Melanie Martins http://melaniemartins.com/ Thu, 25 May 2017 17:08:51 +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 Kandima http://melaniemartins.com/kandima/ http://melaniemartins.com/kandima/#respond 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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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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SAN FRANCISCO http://melaniemartins.com/san-francisco/ http://melaniemartins.com/san-francisco/#respond Fri, 10 Mar 2017 11:10:10 +0000 http://melaniemartins.com/?p=6824

Welcome to the one & only Golden Gate! Welcome to San Francisco! Welcome to California!

Since I’m a little girl, I dream of visiting the pacific coast and the great state of California. 2017 is the year I turned this dream a reality. 

As part of my 2017 Wishes List, California was high on the list! To be honest, was number 1. San Francisco was actually the first city I wanted to visit.

Why San Francisco? From the concept of the freest city in USA to the hippy movement in the 60s, San Francisco was the guardian of Freedom and Innovation.I’m also working in a FinTech project (very secret one for now) and it was the perfect city to network and meet fellow entrepreneurs, advisors, investors, etc. This is the land of the biggest Tech companies on Earth after all.

My stay in San Francisco was a mix between meetings, networking, partying to sightseeing. I had the pleasure to discover the Golden Gate, Union Square, the downtown, Pier 39 and their famous soup in bread, Chinatown, assist to geek parties, and meet with the most reputed VCs in the world.

My personal Experience with San Francisco

The city itself has some downsides you have to be aware of: there is a LOT of homeless people, junkies, and weird folks around.

Be prepared to see a group of tents where people live under bridges, folks carrying their belongings in handicapped wheelchairs, others suffering day and night around the city, laying on the ground, etc.

Another “tourist alert” would be the expensive price of good organic vegetarian food (comparing with Malta).
For those who like organic, healthy, and quality, I recommend the following restaurants:

Gracias Madre in Mission Street (latino neighborhood) which is a vegetarian-only restaurant with great Mexican organic dishes (they have a commune table system, so don’t be surprise if they seat you at the same table than someone else);

Greens Restaurant located at the Fort Mason Center, near the marina with beautiful views to the Golden Gate but be prepared to spend $100 for 2 easily;

The Battery Restaurant/lounge (but you need to be a member or have a friend who is a member of the Battery to enter). Luckily I went to have dinner with one of my friend from the Bay Area who was one.

Urban Remedy – Opened from 7 Am, it’s the perfect spot for affordable breakfast or lunch all vegan.

Seed + Salt – A small charming bistro serving organic and vegan salads with fresh coconut water for around $14-$20. Opened from 8AM to 8PM.

VeganBurg – As they mention themselves, Vegan Burg is the first vegan fast-food chain. Located at 1466 Haight St San Francisco, this place makes one of best burgers in town for as low as $6!

Love N Haight Deli & Cafe – The only who stays open until 2AM, it was my savior when I went to sleep at 5PM and would woke up at midnight! The sandwiches are seriously amazing and very cheap too. It’s a vegetarian and vegan spot.

Everything close pretty early in San Francisco. Restaurants closes around 9-10PM max. so plan your dinners around 8 to 8:30PM to avoid disappointments.

Also, alcohol can only be sold and consumed until 2 AM. So don’t go to a nightclub to late or you will drink apple juice all night.

Where to stay: I staid at the iconic and historic Fairmont Hotel San Francisco, in the beginning of my stay. The hotel is seriously breathtaking, and worth a stay to fully enjoy its rich history, and wonderfully decorated rooms, lobby and public areas. Ask a room in the tower where you can get proper city and sea views, you won’t get disappointed!

Did you already visit San Francisco? Did you like it? Let me know in the comments below!

XO,
Melanie

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2016 Highlights http://melaniemartins.com/2016-highlights/ http://melaniemartins.com/2016-highlights/#respond Sat, 07 Jan 2017 20:18:30 +0000 http://melaniemartins.com/?p=6811

As a travel blogger, I’m very glad to have been in some of my bucket list destinations such as visiting Cairo, Morocco, Venice, Mykonos, Santorini, KosAthens, Maldives, and to assist to the fashion weeks in NYC, Milan and Paris.

