Category: Travel-tastic

Review: Viceroy Bali

It’s time for the second instalment of Balinese Hotel Goodness today loves.  On my last trip over I was invited to spend a morning at the Viceroy Bali, and was absolutely blown away by the incredible setting and design.

Literally hanging on one side of the Petanu River valley, it’s a seriously gorgeous plot full of thatch bales, infinity pools and sublime views:

1. Viceroy Hotel Ubud www.caribbeanlivingblog.com

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Loving London

It’s so good to be home!  Chuffing chilly, I have seemingly turned into a total wimp sometime in the last four years, but good!  We’ve both been working full time so haven’t got to explore as much as normal but we’ve been loving catching up with buddies and the familias.

We headed to Borough Market last night for dins with some friends – possibly my favourite spot in the city – and I thought I’d re-post some pics I took a long long time ago now.  Love this place, you must go visit next time you’re in town!

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{credits: moi – see here for more}

And a few gratuitous festive shots…

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We’re heading into the countryside for the weekend but are hitting up more fave city spots next week, can’t wait!

How’s everybody doing?  All ready for Crimbo??  Have a happy weekend.

Singapore inspiration: Diwali brights

Morning loves!  How are we doing today?  Week going swimmingly I hope?

Over the weekend we were invited to a lovely lunch at the home of some Indian friends of ours.  It was to celebrate Diwali, so they dressed up in all their gorgeous Indian garb with its beautiful colour and vibrant sparkles.

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It got me hankering after a) a trip to India and b) because that ain’t possible right now, some online fabric ogling {link to the gorgeous sea green and silver fabric here!}.

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Yum yum yum yum yum yum yum.

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I posted about Indian fabrics and design a long long time ago when I was a lil’ blog baby and image formatting a giant mystery to me…see here, here, here and here for more of this [to be frank, pretty shoddily presented] deliciousness.

Thoughts…?

Sizzling in Shanghai

So I’ve finally sorted through some of our holiday snappies, to give you a little tour around the JIA Shanghai this morning.  A gorgeous gorgeous little boutique hotel on Nanjing Road, I would really highly recommend a stay here if you’re ever Shanghai-bound.  We arrived in the middle of a summer heatwave (which to be fair was only about half a degree hotter than a Singers August), and it was such a lovely space to arrive back to after a hot day of sightseeing.

Andre Fu of AFSO Designs is responsible for this stonking lobby area (see here for more of his handiwork) – you enter through an unassuming door on a side street into a fabulous birdcage-filled, OTT wallpaper-surrounded lift area which takes you up to the main reception.  LOVE:

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Our suite was furnished in a gorgeous eclectic mixture of quite masculine tones and shapes.  I was loving the natural marble in the kitchen nook, obvs.

Melbourne-based BURO Architects designed all the suites and rooms – must take a gander at their portfolio when I get a spare sec.

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No natural light in the bedroom and bathroom meant it was tricksy to get decent pics, but these fabulous fun paper pendants helped matters…

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It was one of the most interesting bathrooms I’ve seen in a while actually – the interplay of heavily veined marble and gold mosaic tiles was pretty rad, and I love me a good bathroom light fixture!

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Back to Andre Fu now I think.

These two cheeky chappies in the reception kinda freaked me out a little…pretty cool though no?  Oh ha, please excuse my crusty traveller rucksack, should have moved that.  I’m not a massive fan of purples and reds in interiors, think they are often very jarring, but in a commercial setting they look the business.

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And lastly is the restaurant/bar area, Issimo, designed by Hong Kong-based Darryl Goveas of Pure Creative International.  It has a very different vibe to the rest of the hotel full of rustic wood, (AGAIN) grey veined marble, plaid accents and more Tom Dixon Copper Shade light fittings than you can shake a stick at.  LOVE!

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{credits – moi}

I have to say the service was not the best, the reception staff definitely let the place down quite a bit, but design-wise it really was the bee’s knees.  Ooh and the brekkas, they were excellent too.  Go stay!

