Travel Design Tips & Inspiration

Marrakesh Crush

Africa, Hotel Reviews

Apr
15
2010

Marrakesh, Morroco

April 12-16th
A large, toothy grin followed by subsequent nods to myself  – I fear I even paused mid-route to the my room. Yup, I am positively smitten with this hotel and have that wonderful, googly, love-at-first-sight in Marrakesh’s La Mamounia Hotel.

The popular guestroom shot of La Mamounia. The real thing is as good as it looks here.

The popular guestroom shot of La Mamounia. The real thing is as good as it looks here.

Spoiled beyond my dreams (and my very high, professionally-based expectations), being a guest at this bountiful hotel has been a truly exceptional treat of my job.

The revamped pool and pool pavillion, which serves breakfast and a tremendous mediterranean buffet cuisine at lunch

The revamped pool and pool pavilion, which serves breakfast and a tremendous Mediterranean buffet cuisine at lunch

Every detail – from the Bernardo the proextender system china to the Porthault linen to the 20 acres of gardens abloom with a lipstick color collection of roses – has set me into a swoon. I hate to wax poetic, it goes against my well-honed critical nature, however, my admiration for this 210-room hotel has yet to falter in the three nights I’ve been here.  Tonight is my final night and I’m already dreading packing.

One of the standard rooms. If you can, splurge for a suite as the moroccan detailing - tilework, paster carvings, arched doors and copper lanterns are deliciously more abundant.

One of the well-adorned standard rooms

I promise to include more anecdotes and specifics – including the spa, fantastic fitness area with clay tennis courts and a panoramic gym with loads of LifeFitness (!) equipment and posh pool scene. In the meantime, I leave you to these professional, drool-worthy photographs.

Posted in: Africa, Hotel Reviews

Published by Meg, Thursday, April 15, 2010 No Comments

Molori Safari Lodge- Article in Town & Country

Africa, Hotel Reviews, Travel Tips

Oct
15
2009

Newsstands everywhere

The November Issue

The feature is on the superlative Molori Safari Lodge in South Africa, which I visited last November. The photo spread in the magazine looks beautiful and clearly illustrates the elegance of this Bush oasis.

TownandCountrycover

click above to read the entire piece

click above to read the entire piece

Many thanks to the fabulous editors at Town & Country.   Below are some of my own pics from my trip plus a peek at our stunning group.

The road to babylon. Okay not really but such tremendous scenery

The road to babylon. Okay not really but such tremendous scenery

Our group led by the darling Hein. As you will infer from more recent African trips, my safari fashion has vastly improved.

Our group led by the darling Hein. As you will infer from more recent African trips, my safari fashion has vastly improved.

Young tribal dancers and singers: A special treat organized by the Lodge to our utter delight

Young tribal dancers and singers: A special treat organized by the Lodge to our utter delight

Posted in: Africa, Hotel Reviews, Travel Tips

Published by Meg, Thursday, October 15, 2009 No Comments

Lupita Island Lodge

Africa, Family, Hotel Reviews, Travel Tips

Oct
04
2009

Lake Taganyika, Tanzania

October 4th, 2009

After the glorious safari tour in Tanzania, my last stop was to Lupita Island Lodge, a private island located in the middle of the world’s second largest lake;  Lake Taganyika.  A fresh water lake with a maximum depth of over a mile, Lake Taganyika is a skinny sliver running down the western coast of Tanzania and bordering Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Zambia.

laketag2

The Lake’s blue green waters are wonderfully vibrant while the rocky islands feature curious granite boulders and very little fauna. Then again, it was just before the rainy season and I’m told it gets more lush after the rains. Either way, after being hot, sweaty and somewhat tormented by flies in the Bush for a week, I was thrilled to be near the Lake’s cool water.

Lupita Island from the air

Lupita Island from the air

I arrived via chartered flight from Katavi National Park and landed on an airstrip that was stunning; in the purest form of the word. Just look at this arrival!

laketagapproach

lupitaapproachrunway

The small hut on the right served as the terminal where we unloaded our luggage and supplies for the Lodge.  It’s also where we were met by smiling fleet of local luggage handlers – ready and eager to carry our bags down to the awaiting boat.

Most of this was food supplies for the Lodge

Most of this was food supplies for the Lodge

These adorable little boys insisted on carrying our bags and refused any sort of tip

These adorable little boys insisted on carrying our bags and refused any sort of tip

Once on the boat, with the spray from the Lake cooling my sunburn, I could truly marvel at the size, color and overall magnitude of Lake Taganyika. I recall thinking: this is surely somewhere I could never have imagined.  We zoomed across the chop to Lupita Island passing by locals shuttling on boats between the various islands and shorelines. Our first glimpse of the island was the wooden dock and perhaps the island’s most beloved resident, Roddy the goat.

The dock at Lupita Island Lodge

The dock at Lupita Island Lodge

Once on land we were ferried up the hill in golf cars (if you squint you can see them parked under the center hut in the photo above). At the main house of the Lodge we were greeted by the two women that run the show. After a nice lime-flavored drink I, along with the group, was shown to my private cottage room. My room, number 5, was tucked down into the hillside, at the end of two separate paths and surrounded by acacia trees and chirping birds. The cottages are done in a treehouse-like style with open walls affording intimate views of the lake and direct (yes, direct) communication with nature. The views of the moon, however, are unbelievably stunning, as is the ability to actually ready by moonlight.

The open-air plan with thatched roofing and wood deck flooring

The open-air plan with thatched roofing and wood deck flooring

The comfy plantation chair with the plunge pool on the deck below below

The comfy plantation chair with the plunge pool on the deck below below

The best feature of my room was without a doubt, the bathroom. From both the shower and the tub the views of Lake Taganyika were uninterrupted. Even the john had a prime vista.

One of the best soaks in a tub I've ever had or may ever have - truly outstanding

One of the best soaks in a tub I've ever had

As a special romantic touch, the staff will fill a warm bath with local flower petals, line the deck floor with candles and leave a champagne bucket right alongside the tub all as a delicious surprise for the guests arriving back from cocktails on the water.

Activities at Lake Lupita Lodge include kayaking, swimming, diving, snorkeling, plus there’s a full gym, gorgeous lakeside spa, a games room with table tennis, pool and darts and a Boma and huge terrace bar ideal for the transition from fireside cocktails to late-night dance parties. The island is well-suited for a family or group takeover with 14 cottages and two family suites. Having the run of the island makes every element even more enjoyable. And from our group’s amusing 3 night stay, we vowed that what happens on Lupita Island, stays on Lupita Island.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Posted in: Africa, Family, Hotel Reviews, Travel Tips

Published by Meg, Sunday, October 4, 2009 No Comments

about meg

About Meg

imgres

Meg is the founder of luxury travel consulting company, Friend of a Friend Consulting. Her three books, Italian Hideaways, Caribbean Hideaways and England's Hideaways are published by Rizzoli. Passionate about travel, hotels and wine, she continues to write freelance travel pieces and is currently pursuing a Masters in Wine through the WSET.

books and apps

follow meg

The opinions expressed on this blog are solely my own and do not reflect separate business relationships with the subject. Whenever posts are supported financially, they are designated as such.