Category Archives: Sunset

Pamper yourself this New Years at Katikies Hotel – Santorini!

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Pamper yourself this New Years at Katikies Hotel – Santorini!

It’s the beginning of December and I should totally be blogging about all the holiday markets from NYC to Germany – and I will! It’s actually in the works ha. Since the month has started my mind has been focused on my goals for 2018 – from chapters I am closing to opportunities I am opening – 2018 KB gets her groove back! Also, a possible separate end-of-year evaluation post I may end up doing…or I may not. I don’t know yet! Regardless – I’m working on a lot of projects that I am excited about and I need to get my passport stamped at least 3 times next year!!! I say three, but what am I kidding, my list of destinations is already at 8 and growing……:O

Actually, I need to make a public service announcement – I am looking for bloggers for my magazine. Here is my ad on craigslist (yeah, I know, CL, ew. It’s posted on other “more legit” sites as well, calm down.) If you or someone you know are interested….please contact me asap: https://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/wrg/d/super-star-intern-bloggers/6415645215.html

(Now back to my program…)

ANYWAYS…one of the many destinations I’ve got my eye on, is, umm… Greece! I know, I know, everyone goes to Greece! KB you are fabulous because you do things differently and not the same old boring and your destination list has always been unique, just like you! I know, I know — but there is a reason Greece was rated the top destination to travel to in 2017! So why the heck not! The Greek Islands are always a good idea for a variety of reasons.

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Santorini not only won Travel & Leisure Magazines “the Best Island in Europe” award for 2017, but its resorts also snagged four of the top five slots in this competitive category. Resort competition on Santorini is fierce, as scores of hotels (even budget options) are built into the island’s volcanic cliffs, affording them panoramic Aegean Sea and island views.

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So which resort came out on top in 2017, you ask? Katikies Hotel, located in Oia, on Santorini’s northern coast. OHHH EMM GEEE!!! IT IS BREATHHHHTAKINGGGGG!!!!!!!!!

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Built into cliffs, all rooms have verandahs with sea and sunset views. Aside from the exquisite views and the atmosphere, what really distinguishes this resort from its neighbors is the top-notch service. The English translation of Katikies is ‘home,’ and, true to its name, the staff makes you feel like family.

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Overlooking the Aegean Sea, this luxury hotel featuring caldera-view balconies and bright white minimalistic rooms have free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and iPod docks, along with minibars and Nespresso machines. Suites come with separate living areas; some bi-level. Upgraded suites offer whirlpool tubs; some provide balcony hot tubs and private pools. Butler and 24-hour room service is also available.

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There are 3 restaurants including upscale dining and a champagne bar. Amenities include 3 infinity pools, a gym and a chic spa offering beauty and massage treatments. Can I be real with you right now – the pools are my selling point. I mean look at them!! Add that plus that amazing Greek sunset!! That’s enough to recharge me to throw myself back into the rat race of the concrete jungle for a few months until I plan a new vacation all over again!

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Okay so I lied in the title when I told you to go for New Years. I checked availability from February, March, April…booked, booked, booked. No availability until May! So just FYI – this hotel is high in demand! So plan ahead! You won’t be disappointed!

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~Karen Bahri

 

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Best places to catch the Most Beautiful Sunsets in the World

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Best places to catch the Most Beautiful Sunsets in the World

 

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I love sunsets! I love taking pics of sunsets! I love sunrises! I love taking pics of sunrises! Basically, I love a pretty sky. Read on for your guide to where in the world you are guaranteed to catch a colorful, beautiful, picturesque and awe-inspiring sunset.

OIA, SANTORINI, GREECE

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Well if this wasn’t a given! Santorini, known for its distinctive white and blue architecture, is one of the most beautiful places in the world! The sunset can be captured perfectly as the village of Oia is set on a rugged Cliffside giving onlookers the perfect spot to watch the sun as it reflects on the crisp white buildings and then sets into the Aegean Sea.

IPANEMA BEACH, RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL

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The sunset is so stunning in Ipanema because it sets behind the rocky hillsides that border the coast. One of the best places in Rio to watch the sunset is Arpoador Rock which is located between Copacabana and Ipanema. Arpoador juts out into the ocean giving you an unobstructed view to the west along Ipanema beach. You will be in awe as the sun dips into the Gulf of Mexico in a magnificent array of pink and orange!

NORTH CAPE, FINNMARK, NORWAY

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North Cape, Norway is so far north it’s nearly in the Arctic Circle! Therefore during the summer, the sun hardly ever sets. Visitors can take in the midnight sun (the sun that sets just to the horizon, but never fully sets. OMG huge on my bucketlist!!!!) Seeing this strange sunset phenomenon can be a once in a lifetime experience!

