Leading Hotels of the World

Every "Single" Need Covered at the Singular Santiago!

Since our trip to South America with LATAM airlines, one of the questions we’ve gotten most frequently is about where we stayed in Santiago, Chile. Planning a trip to South America can be overwhelming (there’s just too much to see!), but choosing where to stay in each location can be difficult as well. It’s always hard to tell just what you’re getting by a few photos online, and figuring out what area to stay in can be a gamble! Good news, though... we’re highly convinced we stayed at one of the best hotels in Santiago: The Singular

Here’s why:

It’s a Leading Hotels Of The World Property:


If you’ve been following us for awhile, you’ve probably seen us stay at other LHW properties (12 Apostles and Cape Grace in South Africa, The Tabacon Resort in Costa Rica, The Serena in Uganda, and the Terme di Saturnia in Italy, to name a few). It’s a brand that we’ve come to love and trust - as every LHW has left us completely in awe. From the award-winning customer service to the luxe rooms and grounds, if it’s a LHW property you know it’s going to be nothing short of incredible. The Singular was of no exception. From the stylish lobby to the spacious rooms and extensive breakfast buffet... it's an absolutely flawless property. 



Location, Location, Location:

The morning we arrived at The Singular Santiago, one of the first things we learned from their staff was that the Singular has the best location in the city. It wasn’t until we went exploring that we realized they weren’t exaggerating - it's in the perfect spot. Located in the Lastarria neighborhood (the perfect urban & artsy mix), it’s walking distance to some of the most scenic parks, most highly rated restaurants, and the best shopping in town. Even the street that the Singular is on was one of our favorites - it had the trendiest little popsicle shop across the street - what more could you want?!

A "Simple Luxury" You Can Appreciate

The Singular is luxurious, but not stuffy. You don't feel like you are in a St. Regis where everyone is dressed to the nines - a place where we often feel out of our element. The staff is warm and personable, greeting you by name and genuinely caring about how your stay is going. At the same time they are refined and professional - it's five star class without the snootiness. Yes please!

The food in itself is a luxury at the Singular (and maybe not so simple). They have Bar Merced, the Restaurant, and their Rooftop Bar (more on that below). Bar Merced has a super cozy lounge feel, and the wall is decorated with a fascinating collection of art. There you can enjoy craft cocktails and small bites, and you'll probably make friends with the bartender. At the Restaurant, chef Hernán Basso uses local products (specifically delicious seafood), and uses French techniques to create INSANE gastronomic dishes. Come hungry, and enjoy feeling pampered. 


Rooftop Bar Goals

We LOVE a good rooftop bar. The views, especially at sunset, along with a solid (aka strong) cocktail is a simple way to keep the Traveling Newlyweds happy. The Rooftop Bar at the Singular has sprawling views of the city and great cocktails... we were there every night. Next time we are there we will be sure to make use of the pool as well (it was closed in April) - with a cocktail in hand of course. 

From the moment we stepped into the charming lobby of The Singular Santiago, we were absolutely blown away. It felt like our cozy, little haven in the middle of a bustling, lively city. The three nights we stayed there flew by, so on our return we’ll definitely come for longer. (And we’ll definitely take advantage of their dreamy spa!) Whether you’re headed to Santiago on your honeymoon or on business, the Singular is THE place to stay. And be forewarned… you won’t want to leave! 


*If you are headed to Patagonia, the Singular’s sister property is there. It looks every bit as exquisite as The Singular Santiago… You better believe we’re already planning our trip!

Terme Di Saturnia - Maybe Our BEST 24 Hours in a Hotel

Last time we were in Italy we had the opportunity to stay with Terme Di Saturnia, a Leading Hotels of the World property. While we were only there for 1 night, it may have been one of our favorite hotel experiences ever. In Alli's words, "If I ever get very ill later in life, please bring me here to relax and recover." We are going to let the photos speak for themselves, but here is what you need to know: 

-Terme Di Saturnia sits surrounded by thermal springs that have been used for thousands of years, arguably the first spa and wellness retreat location!

-You are encouraged to wear a robe the whole time.

