Category Archives: hipster hotels

Next up for Lola: #IcelandStopover in Iceland!

photo 1-10

I’ve made it NO SECRET how much I loved Iceland. Soooo when I knew I had to get to the UK for the Mongol Rally in July, I thought to myself, why not take advantage of that awesome stopover option with Icelandair to go to Iceland in the summertime and see my lovely friend, Inga, of Tiny Iceland fame as well. I mean, I did fall for Iceland in the wintertime so I can only imagine how smitten I will be with her in the summer.


I’m thrilled to be going back and not only returning to some of my favorites from my March visit but also focusing on a new part of Iceland that I was unable to see before. This visit I’ll be going with Inga to West Iceland and the Westfjords. I absolutely loved the fjords in East Iceland so I know I’m going to be in for a treat. The Westfjords in Iceland are often overlooked by travelers because it’s sometimes inaccessible (i.e. roads closed in the wintertime). Our plan is to take four full days to see this area in a relaxing & stress free way and really taking in all that Mother Nature has to offer. We will have the pleasure of staying Hotel Edda Laugar in Sælingsdalur, with a fantastic central location for the area and are partnering with the fabulous Sixt to give us a safe, sweet ride for those Icelandic roads. I cannot wait!!

photo 2-16

BUT to kick off our little tour, first, we will revisit Laugarvatn Fontana Spa. Remember how I said the geothermal waters have restorative powers? Well how better to ward off jetlag than having a relaxing soak? We’ll be staying at Hotel Edda ÍKÍ, a summer hotel about an hour from Reykjavík and located right next to Fontana Spa. Another cool thing to note about this location is that it’s in the Golden Circle (Þingvellir national park, Geysir hot spring area and Gullfoss waterfall) which is always of interest to visitors of Iceland.

After touring and sharing the best of the West of Iceland, Inga & I will spend my final night back in Reykjavik and at my favorite – Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Marina. I’m sure we’ll find lots of good fun in the capital city, maybe even some new discoveries. It’ll be like returning home for me. So excited! AND a perfect send off before the craziness ensues with my Mongol Rally journey.

Screen Shot 2014-07-04 at 3.44.20 PM

You can follow us on our journey from July 11-15 at:

TinyIceland: TwitterInstagramVine App & Facebook AND introducing Snapchat (add @TinyIceland) to give readers and followers the chance to see real, authentic, unedited and behind the scene footage!

Lola: FacebookTwitter & Instagram

Our Official Hashtag is #ICELANDSTOPOVER

A bit about Tiny Iceland – Those who have followed me around for the past two and half years know my passion to promote Iceland, interact and meet travelers, share photos and videos via social media, and that all with personal, informative and fun touch! I really appreciate all the friends, followers and success I’ve gained since starting Tiny Iceland april 2012 and I can’t wait to share this trip with you guys. Make sure when visiting Iceland to use my official hashtag #TripInIceland so I can follow along via social media.


And more on Icelandair’s awesome stopover program: Traveling from the US to Europe or vice versa you can stop in Iceland for up to 7 days, free when flying with Icelandair. Click here to read all about it! The Icelandair stopover is a brilliant way to get a taste of what Iceland has to offer.

TAKK to our partners: IcelandairSixt car rentalHotel EddaIcelandair Hotels and Laugarvatn Fontana. We can’t wait to share more of why Iceland is so special!



Filed under airlines, hipster hotels, iceland, travel

One Day Stay: Reykjavik, Iceland


As I’ve mentioned previously, Iceland was a place I just had to visit. And although I wanted to see more of the country than just the capital city, I absolutely loved Reykjavik. What a cool city with great culture, food & nightlife. Just the things Lola loves! AND the people were so friendly and amazing. Best of all, it’s a super short flight from the east coast of the United States and with Icelandair’s awesome stop over program you can visit Iceland en route to another destination with no extra flight charge. That makes Reykjavik a perfect place for a ‘One Day Stay’ but don’t take my word for it…put it on your list and get yourself there ASAP!


