Beaches Turks and Caicos Review: Why I Am In Love & You Will Be Too

In a year filled with amazing adventures, you might be surprised to find out that one of my favorites was my visit to Turks and Caicos as part of the Social Media on the Sand Conference. The conference is hosted by the all inclusive Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort, who provided our stay for a fraction of the regular cost. It was an offer I could not pass up.

As many of you probably already know, I am not the typical big resort type of customer. I love luxury for sure, but my idea of luxury tends to be more boutique style hotels in the middle of the jungle offering immersive experiences in the local environment. Due to this, I had never even considered a trip to the Caribbean, much less a massive resort like Beaches. My mental image of Beaches consisted of only what I had seen on TV commercials – a big resort, a water park, a total kid focused environment. I wasn’t sure this would be my cup of tea.

The commercials are true; this does all exist. But I must admit, all of my preconceived notions of what it would be like to stay in a massive resort were totally dashed upon my arrival to Beaches Resort in the Turks and Caicos.

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Bluestem Hotel | One of the Best Hotels in Torrance CA

Heading to Los Angeles’s South Bay area and looking for hotel options? Look no further – the Bluestem Hotel is one of the best hotels in Torrance CA!

Torrance is located just 15 minutes from LAX, and is well situated for various Southern California attractions, making it an excellent place to stay for a visit to Los Angeles. While there are plenty of chain hotel options in the area, in our opinion the best place to stay is at Torrance’s first boutique hotel, Bluestem.

Newly opened in 2019, this chic modern boutique hotel is a welcome addition to the scene in the South Bay. It is just another example of how Torrance is busy reinventing itself. With over 400 eateries, 11 breweries, art galleries and the beach, there are so many things to do in Torrance for your next stay. Read on to find out what we thought about the hotel and why it should be your only choice in Torrance!

Disclosure: My stay at Bluestem was hosted by Discover Torrance as part of a weekend trip to the area to explore all the family friendly things to do in Torrance California. As always, all opinions and thoughts are my own.

Also note, some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

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Luxurious Nature Hotel in Flores Guatemala

After almost 3 weeks in Guatemala exploring by bus, tuk tuk and our own two feet, we were looking for a luxurious retreat to end our trip. In my search I happened upon Las Lagunas Boutique Hotel, located just outside of Flores Guatemala on a small lagoon in the middle of the jungle.

Las Lagunas has everything you want in a nature retreat – gorgeous surroundings, wild animals, spectacular food and exceptional service. It is the type of hotel you will continue to dream about returning to for years afterward. You might even make a trip to Guatemala *just* to visit this luxurious nature retreat.

Read on for our review and why we think it should be a must visit on your Guatemala itinerary.

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The Graduate Hotel Madison – The Ideal Place to Stay

Did you ever wish you went to sleepaway camp as a child? I never even knew these fantastical places existed as a kid, but now that I am an adult I wish I had the opportunity to go back in time and experience it. Lucky for me, on our recent trip to Wisconsin, we were hosted at The Graduate Hotel Madison which feels just like what I imagine an adult summer camp would be like!

Canoes hanging from the lobby ceiling, a collection of outdoorsy plaids and a casual collegiate vibe give an uber cool feeling to the hotel. I felt like I stepped into a Wes Anderson film as I walked into the carefully curated lobby filled with college students hard at work at the shared tables.

Located right in between the University of Wisconsin and the state Capitol, The Graduate Hotel Madison is perfectly situated for a college visit, a business trip or even a family holiday away.

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Staying at LEGOLAND Castle Hotel California

LEGOLAND Castle Hotel California Grand Opening celebrationThe long awaited LEGOLAND Castle Hotel California has finally opened! We were so excited to be one of the first guests to stay and experience the new hotel. Read on to find out what we thought and why this should be on your must visit list!

