ULTIMATE GETAWAY GUIDE FOR YOUR STAY IN AMSTERDAM

Amsterdam, The Netherlands capital and one of the world’s most multicultural cities. Home to painter Van Gogh and Anne Frank. Known for its historic canals, museums, coffee shops, narrow houses, cyclists, bike paths and not forgetting the red-light district. We have to say one of our favourite long weekends away was spent in this city. There is so much history in Amsterdam with the most stunning buildings.

Where to stay

We stayed at the Corendon Vitality Hotel which has easy transport links and is very handy when exploring Amsterdam. The rooms are small, cosy and chic, the hotel restaurant is based on the ground floor and serves a breakfast buffet, lunch and dinner with the chefs cooking in your eye view. Our favourite part of the Corendon is the spa. We enjoyed a 60-minute hot stone massage side by side which was so relaxing! We then took advantage of the sauna and steam room after our massage. The spa also has a chill out area that comes with cushioned lounge beds where you can enjoy a quick nap. To add the extra zen there’s mood lighting that creates a soothing tranquility effect. We honestly didn’t want to leave!

Things to do

Canal Cruise: We boarded the boat in the heart of the city and chose the cruise as it’s a nice way to see Amsterdam from the water. You are given disposable earphones when seated where you then sit back and listen to a recorded tour guide. Amsterdam is so picturesque the canals and bridges are so beautiful. We chose a great day for the cruise, the sun was shining which made the cruise that extra special. The cruise is a great way to learn about Amsterdam’s history. Some of the houses built alongside the canal were built during the Dutch Golden Age and there are different stop off points. We exited the boat outside Anne Frank’s house.

Anne Frank House: Located on the Prinsengracht canal in central Amsterdam stands the house of Anne Frank along with her family and four people who hid from the Nazi persecution during World War II. We booked tickets to visit Anne Frank’s House before we left London and highly recommend booking this way to prevent queuing for ages and to avoid disappointment. Anne Frank’s House should definitely be on your to do list. The museum is full of pictures of Anne, her family and the people who lived with them. You see quotations from Anne’s diary, family photographs and film images. It’s as if you’re stepping into her mind, everything she wrote, her thought’s and how she felt at that time was quoted in the museum. You will also see original objects belonging to those in hiding. It truly was a memorable part of our trip.

Ice Bar: We wanted to experience something a little different and one evening while walking along the streets of Amsterdam we came across Amsterdam’s Ice Bar. On arrival you are given three tokens where you can treat yourself to free drinks. There are two bars, the first bar called ‘the lounge’ where you sit and enjoy some music (in the warmth) whilst sipping on a cocktail. The Ice bar is located at the back of the lounge. Before entering the -10 degree bar you are given a thermal coat and gloves. It was all fun and games before we entered lol! The Ice bar is colourfully lit with an amazing ice sculptured bar made up of 60 tons of natural ice. Even the walls were made out of ice. When ordering your drink at the bar the glasses you drink out of are also made up of ice. Even down to the seats!

Dining Experience

Supperclub: If you want a night out combined with good cuisine then look no further than Supperclub. When you arrive at the low-key venue be prepared to enter a night filled with magical festivities. It’s more than a restaurant but a place that will blow your mind from beginning until the end. On arrival guests have the option to dine at a table or can lounge on a crisp white bed and we opted for the latter. Kicking off your shoes you can lay back and await your seven-course meal before the entertainment begins. Another twist to the evening was all the dishes were a surprise, so you didn’t actually know what was on the menu. You have no idea what you are about to eat until you are served your meal. Be sure to wear your favourite socks when sat on the beds as you will be asked to remove your shoes. When booking the experience they do ask for your dietary requirements and allergies beforehand and will make a note on your reservation. The entertainment was stellar – from acrobats, to ballerinas and people in drag singing and dancing. To wrap up the evening there is an in-house DJ who keeps the night going well into the early hours.

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Shelley & Michelle xx

The Ultimate Guide for a Las Vegas Girls Trip

A few days spent in the city of Las Vegas (pre-lockdown) was breathtaking. The city honestly felt like a different world! From bright lights, to fine dining, night life and great entertainment. We guarantee that there is never a dull moment when spent in Sin City.

