Rock & Relaxation at the Hard Rock Hotel

Touch down in Ibiza and an overwhelming feeling comes flooding back to me…A feeling of excitement, anticipation and some what ‘belonging’ which I can never quite put my finger on… 


Ahead of launching their iconic 1,000 room hotel in London next spring, The Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza, set on the south side of the island, invited a small group of us out to give us an exclusive taste of what to expect…..Excitement was an understatement!


As we drove to the hotel, our taxi driver tricked us into thinking the hotel was two hours away, so we prepared ourselves for a long and tiresome journey, but within no longer than 10/15 minutes he pulled up next to a huge ‘Hard Rock’ sign, on the doorstep of the infamous ‘Ushuaia’ club and muttered “ Only joking. We’re here!” I mean talk about convenience!

Which leads me to my first and foremost reason for going, staying and experiencing the amazing Hard Rock Hotel in Ibiza, where we stayed for 3 nights…and boy oh boy did we have fun…

Music - 

Now one thing this hotel is not lacking is music. Memorabilia, live acts, amazing sound systems,  parties, DJs , underwater sound systems, welcome musical gifts! You name it, this hotel has music at its core…

International famous entertainers from all over the world find inspiration right here. We were given a memorabilia tour of the hotel, which was fascinating, so many famous acts have stayed or played here and costumes and outfits from Elton john to Lady Gaga to the beetles are all present in the hotel.

Even the rooms are ridden with musical aspects. You can change the lights over your bed to change the mood, an amazing sound system is available and upon arrival were electrical guitars and vinyl players in our rooms. I mean, I wish we knew how to play both, but pretty cool huh?

We were in our element.


 Location -  


Now think about all the reasons you would choose to go to Ibiza ( well all the reasons we would anyway…)

Beach bars, clubs, DJs, restaurants, events, sunsets, beaches, …well thankfully at the Hard Rock, this is all at your disposal. 

With the infamous Ushuaia next door, pumping beats and music throughout the day to get you in the mood, the hotel is set against the very famous El Chiringuito Beach. A ten minute drive and you’re at the famous Experimental beach bar, famous for its beautiful sunsets over the island. Another 12 minute drive and you can get lunch at El Chiringuito beach bar , which is such a great atmosphere and the food is divine. A few minutes from the hotel’s doorstep and you can dance all night at the famous HII Ibiza where we danced all night long to Eric Prydz for his closing set…. or if you’re feeling lazy, just roll out of bed and you’re pretty much in Ushuaia, where you’ll find most of the best music acts playing from dusk until dawn.


Dining - 


So the first night Jordan and I arrived we had dinner at the hotel’s beach club outside.

The beautifully white washed rustic decor oozes all elements of chic amidst a gentle evening sea breeze. The ideal spot for a chilled dinner. We ordered the sea bass and vegetables which to this day, Jordan describes as ‘the best sea bass’ she has ever had. Freshly caught and beautifully seasoned, a definite must-try if you go! One of the afternoons we had lunch here as well which was just as delicious, with a wide variety of mediterranean options. Ps - Go for the Octopus at lunch. It is Fish-licious. 


On our last night we dined at the Tatel restaurant. With restaurants in Madrid and Miami , this place is a leader in traditional Spanish cuisine. I ordered an amazing dish of black rice which squid which was incredible, but for me, even more impressive than the food, was the 1920’s style ambience and interior of the restaurant, you feel like you’re stepping into a scene from the Great Gatsby surrounded by the glitz and glamour of the prohibition era. We spent the first half an hour in awe of the decor. A lot of inspiration when doing up my own home for sure…


Rooftop Bar - 

Now, if you’re looking for delicious cocktails, a fantastic sunset view, chilled beats and a way to start off the night, then the Hard Rock rooftop bar is the one.

Jordan and I arrived just in time for sunset on our first evening, so decided to go up for a drink or two. You can see the whole south side of the island from the top and also watch all the planes flying in over the sunset, and on the other side is the moon, we were lucky to get a full moon when we were there. Views to die for…

PS - Get the Old Fashioned cocktail. I’m not usually a fan of whisky , but theirs is special!

