Surfer Rosa

travel. beauty. life. style.

  • 31st January
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  • 24th January
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  • 17th January
  • 17

Daydream Destinations: W South Beach

Last spring, my dearest friends and I took our first girlfriends getaway in the 25 years that we’ve been pals. We chose Las Vegas for the fun factor, but mostly ended up sipping champs by the awesome Mandarin Oriental pool and totally kicking back in one of the best spas I’ve ever experienced in the world. We also promised each other that we’d do another weekend in the sun and spa next year.
Next year is now here and I’m sort of in charge of the planning. I’m voting for Miami, since it is a 2 minute flight and equal only to Vegas in the domestic fun times destination. Although I’m pretty sure we’ll just do a spin around South Beach before retreating to the aforementioned lounging, spa-ing and champs sipping. That’s why I’m leaning toward the W South Beach, an oceanfront property that has a bit of the kitsch-factor of Miami and an a w e s o m e Bliss outpost. Trust, there’s a reason why it is called that.

We’ll visit Bliss, which has a cool outdoor lounge area and maybe take a few yoga classes before hitting popping the bubbly. For dinner, we’ll enjoy Mr. Chow, a fancypants place from LA that we’ve never visited. And then if we feel like it, we’ll check out the hotel’s hot nightspots. But we’ll probably just gossip, watch weird reality shows that we’d never admit to seeing to everyone else and criticing the fashion in our cushy room.

[photos from W South Beach]

  • 10th January
  • 10

Daydream Destinations: Six Senses Yao Noi

It isn’t that I haven’t been dreaming about going to far off lands in the past few weeks, it’s that I launched the #TravelTuesday feature for the day job’s tumblr site, organized the family holiday fetes at mi casa and invented a new concept I like to call pajamaweek (yes, all one word. and more on that later). In between those little things, I also spearheaded all the gifting and general housewifing, as Husband has been working hours that you only read about in John Grisham novels. Needless to say, we need to get away—and together—sooner as opposed to later.
Enter stage left: The Six Senses Yao Noi, a private island retreat off the coast of Phuket, Thailand. I visited the sandalwood-scented property alone two years ago. It was a super duper short visit of just two nights and I was coming off the worst illness I had ever experienced as a traveler. I remember wishing Husband had been able to enjoy a private Thai BBQ poolside in our villa’s jungle garden. And I also thought he’d swoon over the outdoor shower and indoor/outdoor bathtub with sweeping views of the surrounding islands. OK, he wouldn’t swoon, but he’d really dig it. I love the yoga pavilion, butler service and the fact that this place is so far-flung that it has its own time zone.

The beds are pretty cushy too.

[photos from Six Senses]

  • 6th December
  • 06

Travel Tuesday: The Ultimate Gift

I may be cannibalizing my own content at the day job when I sing the praises of the outrageously awesome Bon Voyage by Jetsetter. But I appreciate the entire package so much, that I’ve just got to hit every social media outlet at my fingertips to talk about it. First, there is the coffee table book part Bon Voyage, which is curated (don’t you just hate that word?) by one of the editors at Jetsetter. The images are spectacular. And it makes me—a professional traveler—wish I was on the road right this second. The planning portion is also Aplus. Anyone who knows me in real life, not virtual, knows that I’m always amped on notebooks and old fashion stationary (don’t worry dearest iPad, I still adore you), so I love the lined journal book with reporter-esque location headers and a map on the outside. As an extra bonus, when you purchase the enormous set Jetsetter (a travel flash site that also has real people on the phone to help you plan your perfect getaway) gives the recipient of the tome (another ickers word, but totally appropriate) a planning session complimentary. Yeah, it really is the ultimate gift for the armchair or actual traveler in your life….hint, hint.

