Posts tagged with "whimsical"

A Perfect Valentine’s Getaway with San Ignacio Resort Hotel in Belize

With a temperate year round climate, farm fresh cuisine and unique adventure experiences, Belize is a perfect three day weekend getaway to escape the winter months. Daily, affordable nonstop flights are offered countrywide from Minneapolis, Denver, Ft. Lauderdale, Atlanta and other major travel hubs making a visit to Belize easier than ever.

The San Ignacio Resort Hotel, a premier full-service Belize resort, located in the Cayo district, is within a scenic 90-minute drive or 30-minute flight from Belize City. The hotel boasts first-class amenities and accommodations for those seeking to relax and enjoy a beautiful tropical resort, yet offers nearby adventures for those wanting to explore inland Belize. In addition to stunning jungle views, San Ignacio Resort Hotel offers impeccable service, extraordinary dining options at its Running W Steakhouse & Restaurant, a tennis court and is in close proximity to San Ignacio Town.

Plan your Three Perfect Days in Belize Package starting at $1,446 per person, excluding airfare.

  • Roundtrip transfers from and to Belize international airport
  • Accommodation in the luxurious Honeymoon Suite – boasting exquisite views of untouched rainforest
  • Assigned Personal Butler upon check in
  • Daily Breakfast
  • 2 dinners at the Running W Steakhouse at a reserved Balcony table
  • 1 Private dinner in balcony of your room
  • One 60-minute Luxury in-room wellness treatment per person
  • 1 Full day tour at Xunantunich and Cahal Pech Maya sites
  • 1 full day tour at Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve with an exclusive picnic day trip with hiking trails and optional swimming in private cascades and natural pools.

To book your trip visit www.sanignaciobelize.com.

Huba-Huba Cambodia

By Alexandria Baiz × Vaughn Lowery

Cameron Michael Parkes was born in Vancouver, Canada (in British Columbia). He graduated from the University of Calgary, majoring in chemical engineering with a minor in petroleum. While working at a consulting firm, the oil prices dropped and he used his severance package to travel the world.

Throughout his two year journey in Southeast Asia, he found himself at Koh Rong Samloem – a small island just off the coast of Sihanoukville, Cambodia. Two main places to stay are Saracen Bay (dense more modern filled with tourists) or Mpei Bay (rustic village area with tons of locals). After a few weeks in both places, Cameron decides to trench through the hot and sticky jungle (with snakes, wild monkeys and insects) to the most desolate yet serene part of the island, Sunset Beach. He quickly becomes acquainted with paradise and decides to plant his feet at Huba-Huba where he enjoys perfect sunsets with unobstructed sea views.

After a brief trip to Sri Lanka, he returns to Huba-Huba to discover that the owner’s husband had passed in a tragic motorcycle accident. The widow offered to sell and Cameron decided to purchase. Looking back he says, “I like the beach-jungle vibe which isn’t perfect. I love this spot. Right on the beach, beautiful bay, monkeys come around, geckos.”

Huba-Huba Cambodia

Situated at the end of the beach, it contains 4 bungalows, 1 family bungalow, 4 private double rooms and 1 dorm – 8 beds and 3 tents. Their kitchen is armed with one of the best cooks on the entire island. Their “BBQ Nights” serve up sensational samplers of pork ribs, tofu, prawns and chicken. Polite waitstaff, heavy handed mixologists and free painting station where you can repurpose instruments as well as pieces of wood to build a sculpture from scratch. Snorkeling gear is available for rental.

Sleeping Trees owned by Yves Chalot

Yves (a notable bartender from Brittany) came to Sunset Beach as a dive instructor and fell in love. One day after speaking with his bosses, he discovers a beachfront property for rent. Then he invites his brother (a carpenter) and they decided to erect ‘Sleeping Trees.’ The name derived from only having tree tents and the idea of ‘sleep in’ trees arose. The vacation area has two newly renovated bungalows, four tipis and four tree tents. Each space can accommodate up to two people. In addition, there’s a 4-room dorm which can host eight. At the present moment, both owners want to focus on better gardening and overall aesthetics of the property. Best attributes are their crepes, homemade rum shots and Reggae Night on Saturdays.