So there you have it, if you love your music, you love to party and you love the magical island of Ibiza, The Hard Rock is the place to be.
Fantastic food, bars, location, music and ambience. It’s all here baby!


Thank you so much for our stay Hard Rock! We can’t wait for the opening of the London property!

L&J x x

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Collyer TwinsComment
Retreat to Crete

If you’re looking for a lovely, laid-back retreat abroad, look no further than the ‘Retreat to Crete’, a yoga and cookery retreat that nourishes the mind, body and belly!

Set amongst a rustic and beautiful backdrop of the majestic Cretan sea in a gorgeous, Greek-inspired villa, the retreat offers a lovely space to have some much needed down time whilst also mingling with some fabulous like-minded people.

What I loved about this retreat was the informality and relaxed nature of it. With the retreat in its infancy, hosts Betty and Caroline were so welcoming and open to anything we felt like doing (or not doing) it was a real home from home. With another 8 attendees on the retreat it felt like one big happy family where we all cooked together, feasted together, explored the local town, hiked through stunning landscapes, visited a beautiful monastery and all whilst appreciating the breath-taking surroundings.

We spent 4 days at Villa Delfini and every morning we would partake in either sunrise yoga or a lengthy swim in the pool followed by a lovely breakfast spread of Greek yoghurt, local honey, walnuts and fresh figs topped off with some stimulating local Greek coffee. Arguably the perfect way to start the day!

Over the 4 days we learnt to cook some mouth-watering Greek inspired dishes, courtesy of the extremely talented chef, Betty, who taught us how to make Gigantes Plaki (slow cooked butterbeans), BBQ’d Octopus in garlic and lemon, stuffed courgette flowers, Cretan dakkos and of course our fave, Tzatziki. Skills I am still yet to put into practise in the kitchen but definitely top of my recipe list once summer pokes its head around again. The day ended as well as it started with a lovely cooked meal (prepared by us) with some delicious local wine.

Exercise wise the break was quite relaxed. Whilst starting the day with either a swim in the pool or a yoga session with the inspirational Caroline, we also hiked and swam at the local beach which was a beautiful cove, rustic & quaint in nature and devoid of tourists. Added extras on the retreat were wine tasting and massages from the local masseuse, which was a great way to unwind and recuperate.

This really was the ideal retreat. If you are a foodie like us, love to unwind, meet new people in an intimate setting whilst also appreciating beautifully scenic views and sunsets, this is the place for you!

Can we come back already Betty & Caroline?!

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Crazy For Prints

Hey chicas,

So we've all seen the craze with animal prints and more recently than ever we've had loads of you asking where we got our items from, whether they are still in stock and if not, where the hell to buy them from!? Well a lot of the nice stuff seems to have all sold out, and pretty rapidly as well! My snake print two piece from Zara is a prime example, it sold out in the UK so quickly and never got re-stocked (boooo). Well, we've had a scour around the internet to see what is still out there and have sifted through the not-so-great stuff to leave you guys with some of our favourite options out there!

The Leopard Print Maxi Skirt You Missed - 

Shop the Look:

The leopard print mini skirt:

Shop the look:

The Leopord Print items to purchase before it's too late! (Quick, Quick, Quick!)

The Snakeskin print:

Shop the look:

Autumns on it's way....


And just because these are a few items we love that we've bought recently :)!

Hope that helped!

L&J

X O X O

The hidden cove you need to discover!

A couple of weeks ago Loanne and I whisked my Mum away for her belated birthday present. 

The criteria were as follows; Sun, seclusion, a private pool with stunning views, not too far on a plane and somewhere blissfully relaxing. So not too specific… Ha! Our options were whittled down to one place that fit the bill perfectly! 

 Daios Cove

Nestled in a private and secluded bay on the northeastern island of Crete, (the largest of the greek islands) Daios Cove is nothing short of spectacular.

