Sonasterio: Mountaintop Masterpiece

Inside Sonastério, Brazil’s First World-Class, Destination Recording Facility

Global architectural acoustic consulting firm WSDG (Walters-Storyk Design Group) designed Brazil’s first world-class, destination recording studio. A 30-minute drive from Belo Horizonte, the luxurious home is a collaboration between famed Brazilian architect João Diniz and WSDG, for musician/engineer Bruno Barros.

02 Sonastério exterior
Photos courtesy of S+WSDG

Perched atop a scenic bluff overlooking the pristine Minas Gerais mountain range the modernistic glass and concrete 8,000 square foot structure is meticulously well appointed and features a 1,500 square foot world-class recording studio with 20′ high ceilings. Acoustic consultant/studio designer WSDG was engaged during the earliest phases of the project to ensure a seamless integration of the recording studio component — a key requirement of Mr. Barros from the beginning.

“It is hard to imagine a more conducive environment to inspire creativity,” commented WSDG Partner/Director of Design Renato Cipriano.” Superb acoustics begin with geometry — we worked hand in glove with the architect to ensure that every square foot was precisely calibrated. The high comfort level set the stage for an extraordinary recording experience. The 750 sq. ft. live room is distinguished by a 20’ ceiling height, an 80 sq. ft. Iso booth, panoramic mountain views, custom ceiling clouds outfitted with a pro lighting grid to facilitate video shoots, and a striking ‘Sunburst’ studio logo hand painted over an acoustical broadband wall treatment.”

11 Sonastério Live Room 2

In addition to the recording studio, the showcase home features three guest bedrooms, five-star amenities, abundant natural light and drop-dead gorgeous views from both indoor and outdoor spaces.
“Sonastério Studios is a work of art in itself,” concludes Bruno Barros. “More than just a recording studio, Sonastério is a house of creation designed to enhance the natural expressiveness of each artist.

01 Sonasterio Studios Live Room ext. view photo by Alberto Andrich A3.2

Grand Palladium Jamaica: A Great Experience Awaits

By Courtney Nicholas

The drive from Kingston took about 2 hours & 40 minutes, check in was no longer than 5 minutes. I was shuttled to the room, which was located on the Lady Hamilton Block, the bellboy was very helpful & knowledgeable, giving me a quick overview on the hotel & answering my questions adequately.

Grand Palladium Jamaica Complex Resort & Spa8
Photos courtesy of Grand Palladium Jamaica

The room I was given was on the ground floor, it had a King Size Bed, Balcony, a Mini Bar which was fully stocked, a couch, safe, & I must say the bed was extremely comfortable.
The food options were better than I expected, I went to the main buffet, for breakfast & lunch, which at all times the wait staff was always checking if I needed anything.
The beach was a bit disappointing for me, as I mostly spent my time during the day at the main pool, which was massive but not crowded, it had a great swim up bar & the Johnnie Walker was always flowing. There was also a water slide which I saw the kids enjoying.


The dining options were very good, I went to Poseidon (Mediterranean), Bhogali (Indian), Arte E Cuccina (Italian) Bubbas (Steak House), Lotus House (Asian), they all were excellent.

Photography by PANACHE



The property is also well laid out, with easy directions as well as the covered area from the lobby to your room, in the event of rain and room service is also available.
The resort is very family friendly & also has access for the disabled. For the parents, the play area is really good & the nanny is very experienced.

Grand Palladium Jamaica Complejo - Spa
The interaction I had with the staff during my stay was excellent, they always had a friendly smile & happy greeting.

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Overall it was a great experience, and I’m definitely looking forward to going back.

Meze Audio 99 Classics Walnut Gold

Written by Marshelle Haseley

Imagine a piece of nature emitting music into your soul—that is the Meze Audio 99 Classics Walnut Gold. It is one of the most beautiful and skilfully designed pieces of electronic device on the market, coupled with a clean and superior sound quality.
The amazement begins with its sleek, black hard EVA carrying pouch. Upon opening the pouch, the stunning dominant hand finished, walnut wood earcups and gold-plated accents of the electroplated precision die-cast zinc alloy hardware are bound to attract lovers of music, who are fascinated by fashionable, functional art.

Marshalle 4
The fatigue- resistant chromium-manganese alloy spring metal band ensures a comfortable fit, assisted by the self-adjusting PU headband. The soft PU leather ear pads with medium density memory foams give the most luxurious headphone experience—aesthetically matching the sonic splendour we expect from Meze.

Marshalle 3
Photography by Azlan Mohammed

The detachable Kevlar-reinforced cables with machined aluminium casing ensure ease and durability. This antique-meets-modern piece is built to last, and is compatible with Apple, Android, Window, and other devices.

