Melanie Martins http://melaniemartins.com/ Tue, 29 Jan 2019 14:29:51 +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 TOKYO ULTIMATE EXPERIENCE http://melaniemartins.com/tokyo-ultimate-experience/ http://melaniemartins.com/tokyo-ultimate-experience/#respond Fri, 21 Dec 2018 18:02:44 +0000

Tokyo has been a city I wanted to visit for so so long! Luckily, since Diogo and I were in Paris and having direct round-trip flights Paris/Tokyo, we decided to arrange a quick trip of 5 days and visit this frenetic city!

Before boarding we went to the business lounge to take a shower (yes you can take a shower in the CDG Star Alliance lounge) in order to get ready for our overnight flight to Tokyo.

The cultural immersion started right from the beginning: we decided to fly onboard of Japan’s largest Airline ANA for the very first time and we have to admit we really enjoyed their business class!

In fact, and unlike many other companies, ANA provides a thin mattress to put on your seat once it is in the horizontal position so you have a more pleasing sleep experience – usually only a blanket and pillow are provided.

We were welcomed with a glass of Champagne (which, as French, I truly appreciate), after 1 hour in the air, we got served a delicious meal while we were watching a movie. After dinner, we put the seat in horizontal (like a mattress) and spent the next 8 hours sleeping comfortably.

When we woke up, we took our breakfast and we were ready to land!

It was the fastest 12 hours I have ever spent on a plane!

We decided to divide our stay between 2 different type of hotels: a traditional high-end ryokan – the famous Hoshinoya Tokyo (for 2 nights); and a ultra modern property, the Andaz Tokyo for other 2 nights.

DAY 1 – ARRIVAL

When we arrived at Hoshinoya Tokyo around 4 PM, we were invited to remove our shoes as it is a shoe less hotel. In fact, in Japan, everyone removes their shoes when entering in a house, so we gladly removed them!

We were escorted to our room which was the biggest suite of the hotel, see pictures below:

The hotel only serves breakfast in-room for a maximum of comfort and privacy – which we loved it! They also have a complimentary public lounge in each floor, open 24 hours if you are feeling like drinking some matcha or eating some noodles at 4 am (like I did!).

Hoshinoya is not an ordinary hotel, is a totally unique Japanese experience and cultural immersion! From the welcoming and detail-oriented service, to the well-thought design, Hoshinoya Tokyo captivated all my senses.

If it’s your very first time in Tokyo or in Japan, then Hoshinoya Tokyo is an absolute Must!

After checking, we went to the SAKE Lounge to taste fine Japanese wines and premium sakes (the traditional Japanese alcoholic beverage) while enjoying a Grand Kagura performance.

For dinner, we went to meet Kanda, the 3 Michelin-star chef which cooked some traditional sushi and soup for us. He is a total legend in Japan! So If you enjoy a fine Japanese experience, then Kanda is a must try!

Below is what we did during our stay in Tokyo and we definitely recommend you to replicate it if you are staying for at least 3 full days in the city (minimum 4 nights recommended) for a complete cultural immersion both in terms of food, drinks, Art, shopping, history and sightseeing:

DAY 2

=> Get amazing photos wearing a traditional Kimono and walking around the 141 years old gardens of the Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo, right in the heart of the city.

This is a total must for any person in Tokyo! Trying on a traditional Kimono is a one of a kind experience to blend in the beautiful gardens.

=> Have lunch at the exclusive Azuma-Ya all by yourself and finalize your meal with a traditional Matcha tea ritual. Reservation mandatory. 

If there is one thing Tokyo is known for is for its incredible food! In fact, Tokyo has more Michelin-star restaurants than Paris! Quite impressive right? You will find that many Michelin-star restaurants in Tokyo can only allocate 6-8 persons as they are very small and modest spaces! But when it comes to the quality of the food, it’s from another level!

=> Have a traditional tea ceremony wearing a kimono at Hoshinoya Tokyo and learn how to make matcha!

