Friday, May 28, 2010

Google Maps

When trying to decide on a hotel, I always read reviews, go through the hotel's website, and look for articles written about the hotel.  This can give you a pretty good idea of what a hotel is like.  But what about the neighborhood?  Just enter the address of the hotel into Google Maps, then select street view.  This is especially helpful when staying in a big city.  It gives you a great view of what the area around the hotel is like.  You can even look up and down the neighboring streets to get a better idea of the area.

For example, look up one of my favorite hotels in Paris, Hotel Bellechasse, and you will see the view above.  You can see that the hotel is on a quaint, adorable, narrow street.  There are people walking by, but there shouldn't be much street noise.  And if you move around to see the surrounding streets you will see that it is in a great neighborhood with cute shops and very Parisian cafes.  A perfect base for a wonderful stay in Paris!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Booking Flights

There are a number of websites that you can book flights on.  But whenever possible it is best to book through the airline directly.

Take Delta for example.  They typically charge a $150 fee if you need to change your flight.  But if you didn't book with Delta directly, you will be charged an additional $50 fee.  Also if you book a flight directly through Delta, you can cancel your flight at no charge within 24 hours.  This can be helpful if you realize you booked the wrong dates, your plans change, you found a better deal elsewhere, etc.  If you booked your flight on another site like Expedia or Orbitz, you would be subject to the change fees.

Airlines are adding more and more fees.  The price of your flight can quickly climb after checked bag fees, and the many other surcharges they add.  Just be smart about it (and pack light!) and you will still have spending money for your vacation!

*Photo from Delta Airlines

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Client Love

I've said it before and I'll say it again.  I have the BEST clients!  I feel so fortunate to not only be doing something that I love, but also to know that I am helping couples have great experiences.  It is really fun to pull up my calendar and think about where different clients currently are.  For example today I have clients on their 3rd day of an Alaska Cruise, others arriving in Antigua today, others in Madrid, and another couple on their second day in Croatia.  While about 5% of me gets extremely jealous (I mean, how fun do any of those sound???), the other 95% of me is really happy knowing that they are having a really great time and I helped make that happen!

Another amazing part of my job are the extremely sweet thank you emails that I receive.  I just got an email from my clients Jeanne and Russ who will be going to Turkey for their honeymoon with a link to their blog.  How sweet is that???  And how cute are the pictures of them???

Jeanne and Russ are so sweet and have been an absolute pleasure to work with.  I will be writing about their honeymoon for an upcoming issue of Utterly Engaged so this isn't the last you will be hearing of them!

*Photos by Steven Lam

Monday, May 24, 2010

Riviera Maya Hotel Deal

I absolutely can't stand mass emails about travel deals.  Sure the prices are great- but it is impossible to actually find those rates!  There is just so much information on the internet about discounted vacations that it is hard to know what is actually a good deal. So I promise to only post specials that actually are good deals, and don't have crazy black out dates!

I came across an amazing deal recently that is perfect for a honeymoon.  There are four El Dorado Resorts in Riviera Maya Mexico.  All four resorts are adults only and all inclusive, and all four are very nice.  So here is the deal- you get an amazing rate on one of the El Dorado Resorts, but you don't know which one until 5 days before you depart.  Kind of scary to not know which hotel you will be staying at, but since they are all really nice you really can't lose!  This is a great way to stay at an amazing hotel for much less than you would normally pay.

Here is a little bit about each resort.  I wasn't kidding when I said that they are all really nice!

Here is El Dorado Royale, which is located on over a mile of secluded beach!

And here is one of their swim up suites:

 El Dorado Casitas Royale is located within the El Dorado Royale Resort.  Here is a private casita:

Here is a look at El Dorado Seaside Suites:

I love the beaches in Riviera Maya- isn't that water incredible???

And finally El Dorado Maroma.  This resort has just 72 suites, so it is much more private and secluded than the others.  Here is the pool with some of the suites.

And here is the beach.  Amazing right?

This special needs to be booked by May 30th, and you would need to travel by Oct 30.

Contact me if you would like more information!

*Photos from El Dorado Resorts.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Coco's Hotel in Antigua

Coco's Hotel is an amazing boutique, all inclusive hotel in Antigua.  It is located on a bluff overlooking the ocean with private beaches on both sides of the hotel.  There are just 26 individual cottages.  Every cottage has an ocean view and a balcony with a hammock (!!!) and an outdoor shower.

Here is their Superior Cottage:

So open and airy!  I love the contrast of the dark wood floors with the white sheets and canopy bed.

This isn't your standard all inclusive resort with average food and buffets.  They serve a lot of fresh fish caught by local fishermen, spicy local dishes and more international flavors such as pasta, tender steaks and classic salads.  The price also includes cocktails, soft drinks, water, brand liquors and spirits and house wine by the glass.  Here is their beach bar:

And here is the beach:

Incredible right?  Those chairs just call out to you!  The resort is only for couples only.  It is very relaxed and secluded, perfect for a honeymoon.  They also have kayaks and snorkels for no additional charge.  If you want to be more adventurous they can arrange other activities for you.

Contact me for the best rates and for questions!

*Photos from Coco's Hotel

Saturday, May 22, 2010

First Post!

I have finally decided to start a blog.  I know, I'm a little (ok a lot) behind!  But hopefully worth the wait.  I will be featuring great hotels, honeymoon destinations, answering questions, writing about my own travels, and featuring some of the honeymoons that I plan.  I hope that through this I can provide useful information to help couples decide what they want (or don't want!) for their honeymoon.

Questions?  Email me, I would love to hear from you!