-The rooms are simple, have everything you need, including a super comfortable bed. 

-The restaurant at the hotel is AMAZING!

-If the natural springs aren't enough, they have a wonderful spa where you can receive a variety of pampering treatments :) 

Keeping it short... we will be back. 


Volcanos, Hot Springs, and Geckos... Oh my! – How Tabacón and La Fortuna Prove Costa Rica is Much More Than the Beach

It goes without saying that Costa Rica is a traveler’s dream. 


Beautiful coastline, lush rainforests, exciting weather (especially for us "Cali folk" - we experienced thunder storms like we've never seen before!), and the BEST overall vibe (Pura Vida baby!). 


We decided to take a risk and pass on some of the more popular tourist areas, and instead spend the majority of our trip at the base of the Arenal Volcano in La Fortuna. We chose to stay at Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa, having heard that there were life-changing hot springs on their property, and that it was part of the Leading Hotels of the World collection (one of our favorite hotel collections EVER!). Needless to say, we were really excited to explore Tabacon, and had high pretty high expectations for the property and surrounding area. And it definitely did not disappoint! 


We flew into Liberia Airport with Alaska Airlines, which was a dream (more to come on that experience). We rented a car, which we highly recommend, and made the slow, windy drive to La Fortuna. The drive is about 80 miles (totally doable!), but slow, and we definitely advise against driving in the dark. If you go in the summer (their rainy season), you’re likely to get hit with some weather and it may be a little rough. Plus, during the day the views are AMAZING, with lush green rainforest, lakes, and volcanoes to look at!


After the three-hour trek, we were so thankful for the lovely welcome at Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa. Within minutes of arriving, we were in our room with a welcome-drink in hand, being encouraged to put on our robes and head down to the hot springs for a late-night dip. Did we just check into HEAVEN?! We’re obsessed with robe-life, so obviously we took the advice. Outfitted in our robes, we had a quick dinner (there's something about eating dinner in a lush robe - can we say #vacationgoals?) at the lovely Ave del Paraíso before heading to the hot springs.

The hot springs at Tabacón are indescribable. They're everything we had hoped they'd be and SO much more.  We met a couple at dinner who described the springs as “A labyrinth of streams that you may not see all of”, which was a fantastic representation of what it was. Even at night, in the pitch black, we were totally in awe of the hot springs. 

One thing you may wonder is how hot they are? Between 77 and 122 degrees!!! But don’t worry, it honestly feels totally refreshing. Even though it was probably 80+ outside most of the time, the springs we spent the most time in (with temps around 95-100) felt SO good. Alli is never one to sit in jacuzzis very long, but she could sit in the springs for hours! 


Insider tip: A lot of people stay at other hotels and then spend the day at Tabacon Hot Springs, but we want to let you in on a little secret. First of all, the springs are included in your room rate if you stay at Tabacón (non-guest day pass is between $70-105). Second, if you’re a hotel guest, then you need to take advantage of the time that only hotel guests can use it (between 8-10am). We would go before breakfast in the morning and have the place completely to ourselves. Combine the cooler morning temperature with the normal rain showers, and the hot springs are straight up heavenly. Our mornings in the hot springs ended up being one of the highlights of our trip! 

The rooms are amazing and spacious! We enjoyed the honeymoon suite and had a view of the Arenal Volcano! Sort of… One downside to the rainy season is that your views may be blocked by clouds. So, while we knew Arenal was back there, we never actually saw it. Which is the PERFECT excuse for us to return!! ;)


When we weren’t in our room, we were either exploring the nearby town, frolicking in the springs, getting massages (Alli here - I had one of the best massages of my LIFE at Tabacón! Highly recommend!!), or indulging in the restaurants at Tabacón. The breakfasts here are phenomenal. Each day we did the breakfast buffet, which has everything you can imagine, and comes with LEGIT Costa Rican coffee (we even brought some home)!

Although it is hard to leave a resort like Tabacón, we love experiencing the culture of a new destination by visiting the nearby towns. We went into La Fortuna, about 15 minutes from Tabacón, nearly every day. We had great coffee, had some of the best meals of our trip, and enjoyed sitting outside and simply observing... Watching the storms roll in, the local vendors selling their goods, and seeing kids walking in their school uniforms while we just sip on coffee and ponder how different life looks in different parts of the world. 

