Travel: The 5 Best Parts of Riviera Cancun

Yes, we just got home – and that vacation was wonderful, relaxing, and totally what I had hoped for! A quick recap of my 5 favorite parts of the trip – I highly recommend replicating them if you happen to find yourself in Quintana Roo soon!

  1. Millé Spa at Excellence Riviera Cancun: I know I know, you’re all thinking “aren’t all spas the same? Why should I check out this one?” Let me start by saying that if you want infinite relaxation, take a relaxing vacation for 8 days, AND loop in a spa experience on the same trip. Mind numbing. All Millé spa treatments include an hour in their ‘aqua wellness circuit’ – I read this, and was concerned – I cannot swim laps, nor did I want to (never fear, that’s not what’s involved). The Aqua wellness circuit features a series of steam, sauna, pool, jacuzzi, and water jet relaxation techniques, designed to stimulate relaxation, before you ever walk in for your treatment. Skeptical, I tested it out before my ‘Ultimate Relaxation’ ritual (hot stone massage, head massage and hair treatment, and cocoa mud foot scrub + massage) – and was really impressed. Such a great experience – a must try! Bonus? The view from the spa looks out over the resort – lovely and calming. If you read through the daily resort newsletter, the spa offers daily specials and discounts throughout your stay!Detailed & Delighted // Travel: 5 Favorites in Riviera Cancun
  2. Self serve Ice Cream cones by the pool: This was legitimately my favorite perk of the resort – and since it’s only available from 10am-sunset, you have to strategize! Because Excellence (our resort) was all inclusive, people were ordering ostentatious drinks by the pool and lobster room service at midnight – but me? I was happy to do a ‘drive-through’ past the ice cream machine at any hour of the day.  I thought of my ice cream consumption as a cooling off tactic, really. There was even one day when I had two cones! I know – that was a lot. But it was sooooo good! If you stay here, definitely check out the ice cream machine. You will not be disappointed – and now I’m sitting here at work, considering having one installed at my desk. Hmmmm… #VanillaChocolateSwirlForTheWinDetailed & Delighted // Travel: 5 Favorites in Riviera Cancun
  3. Renting a golf cart to explore Isla Mujeres: Allow me to start by saying that this is definitely a day trip, and is not for the faint of heart. We chartered a cab from our resort to the seaport in Cancun (a 30 minute ride), and then bought tickets for the Ferry to Isla Mujeres – an island 20 minutes off the coast. The ride was pleasant enough, and we were even serenaded (in English!) by an acoustic guitarist on the top outdoor deck – excellente! When we arrived at the port in Isla Mujeres, it was complete bedlam – be prepared to be overwhelmed. Somehow, we found a street vendor renting golf carts, and rented one for a few hours to drive around the island. They handed us a paper map, and we were off! It was really interesting to see how the island locals live, and visit the ruins and the lighthouse that are still there. We also saw about 100 iguanas (ew, not my favorite, more on that later), and got some great wind in our faces. We finally checked out the beach on the north side of the island – which was pristine – and headed out on a 3:30 ferry. Definitely a good exploration trip! Pro tip: have lots of small bills to shop (and haggle) at the artisan markets by the ferry – they have great finds and souvenirs!Detailed & Delighted // Travel: 5 Favorites in Riviera Cancun
  4. The beachfront palapas at our resort: Another GREAT thing about all inclusive resorts is the assortment of amenities you can expect from the property. Our stay included pool floaties in all pools to hang onto (we liked the lazy river), as well as beach chairs under wonderful thatch umbrellas (with drink service), called ‘Palapas’. We spent at LEAST 10 hours under these during our trip – and the breeze off the ocean was heavenly. They also have full-sun cushy beach beds right at the water line, perfect for tanning and afternoon siestas. Total relaxation. Detailed & Delighted // Travel: 5 Favorites in Riviera Cancun
  5. The Aztec Ruins at Chichen Itza: This was the BEST day of our trip! We learned so much, and had a fantastic time on our tour (through Seasons Tours, the Excellence exclusive provider). The shuttle was lovely, and 2 hours later, we hopped off with 5 other couples to explore the ruins, under the helpful direction of our tour guide. He was lovely and funny and very well spoken, and while we would have been lost without him there, he gave us enough space and time to explore on our own as well! The trip was capped off with a stop at a swimming hole ‘Cenote’, and a fantastic local lunch at an Aztec restaurant. Highly recommend if you’re looking to do a day trip – and we got really lucky with weather, because we went on a cloudy day that wasn’t too hot. Happy travels!Detailed & Delighted // Travel: 5 Favorites in Riviera Cancun

Real Talk Thursday: Dreaming of Cancun

Do you guys ever have one of those work weeks where you feel like you just need to shut down your computer, bail on life, hop on a plane, and take a major siesta on the beach? Or possibly order an oversized blended margarita and drink it under a large pair of shades? How about both?

