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Maldives Round-Up

July 31, 2018

Hi guys,

As you may have seen from my social media spamming, I’m just back from an amazing trip to the Maldives. We were there for 6 days in total and it honestly felt like a dream the whole time we were there, and now that were back too. It’s literally heaven on earth – the bluest waters I’ve ever seen, the most relaxing resorts I’ve ever been to and the nicest people/food/ hotels I’ve ever come across.

We were lucky to be there during the first ever Baa Atoll Summer Festival this year which added to it even more. The first resort we stayed in, Finolhu, as well as the second resort, Amilla Fushi, were both involved in it as well as fellow Baa Atoll resorts Soneva Fushi, Four Seasons, Dusit Thani and Vakkarau Maldives. It is essentially a food festival that runs across a number of the resorts in that region from 20 July – 3 August. Transportation can be organised by the participating resorts for those wishing to repeat their experience in a specific resort – which would allow you to see even more of the beautiful Maldives.

We got to try out the menu at Kanusan in Finolhu and at Feeling Koi in Amilla Fushi and it meant we got a real taste for Maldivian food. They do a set menu with little tasters from the menu for a set price (but you actually get a lot more food than you would normally get for that price) so it’s brilliant! For more info check out the festival website here – I imagine it will be even bigger and better next year.

I thought I would do this blog post to round up my outfits on the trip and also to compile the different blogs and vlogs I did so you have all the info in one place if you need it.  Continue Reading…

Travel

The Maldives – Part Two

July 31, 2018

Hi there,

 I’m literally just landed home from the Maldives and I have to say it was genuinely the most incredible place I’ve ever been. Paradise is the only word for it.

As you saw from mylast blog we visited two different islands and resorts in the 6 days we spent there. 3 days at Finolhu and 3 days at Amilla Fushi.

Finolhu was amazing, it was fun, cool and young, and Amilla was equally amazing but it was more calm, relaxed and private. Together I think they were the perfect combination – we got to have our fun in Finolhu and then were ready to unwind and chill out by the time we got to Amilla.

Where we stayed:

As soon as we arrived on Amilla Fushi I knew we were going to love it. I had heard so many good things about it before travelling, and the photos I had screenshotted online were just stunning. Instagram heaven haha!

In our over-water villa at Amilla we had a pool, which was so exciting. Gerard and I are like two big kids, and sun worshippers the two of us. So we were both very excited to just laze by the pool, relax and take it all in. The rooms were so spacious, like literally the most spacious and well decorated rooms I’ve ever stayed in. I could have lived there for a month, if not longer. Continue Reading…

Travel

The Maldives – First Impressions

July 25, 2018

Hi guys,

I hope you’re all having a good week. As you probably know if you follow me on social media, I started mine in the Maldives which was just amazing (I still can’t believe I’m here). We are here for 6 days in total, so today marks the half way point for us and I have to say it is one of the most incredible places I’ve ever been. It’s hard to believe my eyes sometimes and to take in all the beauty!

About the Maldives:

The Maldives is located in the Indian Ocean, and is comprised of about 1,200 seperate islands (most of the resorts have an island to themselves). There is a 4 hour time difference to the mainland of Malé and then each island can vary based on daylight hours. Where we stayed (Finolhu) was two hours ahead of the mainland – so 6 hours ahead of Ireland. The Maldives is a muslim country – so if you are staying in the mainland Muslim rules may apply however in the resorts it is the same as pretty much any resort (you can dress how you like and act how you like – within reason of course haha). Also, an important one to note is that you are not allowed bring alcohol into the country, not even duty free.  Continue Reading…

Travel

3 Days in Dubai

July 20, 2018

Hi guys,

I’m currently sitting on my flight home from Dubai after the best few days there with my mom. The 3 days flew by but that’s always a good sign. We had an absolute ball, fit so much in and still managed to have time to relax and enjoy the heat. It was my second time in Dubai, and my mom’s first (although it never really gets old!). I did 2 blogs and a vlog the last time I was here (last March) and I found myself referring to those throughout the trip for tips – if you’re interested check out my first blog here, my second blog here and my travel vlog here (still my most viewed video on YouTube).

