Travel Diary: Udaipur India

Travel Diary: Udaipur India

We ended our summer travel in Udaipur, India. Udaipur known as the city of lakes or also as the “Venice of the east” is a beautiful city surrounded by lakes where the easiest and fastest way to get anywhere is by boats!

Udaipur has a different charm than the other cities we visited in India, the energy feels different and it’s truly captivating. It’s temples, rivers, palaces, lavish royal residences, history, art, colors and people makes it so special and incredible. It’s like a fairytale!! Continue reading “Travel Diary: Udaipur India”

Travel Diary: Agra, India

Travel Diary: Agra, India

During my trip to India, after visiting New Delhi we arrived to Agra which is the home for the world famous Taj Mahal!!!

I always dreamed of traveling to India to experience the Taj Mahal in person. In pictures the Taj Mahal was so beautiful but just seeing the Taj Mahal right in front of your eyes is the most majestic and magical place I ever seen. Seriously, pictures don’t make justice to the Taj Mahal’s beauty!!

The Taj Mahal is known as a symbol of eternal love and it took more than 16 years to complete it. A trip just to see the Taj Mahal is priceless.

As the Taj Mahal is located in Agra you have the option of going there by train which takes about 4 hours (many places didn’t recommend this option) or you can hire a car to take you there which takes about 2.5 hours. We decided to hire a driver to take us to Agra and stay only for a night. Of course we choose to stay at the luxury Oberoi Amarvillas which is the only hotel with uninterrupted views of The Taj Mahal in every room!!!

Where to Stay:

What can I say??? The Oberoi Amarvillas is a hotel to die for!!! The Oberoi Amarvillas is not only breathtakingly beautiful and luxurious also the staff is really friendly and customer service is sooo perfect!!!

Our room at the Oberoi Amarvillas was tastefully decorated with a king comfy bed, a beautiful all marble bathroom with a bathtub and a separate rain shower. Our room was perfect but the most beautiful feature of our room was the balcony directly looking to the Taj Mahal!!! You can’t beat that view!!

Oberoi Amarvillas is located just 600 meters from the Taj Mahal and the hotels is a piece of art of it’s own! Entering to the hotel you feel so welcome and your eyes can’t believe the hotel’s beauty. At the Oberoi Amarvillas you are received with the traditional welcome… petal flowers from the sky, flower necklace and the third eye red dot sign for good luck! I love it!!!. The hotel lobby is so beautiful and as soon as you walk in you can see the Taj Mahal. Oberoi Amarvillas has an amazing pool! OMG! A spa, a boutique, one bar and 2 restaurants with one of the restaurants being western cuisine and the other Indian cuisine. The bad thing is that the restaurants don’t have a view to the Taj Mahal only the beautiful bar on the lobby.

Since Oberoi Amarvillas is conveniently located to the Taj Mahal, you can easily walk to the entrance or the hotel offers a ride in a golf cart as well as pick up. Oberoi Amarvillas has everything planned out with different services that they offer during your stay and seriously is the only hotel worthy of staying in Agra! Not only that Oberoi Amarvillas is the only luxury hotel in Agra but also because no other hotel has the view to the Taj Mahal in every room. I recommend 100% this hotel. Yessss the stay is really expensive but it is soooo worthy!!! Trust me and you would not be disappointed.

What to do in Agra:

Everywhere I researched they said that the only thing to do and see was visiting the Taj Mahal since Agra is a very dirty city with not much to see. Yes, everyone that said that was right! Agra is not a nice city and it is really dirty (only watched it from the car) but also our driver explained that it was somehow unsafe in the city since there’s a lot of pickpocketing in the area of course not inside hotels! But yes by looking at the city you could see that it was not the cleanest city in India. Β Anyway, the Taj Mahal is in Agra so visiting the Taj Mahal is a must!!!!

The Taj Mahal not only is a symbol for eternal love, it’s also the most famous real estate in the world!!!

