Monday, August 30, 2010

Haute Travels Heads to Beautiful Curacao

It’s time for some sun and relaxation… so I’m headed to Curacao this week. I’m super excited because I’ve never visited the island before and I love exploring new places. I’m also thrilled to call the new Hyatt Regency Curacao Golf Resort, Spa and Marina home for a week! The 27-acre resort, also known as the “centerpiece of the exclusive Santa Barbara Plantation,” sits on beautiful beachfront (private) property nestled between the Caribbean Sea and Spanish Water Bay.

The resort also features three new restaurants with menu items that are all about seafood and farm-to-table ingredients. But my favorite spot, besides the beach—the Atabei Spa. I’m a girl who loves to indulge with a great massage, pedi, facial or body scrub.

A full service salon, 24 hour Hyatt StayFit™ fitness center, three pools, four tennis courts and an 18-hole Pete Dye championship golf course also make this new resort HAUTE.

My week will also move to the beat of smooth jazz with music from John Legend and Lionel Richie as they perform during the Curacao North Sea Jazz Festival. So as I pack away, I can’t help but smile thinking about my week ahead. I can’t wait to bask in the glow of the Caribbean sun and get swept away by the cool ocean breezes.

Curacao is an integral part of the ABC islands located just 35 miles from Aruba and Venezuela!

For more info about the Hyatt visit http://www.curacao.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels/index.jsp

For more info about the Curacao North Sea Jazz Festival visit http://www.curacaonorthseajazz.com/en/

What's your favorite Caribbean Island?

What's HAUTE in my travel bag?

Something new to add to my travel bag to boost moisture in my skin and provide UVA/UVB protection!

AMBI® Essentials Daily Moisturizer with SPF 15
This daily moisturizer helps protect your face from damaging sun rays, while replenishing moisture to dehydrated skin. It also helps to minimize the appearance of uneven skin tone and dark spots.

Price: $4.50 / 2 oz. tube

Are you using a moisturizer with sun protection?

Disclosure: I received a sample of Ambi to test.

Haute Stuff! Laura Mercier Asks “What is Flawless?”

Laura Mercier Cosmetics believes one answer to what is flawless is being charitable and giving back. To that end, beginning September 1, 2010 to December 1, 2010 every time a response is submitted on the LAURA MERCIER website, $1.00 will be donated to the Gulf Relief Foundation (gulfaid.org) to help restore the Gulf to its previously flawless state.
“Women have lots of choices, it’s no longer about trade-offs, but trade-ons. So, when it comes to beauty, it’s less about rules, and more about giving women the tools they need to express themselves and create who they want to be in that moment.” Says Ellen Greewald, Chief Marketing Officer at Laura Mercier. “The Laura Mercier brand philosophy, and its Flawless Face product line, so clearly aligns with today’s modern woman, we thought, what better time to take the lead in cultivating a conversation around these new ideals?” says Sharon Collier, President and CEO of Laura Mercier Cosmetics.

To Submit, Visit: http://www.lauramercier.com/store/content/whatisflawless.jsp

What does flawless mean to you?

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Ritz Carlton Chicago Fit for a Haute Socialite!

When socialite-types travel to Chicago they often check-into one of my favorite haute spots—The Ritz Carlton. I had the pleasure of staying in one of the new re-designed suites fit for a girly girl… it came with a dressing room! And the skyline view of the windy city wasn’t bad either.

Recently, The Ritz Carlton Chicago, a Four Seasons property, unveiled a $25 million renovation. It’s been called the “largest restyling in the hotel’s 33-year history!” A haute new restaurant, dramatic lobby and luxurious suites with sweeping views of Chicago’s gold coast makes this the ideal location for travelistas in search of stylish escapes in Chicago.

The Presidential Suite is where I’d like to set up camp the next time the property managers invite me in for an overnight stay. The new re-imagined suite has a spiral staircase with floor-to-ceiling windows with breath-taking views of Lake Michigan. It also includes a kitchen, dining room, study and living room. There are also three full baths and two half baths. A baby grand, in-room business center along with airport transfers in a Rolls Royce Phantom adds to a luxurious state of mind. I also think the 24-hour personal assistant is another nice touch. But get this—guests also get to indulge in daily in-room 90 minute massages! I love the spa so I can only imagine daily massages… so HAUTE.