Below I have outlined why this is the ideal place for anyone looking for a serene, secluded and beautiful getaway. Oh and my mum LOVED it, as did we!

With a 50 minute drive from the airport, there’s no need to worry about transport as the hotel provides free transfers to and from the hotel… and in a Mercedes, which gives you a little taster into the 5* luxury you are about to experience ! Upon arrival we were greeted with delicious welcome drinks and a tour of the resort & villas, the view of the bay from the hotel is simply breath-taking and the crystal clear water could have you fooled that you’ve arrived in the Indian ocean. The interior exudes chic and modern vibes with it’s plush fabrics, refined colours and  Italian touches. 

My favourite part of Daios Cove had to be our deluxe rooms which opened onto our very own private veranda equipped with a sofa, table and chairs and our very own private pool with unparalleled views of Vathi bay. This is the ideal spot for those who prefer to have their own privacy when sunbathing, chilling or swimming. Although there are rooms either side of you, you still feel a sense of seclusion & stillness as you are nestled away in the hills. This is the perfect spot to have some quiet time, even do some meditating and some star spotting in the evening. (One night I lay by the pool and saw 3 shooting stars!)

We spent most mornings catching the sun on our veranda and when the sun slowly dispersed from our terrace around midday we headed down to the private beach,  a 10/ 15  minute walk by foot. For the more sedate of you there is a glass elevator at reception that takes you almost down to beach level.

For those who aren’t too fussed about privacy and don’t mind being around people, the beach is small and intimate and generally pretty full come midday. The sea however, is absolutely stunning, crystal clear and as smooth as sea can get, there is also a variety of water sports to get stuck into for the restless sunbathers!

I’d advise heading to the beach bar to try out some of the mouth-watering cocktail creations, my mum was so impressed she had to take a snap of the cocktails to add to her dinner party menu! Tip: Go for the green colada cocktail, it’s a lovely blend of Gin, avocado cream, coconut and sage spices!

If the beach isn’t for you, there is a gorgeous heated infinity pool situated overlooking the private cove. The pool is filled with skin-friendly seawater, and even has a section dedicated to children and younger guests.

Each evening and breakfast we dined at the Pangea restaurant. Newly redesigned for 2018, it serves American buffet breakfast and buffet dinner and the wide selection of food will cater for anyone, even the fussiest of eaters. The restaurant features an open-air kitchen and two spacious outdoor areas with fantastic views of the ocean.  For those who want to try out the other restaurants there is Taverna and Ocean restaurant which will need to be booked in advance. If you want to try some delicious local specialities like fresh fish and a selection of greek and international wines, these are the places for you!

The staff are extremely friendly and helpful which adds to the overall exquisite and luxurious ambience of the place. On calling up a member of staff, he immediately came over to our hotel room to help us open our two bottles of wine. (Yes, all 3 of us struggled to remove the cork screw!)

For those who like a bit of pampering and down time, there is the GOCO spa which offers a wide range of results-focused spa treatments combined with world-class heat and water facilities. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to make it here as we were only there for 3 days. 

As the holiday drew to an end, there was an overriding sense of tranquility and inner calm, a feeling that could only be achieved by the surroundings and magical calmness of Daios Cove. As we bid farewell to the lovely staff and got chauffeured back to the airport in the Mercedes, the 5* service from start to finish combined with the unparalleled experience and natural beauty of the place had me thinking of booking a return visit next Summer!  

 

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Montenegro

Montenegro, a stunning little gem full of natural beauty with a tiny population and a vast landscape boasting gorgeous mountain ranges, beautiful beaches, clear lakes and quaint old towns. It is steeped in rich history and truly is a country everyone needs to visit. 

Now let's be honest, how many of you know anything about Montenegro? Or for that matter, where it sits geographically on the world map? Hmmm.. 