That’s where I am this week – working like crazy, feeling like I’m drowning, and trying to keep my head up. The vacation countdown has begun (10 days!!) so that definitely helps – but I’m overwhelmed, frustrated, exhausted (etc etc, you get it – sorry for complaining, today was a day for real talk). For now, I’m going to dive back into Salesforce, and leave you guys with this perfect image of the Mexican Riviera (Riviera Cancun in Quintana Roo, to be exact). Cannot wait to occupy one of those beach chairs very soon – but first, I’ve got to do something about this to-do list and pipeline…

Just keep swimming – we’ll get there! I’ll check back in tomorrow.

xo – Cait

Detailed & Delighted / /Real Talk Time

Excellence Resort, Riviera Cancun, Quintana Roo

Jet Set: Bermuda, betches!

Originally discovered by Spanish explorer Juan de Bermúdez in 1503, (after whom the islands are named), Bermuda is a British territory and island archipelago located in the North Atlantic (a two hour flight from JFK, for reference). What this means to vacationers (particularly from the nearby east coast) : pristine beaches, clear blue water, rich history, and gorgeous landscapes for indulging on vacation. What this means to me: BEACH VACAY ASAP!! Bermuda, we’re coming for you.

A trip to Bermuda promises all of the same delights you’d find in other tropical isle destinations, with a few notable differences – namely, old colonial British style and charming sea towns mingling with island resorts and beach tourism (not to mention all of those old stories about the ‘Triangle’). It’s a mash up that is divine to experience, but requires some finesse while packing – linen leisure pants and preppy shep shirts in the same suitcase? That would be a resounding ‘YES’. Here’s what I’d throw in a bag bound for Bermuda if I had 10 minutes to pack:

Detailed & Delighted // Jet Set: Bermuda, Betches!

Clockwise from top center:

1. Eugenia Kim Sunny ‘Do Not Disturb’ hat

2.  Miguelina ‘Elliott’ Crochet Tunic Coverup

3. Kyma ‘Skiathos’ Metallic Leather Sandal in bronze from Calypso St. Barth

4. Louis Vuitton Keepall 50 in Damier Azure Canvas

5. Tesori Ditsy Printed Embroidered short from Calypso St. Barth

6. Triangl bikini set in in Poppy-Sea Spritz

BON VOYAGE!

Valentine’s Day in Yosemite

 

Happy Love Day weekend, friends! We snuck out of the city last night and road tripped to Yosemite – one of the most peaceful places I’ve ever been. The National Park Service says it best: “First protected in 1864, Yosemite National Park is best known for its waterfalls, but within its nearly 1,200 square miles, you can find deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, a vast wilderness area, and much more.” We’re so happy to be out and about exploring – ‘ADVENTURE IS OUT THERE’!

Here are our top 5 MUST visits in Yosemite National park – there are so many beautiful things to see!

1. Tenaya Lodge – the premier mountain resort, Tenaya boasts perfect views, richly accommodated guest rooms (and suites), and exceptional restaurants. Bonus: family friendly, and only 30 minutes from the Yosemite Valley visitor’s center.

Detailed & Delighted // Valentine’s Day in Yosemite

2. Badger Pass Ski area – when the snowfall is abundant, Badger pass is a great little ski area, with limited crowds and great runs for skiers/snowboarders alike.

Detailed & Delighted // Valentine’s Day in Yosemite

 

3. Yosemite Valley Trail Hike – Moderate difficulty and 11.5 miles roundtrip on the loop will get you access to some of Yosemite’s best sights, in a relatively level hiking fashion (including meadows, talus slopes at the base of the granite cliffs, and the Merced River).

Detailed & Delighted // Valentine’s Day in Yosemite

 

4. Bridalveil Falls Hike – year round waterfall views (188 meters high!) make this a must do hike for any Yosemite visit.

Detailed & Delighted // Valentine’s Day in Yosemite

 

5. Half Dome! I’ve never hiked half dome, but I’ve heard it’s fantastic! Views of the entire valley are just part of the full day hike.

Detailed & Delighted // Valentine’s Day in Yosemite

Happy Exploring!

 

Best of Kauai: Poipu and Princeville

We’re back in action! Today, we’re kicking off a new start in February with a brand new day job (*Hello, Mixpanel!) and a tropical post coming at you from the Hawaiian islands.

I grew up a Maui girl, going to Ka’anapali and Wailea with my family growing up. However, after visiting Kauai once a few years ago, I was COMPLETELY sold on the lush backdrops, utter lack of tourist overload, and perfect weather for beaching/hiking/Sup-ing/doing anything you want.