I have always loved matcha tea! It’s in fact my favorite drink ever! At the Hoshinoya Tokyo, you can enjoy a private traditional ceremony where you will see how to prepare matcha and you can even prepare one cup yourself!

=> Enjoy the amazing hot spring on the rooftop at Hoshinoya Tokyo. 

Hoshinoya Tokyo is already quite special on itself,  but you can’t miss out their amazing hot spring on the last floor for a relaxing experience! There is no ceiling, so you can even watch the stars while chilling! As you will need to go naked in the water, the hot spring experience is separated by gender: one area for women and another for men.

=> Experience the finest of Nippon Cuisine thru a 8 courses degustation dinner at Hoshinoya Tokyo.

Another incredible experience at the Hoshinoya Tokyo includes the tasting of their fine-dining 8 course menu! Each dish is an expression of Art and designed to stimulate even the pickiest palates.

As in many other fine-dining restaurants in Tokyo, the Hoshinoya Tokyo dining restaurant is only composed by private dining rooms so you have full privacy guaranteed!

DAY 3

=> Do some shopping and bring a souvenir from Mikimoto – the renewed Japanese fine pearl jewelry.

Walking around Ginza you will find many high-end shops, but there is one in particularly that worth to visit: Mikimoto – the renewed Japanese fine pearl jewelry. You will find elegant set of pearls in every size and colors which is a perfect souvenir for a special one. Below is a classic set of earrings and necklace which is very versatile, both for the day or evening.

=> Visit the Oil Gallery of Nichido followed by their Contemporary Art Gallery.

If you fancy Art & Culture, then you will be delighted to visit Nichido Galerie, also located in Ginza, it’s the first gallery specialized in the Western-style oil painting in Japan holding a large assortment of works by Japanese masters and emerging artists. We also visited the contemporary one located in Chuo-ku.

=> Have lunch at the ultra-exclusive 2 Michelin-stars Japanese Restaurant OKAMOTO in Minato-ku.

After a great morning visiting Mikimoto and Nichido Galleries, we headed to a simple and modest restaurant called OKAMOTO yet this place is A true Hidden Gem you don’t want to miss! The two Michelin-star chef will cook front of you.

=> Visit a traditional Tsuzura atelier 

We had the opportunity to visit a craftsman in his atelier painting a “Tsuzura” – a Japanese Antique Basket Box used to store kimonos and other garments. If there is one thing you will particularly notice in Tokyo is the contrasts between the modern skyscrapers and the authentic and traditional hidden gems like this one.

=>  Walk around the high-end neighborhood of Ginza and  Omotesando – perfect to take some amazing street shots with their modern and bold architectures.

There is nothing better to walk in the streets of Tokyo in order to get a sense of this frenetic city! Don’t be scared to walk some miles and visually absorb all the wonders this city has to offer! Diogo and I walked around the neighborhoods of Ginza known for its fashion high-end streets and Omotesando, known for its bold and modern buildings. The first picture was taken front of the Tokyu Plaza building in Omotesando, the second and last one in the streets of Ginza and the third one front of the Kabuki-za Theater, also located in Ginza. I love specially the fusion between the modern and ancient that you will feel thru walking around these areas.

=> Check-in at the Andaz Tokyo, have dinner with a view at their restaurant and get some drinks on their amazing rooftop!

We checked quite late after a full day visiting Tokyo but once we arrived at the Andaz Tokyo, we couldn’t not fall in love with the view! The strongest point of this hotel, among its swimming pool and modern design,  it’s the incredible panoramic view you get from your room, the restaurants, the lounge and on their amazing rooftop! Below is the view we had from our room, yes – it’s the Tokyo tower! How cool is that? If you are interested in a great modern hotel in the city center, then this is the perfect choice for your stay in Tokyo!

DAY 4

=> Visit one of the oldest museums in Tokyo: the Nezu Museum and their gardens.

The museum was founded in 1896, being one of the oldest in Tokyo, it also has an incredible and mystical garden that worth the go.

