Monaco Travel Guide

Monaco Travel Guide

Tips for visiting Monaco from a local resident

Monaco

What to do and what to see in Monaco

If you are travelling to the South of France and you would like to visit Monaco, but you don’t have too much time to enjoy it slowly, here are a few of my recommendations for a quick visit.

First, I must admit that Monaco is a nice place to live, however is super small, therefore there is not too much to see, and tourists sometimes get disappointing because they come in with high expectations. This is not Paris or Rome where you have many touristic sites to see, keep in mind that the entire ‘country’is just 2km^2 making it the second smallest country in the world after the Vatican. This is more a place to live and experience it slowly, as it is the lifestyle that is amazing and is not so much a quick vitrine to watch, take a picture and go!

Having said, that, here are the top things to see and do in Monaco.

Visit the Palace

Walking up to ‘The Rock’ is a nice thing to do, you get the nice views of the Port Hercules, which is the main port of Monaco where all the yachts are and the race of the Grand Prix starts, and once you reached the top you can also see the port of Fontvieille, and is a perfect place to take pictures! I leave you here with the link to the palace tourist info. (click here)

Every day at 11:55 just before noon there is the change of guard which is really nice to see. For more info click here.

Here is where the Royal family officially lives. They are often there and for all the major local events there is where it takes place.

Oceanographic Museum

Once you are up in ‘The Rock’ as we call it locally, you can also visit the Oceanographic museum, which is a really impressive aquarium! If you are with kids this is a MUST- DO activity in Monaco. More info about the aquarium click here.

Open Air Cinema

Located also on ‘The Rock’ the open Air cinema is one of my favorite things to do in the summer! I think this only open in the summer so check the website here. It is a beautiful place with sea view, open bar (yes you can drink alcohol!) and it has a great sound system! I find it very romantic thing to do in couples, but also a lot of fun with friends. The movies start around 9:30pm (so is dark enough to play outdoors)

The Casino

The Casino of Monte Carlo is the most ICONIC site in Monaco. A tour of the Casino de Monte Carlo will give you James Bond like experience for an hour. Seeing all the luxurious cars, the glamorous clothes of the high rollers and the palatial surroundings would remind you of scenes that are always portrayed in most 007 films.

The idea of opening a gambling casino in Monaco belongs to Princess Caroline, a shrewd, business-minded spouse of Prince Florestan I in 1850. Revenues from the proposed venture were supposed to save the House of Grimaldi from bankruptcy. After several decades of joint ventures, the earnings finally took off. I won ttell you the entire story, so that you experience it for yourself.

Keep in mind there is a strict dress code hence no beach wear is allowed, no shorts, no flip flops,etc and all the obvious ones. Passport ID is required if you want to go inside. I want to highlight that this is not Vegas so if that is what you are expecting you will get disappointing, this is more classy and luxurious. The entrance is 10 euros however this can be exchanged for gambling chips/tokens or alternatively towards a drink at the bar. It is an amazing experience to see the real gamblers in action! you really feel you are inside a movie here! They have a really cool restaurant inside, which is my favorite one to watch the fireworks. If you are in Monaco during the summer, make sure to ask about the firework program and book your table there for an unforgettable experience!

Go try your luck you never know!! and if you win, give me a call to celebrate 🙂

Cafe de Paris

Get a drink and sit in the terrace of the Cafe de Paris, it is one of the best places for people watching! and if you love cars, is basically a ‘car walk’or THE ‘fashion-show’ of luxury cars. Yes the drinks may be on the expensive side but see it as a entry ticket fee to a show, and I guarantee you it is totally worth it! I usually order a coffee or a Aperol Spritz cocktail.

It is also a great place to eat real french brasserie food. We love the steak tartare there! to my american friends, steak tartare does not mean a steak with tartar sauce, in France it means raw meat and is delicious!

Hotel de Paris

It is another ICONIC site in Monte Carlo, it is a famous hotel where many movies have been filmed. Inside the hotel by the lobby there is the famous Bar Americain, I recommend you to go there in the evening for a drink, they usually have live music and the ambiance is very jazzy chic. The setting feels like you are going back in time to those glorious ages of glamour, elegance and sophistication. My favorite drink there is the Negroni. This is a great place to go for a drink before dinner or actually even better after dinner for that night-cap drink paired with some jazzy notes.

Make sure you rub the feet of the horse statue at the Lobby of the hotel, legend has it that it brings you good luck! specially before going gambling!

Other

GRAND PRIX FORMULA ONE

One of the most famous race tracks of the entire F1 racing is the Monaco Grand Prix which usually takes places around May every year. A life experience worth watching! I will do a separate blog about it.

On this note, if you are a car fan you can also visit the private car collection of the Prince! For more info click here.

For events, make sure you visit the website visitmonaco.com where you can see what is going on the day, the week or the month you are travelling.

BEACH

The Larvotto beach is a nice place to go for lunch and go to the beach if you like swimming in the ocean and catching some sun. however my favorite beach is La Plage de la Mala which feels like a remote exotic place. It is a hidden gem! There are 2 restaurants Cap Resort and Eden Plage. It is quite difficult to get there by foot and car, it is possible but not easy. The best way to reach is by boat.

YACHTING

The best way to experience the south of France is totally by boat! There are boats for all types of budgets. Contact me for info on chartering a yacht in the South of France.

Prince Rainier III old car collection

If you like cars, this museum is amazing and very unique compared to other car museums, is the personal car collection of the Royal Family in Monaco.


Life as a female yacht broker

Life as a female yacht broker

I interviewed a very good friend of mine on how is to be a yacht sales broker in a male dominated industry.

-> Jelena Vezia, yacht sales broker from Ocean Independence

ABOUT JELENA

Kazakhstan-born Jelena Vezia is the company’s only female sales broker and one of only a handful in the entire yachting industry, where female brokers usually specialise in charter. Jelena completed her comprehensive economics and international affairs studies in Poland, France and Germany. With a proven sales background combined with a good level of understanding of Russian and Eastern European clients’ operations, she has an excellent track record. Her successful business approach, can-do attitude and attention to detail represent her core expertise as a yacht broker. Having completed three years as a yacht sales broker in charge of CIS market development prior to joining Ocean Independence in 2016, Jelena delivers a valuable experience with dedication to her clients, respect for main industry players and a work ethic that is second to none.

How did you started in the industry?

I started as a hostess working in parallel with my studies at the Monaco Yacht Show in 2010 for one of the leading brokerage houses (our direct competition today). As a hostess I was accompanying brokers during yacht viewings, working at the stand preparing marketing materials and helping with translations where needed. At that time, the head of charter department told me that I have all the right credentials to make a successful charter broker and provided me with a glowing reference letter. This is how my career in the yachting industry started. 10 years later here I am, bringing my own clients on board during MYS – a huge achievement for me and a sign of destiny, I think. I was not planning to pursue a career in yachting at any point of my life, having successfully graduated with a master’s degree in the Economic International Relations and targeting a position in one of the main European Institutions.

How did you started as a sales broker?

My first position at Sunseeker Monaco was Junior Sales Broker in charge of CIS market, so I have been trained to sell boats from the beginning. During my first job interview my boss, Nigel Bristow, said to me, “It would have been more appropriate to offer you a charter broker’s role, but we don’t have a dedicated charter department here in Monaco, so let’s try to sell.” And we did sell. I still remember him making a drawing to explain the difference between shaft drive and stern drive propulsion systems to me. That was the beginning of the learning curve which was and still remains very challenging – in this business, you never stop learning.

My first real experience in the industry as a broker was at Cannes Boat Show 2012. That year, as one of the main yacht manufacturers, Sunseeker had at least a dozen models on display, one of the biggest stands, hundreds of clients, and a lot (I mean really A LOT) of information to remember – not an easy task for a beginner. Believe me, I was terrified, but the result was brilliant and some of the prospects who I met at that show are among my best clients today.

How is it to be a female yacht broker?

The yachting industry is male-dominated, and it is not easy to gain the trust of clients and peers. I wouldn’t ever call myself a feminist, but one thing is certain – to be recognised in this industry you have to know your subject at least as well as male yacht brokers do, if not better. You don’t have a right to make any mistakes, especially at the beginning. If you do something wrong, people are quick to blame the fact that you are a woman. It gets easier once you build a reputation.

To become a female yacht broker you must be not only intelligent, hard-working, personable and communicative, but also lucky. I would also add that successful business approach, can-do attitude and attention to detail make a good sales broker.

How is a day in the life of a broker?

For me, every day at work is different because there are no two identical clients, two identical boats or two identical deals. The biggest challenge is when I start working with a new client because we have to get to know each other, and in the yachting industry, it is a very long process. It is not always easy to get the trust of a new customer, but extremely exciting and rewarding at the end.

Viewings are crucial because every broker has to know the product he or she is trying to sell. And the more yachts I visit, the better market intelligence I get. Nothing is worth a personal visit onboard and a constructive chat with the captain and the crew.

Travelling is part of this job, and I really enjoy visiting shipyards and participating in the boat shows. However, this can easily become extremely tiring, especially when travelling in a different time zone. BUT this is the only way to move things forward. A client will rarely come to see his broker apart from the Boat Shows time. A good Broker has to go and meet his or her client instead! The amount of money a Broker makes at the end is directly proportional to the amount of time he or she spends travelling.

