Hello from me, but a more tanned version than usual (only slightly, I never tan). I have just got back from the most incredible week away in the Dominican Republic with Lindsey. We went for an entire week, stayed in three completely stunning hotels and relaxed loads. It felt like a proper holiday and I am back home feeling so well rested, it's amazing. The only not so amazing thing about all of this is that my beloved film camera broke on our first day there. I was SO gutted about it. It's been a little workhorse for the past six months where I have used it relentlessly without any issue. Typically it had to break while I was away on a dream trip, but I did manage to get about seven photos on it before it gave up (and some really cool effects too on the last few frames as the camera died), and the rest I had to shoot on my phone. I wouldn't normally share phone photos on my blog so I hope you all don't mind, I have done what I can to make them a little more interesting, and it won't be something I make a habit of. I have a new film camera on the way so will be back with 35mm photos very soon, I am just sorry I couldn't capture this amazing trip on film!
If you want to see some holiday outfits then go check my Instagram, because this is going to be my one and only post from the trip. Partly due to the aforementioned camera issues, but also because we actually went for a little bit of a holiday and nothing too work focused.. and I also didn't want to be the mega annoying person bombarding you all with sandy beaches and blue skies in February.
So throughout our week we stayed at three different places. The first, Casa Bonita, was the most low key of the three. We were still completely blown away by the place. The pool was gorgeous with the most amazing views, the staff incredibly tentative and scenery around is was just beautiful. As it isn't peak season there we were lucky to be pretty much alone in every hotel, which is great if you like to get loud and a bit drunk by the pool and not be incredibly annoying. And that is just what we did every single day, sat, read and drank by the pool and had the most amazing massage at the spa that I've ever had.
From there we went to Casas Del XVI, right in the heart of Santo Dominico it's a completely different vibe. The hotel is set out in a series of different houses, each with a few rooms in each and a private pool - imagine a hotel spread out throughout a number of villas, all of which decorated in the most vibrant way. It's a complete departure from the minimal paired back style of many other luxury hotels I have stayed in, I loved it. We had our own butler (!!!!!) who was incredible and also took a mean Instagram photo so I am not sure what more we could ask for.
From there we took another drive to Amanera. Both of us were convinced nothing could top Casas Del XVI, without having considered that two places could be so different from one another they are almost incomparable. This was completely the case with Amanera. The views over the sea, 'casitas' (little villas you stay in, some have pools depending on how flush you're feeling) and then the main building where you eat/drink/swim. The architecture and interiors were incredible, concrete walls, rich wooden fixtures and some of the most amazing chairs I have ever laid eyes on. The villas themselves are gorgeous too, we didn't have our own pool but you still get a huge outside area to sunbathe in. They also offer a lot of excursions, one of which was horse riding which was SO much fun. It had make me want to start doing it back home but my bum is still hurting a few days on so I've since scrapped that idea.
All in all it was the trip of a lifetime. Huge thank you to Mr & Mrs Smith who helped us organise the trip and the hotels. The experience was incredible. We flew with TUI which I would NOT recommend to anyone because the customer service may as well have been in Latin it was that unclear, but even that couldn't put a dampener on paradise!