The Ritz Carlton Chicago sits atop Water Tower Place set along the famed Magnificent Mile. It’s ranked as one of the best hotels in the world by Travel + Leisure and named Best Hotel in the United States by the Readers of Conde Nast Traveler in 2008.

For more information visit www.fourseasons.com/chicagorc

Will you check in?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

My Haute Eat Pray Love Moment!

Have you ever thought about getting up from your desk, quitting your job and traveling the world? It’s something that many people think about, but few actually do it! Most people are not risk-takers. They prefer to dwell in an unhappy life rather than take a chance on something new. In the coming weeks, the new film Eat Pray Love based on the book by Elizabeth Gilbert will have women everywhere planning a career break.

In 2005, I did just that… after many years as a TV news producer, I thought about walking out and traveling to Paris to study photography. Well, a friend not only supported my dream, but he encouraged and financed part of it. He bought me a 35 mm camera to photograph life in Paris.

Unlike Gilbert, I wasn’t in a position to just get up from my cubicle and quit leaving a pay check behind. However, I did get smart about it. I found out that my company (a major cable TV network) would reimburse me for a photography class. So I jetted off to France for a vacation or mini career sabbatical that was long overdue. I spent part of my summer at Spèos, a photography school in Paris... the city of light!

Turns out, it was the single most important trip that I would ever take. I learned so much about myself while following my personal path to happiness. It was also the first lesson that I learned in controlling my fate. And there were plenty moments where self-indulgent activities, self-reflection and a love for life took center stage.

I used my camera to tell my story instead of a journal. I made friends and spent my days roaming around Paris working on my photography projects. I also spent much of my time enjoying the company of my new friends. It was très chic but in an unconventional kind of way. I still hang out with my friends in Paris, when I go back for a visit.

When I returned to my life in Chicago, things were different. The indifference about my career was gone and replaced with clarity. It was time to leave my TV life and seek out new opportunities that brought me to my highest happiness. A few months later, I was out of the world of TV news and investigating the world of travel writing. Since that time, I’ve been to three continents and I’m working on two more this year! I’ve written about luxury travel, spas, health, wellness and lifestyle topics in places like Europe, South America and Canada. And I don’t have any regrets! I even learned how to build an entirely new career by using my skills in other areas of strategic communication.

I’ve spent the last few years (in between projects in public relations) traveling the globe like a socialite without a trust fund! You may not be a travel writer but that should not stop you from discovering something about your life. You may seek balance and understanding while asking, “What should I do with my life?” During those moments where there are no walls up and you’re completely unguarded… you’ll find yourself happier, healthier and FREE while uncovering the answer.

Here are 4 tips to help you follow your DREAMS:

-Plan

We can’t all just up and quit our jobs, but we can plan time off and set off on a destination that makes up happy or offers something new to learn about ourselves.

-Save
 
If you don’t have a trust fund or unlimited funds, you’ll need to plan your financial future because living away from home for a certain period of time can be costly. You may also have to cover your own expenses at home while you're away. Therefore, you should save as much as possible and find other ways to cut your budget. You should consider renting out your house or subletting your apartment to free up cash. You should also pay off your bills and sell any items that you don’t want and stash the extra in your travel fund account.

-Research your destination(s) and learn as much as you can about the culture

There’s so much information in the library and on the internet… there’s no excuse not to know what the people, place and culture of your home away from home offers. Be sure to talk to other people who have done what you’re trying to do. They’ll have plenty of advice and information that will help you along your journey. Be prepared and expect the unexpected.

-Make it happen… and Let Yourself Go!

Don’t use the “I don’t have time” as an excuse to talk yourself out of following your dream. Just do it and let yourself go in the process! Be open.

While you're away... be sure to stay in contact with your friends and loved ones at home. Enjoy your journey!

Are you ready for a career-break?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Laura Mercier Offers Haute New Compact!

Guess what girls... I got the ultra-sheer, blendable Bonne Mine Healthy Glow Crème Colour Palette from Laura Mercier today! I really like the way the color looks on my sun-kissed skin. When I told the folks at Laura Mercier that I wanted a palette that complemented the glow to my cheeks, eyes and T-zone area they suggested a universal compact inspired by Laura’s work with celebrity clients.
 
