Blog

A Fairy Tale Trip through Switzerland and France

TOUCH DOWN in Zurich.

  • FLY Swiss Air. We were able to get non-stop flights for $550, which was a STEAL.
  • RENT A CAR for a week for only $200 through EuropCar! It is less expensive to rent a manual than Automatic, if you are looking to save some $$.  Also, it is much more expensive to pick up and drop off the car in different countries. Google Maps works just fine (a little kludgy at certain points).  I think renting a car was my favorite part of this trip, driving all through the country side left me speechless.
  • STAY at the magical, Baur u Lac. A stunning 5-star hotel that boasts the most amazing taste, service and food. Every day the driveway is lined with exotic cars, completely over the top, visiting the famous Michelin Star Restaurant.

IMG_0491

IMG_0489

IMG_0542

IMG_0490

We had an unbelievable time at this stunning hotel which is super luxurious, yet has a very comfortable and welcoming feel.  Zurich is very clean and full of high-end stores, restaurants, chocolate shops and cars. It’s lovely, but you really only need 1-2 nights here.

IMG_0509

 

Lucerne

  • STAY at the Park Weggis, potentially my favorite place I have ever stayed.  This hotel was such a serene, relaxing and peaceful location.  The hotel was perfectly designed and laid out with a great zen to the entire landscape. They had an unbelievable black bottom infinity pool that was set at 85 degrees so you could swim throughout the year!
  • TRAVEL everywhere by boat in this area, which is one of my favorite ways to see all the sights.

IMG_0556

IMG_0560

GetFileAttachment-1

IMG_0563

GetFileAttachment

IMG_0602

IMG_0612

Interlaken

I was most excited for this part of the trip to see the countryside. Seeing the mountains, fields and lakes all together was a dream of mine, and BOY did it deliver.

  • Driving to Interlaken, we made stops in Lauterbrunnen and a few other amazing little towns to see the sights!  Interlaken is beautiful, however it is the surrounding towns you really want to check out as they are nestled into the sides of the mountains.
  • Take the tram up to the top of Schilthorn where ‘007 was filmed, specifically, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service in 1969.  This is the best place to see the Swiss skyline views.

STAY at the amazing hotel, Victoria Jungfrau Hotel which had  views of people skydiving, paragliding, hang gliding, and more.  It is pretty remarkable to see.

IMG_0677

IMG_0680

IMG_0682

The hotel was GRAND and so wonderful. There was an amazing pool to relax in, as well as an outdoor, salt water hot tub that was big enough to fit 20+ people! Is there anything better than salt water pools/hot tub?

IMG_0713

IMG_0704

IMG_0726

 

This was the view from our balcony…IMG_0732

IMG_0754

IMG_0768

IMG_0777

IMG_0778

IMG_0796.jpg

Bern

The capital of Switzerland, Bern, is a beautiful city built around a crook in the Aare River making it so intricate and different.  The Aare is a place where a lot of people in the summer hang out and swim in this bright blue water.

  • STAY at the beautiful,  Bellevue Place, where the manager of the hotel greets you each morning and the president of Switzerland has drinks. It is a pretty magical place in the center of it all. The view from our room was amazing, and it had two balconies where we could sit and just watch people go by.

IMG_0897

IMG_0854

IMG_0863

Good Bye Switzerland and hello France!

Alsace, France

Queue the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack!

Bonjour!  I walked into these little towns and almost cried!  I cannot believe these magical towns exist.

  • Alsace, France is a wine region in northeastern France on the Rhine River. Alsace is made up of small towns within a wine region. The two towns we spent the most time in were Kaysersberg and Colmar.
  • Colmar is the birthplace of, Bartholdi, Creator of the Statue of Liberty!

STAY in the center of Kaysersberg at Hotel Restaurant Le Chambard. We had a huge suite to ourselves that was two floors! It was very warm for May (90 degrees farenheit), so the pool area was especially appreciated.