Screen Shot 2014-07-04 at 3.44.20 PM

Icelandair Marina Hotel couldn’t be any cuter and more fitting for Reykjavik’s harbor area with all of its nautical touches and Icelandic fun facts. The 108 room boutique hotel has a staff that’s super friendly, funny and helpful. The inclusive breakfast is divine and the cocktails at their Slippbarinn during happy hour are a favorite for locals and guests alike. Best of all, the location is key – only a few steps away from downtown Reykjavik.


photo 1-10

There are so many great things to do in Reykjavik it’s hard to narrow down. Here are my three suggestions for a start. Take a harbor boat tour to try to catch the Northern Lights (this, of course, applies in the light catching season). I went with Elding Adventure at Sea. It’s a fun way to get out on the water and try to chase those mysterious lights we all hope to see. Although the Northern Lights sighting was dismal the night I went out the complimentary buttered rum and hot chocolate kinda made up for it. Two other fun things that happen to be free are to walk around Harpa Concert Hall and check out the amazing architecture and colorful windows. AND go into Hallgrimskirkja Church and take a visit to the top of the tower for some incredible views of Reykjavik.


photo 2-16

There’s probably many awesome places to take in a drink or two in Reykjavik but I’d say my favorite are the bars along Laugavegur like The English Pub and Lebowski Bar. I hit up the English Pub and Lebowski Bar on St. Patrick’s Day and boy did I have fun. People were wearing festive Irish top hats and spinning the booze wheel like it was going out of style. Very fun, very addictive.


Screen Shot 2014-07-04 at 5.52.57 PM

Probably my favorite meal in Iceland was at Mar Restaurant in Reykjavik. I had no idea what kind of food to expect in Iceland but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at how delicious it all was. At Mer I had scallops followed by Salmon. I was also introduced to several Icelandic beers and Brennivin – the schnapps of Iceland.  Not to mention, I absolutely loved the simple nautical decor.

Honorable mentions: I had an outstanding brunch at Tiu Dropar – a must try! AND another fabulous geothermal spa experience with Fontana. Dare I say I preferred it to the Blue Lagoon?! It was completely different but much smaller and personal feeling.

While I booked my own trip to Iceland, some of my meals were complimentary thanks to Tiny Iceland. I was also given the boat Northern Lights tour and spa experience complimentary. AND I received a lovely press rate at Icelandair Marina. Having said all of that, I wouldn’t change any of what I did or experienced. Iceland & Reykjavik are so totally ‘Lola Approved’!


Filed under hipster hotels, iceland, one day stay, travel

One Day Stay: Amsterdam, Netherlands


Amsterdam is such a beautiful city and a major gateway to Europe. I was thrilled to go there for my very first time in November for a girls weekend with Ana aka Mrs. O Around the World, Ashley, one half of The Lazy Travelers, and Mary Anne aka Editor of Jetset Extra. These lovely ladies would make any city visit a treat and did we ever enjoy ourselves in Amsterdam. But seriously, who wouldn’t fall for the bicycles, pretty canals and old world charm this city offers?! While I did have some good ole fun in the Red Light District, the girls and I managed to also find some of the very best that Amsterdam has to offer. Listed here in my One Day Stay are my favorites. I loved Amsterdam so much that I definitely have it on my list to return and explore for longer.



Located on Prince’s Canal and just under 2 years old, Andaz Amsterdam is a 5-Star, 122 room boutique hotel that is fresh and funky. I particularly loved the lighting and pops of Delft blue throughout. Nearby, is the lively Jordaan district and the Nine Streets. So, you will find within walking distance art galleries, trendy boutiques and shops as well as dining and nightlife. We were treated to brunch at Andaz Amsterdam’s Bluespoon and I had the very best cheesecake of my life there. Go for that alone if you cannot stay at Andaz Amsterdam.


photo 4-6

One of the most charming things about Amsterdam are the gorgeous canals. No better way to experience them than with a canal tour aboard a boat. The girls and I took a private tour on Ivresse, a saloon boat built in 1913 for a doctor. Unfortunately, the pretty boat, outfitted with a teak saloon and art-deco woodcarving, was too slow and taken out of service. (The name Ivresse means “weaving like a drunk”) Private Boat Tours fully refurbished her and now up to 12 guests can enjoy cruising the narrow canals of old Amsterdam. Our captain, Yorick, was quite knowledgable and we enjoyed our hour-long tour tremendously.


photo 2-8

House of Bols is a unique “museum” where you will learn all about the Dutch spirit that’s the world’s oldest distilled spirit brand in production in Amsterdam since 1575. Not only is the House of Bols interesting but also so well put together. It makes learning about liquor FUN. You will discover the 38 Bols liqueurs, including Bols Genever, and, as part of your admittance price, you get to design your own cocktail at the end of the tour with the ‘cocktail selector’. I went with the Dutch ‘N Stormy since I love me a Dark ‘N Stormy – it was a delish take on one of my favorites! PS – if you are a cocktail aficionado, House of Bols has an excellent gift shop for you.


Screen Shot 2014-06-09 at 3.28.42 PM

While I enjoyed all my meals in Amsterdam, dinner at Bridges in Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam was beyond outstanding. One of Amsterdam’s top restos that’s Michelin-starred, Bridges offers seafood with an innovative twist of classical French gastronomy. We were treated to a tasting menu during our evening there. AND not just any tasting menu but 2 separate ones so that we were able to sample even more. Paired with delicious wines, I cannot imagine a more lovely evening.

