Autumn escape to Lake Como

Boutique hotel Villa Vittoria Lake Como, Italy

It may not have been the most obvious time of the year to travel to Lake Como in late October, but it was a good choice. No crowds anywhere, just some locals walking around, it was so quiet and beautiful. Many of the restaurants were already closed after the busy summer season, but some of them still remained opened over the weekends offering delicious Italian food and wines.

Lake Como in autumn colours in October

Hotel Relais Villa Vittoria lake como, ItalyAll the little villages around the lake were shining in autumn colours under the autumn sun. The temperature was a bit above +20C degrees, so rather ok compared to many other European destinations at this time of the year.

We stayed in a lovely boutique Hotel Relais Villa Vittoria, which looks over the Lake Como. We managed to book our room just a night before our arrival, and we really enjoyed our stay in this charming place. The service is friendly, a bit like staying someone’s gorgeous holiday home. I hope we can return here next year again…

Villa Vittoria, your living room at Lake Como

Relais Villa Vittoria, Lake Como - living room

Reception Villa Vittoria Lake Como

Pool at Villa Vittoria Lake Como

Lake Como in autumn colours


Where to go in October?

Autumn Colours in the Swiss Alps in October

Swiss Alps, Konstanz and Bahrain…

Where to travel in October? Autumn is arriving in Europe and the nature is shining in the most beautiful autumn colours, so this is definitively a good time to explore mountain resorts in the Swiss Alps. It is also a good time to visit Middle East, while the weather is getting cooler…

Experience the autumn colours: hiking in the Swiss Alps
October is the best time of the year to experience the autumn colours in the Swiss Alps. Yellow, Orange, Gold, Green and in all shades – the most beautiful palette the nature can offer…

Kalusenpass - Hiking in Autumn in Switzerland
Klausenpass in autumn costume

Flumserberg Lake Seealpen - Hiking in Switzerland
Flumserberg – Hiking around Lake Seealpen

Hoch-Ybrig autumn hiking in Switzerland
Hoch-Ybrig with autumn colours

Hoch Ybrig - hiking in autumn
View from the top in Hoch Ybrig – so beautiful!

Hoch Ybrig signs
Where to walk?

Autumn Colours in Hoch Ybrig
I love these colours…

This is the list of my favourite hikes in the Switzerland.

Shopping in Konstanz by Lake Constance
The small idyllic town of Konstanz, just next to the Swiss border is a great place to make a day visit from Zurich and benefit some great shopping. You can also visit some of the idyllic little cafes having a break with most delicious cakes, bakeries and homemade ice creams.

A day trip from Zuricj to Konstanz

Sunshine in Bahrain
And if the autumn is getting too cold in Europe, Middle East offers enjoyable warm weather. Discover the exotic Bahrain in the style of 1001 nights… We stayed in the beautiful Banyan Tree Al Areen resort in Bahrain.

Bahrain sky line
This is Bahrain… The first view from the plane.

In villa Pool Banyan Tree Al Areen
Banyan Tree Al Areen

Restaurant Saffron Banyan Tree Al Areen
Restaurant Saffron in Banyan Tree Bahrain

Saffron Banyan Tree Al Areen
Banyan Tree Al Areen

Mysterious Grand Hotel Orologio: why it was closed?


Grand hotel Orologio, Abano Terme, Italy

Abano Terme, Italy: In Easter we visited Abano Terme for a long spa weekend. In the centre of Abano Terme there is a fascinating old hotel called Grand Hotel Orologio. It is the most beautiful building in this little town, far fancier than any other building. I am sure it had a glorious past, but why it was abandoned?

This beautiful neoclassical building served once as a famous casino. You can still admire its architectural magnificence, though the facade is getting rusty and losing its paint. I found this hotel, and its garden so fascinating and interesting. I probably looked like Nancy Drew while sneaking around and trying to see closer. I would have loved to look inside, but of course there was no-one around to let me in. It is still unclear to me, why and when the hotel was closed. But it is obvious, the place has been closed for some time now.

All the information I have been able to find is a texts praising the buildings’ glory and mourning the fact that it was abandoned. I can’t find much about the hotel’s history or any pictures of the time that it was still in use, but I will continue searching…

I hope this hotel will open one day again, and I will then definitively come back!

Grand hotel Orologio, Abano Terme, Italy

Grand hotel Orologio, Abano Terme, Italy

Grand hotel Orologio, Abano Terme, Italy

Grand hotel Orologio, Abano Terme, Italy

Grand Hotel Orologio, Abano Terme, Italy

Visiting Kamalaya wellness and spa resort

Kamalay resort, Koh Samui, Thailand

Kamalaya, Koh Samui, Thailand: Kamalaya is a holistic wellness and spa resort located in Koh Samui, Thailand. It offers healthy lifestyle, exercises, healing therapies, relaxation and nutritious cuisine in beautiful surroundings looking over the Gulf of Thailand. The resort is built around a cave temple, which once served Buddhist monks as a place of meditative retreat, and is now providing an inspiring ambience for this place. I visited the resort in the end of March. Click here to read more about my Kamalaya holiday.

