THE DWARIKA’S HOTEL | KATHMANDU, NEPAL | APRIL 22-23, 2019
The Dwarika’s Hotel is a 5-star destination resort in Kathmandu, Nepal. Walk around the Old Baneshwor neighborhood and you would never know such an oasis of culture and beauty exists, but one step inside the sculpted brick walls and you are transported away from the noise and pollution of the streets into a secret garden of tranquility.
The hotel, conceived and founded by Dwarika Das Shrestha in the early 1950s, fulfills a profound dual-purpose: to preserve and celebrate Nepal’s rich cultural and architectural heritage through the vehicle of a world-class hotel experience. In this way, the hotel is a living museum. Each architectural detail is a work of art.
Lemongrass and flowering wisteria waft on the breeze. Babbling fountains attract sparrows and doves that flap heavenward to roost in the tiled rooftops. Whole flowers float in water-filled cisterns and vines clamber up palm trees. The hotel is constructed around a central pool that is reminiscent of 12th century Malla Dynasty baths, and several buildings arranged around interconnecting courtyards evoke a palatial feel. One might get lost exploring the narrow alleyways and vine-shaded brick pathways and discovering new delights around every corner. Shrines dot the property, bedecked in smoking incense and colorful red and yellow ritual powders. The secret oasis feeling is enhanced by countless private nooks where one might while away the afternoon hours with a cappuccino and a travel companion. And when the afternoon thunderstorm arrives to clear the air and refresh the many flowering vines, the covered veranda and indoor fireplaces offer cozy and dry places to curl up with a book and cashmere blanket.
Each luxuriously heeled suite includes such amenities that might make your stay more comfortable: a lounge area, soaking tub, coffee and tea bar, desk (complete with pressed paper house stationery for dropping a note in the mail), two sinks, a basket bursting with every necessity a weary traveller might need or have forgotten (toothbrushes, razors, lotions, soaps, slippers, bathrobes, bottled water, and the like), and of course a dreamy four-poster bed bursting with pillows.
The staff offer world class, personalized hospitality at a moment’s notice. With room service, pool-side delivery, a cozy bar and fine dining options, the hungry guest can certainly find anything to satisfy their hunger. True to the resort tradition, The Dwarika’s Hotel offers a sumptuous breakfast buffet feast.
The highlight, for me, was the daily 7am yoga practice, offered by the house yoga teacher and Sanskrit master. Situated in a sunny glassed-in studio on the roof, the traditional postural practice was energizing, aligning, and educational to this Western yogi.
After yoga, then breakfast, we spent most of the morning intermittently splashing in the pool then drying off in the sun before checking out and continuing our journey westward via the Kathmandu airport (a 5-minute taxi ride away).
Awesome products need awesome photos! PlantAid and Cause + Medic are two brand new San Diego-based companies with big visions: better living through plants.
PlantAid has created an all-natural cleaning solution (it's so safe you can drink it) for every kind of plant—from potted plants in your home to rows of vegetables in your garden to acres of wheat in a field.
CAUSE+MEDIC is an all-natural skincare line combining the healing properties of cannabis with other active botanical ingredients, to enhance skin health and radiance.
Both companies are using social media as the grassroots part of their marketing strategy, and they needed some great content for their visual storytelling efforts. That's where my camera and I came in!
Amanda and Brent are getting married this summer and wanted some snaps to commemorate their engagement, use for save the dates, and round out a wedding website. I was packing up to head out on an around the world trip with my husband, so when we compared available dates in our calendars, we came up with.... Sunday morning! So we had a little adventure at Point Dume, exploring the beautiful new spring growth in the sunny mid-morning.
