Melanie Martins http://melaniemartins.com/ Sun, 10 Sep 2017 22:25:16 +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 A WEEKEND IN MONTE-CARLO http://melaniemartins.com/a-weekend-in-monte-carlo/ http://melaniemartins.com/a-weekend-in-monte-carlo/#respond Sat, 01 Jul 2017 07:52:23 +0000 http://melaniemartins.com/?p=7490

Ah, Monaco… I haven’t been here since 4 years ago! I was 19 and spent only one afternoon here just to visit the famous casino, the Port Hercule, Monte-Carlo, and dreaming about this incredible gem! Monaco is well known as the glamorous principality of Europe bringing many of us looking for a bit of magic and Grace Kelly feels.

This time, invited by the Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo (from The Leading Hotels of the World) to discover their new Spa Givenchy and pool area signed Karl Lagerfeld, I came not for an afternoon but for an entire weekend from Friday to Monday.

After Marseille, Monaco was a big contrast. Located near the Italian border, Monaco is extremely small (as big as a city) but there is a lot of incredible lounges, dining options, and a beautiful crowd that makes it extremely hard to dislike! One of the new trendiest spots is the restaurant Odyssey set just front of the pool at the Metropole.Being myself vegan I really loved the fact they prepared us a degustation menu totally Vegan! The vibe was incredible and the dishes delicious! Ah… How much I miss this upper and friendly service from Monaco!

During the day, I would spend my afternoons around the pool chilling, walking around the Place du Casino, or discovering new coffee shops and lounges around the Port. For vegans alike, I also recommend the vegan restaurant Eqvita.

Another reason why I came here (and you probably saw it on my Insta-Stories) was to be reunited with one of my bestie from Riyadh. She travels a lot due of her work and we were always missing each other until now! Finally, we met up in Monaco at the Cafe de Paris !During my last day in Monaco, Diogo and I took a 10mins train to go to Menton – the first French city after the Italian border with beautiful colorful houses (you can read my story about Menton here).

Have you ever been in Monaco? How was your experience? Let me know in the comments below!

See you soon!

Xx,
Melanie

Credits
Photography: Diogo Novo
Where I stayed: Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo

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LE VIEUX MARSEILLE http://melaniemartins.com/marseille/ http://melaniemartins.com/marseille/#respond Tue, 27 Jun 2017 14:40:45 +0000 http://melaniemartins.com/?p=7426

After Èze, we went directly to Marseille in order to spend the weekend there and assist to the French-Moroccan Event “Des Livres, Des Stars” where my great friend and fashion designer, Amine Mrani, was participating thru a caftan show.The Event featured many French celebrities such as Stéphane Plaza, Michel Drucker, Gérard Jugnot, Dominique Besnehard, Enrico Macias, etc.

Diogo and I spent the day visiting Marseille and some iconic sightseeing (and also to do some shopping) such as Notre-Dame de La Garde. At night, we assisted to the Moroccan gala hosted at the Intercontinental Hotel de Dieu where all the personalities above mentioned joined.

During the dinner, Amine Mrani and many other designers presented their caftan collection under traditional Moroccan music.

It was my very first time in Marseille,  I will definitely remember the blue shades of the Vieux port, the strong sunlight, the stunning view from Notre-Dame de La Garde, the amazing breakfast at the Intercontinental, and how hot it was!

Marseille is the second biggest city in France and the oldest one, so obviously it’s full of history and there are many many monuments, museums, and churches to visit.

Marseille is totally safe. I can’t understand why the city has such a rough reputation. If you don’t go to the Ghetto, you will be totally fine anywhere in the downtown and touristic areas.

Now, it is accurate that “les Marseillais” are a bit rustic compared with the sophisticated and charming French Riviera. I could feel it in the service industry and hospitality overall. Nevertheless, I met many friendly and warm people which usually characterize les Marseillais!

Being Vegan, it was a bit hard to find vegetarian-friendly places that were open all day. The majority closes from 2 – 7 PM so if you want to get lunch at 3 PM forget it. You need to adjust yourself to the Marseille’ lifestyle, not the other way around.

I admit there were so much more to visit and explore! But the heat made it difficult to be all the time outside. I totally recommend visiting Marseille maybe a bit earlier than late June.

Have you ever been to Marseille? How was your experience? Don’t hesitate to let me know in the comment section below!