In parallel to my travels, I have been learning how to design apps with Sketch and Photoshop, how to build an interactive prototype with Invision, and learnt the new programming language of Apple: Swift. One of my 2017 goal? Build my own app.

Other goals? Travel more.

Indeed, despite the fact I went to over 20 destinations this year, for me, it’s never enough! I hope to be able to travel to Dubai, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bali and maybe Japan. For tropical Islands “close to home” Seychelles and Mauritius are also in my bucket list. I hope to repeat the Maldives and Mykonos! For a trip in USA, maybe I will go back to NYC for the Fashion week and also to California!

For #Eurosummer2017, I hope to see more of Italy and my own country France.

In overall, 2016 has been a good year, full of evolution and progression.

I wish to all a happy new year 2017! And hope that all your goals will come true!

Those are so far some of mines. What about yours?

Xoxo,

Melanie

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MALDIVES http://melaniemartins.com/maldives/ http://melaniemartins.com/maldives/#comments Thu, 22 Dec 2016 17:04:47 +0000 http://melaniemartins.com/?p=6758 file_000-12file_000-14

Hello my dear friends!

2016 is close to an end. Maldives was on my bucket list to close this amazing year.

During 2016 I assisted to 3 fashion weeks: New York, Milan and Paris; travelled to Cairo where I finally saw the pyramids; travelled to Marrakesh twice unveiling its exciting nightlife; have been in Mykonos, Santorini, Athens and many more destinations in Greece (I became a Greek destinations expert, kind of); to the magical Venice in Italy, and finally ended the year discovering the Maldives!

The Maldives has been in my bucket list since… Ever! The concept “One-Island-One-Resort” was calling!

Indeed, I could play Robinson Crusoe lost in the Island without giving up the Champagne, the Michelin-star food, or the ultimate comfort of a water villa.

My birthday was very close. It was time to mark my 24th anniversary with a special destination.

The dry season, from mid-December to early-May, had actually started.

Since I was living in Malta, we have cheap flights with Turkish Airline Malta/Maldives for €500 roundtrip with only one stop in Istanbul.

After a total of 9 hours flight, we finally landed in Male Airpot.

At the arrivals, someone from Constance Halaveli was awaiting us. He brought us to the hotel lounge in the airport and after 20 minutes we entered in a small water plane from TransMaldivian airways to fly to our resort.

The experience of this 20 minutes flight was seriously amazing!

Unlike others planes, this one was landing and taking off on the water and would carry no more than 10 passengers.

We landed over the water at 100 meters from the Island. I boat came and carried us to the resort.

At our arrival, we were welcomed by the guest relation and staff.

After a 15 minutes chat, Karen, one of the guest relations, accompanied us to our water villa.

If you follow me on Instagram, you have probably seen the Insta-stories I shared about the interior design of my villa.

A bottle of champagne and a basket of fruits were awaiting us upon arrival at the villa.

We spent the afternoon in our private pool overlooking the crystal-clear waters of the atoll with a glass of champagne, and assisted to one the most beautiful sunset ever! What could we want more from 2016?

Here below is my photo-diary during my stay at the Constance Halaveli.

Nevertheless, nothing can really properly pay justice to the beauty of this place, so I truly recommend you to go there and see by yourself!

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Some people asked me: Didn’t you get bored after a while?

I started laughing. How can someone be bored in the Maldives? Unless you are going during the rainy season, if you have sunny days like I did, you definitely won’t get bored.

From sailing, snorkel, diving, meet new people, spending the afternoon in the beach or in your private pool, to spa, gym, to jet-ski, and others aquatic spots, Maldives is a place where there is always things to do!

You can easily make friends, or you can stay on your own if you prefer intimacy and privacy.

Maldives can be a relaxing experience or full of aquatic discoveries. From my side, I would wake-up at 7 AM every morning, take the breakie and at 8:30 AM I would get on a boat for 2-3 dives a day.

How long should you spend in the Maldives? Seriously anywhere from 8 days to 15 would be perfect!

For my birthday, I went to a special degustation dinner under the stars! (I will be sharing the pics in my next post).

Have you ever been in the Maldives? Don’t forget to let me know how was your experience!

Wish to all a Happy New Year 2017!

