Summer 2020 honest review – South of France, Santorini & Italy

Podcast Episode 3

Ladies, I am back with yet another podcast episode. This is episode three of the Anna Bey podcast, and I am Anna Bey. And, today I’m actually recording from Greece, Santorini island. As I’m recording this, this is Monday morning, so I do sound a little bit tired, apologies in advance. We had a bit of a fun night last night, as I am currently on holiday with my friends and my partner. But, what’s funny is actually in today’s episode I had already planned it before that it was going to be a travel special, because I want to talk about what has happened this summer. I know it has been a very bizarre year for all of us, and particularly this summer hasn’t really been what we all expected it to be. 

Some of us probably traveled as normal, some of us didn’t, unfortunately. I was actually lucky enough to be able to travel pretty much as I normally would in a summer, but that’s because I am based in Geneva, in Switzerland, and we have a very convenient locations if we want to reach, let’s say, Italy and France, which are probably the top destinations to travel to during summer time. So for me, I was able to still try and have a bit of a normal summer, even though it was not normal whatsoever. 

Even though COVID has really messed things up for many of us this year, I still think it’s important to try and continue life as it is, and try and get back as much of the normal life that we’re used to as much as possible. Which is why I wanted to still do a travel episode, where we talk about some of the top destinations in summer. I went to Italy and France this summer, and now I’m currently in Greece, so I will be talking about these destinations. And, I’m hoping that it can give you some inspiration for next summer. I can share with you some do’s and don’ts, some tips, and of course, also some insights of where to go and the best places. 

I know that many of you who listen to my podcast, you also enjoy luxury travel and all of that glam, and I think that sharing these insights with you is going to help you when you are picking your next vacation, and when you are traveling next time. And, I’m hoping that this can be of help and benefit to you. So, this is kind of the purpose of this episode. But also, it’s an opportunity to dream away a little bit if you are right now not traveling, but you wish you were traveling, I think just tuning in and hearing about some destinations can make you feel like you are also part of the journey and also traveling. At least, that’s personally how I enjoy when I listen to people’s podcast and when I watch people’s videos when they’re out doing fun things and travel etc. I always feel like, “This is so nice,” I enjoy it, I feel like I’m almost part of this journey with them, and it’s giving me loads of inspiration for my next travel. So, I hope this episode will benefit you like that. 

But, before I dive in to the travel content, there is one little topic that I want to raise beforehand. And, this is something that I think everybody who is an influencer can absolutely relate to, because this year has been really tough for all influencers out there. I don’t like to call myself an influencer, but I’m going to call myself an influencer for the simplicity of what I’m about to say. This year has really been a challenge, there’s been a lot going on politic wise, in the environment, with COVID etc. And, what happens when you are an influencer, is that you truly become a punching bag for everybody else’s worries, negative emotions, paranoia’s, thoughts etc. And, it’s almost like, if you are an influencer, you can never do anything right. There is always something to blame you for, and if you don’t do this, then you should be doing that. And, if you don’t do that, then you should be doing this. That’s the current climate for all influencers out there. No matter what you do, it’s just never going to satisfy everybody out there, so you’re always going to be a bad person. 

Now, this was actually especially difficult during COVID, because influencers became the hot target and all eyes on you, “Is she wearing mask? Is she doing this? Is she doing that?” All of these things. And, I do understand that us, who have a big social media following, we do have a responsibility, and I fully support that and I agree on that. However, one of the things that I’ve also realized, is that people who follow an influencer, they do always think that they have all the facts about that influencer. So, one of the messages that I received was from a lady, and I’m not bringing her message up as a point of throwing shade at her, I think she was actually quite nice in what she wrote to me. But, she basically asked me why I decided to travel instead of pleading for safety until the COVID situation has been resolved. She also is saying, “Most people make the decision to not travel, although they deserve it, because they want to help and not spread the virus. Showing off pictures on vacation looks like you don’t care, and I find it sad.” 

Now, I do personally find it sad that people jump to conclusions without knowing the full picture. I really want people to understand that in such an era that we currently live in, we live in a digitalized new world, let’s put it this way. Where, we have a lot of fake news going on, people don’t know the entire picture of anything, all we see are glimpses on Instagram, on Facebook, on social media, and we jump to conclusions. And this is what I was saying, that don’t think for a moment that you know the full story of somebody that you follow online, please keep an open mind. And, if you are following somebody, always try and trust that whatever this person is doing, there is probably a full context around what the person is doing. 

As an example, I have been traveling to Greece, to Italy, to France this year. So yes, I did a lot of travel during COVID summer, and some people might think it’s absolutely irresponsible, and I’m showing off and making people feel bad about themselves. Now, that’s not really how I see the situation. Because, number one, nobody has the entire context to even why I’m traveling to so much. Have you actually asked yourself why I’m doing this travel? It’s not because I am some reckless person who doesn’t care about health and safety and of others. But, did you ask yourself for a moment that, what if I already have the antibodies for COVID? What if I already had COVID?

