Monthly Archives: January 2017

The Rock – A luxurious fairytale in the Indian Ocean

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The Rock – A luxurious fairytale in the Indian Ocean

Call it a beautiful drop of luxury in the Indian Ocean. The Rock – A fairytale restaurant perched in the Indian Ocean off Zanzibar. It is by far one of the most unusual and unique restaurants in the entire world!

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If there was anywhere to travel half way around the world for, it just might be The Rock in Zanzibar, Tanzania. This restaurant, perched on a rock in the Indian Ocean, is straight from a fairy tale!!! During high tide, it becomes a veritable island with a wooden boat taking you the short distance to shore. In low tide, you simply walk across the seaweed strewn beach to get to this magical place. Both methods will take you to a rickety wooden staircase and into the restaurant, built in the local Zanzibar architectural style with a Makuti palm tree roof.

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Inside the restaurant you will find 12 cozy tables while if you head to the back, you will find a beautiful patio surrounded by the turquoise sea.

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The menu at the Rock is seafood inspired as well as an incredible cocktail menu. Be aware it is a bit on the prettier side of the penny. A two person meal with starter and main course with two cocktails will run you about $90. As a New Yorker, this is pretty standard though.

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The wine list is impressive and you can even got a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne for $330. They have a variety of tropical cocktails to entice you as well. You can take your drinks out the the terrace and take in the beauty of the surrounding ocean and ponder about what life should really be about while watching the sunset – ahhhhh sounds wonderful to me!!!

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So how did this come about and who thought of this unusually magnificent idea?? The story is, as is often the case in Zanzibar, a little blurry round the edges. The people behind this hotel project were (probably) Italian. They left the island because they may or may not have not satisfied the right people in government. Do they still own it? Did they own it in the first place? Possibly.

However it began, it is an absolute unique experience! It being in the ocean though, one cannot control mother nature, so the view will depend on if the tide is high or low. Overall though, it’s worth the adventure!

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-Karen Bahri 

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1/23/16-1/23/17. One full year.

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1/23/16-1/23/17. One full year.

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“You made our day” – It really is about the little things.

If you aren’t interested in me blabbering randomness, here’s my post dedicated to my dad from last year:

https://karenskaleidoscope.wordpress.com/2016/01/28/happy-birthday-to-me-hero/

So many thoughts all jumbled. A full year has passed since I lost my father. I play back those 2 hours last year when everything happened and as much as I prayed to God to wait and not to let it happen, God still went on with his plan. They say time will heal, but they are wrong. The pain never goes away. This past year has been an emotional rollercoaster as I have been trying to figure out the best way to deal with the whole picture.

Loss is the scariest, most surreal experience in life and really changes everything. Not everyone gets it, as I have learned through out this year. You would think people would be more compassionate and they are. Lots of love. But surprisingly not everyone. Some people use a traumatic experience to turn against you.

I’ve teared up at the most random moments, I’ve felt as if someone was watching me as I sit at the table and I’ve even felt like situations have happened uncontrollably that I have held control of in the past. People have been taken from my life and others from the past have been brought back. Random odd things have happened that seem unexplainable….so I know he’s here. Like look. Every time I do something on my phone that requires me to enter in my email, my predictive text predicts dad’s email first. Which I obviously have not used in a year. I read somewhere spirits can get into electronics. Not to freak you out or make me sound crazy but I remember the first couple days after it happened last year, one night my phone freaked out out of nowhere and the lights were switching all weird. Dad’s totally bugged my phone lol.

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See!!!!

 

The first 3.5 or so months of the year I needed to sleep with the light on and felt weird if I was home alone at night. Over the summer I went through a phase where I thought life is too short, I’m tired of being upset I am gonna be out and about to keep my mind off things. Once fall hit and I couldn’t believe how much time has gone by so quickly it brought me down again.

Unfortunately loss is a part of life. Unfortunately 2016 was a year it just seemed like we lost so many more than usual. Unfortunately we have to deal with it. I hope my dad stays with me forever and I always feel him next to me guiding me.

This birthday was a tough. Along with their phone calls, my dad would always send a short but sweet email, bc desi people aren’t good with being emo unless it’s written lol. This year there was no email. This year it was just mom on the phone instead of both of them together on the phone with me as they always did.

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Last message ever received from him.

 

I am fully aware this whole extremely long blurb makes no sense. And its extremely long. I got my chatty chatty mouth from dad though and I’ll hold on to that forever. *random memory* I remember one time dad called and it reached my voicemail. He left me the funniest (but to him very serious) message about how I didn’t say our last name clear enough. How I need to say our last name clear and proudly and should be proud to be a Bahri! 😊😘 Thanks to that message I will never change my last name for anyone. And yes, I re-recorded my voicemail!

