Hotel Spotlight: Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea

If you follow our Instagram (LifeStyledTravel), then you may have noticed an exciting post recently.  Four Seasons Hawaii Properties are offering our fabulous clients a guaranteed upgrade at the time of booking! This guaranteed upgrade comes in addition to all of the Preferred Partner amenities our clients already get.  AMAZING, RIGHT?!  So, in light of this incredible offer, we want to share some of our favorite things about Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea.  Enjoy!

Four Seasons Maui

Sunset at Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea

This resort is located on the southern side of Maui in Wailea.  This area of the island is a little quieter and less touristy than the Ka’anapali side, and while there are things we love about both, Wailea is ideal for honeymooners or people looking for a slightly more exclusive and private feel.

Room View

Ocean View Prime Four Seasons Executive Suite

Each room/suite is luxurious with the most breath-taking views.

Marble Bathrooms

Marble Bathrooms in Each Room/Suite

 The marble bathrooms made us feel like we had a personal spa.  Who wouldn’t feel relaxed while soaking in that big tub after a long day spent by the pool?!

Golf

Maui at Wailea Golf Course

While the relaxation is of course nice, if you’re like us you get stir crazy after a few days of lounging. We love that there are so many activities offered.  Just to name a few, you can surf, golf, or take a yoga class (Stand up paddle yoga if you’re braver and more graceful than us!).

Helicopter Tour

Helicopter Tour of Maui with Blue Hawaiian Helicopters

If you’re looking to venture offsite, the other great thing about the Wailea side is the proximity to the famed Mama’s Fish House, and the road to Hana. You can rent a car and drive, which many choose to do, or take a helicopter for a quicker and more adventurous option!

Ferraro's

Ferraro’s Bar E Ristorante

The resort also has great onsite restaurant options for the nights you don’t want to leave. Spago is obviously the most famous option, always a crowd pleaser, but we also loved Ferraro’s Bar E Ristorante. It has super yummy Italian, great wines and the quintessentially-Hawaii open air seating with a perfect ocean view.

Swim up Bar

Swim-Up Bar at the Adults-Only Serenity Pool

The Serenity (adults only) Pool, one of three at the resort, has awesome views over the infinity edge, underwater music (always a plus) and a swim up bar, because who wants to get out of the water to enjoy their cocktail? Surely not us!

 

This resort is dream-like, always a favorite with our clients, and a fabulous honeymoon destination or just a luxurious couples escape.  Call or email us to find out about our special perks at this property, and start planning your trip to Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea! The best news is that the holidays are an absolutely amazing time to be in Hawaii, so it is the perfect time to start planning!

Date Night: Santa Monica, CA

Here at Life:Styled we love a good date night. Well, we love all nights out frankly; with friends, family OR a great date, but this particular post is about date nights so stick with us here.  One of the things we love to do for our concierge clients is plan these fun nights for them, making the process as easy as can be… All YOU have to do is find the date… I mean, we aren’t matchmakers people! (But we can definitely introduce you to a good one if that’s what you need;)  Today, we are sharing a fun date night idea in the city where Life:Styled began… Santa Monica, CA.

Eat:

bposm

Blue Plate Oysterette

Blue Plate Oysterette brings the East Coast style to the West Coast, and we couldn’t love it more.  We suggest requesting a charming patio table that overlooks the Pacific and offers great people watching.  The oysters here are always fabulous and changing constantly, paired with an Oyster Bay (sticking with the theme but also because it is YUMMY) Sauvignon Blanc and the lobster roll!…perfection!  

Play:

Westside Comedy Theater

Mi’s Westside Comedy Theater

Go have a laugh and discover your new favorite comedian at Mission Improvable’s Westside Comedy Theater.  Although they have performers nightly, the company that started this theater performs every Friday and Saturday night at 10pm.  Fun fact: Zach Galifianakis used to perform here!

Outside-Deck

The Bungalow – Outside Deck

After the show, head over to The Bungalow for some drinks and conversation before turning in for the night.  This lounge offers five different spaces, including an outside deck with fantastic fire pits, the main bar, and a game room.  The intimacy of this space makes it feel more like being at your friend’s house (your really swanky friend that is) than a hotel lounge.