Now, when people follow me on Instagram or on social media in general, I understand that you think that you know me. And you do, to some level. But, you only know me of what I decide to show you, there’s always more context to the story than what I show you. Because, what I show you is so small of everything that happens in my life, there are many, many, many things that I don’t talk about because it’s private, or it’s personal, or I want to find a better moment to talk about it in the future. Maybe I want to feel ready before I share it. And, COVID is actually one of those things. Nobody knew that I’ve had COVID, because I haven’t spoken about it. But, that’s the truth, I’ve had the virus, so I have the antibodies, and that allows me to travel. But, when that person wrote that, she jumped to such conclusions without knowing anything. And, that’s just something I wanted to quickly touch upon before I start talking about all the travels that I did. Have some context before you jump to conclusions, just keep an open mind that what you see is not the entire picture, there’s always more to the story.

And, for those of you ladies who are shocked about hearing that I’ve had COVID, don’t worry, it’s all good now. I don’t know if you ladies are tired of the COVID subject yet, but if you want, I’m actually happy to talk about my COVID experience in a separate episode. I don’t mind sharing that part, as it’s been a while now. But, back then when I had it, it wasn’t something that I felt I wanted to share because it’s something so personal as your health, so I decided to keep it private. But now, since time has really passed, I don’t mind talking about it. And maybe it can help others or be some [inaudible] beneficial information to other people, of how my COVID journey was.

So, having said that, let me start with a travel review of summer of COVID 2020. It wasn’t really the best summer, I think of anybodies lives. There was a lot of things that we didn’t do, or couldn’t do, and we just tried to do the best we could really. I think I mentioned probably in an earlier podcast or somewhere else, maybe on YouTube, that this has definitely been a hard year also for myself on many different levels. You just heard now, I told you about health was a big thing this year for me, definitely a challenging thing, among some other things as well. It’s been truly a year of up and down. So, for me, summer 2020 was the only time I could really take a breather, so these travels that I did really did mean a lot to me, because everything else has truly been a challenge. And, the people who work closely with me or with my team etc., they know how hard we all been working with School Of Affluence, and everything. And, it’s been truly a year, I don’t think I’ve ever worked so much in my entire life. But on the other hand, it’s been also good on many other levels. But, trust me when I say that these vacations were worth gold for me, was the only time I could really breathe.

Now, I want to start talking about Italy that I did, because Italy was actually a trip that I did in July. We went on a road trip, so we actually went to multiple destinations, I’m going to tell you which ones in a second, because actually I had to write them down on a piece of paper so I don’t forget. So, we started our Italy road trip by going to Portofino, and then we went to Florence, and then we went to Porto Ercole, and then we finished in Lake Como. 

I need to tell you one thing, that if you ever plan on doing road trip, do not go on a time in your life when you need full relaxation, and that’s what happened with me. All I needed during that time of my summer, was to really just go somewhere, disconnect and relax. But instead, I was on the road, and it was literally a very stressful experience for me, because different city every other day, packing, unpacking. There was no relaxation whatsoever with this road trip, and that was such a shame because we went to see all these beautiful locations, but I felt like I couldn’t truly, fully enjoy it because the timing was so wrong for me. I was in one of my most stressful times of my summer, because we had just launched a summer school and that started. This trip was really a bad timing for me. 

And, it actually happens sometimes, that even though things might look super glamorous on Instagram etc., but again, when you don’t have the full context, it’s hard for you to really understand. Obviously, I’m all about spreading positivity, so I’m not going to be writing under each photo that I upload that I’m so stressed out because we just launched summer school, Secrets of the Elite Woman Program. And, there’s all these things happening around that program, that I can’t fully relax and focus on my holiday. But, we also live and learn, and that’s something that I did learn from the trip, is that next time I plan a holiday, I really need to make sure that I’m able to fully disconnect and that that type of trip is suitable for whatever’s happening in my life. And, I think that’s what I wanted to say, is that I was so stressed out because of work at that time, that all I needed was just check myself into a resort, stay in one place and not move around so much. But hey, that happens sometimes. 

Now, with regards to the destinations, I want to tell you that I think Portofino is by far one of those places… Well, no, let me tell you. Portofino and Lake Como, definitely those two jet-set hotspots that you really have to travel to at some point in your life if you’re into jet-set locations and some glamorous hotspots. Now, Portofino and Lake Como, they’re of course a little bit more romantic destinations, you would probably travel there as a couple, or maybe as a group. But, it’s not party destinations, I don’t think it’s family destinations either. You can definitely bring your children, I don’t think that’s a problem, but it’s definitely more of a couple’s environment. 

