Earlier this fall, I traveled to South East Asia and explored a handful of places including the beautiful country of Cambodia! While it’s slightly off the beaten path, and somewhat less visited than it’s neighboring country Thailand, it is a destination not to be missed!
History enthusiasts will no doubt fall in love with Cambodia because it is home to the Angkor complex, an archaeological site filled with temples dating back to the 9th century. You can spend hours and even days exploring the different sites and really tapping into your inner Tomb Raider!
Within the complex you will find more than 1,000 temples all of which are in various conditions. Some have been immaculately preserved and restored.
While others are crumbling or completely overgrown by trees.
Angkor Wat is the main temple within the complex and is one of the largest religious monuments ever constructed. It is truly stunning in both its grand scale and incredible detail. Wat, Bayon and Banteay Srei are two of the other very popular temples within the complex. Make sure to carve out enough time to visit all three!
When visiting Cambodia I would highly recommend making Amansara your home. Amansara is located in a tranquil suburb of the bustling city of Siem Reap.
It is set amongst beautiful gardens and was previously the guesthouse of King Sihanouk but in recent years it was completely restored and updated. Amansara’s location is ideal for visiting the Angkor complex as it located near the archaeological park.
Amansara offers unrivaled luxury, with twenty-four suites that have an open-plan living with finishes in terrazzo and timber.
All of the rooms have a very calming decor with light colors, private courtyards and state-of-the-art amenities.
Twelve of the suites also come with their own private pool.
When staying at Amansara you have private guides to take you to the temples. They know the best times to visit each place and how to best experience every location to have the least amount of crowds. We were the very first ones to the top of Angkor Wat which was such a highlight!
The resort has two swimming pools; an eighty-two foot lap pool and a twenty-five foot curved swimming pool with a sundeck. There is also a delightful roof garden and terrace, which is the ideal spot to unwind after a long day of exploring the temples.
Amansara has one of the most luxurious spas in all of Cambodia so make sure to carve out a day for relaxation and pampering.
Running parallel to a reflection pool, the spa is a tranquil sanctuary, where therapies make use of traditional Cambodian techniques and natural products. The spa offers many holistic therapies ranging from Reiki to energy rebalancing. Treatments also include a yoga session at sunrise, which makes for a complete and perfect day or relaxation.
There is an on-site restaurant serving Cambodian-centered cuisine and their menu changes daily with a focus on simple flavors, using organic produce directly from the local markets. For a unique experience, private dining is available at the resort’s rustic Khmer house at Angkor, where meals are prepared over charcoal to the sounds and sights of village life. Picnic breakfasts and lunches are also available at locations throughout the countryside as well as on the water. And finally, private dinners can be arranged inside one of the temples, accompanied by live musicians and dance performances.
Cambodia is a destination not to be missed and one that I am looking forward to returning to! If you’d like to start planning your honeymoon or vacation to Amansara please email me. We will make sure you that you are well taken care of!
When you are searching for a destination that offers stunning views, an element of romance, and great food & wine – Italy is usually one of the first places that will come to mind. And while there are many amazing coastal destinations to explore throughout the coast, no place attracts more visitors than the beautiful Amalfi Coast. The Amalfi Coast is a postcard perfect destination, offering one of the most spectacular stretches of coastline in the world. Combine the delicious food, the unique coastline, the historic villas and the warm hospitality and you have the makings of a great Italian love story!
The Amalfi Coast has some of the most beautiful properties that you’ll find anywhere in the world and they continually attract the most sophisticated and refined of travelers. With so many amazing options, it can be overwhelming selecting a hotel but one of my personal favorites is Palazzo Avino. I have been lucky to personally stay there on two occasions and absolutely loved each visit!
I have also sent many clients to Palazzo Avino for their honeymoon and I always receive the most incredibly positive feedback!
Palazzo Avino is a family-owned, five-star boutique hotel in the charming town of Ravello. Originally built in the 12th century, the property was once a private villa for an Italian noble family. Some of the original rooms still remain. It only opened as a hotel in 1997 and since that time it has been continually rated one of the world’s best properties.
The hotel is perched high on the cliffs, 1,000 feet above the Mediterranean Sea and it gives you the feeling that you are floating in the sky.
The location is ideal because everything within the town of Ravello is a short and easy walk away including the beautiful Villa Rufolo and Villa Cimbrone. Definitely carve out some time explore these historic villas and enjoy their stunning views.
There are 30 rooms and 11 suites at Palazzo Avino, all of which are decorated with hand made Vietri tiles, antique carpets and furniture from the 18th and 19th centuries. The rooms also come with all of the modern amenities that you would need.
Be sure to book one of their suites with a balcony and sea views. Trust me, it’s worth it!
