Four Seasons Residence Club Aviara

Hello Everyone, I hope you all had a lovely weekend! I wanted to say a quick hello and share our favorite memories from our recent stay at Four Seasons Residence Club Aviara. The whole week was such a dream and I don’t even know where to begin. I want to start by reiterating that I am very well aware that I won’t have this life without all of you and for that, I am incredibly grateful. 

      With that said, let’s dive right in. I have been to many countries and stayed in many hotels, but nothing has ever compared to this. The location is wonderful, so close to the beach. The setting is perfect for any occasion including a wedding. The restaurant has fabulous food, the staff is extremely friendly. The rooms are wonderful.

MANAGEMENT: I remember my favorite speaker Simon Sinek, using Four Seasons management in one of his speeches years ago. He told a story about where he asked a barista he met at the Four Seasons in Las Vegas what he loved about his job. Without batting an eye, the guy said that he loved his job at the Four Seasons. On the other hand, the barista continued, he just counts the hours at another hotel where he also served up lattes. What was different? At the first place, the leadership asked how he was doing and what he needed. At the second? They watched to see when he would screw up. This Speech has shaped how I manage my team since then. Let me tell you, Simon Sinek did not exaggerate. The Management was impeccable. From Jessica who gave us the biggest warm welcome to Brandon, director of Outlets who sat with us during dinner and gave us a back story on how the Four Seasons started. Almost every single employee I spoke with has been there for more than a decade and you can tell they all genuinely loved their jobs which made us felt right at home.

HOTEL OVERVIEW: The location is great. It’s located in a very secluded yet in the middle of San Diego. You can drop a pin and hear it. From the moment you enter the beautiful lobby, you know you are staying at a very special hotel. The pool area and views are amazing! 

OUR VILLA:
Our awesome host Jennifer took us to our villa upon arrival. Prices can differ depending on the size of your villa or what time of the year you go. Upon entering our villa, I think I said “oh wow, this is amazing” a million times. The room was spotless and very well kept. Everything was in fantastic working order. Our villa had a balcony with a spectacular lake view. Our room was very nice and spacious room with all luxury amenities one could wish for. We had everything in our villa from a beautiful tub to washer and dryer and a huge kitchen. 

FOOD:  We were treated to breakfast every morning in our room. You can either stay in your room and call in room service or go down to the fabulous Eat Seasons restaurant. This restaurant is not only beautiful to be in but the wait staff is wonderful – knowledgeable and friendly. For dinner, we were treated to a 5-course meal by the fabulous chef James himself.

The restaurant is filled with natural light and modern beach-town charm. I loved that the tables are not on top of each other so you can have a normal conversation. The food was excellent and they had an array of great wine choices…very upscale for an intimate or special evening celebration and oh, a lovely bar with live jazz. 

AMENITIES:  We visited their award-winning Driftwood spa and got the best massage with hot stones and radiance facial as well. Elizabeth listened to my skin needs and catered my facial to me specifically. My skin still looks and feels fabulous days later! The relaxation room is where you can hang out before or after your session. The next day we visited the gym and signed up for a pilates class. I won’t be discussing this any further as I am still sore. lol. 

Thank you for a wonderful stay. What an amazing experience! Will definitely be coming back here!

Photography by @Visualsbychristina

My first time in Tulum, Mexico

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen! 

I am so happy to write this post because this Tulum trip was everything I needed and more. I have never experienced a trip more cathartic. Tulum had been on my bucket list for quite some time so this was a no-brainer .and I decided to treat my whole team to a week in Tulum. Truly, It is one of the most beautiful places on planet earth. Here are the highlights of our trip! Hope this helps you plan your Tulum experience.

TOURISM: We Visited the Cenotes about 20 minutes from our hotel. The Mayans actually believed the Cenotes were portals to the underworld. The Cenotes were where they make sacrifices to the gods. This was the most serene, peaceful, spiritual almost eerie feeling at the Cenotes. This place is one of those places you have to visit to believe. Perhaps, one of the clearest blue water I’ve ever seen. The water looks like something out of this world and with a beam of light that shoots through the darkness into the cave.  Take goggles in with you if you have them, there are great formations under the water and you need to pay to rent goggles once you’re inside. I’ll have to say it’s the closest thing to heaven I have ever experienced. We rented bicycles and although I fell many times, I kept getting back up. We rode our bicycles everywhere.