GetFileAttachment (1)

IMG_0929

IMG_0906

IMG_0916

IMG_0924

IMG_0888

IMG_1026

IMG_0925

Colmar

Colmar is rated one of the most beautiful towns in the world. Now, I understand why. With is beautiful canals, restaurants and bars all around its hard not to feel like you’re in a fairy tale.

STAY right on the canal at the charming hotel Le Marechal. We had breakfast looking out on the water as the boats passed – it was perfect for what we wanted.

IMG_0992

IMG_0978

GetFileAttachment-3

IMG_0984

GetFileAttachment-1 (1)

My favorite thing to do is just walk around.IMG_1073

IMG_1076

On our last day here, we decided to head to Le Centre Balneo where you can use the pools, saunas, restaurants etc because it was so hot out. WARNING you have to wear a speedo as a male to be let in. As my husband found out, they do provide them there. IMG_1118

Need help planning your own fairy tale? Let us help!

XO,

PS

Calling all Interns! Looking for a Blogger and Instagram Guru

Exciting things happening at Passport Stamps! There is so much going on, we are looking for an intern! We just posted our internship opportunity for the NYU Students and we couldn’t be MORE excited to see who will be up for the job.

Are you the next Passport Stamps Intern?

Screen Shot 2017-04-24 at 2.42.30 PM.png       Job Description: Blogger and Instagram Guru

  • Unpaid Internship- work from home
  • 10 hours a week
  • May 30- August 30
  • NYC

We are in need of an individual very interested in blogging and assisting our travel company. This may include blog write ups as well as photo and blog editing. If you are looking to be a blogger, journalist, writer etc. in the future this can be your way to work on your writing skills and be able to publish them on the blog!

Instagram Guru, someone who understands Instagram very well and how to promote a business within it.  Must be great with editing skills, advertising and have a great eye to understand what works and doesn’t.

Qualifications:

  • Excellent writing skills, major or minor in writing/journalism or want to become a blogger.
  • Outstanding Instagram Skills. Must know how to market themselves, the company and advertise to create awareness
  • Interest in travel
  • Passionate
  • Excellent communication skills on paper and verbally.

Think you fit the mold? Please send the following to Info@PassportStampsTravel.com

  1. Resume
  2. Sample of your writing
  3. Why “you” for the job?

Looking forward to meeting our next intern!!

XO,

PS

Girls Getaway to Santa Monica & Malibu

IMG_8264.jpg

Let me start by stating, I am utterly in love with Santa Monica and Malibu. My bestie lives the amazing life on the beach in Redondo Beach, and I am forever jealous. Since she’s there I take whatever excuse I can to get out there.  The food, vibes, views and sunshine make for the most incredible weekend.

IMG_8275.jpg

Where to Eat:

  • Nobu: We wanted to be “super trendy” so we went to Nobu Malibu and had the most amazing time! This restaurant has incredible food but has even better views. Check it out.

IMG_8262.jpg

 

  • Malibu Farm: This organic restaurant perched right on the beach is a perfect spot to enjoy great food and drinks.

img_8263

 

 

img_8271

img_8272

img_8278

img_8283

img_8284

img_8286

img_8287

 

Where to Stay:

  • Malibu Beach Inn: Is the best place to stay in Malibu. Their lobby entrance looks and feels like you are on a yacht. Sit up at the bar and enjoy the view and the bartenders who will tell you stories about their lives in different bands of the rich and famous.

 

  • Shutters on the Beach: Is the best place to stay in Santa Monica. I loved this hotel, it reminded me of New England with its fresh color scheme and ambiance. The service was impeccable and the rooms were beautiful.  We even got a great upgrade with an ocean view. They were thoughtful enough to drop us off at the amazing Bungalow Bar which is the hot spot in Santa Monica!

img_8265

img_8266

img_8267

img_8268

img_8269

img_8273

Need help planning a perfect girls getaway? Let us help!

 

XO,

PS

 

Cinque Terre

As the winter rolls around, more individuals are reaching out to plan trips to one of my favorite places, I T A L Y.

