Friday, November 30, 2012

The Viceroy at Palm Springs - a little retro luxury

Fancy a little luxurious getaway with me?  
Pour yourself a drink (it's Friday evening after all) and start scrolling down. 

I have just had the good fortune of spending a couple of days at the Viceroy of Palm Springs. This hotel is absolutely stunning. Interior designer Kelly Wearstler has weaved some serious magic here. I am not normally a fan of yellow, preferring the cooler end of the colour spectrum of blues and neutrals, but the citron yellow of the Viceroy paired with white and black is so stylish.

I was a bit unsure of where to stay in Palm Springs. I wanted somewhere close to downtown as I was travelling alone and wanted to walk to dinner and feel safe at night. I also wanted to spend some time by a pool and have a little luxury. I am so glad I chose the Viceroy. It was not that much more expensive than much less luxurious hotels nearby and once I'd settled in I was not concerned about the money at all, as the attention to detail in the interior decorating, the customer service and the grounds were worth every dollar. I was also given a generous 25% discount on everything (room, resort fee and any food and drinks) and a free upgrade to a poolside room just by asking. It always pays to look on the internet for other deals at the hotel you want to stay at and then just ask what the hotel can do for you.

I love the design of my room - the plaster detail above the beds, the divine hanging bedside pendant lights, the black trim that totally transforms the flat hotel ceiling and the striped carpet. There were so many simple touches that would not have been too expensive to implement that really updated the original hotel rooms and made them very stylish. Another example is the mirrored handles on the wooden wardrobe doors. These seemed to be just stuck on the original doors but added a great deal of glamour to the room.

Each room had a balcony with a wicker table setting over looking the Adult's only pool . This pool has lots of trees around it which gave the room a fair bot of privacy but there are heavy curtains that you can pull over your balcony if you want. 

The bathroom was simple but white and clean and the robe was the most comfortable hotel robe I've ever worn. There was also a great range of toiletries in lovely big generous bottles.  The marble tiled floor gave a nice finishing touch. 

The grounds of the hotel are lovely.  I was extremely relaxed by the pool and even had a very reasonably priced cooked breakfast there one morning.  I was so relaxed! What a great way to end my holiday in California.

It's would be a fantastic venue for a wedding or big party.

The management let me photograph one of the private one bedroom villas that are situated right next to the large pool and spa. I would love to go back and have some time with Phil in this villa. It is so beautiful.

A very well equipped kitchen. 
Although if I was in such a romantic luxurious place I wouldn't be cooking!

What do you think? Gorgeous??

I didn't spend all my time in Palm Springs by the pool. I managed to drag myself away one morning to go for a hike in the Indian Canyons just about 5 miles away.  It is so surprising to find an oasis in the middle of the desert. So cool walking amongst the palm trees and by the running water.

I didn't like this sign below at all though. Especially as I was hiking by myself - although I only hiked (more like a nature trail than wilderness) a couple of miles and did pass people on my way but I was very wary... especially as down in the palm grove there were heaps of holes in the sand. I saw something move in one of the holes and thought it may have been a lizard or something. When I asked the ranger what made and lived in the holes, he said tarantulas...oh great - that's when I decided to head back to the hotel and lie by the pool!

So I'm back home now and come crashing back to the reality of motherhood. My poor little boy has been projectile vomiting all afternoon. The poor little boy is so uncomplaining. Hopefully he sleeps well tonight.

I'll post more of my travels over the next week. I didn't blog much while I was away as Bloggsy really annoyed me - and I was too busy having fun!!

hope you all have a great weekend
Fiona xx

**All my own photos and this is not a sponsored post**

Thursday, November 29, 2012

More of my time in Carmel - beaches, gorgeous hotel and restaurant.

My time in Carmel seems ages ago but it's only been a week since I was there. I've certainly been packing it all in on this trip. I wanted to share where I stayed in Carmel and some of the beautiful beach photos I took.

While in the US I've been waking really early which is quite unusual for me so I've been getting up for sunrise most days. I love the beach in the early morning. Actually I love the beach at anytime! Look at the sun peaking through the trees below.