Now, a lot of the times single ladies always ask me if they could travel there by themselves, doing a solo trip out of it, or even travel there as a single person, like a single woman, and maybe trying to find somebody there. Now, I do need to tell you that it’s definitely going to be more challenging, I think, to find a single man at these destinations. I think majority of people really travel there with their significant other, so it’s that type of environment, however, you just never know. There are always these rare cases, I know for sure, anything is possible, that’s my motto. And it’s true, it happens many times, that you can meet somebody… As a single woman you can meet a single man at the most random locations that you would never have guessed that you could meet somebody at, but it happens. And even in my past, as single, I’ve had that experience. But, I don’t think that you should plan these type of destinations if you’re a single woman ready to mingle, let’s put it this way.

So, we also went to Florence, and I think Florence is definitely a beautiful city to go to, specially now during COVID summer, when the city was quite empty. And I must say, that also another reason to why we did a lot of travel this summer, not only because of the antibodies that we had, but also because it was such a great opportunity to see many destinations in a rare format. Because usually, places like Florence are just crowded with tourists, and it can be hard to do your sight seeing, to really get to experience the city without always having all these people around. So, Italy was by far one of those things that I really enjoyed this summer, because there was space and you could breathe, and there wasn’t too many tourists around, and I really enjoyed it. 

And, I also must tell you that, of all the countries I visited this summer, Italy was by far the best country when it comes to keeping it COVID friendly, or COVID proof, let’s put it this way. They were really taking good care, they were not cheating with their masks or their hand sanitizers. I felt like they really followed the rules. And, I felt that of all the countries, they took the best precautions and they probably kept safety very high there. So, big shout out to Italy. 

Now, with regards to the best destination, I would say Lake Como was my favorite because we stayed at this hotel called… Maybe I won’t pronounce it correctly, but Villa d’Este. So, this hotel is this really old, famous, glamorous hotel that has been there for a very long time, and it’s truly beautiful inside. I definitely think that if you come for the first time to Lake Como you should definitely stay there, because it’s just one of the most well-known hotels. So, I think it’s an experience, and the views from the rooms are stunning. If you get the room that is right by the lake you get definitely some Instagram worthy content there. 

So, to give you some hotel recommendations, definitely Lake Como and Villa d’Este. Then, if you go to Portofino, you have to stay at the hotel where we stayed at, where everybody truly stays at when they go to Portofino. It’s Hotel Belmond Splendido, and it’s also one of those very famous hotels with amazing views, again, very Instagram worthy. Also, if you go to Florence, I do recommend to stay at the Four Seasons, in Florence, that’s also where we stayed at and it was absolutely fantastic, really beautiful hotel. It’s again, one of those must stay at, hotspots I would say.

We also went to Porto Ercole, and there is a very famous hotel called Il Pellicano, it’s literally in the middle of nowhere, I would say, it’s by the water. It’s also very iconic and you have a really nice, affluent crowd who goes there. But again, it’s very much couples or families. I personally didn’t like that hotel too much, I think it’s nice but nothing special. For the amount of travel you have to do to get to Porto Ercole, I just didn’t think it was worth it. I don’t think the hotel was… It was nice, but I think definitely Lake Como and Portofino were nicer destinations, and the hotels were also nicer. There was just more to do in those areas, rather than Porto Ercole felt like we were in the middle of nowhere, and there wasn’t really anywhere to go or anything to see. That’s just my quick opinion. Again, we didn’t stay there too long, so I could be wrong as well. But, I just want to be fully transparent with you that maybe some people will like it, but I personally didn’t find that to be my cup of tea.

So, that was Italy. Again, the trip was nice, maybe not my favorite this summer, but I will definitely come back to Italy in the future because it’s just one of those destinations that are so nice to travel to. And, there are many places in Italy that are simply amazing. But, next year I will definitely pick a time where I’m more relaxed, and maybe I won’t be doing road trip, we’ll see.

Now, let’s talk about France, because I went to France twice in summer. The first time we went as a group, we did Saint-Tropez for a few days, I think a long weekend. And then, me and my partner, we went back in August and actually we had a lot of friends joining us on that trip as well, so I would say it was also a bit of a group trip as well. Now, one of the things that I need to tell you about Saint-Tropez, is that it’s very important to go there at the right time. Now, timing is, again, very important, but in a different context this time. I’m talking now about when Saint-Tropez is kicking really, you want to go there when the crowd is the best, you want to go there when you feel like it’s not overly touristic. And, by that I mean, usually when it’s very touristic the good crowd tends to not travel there. So, the good crowd is really there, let’s say… We went there end of June, fantastic crowd, fantastic ambience, loved it. Such a great time of summer to be there.

However, when we went back there end of August, the crowd was totally different, and it just felt very touristic and not as good as it was in the end of June. But again, it was COVID summer, so who knows if it’s like this every year, I’m saying timing-wise. I do think though that Saint-Tropez, from my experience, as it’s not the first time that I’ve been there, it tends to be better June, July than August, it just becomes a little bit too much. However, maybe beginning of August can still be absolutely fine. We went there end of August, so I wouldn’t go back during this time next year. 