Stay:

vsm-monarch-suite-window

Viceroy Santa Monica – Monarch Suite Window View

It is no secret that we love the Viceroy Santa Monica.  It is just steps from the beach and a short walk to all of the shops and restaurants at the Third Street Promenade.  The hotel is also a stroll away from the Santa Monica Pier if you want to feel touristy for a little while.  This chic hotel will meet all of your needs, especially with Life:Styled.’s special perks here :)

 

Hotel Decor Spotlight: Hotel Bel Air

Have you ever stayed at a hotel and wished that you could bring the furniture and décor back home with you?  We have this feeling A LOT.  So, we thought it would be nice to share a hotel with great interior design and offer similar products that you can buy to make your home feel like a luxurious hotel.

Bel-Air Suite Bedroom

Hotel Bel Air Junior Suite

When at a recent visit to the wonderful Hotel Bel Air, we left wanting to decorate our own bedrooms like their junior suites.  These suites gave off a romantic and glamorous feel that left us wishing we could wake up to it everyday.  Below are our finds that will help bring this same atmosphere to your own room.

Bed Frame

Mid-Century Bed Frame – West Elm

Patterned Pillow

Patterned Pillow – One King’s Lane

Black Nightstand

Black South Shore Mikka Nightstand – Amazon

Black Patterned Rug

Black Jane Rug – Jonathan Adler

Patterned Dapery

Magical Thinking Henna Curtains - Urban Outfitters

Wall Sconce

2-Light Wall Sconce – One King’s Lane

If you would like even more inspiration, call us to book your own stay at Hotel Bel Air!  Also, we love feedback, so please let us know if there are any other specific hotels that you would love to see a décor spotlight on!

Fourth of July – Cocktail and Dessert Recipes

The Fourth of July is right around the corner and we could not be more excited!  With a holiday that encourages you to be out in the sun, jump into a pool, or the ocean, BBQ, and wear red, white, and blue, how could you not be?!  So, in order to get everyone on our level of excitement for this holiday, we gathered a couple of our favorite Fourth of July recipes for you to enjoy.

Skinny Spiked Lemonade:

Deciding what your drink of choice will be is just as important as choosing your outfit for this holiday.  Stay cool this weekend without packing on the calories with this skinny spiked lemonade recipe from The Talking Kitchen.

spiked-lemonade

Skinny Spiked Lemonade from The Talking Kitchen

Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 1/2 c. fresh lemon juice, ~4 lemons
  • 1 1/2 c. filtered water
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar, or 4 Tbsp raw sugar
  • 6 oz. (3/4 c.) tequila
  • sliced lemon, garnish

Instructions

-Juice the lemons over a strainer to collect the seeds and pulp. (I used a 4 cup measuring cup to prepare, it worked great.)

-Add the sugar and water to lemon juice, mix well, the sugar may take a minute to dissolve, just mix every so often.

-Add the tequila, stir well to combine.

-Serve in a small glass filled with ice. Garnish with lemon slices.

Red, White, and Blueberry Cheesecake Yogurt Cupcakes:

These cheesecake yogurt cupcakes by SkinnyTaste are absolutely delicious.  They are light and fluffy, and by adding strawberries and blueberries on top, they look perfectly patriotic.  Most of all, at less than 100 calories per cupcake, you should not feel guilty having more than 1 (we don’t!).

red-white-and-blueberry-cheesecake-yogurt-cupcakes

Red, White, and Blueberry Cheesecake Yogurt Cupcake from SkinnyTaste

Ingredients:

  • 12 reduced fat vanilla wafers
  • 8 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 6 oz fat-free vanilla Greek yogurt (I used Chobani)
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 8 oz strawberries, hulled and sliced thin
  • 8 oz blueberries

Directions:
-Heat oven to 350°.
-Line cupcake tin with liners. Place a vanilla wafer at the bottom of each liner.
-Gently beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth using an electric mixer. –Gradually beat in fat free yogurt, egg whites, and flour. Do not over beat.
-Pour into cupcake liners filling half way.
-Bake 20-25 minutes or until center is almost set.
-Cool to room temperature then chill at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.