This time we went over with Emirates Holidays – an international holiday company specialising in tailor-made, premium holiday packages to Dubai and beyond. Although the company is around since 2013, they are new to Ireland since May of this year. Emirates Holidays organised every aspect of the trip from our flights to hotel to excursions and activities, which I have to say just made the whole trip very relaxing and stress-free. From the second we arrived we had an Emirates Holidays escort on hand to help, and you can also opt in for transfers throughout your trip as well (which we did) if you want to save the hassle of getting taxis.

How we got there:

We flew direct from Dublin to Dubai International Airport with Emirates (Emirates Holidays always use Emirates Airlines for flights although they are separate companies). We left in the evening at 10.25pm and arrived at 8.50am in Dubai, it was a lovely flight as it meant we got some sleep and arrived in ready to enjoy the full day in Dubai. It’s my 3rd time flying Emirates and I always just think it’s an experience in itself – the food, the movies, the comfort and the service are just amazing. It took 7 hours in total.

Where we stayed:

We stayed at the stunning Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort and honestly it was incredible. I had lots of people message me while I was there saying they had stayed there on their honeymoon, it was their favourite resort ever, so many nice things about the resort. When booking with Emirates Holidays you will always be guaranteed a hotel standard of 4* or 5*. Anantara was so different to any hotel I’d ever seen in Dubai before, it certainly didn’t feel like you were in a city. Located on the man-made Palm you are just far enough away from the bustling city to feel like you can relax and get a proper break. Continue Reading…

Travel

Rhode Island Travel Diary

June 25, 2018

Hi guys,

We just got back from the best trip to Rhode Island. It’s such a gorgeous part of America, we found it very relaxing and peaceful but there is loads to do as well. It has something for everyone. Below are all the details of the trip including how we got there, what we got up to, where we stayed and what we ate. If you have any more questions just let me know, I’m happy to help 🙂

How we got there:

It’s super easy to get to Ireland to Rhode Island. We flew with Norwegian Airlines direct from Dublin to Providence, Rhode Island – but they also fly direct from Belfast, Cork and Shannon as well. This was my second time flying to the US with Norwegian and I honestly have nothing but good things to say about the experience. You can read about my first trip to New York with them here. They are a low-cost airline which means you can get tickets to the US for as little as €250 sometimes! This price doesn’t include meals or additional luggage but you can pay for these after if you need them. I also recommend to come prepared, as there is no in-flight entertainment make sure you have a book to read or a movie downloaded on Netflix. Bring water and snacks and a neck pillow if you’ll need it (I never travel without mine anymore!) We did add on a ‘Nice & Tasty’ meal to our tickets and it was delicious. I got Chicken and Gerard got Beef and it came with a little pasta appetizer and a dessert as well. Our meal voucher also included two drinks each. Providence T.F. Green airport is 15 mins from the city so it’s really convenient and easy to get to!

What we got up to: 

We split our time between 4 main places in Rhode Island: Providence, Newport, Narragansett and Block Island.

Providence:

  • Get a gondola down the river
  • Go for drinks at the Rooftop bar at Providence G hotel
  • Visit Federal Hill and enjoy some amazing Italian food
  • Explore the RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) Museum
  • Visit the Roger Williams Park & Zoo
  • Stop by the famous Brown University (the smallest of the 7 Ivy League Schools in America)

 

Narragansett:

  • Visit the Ocean House in Watch Hill – one of few 15 star hotels in the world this place is definitely worth a visit. It’s stunning! You can take food, wine and art classes here which is fun and if you’re lucky enough to stay there OMG you will just be in heaven. It’s just down the road from Taylor Swifts $17 million dollar mansion as well.

Block Island

  • You can get the ferry out here from Galilee. There is an express ferry which takes 30 mins and a slower one that takes about an hour.
  • We rented bikes as soon as we arrived to the Island and cycled around the whole island. We visited the Nature reserve there (where there is seals – cute!), the two lighthouses, and my favourite thing we saw was the Bluff’s. The views were incredible. It was worth the 3 hours of cycling.