A couple adventures we recommend outside of town included hiking to the La Fortuna waterfall, looking for wildlife at Ecocentro Danaus, and exploring the Arenal hanging bridges

All in all, we were totally impressed with this area of Costa Rica. Without a beach in sight, we were in awe of the natural beauty, the people, and the food. There is SO much to do there, three days barely scratched the surface. We will definitely be back to try and see Arenal and soak in the amazing hot springs of Tabacón! ... And get another massage. ;)

A Serena Sandwich: Starting and Ending our Ugandan Adventure in Style

When you make the trip to Uganda from the United States (or from the west in general), you should be aware that it will be a little rough at times. While roads, hotels, tourism, and quality of life has improved immensely over the past 10 years, there will still be times where you may feel very far from home (you are, so get over it). We absolutely recommend that you get the full experience… so visit a village, meet the amazing people, and get out of your comfort zone. Take a trip out to Murchison Falls and look for lions, elephants, hippos, and hyenas. At some point, though, you are going to want a comfortable bed, some air conditioning, and some really good food. Whether it’s at the beginning or end of your trip, we would highly recommend refreshing yourself at a Serena Hotel, East Africa’s leading hotel chain. We recently had the opportunity to start our trip at the Serena Kampala, and finish up at the Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort & Spa.


After long flights from Los Angeles to New York to Johannesburg to Kampala, the comfort of the Serena Kampala was most welcome. The hotel is part of the Leading Hotels of the World collection and is a 5-star, stylish gem in the heart of Kampala.


With all flying we had just completed, lets just begin with the bed. This cloud of a bed was so wonderful it made us forget the oh-so-common thought of “We miss our bed at home”. There is an ample supply of pillows to meet your particular needs, and there was a strong AC in our room which allowed us to indulge in the coziness of all the covers. Prior to dozing off, we pampered ourselves with some wine and room service (because why not?)

The next morning, we started with a delicious breakfast and then walked it off by exploring the beautiful hotel grounds. The architecture there is inspired by the lakes and rivers of Uganda, which is manifested in extensive water gardens around the hotel. Do yourself a favor and take a good chunk of time to relax in the gardens or by the pool… it is a rejuvenating experience.

If you go out and explore Kampala, make time to start your evening at the Mist Bar for an amazing cocktail. We recommend you continue the party at the Pearl of Africa, their fine-dining experience where you can sit outside and hear peaceful fountains, or sit in their central dining room and be serenaded by their resident pianist. The sounds, along with the scrumptious cuisine, ensures you will have a fantastic evening.


After this magical day at the Serena Kampala, we headed to Gulu where we spent time in villages and we even went on a safari. A week later we were in need of some rejuvenation. The Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort & Spa came to our rescue…

When you arrive at the Lake Victoria Serena, you really feel like you’re in a different world. While it’s only about 20 minutes from Kampala, you feel like you have been transported to a Mediterranean seaside village. The hotel is styled after an Italian palace, with beautiful pastel colored villas, a magnificent pool, and lush, terraced rose gardens.

The Lake Victoria Serena is a beautiful place to get married. Not only do you have the stunningly manicured hotel grounds, but the event areas and villas all have panoramic views of the marina and Lake Victoria. We have our fingers crossed that some of our Ugandan friends will get married here and we will have an opportunity to go back.


We only had about 15 hours at this hotel, and it was wonderful. We spent the late afternoon by the pool, and had some appetizers at the Lake View Pool Terrace. Our last meal in Uganda was at the Asian Fusion restaurant, and it was a good one. If we had more time here, we would have definitely spent an evening at Kigo, the cocktail bar, and Bobby would have most likely hit the links at their 9-hole championship golf course.

Sadly, we had a really early flight so we were not able to stay out too late. Consistent with the Serena Kampala, the bed was a dream. We were so thankful to get good rest the night before 30+ hours of travel. Thank you Lake Victoria Serena!

