Encantos Jackpot Incomparables

Chris explained how meditation is a natural state beyond waking, sleeping and dreaming that offers an unlimited reserve of energy, intelligence and creative power and a place of infinite peace, joy, and creativity.

Sahaj Samadhi Meditation is an effective way in providing deep rest to the mind because it is totally effortless, especially when combined with pranayama and Sudarshan Kriya breathing techniques.

Both your mind and body relax into a state of profound rest which allows stresses to dissolve so that you can tap into your own unlimited source of energy, creativity and inner peace.

We were set a day challenge following the course, which surprisingly! I managed to stick to, and I am not exaggerating when I say how instantaneous and powerful the results seemed to be. It really was a life-changing experience and lesson, and something I have been able to continue to implement into my daily life.

Also led by Chris, together with an equally lovely teacher Yolanda Kuhn, we were taught a series of yogic breathing techniques, including the powerful Sudarshan Kriya, which is known to reduce stress and raise your energy, bringing you back to a clear and positive state of mind.

The scientifically-proven benefits of the practice include higher levels of optimism, greater levels of antioxidant enzymes, stronger immunity, improved emotional regulation and the ability to reduce stress and anxiety.

Throughout the 3-day course there were a number of individual and group activities that we had to participate in - some quite overwhelming at first - but all totally ok given the nurturing environment we were in.

The Sudarshan Kriya breathing technique became easier as the 3 days went on. Again, we were set up a 4-day challenge following the completion of the course, and I am trying very hard to stick with it.

Together with the Sahaj Samadhi Meditation, I know for sure this will be an incredibly powerful tool in helping to foster a deep inner peace within. Check out the Art of Living website for more information on their programs.

Soundtrack [ Spirit Bird ]. To be surrounded by the pristine desert scenery of the Australian Outback, home to the Aboriginal people and their culture for well over 30, years, is not only a privilege but an incredibly overwhelming experience.

Having just returned from a week-long hiking adventure along the infamous km Larapinta Trail, I feel a renewed sense of awe and inspiration for, and deeper understanding of, our ancient indigenous culture - the oldest culture in the world - and the Traditional Owners of the land.

In rather oppressive heat 35 degrees each day! It also became a fascinating journey into the culture, spirit, and ever-changing relationship between the people and the land; a deeply authentic way to familiarise ourselves with the country.

In the safe hands of three young and passionate wilderness guides, Alice, Earle and Andrew, our group of sixteen began our walk at the Alice Springs Telegraph Station - the official start of the Larapinta Trail, walking west through witchetty bush, mulga scrub, and shady woodlands.

We would stop for lunch under the shade of the Mulgas, our guides setting up comfy picnicking spots along dry riverbeds. Food on the trip was always wholesome and plentiful - 3 courses at dinner, and a well-considered menu - one night for example was toasted turkish bread over the camp fire with dips and olives, Barrumundi parcels also cooked over the camp fire with a sweet potato mash and salad, and then mini pavlovas for dessert.

The quality of your guides is crucial on a trip like this. We were fortunate enough to be led by a late something go-getter from Tassie, Alice, who has been working on-off in the desert for the past few years.

A kind, confident, knowledgeable and passionate leader - Alice led the group like a pro. Earle, a year old also from Tassie, had an eager enthusiasm and was truly at home in the bush.

They were a great little team. These innovative and sustainable campsites were the perfect place to kick back and enjoy the outback solitude.

All waste and rubbish was removed from the camps on a regular basis, with everything being recycled where possible. Getting up at 2am, we were driven to the base of Sonder and from there it was head torches on as we hiked the 8km 2.

The views out over the rocky peaks and troughs of Tjoritja, in an ever-changing pink and orange sky, were breathtaking. Ormiston Gorge and Ormiston Pound was another favourite stop, largely due to the scale of its towering walls, and the richness of the red rock all around.

We soaked in yet another watering hole, surrounded by red rocky walls and shaded by trees. Meeting up with local indigenous woman Deeanella Mack - with her amazing passion and energy for her people and the country - was another highlight.

Deanna, founder of Cultural Connections NT, aims to help raise cultural awareness by sharing her knowledge. Their children therefore become their brothers and sisters, not cousins. Some children grow up not knowing who their biological parents are! A skin name is akin to a position description in a corporate, but there is no hierarchy in skin names - the chart determines what people did and when.

There were different Aboriginal languages spoken here before British settlement, with the first white people only arriving about 75 years ago. We learnt that the Aboriginal culture is not about asking questions - elders never reveal any answers, instead they encourage you to listen, feel, and taste.

Their knowledge is shared, always. We were introduced to native plants lemongrass for example, that the local people crush up, mix with fat, and use as a vapor on their chest , and they way aboriginal people would test if something a plant was poisonous - by rubbing it under their arm, near the lymph nodes, to see if would start to swell.

If it did, this would mean it was obviously not good to eat. Nature would tell their people what to do next. Another local indigenous woman, Rayleen Brown, taught us all about native bush foods. The super passionate owner and founder of Kungkas Can Cook, a catering company-turned-cafe specialising in native bush foods collected straight from country.

Indigineous people have been eating for bush foods for food and medicine for years - kangaroo, wattle, and bush crops like bush tomato, for example. The native Kakadu plum is considered to be one of the highest Vitamin C fruits in the world.

The Mulga bush is an important food source as well - its wattle seed being full of iron, minerals, proteins - which reduces glucose, and helps to regenerate cells a lot more quickly. Mulga produce a lot of seeds can grind them down to use in cooking - seed cake, for example.

