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Nov 06 2015

Sofitel Washington DC: Luxury Hotel In Lafayette Square

Washington, D.C., has no shortage of accommodation and with several neighborhoods to choose from, tourists can wonder where to start. Our last trip to the Capital was for the Landmark Music Festival, so we knew we wanted to be close to the Mall. We settled on one of our favorite hotel brands, Sofitel, and decided to see what the Washington property has to offer.   The Location   Sofitel Washington DC Lafayette Square, as it turns out, is convenient to way more than just The National Mall. We walked everywhere all weekend, yet felt...

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Oct 21 2015

A Weekend On The Mall At Landmark Music Festival

Thankfully, threats of constant rain proved to be idle, but the first ever Landmark Music Festival on The National Mall faced other challenges on Day One. Lines for the bar where festival goers could pick up beer, wine and nonalcoholic drinks were a hundred people long before 4 p.m. Since half the crowd spent entire sets in line, the crowds at the stages felt sparse (a plus if you wanted to squeeze up close) and attitudes turned negative before night fell. [gallery type="rectangular" ids="4949,4951"] The artists on Saturday were great; Daughter and...

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Sep 28 2015

5 simple tips to travel healthy and help you wake up and go

It is always exciting to travel to new places and experience new things. Here are a few tips to keep yourself healthy in order to enjoy your travels to the fullest!   1. Stop! Don’t order that Gin and Tonic on the plane   It’s always very tempting to order a mid-flight cocktail, especially since alcohol can sometimes help you fall asleep quickly. However, alcohol will actually disrupt your sleep and leave you less rested, probably more irritable, and with a slightly weaker immune system. Catching a cold or feeling the effects of fatigue is never...

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Sep 22 2015

Landmark Music Festival: Saving The National Mall

Washington, D.C., is bringing its music scene to a new level by hosting a full-fledged summer music festival this weekend. Landmark Music Festival managed to snag an impressive lineup headlined by The Strokes and Drake (a pretty nice testament to the diversity of taste in the District). New sensation George Ezra will also make an appearance as well as a variety of other acts from several, possibly surprising, genres including the Eagle Rock Gospel Singers.    The Cause   Great acts aside, that’s not what this inspiring music festival is about. Landmark Music Festival will...

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Sep 17 2015

How To Minimize Your Makeup Bag For Travel: Stowaway

Here’s a health tip for travel you may not have thought of yet: throw out your old makeup. You might not think it’s necessary or insist you don’t really hold on to all those products for that long, but take an honest look at your cosmetic bag.   When did you buy your favorite lipstick?   Even if you use it often, chances are slim you will finish the full tube before it expires after about a year.   New makeup brand Stowaway is breaking the mold by churning out quality cosmetics in travel sizes only! So...

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Sep 12 2015

Easy Travel Favorites By prAna

What’s the most important thing you look for when you’re planning outfits for travel? Comfort? Style? How do you find a good mix of both, especially when you’re traveling to a hot climate like Southeast Asia? Find a great brand and stick to it! prAna makes quality products with fair trade material that lasts, so you can count on your clothes to make it through your travels.   If you’re heading somewhere warm for the holidays this year (lucky you!) now is a great time to score some major deals on summer...

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Sep 03 2015

An Adventure Along The Columbus Ale Trail

I recently took a weekend to escape the hot humid summer here in Virginia and traveled over to the trendy city of Columbus, Ohio, to check out the booming craft brewery scene. It had been a busy few weeks for me so I was excited to relax, sip on some cold brews, and learn a bit about beer.   [gallery type="rectangular" ids="4809,4811,4813"]   I hopped on a short flight from IAD to Port Columbus Airport and to my surprise, I received an upgrade to United first class. This doesn't mean much on a commuter...

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Aug 26 2015

Tugu Hotel Lombok

We had a feeling that squeezing in two nights on Lombok would be well worth it when we heard about Tugu Hotels. We were staying on Bali in some beautiful properties and didn't necessarily want to spend more time on a plane or in a car, but when we arrived at Tugu, we knew we made the right decision. Lombok is quieter than it's tourist-ridden neighbor and the locals are ecstatic to welcome any visitors. We arrived during burning season and drove through clouds of smoke coming from the fields on...