Xoxo,

Melanie

Credits
Where to stay: Constance Halaveli
Photography: Diogo Novo

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My Life in Mexico http://melaniemartins.com/my-life-in-mexico/ http://melaniemartins.com/my-life-in-mexico/#comments Sat, 10 Dec 2016 17:25:35 +0000 http://melaniemartins.com/?p=6729 2melanie-paradise-mexicocozumelcozumel2melanie-divingcocobongo2img_0720file_004-18coco-bongofile_006-1melanie-sharksfile_001img_2299file_009file_005file_002file_007

Who was Melanie before becoming a travel blogger?

Well, I was actually an Avid Caribbean lover! While living in Portugal, every single year for December I would travel to Mexico (Quintana Roo and Yucatan) and spend there a week or two! I love this place so much that I even considered to get a condo and move there!

Above are some pictures of my last travels to this wonderful land.

I admit, since I became a travel blogger I didn’t go back to Mexico. I opted to travel around the Mediterranean and North Africa, there is so much to visit around where I live.

Before, I was living in Portugal and travelling to Mexico or the Caribbean was a direct trip of 8 hours. Now, these destinations are farer than the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Dubai, Greece, or Turkey.

Nevertheless, Mexico still holds a special place on my heart and I can’t wait to go back there very soon!

Have you ever been in Mexico? Let me know how was your experience!

Xoxo,
Melanie

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MY LAST 5 BIRTHDAYS http://melaniemartins.com/my-last-5-birthdays/ http://melaniemartins.com/my-last-5-birthdays/#comments Mon, 21 Nov 2016 04:10:11 +0000 http://melaniemartins.com/?p=6529 tips-for-teachingkids-to-enjoy-learningand-readingat-school-1

It’s almost this time of the year again.

For the majority, 31st December is synonym with NYE and crazy parties, but for me it only means I’m getting older.

To avoid thinking about the negative side of getting older, I treat each birthday as Unique as possible.

Each new age I get, I celebrate it with Happiness and Uniqueness!

Unlike those who treat their birthday as one more day of their life, I take mine very seriously!

So seriously that I start celebrating it sometimes 15 days to 1 month before the actual date, and have cake the 30th and 31st!

I won’t have 19, 20, 21, 22 or 23 anymore, so I try to make this time of the year, which is also NYE, the most memorable possible!

My first rule: New Age, New Destination!

I have been celebrating my last 6 birthdays (since my 18th) in totally different destinations, environments, and with completely different group of friends, making all of them not only truly Unique but also Unforgettable!

Unfortunately, I don’t have any proper photos from my 18th birthday, so I will pay a tribute to my last 5 ones:

19th Birthday – Miami Beach, USA

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Yes… Miami Beach. You read it right. I admit it was a mistake to go there to celebrate NYE and my 19th birthday.

If you are under 21 in the USA, forget clubbing and bars as you are only allowed to enter at that age (unless you have a fake ID).

Coming from Portugal, I had no idea about this rule and my goal was obviously to party at the LIV club, Amnesia, Mansion, etc. like I did with all my last 5 birthdays (14-18).

You couldn’t imagine my face when the doorman asked my ID Card to check my age and denied me access to the club!

Fortunately, I had decided to be 3 days in Miami Beach followed by 10 days in Playa del Carmen (Mexico) finishing with Key West and Miami Beach again for the 31.

In Mexico you can enter at 16 in Bars and 18 in nightclubs like Europe, so I was very happy with my decision to spend most of the time there! I even got an Advanced PADI Course and became a diver!

I spent the 31st December in Key West and came back to Miami Beach for the countdown, I watched the fireworks in South Beach and went to the lobby of the Fontainebleau Hotel since they were hosting a party there but as expected I couldn’t get inside the LIV club (with Eric Morillo as Dj).

I spent the 1st January in Philadelphia (Pennsylvania) waiting for my flight to go back to Portugal.

20th Birthday – Cozumel, Mexico

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This year I was back to the wonderful State of Quinta Roo (Mexico) for more 10 days of adventures, diving experiences, and discoveries (from 20-30 Dec).

Despite the fact that I was not yet a travel blogger, our divemaster brought his DSLR to take wonderful underwater shots. Thank You Charlie!