AO KAO BEACH, KOH MAK, THAILAND

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Located in Trat Province in Thailand, Koh Mak is world famous for its stunning sunsets. Koh Mak features idyllic, serene nature with no skyscrapers or cityscape to obscure the sky, making the nightly setting sun into the horizon an unforgettable experience!

BAGAN, MYANMAR

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If you’re looking to snap a few dramatic sunset photos, head to Bagan, Myanmar’s Valley of Temples. Each night as the sun drops low in the sky, it lights up the outlines of more than 2000 ancient temples, pagodas, and monasteries that have sat in the Valley for a thousand years! There are so many locations throughout Bagan to capture stunning sunset views. You may also wish to snap photos of the sacred Buddhist and Hindu temples at dusk, but for a birds-eye view book a hot air balloon ride over the Valley.

ULURU, AUSTRALIA

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Uluru, or as some call it Ayers Rock, undergoes a dramatic transformation each night when the sun sets over the Australian outback. The rock cuts a striking silhouette across the sky as the sun paints it golden, deep red, orange and other hues before it turns black under the cover of night. Hike to the top of the dunes for a stunning view of Uluru and the nearby ancient rock formations known as Kata Tjuta.

THE AZORES, PORTUGAL

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The lovely islands that make up the Azores archipelago sit off the coast of Portugal in a nearly empty stretch of the Atlantic Ocean that allows for unobstructed views of the water, sky, and brilliant sunsets! Spread across 374 miles, this autonomous region of Portugal offers endless opportunities for soaking up the last rays of the sun.

MILOVAIG, ISLE OF SKYE, UK

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The Isle of Skye is an island in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. While the entire island offers a stunning view of the sun setting, one of the best spots to catch it is the pier at Milovaig, which offers onlookers a multi-colored, breathtaking scene.

DIAMOND HEAD, HONOLULU, HAWAII

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Nearly anywhere on Oahu is a great place to catch a sunset, but climb up Diamond Head, which is a volcano and state monument, and you’ll be able to catch the gorgeous setting sun over legendary Waikiki beach.

TAJ MAHAL, AGRA, INDIA

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I love my India! It is incredible. Everything about the Taj Mahal is beautiful – everything. It has become an international destination to visit at dusk, because of the beautiful sunsets that occur behind it and the stunning colors that reflect around the building. hashtag colorful india #colorfulindia #colourtheworld #sunsets

 

-Karen Bahri

Sultan Cave Suites – Cappadocia, Turkey

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Sultan Cave Suites – Cappadocia, Turkey

Set on a hill with breathtaking views, experience Cappadocia cave living in modern-day luxury!

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Terraced above the village of Goreme, this exotic hotel offers the modern traveler a unique cave hotel experience. Relax & enjoy breathtaking views from the many stone terraces. The most picturesque experience is taken place in the early morning at sunrise, where one can bask at the sight of hot air balloons adoring the sky! You may also enjoy the panoramic view overlooking the village and surrounding valleys, mountains and the Erciyes volcano in the background. Heavenly!

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Aside from the view, the hotel itself is a visual delight with each room, corner and terrace charmingly decorated with simple artifacts showing the unique history of the area.  Built over the ancient cave dwellings used for centuries by locals, all the original cave walls have been preserved and integrated harmoniously into the room designs.

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In addition to preserving local architecture, Mehmet Dasdeler (of Sultan Cave Suites) opened the Cappadocia Cultural Center in the hotel. The three gallery rooms showcase antiques from across the ages. The Cultural Center also supports local and international artists by offering classical concerts, local traditional music concerts and art exhibits by local and international artists.

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I highly recommend staying here if you are looking for a non-traditional, adventurous accommodation!

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Location: 50180 Göreme Belediyesi/Nevşehir Merkez/Nevşehir, Turkey

-Karen Bahri

Three undiscovered Caribbean islands to discover now!

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Three undiscovered Caribbean islands to discover now!

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Aruba, Jamaica and The Dominican Republic are a few amazing islands commonly thought about as one tries to figure out which island to explore when planning an escape to the Caribbean. The choice is limitless and you may become confused trying to figure out where to go. I have provided for you three islands under the radar that are less touristy and offer experiences that will appeal to those looking for seclusion, adventure or both; which means you will get the ultimate Caribbean vibe!

The old Caribbean; safe, friendly and charming with exquisite natural beauty both above and below her waterline.

Montserrat

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Montserrat is one of a handful of Caribbean islands still relatively untouched by mass tourism. Known as the “Emerald Isle,” Montserrat has a rich Irish heritage and is the only country outside Ireland that recognizes St. Patrick’s Day as an official holiday. Visitors even get a shamrock stamp in their passports.