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Aug 01 2015

The W Hotel Washington D.C.

Everyone who lives in Washington, D.C., has been to the P.O.V. lounge on the roof level of The W. The stunning view of the Washington Monument, the Mall and even the White House at certain angles, make this a spectacular place to see the District at night. The stylish bar hosts all kind of events from book signings to fashion shows and always draws a big crowd. While Eric and I lived in D.C. we attended a few of these events and brought our visiting friends for a drink on...

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Jul 23 2015

PARKROYAL Serviced Suites, Kuala Lumpur

Frequent travelers know that staying in a hotel can get old. Especially when making a foreign city your temporary home, even a luxurious hotel room can just feel cold and cramped. Serviced apartments are one of our favorite ways to get comfortable in a new city and they are a perfect springboard for getting to know the place. PARKROYAL Serviced Suites offers a modern home away from home in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. [gallery type="rectangular" ids="4724,4720,4719"] *Photos courtesy of PARKROYAL because this happened.  The Rooms These incredibly well-designed serviced suites make creative use of space...

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Jul 19 2015

Summer Brunch

The club was opened in August 1978 by Steve Fallon. When the Fallon family bought the corner building in uptown Hoboken with its street-level tavern, Steve Fallon's sisters Kathryn Jackson Fallon and Anne Fallon Mazzolla along with brother-in-law Mario Mazzola were interested in turning the factory workers' tavern (General Foods' Maxwell House Coffee factory was a block away on the Hudson River) into more of a restaurant. The Hoboken band "a" (featuring Glenn Morrow, Richard Barone, Frank Giannini, and Rob Norris; the latter three later forming The Bongos) asked if...

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Jul 17 2015

The Sarann, Koh Samui

The Sarann occupies a stretch of land along the ocean with a beautiful view of one of the beaches for which Koh Samui is so well known. The main town is about 20 minutes away and a complimentary shuttle is available at certain times to take you there. We immediately noticed the uniform of the staff – their striped tshirts, khaki board shorts and white tennis shoes were reminiscent of yacht attire and were much more laid back than the traditional outfits worn at other five star accommodations in Thailand....

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Jul 03 2015

Exploring Life In Columbus

As you already know I am always looking out for the next best thing in unique travel experiences. Since I’ve planted shallow roots in the USA for the next few years with the Walden Hall project, I’ve shifted my focus from Asia to a little closer to home. This coming August I will be heading to Columbus, Ohio to check out their booming craft brewery and distillery scene. I had not realized until recently how much culture is packed into Columbus. Dozens of music and art events are held every year...

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Jun 25 2015

The DROID Turbo by Motorola (Pushing The Limits Of Smartphone Photography)

I love travel photography. You probably already know this from my previous posts but I often take between five hundred to a thousand photos a day while traveling. Ever since my last long term excursion I have been upgrading my travel photography gear to keep up with the growth of Poplar Travels and as I hone my travel photography skills, I am always looking for the newest and best thing to add to my travel bag. About a month ago I reviewed a phone that, at the time, was the newest...

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Jun 16 2015

The Five Stages of Losing Your Data

Recently, from our hard drive, which we rely on to store all our data from our travels, came forth a terrible death rattle. It clicked and whirred and simply refused to register and thus began our panic. The possibility of losing all this information, which was mostly photos, has taken us through a range of emotions. As we move through “The Five Stages of Losing Your Data” we are doing our best to find a bright side (care to help us out with that one?) and pass on the valuable...

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Jun 05 2015

Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Beach Resort

The Sofitel name is one to which we are always drawn due to their beautiful properties, desirable locations and incredibly well-trained staff. Our experience at Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Beach Resort met our expectations despite a rocky start that involved long lines at immigration, an impatient greeter and a very disorganized check-in after a frustrating flight. Classic travel woes. When we finally made it to our room our anxiety melted away and we soaked up the view of the ocean from our balcony. *Photos courtesy of Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua. (Still...

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Jun 04 2015

Dripthat Social App For Travel

As you already may know, over the past year I have been quite the social media addict. On any given day I am active on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook but I also use another platform that you might not be familiar with. Dripthat is a new social app that enables you to combine video and photos into “drips” which can be shared instantly with your friends or the public and also over a stretched amount of time. This might sound a little bizarre, but I have been testing this new...

