Hotel Byblos, St. Tropez

 

 

 

 

During our recent trip to St. Tropez, we had the incredible opportunity to visit the legendary Hotel Byblos.

 

 

 

 

With timeless history and elegant luxury, the 5-star hotel has lived through decades without giving into trends, and remains to provide top-notch service and excellent comfort up to this day.

 

 

 

 

 

Each of the 91 rooms and suites are uniquely decorated in a Provençal theme, and reflects the coastal region’s lifestyle.

 

 

 

 

 

Along with the gorgeous pool, and fitness center, the Tropezian palace also offers exceptional treatments at the Spa by Sisley Cosmetics.

At the most miraculous spa I have ever set my foot in, there were the Lebanese room dating back to the 17th century that was transported stone by stone from a palace in Beirus, the extraordinary Moroccan shower, a hammam and a resting bed..

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the magical tour of the hotel, we were taken to the RIVEA Restaurant for a surprise tour behind the kitchen and our delightful aperitif with the chef Vincent Maillard..

 

 

 

 

 

 

We finally sat down in the beautiful atmosphere, and started with the Byblos’ signature Rosé, which was absolutely delicious..

 

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For our starters, we chose the assortment of 3 appetizers: squid fritters, burrata tomatoes, and fresh vegetables.

 

 

 

Moving onto our main dishes, I ordered the Veal chop with country bacon and green peas ‘à la Française.’ I had trouble taking these photos because I wanted to devour my plate already! I also appreciated our waiters’ attention to details, such as asking to switch my wine from rosé to red, as I had ordered red meat. It’s really in the simplest things like this that makes me appreciate the service.

 

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Our other main plate, and my favorite, was the grilled wild bass, accompanied by tender fennel with saffron. The fish was cooked perfectly and each and every ingredient  (especially the sauce) worked together to highlight the dish.

 

 

 

 

And for the grand finale, the Tropézienne (St. Tropez’s signature pastry) in the Byblos style. We had been meaning to try the Tropézienne during our trip and we were so happy to have done so right here at Rivea.

 

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Wonderful atmosphere, excellent service, and the outstanding food.. We couldn’t have asked for a better dining experience, and we are still dreaming of ours.

Thank you to everyone at Hotel Byblos and RIVEA for the incredible night anyone could ever ask for.. À bientôt!

 

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HOTEL BYBLOS (@byblossttropez)
20 Avenue Paul Signac, 83990 Saint-Tropez

 

 

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Stay in Paris: Castille Paris

 

 

Castille Paris is a 5-star hotel, from the Italian hotel group “Starhotels Collezione” located in the heart of Paris just a few steps away from the legendary “Maison Chanel” on Rue Cambon.

 

 

 

 

 

With its Parisian allure and Italian style, Castille Paris has been restored to its 18th-century splendor, with antique details, Florentine patio, and a Roman fountain.

 

 

 

The hotel has 108 rooms and suites in total, which occupy two wings of the building. Each wing has its own character; onw exudes contemporary elegance, whereas the other offers a touch of classic French style.

 

 

 

 

Checking into my Duplex Junior Suite, I was stunned by the beautiful interior. From the gorgeous wallpapers to the carefully selected furnitures, it was not difficult to see that the hotel wanted to ensure each and every guest experience a comfortable stay.

 

 

 

 

 

We also had the pleasure of dining at L’Assaggio, the hotel’s modern classic Italian restaurant. Executive Chef Pablo Sabariego was kind enough to surprise us with a blind tasting menu, which was nothing short of wonderful..

(I am currently drooling as I reminisce about this glorious meal!)

 

 

 

I would like to take this time to appreciate my gratitude towards everyone at Castille Paris who went above and beyond to make my stay enjoyable.. I look forward to returning soon.

 

p.s. Castille Paris has a hotel cat named Heliot — keep an eye out for him!

 

 

 

 

 

Castille Paris (@castille_paris)
33-37 Rue Cambon
Paris, 75001

 

 

 

 

 

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Stay in Paris: The Hoxton

 

 

Undoubtedly the coolest hotel in town, the Hoxton really needs no introduction.. After Amsterdam and London, the Hoxton group opened its biggest Hoxton here in Paris.

 

 

 

 

Housed in an 18th century building, the Hoxton Paris offers 172 guestrooms of 4 categories: Shoebox, Cosy, Roomy, Biggy. Local Parisian design studio Humbert & Payet beautifully decorated these rooms to create a modern yet cozy atmosphere, with wood panelling, oak-timber floors, and Lampe Gras lamps.

