Road trippin’ Costa Rica

Costa Rica simply has to be one of my favourite places to have visited this year. From dense jungles and rainforests, long stretches of undeveloped coastline, wild cascading waterfalls, volcanoes and the most diverse and lush vegetation, this country undoubtedly has it all. 

My housemate and I spent months planning and then ten days doing a road trip from Arenal volcano, down the pacific coast, from San Jose, Papagayo to Nosara then Santa Teresa. 

We were initially considering whether to travel down the Caribbean coast but opted to explore the Pacific coast as there is more of a diversity of activities en route (a great decision as I couldn’t recommend this route enough!)
Doing a road trip is by far the best way to see this country but be warned the dirt roads should not really be called roads. We ended up getting our 4x4 seriously stuck up a steep mud hill in the middle of the jungle and for a while, it looked as though we'd be sleeping in some remote part of the jungle so make sure you’re going with someone who is not only super confident in fixing vehicles but also strong enough to get yourselves out of whatever ditch or predicament you come across.  

Our first stop was Arenal volcano where we stayed at The Springs Costa Rica. This place was huge and infamous for it’s multitude of hot springs and incredible views of Arenal volcano. We weren’t short of an activity here either and decided to go tubing down the river! What an adventure and an afternoon well spent.

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We visited during rainy season (August) so we experienced rain for around 65% of the trip. Don’t let that put you off though as Costa Rica is beautifully green at this time of year and driving and trekking though the midst of forests and jungles is serene. Zip lining through the jungle was definitely a highlight and we did this at Sky gardens which I highly recommend.

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Below I’ve highlighted the two places I visited which stand out for me and left me with nothing but good memories.  


This was our third stop after Arenal and it really is a little hidden gem! Having opened its doors last December, Kasiiya Papagayo, situated in one of the earth’s “blue zones”  embodies everything I love about Costa Rica. An ecological, luxurious sanctuary nestled amongst 123 acres of wild land, this little hidden paradise is nothing short of exceptional! 

There are only 5 tented suites on the property and each one is strategically placed to offer guests a sense of seclusion, luxury and immersion into the naturural beauty that surrounds it. It really did feel like we were far away from the madding crowd, with the sounds of monkeys waking us up at 5am. (The oddest kind of alarm clock!)

Luckily for the 3 days we stayed there, Jess, myself and another couple were the only ones on the property with a full team of staff catering to our every need and with communication being through a walkie-talkie, Jess and I couldn't help but find it rather bizarre but we adapted quickly.

Our suited tent was stunning with access to the private beach, a huge open decking with a copper bath tub and shower outside.

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The architecture was modern, simplistic yet not over-bearing so as to detract you from the natural surroundings. Built from all natural materials on wood-framed platforms and powered on 100% solar energy, the water is fresh from the well and the vehicles within the property are electrical. The property exemplifies the countries empowering initiative to go 100% carbon-neutral. 

What I loved about this place is that it’s all about going at your own pace, there are a number of activities to get involved in or if you just want to chill, there’s no better place to do it than here. The sunsets are an absolute killer and every evening at 5pm we had a driver transport us up the cliffs to the sunset dining area which is stunning in design and provides the most insane view of the peninsula. 

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Jess and I involved ourselves in every activity possible with the on-site movement guy Bruno (a real life mowgli I called him!) It’s super cute as all the staff live on site in their own tents so it really is a proper little community! The team even hosted a BBQ and camp fire one evening where we all roasted marshmallows and enjoyed each other's company. Super cute!

Bruno took us paddle-boarding a couple of times where we were an amazing two feet away from dolphins. We then paddled over to another beach away from the bay and saw turtles.  We followed this by going snorkelling to see a variety of gorgeous tropical fish then immersed ourselves in kayaking,  tree-climbing and then we had our own private movement class and did a very extremely steep hike, which ended up in multiple falls, cuts and bruises but what an adventure.

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We also had our very own chef who provided us with 3-course meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We certainly over-indulged, the food was mouth-wateringly refreshing and filling from fish tacos to chocolate crepes. I have to confess that every single mouthful was devoured with love and appreciation.