[photos from Shakti 360 and Jetsetter]

  • 29th November
  • 29

Daydream Destinations: Auluani, A Disney Resort

My late-year (and admittedly last-minute) jaunt to Hawaii may not have happened, but I can still dream about the spots that I was aiming to hit on my tour. Disney’s Auluani is a brand-spanking new resort located on a private cove on the capital island of Oahu. The sprawling property is perfect for families looking for a happy holiday away from home. There are loads of accommodation options (personally I’d opt to stay in a sea-view villa), buckets of activities (I swear I never, ever, jamas surf better than I do in Hawaii) and a rad spa. I know, I know, it may be too much of the Mouse, but honesty, after my sailing on the Disney Dream this spring, I was pleasantly surprised (and pampered) by all of the adult offerings.

Of course, my Hawaiian tour was intended for the day job, which means I would have been checking out all of the wedding options. Did you know that in the 20 years that Disney has been hosting the Happily Ever After Weddings, they’ve married more than 40 thousand couples? Packages are offered on the beach avec or sans arguably the most famous long-term couple.

[photos from Disney]

  • 11th October
  • 11
One armer on the dock in the Bahamas. Today’s Travel Tuesday is a day dream about my first cruise experience. The Disney Dream stopped first in Nassau and then onto the company’s private island Castaway Cay. Even though it was filled to the gills with kids, I really enjoyed the cruise and I’ve been looking into Greek sailing opportunities for the spring.

One armer on the dock in the Bahamas.
Today’s Travel Tuesday is a day dream about my first cruise experience. The Disney Dream stopped first in Nassau and then onto the company’s private island Castaway Cay. Even though it was filled to the gills with kids, I really enjoyed the cruise and I’ve been looking into Greek sailing opportunities for the spring.

  • 27th September
  • 27

Daydream Destinations: Escape to Shape Cartegena

If I were the type of person that stuck to my guns when it comes to fitness, I’d (hopefully) look more toned and a whole lot less back fatty. So instead of waking at morning break to peddle to the sweet mash-up sounds of SoulCycle with my dear (and crazy!) friends, I’m focusing my energy on actually getting to a get-it-in-gear holiday away. (Good news: Husband said he’d help me pay for it!). This week I find myself wishing I could get on next month’s Escape to Shape excursion to Cartegena.

The week-long hosted program includes loads of functional fitness classes, some yoga sessions and all meals, plus cool cultural activities.

Of course, what really is tempting me is the opp. to replenish all my calories burned at the beautiful bars across the city. I kid. My meals will be the veggie-fresh versions of local favorites and I’ll spend all my downtime touring the colonial city. I may even paddle a board out into the pretty city bay.

[photos from Escape to Shape]

  • 20th September
  • 20

Daydream Destinations: La Maison Blanche

Since Countdown to Ibiza has concluded, I’ve hopped back on the daydreaming train. This week’s pick La Maison Blanche on Shelter Island in New York is a bit closer to home. The eight-room guest house, which is within walking distance to the island’s popular Cresent Beach, promises visitors a homey, yet luxurious stay. And I just I love visiting beach communities in the fall when the air is crisp, the water is moody and the beaches are empty.

Who wouldn’t want to take in that sunset from the perch of a giant porch?
But I’m most excited about the cozy, old-timey feel of the hotel that dates back to the 1800s.

[photos from La Maison Blanche]

  • 6th September
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  • 30th August
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Travel Tuesday: ABC’s PanAm

"You can’t beat the experience." That was the tagline for the Pan American Airways, known as PanAm in the 80s. Personally, I never flew the airline, which was one of the country’s first international carriers. But as anyone who has seen me talk on travel, trends and the state of the industry today can tell you, I long for the days when service wasn’t reserved for the front of the bus only. (Yes, I understand that airlines must deal with important life-threatening situations by the minute, but that doesn’t mean we can’t all be a little more civilized in the sky—and ground. And yes, I’m talking to you too, mister, in seat 18d who took up more than your allotted overhead space.) OK I’m digressing. Today’s Daydream Destinations feature is a bit of time travel, when airlines were a little more posh and the skies a bit more friendly. I’m excited to see what the series on ABC this fall is all about. Will they highlight the physical requirements to being a stewardess? Will they enhance the glam. factor? Or will it just be another way to package a story about people that work together jumping into bed? (Which, by the way was a strict no-no.) I’m also excited to see Ricci on the small screen. She was always Winnoa’s little sister to me, which means I’ll watch anything she ever does. Plus, I love her style. 
Happy Jetting.

