Why Rome is the perfect weekend getaway..

Rome is the perfect weekend getaway, it has something for everyone, museums, art galleries, great food and depending when you go, great weather!

Top 5 Things to Do in Rome

Rome is the perfect weekend getaway, because there is so much to see and do, so I’ve compiled a list of my Top 5 Things to See and Do..

  • The Vatican: book your tickets in advance online to avoid the long queues. Go early in the morning to as this is when the museum is quietest.  There is so much to see, so give yourself plenty of time to enjoy it, we spent around 3 hours exploring, but if you opt for a tour it will take you most of the day.
  • The Colosseum: again book in advance, all the major tourist attractions in Rome get busy, and you can end up wasting a lot of time queueing if you’re not organized.
  • EAT EAT EAT! This is a pasta lovers dream (aka my dream!). Avoid eating at any of the tourist trap restaurants in St Marks Square. My favourite restaurant was Le Jadin de Russie. Go for an early dinner and sit dine in their beautiful courtyard.
  • Walk this is the best way to absorb the energy of the city, and enjoy the ancient Roman architecture.
  • Shop all the best European boutiques can be found near the Spanish Steps.

The costs…

Flights from London Heathrow – Rome were £150 per person with British Airways travelling at the end of May.

Two nights at the St Regis booked with American Express Travel cost £540 for a superior room.

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Falling in Love with Positano

The moment I arrived in Positano, I fell in love.

Positano is a gorgeous tiny town on the Amalfi coast, with a population of around 4,000. It’s a charming town full of boutiques, amazing restaurants, luxury hotels and medditeranian views. You can walk everywhere in Positano, everything is close, and there are no cars in the centre.

We visited the town of the last May Bank Holiday, which we were told was the best time to visit, the weather was warm and perfect for sunbathing. Although it was busy when we were there, the summer crowds hadn’t yet arrived, so it was a ‘nice busy’.

Our hotel was wonderful – Palazzo Murat. The rooms are old fashioned and charming, each with their own balcony which allows you to enjoy the beauty of the grounds from your room. The hotel was everything we expected it to be, it was beautiful, the service was great and it had a beautiful swimming pool, but be warned, it’s freezing!

We ate so much good food, our favourites were Le Tre Sorelle and Chez Black, both recommended to us by the hotel.

Getting there… it’s a 2 hr drive from Naples, and the it’s a perfect way to see the splendour that is the Amalfi. Its impossible for cars to get right into the heart to the town as the roads are so narrow, so your driver will walk you with your bags down to your hotel.

We travelled via train from Rome to Naples, which took just over an hour. The train was inexpensive and it was much cheaper than flying directly to Naples, which tends to be pricey as it’s the closest airport to chic destinations such as: Capri and Ravello.

The costs…

Positano is relatively easy to get to, it’s around an hours drive from Naples airport. Flights to Naples can be expensive, especially during the warmer months, as everyone is flocking to various glamours locations such as Capri and Ravello. A good way to cost cuts down is to fly to an alternative airport, we went via Rome.

Flights from London Heathrow – Rome were £150 per person with British Airways.

We paid 990 euros for 3 nights staying at the Palazo Murrat  in a garden room, this rate included breakfast. Hotels in Positano are really expensive, and get booked up fast, we booked around 9 months in advance and we got the last room!

The taxi from Naples to our hotel was booked with Euro Limo and it cost 110 euros each way. This sounds expensive, but I shopped around before booking and realised it was a pretty standard price. If you’re a confident driver then there is the option to hire a car and drive yourself, but parking may be an issue once you arrive.

Eating out was comparable to that of eating in London, so it wasn’t a massive shock to me, and I didn’t feel as though I spent all that much.

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Berlin X Kassel

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Soho House Berlin
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Holocaust Memorial
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Jewish Museum
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Jewish Museum
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Jewish Museum
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Our families stolpersteine in Kassel
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Messinghof Kassel – this building once belonged to my family before it was taken away during WW2.

Istanbul Soho House

 

Istanbul Soho House, beautiful decor, amazing facilities and a fantastic location..

We stayed at Soho House Istanbul, for a long weekend in July.

This is one the groups largest houses, it operates as a hotel / spa and a private members club.

The costs.. We opted for a Tiny Room, which at the time was an unbeatable €80  per night.