 

4th of July Fireworks

4th of July Fireworks by Benjamin Brayfield (USA Today)

Fruit and Cheese Platter Flag

Flag-Inspired Fruit and Cheese Platter (Buzzfeed)

Red-White-and-Blue-Patriotic-Pops

Red, White, and Blue Patriotic Pops (HGTV)

American Flag Wall Art

American Flag Wall Art (Pottery Barn)

Be sure to contact us for any last minute Fourth of July travel plans!

Hotel Spotlight: Pebble Beach Resort

When invited to take part in a 2 night “Spa Retreat” at Pebble Beach, I don’t think I could quite say yes fast enough.  2 days at one of the most prestigious resorts, dining and drinks, great company, AND I get spa treatments at one of the exclusive few worldwide Forbes Travel Guide Five Star spas?!  Oh, AND United was taking care of our flights?!  Ummm…. YES.  Yes, I will.

17 Mile Drive Coastline

17 Mile Drive Coastline

The Lodge at Pebble Beach - Entry Way

The Lodge at Pebble Beach – Entry Way

What I didn’t realize was how completely far and beyond the team at Pebble would go to blow all of my expectations out of the water.  From the minute I arrived at the Monterey Airport (15 minutes away with direct flights from LAX!) to the most knowledgeable and friendly driver, I knew the week was off to a great start.  We would be staying at Casa Palmero, Pebble Beach’s exclusive boutique property within the gates, on the world famous 17-Mile Drive; a 24-room oasis that is connected to the spa and a stone’s throw from the Lodge.  Event clients take note: this is THE perfect spot for a buyout. It feels like a (super luxurious) home, complete with library and living room.  And at only 24 rooms, it is the perfect place for a corporate retreat, or family and bridal party, especially with its proximity to the spa and salon.

Casa Palmero Estate Room

Casa Palmero Estate Room

The Spa at Pebble Beach

The Spa at Pebble Beach

In addition to the spa treatments, which were absolutely out of this world, we had the opportunity to check out Pebble’s BRAND new Golf Academy, a beautiful home base for golfers, located next to the driving range, and with some of the most high tech equipment you will see anywhere… a simulator AND a robot that helps perfect your swing (or give you Tiger’s!).  The facility only adds to the allure that was already one of the best golf resorts in the world.

Pebble Beach Green Links Hole 7

Pebble Beach Golf Links – Hole 7

Basically, you can’t go wrong at Pebble.  There truly is something for everyone.  I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the absolutely charming town of Carmel-by-the-Sea, a short 10 minute drive from the resort, where you can walk everywhere, eat at fantastic quaint restaurants (another fun fact, probably the most dog friendly town you can find!), and even go olive oil and wine tasting (Trio Carmel, a must do!).  There are also some great events that take place at Pebble each year, such as the AT&T National Pro-Am, and my favorite, the Pebble Beach Food and Wine event each April.

I cant say it enough, whether you are a golfer or not, it’s a must see, super special, bucket list type place that is not to be missed, and I am sure will keep you coming back year after year.

The Lodge at Pebble Beach - Entrance

The Lodge at Pebble Beach – Entrance

Casa Palmero Bar and Lounge

Casa Palmero Bar and Lounge

The Links at Spanish Bay Dune

The Links at Spanish Bay Dune

Pebble Beach Gold Links 18 Green

Pebble Beach Golf Links – 18 Green

The Inn at Spanish Bay Patio Fire Pits

The Inn at Spanish Bay – Patio Fire Pits

 

Our Summer Essentials

The official start of summer is this week, but we have been enjoying the beautiful Southern CA weather for the past month.  The fabulous sunny beach days (normally pretty obsolete this time of year) have us yearning for trips galore! So, to celebrate the start of the season, we are sharing our summer essentials with you!  Whether you are taking a vacation, a staycation, or just camping out in the backyard, these pieces are sure to become your new summer staples.

