about 910 sq. feet. When you walk in there is a small hallway, a bathroom, and then you walk into an open floor plan that has a living area, kitchen and workstation with a TV – from this area you can access the balcony. Beyond this room is a separate bedroom and a large bathroom. You can also access the balcony from the bedroom.

The design elements are luxurious and modern. I loved the simplicity of the art pieces throughout the suite and the neutral tones.

I only stayed one night in this hotel, but getting out of bed was no easy task. I slept right in the middle with all the pillows and I felt like I was sleeping on a cloud ❤

The best feature of this room is the terrace – and it offers the best view of Las Vegas in my opinion. The view alone is a reason to book this room – daytime, sunset or even sunrise – the view is magnificent. You can even see the Bellagio Fountains from a new perspective.


Sunset from the Terrace Suite




Sitting Area


Living Area


Work Station


Inside the Closet


Sun rising over the city


Living Area




Sitting Area





Retrieved from: The Cosmopolitan  


Evening views from the terrace

Room Features:

  • Modern Kitchen
  • 2 Large bathrooms
  • King Size Bed
  • Private terrace – 160 sq. feet
  • Seating area
  • 2 entrances to balcony
  • 2 large flat screen TV’s
  • Work station
  • Dining nook

Views from the Terrace Suite at the Cosmopolitan

Other Hotel Features:

The hotel has a lot of exciting things going on inside of it. Below are some of its features:

  • 3 pools
  • 2 gyms
  • Business center
  • Sahra Spa and Hammam
  • Casino
  • Marquee day/night club
  • Over 25 dining & bar options

Due to my limited stay I did not get to experience everything in the hotel, but two items did stand out. They offered “Dive-In Movies” at the Boulevard Pool the night I was there. Top Gun played on their big screen and people lounged all around the pool to watch it.The other thing I loved at the hotel was the Chandelier Bar – which is 3 separate bar opportunities with one on the main level, one inside and the other on top. Its quite the artistic piece to see.

Boulevard Pool

Boulevard Pool – photo courtesy of Cosmopolitan


Chandelier Bar


Overall I loved the hotel. I cannot say enough how much I loved the views from the room – it truly felt like a special visit for me because I had never seen Vegas from that vantage point. If you are planning a trip to Las Vegas – stay at least 1 night in this hotel in the Terrace Suite and I promise you that you will not want to leave the terrace.


Additional Information:

  • Address: 3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South – Las Vegas, NV 89109
  • Phone: 702.698.7000
  • Distance from airport: about 15 minutes depending on traffic
  • Parking: Hotel offers valet & self parking for a fee

Checking In: Salamander Resort & Spa

Checking In (3)

Salamander Resort is just a short hour away and what feels like worlds apart from my home in the Washington, D.C. area. Located among rolling hills and wineries in Middleburg, Virginia – it was a perfect weekend escape from the concrete jungle I reside in.


What I Loved:

  • Smaller resort with only 168 rooms – which all have a patio or balcony
  • Set on 340 acres
  • Rooms were very spacious and elegant
  • The food was divine
  • Pet friendly
  • One of the best spas I have been to

Salamander Resort is a stunning property that exudes luxury throughout. From the moment you arrive in the circle drive, someone is there to assist you with bags, checking-in, valet, or whatever you may need.


The Resort:


The resort itself is not very big – but that is what drew me to it in the first place. Sometimes when I stay in huge hotels I feel lost in the shuffle – but I was after a relaxing stay and that is exactly what I got here.


Fire pit available at night on the grand lawn


Sitting area


Sitting area


Sitting area




Beautiful walls


Library hangout


Outdoor seating



Continue reading

Checking In: Marina Bay Sands – Singapore

Checking In

Since the opening of Marina Bay Sands in 2010, I knew I had to visit the hotel, even if just for the pool. Towering over the city on the 56th floor, 656 feet above sea, the views do not disappoint.

Since I was only in Singapore for 3 nights, I opted to stay at Marina Bay Sands just for one night because my primary goal was to use the pool. I sure got more than I bargained for because I was able to witness an amazing sunset and an even better sunrise.


Sunrise from the Skypark

The Hotel:

The hotel itself is created out of three buildings and has the Skypark connecting all three across the top with the pool and dining. Technically the hotel has so much to offer that you would never have to leave if you chose not to. Marina Bay Sands offers over 60 restaurants and bars, 160+ premium brand shopping stores, museum exhibitions, and theatre shows. Think celebrity chefs and luxury shopping.


Offering 12 room categories from Deluxe Rooms to the most luxurious Suites, you will be sure to find a room that suits your taste.

During my stay since I was only staying a night and did not plan to be in the room, I stayed in a Deluxe Room. I felt like I got a great room because the balcony overlooked Gardens by the Bay and at night it comes alive with colors.


Work Station and TV


King Size Bed and Sitting Area




Luxurious Bathroom: Photo credit: Marina Bay Sands


Room Service Apple Caramel Crumble


Gardens by the Bay


Read More: Gardens by the Bay

Room Amenities:

  • 39 square metres (419 square feet)
  • 1 King or 2 Single beds
  • Fully stocked minibar
  • Bathroom with glass-enclosed shower
  • Luxury bathroom amenities
  • Microfibre and terry bathrobes
  • Hairdryer
  • 42″ interactive flatscreen TV
  • Cable channels (free) and movies on demand (charges apply)
  • Executive work desk
  • In-room safe
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Shoe brush and shoe horn
  • Non-smoking
  • A balcony (although this is not the case with every room in this category)
  • Access to the Skypark and Infinity Pool
  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Access to Banyan Tree Fitness Club


In my opinion, this is the best feature of the hotel. The pool is the number one selling point and I gathered this by the number of people trying to get into the pool. I spent most of time here at night and during the morning trying to capture perfect shots and waiting on people to move. I will say, everyone is trying to get a perfect selfie above the city, but be friendly and patient as everyone has paid to stay in the hotel for this.


The sun is starting to set over the city


A rare empty view of the pool


The city is starting to light up


The sun set and I captured this beauty


The next morning


Sunrise is happening behind the hotel but lighting up the sky




The hotel is bit overcrowded with over 2,500+ rooms and the ability to hold more than 1 person per room. As you can imagine, a lot of people stay at this hotel for access to the pool. There are many other relaxed luxury properties in the city that aren’t as crowded. I was very lucky to stay up late and wake up very early to catch photos with minimal people. However, all day and most of the night and even after I took initial photos the next morning, the pool was completely packed full of people.

My stay was not bad at all – I enjoyed my time there. I went there for exactly what a lot of other people do – access to the pool. I can’t fault the hotel for making something amazing to draw in crowds.

The room was very spacious and the food was delicious!

This was a top bucketlist item for me for many years and I can tell you it was worth the wait ❤

Additional Info:

  • Address: 10 Bayfront Avenue
  • Phone:  +65 6688 8888
  • Currency: Singapore Dollar
  • Distance from Changi Airport: about 20-30 minutes depending on traffic
  • You cannot gain access to the infinity pool without being a paying guest of the hotel – your room card is what allows you access into the hotel and into the pool, one person at a time.
  • Hotel has car transfer you can book prior to arriving.
  • Pool Hours: 6:00am-11:00pm
  • The hotel was offering nightly water and light shows and it appears they stopped in April of 2017 – but plan to bring it back soon.