I read though my post I wrote on his birthday last year (which is in 5 days). Link is below..God bless.

https://karenskaleidoscope.wordpress.com/2016/01/28/happy-birthday-to-me-hero/

– Karen Bahri

 

Meliá Hotels International New Openings for 2017

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Meliá Hotels  International New Openings for 2017

So remember I just told you I stayed at the INNSIDE hotel during my Christmas staycation? Well I was asked to write a piece about the chains new 2017 openings and they have some really nice properties opening up around the world this year!! I really love this hotel chain and I definitely want to check out their global resorts when I travel abroad. I wrote up a piece after doing my research and had to show my colorful Kaleidoscopers, so please take a look! I do hope you all enjoy and hopefully will be able to share some info on a great fairly new hotel chain for you to also explore!

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Meliá Hotels International, S.A. (formerly Sol Meliá) is a Spanish hotel chain which was founded by Gabriel Escarrer Juliá in 1956 in Palma de Mallorca. The company is one of Spain’s largest domestic operators of holiday resorts and the 17th biggest hotel chain worldwide. Currently the hotel chain operates 374 hotels in 40 countries on 4 continents under the brands Meliá, Gran Meliá, ME by Meliá, Paradisus, Innside by Meliá, TRYP by Wyndham, Sol Hotels and Club Meliá.

During a recent staycation, I personally had the pleasure of staying at the Innside Hotel Nomad, which is the brand’s first U.S. hotel. This newly built property is in close proximity to some of the city’s most sought after areas.

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The ambiance is posh and modern. The rooms are clean and bright plus they offer free WiFi and a free minibar in every room with sodas, juices and water. The hotel also offers a business center, fitness center, concierge and 24 hour room service to complete the experience. I have to take a moment to talk about the amazing view I had of the Empire State Building.

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My experience was amazing and this hotel chain is definitely one I will stay at while traveling in the future! With that in mind, 2017 should prove to be another vigorous year of expansion for Meliá, touting a pipeline of 18 scheduled openings, including Meliá’s first sustainable hotel, Meliá Serengeti Lodge.

I’m excited to provide for you this list of what this amazing chain plans to open globally in the year 2017. Take a look:

AMERICAS

Paradisus Los Cabos, Mexico (early 2017)

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Meliá Cabo Real will be converted into Paradisus Los Cabos in a renovation that will convert and upgrade the existing property. Paradisus Los Cabos will be set on 14.5 acres surrounded by a private golf course. It will also be a quick 25 minutes from San Jose del Cabo International Airport. The resort, the ninth in Paradisus by Meliá’s portfolio, will have 350 rooms and suites.

 

Meliá Cartagena de Indias, Colombia (Spring 2017)

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This will be Meliá’s fourth hotel in Colombia. The Meliá Cartagena de Indias is an adults only resort and will have 154 rooms and suites and a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course.

 

ASIA

Meliá Shanghai Hongqiao, China (early 2017)

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Meliá Shanghai Hongqiao will be part of an urban complex that will feature a wide range of commercial and entertainment facilities, dining outlets, green areas and high end residential villas. The 190 room hotel will be situated in Hongqiao, an area expected to become the new center of west Shanghai and a business hub for the Yangze River Delta region. The hotel will also be near the world’s largest exhibition complex, the National Convention.

 

MIDDLE EAST

INNSIDE Doha, Qatar (middle of 2017)

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INNSIDE Doha will be next to the new Qatar National Museum, new Doha Metro station as well as  government and commercial offices, with views of the West Bay skyline and within easy access to Doha’s Hamad international Airport. The hotel will have 192 rooms. Doha is a city that is slowly but surely going to surpass Dubai within the next 10 years, so it’s definitely a city to look out for.

 

INDIAN OCEAN

Gran Meliá Huravee, Maldives (end of 2017)

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Gran Meliá Huravee will be located on the island of Kalhudiyafushi, 40 minutes from Male International Airport. The hotel, still under heavy construction, will have 95 private villas and 100 rooms, three restaurants, a bar and café, spa facilities, sports center and several shops.

 

AFRICA

Meliá Serengeti Lodge, Tanzania (middle of 2017)

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Meliá Serengeti Lodge will be Meliá’s first sustainable hotel. It will be located on the natural terraces on the southern slopes of Nyamuma, with breathtaking views overlooking the Mbalageti river. The hotel will be situated in the Serengeti National Park and have 50 rooms, communal lounge areas and restaurants with views of the stunning infinity pool and Serengeti National Park. This resort will make you feel like you are in paradise!!

 

EUROPE

EUROPE INNSIDE Glasgow & Birmingham, United Kingdom (end of 2017)

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INNSIDE Glasgow will be located in the old British Telecom headquarters. The building will be converted into a hotel with 175 rooms, restaurant and bar, meeting rooms, wellness center and car park. The hotel will be situated on Argyle Street, near Central Station.

INNSIDE Birmingham will have 180 rooms and will occupy the first 25 floors of the Regal Tower, located in the City Centre next to Brindley Place. Both hotels will join the INNSIDE Manchester which was the first in the UK.

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Meliá Hotels International is personally one of my favorite hotel chains and I am very excited about the new developments for 2017 and beyond! It’s a young and vibrant chain with a glamourous ambiance and extremely hospitable staff. I highly recommend considering the chain for your next vacation.

