Local Life in Cuba

I’ve been intrigued by Cuba ever since I could remember, mostly because my dad was always playing Cuban records around the house. And as I grew up to be a travel journalist, my fascination with this musical, vibrant island nation only increased. Finally, I was given my chance to see Cuba for myself. We based ourselves in Havana for a whirlwind 48 tour of the city.
The best part was all of our experiences were taken from recommendations from locals. Cuba Travel Services facilitated these interaction so we could meet several locals each day, ask questions and get to know Havana through their eyes.
This video should give you a little more insight than guidebooks, as we went off the beaten path. We met local children in an afterschool program, where they practice and perform circus acts. We cruised the Malécon in vintage American cars at sunset. We also danced, drank and ate throughout our days and nights in this exuberant city.

The 5 Best Experiences at Barceló Bávaro Beach

Give me a beach, a sunset, a pool, some palm trees or any combination of those things, and I’m all set. With that being said, clearly the Caribbean is one of my favorite destinations of all time. Each island has it’s own personality and culture, with one common denominator– crystalline beaches with shimmering aqua waters. Well, the Dominican Republic was no exception.

Travel is as much about who you are with as where you are going. I was lucky enough to be able to snag my good friend and cameraman CJ, to embark on a Caribbean adventure with me. We also were joining a group of other talented vloggers from around the globe–so much creativity on one island. In total 26 vloggers were invited to three of the Barceló resorts in Latin America and the Caribbean, and each of us produced our own interpretation of the resort experience, through our own lens.

CJ & I tackling the DR

CJ & I tackling the DR

Our mission: Visit the Barceló Bávaro Beach Resort, an all-inclusive, adults-only resort in Punta Cana, and document what made this place special. Often all-inclusives are thought of as places for families or for those that just want to drink endless margaritas in the pool. They work for both those types of travelers, but I felt this resort in particular was offering a lot more in the way of the local experiences, variety of food and general level of quality. Only one way to find out–CJ and I packed our cameras, our swim gear and hopped down the Dominican Republic to discover Barceló Bávaro Beach Resort.

Our Plan: Capturing this huge resort and its many experiences was no easy feat. As you know, filming hotels is one of my specialities, but this was an exception based on the sheer size of this resort. It had to be go go go from dawn till (much after) dusk. We had a lot of activities, restaurants, pools and beaches to check out and limited time. However, CJ and I share similar travel styles in that we are up for everything and we say yes to every adventure, tiredness be damned. So we filmed at break-neck pace– eating, drinking, dancing, sailing, swimming, golfing, water-sliding, beaching and of course, laughing, all day, every day.

Choosing to break down our videos by what you can do in just one day, we cover our favorite activities, eats, areas from the minute we woke up to when we shut off the light. From all the dining options (including beach pineapples), to what the room really looks like to all the fun that can be had on their breath-taking beach–we fit each theme into a jampacked 24 hours.

Our Videos: We feel these videos capture the vibrant energy of the Barceló Bávaro Beach, and the nonstop attitude of our traveling selves. I’m looking forward to hearing what you think of this island paradise and why you would want to visit (and trust me, you do).
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Watch the rest of my videos here–> 24 Hours at Barceló Bávaro Beach

The Five Best Experiences at Barceló Bávaro Beach

1. Order a Pineapple on the Beach

PINEAPPLE HAPPY

PINEAPPLE HAPPY

You may have to take a long stroll on the sand to find this tiny shack that is serving fresh coconuts and pineapples filled with delicious juice or a combo of juices and RUM. This photo-worthy treat is perfect on a sunny day in the sand, by the pool or really just anywhere.


2. Find your Private Paradise

Paradise Found

Barceló Bávaro has of course, a very long, very spread out beach and I never felt cramped. However, if you really want a remote, “Castaway” style experience, go out to the beach and walk right. Keep walking till you pass the lounge chairs and come to a narrower stretch of untouched beach. There’s nothing over here besides palms and fallen coconuts. This is a perfect area to plant yourself for a few hours of undisturbed beach bliss.

3. Order Breakfast In

Views with a side of breakfast

Views with a side of breakfast

The breakfast buffet has a lot of fresh options but all that tastes even better when it’s served to you in your own room. My room had a balcony with a DELICIOUS view of the ocean, so I invited CJ over and we ordered the breakfast in, completely with chocolate strawberries and champagne. Shouldn’t every day start like this?

4. Play Golf

Beautiful outdoor course

Beautiful outdoor course

It’s hard to pull me away from the water but I do like golf and the course at Barceló Bávaro Beach Resort was really exciting, with lots of ponds, lakes–even flamingos! I would suggest playing in the early morning or around sunset to minimize the heat and maximize your beach day.

5. Submerge

Pooltime

Pooltime

I love to be in the water–swimming, snorkeling, kayaking–you name it. But there’s something about the underwater lounge chairs that I just couldn’t get over. You can lounge comfortably in these built-in chairs in the adults-only pool. Get an icy beverage if you want to make the good feels last longer.


