Luxe Accommodations: Amazing Grace in Turks & Caicos...

This is the type of property I don't just want to visit, I want to own it. I want to revel in the joys of having it as my own. Isn't she gorgeous? The Villa, aptly named Amazing Grace is absolutely stunning. While there are no shortage of properties to stay at along the shores of Grace Bay, most of them swing either ultra-mod or traditional tropical in design. Frankly I love those styles when I'm vacationing. It is a nice contrast to my daily living space and a feast for the eyes. But when I spotted this villa listed as a rental, my jaw fell open. This one is absolutely a stunner and falls into the "Pack your bags, we're leaving now" category. Love at first sight. 

Still reeling from the inspiration, I couldn't wait to share the gallery images with you. Hellooooo, tropical haven I'd never want to leave. New life goal... own this property or one of the same caliber and enjoy it whenever it isn't being rented out to fellow wanderlusters like myself. #lifegoals

I have a friend headed to Turks & Caicos, where this beauty resides, and I'm helping her plan her wardrobe for the stay. Care to pack your virtual bags with me as we tour this ultra-plush pad? Let's do it...

WHAT TO WEAR: AMAZING GRACE IN TURKS & CAICOS


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Luxe Accommodations: Effortless Luxury on Laguna Beach...

I'm an OC girl at heart. Can't help it. Always will be. I'm not from there but if I could choose anywhere in the US to live, this paradise on earth is surely my jam. Until the movers arrive (and my west coast dreams come true) the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort is a sweet cure for my California cravings. It's got everything a summer-loving girl wants: beach yoga, a stunning pool area, beautiful balconies and opulent elegance inside. There's a reason those SoCal brides flock to this property: it is picturesque and perfectly captures the romance of Mediterranean architecture against a backdrop of a blissful beach and craggy cliffs. 

So... what should we wear on our virtual vacation there today? Let's pack our make-believe bags and jet off to Laguna Beach, girls! 

PACK YOUR BAGS




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Luxe Accommodations: An Elegant Seaside Villa in Sunny La Jolla...

This is one of those properties I'd rather own than enjoy for a week. Wouldn't you? A stunning villa that overlooks the silk sands of La Jolla beach, decked out in all its Mediterranean opulence. Seriously, people. This is what happiness looks like.

Imagine opening your bedroom doors in the morning to take a dip in the lagoon-style pool after enjoying the requisite outdoor shower. This, dear friends, is what a luxe rental is all about. Everything you could possibly wish for has been provided, and you are mere feet from places to dine, go paddle boarding or merely digging your toes in the sand while you watch those towering palms sway overhead. Heaven on earth, seriously.  

You and your nine favorite people can book this sweet pad at Luxury Rentals. Looking for a two bedroom? This light, airy rental is just a few feet away (and half the price) with a gorgeous white kitchen and enviable views of those crashing waves. I'll be waiting for your text invite, by the way, because it looks like absolute perfection. 

WHAT TO PACK




Luxe Accommodations: Arabian Nights at La Mamounia, Marrakesh...

These days when I think of "getting away" I'm most certainly focused on going far, far, far away. Perhaps it's too much of the familiar or too many long summer days. My soul is craving exotic locales and strange lands. 

Yesterday's interview with Alexandra Foster stirred up thoughts of Morocco and the infamous La Mamounia hotel in Marrakech. If ever a property called for jeweled sandals, flowing dresses and darker eyeliner, this surely is the one.

Most only dream of experiencing Arabian nights, but I cannot wait to experience the intoxicating grounds myself. From the moment you are greeted at the handcarved doors to the second you slip into the cobalt tiled pool, La Mamounia beckons with exotic charms and mysterious seduction.

Discover more of what awaits at La Mamounia and surrounding Morocco so you can plan your next far flung getaway. Wondering what to wear? I've got your bags packed. Happy traveling! 

Luxe Accommodations: Turkish Delight...

Enjoy old world glamour along the Bosphorous at this spectacular hotel in Istanbul. Ciragan Palance Kempinski is every bit as spectacular as you dream a palatial hotel would be. Envision if you will an infinity pool overlooking the waters, authentic cuisine, authentic hammam baths and incredibly opulent beds. A true Turkish delight. See more at Kiwi Collection...

Luxe Accommodations: Ralph Lauren's Carribean Dream...

While you might not immediately pair Ralph Lauren and Jamaica in your mind, Round Hill is out to prove the pairing is a match made in design heaven. Crisp linens, four poster beds, attention to detail and undeniably soothing interiors prove that the signature RL look is certainly at home in the Caribbean.