We will tell you, Montenegro is a tiny Balkan nation situated in the South of the Adriatic sea wedged between its Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian neighbours. To enter the country we flew in to Dubrovnik in Croatia and took a taxi an hour to the boarders where we then crossed in to Montenegro.

Although tiny, the country is bursting with a rich culture invoking picturesque landscapes that an Instagrammer would only dream of! The cuisine in itself is enough to make anyone want to return! 

So although we were merely there for a flying visit, we managed to squeeze in a good amount of activities which I would highly recommend if you decide to visit. So here are our top tips for a few days in Montenegro:

 

Where to stay:

 Regent Porto Montenegro -

 This has been voted the best 5* luxury hotel of the country and I’m not surprised why. We stayed here for two nights and were each spoilt with a deluxe room with a sea view, overlooking the hotels stunning waterfront location and its backdrop of beautiful mountain ranges. 

Porto Montenegro is the leading marina village and luxury yacht homeport in the Mediterranean, thriving with superyachts,  restaurants, bars and boutiques. It is well worth an afternoon roaming around the port, to do a spot of shopping or just to grab a bite to eat in one of their many delicious restaurants and soak up the beautiful surrounding views.

The hotel has two outdoor pools and an indoor spa and wellness area which looks stunning! Unfortunately, we didn’t have the time try it out but it would be the perfect place to unwind for a couple of hours. The interior and decor of the hotel is nautical themed and reminiscent of a private cabin on a luxury liner. Very easy on the eye indeed!

 

What to do:

Visit to the Savina winery :

Along the Southern coasts are some of Montenegro’s most beautiful vineyards. After hopping off our two and a half hour plane journey, we drove straight to the Savina winery located at the entrance of the Bay of Kotor. (Nothing like a glass of local wine to wake you up!) The views from the winery were breathtaking and we spent a few hours discovering the vineyards and learning about the distilling processes whilst sampling all the delicious local wines and Mediterranean-style tapas of olives and cured meats. A perfectly delicious spring time activity if you’re there! 

 

Guided tour of Kotor old town :

A UNESCO world heritage site, this old city is riveted with tradition and culture, it was built between the 12th and 14th centuries. Kotor is filled with Medieval architecture and historic monuments, churches and museums. If you’re looking for a cultural day out- this is your best bet! The cute cobbled streets and brightly coloured buildings ooze such character and personality. We had a brilliant tour guide as well who led us through the city’s narrow streets and busy squares, explaining everything with such interest and enthusiasm….Not going to lie, he was pretty easy on the eye too...that could have helped the education process!

 

Boat trip to Perast & Our Lady Of The Rocks:

If you are in Kotor then you must take a short boat trip to the small and beautiful town of Perast across the bay. With sixteen palaces and nineteen churches and ZERO development, this is an absolutely beautiful undiscovered little gem. Have lunch on the edge of the Adriatic sea at the Conte restaurant and hop back on a boat to visit the stunning church and museum located on ‘Our Lady Of The Rocks’. 

 

Lunch, Leisure and Retail Therapy at Porto Montenegro:

If you’re looking for a leisurely afternoon why not head to Porto Montenegro and stroll along the stunning marina in the sun surrounded by a jetty of super yachts.

If you’re a slight shopaholic (like us) you can splash out in shops from Dior to Valentino, MaxMara and Heidi Klein. The retail complex offers tax free shopping for visitors from outside Montenegro...Score...And if you get tired of shopping you can choose to have a nice lunch in one of the marinas many restaurants, cafes or bars, serving a variety of food from light bites, fresh seafood, pastas and pizzas. I wouldn’t say no to a glass of local wine either.

 

Relax and Unwind at the Porto Montenegro Yacht Club:

Ok, so this really is a breathtaking location and the perfect chill spot! We spent the afternoon relaxing on the poolside daybeds sipping on cocktails along the iconic infinity edge swimming pool. Head there for an afternoon sunbathing session and a leisurely swim in the pool with its beautiful backdrop of mountains. Or if you're slightly peckish you can enjoy some food at the bar and restaurant or later in the evening at the mezzanine fine dining restaurant followed by a boogie at their nightclub.