{This is a sponsored post, but all opinions and moaning herein are my own}

Asia inspiration: all natural pools

So since moving to Asia we’ve been lucky enough to have spent more time in the company of cool natural watering holes – I’m talking gorgeous outdoor swimming pools in Indonesia and Vietnam, and the onsen hot springs that cover the entirety of Japan (see here for more info on these puppies).  There is nothing in the world more relaxing than a night time dip under the stars.  Fact.

So this is the pool that started my recent interest in them:

interior design natural pool4Yum.  You can see why, right?!  Stone, wooden decking, pebbles and concrete (done well, you understand) are my picks for gorgeous authentic poolside settings.

I’m talking more of this…

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…and much, much less of this…

interior design natural pool3In fact, none of that whatsoever.  Yuck.

Anyhoo so I’ve rounded up a few of my fave inspo piccies swanning around on t’internet right now.  A pool at home is clearly not an option for most of us (myself included) but it never hurts to have a little oogle I opine.

These first two are INCREDIBLE:

interior design natural pool1Looks a smidge chilly, but y’know I’m not going to turn my nose up at it:

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Bali – yes please:

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Morocco – yes please:

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And this one looks a lot like the countryside at my parent’s place – it’s possible even in Blighty…

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Monday’s Masterpiece – want to pretend you’re famous…?

So I have fiiinally got around to sorting through the literally thousands of pics from our hol in Vietnam to be able to do justice to the beauty that is Six Senses Ninh Van Bay.

A-List Rustic Beach Chic pretty much sums it up – I neither look nor act like a film star but this place sure made me feel like one for a few hours.  Set on a private beach and hillside, the only way in is to be zipped along on a very James Bond-esque speedboat.  Now that is my kinda FUN.

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Incredible beach that we didn’t even spend time on (only there for one night sadly) but look at it!!!

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We stayed in a Hilltop Villa which had the most insaaane view out over the bay.  The decor had me in fits of ‘ooooh’s and ‘aaaah’s and ‘bloody hell that’s such a good idea’s – I guess strictly it was pretty rustic but so so luxurious at the same time.  That makes no sense whatsoever I know.

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Heavenly bathrooms, outdoors shower a go-go:

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Ermm, and please excuse the screwed-up-photo-taking face.

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And the infinity pool, my GAWD!

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It was designed so well, fitted almost seamlessly into the decking/jungly vegetation around it – I have a real grumpy grudge against blingy swimming pools, think I might have to do a post on that soon hmm…

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I honestly don’t know if we’ll ever match this view.  EVER.

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{credits – moi, please include link to this site}

I can’t recommend this place enough.  Aside from the bonkers decor, the service is impeccable, dining options brilliant and did I mention it makes you feel like you’re famous?!

Unfortunately on the day we checked out (full on blubbing, gripping onto the wooden pier for dear life before being dragged onto the speedboat – just kidding, that’s just what I wanted to do), I let the hubs persuade me that a night train up to Hoi An would be a good idea.  Have you ever been on a night train in Vietnam?!  Much like our Nepal experience we went from glam luxe jungle hotel to extremely unglam backpackery mayhem in the space of 45 minutes – happily though this time I did not end up with goat pee on my forehead.  Oh that’s another story…

{This is a sponsored post, but all opinions herein are my own}

Daisies in Denmark

As much as I’m loving the fact that we’re living in Asia right now (and I really am loving it), I keep getting these annoying Europe-pangs (dang it Euro bloggy buddies, you keep making me homesick!) whenever I see a gorgeous image from France, Spain, Italia, or well pretty much any European country.  There’s no better place on earth in my humbles opinion (well y’know, aside from the current financial/debt crisis that has it in its grips…), Europe will always be top trumps in my heart.

Anyhoo so these images below also succeeded in making me think ‘GAH, must go back right now!’  If I ever visit Copenhagen the insanely cute flower shop Blomsterskuret is on my list of things to see!

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That paint job and the rustic baskets and pots just take my breath away, absolutely divine.

I think there’s a bit of a gap in the market here – someone needs to open one of these in Singers quick smart!