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This was definitely one of the best places I have ever stayed and it’s for anyone who wants to disconnect and re-connect with nature, it’s so true that you can go at your own pace, we were pretty active the majority of the time but also relished in the chance to chill on the beach, read a book, indulge in the cuisine. Kasiiya really is the embodiment of peace, tranquility combined with fine luxury.

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It’s expensive but worth every penny!

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This place is great for travellers who want to meet other like-minded travellers. It’s slightly more built up for tourism but the local cafes/ boutique shops and hostels are all situated on a big dirt road parallel to the beautiful stretch of wild beach where you will find all the locals surfing or giving surf lessons.

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Geared up for avid surfers and yogis, Jess and  I went surfing a few times but the wave conditions weren’t the best. We stayed at a lovely apartment up on the hill and hung out at the Earth cafe most afternoons for lunch (they have the most delicious earth bowls and The Bakery is worth a visit to experience the most incredible almond and Nutella croissants! 

It's a real chilled out vibe here, loads of locals and travellers congregate on the beach for the sunset (the sky turns a gorgeous purple pink) with a few beers. Make sure you head to Satori for dinner, it's literally melt in your mouth sushi! There's always some live music happening somewhere which is great for an evening soiree and a recap of the day's adventures.
This is one of those places that is unique, different from anywhere I've been and if there is one way to describe how I felt when I boarded the plane to leave, it is with the knowledge that one day I'll go back.

Jordan x

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Turkey - Alanya

There’s just something about Turkey that keeps pulling me back, hence my fourth visit this year! 

This time,  Loanne and I were invited to try out Cook’s Club, a chilled-out and contemporary hotel which is part of the new collection of Thomas Cooks hotels.  It is nestled in the heart of vibrant Alanya which is the perfect base for night-time escapades and cocktails galore. Built with the modern traveller in mind, the design, food, drink and lively atmosphere is ideal for a getaway with either friends or a with a partner.

Upon arriving at the hotel, the reception area had a stylish yet simplistic design, with brightly coloured authentic Turkish pillows and beautiful wicker chairs on display, creating an exquisite look with a comfortable feel.

The hotel is situated on the cusp of Kleopatra Beach so ideal for a morning dip in the sea!   The setting is beautiful and there are designated sun beds allocated to the hotel so make sure you wake up early doors to grab one as the beach understandably gets super busy during the day. 

Loanne and I shared a double room  with a small balcony that overlooked both the pool and the beach. The room was equipped with a mini kitchen and small lounge area so it felt more like a studio apartment. Our room was situated above the beach bar so for those who love music most evenings, its home from home but for those of you who may be light sleepers, be sure to pack your ear plugs! 

A big bonus for those of you who are restless travellers -  there are numerous activities to get involved in from boat trips, water sports and relaxing spa treatments. 

Loanne and I got involved in a cooking class where we worked our magic at making a tasty Mediterranean sea bass dish with vegetables. We also had a superb massage in the spa which was wonderfully relaxing.

Every afternoon we had lunch at the Cantina, the central dining hub that resembled a  modern uni canteen where you could choose from a selection of fresh salads/ fish or burgers, whatever tickles ya fancy! My favourite was a delicious fresh Greek salad with homemade lemonade! For dinner we would sit in the outside bar.  The waiters were so friendly and considerate that they would move our table onto the sand so that we could enjoy the most beautiful dinner setting.  Try to beat that physical sensation of bare toes in the sand whilst watching the sun set over the beach, sipping on rose and eating fresh fish and salad. 

This place is undoubtedly for music and party lovers.  On Saturday evening we took to the decks to play some chilled house tunes whilst the sun was going down and having met the resident DJ who was playing some absolute tunes, we were then treated to escorting him to another beach club where he was playing too.

I have to confess I would never usually consider doing a package holiday but the  simple and seamless process, from the minute we stepped off the plane to the moment we boarded again has convinced me  that if you're looking to sit back, relax and have all the activities you want on your doorstep plus a Thomas Cook Rep helping you with any itinerary and organising your transport, there's a great deal to be said for the Cook's Club.  You'll get a modest, laid back setting with party vibes and it will fit most budgets too.


