SPG

Theme 31: Coachella 2017. Outfits, parties and celebrities sightseeing.

Coachella Outfits 2017 of Ulia Ali. Fashion and lifestyle blogger.

If you have never been to Coachella, I suggest you to add it to your bucket list! I have been to a few festivals in the UK and the Unites States before, and almost always been very lucky to have premium tickets, and a group of fun friends with me, however NOTHING came even close to Coachella.

I won't lie, Coachella IS EXPENSIVE even if you get general admission tickets and stay in your own tent. But if you like comfort, want to see concerts and your favorite celebrities in their natural habitat, I suggest you splurge on more expensive tickets and fancy hotels. Luckily, Ben with the help of the great SPG Moments team organized a very well-planned, luxurious and pleasant festival trip as a part for our 1-year anniversary.

Hospitality Tent Coachella 2017
Polaroids from Coachella Festival
Couple at Coachella
Amex Platinum House at Palm Springs. Le Parker Hotel.

After spending a couple of days in Los Angeles (I will show you some beautiful pictures we took there in the next post!), we drove to Palm Springs, where we had the most awesome 'Coachella Pad' I could dream of: a beautiful suite at Le Parker Meridien Hotel. Moreover, SPG Moments were able to get us Artist & Guest Coachella wristbands that rarely go on sale for the general public and are quite hard to get. Those tickets grant you access to almost every area on the Coachella grounds, including the Artists area (where all the celebrities hang out), and most importantly you get access to the front row at EVERY concert. 

What amazed me is how well the whole festival was organized and perfectly orchestrated! I can't even imagine how much work it takes organizers to pull off an event on such a grand scale EVERY SINGLE YEAR.

Coachella 2017. Beautiful Sky

We didn't spend much time in the general admission area as it was way too overwhelming and busy for us, but I was happy with every little detail in the more exclusive areas. A plethora of delicious food choices in the VIP area, clean bathrooms, the most stunning men and women in exotic or just very stylish outfits around me, enjoying themselves, positivity and love spread all over; it was just like finding a little paradise on Earth. Maybe I was lucky, but I didn’t see any drunk or high people, or crazy behavior (well, almost none :)), and the Festival felt like just this one big, happy place with amazing music.

Coachella outfit-ulia-ali
Coachella Festival Look. Custom denim shirt.

A lot of people are interested in what celebrities I saw at Coachella and if it’s true that they are all around you. I can tell you, it is true and you will definitely be around some sort of celebrity, whether it’s a favorite blogger of yours, Victoria's Secret model or Kendall Jenner, even if you stay in the General Admission area. 

I was skeptical about seeing anyone the first day, but when I was scanning my ticket to enter Coachella, my wrist band (which is your ticket) took a minute to scan, and I felt bad for the guy behind me who seemed to be impatient to get in. It ended up being A$AP Rocky and his crew. After that it was just a blur of different famous people like Drake walking by, the Jenner sisters sipping on their cocktails, Michelle Rodrigues talking loudly to her friends, and being quite unrecognisable in her huge shades, Katy Perry who is surprisingly very tiny, but amazingly gorgeous. I don't really follow celebrity culture, so I was talking/asking this beautiful blonde with a pixie haircut about a cart (the Coachella grounds are so huge, you can actually wait for a cart to take you), and was wondering why she has such a huge entourage, and then realised that it was Katy. It was quite a funny moment :)

Another person we were excited to chat with was Patrick J. Adams (Mike Ross from Suits). I didn't take any pictures with anyone because I believe it is more fun to actually take time to chat with people you admire seeing on screen and get to know their real personalities. They are all just humans (maybe more talented and good looking, but definitely just humans) and want to enjoy themselves. Ask yourself if you would really like to be asked to pose for a picture by strangers every time you go out? 

So by all means go to Coachella and stare at famous people as long as you want, but don't go there hoping to take selfies with Kardashians.

I will take my own selfie, thank you! :)

I will take my own selfie, thank you! :)

Coachella is famous for its amazing concerts and a variety of widely-loved artists. This year there were more than 250 artists with Lady Gaga, Radiohead, and Kendrick Lamar as headliners, however Ben and I were most excited about Hans Zimmer! He is one of of my favorite composers of all time, and being in the first row, right in front of the stage and listening to him and a wonderful orchestra of talented musicians play his music from Inception, The Lion King, Gladiator and Pirates of the Caribbean was so magical, I even teared up at the end. Pharell Williams also made a surprise appearance at Hans Zimmer's concert, which I was pretty stoked about.

First row at Hans Zimmer!

First row at Hans Zimmer!

