Paradise at W Punta De Mita

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After what was an amazing and relaxing few days in Mexico, it’s time to recap our stay at the luxurious W Punta De Mita in Nayarit, MX!

We flew into Puerto Vallarta and snagged a rental car through Avis which turned about to be quite the smooth process. I’m always scared/skeptical of renting cars internationally but the two times I’ve done it it’s been easy and safe! W Punta De Mita is about 25-45 mins away depending on traffic, but the drive was straightforward from the airport and boy, the route was pretty scenic 😊

The Property:

Encompassing all the jungle getaway vibes, the resort is definitely for those looking for a tropical escape. The main property is located 1 mile in from where it’s entrance in so you can expect a secluded and exclusive area and beach. We got to the hotel and was immediately welcomed with a golf cart to the lobby where we also enjoyed refreshing hibiscus tea! IT WAS SO GOOD, I’m going to try and make it at home! Beyond the lobby, you get access to the lobby bar, two restaurants, beach bars and the main pool! The left side of the property has small bonfire pits of cute chairs for late night chilling as well as the cutest tiki bar set up right on the beach! The right side is the main pool area, the pool was my favorite part! It was so chic and surrounded by a bunch of cabanas and swinging chairs. Beyond the pool, you have access to private cabanas which were equipped with TVs and there were several hammocks tied to the palm trees right on the beach! So naturally, you know what we tackled once we were settled into our room. We spent the rest of the day and a majority of Saturday at the resort because of all this! Saturday, for you party people, the W has a live DJ set up by the pool and a Veuve Cliquot champagne bar! Bottoms up baby!

Exploration & Daytime Activities:

Punta de Mita is located between Puerto Vallarta and SAyulita. SAyulita is a cute beach town located about 25 minutes away from Punta De Mita. We drove over Saturday morning to explore the town and have lunch. Sayulita has a lot of character. From the colorful walls and beautiful architecture to the cobblestone roads and golf cart rentals driving around, this town is the perfect daytime excursion to check out while visiting. Be prepared for the heat/humidity though. I love humidity (hello, why do you think I live in Houston and not the Midwest anymore?) but this was a bit aggressive so DRESS LIGHT! As light as possible! Find a parking lot because you’ll realize quickly its easier to be on foot and take cash. We grabbed a few coronas at a street side bar and it was the cutest thing! If I wasn’t drenched in sweat, I would’ve taken a few more pics 😊

The Room:

We were upgraded to a suite, which I highly recommend booking! It had a mini villa set up, with an ocean view, private porch and patio with a day bed. A perfect space for friends or couples or a family of 3 (including toddlers). The daybed was perfect for mornings or late afternoons if you wanted to nap outside in peace and quiet! The bathroom was one of the best parts – they have tubs that overlook the view of the resort and the ocean 😊 I was in heaven cause y’all know I love myself a nice bathtub/powerful shower! During our entire stay, the housekeeping ladies took great care of our room – we were pretty surprised to come back to our clothes laid out as well as our beauty essentials! It doesn’t happen that often!

Wave:

I knew if I was going to the west coast of Mexico, I HAD to surf! I signed up through the hotel itself for a session with a WAVE instructor for 1 hour (Ricardo and I were having so much fun catching waves our session lasted a bit longer! So awesome) Wave offers standup paddle boarding and surfing. I think it’s better to surf in the morning but up to you on when you plan to schedule your lesson. The afternoon before 3pm is a bit too hot and that salty ocean can really drain you of energy! I signed up for the 3pm slot and it was pleasant outside. Depending on how crazy the waves are, I recommend surfing at the beach because the beach was very clean and the water was crystal clear!  Anytime I crashed, I wasn’t worried about getting stuck in anything. For people who have surfed before, you know how annoying that can get when you’re not in a wet suit. Ricardo was a great teacher and was patient enough to teach me how to balance myself out in the water and I successfully learned a few tricks as well. If anyone knows of any Johnny Tsunami sequel auditions, holler at yo girl!