As our van made the km journey back into Alice Springs albeit blowing a tire on the way! A reminder of how precious and ancient this landscape is, and how we must strive to protect and honour it. If you are looking for an active way to enjoy the Australian Outback - and one that will not only be a humbling and grounding experience, but one that will enable you to connect not only with each other, but also the land, on a much deeper and spiritual level - the Larapinta Trail is for you.

For enquiries and bookings contact Anything goes in Marrakech! Truly, it is the disorder of the city, and the oftentimes craziness, that makes me love it there so much. The colours, the noises, the smells, the spices, the amazing craftspeople, the mix of old and new - Marrakech is so many things.

Local people here share a kindness and sweetness, and their hospitality is second-to-none. Their alcohol license is currently being renewed, so in the meantime mint tea will have to do.

Le Jardin Secret: another wonderful hideaway in the medina that does great food in a beautiful garden setting. La Famille: another hidden gem, and my favorite of all. French jeweler Stéphanie Giribone has created the most beautiful secret garden restaurant - beautiful interiors, an open kitchen, lots of greenery, and a little gift store at the front of the cafe.

Jemaa El-Fna Square: to check out the hundreds of illuminated food stalls in the evening, and the fresh orange juice sellers during the day. YSL Museum: the brand new YSL Museum, devoted entirely to the work of legendary couturier Yves Saint Laurent, should not be missed.

Housed in a square-metre architectural wonderland by French architectural duo, Karl Fournier and Olivier Marty of Studio KO, the building is beautiful and so is the exhibition itself. A super creative and inspiring space. Take your time to explore the neighbouring Majorelle Gardens as well. The white marble-filled hamman here will blow your mind.

Luxury and opulence at its absolute finest. Started 4 years ago in Belgian it was just bags at that stage , Laurence moved to Marrakech a couple of years ago and moved into this stunning light-filled showroom in the industrial district in September I am basically in love with everything she creates!

From rugs to wall hangings, ceramics to clothes, bags and shoes, she is one very talented woman. We especially like his jumpsuits. Make sure you take time to visit the atelier. Popham Design: for stunning handmade concrete or cement tiles - individually made in a happy, light-filled factory outside the city.

Also worth a visit to see these amazing tile makers at work. Villa des Orangers : it was my dear friends at the Kiwi Collection who introduced me to this beautiful property. As with many of the best things in Marrakech, Villa des Orangers is hidden behind an unassuming wooden door on a busy street near the foot of the Koutoubia Mosque, just outside the medina, which gives little hint as to the beauty that lies within.

Until stepping through those big wooden doors, you would have no idea of the magic that awaits. The building - which dates back to - is full of marble and lattice and incredible tiles, and surrounds a couple of pretty courtyards and a beautiful pool.

On arrival, there are endless friendly staff to greet you, give you a tour of the property, and show you to your room. If your budget allows, pay that little bit extra and book one of the double story rooms overlooking the pool room A beautiful escape.

I have never seen a more incredible shower like that one!! And the freestanding bath is stunning as well. Breakfast is served in a pretty terrace by the pool, but you can choose to take it any of the other quiet corners around the property if you wish.

The same goes for lunch. They have their own very calming in-house spa and hamman as well which sadly I ran out of time to try. Perfectly located the very heart of the medina is only a min walk away , Villa des Orangers is a very quiet, peaceful and beautiful place to stay. The Scarabeo Camp in the Agafay stone desert- for an unforgettable lxury camping experience in the desert.

Bab Ourika Kasbah: an old favourite. Perched high on a mountain top in the Ourika Valley in the Atlas Mountains, this is the perfect place from which to escape the city for a few days, or simply as a day trip to enjoy a long lunch in the garden. And for more of our past Morocco adventures, see here , and here!

It had always been a dream of mine to visit the Italian UNESCO-heritage town of Modica in Sicily. The main or only reason being to stay in one of the gorgeous stone houses of Casa Talia. I had somehow stumbled across this little gem of a boutique hotel about 15 years ago.

My sister Sophie had booked it on my recommendation and visited in between that time, but until September last year I had still never made it myself.

So to finally roll into Modica after a frustrating Vueling flight from Rome, where they lost all of our luggage for more than 3 days!!! was a travel dream come true. We literally chatted for days! The whole Casa Talia experience was a perfect one. The town of Modica offers a window into a baroque world.

Surrounded by stone houses that seem to sit on top of each other all over the hillside, and hundreds literally of baroque cathedrals, the architecture here is dramatic and incredibly beautiful.

A true medieval marvel. Together with his wife Viviana Haddad, Marco Giunta is the visionary behind Casa Talia. They were looking for a slower life. It took years between finding the rightful owner of the land, making an offer and organising the acquisition, to securing the land, obtaining the necessary permits, completing the drawings and construction and so on, until they were finally able to open for business 4 or 5 years later.

Since then the guesthouse has grown to 11 rooms and suites - most centered around a secret garden, a magical Mediterranean style hideout which was the exact thing that lured Marco to the Casa Talia location in the first place.

They sourced colourful, antique tiles from all over Sicily the ones on the floor of the breakfast room being my favourite , and used local materials wherever possible when building the houses. A thoughtful and homemade breakfast is served each morning in the most delightful garden - with pinch-yourself kind of views looking back over the Catholic Quarter in Modica.

