Sunday, 20 December 2015

3 Affordable luxury hotels you'll want to visit in Europe

There are so many cities on my bucket list for the coming year and today I'm sharing with you some of the luxury brand new hotels I've stumbled across while doing my research ahead of the new year.

1. Portals hills boutique hotel Mallorca
First stop Mallorca; this hidden gem in Portals Nous recently opened it doors in 2015 and it offers the Miami lifestyle right here in heart of Europe; with the modern interpretation of its architecture and its beautiful interiors.
Portals Nous is approx. 2 hours by plane from London and on the face of it, this hotel offers everything I would expect from a luxury boutique hotel. Portals Hills can be quite pricey in the high seasons, but look out for exceptionally low offers during the low seasons between November to March.


2. JW Marriott Venice Resort and Spa
Venice; The romantic city with wonderful Gondolas and endless rivers. JW Marriott opened its doors in 2015 and it certainly looks like the perfect choice for a leisure getaway to Venice. The hotel location is away from the hustle and bustle of the city, yet its close enough to still enjoy the city lifestyle. The hotel is currently closed due to off-season closures and will reopen around March. I've added this romantic city to my must visit list and JW Marriott looks like the perfect getaway location for exploring Venice.

Monday, 14 December 2015

My holiday Travel gift guide

It's that time of year again where we start thinking about Christmas presents for our loved ones. If you're super organised, you'll have all your presents wrapped and already tucked away under the tree; but if you're anything like me, you'll still be searching the web for last minute gift ideas.
Today I'm sharing with you 5 items on my Travel gift guide. I hope this helps you with those long and hard decisions of what to get who!


1. Destination Guide books 
If you have a friend who is going away on an adventure in the new year, a destination guide book might be the perfect gift for them. You can buy these from most retailers like WHSmith or any good travel shop; this is the perfect gift to get to know a bit more about any city and destination guide books can also be good as stocking fillers.



2. Entertainer Travel book 
I've made no secret of it, I love this brand. The entertainer Travel book contains buy one get one free vouchers on hotel stays around the world. From Thailand to Dubai and even South of France, if you know anyone planning on going away in the new year and looking to book a luxury hotel, this may just be the perfect gift. The book contains 3 vouchers for each hotel, and in most hotels you can pay for 3 nights and get an extra 3 for free, absolute bargain; make sure you call or email the hotel to book in advance before you arrive.
You can purchase the Entertainer Travel book here

3. Skyflyte luggage for kids 
Ok so this one is for the little ones; If you have little ones in the family or a niece or nephew who is always on the move, a skyflyte or ride on luggage is ideal. They are colourful and convenient and all kids love them. You can Purchase the Skyflyte luggage here

4. Travel Suit Carry On bag
I saw this travel suit luggage a while ago and thought to myself what's a genius invention. A suits bag that doubles up into a travel bag. If you want to splash out a bit for your Dad, brother or your other half, then this might be the perfect gift, you don't always need to carry a suit in this bag as it doubles up as a standard travel bag as well. There are many brands on the market but I have taken a liking to this one, see more about this brand here.


5. A perfect weekend getaway 
I've been looking at putting together an affordable weekend getaway to a fab 5* location and this might just be the perfect gift for you and that special person in your life.
Fancy going to the South of France for a weekend ? by the beach, overlooking the sea ? Of course you do, we all need some R&R every now and then. At just £180 per person you can do just that.



I booked a trip last year to explore the newly opened  5* Tiara Miramar in the south of France, just 30 mins ride into the famous Cannes promenade. For more details on this hotel see the link to my review here 

How much will it cost you say ?
Return flights from London to NICE airport start from - £50 per person (tip: always book your flights at least 3 months in advance to get the cheapest rates)
Hotel: If you're planning a Valentine's Day getaway for February, hotel prices are from £140 per night for 2 Adults with breakfast (current prices via tripadvisor) 

Not bad for a last minute Valentine's Day getaway in a brand new hotel with top notch service and overlooking the sea.


I hope some of my ideas help you with your Christmas gift list this year. 
Have a Merry Christmas and a great start to the new year!


Tolu
xx




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Sunday, 8 November 2015

How to save some pennies on your next hotel stay

Today I'm sharing with you some of my juicy secrets on how to save a few pennies on your next hotel stay; be warned some of them might be slightly ghetto :-)


1. Never pay for wifi again
Everyone wants free wifi, personally I get wifi withdrawal symptoms when I've been away from my phone for too long so having to pay extortionate amounts for wifi at hotels is unforgivable. 
For free wifi at hotels make sure you sign up to the hotels loyalty scheme before you arrive, most hotels offer free wifi to guests signed up to their free loyalty scheme. Never go without wifi again.

