A QUICK GUIDE TO JAIPUR

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If you follow me on instagram then you’ll have seen that last month we managed to escape the end of the Dubai summer with a trip to Jaipur, India. It was my first time in India and I fell in love. I’d heard such mixed things about this country and to be honest I was just incredibly excited to see if for myself.

I don’t know about you but after months in Dubai, I crave the crazy, the messy, the colour, the smells of a new place. Well India delivered all that and more. Elephants parading down the streets, cows laying where they see fit, trucks painted in the most colourful artworks, spices in the air, not so nice smells in the air, streets alive with people and so many colours that I thought my eyes might explode.

STAY

We stayed just outside the hustle and bustle of Jaipur in the Tree of Life. It was a great choice as we had all the peace and quiet of the Indian countryside and yet were a mere 25 minute drive into the city.

The food was delicious and the rooms were practically palatial in size. Heavenly quiet, this is the place to stay if you’re after some serious chillaxing time.

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STAYCATION AT THE WALDORF RAK

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A few weekends ago, myself and the hub (his new favourite name for himself) were treated to a staycation in style at the Waldorf Astoria in Ras al Khaimah. Leaving the bright lights of Dubai behind for the weekend is such a luxury and almost necessary from time to time. Laptop off, bikini on and book out is my priority. Most of us are lucky enough to be able to theoretically do this at home, however, if you’re anything like me then it never actually happens.

So, bag packed and less than an hour and a half later, we arrive at this majestic hotel in RAK.

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SNAPSHOT OF VIETNAM

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I loved Vietnam and would recommend a trip there in a heartbeat which is why I thought a post dedicated to our trip might be helpful.

On a tight itinerary, we booked everything in advance including all of our trips by train. There is an amazing site which details everything about the Vietnamese train-line called Seat 61 and it was a godsend. We booked tickets via Vietnam Impressive who dropped them off to our hotel a few days before we arrived and were brilliant to deal with over email.

SAIGON {HO CHI MINH CITY}

Let me start off by saying that I loved Saigon. I had that ‘I could live here’ feeling which was totally unexpected and a wonderful surprise.

As we punctured our trip either end with Saigon we decided to try two hotels in different areas. The first was The Alcove Hotel which was about 10 minutes from the airport and close to District 1. Along a quiet road but a short walk to the hustle and bustle, this hotel proved to be perfect for anyone who is there to explore the city and just needs a place to put their head down at night. The rooms were clean, comfortable and best of all it was ‘happy dance’ cheap (my favourite kind of cheap). Evening meals were very happily spent at street side restaurants with copious amounts of delicious Vietnamese food and a local beer.

The second hotel at the end of the trip was Villa Song Hotel which is located on the river in the heart of the expat district and was a luxurious way to end the holiday. Exploring the city can be done easily by boat but we opted for a relaxing day at their gorgeous pool instead before flying home.

Some recommendations for the day:

– Au Parc, a lovely restaurant/cafe with quirky interiors, a veranda to watch the world go by and walking distance from the Notre-Dame Basilica and Post Office

– L’usine, an expat haven and concept cafe which sells clothing from Saigon’s up and coming designers and is full of unique gift ideas. Vibrant and modern, the menu is mainly western and as it was our first day in Vietnam we opted to find a more local lunch but the sheer number of people sat down to eat would indicate that it’s as yummy as it looks!

War Remnants Museum, stark and sometimes harrowing but hugely interesting

– Ben Thanh Market, vibrant and chaotic market which sells an array of food, jewellery, clothing and just about everything inbetween. My favourite part was the antique market which is located over the huge and rather scary to cross roundabout. Saigon is renowned for it’s crazy traffic, my advice, observe and follow the locals and all will be well….!

– The Deck, a chic restaurant right on the bank of the river. Arriving by boat will make you feel like a superstar. Cocktails, wine and a delicious array of contemporary pan-Asian fusion cuisine makes this place an absolute must visit.

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AN LAM NINH VAN BAY | VIETNAM

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An Lam Ninh Van Bay is one of those places that will blow you away the minute you step foot off the jetty. You see, to reach this secluded resort you have to take a boat. Personally, I do not think that there is a better way to arrive at a hotel. The boutique and luxurious nature of this hotel makes you feel even more exquisite when you are warmly greeted at the pier by the General Manager and introduced to your butler (that’s a word I don’t type every day) who was on hand to help with anything we needed throughout our stay.

A 20 minute drive along the coast from the bustling town of Nha Trang and nestled amongst small fishing villages you truly feel a million miles away from anywhere.

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VILLA BENTOTA | SRI LANKA

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Today is the start of a new section of the blog ‘Take a Break’ where we change the wedding tune, just once in a while. Even in the very depths of your wedding planning I think it’s important, actually make that crucial, to consider the non-wedding side of life. Helps with the Bridezilla phenomenon.

So we’re starting in Sri Lanka. A country I was quite literally bowled over by. Villa Bentota was our 5th hotel on our 2 week trip in Sri Lanka and the one that I lost myself in completely ~ I think arriving as a freshly engaged and very happy lady did also help with my bliss levels. The food was divine ~ some of my best curries of all time were devoured in this place and the staff were lovely. 

Owned by the same company who run Paradise Road in Colombo it is not only in the most breathtaking location but full to the brim of completely gorgeous home décor. After three nights here I quite literally had a long list of items to buy in Paradise Road {although with baggage requirements there is still a lot I left behind in that gorgeous shop}.Continue Reading …