The Beach People Towel

The Beach People Round Towel

We love this Aztec printed round towel from The Beach People. Make a statement while lounging on the beach…we dare you!

warbyparkerglasses

Warby Parker “Piper” Sunglasses

These Warby Parker “Piper” sunglasses (say that 5 times fast) are just lovely.  The slight cat eye gives them a romantic feel.

catalinabaggrey

Lo and Sons Catalina Bag (Grey)

The Lo and Sons Catalina Bag makes weekend getaways and beach days easier with its perfect size.  It comes in fabulous colors, is SO roomy, and is great as a carry-on!

evitasweater

Soft Joie Evita Sweater

Have you been searching for the perfect lightweight sweater? This Soft Joie Evita Sweater will keep you warm on those cool summer nights.

cuyanahat

Cuyana Panama Hat

As we all know, it’s important to shade our faces from the hot sun to avoid damaging and aging our skin.  A panama hat is a fashionable way to protect your face.  We love this one by Cuyana!

frendheadphones

Frend “Layla” Headphones

Stay stylish listening to your favorite music while lounging on the beach, passing the time in the airport/on the plane, or just taking a stroll.  We love the rose gold/white pairing on these “Layla” headphones by Frends.

spellgypsytank1

Gypsy tee by Spell

This tank by Spell screams “summer” with its laid back vibe.  It’s sure to be a staple in your summer wardrobe, as well as ours.

We hope you love these products as much as we do!  Now all you need to do is contact us to plan your perfect summer getaway!

Towel: The Beach People
Sunglasses: Warby Parker
Bag: Lo and Sons
Sweater: Soft Joie
Hat: Cuyana
Headphones: Frends
Tank: Spell

Travel Spotlight: New Zealand

We recently booked a trip around New Zealand for some very special clients. One of them happens to be blogging about her travels with some amazing photographs, so we thought we would just share her blog post rather than trying to describe it to you ourselves! Because what is better than hearing it directly from the client?!
Check out her funny and amazing post packed with pictures here, and get ready to have major travel envy!!

New Zealand

THE VIADUCT HARBOR, AROUND THE CORNER FROM MY APARTMENT

Hellllooooo party people! So sorry that it has taken me this long to post… Internet has been extremely limited for the last couple weeks. Couple things: I am not a witty writer, so posts will contain mostly pictures. But let’s be real, everyone likes pictures more anyways, so this shouldn’t be an issue. Also, to really tap into my kiwi spirit, I will do my best to use kiwi lingo wherever possible… like ‘reckon’, ‘heaps’, ‘cheers mate’, and ‘good on ya’. Enjoy!

Mom, Dad, and I spent the first 4 nights in the Viaduct Harbor of Auckland looking for an apartment for me to live in during the school year. We ate tons of food and explored the area, going to Devonport across the bay, and Piha on the west coast. The Viaduct itself is plain gorgeous, and I found a place to live right on the harbor and only ten minutes walking distance to school.

New Zealand

VIEW OF AUCKLAND AND THE SKY TOWER FROM DEVONPORT

New Zealand

PIHA BEACH, WEST COAST OF THE NORTH ISLAND

New Zealand

BLACK SAND BEACHES OF PIHA

New Zealand

PIHA, WEST COAST OF THE NORTH ISLAND

Next, we left Auckland and began our two week journey around the country. First stop: Waiheke Island, where we stayed by the beach in Onetangi Bay and drove around the island visiting bays, beaches and especially wineries. Only word to describe the island? Breathtaking. And the pictures don’t do it justice.

New Zealand

ON THE FERRY TO WAIHEKE ISLAND

ONETANGI BAY, WAIHEKE ISLAND

ONETANGI BAY, WAIHEKE ISLAND

New Zealand

MUDBRICK WINERY, WAIHEKE ISLAND

New Zealand

UNREAL SCALLOPS AT MUDBRICK WINERY, WAIHEKE ISLAND

New Zealand

VIEW FROM MUDBRICK WINERY, WAIHEKE ISLAND

New Zealand

DROVE AROUND A CORNER AND FOUND THIS VIEW… NO COMMENT

New Zealand

New Zealand

PODERI CRISCI WINERY, WAIHEKE ISLAND

Our next stop was a little town called Russel in the Bay of Islands. We drove four hours up the coast to stay in this quaint little town. We walked, hiked, went to the beach, ate a lot, and took a speed boat out to a “hole in the rock” and a cave (I was too scared to take pictures of that one, oops).

