Sleepover: Tiny House

Earlier this year we went to the Veluwe to spend a weekend in a tiny house. The weather was everything we could ask for, the tiny house was cute and felt like home and the nature in this area of the Netherlands is surreal. We visited the Veluwe national park twice. The first time we drove around on the free bikes of the park (must do!). The second time around we drove through the park in our car. In the park you’ll find the Kröller-Müller museum and a lot of animals you don’t see everyday. The Dutch wildlife presents to you: wild boars, foxes, red deer and roe.

Back to our little cabin: the tiny house at droomparken de Zanding was our first tiny house experience. The kid loved his “little tree house room” and I found it very relaxing to be in a space where you are connected with each other all the time, where’s no room for clutter and you are in the middle of nature. Truly a short holiday. Of course I took a few photos, have a look.

Portraits of women

I adore women. And not only because I am a woman. I love their strength, their refinement, their big hearts, caring personalities and drive. They can rule the world while feeding babies. They are free, loving, thoughtful and brilliant creatures. And I love it when they ask me to take their photo.

Have a look at a few shots that I’ve never shared before.

Sleepover: La Maison D'été

I've mentioned La Maison D'été in my last blog post. It's the hotel where we first stayed arriving in Mauritius. For two nights we had the pleasure of wining, dining, relaxing and exploring this ultra relaxing spot on the north east coast. Here's my full review. 

Banyan trees
It takes about an hour to get to the hotel from the airport. The route takes you along the highway and several small roads where one thing was made clear instantly. This is a green, luscious island. The long flight had made me tired, but the huge palms, banana leaves and incredible banyan trees kept me awake. Wow, absolutely gorgeous flora!

First impressions
First impressions matter. And La Maison D'éte knows what's up. Arriving on the driveway, immediately we were taken care off. A lovely welcome drink, a small tour around the grounds, and the fresh fruit in the room. It's exactly what you need after a trip across the globe. The room was amazing. My favorite part? Our balcony overlooking the pool and the beach. I've spend hours there just relaxing, reading my book, listening to the waves and appreciating life. 

Playing games
The high season was coming to an end and we could notice that in the amount of guests. I would love to see the place with a few more people. Since it felt like we had the place to ourselves we enjoyed everything around the hotel. Sunbathing at the pool, spotting coral in the sea, biking around the small villages in the area and a lot of eating. There's no place in Mauritius where the food isn't good. And La Maison D'été is no exception. Especially the selection of fresh fish is in high demand. Eat the restaurant, the patio or on the beach. It's all possible. After dinner you can enjoy a few cocktails at the bar or in the lounge area while you play board games. One tip from my side? Let the bar be open for just a little while longer. 

Everything in the hotel is what you expect and want from a med-high stay. Spotless clean, fresh (beach) towels, beautiful beauty products in the bathroom, complimentary cooled water, privacy, security, super friendly and involved staff. It made our stay truly carefree and relaxing. There's not a whole lot to do in the direct area, so make sure to rent a car or book a driver. The concierge can help you with getting you a taxi, giving advice on where to go or hand you the hotel bikes. Make sure you bring water shoes since the beach and sand here is quite painful to walk on due to coral and rocks. 

I would def recommend this hotel to people who are searching for something for a boutique hotel that's personal, small with a very relaxing vibe. Thanks for having us La Maison D'été!

Travel journal: Mauritius

When I was backpacking in Asia 10 years ago I traveled around for some time with a British girl that had roots in Mauritius (Hi Vanesha!). I had never heard of the island or had a clue where on the globe this paradise island was located. Well... I can tell you that I've found it!

Bye bye Dodo
Mauritius is famous for different things. Their Dodo bird tragedy, the different cultural influences and of course the beautiful beaches. The island is the perfect honeymoon getaway. White beaches, lovely temperatures and unlimited coconut sipping. What more do you want? There are loads of options of hotels, villas and apartments where you can stay. From budget to the most luxurious A-list spots. 

Well deserved holiday
The bf and I spent 10 days on this paradise island. (No, we did not get engaged.) Luckily for us Mauritius Airways has a direct flight from Amsterdam (+/- 12 hours) since March so that's saves a ton of time on this already long commute. In all honestly, the airline is far off from Emirates quality, but they are really making an effort. Since it's only a two hour time difference you don't feel terribly awful once you arrive. The drive from the airport to the first hotel took a little over an hour - so far so good.  

Two hotels, two experiences
We stayed at La Maison d'été and LUX* Grande Gaube. Both wonderful hotels with each their unique vibe and feel. I will come up with a dedicated blog for both places, so stay tuned! Since the bf and I aren't the all-day-sun-tanning kind of people we rented a scooter and a car to explore the island. If you're planning to visit Mauritius I would most def recommend to do this! It's easy once you've downloaded the map of Mauritius in Google Maps. 

Food, food, food
Thanks to the huge diversity in cultures Mauritius has a broad range of flavors to choose from. Indian, Chinese, Portugese, Creole, French. You name it, they make it. It was such a fun experience going from place to place, eating our way and hitting the jackpot every time. Best food we had? Peruvian, can you imagine! 

That's it for now. Soon I'll update you with a lot more!

Sleepover: ecolodges & house stays in Iran

Every country has their own way of staying. Some are famous for their hotels, others for hidden riads and sometimes it's best you Airbnb your way through. Not in Iran. In Iran you either opt for couchsurfing or stay in ecolodges / house stays. At least, I've been told that's what the adventurous people do. So off we slept! In Iran I stayed in 5 places and 3 of those I would definitely recommend:

Nartitee Ecolodge (Taft, Yazd)
This place. Ohh this place. It's as you're staying with your new Iranian family. Nartitee can host give or take 20 people. Together you'll enjoy the lovely garden (and the tasty fruits from the trees), Tina's fabulous home cooked meals and laidback evenings with tea and cookies around the fire. Good to know: Nartitee is based in Taft which is only 20 minutes from Yazd. 

Varzaneh Traditional Guesthouse (Varzaneh)
The owner of Varzaneh Traditional Guesthouse makes it his job to make you happy. It was such a pleasant stay and I felt very welcome. We went on a desert and salt lake tour with others from the guesthouse and enjoyed dinners and lunches here. Crazy chilled out courtyard that's perfect for naps and some reading. 

Noghli Historical House (Kashan)
Kashan is famous for its historical houses. One of the prettier ones is Noghli House. Here you can enjoy the peace and quiet, drink coffees on the rooftop terrace and have homemade lunches or dinners. It's perfectly situated in the old town from where you can explore the rest of Kashan by foot. 

Where did you stay in Iran which is an absolute recommendation?