So if you’re looking for some adventure where no two days are the same… look no further than Vegas baby!

Some people may believe that Las Vegas is just partying and gambling but this little Nevada city has so much more to offer.

Here’s our top places to visit for the ultimate girls trip to Las Vegas.

Welcome to Vegas!

You can’t start your trip without checking out the Welcome to Las Vegas sign. It’s the perfect selfie opportunity but be prepared to be met with crowds so get there early to get the best shot.

The sign is at the start of the 4.2 mile strip so be sure to get a drink, preferably a tequila cocktail and start exploring.

There is so much to see and do on the Las Vegas strip. We do recommend that you wear your comfy shoes before you begin sightseeing as it’s one heck of a trek! From gambling hotels to a variety of different restaurants and shops, the strip is lined with something different for everyone. Vegas is a great place to watch your favourite artists in concert – Caesars Palace and the MGM Grand are Vegas’ concert hotspots. You may even fancy seeing a circus act and we also recommend seeing the Bellagio fountains.

Where to stay

Las Vegas strip is known for providing a host of unique hotels, from Wynn, Excalibur Hotel and Casino and many more. We stayed at the Luxor Hotel and Casino which is shaped as an Egyptian pyramid. The hotel is named for the city of Luxor (ancient Thebes) in Egypt. It felt so surreal walking around the hotel, which is buzzing 24/7. If gambling’s your thing the Luxor has a 120,000-square-foot casino with over 2,000 slot machines and 87 table games. Luxor LasVegas includes bars, clubs, spas and restaurants. We had so much fun lounging at the outside pool which has four swimming pools and whirlpools and also has one of the largest pools in Las Vegas. The Luxor is so easy to get around and is connected to the Mandalay Bay hotel to the south and the Excalibur hotel to the north. All three hotels are connected by free express and local trams as well as walkways to get around.

Dining Experience

The two of us love to eat out at restaurants and are keen dining-enthusiasts. We were only in Vegas for three days so we didn’t get to experience all the restaurants, but have picked out a couple of our favourites.

TAO: We are massive fans of TAO and was lucky enough to experience dining at TAO in Uptown New York City. TAO Las Vegas is just as good and is known for its unique ”fine dining” experience. If you enjoy Pan-Asian food then TAO is the restaurant for you. Located inside The Venetian hotel, Tao also has its own nightclub next door if you fancy it.

Hakkasan: This restaurant is an all time favourite of ours. The whole experience from when you enter Hakkasan is five-star, the whole vibe is just perfect. The lighting is dim which creates a peaceful atmosphere and when the smell of good food hits you, you know you are in for a great time. The different courses were so mouth-watering whilst washed down with great cocktails. We recommend Jasmine tea after your meal which is so refreshing and really helps the digestive system.

Things to do:

Bus Tour: There isn’t anything better than to spend the day sightseeing in Las Vegas. We did just that on the hop-on hop-off bus tour. We traveled through Downtown Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Strip, enjoying views from the upper deck of the open-top bus. We saw the iconic ‘A Little White Chapel’ that is famously known to be the site of many quick celebrity weddings. We saw the Harley Davidson Parking Lot, Circus Circus Hotel and decided to jump off at the Mob Museum.

The Mob Museum: We love museums and thought why not visit The Mob Museum when in Vegas. The museum is a history museum located in Downtown Las Vegas and is dedicated to featuring the artifacts, stories and history of organised crime in the United States.

The Chandelier Bar: This beautiful three-floor bar is surrounded by shimmering strands of around two million beaded crystals. We sat on the top floor taking in the scenery whilst enjoying a cocktail or two. The bar is located in the centre of The Cosmopolitan Hotel. If you are looking for a sophisticated evening decorated by shimmering lights then The Chandelier Bar should be on the top of your list.

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Shelley & Michelle xx

WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT CUBA: PART ONE

As women who like to travel, Cuba has been one of our dream destinations and recently became a reality for us. Any preconception you may have about this island will most likely be a distant memory once you’ve experienced Cuba.

The country has an infectious vibrancy that is incredibly magnetic no matter which part of the island you visit. We both agree that Cuba is an amazing place that will certainly blow you away. There is so much to see and do in a country seeped in culture.