-Karen Bahri

Over-Water Villas & Outdoor Showers? YES PLEASE! #MaldivesGoalVacation

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Over-Water Villas & Outdoor Showers? YES PLEASE!  #MaldivesGoalVacation

Helloooo my colourful Kaleidoscopers!!!

I hope all of you are having a great start to the year! I have something I want to talk about! Goals. My goals in life are travel related. I want to see the world, wear diamonds, stay at luxurious resorts and make friends with locals. My daily motivational speech to myself are along the lines of “I wanna go to this country and stay and that resort.”

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I stumbled upon a youtube video of a resort in the Maldives that I just cannot get out of my head. Its like one of my ULTIMATE goal destinations that I want to pamper myself with. It won’t happen soon bc its really expensive (around $900/NIGHT, fam!) and if I travel the 72 hours on planes and trains and boats to get to the Maldives I better spend at least a month! But momentary my eyes are locked on the Six Senses Laamu!

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They have over-water and over-land villas, for those afraid of sharks. As funny as it sounds, the part that struck me the most about this resort (besides the fact its a 5 star resort with 1250 excellent reviews) is that there is an outdoor shower! Lol! Aaannddd…a glass bathtub with a window looking out into the ocean!!!!! And under the tub (and various areas of the floor throughout the villa) is glass so imagine you sitting in the bathtub and you look down into the ocean AAAHHHHHHHHH I WANT IT SOOO BAD!!!! I’ve never stated at an over-water villa and just the thought seems soo heavenly!!!

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This is something I will do in the next 5ish years, so watch this space, because you know I’ll be taking 28543 pics & posting them all on my *new* instagram page! (karenskaleidoscope on insta, find me! Follow me!)

I’m not gonna say anymore. The pics can do the talking! 

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Website/Links: 

http://m.sixsenses.com/resorts/laamu/destination

http://m.sixsenses.com/resorts/laamu/accommodation/villas

http://www.tripadvisor.com/2045398?m=19905

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~Karen Bahri 

Stay healthy this winter before jetting off to the tropics with Aloe Vera!

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Stay healthy this winter before jetting off to the tropics with Aloe Vera!

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Wishing you all a happy & successful new year! The most common resolution people make on new years almost always is to get fit and travel. You want to escape the gloomy, depressing post-holiday months. You want to plan a tropical beach getaway. Once that’s all sorted, next step is you gotta get fit! See the cycle?! 😉

Whenever I am about to go somewhere, I find myself getting rediculously motivated to get fit! I always want to look and feel my best, especially when I’m about to travel somewhere. There are so many trends in the health, fitness and wellness industry, but the options that are most trusted are the ones that have been around for ages in all parts of the globe!

Lately I’ve been doing my research on the benefits of aloe based products, and wow! What a discovery! Aloe Vera is an amazing plant that grows wild in tropical climates around the world. It’s known for its natural soothing, cooling and moisturizing abilities and can help aid your skin’s natural ability to regenerate itself. Nowadays it can be found in many medical and cosmetic products including lotions, ointments, lip balms, shampoos even beverages!

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Aloe Vera is GREAT for hair, skin & weighloss. It contains something called proteolytic enzymes which repairs dead skin cells on the scalp, therefore, acting as a GREAT conditioner that leaves your hair smooth and shiny!!! It’s also rich in Vitamin C, E and beta carotene, which gives it its nourishing and anti-ageing qualities. It can moisturise the skin without making it greasy, which is great if you have oily skin (like me)! Also, drinking aloe vera juice early in the morning on an empty stomach improves digestion and can cure any kind of stomach trouble. The key here is that if you’ve got a healthy inside, it’ll give you a glowing outside which in this case is radiant skin!!!

Ever since I’ve been doing my research I have been finding myself purchasing products containing Aloe Vera and throwing them in my carry on luggage! Excellent way to pack healthy toiletries along with you to make you feel good on the go! There have been times when I’ve gone shop to shop looking for decent toiletries and personal care items but the travel sections are normally filled with such items that don’t contain the healthiest ingredients for you. A lot of drug stores carry the most dated items in the travel section, and everything is usually also in limited quantity.

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Let’s face it! We all want to look good and feel good before we jet off to a tropical island! And then you want to glow and stay healthy while you are out enjoying paradise as well! I know, I know, you are thinking “yes, my Punjabi princess, but I don’t know where in my small village in the middle of nowhere Germany they sell good quality aloe vera products.” Well, Gertrude, sweetheart, I got you covered! 😉

Follow the link below to discover an amazing variety of aloe vera products to get you prepped for your next exciting getaway! I bet you never thought of certain products containing this wonderfully hydrating plant! The harsh winter winds can really take a toll on your skin, but thats where this magical plant comes in to rid you of that dull, dry, flaky skin! Trust me, you will feel soo good and then you will have one less worry pre-vacation!

http://www.monicakapur.myforever.biz/store/

If you have additional questions or concerns, all of the contact info is provided in the link. Happy & healthy shopping!