Melanie Martins http://melaniemartins.com/ Mon, 12 Mar 2018 15:14:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.2 http://melaniemartins.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/cropped-favicon-32x32.png Melanie Martins http://melaniemartins.com/ 32 32 QATAR http://melaniemartins.com/qatar/ http://melaniemartins.com/qatar/#respond Sat, 03 Mar 2018 12:45:29 +0000 http://melaniemartins.com/?p=8501

Hello my dear friends!Here we are back to the Middle East but this time to Qatar with the Inflow Family! It was a very short stay of only 3 nights but we managed to meet so many amazing people! I met Hanan, a French expat who works at Grazia Arabia, and many locals who were extremely friendly and excited to show us their country!

The first day we had the conference at the Ritz-Carlton Doha so between networking and the summit itself we were pretty busy.

But the next day we visited the Public National Library, the Islamic National Museum, the Souq Waqif (which is below), and we went to have dinner in the middle of the desert on a fire camp with Falcons, camels, music, and Qatari women doing henna to some girls!

It was such a short stay but I truly enjoyed it nevertheless! Can’t wait to go back to Qatar very soon and spend more time to visit Doha.

Here below is a short glimpse into our walk around the traditional Souq Waqif.

Have you ever been to Qatar? I look forward to going back very soon and catch up again with new friends!Xx,
Melanie

]]>
http://melaniemartins.com/qatar/feed/ 0
Festivities at Hurawalhi http://melaniemartins.com/festivities-at-hurawalhi/ http://melaniemartins.com/festivities-at-hurawalhi/#respond Sun, 18 Feb 2018 17:34:16 +0000 http://melaniemartins.com/?p=8367

It was this time of the year again. February is a month full of Festivities.

There is the Carnival (which is not really celebrated in the Maldives), there is also St. Valentine’s Day (14th Feb.), followed by Chinese New Year Eve (15th Feb.) and the most important for me: Diogo’s 33rd Birthday (13th Feb.).

During this last 7 years together, Diogo never really liked to celebrate his birthday, but this time since we were in the Maldives (his favorite country so far), I wanted to surprise him and show him that Anniversaries can also be fun!

Even if it means you getting older every year!

We decided to go to the very new (1 year old) Hurawalhi Maldives – an adult-only luxury resort located in the Lhaviyani Atoll, famous for its worldwide known 5.8 Undersea Restaurant.

In fact, the 5.8 Undersea Restaurant is the world biggest underwater restaurant so far with 10 tables. I managed to get a table for dinner which was at 6 PM to 8:30 PM. We had a Vegan Degustation Menu which was absolutely incredible with fishes swimming all around us. Don’t forget to see the entire special day on my Insta-story Highlight!

For the 14th Feb., St. Valentine’s Day we decided to escape to a remote sand bank nearby called Dream Island, where we were totally alone in the Island!

Hurawalhi Maldives is also an incredible destination for snorkeling and diving where you can see manta rays, sharks, turtles, and plenty of fishes! During Diogo’s b-day, we spent the morning snorkeling around and Diogo even managed to take a selfie with a turtle! How cute they are, right? 🙂

The last evening, we went to their Champagne Pavilion watching the golden hour and drink some Champagne! After all, it was our last evening at the Maldives after 16 wonderful days!

Have you ever been at the Hurawalhi Resort or at their worldwide famous 5.8 Undersea Restaurant? Let me know in the comment section below! I will also post a video of our St. Valentine’s very soon on Facebook so stay tuned!

Special thanks to Hurawalhi PR and GM to have made this stay unforgettable!

Xx,
Melanie

]]>
http://melaniemartins.com/festivities-at-hurawalhi/feed/ 0
Jumeirah Vittaveli http://melaniemartins.com/jumeirah-vittaveli/ http://melaniemartins.com/jumeirah-vittaveli/#respond Mon, 05 Feb 2018 11:38:07 +0000 http://melaniemartins.com/?p=8341

After 2 weeks in Malta we were pretty much tired of the cold and wet weather. Diogo was even ill with flu and fever. So we decided to leave for 16 days to one of our all time favorite destinations: Maldives!