=> Get the most amazing shots at the digital museum TeamLab Experience 

One of the coolest place to hangout in Tokyo, this is a totally Instagram-worthy place! Be ready to spend 2 hours or more there as this digital museum has quite a lot to visit.

=> Have lunch near the Tokyo Tower, at Tofuya Ukai, a restaurant specialized in tofu cuisine.

This is such a special place! You can’t go to Tokyo and not try this unique place! You will be assigned a private dining room just for you and your guests (you will obviously have to remove your shoes before), your waiter will come to serve your dishes and your sake discreetly. It was one of the most pleasant lunch I have ever had, I truly appreciate the respect for privacy in the Japanese culture. Many high-end restaurants have private dining rooms or only accept 1 group of guests at each time.

=> Visit the traditional area of Asakusa and the most ancient buddhist temple in Tokyo: Sensō-ji Temple

This is the most traditional area of Tokyo where you will find plenty of traditional souvenirs to bring back home including Maneki Neko cats which brings luck to its owners. We also walked thru the market and stopped at the most ancient buddhist temple in Tokyo: Sensō-ji Temple, which definitely worth to visit.

=> Try some Michelin-star Japanese tempura at the Tempura Kondo restaurant.

Another speciality in Japan is tempura dishes! Get ready for an entire degustation at Tempura Kondo in Ginza. You can pick either a normal degustation menu which includes fish or a vegetarian one – always good to know!

DAY 5

Time to say goodbye to Tokyo and fly back to Europe onboard of ANA, the biggest Japanese Airline.

We loved Tokyo so much! We only hope we can come back soon and discover further this incredible city and other parts of Japan.

Xx,
Melanie

Credits
Photography: Diogo Novo, Hoshinoya Tokyo, Andaz Tokyo.
Author: Melanie Martins

 

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Constance Ephelia http://melaniemartins.com/constance-ephelia/ http://melaniemartins.com/constance-ephelia/#respond Fri, 26 Oct 2018 11:57:15 +0000 http://melaniemartins.com/?p=8835

Following our incredible stay in Praslin, Diogo and I took a 20 minutes flight to arrive to Mahe – the biggest and main Island in the Seychelles.

Upon arrival, a driver from the Constance Ephelia was waiting to take us to the wonderful and secluded resort.

We arrived in late afternoon at the luxurious retreat situated on two gorgeous beaches on Mahe island.

The property overlooks Port Launey, a marine national park where lush and rare vegetation lends an aura of natural sophistication and calm to the environs.

We reserved a romantic hillside villa with view to the Indian ocean. Looking out onto the water, the clear blue perfectly matched the blue cloud-spotted sky, perfectly enveloping the other colors of the crystalline sand and rows of palm trees.

Other accommodations on the property include garden view rooms, Junior or Senior suites, and a selection of different villas to suit couples, families or groups. All offer views of the either the ocean or luxuriant gardens. There is even a unique presidential villa!

Melanie Martins

After checking in and being shown to our contemporary-styled villa, we unpacked and relaxed before dressing for dinner. Whilst sipping a glass of cabernet, we perused the award-winning menu at Gastronomy Restaurant, as the Indian Ocean shimmered with the sunset. The hotel’s fine dining is a true gastronomical experience.

Run by chef Nicolas Heaviside, it is known to be the best restaurant in Seychelles. Using only the freshest local ingredients, the food is exquisitely prepared and the perfect way to begin our weekend adventure.

The next morning it was off to the spa! The U spa offers a Classics and Deluxe package and is set in the property’s lagoon area. The Classics package includes a range of treatments, taking you on an exotic and fragrant journey to relaxation. But we opted for the Deluxe package, offering specialist treatments from leading brands such as Valmont. The massages are done after a one-on-one consultation, so you know that your spa needs are met with expert hands!

Then we arranged a heart-pumping zipline tour and discovered the gorgeous scenery from the canopy of trees high above and up the hillside. SMAC Adventures is right on the resort property, and are a group of dedicated adventure enthusiasts with years of knowledge to show you a truly fantastic ziplining experience. At the top you will marvel at jaw-dropping views of the bay at Port Launay below. They also offer rock climbing!