But, one thing that I do need to tell you about Saint-Tropez is that it is such a good, good place to go to still. Even though Saint-Tropez has had a little bit of a decline in recent years, I don’t know if you are into the whole jet-set scene, you probably know that Mykonos took over the throne as being the hotspot where everybody traveled to. But, Mykonos wasn’t actually that amazing even last year. I went there last year, spent 10 days, and actually hated it. But, that’s a totally different story and it was more that I just felt it was too much of a party vibe and not exactly what I wanted for my trip. And I felt there were too many young people, there was a lot of people in their early 20s and etc., so that wasn’t really the crowd that I was after. But that’s just a personal preference.

Now, Ibiza and Mykonos took over the throne from Saint-Tropez of being the hotspot where all kinds of different types of affluent people would travel to, and it was totally buzzing. However, I would say Saint-Tropez is one of those really old-school and classic places, in terms of summer jet-set destinations that will actually never be passé, if that makes sense. Yes, they weren’t the ‘it’ place in recent years because of Ibiza and Mykonos, but let me tell you one thing, Saint-Tropez definitely picked up the throne this summer. And, it was all thanks to COVID. Because, what happened was that Mykonos was not happening whatsoever this summer, and neither was Ibiza because of the nightclub situations. No nightclubs were really able to open or operate normally, so that of course reduced the tourism is both Ibiza and Mykonos. And, the little tourism that was, for example, in Mykonos was pretty dead, there were just too much restrictions. I spoke to many people who went there this year and they said it was not good at all. 

So, that happens. But instead, that put Saint-Tropez in this beautiful position that because of COVID and there were so much travel restrictions and changes etc., that a lot of people traveled to Saint-Tropez instead. So, it was actually quite busy, and a lot of things were operating as normal. Of course, some nightclubs weren’t open etc., but even though it was COVID, I must say it didn’t feel like COVID in Saint-Tropez, both good and bad. 

And let me tell you the bad. Well, first of all, Saint-Tropez was not COVID friendly whatsoever. Some of things that I saw there made me really horrified, to be honest. I’m now going to mention the beach club that I went to, it was a bit of a party beach club, and I remember seeing this waitress. You know how when people order a bottle of champagne or they do a champagne tower and a bunch of commotion and… Not fireworks, what are they called, those things? The whole train comes in with entertainers and you have… Anyway, the show that they do every time somebody orders champagne and stuff. So, the waitress jumped on the table, opened the champagne bottle, and she poured champagne into every persons mouth directly from the bottle one after the other, after the other. And we’re talking now, there was a table of about 12 people. So, she was pouring from the same champagne bottle into 12 mouths during COVID, who does that? But, this is really how it was in Saint-Tropez. They weren’t really paying as strict attention as Italy was.

I remember seeing many waiters, they weren’t bothering having their masks on properly, they wouldn’t cover their nose or they would just keep it at the chin. They were just having masks on for show. Not everywhere, not all waiters, but I saw a lot of it, and that’s what I’m pointing out. So, in Saint-Tropez, they were definitely taking their own measures, so that kind of paints the picture of how it was over there. But, I must tell you ladies, I enjoyed my Saint-Tropez trip so much, it was by far one of the best places this summer. Because, it was fun and it felt still like everything was back to normal, and I think what we all needed was to feel a little bit sense of normal, even if it was just temporary. 

So, one of the things that I want to tell you about Saint-Tropez is that, let’s see how it will be next year if everything goes back to normal next year or the year after. But, I think for sure it will pick up again, in terms of popularity. So, I will definitely advise all my ladies out there who are interested in jet-set travel, to really go and visit Saint-Tropez, I think it’s actually a must. It’s one of those, like I said, classic places that you just have to experience. And, many people, they go there, even they spend a whole month in Saint-Tropez, they rent a villa. And, I think it’s definitely a great alternative because it’s perfect for networking. You get to network with a lot of who’s who, and I always feel like when you go to Saint-Tropez you always run into these people. People that you know of high society, who’s who, you even run into celebrities. A lot of celebrities were there end of June, when I was there, compared to end of August, just as a little FYI. You can see the crowd is a little bit different, like I mentioned, was a little bit of a more jet-set crowd in end of June. 

Both of the times that we went to Saint-Tropez this year we stayed in hotels. I personally prefer staying in hotels, I just prefer the comfort [inaudible]. First time we stayed at this hotel called Villa Althoff, I think it’s called, Villa Belrose, something like that. Actually quite a nice hotel. Second time, we stayed at La Réserve, and for those of you who are very familiar with five star travel, you know that La Réserve is this wonderful chain of hotels. And, I truly enjoyed that hotel, I must say. I really recommend staying there. It’s very serene, very peaceful, quiet, and great service of course, and beautiful hotel as well. The only downside is it feels a little bit outskirts, that you always have to take a car or a transport and drive for a bit to get into town and so on. But, at least it’s closer to the beaches, so beaches is definitely one of things you do want to do in Saint-Tropez. And, I would say that we didn’t spend even once by the pool of any of the hotels that we went to. We just went to beach clubs, you have lunch at the beach clubs, and you can also party at the beach clubs etc., and sunbathe and all that. 