We booked a roundtrip flight with Turkish Airline (Malta-Istanbul-Male) as they have not only wifi onboard free of charge but also bed-style seats on Business class, so we could sleep during the entire trip.

Our first resort was the wonderful Jumeirah Vittaveli known for its incredible Ocean Villas only reachable by boat! The villa was spacious with a first floor where we had a second bathroom and the bedroom area.

It was the most original villa we have stayed so far in the Maldives! The idea of total privacy was a big plus!

Finally we were back to the warm Island life!

The first evening we went to a private sunset cruise onboard of a luxury power yacht with vegan food and organic fresh juices onboard.

For dinner, we went to Fenesse (a French Restaurant) to enjoy a delicious vegan degustation menu accompanied with a bottle of Champagne under the stars.

Next morning, I finally tried Yoga! Yes, I had never tried it before. Our Yoga Master was from Kerala, India. Now, I’m completely in love with Yoga and can’t wait to go to India on a Yoga Retreat!

After our morning yoga session, we spent the rest of the morning snorkeling on a coral reef reachable by boat.

In fact, we went again on a private yacht accompanied with 3 staff members to discover a wonderful coral reef near the resort. It was amazing to do it privately, usually resorts do group sessions of snorkel. A private experience was much more romantic and we truly enjoyed it! The staff was very attentive and friendly.

After 45 minutes snorkeling around, we came back to the boat and enjoyed the ride back to the Island.

We were really impressed by the incredible amount of water sports, Jumeirah Vittaveli was providing to its guests.

I’m always afraid to get bored in the Maldives, but here we had plenty of activities to get entertained!

For evening, we went to the sumptuous Indian Restaurant, Swarna, and tried its degustation menu with 17 dishes! Don’t worry, they are actually very very small and come altogether in a huge plate, as you can see below:

The next day we went to do some jet-ski, which is an activity that I really enjoy,

Have you ever been to the Jumeirah Vittaveli? Let me know how was your experience!

Xx,
Melanie

]]>
http://melaniemartins.com/jumeirah-vittaveli/feed/ 0
Royal Sandals Barbados http://melaniemartins.com/10-days-in-barbados/ http://melaniemartins.com/10-days-in-barbados/#respond Fri, 12 Jan 2018 11:28:08 +0000 http://melaniemartins.com/?p=8426

After our amazing cruise across the Caribbean, we came back to Bridgetown, Barbados. Diogo and I decided to stay in Barbados more 10 days to enjoy the beach, the good weather and the local hospitality!

We firstly staid at the brand new Royal Sandals Barbados, a luxurious all-inclusive adult-only Resort, that just opened in December, and I was actually the very first blogger/Influencer to visit it.

The Royal Sandals provides a service of Excellence with 3 butlers at your disposal.

From brining your morning coffee, to book your table at your favorite Restaurant (they have 6 restaurants in the resort being “La Parisienne” my favorite one), they really go above and beyond to make your wishes come true.

We spent 5 nights at the Royal Sandals, and I was amazed by the fact they provide 2 complimentary dives per day!

Indeed, they are the most divers-friendly brand in the world since everything from the equipment to the dive itself is free of charge. How cool is that? Diogo and I decided to book 2 dives as we never dived in Barbados before.

We managed to see many turtles, fishes, coral and shipwrecks at the Marine Park Reserve.

For our first night, we assisted to an incredible dancing show produced by locals. This resort is full of life and music! Every evening there is new show or entertainment activity. It’s always very festive!

We loved to spend the afternoon/golden hour at the rooftop pool where there was always a great vibe and free champagne with cherry, the sunset view was beyond stunning!

It was my first time staying at the Sandals, and it won’t be the last!

The fact they have so much included from food, beverage, to activities and diving, was a big novelty for me.

As hotels usually don’t include diving activities, they really distinguish themselves by including much more!

Have you ever been to the Sandals? Let me know how was your experience in the comment section below!