It is honestly so beautiful it is hard to believe what you are looking at is real. Each season Marco and Viviana reveal a new room one they have worked on during the quieter winter months.

We were lucky enough to spend a few days in one of their brand new suites - with its own private terrace and unparalleled views of the baroque city - which had only been completed the week before we arrived. We were the first guests to try it out! During the time of our visit, Marco was also working on his and Viviana's new architecture studio another amazing looking space , while also working on converting his existing architecture studio in Milan into a 1-room boutique apartment.

I saw the plans when I was there and it looks amazing - a cube-shaped structure in the middle of a private piazza, all glass and steel and complete with a living green wall.

Not only that, Marco has collaborated on a project in Cefalù see our separate guide to Cefalu - an incredibly beautiful seaside villa with direct access to a private beach, just 5mins from the centre of town. I joked with Marco that his life is quite possibly the antithesis to the "slow living" one he came looking for!

He has so many projects on the go, it's amazing! A truly kind, humble, gentle and inspiration man - it was such an honour to spend a few days in his presence. If you get the chance, I highly recommend a visit to this incredible project. And then grab a drink at Rappa Wine Bar next door. Granita and brioche with or without ice-cream - a typical Sicilian sweet lunch - from La Latteria Gelateria.

The reason for our coming together? Held in the rainbow-coloured riad that is El Fenn, we - a mixed bag of women from different places, of different ages, and with different passions but with a common interest in creating - joined forces under the Moroccan sun. Soft, warm, dark, moody, light and bold colors and textures…the ultimate setting for creative inspiration.

After being woken up at am each morning to the sound of the call to prayer, the workshop kicked off with yoga on the rooftop terrace as the sun was slowly starting to rise, followed by a delicious healthy breakfast. A dreamy start to each morning. Through a series of workshops we were taken on a journey of self-discovery; exploring the idea of storytelling - in whatever form that might take.

Coming from a trauma-filled upbringing, it was inspiring to see the way Tracy has chosen to live her story and navigate her way through this world.

She talked about love and relationships, and fear and failures. At the end to the day, we all have a story. With a natural warmth, openness and grace, Garance shared stories of her former partner Scott Schuman of The Satorialist by crediting him as being the one who sparked in her an interest in photography in the first place.

If you are a real photographer, you steal the shot. I loved this message. Morgan has always worked with a deep respect, understanding and love for her followers and customers. At Sézane it is all about the experience, and she always ensures she engages with her customer base in the most generous way possible, whether that be giving out tote bags with every order that she has collaborated with an artist on , or printing beautiful quotes on little cards.

Proof that it is all about the little things; how to tell a story through a brand. Our afternoons at the retreat were spent visiting and being inspired by local artisans at work; hearing their stories and learning about their craft. We spent a few hours with the lovely team at Chabi Chic in their beautiful, light-filled ceramics studio outside of the city, learning the art of marbling - a long-standing Moroccan craft.

We then spent time with charismatic husband and wife team, Caitlyn and Samuel Dowe-Sandes of Popham Design, originally from the US but now residents of Morocco for the past 11 years.

They kindly opened up their colorful studio and artisan workshop to teach us the art of making a handmade cement tile - a huge part of the heritage and cultural and artistic identity of Morocco. Joining their friendly team of mellums or tile artisans , we were given the opportunity to make our own tile.

It was fascinating to watch these talented, happy craftsman get to work in their workshop where they make over tiles each per day. On our final day we were fortunate enough to have a guided tour of the new YSL Museum - a museum devoted entirely to the work of legendary couturier Yves Saint Laurent - housed in a square-metre architectural wonderland by French architectural duo, Karl Fournier and Olivier Marty of Studio KO.

It was a week of sharing, learning and openness. In such an online world it was so refreshing to connect and share with so many accomplished and like-minded women in the real life, with space and time, not to mention being surrounded by the breathtaking beauty that is Marrakech.

If you have any interest in sharing in wonderfully inspiring moments with wonderful people, keep an eye on the Atelier Doré Facebook page for details of upcoming retreats.

Eat: La Famille with their beautiful secret garden and daily-changing vegetarian menu ; Café Des Épices for their pear and chicken tagine ; and Nomad for their vegetarian plate.

Shop: LRNCE and Marrakshi Life whose showrooms are both located outside in the industrial quarter ; Bloom for gorgeous handmade bags by French woman, Nadege Arnaud in the épices square ; and La Famille for handmade jewelry by French owner, Stéphanie Giribone.

Do: Venture out to the Beldi Country Club for a long lunch, or even further into the Atlas Mountains for lunch and spectacular views at Kasbah Bab Ourika. Spa: Treat yourself to the most incredible hamman experience of your life at the lavish Royal Mansour Spa. We arrived at Hotel Sant Francesc feeling flustered.

Driving past big cheesy-looking resorts and even bigger and more cheesy-looking German beer halls, we immediately knew we were in the wrong place. We later learned this area was called Playa de Palma one to avoid! After more than half an hour of circling around and around town, we finally decided that the only way to reach the hotel was to enter one of the streets and just risk it, which we did, but when we finally pulled up at Hotel Sant Francesc the right one we were a collectively-stressed mess!

Luckily the kindest ever doorman greeted us - Unai, you are a superstar! Unai told us there was nothing at all to worry about, that the hotel would report our number plate to the police to advise them that we were hotel guests and we would not get a fine.

He then insisted on taking our car, parking it and arranging for our luggage to be taken to our room. It was such an easy, friendly and calming welcome.