Away Spa:

OH MY GOSH. I HAVE SO MANY FEELS ABOUT THIS SPA! Okay so. For those of you who keep up with me on the gram, you knowwww I’m a spa junkie. Massage? Facial? Private pool? Sauna? Steam? Baby you name it and I’m game. When I found out the W had a spa, I immediately looked up their services and saw a large variety of options. There’s something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a body detox, full body massage, facial, pedi/mani etc, the away spa is the perfect addition to your trip. Located towards the back of the property, the secluded area gives the spa quite the jungle escape vibe. Sayra and I signed up for a full body massage – I went for the deep tissue and she went for the local – both with agave butter. I literally fell asleep like 5 mins into this massage and woke up a whole different person. My female masseuse did WORK on my body, pulling every muscle like never before. Pretty sure she could tell I was long over due for a deep tissue massage. Once we were done with that, we went to the pool area and took a dip into the different pools they had for an hour or so. There’s one long one, 1 mini hot tub and a ice cold pool. I would suggest doing the cold shock pool post massage, it really wakes up your body/nerves. 2 seconds in the cold pool then hop back into the hot. Repeat this 2-3 times depending on how your body takes it! We then finished up with a quick steam before showering and heading back to our hotel room. Its been about 5 days and I’m still like “ugh take me back to the away spa”

Food:

Breakfast Buffet:

Um, can I just say…they had an array of juices. Tamales. Pastries. Pancakes. Bacon. French toast. Mexican breakfast food. And fresh fruit. That’s not even all of it. You’re not gonna go wrong with this all you can eat breakfast buffet. End of story :P

Spice Market:

On the first day, we wrapped up a long day of traveling and sun bathing by the pool with a nice dinner at the Spice Market, which is the W’s Asian fusion restaurant. They had a few Indian/Thai/Chinese dishes with a Mexican twist. Someone had previously recommended this to me so I had to see if it lived up to the hype and it had! We got a few different appetizers, the samosas were pretty legit and the spicy noodles were good but I was so stuffed by the end of this meal!

Overall, W Punta De Mita is a fabulous getaway for couples, friends and family! There's something for everyone looking to enjoy a nice beach vacation. From the food to the hospitality, from the pools to the views and from the surf to the spa, this property is a place for anyone ready to indulge in luxury and relaxation. Can't wait to visit again!

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The Best Week of My Life in Croatia

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So I am FINALLY sharing my adventure from Croatia. I know, this is long overdue but I've had so many questions about this country that it was time to sit my butt down and write this out. 

Croatia is by far one of my most favorite countries I have visited as well as my first Eastern European country I had traveled to. From Dubrovnik to Hvar and everywhere in between, each town had something different to bring to the table. I would go back every summer if I could! 

1. Dubrovnik - I traveled to Dubrovnik on my own, before meeting up with the girls for Yacht Week! It was a game time decision 1-2 days before my flight to plan this all out. I booked my hotel through Orbitz.com, Hotel Lapad was the name. This hotel was a cute boutique hotel right on the water and a bit of a walk from Old Town. It was beautiful to explore overall. I remember walking through the streets of Dubrovnik and just being in awe of the architecture as well as the cute little shops. In the mornings, I highly recommend running on the sidewalks along the water! You will not be disappointed. Old Town Dubrovnik can be easily tackled in the morning. If you're there during summer, try to beat the crowds because it does get very hot! It's easy to get tickets to walk above the fort. There are a few restaurant options that overlook the sea (Nautika/360) but my favorite was Restaurant Panorama. Be sure to make a reservation beforehand!! If you're a game of Thrones fan then this city is a treat for you! I honestly felt weird telling people I didn't watch game of thrones, they had so many tours around the city taking you to some of the locations where the show is shot! You can see "King's landing" in Dubrovnik per my understanding!

2. Split/ - Split was the second stop before Yacht Week took off! I took the bus to split which took about 3-4 hours if I remember correctly! Easy peasy! We got an air bnb to explore Split before heading over to our boat in Trogir. Both are small towns! Split, a town on Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast, is known for its beaches and the fortress-like complex at its center, Diocletian's Palace, erected by the Roman emperor in the 4th century! I loved Diocletian's Palace! There are a few outdoor spots to check out for views and architecture - Marjan Park, Cathedral of Saint Domnius, and the port of split where you can see all the beautiful yachts and boats docked throughout the summer! We went out at night to club vanilla but I'll just tell you now...that's all I remember. 