Tip - Ask for the coconut or pineapple cocktails. They are mouth-wateringly delicious!

 

Where to Eat:

 

Conte Restaurant - Perast

This was such a beautiful setting for lunch. Sitting right on the side of the Adriatic sea with the sun beaming over us and tucking in to the most fabulously fresh sea food platter. I tried my first Oyster here which was actually way less scary than I had always made out it to be….even though I’m not sure I’d rush at the chance of having another one but I was spoilt for choice with everything else on the platter.

Everything freshly caught from king prawns to grilled and fried squid, mussels, clams, seafood paella. You name it, it was on there and all of it accompanied with baskets of fresh bread and olive paste and of course the local wine which just completes the entire meal. Thank you please!

 

One Restaurant - Porto Montenegro:

Located in the village of Porto Montenegro, this delicious Mediterranean restaurant is situated right on the marina with a spacious terrace ideal for romantic dinners/ outdoor brunching or sunset drinks.

We spent our last night for dinner here and were recommended a dish of fresh sea bass wrapped in paper with freshly grilled vegetables and wow, was it tasty! One of the best fish dishes I had eaten in a while. We were also spoilt for choice with the wine list boasting of the widest rose selection in the country. It’s easy to have a few too many…I mean, it would be rude not to.

I’m an absolute sucker for all things sweet- deserts are my weak point so I was determined to try a few options on the menu. 

Tip: Go for the strawberry cheesecake, it is to die for! The chocolate mousse, mind you, swoops in at a very high second! 

Overall, a delicious dining experience. 

 

Murano Restaurant - Regent Hotel:

We dined here on our first night, located in the hotel with views overlooking the glittering super yacht marina and Boka bay outside. The food is centered around fresh seafood prepared with locally sourced and organic herbs, all offering a distinctive take on the regional Adriatic cuisine.

This meal set the standards high for the rest of the trip with its delicious risotto and barbecued fish kebab for starters and deliciously fresh grilled monkfish for mains. All beautifully presented and accompanied with some of the regions most delicious rose wine. This is a definite hot spot dining choice!

 

Gourmet Corner -

So I think you already got the gist, I’m a sucker for a great desert! I was in for an absolute treat when we discovered the ‘Gourmet corner’, a quintessential patisserie, gourmet delicatessen and bakery just on the corner of the hotel offering the most beautiful and delicious cakes, pastries, teas and coffees. If you’re having that midday sugar craving (that I tend to suffer from) come here and order a slice of carrot cake.….You’ll thank me later.

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Outfits

Outfit 1

Striped Top -  Here

Denim Jeans - Here

White mules - Here

Beige Dress - Here

Straw Mules - Here

Outfit 2

White embroidered blouse - Here

Jeans - Here

Outfit 3

Ciao Top - Here

Beige shorts - Here

Outfit 4

Red Bikini - Here

Outfit 5

Red Jacket - Here

Blue shirt - Here

Leather trousers - Here

Cami coat - Here

Green astrology bag - Here

Straw pompom clutch - Here

Who said the Maldives was just for Honeymooners?

It was our first time to the Conrad, Maldives, Ranhali Island and boy were we blown away! As most of you know we came to the Maldives, the Christmas before last with my Mum after a much needed getaway. 

This time it was a tad different, Loanne and I were joined by our two blogger pals Sabrina and Amy and our good photographer pal Charlie (Charlie’s angels we called ourselves ha!) We spent 4 days at the award-winning Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, an untouched slice of paradise that boasts awards winning dining featuring 12 world class restaurants and bars, two spas and an abundance of locally inspired experiences. 

I have to admit that it’s hands down the most beautiful place we have ever stayed, from the serenity of the island, the unparalleled service & attention to detail, the sumptuous cuisine & the jaw-dropping settings, boy did we feel blessed and extremely privileged to be here. It’s not everyday you get to experience such unrivalled beauty, no wonder the Conrad has twice been voted ‘Best hotel in the world.’

