House of Nomad’s Travel Guides

 
 
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STAY
La Valise This small, 9-room boutique hotel is perfection. I had our waiter tell me once that “anything is possible” when placing an order, which is just the sort of encouragement you need while on vacation. Every little detail of our room, lobby, food and hotel experience was perfectly thought through. And — the food is amazing.


EAT
NU This modern Mexican restaurant is owned by La Valise and sister hotel Encantada. We ate here our first night and it’s incredible! For dessert, they don't give you a menu but send the pastry chef to your table to chat with you about your “ideal dessert,” then place your order based on those details.

Gitano Friday and Saturday nights this restaurant is lively and features live music and dancing. They also have an extensive list of Tequila and Mezcal (yay!) with an ENTIRE drink list devoted to mezcal cocktails. Get the Mezcal Mule. Also, any place with outdoor disco balls has my vote!

La Eufemia I’d call this place a “Hippie Chic Taco Boutique.” Eat here for simple, fresh — and even better, cheap, tacos. The bonus is their salsa bar!

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DRINK
Todos Santos . A cocktail bar with one of the best vibes and drinks I’ve ever experienced! No menus, just all the fresh ingredients you could ever imagine. Tell them what you like and your flavor/taste profile and they create your ideal drink. Mind. Blown. This special spot is located inside Casa Jaguar.



EXPLORE
Casa Jaguar This “cultural venue” has a little bit of everything. Cocktails (see above), dining and some really awesome shops all in one, beautifully curated, open air spot!

Tulum Ruins Hire a guide and visit these ruins in the most picturesque venue - right on the beach! Built late in the 13th century, it’s the only Mayan city built on the coast.

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Cenotes Admittedly, I was very unsure of this whole situation, but they are worth it. Cenotes are limestone sinkholes that have exposed natural waters where you can swim or snorkle. Feeling extra brave? You can dive many of them. We visited Sac Actun!

Beach . Tulum hosts one long beach that you can explore. Stop and grab cocktails along your way and on the other side of all the hotels/bars/restaurants is where most of the shops are. Lots to enjoy!


SHOP
Wanderlust: for your favorite flowy dress

Mixik: for authentic Mexican crafts and textiles

Hilo Rojo: for one of a kind pieces and great jewelry — my personal favorite!

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GETTING THERE
We always fly into Bangkok and give ourselves two full days to explore the city. Check out the palaces and take a boat ride down the Chao Phraya River to see most the highlights more conveniently. Try to get reservations at Gaggan if you are feeling fancy while you are there. It is INSANELY amazing. Book a roundtrip ticket from Bangkok to Ko Samui on Bangkok Airways (this is one of our favorite little airlines of all time...super affordable and always on time.


ISLAND TIME  
It is very convenient to book a combo ticket that will include your transfer from the airport to the pier and your ferry ticket to Koh Tao. You will leave from Bangkok, take an hour flight to Koh Samui, get picked up at the airport and take a 30 minute ride to the pier where you will get on board the boat to the islands. (The ticket just includes the catamaran and dock transfer. We would recommend the high speed Lomprayah ferry). They make one stop on the way there (Koh Phanagan) and then the next stop is Koh Tao.

TRUST US. It is worth the extra stop! Wave goodbye to everyone as they get off one island short of paradise.

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Berk and Kel & the Villas

BOOK A VILLA that can pick you up from the port and take you to where you are staying.

Our two favorites?
Naroua (if it’s just for a couple’s getaway)
Phandara Luxury Villas (perfect for a group of four)
Or if you want to do it backpacker style:
Savage Hostel

RENT A SCOOTER TO GET AROUND THE ISLAND
Oli’s Motorbike
(Scared of scooters? Most villas include drivers that will take you around the island, as well.)


WATCH A FIRE SHOW ON THE BEACH
Lotus Bar

SUPPORT LOCAL AND BUY SOMETHING TRULY UNIQUE
The Islander

HAVE THE BEST “PANCAKE” OF YOUR LIFE AFTER A NIGHT OUT
Any of the hawkers on Sairee beach

LOOKING FOR HOME DECOR?
Iyara and some of the smaller shops near the pier!

Pomelo+Salad

Cooking With Joy

DRESS LIKE THE BEACH BABE YOU ARE
Alila Boutique

GRAB A LIGHT LUNCH OF POMELO SALAD ON THE BEACH
Whitening

ENJOY AN AUTHENTIC THAI MEAL
Su Chili

ENJOY SUNDOWNERS
Fizz Beachlounge

TAKE A COOKING CLASS
Cooking with Joy


GO SNORKELING WITH SHARKS
Shark Bay

RELAX IN THE SAND
Ao Tanote Bay

BEST THAI OMELETTE OF YOUR LIFE
P.Oy’s Place

ENJOY LIVE MUSIC ON THE BEACH
Bar Next Door

ENJOY A MASSAGE ON THE BEACH
Kayo Healing Massage

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*Things to bring from home:

Sunscreen and BUG SPRAY. Yep, you will want the “real deal” in both scenarios. Have dramamine ready for your boat ride out there! Nine times out of 10 it’s perfectly smooth but yes, it is possible you might be met with rough waters.