3. Trogir - Trogir was a cool little town that's also on the water. With a large marina and a few dining spots, we were able to explore the city during the day. There is a city museum as well as a cathedral with very old architecture. A lot of the town is commercialized so you'll find great food options and shopping spots throughout town! (I'm seriously so obsessed with Croatian/Eastern European architecture) At night, we checked out a local bar along the water. This was the beginning of some very long nights! 

4. Vis - Vis was such a fun island! It was our first official stop on the Yacht Week schedule. We spent the day driving around on Moped's and exploring the town. Stopped along the way for lunch along the water and enjoyed some FABULOUS gelato! There are a few cute beaches on the island to check out: Stinivia, Bisevo, and Stoncica! At night, Yacht Week had planned a fun tropical party at Fort George which was so beautiful at sunset! Seriously IG inspo galore! The food was great and they handed out blankets when it got chilly! Such a fun time!

5. Hvar - OH MY GOSH HVARRRRRRRRR. Okay straight up, the top city on my list of places to check out when in Europe. It's definitely a bit more bougie and party oriented than the rest of croatia but I am not mad about it!  Ferries connect the town with the several Pakleni Islands just offshore, which is where we were docked if I remember correctly. These are home to secluded beaches, such as those around Ždrilca Bay, as well as rocky coves and pine forests. I spent the morning exploring Hvar. I walked through town, enjoyed some caprese, trekked up to the fort all the way at the top of the city! It's cool because you essentially walk up through the small elevated alleyways of the city to get to the Fort. I made a lot of stops along the way to check out boutiques and unique corners :) Hula Hula Beach in Hvar and Stipanska Beach on Marinkovac Island are known for their nightlife and lively bars as well as Carpe Diem! Carpe Diem has its own island that you can take a small ferry to and party on the whole night. IT WAS LIT. SO MUCH FUN! Just make sure you leave the bar before 4am...don't pull a nicole and try to leave at 4:30-4:45, you'll have to end up running in heels to the boat and along the marina of Hvar like a fool. 

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Eat Pray & Love Bali

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Where do I even begin with Bali?! It was adventurous and magical at the same time. From the temples, to the forests and waterfalls to the Indonesian traditions and winding single lane roads, this island was something I had never seen before. Being Hindu, going to another country that practiced the same religion as India was definitely interesting! It was cool to see how they’ve adopted the Hindu ways and culture and made them their own! I definitely recommend Bali to those who are looking to explore a different side of Southeast Asia, one that is full of green, zen and YUMMY MANGOES! Haha. 

Here are some hot spot and suggestions when planning out your trip!  

Where to stay:

We got a private villa (Villa Elleo) in Seminyak! It was the perfect accommodation for 5 girls as we got our own bathrooms and even had a private staff and pool! They were kind enough to make breakfast for us in the morning and the stay was WONDERFUL! So clean, serene and luxurious. Seminyak is a good neighborhood to stay in as all the big restaurants and shops are within walking or driving distance! It’s also central in terms of driving to the tourist spots! Ubud was near by which is where there is a lot of sightseeing to do!

Where to Eat: 

1. La Laguna- I would recommend going here before sunset!  

2. La Plancha- looking for some beach vibes and fruity drinks? This is your spot! 

3. Bistrot- this restaurant is perfect for a chic night if you’re looking for some good bites that are familiar to your tummy! There’s something for everyone on the menu and their dessert is bomb! (I got the filet mignon and it did not disappoint!)  

4. Batik - We went here for our Friendsgiving dinner and got to enjoy some bougie vibes, craft cocktails and solid Indonesian specialties! I would add this to your itinerary for sure!

5. Potato Head Beach Club - If you’re looking for a day to relax on the beach in a Miami-esque beach club...THIS IS YOUR JAM! I loved Potato Head, they have seating all over as well as a pool bar! Make sure you make an early reservation for day beds, it’s first come first serve! The restaurant was easy to get seated at! We all got pizza and wine ...haha talk about basic but they nailed it!

6. Rock Bar - near Uluwatu Temple, also great for sunset views! 

What to See:  

We hired a driver for USD 50 dollars/day to drive us around in an SUV! Expect 40-80 minute commute time depending on location and traffic! The best way to put this itinerary together is to group your desired locations by area! Your driver/hotel staff can help you out with this! We were out from 9am till 6-7pm and saw 2-4 locations a day depending on travel time and weather (we went during monsoon season!)

