Archive for the ‘affordable’ Category

5 Best Sunset Photography Hotels on Southwest Florida Beaches

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Are you a photographer, professional or amateur, who loves to take pictures of nature, beaches, and the sunset? If not, WHY NOT? That’s besides the point.

On the west coast of the Florida peninsula runs a long strip of photogenic beaches on the Gulf of Mexico perfect for sunset photography. Sugary-white sand beach with the calm, sea-blue water offers the best backdrops for an level photographer.

The following is a list of hotels directly on the beach with optimum camera positioning.

The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, Florida

Ritz Carlton Sarasota

Ritz Carlton, Sarasota, Florida

As the photo shows, the Ritz-Carlton is conveniently located directly on the beach. My bets are, with the impeccable service the Ritz provides, you’ll have no problems setting up a private location from which to capture the perfect shot.

Holiday Inn St. Petersburg Marina Cove, Florida

Holiday Inn, St. Petersburg, Florida

Holiday Inn, St. Petersburg, Florida

Imagine the foreground of your sunset shots with the palm frond-covered huts shown above. Near perfection, if you want my opinion. Stay at the Holiday Inn St. Petersburg Marina Cove for an affordable rate with the same sugar-white sand and the more expensive hotels.

Marriott Key Largo Bay Beach Resort, Florida

Marriott Key Largo

Marriott Key Largo, Florida

Arguably, one of the world’s most perfect tropical locations, the Florida Keys are home to some of the best photography-taking opportunities in all of Florida. Palm trees on the beach are in abundance as you capture your photograph of the sunset with the perfect silhouette of a sailboat heading out for a night-time cruise.

Edgewater Beach Hotel, Naples, Florida

Edgewater Hotel Naples, Florida

Edgewater Hotel, Naples, Florida

Tropical elegance is the selling point of the Edgewater Beach Hotel in Naples. It’s hard to get closer to the beach than the few steps it takes to make it to the water’s edge. As one of the Waldorf=Astoria’s Collection hotels, top-notch service is worth the visit.

Harbour Master Hotel, Cedar Key, Florida

Harbour Master Hotel Cedar Key, Florida

Harbour Master Hotel, Cedar Key, Florida

Rustic, classic Florida beach hotel is the best way to describe the stay at the Harbour Master Hotel in Cedar Key, Florida. Located on Cedar Key at the boat harbor, you can capture the best of the small-town, Florida flavor with the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico as your backdrop.

Photos Courtesy: Ritz-Carlton, Holiday Inn, Marriott, Edgewater Naples, Harbour Master Hotel

The little black bikini

Friday, March 5th, 2010

During a recent conversation, my friend (who wears black exclusively) expressed that it is surprisingly difficult to find a black bikini. Most are embellished with metal, plastic, stone, beading, or jewel accents to add oomph to the simplicity of the design and color. Always up for a challenge, I set out to find black bikinis that rely on fabric and construction to make their designs unique and interesting.

All the two-pieces below are shown in, or available in, black fabric.

Retro Black

The cut, draping, and fabric appliques up the ante on the little black bikini.

Retro-chic Black. Images courtesy of Eres, Seafolly, and Betsey Johnson

Left: Belem-Santiago by Eres (available in black on black)
Center: Goddess by Seafolly
Right: Ladies & Gentlemen by Betsey Johnson

Affordable and Chic
Victoria’s Secret offers chic selection for under $40. Look for details such as stitching and side ties to make your black bikini more interesting.

Affordable and Chic. Images courtesy of Victoria's Secret.

Left: Adjustable triangle top with Brazilian bottom

Right: Triangle top with double-string bottom

Look to the bottom for details

Two-piece suits tend to emphasize the top but these suits add interesting details to the bikini bottom, such as delicate tassles and sassy ruching.

Look to the bottom for details. Images courtesy of Eres and Vix

Left: Severa-Fado by Eres (available in black)
Right: Ripple Rio by Vix


The construction of the top makes this my favorite by far.

Construction details are subtle and super chic. Image courtesy of Eres

Wanda-Mescalito by Eres (available in black)

Just for Fun

The design is too clean and the fabric too luxurious to let a teeny, tiny metallic detail (that can easily be taken off with a stitch remover) get in the way of Ondademar’s hot black two-piece.

Beach Solids by Ondademar. Image courtesy of Ondademar

The tie knot and the draping detail on the bottoms make Jubilation by L*Space all-around adorable.

Jubilation by L*Space. Image courtesy of L*Space

Fringe Benefits Dolly Bandeau by L*Space is au courant and balanced with a simple design on the bottom.

Fringe Benefits by L*Space. Image courtesy of L*Space