Screen Shot 2016-12-18 at 8.21.42 PM.png

Cinque Terre, which means 5 lands, is made up of 5 colorful towns, right on the Italian Riviera. It is built right into the cliffs edge. The Five towns being:

Screen Shot 2016-12-18 at 8.21.29 PM.png

  1. Riomaggiore: The Oldest town and the most untouched
  2. Manarola: Small, quaint and my personal favorite
  3. Corniglia: Tiny town in the cliffs and not accessible to the ocean
  4. Vernazza: The most popular town with lots to do
  5. Monterosso: The flattest town, with large beaches and more luxurious/commercialized hotels.

Screen Shot 2016-12-18 at 8.21.51 PM.png

Where to stay

We stayed in Manarola, at a gorgeous B&B, La Torretta, which was hard to find. Luxurious hotels are hard to come by here since its such an old area. However, I can not recommend this beautiful B&B enough. It is definitely small, but has beautiful rooms, views and has great attention to detail. The services is incredible along with their fabulous breakfast.

Screen Shot 2016-12-18 at 8.22.09 PM.png

Screen Shot 2016-12-18 at 8.21.59 PM.png

Screen Shot 2016-12-18 at 8.22.17 PM.pngWhen I first arrived in Cinque Terre, it was August so it was HOT. Most of Cinque Terre is only accessible by walking  and most of this is walking up steep hills, so you can imagine how hot it was.

To be honest, I didn’t love it at first, probably because I was hot and grumpy, and we were coming from the beautiful lake como.

Screen Shot 2016-12-18 at 8.20.08 PM.png

Once I jumped into the beautiful blue water, I fell in love. Swimming here is unbelievable, the water is very buoyant making it easy to float around for quite some time! The Italians were all on vacation, people were laughing, swimming, eating, drinking and enjoying themselves.  The swimming holes and architecture were both beautiful, you really can’t help yourself as you just stand in awe.

Screen Shot 2016-12-18 at 8.21.15 PM.png

Screen Shot 2016-12-18 at 8.20.52 PM.png

Hiking Trails

Cinque Terre is strung together by amazing hiking paths through beautiful vineyards. You are very high up, on a steep hill, (warning if you are afraid of heights) with incredible views of the ocean and towns.

Screen Shot 2016-12-18 at 8.41.36 PM.png

The distance between each town can be pretty far so if you plan on going from one town to another definitely bring your hiking clothes. I also highly recommend getting a bottle of wine and going up into the vineyards to take in a sunset while overlooking the vineyards and beautiful towns below. This is where the famous photos are taken, of the colorful towns lit up by the sun.

Screen Shot 2016-12-18 at 8.32.50 PM.png

Screen Shot 2016-12-18 at 8.20.18 PM.png

Eat:

Eat everywhere. You really can’t go wrong here. My favorite place was Billy’s in Manarola. You can sit outside high on the cliffs overlooking the beautiful sunset, stars or if you are lucky, like we were- fireworks.

Screen Shot 2016-12-18 at 8.21.05 PM.png

Getting here:

To get here, you can drive, but  train is by far the best. Most cars/taxis will drop you off at the first town, Monterosso, and then you have to take the train to the other towns anyway.

Need help planning your perfect trip to Cinque Terre?  Let us help you.

XO,

PS

London and The Cotswolds

London

London during the  holidays is a magical place, more festive than any city I have ever seen, and I was excited to have the opportunity to spend a couple of nights there last week.

Screen Shot 2016-12-09 at 6.14.54 PM.png

I stayed at the fabulous Four Seasons London Park Lane. The holiday decor was stunning and included beautiful gold-painted trees. The rooms were modern & chic, the service impeccable and the spa just lovely. The spa has a women and mens side with a wet and hot sauna as well as a warm whirl pool for relaxing – the perfect thing to do after a chilly day of exploring.