This time, I came back to Portugal the 31st morning to take my two “long-time-no-see” besties (Maria & Filipe) and spend the countdown in Vigo, Galiza’s capital city (in Spain), famous for its endless parties!

21st Birthday – Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

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I was completely in love with Mexico.

After 2 successful Christmas there, each time I could travel (at the time I was not yet a travel blogger) I would go there again and over again.

We had not only cheap flights from Portugal or Madrid but the Resorts were all-inclusive!

I had already my squad of local friends and divers, and I was seriously in love with Playa, Riviera Maya, Cozumel, Isla Mujeres, and all the Caribbean coast. I even considered to move there!

I spent the first night of my birthday (the night before NYE) at the famous Coco Bongo Club, Playa.

This club, my friends, is only The Best Club in the World!

So why I never went there before? Well, because the entrance is $80 per person! But this time, we gave it a try! And seriously, I spent the most amazing clubbing night ever! “It’s even better than Vegas!” told me some of the guests from California.

Well, until now, I have to admit, I never experienced better!

We landed the evening of the 31st December in Porto and spent the countdown at the luxurious Tiara Hotel with Diogo’s family and friends.

22nd Birthday – Caribbean Sea, Princess Cruise

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We spent first some days in Miami Beach as I could FINALLY enter in nightclubs and bars (see my story about Miami Beach nightlife here)!

Then, we went to Fort Lauderdale to get onboard of the Magnificent Royal Princess for a 25 days cruise across the Caribbean Islands!

Diogo and I really had a blast visiting many Caribbean Islands for Christmas, NYE and my birthday such as the Bahamas, US Virgin Islands, Aruba, Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, and Dominica (we should have done St. Kitts & Nevis but due to weather conditions, the boat couldn’t enter in the Port).

During NYE, I was far away from my friends, but we made new ones on-board and spent really a great time watching the firework from the deck!

The dress you see above was purchased at Holt Miami as soon as I arrived in South Beach!

My 22th Birthday was the most extravagant and glamorous of them all. As a formal dress code was mandatory for the Réveillon onboard of the Royal Princess, everyone was looking really great!

To see all the photos about my 22th Birthday click here.

23rd Birthday – Marrakesh, Morocco

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My last birthday was celebrated at the wonderful Domaine Royal Palm, Marrakesh.

I was doing a long trip of 3 weeks: starting from Rome (which I staid 3 days), I landed in Rabat for Christmas and visited Morocco from North to South including a 2nd visit to Fes.

I’m very happy I managed to plan a nice party at the Royal Palm with all my local friends including Fatima Zahra, Miss Morocco and Youssef Hayoun, Moroccan Actor.

Unlike my very glamourous 22th Birthday, this one was more casual where I spent the afternoon with my friends followed by a more formal Réveillon wearing a Traditional Moroccan Kaftan.

The Moroccan finest pastry “Amandine Marrakesh” made 2 wonderful cakes who represented my collaboration with the Kaftan designer Amine Mrani and the first year of my blog! How cool is that? To see all the photos about my 23th Birthday click here.

24th Birthday – ?

Can you guess where I will spend my 24th Birthday? One thing I can tell you it’s gonna be the most Memorable of them all!

See you soon,

Xx,
Melanie

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LA SULTANA http://melaniemartins.com/la-sultana/ http://melaniemartins.com/la-sultana/#respond Fri, 11 Nov 2016 18:14:43 +0000 http://melaniemartins.com/?p=6443 sultana sultanan7sultana2 sultana3 sultana5 sultana6

La Sultana Marrakesh is the most magical Riad (actually a combination of 5 different Riads) located in the heart of the Medina – the old city – and was also the perfect place to shoot the green sapphire Kaftan created by my dear friend Amine Mrani.

A great combination of Moroccan Haute-Couture with Moroccan traditional architecture.

I do recommend to stay at the La Sultana if you are heading to Marrakesh and want an authentic experience in the old city – the Medina.

Located at 10 minutes walk from the famous Market place Jemaa el-Fnaa, you cannot get more central to visit the “must-sees” of the red city.

What do you think about this Kaftan?

Xx,
Melanie

Wearing: Kaftan Amine Mrani
Location: La Sultana Marrakesh

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