Xx,
Melanie

Credits
Photography: Diogo Novo
Property: Royal Sandals Barbados

]]>
http://melaniemartins.com/10-days-in-barbados/feed/ 0
Caribbean Sailing http://melaniemartins.com/caribbean-sailing/ http://melaniemartins.com/caribbean-sailing/#respond Mon, 08 Jan 2018 05:44:06 +0000 http://melaniemartins.com/?p=8331

After over 10 days in Turkey, Diogo and I were missing the warm summer and the Island life (#islandlife).

Our last adventure of 2017 had to be something special. After all, I was turning 25 on NYE!

Since we both love sailing, warm weather, and islands, why not a Caribbean cruise to celebrate the New Year (can’t believe 2018 is here!) and my 25th Anniversary? Looks like the perfect getaway to escape the cold winter of Europe!

On board of the majestic Wind Surf we sailed across the Windward Islands of Martinique, St. Lucia, Grenada, St. Vincent & Grenadines, finishing with Barbados.

It was so good to visit the Caribbean again! In fact, last time we were in the Caribbean was to celebrate Christmas and my 22nd birthday, precisely 3 years ago (from Dec. 2014 to Jan. 2015)! Time flies!

We flew directly from Istanbul to NYC following to Barbados where the Wind Surf was departing.

In NYC, we managed to spend a short layover of 3 nights at the brand new Four Seasons Downtown where, by pure coincidence, we met with my bestie Abdel from Rabat (Morocco), his wife and 3 kids. We happily celebrated a 2nd Christmas together!

Here below goes my week in an exclusive photo-diary across the many islands we visited!

St. Lucia

St. Vincent & Grenadines

Grenada

In order to read more about my week onboard of the Wind Surf click here. After our cruise we stayed 10 more days in Barbados (5 nights at the brand new Royal Sandals Resort and 4 nights at the lovely Fairmont Royal Pavilion).

Happy New Year 2018 my friends!

Love,
Melanie

]]>
http://melaniemartins.com/caribbean-sailing/feed/ 0
ZAYA NURAI ISLAND http://melaniemartins.com/zaya-nurai-island/ http://melaniemartins.com/zaya-nurai-island/#respond Sat, 11 Nov 2017 21:09:54 +0000 http://melaniemartins.com/?p=8105

I have been dreaming to go to Zaya Aurai Island for so long!

Since I read about this Island project in Abu Dhabi when I was just 15 years old, I couldn’t wait to go!

Nearly 9 year later here I am, thanks to Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture!

Visiting Zaya Nurai Island is like a dream come true.The Island located at 15mins boat from Abu Dhabi featuring villas-only property, has been on my bucket list since the day I read about the concept. back when I was 15.

The villa was exactly like how I imagined: spacious, modern, and with an amazing pool with sea view!

We finally did our very first drone video around the villa. Feel free to take a look here!

Dining under the stars with Diogo was a wonderful experience! I wish we would do it more often! I realized with all the travels we have been doing, we rarely got to do a private dinner under the stars.

Here in the UAE we had the opportunity to do it many times!

You don’t get bored at all in Zaya Nurai Island, actually, I wish we could have stayed longer!

There was so much things to do! From jet-skiing, sailing, to kayaking, we didn’t stop!

We also tried the surf pool. This was so cool! It was the very first time we tried a surf pool where you could actually surf, and after 15 mins, Diogo was like a pro (from my side I did bodyboard).

Have you ever been to Abu Dhabi or Zaya Nurai Island? How was your experience? Let me know in the comments below!

Xx,
Melanie

Credits
Photography: Diogo Novo
Where I’m staying: Zaya Nurai Island

]]>
http://melaniemartins.com/zaya-nurai-island/feed/ 0
Copenhagen http://melaniemartins.com/copenhagen/ http://melaniemartins.com/copenhagen/#respond Thu, 12 Oct 2017 04:32:41 +0000 http://melaniemartins.com/?p=7672

It was cold. But no one expect Copenhagen to be hot anyway.

After LA, here we are back to the old continent! Autumn has already started.