When you're not swinging in the hammock under the shade of a swaying palm, try out a bit of snorkeling or kayaking. But... who are we kidding? You'll be enjoying your private pool and the incredible chef-prepared cuisine between long siestas in those dreamy white luxury sheets as the ocean breeze blows in through the sheers. And that's precisely what Ralph hopes you do in this decadent island paradise. 

Luxe Accommodations: Tropical Luxe on Vietnam's South Coast

Isn't this positively dreamy? If Phu Quoc, Vietnam was not on your list of magnificent vacation destinations, it will be now. Between the towering palms lining the sandy shores and the luxurious resort that is the JW Marriott Emerald Bay designed by famed architect Bill Bensley, this is a 5-star slice of tropical heaven on earth.

If Bensley is new to you, he's part disruptor, part natural conservationist and pure genius. Known for designing incredibly opulent properties in the midst of glorious natural surroundings, his team embraces the glory beauty of the environment. Designing everything to look like it's always been there and was meant to exist in that space. Like George Clooney, his unique properties continue looking better with age and somehow never feel outdated. If you need more proof of his awesomeness (and edgy sense of humor) I highly suggest his Instagram account.

But back to this particular resort... Tucked away on Vietnam's south coast, this exclusive seaside property offers 244 opulent rooms & suites boasting unrivaled views of the pristine Phu Quoc beach. Discovered via Gypsee Travel, (as these epic spots so often are!) this is easily one of the most selfie-worthy properties I've seen in a while. Pro tip: add a drone to your travel must-have's as you'll want aerial shots of yourself in the magnificent landscape.

As this has now been added to my "must do" list, here's what I'd pack if I were leaving for Phu Quoc today (in addition to a hardworking UV sunscreen mist)...

Luxe Accommodations: Texas Hill Country Chic...

Family vacations, done right, guarantee parents and children will both create beautiful memories to cherish for years to come. Yet rarely does a luxury trip with little ones also allow couples to enjoy romance or time to truly unwind and enjoy the destination.

JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts has set out to change that usual getaway experience. They've partnered with Little Passports to offer an exclusive program for resort guests this summer. Built around the Little Passport program and customized to the Marriott resorts in the Texas Hill Country, this program gives little ones a rich and exciting evening of fun every night of the week, allowing parents to truly enjoy a date night. Yes... date night.

Not familiar with Little Passports? I'm happy to say we were some of the first subscribers to this educational activity kit for kids. It's all about teaching kids about geography, history, culture, and language in a fun and memorable way.

To set the stage for that rarified date night, participating children have can enjoy nightly activities through the resort's Kid's Night Out program. They have the time of their lives in a safe summer camp style environment while you and your special someone enjoy dinner on the terrace overlooking their PGA Tour golf course. Or perhaps a night at the spa is more your speed. Rest assured, the Lantana Spa at this top hotel (repeatedly awarded "best of" status by Fodors and Travel + Leisure) can satisfy even the most jades spa-goers tastes. Did I mention that they even carry Trina Turk's activewear? Yes. I rest my case. ;) 

Why am I all up to speed on this amazing property? Summer is quickly passing and I need a getaway! We are staying at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa in a few weeks. I am so eager to arrive and enjoy the HIll Country.

As you know, I'm very particular about my trips and accommodations. I also find it increasingly challenging to find true time away from it all. But creating those summer memories and romantic bonds is a non-negotiable. Everyone needs that fun time away and everyone deserves a beautiful vacation experience. No question, this posh Hill Country escape will even meet Venti standards and exceed them.

If we're connected via instagram you're sure to see some snaps from the stay. Happy summer!

Luxe Accommodations: A Chic Boutique in Paris's Golden Triangle

A playfully chic Paris hotel between Avenue Montaigne and the Grand Palais for around $200USD per night? Some might say you are dreaming, I say you've stumbled upon the dreamy La Maison Champs Élysées

The opulence of Paris is all there: gilded staircases, marble floors and terrace dining. But La Maison has a bit more fun with the usual visit to the City of Light by featuring trompe-l'œil in lieu of authentic boiserie - just one of many cheeky elements in their classical-meets-avant-garde design.

Frankly, if you can get to Paris and score a room at this fabulous boutique hotel you'd be a fool not to do so. You'll have the option of an opulent suite (part of their Couture Collection) or a more contemporary (read: less pricey) Boutique Collection suites. All of these have been designed by fashion designer Martin Margiela. 

What to expect? Sophisticated details with a twist of irony. Luxe finishes juxtaposed with trendy details. It's the high-low mix of street style applied to an exquisite boutique hotel. Explore this lovely hotel here and enjoy your stay in the center of this magical city. 

Can't get away? I have some fun things for you below.. including wallpaper to give you the illusion of that coveted French paneling. Enjoy! 

PARIS INSPIRED DESIGN ELEMENTS


CHANNEL YOUR INNER FRENCH GIRL


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Luxe Accommodations: Set Adrift in an Opulent Seafaring Private Penthouse...