 

 

 

 

White tiles and bronze fittings provide aesthetic pleasure in the bathroom..

 

 

 

 

For breakfast, the Hoxton offers its signature Breakfast Bag with fresh juice, granola, and a banana.. If you are still hungry, you can always head down to the Rivié Restaurant..

Designed in a French Brasserie style with a modern twist, the restaurant presents seasonal and fresh French dishes. Whether you are in the mood for a quick breakfast, business lunch, relaxing dinner, or even just a drink, Rivié Restaurant is ideal for all occasions.

 

 

 

 

For something more intimate, head upstairs to Jacque’s Bar, where you will find yourself transported to a garden in Marrakech, with decorative floral wallpaper, velvet sofas and tasseled lamps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Located in the basement is Les Voûtes, with 7 vaulted rooms available to rent for meetings, events, parties, and private dining, as well as La Cuisine, a communal pantry kitchen..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Hoxton Paris also hosts a variety of cultural and lifestyle events, such as workshops, lectures, exhibitions, and yoga classes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Hoxton, Paris (@thehoxtonhotel)
30-32 Rue du Sentier, 75002 Paris

 

 

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Lisbon Travel Guide

 

 

 

 

 

Things to know before you go: 

  • Lisbon is a small city, thus everything is walkable. It is very hilly though; so wear comfortable shoes.
  • Uber is extremely cheap in Lisbon, compared to other cities. (Our 20-min Uber ride from the airport to downtown was only €8)
  • Portuguese people are extremely (and genuinely) friendly. Make sure to say your thank you’s! (Obrigado if you are a man, Obrigada if you are a woman)
  • Like any other coastal city, Lisbon has some great seafoods — take advantage of it!

 

 

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Where to stay:

  • Santa Clara 1728: Situated on top of one of Lisbon’s seven hills with magnificent views over the Pantheon, Santa Clara 1728 is a six-bedroom hotel with beautifully minimalistic aesthetics, and incredible hospitality of making any guest feeling right at home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • The Lisboans Apartments: With its cozy atmosphere and central location, the Lisboans Apartments is a perfect place to stay if you want a true Lisboan experience. The interior design features both vintage and contemporary custom-made furniture and handmade Portuguese tiles, creating a unique yet stylish ambiance. Their Prado restaurant is also a wonderful option to check out, offering farm-to-table dishes inspired by and made with seasonal and fresh ingredients.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Corpo Santo Hotel: Conveniently located in downtown Lisbon, Corpo Santo is a 5-star hotel rated #1 in Lisbon on Tripadvisor, and it wasn’t hard to see why. Throughout our stay, we were taken such great care of with superb service in an extremely welcoming atmosphere. Each floor also has its own theme with custom wallpapers and scents, inspired by different areas of the world (Portugal, Japan, Asia). Dinner at restaurant Porter was also nothing short of amazing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What to do: 

  • TRAMS: Ahh, the quaint charming yellow trams of Lisbon. For the classic Lisbon tram journey, ride the number 28 which passes through the popular tourist districts.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Bairro Alto is a central district of Lisbon, with unique avant-garde vibes mixed with vintage influences. I recommend starting your day at Praça Luis de Camões, which is a popular city square and a meeting point, and walking around the area with a Pasteis de Nata and coffee from Manteigaria.

 

 

 

 

  • Alfama is the oldest (and my personal favorite) district of Lisbon. Forget the map, and get lost in these quaint medieval alleys and you will find yourself surrounded by so much of its charm. Alfama also has one of the best views of the city of Lisbon; head over to Miraduoro de Santa Luzia, the observation deck, to witness the sun rise/set on the horizon of the Tagus River.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Belem is an area located southwest of Lisbon, filled with iconic landmarks, like the Belem tower, and many architectural sights. Start your day by picking up some Pasteis from Pasteis de Belem!

 

 

 

 

 

  • Arco da Rua Augusta: Thanks to my friend Andie, I was able to enjoy this beautiful view of Lisbon and the Comercio Plaza. The entrance of this viewpoint is quite hidden in the bustling street of Rua Augusta, so keep your eye out for it!

 

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  • Santa Justa Elevator takes you up to the panoramic views over the city. Long queues are expected, so go early in the morning.

 

 

 

 

 

  • LxFactory is an historical industrial complex with an array of artsy shops and restaurants.