While I booked my own trip to Amsterdam, the girls and I were treated to dinner at Bridges, the House of Bols experience (14.50€ value) and the canal trip with Private Boat Tours ($350 for an hour-long private cruise) All of these experiences were very ‘Lola Approved’ and highly recommended.


Filed under amsterdam, hipster hotels, netherlands, one day stay, travel

One Day Stay: Palm Springs, California


This visit to Palm Springs was my third to celebrate my birthday. I’ve enjoyed each visit for different reasons. The first two were more “resort-like” visits and further removed from the action of downtown. This time I was able to feel more a part of things and could practically walk to everything I wanted to do, which I really loved. Here’s my ‘One Day Stay’ of what I did during my brief visit to Palm Springs.



The Viceroy Palm Springs is a 67-room boutique hotel that seems to have been made for Lola. Merging the best of glamorous old-world Palm Springs with modern cool touches, I LOVED the pops of yellow and all the awesome lighting fixtures throughout the property. On site you will find 3 pools, some of which are ‘Adult Only’, free wifi and an incredibly friendly staff. Let me just say these 3 things made my visit perfect. Well that, and the fact that it was warm & sunshiny every day with gorgeous palm trees above, surrounded by the stunning San Jacinto Mountains. Within walking distance of things to do, eat & drink, I cannot imagine a better spot to rest my head.


photo 1-6

Some come to Palm Springs for the nature, some for the golf, and some come to get pampered at the spa. Luckily for me, Estrella Spa, on property at Viceroy Palm Springs, has been voted one of the top 50 spas in the US by Conde Nast so I didn’t have to go far to get treated right. Carrying the cheery color scheme & design of the hotel over to the spa didn’t hurt in lifting spirits. Just look at the waiting lounge above! With a cool indoor/outdoor luxury setting, I was fully able to relax and enjoy a divine custom massage which was a combination of Swedish and Deep Tissue massages. IT. WAS. HEAVEN.


photo 2-5

Always in search of the best cocktails around, I was fortunately pointed in the direction of Lulu California Bistro. This hopping establishment is HUGE and has quite a bar scene going down. That, in itself, might be enough for some but, for me, the true test is in the cocktail. I tried a dirty martini & a Negroni, classics and two of my favorites. Lulu didn’t disappoint Lola!


photo 3-4

Located in the hip Upper Design District of Palm Springs, Workshop Kitchen + Bar has brought industrial chic to the historic El Paseo building, circa 1926. Along with the urban edgy interior comes a fantastic farm to table concept sourced from local farms all within an hour of Palm Springs. Even their cocktails are handcrafted from local ingredients. I was throughly impressed with the knowledgeable staff and their guidance of Workshop’s delicious offerings. This is one place I would definitely choose to repeat.

While I booked my own trip to Palm Springs to celebrate my birthday weekend, Greater Palm Springs  coordinated and treated me to my Estrella Spa massage ($135) as well as drinks and dinner at Lulu California Bistro. Thank you for your help! Palm Springs is always ‘Lola Approved’ for its great weather and hip scene!


Filed under california, hipster hotels, one day stay, palm springs, travel

The Great Escape – Cabo San Lucas, Mexico


Welcome to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Cabo San Lucas is a city at the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula and is listed as one of the top 5 vacation destinations in Mexico. Located on the Sea of Cortez, Cabo San Lucas or Cape Saint Luke has almost picture-perfect weather year round. Offering all kinds of accommodation options, a wide range in dining and any activity you can dream up, it’s easy to see how Cabo San Lucas is a Mexico top spot for a couples retreat, family vacay or girls getaway!

photo 1-6

This visit was actually my second to Cabo San Lucas but much has changed since I was there many years ago and only for the better. It can be quite a haul from the east coast but I truly feel it’s worth the time investment. Anyone could be happy here, whether you’re a beach goer or an active sort, and I’m thrilled I made it a ‘Great Escape’.




Located just steps away from Medano Beach, Edith’s is a charming restaurant with a rustic Californian decor and vibe. Not only did I love the festive lanterns and candles scattered about, but the food, made with local ingredients, was amazing. I went with my usual order of enchiladas and was not disappointed. It probably didn’t hurt that the tortillas were hand-made.

Bar Esquina

esquina bahia

Bar Esquina at Bahia Hotel gives Mexican food a Mediterranean twist. Bar Esquina uses locally grown products, fresh fish from the Pacific & Sea of Cortez and the best meats cooked on a mesquite grill. Great inventive cocktails and live entertainment in the evenings make it that much more appealing. I love a good hotel scene and one sure fire way to guarantee that is to have a bar and restaurant that is a destination not just for the hotel guests but locals as well.