I would recommend visiting the Taj Mahal early in the morning as soon as the door open. Doors open at sunrise and the Taj Mahal closes at sunset. We visited the Taj Mahal at 5:30 in the morning, the sun was rising and the guards open the gates to the complex. We were the first ones to enter that’s the reason why we were able to take pictures without many people around. Looking and experiencing the Taj Mahal was a dream come true. I always knew the Taj Mahal was beautiful, but I never imagine in a million years that it was going to be the most stunning and fascinating monument I ever seen, didn’t know it would replace the Eiffel Tower’s beauty.

While visiting Agra, you can also visit Agra Fort which is really busy with locals and tourists and I thought it was very similar to the one in New Delhi. We only stayed there for a few minutes. What I really enjoyed about Agra Fort was feeding a super cute squirrel!!

But yes there’s another must in Agra besides the Taj Mahal which nobody ever wrote about and is the most honest and compassionate place on earth and soooo worth visiting and I promise it will change your life…. is the Wildlife SOS Elephant and Bear Sanctuary.

Wildlife SOS Elephant Sanctuary was a 40 minutes drive from our hotel The Oberoi Amarvillas. Widlife SOS is an organization that rescues elephants and bears that have been abused and neglected in India and give them a better life and a family! The sanctuary has more that 40 elephants in Agra and around 200 bears. They also have another location in another city in India with other rescued elephants.

Visiting Wildlife SOS is so worthy and you will have the chance of learning about the elephants and being part of their daily routine. Wildlife SOS not only rescues this gentle giants, they also rehabilitate the families who used to own them and they are fighting to stop the use and abuse of animals for entertainment and for work. The elephants in the Sanctuary are so happy and I cannot tell enough how much I love this place, my eyes get watery just talking about this organization because they are true heroes and the elephants are survivors with a second chance in life.

If you really want to make a difference in the world and if you ever visit Agra make sure you visit Wildlife SOS Elephant Sanctuary (is really easy to emailed them and get an appointment). They are the most selfless and kindness organization I crossed paths with. They are just pure love and compassion for elephants, bears and any living animal in the planet.

Where to Eat in Agra, India:

Well the only restaurant experience we had in Agra was at our hotel The Oberoi Amarvillas. We had two breakfast, lunch and room service dinner there and the food was really good and amazing service.

Visiting the Taj Mahal was one of my highlights from our trip to India. The Taj Mahal is a very special place. Our stay at the Oberoi Amarvillas was perfect!! And our visit to Wildlife SOS Sanctuary was so magical. I know in the near future I will visit Agra and see the Taj Mahal again…

“There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who have seen the Taj Mahal and love it, and those who have not seen the Taj Mahal and love it too. I would like people to watch the Taj Mahal and fall in love with it” – Bill Clinton.

If you need any suggestions for your visit to Agra just comment or email me!!

 

Travel diary: New Delhi, India

Travel diary: New Delhi, India

How will I described India? Just chaotic, incredible, fascinating, magical, a riot of noise and color.

On May 2017 I finally arrived to New Delhi India! It wasn’t that the flight from Miami to New Delhi was of 23 hours ( Miami – Istanbul – New Delhi), it was the fact that I dreamed most of my life with being in India and experiencing the country, it’s culture, India’s history and to get to know their people, temples and of course yoga!

I been practicing Yoga for almost a decade and just knowing that I was traveling to India was a bliss and I was soo happy.

Before our trip to India (which took me a while to convince my hubby to come along) the only thing I would hear about India was just negative comments from people who never even been to India nor Asia! Everyone will just talk bad about how they know because a friend’s of their friend went to India and that it wasn’t safe, or there was a lot of poverty, or that people were dirty, people were not nice, everyone begged for money, who ever went to India just arrived and left the next day because it was unbearable and my ultimate favorite that everywhere in India smells really bad!! LOL

So all my India travel guides (yes… ALL since I will write for every city I visited while in India) will just show you that everyone was wrong! India is the most amazing, fascinating, eye opening, full of colors, culture, super friendly people, great food, really safe and above all it never not even once it smell bad nor disappointed me. India is just incredible!!