After our adventures, relaxing on the beach at Constance Ephelia is the perfect way to round out an exceptional weekend. As the sand curves gently around the crystal-blue waters, you are flanked by a mixture of palm and other tropical trees in an Adam and Eve-like lagoon environment. Where the water is warm, inviting and not crowded with other paradise lovers.

There is no other place quite like the Seychelles to melt your cares away and truly unwind.

Have you ever been to the Seychelles or the Constance Ephelia? Let us know how was your experience!

Xx,

Melanie

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Praslin Island http://melaniemartins.com/praslin-island/ http://melaniemartins.com/praslin-island/#respond Fri, 28 Sep 2018 14:15:14 +0000 http://melaniemartins.com/?p=8843

After our amazing stay in Felicité Island, it was time to explore its neighbor and most praised Island: Praslin.

At just 20 mins flight from Mahe or 30 mins by boat from Felicité, Praslin is a much bigger island with many sumptuous beaches (such as the world famous Anse Lazio), greenery, restaurants, and with the amazing Raffles providing many beautiful villas with unbelievable views from the top of a hill to Praslin!

We were actually on our way to the Raffles when we experienced the most beautiful sunset ever! As you can see by the photo taken above (from the car in motion) we couldn’t believe how pink and purpose the sky was!

This is a very rare phenomenon by what the driver told us. In fact, during our entire stay in the Seychelles (18 days) we only saw it twice and it was always when we were on the go. This time however we could take a decent picture of this magnificent sunset.

I was positively surprised by the incredible service and food provided at the Raffles. In fact, being Vegan was never an issue here in the Seychelles.

At the Raffles, we would meet everyday our chef to tell us what he had in mind for our dinner or lunch!

The first night we tried Creole vegan dishes. We loved it so much that every night we were heading to the same restaurant to get again creole food! Creole food is the local traditional cuisine of the Seychelles, a Must-try!

Another amazing surprise was the park full of gigantic turtles set at the Raffles! We could feed them and interact with them. While in the beginning I was a bit scared, after seeing Diogo feeding them with such ease, I decided to join!

I definitely recommend, if you are going to stay at the Raffles, to get a top-hill villa with pool – as the view you get from there is totally priceless! With such a well-positioned villa, it will be very hard to leave!

Meeting Portuguese Friends in Praslin!

If there is one thing I love about traveling and having friends who love traveling too, is that we can meet during our trips around the globe without even scheduling it!

In fact, a Portuguese girlfriend living in London was precisely during our stay in Praslin in Praslin with her boyfriend! How cool is that?! We then decided to meet at the Raffles to see the Turtles and go to Anse Lazio to have lunch and spend the afternoon there.

It was not the first time we manage to meet friends in a random part of the globe who happen to be there too!

From meeting another Portuguese girlfriend living in Luxembourg on a ferry in Malta, to a French male friend in NYC during Christmas holiday, we feel really blessed to be surrounded by amazing globetrotters!

Anse Lazio

If you are in Praslin, you cannot miss Anse Lazio, the beach is not only wonderful with warm crystal clear water and white-sand, there is also a hidden bay between rocks so you can have a mini beach all by yourself that totally worth the trip!

Watching the sunset from there is another Must!

We spent the day in Anse Lazio with our Portuguese friends and it was definitely one of the best afternoon we have ever spent!

After 4 wonderful days here, it was time to head back to Mahe. I will never forget the amazing time we have spent in Praslin.

Have you ever been to Seychelles? What about Praslin Island? Let us know!

Credits
Photography: Diogo Novo
Property: Raffles Seychelles

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NORTH ISLAND http://melaniemartins.com/north-island/ http://melaniemartins.com/north-island/#respond Wed, 18 Jul 2018 12:41:21 +0000 http://melaniemartins.com/?p=8748

My last stop in Seychelles was at the legendary North Island. With only 11 villas and accessible only by helicopter, it doesn’t get more private.