They were right… the colors in this compact “wake up” the skin and offers an “immediate healthy glow.” This palette really does help you achieve a natural look that softens the skin. It also comes with a built-in mirror and instructions.

It’s something Haute for my travel bag!

Price: $48, available August 2010 exclusively at Sephora

Would you buy this palette by Laura Mercier?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

HAUTE New Hotel Coming to Las Vegas!

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas opens its reservation line in anticipation of its grand opening. This stylish and luxurious sin city resort seeks to attract guests with its adventurous and welcoming spirit. The rooms are accented with modern touches, but it's the Japanese soaking tubs that make me want to check-in tonight! Guests can expect a night club, pool with cabanas and haute restaurants! But my favorite haute spot--the spa!

Sahra Spa and Hammam draws on the desert for its striking contrasts in offering strength and beauty as inspiration in providing a path to total well-being. It offers 18 massage rooms, four body treatment rooms with steam showers, four facial rooms and a Penthouse spa suite! Just think a great place to find rejuvenation is right along the Vegas strip!

If you want to try something different check it out the next time you’re in Las Vegas. The resort is set to open December 15, 2010 with a grand opening gala on New Year’s Eve.

To learn more visit http://www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com/

Will you check into The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Haute Love Affair with David Yurman Jewelry

My love affair with David Yurman Jewelry began 14 years ago. I got my first piece as a gift and something inside me was unleashed. I remember it fondly. It was the signature X ring… a symbol of love that was about to begin.

I love the fact that Yurman, a sculptor, was inspired by his wife Sybil, a painter, to create a jewelry line that consisted of twisted metals married to brilliant gemstones and diamond tips. It all started when she asked him to turn one of his angel sculptures into a belt. Before his line was created, Yurman briefly worked for Cartier. But it wasn’t until Tiffany’s turned him down to create a line under its label that his passion took on a life of its own giving birth to jewels worn by celebrities and non celebs alike.

As a creative type, I love David Yurman jewelry because it’s wearable art. I appreciate artists who go beyond boundaries and create something totally different, but yet still maintain their point of view. Expressionism is as much a part of a Yurman necklace, bracelet or ring as it is a part of his sculptures. There’s something about it that makes me curious about his creative process. His perspective is distinct, but yet familiar. When I wear my David Yurman pieces, I feel happy, inspired and free. I can wear my lemon citrine necklace with diamonds with a dress or jeans. I even wear it with a Juicy warm up! I suppose that’s what Yurman meant when he referred to it as “a relaxed form of luxury” in a 2004 Time Magazine article.

Many years later, after receiving the X ring, I’ve become a serious collector. And I’ve managed to acquire select pieces that speak to me. I’m partial to blue hues and warm earth tones… and when I wear my David Yurman jewelry, I feel as if each piece was created just for me.

A few years ago, I met Yurman, during a luncheon at Neiman Marcus in Chicago. He’s as authentic as his jewelry. I could tell just by the way that he talked about his creations that he was an artist who really thought about the design and direction of each piece.

During my one on one, he suggested items that would compliment my collection. But he also, took a moment to share his delight in my appreciation and investment in his art. He even drew a smiley face on my little jewelry bag that I kept to this day. What is there not to love about David Yurman? And, so my love affair continues.

What's your favorite jewelry line?
Reference: Time Magazine Winter 2004

Friday, August 6, 2010

Michelle Obama's Haute Top!

Haute Travels is all about the fashion and beauty of travel. So it should come as no surprise that when I saw First Lady Michelle Obama’s one shoulder Jean Paul Gaultier top and basic black slacks, while vacationing in Marbella, Spain, I thought—that’s haute!  I can’t say that I’m a fan of every outfit worn by the first lady, but this one made me want to go out and find that top! A luxury trip, including accommodations at one of the world’s best hotels, highlighting effortless style is what Haute Travels’ girls the world over live for during their shameless indulgences.

Further, her arm full of ethnic style jewelry makes me think about the upcoming pink bracelets soon available to Haute Travels members. Très Chic!