Uni was an absolute legend. We knew instantly we were at the right place this time. At Hotel Sant Francesc, the same level of friendliness and generous hospitality carried through to all of the staff we met. Miguel Garcia Feliz, the ever-so-charming General Manager, spent time running us through the features of the hotel, as did Diana.

A former Mallorcan mansion from , the hotel went a meticulous restoration and is now full of beautiful iron-clad windows and a luscious pale-green color palette my current color obsession on the walls - so calming and restorative. There is a gorgeous little rooftop terrace that offers beautiful views over Basilica de Sant Francesc and out over the city rooftops.

Breakfast is really generous and is served in a cosy restaurant downstairs. We stayed in the Sant Francesc Suite, adorned with ceiling frescoes throughout, and it was one of the most grand and spacious rooms I have ever seen - looking out over the Basilica de Sant Francesc, it was a total treat.

We were able to walk everywhere very easily from the hotel - it made for the perfect base for our short 24 hour Palma rendesvous. I would highly recommend staying here on your next trip to the island.

Coffee at La Molienda - great coffee and delicious breakfasts local, organic, seasonal produce and outdoor seating. Market goods at Santa Catalina - we loved this old-school food hall. Check out the contemporary art installation of Miquel Barceló in the Cathedral of Santa Maria de Palma.

It had been years since my last visit to Rome. Having spent a lot of time romping around its magical streets the Trastevere ones were always my favourite in my 20s, it was probably about 10 years since my last visit. No matter how much time goes by, the beauty and the history of the Renaissance buildings and the historic monuments and the beautiful parks at every turn still blow you away every time - and that old-fashioned way of life, it just keeps on rolling by.

I love getting lost in its streets, stumbling across random corners of wonder. I love the aperitivo culture and the way Romans spill on to the streets by 5pm, Campari in hand. And on top of that, there are so many beautifully hidden and magical places to stay.

We were fortunate this time to spend a night at the historic Villa Spalletti Trivelli , a Kiwi Collection property. An incredibly discreet, neo-classical mansion tucked away in a beautiful square just steps from the Piazza del Quirinale and near the Trevi Fountain.

Oozing old world elegance, this stunning villa has been in the same family for five generations and was beautifully restored by Count Gian Giacomo Spalletti Trivelli and his wife, Susanna.

The story of the house and its inhabitants over the years is one of much magic and intrigue; a long history and one with ties to the royal family and monarchy. I was lucky enough to meet with Maria Merra, the General Manager, who has been with the villa since its inception. With only 12 rooms this is an intimate and opulent place to stay.

While all rooms are different, our recommendation would be to request one of the colorful rooms at the front of the house overlooking the Quirinale Palace. We stayed in a suite, which while very spacious and lovely, is outside the main villa building and is much more modern in design.

In the grand drawing room my favourite room of all with its rich fabrics, antique furniture and art, and parquetry floors, a complimentary aperitivo is served every evening from 5pm. Guests can help themselves to any of the spirits and make their own cocktails.

Delicious snacks are provided as well. The villa does not have a restaurant as such, but a sumptuous breakfast is prepared each morning and if you are wanting to stay in for lunch or dinner you can let the kitchen staff know and they will prepare something to order. There is an exceptional feeling of warmth and comfort here; a feeling of home.

Up on the roof there are four jacuzzis for guests to enjoy, and even one that is cornered off and can be booked for private use- they will even arrange champagne to be delivered there if you desire. Owned by the Counts Spalletti Trivelli, Pomario winery is located near Perugia in the municipality of Piegaro, not far from Monteleone di Orvieto on the border of Umbria and Tuscany.

They make olive oil and organic wines, and on Friday evenings at the villa they share these with guests. There is also a wellness centre in the basement where guests can enjoy complimentary use of a spectacular hamman, and a beautiful Italian garden. It is a perfectly private and intimate retreat and one I would highly recommend for escaping the hustle of Rome.

Located on Via Del Babuino, right by the Spanish Steps, and with a beautiful view over Piazza del Popolo and its obelisk, Hotel de Russie is renowned for having one of the most incredible secret gardens in Rome. With its cream-coloured facade and with pale-blue shutters, the exterior of the hotel is just as inviting as the interior.

The rooms are elegant and luxurious, with ornate touches think lots of Italian marble in the bathrooms etc. We recommend booking one of their Junior Suites ask for the corner suite that overlooks the Piazza del Popolo.

They serve excellent coffee, great cocktails and have an impressive wine list as well. Breakfast is served in the secret garden, under a sea of beautiful umbrellas, making for an incredible spot to start your morning with a delicious Italian breakfast.

A location hard to beat. The interiors have all been done by the Hon. Olga Polizzi, part of the Rocco Forte Hotel family Lord Forte's daughter and the sister of Sir Rocco Forte - colourful and lavish. The marble and mosaic bathroom with separate shower and steam bath is one of the most impressive bathrooms I have seen so far.

If you can afford to splurge on this suite sadly it is definitely out of my own budget!!! Alternatively, the hotel can personalise your suite with your favourite things, such as flowers, fragrances and much more!!!

Luxury service at its finest. No matter where you stay, this is a truly impressive Italian accommodation experience. We loved being greeted by the super friendly, charming and very tall!!

doorman, Christian, each morning. Only 2mins walk, across the Piazza del Popolo, Rosati is a sophisticated Roman coffee bar with lots of old wooden decor and marble floors, that serves exceptional coffee and croissants. Try the tiramisu as well. gypsy woman ]. My friend Cols flew in as a surprise from Paris and together we took a car from Cernobbio to Tremezzo just 30 mins to spend the day as guests at the Grand Hotel Tremezzo on the banks of Lake Como.