And, I actually want to give you a little bit of insights of where the best beach clubs are. Because, I feel like I’ve tried them all now and I can give an honest review. In terms of just chilling by the beach and in terms of enjoying the best sea, I would say Byblos beach club is by far the best. Why? Well, Pampelonne Beach is there, you also have very comfortable sunbeds, you have great service, and it’s just a really nice beach club. We went there many, many times. I still miss that beach to swim in the water. I’m usually not a big fan of swimming in the sea, I prefer actually to swim in pools. But, that beach is just something else, it really feels like you’re swimming in Maldives. The water is so crystal clear and turquoise in a way, it’s absolutely beautiful. You have to go there for a swim. 

One of the things that I didn’t like so much about Byblos beach club is that their lunch menu is a little bit boring. So, when you stay there for the beach you’re obviously going to eat there as well, but lunch felt a little bit boring there. But, it’s a good beach club for chill, they don’t do any partying there, so those days that you don’t want to drink and party, you go to Byblos beach club.

Now, what about some party party? Definitely I would say Loulou is by far the best beach club for that. You also have Verde beach club, they probably do the craziest party, I would say. I would say it’s a little bit more of a tackier vibe, but you do get a lot of affluent people who still go there and do their champagne showers and all of that. But, I just felt that Loulou beach club was much more classier for some party and some vibe. I went there multiple times, and also the food is amazing. So, you go there for lunch, I would recommend that you do the second sitting there. The first sitting, which usually starts at around 1:00, you won’t really get to see the partying by the time you have to leave the table. For those who have never been to Saint-Tropez, you need to be aware that they do a lot of two sittings, so you have to either come for the first sitting which is usually around one, or the second sitting which is usually around 3:00 or 4:00. And, for the second sitting, is when you have the party. And, Loulou is by far good to do the second sitting.

I also need to recommend Club 55, which is spelled Club 55. But, I need to give you a little bit of insights there because Club 55 is one of those really iconic beach clubs, very well-known from the jet-set glamor days of the 50s and the 60s, Brigitte Bardot and all of that. And, it’s just one of those places who’ve always been there in the history of Saint-Tropez. Now, I need to also inform you that the beach club doesn’t seem to have evolved very much since those years. It’s very basic and it’s not comfortable whatsoever. They don’t even have proper beach beds, they just have these mattresses on the ground. And, we stayed there once and we absolutely hated it. I’m sorry Club 55, but please add some beach beds. I will definitely go back, but right now it’s just not comfortable for me.

But, I also noticed that many people skip Club 55 as a beach club and they just go there for lunch. And, I would definitely recommend to go there for maybe the first sitting, or the second sitting is fine as well. But, you had a very nice crowd there, you had also a nice live band. The only thing is that Club 55, I don’t think they have the best menu. I think the food is a little bit boring and a little bit average. It’s a little bit crowded there, very tight between all the tables. They definitely didn’t care of COVID this year because you could barely move inside there. But, you go there for some people-watching, you go there because it’s this iconic place. But, if we’re really going to be honest, there are far better places than Club 55, but I still recommend everybody to go there because it’s just one of those places you want to go to when you are in Saint-Tropez. So, that was my recommendations for what to do during the day. Definitely beach club, definitely a lunch hotspot in one of the beach clubs. 

But, what about nighttime? So, Saint-Tropez is really nice because you definitely go for a stroll in the port, all the beautiful yachts are parked there. You also have a lot of people there, you can go to some nice cafes, just sit and people-watch, like at Senequier as an example, it is probably one of the most popular cafes there. At night, you also have the very famous and well-known L’Opéra. So, it’s like a restaurant/mini-nightclub. I call them disco restaurants, when you start your evening by eating and then it turns into a nightclub. You just literally dance around your table where you just had dinner. L’Opéra has a little bit of a [inaudible], a little tacky vibe around it, but I think it’s fun to do these things too sometimes. And, it’s a little bit part of Saint-Tropez, that you just don’t care so much if everything is all the time so elegant and so sophisticated. I think sometimes it’s just nice to let your hair down and just go with the flow. And, yes, if it’s a bit tacky, who cares? Yes, a little bit of champagne towers, and a bit of tacky music. But, you know what? Let’s just forget that for a second and just have fun, dance and be a little bit crazy.

And, that’s what I think L’Opéra is really all about, and I like it though. I don’t think I would be able to do L’Opéra every night, but for sure you do it once or twice on a trip to Saint-Tropez. And, you just take it for what it is really, but you still have a pretty okay crowd that goes there. You will have some interesting people and definitely good for all the single ladies because you’ll probably be able to find whatever you’re looking for there. But, please bear in mind that there’s also a lot of playboy type of guys there, guys who go there to hunt for women, so maybe you won’t find Mr. Prince Charming there. But, at the same time, you actually never know. Sometimes, you can meet the right man or the man of your dreams in the most tackiest places, and you’d be surprised actually how many couples end up meeting each other this way, serious couples. So, keep an open mind wherever you go, you can’t think that everything is always just one way or the other. Life doesn’t work like that, life is actually quite flexible in that regard. 

