MALIBU BEACH INN

laurie-ferraro-malibu-beach-inn-1Recently I had the pleasure of spending four days at the Malibu Beach Inn located on the charming shores of Carbon Beach, California. For me, being near the Ocean is a cure-all. I touched down from NYC, tired, overworked, annoyed that my flight was 11 and a half minutes late… but then my feet hit the sand. I felt the water on my toes and took my first breath of fresh air in what felt like weeks. Suddenly I was happy.

This is the power of the ocean and when you pair it with the right resort experience you find your own little paradise. Welcome to the Malibu Beach Inn.

I knew I liked this place as soon as I walked into my room. I stepped onto the balcony and felt like I was hovering above the ocean *cue Titanic music*. It was late, so I propped the sliding door wide open, crawled into my king size bed and fell asleep listen to the waves.

10 hours later I arose from my sea air induced coma and was greeted by a soft pink sunrise, crystal blue waters and one simple thought…

I am definitely not in Kansas anymore.

mbi-map

THE RESORT

With just 47 rooms, MBI has a cozy beach-house vibe with a luxury service feel. The staff were like friends and their attention to detail was exceptional. Anything I needed help with was attended to – Paddle boarding lessons, special dietary needs, finding my flip flops.

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THE FOOD

Food can make or break a holiday. I want good food, and lots of it. Everything I ate at MBI I wanted more of. The menu is seasonal, locally sourced and constantly being refreshed with new creations – seafood, avocado, house made granola, vibrant salads, crispy veggies – all of my favourite things.

I’ll also take a second to mention the signature cocktail ‘Playa Access’. Tequila, Cucumber and Love. It spoke to my soul.

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THE BEACH

MBI is one of the only West Coast hotels who own their beach and can serve a full menu seaside. So, if you’re like me and prefer to eat your lunch from a horizontal position, while sipping Sav Blanc, MBI has you covered. White sand, perfect view of the Malibu Pier, dotted with Italian sun loungers. What a way to spend the day.

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WHEN TO VISIT

June – August

Summer is peak season, the busiest time for obvious reasons.

September – November (when I visited)

The crowds have dispersed but being in Southern California the weather is still mint.

December – March

Offers the best rates of the year while you cozy up fireside with your favourite glass bottle of vino.

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Malibu Beach Inn has mastered the art of the escape. So, if you’re looking to rest mind and body but reignite your soul, let me pass you a Playa Access and steer you on over to this West coast wonder.

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UNION STATION HOTEL, NASHVILLE

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Remember the first time you read Harry Potter? I was 10, which means I’ve been in the market for a castle and a ride on the Hogwarts Express for 19 years now…

Last week, at the Union Station Hotel was the closest I’ve come.

This boutique hotel in the heart of Nashville was originally a railroad terminal opened in 1900. It’s a perfect example of late-Victorian Romanesque Revival architecture, which means… it’s basically a castle!!

What I loved about it (aside from being castellated):

  1. The rooms are large with extra tall ceilings and decent sized bathrooms.
  2. The lobby is breath taking and has a nice little bar you can perch yourself at while you enjoy the ambiance (or pretend your at Hogwarts).
  3. It’s a stones throw from the Broadway strip, as well as the Music Hall of Fame and The Gulch, which is a great area for restaurants.
  4. The staff were genuinely nice people and very accommodating. We were given detailed directions and restaurant recommendations complete with a hand drawn map.
  5. The french fries that we had delivered to our room after a jaunt on the Broadway strip were divine.

One thing to note is that the train lines below the hotel are still in use, which certainly adds to the charm and atmosphere of the old station, but it is something to consider if you’re a light sleeper.

So, if you’re looking for a unique hotel experience close to the action, Union Station Hotel will take you back in time and leave you feeling enchanted.

Though I’m still waiting for my letter from Hogwarts…

union-station-hotel-nashville-exteriorImage via www.cntraveler.com

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SERENITY CAMP, MEXICO

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I’ve never been big on camping on account of having to sleep on the ground in a dewy tent, which inevitably turns into an incubator come sunrise. That said, I love the outdoors and I’m always down for an adventure, I’m just nursing a mean case of asthma.

A couple weeks ago in Mexico however I landed at Serenity Luxury Eco Camp by Experience Hotels at Xpu-Ha Beach and had my first ever Glamping experience with tents the size of cabins, king size beds with pillow tops and properly heated showers.

This place is actually one of the coolest properties I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting. While it’s fully equipped as a resort, it still offers a unique ‘outdoor’ experience that 100% feels like an escape from the city. The grounds are decked out with Balinese artifacts and designed based on the original African Glamping concept (Yes, apparently Glamping started in Africa).

The camp is a 5-minute stroll to Xpu-Ha beach, a local hot spot lined with outdoor bars and restaurants on the sand. You can lay in the sun drinking Margs until your heart’s desire. They’ll also deliver lunch to your chair, so obviously I ate the shrimp tacos and guacamole from a horizontal position every day.

While on the topic of food, I would also like to mention one of Serenity’s breakfast dishes that is basically nachos with an egg on top – my very definition of a breakfast of champions. It is so delicious.

So if you’re not Bear Grylls but you’re down for some outdoorsy stuff, check out Serenity Eco Camp, you’ll love the change of pace.

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OUTFIT DETAILS

Blue Off The Shoulder TopAnn Taylor

Green & Navy Pleated Skirt – Ann Taylor

Crochet One PieceSuboo (similar here)

White BikiniASOS Options

Black One PieceForever 21 (similar here)

Navy Head ScarfAnn Taylor

Green ScarfAnn Taylor

Geometric EarringsAnn Taylor

Yetti SunglassesSunday Somewhere

Gold SunglassesSunday Somewhere

*In partnership with Serenity Eco Camp. All opinions are my own.