By the way, if you are an influencer or just a very friendly person, chances are you won't just be hanging out at Coachella during the festival weekends. Coachella is almost like a major Fashion Week, with tons of pool parties, big brands' collection launches and promo-events. Without even planning anything ahead, I ended up being invited to tons of exciting events and parties, including big Amex Platinum House event and Popsugar party. So make sure you bring a LOT of outfits. I had to change probably five times a day (sometimes in a car!), and by the end of day 3 I was so exhausted I almost got sick :)

Ulia Ali
Le Parker Meridien
Saguaro Hotel in Palm Springs.
Hot Meshki silver dress. Transparent sparkling silver dress.

Для моих русскоязычных читателей:


Коачелла - один из самых популярных музыкальных фестивалей в мире. Фестиваль проходит в апреле в два трехдневных этапа (пятница-воскресенье) с разницей в неделю. На Коачелле очень много грандиозных сцен и различных тентов,  что означает что на территории фестиваля в одно и то же время идет несколько концертов и шоу! На одном Weekend'e выступает более 250 очень популярных и знаменитых музыкантов. То есть пока вы смотрите как отжигает Lady Gaga, на другой сцене играет какой-нибудь потрясающий модный DJ,  а в отдалении еще читает реп Drake. Не буду врать,  иногда мы с мужем разрывались не зная на какой именно концерт сходить,  но у нас похожий вкус, так что проблем не возникло.

Коачелла занимает огромную территорию в более 40 гектар, так что переходить от сцены к сцене занимает немалое количество времени, но к счастью если вы обладатель браслета-билета для артистов или VIP зоны,  то вас могут катать по территории специальные гольф-карты с водителями. 

Кстати о билетах, на Коачеллу не так-то легко попасть! Билеты раскупают в считанные часы после релиза (обычно за более чем полугода до фестиваля),  и многим приходится находить перекупщиков или находить какие-то контакты в музыкальной сфере.

Фестиваль для многих из стран СНГ звучит как какой-то дешевый концерт с морем алкоголя,  ночевкой в сыром тенте и прочими "прелестями". На самом деле обычные билеты и место для вашей собственной палатки на специально приспособленной территории фестиваля далеко не дешевые.  Cамый дешевый билет стоит $400 + если хотите поставить свою собственную палатку,  придется платить $60 за то что занимаете место. Прибавьте к этому транспорт (Коачелла находится в часу езды от Palm Springs и почти 3 часа от Лос-Анджелеса), питание и прочее и вы получите довольно внушительную сумму. 

Билеты-браслеты, кстати, значительно отличаются друг от друга. На каждый weekend Коачелла разные по значимости билеты имеют разный цвет. Всего около 4 разновидностей браслетов (к моему сведению): обычные (самые дешевые и есть доступ только к общим зонам), VIP билеты (есть доступ к VIP зонам с большим количеством вкусной еды,  магазинчиков, более свободные бары, рестораны,  больше туалетов + в этой зоне чаще всего тусуются блоггеры и захаживают знаменитости.  Вся VIP зона очень приятная и люди тут все как на подбор красивые,  аккуратные и не ведут себя как сумасшедшие. Здесь более так скажем чинно и благородно чем в Общей Зоне).

Так же есть билеты-браслеты для Звезд и их Гостей и они дают доступ практически ко всему что есть на всей территории Coachella, и вдобавок к VIP зоне с такими билетами можно пройти к зоне где отдыхают знаменитости, их друзья и родственники, приватным садам и озеру, на берегу, которого можно заметить целующихся звездных парочек. Такие билеты обычно практически не продаются, и их можно получить только если ты звезда,  знаешь кого-то важного в музыкальной индустрии или/и готов заплатить за один билет более $3000. Нам с Беном повезло, потому что он приобрел именно такой вот билет через SPG Moments, так как он давно уже член  SPG. С такими билетами у вас просто 0 шансов уйти НЕ УВИДЕВ какую-нибудь звезду первой величины.  Так и мне удалось поболтать с Кэти Перри, которую я в первые секунды разговора даже и не узнала, увидеть сестер Дженнерс попивающих коктейли, толкаться в очереди с ну очень маленькой,  но очень громкой Мишель Родригес, и завести разговор c Патриком Адамсом (Майк Росс из сериала SUITS). Больше всего меня порадовало то,  что с этими билетами можно пройти в огороженную зону прямо перед сценой, и практически каждый концерт мы стояли в первых рядах,  а на Hans Zimmer'a мы пришли пораньше и вообще стояли первые прям перед сценой. 