Our driver - a charming Italian man named Alberto - took great joy in telling us stories of those he had driven before us including George Clooney, twice. He even pointed out Clooney's villa, speaking exceptionally highly of the handsome actor who now calls Lake Como home or, one of his homes I should say.

As we arrived at the hotel, looking up, we were blown away by its size and scale. The Grand Hotel Tremezzo, with its floating pool on the lake, is a grand and ornate mansion which was once the summer playground for wealthy Lombard Aristocrats.

With beautifully lush and hydrangea-filled gardens, there is another pool tucked away - on its garden terrace - and one inside the luxurious spa as well. Plenty of swimming options! We were fortunate enough to experience a luxurious spa treatment at the T Spa with its wooden sauna with windows looking out over the lake.

The highlight though was lunch down at T Beach a private 'beach' on the edge of the lake by the floating pool. With Campari Spritzs in hand, we ate fresh seafood and caprese salad and watched the life on the lake go by.

There are five restaurant and bar options at the hotel, but this one seems to be the most informal. Like I said, we only had the day but it really is beautiful here and if budget allows, I think it's worth the extra splurge.

Far L'Amore ]. Lake Como has always held a special place in my heart. I have always been totally captivated by the light and the magic of the lake.

It really is nothing short of a fairytale. Sparkling water, colourful little villages dotted throughout the mountains, and that beautiful light. The quiet and calm of the dawn, and the beauty of the magic hour when the sun starts to settle over the lake. It is a special place. And I have forever had a love affair with the very fancy, Villa d'Este.

Not that I have ever stayed there, but I have always loved wandering down that long, grandioso driveway alongside the lake - past the endless hydrangeas - into the grounds of the villa. Nothing screams old-school Italy to me, old-school Lake Como, more than this luxury hotel with sixteen-century origins, and operating as a luxury hotel since The people watching is next-level you will no doubt spot a Russian wedding or two , and the waiters are like something out of an old-school Italian film.

It's beautiful here. The swimming pool also is one for the books! BUT in saying all of that, the most magical discovery in Cernobbio for me was last summer when I happened somehow to randomly stumble across the most divine little bnb. Villa Derriere - run by a gorgeous young couple, Giorgia and Davide - is literally just seconds away from Villa d'Este.

Perfectly positioned and hidden in a quiet garden off the main street, this ivy-covered villa houses just two bedroom suites. It is here in the magic of the pretty garden complete with bocce ball ground, and chickens that Giorgia and Davide offer the most generous and warm hospitality.

Davide - an ex-soccer player - is mostly in charge of food. Davide bakes fresh sourdough bread each day. He cooks everything from scratch using fruit and vegetables from their very own garden which is located just on the other side of the lake in a little town called Nesso.

He is gentle and kind. His dogs are his life. And so are his chickens. And so, of course, is Giorgia. The kitchen is full of love and warmth. Everything that comes out of there has been made with so much care. Breakfasts are incredible. Giorgia has generally made a fresh batch of cookies, or perhaps even a delicious chocolate cake, and together they serve up a whole medley of pretty little breakfast dishes - from cake and cookies, to fresh bread, eggs, fruits, yoghurt, homemade muesli, and more.

It is like nothing I have ever seen at a bnb before. This is something very, very special. If you are lucky, Giorgia and Davide might even take you to their farm one evening.

Located on a very steep block of land that hugs the edge of the lake, this incredible property is home to a lush and large veggie garden and plenty of fruit trees. There is also a wood-fired pizza oven, and Giorgia and Davide have been known to host some amazing pizza parties down here.

Not only that, there is a little row-boat and a perfectly positioned diving platform from which to launch yourself into the lake. The water is fresh and cold. And deep. Very deep. It is an incredible place to swim. Back in Cernobbio, we love the tiny little town for its coffee shops, its hat store, and its gelato.

We generally eat most meals at the villa Giorgia and Davide provide breakfast, but are also happy to cater for dinner as well if you would like to book it in. When we are there, we never really want to leave. If you are looking for somewhere else to dine however, I can highly recommend a gorgeous family-run restaurant tucked away high in the mountain.

Hidden underneath a canopy of wisteria, the pretty terrace of Trattoria del Glicine is the perfect place for a long lunch with friends.

The homemade pastas are amazing, as is the wine. As is everything in fact. I love it here. Just get back down the hill in time for aperitivo at Villa d'Este save room for a couple of Spritzs and some olives , and then dinner back at "home". It's a magical little town and one you would be crazy to miss.

m ontana ]. Oh, Lisbon. You have such a grip on my heart. A city so full of charm and lovely people. The locals here are warm and friendly, so proud of where they come from. Portugal has catapulted to the top of my favorite places right now.

In fact, it has been there awhile. It was then that my love for Lisbon really deepened. I felt so at home and really connected with its energy. An inspiring creative community - so much going on in design, art, architecture - but all in this really refreshing, humble way with no ego.

No attitude. Just good people doing really good, interesting things. The wine is cheaper than water true story and when I am here I tend to drink a lot of the stuff!

The Vinho Verde or green wine , my absolute favourite. There is a cultural and artistic richness in Lisbon. An addictive buzz. Its a big city, yes, but one that feels more like a village. Known as the city of the seven hills, you can pretty much get everywhere on foot if you are willing to battle a few hills of course with endless winding cobblestoned streets to explore.