North Island has been a top choice for honeymoon trips or sunshine getaways by many personalities such as Prince William & Kate, George & Amal Clooney, Brad and Angelina Jolie, etc. so I was quite excited to finally discover this island.

If you have been following me on Instagram, you probably saw we flew straight from Mahe on a helicopter from Zil Air, the only operator of Seychelles.

The private ride takes approx. 15-20 minutes depending on weather conditions and gives you such a scenic view of Seychelles from the top!

Upon arrival, we were greeted by the resident manager and the Guest Relation who took care of us and escorted us to our villa.

We found many giant turtles on our way so we couldn’t obviously resist taking some photos with them! They are so cute, aren’t they?

The Villa & Beach

If you have been following my Instagram, you probably saw the Insta-stories with the private tour I did of our 450m2 villa. It was the biggest one-bedroom villa we have ever stayed!

It includes 2 bathroom facilities, a closet, a bedroom, a kitchenette, a terrace, a living and dining room, a pool, a huge garden and a home theatre + direct access to the beach.

Breakfast would be served every day at 8 AM from our amazing butler, Elaia, who would also collect our laundry every day and arrange for us any activity we would like.

From a special evening watching Casablanca in our private home theatre to an exotic bath decorated with palm trees, Elaia got everything covered.

The Infinity Pool 

The Infinite Pool was my favorite place on the Island! With incredible views of the beach and hidden between palm trees it was always empty and I was alone all the time with the pool just for myself! How cool is this?

Views from the Top

Diogo and I love to do hikes! Thanks to our guide, we reached the highest point of the Island in a short 20 minutes hike.

The view was fabulous and we could even see Silhouette Island as we had a 360º panoramic view!

We are going to miss so much North Island and Seychelles in general!

We were very impressed by the natural beauty and biodiversity of the Islands we visited, being North our ultimate choice for a romantic and private getaway involving fantastic beaches, warm weather, and plenty of sunshine.  

Have you ever been to Seychelles? What about North Island? Let us know!

Credits
Photography: Diogo Novo
Property: North Island

 

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Six Senses Zil Pasyon http://melaniemartins.com/six-senses-zil-pasyon/ http://melaniemartins.com/six-senses-zil-pasyon/#respond Wed, 20 Jun 2018 07:13:15 +0000 http://melaniemartins.com/?p=8698

Seychelles was on my list for so long! As you guys probably know, I love to travel to exotic Islands such as Maldives, Bora Bora, French Polynesia, the Caribbean Islands, Hawaii, Santorini, Mykonos, etc.

I love Islands so much that I even live in one! Maybe I’m becoming an Island expert. 🙂

The Islands of Seychelles are considered one of the most (if not the most) photogenic in the world thanks to their incredible granite formation, so I was pretty excited about coming here and see it by myself.

While the temperatures in Seychelles are nearly the same all year long (around 25-28C), there are 2 different type of seasons: drier with more wind (June-October) or a bit more humid and less wind (rest of the year).

The green vegetation of Seychelles means you might get a short shower even in the driest month (August), but do not worry! Showers are shorts and they never last long!

We, therefore, decided to go in June for 17 days and were not disappointed! We loved it really a lot!

Our first stop was the incredible Six Senses Zil Pasyon located in a private Island called Felicité.

A bit like in the Maldives, Seychelles have some islands with only 1 resort (such as Felicité), and other bigger Islands with many properties, resorts, and hotels (such as Praslin, La Digue, and Mahe).

Felicité is located at just 20 mins from Praslin and 15 mins from La Digue. Six Senses provides a shuttle to La Digue at 9 Am and coming back at 5 PM, so you can spend the entire day in La Digue and come back after.

In order to reach Felicité, there are 2 options: either by helicopter from Mahe or by boat from Praslin.

Arrival Day

We arrived at Felicité during the golden hour giving us an incredible sky with pinky clouds. Pure bliss! We were so exhausted after the flight (which was over 10 hours!) that we decided to go straight to the villa, have dinner there and get some sleep.

