My gosh it is hot out today. The weather in Amsterdam is quite smoldering, and although we have air conditioning and heaps of sunlight pouring into the office, I can’t help look out the window and lament sitting at my desk, because, damn the sun looks fantastic out there! This hot weather is reminiscent of St. Tropez, minus the pool, beach, and fancy-pants room service. Day 1 in St. Tropez was filled with excitement and formal activities, but day two was completely unplanned and laid back.Shall I talk you through a ‘typical’ 24 hours in paradise? The day starts in your suite. You have giant, blackout curtains, so when your alarm goes off at 10am, you can’t quite tell if it’s six in the morning or two in the afternoon. You yawn, slide out of bed, and pad across the cool, tiled floor. You feel a bit like a vampire after a century’s slumber, as you pull the blinds back and peer out into a perfect blue sky. Not a cloud in sight and only a smidgen of mountain is visible in the distance. It’s clearly a brilliant day, and so you can’t be bothered with showers or makeup or fancy outfits. You throw on your bathing suit, a big t-shirt, and some sun glasses, and head for the pool. You stroll through the gardens and then enter paradise, which is barely touched and peaceful so ‘early’ in the morning. Some of your friends are already awake too. I know – it’s hard to have a stimulating conversation when you’ve only been awake for 15 minutes. But that’s ok, because all of your friends are in the same sleep-mindset, and so they silently lay by the pool or float in the water. You dive under the pool’s surface, and are immediately refreshed and feel a bit more alive. This sure beats a shower. Water, towels, and breakfast are ordered poolside with ease. And so your first meal of the day is consumed in the early morning sun, and comes with wine and three healthy sides of fries (hey, it’s vacation!)After a breakfast bite and another dip, it’s time to head to the beach. You meet up with the girls in front of the hotel, and await a large air-conditioned cab to drive you down to the shore. At first the beach looks desolate, like a safari scene from a picture book, lacking water and exuding heat. You’re reminded you’re far from home.Moments later, you break through the dunes and realize that the sandy desert was a mirage, and you are now on a cool, white beach. (The next few photos came out blue. I think I accidentally tinkered with my camera’s settings! But the effect is kind of cool considering the afternoon’s tropical vibes!)Your final destination is the Riva Plage. You promptly rent a sun bed and umbrella, and order a large glass of sweet bubbles. You fall victim to the beach vendors passing by on foot, and spring for a 30 minute back massage, which is pure bliss. You would fall asleep if not for the hot sun and your fear of turning into a bright pink beach berry. After an hour or two of alternating between lounging and swimming in the sea, it’s time for lunch. You march up to the terrace and order the freshest meal – a large nicoise salad.You dine in the shade, savoring every last bite. You then retire to your sun bed for a final few hours of reading and tanning.Before walking down the long beach, back to the pickup point. You shower the sand away, and join some girlfriends for pizza and prosecco on the balcony. The views are stunning.You then take the elevator up to the executive suite, where some of your colleagues are crashing, and currently hosting a big shindig on their private balcony. After a few hours of late night banter and cocktails, you retire to your room for the final chapter of the evening. Which takes place in the bath tub.You’re burnt to a crisp but thankfully it’s still possible to make bubbles in cold bath water!
So you slide into a huge, chilled whirlpool, filled with bubbles and jets.You do NOT fall asleep in the bathtub (which is always a watch-out when in the tub at 2am!) but you do sing tipsy songs to yourself upon discovering a button on the side of the tub that magically turns on the jets.