Oh heeeeey! It has been a hot minute since I had the time, desire, and motivation to write something down. Usually, that just means I’m depressed and lethargic. Not this time! Nope! I have just been super busy getting adjusted back into teaching, life in Muscat, and living in +40 degree weather. That and a few other projects/plans that I am not revealing until they are done! But STAY TUNED!

If you were keeping up to date on Instagram you saw that I did an amazing road trip through Portugal. I stayed at two super cool properties that I wanted to share. None of this was sponsored but I felt like I was doing a disservice not showing you my new favorite travel style. Small. Micro. Teeny, tiny. I am obsessed with boutique hotels. Don’t get me wrong I still love my over the top, mass produced 44 floors tall skyscrapers…but there is something to be said about a hidden gem. Remember, bigger is NOT always better.

First Up!

L’AND Vineyards and Winery

What I loved: The contemporary minimalist style was oh so chic. Dining options included dinner at the Michelin Star restaurant Montemor-o-Novo and the 8 course meal was heavenly, totally worth the hefty price tag. The rooms were gorgeous and on the front patio, we had a fire pit to drink wine under the stars!

What was lacking: As much as I loved the food, committing to that meal every night was way too much on the stomach and wallet. The pool area was weirdly filled with kids. For such a chic small property, I was disappointed to see kids running around ruining the potentially serene environment. Also, the spa. MEH. We booked a Caudalie couples massage  ( not cheap) and I was so unimpressed by the therapist and whole experience.

Would I visit again? MAYBE. I think it would be a nice experience to do with another couple because besides the children’s pool and spa there isn’t much to do on site, except drink and eat! Not that I am complaining 😉

Santiago Cooking Hotel

Possibly my favorite part of the trip was staying at the Santiago Cooking Hotel. We totally stumbled upon it and had no plans to visit until 2 days before check in! After L’and we were struggling to find vacant hotels that were small, authentic, yet still luxurious. I DON’T ASK FOR MUCH. 😉 The concierge at L’AND recommended this place and I mean if someone is recommending a competitor saying it’s an amazing property (possibly even better than theirs) then you go!

The concept of Santiago Cooking Hotel is to focus on taking guests through a gastronomic experience. The hotel itself was also designed beautifully, with cool tiling, lots of natural lighting, and an intimate yet chill atmosphere. We did wine tastings, made traditional Gazpacho, and I even attended a cookie baking class with a bunch of 4 year olds! woo.

Eating and drinking Portuguese wines + almond gin, were the highlights of my Santiago experience, If you have the chance, you have to visit! Even just for a meal… totally worth the drive through the Alentejo region!

If you ever get the chance to do a road trip in Europe, you have to! It was so different from what I’m used to and besides being a half -assed map navigator.. I just sat back and enjoyed the ride.

** I wish I had more photos to share but the whole point of this trip was to NOT WORK. I didn’t try to arrange one collaboration, instead it was three weeks of relaxing and enjoying real company and not worrying about “content”. Not even sorry. xx

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