We both want to give you an insight into some of the best places to visit while staying in Cuba.

Havana

One of the first places we visited was Cuba’s capital…Havana. From the crumbling buildings, to the cobbled streets this city is filled with life. Our best advice would be to take a guided walking tour through Havana. You’ll get to hear the amazing history and discover new things while exploring the old town.

Top recommendations

Take a ride in a classic car – It would not be a trip without taking a classic car ride around Havana. Cuba is home to American cars from the 1930s to the 1950s. They have a wide range of vintage cars to choose from, so definitely take the opportunity to flag one down and take a joyride through the city. You’ll get to have your own personalised tour and get to know the history of this amazing country. We would recommend you negotiate a price and length of time with your driver before taking the trip.

Necrópolis Cristóbal Colón – Far from being eerie Havana’s main cemetery (which is a national monument) is known for it’s striking religious and marble statues. You’ll get to stroll through 57 hectares of elaborate religious designs showing the graves of politicians, artists, writers and revolutionaries.

Tropicana Club – Prepare to be blown away with the bright colours, sultry salsa moves and the Latin sounds at Tropicana. A fabulous Cabaret show located in a lush tropical garden. The show is literally out of this world which features an array of performers. Their costumes are flamboyant adding a level of sauce to their eye-popping dance routines. It is the same venue where famous faces like Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack would hang out when staying in Cuba. You are provided with a bottle of rum at your table as well as mixers. So you can sit back and enjoy a Cuban cigar, enjoy a strong beverage and watch the delights of the show.

Castillo De Los Tres Reyes Del Morro (El Morro)- A fortress which was constructed between 1589 and 1630 to guard the entrance to Havana Bay is the quintessential Cuban landmark. The two castles feature a variety of experiences including a Maritime museum and another museum dedicated to Che Guevera. We would recommend visiting during the evening to attend the famous cañonazo ceremony. This nightly ceremony reenacts an 18th century ritual of sounding a canon to signal the closing of the city walls.  You can sit on the massive walls and watch the sunset, listen to the sea crashing against the fort and get some breathtaking snaps of Old Havana’s skyline.

Look out for our Part II: Why you should visit Cuba.

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Shelley & Michelle xx

Madeira Travel Guide

We did not know what to expect from Madeira, Portugal, but all we can say is WOW!

Madeira is one of the most beautiful islands that we have visited, with stunning gardens, amazing landscapes and picturesque views.

The scenery is absolutely amazing and we wanted to share with you our own guide of where to go and what to see when you visit Madeira!

We stayed in a boutique style hotel, The Savoy Sensimar Gardens in the capital city of Funchal. This was about thirty minutes away from Funchal airport (also known as Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport). It was a lovely hotel and we had an amazing sea view as well as a mountain view from our room.

The hotel even boasts a heated Jacuzzi on the rooftop with sun loungers and beds as well as a pool on the ground floor.

When staying in a hotel like this it is tempting to stay and get pampered all day but this is an island you have to explore. So get your walking shoes on!

One of our favourite days in Madeira was our trip spent to the west of the island. We went to one of the highest sea cliffs in the world, Cabo Girao which is 580 metres above sea level. We were a bit nervous (considering we are both scared of heights). As you step onto a transparent glass platform which allows you to look straight down you see the most breath-taking views of the mountain and sea. It is almost as if you can physically touch the sky!

Further west, we arrived at Sao Vicente which is a beautiful village with quaint local shops and the prettiest houses on cobbled streets.

We headed on to Encumeada, which is in the mountains and you can see fascinating views of the north and south of the island. As we drove up through the mountains, what was so fascinating were the clouds sloping around the trees. The temperature dropped so you did feel a chill. However, once we reached the top of the mountain, the sun was shining and it was back to summer temperatures. It was a truly spectacular experience.

There are an array of places to go and see when you travel to this amazing island, it would be a challenge to mention everything in one post!

Definitely visit the underground caves, the volcanic pools and we would certainly recommend taking a cable car up to the gardens. Also try the toboggan runs, very nerve-racking but a lot of fun!

We would certainly suggest that you go an experience this beautiful island for yourselves.

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Shelley & Michelle xx