Xx,
Melanie

Credits
Photography: Diogo Novo

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ÈZE VILLAGE http://melaniemartins.com/eze/ http://melaniemartins.com/eze/#respond Wed, 21 Jun 2017 13:46:52 +0000 http://melaniemartins.com/?p=7374

Hello, my dear friends!

Welcome to Èze Village, a medieval town lying between Monaco and Nice. Èze Village was the second stop of our French Riviera trip, and I have to say, this place has the best views you can get from the whole Cote D’Azur!

In fact, from my suite, I could see Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Villefranche-sur-mer and even Nice!

Yes, it totally worths the visit: Èze is such a little charming town full of history and mystery, you definitely can’t miss it!

Since the Chèvre d’Or is perched on the very top of the hills, the view is simply breathtaking! You could even see helicopters flying under you!

But it’s not only the view that is breathtaking! The hotel where we stayed, La Chèvre D’Or, was also mind-blowing! Featuring amazing suites with private terraces, we could enjoy non-stop the most beautiful view ever and get our breakfast served directly there!

During the day, we had the opportunity to visit the Botanic garden “Jardin Botanique de Èze”, walk around the narrow streets of the old town where we found wonderful paintings, ateliers and galleries, and we also visited the Fragonard factory that totally worth a visit!

For lunch and dining: I recommend to have lunch at les Ramparts, which has the best views of the French Riviera you can dream of; for the best Pissaladiere + olive oil go to the Deli Restaurant near the Botanic Garden, there is no view as it’s in the middle of the narrow streets of Èze Village but it’s very charming!

You can also try out a more casual lunch/dinner at Café du Jardin near the pool at the Chèvre d’Or. For fine dining, my two favorites are definitely the Chèvre d’Or Gourmet Restaurant and Eden.

Have you ever been to Èze Village? Don’t forget to let me know how was your experience in the comment section below!

Xx, Melanie

Credits
Where I stayed: Chèvre D’Or
Photography: Diogo Novo

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CANNES http://melaniemartins.com/cannes/ http://melaniemartins.com/cannes/#respond Sun, 18 Jun 2017 15:55:33 +0000 http://melaniemartins.com/?p=7301

Hello my dear friends! Welcome to Cannes!

After the Maldives, Diogo and I stayed 2 weeks in Malta while we received our German friends Madeleine & Iqbal.

Since Summer was approaching, we decided to take a 17 days trip (because it’s 2017 eheh) to the French Riviera and finally discover the Southern part of my country.

From Menton to Marseille, we tried to explore as much as possible without forgetting to do some (massive) shopping, enjoy the many beaches and pools, and have some fun along the way.

But during this short stay at home, we found out that our camera body was broken! Total stress!!! Panic on board!!! How could such thing have happened?!

With no time left, we had to go in urgency to Rome, Italy in order to fix it (don’t worry it’s like 1 hour by plane from Malta).

Once in Rome, the camera got fixed within 3 hours thanks to our amazing friend Fabio who runs a little Nikon shop in town.

With the camera working like brand-new and with some hours left before our flight to Nice, we visited again the Vatican and took incredible shots! (I will be sharing a post about the smallest state in the world very soon).

Cannes was our first stop. We stayed at the JW Marriot which is located front of the Baoli Beach and has amazing sea views.

I was really excited to walk around la Croisette, get lost in the old town of Cannes called “le vieux Canne”, and visit the nearby Lérins’ Islands.

Actually, the Lérins’ Islands are 4 different islands that you can visit directly from Cannes: Sainte-Marguerite Island (which is the biggest one) and the only one I had time to visit, has a fortress where, the legend says, the Man in the Iron Mask was held captive (below are some photos taken around the Island).

You can also visit the Saint-Honorat Island where, since the fifth century, has been home to a community of monks living in the Abbey of Lérins which is open to the public and produce amazing wine! On my bucket list for my next time in Cannes!

The 2 smaller and uninhabited ones – Îlot Saint-Ferréol and Îlot de la Tradelière – are not served by ferries so you will have to take a boat to get there.

The water at the Sainte-Marguerite was crystal clear which remembered me Comino Island in Malta.

If there is something I especially loved in Cannes is the magnificent sunset and the Golden hour from the rooftop of the JW Marriot which has the best views you can find to the Croisette!