Admin work is my least favourite part of the job, but in our digital world, there is no way we can escape from it. When I am not visiting yachts or travelling to see the existing clients, I am following up with leads by telephone or via email trying to convert them into prospects, scheduling future marketing campaigns and customer mailings, updating notes and opportunities in the CRM.

All the above makes part of a broker’s day to day work, and it is a good mix of activities to keep us busy every day.

YACHTING CAREERS

This was a very interesting perspective, and I hope you liked it and if you wish to learn more about careers in yachting visit my page: https://www.onboard.mc/careers/


SCHEDULE A CALL OR VIRTUAL MEETING WITH MARCELA

SCHEDULE A CALL OR VIRTUAL MEETING WITH MARCELA

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Are you looking for a job in yachting? change career paths, looking for some advice?

Book a career coaching session with Marcela for 60euros an hour on fridays “open door” office hours, whatsapp calls or virtual meetings also available.

Highly recocmend you to read this before the call.

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ZURICH: TRAVEL TIPS

ZURICH: TRAVEL TIPS

The best travel tips you can ever get is to get them from:

1) From someone who has been there

and

2) Directly from a local!

In this blog I am so happy to share with you my tips for Zurich and also share some local tips from my friend Petra Kompas living in Zurich and sharing all of her tips and secrets!

Airport tips:

Zurich has a very good international airport (ZRH) that is easily accessible by train. The ride to the main train station, familiarly called HB (Hauptbahnhof) takes about 10 to 15 minutes, depending on if it is a direct connection or if the train has multiple stops. It costs CHF 6,80 one way.

If you want to take a taxi from the airport, then please take Uber, it costs the half of what a regular taxi would ask for a ride to city center. Uber should cost around CHF 25-35, depending on the hour of the day, on the traffic and where exactly you want to go. Petra says ‘I live 10min walking distance from the HB and pay around CHF 25 for a ride with Uber to the aiport’

ZRH Airport has great connections to the whole world main European airlines fly there, and Swiss (of course!) Unfortunately, ZRH Airport is an expensive airport (taxes), therefore there is only a limited number of low cost airlines that fly to limited number of destinations.

There are two other airports, an hour by train – Bern and Basel Mulhouse. Bern is a very small airport.

Moving around:

The best way to move around in Zurich is mainly by tram (bus in few cases). The tram net is very developed, it gets you almost everything within the city. Zurich doesn’t have a metro, but with this kind of tram net it doesn’t need it.

Again, if you want or have to take a taxi, please call an uber. It is much cheaper.

You can also rent a car, there are many rent a car companies (also from the airport). A car a day goes from around CHF 120 (doesn’t matter if you go directly through Herz, Europecar or through an unknown low cost rent a car company). Renting a car in Switzerland is expensive. Please also be careful to when driving and go exactly by the rules. Radars are everywhere, even on light cross roads. You might think it was still orange, but the camera system knows better and can flash you on going through red and that ticket is really very expensive. Also very expensive are speeding tickets. So really please be careful!

All information about train tickets you’ll find on www.sbb.ch.

Best hotels for business trips

Zurich has some fancy hotels, that are located right in the city center, very near or directly on the famous Bahnhofstrasse (it is the main shopping street, that starts at the HB and goes straight away to the Zurich lake). Shops on this street go from fast fashion/inexpensive ones and turn in the middle of the street (from Coop City St. Annahof towards the lake) to luxury boutiques.

Here are some fancy hotels: Schweizerhof (there is one Schweizerhof in every major swiss city), Savoy, Baur au Lac, and Park Hyatt.

Some options for more economical ones: MotelOne, & the Mariott.

Locations for areas to search for hotels:

City Center (8001), Niederdorf, Wiedikon, Lochergut, Oberer Letten are nice.

Laptop friendly cafe’s:

Nice places are around Lochergut, Wiedikon/Werd, Stauffacher and around Bahnhofstrasse. e.x. Grand Café Lochergut, Franzos, Roots, Juciery 21, Miyuko, and of course: Starbucks.

Place for meetings

You can hold meetings at Büro Züri, where you can also book a room for it (more under co-working space and offices).

Otherwise, for a luxury meeting you can go to the lobby of Park Hyatt, the bar Baur’s of Baur au Lac hotel (it is outside of the hotel, on the corner of Börsen and Talstrasse).

For causal meetings there are some laid back places, such as the terrace of Modisa, Hiltl terrace on the top of PKZ building, terrace of Jelmoli or Grieder (PKZ, Jelmoli and Grieder are department stores on the Bahnhofstrasse) or Monocle Bar in Seefeld.

Co-working space and offices

I would recommend a place called Büro Züri right on the Bahnhofstrasse, more towards to the lake. It is a cool place to book a meeting room or just a desk to work at Buro Zuri,

(And the best thing about it, beside the location, is that it is for free!)v

Best bar for an after-work drink

To the contrary what people might think of Zurich – that it is a boring place – there are a lot of great bars for an after-work drink (or Friday/Saturday night) where you can have a lot of fun.

The Good ones (recomended by a local) are: Bricks, Xenix, Vagabundo, Wohnzimmer Bar, Si o No, Dali’s, Raygrodski, Enfant terrible, Talacker, Atelier Bar, La Stanza.

During Summer there are nice outdoor places such as Rimini (it is an outdoor bath place for men during the day and after 6pm it opens for all as outdoor summertime bar), Frau Gerolds Garten in Hardbrücke, Barfussbar (this is a special place with a wonderful view on Niederdorf), Fischer’s Fritz on the lake and Fischstube on the opposite side of the lake in Seefeld, kleine Freiheit, and Riva Bar.

Wining dining clients

Kronenhalle at Bellevue is a real treasure – not only have they the best steaks and Züri Gschnätzlets (typical dish from Zurich made of sliced veal strips, white wine, cream and demiglace), but also their guest list has been graced with names such as Coco Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Pablo Picasso, James Joyce, Richard Strauss and many more over the time.

Other great places to eat: Didi’s Frieden, Casa Ferlin, Mesa, White Elephant, Bang Song Thai, Seerose, Razzia, Brasserie Lipp, Widder Bar and Kitchen, Ristorante Bindella, Rosso, the oldest vegetarian and vegan restaurant in the world – Hiltl and/or Tibits (it is the same chain, but because they wanted to get recognized in the French speaking part of Switzerland too, they came up with a more convenient name for frenchies – Tibits)

Uncle 7 has the best dim sums!

Things to do in case you case free time

There are so many different things to do in Zurich when you can spare one free day here (or even more)

Zurich has a small city center, so you can easily see the most sightseeing in one day. On the Lindenhof you have a nice view over Niederdorf. From there you can walk to Bellevue, admire the Opera house and continue walking beside the lake.

As a foodie myself, I’d start with food. I am very much into different kind of breakfast bowls – I get my favorite acai bowl from Juicery 21. Bang on (owned by Brazilians) also has a great acai bowl and other brazilian dishes. Roots is a great place to get great breakfast and fresh and healthy lunch/dinner dishes. Delicious places for a brunch: Miyuko, Kafi Dihei, Grand Café Lochergut, Babu’s Bakery and Coffeehouse, Le Pain Quotidien, The Artisan, Bohemia, Bank, Café des Amis, Montmartre.

For lunch or dinner or just to grab something are the following:

Traditional local food in Zurich, dont forget to eat a fondue!

If you want real traditional swiss food: Zum kropf

Feeling like Asian? Five Spice (thai), Yoojis and Sushi Shop (sushi), Saigon (Vietnamese), already mentioned Hiltl, Lily’s Eatery (Asian),

International: Neni (middle east), Ynos (greek), Ona poke (Hawaiian bowls)

Healthy: Joe and the Juice (great juices and sandwiches), Dean and David (healthy meals), Lily’s Eatery (Asian), Ona poke (Hawaiian bowls), Ramen, Ararat (great kebab).

For a sweet treat you can go to Cupcake Affair, it’s deliiissshhh.

Swiss chocolate deserves its own paragraph. For me the best ever is Laederach – you can only find it in Switzerland (well, there is one branch somewhere in Asia, Taipei I think). So don’t leave the country without one pack of this piece-of-heaven. Other great chocolate stores: Max Chocolatier, Confiserie Honold, Teuscher, Vanini, and the well known Lindt/Sprüngli.

During summer you can rent a water bike and have some fun on the water.

If you want to do sports:

There are some nice hikes around, too. You can hike up to the Uetliberg (has breathtaking views over whole Zurich) and then continue from there to Felsenegg. This hike will take you a couple of hours, but it is worth it (or you just can go back down to the city from Uetliberg). If you are longing a walk in forest, you can go to Dünkelhölzli. You can get relaxed on the Türlersee with a nice barbeque (you have to bring your own food and drinks)

If you are longing for sports during your business trip, here are some tips for great sport clubs: Atomix –is a mixture of running (sprinting) on treadmill and weight training. You will sweat off all your calories yo uate at restaurants mentioned above.