Uluwatu Temple

Tanah Lot Temple

Tirta Gangga Temple

Sekumpul Waterfall  

Tegalallang Rice Fields

Bali Pulina Coffee Plantation  

Tirta Empul Holywater Temple

Pura Saraswati Temple

Zen Hideaway - Private Canopy Swing! (Make reservations thru Air BNB 1 month in advance. Dependent on occupancy of home) 

Handara Resort: Cloud Gates pt 2! The mountains were closed off due to the erupting volcano so we stopped at this place on our way to Sekumpul for the gram!

Hope this travel guide helps! Comment below if you have any questions or DM me on IG/email! 

IG: @NicoleMehta

Email: theeperfectensemble@gmail.com

Cerveza Por Favor, Mexico!

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Well, I must say - no matter how many times I've been to Cancun (3rd time thus far), it never gets old! Be it a family trip, spring beak or a mini girls weekend getaway, I fall more and more in love with what Cancun has to offer. From the white sand and very blue waters to the Mayan ruins and endless Guacamole, life is bueno down there. The people there are so hardworking and friendly, it makes the experience even more wonderful! Even though we were there for a short time, we managed to do a good amount of things to make the most of it! 

Chichen Itza Day Trip: We signed up through the hotel travel agents located onsite for our Chichen Itza tour. Depending on who you're going through, you can sign up for the basic tour or the deluxe. The deluxe tour includes an on-board breakfast,  a panoramic tour of traditional Yucatán town, Valladolid and a lunch buffet before arriving at Chichen Itza.  The tour guide walked us around the monument sharing very notable information along the way. You also get a chance to visit prominent features like El Castillo and the Temple of Warriors. After a long day of being in the heat we got to plung into the cool waters of a local Cenote (DOPE). It was 150 foot sinkhole!

Night Life: Cancun is a mini vegas in Mexico! They have so many fun clubs and restaurants, there is something there for everyone! Mandala, Senor Frogs, Palazzo are all great places to check out. My favorite is CoCo Bongo! I had to take my girlfriends to CoCo Bongo, which is one of the largest night clubs in Latin America and number 1 in Cancun. Cirque Du Soleil ish meets Vegas vibes night club (+ open bar) is probably the best way to put it. Beyond that, it was too lit for words. A definite must see if you're into dancing the night away like me!

Hotel Stay: I think the best way to go for a resort trip is all inclusive. Everything is taken care of and you get the most bang for your buck! We stayed at the RIU Palace Las Americas. It was adults only so booze was flowing left and right, as expected of course. They had several restaurants with different cuisines and the buffet was bomb. The Junior Suite had a beautiful view and was very spacious. Good for 2-4 people depending on your group. They had liquor on draft, so you know they're not playing around! RIU is definitely in my top 5 hotel franchises! 

Cannes You Even?

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Cannes was nothing less of spectacular and gave off a very "Miami/South Beach" vibe. Promenade de la Croisette was lined up with a lot of designer boutiques,  cute restaurants, little stalls - it was so fun to walk down! I highly recommend Cannes for a nice getaway, I definitely want to come back. Here are a few places to check out:

We stayed at the JW Marriott and I loved their rooftop - you get a whole view of the strip and the ocean! They were very very accommodating and friendly. I highly recommend their grill for the breakfast/brunch option as you get a solid view of the water and an array of food options.  They also have a rooftop bar where their cheesecake is bomb.com :) 

Baoli Beach for day drinking and lounging - it's right across from the JW Marriott. I did some research before hand on a few different beach bars and this was by far the bougiest, in a good way. You can eat there and reserve a lounge chair but you have to do it well in advance.  There were some girls who got pissed when their reservation got messed up, it wasn't a good sight.

Rue du Commendant Andre had a number of bars and restaurants to eat at during the day and it got pretty lit at night. Rue Florian was blocked off with high tops and tables for partygoers. We had dinner at Pastis which was an italian place that had a variety of options for meat lovers and vegetarians combined!