2. Early check-in and late check-out
To avoid being billed for early check-in and late check-out, I also sign up to the hotels loyalty scheme and email the hotel in advance of my arrival. Loyalty schemes usually come with this perk and is usually subject to availability. If the above fails, I try and email the hotel to negotiate or sweet talk myself into a reduced rate, always works for me but make sure you email in advance. 


3. Need extra bottles of water, head to the gym
This one is a bit on the ghetto side, but if you want to save some pennies on bottles of water, which at most hotels ranges from £3-£4 upwards for a bottle of Evian, try going to the hotel gym and pick up a few free bottles. The gym is always stocked with free bottles of water. You're welcome.

4. Book a brand new hotel
Look for brand new hotel openings in the city you are going to, and book yourself in for a few nights. Brand new hotels usually have opening rates which are up to 50% cheaper than standard rates.

5. Call the hotel for special occasions 
If you are going away on a special occasion, pick up the phone and call the hotel, many hotels will offer an upgrade on arrival, bottle of wine, birthday treats or free dinner packages at no extra charge. Always check with the hotel before you arrive to see what's on offer. 

6. Check hotel websites for surprise offers
Many hotels advertise offers online such as cocktail happy hours, restaurant offers of the day at discount prices and Spa reduction packages. Always check the hotel offers page online to see what offer you can nab before paying the full price. 

7. Lastly, book through a comparison site 
To grab a bargain hotel rate, I usually book through comparison sites like trivaGo or tripadvisor. Yes they are the big fish in the industry, but they also link you directly to other smaller websites like Amoma.com, Prestegia.com and so on that offer great hidden rates and early booking reductions.


I hope some of my tips above help you when you are booking your next hotel stay. Some of them you may already know, but I guarantee you that all the above have totally worked for me. 


Have a great day.

Tolu
X


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Saturday, 17 October 2015

Sofitel the Palm Dubai

My expectations have been set exceedingly high while booking hotels in the Emirates.
I have stayed at a few luxury hotels in the Palm area of Dubai, so when we opted for Sofitel the Palm on a recent trip, I expected no less than ultimate luxury. 

Did Sofitel the Palm live up to my expectations ?


We arrived at the hotel quite early after a long-ish flight of 7hrs. When we arrived, we had a wait time of 3 hrs before getting a room, during this period, we were able to use the hotel amenities. My little traveler jumped straight into the pool. Literally!

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Its all about Asian food at Sofitel the Palm

I'm a Thai food lover, always have been, always will be; Thai food will forever be my go to food and I cannot wait to venture over to Thailand soon to taste some traditional Thai food.

I recently stopped by at 'Hong Long' at Sofitel the palm and all I can say is wowza; this place definitely set my taste buds on fire.

The evening started with a combination of starters which included a sweet corn broth, steamed BBQ chicken bun, crispy dumplings, cashew nuts amongst other appetizers. 


Next, on to a main course of Wok fried black pepper beef fillet with a baby pak choy; this was without a doubt my favourite choice on the menu. 


We finished the meal with a pretty plate of Lemon sorbet with fresh longan and some Strawberry ice cream; I also have to mention the classic mojito wiped up from the bar, it was everything in a glass and more.





My verdict on the food served here - scrum-dili-um-cious. The food was tasty, the presentation was spot on and the staff couldn't do enough to make you feel comfortable. Thanks hong-Long for having us.

If you're in the Palm Dubai area, try out Hong Long at Sofitel the Palm.





Have a great weekend.
Tolu.

xx






For more on Hong Long and to book a table visit the link below.
Sofitel the Palm - Hong Long



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Sunday, 27 September 2015

Last of the Summer Sun

This weekend was the start of the Indian summer in London. The sun came out to play and we enjoyed a fab 20 degrees weather; for this time of year that's a blessing.
I decided to head up to London for dinner at Spitafields market, my first stop was Chillangos; a mexican diner in the city of London; for some much needed tex-mex filled with guacamole, then we headed to Valerie Patisserie for some desert. The sun was out and so was I!!

What I Wore:
High waisted Jeans -  H&M
Crop top - H&M
Gold leaf Chain -  H&M
Block Sandals -  Next











Saturday, 19 September 2015

Abu Dhabi itinerary


So you're you planning on going to Abu Dhabi for a getaway and you're not sure what to do when you get there, here's my itinerary with a few things to get busy with.