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Volcano tourism is the island’s most unique draw. Lookout spots including Jack Point Hill and Montserrat Volcano Observatory offer views of the eruption’s brute impact. The Exclusion Zone, which is the southern part of the island where eerie remains of the former capital city of Plymouth lie buried under a lunarscape of volcanic ash, looks like a modern-day Pompeii. One may become drawn by the slow rhythm, the friendly locals, the fabulous hiking and birdwatching, and the blessedly tranquil ambience.

Saba

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The mountainous island of Saba delivers a remote escape known for ecotourism, including hikes, climbs and spectacular dives.

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The smallest island (five square miles) in the Netherlands Antilles, Saba is primarily a dormant volcano covered in rain forest. A single road (aptly named “The Road”) takes visitors to quaint cottage filled villages, where you can purchase the traditional Saba lace. Saba is ringed by coral reef, it rises sharply from the sea, with the aptly named Mount Scenery — the highest point in the Netherlands — as its misty peak.

Statia/St. Eustatius

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The quietest corner of the Dutch Caribbean, St. Eustatius, or “Statia”, is known as the Caribbean’s hidden treasure. Today, Statia’s few visitors are intrepid scuba divers, and hikers exploring its rugged, volcanic terrain.

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Divers may discover dazzling reefs, gorgeous marine life, rusting wrecks, anchors and cannons are a few examples of what mysteries one may uncover under the sea!

Hiking is also popular on the island. Visitors can take a half-day hike to the 2,000 foot Quill National Park, a classically shaped volcano with a forest-filled crater. Orchids, fruit trees and ferns thrive in this unique environment.

A serene, old-Caribbean pace is highly felt as the sleepy island has a population of around 4,000 inhabitants!

 

-Karen Bahri

 

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Mumbai’s First ever Floating restaurant!

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Mumbai’s First ever Floating restaurant!

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If you think you don’t have enough reasons to go to Mumbai, I’ll give a very good one! The first ever FLOATING restaurant recently launched in the city! You heard me – F-L-O-A-T-I-N-G!

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AB Celestial is the first ever Floating restaurant in Mumbai. Designed and imported from the US, it entails a three-tier luxury dining floatel with a sky deck, two galleys and a capacity to accommodate a minimum of 660 guests across four tiers!

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Incase it wasn’t obvious, you get a 360 degree view of Mumbai and the Arabian Sea. The ground floor will include a 24 hour coffee shop where as the first floor will be banqueting. The second floor will be a high end lounge bar and the open terrace will be the sky lounge.

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Although it was launched back in 2014, it had not been open to public due to issues of permission. The flotal is docked at the Maharashtra Maritime Board’s jetty at Bandra under the Bandra-Worli Sea link.

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I know what you are thinking. What’s up with the name?? The “AB” stands for Aishwarya Bhende, the 21-year-old owner of the three-floor luxury dining yacht. She has designed the entire interiors for the yacht, and been involved with it since its inception!

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Imagine how incredibly serene watching sunset over the sea would be from the upper deck! From the wooden floors sparkling to perfection to the ambience and lighting, AB Celestial, especially after sunset, becomes Celestial!

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-Karen Bahri

Discover Australia with me!

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Discover Australia with me!

Welcome back to my channel guys!!!! Sorry for the gap. Been sick. Better now but for some reason I can’t hear out if my left ear how do I fix this? It’s annoying. I bought some drops but no luck yet ughhh!

Anyways, been watching a lot of vlogs from people in Australia so I’ve got Aussie land heavy on my mind!

Australia is world famous for its natural wonders and wide open spaces, its beaches, deserts, “the bush”, and “the Outback”.

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Australia is one of the world’s most highly urbanised countries; it is well known for the attractions of its large cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

The cities are as stunning and colorful at night as they are bright and sunny by day!

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Gold Coast

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Brisbane 

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Perth

Honestly I’m not too familiar with Australia. But as I’ve been watching these vloggers – one set being from Sydney and the other set being from Melbourne it’s peeked my curiosity. Seems as the above mentioned 4 cities are the top spots as well as the beaches on the gold coast, which is a beachy area close to Brisbane. As I have googled pictures, all of these cities lool gorgeous and are all by the coast! I really hate comparing places but it appears as if Sydney is the Australian version of New York and Melbourne could be the Aussie version of LA. Maybe Perth is the Aussie Miami, they have lots of Palm tree haha!

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Palm Trees in Perth

I also wonder if Aussie’s think their accent is totally different from the British. I was watching one of the vlogs and the guy was mimicking a British accent and he literally sounded the same haha! I think the biggest difference is they elongate some of the vowels.