So, other dinner places in Saint-Tropez, I really need to recommend to you this amazing Moroccan restaurant called Salama, I think it’s called Salama. We went there twice because the food was delicious. For those of you ladies who know Saint-Tropez, you probably remember this old place called Villa Romana, so this restaurant is located in this premises, so I really recommend you to go there. Can’t wait to be back there actually, the food was so good. And, with regards to other dinner places, we went to Noto, which is the old Brasserie des Arts. What else did we do? Can’t even remember to be honest. But, I know that we had some really nice food in Saint-Tropez because, of course, French cuisine is actually my favorite cuisine, so I really enjoyed… In most places that we went to, the food is always topnotch. 

Now, that was it about Saint-Tropez. I also want to quickly touch upon Cannes, and Antibes, because in August we also managed to go to the famous hotel, Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc. Another iconic hotel. I think all of you jet-set ladies, you have to, at least once, visit this beautiful, dreamy hotel. Again, old-school glamor, and just beautiful scenery, beautiful crowd, everything is just spectacular there. We really, really enjoyed it. We stayed at Eden-Roc, you can also stay at Hotel du Cap, which is basically the main building, the old-school building. And then, the Eden-Roc is the rooms that are by the water, but so beautiful. I loved to stay Eden-Roc. Next time I’ll stay at Hotel du Cap, but Eden-Roc was something special. And, the lunch restaurant, and the dinner restaurant, I think… Did it have a Michelin Star? Can’t remember. But anyway, it was kind of gastronomic dining, so, so, so delicious. You also had a bit of sunset view there, very romantic and very high-end, and just perfect in my opinion.

Now, as we were staying in Antibes, we went for the day to La Guérite, which is located at Ile Marguerite. You have to take a boat from Cannes, I think the boat goes from outside of Bâoli, they have a shuttle service, La Guérite. But, that’s definitely a bit of Saint-Tropez vibe, located on this little, tiny island. And, it’s so nice, it was so much fun. Again, a little bit of lunch and then a little bit of day party. A lot of people go there, a lot of who’s who go there, it’s just one of those very popular hotspots in that area. 

We also went to La Petite Maison, in Cannes, which was kind of brand new, it opened this year. I think it was fine, I think it was pretty average. I think there are so many better La Petite Maison, you have the one in Nice, which is the original one. Then you also have the one in London, I love the one in London. You do also have the one in Dubai, but I haven’t been there. But, what I was a little bit disappointed with the one in Cannes, was that they didn’t have the warm prawns that I am obsessed with. I eat them every time I go to La Petite Maison, but it was such a disappointment that they didn’t put it on the menu in the premises of Cannes, which made me shocked, I didn’t understand why. La Petite Maison are famous for this dish, the warm prawns, and then they skipped of including it. Such a downer, it was such a disappointment, I was very, very sad about that to be honest. So, maybe that’s why I found the experience wasn’t as great as I thought it was going to be.

Another note about Cannes. So, we did spend a little bit of time in Cannes, not too much. But, I must say, the vibe was not as elegant as I remember it from other times that I’ve been to Cannes. Now okay, I’ve been to Cannes during Film Festival etc., but I’ve also been to Cannes many times at other times, but I always find it to be a little bit more sophisticated. This time around it did not feel sophisticated at all. It felt like a very… How can I say? I didn’t see anything affluent there on this trip. You do have, of course, same famous hotels like Martinez, you have InterContinental Carlton, but there was just a different vibe for some reason. It felt a little bit like four star travel. And, I’m not saying that only five star is good, I’m not saying this in a snobbish way whatsoever, I just want you to understand that I’m saying it from a perspective that if you are interested in luxury travel, then you want to have a certain ambience and a certain level of everything. But, when you go to these places and you don’t see that, that’s when I say that it felt a bit like a four star, three star type of environment. And, I can’t describe why, I don’t know why, it’s just the way it was.

So, Cannes was a bit of a disappointment I must say, maybe it will be better next year. But, I think in general, Cannes is not really the place to go to if you want to jet-set a bit. I think a lot of the times, people who are not very familiar with the whole jet-set scene, they actually think that Cannes is this massive hotspot, but it’s actually not. Maybe during Cannes Film Festival, even though that scene is quite tacky, I must say. Not the most elegant scene, but you still have a lot of who’s who there. But, Cannes is a little bit overrated, definitely. So, if you think that it’s the best place to visit, it’s not. Go to Saint-Tropez, or Mykonos or something like that instead. Don’t waste your time on Cannes. Maybe go there just for the day to have seen it and then you also take a trip to La Guérite, but that’s pretty much it.

So, that was my little review of France. And, I need to tell you that France was definitely the highlight of my summer, I enjoyed in particularly Saint-Tropez so much, but I also think it was so special for us because we had all our friends there and we had so much fun. Plus, I just love France, so what can I say? 