Booster – pilates classes based on lagree method. They have several branches, and at the Forum one they have brand new machines with INCLINE. I guarantee you will be dead afterwards. If you like cycling, Velocity and Openride are great (something like SoulCycle in the US)

Seasons in Zurich

Summer here is great, really great. Over the weekend it feels like vacation at sea. You can rent a SUP at Badi Tiefenbrunnen and Enge (open air bath places on the lake) and experience the lake not only from the shore. Usually you have to pay an entry fee to get in, but there are many places where you can just place your towel on grass and enjoy the lake. I personally love the Letten river J It also has those “badis”, but they are for free and much cooler J Oberer and Unterer Letten are amazing places to enjoy hot summer days. Moreover, at the oberer Letten badi there is an open air cinema during july/august. Another open air cinema is at Zürich Horn next to Badi Tiefenbrunnen. Another cool thing you can do is taking a inflatable boat or flamingo to float on the river. You just get on your flamingo, donut, big duck – whatever you have – and let yourself float on the river. You can also rent a bike (at the HB there is a place where they rent bikes for free, you just have to come early enough to catch one, otherwise you can also use the city bikes) and bike along the Limmat River to the Kloster Fahr. It is a Benedictine Monastery of nuns who produce and sell their wine and ciders,

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice scream!! Here are ice cream shops you have to try out: Gelateria di Berna, Gelati Tellhof, Gelati am See and Gelati am Spitz (all these three gelati is the same company – two food trucks: am See can be found when walking aboard the lake in Seefeld, am Spitz behind the Landesmuseum, direction Platzspitz park, and one brick store Tellhof at the Tellstrasse), Hasta Ice cream, Vanini. Don’t leave Zurich without trying one of those ice cream shops.

Not only suummer but Winter here is great, really great. Over the weekend it feels like skiing vacation. You can either go skiing to great resorts such as Laax, Arosa/Lenzerheide, Davos, Andermatt (within 2-2,5h from Zurich) or you can enjoy the ice skating park up at the Dolder hill (you can afterwards go to the Dolder hotel for a nice drink, they have a nice cozy bar). Another ice ring is located at Heuried.

Christmas time in Zurich is magical! As many cities in Europe, Zurich too has its own magical Christmas markets BUT zurich is THE BEST CITY IN EUROPE FOR CHRISTMAS MARKETS!

You can’t miss the Christmas village at Bellevue, Christmas market with beautiful lights at Landesmusuem called Illuminarium, a brand new– very very cozy and by far my favorite – Christmas market at Münsterhof, Christmas market in Niederdorf and many other small Christmas markets throughout the city.

Open air cinema at Unterer Letten


YACHT TABLE ETIQUETTE

YACHT TABLE ETIQUETTE

Tips to set up the perfect table

Setting up the perfect table requires creativity, sophistication and savoir- faire.

I interview my friend Iliyana Popova whom I know from many years as we studied together at the University in Monaco. She is now the head of project management at Boutsen Design, experts in fine art decoration for yachts, jets and luxury villas.

Iliyana will share with us her tips and savoir-faire in table etiquette onboard yachts.

Her international experience working in luxury hotel chains, yachting and aviation, combined with her strong academic background makes her an exceptional professional in her field.

She holds a management degree in Hospitality from the Swiss college ‘César Ritz’, and a Bachelor degree at Endicott College, United States. Moreover, she also has a Master’s Degree in Luxury Goods and Services from the International University of Monaco.

Left: Daniela Boutsen, founder of Boutsen Design. On the right: Iliyana Popova

Seducing the senses

In order to have an unforgettable meal experience you need to appeal to all the five senses:

  • Sight: whenever you see a nice set up table, this is your first impression, this is how you put a smile on people faces before they even start eating!
  • Hearing: this can be done by using music to set the mood for the meal.
  • Touch: this can be achieved by using texture on the materials.
  • Smell: this can be approached by using scents, candles, or even accentuating the smell of the bread in the oven, or the smell of the BBQ to appeal the senses.
  • And of course, Taste which the chef on board will do everything he can to delight the guests!

The theme

In order to set the perfect table, we first need to decide on the theme. The theme will consequently, influence the colors and the style.

The essentials

The table cloth – Unlike setting a table in a house or an event venue, on board yachts it is used less frequently . It is mainly used for more formal set ups, it is less practical and often covers the outstanding table features.

Pro tip: We tend to recommend the 50% linen & 50% cotton quality as it still gives a nice linen look and soft cotton touch while easier to iron as compared to 100% linen quality.

The Plates – There are usually at least 2 chinaware sets on board, one is casual and a second more formal. The casual set could be more colorful, matching the colors of the interior and the exterior, often in line with the colors of the deco cushions. We tend to suggest chinaware collections with a large range of items (ex: various serving dishes in different sizes), easily stack-able and light in weigh. It could be practical to use a set which offers 2 types of charger plates, a more sophisticated presentation plate for a formal setting, allowing to make a better use of the dinnerware in respect of the storage limitations.

It is very important to consider the preferred cuisine of the clients in order to propose the most suited dining set, composing of the required elements, especially for an Asian cuisine.

Pro tip: Other factors to be taken into account are if the plates should be dishwasher safe (avoiding gold and platinum encrusted decors), suitable for a microwave use as well as produced by manufacturers that guarantee the continuity of their production, allowing for an easy replacement even in few years’ time.

Placemats – are widely used for both indoor and outdoor table settings, available in various materials, shapes, colors and countless possibilities for customization, creating the perfect matching element to the chinaware and the theme of the table set up. Leather placemats are particularly preferred for an outdoor setting, available also as double-faced in 2 different colors.

The right cutlery – It is important to be selected in accordance to the chinaware in terms of style and form. A choice is to be made between a stainless-steel option vs silver plated model. Silver plated cutlery has a brighter and shiny finish of the silver as compared to the stainless steel.

Pro tip: Stainless steel requires less maintenance and is more resistant to the humidity onboard.

Napkins – Allow for creativity in terms of colors, the napkin fold and the placement on the table. An important element for any table setting, adding a touch of sophistication when used with a napkin ring.

Napkin on top of the plate? Or on the left? – The placement of the napkins depends on the available table space, the type of napkin fold and if the chinaware has a design/ logo which should be revealed, thus keeping the napkin to the side.

A trendy way to fold napkins is to fold by using a nice napkin jewel (ex: a starfish, coral) which adds a touch of elegance to the table setting while still keeping it casual and inviting.

Glassware – Solid, wind-safe glasses are preferred for outdoor use, often in a color glass, matching with the dining set or with the interiors. Another popular opinion for the exterior are the synthetic crystal (acrylic) glasses, available in a variety of styles and colors. These are great for boats because they don’t break, so in case one falls on the teak it won’t hurt anyone.

Culinary preferences

It is essential to be able to cater to the culinary preferences of the Owners and the charter guests. If for example they enjoy Asian cuisine, it is important to select a dining set which offers a good variety of suitable platters and bows (for rice, soup, soya sauce), Chinese spoons, chopsticks and chopstick rests, sake cups, Asian tea cups ant pots, etc.

Setting the mood

The lightning – Dim lighting ‘hospitality lighting’ is essential for creating a welcoming atmosphere. This could be also achieved by adding nice lanterns and photophores.

Candles – Long lasting non scented candles are preferred in various heights centrally placed on the dining table.

Center pieces of decoration are an important element to the table set up and the overall feel of the theme. Often fresh flowers are used along with decorative objects, photophores and candle holders as well as bowls filled with fruits for a more casual daytime setting. A nice bowl of floating candles could also serve as a center piece.

Name cards are used for a more formal settings and in particular when the host would like to decide on the seating arrangement prior to the arrival of their guests. The intent is to impact order (guests of the same gender do not sit next to each other) and make sure that distinguished guests are properly assigned seats.

Setting the table

Alignment: Making sure that everything is nicely aligned with the dining chairs and pleasing to the eye, paying particular attention to the correct placement of the cutlery and the glassware.

For the Salt & pepper it is suggest to place 2 to 3 sets of salt & pepper, within an easy reach, for a table setting of 8 to 12 guests.

Custom-made, the ultimate luxury

Yacht owners are often seeking uniqueness and authenticity when it comes to the design and decoration of their yacht, jet or home. They like to be involved in the creative process and share their vision and ideas of how they would like certain designs/ products to be developed.

As part of the team at Boutsen Design we have an in-house product designer who has created bespoke designs for various products, including chinaware, linens, carpets, etc.

Illy tells us, ‘I am currently working on a stunning new-built yacht project for which the client personally hand painted the logo (symbol) we will be replicating on one of the dining sets as well as on some of the linens and leather accessories’

The villa, yacht and jet

We tend to suggest different dining sets for the yacht, the jet and the residence of a client.

They should not only match with the interior in terms of style and colors but also create a different feel.

People tend to prefer contemporary sets for their jet, used often for business, while much more casual and colorful dinnerware for their yachts and vacation homes. Nautical themed dining sets, predominantly in blue tonality, are often used onboard a yacht while floral motives are sometimes preferred for a home in the countryside.

TIPS:

Being creative and enthusiastic about setting up a beautiful table for different occasions is the key.

Making a good use of the available crockery onboard is essential along with adding that extra touch by placing a nice center piece, candles and flowers, certainly contribute to creating a more pleasant dining experience and the overall enjoyment onboard.

How to choose your perfect table setting

You don’t know what you want, until you see it!

Boutsen Design has had the privilege to stage quite few impressive yachts during the Monaco Yacht Show and it has been very rewarding when the new Owners like our selection and decide to keep it onboard. It is often easier for them to visualize it better when they see everything carefully selected, nicely matching and properly placed at the various areas of their vessel. This experience is both exciting and agitating as we let them discover all the final touches added to their boat and see their reaction.