Top 5 Spa Treatments at Kamalaya Spa, Koh Samui

Kamalaya Spa, Koh Samui, ThailandKamalaya, Koh Samui, Thailand: When it is raining in every single day during your vacation, Spa treatments will save your holiday! I tested a new treatment every day during my stay at Kamalaya.

The Kamalaya Spa area is informal and relaxing integrating the beautiful surrounding nature into its open air treatment spaces. The spa menu consists of some 70 therapies and treatments including areas of traditional Chinese medicine, naturopathy, homeopathy, Indian Ayurveda and traditional Thai treatments, so there something for everyone. This is what I tried and loved:

1. Marma point massage:
 This Ayurveda therapy starts with a full body oil massage and works on 107 energy points throughout the body releasing toxins and relieving stress and tension. The treatment was very relaxing, leaving the body in a state of complete harmony. The therapist also told that marma point massage will give you a good sleep. 

2. Thai massage: Thai massage is based on the discovery of 10 invisible energy lines called Sen, which run along the body. This treatment begins with a combination of Thai stretching techniques and deep tissue pressure point massage, which stimulates the blood flow, releases toxins and allows the body to naturally heal itself. Afterwards you feel stretched and relaxed. I think this is a good treatment after and before long flights.

3. Indian head massage: Based on the ancient healing system of Ayurveda, this treatment is good for relieving tensions and blockages from shoulders, neck, back and scalp. Using deep thumb and finger pressure the massage will improve circulation to the Kamalaya resort, Koh Samui, Thailandhead, release emotional and physical tension and enhance state of relaxation and mental clarity. This treatment is particularly recommended for those spending long hours on a computer – so perfect for me!

4. Vital essence oil massage: This is a signature treatment for Kamalaya spa. It combines Asian knowledge of energy principles with the science of aromatherapy to create the perfect synergy between East and West. This massage is a simple and effective way to release tensions and balance emotions. This was a very good basic massage and very relaxing.

5. Traditional Asian foot massage:  Ancient Chinese theory of about 5000 years ago observed that feet are miniature maps of the entire human body, with specific points on the feet corresponding to all major body parts and organs. The treatment uses specific pressure points to systematically activate the nerve reflexes, and thereby stimulating all body organs to improve overall wellbeing. This massage is recommended for calming the mind, relieving headaches and inducing restful sleep – and indeed it worked well. I almost fell asleep during the treatment.  

Special treatment – Tsuboki Japanese Face Massage: Tsuboki face massage is a wonderful relaxing and gently energising treatment. Based in part on acupressure, it works on improving skin tone appearance as well as enhancing muscles tone and lymph flow. It also aims to clear any blockages within the body’s energy channels and helps to restore a sense of equilibrium. This treatment was done by Dewi Hopley, who was a visiting consultant at Kamlaya while we were staying there. I need to say this was the best face massage I have ever tried!

The Tides Hotel, South Beach Miami – A Guest View

The Tides hotel - Miami South beach
Looking for a nice hotel in Miami? Miami South Beach is famous for its beautiful hotels, many of them with great reputation. This one is my favourite…

The Tides Hotel, Miami South BeachThe Tides, is a charming boutique hotel located on Ocean Drive. The building is very interesting with its Art-Deco style architecture and recently (in 2007) renovated interior. The hotel is quite small with its 45 stylish rooms, all of them with a view over the Ocean. The service is excellent and the personnel really make you enjoy.

What I liked the most?

The rooms: I loved our room! It was beautifully decorated, like a dream apartment abroad. Our room had a stunning view over the Miami Beach and it was just fascinating to look sun going up in the morning while the beach was awakening. I would definitively come back to this hotel, just because I liked it so much.

The location: I also liked the location, it just by the beach and I enjoyed walking hour after hour the beach in one way and then return. The place is also not far away from the Shopping streets… so there are plenty to do just in a walking distance.

The sunny terrace: The hotel terrace is a great place to have lunch or some afternoon drinks while observing the busy Oceans Drive. It is a bit like watching a movie and imaging people’s lives. Also the food is excellent and drinks enormous!

Here are some photos from our room in The Tides…

The Tides - hotel room bedroom 

The Tides hotel - room view

The Tides hotel living room

And this is the view from our room

The Tides Hotel - The view from the room in early morning

The Tides Hotel - The view with the first sun shines

TheBodyHoliday – the wellness and sport retreat in St. Lucia

Spa villa, TheBodHoliday, St. Lucia
Once a year I need an ultimate healthy holiday, and I like visiting in different wellness resorts. TheBodyHoliday in St. Lucia (Caribbean) offers a great variety of sport activities, healthy food and daily spa treatments, all-inclusive. I did 4-5 hours sports every day including yoga, pilates, aqua fit, fitness classes and much more… A week of exercises gives you a new boost for the year.

Relaxing, TheBodyHoliday, St. LuciaWhat I liked the most in TheBodyholiday retreat?
TheBodyHoliday has absolutely great sport programme. It is one of the bests I know offering an enormous variety of activities every day. The list includes Fitness Classes, Personal Training, Water Sports, Scuba, Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, Tennis, Archery, Golf… you name it! And the classes varies from beginners to more advanced, there are definitively something for everyone. You can plan your own day, choose your programme and go which ever classes you want. After a week you clearly notice the difference.

Click here to read more about my week in TheBodyHoliday.