So, without further ado here is my New Delhi travel guide for everyone who is hesitating to visit India and does not know where to start and where to go!

Travel Diary: New Delhi, India

After almost 24 hours since departing home (Miami) and after 2 airplanes and a layover of 5 hours in Istanbul, we arrived to New Delhi! We arrived New Delhi around 4 am so the airport was really quite. At the airport, we presented our visas which we printed in Miami and we apply for the visas online just paying a small fee two weeks prior to our travel date.

After exiting the airport our driver from The Lodhi Hotel was waiting for us to take us to our hotel. It was around 6 am and New Delhi was waking up, some were running, going to work and many were saluting the sun (yoga practicing).

When we arrived to our five star luxury hotel The Lodhi we were welcomed by a hostess who was waiting for us as soon as we got off the car and took us immediately to our suite. Our suite was just sooo perfect and magnificent! It was tastefully decorated, minimalist design, with a beautiful living room and dining room, luxurious bathroom with bathtub and raining shower, our bedroom had a comfy king side bed, and the most amazing feature in our suite was the plunge pool overlooking the hotel’s gardens.

The Lodhi Hotel in New Delhi is the perfect oasis in Delhi. I couldn’t recommend it enough! Service is perfect, there are in to every detail of your stay, friendly staff, the amenities are five star, beautiful restaurants and delicious food. We were really happy we chose this hotel since there were so many options in the city but the 5 star Lodhi Hotel was definitely the right choice. And just a little fact about The Lodhi is that it used to be an Aman Hotel until recently but changed name and management but the building it still owned by the Aman Hotel group.

The location of our hotel was perfect since it was close by the famous Lodhi Gardens and 15min to 30 min distance in car to sightseeing and temples.

 

 

Tips for New Delhi:

  • Hire a driver to take you around the city and to all the sightseeings you are planing on your trip. The car will wait outside and you will be able to continue to your locations in a nice car with AC if you are traveling in the summer and you will not need to wait for taxis. You can hire a driver through your hotel or private. We hire the driver and car through the hotel for our entire stay and it was perfect, convenient, not expensive and safe!
  • Uber is also in New Delhi, we tried it only once but it was horrible! The car was old and without AC.
  • You can hire a private guide to come along with you and your driver and to take you to every place you want to visit. The advantage of having a private guide is that you learn history and details about the places you visit and you skip the lines!!
  • Always have cash with you since there are many places were only cash is accepted and it also easy to bargain (I’m really into negotiating since I do that for a living!)
  • Also have cash because sometimes you want to give to children selling in the streets. Actually they are so happy that sometimes all they want it’s to practice english with tourists.
  • If you travel in the summer/spring make sure you were SPF, light clothes and keep hydrated. I felt sick on our 3rd day in the Delhi because I was dehydrated and eating mostly raw vegetables.
  • Do not eat so many raw vegetables!
  • Eat at the hotel or other 5 star hotels or restaurants since street food is not recommended.
  • Only drink bottled water.

What to do: New Delhi

There are sooo much to see and experience in New Delhi that I will just write my top places to visit that will let you enjoy and live the full New Delhi Experience. We went around New Delhi the full stay with a tour guide so many things I thought there were not worth to see and others I think they are worthy, interested and eye openings experiences.