Robinson Bungalows

Sebastian Straub, former social worker in Switzerland, has now owned the property for 5 years alongside of his wife Julia. Their location is pet-friendly and includes 7 bungalows and 7 tipis. Each bungalow is constructed from wood with straw rooves perfect for a cozy and tropical stay. Their reimaginged family bungalow or ‘Cozy Kikki Lu’ is an ideal choice for guests seeking modern-like amenities. Tents make for a perfect glamping experience since they’re about thirty feet from the ocean. We enjoyed soaking up the sun in one of the 20 hammocks on the premises. Take advantage of the full bar and $1 beers during happy hour. The onsite restaurant takes advantage of seasonal local produce and fresh catches when possible. Our favorite menu items were the English breakfast, hearty fruit bowls, red snapper and barbecued pork & chicken skewer. You may enjoy meals upstairs (two-stories high) in an outdoor covered dining patio and/or at the beach bar. Every morning, a taxi boat for guests cost $10 to go to the city and is easily accessible.

Sunboo Beach Bungalows

Karlo and Parisa Zahipour Moarefi both came from Austria, borrowed money from friends and invested in Sunboo. There are 6 Bungalows and a dorm with 8 beds. The beach or garden bungalows have ceiling fans and newly renovated bathrooms and sinks. With a strong Italian influence, everyday dining is delightful. For breakfast they make french toast, pancakes, crispy bacon and homemade baguettes. For lunch fresh gnocchi, burgers and triple fried french fries. The dinner menu is westernized with our favorite thin crust pizza. And of course the Sunboo beach bar is the party area where we sip and socialize. One of the only establishments which serve wine on Sunset Beach.

Sunset Adventures Dive Shop

They offer a full array of outdoor activities on the island with two locations – Saracen Bay and Sunset Beach. We took their half-day diving class (for all levels) and their master instructors were extremely attentive. The rock climbing experience offers amazing views of the sea. Kayaking trips are a must-try with a guide to discover the wonderful island and underwater world. The most intriguing activity on the island is the nighttime plankton tour which allows one to witness and capture their bioluminescence.

Lazy Beach Resort

A private tropical hideaway on Koh Rong Samloem. The vacation area has 1 private beach, 22 bungalows and 1 guest house. The wooden bungalows all have two large double beds, en-suite bathrooms and a spacious balcony offering waters edge views of the warm tropical ocean. Paddle boarding is one of the most popular activities to do, but also board games, snorkeling and dive sites. The infamous bar is a must visit with the number one drink being the ‘Bahama Mama.’ All sorts of signature drinks like brown and white rum malibu, grenadine and juices. This private beach getaway is breathtaking.

Koh Rong Samloem Lighthouse

The most amazing experience on the island and also its highest point. We recommend you take a taxi boat to the drop-off or trail which leads up to the lighthouse. Rumored to have been an old military watch tower, the views are spectacular. Be prepared to climb at least 7 to 8 stories to the top. The smell inside the lighthouse is a tad overwhelming and rancid. Be willing to pay at least $1-3 USD for the private tour. That price does not include the taxi boat.

Vaughn Lowery, 360 magazine, Huba-Huba cambodia

Vaughn Lowery on a taxi boat to Mpei Bay

Huba-huba Cambodia, 360 magazine, Cambodia

Ping pong at Huba-Huba Cambodia

Koh rong samloem lighthouse, Cambodia, koh rong sanloem lighthouse, 360 magazine

Koh Rong Samloem Lighthouse

Sunset adventures dive shop on sunset beach, koh rong samloem, Cambodia,  360 MAGAZINE

Vaughn Lowery dives w/ Sunset Adventures

Koh rong samloem, Cambodia, southeast Asia,  360 MAGAZINE

Sleeping Trees at Sunset Beach

Koh rong samloem, Cambodia, 360 MAGAZINE

Sunset at Sunset Beach

Sunset adventures dive shop on sunset beach,  koh rong samloem,  Cambodia,  360 MAGAZINE