While in Carmel, I stayed at the Lamplighter Inn which is just a couple of blocks from the beach. It's such a cute little collection of rooms/cabins with the most beautiful fairy light lit courtyard. Travelling alone, I felt very safe there and it was lovely and sociable with free evening drinks and nibbles around a fire out in the evenings.

I booked last minute so had to change rooms which was fine as I got to experience 2 rooms - treetop and Katydid. The rooms are all different and so very much to my liking. White linen always does it for me.

I had a beautiful simple meal at the French restaurant La Bicyclette in Carmel. I just ordered a glass of champagne, some delicious white bean and vegetable broth and a pear and walnut salad. It was mouth watering delicious. Then the lovely waitress gave me a complimentary dessert, her favourite - a chocolate pudding with raspberries and a glass of a really nice Cabernet Sauvignon. What a treat. My whole meal including tip was around $23.

One thing I love about travelling alone is the conversations you have with strangers. People are very friendly and approach you more often when you are by yourself. I've met some very interesting people on my trip. I also have enjoyed time by myself wandering along the beach. Just around from Carmel Point where so many of the beautiful houses are, is Carmel River State beach. The water is the most beautiful colour - bright aqua with wild surf. Quite different to Carmel beach and well worth the walk.

The sunset in Carmel is pretty gorgeous also. Every night there are lots of people gathered on the beach to watch it. Some people with deck chairs and wine. How lovely. I'll leave you today with some photos of the beach and sunset.
Fiona xx

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Beautiful homes in Carmel, California

I have just spent a few days in Carmel, California and I spent the whole time feeling so joyous and thinking the sights just couldn't get any better - between the beaches, the amazing architecture of the beautiful Comstock houses, the Coach outlet shop and the delicious food at the restaurants I was in a very happy place.

I posted a couple of photos on Instagram and immediately had requests to do more house stalking so the next morning I got up super early and went snooping.  I loved this teal green house below that is right opposite the beach. It beautifully reflects the blue-green of the Pacific ocean. A great view of the surfers right on your doorstop.

Imagine sitting on this balcony in the evening watching the beautiful sunset while you sip on a champagne cocktail. Make mine a bellini please!

As you walk along the beach, it just keeps getting better. The houses at Camel point are just stunning. They all look like they belong on the pages of a fairy tale book.  The house below has a sign on it "Pinch Me" - a little tacky but I would be pinching myself also!  Check out the wavy shingle roof. I think it looks like Hansel and Gretel's gingerbread house.

Even the mailboxes are gorgeous and rustic.

I don't have a garage but I'd take this garage door over a roller door any day of the week.

I stalked the house below a lot as not only is the outside of the house divine but check out that chandelier in the window.  I can only imagine how much a place like this is worth. I couldn't bring myself to look a real estate's brochure as I didn't want to pop the bubble of thinking someday...

All the houses in the main part of Carmel are delightful. There is seriously not one not charming house. Beautiful little details that really add to the charm. Look at these beautiful lights over the garage below. Even that garage door is divine.

The house above has this cockerel right next to the front gate. so quaint.

The house below is beautiful. Last time I was in Carmel I took a few photos of it but it's currently being re-roofed so I just took photo of the wall and garden. Still beautiful with a big grey tarp over it all.

And I've saved the best for last, I think some of the IGers are fighting over who is going to move in first. I think we should all pool our money in and all move in together. Check it out. LOVELY!! It's the same house as the top photo on my post today.

I really wanted to sneak closer and take photos if inside the windows as every room had the most amazing lights and I know A-M will be kicking me for not getting better photos! but it was 7am and I thought people are going to see me and think that I am staking out the place for a robbery!

... and this is where it is situated, right on Camel Point with windows spanning 180 degrees along both sides of the point. This photo below is take across the road from the house so their view is even more spectacular.

So what do you think? are you know planning a trip to Carmel? I'll be back on Monday with photos of the beach. Just as an additional teaser.

Fiona xx