I mentioned last week that I would dedicate an entire post to the beautiful Vallarta Botanical Gardens because I have so many incredible pictures to share thanks to my dad! If you find yourself in Puerto Vallarta anytime soon, I highly recommend visiting the gardens! Please enjoy the photos below.
Hola! Como Estas? My fam and I headed to Puerto Vallarta last month and I wanted to share some of my favorite places. I’ve been going to PV for a few years now, but this was my first time going with a toddler so my activities changed a bit. There was still tequila, just not as much ; ) Below are some pics and my recommendations whether you’re traveling with kids or not. Enjoy.
For a beautiful (more touristy) beach side dinner head to La Palapa. Great food, good vibes and an unbeatable view!
For something super kid friendly and very lively (and not so touristy) check out PiPi’s. They have exceptional service, big portions of yummy food and live entertainment.
Cafe Des Artistes is romantic and beautiful, but not-so kid friendly.
Walk around the Art’s district and pop into some of the cool galleries.
The Vallarta Botanical Gardens was such a treat that I’m dedicating a separate post just for that. Check back again soon to see those pics!
Walk on the Malecon and see all the wild street performers. If you are traveling with kids, definitely rent one of those little remote control cars for a few minutes. Your kid will be in heaven!
For an unique, non touristy experience, check out Hotel Conchas Chinas. You can reserve a room from the hotel or rent from an owner. Many of the places (like the one pictured with a private pool) are listed on AirBnB.
*The bottom 4 pics were shot by my awesome dad, Mansur Kiadeh.
Sick of reading? Watch the video below instead!
The Lobster in Santa Monica is a Pescatarian’s dream. (Pescatarian is not a religion fyi!) I’ve been coming to this historic beach side staple for a few years now. In fact it was one of the first restaurants I went to with my now husband. I’ve always been a fan, but lately they’ve done some super sexy renovations and added some delicious new things to the menu. I enjoyed a massive lunch the other day… okay, maybe I went a little wild- but it was to die for. Excellent work Chef! Can we say location location location? Hello perfection. It’s on the beach overlooking the iconic Santa Monica Pier and stunning Pacific Ocean. This is a great place to bring out of town friends and family, it’s perfect for date night, or a beautiful lunch with girlfriends. Basically, just go there if you want a lux beach side experience, extremely fresh seafood and an incredibly friendly staff. (Hi Lobster Lynne!)
They also offer happy hour M-F from 4:30pm-6:30pm & Brunch on Sunday’s until 2:30pm
New Zealand King Salmon Sashimi, Avocado Horseradish Puree, Ponzu & Coleman Farms Radish Salad
Japanese Hamachi Sashimi, Jalapeño, Lime & Cilantro Salsa with Flowers
Peruvian Scallop, Yuzukosho Vinaigrette with Poblano Peppers, Sweet Onions, Tomato & Chili Oil
Oyster with Spicy Tomato-soy salsa
Schaner Farms Tahitian Squash Soup
Pumpkin Seeds, Vadouvan & Yogurt
American Lobster Salad
Avocado, Little Gem Lettuce, Schaner’s Citrus Vinaigrette & Crispy Leeks
Sauteed Blue King Prawns
Brandy, Garlic, Shallots, Italian Herbs & Shrimp Butter with Toasted Ciabatta
Seared Rare Yellowfin Tuna
Charred Leek Vinaigrette, Oven Dried Tomatoes, Taggiasca Olives & Garlic Chips with Horseradish Crushed Potatoes
Shortbread Crumbs & Torched Merengue
Warm Chocolate Pudding
Caramel Corn & Vanilla Ice Cream
Are you drooling yet!?!
Where to stay: I LOVED my experience at The Grand America. It’s a luxury hotel walking distance from downtown. They have a fantastic spa where I received a TWO HOUR massage. (#Heaven) There are multiple dining options in the hotel, including a lobby bar with live music on the weekends. (Yes, you can drink booze in Salt Lake!) They also have a toy store, pool, gym and even a French Patisserie.
Where to eat/drink: I had a few meals at the Grand America but I also wanted to explore the city. The Copper Onion came highly recommended for brunch. My girls and I had a great time there. We also LOVED the speakeasy inside Bodega. (aka The Rest) That was by far my favorite place. Definitely check it out if you find yourself in Salt Lake. Tons of people told me to eat at Red Iguana and sadly I didn’t get a chance to. Next time!
What to do: Other than the staring at the stunning mountains, one of the main attractions is the Mormon Temple/Temple Square. The building itself is beautiful from the outside. Because it is considered a sacred church you must be a member to go inside. City Creek Mall is a few blocks away and requires no membership! It’s a nice indoor/outdoor shopping center with great retailers and restaurants.
Watch my Salt Lake City video below!