The property has a 65-foot, heated outdoor pool that is beautifully situated within the gardens, boasting amazing views of the sea and the mountains.
There is also a full-service spa located next to the pool offering a wide array of treatments.
There is an outdoor gym that is also located in the gardens with great views.
And, if you’re looking to end your day with a beautiful sunset and a glass of Prosecco, be sure to visit the solarium on the rooftop. There are two whirlpools and it’s the perfect spot to relax and unwind.
For dining options, you can enjoy a candle light dinner served in their award-winning restaurant, Rossellinis or a more casual meal at Terrazza Belvedere. Both restaurants have amazing traditional Italian food. I recommend going to the lobster & martini bar before dinner to enjoy the incredible views of the sunset.
Finally, Palazzo Avino has a beautiful Clubhouse by the Sea that is exclusive for hotel guests. It is located right on the water, a short fifteen-minute drive from the hotel and there is a complimentary shuttle to take you. The Clubhouse is the perfect spot for a relaxing day of swimming. Be sure to try the delicious pizza from their pizza oven!
The Amalfi Coast is a destination not to be missed! If you’d like to start planning your honeymoon or vacation to Palazzo Avino please email me. We will make sure you that you are well taken care of!
The Greek Islands are one of those quintessential island destinations that continue to allure the most seasoned of travelers. My most recent visit took me to the the chic island of Mykonos. Located in the Aegean Sea the island is known for having a cosmopolitan atmosphere with its exciting nightlife, picturesque Cycladic architecture and magnificent beaches.
Mykonos can be a quiet and romantic destination for a couple looking to relax under the Aegean sun. There is no shortage of amazing beaches; some of my favorites included: Ornos, Paraga and Psarou.
Mykonos is also home to some of the best beach clubs that you’ll find anywhere in the world. Partygoers seeking world renowned DJ’s will delight in the amazing music scene. The beach parties usually start in the afternoon and can go all day long – some even lasting until sundown. There are quite a few beach clubs to choose from but my favorite three are: Nammos , Scorpios, and Sol y Mar.
Mykonos has amazing hotel options but I recommend making the Bill & Coo Coast your home when visiting the island. Bill & Coo Coast is a boutique, 5-star hotel on ten beautiful, beachfront acres.
The hotel is in a quiet and secluded beachfront location that feels removed but is only a short ten minute drive from the town. They also have a sister property located in town, Bill & Coo Suites & Lounge and a complimentary shuttle runs throughout the day that can take you back and forth.
The property has very modern and chic décor but it still feels Greek. Each suite is decorated in an elegant style, with neutral tones and complemented by thoughtful amenities like enormous beds, crisp white fabrics and ultra-modern furnishings.
There are fifteen expansive and well-appointed suites overlooking the sea, five of which have their own private pool.
The hotel has a beautiful pool as well as a private beach area with a lounge bar that serves Mediterranean inspired cuisine and signature cocktails. The property also has some very unique service amenities such as providing each guest with a cell phone so that they are able to contact the hotel staff at anytime if there is something that they need or want.
For dining, you have the option of enjoying a candlelight dinner under the moon or in the privacy of your suite from the set menu at Taverna. Finally, if you are seeking a fine-dining experience, you can enjoy the delicious food served at the signature gourmet restaurant at their sister property Bill & Coo Suites & Lounge. Both restaurants are run by award-winning chef Athinagoras Kostakos.
Mykonos is a destination not to be missed! If you’d like to start planning your vacation at Bill & Coo Coast please email me. We will make sure you that you are well taken care of!
Sustainable travel means more than just reusing hotel towels. Sustainable travel is about the long-term impact that travel will have on a particular part of the world. As a destination becomes more popular with tourists, the place can see both a positive and negative impact. So, it’s important to always support the positive and try to minimize the negative.
Ever After Honeymoons has had the privilege of traveling to every corner of the world and so we wanted to take a moment to praise two luxury resorts who are supporting sustainable travel and really doing their part to give back!
NIHIWATU – The Property
Nihiwatu is a remote, luxury resort on the island of Sumba in Indonesia. It is a short flight from Bali and in 2016, Travel + Leisure readers voted it the number one hotel in the world! Nihiwatu is not only a beautiful resort but it is also a property that continually gives back and it is a great example of a sustainable resort that is supporting it’s local community.
NIHIWATU – Giving Back
Nihiwatu emerged from a vision to create a resort that would preserve and share the breathtaking beauty of Sumba. To achieve this goal, the Sumba Foundation was founded in 2001 and now a portion of the resort’s profits are repatriated into the organization. Guests are educated about the foundation’s efforts through an impactful presentation and short film and many of them become benefactors to the foundation.