The vibe is absolutely unique and I couldn’t feel happier to have watched the sunset from their rooftop with Diogo! The rooftop also has a swimming pool so we spent there some great time chilling after a long day exploring the islands and the old town.

Have you ever been to Cannes? Let me know what you thought about the city and how was your experience!

See you very soon!

Xx,
Melanie

Where to stay: JW Marriot Cannes
Some places for dining/lunch: JW Grill for Italian/French food and the amazing view to the Croisette; Restaurant Beryte for Lebanese food and late-dining;
Photography: Diogo Novo

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LUX* South Ari http://melaniemartins.com/lux-south-ari/ http://melaniemartins.com/lux-south-ari/#comments Mon, 01 May 2017 16:29:09 +0000 http://melaniemartins.com/?p=7167

It feels so good to be here in the Maldives. The vibe is wonderful! But what is even more wonderful is the Beach Rouge at the Lux* South Ari Atoll who openly tell us to “Celebrate Life!”.Indeed, are you celebrating life? How? We tend to forget to truly “celebrate life” and get lost in our busy routines. But if not now, when?

Don’t wait until it’s too late to start doing what really matters to you, or be with those you love the most!

Being here in the Maldives made me think how my personality shaped me and my path.

I never had any interest in corporate jobs and their related careers. Big executive titles like “CEO”, “Managing Director” or “Work Worshipper” (as I like to call them) never inspired me. Possessing a 15 bedroom villa or a Ferrari either.

I was lucky enough to know pretty early who I did NOT want to be.

I was 16 and my favorite class was Philosophy. I always loved a good challenging debate. Discussing the meaning of life, happiness, what does matter to you, etc.

Those are the most important questions you need to ask yourself. The answers are Key to your personal fulfillment and happiness.

I knew by then I wanted to do something different. But what? At the time, I thought about pursuing movie production.

Social media or blogging was not really on my mind, but I knew my goal was to inspire and empower people positively thru digital content.

My parents went nuts -literally – when I announced them I will enroll in a digital production course in Lisbon once graduating from High School. “From what would you live?”, “You are not in Hollywood! There is nothing for you here.”, “You don’t even speak English.”, those were not only their concerns and insecurities but also mines.

Ultimately, those insecurities led me to go to Law School – a secure degree for a secure life.

2 years later I dropped college. I was feeling frustrated, unfit, and that I was loosing my time. There is nothing worse than not feeling fulfilled by what you do and waking up every morning uninspired by your own journey.

Today, 8 years since my Philosophy classes and 4 since I dropped college,  I’m writing this here at the Maldives, the feet on the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, watching another beautiful sunset, and simply “Celebrating Life”.

Life is short, they say. But if you live it with purpose and fulfillment, One is enough.

You already have wings. All you need is taking the risk to fly!

By the 3rd day here at the Lux South Ari, I gave an interview for the VVIP Program hosted by Ahmed Anoosh on Raajje Tv (a Maldivian Channel) precisely talking about social media, the power of your own Brand, future projects, and much more! I will be sharing the interview very soon!  Can’t wait!

After a magical stay at the Lux South Ari and the Maldives,  it was time to leave this wonderful country and go back to San Francisco (with a one-day stopover in Hong Kong). I can hear you! Still San Francisco? Yes, I will actually spend one more week there and then back to Europe.See you guys very soon!

Xoxo,
Mel

Credits
Photography: Diogo Novo
Hotel: Lux* South Ari Atoll 

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Kandima http://melaniemartins.com/kandima/ http://melaniemartins.com/kandima/#comments Wed, 26 Apr 2017 08:46:56 +0000 http://melaniemartins.com/?p=6992

After Conrad, it was time to take another flight. Not to leave the Maldives, nope. But to run South in direction of another Atoll. An Atoll even further South called Dhaalu.Between perfectly white sandy beaches and breathtaking warm sunsets, there is an Island where pool parties and happiness never end! Welcome to Kandima! Welcome to Anything But Ordinary!

I was lucky enough to go there for the big opening party of this new Maldivian Jewel. We went there for 6 days attending the white party (Opening one) and be among the very first guests to be on the island! Oh cool is that?!

Kandima’s concept is likely to be very similar to Mykonos: they have plenty of entertaining activities, pool and beach parties, a lot of animations, “Aquaholics” (water sports center), and even an Art center (let’s also call it Artholics)!