We maxed out in a dreamy water villa which had it’s very own outdoor decking/ veranda with a private jacuzzi and wooden steps leading into the crystal clear water.

Now most people would assume that the Maldives is for honeymooners or couples looking to have a romantic getaway and although you are right, let me tell you that doing it with friends or a sibling gives it that extra dynamic, the late night chats, the jokes and laughter and of course sharing wardrobes & a common interest in photo-taking! I may go as far to say it’s even better. Below I've listed the best activities to do with friends on the Island..

Massage at the Spa Retreat

You can’t really get better settings than the spa retreat, set over a lagoon at the tip of Ranhali finolhu Island and built on stilts over the turquoise water even just stepping foot on the premises leaves you in a tranquil and zen mood. We were taken through to our very own private spa room with beautiful ocean sea views an an open plan outdoor toilet… extremeley bizarre. We had a 1 hour full-body massage that allowed us to sink further into the realms of relaxation. The spa also offers a range of holistic spa and beauty treatments that will cater to your needs. 

Dinner at Koko Grill

It was near impossible to decline any sort of culinary dish at the Conrad as the food was so incredible, each chef a master of his own craft whose attention to detail on food pairing, flavours and presentation exceeds it all. Not great for the bikini shots but 'hey ho' we couldn’t resist the sumptuous food that was presented before us. Koko grill had to be my favourite restaurant though,  it’s an open air restaurant on the beach where the chef prepares 10 exquisite Japanese courses featuring locally sourced produce and the finest ingredients imported from around the globe in front of you. The fish is so fresh and the Sake was the best I’ve tried! We spent the evening indulging in a variety of different flavours, sipping on Sake and and taking in the stunning views.

Private Sunrise Yoga

If you’re going to wake up and watch the sunrise, this is how you do it! Loanne, Sabrina and I woke up at 5am and had a private yoga session with long time Keralan yogi Manesh Johny who adapted his class to our particular capabilities. This took place at the quiet pool where we spent 40 minutes perfecting our flow, hatha and vinyasa whilst watching the sun slowly creep over the horizon diluting the sky a pink and orange blush. 

Swim with Sharks & Manta Rays

Usually on snorkelling trips you don’t expect to swim with anything bigger than a few tropical fish and a stingray if you’re lucky… but the Conrad is one of the best locations to spot giant whale sharks and Manta rays so when we got to swim with them, it was rather surreal, we were snorkelling with a 10m whale shark directly beneath us! If you’re not a huge snorkeller you can always sit on the deck and soak in the sun rays, we were lucky enough to have our very own private snorkelling trip so it felt more relaxed and intimate.

Luxury Sunset Cruise

What a way to watch a sunset! A small group of around 10 of us took a luxury Yacht out for a couple of hours to watch the sunset with champagne and canapés. Whilst the sun was slowly setting over the horizon we spotted a school of spinner dolphins gliding and jumping in unison with the yacht, it was so magical, only something like this happens in paradise. 

Morning Champagne at The Underwater Restaurant

I’m sure you have all seen the photos of the undersea restaurant on instagram… well yes, that’s here. We literally couldn’t contain our excitement when we arrived here in the morning for champagne, 16 feet below sea level It’s the world’s first undersea restaurant offering 180 degrees panoramic views of the vibrant coral garden’s surrounding it, the morning was spent laughing away, sipping on champagne whilst watching sharks, manta rays and beautiful tropical fish swim above our heads! 

Champagne & star gazing in the hot tub! 

One of the best things about having our own water villa was the outdoor decking with our own private jacuzzi, so at my favourite time of day sun set, we opened up a bottle of bubbly whilst playing music from our speakers, sat in the jacuzzi and ended up dancing whilst watching the sun turn shades of blood orange over the water, we then proceeded to do some star gazing whilst enjoying each others company and taking in the breathtaking views!

 

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