Just as I recommended for the first LEGOLAND Resort, if you are planning a trip to LEGOLAND, you need to consider staying at one of these awesome hotels. From the moment you arrive you will be treated like royalty! As much as we loved the original LEGOLAND Resort, we are even more in love with the LEGOLAND Castle Hotel.

Staying here will ensure that your kids have an amazing experience inside and outside of the park – one they will probably want to do again and again!

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Velas Vallarta – All Inclusive Family Luxury

My yearly tradition of getting away for my birthday was almost thwarted this year with my Palace on Wheels train journey through Rajasthan being so close to my birthday.  But…Los Angeles was unseasonably cold and I couldn’t let my birthday pass without a little break somewhere.

If you read my travel dreams for the year post, you know that I am determined to use my Southwest Airlines companion pass as much as possible, so it was a no brainer that I must find a warm destination that Southwest flew to.  I found several great options in Mexico, so it was difficult to choose, but Puerto Vallarta won in the end.

Velas Vallarata - All Inclusive Family Luxury in Puerto Vallarta

With an amazing range of accommodation options up and down the coast from Puerto Vallarta to Nayarit, and throughout Mexico, I didn’t know where to go. There are some great all inclusive resorts in Mexico that I had to choose from. I came across the Grand Velas Resort in Nayarit which looked exactly like what I was in need of – fabulous over the top luxury! Unfortunately it was booked, but their sister property Velas Vallarta had availability and offered us a beautiful 1 bedroom suite for our stay.

After several days in paradise, the little one and I got to know the ins and outs of Vela Vallarta and what you  must do when you go there. Get cozy, and get ready to book your weekend away to Puerto Vallarta with our in-depth photo tour and guide to Velas Vallarta in Mexico.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

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The Cliffs Resort Pismo Beach | Luxury on the California Coast

On our recent trip to San Luis Obispo Country with SLO CAL Tourism, we had the amazing opportunity to stay at The Cliffs Spa & Hotel in Pismo Beach. If you are headed to the San Luis Obispo area, there are many cool options for places to stay, but none compare with the luxury, location and fabulous service provided at The Cliffs Resort Pismo Beach. We would highly recommend it for your next visit or even if you are just passing through on a Pacific Coast Highway road trip.

Read on to find out why we loved it so much!

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The Hotel Monaco in Seattle: Family Friendly Luxury

hotel Monaco in SeattleLooking for accommodation in any city can be overwhelming. What area is the best place to stay? Is it walkable? How are the rooms? Is it kid friendly?  These are some of the thoughts that go racing through my head every time I am looking to book a hotel. I find booking accommodation to be one of the most overwhelming parts of planning a trip. However, when I see a Kimpton hotel in the destination we are traveling to, my stress is immediately reduced. Every Kimpton hotel I have had the pleasure of visiting has exceeded my expectations, which says a lot because I am not known to have low expectations for accommodation.

In Seattle, visitors are lucky because there are several Kimpton hotels to choose from. We were told that the Hotel Monaco was the most child friendly (and had availability for our dates!), so my search was quickly over.

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Hotel Review: Koro Sun Resort & Rainforest Spa

Koro Sun Resort & Rainforest Spa

Fiji is a destination that people dream of visiting, often that dream persists for much of their life mainly due to the perceptions that Fiji is solely a honeymoon destination or one for people who have a lot of money. On the contrary, Fiji can actually be an affordable vacation at anytime during your life and yes, even with children in tow!

On our recent trip to Fiji, one hotel that I pursued on my own to visit was Koro Sun Resort & Rainforest Spa. I had attended a presentation by Tourism Fiji where their representative spoke of the new Floating Bures and the wonderful family friendly vibe of the hotel which included a nanny for children. I was sold and had to see it for myself!

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Hotel Review: Riviera Maya Bel Air Resort Xpuha

Riviera Maya Bel Air Resort & Animal Sanctuary On our trip to Mexico last year we used miles for everything. Airline miles for our flights and credit card miles for our rental car and accommodation.  As is often the case of booking through miles (and last minute) our options for accommodation were limited in the … Read more