I’ve been doing a lot of research on the must-do’s on the Island, and from my experience and everything I’ve read on the interwebs, the two must visit cities are Poipu in the south (think beachy/sandy/resort-y), and Princeville on the north side (lush, green, and less populated). Here are my top 7 points of interest while in Kauai:

1. The Luau at the Grand Hyatt, Poipu: the best on the island, and the fire dancer is unparalleled. Book tickets HERE, and get your hula on.

Detailed & Delighted // Best of Kauai

2. Merriman’s Fish House, Poipu: are you seeing a theme? We’re eaters in this household, and you’re going to want to try Merriman’s.

Detailed & Delighted // Best of Kauai

3. Stand Up Paddle Boarding, courtesy of Ali’i Kayaks and Watersports: It’s not as hard as it looks, and similar to yoga, it helps build long lean muscles (while sightseeing!).

Detailed & Delighted // Best of Kauai

4. The Beach House, Poipu: try the macadamia crusted fish of the day. #Trust

Detailed & Delighted // Best of Kauai

5. Moving north, check out the accommodations (and spa!) at the St. Regis Princeville: the ultimate in luxury resort stays, with cool features like beach cruiser rentals and SUP lessons by the pool. Insider tip: try the pineapple croissants baked onsite at the coffee shop – I promise you’ll be addicted quickly!

Detailed & Delighted // Best of Kauai

6. A hike through Waimea Canyon: I’m am the least outdoorsy person I know, but with myriad hikes available for all skill levels, and a cold drink waiting for you when you get back to the pool, you can’t deny the beauty of Waimea.

Detailed & Delighted // Best of Kauai

7. Brennecke’s Beach, Poipu: The prettiest – make sure you bring your sunscreen!

Detailed & Delighted // Best of Kauai

 

Aloha!

 

 

Travels: Tropical Vacation Inspiration

It’s Thursday: we’re cranky, it’s not getting any warmer in San Francisco right now, and we’re also still a few months away from any prospect of taking a vacation. Let’s talk about the tropics!

A beach vacation is my idea of an escape – warm sunshine, hot sand, clear blue water, sleeping in, eating a lot and drinking frozen drinks! As a kid, my family did a lot of Hawaii, and ever since, the tropical destination has been my favorite. I tried out Thailand this year, and Bali in 2013 – and there were beautiful beaches there too! The idea of getting away to somewhere warm is dreamy, and below, you’ll find a group of tropical travel inspirations that have us crossing out the calendared days until our next jet away…

Here are my pre-requisites for considering any tropical vacation destination:

1. Reliable weather/seasonality on our side

2. A notable local culture to explore in the evenings

3. A flight that is less hours in duration than my age in years

4. Great cuisine and a restaurant scene to speak of

5. A few grand resorts to choose from (I tend to be picky)

6. The opportunity and time to pack all of my beach necessities (*plus my pool floaty).

* Editor’s note: on our second trip to Hawaii with my (then) baby sister – I was 10- my mom procured us three blow-up rafts, and took us to the beach to entertain us. On a particularly windy day in the tropics, the waves were pretty large, and floating on them in the ocean felt wild and a lot like a roller coaster! The three of us laughed like crazy for hours, and didn’t want to get out of the water – and I still re-create that day every time I’m near an ocean. {Mom and Meg, if you’re reading this, come on vacation with me, and bring your floaty!}

Detailed & Delighted // Tropical Vacation Inspiration

The Grand Hyatt Resort, Poipu, Kauai

Detailed & Delighted // Tropical Vacation Inspiration

The Pool at the St. Regis, Princeville, Kauai

Detailed & Delighted // Tropical Vacation Inspiration

The restaurant terrace at the St. Regis, Princeville

Detailed & Delighted // Tropical Vacation Inspiration

A Walk along Kaanapali Beach, Maui

Detailed & Delighted // Tropical Vacation Inspiration

A trés chic aprés swim towel, from Louis Vuitton

Detailed & Delighted // Tropical Vacation Inspiration

Palm trees and bare knees – the perfect cover up

Detailed & Delighted // Tropical Vacation Inspiration

A quiet place to read a book (but mostly to nap)

Detailed & Delighted // Tropical Vacation Inspiration

A tropical hat – if it’s not monogrammed, is it really even yours?

Detailed & Delighted // Tropical Vacation Inspiration

Splish Splash!

Detailed & Delighted // Tropical Vacation Inspiration

The beach is my happy place

Detailed & Delighted // Tropical Vacation Inspiration

Messy hair and rad sunnies on the water

Detailed & Delighted // Tropical Vacation Inspiration

A bright bikini from Mara Hoffman

Detailed & Delighted // Tropical Vacation Inspiration

… and the CHICEST floaty you will ever find (order immediately).

Bon Voyage!