[photos from ABC]

  • 23rd August
  • 23

Countdown to Ibiza: Vintage-Inspired Swimsuits

Hello my darling readers (all 40 of you). I’m so sorry for my radio-free silence last week. I’ve been juggling deadlines at the day job and working on a massive package for a fancy lady mag. I also delved into America Profunda to serve as guest, translator and cultural attache for an international wedding. (Enhorabuena Anna y Jose!)
And now, I’ve realized that I’ve only got a week until we set sail around Ibiza. Good thing for my inability to refuse an online sale at J.Crew. Because this morning I received these fabulous vintage-inspired one pieces, absolute musts for those of us who don’t look like Kate, Pippa or that new princess. The ruching hides my tummy flaws and the polka dot print is a bit Talented Mr. Ripley meets old-school Sophia Loren.

I bought a crushable uber wide brimmed hat in the Bahamas this winter that will pair perfectly. And my lovable Target fedora will give the look a little tougher edge.

This one is a little more modern and a bit better for snorkeling, swimming and general running around. I’m excited to wear with my so-old-it-can-walk-by-itself bucket hat and my Cobainian navy cardi for paella on the beach or sunset viewing on deck.

[photos from J.Crew]

  • 9th August
  • 09

Travel Tuesday: Tory Burch Mexican Getaway Giveaway

Instead of doing my usual day dreaming, I thought I’d bring an opportunity to you:
Picture it, you here, or rather above. At this fabulous and uber eco-friendly Mexican resort. Of course you won’t just be lounging around your private beachside lagoonview suite at the Rosewood Mayakoba in just any old rags, no, you’ll be totally decked in Tory Burch. That’s because the Hamptons hip, designer and lifestyle guru teamed up with one of my personal favorite places south of the border for a great giveaway. In addition to receiving an amazing spa experience and generous airline credit, the winner also gets three nights in the aforementioned room and a your favorite pieces from Tory’s line. Go to for all the details and a chance to win.

You’ll enjoy exploring the property via the resort’s earth-friendly boats that float down fresh waterways.

And the Caribbean beach is as sparkling as you’d expect from a primo spot on the Riviera Maya.

At night, you can heat up the romance, stare at the sky looking for constellations or chill by the pool.

[photos from Rosewood Mayakoba]

  • 2nd August
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  • 26th July
  • 26

Daydream Destinations: Indo

This morning Susan Miller told me that I’ve got a maj. case of wanderlust. I say yes, that’s true—always. I mean, it is most of the reason why I took the day job; i get to hop across the globe in search of romantic stories. Lately, I’ve been hopin’ and wishin’ and prayin’ that my boss lady would approve a two-week jaunt to Indonesia. It’s a culturally diverse country that offers travelers everything they’d ever what—historic and religious sites, cool food, wide beaches and active adventures. My favorite part of the movie Step Into Liquid was shot in Indo. If I were get the a-ok from the boss lady on my trip, I’d stay at the Amandari, a luxe retreat set in a sacred space in the regency of Ubud, the cultural capital of the country.

Then, I’d experience the beaches. Amankila is positioned on a mountainside overlooking a wide beach. Just look at that view of the hideaway!

Other beach adventures would include a retreat on Indo’s most known hot spot, Bali. Amanusa with its private beach, golf course and proximity to a see-and-be-seen Jet Set town, is the prefect base camp.

Speaking of camp, I won’t want to miss the opportunity to stay in Aman’s tented resort Amanwana located deep in the jungle.

[photos from Aman Resorts]