 

 

 

 

 

  • MAAT (Museum of Art, Architecture, Technology): If you are a fan of architecture, this museum is not to be missed.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Syntra is a town 30-40 min away from Lisbon, with pastel-colored villas and palaces. As I’ve mentioned, Lisbon is a relatively small city, so if you have a day to spare, definitely make a trek out to Syntra. Amongst the several palaces, the most well-known is the Pena Palace, and it was incredible. Make sure to book your tickets in advance online.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • TILES! Lisbon is full of beautiful tiles, everywhere you look.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where to eat:

  • Time Out Market is a food court run by Time Out, with more than three dozens of vendors, and with the city’s best chefs, restaurants, cooking workshops, and more. Whether you are a foodie or not, this is a MUST VISIT in Lisbon!

 

 

 

 

  • Fauna & Flora offers healthy and fresh home-made dishes, with the friendliest service.

 

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  • Heim Cafe: Their avocado salad + halloumi cheese plate was absolutely amazing and their pancakes covered with coffee syrup will melt in your mouth. If you (unfortunately) have only one day in Lisbon, go here for brunch!

 

 

 

 

 

  • Hello, Kristof: quality coffee with laid-back atmosphere.

 

 

 

  • Nanarella has the best ice cram in the whole city of Lisbon. Period.

 

 

 

 

  • New Moment: They have Nanarella’s ice cream, but they serve them in cute little scoops.

 

 

 

 

  • Fabrica de Nata: I had (multiple) Pasteis de Nata’s every single day while I was in Lisbon, but this one was by far my favorite.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Pharmacia is a Portuguese restaurant with a cool pharmacy-themed concept and charming atmosphere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Copenhagen Travel Guide

 

 

Things to know before you go: 

  • While Denmark is still a part of the European Union, the currency is Kronos ($1= 6.19 DKK). I did not bring any cash with me, however I did not have any problems anywhere paying with my credit card.
  • There is no Uber in Copenhagen, but there is a taxi app called TAXAx 4×35, which works just like the Uber app. However, since the city of Copenhagen is very small, you can easily get around by walking, or biking.
  • Speaking of biking, Copenhagen is one of the (if not the most) bike-friendly cities in the world. For the true experience, I suggest you to rent one and bike around just like the locals do.
  • In Danish, “hello” is “hej” which is pronounced like “hey.” Often times they will say it twice: “hej hej” which I find so adorable! Also, “thank you” is “tak!” and that is the extent of my Danish..

 

 

 

Where to stay:

  • Nobis Hotel Copenhagen: Housed in a historical building in central Copenhagen, Nobis Hotel Copenhagen features elegant design and Scandinavian furnitures. From the beautiful staircase to the marble bathroom equipped with Byredo toiletries (!!!), this hotel was everything I could ever ask for and more.

 

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  • SKT. Petri: Laid-back yet stylish, SKT. Petri is located in the charming Latin Quarter of Copenhagen. The newly-renovated lobby easily took my breath away, while the staffs here are extremely friendly and helpful. What’s more is that the pillows were easily the most comfiest I have ever laid my head on, and breakfast is a treat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What to do:

  • Nyhavn: The famously colorful waterfront canal, Nyhavn is a must-visit.

 

 

 

 

  • Roundtower: Built in the 17th-century, Roundtower is an astronomical observatory where you will find a gorgeous view of Copenhagen.. but my favorite is the journey up top.

 

 

 

 

  • Magstræde: One of the oldest streets in Old Town Copenhagen. This colorful street always gets me with its charm. Probably more than Nyhavn.

 

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  • Botanical Garden: A walk through the garden and a visit to the glasshouse containing more than 13,000 species is the epitome of the Danish concept of living ‘hygge’ which represents the mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment.

 

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  • HAY House: If you are a fan of the renowned Danish design company, HAY house is a must-visit, where you will find selections of beautiful furnitures and accessories, and a great view.

 

 

 

 

  • Kinfolk Office: The slow lifestyle magazine has a stunning gallery/workspace in Copenhagen, open to visit.

 

 

 

 

  • Louisiana Museum of Modern Art: A quick 45-50min train ride away from the center of Copenhagen, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is a perfect getaway from the city. As I’ve mentioned, Copenhagen is a small city, so if you have some spare time, definitely consider this museum where you will find beautiful landscape, architecture, and modern art pieces.

 

 

 

 

Where to eat:

  • Atelier September: Undoubtedly my favorite cafe in Copenhagen, Atelier September won my heart over with its scrumptious avocado toast and the latte that came in a literal bowl.

 

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  • 42 Raw: Healthy eatery offering plant-based snacks & delicious juices. Their acai bowls are a must!