Did I mention pineapples?

Pina

Piña

Watch the rest of the videos from the #BarceloStories project here–> Barcelo Stories

xo
Kelley

Love, Travel & Getting Married: The Best Day of My Life

People always say that their wedding day is the best day of our lives. I didn’t buy all those clichés until… I got married myself. I was lucky enough to wed the man that I’d been with for 6 years in the most special place to us in the world. Imagine saying your vows in an exotic place; your perfect destination weddings planner abroad with Designed Dream can make it a reality. If you need a wedding photographer Cape Cod, try calling Kelly Dillon Photography. Or search for Pamela Lepold Photography, an exceptional wedding photographer Northern Virginia.

Our expert team collaborates closely with couples, translating visions into breathtaking realities. From conceptualization to execution, we meticulously orchestrate every detail, ensuring a flawless celebration that reflects your unique love story. With an eye for elegance and a commitment to excellence, Designed Dream transforms venues into enchanting settings, captivating guests with enchanting decor and exquisite floral arrangements. With our comprehensive services, including budget management, vendor coordination, and timeline organization, we alleviate stress, allowing you to savor every moment of your dream wedding day, creating memories to cherish for a lifetime. If you’re looking for a Rhode Island wedding photographer, contact Stacy Smith Photography.

We were married barefoot on the sand in Saint Lucia, at the jaw-dropping Sugar Beach A Viceroy Resort (many of you may know me as a Hotel Snob, let me tell you–this hotel will knock your socks off, no matter how much of a snob you are ;).

There’s so much more to say about the catamaran cruise, the rehearsal dinner at Ladera and the big day on the sand and dancing at the Bayside Restaurant, but since it’s our ONE YEAR anniversary, I’m going to release the never before seen Wedding Video. Let me know what you think!

 

 

Hotel Snob: The G.O.’s of Club Med Punta Cana

I had never experienced Club Med before so I had no idea about the GO’s, or Gentil Organisateurs. GO’s are basically there to help–whether it’s with a particular activity or experience, or just to say hello in the mornings. These friendly faces definitely made the Club Med Punta Cana experience warm and inviting.

I got to spend time with a particularly wonderful GO, Christelle, and she gave me a great tour of Tiara, the 5 Diamond Luxury Space which she manages. Impressive rooms each with an ocean view, this exclusive space has it’s own bar, beach and infinity pool. When she invited me over for their daily champagne sunset toast, I couldn’t say no!

Hotel Snob: The Zen Oasis at Club Med Punta Cana

At Club Med Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, there’s so much to do, see, experience and eat! However, not many know about the Zen Oasis. This is a resort within a resort, and the Zen Oasis was my favorite spot on the Club Med Punta Cana property. Lush, private and surrounding a magnificent swimming pool and the biggest hot tub I’ve ever seen, it was where I wanted to be for some real R&R. The villa style rooms are incredibly modern, sleek and comfortable. I’d definitely recommend staying here and watch my video to see why!

Saint Lucia’s Nightlife

Saint Lucia knows how to live the good life–sun & fun by day, street party & rum by night! Kelley hits the hopping nightlife of Rodney Bay by checking out some of the top bars & clubs and even the Casino. For individuals in Santa Lucia who are interested in exploring the world of casinos, a site like Daftar Slot88 Online presents a valuable avenue. Situated in the vibrant landscape of Santa Lucia, where entertainment and leisure are highly valued, this online platform offers a convenient and accessible way to engage with various casino games. For residents and visitors alike, Daftar Slot88 provides an opportunity to experience the thrill of casino gaming without the need to travel to physical locations. Whether one is intrigued by the spinning reels of slot machines, the strategic gameplay of poker, the suspense of roulette, or any other classic casino game, Daftar Slot88 offers a diverse array of options to suit different preferences and skill levels. Moreover, this online platform provides a safe and secure environment for gaming enthusiasts, ensuring that their personal and financial information is protected. With its user-friendly interface and seamless gameplay, Daftar Slot88 Online serves as a gateway to an immersive and enjoyable casino experience, enhancing the entertainment landscape of Santa Lucia for all who seek it.

She also dances in the streets with the locals at the Gros Islet Jump-up!

Cap Maison, Saint Lucia: Hotel Review

The Hotel Snob visits Saint Lucia’s Northern Coast and reviews the intimate,  boutique Cap Maison. This luxury property is perched on a cliff with it’s own private beach and beach grill, infinity pool, sunset views and private dining out on the water–literally. Take a look.

A Chocolate Guide to Saint Lucia

Get Lost in Saint Lucia with Kelley Ferro
Chocolate Trail
Saint Lucian chocolate is known far & wide as some of the world’s best, and on the island you can find chocolate has a variety of uses. Kelley experiences chocolate not only as a sweet food, but as a savory spice. She also learns about it’s benefits for the outside of the body–at the spa. Through it’s handcrafted production methods, dating back to the beginning of the island, chocolate is much more than just a sweet treat.