Non-member rates for a Tiny Room range from €225 to €240

And if you’re going all out, The Playroom will cost you between €1000 to €1200 per night

What I LOVED…

  • Beautiful design
  • The Turkish breakfast was OUT OF THIS WORLD!
  • Convenient location, close to shops, restaurants, metro links
  • Guests staying at the hotel get full access to the club which is located right next door
  • The wonderful Cowshed goodies in the room
  • Hair dryer and straighteners can be found in the bathroom
  • Great TV selection, I know, I know these things shouldn’t matter, you’re on holiday, but we know they do!

Cowshed Spa

We booked various treatments at Cowshed felt and found the staff to be kind, professional and the treatments were just as I would expect from any of the other Cowshed Spas.

Book the Traditional Turkish Hamman Experience; leave feeling pampered and squeaky clean!

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Where to Eat

Cecconis- All my friends laugh at  me, as I’m OBSESSED with Cecconis, whichever city I’m in, I hunt it down: Miami, LA, Berlin, London and now Istanbul.

Everything about this restaurant is delicious, the food, the scenery, the Peach Capirinhas’s…

My love for Italian food has no end, even in what I can only imagine is the epicentre of Turkish Food I managed to eat at Cecconi’s twice throughout my stay!

This beautiful courtyard restaurant attracts the uber glam crowd of Istanbul, I recommend making a reservation in advance and dressing to impress.

Where to Visit

There is so much to see in this bustling city, and I’m probably guilty of spending too many hours on the roof working on my tan, and not as much time as I could of exploring!

But here are a few of the places I did get round to seeing.

  • Sultanahmet (The Blue Mosque)
  • Hagia Sophia
  • Süleymaniye (the Magnificent)
  • The Grand Bazar

Please note, during times of prayer you won’t be allowed to go inside the Mosques, but you can still walk around the outside and take in the magnificent Ottoman architecture which the city is famous for.

 

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Istanbul

 

Beautiful decor, amazing facilities and a fantastic location..

I stayed at Soho House Istanbul, one the groups largest houses, it operates as hotel / spa and a private members club

We opted for a Tiny Room, which at the time was an unbeatable €80  per night.

Non-member rates for a Tiny Room range from €225 to €240

And if you’re going all out, The Playroom will cost you between €1000 to €1200 per night

What I LOVED…

  • Beautiful design
  • The Turkish breakfast was OUT OF THIS WORLD!
  • Convenient location, close to shops, restaurants, metro links
  • Guests staying at the hotel get full access to the club which is located right next door
  • The wonderful Cowshed goodies in the room
  • Hair dryer and straighteners can be found in the bathroom
  • Great TV selection, I know, I know these things shouldn’t matter, you’re on holiday, but we know they do!

What I didn’t love..

  • Although the room was very stylish, it failed on some levels to be practical and at times felt a little cluttered.
  • Lack of wardrobe space
  • No full length mirror
  • Poorly lit bathroom

…And if you have a room that backs onto the street- very noisy!

BUT this could all be remedied by getting a larger room, so I’ll bare that in mind for next time!

Cowshed Spa

We booked various treatments at Cowshed felt and found the staff to be kind, professional and the treatments were just as I would expect from any of the other Cowshed Spas.

Book the Traditional Turkish Hamman Experience; leave feeling pampered and squeaky clean!

Sorry there aren’t any pictures of the hotel and club, I had to follow the Soho House rules – no pictures!

Where to Eat

Cecconis

All my friends laugh at  me, as I’m OBSESSED with Cecconis, whichever city I’m in, I hunt it down: Miami, LA, Berlin, London and now Istanbul.

Everything about this restaurant is delicious, the food, the scenery, the Peach Capirinhas’s…

My love for Italian food has no end, even in what I can only imagine is the epicentre of Turkish Food I managed to eat at Cecconi’s twice throughout my stay!

This beautiful courtyard restaurant attracts the uber glam crowd of Istanbul, I recommend making a reservation in advance and dressing to impress.

Where to Visit

There is so much to see in this bustling city, and I’m probably guilty of spending too many hours on the roof working on my tan, and not as much time as I could of exploring!

But here are a few of the places I did get round to seeing.