 

 

 

 

  • Høst: We wanted to try some Nordic cuisine, and decided on Høst after a short research, only to find out that was is the winner of “The World’s Best Design Restaurant” and has made itself to many lists of recommendations. Høst offers an evolving seasonal menu with course after course of locally sourced and delicious ingredients. My favorite part of my dining experience at Høst was the little surprises in between meals, which were not stated on the menu. Book in advance!

 

 

 

  • Restaurant Pluto: Delicious tapas with a Danish touch, as well as a great selection of cocktails and a vibrant atmosphere.

 

  • Joe & the Juice: I remember when they first opened its doors in SoHo, NYC, but there are none in Paris, so I always make sure I stop by when I can!

 

 

 

 

 

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Stay in Paris: Le Grand Pigalle

 

 

 

 

 

Grand Pigalle Hotel is a stylish boutique hotel located in Pigalle, one of the most sought-after Parisian neighborhoods.

 

 

 

 

With only 37 rooms, Grand Pigalle Hotel exudes more of a intimate and comfortable atmosphere, which I personally prefer.

 

 

 

After having stayed at its sister hotel, Hotel des Grands Boulevards, I noticed that the vibes at Grand Pigalle Hotel were, in contrast, much more masculine, with darker tones and rich details.

 

 

 

 

Designed by the talented Dorothée Meilichzon, my room came with 2 terraces featuring a beautiful view of Pigalle. From the delicate wallpapers, chic lightings, and bed frames, the attention to details were impeccable.

 

 

 

 

 

I enjoyed my night downstairs at the bar, where I had a delicious grapefruit cocktail. While there are a variety of creations on the menu, the bartenders are passionate about creating a tailor-made cocktail just for your taste.

 

 

 

 

After sleeping in in the softest bed, I decided to order my breakfast in-room, which is always a good idea..

 

 

 

Merci beaucoup!

 

Grand Pigalle Hotel (@grandpigallehotel)
29 Rue Victor Massé, 75009 Paris

 

 

 

 

 

nyc1

 

 

48 Hours in Lyon

 

 

In 2018, I vouched myself to explore more of what France has to offer, and for my first destination I chose Lyon, the third-largest city in France, after Paris and Marseille.

The convenience and comfort of the train system especially makes it easy to discover other parts and regions. Just a 2 hour train ride from Paris, Lyon makes a perfect destination for a weekend getaway.

 

 

Things to know before you go:

  • Lyon is known for its cuisine and gastronomy. As my trip was only for the weekend, I did not have enough time (or belly) to try all the amazing restaurants I discovered, but that just means I will have to return!
  • The city was historically an important area for the production and weaving of silk. 
  • The city is also known as the Capital of Lights, earning the title thanks to the light festival (Fête des Lumières) which begins in the beginning of December.

 

 

 

 

 

Where to stay:

 

  • Hotel Silky: Located in the heart of Lyon, Hotel Silky is ideal for exploring the city and discovering all its attractions. Decorated with threads and fabrics, the hotel was inspired by a merchant’s mansion from the Epicurean era when Lyon was a crossroads for the trading of delicacies. The rooms are adorned with warm and charming atmosphere, with moldings and canopy beds.

 

 

 

 

  • Everyday from 6pm to 8pm, the hotel offers a happy hour where you can enjoy a glass of wine, charcuteries, with local specialties.

 

 

 

 

What to do:

 

  • Rue du Président Edouard Herriot: The most vibrant shopping street in Lyon, linking the two famous areas of the city; Place Bellecour (south) and the Place des Terreaux (north). Shops include Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Sephora, Aesop…

 

 

 

  • Place des Jacobines: Created in 1556, the square belongs to the zone classified as World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

 

 

 

  • Place Bellecour: This is the largest pedestrian square in the center of Lyon.

 

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  • Vieux Lyon: meaning the “old Lyon,” it is the largest Renaissance district in Lyon. Although it is a bit of a hassle getting up to the top, the view makes it all worth it..

 

 

 

  • City Hall

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where to eat:

 

  • Le Desjeuneur: Probably the most trendiest brunch spot in Lyon. We went on a Sunday and unfortunately were not able to even put ourselves on the waitlist as the wait was expected to be more than 3 hours. I did manage to go back the next day, which was definitely quieter, but I wish I had ordered the pancakes instead of my yogurt as it was rather watery.

 

 

 

 

  • La Boîte à Cafe: This place came highly recommended and it wasn’t hard to see why. The coffee and the service was equally outstanding.

 

 

 

  • Konditori: Delicious brunch in a relaxed atmosphere.

 

 

 

 

  • Les Cafetiers: another good coffee shop with some healthy food options.

 

 

… and here are the restaurants I did not get the chance to try but would have loved to:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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