Hotel Nia Review - SF Bay Area Staycation

Everyone needs a little getaway, sometimes you escape from life in your own backyard. Hotel Nia my favorite Silicon Valley getaway for a staycation. The hotel is located in Menlo Park which is pretty central in San Francisco Bay Area. I discovered Hotel Via back in June when we collaborated for a little overnight stay. I remember pulling up to the property shocked with how gorgeous it looked from the outside.

We took off for Hotel Nia after ending a 3-day production at my house and it was literally the perfect little weekend getaway that the family needed. When you arrive at Hotel Nia you’re greeted with the best smiles and warmest welcomes. If you have an electric car or Tesla they also offer on-site charging which is amazing!

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One of the things that I find so unique about Hotel Nia is the interior design. The hotel captures a modernist style accented by organic and natural materials, custom furniture, and thought-provoking artwork. (source)

The hotel features 250 guest rooms, 9 suites, including the Nia Suite, and 12 meeting rooms and event venues events. Unlike other hotel properties, Hotel Nia crafted over 12,000 feet of naturally lit indoor/outdoor event space.

The outdoor space is as charming as the interior. It’s rare to find a hotel property in the Bay Area that has this much charm and function when it comes to an outdoor space. I love it because sometimes you just want to escape your hotel room for a moment and breathe in a whole new experience. Hotel Nia has all these look nooks and crannies to do just that in their courtyard space.

I rarely getaway with the girls these days. It’s not that I don’t want them to come along with me on my adventures. It’s mostly that a lot of the work related travel I do is often times last minute, during the week, and we have to make sure we prioritize their school attendance. The other factor that makes it hard for us to travel is our pup Zoey. Hotel Nia is dog friendly and they were able to accommodate the size/weight of our boxer unlike other properties that might have size/weight guidelines.

If you’re bringing your furbaby, Hotel Nia offers incredible pet amenities such as in room dining for your pup and other snacks and treats like Stella & Chewy’s dog treats and Open Farm grass-fed Kefir. They even had Bowser Beer, a non alcoholic dog drink.

Porta Blu is the hotel’s on site restaurant showcasing a tasty Californian coastal cuisine using only high-quality local ingredients. They basically make food similar to the type of food I make at home which is awesome!

One of the amenities that seem to be a must for me when booking a hotel in the pool. I’m such a water baby and when our daughters travel with us they practically live in the pool especially when the weather is amazing. You can rent out the cabanas at Hotel Nia by letting the front desk staff know. You’ll want to reserve the cabanas at least 24 hours ahead or you can reserve the cabanas when you reserve your room. There’s a full-service bar and food options from Porta Blu so you don’t have to go hungry by the pool.

Hotel Nia has become my ultimate favorite staycation destination especially in the Bay Area. They impressed me the moment I walked in with their beautiful smiles, warm attitudes, good food, and the aesthetics and amenities they offer make it the perfect home away from home. I’m already planning our next little staycation at Hotel Nia during the holiday season just to get away and to have other people take care of me.

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P.S. When you book your room at Hotel Nia, ask for the bikes and take them out for a ride.

Hilton Aruba Wellness Travel Hotel Review

Hilton Aruba Wellness Travel Hotel Review

I was lucky enough to be able to experience some of the wellness offerings at Hilton Aruba, one of the 10 hotel resorts that Hilton has to offer in the Caribbean. It was my first visit to Aruba and although I didn’t have much time to plan for this trip there were plenty of things to do on the hotel property and in the surrounding area that gave me a chance to explore and fulfill all the areas of my personal wellness journey that’s important to me.

A Day Trip: The Sandman Hotel, Santa Rosa's Best Kept Secret

A Day Trip: The Sandman Hotel, Santa Rosa's Best Kept Secret

24 hour getaways are like mini vacations for the mind and soul. They are like little tiny pockets to hide away in when the world is getting a little too rough on the edges. This year I didn’t travel as much as the previous years because I was knee deep leveling up in my career and getting my life coach certification and truthfully I’m feeling the pangs from it. Travel is one of those things that light my soul on fire and its honestly good for my personal wellbeing. This year instead of indulging on larger getaways I fed my hunger for travel with little 24 hour staycations.