Ancient House Hotel + sneaky courtyards

So the time has come to start boring you with holiday snaps…  Today I wanted to share with you guys the absolutely bee’s knees gorgeous Ancient House Hotel we stayed at in Hoi An, Vietnam.  A beaut of a property, its high ceilings and cool interiors are the perfect respite from the 40 degree temps in town.

Built around said [authentic 200 year old] ancient house, the rest of the hotel is designed to fit in with the traditional architecture, with clay tiled roofs, white pillars, silk lanterns and wooden walkways.

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Rooms are decked out with luurvely canopy beds, cool stone flooring and Asian style furniture – not to mention that bananas Chinese style window carving and tiled/beamed ceiling, yum:

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The service is really very good – fresh fruit is left in your room every day and the reception staff fall over themselves to whip out a cold citronella-scented face cloth every time you get in from the hot streets outside.  Lovely and friendly, I must say I did not want to leave!

ancient house hotel3 The grounds are green and luscious, even in the dry spell this time of year.

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[Err apols, our camera seems to be on its last legs, these pics are pretty hit and miss…]

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Gorgeous pool area, which we didn’t actually use as were too busy running around seeing the sights but it looked fab:

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And check out this sneaky little tropical interior courtyard in the middle of the main house (LHS):

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I would definitely recommend this hotel – it’s a brilliant midrange option for peeps who want a break from the more economical guesthouses (us!) but aren’t wanting to stretch to full on 6 star luxe.

The one thing I was a smidge confused about though is the colour of the walls in the bar and restaurant area – orange and pink (see above LHS) just do not do justice to the grandeur of the property.  This place is lovely as it is, but honestly it has the potential to be a total show stopper.  Refurb the bathrooms to 5 star standard (like this INCREDIBLY magical place) and do away with the rainbow colours on the walls, and it would suddenly shoot up to the land of places you daydream about visiting.  Or is that just me?!

{This is a sponsored post, but all opinions herein are my own}

Anyhoo, so the internal courtyard got me thinking we should incorporate one when we build our future house.  DREAMLAND!  Don’t think you can even do that in Singers.  Ahem, well here are a few other ideas anyway, doesn’t hurt to collect some inspiration I suppose…

Those Moroccans really know how to do it well:

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Couple of contemporary puppies:

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And see here for the rest of this swoon-worthy property below left:

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Bananas batik – part 1

Morning darls!  Yesterday’s post seemed to go down well but after all the monochrome yumminess I thought today I’d get a leeetle beeet more colour on the go.

May I introduce you to the newest of obsessions in the (already obsession-full) brain of Caribbean Living: the beauties that are batik.  I’d come across this gorgeous race of textiles before but it was on our honeymoon in Bali that I really became acquainted with them.  They’re traditionally made all over the world from Ghana and Nigeria to India and Japan, but it’s South East Asia that’s really famous for producing this art form, especially Malaysia and Indonesia.

See?!  Yum:

interior design batik4Often confused with ikat, the name batik describes the method of applying wax to fabric and then dying it, so it can come in literally any design and colour your heart desires, as opposed to ikat which sticks within an admittedly-getting-wider-by-the-day band of patterns.

Think my faves are the blueys but the bright fun colours are divine also.

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Gorgeous:

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Even more gorgeous!

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I wish the armchairs here were a batik in a more neutral colour – other than that I am loving this space bigtime:

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Delectable pastels!

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And how awesome is this headboard?!  Not sure about the brown shade but if it were a blue or a purple…yummy:

interior design batik11Cushions are a great way to add some fun without committing to upholstery:

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And this Balinese daybed on the LHS here just takes my breath away:

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I brought a few pieces back with me the last time we headed to Bali but think I need to start some serious cushion manufacturing here in Singapore – hmm I wonder when I can get back there…

Mekong Magic

Apols for the cop out post today folks, we’re heading down the Mekong Delta early this morning to go check out the floating markets and life on the river, and have run out of time to post yikes.  I hope you’ll forgive me though when you see how cool it looks! 

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Have a fab weekend loves, see you next week!