March 11, 2013

Travel + Leisure LMP Style

I have written about it before…and still believe that one of the most important things to remember after having kids is – your relationship. It’s so easy to get caught up in the hectic-ness of mommyhood, your career, your social life…etc. The best advice I can give to new and even old parents is make time and room in your life for your partner. Whether it be date night or a short vacation…make it a priority to factor in alone time.
That’s exactly what my hubby and I did this weekend. We whisked away on a 3 night/4 day vacation to the Gansevoort in Turks & Caicos..without our little ones. Dare I admit to you…I actually relaxed? I can’t deny it. Not even for one second. I got so much R&R on this trip I actually read a book…which I haven’t done since the year 2008. I’m not kidding you. I don’t read. Unless it’s Good night Good night Construction site to my 3 year old. I have never been a big reader…but more of a magazine flipper…and it’s gotta be a good damn book to grab my attention long enough to get through it. So what did I read on this trip (in less then 24 hours for that matter)….?? Rachel Dratch’s Girl Walks into a Bar. What a great story! As you may know we’re doing a book giveaway for Rachel’s memoir and the winner is going to be announced wait a minute…RIGHT NOW! Fabianne Espinola CONGRATULATIONS! You have won yourself a copy of this fascinating tale about a girl who struggled through her life to become famous…and thereafter to be happy post her 7 year career on SNL. Please email me here to claim your prize!
As I predicted Rachel’s book made me laugh out loud and shed a few tears (thanks a lot prophet Doug – inside joke, you’ll have to read her book to understand this one) and I could not put it down till I finished hearing how she settled into the life she has now…with her son, Eli.

As for our trips over the past year… with and without the kids…here’s what I can tell you…Travel + Leisure through the eyes of LMP:

Best Beach:  Turks & Caicos Grace Bay – hands down.
We have traveled to almost every Caribbean island out there…except until this weekend…Turks & Caicos. What were we waiting for? Turks & Caicos Grace Bay was hands down the best beach we’ve seen to date…and I’m talking from ALL OF THEM: St. Maarten, St. Lucia, Dominican, Bahamas, Mexico, Aruba…even off the grid to Hawaii. The beaches were pure white sand and oh so soft on our feet with no rocks, limited seaweed and as hard as my hubby tried to find them…no crabs. The water was bright turquoise blue and absolutely breathtaking.

We stayed in the ultra modern and super swank Gansevoort hotel. A very small and intimate boutique hotel that we would highly recommend (if you’re traveling without kids). The rooms were fresh and clean, they had a small spa and gym and the hotel was right on the beach. The service was typical Caribbean style where they move at a glacial pace but once you get over your initial hump of impatience it’s smooth sailing and they force you to relax there. Tons of great restaurants and a party at the Gansevoort on Friday nights with a bumpin’ dj and crowd that’s ready to dance makes you forget about home so you can let loose, have fun and relax.

If you do go – here are the restaurants we loved…and suggest you try…
Coyaba – a delicious menu that will leave you wanting to come back for more. I highly recommend the tempura coconut shrimp and grilled Caribbean lobster.
Coco Bistro – outdoor oasis with delicious Caicos fare and fun rum drinks! We LOVED the lobster spring rolls!
Parallel 23 – in the Regent Palms Hotel this restaurant is also outdoors and has a relaxed vibe where they serve a nice variety of seafood, meat and chicken dishes. Nice drinks and sometimes have live music.

Worst Pool but Best Kids Club: The Atlantis in the Bahamas
I’m not really sure how I can describe this resort without being too offensive but I deeply disliked the Atlantis in the Bahamas. When we arrived at the oversized resort this past winter when we took the kids for a vacation, not only were we not greeted with a friendly and inviting welcome but I had to fetch someone down to help us with our bags and then had to wait in a 10 person deep line to check in. Um, something is wrong here. For the amount of money this hotel cost us – nah uh. I want service. Gold service. The royal treatment…when you’re on vacation…don’t you?

I have become a huge critic when it comes to traveling and I apologize – but I’m just being honest with you. The Atlantis, while fantastic and a dream come true for kids, is an adults worst nightmare. Mine at least. Without getting into too much detail and risking your never reading this blog again – let’s just say…after day 2 of a week long trip to this factory of a hotel – we nick named it Poo-lantis. Why? Because on a daily basis someone would do their business in the pool and not just the kids pool. We actually stayed at the Reef for the week, the nicer of the towers where you can get ocean views, a full kitchen and two rooms…oh and a washing machine/dryer that didn’t work. On the flip side…the kids club was the best I’ve seen to date. My oldest had the best time there…so much so he never wanted to leave. He also just loved the aquarium, watching his Papa go down the huge water slides and swimming with the sting rays and sharks. Just know what you’re getting into if you come to this place…and from my experience…I could recommend much better ways to spend your hard earned dollars.

Most outstanding service: The NEW Four Seasons Toronto
When my husband proposed back in 2006 he did so in my hometown of Toronto. Our engagement was so perfect and special to me I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Well….except for the suite that he booked us in for the weekend at the Four Seasons. At the time the Four Seasons Toronto was run down and beat up and felt a bit dumpy…though you wouldn’t have expected it from the prices you were paying. Since then…they shut down the old location and opened a new tower that is so fantastic I actually wish I could move in. Aside from the beautifully designed rooms the service is absolutely spectacular. With a gorgeous spa, dynamite views of the city and a location that just can’t be beat – the new Four Seasons is hands down my favorite hotel in the city. They are so kind, friendly and helpful there. Now isn’t this what you want from a hotel? I think so! The service at the FST keeps us coming back time and time again…and we thank them you for it!

So happy traveling…and if you go to any resorts that you love so much you want to share… please do so! We’d love to hear in our comments section below.

xx, Seri
categories: Travel, Toronto, Travel
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