Guaycura Todos Santos


At Hotel Guaycura Restaurant, member of Small Luxury Hotels of the world, you can take in the sunset on the terrace, while sipping a refreshing cocktail by the pool. Dining alfresco is always fun especially while eating delicious Mexican/Mediterranean influenced dishes. Big on localized fare, Hotel Guaycura is fortunate to get its food supply from the nearby ocean and Todos Santos’ farms. The fresh fruit margaritas are to die for!


Nikki Beach

photo 2-8

It’s tough to beat a lazy afternoon, lounging on a poolside daybed, being served endless mojitos like they do it at Nikki Beach Cabo San Lucas. Located on Medano Beach at ME Cabo, this Nikki Beach has the same sexy vibe of the jetset see and be seen crowd as the others I’ve visited. I didn’t witness the live music but, if I had, I’m quite sure I would have enjoyed that scene too.

The Office


Now, if you are looking for a great place to have a drink right on the beach, The Office is your spot. Nothing like having a cold one, while your toes are in the sand, watching the world go by and listening to the waves. It’s casual and cool and definitely a must visit of Cabo! Yeah, I wanna be there right now too.


Bahia Hotel

photo 1-6

Bahia Hotel and Beach Club’s urban-chic style is completely inline with my vibe and you can feel the great attitude as soon as you step on property. I think it’s a combination of the crisp white flowy décor and the warm welcoming staff. I literally wanted to say ahhhhh when I walked in to the Bahia. This 85 room boutique hotel is located in the heart of the Medano Beach District which means you’re located steps from the most swimmable beach in Cabo, a whole host of activities as well as the best restaurants and nightlife.

Hotel California

photo 3-4

Located in the sleepy town of Todos Santos, it is rumored that Hotel California is the very one the Eagles wrote a song about. Urban myth or not, this eclectic 11 suite hotel is full of charm and has a great little restaurant on property too. Todos Santos is an artist community that has many galleries and artisan store fronts. Hotel California couldn’t be a better fit with its one-of-a-kind style. PS – the pool area is secluded and special.

Las Ventanas

photo 3-4

Las Ventanas al Paraiso is a lovely little slice of paradise 2o minutes outside of Cabo San Lucas. The AAA Five-Diamond awarded property has expansive suites, amazing culinary options and The Spa at Las Ventanas, which has been named one of the World’s Top 50 Spas by Tatler. You can tell this desert beach hideaway is perfect for couples and those wishing to get away from it all. It is a very special property, indeed, with thoughtful touches present throughout the resort.


Sunset Cruise

sunset cruise

I always say when you are visiting a destination with a body of water, you have to get out on it to see the place from another perspective. A sunset cruise aboard Sun Rider is a perfect way to accomplish that and more. The 2.5 hour long cruise includes a Mexican buffet, open bar, fun music and dancing. Plus, of course, the best sights to be seen of Cabo, like the famous Land’s End Arch, Lover’s Beach and the million dollar villas on the rough Pacific side of Cabo San Lucas. I definitely enjoyed the free-flowing margaritas and shaking my groove thing while aboard.

Stand Up Paddleboard

photo 4-2

CABO SUP is the first Stand Up Paddle Board Club offering lessons, rentals and guided tours on Medano Beach, Cabo’s most swimmable beach. This was my first foray into Stand Up Paddle Boarding and I absolutely loved it. I took a guided tour to Lover’s Beach at the Land’s End Arch. As they say at CABO SUP, there is no right or wrong way to Stand Up Paddle. Just get out on the water, enjoy nature and have fun.
PS – CABO SUP features the only Academy of Stand Up Paddleboard certified instructors in Baja.

Cabo Open of Surf

photo 2-8

The CABO OPEN OF SURF is a week-long newish event to Los Cabos where the destination is positioning itself as a niche location that’s all about surfing and the surf lifestyle. Located at Zippers – Costa Azul, obviously, you will find a surfing competition going on there. Also a part of  the Cabo Open of Surf is a music festival. I quite enjoyed my afternoon lounging on the beach, sipping a cerveza, watching the surfers and people scantily clad stroll by while tunes were playing in the distance. This year’s dates are June 16-22, 2014.

Rates for CABO SUP group guided tours are $30USD. Rates for Sun Rider’s Sunset Cruise are $68USD per person.

A HUGE GRACIAS to Bahia Hotel and Beach Club for hosting and arranging such an outstanding itinerary! You are most definitely ‘Lola Approved’!!


Filed under cabo san lucas, hipster hotels, mexico, swanky luxe stays, travel