TABLE ETIQUETTE MANNERS

Basic table etiquette rules

Different cultures have different table etiquette. If you are a guest on board a yacht, it is important to learn about the cultural differences.

During dinner you want to be enjoying the beautiful setting and the interesting conversation, you want your dining companions to focus on you, not the awkward way you use your knife and fork.” That seems like a good goal more generally: Strive for excellence in table manners while remaining as inconspicuous as possible in the process.

Table manners

Different families have different table rules. Some while onboard a yacht during vacation can be more casual and relaxed and would allow to eat in a swim suit, however others will require to get dressed. For men, it is advised to always wear a shirt.

No hats/caps allowed if eating indoors dining room. The odd backwards baseball cap is not intended as a sign of disrespect and, assuming the wearer is not at the Four Seasons or a house of worship, you might even take it as an innocuous style preference rather than an impropriety. Of course, please continue to remove your own hat. There are surely like-minded diners who appreciate this.

Women, whose hats were understood to be decorative rather than functional, were exempt from this mandate.

If women want to apply lipstick after the meal, some suggest to excuse themselves and apply it at the ‘powder room’ however it is advised to re-apply it after the meal is over. Don’t reapply lipstick only to leave a print of it on your coffee cup, rather wait until the end of the meal.

About Boutsen Design, Monaco

The team at Boutsen Design is constantly on the lookout for the latest decoration trends and the newest collections, sourcing the right accessories and the best matching decorative elements, aiming at further enhancing the interior and the exterior of our yacht projects.

Daniela Boutsen perfected her craft in the demanding Business Aviation industry in the VVIP sector, decorating and equipping large private aircraft. Satisfied clients subsequently called on her for yachting and residential projects, which have evolved naturally with the company’s growth, experience and success.


BEST WATER TOYS OF 2020/ 2021

BEST WATER TOYS OF 2020/ 2021

Together with my partner in crime Roxane from Superyacht Tenders and Toys, we bring to you the LATEST TRENDS on water toys. Which toys is everyone crazy about?

Roxane looks after Superyacht Tenders and Toys Monaco, she is THE YACHT TOYS EXPERT, handling sales and the rental division. You will see her yacht-hoping in the Med meeting with yacht owners, captains and crew, brokers, etc..in land but also you will often catch her in the water!

TOYS FOR SPORT FANS

Being on board does not restrict you from practicing your favorite sports. You name it, we got it!

There are many ways to do some exercise onboard a Superyacht : Golf, basketball, gym, football, padel or even swimming in a beautiful long swimming pool.

Some owners have taken their love of sports to a new extreme and building their own outdoor workout gym.

It is no surprise that owners want to maximize the space on board, making many areas multipurpose, catering for all guest’s desires. Large foredecks or helidecks can create vast spaces for exercising and this utilizes these areas that are often unused for the majority of the time.

Exercising outside is often seen as a much more enjoyable and dynamic experience than the traditional indoor gym, also allowing space for team sports. Many yachts comment on these outdoor areas as being a real benefit to crew welfare and team morale.

TOP TOYS FOR THE PRO’S

For the adrenaline junkies who have a vast experienced water toys and a good fitness level: The best toys of 2020/2021 are definitely the:

The DJI Nitro C-1 Carbon Stand Up Jetski

The new Awake Rävik & the Zapata toys : Flyboard Jetpack, Hoverboard, Lift Foil

Is it a whale? is it a dolphin? is it real? is it a toy? no is a SEABREACHER!! the fastest diving machine in the world! This is made for the adrenaline acrobats! Would you accept the challenge?

Sony DSC

MOST POPULAR TOYS

The best-sellers of the year are:

The almighty Taiga Orca, which is the first electric personal watercraft to replace the Jet Skis!

Awake Rävik S, powerful electric surfboard with 4 riding modes : Kids, Eco, Sport and Extreme

Inflatable custom docks with inflatable swimming pool with Jellyfish net (perfect for those who are scared to go in the water!)

The Flume slide from Funair

The Seabob is definitely the best seller of all!

TOP TOYS FOR THE LADIES

Toys are not only for Boys! There are more and more Ladies that are extreme sport addicts, who are strong and like to have fun on an electric surfboard like the Awake Rävik, or doing some waterskiing – wakeboarding.

However there are toys for everyone, also for those seeking a smoother workout, exploring the surroundings while riding the Hobie Mirage Eclipse is an experience not everyone can live!

Pro tip: Nowadays there are also inflatable Stand Up Paddle boards which are surprisingly very stable (and great for storage on the yacht!)

For those seeking to re align your chakras, the yoga SUP is a total core workout!

Diving is also very popular among the ladies, to explore and see the beauty the underwater world, and be more close to nature and consequently more conscious about our planet.

Hey, does Tanning and drinking count as a sport? cause the inflatable platform is definitely my favorite toy from SYTT!

The inflatable platform is also a great protection and toy docking to the hull while enjoying your in-water experience.

TOP TOYS FOR KIDS

Of course the towables are a family-fun-must-have while yachting!

The ultimate Funair Slide

Aquaparks is the ultimate Ninja warrior challenge! is the new playground on the water from climbing walls, to jumping bouncers, is not only a lot of fun is also a great work out (and great excuse to get the kids tired while you sip on your margaritas on board)

Is a true family toy for all ages (even the crew have fun!)

FOR THE EXPLORERS

There is no better way to explore the deep oceans than inside your private submarine!

Experience the silence, and fascinating underwater world, to observe coral reefs, marine life, and historic underwater treasures!

LATEST TRENDS

Most yacht owners, often hear their kids saying ‘Been there, done that’ they are actually ‘bored’ of the usual. The latest trend is to hold your own private beach parties in remote islands or hold a private floating cinema party for your friends!

At SYTT you can actually rent all sorts of furniture, gazebos and tents, inflatable platforms, floating inflatable islands, BBQs, cool boxes, lights, games and even inflatable cinema screens to help you to host the ultimate beach party or set up guest activities ashore.

Click here for all the beach party rental options.

The Ultimate luxury, your own private cinema on a remote beach.

LUXURY IS IN THE DETAIL

There is no more luxury than having your own toys customized with the yacht name, family emblem and/or matching to your car and jet colors!

I asked Roxane, what makes SYTT so special compared to other toy companies?

She answers, honestly our level of support is second to none and a testament to our high service levels are our returning customers. From before delivery to warranty and after sales we offer support on all items purchased for the lifetime of the goods, at no charge. We also offer product specific training for guests and crew!

For more information to buy or rent water toys for your next yachting experience, contact the one-and-only: Roxane from SYTT

ABOUT SUPERYACHT TENDERS AND TOYS

Superyacht Tenders and Toys is the leading yacht tender and yacht toy consultancy company specializing in providing yachts with a one stop shop for all superyacht tender and toy needs and also yacht deck equipments.

Superyacht Tenders and Toys support does not stop on delivery, they offer full service and repair facilities in the UK and globally through their partner network, plus warranty support, spare parts procurement and supply of safety equipment – all with global delivery.

Superyacht Tenders and Toys UK headquarters has a warehouse and packing facilities on site for storage of tenders and gathering together of items for inclusive delivery of large new build orders. They also have an on-site helipad for clients visits.

They also provide consultancy for space optimization, designers will design in storage for equipment including racking, shelving, chocks, trolleys and more to ensure best use of space

In France, Superyacht Tenders and Toys has a yacht toys rental storage and a sales office in Monaco.

@superyachttendersandtoys


TRAVEL TIPS FOR A BUSINESS TRIP TO: MILAN, ITALY

TRAVEL TIPS FOR A BUSINESS TRIP TO: MILAN, ITALY

Traveling to Milan for work? Here are some tips to make the best out of your business trip.

As a global business development consultant, I have to travel extensively for work, but also I am very lucky to have friends like Cristina Lazic who is local girl working for Google in Milan giving us all her secrets! Moreover, I am very honored to have Antonio Romano owner of Hotlab yacht design studio in Milan, a fellow yachting professional share with us his insights.

Therefore, hereby I am sharing with you hereby some tips that I’ve gained through my own experience and also some tips from the best Local Milanese!

The name “Milan” comes from the name “Mediolanum” (in the middle of the plain). Which indeed, Milan is located between the mountains and the sea. Moreover, it is also very close to some of the beautiful lakes in the world like the Como Lake, and Lake Garda.

It is located in the center of Europe, making it a very convenient location for business!

Airport tips:

There are two main airports in Milan, Malpensa and Linate.

Milan Malpensa International Airport (MXP) is the largest and handles the most long-haul international flights, however is 52KM away from the city center. There a comfortable shuttle train that from the City centre (Cadorna Station) or from the main train station (Centrale) brings you into the airport in 35/40min, there also many buses but the train is the faster and easy way.

Milan Linate (LIN) is closest to the city center and serves mostly flights from within Italy and is only a 15min cab ride to the city center.

Whether you’re arriving at Malpensa, Linate you should be aware of the location when booking your tickets – sometimes the cheapest ticket or the best schedule can have you flying into one airport and out of a different one, or involve a long transfer into the city.

There are some places to eat in the local terminal like Panino Giusto and a nice area for food near the gates. However, note that in the international terminal in Linate there is almost no options for food and drink, so dont count on that before boarding. The airport is getting modernized and it coutns with passport scanners which makes the queues at least a bit faster.

Moving around:

Milan is a relative small city (compared to other big cities in Europe) therefore most drives would be around 20 minutes.

Unfortunately Uber in Italy is too expensive (they only have Uber Black option) as it is regulated private drivers (NCC) like in Germany and other countries, therefore there is no real price difference between Uber and a regular taxi. Taxis in Italy are a real problem, as they are expensive and there are not too many so you may have to wait long time before you get one. Make sure to plan this accordingly to your scheule. I been once waiting for a taxi for over an hour and had to reschedule and cancel all my meetings for the day. If you need normal taxis, call 026969.

Locals they use an app called car2go by Share now which is a car sharing alternative.

Public transport is not as convenient as it is in London for example. Taking the tube is preferable rather than taking bus transportation. A ticket lasts for 75 minutes and it costs around 2 EURO.

Best hotels for business trips

On my last visit to milan I’ve stayed at the Sheraton Diana Majestic, it is very well located and very italian!

Antonio reccomends:

Baglioni Hotel Carlton, for the quality of the bar (amazing cocktails), perfect for a business meeting because is never crowded an always discreet.

Four Seasons Milano, this hotel was an old monastery, has classical interiors and the lobby is the perfect place for an afternoon tea. Is also in the centre of the most know shopping ares: via Monte Napoleone.

Palazzo Parigi, a palace of the 16th century completely renovated, has one the best suite of all Italy and is extremely elegant and well refined. Fabulous Sunday brunch!

Cristina recommends:

 I would recommend the Fifty House, The Yard or Mandarin Oriental

Both Antonio and Cristina cannot emphasize enough the BULGARI Hotel.

AREAS

Before you book your hotels is good to know the Areas in Milan:

  • The center – Duomo to San Babila, and Montenapoleone / Via Della Spiga area
  • Brera – Parisian style of neighborhood
  • Tortona – cool lofts and it’s a nice to go during design week
  • Conciliazione area: Via Vincenzo Monti, Corso Vercelli, Piazza Wagner – nice shopping, very “milanese” (especially Corso Vercelli)
  • Isola area – it’s the new trendy area, very nice – Blue Note (jazz club) is there, and also the Google office is located here.

MARCE’S TIP: one of my top tips that I always tell you is ‘avoid hotel breakfast’ and instead go to the corner bakery shop or anything local. In there is where you will get to really live the cultural experience and learn something new about a different culture! Skip the ‘typical continental breakfast’ where you eat the same thing in every hotel, and instead go enjoy the local specialties!

Cristina’s top tips for breakfast in Milan ‘I recommend Lost in Town ,  GATTULLO or MAROTIN and LEONARDO in Via Saffi.

Laptop friendly cafe’s:

A nice cozy coffee place where you could sit down for a couple of hours do some emails and work while enjoying a nice cup of coffee is at BiancoLatte which is perfectly located in the center.

There is also a trendy modern and stylish lounge type of bar called Ceresio 7 pools and restaurant, which has nice options for lounge areas to do some work in a nice comfy couch.

This is also a great place to hold meetings, organize a business lunch or perfect for after work drink, as it has the most beautiful views of Milan city centers, nice pools and its been rated ‘the most instagrammable place in Milan’

The “Cinq” in Brera, the most artistic area of Milan, the bar is into a pedestrian square very quite and calm.

Place for meetings

A great Hotel Lobby to hold a meeting is at the Hotel Principe di Savoia which has the authentic Italian charm!

Depending on the type of meeting it is, but if its a sort-of-casual type of meeting, check out here the most beautiful roof top bars for aperitivo en Milan which can also be great places to hold a meeting while enjoying what Milan has to offer!

For privacy reasons I often have meetings at private clubs, so perhaps you could ask (whoever you-are-meeting) if they already belong to SOHO House or CORE both members-only clubs

Business Lunch

A great place for a business lunch is at the new TRUSSARDI ALLA SCALA, which is very well located in the center and close to the Scala Opera house.

if you want a great view of the Duomo, then there is GIACOMO ALL’ARENGARIO

Co-working space and offices

If you need to hire a place to work, a day-office or a place for a conference meeting room, We-Work is my preferred option worldwide! They have comfortable clean spaces, printing services, high speed internet and it is also a great place to network and socialize!

If you are in the tech business you probably also know Talent Garden, they also have a co-working space in Milan.

Best place for an after work drink

I personally love La RINASCENTE CAFE which is located inside a mall similar to the Harrods in London. It has an amazing terrace (makes sure you reserve a table outside to get spectacular view of the Duomo!

Wining & dining clients (Party)

The Armani hotel is a great place to go and they also have a Nobu inside! There is also the Armani Prive club (if you are lukcy, you might catch our friend Cristina there as she is often the DJ there!)

JUST CAVALLI is a popular bar among the celebrities, football players and models.

BULGARI is the place to see and been seen by all celebrities.

Best place to party is GATTOPARDO the crowd is in their 30s and it used to be a church,it is simply amazing!

Generally, the best areas for drinks are brera, porta ticinese and arco.

For more underground type of party, you have Plastic

Things to do in case you case free time

Milan is the fashion capital in the world, therefore if you can, Go shopping!

Shopping tips: ‘ you should shop around the Fashion area of Milano: Via Montenapoleone, Via Della Spiga, Via Manzoni (they are all close), the centre (Duomo, San Babila) and then go to Brera area for a nice walk and coffee. The new mall area of City Life is also cool, you find less luxury brands but it’s super nice.

If you want to leave the crowded city you could drive towards the countryside to go experience EL GARGHET, or why not drive to Lake Como, or why not having an authentic truffle pasta in the Piedmont region?

If you are willing to drive approx 2 hours, you could go to Valle D’Aosta ( the Alps!) or drive towards the sea in Liguria.

TIPS FROM A LOCAL

I asked my awesome friend Cristina Lazic who now works at Google in Milan (she is also a famous female DJ, and a mom, aka a super woman!) we studied together at University of Miami.

What is your favorite thing about your city ?

Its size and location – its small enough to get anywhere in 20 mins, but also close to mountains and sea – only 2 hrs  – and lakes – only 30 mins! Plus everyone is classy 😉 it’s just THE BEST! 

‘Milan may not be as beautiful as Rome and Florence perhaps, but the people take so much care about their style that they make it a beautiful city!’

Hence, now you know why Milan is THE fashion capital of the world!

Antonio reveals to us where do the locals go? The areas where mostly the local goes are Brera, Navigli and Garibaldi.Last but not least  in Garibaldi area don’t miss a visit to the Corso Como 10, you can have a good drink, a dinner, make some shopping, use your laptop and much more in a single, magical, place…

What are the ‘Must do’ experiences in Milan?

  • Have a coffee “Al bancone” (Italian expression for a coffee behind the bar standing up) in one of the bars of the center, such as COVA in Montenapoleone (with some pasticcini if possible)
  • Of course, visit the Duomo (and possibly climb it!) and eat a typical “panzerotto” by the Luini bakery.
  • Go for a walk to the the Parco Sempione and notice the Arco Della Pace and walk around the Sempione area. 
  • Go see an opera or ballet at the famous Teatro alla Scala
  • You cant leave Milan without Having an aperitivo

Cristinas tip: ‘my favorite places for aperitivo are OTTO, THE YARD, RITA for amazing cocktails and then the terraces, like CERESIO 7 and TERRAZZA MARTINI.

Have an ‘Sprtiz’ as they call it, is basically a prosecco and bitter Aperol cocktail, called Aperol Spritz. The best areas to look for bars for an aperitivo are: the Brera, Arco, and Navigli. Italians are serious about the APERITIVO and is one of my favorite things about the italian culture! Is like an afte-work but a million times better! You pay between 6-10 euros for a drink but you also get a lot of food! Aperitivo is very important in Milan and bars compete to offer the best aperitivo, therefore you enjoy a little taste of the best the italian cuisine has to offer! sometimes there are buffets or so many options that you are almost too full for diner!

Where to eat?

You cant leave Milan without eating a proper Milanese (yes, it comes from Milan but Italians call it Cotoletta) Do you know the difference between a Milanese and a German Schnitzel? you would have to ask an Italian and they would be very happy to elaborate!

Best Place for fish

Milan is also known for the quality of his restaurants, especially for the fish (the freshest one of Italy arrives first here)

  • LANGOSTERIA BISTROT (amazing fish generally raw),
  • A’RICCIONE
  • “The Fisher” has a nice atmosphere, great service and fish plates. Even better if you’ll try a cocktail at the bar before the dinner

Nice Italian restaurant:

  • GIULIO PANE E OJO
  • “Paper Moon Giardino” another great court in the surroundings of Monte Napoleone. One of the best places also for mushrooms, truffles and in general for all the kind of pasta!
  • “Giacomo all’Arengario” from this place you will have a unique view to the Duomo Square
  • For something really WAOW: TORRE at FONDAZIONE PRADA

Feel more like Asian?

  • IYO (its actually the best sushi i have ever had, it has been awarded a Michelin star too!),
  • BA ASIAN MOOD (asian fusion, same owners as IYO),
  • GONG (dim sum etc, again same owners as IYO),

Best Place for Meat:

DON JUAN for argentinian steaks.

Best place for brunch:

  • LIVING at arco della pace area
  • BIANCOLATTE
  • Palazzo Parigi ‘amazing sunday brunch’

Best place for sunny lunch:

Lunch at the “Salumaio di Montenapoleone”, fabulous restaurant in the centre of the shopping area.Is into the court of an historical building, that is also a museum.

Best place for pizza:

  • SPONTINI (very casual and easy place, no posh) .
  • The Best pizzeria: PICCOLA ISCHIA.

Non- touristic secret place

Antonio would also suggest to try a very tiny and distinctive restaurant, famous for the quality of the regional food and the kindness and harmony of the two owners, is not in the centre but definitely deserve a visit: Latteria Maffucci.

Local Blogs

For more tips on trendy places, there is a well known blog called Flawless which covers all the up to date places to go!

DURING THE CORONA VIRUS

Since we cant fly to Milan, we can watch this video and tele-transport ourselves there! Enjoy!

Milan Aerial views from above:

 

Ceresio 7 in Milan


MIAMI: TRAVEL TIPS FOR A BUSINESS TRIP

MIAMI: TRAVEL TIPS FOR A BUSINESS TRIP

Going to Miami for work? Here are some tips for your next business Trip to Miami, based on experience and advice from a local.

@jessika

Airport tips

Miami International Airport – MIA – You can fly directly to this airport from the most important cities around the globe. From the airport to the city center (depending on traffic) if you go to the financial district it would take you less than 20 minutes and 35 minutes to South Beach. The good news upon arrival is that Wifi is available and unlike other airports in Miami wifi is free so you can book your transport!

Another airport is Ft Lauderdale Intl airport – FLL which is about an hour drive into Miami city center. This is a great alternative, since there are some low cost airlines flying from Europe to FLL. Moreover MIA often has really long queues at passport control (once I was in line for 2 hours!) therefore if you want to make the most of your day in Miami in some cases is easier to fly to FLL instead.

Miami has a strong cuban influence, and something I love to do upon arrival is go straight to the cuban kiosk for some good cuban coffee and specialties.

I love the smell when I land in Miami, I dont know why, but it has a very special smell, the air is very humid and is VERY HOT, so I always tend to remove a few layers of clothing as soon as I land. I love the feeling upon arrival, it gives me the chills and I can hear the caribbean music in the background!

Something I don’t like about MIA is the fact that the car rental area is in a different terminal and you have to walk A LOT and take a train to get there which takes ages, so keep that in mind in case you are carrying heavy luggage.

Moving around:

Uber is allowed in Miami and is the preferred alternative, they also have lyft which is the main competitor in the USA. Shared transportation is recommended as Taxis are more expensive and often they are smelly.

If you are new to uber and want $6 off your next trip you can use my invite code hereby.

Public transport is very limited. The best way to move around is Uber. Most Americans drive and probably a majority of the locals have their own car. Sometimes they rather use Uber because parking is hard to find and expensive. Remembers USA is all abou tipping, yes, you have to tip taxi drivers and Ubers! (something we dont usually do in Europe)

For yachting professionals, going from Miami to Ft Lauderdale and Palm Beach the yachting hubs, there is a new train which is very modern and sophisticated the bightline, its pretty fast and comfortable.

Best hotels for business trips

Best areas to look for hotels are in Midtown, Brickell and South Beach.

Brickell is the financial district in Miami and is in my opinion the best place to look for business hotels.

East hotel is a modern Asian young and vibrant hotel, perfectly situated by the business arenas, near conferences and perfect fit to the business lifestyle. It is actually connected to the Brickell City center shopping mall.

A great business hotel in Miami Beach is the One hotel, I have actually stayed there a couple of times and I love it because it very modern and minimalist. Most hotels in South Beach are pretty outdated (or they use the term art deco as they call it to hide the fact is old and outdated)

Laptop friendly cafe’s:

I am a big fan of Joe & The juice (link will take you to all Miami locations) and actually Miami has a bunch of them, is a great place to grab a fresh juice, recharge (not only yourself but also your to recharge your phone and laptop!)

Otherwise Starbucks is always a popular choice.

Hotel Lobby’s for business meetings

One of the most beautiful lobbies is the one at the Mandarin Oriental in Brickell which by the way has one of my favorite restaurants in the world: La Mar, peruvian fusion restaurant. It is also my favorite place for brunch ever!

Place for meetings:

As my friend a financial advisor and resident of Miami, Jessika Angarita perfectly describes it:

‘If I am taking an investor and talk about finance, I would suggest the Four Seasons in Brickell.

If I am talking about yachting and luxury, I would suggest the Deck in Island Gardens.

For a casual and simple meeting I go to Casa Tua at the Brickell City Center mall”

Co-working space and offices

As usual my favorite worldwide is We Work, and they have a nice one We work office in Brickell where you can rent an office space for the day to ensure you have high speed internet, printer services or arrange a conference room.

it is also a great place to do some networking if you are in the tech start up business!

Business lunch

For a business lunch La Petit Maison is where a local would take their foreign clients for lunch.

Best bar for an after-work drink

Also located in Brickell area there is Sugar rooftop at the East Hotel, which is a local’s favorite place for Happy Hour!

For a fancy shaken & stirred, sexy, sultry, and glamorous cocktail The S Bar at the SLS lounge brings life to all new heights of enjoyment. The vibe is casual and the style is bohemian chic with an urban edge.

Wining & dining clients

La Sirenusse at the Four Seasons in North Miami, Quinto la Huella in Brickell City Center and of course, Cipriani never fails.

And all-time favorite is Joe’s stone crab restaurant, but make sure you make a reservation (or tip the manager to get in 😉

For after party bars  there is Marion in Brickell and the Faena in Miami Beach.

Things to do in case you case free time

You cant go to Miami and not go shopping!! I usually make sure I take a day off to shop till’I drop! Miami has some of the best outlets and shopping malls in the world!

If shopping is not your thing; and you are more into sports, Paddle Boarding in Key Bizcayne is a life-experience you want to have!

Of course Miami is one the best places to Charter a boat for a day, go for a dip in a nice bay or join the sand bar boat parties! Contact me for more info on chartering a yacht in Miami.

If you are going to Miami for work during the week and decide to stay the weekend to enjoy your time there, I would definitely recommend you to hire a car and take a road trip to the Florida Keys on the weekend! Go enjoy some authentic Key-Lime Pie, blackened shrimps, go island hoping and enjoy the Caribbean vibes!

Tip from a local

I asked my friend Jessika Angarita, owner of Pacta Relations who is a financial adviser living in Miami, the following:

What do locals do and where do locals go?

Miami has the best latin clubs, places we go dancing are: La Victoria at the Design District, El Santo in La Calle 8, La Otra.

I count agree more with Jessica as I love going to Miami to DANCE and specially hear latin music and simply dance the nigh away!

What is your favorite thing about Miami?

I love Miami because is basically Latin America in the USA.

Your turn

If you have any recommendations of places you like in Miami, leave it in the comments for our community of fellow business travelers to share!

 

Follow my business travel adventures on instagram @onboardwithmarcela.

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TIPS FOR THROWING YACHT PARTIES

TIPS FOR THROWING YACHT PARTIES

PRE- PLANNING

Planning an event is very time- consuming and you need extreme attention to detail for it! If you dont have time to plan and prepare everything for the party I recommend you to ask the purser onboard to organize the party or hire an event planner.

Pre-planning properly the event is what will make the event successful, make sure you have enough time to get all of the details ahead of time. Its important to find the suitable and reliable (not all of them are reliable!) contractors for the entertainment, security and catering.

It all starts with the objective of the party. This is the ‘Why’ are we throwing a party discussion. Depending on the objective of the event, if it a birthday, new years party, wedding anniversary, or if its simply to entertain friends and family.

Otherwise, In case it is a brand awareness type of event you could get sponsors to participate and by sharing the costs you could throw awesome(er) parties!

The first step is to agree and define the Guest list. Depending on the size and capacity of the yacht, you can plan a certain number of guest on board. If you are planning a party on anchor, most commercial yachts won’t allow you to have more than 12 guests sleeping on board. If you are planning to have your party inside the port, you can have up to 150 guests onboard (on a 60 meter++ yacht ) My suggestion would be to keep it small, not more than 100 guests makes it a good party, else it becomes really hard to control, especially if you want the party to be on the deck areas and you don’t want clumsy guest in the interior with shaky wine glasses which can ruin the furniture. According to the book The Tipping point, a point of human intimacy and interaction is about 100-120 guests.

On managing guest lists, usually, there is The A-List which are usually the VIP’s (Very Important people) and the B-List which is the list in case the people you hope to attend the A-List doesn’t show up. In Hollywood terms A- list are top famous actors on the big screens, B- List are less successful actors, and C-List are actors that are known by face but not by name.

It is also important to keep in mind your guests: crew ratio in order to keep the guest well served. Depending on how many guests you plan to have, perhaps you may need to hire extra service, waiters, bartenders, or helpers in keeping the party under control. You need to think if you want a seated diner or a walking cocktail? will the waiters walk around to serve drinks, or will you have fixed spots or a bar where guests can go get their drink? of course dynamic bar tender doing a show is always a highlight!

It is always a challenge to estimate the number of people who will actually attend a party usually a rule of thumb is about 70-80% of the people you invited. Here is a quick formula typically used to calculate how many people will attend the event

Number of out-of-town guests x 0.55) + (Number of local guests x 0.85) = total estimate

It is essential to start with a vision board of the theme of the party. Nowadays, HNWI not so eassily impressed thefore it takes a lot to surprise them. Parties get more creative on finding ways to keep the ‘wow factor’ like the Great Gatsby used to raised the standards.

The theme will influence the decoration of the party, the menu for the food, the type of music, and the dress code for the guests. If it’s a circus theme party for example then you can serve hot dogs, and cotton candy and have acrobats, dwarfs, and clowns on board to entertain the guests.

There is the famous story of a yacht ordering 500 white roses for a diner party, while cruising in the Caribbean, there were not enough florists in the island to supply them, so they had to order the flowers from Miami on a private jet, only the decoration fee was more than 100K EUR!

Once the theme is agreed upon and the guest list is ready, then it is time to design the party invitations. There are many ways to design the invitation either a DIY using canva for example, or else hiring a graphic designer for a personalized and unique invitation. Before you send out the invitations though, it is important to confirm the exact berth location and get approval from the port.

Then, once the creative sessions are over, we move on to the less-fun part and then its time to make a budget. Agreeing on a budget beforehand is crucial, yacht parties can cost around six figures, it is almost like planning a wedding.

In order to make a budget, we first need to calculate how many hours will the party last?

If you know the party is going to take place from 8pm to midnight; then you know that is a 4-hour party, then you can book the musicians accordingly for example. This will help you also plan your catering costs, as we know that usually, people eat about 2-3 canapes per hour

When you are a yacht owner yourself, then it is easier as you know your running costs and your care very well. However, If you don’t own a yacht and want to throw a party on a yacht then you need to charter one, our yachts for example charter for around 500,0000 euros a week in the summer. The minimum industry standard is one week to charter a yacht, however exceptionally some yachts will allow 1-2 days charters if you just want to host a party on board.

Brief the crew

It is really important to brief the crew properly on all the details of the event, how many people are coming on board, who is coming, how long will the party last, who is the event leader, what are their roles and responsibilities, what are your expectations of them, etc..

Remember that they live onboard, therefore we need to respect that and warn them beforehand so they can prepare themselves.

Depending on the theme of the party, they can decide also on what uniforms to wear, or perhaps we need to think of costumes for example.

During the event, it is important to agree on the roles, who will be at the entrance? who will safeguard the interior? who is your ‘go to’ person/supervisor.

For example, it is important to have a stewardess always around the dayheads, to make sure they can assist the guests who perhaps have never been onboard a yacht and don’t know how to use the toilets properly and make sure they don’t go in the wrong direction once returning back to the party.

Catering

A good party depends on the food, the music and the drinks! Choosing the right menu to impress your guests is key!

Most chefs on board the yachts will be capable and happy to do the canapes for the party, just make sure they can plan long in advance in order to get the right provisions of ingredients and enough time to prepare it. Sometimes a crew member with some basic kitchen/galley experience or just a simple dishwasher is highly appreciated as it can get hectic for the chefs.

Making food for 100 people takes days of preparation! However, if the chef is not available then you can hire a catering company, however if you really want to make an impression you can also hire a celebrity chef to do live cooking to knock off some socks!

I usually plan for about 4 -6 canapes per person if that is the only food being served. If there is canapes + dinner then I would do less canapes. My suggestion is to always round up your estimates, don’t round them down! (the crew will thank you later)

Anticipate which food selections will be most popular and serve more of them. For example, shellfish appetizers are always popular, so serve as much as your budget allows

Usually, on most yacht parties I’ve been, there are some canapes followed by a light cooking station” with dishes like risotto, caviar, and vegan options, followed by a variety of desserts. Keep in mind that some people have allergies, and also be aware of the latest healthy food trends (matcha avocado ice cream anyone?)

I would suggest the food to be “yacht-friendly,” meaning you can eat it while standing and chatting, and it’s not crumbling through your fingers onto the decking,

Make sure you have enough ‘trash bins’or crew walking around to take out the remainings in order to keep your level of standards high.

Don’t forget to Plan the service-ware, how are things being served? which items you need to keep the food warm, etc. This is something that I am sure the chef will take care but it is always important to plan it.

Entretainment

Usually, on yacht parties it always starts with live music, a live-group of musicians to set the mood and then finish pump-up the party with a DJ.

For booking A- List entertainment I recommend Emmanuel from GF Entertainment he is able to book singers, artists, acrobats, bands and all sorts of performers. You want Ed Sheeran or Drake on your next event? Emmanuel got it for you! (He is also the go-to-man if you need access to invitation-only high profile events anywhere in the world! You want to sit front row at the Oscars or attend the Victorias’ secret Fashion show? -> contact him!)

For booking local musicians in Monaco suitable for your theme and event, I usually work with Yilen from Ieventslifetyle in Monaco and the South of France and she always has the best value-for-money shows!

For acrobats, flying magicians, LED dancers and unique shows I usually work with Talent & Productions. I also heard of Scarlett Entretainment but I have never worked with them.

It is important to agree on the terms of the contract to avoid any disappointment. Some artists, for example, will only work for 30minutes and then request a 20-minute break. However, in some cases, it is not ideal because that 20-minute break can ‘kill the mood’ and people will get bored for example.

Always ask them to come with at least 2-3 hours of anticipation to do the sound checks, etc. Believe me, it takes time to find out where the plug the instruments, hide the cables, and you don’t want to find out last minute that the speakers are not loud enough and nobody can hear them!

Most entertainment groups usually bring their own equipment, but if you want to have several performances during the night, it might be smarter to rent lights and sound equipment which they can all use. This prevents the moving and carrying of equipment on and off the yacht whilst your party is ongoing, and saves your crew from needing to give a helping hand, since you want to make sure carrying up and down the equipment does not damage the yacht. Besides, setting up and sound checking is usually not booster for the party vibe.

Also make sure you think about their meals and drinks and toilet access, and agree on what are they allowed and not allowed (taking pictures of the guests,etc.)

There are many companies that support in light sound, LED screens and special effects for your party. However, make sure to get a good value for money and make sure they offer you ‘yacht worthy’ equipment. This means, clean professional and subtle (small) but powerful enought to take your party to the next level. A great company to recommend is New Generation (I know the owner and he used to be a yacht manager/purser and knows the yachting ins-and outs! They have fair prices and are a great asset to get involved in you party!

Security

Depending on the guest lists, sometimes we even have the secret service onboard, especially if there are any politicians, oligarchs or royal families on board.

Although there is a Strict guest list, some people may leak in, and that is why you may need to book extra security and body guards. We’ve had situations of random people going on board and stealing ashtrays and decor! In another party we had luxury jewerly sponsors and we had more than 100 million euros worth of jewels on the yacht, therefore we had security guards and cameras on every deck.

If you choose to have a ‘bouncer’type of security at the entrance gangway it is important for him to follow the strict guidelines for guest list policy, in some cases we even have to check ID’s.

A good idea is to provide wrist bands (psst.. I tell you a secret: this is also good internal communication for the host and sponsors to know who is on the A-list and who is not) the guests don’t need to know why are some wearing a green wrist band and others a yellow one for example. A great idea is to have the wristbands printed with the logos of your sponsors or any message that you would like the guests to notice.

Valet parking, the guests turn up in Rolls Royce’s, Bentleys, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, all sorts of limited editions and roadsters, even though it is not a car show, it may certainly look like one! Some ports can’t handle too many private parking spots (and provide the security that they deserve) therefore it is of utmost importance to think about valet parking services.

I’ve been to a yacht party which had a parking lot available near by and they set up golf carts to bring you from the parking to the party.

For safety reasons, you may consider pre-booking some taxis in advance in case there are people who are not sober enough to drive back home.

Photographer

Make it an unforgettable evening by capturing those magical moments by a professional photographer (and videographer) to discreetly capture the scenes without disturbing the guests.

Photo booths are pretty trendy lately with funny accessories or a cartoon artists are fun to have.

Shoe organizer

Different yachts have different ways of handling the shoe management. If there are 100 guests onboard imagine how hard it is to find their shoes on their way out!! I had once a situation where my friend left with only 1 shoe because the otherone got lost! Another party some woman took my shoes by mistake!

Therefore it is important that when guests arrive and they remove their shoes, they are provided with a ticket number, and that shoes are stored properly and organized.

Just like jackets at a theater. Jackets, yes! Good one! some guests might bring jackets, scarfs, or even bags which they would like you to take care of. A good idea is to set up a cloak room where you can store these items. Make sure to label them, and make sure you can lock the room!

In case there are plenty of guests attending, it might be a good idea to set up a proper tent with secured wardrobe and hostesses to take your guests belongings.

Gift Bag

It is costumery for yacht parties (especially for the brand awareness type of events) to provide guests upon their departure with a nice little gift bag for them to take home. Some parties you will get Bvlgari candles worth around £100-150 , as the bathrooms are done up with Bvlgari scents.

I think Gift Bags need to be personalized and give something that the guests will enjoy. A gift bag full of brochures and company presentations will not do the trick.

POST- EVENT

Thank you cards

Nowadays people find handwritten printed cards to be old-fashioned and don’t send thank you cards anymore (although I find it super classy and personalized) but designing a thank you card that can be sent via whatsapp with a link to the event photos or something more personalized is always a nice touch!

Ask your photographer to make an after-movie with unique clips of the event which your guest can re-live the party (and share it on their social media for more brand exposure!)

Press & Media

If the event was a brand awareness type of event, then once you get the professional photos and video editing from your photographer then it is a good idea to send it out to media for more brand exposure.