  • Sultanahmet (The Blue Mosque)
  • Hagia Sophia
  • Süleymaniye (the Magnificent)
  • The Grand Bazar

Please note, during times of prayer you won’t be allowed to go inside the Mosques, but you can still walk around the outside and take in the magnificent Ottoman architecture which the city is famous for.

 

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Island Life: Maldives

Within moments of landing I had acclimatised to Island life, I was barefoot, relaxed and disconnected from the real world…

There are loads of resorts to choose from in the Maldives, it really just depends on your budget. There is only ever one resort per atoll, so you will always be guaranteed the remote island feel. Make sure you select a resort which can only be reached by sea plane, as opposed to speed boat. Resorts that are reachable by speed boat mean they’re closer to the mainland of Male, and can be noisy with all the planes flying over.

We opted for LUX* South Ari Atoll. Rates at the resort really will depend on what time of year you go for and what board you opt for.

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The costs…

We booked our holiday with British Airways

  • 7 nights in January, including flights, accommodation, transfers and breakfast
  • Staying in a Beach Pavilion
  • £2,300 per person

What we LOVED…

  • Warm friendly staff
  • Beautiful beach front rooms
  • The outdoor bathroom was a dream
  • Our room was kept immaculately clean throughout our stay
  • Movie night on the beach was amazing

What we didn’t love.. 

  • The food is shockingly expensive however this isn’t something exclusive to Lux, food in the Maldives is very expensive due to everything being imported, so just be aware a burger will set you back $42 before tax!
  • The service at times was a little slow and disjointed, but its hard to get annoyed when you’re surrounded by so much beauty

I would definitely go back to LUX* as overall it was a great experience, the hotel did a lot to make guests feel appreciated from the moment you land, all the staff are waiting on the dock waving and ready to get you settled in.

The rooms were lovely, the grounds were pristine, the weather was perfect, we really couldn’t have asked for more…

The weather

We stayed in January which is meant to be one of the best times of year to visit, and it was. The temperature was about 35 degrees each day, and it didn’t rain once!

Getting there

London – Male direct aprox 12hrs

From Male Airport you will be greeted by representatives from the hotel who will escort you to the Lux Lounge. You will be offered drinks and refreshments whilst you wait for your sea plane to take you to the island. We had to wait for approx. 2 hours as our flight had been delayed, but normally the wait is around 40 mins.

 

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Maldives

Within moments of landing I had acclimatised to Island life, I was barefoot, relaxed and disconnected from the real world…

There are loads of resorts to choose from, it really just depends on your budget. There is only ever one resort per atoll, so you will always be guaranteed the remote island feel, but make sure you select a resort which can only be reached by sea plane, as opposed to speed boat. Resorts that are reachable by speed boat mean they’re closer to the mainland of Male, and can be noisy with all the planes flying over.

We opted for LUX* South Ari Atoll. Rates at the resort really will depend on what time of year you go for and what board you opt for.

We booked our holiday with British Airways

  • 7 nights in January, including flights, accommodation, transfers and breakfast
  • Staying in a Beach Pavilion
  • £2,300 per person

What we LOVED…

  • Warm friendly staff
  • Beautiful beach front rooms
  • The outdoor bathroom was a dream
  • Our room was kept immaculately clean throughout our stay
  • Movie night on the beach was amazing

What we didn’t love.. 

  • The food is shockingly expensive however this isn’t something exclusive to Lux, food in the Maldives is very expensive due to everything being imported, so just be aware a burger will set you back $42 before tax!
  • The service at times was a little slow and disjointed, but its hard to get annoyed when you’re surrounded by so much beauty

I would definitely go back to LUX* as overall it was a great experience, the hotel did a lot to make guests feel appreciated from the moment you land, all the staff are waiting on the dock waving and ready to get you settled in.

The rooms were lovely, the grounds were pristine, the weather was perfect, we really couldn’t have asked for more…

The weather

We stayed in January which is meant to be one of the best times of year to visit, and it was!

The temperature was about 35 degrees each day, and it didn’t rain once!

Getting there

London – Male direct aprox 12hrs

From Male Airport you will be greeted by representatives from the hotel who will escort you to the Lux Lounge. You will be offered drinks and refreshments whilst you wait for your sea plane to take you to the island. We had to wait for approx. 2 hours as our flight had been delayed, but normally the wait is around 40 mins.

 

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