All in all, we highly recommend Uganda and the Serena brand. As we said in the beginning, embrace the culture and rough it a little. Spend 10 days in villages and on safari. Get dirty. It will make those last 2 blissful nights at a Serena property so special. Trust us :) 

Cape Grace - Start Your South African Adventure Here

Cape Grace is the definition of “WOW”.


If we were to describe the world-renowned Cape Grace hotel in one word, “wow” would definitely be it. It is part of the Leading Hotels of the World brand, and represents their prestigious hotel collection well. Located on the beautiful Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Grace has an ideal location to the waterfront’s shopping and restaurants. It is surrounded by water on three sides, and all rooms have mountain and/or harbor views.

Cape Grace was our hotel during our first night in Cape Town – and what a way to start the trip! Having drove from the airport into Cape Town, we were already on sensory overload. The sheer magnificence of surrounding mountains, crystal-clear ocean, and lush, green landscape is breathtaking in every way. (Bobby was on another level because he had just successfully navigated his first journey on the left side of the road!!) But when we arrived at Cape Grace, it took our awe and excitement to the next level. We arrived in the early afternoon and were greeted by Renato, a wonderful concierge who we got to know during our short stay.


Renato welcomed us into the lobby with some hot Rooibos tea. This was our first time trying this famed South African tea, and we were quickly obsessed! Since it was the beginning of winter in South Africa (mid-June), the Rooibos tea was a cozy, warm start to our stay at Cape Grace.


Our room was everything we hoped for (and more!) after hours and hours of travel. The rooms have great character and are spacious, luxurious, and pristinely decorated. We found out during a tour that every room at Cape Grace is unique, in order to give it the feel of a home instead of a hotel. Our room had a stunning view of Table Mountain, the surrounding marina, a fluffy, king-sized bed, oversized bathroom, and an array of delicious welcome treats. We were convinced we had just landed in heaven. ;)

After freshening up we went decided to explore the hotel. When walking down the hall or waiting for the elevator, you will start to notice the nautical character of this hotel. Everywhere you turn, you’ll find various artifacts and walls adorned with gorgeous, hand painted murals. Our favorite pieces were the extravagant chandeliers that were designed to look as if they had been pulled up out of a shipwreck. Each one is full of various “debris”, antiques like intricate silverware, teacups, brassware, and plates. We walked around every floor of Cape Grace, fascinated by each chandelier. It’s all of the little details that make a great hotel an amazing hotel!

When heading out to explore the Victoria & Alfred waterfront, we saw how the nautical theme of Cape Grace is consistent on the outside as well. From afar, Cape Grace actually looks like it is a ship docked in the harbor. And with Table Mountain in the background, it’s jaw-dropping!

One of the highlights of our night was the Bascule Whisky and Wine Bar, which boasts a menu of over FIVE HUNDRED whiskies from around the world. Bobby was in heaven!! He tried some “bucket list” rare scotches while Alli sipped on some South African Pinotage. The bar has a really fun, relaxed vibe with a crowd mixed with locals and hotel guests. We concluded the night with wine tasting at Cape Grace’s Signal Restaurant, and dining on the idyllic V&A waterfront. Every time we walked through the lobby of the hotel, we were so impressed by the staff that knew our names, and were genuinely interested in how our stay was going. It was perfect.

Since we had been on a plane for 30 hours the day before, we decided a couples’ massage would help us get acclimated to the new time zone. What a treat! The Spa at Cape Grace was EXACTLY what we needed. Even though it made us even more depressed that we were leaving so soon, our time at the spa was incredible.

Before departing, we realized that there were a few areas of Cape Town that we had missed. No problem! Cape Grace has a free chauffeur that will whip you around town in a luxurious BMW. Yes, please. We did a short tour around town, as well as a stop at Bo-Kaap, the most colorful streets we’d ever seen.

After the ride around town, we had to pack up and depart from this amazing place. While we were sad to leave, we knew that South Africa probably had some amazing hotels waiting for us. Stay tuned! To sum it all up… if you are heading to Cape Town and want an amazing home base on the water, spend some time at the beautiful Cape Grace Hotel!