Check out Brent and Amanda's wedding photos at Stonewall Ranch in Malibu >>
Does something look a little different about Ilse and Louis' gorgeous elopement photos at El Matador Beach? That's because we did the shoot at sunrise! That's right, this awesome couple got ready and met me at the beach at 6:45 am for sunrise (which turned out to be perfectly cloudy and all pastels all morning long) and it was totally worth it to have the WHOOLLE beach to ourselves! If you've been to El Matador, you know that it can be challenging to have a clean background due to other people enjoying the beach (who can blame them? It's stunning.) But a sunrise session at El Matador meant we were alone with the beautiful light, freshly smoothed sand, and expanse of rocks to climb all over. It was a dream come true!
Though based inland, Ilse and Louis wanted to snap elopement photos at El Matador because they getaway to the beach any chance they have (and I can totally see why!).
I'm so thrilled they found me online (yay Google!) and we got to spend these special moments together making some truly frame-worthy images to commemorate the beginning of their life together.
How ultra-fitting that Malibu burst into a riot of green regrowth and bright yellow wild flowers in the months after the Woolsey Fire, right around the time Maile's belly is bursting with the life of the Arroyo's first son. Baby Apollo, you're going to be a legend.
Cristina and Sean are having their wedding this October at Calamigos Ranch, so they opted to shoot engagement photos their too, to create a cohesive gallery photography. I love that idea! On a beautiful afternoon in March, we got to explore all over the dreamy grounds of Calamigos Ranch, from the ferris wheel to the carousel, from grassy meadows to chandelier-clad oak groves. What an incredible place and what a fun-loving couple! I'm so excited for your wedding this fall.
I love shooting senior photos at the Adamson House in Malibu because there are so many fun textures, colors, and backdrops to explore. From a sea foam painted greenhouse to vintage California tile work to endless blue ocean vistas, this place has it all.
Stephanie Moustakas' line of fine, quality, but oh-so-wearable jewelry is going to take the moms on the go world by storm. But first, she needed a ton of great product and lifestyle images to round out her website. Using the backdrop of her home, her sample pieces, and her kiddos (when they were in the mood) we shot a heap of images that will live on her website as category images, headers, and social media content to get this jewelry line launched right. Want to score some to die for pieces for yourself or someone you know? Head over to https://stephaniemoustakas.com/ to place your order today!
Stacy and Mark's March wedding at the legendary Wayfarer's Chapel in Palos Verdes, California, was nothing short of breathtaking. Full of light and glass, the space feels like a heavenly forest, and is the perfect space to say vows that will last a lifetime.
Stacy and Mark's sweet and playful relationship is a magnet for incredible people, and I had the best time joining in the celebration. Check out Stacy and Mark's engagement photos at El Matador State Beach back in September >>
Ceremony venue: Wayfarer's Chapel
Reception venue: Los Verdes Golf Course
Wedding coordinator: Shelby Jolivet, Emily Mora (Los Verdes staff)
Officiant: Angela Robinson
Food/Catering: Los Verdes Golf Course
DJ/Music: Kevin Hogan
Flowers: Sarah Brown, @sarahcbrowndesigns
Cake: Paige Tull
Dress: Lili Bridals & Formals www.lilibridals.com
Cookie favors: Susie Bock, www.couturecookiecompany.com, @couturedcookie
What the heck is a meditasting? Part meditation, part champagne tasting, I can't explain it any better than Forbes magazine did on their list of "Most Unusual Wine Experiences in Los Angeles" :
"Only in California would someone think to mix champagne with channeling your mantra. Malibu Beach Inn recently started offering "meditastings" in the private Carbon Beach Club dining room, where sippers are guided by "award-winning thought leader and intuitive coach Cassandra Bodzak" on a meditation-based intake of Henriot Champagnes. The experience combines tasting directions with mindfulness techniques and meditation as Bodzak ushers guests into "a higher place of mindfulness, tranquility, and serenity." Reaching Champagne-nirvana takes roughly one hour and can be done for up to four people per room. Available to hotel guests only for $600 plus room rate."
Clear as a champagne flute? Even if you don't totally get it, you've gotta admit these photos (shot by yours truly) are pretty fire.
I live in Malibu, Calif.,