Now, let’s talk about Greece and Santorini, and that’s where I currently am. So, my trip to Santorini was actually pretty spontaneous, it was a last minute decision, that me and partner decided that we just wanted to get away before summer fully ends. So, this was our end of the summer trip to get the last sun and vitamin D before it’s time for, yet another, winter in Europe. I felt Greece was definitely one of those places that I love going to. I’ve been to Mykonos, I’ve been to Crete, but I’ve never been to Santorini, and I’ve always wanted to go. I actually didn’t know that much about Santorini before coming here, not going to lie, but some of the things that I found out as I’m here right now, made me just be so incredibly happy that we decided to come here. 

Why? Because of COVID, now has been a fantastic time to go to Santorini, because usually, you have all the cruise ships that come and park for the day at Santorini and let our thousands and thousands and thousands of cruise ship passengers. And, Santorini, it’s an island, so it’s obviously limited in space. So, when you have all these cruise ships that come with all these people, it becomes so crowded here and unbearable. Everything is apparently chaotic, you can’t walk properly in town, these really cute, white streets that Santorini’s well known for. Also, it’s really hard to get reservations at the best restaurants. Believe it or not, at some of the restaurants, people reserve one year in advance to get a decent table, and so be secured a spot. For me, that is madness. And for me, it actually makes me put off by a destination, so I don’t like traveling like this because I love travel when it’s comfortable, not when you have to fight for tables and there’s a hassle with everything. Or, there’s no good rooms left of no good tables left anywhere, for me, that’s no point traveling like that in that case. 

So, being in Santorini right now has been so different, apparently, from how it usually is. You have all access everywhere, you have so much availability, the streets, they’re not empty, but they’re not full whatsoever. There’s just enough people to feel that it’s not absolutely deserted. We were also able to see a lot of beautiful things because they weren’t crowded with tourist. We also did a beautiful day trip with a boat, that was amazing. I must say, if you ever come to Santorini, you definitely should rent a boat for the day. It was such a nice thing to do because you get to explore the island from a different perspective. Because, one of the things you need to be aware of Santorini is that people don’t come here for the beaches, people come here to see the sunset, to see the spectacular views, to see Santorini from the top, not so much from the bottom. Because, there aren’t really any nice beaches here, it’s a volcanic island, meaning that there’s an active volcano inside the sea next to the island. And, the beaches there are either black or red, you don’t have the turquoise beaches here. So, people come here to swim in the pool from their beautiful hotel with a beautiful scenery, watch their sunset, and so on.

So, that’s why it was so nice to actually go on the boat to see and explore the island from all kinds of different angles, and see the history of it. We were also swimming where the volcano was, and that was quite an experience on its own. So, I definitely recommend doing that. 

And, I must give a big shout out to what I personally think is the best hotel on the island, Cavo Tagoo Santorini, you are simply the best. Why? Before we came on this trip, even though it was last minute, we did a lot of research of where to stay. Because, when we travel, the hotel or the resort is always top priority, it’s very much important for us to stay at the best of the best because of the comfort, because of the service, and also for the experience of it. So, we understood pretty early on that, “Okay, there is no better hotel here than Cava Tagoo.” They have the best the location, they have one of the best sunsets, it’s by far one of the most [inaudible] hotels, amazing food, amazing everything, and we were not disappointed. And, I need to tell you that they have not sponsored me or given me any treats whatsoever because I’m an influencer. Why I want to share this with you is because they were so nice and they didn’t even know I was an influencer. 

I want to tell a big shout out to [Manos], he was such a nice host, he really looked after us. All of them did to be honest, they gave us such amazing service. I just want to give back in whatever way I can, and that’s why I really want to highlight what a good hotel it is and how if you ever come to Santorini, don’t bother staying anywhere else, stay at Cavo Tagoo, you won’t be disappointed. And also, if you stay here, then do rent the boat that we rented, it was Cavo Tagoo’s own boat, so it was pretty cool actually. We loved it, we loved the crew, we loved everything. So, that was my tip on Santorini.

Another tip is to not to come here July, August, because that’s the crazy, madness, overcrowded time period to come here. We are here now end of September, it’s definitely coming towards the end of the season, I think the season runs up until end of October. But you know what, it’s really pleasant to be here right now. The temperature is fine, you still need to bring a long sleeve in the evening, but I would say it’s perfect for tanning. I got a really nice tan while being here.

And, another tip of mine, and this is why I also love Cavo Tagoo so much, because from this hotel you can go on two walking paths that goes straight outside of your hotel doorstep. One goes into the famous town of Fira, it’s a little bit of a… Not as classy, let’s put it this way, as the other town called Oia is. So, you can have a walking path either to Fira, from your hotel, or to Oia. Now, the path towards Oia is actually more of a hiking trail, so you really need to get good shoes. But actually, my friends did it in their flip flops, but I think that was pretty crazy. But definitely, if you come to Santorini, pack some hiking shoes or sneakers with you because the views here are spectacular for hiking and I don’t want you to miss out on this experience. Because, there isn’t actually too much to do here on the island besides watching the sunset, enjoying the pool and the scenery, and then hiking or taking the boat. So, there isn’t too much else to do, so that’s why if you come here, take my tips into account because this is how you’re going to really enjoy your trip.