Before heading home to Malta, Diogo and I spent a night here in Copenhagen so we could visit a bit the city. It was our first time here in Denmark (we caught the flight to LA from Copenhagen but we didn’t visit anything except the airport).

I have to say I’m pretty happy with the quantity of vegan restaurants and coffee shops available here in Copenhagen.

From the amazing Açai bowl and vegan pancakes for the morning at the 42Raw Pilestræde, which is probably the most famous and cool spot for breakie in Copenhagen, to Cafe N – a delicious vegan burgers spot, Copenhagen is overall very vegan-friendly.

It’s also an expensive city – more expensive than the average European capital cities. Oh and no Uber, since taxis are ridiculously expensive, everyone use the metro for everything.

Diogo and I managed to walk around the city and the old port where some parts of “The Danish Girl” have been filmed.

We also managed to visit Our Savior Church, we climbed to the very top of the spire which has the best panoramic views of Copenhagen!

Copenhagen is a very small city and you can visit it all in 1 day – of course, if you want to visit museums, palaces, churches, etc. it will take you an extra day or 2 to visit it all.

Have you ever been to Copenhagen? Did you enjoy the city? Let me know in the comments below!

Xx,
Melanie

CREDITS
Photography: Diogo Novo
Wearing: Dress Libellulas; Sneakers Josefinas

]]>
http://melaniemartins.com/copenhagen/feed/ 0
LA LA LAND http://melaniemartins.com/la-la-land/ http://melaniemartins.com/la-la-land/#respond Fri, 22 Sep 2017 00:21:06 +0000 http://melaniemartins.com/?p=7613

LA. The city of Angeles. Hollywood, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, I mean… You get the idea! LA is THE city I couldn’t wait to visit!

After 30 days visiting French Polynesia (you can check my Odyssey across the Society Islands here), Diogo and I decided to visit LA for a week before heading back to Europe with Norwegian Airline.

As you might know, Los Angeles is one of the biggest and largest cities in the world!

There is over 30 millions people living in Greater Los Angeles area, and believe me, you’ll definitely need to rent a car if you want to get around! Heading to Hollywood Boulevard? Probably a 25-30 mins ride from you hotel.

Each area or neighborhood in LA is at a driving distance, which it feels more like an agglomerate of small cities.

We decided to stay in 3 different areas (or neighborhood): Downtown LA, Hollywood and Beverly Hills.

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES

We stayed first at the Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles (did you see the instal-stories of the amazing residence we got?), which is precisely just front of the famous Staples Center (think Leakers game), LA Convention Center (think Grammys, Emmys, etc.), and very well located for those who want to visit the downtown of Los Angeles.

Since we got a big dining and living room, we decided to invite Madeleine and Iqbal over (which were actually in LA at the same time) in order to celebrate Madeleine’s birthday.

I prepared a very nice surprise dinner for her with Champagne, fruits, Tacos, pizza and salad accompanied with a chilling Bossa Nova playlist. It was so nice to meet them again!

It’s pretty fun how we catch up across the globe without planning: first in the Maldives, then in Malta and now in LA!

Our home away from home have probably the best sunsets in downtown!

Look above how incredible the view is around 6:30pm! I’m in love!

During our second day in LA, Diogo and I headed to San Marino to catch up with Susan for lunch at the Julienne Restaurant. Susan has been living in LA for over 30 years and know pretty much everything here!

We spent the afternoon visiting some landmarks such as the Langham Hotel, and the Huntington Library.

At night, we headed to the Griffith Observatory (featured in La La Land movie) to observe the most insane views to all LA!

HOLLYWOOD

After 2 nights at the Ritz-Carlton Downtown LA, Diogo and I headed to the iconic landmark of Hollywood: the Roosevelt Hollywood Hotel located right in the Walk of Fame and front of the well-known Chinese Theater and Thrussaud Museum.

This is the perfect hotel to stay if you want to visit Hollywood most famous sights at a walking distance such as Hollywood Boulevard, walk of fame, Chinese Theater, Thrussaud Museum, Universal Studios, etc.