  • Visit Old Delhi, Chandi Chowk where the spice and fabric market is.
  • Go around Old Delhi in a rickshaw bicycle to experience the chaos, traffic, the noise and all the colors and smells of the market. It’s just chaotic but so much fun!
  • Walk around the Chandi Chowk market and buy fabrics, spices, saris and so many accessories!
  • Visit Qutub Minar and Qutub complex which is a Unesco world heritage site. The Qutub Minar was built in 1192. The complex is just incredible.
  • Visit the Red Fort which is the iconic 1600s imperial residence and museum. But be prepared to walk (a lot actually!).
  • Visit Humayum’s Tomb which is very similar to the Taj Mahal!
  • Take a picture at the famous India Gate and pass by the parliament.
  • Visit the Gurudwara Balgla Sahib sikh Temple where you can tour the temple and complex. Also you have to visit the diner and kitchen were they feed around 50,000 meals a day to anybody not matter the religion.
  • Visit the Lotus Temple just to take pictures and look at the architecture of the building which is amazing! And just a few minutes away by car is the lord’s Krishna temple call ISKCON Temple which is really worth seeing and experiencing.
  • Take an early morning or late afternoon walk or run to the Lodhi Gardens where there are the three domed mosque and tombs. It’s just beautiful and there’s so much history around.
  • You can’t missed to visit Gandhi Smiriti which used to be the former residence for Mahama Gandhi. You can pay respect, visit his meditation spot and tour his very modest home. Also, walk the steps and the place where he was shot and killed.
  • Tour the city for an hour in a Tuk Tuk. It’s super fun!!

 

Where to Eat in New Delhi:

I fully recommend to eat at hotels, especially 5 star hotels or well known restaurants in the city where they have many restaurants and you will not risk of getting sick with a stomach virus. But, do avoid eating to many raw vegetables like lettuce since one of the reasons I got sick was because of the heat, being dehydrated and probably eating a lot of salads. Even though I only have lunch and dinner at the best restaurants, the water where salads are washed is filtered but our stomach is used to a different with less contamination so just a tiny bit of bacteria which doesn’t harm locals can harm you and make you sick for a day.

So here is a list of the restaurants I recommend in New Delhi:

  • Lunch at the luxury and classic Imperial Hotel at 1911 restaurant Terrace. Its a beautiful classic indian and international cuisine restaurant with great food, tastefully decorated with turquoise marble pillars and you can sit close to the table where Mahatma Gandhi used to have tea every day.
  • Dinner at hip Japanese restaurant Megu at the luxury hotel The Leela Palace.
  • Lunch at the OTW at the Lodhi hotel , italian cuisine, western and indian cuisine.
  • Dinner at Le Cirque at the Leela Palace hotel.

Our magical trip to New Delhi India was just really special. India is chaotic, a riot of noise and vibrant colors, fascinating and incredible.

Yes, in New Delhi you will see a lot of poverty, but you will notice that everyone is happy. We ended up making a wrong turn in New Delhi because we wanted to visit a nearby temple close to the hotel and we ended up in the slums for a few minutes but all the kids will come by and just wanted to practice english with us, and everyone was politely Β saying hi.

Trust me, If you have an open mind and are open to receive India’s blessings, it will surprise you forever!!

More India travel diaries coming soon from my recent visit!

Love, Live Miami

Travel Diary: New York

Travel Diary: New York

Hey guys! This is my first travel diary on my blog! I’m really happy that I’m finally doing it!

I been traveling for a few years and been to more than 30 countries (Yes, i love traveling so much!) So, since every person I know(everyone from my friends, family and real estate clients) asks or suggests to blog about my travelings, I decided to give it a try and start with my most recent travel to New York.

Continue reading “Travel Diary: New York”

CMX Cinema – The VIP experience opened at Brickell City Centre

CMX Cinema – The VIP experience opened at Brickell City Centre

Miami, FL – CMX Cinema opened its door this week at Brickell City Centre. The new movie theater promises to be the VIP experience cinema and it sure is.Β 

I had the privilege of experience what the fuzz was all about.Β  Continue reading “CMX Cinema – The VIP experience opened at Brickell City Centre”

Frost Science Museum finally opening on May 8!

Frost Science Museum finally opening on May 8!

Miami, FL – Great news for Miami residents, families and science geeks, the new Frost Science Museum will finally open on May 8th 2017!

The science museum located at Museum Park will feature state-of-the-art planetarium featuring one of only 13 8k projectors in the world with a 3 level aquarium. As Frost Science Museum wants to say “it will be one of the most sophisticated science museums in the world around the globe.” Continue reading “Frost Science Museum finally opening on May 8!”