Imagine this: owning a roaming penthouse that docks in one fabulous port after another and has its own submarine and helicopter on board for your private use. Sorry, bucket list. You just got turned upside down by this new offering from Crystal Cruises.

I've blogged about The World before, so the idea of an upscale residence at sea is not innovative or new. What it noteworthy is that individuals have been warming to the idea of extended stays on ships whether or not the industry adapts to the idea. Picking up on this niche need (or perhaps pushing the envelope to create one), Crystal (and likely soon other cruise lines) decided to develop 48 penthouse suites across their entire fleet of ships. To keep the experience elite, homeowners will enjoy their own pool, their own restaurants and a wide array of posh amenities in keeping with the million dollar pricing. Celebrity chefs, submersible vehicles and sophisticated ports of call will be a part of the dazzling list of offerings dangled in order to lure would-be buyers. 

Ready to take the plunge and see the world from your private balcony? Me too. Sounds positively dreamy. And if the images above are accurate, we won't be the only ones eager to see the inside of these 4,000 square feet suites at sea. Details can be found here

Never heard of The World? Well, it's positively dreamy and has been on my radar for years. They can be credited with putting the idea of a residence on the ocean on our collective consciousness. The World is not your typical cruise ship. It exclusively houses owners of 165 individual residences and is touted as the worlds largest privately owned residential ship on earth. The happy few aboard enjoy exceptional voyages, learning opportunities and unrivaled cultural enrichment opportunities.

My husband and I share the goal of having access to one of these regal pads. Once we "get there" in our financial goals we'll sort out the details of how (and now that there are more options, perhaps even "where" becomes a question), but the idea of going to sleep in Seychelles and waking up in the Maldives sounds pretty sweet to me. What about you? Does sailing the world sound dreamy or torturous? What if you could board at your leisure and live on land most of the time? Wouldn't this be the coolest classroom in the world for a family with children? The possibilities are endless, really. I just completely adore the idea of private travel aboard a floating luxury resort. 

SHOP MY SHIP SHAPE FAVORITES



Luxe Accommodations: Thailand's Tranquil 137 Pillars House...

The idea of spending a few slow weeks in Southeast Asia is absolutely thrilling to me. Cambodia, Burma, Java, Bali... oh, it entices me like few places do. So far I can boast about no Asian travels as we've stayed largely on the European continent and surrounding areas. But when I think of epic journeys and unforgettable voyages, Thailand and the surrounding areas certainly come to mind. 

A quick tour of Kiwi Collection (which I ADORE for their unique rating system & huge photography) led me to 137 Pillars House, a tucked away retreat in Chang Mai. Stay long enough (or even for one magical night) and you'll forget it's a hotel at all. The suites feel like private estates hidden within tropical gardens. In addition to inspiring my approach to patio decorating this season (hello, wall of meandering greens!) it conjures up images a breezy dresses and slip on shoes over nothing more than a bathing suit. Now that's the kind of vacation wardrobe I can get behind.

CHANNEL YOUR INNER VACATION BABE 



Now... on to the idea of vacations. Where do you long to go? Where are you plotting to visit this year? What was your favorite trip. And how do you go about researching your accommodations? 

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Luxe Accommodations: Securing Some Alone Time In Sicily...

When someone asks you to fly to Sicily, you don't take long to say yes. Instead, you promptly thank them for their graciousness and begin plotting outfits and pulling out your TSA-friendly toiletries. In addition to checking another destination off my list, it is Italy - my happy place! I'll be traveling alone and I cannot think of a time in my life when I've been more excited about flying solo (literally & figuratively). Hectic schedule? Daily routine? Workout rut? Buh-bye! Armed with my camera, a few dresses and little more, I'm excited about making this a carry-on only trip. 

Where to stay? I'm looking at all options, but have stumbled upon what looks like paradise. Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo has hosted such lovely ladies as Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn. The hotel is nestled in a stunning hillside overlooking an ancient Greek theatre and oozes Sicilian charm. One look at that view & those suites and it's not difficult to see why. A wellness center, locally grown fruits, the essence of orange blossom drifting through the air - this is one vacation I'm really looking forward to. 

So... why am I going? It's a work trip, actually, for a fun new client. More on that later. And since this isn't exactly a business hotel I'll be trying to work out the accommodations on my own. BUT... since I am desperate DES-PER-ATE for some "me time" it would be worth the cost if Im footing the bill on my own. Did I mention there will be fresh flowers and fresh fruit in my room upon arrival? Major swoon. And can't you just see me on that balcony overlooking the water, dreaming up lovely ideas? I certainly can. And you can bet I'll be instagramming my little heart out. But I'm also very, very committed to a not checking my bags. It's a fast trip, so a carry-on sounds like sheer heaven. And that pool? I have got to squeeze in a quick dip in that lovely situation. Dreamy, indeed. 