From downtown LA to Hollywood is around 25-30mins ride depending on traffic.

We spent only 1 night in Hollywood and headed the next day to Beverly Hills.

BEVERLY HILLS

Beverly Hills don’t need introduction: is the cleanest, prettiest and most expensive area in Los Angeles along with Bel-Air (which is just next to BH). Interestingly, Beverly Hills is an independent community – which means is not part of Los Angeles’ city despite the fact is located in LA.

We staid in 2 different hotels that I was dying to try out: the landmark Beverly Hills Hotel and the modern suites-only Viceroy l’Ermitage Beverly Hills.

Diogo and I fell totally in love with BH! It’s really the cutest neighborhood we have been in LA. From the clean streets, to the nice looking crowd, we didn’t get disappointed!

In fact, I understand now why so many celebrities choose to live here.

Rooftop pools are a very popular spot for sunny afternoons. In fact, at the pool of the Viceroy we even saw Michael Kelly from House of Cards.

For our last night, we went to the Winny’s Beverly Hills restaurant with my dear friend Aryeh – a A-list lawyer in LA.

This restaurant is THE spot if you want to see the best crowd in town: women and men were literally dressed to impress! From Ferraris to Roll Royces at the entrance, to Gucci dresses and Jimmy Choo walking around, anyway…you get the idea.

I mean… with bottle of wines starting at $190 going to the easy $3,500 it’s not for every pocket! It’s a fun experience and I will totally recommend it, just be prepared to leave some money there.

SANTA MONICA

Santa Monica is a beach area with pretty nice hotels along the coastline (the LA coastline starts with Malibu in the north, then Santa Monica, followed by Venice Beach, and finally Marina Del Rey in the South near LAX airport).

We didn’t stay in Santa Monica (maybe next time) however we went to its famous Pier just to watch the sunset as they told us it was the best hour to go! In fact we were not disappointed!

For our very first trip to LA we opted to spend our time catching up with friends and make new ones, do some shopping, walk around downtown and Beverly Hills, go to the Art District to take the must wings shot, watch some great sunsets in Santa Monica, and of course, discover a lot of nice vegan restaurants!

I’m a big fan of Cafe Gratitude and I couldn’t recommend enough this affordable yet minimal and trendy place!

Have you ever been in LA? If yes, did you enjoy it? Let me know how was your experience below!

Xx,
Melanie

Credits
Photography: Diogo Novo
We flew with: Norwegian Airline
Where we staid: The Ritz-Carlton Downtown LA, most incredible views of LA; the Beverly Hills Hotel, a landmark of the Golden Age of Hollywood; Viceroy l’Ermitage Beverly Hills – a modern luxury suites-only accommodation and vast dressing room with a pretty cool rooftop pool.

]]>
http://melaniemartins.com/la-la-land/feed/ 0
Moorea http://melaniemartins.com/moorea/ http://melaniemartins.com/moorea/#respond Thu, 14 Sep 2017 19:22:57 +0000 http://melaniemartins.com/?p=7738

Diogo and I spent our last days in French Polynesia here in Moorea at the Hilton Lagoon & Spa – as illustrated above, we staid in a overwater bungalow surrounded by the wonderful crystal clear lagoon and the green hills of Moorea.

The hotel itself was surrounded by the most beautiful greenery I have ever seen in French Polynesia!

The Hilton also provides kayaking, and some complimentary water activities to enjoy during the stay.

The Island itself has so much to offer! From swimming with whales, diving, snorkeling, driving to the Belvedere point, to exploring the botanical garden, there is plenty to do!

Moorea was our very last stop before heading back to LA.

BORA BORA VS MOOREA

Before jumping into the activities and what we did in Moorea, many of you guys have asked me about the differences between Bora Bora and Moorea as they are the 2 most famous Islands in French Polynesia, so here below goes my genuine opinion after being in both places:

If you came from Bora Bora to Moorea or vice-versa, you will definitely see that Moorea is not a luxury destination but rather an eco-escape bringing you closer to Mother Nature (think swimming with whales, hiking, diving, exploring the botanical garden, etc.).