Anyways! Here are some pretty pics I found off all four cities and I’m going to include some of the gold coast too! There are probably many, many more cities, beach towns, islands I am not mentioning but we can talk about those later 🙂

SYDNEY

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MELBOURNE

 

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PERTH

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BRISBANE

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GOLD COAST

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-Karen Bahri

Nasir al-Mulk Mosque – Iran’s Colourful Kaleidoscope is a spiritual awakening!

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Nasir al-Mulk Mosque – Iran’s Colourful Kaleidoscope is a spiritual awakening!

From the outside, the Nasir al-Mulk Mosque in Shiraz, Iran, seems like a fairly traditional house of worship — but it hides a gorgeously colorful secret…

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The multitude of stained glass windows turn the inside of the mosque into a mosaic wonderland of color that is absolutely breathtaking!!! It is also known as the “Pink Mosque” for its rose-colored tiles that cover the interior. However, choosing just one color doesn’t do justice to the kaleidoscope of hues that decorate this masterpiece.

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It is said that the mosque’s beauty is best appreciated in the dawn’s morning light. In fact, you can only see the light through the stained glass in the early morning. It was built to catch the morning sun, therefore, if you visit at noon, it will unfortunately be too late to catch the light. This is a case in which the early bird does catch the worm! So rise and shine!!

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The sight of the morning sunlight shining through the colorful stained glass, which then falls over the tightly woven Persian carpet is soo enchanting that it takes you straight into another world! There is something very enlightening about the whole experience that even the world’s most unreligious person can’t help but feel the spiritual energy once they experience the brilliance of the energy from the light and the kaleidoscopic colors!

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If the beaming light and the vibrant colors are not enough to take your fancy, the intricate design of the arches and niches of the architecture are also gorgeously designed and painted very mesmerizingly so, that I know you will fall in love!

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Ceiling work

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Though Masjid al-Aqsa, in Jerusalem and Istanbul’s Blue Mosque both feature stained glass windows as well, they are fairly uncommon in mosque architecture as a whole. The rarity of architecture like this makes Nasir al-Mulk all the more precious.

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-Karen Bahri

 

 

 

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 

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 

Life is an adventure! Visit Guam!

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I know since the year started, my blog has been less travel (although in my mind, I can give you reason on how it relates to “travel” in maybe an unconventional form) my blog has turned into a more personal diary of what has been going on in my life, I guess. I will include entries about myself and my family and personal thoughts and feelings. This is MY kaleidoscope, after all! But anyways, back to an entry focused more on the topic…

I discovered Guam by mistake while researching something else. Now it’s def on my bucket list! From time to time, I like to look up far off, out of the loop places and see if they are worth checking out in some point of my life. I like to keep my bucketlist exotic, ya know. One life, live it to the max and go places you never thought you would ever! That’s that way I want to live my life. There is definitely a lot to this exotic little island!! I never even knew it’s considered a U.S. territory and we don’t need a passport to go there! Keep reading if you are ready to explore a fascinating, beautiful, far off and exotic island!

Guam is also called “Guahah” by it’s natives. When I hear the word “Guam” it reminds me of Guava fruit for some reason lol. Maybe they have good guava or other tropical fruit on the island? I am sure they do! They get a lot of Japanese tourists, since Japan is right there. It’s the largest and most southern island of the Mariana Islands. they speak English as well as their native language called Chamorro. The culture of the natives are a mix of Asian, Spanish and American. They are considered warm & friendly and the crime rate is low on the island.

Tumon is the popular tourist hub and known for it’s beautiful world renowned beaches! They are said to have the perfect temperature so you can enjoy splashing around! What’s insane is that you can find star-sand beaches (!) (?) Ritidian beach is said to be hands down the best beach. They have plenty of shopping and nightlife in Tumon. Guam has a great deal of water sports and activities to take part in.

The sunsets will take your breath away!!!! Shades of orange and pink contrast against the deepening shade of the ocean to create the perfect ambiance for a romantic walk on the beach. This is a perfect honeymoon destination!

The only thing I didn’t notice is that I don’t think that they have many of those over water bungalows as they do in like Bali or the Maldives. If I find a resort that has one, I would still consider it a honeymoon destination. An over water bungalow is high on my check list as far as a honeymoon destination. Otherwise I would just consider this for another special occasion get away! Well, since it IS on my bucket list now, and I am a woman of my word, the day I check it out, I will give you my full “after” review. For now, check out some photos I found and dream about it with me:

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Guam, Tumon Bay, Reef Hotel.

Guam, Tumon Bay, Reef Hotel.

 

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TUMON BEACH AREA:

 

TUMON CITY VIEWS:

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RITIDIAN BEACH:

SUNSETS IN GUAM: