Tracking Red Ants

Wearing: Urban Outfitters Maxi Dress

Location: Middle of the Desert, California, USA

Summer's coming! And a white maxi dress is the easiest way to beat the heat while still looking fabulous. Double points if it's strapless! 

Maxi dresses are all over the place now. You can find them at all price ranges in all different style and colors. Being short, it's never safe for me to order one online. They always end up being WAYYYY too long. I'm also WAYYY too lazy to go get the dress hemmed. So the solution for me is just to physically walk into a store and try some on. I also really recommend checking about the see through issue before heading out in your white maxi. It's totally fine if you're just using the dress as a swimsuit cover up. It's totally not find if you're trying to stroll along the boardwalk looking super cute and your hot pink underwear is visible to the world. Slip a slip on for a quick fix! 


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My 13 Best Photos of Munich, Germany | Winter 2016

A photo only post because sometimes people say I talk too much. And isn't a photo worth a 1000 words anyways? 

Munich Winter 2016

A trip with a blonde bestie named Laura


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Button Difficulties
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Wearing: Free People Romper, Kork Ease Platform Sandals, and Ray-Ban Aviators 

Location: Somewhere in the desert, California, USA

Rompers are the go to pick for this summer. They're so easy and they're a perfect bikini cover up. I love this one from Free People because of all its details. The hand stitched embroidery and scalloped edges makes this piece pricier. I have to admit it was pretty pricey (over $100) but it was on sale and how can I say no to something so cute from Free People on sale. That's just an impossible task. 

And it seems like aviators aren't going anywhere. Even with all of these ridiculous sunglass trends charging in. The aviator shape is classic and you really can't go wrong with it. It serves up some seriously cool vibes. 


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Hotel Sacher Wien: "Schwanensee Suite" Room | Hotel Room Review

THE OVERVIEW

Name: Hotel Sacher Wien
"Original Sacher-Torte"
Location: Philharmoniker Str. 4, 1010 Wien, Austria
Hotel Rating: ★★★★★
 

Tel.: +43 (0) 1 514 560
Fax: +43 (0) 1 514 568 10
E-Mail: wien@sacher.com

Make A Reservation

MY EXPERIENCE

My Room: Schwanensee Suite (Junior Suite)
Stay: April 30 - May 1, 2017
My Room Rating: ★★★★★
My Hotel Rating: ★★★★★

The History

Hotel Sacher is famous for many reasons. First, we have the Original Sacher-Torte. It's a delicious (I've had many, trust me) chocolate cake that has a recipe which dates all the way back to 1832. It's still made the exact same way today. Second, we move onto Sacher Café. In the tradition of Austrian coffee culture, Sacher Café serves up a mean cup of coffee. Pair it with a Sacher-Torte for a little bit of culinary heaven. Third, last but most certainly not least, we have Hotel Sacher itself. The Vienna (Wien) location is the first and consequently more well known and visited. The tradition and history that surrounds Hotel Sacher Wien are endless...and so are the celebrities. You can see photos upon photos upon more photos of every celebrity, politician, royalty, and more that have visited and stayed at Hotel Sacher in the lobby. Quite an impressive collection. 

But there will be time for a review dedicated to just the hotel itself a little later. For now let's get to my AMAZING suite. 

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Luxury like no other

Hotel Sacher Wien

The Check In

We actually arrived a little early so our room wasn't quite ready yet. No problem, that never really bothers me anyway. A good 15 minute break in the lobby was definitely not a downgrade. We were offered tea, coffee, drinks? But politely declined and opted for a simple 2 glasses of water instead. Oh, did I mention we just drove like 3 hours across Austria from Salzburg to Vienna. So we were a little tired. A couple minutes later the front desk receptionist came out to announce that our room was ready. We were offered a small hotel tour before heading up to our room. But we also politely declined this since we've been here before! And oh was I glad to be back. 

So we followed the receptionist to the elevator and went up 1 floor. I was a little confused. Then when we exited the floor all the signs had suite names on them not room numbers. Still a little confused because I was expecting just a superior room, which would have had been incredible still. Then we enter into a little corner and approach a room with double doors. DOUBLE DOORS. I know hotels and double doors in a hotel means the room is going to be NICE. And OMG it was. 

The Room

So superior room it was not. AMAZING ROOM it was. They upgraded us to the Schwanensee Suite which is categorized as a Junior Suite in the hotel. She asked us if this was okay and I couldn't even answer because of the awe I was in. The room was hugeeee! Junior suites at Hotel Sacher range from about 50-70 square meters or 539 to 750 square feet. Now that's about 5 to 7 times larger than my flat in London. I could live here I thought to myself. 

The high ceilings were enough to reel me in forever. I love rooms with high ceilings. It just creates this feeling of airy etherealness that I absolutely adore. Then couch area with chocolates and fruit. YES. Gigantic Bed. YES. 2 TVs. YES. Marble Bathroom with bathtub and rainfall shower head. YES. Gorgeous wallpaper. YES. Feeling like royalty? YES. 

And to top it off because the Hotel Sacher team is amazing, sitting on the table was an Original Sacher-Torte perfectly gift wrapped just for me. Love it. 

The Breakdown

Okay so here's the breakdown. What do you get for a night in the Schwanensee Suite? 

A Room Fit for Royalty: 538 to 750 square feet of space, high high high ceilings, 24 hour service including room service, front desk, and concierge, pillow menu, marble bathroom with Time to Chocolate bath amenities, 3 TVs (1 in the bathroom), a work space, a lounge space, a sleeping space, a HUGE bed in that sleeping space, a welcome Sacher cube placed on your night stand, an option to take the stairs because you're only 1 floor up, and literally just feeling like a princess.
A Price Tag Fit for Royalty: Okay maybe not royalty but it's pretty up there. The Schwanensee Suite goes for about 1300 to 1500 Euros a night depending on when you're visiting. 
Best Breakfast Ever: The breakfast at Hotel Sacher Wien is the best hotel breakfast I have ever had in my entire life. There are so many options that it would be impossible to eat them all. However, I did kind of try. Scooping up yogurt with housemade compote, smoked salmon and horseradish, 3 slices of cake, champagne and orange juice even though I can't really drink alcohol, a couple of lattes, and an omelette or eggs benedict depending on the day, and pear juice, maybe carrot juice too, oh and a croissant, also maybe some cheese. I think that's it.

Final Thoughts

I say this way too much but AMAZING. I seriously can't think of any other word to describe how I feel about this room. I've been talking about it nonstop to all my friends. And since they're a little sick of me talking about it I'm telling all of you now! Lastly, if you're not staying at Hotel Sacher while you're in Vienna you definitely should AT LEAST, at the VERY LEAST, go to the Sacher Café and grab a coffee and a Sacher-Torte. Your tastebuds will thank you. 

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Wavy

Wearing: Topshop Hat, Zero UV Sunglasses, American Apparel Bodysuit, Brandy Melville Shorts, and Pull & Bear Platform Sandals

Location: Desert X, Somewhere in the desert, California, USA

Summer is upon us. This is a fact since it was way too hot today to leave my home in my usual leggings, sweatshirt, sneakers look. Time to trade the I just rolled out of bed but am still super cool but also comfy outfit for the these shorts are almost too short but it's totally acceptable because I live in Los Angeles look. 

Oh, I do live in Los Angeles. But not for long! 3 months til I move to London woo! 

And now back to this summer ready, festival accepted outfit. 

Now white shorts and a halter bodysuit is quite basic. So to add something a little more went for a little bit of a western vibe. This Topshop hat is one of my favorites! It makes any outfit way cool and obviously protects your face from the sun. Also, I'm always looking to add a little height because I'm only 5'2" and that means everyone, literally everyone, at a festival always steps on me or spills their beer on me. Platform sandals are perfect for this. I can be taller and comfortable at the same time. I've probably mastered the skill of walking in platform shoes all day since I wear them all the time. So before you decide deck out your festival look with some platforms consider whether you're willing to walk in them all day or not. You could end up wandering around like a drunk girl exiting the club on a Saturday night, barefoot and shoes in hand. And no one wants to be THAT girl. I certainly don't!  


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Hotel Goldener Hirsch: "Festival Wing" Room | Hotel Room Review

THE OVERVIEW

Name: Hotel Goldener Hirsch, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Salzburg
"The epitome of Austrian hospitality since 1407"

Location: Salzburg, Austria
Getreidegasse 37, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Hotel Rating: ★★★★★

Phone: +43 662 80840
Email: goldener.hirsch@luxurycollection.com

Make A Reservation

My Experience

My Room: Festival Wing Room
Stay: April 28-30, 2017
My Room Rating: ★★★★★
My Hotel Rating: ★★★★★


The History

Hotel Goldener Hirsch is the oldest hotel in The Luxury Collection hotel group! And by old, I mean really really really old. The earliest date that the building traces back to is the year 1407. See, really old. By 1564 it began being known as "Güldener Hirsch". Now the historic hotel serves as a hot spot for not only vacationers year round but also especially for festival attendees. Goldener Hirsch is located right next to the Großes Festspielhaus or in English, Great Festival Hall. This makes it the most popular retreat during festival season and why the hotel has a wing deemed the Festival Wing. The Salzburg Festival, a celebration of music and drama, is held every year for 5 weeks in late July. I definitely have to go back to see this! 

Also, a quick note on the hotel's unbeatable location. If you want to be in the center of it all in Salzburg then Goldener Hirsch is definitely your top pick. It sits on Getreidegasse, which is the main shopping street in Old Town and also the street on which Mozart's birthplace resides as well. You really can't get better than this. 

Okay, so now onto my room! Hotel Goldener Hirsch has 70 guest rooms and suites that are divided into 4 categories: "Classic" rooms, "Exclusive" rooms, "Festival Wing" rooms, and "Suite" rooms and 4 color ways: pink, blue, yellow, and red. I got to stay in a charming pink "Festival Wing" room. 

Goldener Hirsch

A Salzburg Tradition

The Check In

It was snowing outside. Okay pause. Yes it was basically May and there was snow. A lot of it too. Being from LA, I was beyond excited to see snow, but Oliver and our taxi driver on the other hand were a little more than annoyed at the weather. Also, yes we took a 5 minute taxi ride across town, which was probably not even a mile, because it was snowing haha. Anyways, let's get back to it.

 It was snowing when we arrived so I was definitely happy to step into Goldener Hirsch. The very first thing I noticed was its very traditional Austrian charm. Love at first sight! I usually gravitate more towards modern and sleek designs, but Goldener Hirsch was immediately so warm and cosy that I fell head right over heels for it the moment I stepped in. 

We were pleasantly welcomed by the front desk staff, given our key, and personally escorted up to our "Festival Wing" room. Our escort pointed out some key things about the hotel, including my favorite: when and where breakfast would be served. As we walked through the halls I thought, "wow this place is way bigger than it looks". I later came to find out that the hotel is not 1 but actually 4 buildings connected. Looks can be deceiving! 

And then a small flight of stairs and a quick elevator ride later we find ourselves in our room. 

The Room

Words cannot describe and pictures cannot capture how amazingly unique the room was. Everything was in a very traditional Austrian style, verified first by my personal Austrian tour guide, Oliver, and later by the lovely Ms. Verena from Goldener Hirsch. The decor of the room became even more special when I found out the next morning that every single piece of furniture in every single room in the hotel was handpicked by Countess Harriet Walderdoff who took over hotel operations in 1939. You can definitely feel the love and see the detail that was put into each furniture piece. Also, our room was designed in pink, which I absolutely adored! 

Like I said before our room was a "Festival Wing" room so it was definitely quite big. The "Festival Wing" rooms are the most spacious rooms in the hotel, ranging from 33 to 48 square meters. We had a comfortable couch area equipped with a TV, of course, and a bed that was larger than life. Or larger than me, definitely. I could completely sprawl out on it and still not cover even half of the bed! It's safe to say that I slept very well at Goldener Hirsch. 

Out of all the amazing details of the room, my favorite part had to be the view or maybe the bathroom marble or the traditional woodwork. Okay, really I can't decide! Being in the Festival Wing our room had a great view of the Großes Festspielhaus, which looked even prettier dusted in the recent snow. And the bathroom was huge! Bigger than my entire flat in London, that's for sure. You could have a party in there I swear. And the wood in the room. It really takes your breath away, especially if you're like me and are from California where things built in the 1950s and even the 1980s are labeled as historical. Wooden beams, wooden wardrobe, wooden table, wooden headboard, and a wooden vanity. All of these made me feel like I took a time machine back to 1407. America wasn't even close to existing yet. Okay, maybe not that far back but I was definitely feeling some Sound of Music vibes. 

The Breakdown

Okay so here's the breakdown. What do you get for a night at Hotel Goldener Hirsch? 

Tradition: Above all else you'll get a full traditional treatment. From the decor in your room and the food served to the famed cocktail and the wonderful staff, it's all in Austrian tradition. You can really get to know the history and culture here. Just spark up a conversation with any of the staff and they'd be happy to chat with you. Or order something traditional at the restaurants or off of the room service menu. 
24 Hour Service: Hungry in the middle of the night? Don't worry there's 24 hour in room dining! Need a restaurant or sight seeing recommendation at 3am (which I don't know why you would) the front desk is there all night! So really there's no need to stress about anything while you're here because the hotel staff hits a very high bar for their quality of service. 
A Good Night's Sleep: After walking around town all day you'll want to lay down on this gigantic bed and never ever get up again. It's literally so comfortable that I can't find any other way to express how insanely comfortable it is. 
Restaurants: As mentioned above, the food here consists of traditional Austrian cuisine. But, unlike some hotel restaurants the in house restaurants, Herzl and Goldener Hirsch, are arguably the best in town with the best service too. Both restaurants have a very quick filling reservations list and getting a table on a weekend can be tough. So make your reservation ahead of time to secure a spot. Also, let me just reemphasize 24 hour room service, which includes ordering drinks from the bar up to your room! 