Так же есть билеты для организаторов фестиваля и людей следящих за тем,  чтобы фестиваль работал как часы. 

Если вы блоггер или просто очень активная и дружелюбная личность, то не думайте,  что вот так вот концертами и отделаетесь :) Фестиваль Коачелла - это ужа почти как Неделя Моды в Париже или в Нью-Йорке с модными брендами устраивающими пресс-релизы, громкие пляжные вечеринки со своим списком именитых звезд и всякие показы новых коллекций за пределами Фестиваля, чаще в Palm Springs. В конце weekend'a Коачелла я просто валилась с ног и чуть не заболела! Это потрясающий опыт и очень благотворно влияет на работу если вы digital influencer, но ужасно изматывает.

Кстати,  если вы все же решились накопить денег и поехать на этот потрясающий фестиваль, бронируйте отель заранее! Отели обычно во время проведения фестиваля просто упомрачительно дорогие,  а если вы хотите остаться в хорошем отеле в  Palm Springs,  то приготовьтесь к небольшому разрыву сердца от увиденной цены :D Для экономии советую посмотреть на сьемные квартиры на AirBnb.

Не стесняйтесь задавать вопросы! Я с удовольствием отвечу. 
 

If you want to see more of our Coachella adventures, subscribe to my new YOUTUBE channel!

I have already uploaded 2 Coachella videos, and part 3 is coming out soon, so make sure you don't miss it! 


Week 18: Summer in NYC. Living in a hotel full time!

Many of you don't even know that Ben and I actually live in hotels in New York. FULL TIME. For more than 7 months now! 

I am no Van der Woodsen, so usually we do not stay in a suite at the Palace Hotel, however living in hotels has been mostly pleasant and a very interesting experience I never expected I would have. 

Ben is a loyal Platinum member of SPG and it helps to make all of our stays at their hotels extremely pleasant. We often get upgraded to the best hotel rooms available, I get to have breakfast and snacks every day for free, everyone is there to help with picking up the mail, sending out our laundry or dealing with any requests you could possibly imagine.

W Hotel New York

At the beginning, back in January, when Ben and I moved in to one of the big suites at the W Hotel in New York, I wasn't really ecstatic about it. Growing up in a big house where the kitchen and dining room are a big part of family gatherings, I felt robbed of the new, little experiences like doing grocery shopping in NYC, cooking for my boyfriend, baking cookies to share with neighbours (do people still do that? I would!) and inviting people over for a board game night with drinks.

Also at that time it was extremely cold in New York and I didn't know a lot of people in the city. I felt extremely lonely and claustrophobic in the big, pristine, clean hotel suite that didn't have anything of my own except for a few clothes and coats I brought with me in one suitcase. I was missing small things like drinking freshly brewed tea, having my little library and ability to wash things whenever I wanted and instead of waiting for Delivery.com to pick our laundry up once a week.

Ben on the other hand was used to this kind of lifestyle as he was living in hotels for more than a year before he met me. He was trying as much as he could to make me feel comfortable and gain a sense of "home". 

He would send me flowers while he was at work and order me new books, even though afterwards I didn't know where to find a space for them.

At that time we had to leave our hotels every two weeks to go to Ben's parents' house in Park City, Utah. We would fly over for just a weekend, but every time we had to take ALL our luggage and repack there again. You have no idea how frustrating it was for me if I forgot to pack something and bring it to NYC, or if I didn't realise I would need it (especially if it was something important like a bill, a statement or a document). Also we would often switch from one hotel location to another and it would mess up all my mail and orders.

But a few months after we started living in hotels together, I adapted and started really enjoying our hotel hopping life! I particularly grew fond of SPG's Four Points Hotels.

My favorite one to stay at is Four Points Soho. Their rooms might not be the biggest ones, but they are decently sized for such a great location in Manhattan. The hotel staff are phenomenal and all of them became almost like our little family. I started to love getting breakfast every morning downstairs (Jay is an amazingly nice guy and his service is impeccable) or ordering food straight to the room when I felt I wanted to stay in or watch a movie while eat my regular porridge with latte.

Four Points Soho review.

Another perk of living in a hotel? Actually being able to focus on my website, on my relationships with husband and friends, writing, going to photoshoots and reading, and not worrying about cooking, cleaning and washing as in a hotel everything is taken care of!

How many people can say they have experienced full time living in a hotel with all its perks? I know one day Ben and I will get an apartment (might even be really soon!), but for now I am fully appreciating living in the heart of New York, surrounded by Four Points SoHo staff that are willing to help, and just enjoy LIVING. Hotel-hopping life might have it cons, but there is much more to love about it.