Sunset Adventures Dive Shop on Sunset Beach

Sleeping trees, sunset beach, koh rong samloem, Cambodia,  360 MAGAZINE

Inside Sleeping Trees newly renovated bungalow

Sleeping trees sunset beach, koh rong samloem, Cambodia,  360 magazine

Sleeping Trees tipi

Owners of sunboo bungalows, koh rong samloem, Cambodia, 360 MAGAZINE

Owners of Sunboo Beach Bungalows

Sleeping trees sunset beach, koh rong samloem, Cambodia, 360 MAGAZINE

Sweet & sour tofu at Sleeping Trees

Huba-huba Cambodia, 360 MAGAZINE

Tempura battered chicken at Huba-Huba Cambodia

Robinson bungalows, 360 MAGAZINE

English breakfast at Robinson Bungalows

Huba-huba Cambodia, 360 MAGAZINE

Huba-Huba Cambodia staff member

Huba-huba Cambodia, 360 MAGAZINE

Tents at Huba-Huba Cambodia

Cameron Michael Parkes, Huba-Huba Cambodia, 360 MAGAZINE

Cameron Michael Parkes of Huba-Huba Cambodia

Huba-huba Cambodia, 360 MAGAZINE

Outdoor area at Huba-Huba Cambodia

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Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival

Birders descend on Morro Bay each year over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend to attend the Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival and capture glimpses of the massive migrating madness as they dive, swoop and scatter by the hundreds. This is Insta-worthy at its finest. But, you don’t have to attend the festival to marvel at these fine feathered friends because Morro Bay is a distinctive coastal destination for birds migrating along the Pacific Flyway through March.

The coastal Mediterranean climate sets the stage and creates the perfect backdrop for bird watching, no matter where you roam: the Morro Bay State Park boardwalk, bustling Embarcadero, iconic Morro Rock, or up close and personal from kayaks, paddleboards and boat tours. The Morro Bay National Estuary Preserve and its unique 800-acre wetland filled with salt marshes and mudflats are home to more than 250 species of land, sea, and shore birds as well as dozens of endangered species all winter long, including Peregrine Falcons.

ߦ The 23rd Annual Winter Bird Festival: January 18 – 21

This popular Winter Bird Festival, hosted by the Morro Bay Audubon Society, takes place each year over Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend. With more than 130 events, including nature treks, presentations, workshops, and lectures, there is a lot to discover. This event is designed to promote the understanding and appreciation of wildlife and environmental conservation. Topics range from geology and biology, to photography and more.

ߦ Saturday Art, Wine & Nibbles Reception – NEW

On Saturday, January 19, from 5:30 – 6:30 pm attendees have an opportunity to browse festival exhibits at a wine reception that includes light snacks. Afterwards, attendees will head over to the South Bay Community Center in Los Osos for James Currie’s keynote presentation.

ߦ Bird Festival Bazaar

Check out birding and bird inspired vendors, public presentations and environmental groups at the Bird Festival Bazaar Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

ߦ Self-Guided Tours

Get out in the field on your own schedule and at your own pace with the Winter Bird Festival self-guided tours. Try El Moro Elflin Forest Natural Area. With a raised board walk over the edge of the Bay, this is a great place to observe the unique plants and spot over 100 species of birds. Find the 13th Street entrance of Santa Ynez Street by following the signs in Los Osos.

ߦ Family Day

No preregistration or registration fee is required to participate in the family day events which take place on Saturday January 19th at the Museum of Natural History. Programs include arts & craft, educational talks, hikes, kayak and canoe rides, and up-close encounters with birds, reptiles, and insects. Children participating in Family Day will also be given a gift from the Morro Coast Audubon Society. Programing runs from 9:30 am-3 pm.

ߦ Mind Walks Series: Peregrine Falcons

Biologist Steve Schubert chronicles the efforts of nest site attendants and endangered species management techniques, captive breeding, double clutching, captive hatching of thin, fragile wild eggs, and the fostering of falcon chicks into the wild nests that have assisted in the recovery of a once-imperiled species. Author of the book The Peregrine Falcons of Morro Rock: A 50-year History, he is past president of Morro Coast Audubon Society. In its 25th year, the Mind Walk Series offers lecture on topics of interest to residents of the Central Coast, including cultural history, natural history, and current issues every Monday, January-March.

VP PLAZA ESPAÑA DESIGN 5

Architecture firm b720 designed the modernistic, metallic façade of the hotel, located in the city’s historic center.

Created by Catalan artist Pere Gifre, who is known for his water-inspired sculptures, the hotel’s piece de resistance is an 80 ft. metal fiberglass waterfall sculpture that tumbles from the glass bottom of the 12th floor swimming pool to the ground floor.

VP Plaza España Design’s hallways take on more of an art gallery feel (uplighting and all), with gold leaf whimsical sculptures by Nacho Zubelu flanking the wall opposite the elevators.