Screen Shot 2016-12-09 at 6.15.34 PM.png

Screen Shot 2016-12-09 at 6.14.31 PM.png

High Tea

High Tea is at the top of my list of recommendations, I know its touristy but it’s magical. There are so many options and it really depends on the vibe and atmosphere you’re looking for. I tried to get into the Ritz, the number one place to go for High Tea because it focuses on tradition and elegance. Unfortunately they were booked since MAY.

SKETCH

Next on my list was SKETCH. A totally different vibe from the Ritz but somewhere I really wanted to check out. I was blown away. Sketch was super retro, I felt like I was on the set of Austin Powers. The lobby is a winter wonderland, and then you go inside to a different world. Everything was pink, with weird art work all over the walls, a beautiful floor, christmas choir, egg pods as restrooms, unbelievable service, great tea and awesome food. Definitely worth a visit.

Screen Shot 2016-12-09 at 6.17.35 PM.png

Screen Shot 2016-12-09 at 6.17.22 PM.png

I felt like I was on the set of the Austin Powers movie.

Looking for a good place to eat and drink like a local? Check these out:

Lunch/Dinner 

  • Chiltern Firhouse
  • Churchill Arms
  • City Social
  • Casa Cruz
  • Frenchie

Drinks:

  • Social Eating House- The Blind Pig (Get here before 11:30PM)
  • Sketch
  • The LAB Soho
  • El Camion
  • Opium

The Cotswolds 

Screen Shot 2016-12-09 at 6.16.58 PM.png

 

Screen Shot 2016-12-09 at 6.15.06 PM.png

I hired a driver to take me to the Cotswolds, you can drive here or take the train, however I wanted to jump around to different towns and didn’t feel comfortable driving on the other side of the road. It is about a 2 hour drive from London to the Cotswolds.

Screen Shot 2016-12-09 at 6.17.13 PM.png

 

Screen Shot 2016-12-09 at 6.15.19 PM.png

Screen Shot 2016-12-09 at 6.15.59 PM.png

I left my heart in the Cotswolds

The Cotswolds is made up of many small towns in the countryside.  I only had a day here so I was not able to see everything but did visit the charming towns of Bibery, Lower Slaughter, Stow-on-the-Wold and Chipping Camden. 

Screen Shot 2016-12-09 at 6.15.45 PM.png

Screen Shot 2016-12-09 at 6.16.26 PM.png

Each town was magical and had a storybook feel. I loved them all, but my favorite was Lower Slaughter. It was the smallest one and had a quaint downtown with a store that sold clothing. There is an adorable man in the store who sings along to songs and tells you all about the magic of the Cotswolds are. Out back is a patio overlooking water where you can sit, watch the swans, and take it all in.

Screen Shot 2016-12-09 at 6.16.40 PM.png

XO,

PS

I Am Officially a Travel Agent- On the side.

Image result for in the know experiences

I have been a bit MIA lately, My apologies.  I have been so busy lately, and all for good reasons, which I can’t wait to share with you all!  No, no, no, I still sell software! I just plan trips at night.

I have always known I needed to join a travel company when it came to travel planning. Mainly because of existing relationships they have, perks, tools and over all benefits for not only myself, but YOU as a client.  I was recently cut out of planning a trip for someone because I just couldn’t make it work on my own.

 There is only so much you can do on your own.

I started reaching out to different individuals, hotels and vendors to hear about their experiences with certain travel companies.  I began to narrow it down to a few places I should speak to and where to align myself. I learned the hard way on which path I should take, but hey, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

I am so excited to announce I am officially on board with In The Know Experiences.

I met an excellent company called, In The Know Experiences (ITKE) based out of NYC. They are a small boutique type of place focusing on luxury travel and lifestyle experiences. I immediately knew I had found a home for myself after meeting the founders Lia Batkin and Seth Kaplan who are wonderful people, with excellent expertise and are certainly, “In The Know”.

Check out the website ITKE I can’t wait to show clients all the perks, benefits and great information we can provide.

XO,

PS

Seychelles

There is an archipelago of 115 islands off the coast of East Africa called, Seychelles. The islands have giant granite boulders surrounding the lush, mountainous land and beaches. It gives it a cartoon like feeling, almost like the Flintstones.