The Villa

We got a sunrise villa with unobstructed views to the sea and to the magnificent granite rocks, which means the sun will rise everyday right in front of us. No need for alarms!

The villa was spacious, with an outdoor shower, bath tube, closet and a huge terrace with an infinity pool.

We got our own Personal Guest Assistant, Sam, which was making sure we would have our breakfast every day served by 8 AM in the villa, that our activities were all booked,  laundry cleaned, etc. She was beyond perfect!

The Spa & Pool

As you can see from our aerial shots, what makes Felicite Island so special is their incredible granite formation and how well they use it to create such a unique hotel in harmony with nature: the rocks were so magnificent and huge that it looked like Jurassic Park! In fact, those rocks have millions of years!

Six Senses managed to take perfect advantage of the nature surrounding them by building the pool of the Spa right on a gigantic rock formation! The result is obviously pretty unique and spectacular! I must say, this pool alone worth coming here at any time of the year!

Six Senses is also very reputed for their wellness treatments so obviously don’t forget to enjoy a therapeutic massage on the Spa or to book a Yoga Session in their wonderful outdoors! You won’t be disappointed.

The Beach & Other Activities

Hiking is another big passion of mine.

As you guys probably know, I love scuba diving, snorkeling, but I also enjoy climbing and hiking a lot.

Felicité has incredible hikes in the middle of the jungle where you can reach the very top of the Island after around 90 mins of hiking.

Start early in the morning and avoid hiking in the afternoon as it’s way too hot! We started the hike at 8 AM and finished at 10 and it was already quite warm.

For the afternoon, I would definitely recommend enjoying the many beaches the Island has to offer! We did a picnic on the beach and we were totally alone! Pure happiness!

Would I come back to Felicité Island? Honestly, in a heartbeat!Even after spending 4 nights there I feel there was so much more things we could have done!

Hopefully, we will come back one day!

Have you ever been to Six Senses Zil Pasyon or Seychelles? How was your experience?

Xx,
Melanie

Credits
Photography: Diogo Novo
Property: Six Senses Zil Pasyon

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ROSA CLARA SHOW http://melaniemartins.com/rosa-clara-show/ http://melaniemartins.com/rosa-clara-show/#respond Sun, 20 May 2018 14:33:10 +0000 http://melaniemartins.com/?p=8624

I haven’t been to Barcelona for over 4 years! But this year I had the opportunity to revisit again one of my favorite cities in Europe thanks to Rosa Clara.

The famous Spanish bridal brand was hosting its annual fashion show, and I was invited to not only assist but also to get dressed by the brand and get a little preview of their collection directly on their beautiful Atelier!

If you follow me on my Instagram, you will notice I did many Insta-Stories about the wonderful venue at the Sant Pau Recinte Modernista, during the fashion show and at the photocall where I met Rosa, the designer.

The collection was marked by elegant shapes, long dresses but with a minimal design perfect for the modern but classy woman.

Rosa Clara‘s collection is all about simplicity with an eye to the details, delicate and feminine. I love every dress, but having a crush on embroidery, every dress with embroidery will always get my heart!

Congratulations to the wonderful show and make us all escape to a magical world of beauty!

Xx,
Melanie

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LEBANON http://melaniemartins.com/lebanon/ http://melaniemartins.com/lebanon/#respond Thu, 17 May 2018 14:16:23 +0000 http://melaniemartins.com/?p=8555

Hello my friends! I know it has been a while I haven’t published a new article but I have been in Malta working on a special project that I will share with you all very soon!After over a month in Malta, our next stop was Lebanon! In fact, we were invited for the pre-wedding reception and the wedding “Alice in Wonderland” of our friends Alice Abdelaziz & Ali Tless.

I usually don’t attend weddings but this one was a very special one. After all, Lebanese weddings are reputed to be out of this world, full of extravagance, Met Gala style, and indeed, we were not disappointed!