First, unlike in Bora Bora where you have to go to a private motu (small island where the hotels are located), here all the hotels are in the mainland of Moorea, so I definitely recommend to rent a car and explore around!

If you don’t have a car, hotels in Moorea will usually arrange a regular taxi to pick you up, while in Bora Bora they will get you a nice and comfy boat to pick you from the Airport and bring you to the hotel.

Moorea has an incredible natural beauty, unbelievable landscape with green moutains, and a vast ecosystem! You definitely don’t want to miss it by staying all day long in your hotel!

For instance, Diogo and I spent an entire morning swimming with whales for actually a pretty decent price (€80 per person).

While some activities might be slightly less expensive than in Bora Bora, price for food and beverage in hotels are pretty much the same.

You get basically the same bills than in the lavish Four Seasons Bora Bora, which is a bit disappointing as you are not in a luxury destination like Bora Bora and you definitely don’t get the same quality and standard either.

For instance, we went to eat crepes at the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa and we got 1 veggie crepe for main course and 1 sweet crepe for dessert, we drank only water and for a total of 4 crepes (2 for each) we paid over €100! Yes! Over €100 for 4 crepes! They were very good and tasty but still they are crepes nevertheless.

As vegans in Moorea, it was a bit hard to eat properly due of the lack of vegan/plant-based options. We ended-up eating mainly vegan pizzas or dry pasta for lunch/dinner, and porridge with fresh fruit for breakfast.

Looking for a nice Açai Bowl? Or fancy an Avocado Quinoa salad? Vegan pancakes for breakfast? Definitely not the right place.

There is a vegetarian/vegan menu at the main restaurant of the Sofitel Moorea but the portions are so small that you might need to order more food than usual and pay around €150 for 2 without alcohol.

However, regarding the activities and what to do in the Island, this is where Moorea really shines the most comparing with Bora Bora.

WHAT TO DO IN MOOREA


As mentioned earlier, I totally recommend swimming with whales, rent a car and explore the island, dive, kayak, go to the Belvedere point, see sharks and stingrays, etc.

There is really a lot to do and staying in your bungalow won’t allow you to enjoy Moorea as it fullest!

If you are looking for a lazy luxury resort escape in order to spend your time chilling between your lavish villa, private beach and pool, while indulging in delicious cocktails and food at fancy lounges and restaurants, Moorea is not really the right fit.

If this is your vibe, you might prefer Bora Bora (May-October), Maldives (October-May), or Zaya Nurai Island in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (September-Dec and March-May).

But if you are into adventurous escapes, hiking, nature exploring, bird watching, underwater activities and don’t mind sacrificing the glitz and “over the top” hotels and food/beverage for an authentic Polynesian experience, then yes, I will definitely go for Moorea!

Have you ever been in Moorea or in French Polynesia? How was your stay? Let me know in the comment section below!

CREDITS
Photography: Diogo Novo
Wearing: Photos #3 & #5 Swimwear TJ SWIM;
Staying at: Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa

]]>
http://melaniemartins.com/moorea/feed/ 0
ROUGE ET VANILLE http://melaniemartins.com/rouge-et-vanille/ http://melaniemartins.com/rouge-et-vanille/#respond Sun, 10 Sep 2017 23:10:21 +0000 http://melaniemartins.com/?p=8018

My favorite spot at the Four Seasons Bora Bora was definitly the private beach near our villa.If some people spend their days reading a book or tanning under the sun, for me, bathing and enjoying the view were my 2 favorite activities to spend my lazy afternoons in Bora Bora.

It’s so good to be in a place where all you need is a swimwear! Btw, which one do you prefer? Red bikini or vanilla swimsuit?

Let me know in the comments below!

Xx,
Melanie

CREDITS
Photography: Diogo Novo
Wearing: Photos #1 & 2 bikini Calzedonia; #5 & #7 Elena Makri
Staying at: Four Seasons Bora Bora

]]>
http://melaniemartins.com/rouge-et-vanille/feed/ 0