Newport

  • First and foremost you have to visit the mansions of Newport – they are just out of this world! We visited The Breakers and it’s honestly like nothing I’ve ever seen before. It is more extravagant than some castles I’ve seen. Rosecliff and Marble House are two other mansions that are quite popular to visit.
  • Drive down Ocean Drive and just stop and stare at the houses! John F Kennedy and Eisenhower both had houses here and the history of the area is so impressive.
  • Walk the Cliff Walk – its 3.7 miles long and stretches right along the coast overlooking the back gardens of some of Newport’s most famous mansions. Let’s just say there is not much chance of you getting bored on a walk like this.
  • If you are interested in Tennis you should stopby the International Tennis Hall of Fame – we passed it and it looks beautiful but unfortunately we didn’t get time to go in.
  • Go sailing with 12 Meter Charters – Newport is the sailing capital of the world so it would be a shame to visit and not get out on the water.
  • Head to neighbouring Middletown for a wine tasting at the Newport Vineyards – we didn’t get a chance to do that this time so we’ll just have to go back 🙂

How we got around: 

We rented a car from Hertz when we arrived at T.F. Green Airport. We saw the forecast for the week and decided to go for a convertible car. We got a Chervolet Camaro and it was amazing. It was great having the freedom to drive ourselves around and we found Hertz brilliant to deal with, great insurance deals and not too expensive 🙂

Where we stayed:

We did a lot of hotel hopping on this trip as we wanted to see as many places as possible:

Providence:

Narragansett:

  • The Break, Narragansett – such a cute beach-side hotel with heated pool, rooftop lounge and gorgeous modern rooms. It’s a small hotel so the atmosphere was just lovely. We wanted to come back and stay another night here but it was booked out. The owner Jimmy was so friendly and helpful.

Newport:

  • Newport Marriott – the interiors of this hotel, I just couldn’t get over how nice it was. Our room felt like we were on a really . modern, comfortable and clean ship. We had a gorgeous view overlooking the harbour as well. This hotel was 10/10.

  • Gurneys Newport Resort and Marina – the grounds of this hotel made it for me – the outdoor pool, the hammocks, the lighthouse and the firepits. It’s very pretty and romantic and almost every room has a gorgeous view!

Where we ate:

Providence:

  • We ate in New Rivers for dinner – it was American Cuisine, but in a tapas style. Very romantic and the food was so tasty!
  • We had breakfast at Café Dolce Vita in Federal Hill – a typically delicious American-style breakfast

Narragansett:

  • Head to the Matunuck Oyster Bar and enjoy some of the most famous seafood in America. You can actually watch the Oysters being farmed there while you eat too – it’s pretty cool! The calimari and bread are to die for as well.
  • Chair 5 in our hotel (The Break) did a delicious meal for us that night. We had Oysters for breakfast, lunch and dinner that day!

Block Island: 

  • Ballards is a really fun beach bar, you can get food in the restaurant then go to the beach, get a lounger and enjoy some drinks. They have live music nearly everyday and it’s just a really fun vibe!

Newport:

  • We had dinner in The Chanler at Cliff Walk which over looks the beach and cliff walk. It was expensive to eat in the fine dining restaurant, but they have a more casual restaurant too depending on what you’d fancy.
  • We had lunch at the Castle Hill inn, and I couldn’t recommend this place more. It’s such a gorgeous set up and the food was incredible. Definitely get the calimari and pork belly to start. We had fresh salads for lunch and they were lovely too.
  • If you are craving some delicious italian definitely check out Scarpetta in Gurney’s – I got lobster pasta mmmm. 

Ok so that’s everything I can think of. That should definitely keep you busy if you are planning a trip to Rhode Island. We loved every second, and every place we visited. It’s somewhere I’ll definitely have to go back to again. Next time we might rent a house and take it at a slower pace, but the world is literally your oyster when you visit Rhode Island – you can make it whatever kind of holiday you want it to be.

I’ll be back later in the week with a blog post on all my outfits I wore on the trip,

And my vlog should be up tomorrow too 🙂

Lou x

*Big thanks to Norwegian for partnering with me on this post and to the Rhode Island tourist board for inviting me on this incredible trip!