Diogo and I decided to visit a bit Lebanon on our free days and prepare you a mini guide of what to do, visit, eat and where to stay! Hope you enjoy!

Where to stay: If you want to stay in a resort with private beach and far from the downtown, then I recommend the Kempinski Summerland, you will enjoy floating breakfasts on the pool and plenty of sunshine lying down on the beach.

If you prefer to stay in downtown near the wonderful Yacht Marina, Zaitunay Bay, which has plenty of elegant restaurants and lounges then the Four Seasons Beirut is a great option. It has an incredible rooftop pool + jacuzzi and open-air lounge with an Asian restaurant, plus their Spa is a must! Their therapists came directly from the Four Seasons Maldives! A room with balcony is a must!

I also recommend the Phoenicia Hotel if you prefer a majestic and emblematic Hotel with luxurious shops inside, fountains, and an over the top lobby area for Instagram pictures. You can also smoke shisha outside while lying on the pool with view to the Marina. I recommend getting a room with a balcony and view to the marina. You will get amazing pictures!

Where to eat: If the idea is to eat Lebanese food, then you must try Falamanki Cafe, El-Sharif Cafe, Leila, Metropole, and street food if you want to eat falafel. For Asian cuisine, the rooftop of the Four Seasons serves vegan sushi and amazing vegetarian rolls. If you want to have fun while eating, go to Iris which is a club on the rooftop that also serves dinner.

What to visit: Exploring Beirut is a must from Zaitunay Bay, the downtown, the Souk (it’s a modern shopping mall in open air, not the traditional Arabic ones), the Mosque and of course the beaches! Outside Beirut, explore Byblos – one of the oldest cities in the world and get a fossil souvenir. If you have time, you should definitely go to Mont-Liban and visit the many caves, grottos and Waterfalls Lebanon has to offer! From my side, I visited the Afka Waterfall, the iconic Baatara gorge waterfall, and Akoura.

Lebanese people are very friendly and big party animals so you will definitely have a blast there! From the amazing food, the clubs, the nightlife, and the many sightseeing, there is plenty to do for at least 1 full week of adventures!

I wish we could have explored more but we had the wedding and Events in between so it was very difficult to do more.

Have you ever been to Lebanon? Let me know!

Xx,
Melanie

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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
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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

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Six Senses Laamu http://melaniemartins.com/six-senses-laamu/ http://melaniemartins.com/six-senses-laamu/#respond Wed, 14 Feb 2018 09:25:57 +0000 http://melaniemartins.com/?p=8443

After our stay at the Soneva Fushi, we went to the wonderful Six Senses Laamu Atoll, which was also created by Sonu Shivdasani and his wife Eva. However, unlike Soneva, we had to take a domestic flight since the hotel is located further down in the South of the Maldives.

We were greeted by the friendly Six Senses crew upon our arrival and took a speedboat to the hotel.

The staff adviced us to take off our shoes as they have the same concept of “barefoot” like at the Soneva, which we love!

The style boho chic is well present and all the facilities such as restaurants, lobby area, ice cream shop, etc. were all overwater instead of in the mainland, and windows-free so you could enjoy a fresh breeze and an unobstructed view to the ocean.

Diogo and I enjoyed a very romantic boat trip to watch the sunset with champagne which is one of my favorite activities in the Maldives. Sunsets here are a pure bliss!

The food was beyond wonderful and the buffets had a lot of vegan options! Even the ice creams had plenty dairy-free options!

The villa had an incredible transparent bathtub with views to the Maldivian crystal clear waters! The villa also kept the boho-chic style made of wood present in the Soneva.

While the Soneva Fushi was a Robinson-Crusoe experience with everything in the jungle, Six Senses Laamu is precisely the opposite: everything is made overwater while keeping the sustainable luxury that we love from both brands!

From the restaurants to the lobby, all the facilities are overwater which was quite a unique experience!

Have you ever been to the Six Senses Laamu or any other Six Senses in the world? Let me know!

Xoxo,
Melanie

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