From fashion to books and magazines to markets, I find my design inspiration in many different things. But the one thing I’ve found to be most inspiring is travel. It’s easy to look at vacations as an escape, but for me travel is a way to refocus my perspective so I can become even more engaged with my surroundings.
Seeing unique architecture, finding creative ways to mix materials, and learning how to bring different design styles together is always so inspiring. Transporting myself to a completely different environment, enjoying its unique traditions and daily joys, definitely gives me a fresh perspective on our client projects.
Recently, Michael and I took a 4-day weekend getaway trip to the Bahamas where we stayed at The Rosewood Baha Mar. We spent our time relaxing, sipping on cocktails, and soaking up all the sun and design inspiration we could. What I loved about this hotel is that it had a Las Vegas meets the beach resort vibe. I adore Las Vegas and I love the beach, so it was a dream that I didn’t have to choose one or the other. Talk about decadent!
Pulling yourself from the every day is an absolute must for your creativity (and sanity!), but sometimes the planning of even a short getaway can be stressful. Today, I want to give you an inside look at what was on our itinerary, share some of my tips for stress-free travel and of course, talk about some of the jaw-dropping design inspiration found so easily in the Bahamas.
Let’s dive in, shall we?
Plan ahead for a seamless check-in
To make sure the focus of the trip stayed on relaxation, I made sure to plan all of our dinners and spa reservations with the concierge prior to our arrival. Putting these arrangements in the capable hands of someone else really took the pressure off.
I also booked a private car to take us to and from the airport. Even though The Rosewood Baha Mar is only 15 minutes from the airport, being able to reduce your transit time and not stress about getting to your hotel is so important. It means you get right to the fun!
Day 1: Friday Arrival!
I think 4-day weekends are better than 3. It’s important to have a full Saturday and Sunday, so you get a “true” weekend. In order to maximize our time in the Bahamas, we decided to book a really early 7:00 AM flight. I’m not a morning person, but having that extra time to relax in our hotel room before hitting the pool or spa is so important. You don’t feel rushed.
One of the things I love most about going to the beach is that you don’t need to pack much. All you really need is a swimsuit, a coverup, gym clothes, and formal dinner dresses, which easily fit into a carry-on bag.
We were met at the airport by Shaniqua, who helped us through the check-in process. I loved that we were able to check-in to the resort AT the airport so there were no lines to wait in! Upon check-in, we received a welcome box of water and snacks, along with introductory flutes of champagne to sip on.
Shaniqua’s hospitality at the airport was a preview of what we could expect at the resort. The staff was impressively accommodating and we had excellent service during our stay. We saw Shaniqua several times throughout the resort and she always remembered our names. Feeling valued goes a long way.
On Friday evening, we relaxed in the room before enjoying a tapas dinner at Cleo Baha Mar. We had great service during dinner and the restaurant had a really well-done interior. They used lots of white and pendant lighting paired with greenery throughout the space. It created an open, fresh feeling with a superbly casual vibe.
Day 2: Saturday Agenda
I’m not a gym goer, but Michael is, so we started off our Saturday at the gym. It’s not often we go to together, but in a facility this nice, how could you not go?! The gym featured brand new equipment and right outside was a fully stocked coffee bar, full of every type of milk, cream, and soy or rice alternative you could imagine.
We enjoyed breakfast at Commonwealth, one of the restaurants in the hotel, which offers traditional Bahamian treats, American breakfast items, and a special wellness menu. I had a detox juice off the wellness menu with chunks of real coconut in it. It sounds weird but was absolutely delicious!
We spent the day at the pool and then later headed to the beach, but the water was rough…So rough in fact, beach access was closed on Sunday. Not to worry though. The pool was much calmer, and surrounded by private palapas and shady palms.
Next, we headed to the spa! And strangely enough, there was no waiting and no foreplay. You got placed in a robe and went straight into your massage, which was excellent. Afterward, we placed bets on the college football games at Sportsbook and we won each bet! I never win anything, so winning was even more exciting for me.
We had made plans to go back to Commonwealth for dinner, but when I saw the décor of Shuang Ba Baha Mar, I couldn’t resist. Chinese in the Bahamas?…you bet! The restaurant featured beautiful hand-carved paneling, Chinese antiques, intricate wood carvings, and hand-woven silk tapestries adorned the dining room. Design inspiration alert: it was stunning!
On Sunday, Michael hit the gym first thing while I relaxed in the room, fully taking in my surroundings and letting all the worries of the work week fade away.
We had an early lunch at Costa, where the scalloped tile was giving me a serious case of design inspiration. Woven around the koi ponds were individual palapas centered around an outdoor bar. I recommend ordering the fish tacos to enjoy while you take in the beautifully designed space. After lunch, we hit the pool and Michael went back to the spa, while I caught up on some reading and sun time.
For dinner, we ate at Katsuya, a lovely Japanese restaurant. I couldn’t believe it was our final night…I wish we could have tried all the other restaurants – there are so many options! Once we finished dinner, we did some bar hopping. Our first stop was Monkey Bar, the open and airy lobby bar of the SLS Hotel. This bar had a younger crowd and was definitely a party scene.
We ended up back at Manor Bar, where Michael enjoyed their signature cocktail, a hand-smoked Manhattan, and I had an outstanding martini. It was a fabulous way to end the weekend!
Day 4: Stress-Free Departure!
Our departure was as easy as our arrival. Again, it was only 15 minutes to the airport and because we had booked private transportation, there was no rushing. What’s really great about Nassau is that you go through customs at the airport before you board! It makes it super fast once you get back to the states.
And since we only had carry-ons it was a snap to get back. We arrived in Houston, picked up our car at the valet and voila! It was a successful, stress-free 4-day weekend packed full of design inspiration I could take back to the team. We had a fabulous time, and it definitely has me thinking about where in the world I want to travel to next…
For more behind the scenes looks and to stay up to date on what’s happening at the studio, follow me on Instagram.