April 20, 2016

Experience an Authentic Tuscan Holiday at Caselsa!

"Exceptional beauty has the power to heighten your senses and evoke intense emotions. This is what I experience every time I visit the Tuscan countryside. I see more than glorious vineyards, sunflowers and olive groves. I witness a place where history, tradition and beauty come together to create something extraordinary - a masterpiece that draws you in and stays in your memory forever." - Travelista73

If you want to experience an authentic Tuscan holiday on a romantic farmhouse to eat, drink, relax and enjoy the countryside then consider a stay at CASELSA.

Caselsa is a charming 19th century farmhouse set among cypresses and vineyards in Badia a Cerreto in Gambassi Terme, Florence. The owner, Carlo, is a personal friend who invited me to visit this haven during my visit to Tuscany. So enchanted was I by the old-world beauty and allure of this hidden gem, that I had to share it with all of you.  

This picturesque property boasts a main farmhouse and an adjacent converted barn along with 7 independent apartments, each tastefully decorated and equipped with bedrooms, bathrooms, a kitchen and lounge. The outdoor swimming pool provides the perfect place to relax with a great book or enjoy breathtaking views of the countryside.

Not only will you adore the grounds of Caselsa but the property is located within close distance to the world-famous villages of San Gimignano and Certaldo Alto, as well as many celebrated vineries. Enjoy bike riding in the countryside, dining on one of the world’s most renowned cuisines and visits to Florence, Siena, Pisa, Volterra and Lucca.

Caselsa offers weekly accommodations from Saturday to Saturday from April to October. For more information on how you can experience an authentic Tuscan holiday, visit www.caselsa.com and let them know Travelista73, AKA Francesca, sent you.  


March 31, 2016

@TriumphHotels "Seize Your Summer" 24-Hour Sale!

Now that it finally feels like spring, summer is just around the corner! Triumph Hotels in NYC is helping you plan now for that well-deserved vacation with a dedicated summer sale.  

To celebrate the warmer months ahead, Triumph Hotels has launched a "Seize Your Summer" promotion. This 24-hour sale valid from midnight on April 26 - midnight on April 27 allows guests to book a stay for up to 40% off at any of Triumph's 7 hotels including The Iroquois, Hotel Edison, and Cosmopolitan TriBeCa, and enter into a sweepstakes to win a curated picnic basket by Michelin-starred Chef Shaun Hergatt of Juni to enjoy during the stay.

The full details of the sale include: 
  • Up to 40% off
  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Late check-out (based on availability)
  • Opportunity to enter sweepstakes to win a curated picnic basket (perfect to enjoy in a NYC park!) complete with gourmet items including Organic Crackers with Spinach and Artichoke Dip, Selection of Cheeses with Cranberry and Walnut Bread, Tropical Fruit Salad with Mint and Passionfruit, Red or White Wine, and much more by award-winning Chef Shaun Hergatt of Juni
From tree-lined streets, brownstones, and hidden cafes, to Midtown's top attractions and landmarks, Triumph Hotels gives guests access to it all!

Statue of Liberty

Hotel Edison - Times Square

Hotel Edison - Times Square

The Evelyn - NoMad

The Iroquois New York - Midtown

Triumphe Restaurant at The Iroquois

Hotel Chandler
Hotel Chandler

For more information, please visit TRIUMPH HOTELS! 

NOTE: I was not compensated in any way for this post. I am simply sharing it because I feel it is a great opportunity to visit New York this summer. Happy Travels My Lovelies!   

March 24, 2016

@FinestResorts Everyone Can Enjoy the Vacation of Their Dreams!

Set on a pristine peninsula north of Cancun, surrounded by aquamarine waters and white powder sand beaches whose tranquil hues are echoed throughout its contemporary interiors, Finest Playa Mujeres is the ultimate escape.  

The Hotel

The newest brand to join the Excellence Group - the all-suite luxury all-inclusive company behind Excellence Resorts and Beloved Hotels – Finest Playa Mujeres is the only resort of its kind in the greater Cancun area to welcome guests of all ages.