New Zealand

FIRST DIP IN THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE, RUSSELL, BAY OF ISLANDS

New Zealand

NEW BEST FRIEND, RUSSELL, BAY OF ISLANDS

New Zealand

VIEW FROM THE TOP, RUSSELL, BAY OF ISLANDS

New Zealand

SAND DUNE, SOMEWHERE IN NZ ON OUR WAY TO THE WEST COAST

Next, we drove west towards the Waipoua National Forest to see the Kaori Tree. This tree is so perfect, that 98% of the trees on New Zealand were cut down years ago, and now the remaining 2% are incredibly protected in the Waipoua Forest.

Once again, the pictures don’t do these trees justice. They. Are. Huge. You feel like you have to whisper when you see them. We stayed at an adorable Bed and Breakfast just outside the forest, where I made some more friends… you’ll see…

“THE LORD OF THE FOREST”, WAIPOUA FOREST

“THE LORD OF THE FOREST”, WAIPOUA FOREST

New Zealand

“THE FOUR SISTERS”, WAIPOUA FOREST

New Zealand

“THE FATHER OF THE FOREST”, WAIPOUA FOREST

New Zealand

MY NEW PIG FRIEND HOLLY… WAIPOUA LODGE

New Zealand

MY OTHER NEW PIG FRIEND, BESSY, WAIPOUA LODGE

After a night in the Lodge, we drove back down to Auckland and headed to the airport. It was time to say goodbye to our rental car, formally named “The Burgundy Beast,” and head to Blenheim and the Marlborough Wine Region in the north part of the South Island.

In just two days we went to 8 different wineries and tried at least 35 different wines. We also spent a few hours visiting a Word War I Aviation Museum and a nearby coastline.

New Zealand

THE BURGUNDY BEAST… CHEERS!

New Zealand

WINE TASTING, MARLBOROUGH WINE REGION

New Zealand

THE VINES, MARLBOROUGH WINE REGION

New Zealand

ME AND POPS, MARLBOROUGH WINE REGION

New Zealand

GORGEOUS WINERIES, MARLBOROUGH WINE REGION

New Zealand

New Zealand

GRAPES FOR DAYS, MARLBOROUGH WINE REGION

New Zealand

ME AND MA, MARLBOROUGH WINE REGION

New Zealand

WWI AVIATION MUSEUM, BLENHEIM

New Zealand

NOT TOO SHABBY, RANDOM COASTLINE NEAR PICTON

Our last stop was a short 21 minute flight to the capital of New Zealand – Wellington. We went for one reason only… The International Rugby Sevens Tournament. The rugby was great, but more than anything it was one big costume party.

For you Gauchos reading this, it was equivalent to an Isla Vista Halloween weekend, but jammed into a stadium. And the rain didn’t stop anyone.

New Zealand

INTERNATIONAL RUGBY SEVENS, WELLINGTON

Wellington was our last stop, and we headed back to Auckland. I got settled into my apartment, and started school. Clint and Melis spent a few more days with me before flying home to Hermosa. And now it’s just me!

Cheers for now, mates!

[divider]

To read this blog post in its original format, visit E Cooking Kiwi here.

For more information on visiting New Zealand, or to book your trip, contact Life:Styled today!

Concierge Spotlight:Online Travel Planning

Kauai Island
The internet is great and super helpful for many things, but there is so much more value in (GASP!) a working relationship with a real, live person who is immersed in the travel industry day-in-and-day-out.
As travel professionals, we hear quotes like this from time to time: “I just planned my vacation using Trip Advisor which was really helpful and gave me the list of the best hotels where I was going (etc, etc), so I don’t really see the need for a travel agent/concierge.” Or, “What can you get me that Orbitz can’t?!”  (Where do we even begin on that?!)

