What a week it has been! Here in Istanbul for the wedding of one of my friends since high school… we were supposed to be on vacation… but of course even while running around, Shawn and i couldn’t resist snapping and sharing pics of all the inspiration and amusement on our cell phones… many of them making it to our NOTlabs instagram (and his personal one too)… As far as proper features go ~ so far you’ve gotten a peek at our flight in to istanbul as well as inside our room at the House Hotel Galatasaray… and the adorable Emel Loves Istanbul city guide that arrived! So for all the other randomness ~ from touristy adventures to Blue Mosque and Ayasofya to the leeches and peacocks near the spice bazaar ~ to random shopping inspiration and museum finds ~ to the wedding on the bosphorus and boat ride ~ to cafes, tiles, graffiti, and so much more… get a flash overview of what we’ve experienced on the next page!
In Istanbul all week, and while we’re here for one of my dearest friend’s wedding ~ amongst the festivities, it has been hard to figure out what to do and where to go to really get to know Istanbul! Surely there are the usual monuments, museums, bazaars and other must see spots that you find in the touristy guides… then there are the high end luxury shopping sections with brands you can probably find in any major city… and even the Wallpaper guide had a bunch of the same old stuff… but finding resources to share the fun, unexpected in betweens has been surprisingly tough! Even chatting with local friends of the bride, it’s not always easy for people to step back and help direct you to the uniquely different little shops, galleries and spots that they may take for granted…
Thanks to twitter and the internet in general making travel and exploration a smaller world than ever ~ i got the sweetest tweet from the folks at Jotun the other day, which lead to a magical little package arriving on the hotel room bed hours later! Artist, Emel Kurhan, has created a set of guide books (Emel Loves Istanbul and Emel Loves Paris!) that feel like a scrapbook of favorite spots (and why they are loved, which turn to take/door to open for secret spots, etc) leading you into a whole over side of Istanbul! “The 2 Guides are for sale together the price for 2 books is 40TL, the money will be donated to different animal shelters, they come with a ribbon(each has a different color), only 2000 books has been printed and has been numbered by myself!” she says on her site.
So while i still may not get a taste of all facets of Istanbul in this week ~ we’ve done a few cliche tourist things, attended a stunning wedding on the edge of the Bosphorus (and ended up on a boat on it till 4am) with our hand carried NOTlabs photobooth guestbook setup, hidden out at the House Hotel Galatasaray… regardless of what the remaining 3 days hold, this adorable little book is definitely helping fill in more of the blanks! Take a peek inside it as well as a cute video teaser for them on the next page!
Majestic New Zealand’s Alps, sunshine in the Balaerics and diving in the Maldives are all part of this week’s roundup from NotVentures. To find out more about each destination, click on its individual image.
It’s been a while since a Operation Window Seat has come along… but it was pretty spectacular flying in to Istanbul this week not to snap a few shots. Unfortunately it snuck up on us (after a long long direct flight of a nap from LAX!) so the pictures are from the iPhone! Take a peek on the next page…
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Currently in Istanbul! While here, decided to try The House Hotel Galatasaray. One of the three House Hotels (all in Istanbul), this is the four-storey mansion built in 1890′s and renovated by renowned Autoban Design. The result is a beautiful and unexpected mixture of late 1800 turkish styles with lots of geometric patterns which feel like modern takes on more traditional tile patterns… from the reception area to the closet to the ceiling of the bathroom. Additionally the juxtaposition of modern (custom!) furnishings, chandeliers, tvs and more to the wood flooring and ornate walls and ceilings leave you in a beautifully unique space! As Mr & Mrs Smith says, “The House Hotel Galatasaray in Istanbul is a masterfully modernised mansion, elegantly imperial with a hint of contemporary magic.” Take a peek inside our room on the next page!
Cap Ferret, the Maldives and Mauritious are all featured destinations this week in our roundup from NotVentures. To find out more about each post, click on is individual image.
This week’s roundup from NotVentures includes dining in the Dolomites, camping in hanging tents and an escape to Paris. To find out more about each post, click on its individual image.
This week’s roundup from NotVentures features skiing in South Korea, Brazilian hot spots and amazing underwater attractions. To find out more about each post, click on its individual image.
An aviator hotel, cycling through northern Argentina and visiting the Vatican in a day are all part of this week’s roundup from NotVentures. To find out more about each destination, click on its individual image.
24 hours of light in Iceland, island hopping in Thailand and hillwalking in the Scottish highlands are all part of this week’s roundup from NotVentures. To find out more about each destination, click on its individual image.
One of my favorite things about traveling has always been hotel bathrooms and amenities. With such variety in bathroom fixtures and shower designs it always feels like shopping and testing bathroom layouts and details for my future home design… and the same goes for amenities! You get the chance to test so many different scents and brands and products as you bounce from hotel to hotel.
So while surprise toiletries are often a hotel luxury, when doing a vacation rental, there’s no reason to forego the playful newness and experimentation of toiletries! So instead of packing your usuals and making mini bottles of everything currently in your bathroom, why not have a little fun and grab a set from an awesome brand you’ve been curious about? On the next page i’ve rounded up some favorites, some i’m curious about, and an awesome site that’s bound to have something you’ve yet to try!
Whale-watching in Sri Lanka, breakfast with kangaroos and Scottish boltholes are all part of this week’s roundup from NotVentures. To find out more about each post, click on its individual image.
This week’s roundup from NotVentures includes luxury in the Cloud Forest, diving off Honduras and getaways in the Balearics. To find out more about each post, click on its individual image.
A Colombian salt cathedral, surfing British Columbia and Hong Kong for art lovers are all part of this week’s roundup from NotVentures roundup. Find out more about each post by clicking on its individual image.