Where to travel in Easter: My top 5 destinations

Easter holiday ideas

Where to go on Easter? I start planning my Easter every year very early and then end up making the decision last-minute.  Spring is the best time to travel in many locations and there are so many places I would like to travel. Easter is great time for a healthy holiday, visiting Europe, Asia and Middle East. Here are my top 5 Easter holiday destinations:

Chiva Som - Thailand health reatreat

1. Healthy holiday in Chiva Som, my favourite retreat
Chiva Som is my favourite destination Spa.  One week of healthy food, lots of exercises and spa treatments in beautiful surroundings will make a difference. No fuss about Easter egg hunting, but if you are lucky, it is time for Songkran water festival, and you will get your share of sparkling water as a symbol of washing bad away and giving good fortune for your future…

Venice, Italy

2. City break in Milan and Venice
Good Friday is not a public holiday in Milan, so what would be better way of spend a day for shopping, while the city is once a bit less crowded.  Most of the local people head to East on Friday, so leave your travel for Saturday morning and drive towards Venice.  Spring is one of the most beautiful time to visit the city and less touristic than summer.

Banyan Tree Bintan resort

3. Shopping in Singapore, relaxing in Bintan Island (in Indonesia)
Singapore is a good, but maybe not so obvious destination for Easter.  It is a great way of combining a city holiday in Singapore with few days in Bintan holiday island, just about an hour by ferry from Singapore.  We stayed in Banyan Tree Bintan, which is a gorgeous resort with beautiful natural surroundings, delicious food and daily yoga glasses relaxing your mind and body totally.

Easter Break in Miami

4. Miami + Caribbean Escape
Couple of years ago we combined a fitness week in the BodyHoliday resort in St. Lucia with a few extra days in Miami. Beautiful, warm weather, a week of 4-5 hours exercises and a pampering spa treatment every day in the BodyHoliday resort renewed my body and mind. After a week of fitness it was quite rewarding enjoy few days in Miami just by walking around, running in the beach, eating well and do a bit of shopping before flying back home. 

Easter in Switzerland - Park Hotel Weggis

5. Switzerland
Switzerland is a nice destination for Easter.  Depending on the weather you can make day trips to France, Italy, Germany or Austria. If Easter is early in the year you can still go skiing and later in spring enjoy the beautiful spring weather. One year I stayed in Park Hotel Weggis near Luzern. The hotel has a picturesque view over the Lake Vierwaldstattersee  and they Easter Bruch is really great!  

And what I was looking for this year?
I have been looking for plenty of last minutes options:

  1. Long weekend in Istanbul
  2. Culture break in Marrakesh
  3. Relaxing holiday in Abu-Dhabi, combining city and the new Anantara desert resort Qasr al Sarab
  4. Healthy holiday in Verdura resort in Sicily or Sha Wellness Clinic in Spain
  5. Shopping in New York

Travel year 2011: My top 10 destinations

St. Moritz - skiing in the Swiss Alps

Happy New Year 2012!! For me the year 2011 was a great year of travel. I visited over 20 different destinations, discovered new places and returned to many of my favourite ones. This post is a collection of my top 10 travel destinations in 2011.

1. Travelling around Yunnan province and Tibetan plateau in China
Ringha, China

related blog post

2. First time in Hong Kong
Hong Kong by night
related the blog post

3. A day trip to Macau

related blog post

4. My friends’ wedding in Athens, and first time in Acropolis
Acropolis, Athens

related blog post

5. Discovering the Austrian Alps in Lech and St. Anton
Austrian Alps St. Anton, Austria

related blog post

6. Wellness holiday in Kamalaya, Koh Samui (despite of eight rainy days)
Kamalay resort, Koh Samui, Thailand

related blog post

7. Culinary trip to Paris
L'Ami Louis, Paris

related blog post

8. Mini holiday in Palma de Mallorca
Palma de Mallorca - Weekend destination

9. Hiking in the Swiss Alps in autumn: Murgtal
Murgsee - walks in Switzerland

related blog post

10. Mysterious Grand Hotel Orologio and why it was closed?
Grand hotel Orologio, Abano Terme, Italy

related blog post

Where to travel in 2012?
I also started collecting some travel ideas for 2012. There are so many interesting places I would like to visit, but I think these are quite on the top of my list:

What to do in the Bangkok airport? Top 5 tips

Bangkok Suvarnabhu airport

Bangkok, Thailand: The new Bangkok International Airport, Suvarnabhumi was opened in 2006 and it has been ranked many times as one of the best airports in the world. The name Suvarnabhumi means “The Gloden Land” and it is referring to a traditional name for the Thailand-Cambodia-Laos-Burma region. Suvarnabhumi airport is great for shopping, eating and relaxing. You can easily spend some extra hours while waiting your flight to start boarding. I have collected in this post some tips what to do while being there.

Thai Royal Orchid Spa, Bangkok AirportRoyal Orchid Spa and lounge services for the Thai Airways first and business class passengers
If you are flying with Thai Airways, the best way to relax before your flight is to visit The Royal Orchid Spa, which is a part of the Thai lounge services. The spa provides free 30 minutes foot and shoulder massages for Thai’s first and business class passengers having international departures. After your treatments, if you still have time before you flight, why not visit the Thai lounge, which is relaxing, stylish and offers some small delicious snacks and drinks, with some healthy options available.Chang Foot Massage & Spa, Bangkok Airport

Spa treatments while waiting
If you are not flying with Thai first or business class, but would still like to enjoy some spa treatments, I would recommend to visit Chang Foot Massage & Spa. All their spas are located at the international departure hall offering a great variety of spa treatments and foot massages. The service is reasonable priced and booking needed, you can just walk in.

Luxury shopping Bangkok AirportLuxury Shopping
Suvarnabhumi airport is almost like a shopping mall with a good variety of shops and restaurants. Many of the main luxury brands have their little shops at the airport, so you can enjoy some last minute shopping before your flight. Whatever you are looking for, from Gucci to Channel and Dior, you can find them at the luxury passage at the departure hall shopping area.

Jim ThompsonJim Thompson Bangkok Airport
Jim Thompson is a Thai silk company with several shops in Bangkok and across Thailand, and they also have their store at the airport providing beautiful handbags, clothes and other silk items. If you are looking for some souvenirs for your kids or little friends I would recommend their cute silk toys, which are just adorable! The story of Jim Thompson is also quite fascinating reading, so if you have time click here to read more.

Imagine Scents Bangkok AirportTiger palmScents and Tiger Palm
Two of the must have items in my shopping list are the Scents and the Tiger Palm. The “Imagine” Shop provides all kind of scents from sticks to candles and scent bags. These little items are beautifully wrapped and will make nice gifts for your friends and family. The other product I have found very useful is the famous Tiger Palm, which is a natural help whenever it hurts. Whether you are suffering from insect bites or neck pain, tiger palm ease the pain and make it more comfortable to travel home.

Priority seatThe priority seats quiz
One of the last things, which I found fascinating in this airport were the priority seats that are located at the departure gates. When you enter the gate area, you can find plenty of these seats marked with the white cover with a group of images. And coming from Europe it took me a while to discover the first priority group…

Read also:
Stuck in the Zurich Airport, what to do?

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.

Wellness lunch at Kamalaya

Wellness lunch at Kamalaya

Kamalaya, Koh Samui, Thailand: We stayed a bit over a week at Kamalaya resort, and it was raining every single day, except the last one, which was “just” cloudy. Because of the rain the pool restaurant was closed, but luckily on our last day it was finally open, so we had a chance to enjoy our lunch outside. As always at Kamalaya, the food was delicious and light, and the surroundings beautifully quiet. Here are some pictures of our lunch before returning back to home.

Wellness lunch at Kamalaya

Healthy Dinner at Kamalaya

Healthy dinner at Kamalaya resort, Koh Samui, Thailand

Kamalaya, Koh Samui, Thailand: The dinner at Kamalya is a combination of nutritious and delicious dishes. Every plate is a piece of art made from mouth-watering, fresh ingredients. After a week you feel and see the difference in your body and mind. I have collected in this post some of the most delicious dishes we tried during our stay at Kamalaya.

Kamalaya cuisine - healthy starters

Kamalaya main courses

Kamalaya healthy deserts

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!