Read below for some fun facts that will help to shed light on why these types of websites aren’t always the end-all, be-all of travel planning.

A bona fide travel concierge doesn’t t just have a wealth of knowledge about the ever-changing travel industry, but also has a global team ready, willing and able to help plan any and all details for that special trip, once-in-a-lifetime vacation, or little romantic weekend away!

 

Trip Advisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards

In 2013, the wide-ranging Travelers Choice Awards by Trip Advisor crowned a whopping 7,123 winners (we’ll spare you the full list). As always, the list includes overall top-rated hotels and resorts, along with  the “Best of” in these six categories: Bargain, B&Bs and Inns, Family, Luxury, Romance, and Small Hotels.

The Travelers Choice Awards website is in its 12th year of posting millions of user-generated hotel reviews that they later use to determine an overall ranking  based on intangibles such as: service, quality and value.

 

2013 vs 2014 Hotel Ratings

A scan of current accolades for the Travelers’ Choice Awards compared with last year’s winners highlights the mercurial nature of online reviews. Only one of 2013′s worldwide top-rated hotels made the 2014 list.

In fact, last year’s worldwide and U.S. overall winner, Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka’upulehu, Kailua-Kona Hawaii, not only didn’t make the worldwide list, it plummeted to ninth place among U.S. hotels. Only three hotels on 2013′s U.S. list are back in 2014, and no U.S. hotel made it to the top 10 on the worldwide list.

 

Romance & Family-Friendly Hotels

This year, two new Travelers’ Choice Best Hotel categories have been added for  families and romance. And sadly, gone is a shout-out for best service, which had spawned some curious outcomes in 2013. This stemmed from the fact that, in 2013, the Budget Clarion Inn in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee (No. 4) edged out the aforementioned overall top-ranked Four Seasons Hualalai, which instead came in at a shocking fifth place.

Hopefully our readers find that last sentence as baffling as we do!  No disrespect to the Pigeon Forge Clarion, but we can think of just a FEW hotels that may deserve to be slightly ahead of it for best service on the list!

 

Life:Styled Concierge Service

To book your travel through a real, live person who can expertly craft your vacation to your specific needs and tastes from start to finish with the same specialized care and attention that they would plan their own trip, contact Life:Styled today!

Cocktail Spotlight: Candy Cane Fizz-Tini

If You’re Like Us, the Holiday Season is All About Treating Yourself to Some of the Most Amazing Sweets Known to Man. This Low-Calorie Candy Cane Cocktail is the Perfect Way to cut Back and Make Room for a Little More Gingerbread!  Cheers!
Candy Cane Fizz Tini
Candy Cane Fizz-Tini:

    • 1 Ounce Dekuyper Peppermint Schnapps
    • 1 Ounce Three Olives Vanilla Vodka
    • 3 Ounce Polar Candy Cane Seltzer
    • Crushed Candy Cane for Garnish

Preparation:

    1. Wet rim of martini glass with Peppermint Schnapps and dip into crushed candy cane.
    2. Combine Schnapps and Vodka in cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well, strain into martini glass.
    3. Top with Polar Candy Seltzer, taking care not to bruise the bubbles. Enjoy!

source via: Fab Fit Fun

Cocktail Spotlight: Mistletoe Margarita

Here’s a Fun Spin on One of Our All-Time Favorite Cocktails! The Perfect Signature Drink for Your Next Holiday Event!
Cheers & Happy Friday!
Mistletoe Margarita
Mistletoe Margarita:

    • 6 ounces Tequila
    • 8 ounces Pomegranate Juice
    • 2 ounces Sour Mix
    • 2.5 ounces Orange Liqueur (or Triple Sec)
    • 2 ounces Cranberry Juice
    • Fresh Orange Zest
    • Green sprinkles for garnish
    • Cranberries for garnish
    • Ice

Preparation:

    1. Place ice, juices, orange liqueur, sour mix and tequila in a blender.
    2. Blend on low until smooth. Dip a glass in water and then in the green sparkles to coat the rim.
    3. Pour the margarita into the glasses and enjoy!

source via: The English Room