Romance on Mai Khao Beach Thailand

Romance on Mai Khao Beach Thailand

About a year ago, I was excited to settle down into our new life living in Bangkok. We had our little apartment, a group of friends, and a city full to explore. After almost 18 months, though, I needed a break from the big city. Big time. I needed rest, relaxation, quiet, and a little romance on Mai Khao Beach. Where is Mai Khao Beach I love Bangkok. I really do. I like that I can travel to anywhere in the world from Bangkok airport. I love that in one day I can eat cheap Pad Thai on the street, and great Mexican that night. I love that we can shop at enormous shopping malls, and Eric can get his hair cut for about $5. But, towards the end of our stay in Bangkok, I craved quiet. I realized, suddenly, how loud the city is. The traffic, the tuk tuks. The traffic. I felt like I could not even hear myself think. So, we hopped a Nok Air flight to Phuket, and within 10 minutes from the airport, we were on the beach. Mai Khao Beach is located on the north west side of Phuket. It’s miles long, wide and clean. And, is home to a turtle hatchery. In the mornings, it’s possible to walk for almost an hour in either direction, while listening to, well, not much. Unlike other areas of Phuket, Mai Khao Beach is quiet. And, yes, romantic. Most important, I could hear myself think. Mai Khao Beach Romance We were greeted at the Renaissance Phuket by a pleasant surprise: An upgrade to a private pool...
Maldives Sunset Dinner at Outrigger Resorts

Maldives Sunset Dinner at Outrigger Resorts

One of our favorite things to do when traveling to tropical locations is to enjoy a little cocktail at sunset. While staying at the Outrigger Resorts in the Maldives, we took our sunset experience one step farther. We spent one of our last nights on the island enjoying a Maldives sunset dinner, with toes in the sand. Maldives Sunset at Outrigger Resorts While we waited for the sun to set in the Maldives, we relaxed on specially set lounge chairs, set just for us. We sipped glasses of sparkling wine and waited for the sun to set. I’d like to say we sat and simply enjoyed the sunset. But, as people who know us can guess, we spent the time snapping photos and capturing video of the stunning sky. It seemed that every few minutes the sky changed color, as did the area surrounding the elaborate table that the Outrigger staff set up for us. At first, we drank our sparkling wine as the pinks and blues took over the sky. Then, as dusk set, and the full moon peeked out, our table set up became even more romantic. Once the sun set beyond the horizon, we sat down to start our meal. Yes, the sunset was stunning. But, what I was most excited about? Enjoying a luxury meal, with wine pairings, in the Maldives, with sand between the toes. We didn’t even wear our shoes out for dinner that night. In fact, we were able to walk out the front door of our beach villa straight to our water front dinner table. Maldives Sunset Meal Overall, I was pretty...
Beach Front Villa in The Maldives – A Luxury Escape

Beach Front Villa in The Maldives – A Luxury Escape

Another dream come true in the Maldives! Five nights in a luxury beach front villa. Sand between the toes, blue skies, and blue seas. This was our stay at the Outrigger Konotta Maldives. So, what’s like to stay in a beach front villa in the Maldives? Relaxing At Our Beach Front Villa There are two ways to really experience a luxury stay in the Maldives. One of the most recognizable ways, is in an overwater villa, surrounded by blue seas. We certainly experienced this while staying at Hurawalhi, in one of the north atolls. But, not every property is exclusively filled with overwater villas. In fact, most of the rooms in the Maldives are beach front villas. That was just our experience at Outrigger in the Maldives. At first, I was a little disappointed that we didn’t have another overwater villa experience. But, our beach front villa was lovely, comfortable, and huge! A little more in tune with nature than Hurawalhi, our beach front villa included a small plunge pool, a comfortable seating area, and even a jacuzzi on the roof! Our thatched roof villa was surrounded by tropical greenery and felt entirely private. I was also happy for the extra space in the villa, as it did rain a bit during our stay. I did not feel as “stuck” inside because we had the extra space. But, the best part of our beach front villa was that we could walk directly from our deck, onto the white sand beach, and directly into the clear blue waters. Frankly, this was particularly important with the rain, as we were able...
Hurawalhi – A Luxury Overwater Villa In The Maldives