I never get far though without stopping a million times over to snap the stunning azulejos tiles that cover the walls of churches and decrepit buildings, everywhere you look. It is such a beautiful town. The light is what gets me as well. Such a beautiful, magical light.

Dawn, when the streets are quiet…and dusk, when the streets are alive and buzzing with locals and tourists alike often down by the water to watch the sun go down over Cristo and the rest of the town.

You will hear the sound of fado wafting through the streets. Portugal really does have it all. A spectacular coastline, dreamy beaches, delicious local wine, great good I basically turn into a Portuguese bread and cheese whenever I am here, oh and a sardine , charming hilltop towns, diverse landscapes, and some of the friendliest people I have ever met.

There is so much goodness to be found. Here, I update you with some of favorites including some old favorites that were featured in the guide I published here in ….

Fabrica Coffee Roasters: for excellent third wave coffee they roast their own beans. A few locations around town. Hello, Kristof: in Bairro Alto, a coffee and magazine café with a Scandinavian aesthetic.

Beans are roasted locally at Academica Do Café. Back in , Cantinho do Avillez had only recently opened and was the food highlight of our trip. Cafe Lisboa inside the São Carlos National Theatre and Pizzaria Lisboa are great as well and have stunning interiors.

Mercado da Ribeira avenida 24 de julho : an awesome food destination. It opened just a few months before we were there in , and it is still going strong.

In fact, we noticed even more food stalls have popped up on our most recent visit in June. Check out the wines by Esporao. I love my Vinho Verde green wine and you will find a couple of great ones here. If you are wanting some fun little gifts to take home, grab some retro-packaged tins of sardines from the Conserveira de Lisboa.

And check out our favorite stand of all — the plants at O Meu Amore e Verde. Restaurante Santo Antonio de Alfama: for typical Portuguese food from the best restaurant in Alfama.

For Japanese and the best sushi in LIsbon check out Go-Juu - next door to the Fundacao Gulbenkian. Hands down. This is a Lisbon institution — loved by tourists and locals alike. Simple, but the best. This is a Lisbon institution. Embárcate en un viaje que combina la nostalgia de los casinos apostadores tradicionales con la comodidad de la tecnología moderna y deja que Sweet Bonanza Slot sea tu juego de tragamonedas móvil.

Gira los carretes, persigue piruletas y deja que los tesoros azucarados se crucen en tu camino. La seguridad empieza por entender cómo los desarrolladores recogen y comparten tus datos. Las prácticas de privacidad y seguridad de los datos pueden variar en función del modo en que utilices la aplicación, la región donde vayas a usarla y tu edad.

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Information for workawayers. Travel safety tips. How it works. Information for hosts. Travel stories and advice. Workawayer of the Month. View the workaway blog. How you can get involved? Last activity: 30 Jan Add to my host list. Overview Photos Map Feedback Profile information. Last replied 19 Jan Feedback Facebook verified.

Email verified. Badges 3. Give the gift of Workaway. Find your perfect host. Details Description. Types of help and learning opportunities. Art Projects. General Maintenance. Cultural exchange and learning opportunities.

Languages spoken. A little more information. How many Workawayers can stay? Hours expected. Feedback 34 5 Feb Left by Workawayer Alejandro for host. My experience was just amazing! Even thought I was just planing to stay one month there, at the end it were almost 3 months and there are many thing that made that whole stay awesome!

First of all, Sara and Paco and the other family members and pets are super human people. They care about how you are doing, are very flexible so even you got … read more mixed shifts, you can arrange things to got plenty of time to know around and they are never gonna put a client before you, this is gold!

human treat and values are first than anything else : Then, the hostal is an awesome place too! the location is perfect to be hanging out on local bars, museums, and cultural activities in the center of Mérida. The yard has been place of fun bbqs, drinking contests, Christmas and new year parties and more!

the other common areas are nice too and the rooftop is the best kept secret there just as Sam says Last but equally important, the volunteers and guest around! the vibes changed so much while I was there that I never get bored, at least there where 14 volunteers the time I spend there!

the opportunity of practicing languages, getting inspired, share and get to know very alike people from different countries is incomparable! There are many people waiting to volunteer so try to be patience if you dont get an answer.

But if you do, belive me this place is a home for everybody! You can only contact Workawayers who have an active membership. Left by Workawayer Samuel for host. A wonderful wonderful workaway! Sara and Paco are both very easy going and patient with teaching the reception system.

they are really cool people with a special energy that just makes people feel loved! This alone is enough to make anyone working for them to be happy!! I had a lot of fun spending lots of timr with guests visiting cenotes, the beach up north, and many nights on the rooftop.

And feeding the amazing cat Iggy. Give her my loveeeee. A good chance to learn more Spanish as well! If you're looking for a good hostel workaway, look no further. Sara and Paco will never yell at you for making a mistake and are very happy to teach, the schedule is very clear and easy to understand, and they make sure you get your days off.

Seriously: volunteer here. It's very relaxed~~ Love you guys, thanks again for being so great!! Left by host for Workawayer David. Nuestra experiencia con David fue muy buena, es una persona alegre, muy sociable, que siempre esta integrando alos huespedes y los hace sentir como en casa, estuvimos muy contentos teniendolo como parte del equipo, sin duda alguna lo recomiendo!!!

Gracias x todo. Left by Workawayer David for host. Mi experiencia en este hermoso lugar no habría podido ser mejor, es un hostel bastante flexible con todo, donde se respetan los momentos libres, y todo se puede charlar.