Marshalle 2
Listening to any genre of music on this fine piece from Meze Audio takes the listener on a journey—every instrument becomes audible, enhancing the listening experience beyond the imagination.

Meze audio full page add sept 11
The Meze Audio 99 Classics Walnut Gold is a must get for all music lovers who enjoy music, and fine, classic, luxurious experiences.

Simply Iconic: The Zeppelin Review

By Tricia Williamson

It’s been over a decade since Bowers & Wilkins’ first introduced the iconic Zeppelin. This wireless speaker has a stylish, unique and sleek design. I must admit at my first glance of it online, the sheer size didn’t strike me until you see its presence in person. So if you’re in the market for a compact- this is not it.

Photos courtesy of Bowers & Wilkins

Weighing in at 14lbs, a height of 188mm and width of 660mm- this juggernaut in audio is built for your home. At $699USD, it’s no walk in the penny park. Nevertheless, it is a great addition to your interior design- perfect for a large room with a high ceiling such as a living room or party space.

Big in size, but even bigger in sound. The Zeppelin is loud and offers high quality, clear audio in its delivery. The speaker is impressive even at high volumes the bass remains powerful yet controlled. Bowers & Wilkins have always been excellent in their craftsmanship.

As Christmas nears, and we gather for parties and gatherings with family and friends, the Zeppelin is the speaker for your party. You can wake the neighbourhood with this… But please don’t.

Miami Spice: Farm-to-Table Destinations

Welcome to Miami, where farm-to-table cuisine means juicy heirloom tomatoes in the middle of winter, mangos, and jackfruit in the summer and fresh greens year-round. Here, chefs embrace the bounty of fruits and vegetables that flourish in South Miami-Dade’s agricultural district.

Coconut Ceviche Tacos at Plant Food & Wine in Wynwood
Coconut Ceviche Tacos at Plant Food & Wine in Wynwood

Paradise Farms was established roughly 18 years ago specializing in organic produce and edible flowers sold to restaurants. Located in the heart of Homestead, about 45 minutes south of Downtown Miami, the farm supplies many chefs and farmers markets with local fruits and vegetables, herbs, eggs, mushrooms, and other produce.

James Beard award winning chef Michael Schwartz in his herb garden

In Homestead, you can sample authentic tropical farm-to-table dining – and drinking – any time of the year at Schnebly Redland’s Winery & Brewery and its RedLander Restaurant helmed by Chef Dewey LoSasso, a lush, palmy outpost in South Dade. Your meal might include mahi-mahi ceviche and salad made with Malabar spinach or guava-basted chicken wings. Accompany your meal with avocado or passion fruit wine or a Big Rod coconut ale, all made on site at the winery.


Bringing the Farm to Your Plate
James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz is credited with making fresh, local ingredients the star of the show when he opened Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink in Miami’s Design District in 2007.

Pineapple & Citrus salad at Essensia
Pineapple & Citrus salad at Essensia

Backyard Gardens
The pioneering farm-to-table restaurant, Essensia at The Palms Hotel & Spa, takes local love a step further. While they’ve relied on farmers like Teena’s Pride for heirloom tomatoes and other produce, they also grow their own herbs and vegetables in an organic garden behind their tiki bar. Thai basil, lemongrass, lemon balm, Cuban oregano, edible flowers and vegetables all find their way into recipes and cocktails on the menu.

Craig Harley & His Inspiring Journey

by Denar Brown

When the reality that life is a marathon and not a race hits you, then the little changes you made start having big impacts. To think that 2 years ago I was over 40 pounds heavier, struggling in my career and trying to balance the other aspects of my life as well. Craig Harley is the managing director at Creative House Photography and also an athlete. Craig’s work surpasses horizons and expectations, as he is not only known in Jamaica but internationally. However, the process of building himself has been a really heavy deadlift. Owning a business and balancing the gym is not an easy task, especially when your goal is to compete on a national level for men’s physique. When I just started out, I only worked out 3 days a week, until I moved to 5 days a week and then I stopped for a couple of years. Craig told us in his interview that work became cumbersome and fitness had to take a back seat. The stress from work and family was unbearable. Craig told us that there were moments when he had to just stop where he was, drown the world out and remind himself what he is trying to achieve, what he wants from himself, what he wants to eat… In 2016, Craig’s weight struts down the runway of his life, sporting a brand new 40 pounds of fat. This was a stressful point in my life.