Final Thoughts 

5 stars all around for both Goldener Hirsch and my "Festival Wing" room. There's not a single flaw or dislike I can squeeze into this review. If you're looking for a truly Austrian experience you absolutely need to stay here. I promise your stay, even if it's just one night, will exceed any expectations you have, even if they're already pretty high. Goldener Hirsch is a place that you need to see for yourself to completely understand what I'm talking about. 

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Like A Local: Berlin, Germany

LIKE A LOCAL

A common question that comes to my mind, and I'm sure yours as well, when I'm traveling is "what do the locals do?" I truly believe that everything and every place is worth seeing at least once. Whether it is something touristy or something off the beaten path, that something is special and more importantly new to you! There's so much we can learn by opening ourselves up to new adventures. So, of course, one of the best ways to do this is to live, explore, and experience a place "like a local"! 

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Berlin, Germany

1. YOUR CITY'S NAME AND NICKNAMES

Berlin

2. FAVORITE PLACES TO EAT

Berlin is a great city for vegans. 

Eat burger at Windburger in Berlin Kreuzberg. The burgers are all so good and fresh. Something you don´t get anywhere else are the Berlin Fries. They are made with a brown sauce and onions. That´s a typical dish for eastern Germany and especially Berlin. Give it a try! Burgers vary between 4 - 6 Euros. 

Drink tea at Tadschikische Teestube in Berlin Mitte. This is an eastern European tea house where you sit on the floor in a Russian ambience. They have extravagant kinds of tea and I highly recommend the smoked one. A big pot tea is around 2 - 3,50 Euros. 

Get dessert at Brammibal´s in Berlin Neukölln. This is a vegan donut shop and they have them in all kind of flavours, changing every day. You should come early, they sell out pretty fast. All donuts are around 2 Euros. 

3. FAVORITE PLACES TO STUDY/DO WORK

There are some cozy cafés where you can work, such as Sarotti Höfe in Berlin Kreuzberg. Further I recommend working in the library of the Humboldt University. 

4. FAVORITE PLACES TO RELAX/DETOX

The city can be a bit busy so I like to relax in the forests nearby. Such as Grunewald, which is huge and also offers different sights. The highlight is definitely the lake Wannsee. 

Another great spot is Treptower Park with the Island of Youth. Great for drinking a beer or kayaking. 

A great place to unwind and hike is around the Liepnitzsee.

Parliament

Parliament

5. FAVORITE PHOTO SPOT

My favourite photo spot is the Government Quarter (Regierungsviertel) with the Chancellery, Parliament building, embassies and so on. The architecture is so diverse and you see old and new styles intertwining. The best time to go is during sunset. The water and glass buildings reflect the sunshine and you get to experience something magical.

6. ONE “TOURISTY” THING IN EVERYONE ACTUALLY HAS TO VISIT

Gendarmenmarkt is one of my favourite touristy places in the city. The market is framed by the German Cathedral, the French Cathedral and the Concert Hall. You can climb the French Cathedral and get a great view over Berlin. I recommend it to everyone since you get an overview on all the important sights. 

7. ONE NOT SO WELL KNOWN SPOT PEOPLE SHOULD DEFINITELY VISIT

Wannsee

Wannsee

House of Wannsee Conference is definitely under the radar . The house is near Grunewald and is used as a museum for certain aspects of German history in the first half of the last century. The really impressive part is the surrounding area, such as the lake, the garden or the view.   

8. ONE UNIQUE FACT

Berlin used to be two cities, East and West Berlin, which reunited in 1990. Due to the separation of Germany it was split for more than 30 years. You can still see the relicts while walking along the wall. 

9. ANY TIPS OR TRICKS ON HOW TO NAVIGATE YOUR CITY

Do not rent a car! Buy yourself the Berlin Card to navigate through Berlin. It is cheaper than a normal day or week ticket and you get lots of discounts on museums. Busses, trams and tubes go every few minutes and it´s a relatable system. 

10. WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR CITY

The food! You can eat everything you want, it´s a paradise for vegans and vegetarians and it is so multicultural. Even the cheaper places have great quality food. 


Submitted By

Neni of Travel and Lipsticks

Blog: Travel And Lipsticks
Instagram: @travelandlipsticks


WANT TO TELL YOUR STORY?

"Like A Local" offers you a peek into a part of the world that may be foreign to you through the eyes of a local! If you are interested in submitting your own "Like A Local" story please contact me via email at geniepatra@gmail.com with subject headline "Like A Local"


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So 70's

Wearing: Tobi Top, Urban Outfitters Shoes, and Chloe Sunglasses

Location: Palm Springs, California USA

A look that is perfect for summer. Add some pop of color to your outfit to make a splash. Neons are always tacky, especially with 70s, 80s, and 90s vibes now back in trend. Pair the pop of neon with some oversized round glasses and you're set for a groovy laid back summer look. Effortless casual chic as some may call it.