  • Try the delicious cocktails and watch the sun set at the bar

  • Try the Hammam

  • Party with the resident DJ

  • Do the Boat trip (sadly we didn’t get to do this but from what we saw it looked FUN!)


  • Bring ear plugs if you are a light sleeper

  • Get up early to get a sun bed on the beach, the beach gets very busy

  • Pack your own shampoos & toothpaste

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Boutique, Bohemian & Beautiful Ibiza - Es Cucons

What’s the first thing that springs to mind when you hear the word ‘Ibiza’ ? 

Let me guess? Party? Music? DJs?  

Well, if it’s not, you certainly haven’t experienced Ibiza the way I normally have, or you’ve just been lucky enough to experience the natural beauty of the country without having to exhaust yourself partying pretty much the whole time (not that that’s necessarily a bad thing!)

This trip, however,  I experienced the latter at the beautiful “Es Cucons”, a small, boutique hotel hidden in the remote valley of almonds in the magical Santa Agnes in Western Ibiza. It is a little slice of heaven which I discovered through i-escape (the travel experts that have handpicked the world’s most beautiful hidden gems and boutique hotels) and trust me when I say, this really was hidden gem! This is the second time we’ve worked with them, so I knew to trust their opinions on finding the best accommodation to suit our needs. The setting, staff, food, rooms, ambience was truly exceptional.

Even though Es Cucons seems far from the madding crowd, don’t be put off. It is actually only half an hour away from the airport and fifteen minutes from San Antonio, for those that still want a party. Even more importantly, it is only a ten minute drive to Cala Salada beach (perhaps one of the most picturesque beaches I have been to in Ibiza) Clay coloured cliffs with hidden trails wind down to the most beautiful clear transparent waters and white sands of Cala Saladeta (the small neibouring beach). Tip :Make sure to go for an evening dip and catch the sun as it sets. The sky and surrounding landscape transforms into a beautiful orangey pink colour.

My friend Robyn and I arrived to Es Cucons around midnight and were greeted by one of the lovely owners of the hotel, Maria, who, despite the after hours, offered us food from the kitchen (even though it had just closed) to which we were greeted by a delicious platter of fresh hams, cheeses, bread, olives and tapenade. We were immediately in food heaven and so grateful at the immediate hospitality we received. Not the kind of treatment you would get in a normal hotel, that’s for sure! This set the precedence for the following few days, the food and service was outstanding. Lots of fresh salad options and sharing platters for lunch and beautifully fresh cooked fish and vegetables for dinner (tip - go for the John Dory and roasted vegetables for an evening meal. Delicious.) Breakfast is a buffet option offering a range of meats, cheeses, fruit platters, pastries, fresh OJ and smoked sausages, plus cooked options to order such as eggs, waffles you name it…we went for the pancakes every morning with fresh fruit, nutella, honey and chia seeds. Winner!

With fifteen shabby chic bedrooms, each one has its own distinct style and personality. We were in room 1, right at the back with its own private balcony, pond and a beautiful view of the valley beyond. The white washed walls and interior of the room is humble and cosey with a beautiful ensuite and a big bath tub… which we made use pretty much every day.

The weather was beautiful whilst we were there so a couple of the days were simply spent relaxing by the pool, a book in one hand and iced coffee in the other. The atmosphere was so tranquil, which I absolutely loved and at times it felt like we were the only ones there. Although we had ambitious plans to rent a car and explore Ibiza for the following few days, we were so wowed by the beauty and zen of the place, we decided to stay put and immerse ourselves in what the hotel itself had to offer.

We decided to get involved in the morning yoga sessions, which they have every few weeks, free of charge. This started at 11am and was a beautiful and relaxing way to start the day. We also took out their bicycles and went for a lovely morning cycle round the valley, which i would highly recommend doing. We also explored another scenic route by jogging one morning which was definitely worth it and there are lots of hiking trails that you can do too! If your looking to relax, you can also book in massages which we did after our activities. Absolute bliss.