When you land in Bangkok, grab a SIM card for your phone. It will cost about $20 for unlimited data. You will WANT this to navigate around Bangkok and more importantly Koh Tao!



 
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SLEEP
Stay at Luna’s oceanside villa

INVEST IN A MACRAME SKULL & TAKE A CLASS  
Evoke the Spirit

FIND THE PERFECT POM POM BLANKET
Révolucion del Sueño  

DISCOVER AN INTERIOR DESIGNER’S DREAM STORE
Artefakto


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PURCHASE THE MOST VERSATILE THROW/SCARF
Laughing Jaguar  

BUY POM POM GARLAND
At the market over the bridge 

GRAB A COFFEE & A FROZEN BANANA
Choco Banana 

ENJOY CEVICHE MIXTO FOR LUNCH
Aloha Cafe  

ENJOY AUTHENTIC CHICKEN MOLE FOR DINNER
Mary’s


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GRAB A COCKTAIL & TUNA TOSTADA
Don Pedro’s

DO A MEZCAL TASTING 
Cava

LEARN HOW TO SURF OR PADDLE BOARD
Sayulita Surf Co.

RELAX IN THE SAND
At the Playa de Muertos 

ENJOY A SPA DAY
Buddha Gallery and Spa 



 
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We know how overwhelming traveling to a brand new city can be, especially when it’s a unique place like Marrakech! Before we travel, we obsess over all the possibilities and recommendations we come across. The recommendations we received from friends at home and locals on the ground were key to making it such a great trip! Hopefully we inspired you to check Morocco out for yourself. If you plan to go, here are some suggestions to make your trip great. We absolutely fell in love and already plan to go back.

Also! We brought so many great things back with us! Check out our Studio Party to get first dibs on rugs, poufs, blankets, decor, and more! Whatever is left will be for sale in our shop!

 
 

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SLEEP
El Fenn @elfennmarrakech

We’ve traveled a lot and El Fenn is the most inspirational hotel we have ever been to. Every room is different and unique. The owners have a strong sense for design and the whole experience is inspiring. It’s not just the rooms or the rooftop bar with views of Marrakech and whole medina, but it's the color it's the tile, it's the attention to detail.

GRAB TASSEL EARRINGS AND A KAFTAN 
39 Rue Marjelle // Kaftan Queen


FIND THE PERFECT HOME ACCESSORY 
Mustapha Blaoui // Chabi Chic // and of course the many souks offering Moroccan poufs, bags, galore! *Be ready to bargain!

BUY A PAIR OF SANDALS 
LRNCE

PICK A LEATHER BAG
Galerie Birkemeyer 

SELECT DESERT POTTERY
Ta Megroute Potter 

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GET BASKETS ON BASKETS
Panel Artisanal 

BUY A HANDMADE RUG
Aux Merveilles de Marrakech // Chateau Berbere // Maison Al Hamra // Berber Tribal Art & More 

EAT LUNCH 
Naranj Restaurant for the best Lebanese food we have ever had.

GRAB A SNACK
Corner Cafe for amazing sandwiches, salads and fried goodies.

SMALL PLATES FOR DINNER 
Nomad for small healthy plates with a twist 

 

 

GRAB A ROOFTOP COCKTAIL
El Fenn Rooftop // order the “Spicy Caipirinha”

Be sure to get there from 5 to 7 p.m. when they offer their “Snack Time”! Don’t be fooled by the cute name, this “snack time” is a sophisticated menu with everything from charcuterie boards and smoked salmon bruschetta to homemade Moroccan sweets. Be sure to enjoy it with one of the best cocktails we have ever had — the “Spicy Caipirinha.” Or try it at home — they were generous enough to share their recipe!

  • Anejo Tequila- 2 shots

  • lime juice- 1 lime

  • Chili- for the rim of the glass

  • Pineapple juice

  • Cachaca- 2 shot

  • Agave Syrup- 2 tablespoon

  • Serve with fresh pineapple and a red chili for garnish

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EXPLORE FASHION
The YSL Museum 

VISIT A CACTI GARDEN
Jardin Marjorelle 

GET INSPIRED BY TILE & ARCHITECTURE
Palace of Marrakech


 
 

RELAX
Enjoy a traditional hammam experience at your riad! // Go with an open mind and leave with glowing skin.

FEELING OVERWHELMED? HIRE A GUIDE TO GIVE YOU THE LAY OF THE LAND 
Our gal: Amina Zakkari aminazakki@gmail.com

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