What do you think of the one-shoulder top worn by Michelle Obama?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Rediscovering Haute Jamaica

I love Jamaica because of its beautiful white sand beaches, warm Caribbean Sea and friendly people. It’s a place where time stands still allowing peace and tranquility to move you effortlessly from day to night. For me, this island is a place of refuge where I can relax without interference from the outside world. Although, I’ve been to this tropical paradise several times, my most recent trip was the first that allowed me to venture outside of the fabulous new Secrets Resorts in Montego Bay to discover the real Jamaica. It’s a shame to come to Jamaica and not experience the seven-mile stretch of beach and cliff tops in Negril or the spectacular river falls in Ocho Rios… with the Jamaican Blue Mountains in the distance. As they say in Jamaica… once you go, you know!

5 Haute Things to do in Jamaica:

-Enjoy a picnic lunch complete with spicy jerk chicken, pork and veggies at Scotchie’s at Drax Hall in Ocho Rios—delicious!

-Check out The Rose Hall Great House in Montego Bay… if you like haunted mansions or plantations where 2,000 slaves once worked, this is the place for you!

-Visit the 600 foot Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios and climbed the stairs or the falls!

-Take a Catamaran Cruise in Negril (the capital of casual) to see the cliff Divers at Rick’s Café. It’s awesome!

-Try a Jamaican beef patty from Juici… I loved it!

To learn more about Jamaica visit www.visitjamaica.com

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

5 Haute Tips to Becoming a Travel Writer

My tip for those who want to write about travel—just do it! You don’t have to be the best writer but you should be passionate about travel. Find your voice and write about things that you know and like. Be authentic!

When I started travel writing, I didn’t have clips or assignments but I had passion and curiosity. Even though I was a journalist, my expertise was producing broadcast news stories. However, I knew how to tell a story no matter the format.

But the best thing that I had going for me—a strong support system… not only did my family and friends encourage my interests, but they invested in them. They saw something in me that I had not seen in myself and because they said that I could do it—I did!

Four years later, I’ve traveled all over the world capturing stories about fabulous spas, exotic destinations, and haute hotels. My stories have appeared in both local and national magazines. And I’ve even given travel tips to the local NBC affiliate, plus I started a haute travel blog thanks to social media!

If there’s a travel writer in you… here are my 5 Haute Tips to getting started:

-Get a passport

-Learn to write, find your voice and tell your story

-Talk about what you know… turn your travel experiences into headlines

-Learn how to pitch effectively for your targeted outlet

-Take pictures that tell your story

You should also study what other travel writers are doing and read their stories. Learn to pitch effectively and do your homework. If you’re serious, you’ll become a travel writer in no time so fasten your seatbelts!

Is there a travel writer in you?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Haute Beauty Tips: Defying the Aging Process

No matter where I go… people don’t believe that I’m over 40. I know… I don’t look it. But really, what does 40 look like these days? I was just in Mexico for a full body detox and the spa director at Ceiba del Mar nearly fell over when I told her that I was older than she thought! 

While so many forty-somethings are looking to Botox and plastic surgery for the answer to staying young. I’ve discovered my own fountain of youth. My secret to defying the aging process goes beyond travel and sampling beauty treatments and rituals around the world. It’s all about a positive attitude coupled with a lifestyle that’s full of cheerleaders who challenge me to dream bigger!

Sure, my body is changing and I may be a little closer to menopause. But I don’t fight it! I love being in my forties… I’ve never felt better. In fact, I honestly feel that I’m better than ever just like my mom. Although, I don’t drink alcohol or coffee, I do drink tea often for its antioxidant properties.

During my full body evaluation, I learned that I’m really ahead of the game and it shows. What’s elusive to many people comes natural to me. And I’m sure some of it has to do with having great genes!

Here are my 10 haute tips to a more beautiful you no matter your age:

1. Follow your passion and surround yourself with people who inspire, motivate and encourage you to grow beyond where you are today.

2. Don’t sweat the small stuff and remember in the big scheme of things… it’s all small stuff! Remember the serenity prayer.

3. Take care of your body… drink plenty of water and get enough sleep so that your body can recharge at rest.

4. Know your limits… do what works for you and let go of stress. When someone takes you on an emotional rollercoaster… remember it’s your choice to ride.

