Beautiful Langkawi & it’s STUNNING wildlife….

The Andaman Resort is located on the north side of the tropical island of Langkawi, Malaysia.

This 4.5 star resort is one of the best places I have ever stayed 🙂

Hidden away between a 10 million year old rainforest and the jade coloured waters of Datai Bay – this really is heaven on earth 🙂

_BP_2526
view from the beach

What I loved the most was the how the hotel was immersed in the rainforest…I could feel it. I literally felt immersed in it.

Our room was gorgeous, well appointed and the beds were super comfortable.

The amenities and service were fantastic – from the way they called me ‘Miss Christine’ and ‘the dancing queen, {more about that in another post!} the service in the restaurants, the cool ‘orange’ spritzers on the beach and the AWESOME band all added to the ambience of this beautiful hotel…

Each day, we sat on the beach and swam in the cool waters of the Andaman Sea…I love being nurtured by the sea….I think all of us have forgotten how wonderful it is just to float and be…I loved it….silently beneath the waves, taking it all in…fabulous 🙂

As the hotel is very secluded….{think partner} you can walk, listen and observe all that exists in this magical place.

I enjoyed one of the best massages I’ve ever had at the V Wellness Spa. I was massaged in an open air villa overlooking the Andaman sea…It was absolute bliss.

_BP_3037
There was SO MUCH WILDLIFE to be seen and enjoyed at the hotel..

I was lucky enough to see the Malaysian flying lemur {or Sunda} right outside my room…I mean literally…

The Sunda flying lemur is not a lemur and does not fly. Instead, it spreads out with it’s membrane and leaps amongst the  trees. It is strictly arboreal, is active at night, and feeds on soft plant parts such as young leaves, shoots, flowers, and fruits.

Each day, they looked like this…back from their night flight, resting and chilling out…

Look closely, there are three lemur’s..resting quietly, right outside my door…

_BP_2988

The next day, I saw something moving beneath one of the lemurs and quickly went and got my camera.

This is what I saw….

A baby lemur…peeping out…it was so fabulous, it was as if he was posing for the camera 🙂

The young are born undeveloped and helpless and attach themselves to the mother’s belly, in a pouch formed from the mother’s tail membrane. They are eventually weaned at approx around 6 months old,

How cool is that?

_BP_2972 _BP_3009

I was also lucky enough to see a Oriental Pied Hornbill. These magnificent birds frequent the tropical rainforest’s of Asia and are characterised by an unusual, long ‘horn like’ bill structure. This large bill assists with catching prey, fighting, preening as well as nest building.

Again, this gorgeous bird was right outside my door 🙂

_BP_2950_BP_2952

The hotel had an abundance of monkeys that could be seen at all times of the day {we even had a cheeky monkey come into one of our rooms!}

My favourite was the Dusky Leaf Monkey. Characterised by its dark grey/black fur and two white ‘eye glasses’, it frequents the tropical rainforest’s of Malaysia..

This subject was SO much fun to watch…

_BP_2563_BP_2569

_BP_2567

There were so many gorgeous photographic opportunities at this resort – my camera just wouldn’t stop clicking… 🙂

My advice? Start packing 🙂

For more information on this AWESOME hotel click here.

_BP_2681
_BP_2586
_BP_2675
_BP_2631
_BP_2615_BP_2537
_BP_2527
_BP_2621
_BP_2623
_BP_2556

Hotel Boutique Acontraluz – a beautiful place to stay in Valparaiso, Chile

Hotel Acontraluz, Valparaiso Chile is one of the nicest hotels I’ve ever stayed in.

Situated in the neighbourhood of Cerro Alegre, high up behind the hustle and bustle of Valparaiso, this boutique hotel is a real haven in this eclectic city.

The hotel is decorated with art works from local artists in a kaleidoscope of colour – which I absolutely loved. 🙂 Beautiful vases, flowers, a piano, huge beams of oregon and oak, old sideboards – this hotel has a warm, welcoming style that will make you feel instantly at home.

The hotel is a family business and the service and attention to detail was second to none.

We were greeted by Javier, a gorgeous young woman who couldn’t do enough for us during our stay. She shared all her local knowledge and was never too busy to help us with a restaurant choice or to phone us a cab.

Our room was lovely with comfy beds and plenty of space for us to unpack some of our gear and spread out after a long day.

The tariff included breakfast, which was served buffet style each morning on the ground level. We sat outside on the verandah, enjoying the food and coffee whilst admiring the beautiful bay of Valparaiso.

The ‘stand out’ of this hotel was the lounge area situated on level three. A huge verandah with a wicker cane lounge was the perfect place to sit and catch up on emails (the hotel has wifi), enjoy a glass of wine and just relax, taking in the beautiful views.

So if you’re heading to Valparaiso, check out the Hotel Acontraluz – you won’t be sorry 🙂

Thank you to all the staff, especially Javier, for making us feel so welcome.

