Travel Design Tips & Inspiration

Just Back From: Malliouhana in Anguilla

Beach, Caribbean, Hotel Reviews

Apr
08
2015

February 2015

Anguilla

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Following a 3 year closure and 18-month renovation, the beloved Malliouhana on Anguilla is back, and now managed by the prestigious Auberge Hotels Group. Redressed and gussied up in turquoise, shimmering accents and bright yellow frills (the pool umbrellas are indeed,frilly) the mod redo has made the hotel every bit as alluring as the glorious white sand beach and crystalline water it overlooks.

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A large nod must go to interior designer, Todd-Avery Lenahan of TAL Studio, for transforming a tired property into one that simply gleams. The mid-century, Palm Beach-esque furnishings lend a cheerful vibe to the entire resort, while maintaining a high quotient of glamour.

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Lenahan drew his inspiration from the photography of Slim Aarons, a beloved shutterbug of the rich and celebrated, who often photographed his subjects either poolside or on vacation in some of the world’s most iconic spots. A wise source indeed, as Anguilla’s heyday was during the same years of Aaron’s work’s heyday, thus the design also conjures the island’s most glamourous time in history. And clearly, the look carries timeless appeal.

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Cool fact: the wall mirror pictured here actually hides a television screen inside.

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What struck me most was how the simple addition of paint, mind-you in attractively chosen color schemes with charming application techniques – note the stripes painted on the walls in the guest rooms, made a world of difference to the concrete (hurricane-proof) walls. Instantly the mood was lifted. Pair this with palm-frond embellished furnishings, and iconic fabric prints (such as the black and white striped pool cabanas) and the senses were pleasantly satiated into a Caribbean state of mind. Of course, it helps that the views are expansive and nothing but sea on the horizon, and that the complimentary poolside smoothies are fresh and refreshing.
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The next best thing after the design, is the restaurant. Crisply nautical in design scheme (I’m a sucker for that), deliciously open-air (and with ceiling fans to ensure a breeze even on still nights) with cozy cushioned seating and panoramic views of the sea, what’s not to like? Even better; the food is delicious. Seriously, truly delicious. Unlike other Caribbean islands, Anguilla does enjoy a pretty phenomenal dinning scene, and so the Malliouhana simply had to perform here. And that they did. Likely, with the help of Auberge. By bringing in the talent from New York, who expertly created a menu that showcases the best of the Caribbean Sea’s offerings with a Mediterranean twist, I can honestly say, that each meal (and I had all three) was remarkably tasty. From the spiny lobster benedict in the morning (oh yes, I did) to the multi-course dinner, which included house-made garganelli pasta in squid ink and coconut oil plus poached grouper with jerk spiced spinach. I would go back just as much for the food as the scenery. And in the Caribbean, that’s no small feat. Kudos.malliouhana-auberge-resort-anguilla-dining-restaurant-collagemalliouhana-auberge-resort-anguilla-gallery-5

So, until my next visit, of which I’m certain there will be one, I shall dream of the cheerful resort’s stylish decor, the seaside setting and the delicious meals. And for a resort located on an island where the beach generally steals the show, I believe my recollections say it clearly: This place is exceptional. malliouhana-auberge-resort-anguilla-dining-restaurant-gallery-12

For more information and personal details regarding the Malliouhana or for questions on whether this spot would be a good fit for your  next trip, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

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Posted in: Beach, Caribbean, Hotel Reviews

Published by Meg, Wednesday, April 8, 2015 No Comments

Palm Beach Newcomer

Beach, Family

Jan
13
2014

Palm Beach, Florida

January 2014

Happy New Year!

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The Eau Palm Beach

This year my son, husband and I rang in the New Year in storied, sunny Palm Beach as guests at the newish Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spaformerly the Ritz Carlton. Our stay was a last-minute addendum to our trip, yet worked out as smoothly and ideally as if we had had months to plan it.

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The contemporary glitz of the lobby

We stayed in an Oceanfront double room (pictured below) on the Club Level floor, whose 24-hour buffet service (also pictured below) was a huge addition to our stay. Though I tend to prefer small hotels, I am happy to report we enjoyed ourselves immensely during the brief 2-night stint.

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A Double Guestroom

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The Lounge on the Club Level Floor (4th Floor)

I chalk the root of our total enjoyment up to the variety of amenities and the general high-quality that met each one. Whether it was me indulging in a blissful maternity massage at the Eau Spa - a popular spot among PB locals (for good reason), or my young son trying on costume after costume at the kids club, AquaNets, located just below the main lobby or my husband being a great Dad and getting my son to do his first solo jumps and strokes in the large palm-accented pool, we were all smiles the whole time. Also worth mentioning was the impressive breakfast buffet, which was European Grand Hotel in its presentation and girth of options. We overate till our stomachs pleaded mercy and the best part is kids under 5 eat free.

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The kids club

I am happy to say we have found a hotel we will happily return to in Palm Beach. And though its located down in Manalapan, a 15-minute drive from the action on Worth Avenue, we were happily ensconced by the beach and never even missed the retail options one bit. We even enjoyed venturing just across the bridge to the Old Key Lime House for a easy no-frills dinner on the inter-coastal, complete with an outdoor kids play area.

Rollin’ with Nolan Tip: For the family, where the mom is discerning, the kids are restless and the amenities are top-notch, this is a great option. A new FOF Favorite. Please contact me at Friend of a Friend Consulting if you are interested in booking the hotel as a VIP client.

Posted in: Beach, Family

Published by Meg, Monday, January 13, 2014 No Comments

Do You Like Pi

Beach, Caribbean, Family

Nov
23
2013

Casa de Campo

Dominican Republic

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What is it about the Spanish-speaking islands in the Caribbean that simply ensure a tastier Piña Colada? Is it because the drink likely originated from them (the name is Spanish after all) or  that they  cook more with coconut milk than say, Jamaica? I’m not sure, but as someone who has visited her fair share of the Caribbean islands and ordered a gluttonous amount of piña coladas in her day, I am confident in declaring the Dominican Republic as the home of the Caribbean’s best Piña Coladas, especially when they come served in an actual pineapple, like they do at Casa de Campo.

This past week I flew down to the DR – an easy 3-or-so hour flight on Jet Blue – flying into capital city, Santo Domingo, but more wisely, out of La Romana Airport, which is but ten minutes from the sprawling 7,000-acre resort of Casa de Campo. I spent four nights in a ground-floor Elite guestroom just a stone’s throw from the main pool with a terrace overlooking one of the resort’s three golf courses. The rooms have been redone in the past three years and are spacious, comfortable and very clean, thanks to twice daily housekeeping service. My fellow travelers and I were treated to multi-course meals around the resort, a boat trip to a private beach area and castaway lunch (see image above) and even a round of golf of the resorts award-winning Teeth of the Dog golf course. The highlight for me was by far and away the golf.

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The course features multiple waterside holes on both the front and the back nine and plays well yet formidably with approachable tee shots and unforgiving greens. I had a wonderful round with two lovely ladies from Long Island and would have been back on the course each day of the trip had our schedules allowed for it. I would highly recommend a golf trip down to this beloved resort. I’m aware the sport fishing and the equestrian center are of equal high merit, however, as a golfer, I can’t help but steer clients towards what I know and truly enjoyed firsthand.

Casa de Campo

La Romana, Republica Dominicana

Tel: (809) 523-3333

Casa de Campo Website

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Posted in: Beach, Caribbean, Family

Published by Meg, Saturday, November 23, 2013 No Comments

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About Meg

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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.

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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.