Over the last fifteen years, the Sumba Foundation has been able to setup 4 medical clinics and a malaria training center. They’ve also developed over 100 wells and water stations. In addition, the organization currently feeds 80 small children in its malnutrition program and provides school lunch for 1,100 children, twice a week.. They have also refurbished 15 primary schools, that they continue to support.
THE BRANDO – The Property
The Brando is a unique luxury resort located on French Polynesia’s beautiful private island of Tetiaroa. The property consists of 35 stunning villas on an island surrounded by a sparkling lagoon. The Brando considers themselves stewards of Tetiaroa, and they believe that they have the responsibility to treat it with the highest level of care and respect. Almost all of Tetiaroa is being protected and preserved in its natural state.
The resort was the dream of Marlon Brando, who first came to Tetiaroa while filming a movie and immediately fell in love with the island’s rare beauty and the sense of peace it gave him. Brando was passionate about preserving Tetiaroa’s natural beauty, biodiversity and cultural richness and was determined to find a way in which it could be a center for research and education and a model of sustainability. Since then, The Brando has continued to have an impressive roster of celebrity donors and supporters including Leonardo DiCaprio.
THE BRANDO – Giving Back
Inspired by the late Marlon Brando’s vision, the Tetiaroa Society was founded. The Tetiaroa Society is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to preserving the precious biodiversity on Tetiaroa. The scientists and volunteers there are working on several projects, including a sustainable fishing program, a fish replenishment program, and an atoll conservation plan.
Their efforts also include monitoring, preservation, and restoration programs related to plants and agriculture, as well as the preservation of the island’s cultural heritage. The research conducted here serves as a living case study, where the lessons learned can be implemented locally as well as applied to places across the globe.
Nihiwatu & The Brando are both beautiful resorts that are doing an amazing job giving back to their local communities. If you’d like to visit one of these destinations, please email us so we can start planning your vacation. We will make sure you that you are well taken care of – and you can enjoy your vacation knowing that you are supporting sustainable travel!
I recently explored Utah where the state motto is “Life Elevated.” No two words better describe this beautiful untouched stretch of the American Southwest because everything from the landscapes, to the sunsets, to the amazing outdoor adventures, is taken to the next level! For those who like to keep busy, Utah is the dream destination with no shortage of activities from hiking to fishing to river rafting to mountain biking. Utah is also home to a handful of beautiful National Parks, offering some of the most unique landscapes and rock formations anywhere in the world.
Choosing where to stay will be the easiest decision that you make because everything will pale in comparison to Amangiri! Meaning “peaceful mountain,” Amangiri is part of the exclusive Aman Resorts hotel collection. Their destinations are renowned for their space and privacy and are meticulously designed to frame their natural settings. There are only two properties within the United States, one of which is the breathtaking Amangiri!
Amangiri is located in a secluded and private valley in Canyon Point and overall has a very unique look because it was built directly into the landscape.
The resort has 34 suites as well a four-bedroom accommodation, all of which have been designed to embrace the area’s raw aesthetic with clean lines, natural materials and floor-to-ceiling windows.
Each suite has a private outdoor lounge and fireplace providing incredible views of the desert’s unique rock formations.
A few suites also come with a private pool and a roof terrace offering full panoramic views.
The property has wonderful amenities to ensure that you relax and unwind while vacationing in the desert. There is a beautiful outdoor lounge with expansive views of the desert as well as a large pool that has been built directly into the rock formations.
The property also serves delicious food that is inspired by the American Southwest and made primarily from locally sourced ingredients.
And no trip to Amangiri would complete without a visit to the spa! The Amangiri spa has a relaxing ambience with candlelit hallways and spacious treatment rooms that overlook the desert and they offer unique treatments that reflect on the healing traditions of the local Navajos.
There are also fun activities for guests every night including campfire s’mores and stargazing! Be sure to spend an evening unwinding on the outdoor beds. They are a unique feature at Amangiri and the perfect way to stargaze in the desert.
Finally, make sure to take advantage of the amazing hikes and canyon tours that are in close proximity. Don’t miss their exclusive Via Ferrata hike with ladder rungs, fixed cables, and a 232 foot suspension bridge with the most stunning views!
Horseshoe Bend is also a must see but try and go early to avoid the crowds.
And finally don’t miss the 3-canyon tour visiting the famous slot canyons that takes you to Rattlesnake Canyon, Upper Antelope Canyon and Owl Canyon.. They are amazing and truly a sight like no other!
Amangiri is the perfect destination for both a relaxing getaway or an adrenaline-fulled adventure. Please email me if you’d like to start planning your vacation at Amangiri. We will make sure you that you are well taken care of!
Photo credit: Scott Clark Photo