5. Indulge in wellness practices… a great massage will do wonders! Yoga is Haute!

6. Stay positive even when things are not going well… the tide always shifts!

7. Keep your beauty routine simple… be sure to wash your face twice a day to keep your pores free of impurities. And don’t forget to replenish the moisture in your skin.

8. Use sunscreen… I wear a tinted moisturizer with sunscreen daily. And look no wrinkles!

9. Use organic products like shampoos and conditioners to maintain healthier hair. You will literally see and feel the difference.

10. Fill your life with experiences that bring you to your highest happiness and not things that fail to bring you joy!

What goes on inside your body always shows on the outside. Be fearless and life will treat you well.

What's your anti-aging beauty secret?

Why I Travel to the World's Haute Spots

Why I do it? Travel writing takes me beyond my comfort zone and into parts of the world that many people only dream about. I hear it all the time—I wish that I were in your shoes… traveling to exotic destinations, staying in 5-star hotels and resorts and dining at some of the best restaurants in Paris, Acapulco, Vancouver or wherever my travels take me. An added plus, I write about spas and luxury travel so I also experience decadent spa treatments as part of my story research giving birth to the “glamorous life.” But for me, there’s nothing glamorous about it.

I’m a story teller and I love to write. Travel is just one subject that I write about. I’m also a speech writer and communications strategist. But for me, travel is a lifestyle. It’s part of who I am. I’m very clear about what I want my life to look and feel like… so I set it up to include traveling to the world’s most beautiful places (even if the destination is ugly to others) and meeting people who add perspective and provoke thought about the world that we all live in.

My travels have helped me appreciate life in its many forms… like the solo trips that I take to the Bahamas or other parts of the Caribbean where I spend my days capturing life with my camera. No matter where I am, I always find something unique or different about that place and its people that I take home with me. I remember one summer in Paris when I took a photography class with people from all parts of the world.

On a recent trip to England, I learned a little bit about the people of Manchester and their support of President Lincoln’s efforts to abolish slavery. Who knew that in a far away land, there were people who (also had a vested interest in the cotton industry) felt that slavery was wrong and spoke out against it no matter the cost? The moment that I heard that… I felt a connection to the people of Manchester, particularly since I’m a southern girl.

As a little girl, travel for me was that quarterly road trip to grandma’s house in the country. But it shaped my curiosity about the world beyond my front door. Today, travel is a way of life… giving birth to inspiration, creativity, and passion! I just wish that every little boy or girl that I pass by on the way to grandma’s house gets to experience a life without limits and appreciation for other cultures. 

As I unpack my bags and plan for my next trip, I’ve created yet another memory of a place beyond my hometown. But more importantly, I’ve gotten to experience something that holds great value… and can’t be bought at Neiman’s.

What are you passionate about?

TRAVEL THE WORLD FOR FREE: Become a Travel Writer!

The Creator of Haute Travels Blog and veteran travel writer, Marian Anderson offers individuals who are passionate about travel a 6-hour coaching session. The program is designed to shape an individual’s writing platform and position him or her as an attractive candidate for press or blogger trips hosted by tourism boards, airlines, and luxury hotels and resorts around the world!

One Hour Consultation: Determine your intentions and discuss your challenges while finding solutions… Is there a travel writer in YOU?

FOUR LIVE 60-MINUTE INDIVIDUAL OR CONFERENCE CALLS!

Topics:

-Discover the exclusive world of luxury living, exciting adventures and fabulous meals in haute spots around the world on expense-paid trips!

-Identify your writing niche/travel writing 101

-Marketing/Personal Branding 101/Social Media Influence

-Target publications, PR firms and individual brands

-Build Relationships with people who support your passion or who can help you meet your goals

-How to make a living travel writing

Final One Hour Call: Overview of your brand potential… Are you ready? Get started now!

If you love to travel and tell your story—this is the way to go!

Contact: Marian Anderson @ HauteTravels@gmail.com to sign up for limited spaces beginning August 15th!

Prices: Per hour based on a 6 hour session

“I love to motivate, inspire and teach people how to follow their travel writing dreams!” Marian Anderson

Would you like to travel the world for FREE?