Rue D'Antibes is a street filled with shops that suit my wardrobe more (Aka Zara, Mango etc) there was also a Laduree as well! NOM NOM MACARONS. Unfortunately for me, I stuck to window shopping and ate gelato every chance I could get. It's tough when you try to travel light and all these stores have sales. woof.

If you go down La Croissette, you'll eventually see the The Palais des Festivals et des Congrès which is a convention center in Cannes, France, the venue for the Cannes Film Festival. They also have a fort further down the street if you're looking to get some exercise and a higher view.

 

 

 

 

Amore Mio

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VENEZIAAAAAAAAA lived up to the hype. I'm so glad we decided to go there!! My Grandmother and Mumma were big fans of the Gondola ride, so much so I was scared my Grandma was gonna start singing herself! We stayed at Hotel Rialto (adorable place)  which is right off the water and the famous bridge, Ponte Di Rialto. We were pretty happy with the location because it was walking distance to the San Marco Basilica and the Portrait of the Four Tetrarchs. Between our hotel and the tourist spots, we hit a lot of cute/mini boutiques and restaurants. We also walked along the water to pay a visit to the Santa Maria Della Salute Basilica which was fantastic! Exploring Venice requires a lot of walking around different streets so be prepared for that! 

A few highlights to check out besides the tourist go-to's:

Gritti Palace Patio/Deck: It's right on the water and you get to enjoy a lovely view of the Basilica across the canal. The menu has a selection of fruity drinks to choose from on a hot day!

Palace Gardens: This venue is kind of hidden but we discovered it when we passed by (My mom likes to explore/take pictures, now I know where I get that from) 

Porte di Rialto at SUNRISE: So whenever I'm excited to be somewhere, I tend to wake up every early which usually results in me either going to the pool, going for a run or checking out a new spot. I woke up early and decided to go to the bridge in the AM, lucky for me no one was there to get in the way so I got a few legit shots and enjoyed the sunrise. The city is so beautiful in the morning when it's quiet and calm. 

 

Mischief Managed!

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Touch down London Town! We started and ended our trip in London and it was such a grand time! There was so much to see and so much history to relearn! Here are a few things we did: 

Big Bus City Tour: Definitely do this if you like to hop on and hop off and explore on your own. We were able to hit 10+ landmarks just in one day thanks to the bus tours! 

221B Baker Street: Sherlock. 

Sushi Samba has a great view (I'm all about those roof top bars)! 

The food was amazing too! Naturally, we had to check out the brown scene and treated myself to a few kingfishers ;)  I met up with a few cofriends in the city and ventured out to the Dalston Yard Street Fest which is this really cool street food venue and everything was on point. I was very impressed with the brisket and tacos :)

Yallah Habibi #MyDubai

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Dubai has always been on my list of places to travel to and for 2015, I definitely wanted to do New Years Eve big so naturally I decided to pair the two! Dubai is such an incredible city, it's literally a city made from the sand. The city is known for its great architecture, luxurious living (and spending) and the neo-Arabian culture it has to offer. We surprisingly accomplished so much in the 5 days that we were there. Here are some highlights from our itinerary:

- Burj Al Arab: 7 star hotel (guess 5 wasn't enough?). we only checked it out from the outside because only guests are allowed past the gate as per my understanding. But it's still pretty cool, I love the design. If you want cool pics though, I would suggest going to the beach near by and taking pictures with the side profile of the building.

- Dubai Mall: LITERALLY THE MOST BEAUTIFUL MALL EVER. 

- Atlantis/Nasimi Beach: Good food, food vibes and we drank out of a watermelon. So fun. 

- Dune Bashing in the Desert: this was definitely a favorite. We had quite the bumpy ride going up and down the dunes. We also attempted sand boarding but it wasn't as rad as I thought it would be. Note to friends: stick to snowboarding..

- Cavalli Club: the dance floor is a runway and the bathroom looks like a BTS Makeup room. Enough said.

- Eden Beach Club for NYE: too hype for words. But also go to the day pool parties- they have those blown up Swans floating around! 

- Burj Khalifa: Do I need to elaborate? 

- Marina Walk/JBR: The more residential/yet bumpin town of Dubai filled with high rises, a beach boardwalk of sorts and lots of restaurants!