Tag Archives: travel

Pestana Convento do Carmo


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The Pestana Convento do Carmo, originally built in 1586 as a convent, has now been carefully restored into the first luxury hotel in Brazil. There is a peacefulness to the corridors, a safety behind the stone walls. The outdoor living spaces, with their mix of antiques and art, made you never want to leave this timeless atmosphere. Each of the rooms, or apartments as they call them, have the original window seats that look over the center courtyard of the property, a view of history, nature and modern comfort.

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Hotel Villa Bahia

EH9A9643 It comes as no surprise a city as magical as Salvador da Bahia would have a boutique hotel just as enchanting in the heart of the old city. Two colonial homes, one from the 17th century and the other from the 18th, have been carefully renovated into the 17 room experience of Hotel Villa Bahia with two garden courtyards, plunge pool, panoramic terrace and one of the best restaurants I have ever been to. Each room unique in decor, each detail as romantic as the last. If I were a novelist, it is here where I would stay to write as I felt nothing but inspiration between these walls….
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Salvador de Bahia

salvador_de_bahia_02 We arrived into the port town of Salvador de Bahia on Friday, the day of Oxala which means God of Creation. I didn’t know much about this place, only that it would have a deep river of African history underneath a colonial Portuguese settled landscape. Over the few days I was lucky enough to spend in this culturally rich destination, I discovered a new and very deep love for what they call the Capital da Alegria, or Capital of Happiness.

 As we rode in the car to the historic area our hotel lived in, our amazing guide Conor O’Sullivan tells us how an Irish man ended up in the most African American city in the world outside the motherland. He took a 10 month backpacking trip through South America, found himself on a beach in Bahia and that was it. When he moved here in the early 80s he had $600 in his pocket and a return ticket to London that never got used. That is a pretty great first impression. 

 I think a comment on my Instagram that best describes this destination is a tropical Portugal. We strolled for the entire afternoon climbing up and down narrow cobbled streets where rows of houses are brightly painted in a sorbet of colors. Grand Baroque churches on every other corner. Each block a new sound of music, music flows here like the subways at rush hour. Drums, guitars, African instruments, music for the soul not for the name. Men sitting outside on the petite sidewalks playing dominos. They feel free, they feel happy, they don’t feel the bland taste yet of globalization. Maybe I didn’t know about Salvador da Bahia before because it’s better as a secret, a play for life and love.

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Keeping cool on the streets of Bahia in a white cotton Tibi poplin top that loved to dance in the wind, J. Crew capris, and Of a Kind D’Orsay flats

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Rio de Janeiro

A tour of RIO de Janeiro by photographer Jamie Beck RIO… as colorful as the sunsets that are applauded each evening as the golden globe slips under the ocean’s horizon on Ipanema Beach. What a culture that celebrates life and living. From the bossa nova beat to the gorgeous beach bodies, everything in Rio de Janerio was bright, light, and fun.

We spent the afternoons laying on the beach, watching a world of men and women go by who are so comfortable in their skin no matter what the color, shape or size…I was inspired to love my body a little more and let go of all the details. The people of Rio just enjoy life and enjoy being. Men would walk by selling shrimp and lime, corn, watermelon slices, bikinis, and a variety of fresh fruit drinks. We walked along the beach, kicking back soccer balls  with the locals and drinking fresh coconut juice cut open for you moments before. One of the people we met in Rio de Janeiro said he walks to Ipanema Beach every evening to watch the sunset, an experience I would recommend over anything else; it was an urban paradise.

For me, the coolest thing about this city is Corcovado, Christ the Redeemer, visible from almost anywhere, standing tall watching over his people. It felt safe, the way you feel with your father, to be under his watch, your life witnessed. He watched us try Cipriani‘s on the rooftop of our hotel, explore the art museums, glide up the mount of Sugarloaf, dance at the Copa-Copacabana and play with pieces of Carnival. When we paid Jesus Cristos a visit, to see what he sees, we found a view that can only be described as heaven. White buildings rolling up and down lush forested hills until they run in to the beaches smiling out at the ocean. On the horizon islands dance endlessly between the seamless boundary of ocean and sky.

I felt like RIO gave me a gift, the gift of life.

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Staying cool in the heat & humidity in a MAIYET dress, Tibi mules and local beer

A tour of RIO de Janeiro by photographer Jamie Beck

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