Care to see what I'm hoping to stuff in a my bag? Let's look:

WHAT I'M PACKING





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Luxe Accommodations: Sweeping Vistas in the 'Bu

So let's just get this out of the way: I adore Bravo and the wanderlusting, lifestyle enabling, success celebrating nature of its Million Dollar & Real Housewives shows. This week I find I've been missing and longing for the Joshes (both Altman & Flagg) as well as the dreamy California properties they feature. 

This airbnb listing has me almost realizing my Malibu dreams with this stunning modern residence. This is surely a home Bravo's very own Malibu expert Madison Hildebrand would have personally been familiar with. Yours (or mine) for $900 per night, this glamorous architectural beauty boasts mountain and ocean views - and enough jaw dropping vistas indoors to make the nightly rate feel downright reasonable. What it lacks (pool... where are you???) it strives to make up for in high end appointings and Kelly-Wearstler-meets-Martyn-Lawrence-Bullard sexiness. Brass wrapped tufted velvet seating, anyone? Check. Sleek white kitchen? Check. Deep soaking tub with a view of the Pacific? Check! 

So come on, Bravo. Bring back my house lusting summer show. I do believe I do believe I'm experiencing withdrawal symptoms of the luxurious kind. 

Not on Airbnb? Sign up here

PACK YOUR BAGS


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Luxe Accommodations: Sir Richard Rocks the Kasbah...

Normally a resort that looks this isolated - no matter how luxe - and is no where near an ocean is not my cup of tea. However... Kasbah Tamadot is intriguing to say the least. Part of a very elite collection of Virgin Limited Edition resorts, this one offers a truly unique North African experience.

Imagine a hot air balloon ride over Marrakesh, a dip in your own private pool, 4x4'ing over the hilly terrain or being absolutely spoiled at the spa. In true Richard Branson form, this exclusive resort almost begs you to bring along your wild and crazy entourage for what is guaranteed to be a once in a lifetime experience. Party on, Marrakesh. Party on! 

Luxe Accommodations: Kid and Coe...

Travel with children is an entirely new experience. With one I felt limited. With two I feel determined. Nothing is going to stop my insatiable need to roam the earth. I will concede that it's far easier to convince the Mr. to hope on a flight to a domestic location. Even better if said location is a high end rental property where we can truly unwind and settle into a vacation frame of mind. Enter: Kid and Coe, family vacation rentals with you and your brood in mind. Homes and locations are vetted for their tot-friendly nature and proximity to things you (and your mini-you's) will love doing. 

Fear not... you won't find yourself in a home across town. These are incredible properties all over the globe. Think: Vienna, Laguna Beach (my personal favorite on the domestic front), the Greek Islands and beyond. This is VRBO and Airbnb for those of us with little ones in tow. 

Do you know what this means? No. More. Excuses. 

Luxe Accommodations: Tiara Yaktsa Côte d’Azur

Now that the Cannes film festival is over and life in the Côte d’Azur has returned to normal, travel to this coastal French region is desirable. Just moments away from the vibrant Saint Tropez & the famed film festival city lies an intimate retreat known as Tiara Yaktsa Côte d’Azur. The name says it all, don't you think? Tiara is a an opulent hotel experience for the discriminating client seeking a quiet (but indulgent) getaway. The luxury retreat is nestled in idyllic Théoule-sur-mer known as a quiet enclave of endless luxury. Yes, I think this will do quite nicely. 

From the looks of it, I don't expect it to be a bustling, busy destination. Frankly, I could use a bit of peace and quiet to restore my hard-charging soul. For some, a vacation means overbooked days and jam packed itineraries. I'll admit to being the ringleader on those whirlwind trips in the past. These days, however, I'm more interested in lounging by the sea (or, more accurately, in a cabana by a spectacular pool overlooking the sea) and pondering nothing more complex than which dish to eat for lunch. I'm seeking restoration, relaxation and reconnection on any upcoming trips.

Thus, what to pack for this crowning jewel on the coast of France is quite simple. Flowing goddess gowns, Pucci-esque coverups & embellished jumpsuits over my bathing suit, sparkling sandals, big sunglasses, perhaps a hat & pretty bracelets. That's it. I'll need gorgeous carryon to tote the goods and of course my entourage (meaning, my amazing husband & two sweet little girls) will need bags packed as well. But my emphasis here is always on elegant simplicity. Less can be more when those items you do take are spectacular.

Take a look at the Tiara Yaktsa Côte d’Azur and tell me if it doesn't inspire you to consider living La Dolce Vita as well. Even if only for a few nights.