Celebrating Global Wellness with Four Seasons Aviara

Earlier this month we celebrated Global Wellness Day at the Four Seasons Aviara in Carlsbad, a small little coastal town just north of San Diego. It was our first trip as a family this summer and we decided to hop on a plane the day after the girls ended their school year. Probably not the best idea, but hey leave it to us to try something at least once. We missed our original 6AM flight. It was stressful a bit chaotic, but it all worked out.

We arrived to San Diego and checked into the Four Seasons a day before Global Wellness Day. For those of you who don’t know, Global Wellness Day was established in Turkey as the “first” day dedicated to living well. It’s celebrated on the second Saturday of June every year. The purpose of Global Wellness Day is to ask the question, even if for just one day, “How can I live a healthier and better life?”, to direct the thoughts of both individuals and society towards “living well” and to raise awareness.

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The moment we checked into Four Seasons Aviara we were immediately greeted with the most amazing service and healthy snacks provided by Chef James from the on site restaurant Seasons. The perfect snack that we needed before we headed off to the pool to unwind before our family paddle board adventure.

One of the things I appreciated about the pool menu from the Four Seasons Aviara was the healthy options they offered such as the raw veggie wrap that I ate that was filled with garbanzo beans, sprouts, hummus, and a whole lot of greens. I like to think that my family eats “healthy-ish” and having a variety of options that fills everyone’s needs is always a must for us when choosing a place to eat or stay on vacation.

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After our pool time we did one of the most fun things we could’ve ever experienced as a family, stand up paddle boarding. It was our first time experiencing this. If you’ve never tried stand up paddle board, I highly suggest it. It’s actually a lot easier than it looks and there’s something so peaceful about gliding over the water. Stand up paddle board lessons were a part of the Global Wellness Day offerings, but something that Four Seasons Aviara could set up for their guests at any time. The lessons happen at a lagoon not too far from the hotel and they arrange transportation to and from the lagoon.

After our stand up paddle board lesson, we headed back to the Four Seasons to freshen up for dinner at the Seasons.

The Seasons is located at the Four Seasons Aviara and features a farm to table menu that emphasizes on what’s local, seasonal and organic. We had an incredible dinner experience filled with delicious food and exceptional service.

Four Seasons Aviara hosted a range of different activities for Global Wellness Day from yoga to mala bracelet making. They also offered a different brunch menu for the day that offered healthier options to celebrate Global Wellness Day and to show their hotel guests how easy it is to integrate healthy and tasty options. We participated in the Family Yoga session they had, Olivia wanted to make mala bracelets, and we got to do a cooking class as a family which was my personal favorite activity.

The Plant Now, Thrive Tomorrow cooking class with Chef De Cuisine James Waters was our favorite activity. It was a hands on interactive demonstration that the girls and I got to enjoy with a small intimate group. Joanna Traiilov taught us the importance of incorporating seeds into our diet and how beneficial it is in helping balance out women’s hormones during their menstrual cycles. The girls loved every moment of this cooking class. I think for any parent who’s struggling to integrate healthier options for their older children or teenagers, cooking classes are one way to teach them how to be healthy.

As we ate the grain salads that we made, Chef James prepared an Ahi Poke dish for us that was perfect snack for our afternoon pool session.

We only spent two nights at the Four Seasons Aviara, but I could’ve stayed for an entire week! The service was amazing, the food at the Seasons was absolutely perfect, and they had everything on site that I needed from a gym, yoga deck, and two pools to enjoy. Not to mention Seasons which also offers an incredible dining experience in the kitchen and the kitchen counter which allows you for a more intimate dining experience with the ones creating your meal.