And, as a last note, how long should a trip be? I would say maybe a weekend, maybe a long weekend. But, I think spending a week here would be maybe a little bit too long, however it’s still doable, it’s just that, again, there isn’t too much to do. Also, I must say, before I end this Santorini review, is to say that I think even if you’re not going to do a luxury trip out of this, you can actually probably get by here and have a wonderful experience even if you’re doing budget travel. Meaning that you maybe go more to a three star hotel, or four star hotel, because here you have a lot of nice, small, cute boutique hotels. They’re going to be a little bit small in size and crowded, in terms of it’s all very small here, if that makes sense. And, I think that’s why I like Cavo Tagoo so much, because you don’t feel crammed in this hotel. But, definitely there are many cute places on a budget here, so you can definitely do that.

Now, with regards to budget in general, because I know I’ve received a lot of questions from you ladies, I asked on Anna Bey Podcast Instagram account, I asked you to ask me questions about summer 2020 travel. And, budget was definitely one of those things. “Where to travel if you are on a budget?” “Can you do South of France, as example, on a budget?” And the answer is, I think you can do all these types of trips on a budget, you just have to prioritize. I would say accommodation is probably one of those things that will cost you the most. You can do a budget version everywhere you go really. What you can do instead is to rent an Airbnb, and that will probably cost you much less. But, I think everything is doable, but at the same time, I do think that sometimes it can be worth saving up a bit of money just to have that experience. Because, I feel like travel is by far one of those things that we will always remember and we will carry with us in our memories, and memories is something that I personally feel is worth spending on.

So, if you can save up for something like this, then do it. If you need to cut corners somewhere I think accommodation is something that you can definitely do on a budget. And then, try and go to the more nicer, elegant restaurants if you can afford that. Even if it’s just for a treat here and there, but definitely do it because it’s worth it. 

As we’re now coming towards the one hour mark, I am going to stop here. But, I hope that I have answered many of your questions, ladies. If you still have any questions you can ask them in the comment section on Anna Bey Podcast Instagram account, under the picture of this episode. I will try to answer as many of your questions there as possible. But, I also want you, ladies, to contribute with your COVID summer 2020 experience. How was it for you? Where did you travel to? Were you able to do any travel? What did you do instead? And, if you did go somewhere nice, share that with us, where did you go? And, is there anything you can recommend about that destination perhaps that would be useful to other people? 

I hope that you found this episode useful. I hope you also understand why I do these type of reviews and episodes, because I really want to guide you with my own experience and give you the insights of where to go, what to do, and maybe what not to do. Because, I know how useful and helpful that is, especially when you have a lifestyle where you also travel and you also go on vacation. I personally think that it’s so incredibly important to do research of where to go because you just have to, since things change all the time. And, you need to stay updated with the latest, especially if you want to go where the affluent crowd, or where the elegant crowd goes, to be part of that scene and to have that experience. 

Now, I’m not ending my Greece trip just yet, we are actually extending our trip, which was a last minute decision as well. Again, we didn’t plan anything by coming here, neither did we plan that we were going to go somewhere else after Santorini. But, you know what? I really enjoy living in the moment and just go with the flow sometimes, and not plan things. And, we decided that we wanted to extend this trip, so I am so grateful that we were able to do that. As you are listening to this now I am on a different island now, so go and check out my Instagram account, School Of Affluence, if you want to see what I’m up to.

Now, ladies, thank you so much for listening. Don’t forget to visit Anna Bey Podcast on Instagram to keep the discussion going about this week’s episode. I hope it has been of use to you. And, again, I want to hear from you in the comments. And if you still haven’t subscribed to this podcast, please do that, and also leave a review, specially if you are on Apple Podcasts. Actually, as this episode goes out today, this is the last day to submit your Apple Podcast review if you want to be part of the competition where I will draw a lucky winner who will win all access to all my courses. So, the draw will happen tonight at midnight, so on Thursday I will draw lucky winner, which is tomorrow. 

Okay, ladies, thank you so much for tuning in with me, and I will see you next Wednesday. So, I look forward to then. Bye for now, ladies.

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Anna Bey is an educator in the elegant feminine empowerment space and the founder of an online finishing school for women. She can confidently call herself a pioneer in this genre because she was the first to be sharing content in this niche since 2012.

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Anna Bey is an expert on Modern Elegance™, upscale transformations, and leveling up, with over 150 million channel views. Since 2012, she has taught women how to develop a more refined personal presence and lifestyle inside the Anna Bey Academy, where she hosts her various classes and courses. Her publication features include The Times UK, Newsweek, New York Post, Cosmopolitan, and many more.


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