You can go and experience all of the islands and what they have to offer, most of the islands are quite small and some have hotels, one hotel or no hotels.

screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-11-11-17-pm-1

There are three islands which most visit and have more than one hotel located on them.

  • Mahe: The largest island and where the international airport is located
  • Praslin: The next largest island, very mountainous and stunning.
  • La Digue: The third largest, much more flat than the other islands and home to the the famous and out of this world beach, Anse Source d’Argent.  screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-11-11-26-pmscreen-shot-2016-11-01-at-11-08-04-pm

La Digue has the “The most Beautiful beach in the world” so many people want to visit it. It really only has one somewhat luxury hotel, Le Domaine de L’Orangeraie, which has a Swiss Family Robinson feel. This rustic hotel, has rooms that are spread out and look like little tree houses. The bathrooms are outside, with rocks as the floor and a thatched roof above, and to the side is a beautiful out door shower.

screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-11-07-58-pm

screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-11-08-12-pm

screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-11-07-50-pm

Getting around 

The island really has one form of transportation, bicycles .What’s better than riding a beach cruiser all day to beaches that make you feel like you are on another planet? Nothing.

screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-11-07-29-pm

 

screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-11-07-42-pm

Praslin

The hotel to stay at is Raffles Praslin. A stunning hotel that has taken the granite theme of the island throughout the hotel. With an open air lobby as an entrance you know the rest of the hotel will impress.

screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-11-41-03-pm

The hotel rooms: You walk into your room and you enter your outside oasis which has an outdoor living area, lounge area and private plunge pool over looking the beautiful vegetation. Inside the room is stunning linens, decor, a beautiful bathroom with a bathtub overlooking the view and last but not least the amazing outdoor shower.

screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-11-40-58-pm

screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-6-11-26-pmThe hotel is very quite, relaxed and ensures to take the best care of their guests. They have yoga classes, with a yoga studio that you have to see to believe. The instructor is the nicest man, who sat with me for 30 min after class talking about life and how to smile more. Thank you.

Taking a helicopter to some of the islands is the easiest and fastest way to get around. If you have been keeping up with the blog, you know I am impatient. 

screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-6-10-56-pmCurieuse Island: Where the giant tortoises roam freely!  It is quite an experience and one that you can’t beat. There are other places to see the tortoises however they are in captivity, which I hate. If you are an animal lover, like me, this is fabulous.

screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-11-40-51-pmAnse Lazio unbelievable beach with an amazing beach bar called, Honesty. Where you walk in and the owner isn’t even there to help you. He simply leaves a list of how much a beer costs and you leave how much it is. The views are amazing.

screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-11-40-30-pm

screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-6-12-08-pm

Hike and explore Vallee de Mai. An amazing nature reserve of beautiful palm trees and the famous coco de mer (the largest coconuts) they are about 200 dollars to buy and you need a certificate to have one.

screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-11-40-44-pm

Mahe

There are some great resorts on Mahe, Four Seasons is definitely one of them. Sitting on the most pristine beach on the island.  People has always told me, “Save the FS for last, it’s the cherry on top.” And they were right!  The hotel amenities, food and services are unparalleled.

screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-6-12-28-pm

The spa has a view that beats the whole resort. And a lounge area that is an architects dream.

screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-6-11-33-pm

screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-6-11-51-pm

Our large villa was an outdoor oasis. When first entering to the left  was a secluded day bed to lounge and watch the sunset. To the right was the large villa with a massive outdoor plunge pool which wrapped around the bathroom. The views of the sunsets were perfect and even better when enjoying the outdoor shower.

screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-6-12-49-pm

There is nothing like the sunset to me, and this one from our room was on point.

screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-6-11-20-pm

More exiting news and blogs coming your way.

Screen Shot 2016-11-01 at 11.49.59 PM.png

XO,

PS