From the moment you walk through the hotel’s large wooden doors and sip on your welcome cocktail, you know you have arrived somewhere special. Home to 450 spacious guest and family suites (the smallest is 800 square feet), this minimalistic white stucco and wood accented stunner boasts gorgeous grounds with 10 swimming pools, 13 heated Jacuzzis, ground-floor swim-out suites with decks, hammocks over the pool, private garden with pool, and two-story rooftop terraces with plunge pools.

For the ultimate indulgence, upgrade to the Finest Club and enjoy added perks like private check-in and check-out, VIP lounge area, concierge services, private pool bar, pool, beach area and much more. If you seek grown-up time, the Excellence Club is perfectly tucked away from the happy squeals of little ones and features a string of extras like private dining, pool and lounge areas for adults-only.  

Food is a focus at this impressive property that features 12 restaurants where authentic international dishes are only matched by the beautiful interiors in which they are served. Best of all, the hotel’s “no reservations” policy means you have the freedom to indulge your culinary whim whenever you want, wherever you want. The resort also offers an impressive menu with 24-hour room service for those who opt to dine in the comfort of their suite. There are also vegetarian and gluten-free options on every menu throughout.

The crystal clear Playa Mujeres beach is surrounded by lush green foliage and is equipped with sun beds complete with waiter service for food and drink. But if lounging around isn’t your thing, not to worry. The hotel’s luxury amenities and activities include game areas, tennis courts, basketball and soccer fields, sailing, kayaking, introductory scuba lessons, windsurfing, paddle boarding, water polo, yoga, Spanish lessons, cooking lessons, archery and air rifle shooting to name only a few. From the supervised Mini, Maxi and Teen Clubs with waterpark and zip-lining, to the adults-only pools, it is obvious that Finest Playa Mujeres has gone to great lengths to create a multi-age space so that everyone can enjoy the vacation of their dreams!




With emphasis on fresh ingredients, artistic presentation and service, I happily savoured some of the most memorable meals at many of the resort’s 12 international restaurants. However, honourable mention must be given to the adults-only Le Petit Plaisir, where I dined on French inspired cuisine in an elegant white Parisian setting accompanied by world-class wines. At Tinto & Tapas, I snacked on a delicious assortment of tapas that transported me to Spain, and at their newest restaurant Surf and Turf, succulent steak and lobster awaited me. To cool off from the Mexican heat, be sure to visit the Sweet Corner for an assortment of cool beverages and ice-cream. To up their game, Finest is also adding a Mexican food truck! 


For drinks, head to one of the hotel’s 17 bars such as the spectacular Sky Bar, that offers molecular cocktails with postcard-perfect views, or enjoy a drink while dancing the night away at the Piano Bar.

The Rooms

The luxury details and amenities in each suite are just as impressive as the rest of the property: oversized Jacuzzi and rain shower for two, furnished balconies or patios with lounge bed, Bvlgari toiletries, fully stocked premium mini-bars with snacks like Snicker’s bars, Oreo cookies and M&M chocolates, as well as Nespresso Machines. Added bonuses include free Wi-Fi and free international calls anywhere in Canada and the U.S.  

The two-story suite I stayed at in building five’s Finest Club was decked out in minimalist style with white and robin’s-egg blue accents.  The suite featured a rooftop oasis complete with plunge pool, outdoor shower that I happily used, living area and lounger with postcard-perfect views of Playa Mujeres and Isla Mujeres in the close distance.   


From the moment you enter ONE Spa, you are immersed in a world of tranquility. My treatment began at the ONE Wall where I set my intention before beginning my journey through purification, healing and transformation. My therapist Moises led me through the steps of the One Aqua Ritual, where flowing water represents the flowing of One love, One energy in One's world. The experience ended with a shoulder and head massage. You cannot help but leave this experience feeling at peace and rejuvenated. The One Aqua Ritual is free to guests of the Finest Club and Excellence Club.

The spa also offers a wonderful selection of signature rituals and treatments incorporating alternative and traditional therapies. There are also treatments to pamper your little ones, including a mini-spa with sparkling pedicure and lullaby massages. At ONE Spa, ultimate relaxation is open to everyone!

For an extended holiday with family or a quick romantic escape, Finest PlayaMujeres awaits you! For more information, please visit excellencegroupluxuryresorts.com or sunwing.ca. 