Photography by Dash Productions

Craig lost his father when he was 12 years old, and growing up in the community of Norman Gardens would never be the same. His father was an entrepreneur, and Craig was determined to make his father proud with his business ventures. To do this, Craig created a narrow depth of field for his career, which blurred out the other important aspects of his life: family, friends, and fitness. When you are on the go, working in a fast paced environment and trying to get everything done with only 24 hours in a day, you are more likely to eat food that follows the pace, fast food. Late nights meant late eating, networking meant lots of drinking, everything felt like it fell in place, the right moment and the right time for me to have a drink or to eat the stress away. We were at a Christmas photo-shoot when I accidentally saw myself in the mirror. I looked unflattering; I was so busy building my career up, that I neglected the diameter of my gut. This was not a good look Pull up! Pull up! Lift! Harley’s life needed a change.

Craig Harley: Before & After

Sooner rather than later Craig realized that the work stress would never end, owning a business will always be a stressful job, so when the work stress started again, Craig decided to use the gym as a relief. However, just going to the gym did not suffice, Craig wanted a challenge, something to motivate himself to keep going, to do better, to build himself. With such a drive a need, there is only one thing that you do to push your own determination and cement it in the memory of others, and that is to make a social media post pledging to enter the countries biggest bodybuilding and fitness competition. Craig thinks of himself as a Harley whenever he is training at the gym, powerful, loud and determined. I won’t quit, but I will cuss the entire time. In preparation for the competition, Craig went through 3 trainers, intense dieting and rigorous training exercises. Sleepless nights were replaced by hungry nights as I worked on curbing years of bad eating habits. The worst part of the process was expecting faster results, I felt like I was on the brink of having the life sucked from my body and the results did not match my pain then, but I knew I had to trust the process. The best part of the experience came next, when the trust started paying off and I started seeing the improvements, the joy of stepping on a scale almost became an addition as I took pride in knowing I took some weight off earth’s shoulders.

Since his decision to invest more in himself, business has been better, Craig’s level of confidence has positively affected his professional and other relationships. He has struck a balance in his life between work, family, his mental and physical health. We asked Craig if he could tell someone who is having a similar issue some words of encouragement what would he say? Make the effort to do the work and allow your body to respond. Life is a marathon, not a race, it’s not about when you start or how fast you go but rather how long you can stay in the game. A healthy lifestyle promotes a longer life, take a risk on bettering yourself.

The Allure of Owia Salt Pond in St. Vincent & the Grenadines

By Melony Mejias

During one of my summer vacations, my family and I travelled to the wonderful island of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. This was my second trip to the island, and it left an everlasting impact on my life, and my photography.

owia salt pond
The first time I visited Saint Vincent, I was only a child and had a vague memory of my experience— evidently I knew one day I had to visit the island again. I had to regain and enrich my memory of this wonderful island. Fortunately, for me, my aunt and uncle currently live in Saint Vincent, so I am at liberty to visit the island at my leisure. On the third day of our trip, my aunt suggested that we visit some unique places. One of those places mentioned was the salt pond located in Owia.
Immediately, I Googled the location to see where we were about to embark upon, and I was truly amazed at the natural phenomenon in pictures. Upon seeing the pond, I was ecstatic to take many pictures but before I express my experience and thoughts about the pond, let me elaborate on some facts about the Owia salt pond.

The Owia Salt Pond is located on the North Eastern Coast of St. Vincent in the village of Owia which is home to some of the indigenous people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines— the Black Caribs. The salt pond was formed when larva from the volcano erupted and met the sea. The salt pond forms a vital buffer zone between terrestrial and marine ecosystems.
The volcanic rock formations magically formed itself into a pool which is continuously refreshed by waves splashing in from the sea. Reef fish and coral formation gives the pond a unique colour which looks a tropical pool. I stayed at the pond for approximately two hours. My experience at the Owia salt pond was one filled with amazement, joy, laughter and fun. Bathing in the pond felt therapeutic. The reef fish lightly nibbling at my feet in the water felt relaxing and unlike anything I have experienced thus far. The salt water in the pond felt warm and calming and I felt like never leaving. Although I was engrossed enjoying my time bathing in the pond, I was able to photograph this natural phenomenon.

owia pond
It was truly a delightful site to see and experience first-hand and I recommend it to anyone who is planning to visit Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. It is said that The Owia Salt Pond has been used for therapeutic purposes in the past, I concur to this as I have experienced bathing in the pond myself. It will be an experience unlike any other.
The rocks depicted in the photograph are the volcanic rock formations that surround the pool. The pond consists of reef fish and coral formations that give pond its colour. It is truly a wonderful natural phenomenon that visitors should see and photograph while visiting the beautiful Island of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Caribbean Travel & Lifestyle Magazine