If you like my content, you can buy me a coffee for $3 – THANK YOU in advance!

For more tips on yachting in Monaco follow me on @onboardwithmarcela

 


TRAVEL GUIDE TO: Nice, France

TRAVEL GUIDE TO: Nice, France

Planning to visit the south of France? Nice (pronounced “Neese” in French) is usually the first destination as it is the biggest city on the Cote d’Azur, and it’s where the airport is located.

Located between turquoise sea and snow-capped mountains, Nice was the first European city I lived in, hence it is close to my heart. I am excited to share with you some great activities to do, and I hope you enjoy your stay!

WHAT TO DO?

Go for a walk on La Promenade des Anglais

This is the famous beach strip and boardwalk of Nice. It is a lovely stroll to go out for a walk, jog, skating or simply go people- watching. I especially like bike-riding down the entire 7km boardwalk. There are stations for city bike rentals all along the promenade. Pick one up at one end and drop it off at the other, or keep it for the day. A 24 hour rental is only €1,50 ($1.63)!

Visit the market

Located in Cours Saleya in the old town (le vieux Nice), there is a fragrant and colorful flower market called ‘Le Marché des Fleurs.’ It is open from 6am to 1pm every day. In the summer months they also have the ‘Marché d’Artisanat Festival Nocturne.’ The market is open at night and sells local handcrafted items. On Monday mornings, the Cours Saleya becomes a big open-air flea market!

It’s also the ideal place to have a glass of Rose or a delicious meal at one of the many terrace restaurants and cafes.

Discover the Old Town (Vieux Nice)

In addition to the markets, the old town – with its shady alleyways, colorful facades and typical Mediterranean shutters – is a walking tourist’s dream. Glaciers, crêperies and cafes all flow onto the squares, which are often lively until the early hours with talented street performers and laughing kids.

Hike to the Castle Hill

Castle Hill Park (le parc de la Colline du Château) is located on the hill overlooking Nice’s old town. It is a lovely stroll and it is totally worth the long stair climb to see the expansive views of the sea and the city. It’s also a view you’ve probably seen on Instagram or in travel books because it’s the most famous picture spot. **Hint – you can also cheat and take the elevator up 😉 But I recommend you take the stairs at least one way so you pass by the Bellanda Tower.

source: Flikr

GO TO THE BEACH

Nice’s beach looks glamorous in photos, but with its big pebbles in lieu of sand, it’s not the most comfortable beach in the world! If you want a truly glamorous beach like you imagined in the south of France, I recommend you go to Villefranche sur Mer, Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, or, my favorite, Plage Mala in Cap D’ail.

If you’re a water sports lover, Le Castel Beach in Nice has many fun activities, including parasailing, SUP and tubing.

SHOPPING

I like to describe Nice as a big outdoor shopping mall. It has two main roads full of shops. There is the Avenue Jean Medecin, which is the main shopping street – a sort of Champs-Élysées but with more sunshine! That’s where you’ll find the big brands like Zara, H&M, etc as well as an indoor shopping mall called Nice Etoile. Then there is Rue Massena, which is in the prestigious Carré d’Or of Nice. It’s a beautiful street full of shops, bars and restaurants. For those with an eye for luxury, the high end brands like LV and Chanel are on Rue Paradis – perpendicular to Rue Massena.

WHAT TO EAT

Eat a Gelato

One of my favorite things to do in Nice is to go eat ice cream! In the old town there are two famous gelaterias Fenocchio and Gelateria Azzurro, which are known for their weird flavours like avocado, fish, rose, lavender, etc, but they also have some super yummy flavours like baileys, pistachio, stracciatella and more!

*Note that they do not let you sample flavours, so if you go for a weird flavour, you’re all in!

Try Local Food

The “cuisine niçoise” is the pride of the niçois (inhabitants of Nice)

Obviously you can finally enjoy an authentic Salade Nicoise, a classic salad with tuna, tomatoes, vegetables, anchovies, hard boiled eggs in a local vinaigrette. Some other local specialties:

  • Socca: this dish is made from chickpea flour and is one of the most famous dishes in Nice. Best place to try it is Chez Pippo.
  • Pan Bagnat: a sandwich version of the niçoise salad.
  • Others to try: panisse, farcis niçois, daube niçoise (beef stew), pissaladière

Eat a Kebab

I have some fond memories of eating Kebabs in Nice. They are economical and delicious! Specially after partying!

Restaurants

Some of the top restaurants in Nice include:

La Petite Maison – a typical Mediterranean restaurant located in the heart of the city.

Cafe de Turin – a favorite for seafood lovers! It has the ambiance of a brasserie combined with the freshest seafood. A great place to eat oysters and enjoy their ‘panaches’ which are menus that have a little bit of everything!

My absolute favorite (secret spot) is Le Plongeoir restaurant. It has breathtaking views and is the perfect place for a romantic sunset dinner. I celebrated my 30th birthday there, and it was an unforgettable experience.

We also enjoy going to Nice for authentic Mexican food (which you don’t find in Monaco). We like La Lupita, which has great Happy Hour Margarita offers! Another great place for Mexican is 100% Tacos, which is more of a street food for pick up type of place.

BARS

Nice has some lovely rooftop bars perfect for enjoying the sun and the views.

Le Meridien Hotel Rooftop Bar

Soaring above the Niçois skyline, it commands dazzling, widescreen views from the 10th floor.

The Radisson Blu

Located halfway down the promenade, the view from La Terrasse is beyond comparison. This is a must-visit if you are here for the July 14 Bastille Day celebrations or one of the many firework shows on the beach.

PUBS

We sometimes go to Nice just for the pub crawling. The typical ‘yachtie’ place to go is Ma-nolans – they have one pub in the old town of Nice and one in the port. Both are lively English pubs where you can get a beer and some typical pub fare, like fish and chips or burgers.

MOVING AROUND

The best way to explore Nice is by foot – it’s easy to walk everywhere. There is also a brand new tramway that comes by every few minutes and is easy to hop on and off. Don’t forget to “composter” (stamp) your ticket or you may a get a fine!

If you really have to take a car somewhere, Uber is available, but you may have to wait a long time as there aren’t too many. Similar to Uber, but less expensive, is Heetch. You can download the app and use it just like you would Uber.

A fun way to explore the area is by using NiceCar. I would totally recommend you use it to drive up to Eze village for lunch!

YACHTING

If you want to go from Nice to Monaco, there is a low-cost concept called Solar Boat Cruises. Up to 6 people can cruise around for 1 hour as a great way to explore the coast! And it’s silent, so there’s no engine disrupting the sounds of nature!

For yacht charter experiences, contact me directly, and I’ll make sure to guide you to your next unforgettable experience!

WHERE TO STAY

Hotels

Hotel La Perouse is a secret gem. It is perfectly located and gives you the ideal Mediterranean vibe!

The Negresco

This is THE MOST FAMOUS hotel in the South of France. It is the icon that symbolizes the French Riviera. It was built over 100 years ago and has a lot of history, including a collection of artwork and furniture from the 17th century.

Although I would personally not recommend staying there, I think is a great place to visit for the art gallery and to grab a coffee on the terrace.

There are also great city apartments that you can find on Airbnb. Make sure you choose the right location, preferably by the sea or by the shopping streets mentioned above – good areas are Massena, the port, the old town (vieux Nice) and the Promenade des Anglais. There are also some bad areas in Nice that are not safe so do some due diligence before booking!

VISIT SOME CUTE TOWNS AROUND NICE

From Nice you can either take the train, car or even go by boat to visit the charming and picturesque towns in the surrounding area, such as:

  • Villefranche-sur-Mer: In my opinion the most beautiful views between Nice and Monaco are here. This is also a great place to grab lunch by the water or take a stroll through the The Villefranche Old Town, the darse (its port) and most importantly, the St. Elmo Citadel (Citadelle Saint-Elme)
  • Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat: The peninsula of billionaires, where you find the most expensive real estate in France (or perhaps even Europe!) I love going ‘window shopping’ for luxury villas. There is also the famous Ephrussi de Rothschild villa, which you can visit and take gorgeous photos of the royal gardens. One of my favorite paths to go for a walk in the world is the the coastal walk tour of Cap Ferrat, which starts at Passable Beach. You can also swim in one of the pretty little coves along the way!
  • Eze village: This small village perched above the sea is one of the most beautiful medieval villages in all of France.
  • Menton: A small town on the Italian border, known for its lemon festival and sunshine. The old town of Menton is full of vibrant colors and a great place to buy Limoncello – made from the famous lemons of Menton!
  • Antibes: With one of the largest luxury yacht ports and full of renowned restaurants, the old town of Antibes is also worth a visit. Another thing to do in Antibes: the Cap d’Antibes tour with its magnificent luxury villas is a beautiful place to go jogging!
  • Cannes: The city where the famous film festival takes place every year! You can take a boat out to the islands off the coast of the city, including the famous Ile Sainte-Marguerite, where the famous Man in the Iron Mask was imprisoned. Great city for shopping too!
  • The Principality of Monaco: Monaco, famous for the Casino de Monte Carlo and its glamourous lifestyle! Check out my MONACO TRAVEL GUIDE HERE
  • Beautiful villages to visit around Nice: PeilleSaint Agnès (highest perched village on the coast), Coaraze and its sundials, and the ruins of Châteauneuf-Villevieille.