March 18, 2016

@BelovedHotels - Boutique Hideaway in Mexico's Playa Mujeres

Located steps from cosmopolitan Cancun, The Beloved Hotel is a luxury all-inclusive boutique hideaway framed by crystal blue waters on Mexico’s up and coming Playa Mujeres.  
The Hotel

Positioned on two-miles of powdery white sand along the tranquil Caribbean Sea, this stucco white contemporary beauty is perfect for travellers who seek the personal attention a boutique property provides. Part of the award-winning Excellence Group, the brainchild behind brands like Excellence Resorts and the new Finest Resorts, The Beloved Hotel’s intimacy beckons you to unwind and spend quality time with those you love, children included. Though if you are craving distractions, there are many to choose from!    

After being greeted with a welcome cocktail and cold scented towel, guests are whisked off to one of the resort’s 109 sumptuous suites (the smallest is 960 square feet) available in seven styles, including swim-up suites with private garden and two-story beachfront Casita Suites with plunge pools.   

While the children enjoy fun activities at the Kid’s Club and Kid’s pool with playground, adults can relax in one of the myriad settings to choose from. The Beloved Hotel boasts a beautiful spa, four Jacuzzis and three pools situated next to a secluded stretch of beach complete with waiter service for food and drink, and wooden loungers with plush pillows. For those who seek the ultimate indulgence, opt for a private beach cabana at an additional fee and be pampered with Champagne, cold water and towel service.   

The hotel provides plenty of inviting spaces to sip cocktails throughout, including poolside, beachside or one of four stylish bars, including a swim-up bar. When it comes to dining, you will not be disappointed. Savour incredible cuisine at any one of the four restaurants, occasionally accompanied by a Mariachi Band. At night, head over to Lupita Lounge nestled in a lush garden and sip on a signature cocktail or try smoking a hookah while listening to live musical performances.     

Other perks here include no wristbands, free Wi-Fi and free international calls to Canada and the U.S. Guests also have unlimited access to watersport activities and gear such as sailing, kayaking, snorkeling and diving. There is also seaside golf and fun activities like salsa dancing, Spanish lessons, yoga and cooking classes. With so many options to choose from, you will never run out of things to do at The Beloved Hotel  



The Beloved Hotel is home to four international restaurants; Isla Grill, Aroma, Lupita and El Mar where you can delight in Mexican, Caribbean, Mediterranean and International dishes. Executive Chef Alejandro Grosso, who trained at Michelin-star restaurants across Europe, provided an unforgettable dining experience. The food was exceptional, as was the service, and with no reservations required at any restaurant, I was able to eat wherever I wanted whenever I wanted. From fresh seafood ceviche, mouth-watering guacamole and tacos, succulent Tomahawk Steak, to savoury wines, my every culinary craving was satisfied.


The Room

My room was a beautiful Ocean View Junior Suite decorated in a soothing palette of white with black accents and outfitted with every luxury amenity imaginable: indoor/outdoor Jacuzzi, spa-inspired bathroom with large rain shower, furnished balcony with lounge bed, Bvlgari toiletries, plush bathrobes and slippers, a Nespresso Machine, and fully stocked premium mini-bar with snacks like Snicker’s bars, Oreo cookies and M&M chocolates. Anything I could ever want or need was provided for at The Beloved Hotel, including a pillow menu and turndown service to ensure I had a heavenly sleep, as well as 24-hour room service should a craving present itself.    


The Spa

For a recharge and reset, pamper yourself with an array of wellness treatments at The Beloved Spa, a 35,000 square- foot stunner that will leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. Their Aqua Viva facility is a temple for a variety of Mediterranean hydrothermal therapies that are guided by a thermal valet. Afterwards, continue with a spa treatment in one of the Spa’s 13 treatment rooms. Or, if you prefer, take my lead and enjoy a relaxing massage on the beach where the sound of the sea will lull you to sleep.    

Whether you are travelling with romance in mind, with your children, or to simply unwind, there will be little to find fault with at The Beloved Hotel.  For more information, visit The Beloved Hotel or sunwing.ca.