Hurawalhi – A Luxury Overwater Villa In The Maldives

I’ve dreamed about an overwater villa in the Maldives every since I first hear about the island nation over a decade ago. Sometimes, dreams do come true. Friends of ours honeymooned in The Maldives about 15 years ago. Before their wedding, I had never even heard of the country. They told us all about it, showed us photos, and since then, I have been wanting to travel to the Maldives. The Maldives is famous for being an island nation. There are over 1,100 islands of varying sizes, spread across the Indian Ocean. Every single island, including the capital in Malé, is tiny. Very tiny. To make the most of space, resorts began building platforms and jetties with overwater bungalows that jut out into the sea. The same went for Hurawalhi Maldives. Everything at Hurawalhi was fresh and new. We arrived on their fourth day of operation. And, yes, there was a new resort smell to the place. After registering at the sand-filled reception area, staff whisked us on a golf cart to our Ocean Pool Villa. We rode past the soon to be finished football pitch and tennis courts, and along the back side of the spa and the restaurants. Then, the buggy turned around a bend, and all I could see were stunning, wooden overwater villas. At the end of the beach path, and at the island’s edge, the buggy bumped onto a narrow wooden jetty, with clear blue water on either side. We jetted past more that a dozen overwater villas before arriving at ours, almost at the end of the path. Our driver deposited us at Villa...
Where to Stay on an American Road Trip

Where to Stay on an American Road Trip

Growing up and studying American history, I always associated a road trip with road side motels. A clean and welcoming Howard Johnson, or a motel in the shape of a teepee. It seems when traveling across the American Southeast, teepee motels are few and far between. But, there were a lot of other options of where to stay on an American road trip. We seemed to hit them all. First, I will note that we started our trip in Florida and were lucky enough to stay with a series of friends for our first two weeks in the States. So, I thank them for their hospitality. But, chances are, you will not be staying with them.  Luxury Historic Hotel For our one night in Mobile, Alabama, we wanted to stay in the center of town. We knew we would only have one dinner, and one more morning to explore Mobile. We wanted something in the middle of it all. We cashed in a free night certificate to stay at the Battle House Renaissance Mobile. This hotel is the perfect example of a luxury historic hotel. The lobby was beautiful, and we chatted with the staff and General Manager about the history of the hotel. The Battle House Renaissance was a perfect way to break out of the mold of typical chain hotels. Rooms at the Battle House Renaissance start at $189 a night. Read what other travelers have to say abut the Battle House Renaissance at TripAdvisor Historic Bed and Breakfast In a similar line, during our last stop on our culinary road trip, we stayed at the John...
Maldives Travel Guide – How to Travel to the Maldives

Maldives Travel Guide – How to Travel to the Maldives

We were a little, well, lazy, when it came to figuring out how to travel to the Maldives. We obviously where able to figure out how to travel from Bangkok to the Maldives. But, we didn’t really look much beyond that. We trusted the luxury resorts in the Maldives would take care of things. And, for the most part, they did. In the end, though, we needed a little more than that to handle Maldives travel. Here are our Maldives travel tips. What Airlines Travel to the Maldives There are plenty of full service and budget airlines that fly to the Maldives. We flew Air Asia through Kuala Lumpur, which was the cheapest option with the fewest layovers. It did mean, however, an overnight flight back to Kuala Lumpur. The best way, however, to fly to the Maldives is to fly on one of the Middle East airlines, like Emirates Airlines, Qatar Airways, or Etihad. From Europe this means it is possible to arrive in the Maldives after only one stop. That’s even possible from the US from some of the Middle Eastern gateways, like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and other major cities. This actually means that if you are in one of these main gateway cities, Maldives travel is a lot closer than you think. That’s a good thing. All international flights arrive and depart from Malé, the capital of the Maldives. It is necessary to  transfer to your resort in one of three ways. Some resorts, like the Four Seasons, are within a quick boat ride from Malé. Other resorts are close enough to Malé that their...
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