Sara y Paco son geniales, siempre me hicieron sentir como en casa y se han preocupado por todo lo que nos hiciese falta. En principio me iba a quedar un par de semanas y al final … read more me quedé bastante más. Estoy muy muy muy contento con mi experiencia acá y estoy seguro de que volveré, muy recomendables a la hora de elegir un sitio.

Muchísimas gracias por todo! View all 34 feedbacks. Left by Workawayer Davide for host. My experience to Sara hostel was very nice and I thank her for the opportunity! Sara is energetic and positive person, is busy but if you ask helpful, and let all beings to let you know comfortably.

At the hostel u have the chance to know many guests and volunteers like u. The work is very nice if you like the reception stuffs. Left by host for Workawayer Matteo. Matteo is a great person, he was with us for almost 3 weeks and we really enjoyed having him as a volunteer, always in a good mood, ready to help..

he loves to play the guitar what makes a good atmosphere in the hostel. we definitely recommend him. Left by host for Workawayer Laura.

Laura was a great volunteer, always with a big smile and ready to help, it was a shame that was just for 10 days , but we really enjoy she was part of team.

we really recomend her!!! tnks for everything! Left by Workawayer Laura for host. Thanks to Sara and Paco for their hospitality. I was my first WorkAway experience and thanks to them, i really want to continue again and again. The work is pretty easy and there is a fixed planning.

Everything is clear and the communication is really easy. Merida is an amazing city as well. Thanks again.

All the best for your beautiful family Laura. Left by host for Workawayer Emily. Info notice: Workawayer cancelled stay or there was a no show at the last minute. Left by Workawayer Nicolas for host. We have a amazing time there, they respected a lot your free days. The City was lovely and very entertaining, there are always free activities to do.

Hopefully Merida never loses its essence full of cultural traditions. We definitely recommended this place to volunteer.

Thank you Sara for your hospitality. Left by host for Workawayer Nicolas. We really enjoyed having them working with us and with any doubt we will recommend them.

Thanks for everything!!! Left by host for Workawayer Dario. Having Dario as a volunteer was amazing! we really enjoyed working with him, he was always with good attitude, trying to help and improving all the thing that where necessary, with any doubt we will recommend him :.

Left by Workawayer Dario for host. My experience at the hostel was truly amazing. Since the beginning I liked the vibe of the place and the feeling of being part of a family. As my first workaway experience I could not ask for something better because the work to be done was not complex or heavy indeed it was relaxed and pleasant.

During the weeks of my stay at the hostel I never … read more felt alone or abadoned in fact I felt helpful while I was enjoying the city of Merida. Finally I want to thank Sara and Paco for this opportunity and all other volunteers that helped me a lot.

Left by Workawayer Hugo for host. This is a lovely hostel! It has a friendly vibe and I enjoyed living here for 2 weeks and meeting the many cool volunteers and guests. I am so thankful to Sara, Paco and the other volunteers for being understanding and helping take care of me when I got sick, both times!

It really made a huge difference. As a first workaway experience I … read more couldn't have asked for much more, especially as Sara was accomodating to me shortening my stay at the last minute.

Thanks so much to Frida in particular as well, who was around to answer questions from all the volunteers and to provide advice on the wonderful city of Merida. Gracias a Sara y Paco! Fue la primera experiencia en workaway. Nos gusto mucho el hostal y tambien el ambiente.

El trabajo fue tranquilo y para variar pudimos hacer otros pequeños trabajos. Muchas gracias para todo! Hasta pronto! Livia y Simon fueron muy buenos voluntarios, en todo momento serviciales y con una sonrisa dispuestos a ayudar. sin duda alguna los recomendamos.

Left by host for Workawayer Cécilia. Ceci es el tipo de voluntaria que uno espera tener!!! trabajadora, proactiva y siempre dispuesta a ayudar con una sonrisa en su cara, nos encanto tenerte como parte del staff aunque fuera porco tiempo, gracias por todo.

Left by Workawayer Victoria for host. I really enjoyed my time here and miss this place already! Sara and Paco are very hospitable and made me feel welcomed right away.

Their hostel has a great chill and comfortable vibe and as for the work, it was well-organized and simple. Aside from the reception work, Sara and Paco welcome volunteers to contribute in other ways such as art and … read more gardening, which gives this hostel a unique touch.

It was neat to see how this place grows and evolves, I'm sure if I come back it will look very different! The shifts are not long, so there is plenty of time to explore Merida and the surrounding area.

On my downtime I got to know the city of Merida, which has so many hidden gems, and I had a blast hanging out with the other volunteers and guests from all over the world. Thank you Sara, Paco, and Frida for making this a wonderful experience!

Left by host for Workawayer Jonathan. Please see our feedback policy for more info about why this review is not displayed. En este albergue encontré una familia que nos apoyó a mi hija ya mí en todo momento.

Gracias a Sara y Paco por todo su amor y sentimiento como familia vale oro. Esta fue mi primera experiencia de trabajo y fue excelente. La comunicación y la flexibilidad que se logra trabajando aquí nos dieron la oportunidad de conocer muchos lugares y amigos en … read more el estado de Yucatán.

