With winter dragging on for what feels like an eternity, I decided it’s time for a tropical escape. Puerto Rico is a destination that has been on my radar for quite some time. The weather is bright and beautiful, the ocean is turquoise blue, and the flight is less than four hours from New York, making it an easy weekend getaway.We jumped on a plane after work and arrived at the stunning La Concha Resort in San Juan just after midnight. I was in awe as we walked into an oceanfront suite decorated with heart shaped balloons, dozens of red roses, and a bottle of wine surrounded by rose petals. The staff did their research and discovered it is almost our one-year wedding anniversary, so they created a special surprise for us to walk into! After having a glass of wine on the balcony while listening to the sounds of the waves crashing underneath us, it was time to get some rest for a weekend of exploration.We started the day at Delicias with our usual egg white omelettes, but when in Puerto Rico, you have to have a little fun. I have never seen guava pancakes on a menu, so they were a must-order. I am still dreaming about the taste of those pancakes (and I don’t usually eat flour)! After breakfast, we walked around the property which has several swimming pools (including an infinity pool overlooking the ocean), endless tropical plants and sleek indoor/outdoor cocktail lounges. Michael, the Guest Relations Manager was nothing but accommodating and eager to share the beauty of the resort and Puerto Rico with us. If you ever visit La Concha, ask for Michael – not only will he make your trip extra special, but you will leave the island with a new friend.If waterfall-chasing was an actual profession, then I would make a career change immediately. Once I heard the island had waterfalls, I knew we had to find them. We visited El Yunque Rainforest where we hiked half a mile (an enchanting trail surrounded by rivers, streams and bright greenery) to La Mina Falls. On the way back from the hike, we discovered a secret pool of small falls and crystal clear water and spent time relaxing in our hidden oasis. We then went to explore Old San Juan where the streets are lined with brightly colored buildings, making it a truly unique part of the island.After a packed day, two homemade sangrias were waiting for us back at La Concha. The bartender, Manuel, is one of the best mixologists on the island, and every cocktail he made was a work of art. We then unwinded with a delicious dinner at Delicias which included lobster empanadas, freshly prepared fish, mofongo (mashed plantains), arroz con coco (coconut rice) and tostones (plantains).On the final morning of the trip we took a dip in the crystal clear water of Condado Beach (which is walking distance from the hotel) before spending the rest of the afternoon at a cabana by the hotel pool. Although the trip was quick, I left La Concha feeling completely relaxed and appreciative of experiencing an island with an environment just as special as the people who live there. A few more photos from the trip:
This past weekend I ventured off to Montréal for a quick getaway with friends and stayed at the trendy W Hotel. What I love about the W brand is that their hotels have a clean, young and sexy vibe and are always consistent no matter what city you stay in. Our room was spacious and modern with views facing the city. And let's talk about the bedding! I always look forward to the beds at a W because it's so comfortable (they've started selling the bedding because demand is so high)!This W location is covered in street art from popular local artists like What Is Adam and Stikki Peaches. They have several different bars and lounges staffed with mixologists who curate unique cocktails. The spa was also a perfect way to start the day off right – I received an hour deep-tissue massage (my fave) and felt rejuvenated to take on the day. Each morning we ordered a delicious kale, spirulina, almond milk and apple smoothie -- I was thrilled to see this hotel had healthy options on the menu. But even though I'm a health fanatic, I admit that we also managed to find one of the most popular poutine spots in the city because you can’t go to Montréal and not try their famous dish! You might laugh, but we did manage to find a vegan version! Between the massages and smoothies (and yes, even squeezing in a workout in the art-inspired gym), the W kept me feeling refreshed all weekend long.Montréal is a beautiful vibrant city, full of delicious and unique restaurants, cool boutique stores, and clubs with some of the best DJs I have ever heard in any city. I highly recommend staying at the W if you visit Montréal. It's in a central location downtown and will give you that unique experience to make your trip that much more special.