The thing I loved about this place was the family feel to the running of it. The staff are so hospitable and welcoming, making you feel like like you’re part of the family. They were keen to lend a helping hand whenever we wanted, giving recommendations, helping out with luggage and even helping out with a first aid kit when I managed to fall off my bicycle and cut all my arms and legs! (Typical)

The setting and decor of the place is absolutely stunning. Very boho chic. The website itself does not do the place justice, so I really hope some of my images do, but you just can’t quite explain the serenity and sense of calm you feel, as you sip on an ice cold cocktail and soak up the sun, overlooking the long stretch of almond valleys beyond whilst listening to the birds tweeting and fully immersing yourself in to what I would now call, the best part of Ibiza.

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Outfit 1

Pink Kimono - Paloma Blue
Black Bikini - Ode and Raye
Ray Bans
Basket - Cult Gaia

Outfit 2
Silk Shirt - Rouje
Leopord Print Bikini - HnM
Ray Bans
Gold chain - Daisy Jewellery

Outfit 3
Leopord Print bikini - & Saunter

Outfit 4
Black jumpsuit - &OtherStories

Collyer TwinsComment
A little slice of paradise at Hillside

As seasoned travellers or if I'm honest, probably weekly travellers, I’d like to feel we have a reasonable idea of what would constitute as 'a place worth ticking off your bucket list'.

Obviously this decision will always come down to personal taste and generally, I’m more of a sucker for a beautiful setting as opposed to the quality and aesthetics of a hotel. As adventurers, being in the great outdoors, exploring the location and being inundated with optional activities is key, and this is precisely what Hillside resort offers you. With most of their guests being returning customers, that is an accolade in itself.

So when, a couple of weeks ago, I was invited on a press trip to Hillside, I was simply stunned by how beautiful and serene the resort was predominantly for its private and secluded coves and beaches. Hillside is located on the the gorgeous coastline of Turkey in Fethiye, a port city on Turkey's southwestern Turquoise Coast and is nestled among pine-covered hills with its own beautiful private cove which is home to three pebbly beaches.  This little slice of paradise caters for everyone from families with kids to adventure seekers, couples or even individuals who just want a digital detox.

With a variety of activities to get involved in from water sports, excursions, child friendly activities, spa treatments, adult-only beaches and mouth-watering food this really is for everyone. Below I’ve briefly outlined some tips and must do’s if you head there!

TIPS: Go just before peak season (May or beginning June). We went in May and it was the perfect time, not too busy with endless space on the beach and nothing less than a perfect temperature of around 24 degrees. Note that the beaches themselves are not huge so I can imagine them getting busy in peak times.


  • Have a massage in the Sanda nature day spa. It’s nestled up in the forest and surrounded by running waterfalls which is simply magical. I had a relaxing one hour body massage followed by an uplifting ginger tea and fresh fruit  

  • Watch a film under the stars on the beach. At Hillside they run summer screenings and as this was my first time experiencing and outdoor cinema, I was SO excited about it. We snuggled up with blankets and popcorn and watched an old black and white film whilst looking at the stars. The perfect evening that certainly lived up to the hype. 

  • Morning yoga on the silent beach. I couldn’t think of a more zen and peaceful place to do this surrounded by pine trees and the sound of birds and the crashing waves. The icing on the cake was a 5 minute shoulder massage by the massage therapists after the class.

  • The sunset beach tour. A group of us spent sunset on a beautiful boat sipping wine and cheese tasting whilst also getting involved in a sound healing and meditation session which proved to be the ultimate relaxation. A memorable evening spent at sea.

  • Dine at Pasha restaurant on the bay, it serves up incredible Mediterranean style cuisine and later the ambience spices up further with a DJ! Also do check out the main restaurant which serves up an unparalleled buffet experience… you may be aware of how much Loanne and I love our food and I was so spoiled for choice here... there were no less than 20 different desserts from Oreo cake to Souffle to Pannacotta, Creme Brûlée and various flavours of ice creams - you name it, it was there. The Nutella ice-cream was to die for though.. 

  • Swim, swim and swim. The beaches and private coves for me are what made this place so magical. The twinkling turquoise sea is absolutely beautiful, it’s cold but makes you feel so ALIVE if you spend long enough in it! I swam out to the pontoon every day and soaked up the sun rays. Pure, unadulterated bliss.

Personally, I will certainly be returning to Hillside again and maybe even next time for my own luxurious digital detox....