 

FOOD: 

Nothing is more tropical than an Acai bowl. We stopped by Mama Matcha Tulum and made some new friends. We also had street tacos about every other hour because where else would you get street tacos better than Mexico? I was a huge fan of Anthony Bourdain’s show “Parts Unknown”. One of my favorite thing he said was that when you travel, you should eat street food. “On the streets in Mexico, vendors roll a taco with their hands, and hand it to you with their hands… there is an intimate transfer going on; they are telling you that this recipe is a reflection of what my parents taught me, my grandparents, my region, my language, culture, and history. This is what I do, what I am good at; this is who I am and what I am and I would like to share it with you. Street food is simply the best and healthiest because it’s made out of love. You can pay in either Mexican pesos or U.S. dollars, but the exchange rate works in your favor if you pay in pesos. 

HOTEL: 

On to the Hotel we stayed at for the first few nights we were in Tulum. We stayed at the fabulous Live Tulum hotel. It was very modern and minimalistic yet with traditional vibes. The best thing about this hotel is that it is right in the middle of Downtown Tulum. Our room was clean, tidy and looked fab. We could have gotten our whole Tulum content at our hotel. Right outside our rooms is a 40-foot long pool which means we don’t even have to leave our room to lay by the pool. A breakfast buffet is complimentary and served in an open-air dining room with a thatched roof. Other amenities include an outdoor pool and loaner bikes. We chose his hotel because we didn’t want to pay a high price to stay on the beach as we were  planning on exploring most of the times

WEATHER: SUNSCREEN! SUNSCREEN! SUNSCREEN! I felt like showering every second of every minute. IT WAS HUMID! Tulum tends to have warm weather all year round, with highs staying well within the 70s and 80s. Even in October, the temperature didn’t fall below 80 degrees, so any time you travel there you will find tropical, sunny weather. Tulum’s rainiest months are June, September, and October. The three-month stretch from October to December is the best time to visit when the hurricane season is over and the weather is warm but not oppressively hot.

 SAFETY: Of course, always practice safety. However, the town itself feels very hippie and there’s lots of backpackers, there’s also always police driving up and down the main street. I felt totally comfortable wandering around on my own early mornings when everyone else were still sleeping. I don’t think you have anything to worry about at all.

I hope you enjoy this post. I’ll see you on the next post from Tulum, Mexico! Adios mi amigos and stay fabulous. 

Photography by @Visualsbychristina

STAYCATION: CULVER HOTEL

 

H, Guys! Coming off the high of my feature in people magazine-stylwatch (On stands now). I decided to spend some time with my team at the culver hotel. I was so happy to spend time and stay at the Culver Hotel simply because there is no other hotel I’ve ever visited that matches my aesthetic to perfection. You guys know that my style is loosely inspired by Old Hollywood. It was my first time visiting and it was as if I stepped into another world- from the elegance of the architecture to the antique decor. I love that classic meets contemporary and history meets modern luxury. The vintage glamour of Culver hotel with its dash of European ambiance is simply romance at it’s finest.

We decided to make a whole photo-shoot out of it and did a Marilyn Monroe inspired shoot. The staff and the hotel were impeccable. Competent, courteous, friendly and helpful. Bedroom and amenities were simply fabulous. It’s also pretty convenient to go to anywhere, you can walk to Trader Joes and coffee shops in the neighborhood. If you get tired of dining in their very own restaurant, you can walk to other restaurants literally across the street.

The restaurant downstairs has live jazz after 7 pm. The food is delicious and fresh.

Let’s just say it was very difficult for me to leave. I cannot say enough good things about the staff not to mention the beautiful property and the ambiance. What a lovely stay and can’t wait to come back again.

What I Wore | Brunch at Prank Bar DTLA

Hi, Guys! Happy Thursday. Meg and I decided to go to DTLA for happy hour and we went to a new family owned bar/restaurant called Prank. It’s the first walk-up bar in Los Angeles (google it).

I really like Prank for its atmosphere. Nothing beats space/layout. You can choose to sit outside or inside and get two completely different atmosphere.