Since it was the hotel opening, there were only the invited guests so we quickly made new friends from Dubai and UK which was really cool!

Unfortunately, not all the restaurants of the Island were opened, so we ended up eating lunch and dinner practically every day in the same buffet-style restaurant, nevertheless, the food was great and the staff beyond amazing!

Below are some of my photo-memories of the newly opened Kandima:

I stayed in an Ocean Pool villa with incredible views (as you can see above)! In the morning, when I was brushing my teeth, I even saw dolphins from the window of my bathroom!

Kandima is the perfect destination for having fun with your friends and we definitely had a bless! It’s a magical destination that has a lot of potentials to become the Maldivian Mykonos.

Catch you guys soon!

Xoxo,
Melanie

Credits
Property: Kandima Maldives
Photographer: Diogo Novo

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Easter in the Maldives http://melaniemartins.com/easter-in-the-maldives/ http://melaniemartins.com/easter-in-the-maldives/#comments Thu, 20 Apr 2017 14:24:56 +0000 http://melaniemartins.com/?p=6927

Hello my dear Friends! Happy Easter to all!

I couldn’t have dreamt of a better destination to celebrate Easter than the Conrad Rangali Island!

Located in the Southern Ari Atoll (or formerly known asAlifu Dhaalu Atoll), the Conrad is internationally renowned for having the first underwater restaurant:

Located in the Southern Ari Atoll (or formerly known as Alifu Dhaalu Atoll), the Conrad is internationally renowned for having the first underwater restaurant: Ithaa! How cool is that?

After having spent a month in San Francisco working on a secret project (I will soon let you know about it, I promise…), Diogo and I decided to spend Easter in the Maldives.

Yes: We spent last Christmas there but the Maldives are such a paradise on Earth that you can’t get enough of it! We, therefore, flew from San Francisco to the Maldives with a leftover in Hong Kong.

The total hours of flight were around 20 hours! 14 hours to Hong Kong and 5-6hours to the Maldives.

With so many hours of plane, we decided to spend 2 weeks in the Maldives instead of only one like in December. In fact, from my home in Malta, it only takes 10 hours to get to the Maldives (2 hours flight to Istambul and 8h:30 to the Maldives).

We spent 5 wonderful days at the Conrad Rangali Island (from the 16th, Easter day, to the 20th April). I was really amazed by the number of excursions and activities available on-sight: from sunset cruises, spa treatments, whale sharks excursions, snorkeling with turtles, dolphins watch, and much more!

Below are some of my photos-memories taken during the stay:

One of my favorite excursion was the sunset cruise!

Unlike many other hotels, the Conrad has a proper Yacht to take you and your partner on a magical sunset show!

The staff gave us champagne and some appetizers which were really appreciated to enjoy even more the view! Onboard there were only Diogo and I and an American couple.

My friend Madeleine, who came to the Conrad 2 days after, even saw Dolphins during her sunset cruise!

Another favorite was the infinite pool reserved for Adults only!

The view was incredible overlooking to the other island of the Conrad (the resort has 2 islands connected with a bridge)!

It’s known as the Quiet Zone where there is no children disturbing and a very chilling music to give a zen vibe!

The snorkeling experience was incredible! Well, as you probably know, Maldives is famous for its coral reefs full of marine life such as turtles, fishes, manta rays, etc.

Madeleine, Iqbal, Diogo and I went on a private excursion early in the morning where we could find many turtles (as you may see above)! The water was really clear! After snorkeling for over an hour, we spent our time tanning on the boat’s rooftop.

Have you ever been to the Conrad Rangali? Some of my readers told me by private message on Instagram they spent their honeymoon at the Conrad and loved it! How was your experience?

Don’t forget to let me know in the comment sections below!

Talk soon!

Xoxo,

Melanie

Credits
Property: Conrad Rangali Island
Photographer: Diogo Novo

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NAPA http://melaniemartins.com/napa/ http://melaniemartins.com/napa/#respond Sun, 02 Apr 2017 02:10:06 +0000 http://melaniemartins.com/?p=7200

It looks a bit like Tuscany, but it’s not Tuscany.

You can’t go to San Francisco, and not take a day to explore the wine country: Napa – which is located at no more than 2 hours drive from SF.

Since Diogo and I never drive in USA (I don’t have a license, and he is a crazy driver, so better to avoid problems…), we had to find an alternative: we could either go by Uber all the way or take a ferry to Vallejo and then a Uber.