The 1st activity I would recommend in Abu Dhabi is the Marina tour.
I went on a trip exploring the Abu Dhabi marina and this whole area is very picturesque; the tour is super safe and my little traveller even hopped on as well.
During the tour we stopped at Lulu island, Emirates Palace, the fisherman's village and the Abu Dhabi Corniche. The marina tour took just over 60 minutes and was booked via Yellow boats; Sometimes its good to just sit back, reflect and feel the wind in your hair. All links and details below.

                              
                               
                              
                               
          

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Rosewood Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi!!! All I can say is wow. I recently travelled to Abu Dhabi and it left me speechless; The whole time I was there, I was left wondering how a place which was near enough a desert a few decades ago has grown into such a beautiful oasis.

I stayed at Rosewood Abu Dhabi on the gorgeous Al Maryah island and this whole area is very picturesque; did I say wow already!
Rosewood Abu Dhabi opened mid 2013, a luxury hotel with brand new amenities. I stayed in a Deluxe room overlooking the Al Maryah island and the morning views are completely peaceful. Let's just say I spent many hours sitting down just gazing out through the top-to-bottom windows watching the world go by.






Sunday, 23 August 2015

Work Hard, Play hard - A personal lifestyle post


Its my birthday today so I thought I'd post a blog that has been a personal issue for me over the past few years; In hope of helping someone else experiencing the same challenges as me. You are not alone.

Having a child is one of the best experiences in life; Its a surreal feeling which immediately makes you feel mushy inside; However, having a baby also does all sorts of things to your body, you get stretch marks, cellulite, you go a few dress sizes up, you get extremely large boobs and sometimes you even loose a bit of body confidence. Safe to say all the above happened to me, and I'll also chuck in a full 9 months of morning sickness.:-)

After having my little one, I struggled with my weight yoyo-ing up and down and I'm still constantly working hard at it, to keep my body in a shape that makes me feel confident and happy.

I'm not really a gym rat and my idea of exercise stops at doing some Sit-ups, skipping and going for the odd jog every now and then. However, with a bit of persistence and encouragement from The husband, I have finally gotten to a stage (be it a few years on :-) ) where I feel more confident with my body and feel ready to get back into a bikini.







We are currently in the UAE and its over 40 degrees here, so a bikini is ideal for this scorching hot weather, I'm posting some beach shots and saying happy birthday to me.






Final thoughts, if you are struggling with that post baby weight don't feel discouraged. Remember slow and steady wins the race. Don't let wearing a bikini define who you are, while it can show you are confident with your body or size, it does not come close to defining who you are as a person.
This blog post is more of a celebration for me, celebration of confidence and my new body and shape Post babay. The Struggle was real!!!


Be Happy, healthy and keep fit.


Happy birthday to me.


Tolu

xx



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Sunday, 2 August 2015

London Southbank Pier - #IamEveryman exhibition


This past weekend we took a trip to the London Southbank. There's something about embarking on a tourist type trip in your hometown that gives you a buzz.

The London Southbank has a great atmosphere, there's loads of activities to get on with; this summer for kids, there's a mini beach, carousels, skate parks, the pier and much more; For adults there's a busy street food market, beer gardens, boats rides or just grab a coffee or ice-cream and watch the sunset by the Pier.

On this occasion I wanted to visit the 'Everyman' exhibition outside the National Theatre; a performance with Chiwetel Ejiofor as the lead role.
EveryMan asks the question  - whether it is only in death that we can truly understand out lives. The performance has had rave reviews; if you're at the London Southbank go support the play or see the exhibition outside the national theatre.











Watching the Sunset by the Southbank Pier.



Never too old for the carousel




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Have a great week ahead.

Tolu

xx




Tips:
- Nearest station Waterloo underground station
- Children's Sandpit and skate-park are free to use
- Loads of places to eat including a multicultural street market.


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Monday, 27 July 2015

The Army Green Jumpsuit

I went on a shopping haul a while ago and as soon as I spotted my now Army Green Jumpsuit, I fell in love with it. Its casual, comfortable and fits like a glove.


When I'm out shopping I usually try and stick to the golden oldies; i.e. high street brands such as Next, M&S, H&M or Topshop; but on this occasion I ventured into Primark; Yes; this Jumpsuit is 100% a Primark brand and its not an expensive one at that.

I matched my outfit with my comfy block heels from Next, these block heels have made my life this Summer, I have literally rocked it almost everywhere; to complete the look I added my Chanel sling bag. Whoever says you cant wear a Primark outfit and a Chanel bag in one sitting lied. :-)





Complete Outfit details
Jumpsuit - Primark (bargain at £15)
Block Sandals  - Next
Bag - Chanel

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Have a great week lovelies.


Tolu
xo



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