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Outfit 1 -

White dress: Reformation

White boots: Kin, John Lewis & Partners

Outfit 2

Yellow knit jumper

Yellow silk skirt: ZARA

Brown bag: Estee Lauder

Outfit 3

Beige beach dress - ZARA

Black trench boots - H&M


Outfit 4

Long pendant necklace


Woman figure necklace

Check dress: Urban Outfitters

The Secret Spot Of Sal, Cape Verde

Sal is one of the most popular of the ten Cape Verdean islands, located just off the North West coast of Africa.

If you’re looking for a slice of authentic African landscape and culture, you will still very much find it here but with undeniable European influence prevalent amongst its architecture, language and religion. The mix of the two makes for a beautiful place to visit. You will be amazed by the amount of different languages you hear in Sal, yet English seems to be amongst the few. Portuguese and Creole are the native languages, where I admit I felt pretty in my element having grown up in Portugal!

Along with its beautiful stretches of sandy beaches and turquoise blue water, the barren African landscape, the sand pans, the incredibly delicious food, the warm weather year round and the vibrant and buzzing streets of Santa Maria, Sal should definitely be on your bucket list of places to visit.

I flew out for a week in mid January with my friend for a week of relaxation. The flight is just short of six hours, which actually seemed to go by extremely quickly. As I landed and left the airport,  I was instantly surprised by the raw and undeveloped state of the island. Still so untouched by tourists, with long stretches of barren desert land and salt flats for miles. A country that has not yet properly been discovered nor built on or developed by the tourism industry. An island with heaps of potential and beauty, unfortunately crying out for development and tourism. I guarentee it will be a very different place in five to ten years with development plans for new hotels and casinos already under way.  

Sal is famous for its wind. It is one of the worlds top destinations for wind and kite surfers and you will often see hundreds on the beaches and worldwide competitions taking place here. The wind was quite strong when I was there but in the summer months it gets less so and makes sunbathing that bit more pleasurable, not that it wasn’t, but a wind shelter is definitely recommended. The average temperature when I was there was around 25 degrees but in the summer months it warms up to the late 20s/30s.

The town of Santa Maria is an idyllic fishing village dotted with Crayola-coloured buildings, cobbled streets and palm trees on every street corner which has given way to it name as ‘The African Caribbean’. Walk along the strip in the evening and dance away to live bands, reggae bars and friendly locals dancing and drinking in the streets. There’s also a handful of amazing restaurants along here and the food is divine. Lots of local fresh produce and fish is one of their specialities. Try a small restaurant called ‘O Carangueijo’, translated as ‘The Crab’ in English. It’s rather humble exterior doesn’t do justice to its mouth-watering menu. Try the Black Squid Ink with Seafood. It will leave you literally salivating! *Drool *

With the local mantra being ‘No Stress’, there is a nice sense of calm and uninhibitedness on the island which I absolutely loved. It was so easy to feel at peace and relaxed. Chilling on the beach was my favourite pastime throughout the week ( no surprise there, I’m sure). Although, if you know me, I do also love a good party and good music and one place that is quite different due to its more luxurious and modern vibe is ‘Bikini Beach’. A beautiful beach club stretching fourty metres in to the ocean which boasts amazing views from its modern white terraces. Bikini beach is perfect for day parties watching the sunset over the Atlantic ocean whilst listening to local and international DJs spin their tunes.

Another reason I am keen to return is due to the amount activities and things there are  to do on the island, which due to my persistence in ‘just chilling’ we didn’t get round to do! However, I hope by some of the images and video, you get a feel for the beauty and rawness of the island. You can go shark watching, quad biking, kite surfing, island boat tours, floating in a salt mine and many more, so if I were you I would plan a trip to the secret spot of Sal, Cape Verde, whilst it still remains as untouched, authentic and as beautiful as it is.

Loie x x

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London Fashion Week 19

And breathe! It was another busy fashion week filled with shows/ presentations and cocktail parties galore! Here’s a round-up of all of our LFW outfits. We kept it casual as per with the classic white and black palette and threw in a few stripes, chequers and buttons for good measure!

All outfit links below the images.

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Collyer TwinsComment