My love for the Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts continues to grow. The hotel chain is known around the world for being super lux and having exceptional service. But, what you may not know about the Four Seasons is how kid friendly they are. Idris has now stayed at three FS properties (Santa Barbara, Paris and Westlake Village). I’m constantly blown away by their attention to detail for their youngest guests. This holiday season my fam and I were invited to experience the Let It Snow event at the FS Westlake. In typical Four Seasons fashion it was glam, family friendly and so fun. Idris had the opportunity to dance under the “snow” with Minions, eat popcorn, hang with Santa, ride a train and decorate cookies with Mrs. Claus. Michael and I enjoyed wine while all this was happening, so it was a win win! We also experienced the Italian dinner at Mercato and the character breakfast the following morning. So fun! (Idris went CRAZY with excitement when he met the Minions!) You can see the full list of Let It Snow activities by clicking here.
This year give your favorite people a Four Seasons Giftcard so they can pamper themselves in the spa, enjoy fancy cocktails, dinner or a lux night out at any FS location around the world.
Hey LA fams! Looking for something fun and festive to do with your kiddos this Holiday Season!?! Me too. I typically head up to the Bay Area to ring in the holidays, but this year we’re shaking it up and I’m staying right here in La La Land. I’ve been researching the best activities to get into the spirit and I think I’ve found the perfect one. Four Seasons Westlake is celebrating like nowhere else. They have an incredible Winter Wonderland package that includes a variety of fabulous adventures for you and your little ones. We’ll be heading to the property in December to see first hand how fun it can be to celebrate the holidays in LA. I know my son is going to freak out with happiness when he meets all the elves and plays in the fake snow. Ready for some good news!?! Four Seasons Westlake is currently doing an Instagram contest where you can have the chance to win a giftcard to use on their property! Click here to see the details on how to enter.
*Photo Credit: @LittleMissMomma (Ashley Stock)
Three words: Oyster Happy Hour. Need I say more? Okay, I’ll say a little bit more. A few weeks ago I went on a date night with the hubs to Herringbone in Santa Monica. It had such a cool, modern, coastal vibe with a fabulous- very Sharzad friendly- menu. Having only been open a few weeks it was already PACKED. Clearly they’re filling a major void in Santa Monica! I was lucky enough to meet Chef Brian Malarkey who spoiled Michael and I rotten with various fish dishes like the one pictured below! I think my favorite would have to be the Whole Roasted Lobster with Shimeji Mushrooms, Baby Artichokes, Sweet Corn and Tarragon Cognac Cream Sauce. It as like nothing I’ve ever had. SO GOOD. They also have a full raw bar, live music and outdoor patios with a sexy- but laid back- chic Santa Monica vibe. We were treated like royalty by the super friendly and helpful staff and I noticed everyone around us seemed to be having a killer time too. This place is perfect for a date night, dinner with friends, birthday celebrations, and obviously the oyster happy hour ($1 each!!!!)- which I will become a regular at. It’s M-F from 4:30pm-6:30pm. See ya there!
*Professional photos courtesy of Marie Buck
A few months ago I was cruising up PCH when I saw a big safari like truck parked on the side of the road with the words “Malibu Wine Safari” written on it. I got so excited and snapped a picture immediately. (Michael was driving). I looked it up when I got home and what I discovered was the perfect way to spend the day. I couldn’t wait to try it. Last Wednesday my wine tasting dreams came true. I treated my hubby to a super fun birthday extravaganza at the Malibu Wine Safari and we loved it! There are a few different experiences you can choose from. I went with the Vintner Tour which included meeting and feeding several animals (a 3 week old zebra to name a few) exploring the 1,000 acre property, checking out cave paintings from the Chumash Indians and a delicious fruit and cheese platter overlooking the beautiful canyons. Did I mention they serve wine throughout the whole experience!?! SO FUN. From start to finish it was about 2.5 hours and the cost for our specific tour was $115 per person. There are several other options available at different price points. This is the perfect adventure for couples, groups of friends or families. You can even bring your kiddos if they’re 48 inches or taller. Animals and wine!?! YES PLEASE!
Memorable moments in Paris you ask? Oh ya know wine everyday all day, dinner at La Jules Verne on top of the Eiffle Tour, visiting my friends show room to get one of the sickest leather jacket ever, dinner on a River Cruise, a WEDDING AT the FOUR SEASONS PARIS, followed by an intimate dinner celebration at the Bacarat Museum, oh and a private tour of the Louvre (do you hate me yet!?!) It’s okay if you do…. I’d hate me too! Everything about this trip was perfection. Traveling to Europe with my son and some of our great friends to experience their beautiful wedding ceremony was a surreal experience. Did I mention Michael officiated the wedding!?! How cool is that. I’d like to make one tiny suggestion if you do decide to travel with a small child-get a babysitter for a few nights so you can have some adult fun. We had a sitter 3 nights in a row which meant we could actually enjoy all our lux outings! All our Parisian adventures can be seen by clicking HERE.
Just want to say a quick thank you to the Four Seasons Paris for one of the most memorable hotel stays we have ever had. It is stunning hotel with fantastic service, exquisite floral arrangements that leave you speechless and first class amenities for not only my husband and I , but my SON. In the words of Arnie, We WILL BE BACK.
Versailles and Champagne photos and video coming soon.
Au Revoir Paree!