Category Travel

Unpacking Denver with Nigel Barker

When I was just a teen living in Manila, my brother and I loved watching the show America’s Next Top Model.  It was a big hit in the Philippines at the time, which was surprising considering how far it was from the US.  We would catch it on TV every Friday afternoon, and my brother and I would cheer for our own favorite contestants. It was from that show that I first heard about Nigel Barker, one of the permanent judges on the show alongside Jay Alexander and Tyra Banks.

Fast forward 10 or more years later, my husband tells me one evening that there’s an auction through Marriott Hotel’s reward programs, for a chance to get a private tour led by Nigel Barker himself. Before I could even decide if I wanted to go to Denver, my husband starts bidding on the auction, and two days later we found out we were the winners.

Unfortunately, my hubby couldn’t make it.  But luckily one of my friends was down to join me for the trip.  I had a great time “unpacking” Denver, plus the chance to meet and learn a few things from Nigel Barker was priceless. 

Exploring Montreal & Quebec

I finally got a glimpse of some really nice cities in Canada, during my recent visit.  Although I only saw Montreal & Quebec during my trip, both cities were among the most recommended to me by locals, along with Toronto.  Canada has such an interesting history and landscape, the rest of the country deserves another visit, especially the rockies and the countryside.

Autumn in Annecy

Friends have told me that this alpine region in the mountains of France was a lovely place to visit, and I have been very fortunate to have the chance to see it for myself.  Though unplanned, my visit brought me here at the best time of the year – autumn.  As the leaves turned golden and red, the whole town held onto what was left of the solstice, before the colder winds crawled in.  It was lovely! 

Off the Beaten Path: Vietnam

Naturally beautiful, exotic, and utterly captivating… Vietnam is one of those countries where you can expect to receive true Southeast Asian hospitality.  A humble country that’s been torn several times in different wars and now a communist nation, its people are naturally kind, with a happy semblance that bears no grudge or regret, only contentment and peace. On my journey I had traveled between Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, and Mai Chau… and what I saw made me fall in love with the country’s rural beauty.

Cotton House Barcelona

Fashion comes and goes, but style is eternal… This statement couldn’t be more visible when we stayed at the Cotton House Autograph Collection hotel in Barcelona.  Everything about it spoke of old-world wealth and beauty.  We loved that it was so central in the city, but at the same time you could find peace within its walls whenever you need a break from the outside world.  We loved every single detail the hotel team had put their attention to, down to the cotton blooms you’ll find in your room and even bathrooms.

Before it was a hotel, it used to house the Cotton Textile Foundation, until it started an intense refurbishment in 2015 that leads to the beauty that it is today.  It’s surprising and inspiring how the interior designers were able to keep and retain so many original elements from the 19th century neoclassical building.  If you want to know more about the history of the Cotton House Hotel, click here