Posts in Lifestyle
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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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

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?!

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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Our Ultimate Christmas Hamper

There's nothing better than receiving a Christmas hamper full of  delicious treats and goodies. So Loanne and I have put together our very own dreamy Christmas hamper full of our favourite gifts just in time for the big day. Hurry though you only have two days left!

 Jo Malone - They have a variety of Christmas gift sets that will be a sure winner! Something delightful. Unexpected. Unique. Why not spoil your loved ones with the Pomegranate Noir Collection Or, indulge with the deluxe candle collection

LuLu Guinness - There are so many cute and quirky Christmas gifts at LuLu. See the new year in style with the cute 2018 planner and pen. A perfect addition to your handbag or desk space, as well as this adorable, sparkly coin purse which makes for the perfect stocking filler. 

Whittard's hot chocolate - If you're all about indulgence over Christmas Whittard's hot chocolate makes for the perfect stocking filler or hamper. Take a peek at their Christmas gifts that will be sure to satisfy someone's sweet tooth!

Lore Originals -  This is the essential kit bag of products for your hair! The hair products are amazing and provide long lasting integrity and health for every hair type, the bonus is the beautiful packaging!

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LifestyleCollyer Twins
Christmas Trees and Hot Herbal Teas :)

Cosy nights by the fire, warm knits and slippers, constant supplies of warm teas, decorated Christmas trees and fairy lights, mounds of presents and lots of family time. This is how we’ll be spending our christmas this year! Contrary to the norm, this year we’ve decided to stay put and swap the tropical sunshine and warmer climates for a truly British, cold and wintery Christmas and you know what? So far we’re loving every minute of it!

Now if you know me and Jordan, there’s nothing we like more than a hot drink to warm up the palate and keep us toasty on a cold winters night and that’s exactly why we’ve linked up with one of our favourite tea brands this Christmas, Heath & Heather.

Heath & Heather is a herbal tea brand and infusion specialist. Their range of flavoured herbal teas are to die for and we haven’t stopped drinking them from the moment we discovered them. (PS the organic oriental chai and liquorice is an absolute fave of ours!)

Now me and Jordan try our best to live and lead a healthy lifestyle which aligns well with the brand as it embodies the traditional principles of growing natural and organic ingredients aiming to enhance the wellness and health of todays very modern population who lead busy and stressful lifestyles. (We know a few too may people who this applies to and even ourselves sometimes!)Their campaign ‘Me to the Power of Tea’ is all about exploring and restoring your ‘best self’ with their range of 100% natural infusions, each made using nature’s finest botanicals, herbs and roots! YUM! 

So in alignment with the style of the campaign, we thought what better way to get in to the Christmas spirit and back in touch with nature than adventuring out and foraging for our very own Christmas tree and decorating it? And believe it or not, this is something me and Jordan have never done, seeing as it is currently our first Christmas living on our own! Exciting! So we decided to go down to ‘Pines and Needles’ in Shoreditch, a Christmas tree farm and go foraging for our very own Christmas tree! 

Now, despite the freezing cold and the snow that began just as we had just left the house, we got really stuck in to exploring round ‘Pines and Needles’ looking for the perfect tree for our front room, and ended up finding an amazing one that fit perfectly in to our cosy living room space! 

We spent the evening decorating it with our fave baubles whilst sipping on our delicious herbal tea, feeling more in the christmasy spirit than we had done for a long while! 

Now for those that haven’t tried this incredible natural tea, NOW is your chance. We’ve worked alongside Heath & Heather to give you guys a chance to win an incredible luxury Christmas hamper :) Inside are a selection of Heath & Heather teas, organic light teas, delicious organic mince pies, an organic Christmas pudding, organic plum and cranberry chutney and a beautiful fresh mistletoe! What a hamper! This is an absolute fab Christmas pressie for yourself or if your feeling generous, a great Christmas gift for someone else.

All you need to do to enter is LIKE AND RETWEET our last photo on Twitter (of us sipping on our delicious Heath and & Heather teas!)

We will then announce a winner on Tuesday 19th December 2017 and will send this hamper over to you!


LifestyleCollyer Twins