Enjoy the pics. Click on the first pic to view all the photos as a slideshow:)

Our cute and cosy love nest apartment in Paris…

_MG_9627

We wanted something romantic in Paris.

Somewhere really special to stay to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary.

We found much more than we could imagine.

Marie-Christine and Marc are the hosts of this beautiful apartment situated right in the middle of Paris, overlooking the Seine. (yes, you read correctly – the above pic is the Paris Town Hall and is the view out the apartment window :)

It is a one bedroom apartment (with a separate bathroom) on the second floor on the Ile de la Cite’ – location, location, location.

It is literally two minutes from Notre Dame and there are shops, restaurants and metro stops close by.

Screen Shot 2012-12-12 at 3.56.24 PM

_MG_9635

It has everything you could possibly want – a fully equipped kitchen, washing machine and dryer, CD player, high speed internet access, flatscreen TV with cable and lots of other personal touches.

_MG_9926

There is a separate bathroom with a large shower for two!

_MG_9931

It also has a very interesting bed :) I’ve never seen one of these before and it was fantastic…so comfortable to sleep on and in the morning you just press the button on the remote and voila – it folds up into the wall!

_MG_9928

_MG_9930

But the view, oh the view…we spent so many hours just looking out the window admiring this beautiful city.

_MG_9632

_MG_9927

We loved being in the apartment. It was very obvious that it had been decorated with a ‘womans touch’. Marie-Christine has provided lots of travel books about Paris, Parisian music CD’s, a guest book and her laptop (seriously.) She was very warm and helpful and was always available with any information we wanted about the apartment, local places to eat, or anything else for that matter.

Late one afternoon we bought a lock and had our own ceremony across the road from the apartment. We attached the lock to the gate and threw the key into the Seine. It was very romantic.We also bought some cheese and wine from the Fromagerie on the Isle St. Louis and headed back to the apartment for a romantic picnic at the little table by the window. We played Parisian cafe style music and sat together, feeling so Parisian in what we now call ‘our Paris home.’ We watched the lovers across on the point of Isle St. Louis and later snuggled up and listened to the pouring rain outside…..

_MG_9650

_MG_9566

_MG_9918

_MG_9644

Paris is so enchanting on its own…staying in this beautiful apartment really enriched our experience of this amazing city…

We will definitely be back…..

If you would like to know any more about renting this apartment, please contact the owners here.

Hotel La Darsena – Lake Como, Italy…Fantastico!!

We were greeted by a very good looking Italian man…hmmm….

“Welcome to Hotel La Darsena” he said.

This was the start of an extraordinary week on the shores on beautiful Lake Como, Italy.

I had picked ‘Hotel La Darsena’ in Tremezzo off the internet as it was the only hotel on Lake Como situated over the lake with a balcony so we could admire an uninterrupted view. :)

Hotel La Darsena is a 9 room boutique hotel that is a family owned and run business.

Tiziano and Ezio run this business along with their wives Mirina and Mariangela with a friendly, personal touch and a strong sense of Italian pride.

Our check in was swift and efficient and our rooms were fantastic!

On the website I had seen two rooms at either end of the hotel that had two balconies {one at the front and another bigger verandah at the side} so I had specifically asked for them when booking.

Wow, was all I could say when I opened the door to our room.

Tastefully decorated in modern Italian style, this spacious room had a king size bed, lots of cupboard space, a large recently renewed modern bathroom with a spa, and of course the beautiful balconies to enjoy the view.

Breakfast was included in the tarrif. Each morning downstairs in the restaurant, a huge array of Italian delicacies were laid out in buffet style. We enjoyed Italian cheeses, fruit salad, prosciutto, ham, eggs, yoghurt and cereals with coffee that was to die for!!

The restaurant is also open for dinner each night. It stands alone as one of the best restaurants on Lake Como. The food was superb and each time we were given a table overlooking the lake. The view was only topped by the originality and the quality of the food. Marcello the chef and his team provided great service and all the meals were reasonably priced.

Hotel La Darsena is situated on the western side of Lake Como. There is a ferry stop and bus stop 2 minutes up the road, car parking is provided for guests and there is an array of other fantastic restaurants within 5 minutes walk from the hotel. I would highly recommend it as a great base to explore Lake Como and all it has to offer. Tremezzo has a real ‘village’ feel and is a lot quieter and less ‘touristy’ than Bellagio.

Maria and all the front desk staff are locals and know the area really well. Nothing was ever a problem, each morning we were quickly and efficiently provided with all the information we needed for our days adventure.

Each evening we would have drinks on our balcony and stare in wonder at the magic of the lake and the magnificent mountains that surround it.

The lake certainly weaved its magic on us…but the hospitality, warmth and standard of service at Hotel La Darsena made our stay there unforgettable.

If you’re planning to visit Lake Como, and want a great place to stay, visit www.hotelladarsena.it for more information.

Don’t forget to click on the photos to enlarge them.

Please feel free to contact me in the comments section below or on Facebook , twitter  or pinterest.