The perks of this bar are endless. However having happy hour until 7 pm is simply unheard of.
I wore this white summer dress with tribal neck embellishment from Salor-NY. I love that this dress is backless allowing some breeze in this heat.

I will DEFINITELY recommend Prank to others and I’ll be celebrating my 100K celebration there. See you there.

Niké

THE REDONDO BEACH HOTEL STAYCATION

Hi Guys!  In the hustle and bustle of the Jungle (Los Angeles) life and the stress of work, it is not surprising that sometimes I get burned out. That is why the most productive thing I could do is to relax, revive and rejuvenate.  Over the weekend, I decided to change my usual weekend routine by having a stay-cation at The Redondo Beach Hotel. Believe it or not, I rarely go to the West side and I definitely have never been to Redondo Beach. So, I decided I’ll check out the new and improved Redondo Beach Hotel.

Continue Reading

Malibu Wine Safari X SpecsandBlazers

I decided to check out the Malibu Wine Safari and what a pleasant experience and perfect getaway. We did the GIRRAFE TOUR!!! What an extraordinary animal feeding + wine tour of the family-owned Saddlerock Ranch and vineyard in Malibu. The destination is completely isolated from the hustlin’ and bustlin’ of LA city life.
The tour was so refreshing – We climbed in this open-air Safari vehicle with the tour guide facing us. The animals we fed carrots and lettuce to ranged from donkeys, zebras, alpacas, camels, bisons, and the famous Stanley the Giraffe!! Fun fact: Stanley is a famous giraffe that was in the movie Hangover 3! There were 2 wine tasting spots throughout the ranch with a total of 6 different local wines.

Really recommend this experience to any animal + wine lovers!! Reasonable prices & great hospitality. Tour guides are hilarious and a joy to be around. A fun experience and a great way to celebrate a special occasion.   Dress warmly and enjoy!

PS: Video of my day in Malibu is coming to Youtube soon.

 

NEW YORK FASHION WEEK – WINTER 2017

Hi, Friends! I just got back from New York and had a blast. This was my favorite fashion week. It’s no secret that fashion designers often look to current social/political status as an inspiration for their work. I was so impressed and moved by all the shows I attended this year. Prabal Gurung, for example, sent his models out in T-shirts stamped with political slogans: “Revolution has no borders,” “I am an immigrant,” “Nevertheless, she persisted.” The parade ended with the designer in a tee that read: “This is what a feminist looks like”. Everyone from Prabal Gurung and Christian Siriano to front row attendees and models shared messages of inclusion and support for a better future on the runway at this year’s New York Fashion Week. We also saw a hijabi model walking for NYFW and Anniesa Hasibuan with her groundbreaking show with Muslim fashion. NYFW is always amazing although, New York itself is very exhausting. As “exciting” as it can seem, it’s very hectic and busy. At the end of the day, I am very thankful for the opportunity.

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 14: A model walks the runway for the Naeem Khan collection during, New York Fashion Week: The Shows at Gallery 2, Skylight Clarkson Sq on February 14, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for New York Fashion Week: The Shows)

What I wore to the Prabal Gurung and Mused shows

NYFW1

Designer Prabal Gurung and Mused got political on the runway with messages on T-shirts and cardboardsprabal-gurung-a49a15e4-68c6-4333-a6d2-9c64157a3c4dMUSED 1

The ElizabethKennedyNewYork show was ethereal and the Miguel Vieria show was fierce.

Elizabeth Kennedy RTW Fall 2017
Elizabeth Kennedy RTW Fall 2017
Michael Costello RTW Fall 2017
Michael Costello RTW Fall 2017

What I wore the Anniesa Hasibuan Show NYFW 2

Anniesa Hasibuan was such a groundbreaking show making history by being the first to present a collection that has every look outfitted with hijabs. This show brought me to tears.

Anniesa Hasibuan 2

Anniesa Hasibuan 1

All images by: http://www.carolinefiss.com

 

“Every year the women of New York leave the past behind and look forward to the future. This is known as Fashion Week.” – Carrie Bradshaw, Sex & The City.