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The main goals for Global Wellness Day are

  • To recognize the value of our lives

  • To pause and think, even if for just one day of the year

  • To be free from the stress of everyday city life and bad habits

  • To make peace with ourselves

  • To raise awareness about living well and increase motivation, not just for today, but for the remaining 364 days of the year

I would have to say that the Four Seasons Aviara definitely hit all those points for me and gave me a moment to sink in and drop into myself. I left feeling inspired to evaluate some of our family’s wellness lifestyle. I feel like a broken record saying this, but 2019 hit us hard as a family. Life has been incredibly busy in a seasons of growth and change as individuals. Our first year as high school parents, I went back to school, Jonathan has been working on changing up and rebranding his photography business, and Olivia still remains the joyful little girl that she is.

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We couldn’t have been more grateful to take a day to slow down, break free from a little bit of the stress, and pause to take a moment to reevaluate the things we value in life, our wellbeing. I’m thankful for the generosity of Four Seasons Aviara for inviting us to celebrate Global Wellness Day with them.

We were able to get away from our day to day lives to focus on our wellness as a family, but you can do also do this together anywhere. Wellness isn’t just about trips or getaways, although for me its a huge part of my own self care practice, wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices towards a healthy and fulfilling life. Look at the different areas in your life that you want to improve and start with small little steps to do that. It could be as simple as getting into a better sleep routine.

Sustainable Seafood with Safeway

Last month Safeway invited me to join them in Monterey for a morning of seafood education with Seafood Watch at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch® program helps consumers and businesses choose seafood that’s fished or farmed in ways that support a healthy ocean. Not only do they raise public awareness, they help develop policies to improve traceability in the global seafood supply chain, end illegal unregulated fishing, and partner with both international and national organizations to address environmental and humans rights issues.

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Before heading to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, we checked out the Monterey Andronico’s Community Market location, which is a neighborhood market who’s goal is to feed a healthy life. At an Andronico’s Community Market you’ll find natural groceries, specialty items, and inspired “made-from-scratch” meals and treats. While there, we learned about how Fish Wise, an organization that partners with the seafood industry to achieve some of the most ambitious responsible seafood commitments, helps retailers like Safeway and Andronico’s educate their consumers about seafood sustainability. Seafood should always be labeled with how its being sourced: farmed, wild caught, fresh, or frozen. In some cases you’ll also know where the seafood is sourced.

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While at Andronico’s we got to learn how to properly open and clean a crab which was so much fun. I shared my experience on IG Stories, but here’s a photo of Taylor and I in our crab cleaning outfits of the day!

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Our trip to Monterey was short, but sweet and filled with such fun memories. We got to briefly check out The Jellies Experience and the Open Sea, two of my favorite exhibits at the Monterey Bay Aquarium that I can sit and watch in wander.

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We also walked through the Seafood Watch exhibit where there was a display of all this trash that was picked up from a local beach in one day. It was such a heartbreak to see all this pollution that fills our beautiful California beaches.

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After we had a delicious lunch over at The Fish Hopper. It started off with delicious mimosas that were made with freshly squeezed Vintage Sweets Navel Oranges, which give the perfect balance of acid and sugar. Then we had the most delicious Dungeness Crab Meat Melt on top of Rustik Oven Sourdough with baby arugula and Vintage Sweets Heirloom Navel Oranges. After that crab melt I was hooked and craving crab melts for almost a week!

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Our main course was a grilled fresh local Petrale Sole that was topped with an orange sauce, caramelized sweet potatoes and a fresh strawberry mint relish. It was followed by a Heirloom Navel Orange cheesecake with a crispy The Rustik Oven Sourdough bread wafer.

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I was so inspired by this Safeway Blogger Trip that I immediately went home to make a delicious salmon dish that pulled some of the elements from this meal.

This post was sponsored by Safeway, but all opinions are 100% my own. #SWYBloggerTours