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May 22 2015

PARKROYAL Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is a vibrant city drawing business and leisure travelers to the busiest location in Malaysia. While Penang, and especially Georgetown, has become a boutique hotel fanatic’s paradise, the capital city maintains a metropolitan feel with the famous Petronas Towers, massive underground shopping centers and bustling nightlife. When selecting a hotel here, visitors will be faced with plenty of options at different price points and in different locations. We chose to stay close to the downtown area at the PARKROYAL Kuala Lumpur. [gallery type="rectangular" ids="4542,4547,4541,4545,4543"] The Rooms We were exhausted and appreciated the...

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May 20 2015

Travel Gear Test: LG G4 Smartphone

The past few weeks I have been testing out a new piece of travel gear that I’m sure will make waves when it is made available to the public. The G4 is the newest top tier smartphone from LG and I’ve been testing its functionality, aesthetics, and features thoroughly during my recent travels. [gallery type="rectangular" ids="4554,4553,4550"] Upon first opening the box I was surprised at how nice the phone actually looked. Its gunmetal accents and light brown, stitched leather back give it a sophisticated aesthetic. It was a great match for my...

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Apr 20 2015

Countryside Motorbike Tour In Siem Reap, Cambodia

Cambodia is a country rich with culture and historic terrain begging for explorers to leave the tourist centers and venture out into the countryside. Aside from visiting the famous Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, we knew we wanted to go off the beaten path to see what life is like for most Cambodians in the countryside. With Tinggly, a company that facilitates giving the gift of travel, we took a motorbike tour through remote neighborhoods down dirt roads and got to meet the locals. If you’ve ever been stuck with a...

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Apr 15 2015

Metal Studio Handmade Necklace Giveaway

Finding local artists is one of the best parts of hunting for souvenirs abroad. We stumbled into the jewelry shop Metal Studio while exploring the Nimman neighborhood of Chiang Mai and kept going back for more. You can read our interview with Boom, the designer and shop owner, here. Her one of a kind designs are inspired by nature and feature unique stones and asymmetric metal details. [gallery type="rectangular" ids="4467,4470"] Metal Studio was one of our favorite souvenir finds in Chiang Mai and in honor of our departure from our home for...

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Apr 13 2015

Cameron Highlands Resort Review

If you are making a trip to Malaysia and are on the fence about whether to stop in the Cameron Highlands, allow us to help you make up your mind: you need to go. The Cameron Highlands Resort was a highlight of our trip to Malaysia. We left feeling inspired, relaxed and very very full. We were greeted cheerfully by staff and took a seat in the Jim Thompson tea room to get settled. The room is a look back in time to the days Jim Thompson would arrive there...

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Apr 12 2015

Hotel Penaga Review, Penang

Penang has become a popular spot for hotels with loads of character and the number of small boutique accommodations is one the rise. With trendy nightlife, street art lining the roads and a nearby beach, this small city is a popular destination in Malaysia. The quaint island of Georgetown, with its colonial charm, is especially popular for boutique hotels. Among the best is Hotel Penaga, designed and owned by a power couple consisting of a well-known architect and an environmentalist. The resulting structure is stylish, welcoming and green. [gallery type="rectangular" ids="4337,4349,4334"] The Rooms Our...

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Apr 11 2015

Borei Angkor Resort And Spa Review

As soon as we walked into the lobby of the Borei Angkor Resort and Spa, we felt close to the culture and the enormous scale of historic Angkor in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Huge blocks the size of boulders make up the walls reaching up to a soaring ceiling, and the staff wear traditional Khmer attire. Despite the colossal aesthetic, we were greeted warmly and invited to take a seat on a comfortable sofa. The staff were all insistent on asking our names and telling us their own, always pointing at their...

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Apr 10 2015

Big News: Our Next Home Base

It has been a busy few months here at Poplar Travels and now we finally get to share our plans for our next adventure! Last year, we started this journey by leaving Washington, D.C., with one-way tickets to Thailand. Our plan didn’t extend beyond our 6-month lease, and when it was up we started on a tour of Southeast Asia starting with two weeks in Vietnam followed by Cambodia, Malaysia and Indonesia. The past five weeks have absolutely flown by and we have so many stories to share. We stayed in...

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