Ferry + Uber was actually not only cheaper but much nicer. During 1 hour we had incredible views of the Hills surrounding us and the bay. The only downside his the last Vallejo-San Francisco ferry goes pretty early so we couldn’t stay there for dinner.

Since we didn’t have much time to visit, we picked the most famous sight to visit: Castello di Amorosa – basically the only Castle Italian-style built in Napa. We had some wine tasting which was great.

Our stay was very short. Hope I will have the opportunity to come back for a longer stay.

I totally recommend staying in Napa Valley instead of San Francisco if you intend to explore the wineries and countryside! But book in advance since the prices have the tendency to be higher than SF!

Have you every been to Napa Valley? How was your experience?

Let me know in the comment section below!

Love you all!

Melanie

 

]]> http://melaniemartins.com/napa/feed/ 0 5 Days in Hawaii http://melaniemartins.com/5days-in-hawaii/ http://melaniemartins.com/5days-in-hawaii/#respond Mon, 20 Mar 2017 03:14:40 +0000 http://melaniemartins.com/?p=6833

Located at 6 hours flight from California and Tahiti, the Hawaiian Islands are known as the most isolated land on Earth.Since I was in California, I had the opportunity to pass by Maui – one of the Hawaiian Islands, and visit it over a 5 days stay.

This trip was planned last minute and it never crossed my mind to visit Hawaii when I left Malta to San Francisco.

But life is full of amazing surprises! I got invited all the sudden to a weekend gathering with friends from San Francisco and to assist to a FinTech conference, so here I am!

We got again lucky with the weather, as it was raining the week before we arrived!

During our stay, we got super warm and sunny days, perfect to enjoy the beach, the sea, and explore around. During the morning of our last day, we went with Pacific Whales Foundation to a whales watching. I truly recommend this unique experience!

Where to stay: I staid during 3 nights at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, Maui and had the opportunity to explore entirely the resort and Spa. The majority of the pictures above were taken in the resort which has a private beach, several pools, hot jacuzzi, golf course and many restaurants to choose from. Our suite residence had stunning views to the ocean, the green vegetation and to the golf course (first picture).

We got a dinner at the BanyanTree and the food was really great! I got fresh tuna as a main and fruit with frozen mint for dessert (pictured above). A must-try!

I also recommend to take an afternoon (from 3 to 5) and enjoy the spa with a traditional Hawaiian Massage. You won’t regret it!

Have you ever been in Hawaii? If so, let me know how was your experience!

XO,
Melanie

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Comfy weekend at the Ritz http://melaniemartins.com/comfy-weekend-at-the-ritz/ http://melaniemartins.com/comfy-weekend-at-the-ritz/#respond Mon, 13 Mar 2017 21:08:29 +0000 http://melaniemartins.com/?p=6839

After San Francisco we decided to go unexpectedly to Hawaii, and after Hawaii, we will be back to SF for a couple more days before flying to Europe.

I know what you are thinking: “Aren’t you jet-lagged with all these flights?” Indeed, and also exhausted. That’s why I took a weekend off before my 6 hours trip to Hawaii in order to relax at the Ritz-Carlton.

They have a special lounge in the Floor number 8 with buffet for breakfast, lunch, and dinner + all day long food and beverages available at anytime.

Want to eat every hour or take a coffee at any time? Not a problem. I just had to go out of my room that was on the same floor and head to the lounge.

I spent almost 2 days without going out of the hotel! Seriously! But I didn’t need to.

My friends actually came over to visit me instead.

This weekend I invited my dear friend Derek Fletcher to come over. Derek is professor of meditation in SoCali and luckily he was actually in town for a conference.

San Francisco is a stressful city despite what a lot of people think, and it’s important to keep some time off for you far from the noise and rush.

The club lounge was the perfect spot to meet him and we literally spent 5 hours there talking and catching up. I speak with him regularly but nothing beat meeting your friends face-to-face.

The Club Lounge was also I great place to meet other guests in a more casual environment. I even met people from Brazil! The staff was incredibly friendly, always ready to help you in any minor detail.

Sunday afternoon I decided to cross again the golden gate and meet another friend who lives in a wonderful house in Belvedere.

Hawaii here I go!

Location: Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco

XO,

Melanie

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