Lunch at Ivory on sunset

My photographer and I stopped by The Mondrian Hotel for lunch yesterday and we had an amazing time. I have visited the Mondrian Hotel many times but never stopped to enjoy a meal there. Ivory on Sunset is inspired by the creativity of Hollywood’s golden age and timeless glamour. Experience locally sourced dishes while enjoying sweeping views. Located at the Mondrian Hotel in West Hollywood, this restaurant truly exceeded my expectation from the first minute I stepped in. The service is top notch, food-amazing, staff was very attentive and knowledgeable. Ambiance is impeccable!  The coffee was top-notch and smooth and tasty. What a fabulous experience. I completely recommend this place.

IMG_4723-Edit

IMG_4718-Edit

IMG_4719-Edit

IMG_4713-Edit

IMG_4698-Edit

My Trip To Cuba

Cuba!!!!! What an experience. I wish I can describe this trip as good or bad but that’ll simply be impossible. I stayed in Havana, Cuba in an AirbnB. I would say it was the most gratifying yet exhausting and costly trip I’ve ever experienced.
Traveling alone usually is something that I enjoy and prefer but how I wished I had a companion that spoke Spanish on this trip. I’ll start with the positives. Cuba in a way is an Utopia. They have no access to the outside world. You buy internet illegally under the table by the hour and you have to go to a park to use it. On average, you’ll spend over 300 dollars on internet access and I promise you, you’ll probably be able to log on once or twice. I know that sounds like a negative but I think its what makes the people so kind and the country crime free.
Cuba is truly the safest country for women. Cubans operate on routine. They wake up at 5 am, drink the strongest coffee you can imagine then go to the park with their children to do yoga.
Now, to the negatives. Like I said before, Cuba is the most expensive country I’v ever visited. There is a sense that they are still trying to punish Americans for the past, so when exchanging currencies, you are given 10% to 20% less of your exchange. An average cab ride or meal costs about 60 USD. In a day, you’ll spend an average of 300 dollars. Needless to say I spent over 2,000 dollars in a week. Tourism is the only source of an average Cuban income therefore, once they figured you are an American, you’ll inadvertently be charged more than you should. They also have two different currencies, the CUP and the CUC and my God, good luck trying to figure out where you should spend which.
Virtually, no one speaks English and I mean NO ONE. Because I’ve been to myriad of Spanish speaking countries in the past and was able to communicate just fine with my little Spanish and their little English, I assumed I won’t have any problems.
In many ways, going to Cuba feels like going back in time. It’s not just because of the classic cars. The cars are so fabulous!! There’s also the lack of infrastructure.
I’ll absolutely love to go back to Cuba. Cuba swept me off my feet.  I felt every hair on my neck stand up when I arrived in Cuba.  I absolutely won’t mind living there when they have internet. I was trying to absorb every detail of the scenes that were unfolding.  Four days there felt like a month because of the sheer amount of experiences we had, but at the same time it felt like I only scratched the surface of this country.
CUBA WAS AMAZING AND I’LL GO AGAIN WHEN I’M RICH!

IMG_5905

IMG_5780

IMG_5893

IMG_5890

IMG_5877

IMG_5874

IMG_5872

IMG_5871

IMG_5865

IMG_5861 IMG_5849

IMG_5828

IMG_5819

IMG_5803

IMG_5782

IMG_5762

IMG_5745

IMG_5741

IMG_5740

IMG_5734

ALL PINK ENSEMBLE

Hello, guys! To think there was a time I didn’t like the color pink. I attended one of my girlfriend’s birthday party this weekend and I wore a blush pink fitted low-cut neckline romper from Eden Sky, which showed off a little bit of my cleavage, complimented by a formal choker in the same color. With that, I also complemented my outfit with a pink fluffy sunglasses. I wore a different, lighter shade of pink shoes from Zara to give a balance in order to make the blush pink color less overpowering. Do not be afraid to brighten up your wardrobes with more color especially pink, it’s an instant refresh color. Hope you guys enjoy this outfit.

 
Never apologize for how you feel. No one can control how they feel. The sun doesn’t apologize for being the sun. The rain doesn’t say sorry for falling. Feelings just are.   ”
Iain S. Thomas

Niké

blogIMG_9315

blogIMG_9290

blogIMG_9306

blogIMG_9325