Spanish interior design firm Studio Gronda designed the hotel’s 12th floor Gingko Sky Bar, which is framed by laser-cut, engraved metal sheets that represent the ginkgo leaf, while the inside recreates a wooded forest with corrugated wood panels that rely on lighting effects to create a natural ambiance. A ceiling facetted with mirrors, where the reflections of Plaza de España’s verdant setting mix with the Sky Bar, multiplies the sensation of airiness.

The hotel’s reception areas were designed by Spanish interior design firm Cuarto Interior, and feature a 20 ft. glass curtains, materials such as natural stone from India and bronze, complimented by colorful works of art by Jan Hendrix.

VP Plaza España Design’s 214 rooms are characterized by their large size, views and comfort – all are soundproofed and have double doors. Spanish firm Cuarto Interior interprets chiaroscuro through the use with the natural woods and partitioned ceilings. The rooms contain signed works of art by contemporary artists including Dario Urzay and Fernando Palacios.

to learn more about the VP Plaza España go to: Plaza España Website

Elegant Details

When it comes to wedding dresses, we can all agree that the back of the dress is just as important as the front. After all, it’s what guests see throughout the ceremony so, of course, the bride-to-be will want look back at wedding photos and reminisce about how good she looked at every angle.

From modest low backs to dramatic with interesting detailing, below we’ve highlighted just some of the most stunning wedding dress backs by top designers that are sure to turn some heads.

Alexandra Grecco

From chic ruffles to backs with delicate floral detailing, Alexandra Grecco’s dresses feature just the right amount of romance and whimsy.

Caroline Castigliano

Tradition meets modern romance in the backs of these elegant gowns by the British designer.

Laure de Sagazan

Oh-so-chic, the backs of these frocks feature the most beautiful embroidery and button detailing that leaves us speechless.

Lakum

A structured ensemble with graphic detailing is the perfect way to accentuate your back on the day you say ‘I do’.

Olvi’s

For an alluring back with a twist of modernity and elegance, look no further than Olvi’s.

Rime Arodaky

Leave it to this French designer to capture romance and cool-girl vibes in the backs of these gorgeous dresses. Who wouldn’t say ‘yes’?

Watters

Tie-the-knot with a bow and seal with love. We hope you will be as obsessed with these backs as we are!

Wtoo by Watters

We love the detailing on the backs of these romantic and enchanting wedding dresses by Wtoo.

Willowby by Watters

The bold lace and intricate details in back of these free-spirited gowns are sure to captivate the attention of wedding guests.

360 MAGAZINE, KCRW, PROHIBITION NYE, NEW YEARS, LA, LOS ANGELES, VAUGHN LOWERY

Prohibition NYE 2018

‘For once, this past New Year’s Eve wasn’t a blur (no wordplay intended). Taking space at Downtown LA’s historic ticket concourse inside Union Station.’

by Vaughn Lowery 

The best means to enter this venue is through the VIP red carpet so be prepared to get the celebrity treatment for around $200 per person which includes open bar (GA tix are avail as well). After a no nonsense check-in, you’ll be whisked off to the step and repeat for a quick photo. Then, your legs will begin to wiggle your way over to the elevated DJ booth outside where it was like a whimsical LED rainbow-like garden orchestrated by top 40 music. 

Everyone was dolled up in roaring twenties attire and the atmosphere made it feel like we all went back in time. Well, maybe back into 4 bar lines of premium liquor, which caused many of us to become double-fisted (and inebriated but we took the Expo Train line from Downtown Culver City for a $1.75 and an Lyft back for less than $50 during peak hours). 

Our VIP bracelets allowed us access to the actual concourse where the mega screens, top notch concert sound and lighting system were housed. A 60 foot ball drop relaxed above our heads alongside of metallic confetti until the clock struck midnight. Not to mention crow-like characters roamed through the crowd on stilts while a saxophone player jammed to EDM beats.

We proceeded on to another outdoor patio where we enjoyed live burlesque shows where gorgeous antiqued chandeliers hung in a red tent. 

PROHIBITION NYE is LA’s premier party to be at for New Year’s Eve. If you don’t trust us, just purchase a ticket and see for yourselves. This event was put on by McCullough and Ross in partnership with KCRW.

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Additional info available at ProhibitionNYE.com