Gracias por todo. Un placer haber interactuado contigo. Los llevamos en el corazón. disfrutamos mucho tener a Paola y su hija en el hostal, apoyaron en todo momento y siempre con buena actitud y dispuestas a ayudar, Paola aprendio a usar el sistema muy rapido y lograba que las reglas del hostal se llevaran a cabo.

sin duda alguna las recomendaria. We had a great experience working at the hostel. Everyone was very welcoming and nice. Sara and Paco are lovely people and we could always write to them and they were ready to help. The tasks were clear and the work enjoyable.

Thanks to Frida as well for being so helpful with everything and just for being an amazing person! Left by host for Workawayer Moritz. Moritz was a great volunteer at all times, always with a good attitude and willing to help, I would definitely recommend him Tnks for your help, and wish you the best :.

Left by Workawayer Moritz for host. My first workaway ever and I had a great time! The hostel has a great vibe! The owners Sara an Paco are very nice people.

They come to the hostel once or twice a day. When they're not at the hostel you can contact them whenever by texting them. They were very helpful! I was even able to take Spanish classes in the morning and work the afternoon and … read more night shift.

Thank you so much for everything!! Left by host for Workawayer Simon. Simon was an excellent volunteer, he helped us with carpentry projects, was always very attentive with the guests and generated a good atmosphere. He was always very conscious of the things that needed to be done and there was no need to tell him twice.

He is a very honest, sensitive and a fun person to be around. We're going to miss him a lot!!! Left by Workawayer Simon for host. Muchas gracias a Sara y Paco por todo.

Desde el momento de contactarles todo fue perfecto. El ambiente de la hostal es como una familia, siempre hay ayuda cuando la necesite. Merida es la ciudad perfecta para hacer un voluntario, es muy seguro y tiene tanto para conocer.

Lo recomiendo este workaway para todos que quieren una experiencia única en … read more México. Left by host for Workawayer Thane. Thane, is a guy who had a good attitude at all times, always willing to help!! we loved having him as a volunteer and that he was part of the staff!!!

thanks for everything. Left by Workawayer Thane for host. Thanks Paco and Sara for everything, it was an incredible experience. I want to thank you guys especially for being so patient with me as I learned the software for Booking.

com and Backpackonline. Dia de Los Muertos was the highlight of my stay, I want to thank Sara for letting me decorate the altar an experience I would've never had in the … read more United States. One day I will return to hang out with you guys and Frida and to see how much Camila has grown.

Thanks again for everything! at all times Jonathan was willing to help and integrate with the team and talk with the guests, we were happy to have him as a part of our team!!!

thanks for everything! Left by Workawayer Jonathan for host. First time I did a volunteer work ever, and it was the most amazing of times! The owners, Sara and Paco are amazing and super-friendly people and their 1-year old daughter is like the cutest kid there is , and the other volunteers were really great people as well.

Made a lot of new friends and felt at home all the time. And of course, memories … read more and a great experience.

Thanks a lot for letting me stay and work here, sorry for mistakes I made, and thanks a lot for all the memories! Hope to come back and visit one day. I can really recommend this place if you happen to look for a Workaway place in Mérida and I also think this is a great place to start if you don't have much or any experience at all like me, of course it's not easy but it's a really chill hostel with a true at-home feeling and the people are really friendly and helpful and will take great care of you and they will reach you properly and help you when you need it.

Recommend it! Muchas gracias a todos en Hostel, especialmente a Sara y Paco! Saludos, Jonathan Desde Suecia. Left by host for Workawayer Aureliane. We loved having Aure as part of the staff, at all times was super responsible and ready to help with an excellent attitude and a big smile in her face I definitely recommend her!!!

she is a great person. Left by Workawayer Aureliane for host. I have do 1month in this beautiful place. Sara and Paco, the owners, are 2 beautiful persons.

My month was like be at home, the place is so nice, chill, I have also meet a lot of people here. The work is nice and you feel really confident. A other time, thank a lot for take me part of your adventure. Just go and enjoy … read more :blush:. Left by Workawayer Sebastian for host. Muchas gracias Sara y Paco por de oportunidad a quedarse en Merida.

Ustedes tienen un hostal con esdupendo relajarse ambiente, y hay mucho eventos genial en la ciudad. Gracias por siempre tener tiempo por una reia aunque tienes ocupado programas. Los otra vollentarios estaban simpaticos y nosotros nos ayudamos cuando hubo problemas o preguntas con … read more el trabajo.

Todo lo mejor para el futuro :. Left by host for Workawayer Heather. We loved having Heather as a volunteer! La Angus, la cantidad, ya que las vacas de este tipo son anormalmente grandes. En tuvo lugar la primera exportación de vacas wagyu, de forma que ya no era necesaria cruzar a los machos con vacas Angus o de cualquier otra variedad, sino que por primera vez se pudo criar auténtico ganado wagyu fuera de Japón.

Así es como nuestro fundador, Patxi Garmendia , conoció el ganado wagyu, y desde entonces se obsesionó con poder criar este ganado, en su forma más pura, en España, algo que no había hecho nadie antes y que muchos consideraban imposible.

Garmendia no paró hasta que logró traer semen de ejemplares puros desde Australia, para emplearlo en vacas de pura raza wagyu que compró en Japón.

Ese es el origen de los más de 6. Para encontrar carne que esté a la par, debe ser carne importada desde Japón, algo que sólo ocurre, y en cantidades muy limitadas, desde En resumen, si comes verdadera carne de wagyu en España, hay muchas posibilidades de que provenga de nuestra finca, ya que somos proveedores de grandes distribuidores como Makro y de las mayores cadenas comerciales de España, como El Corte Inglés, Carrefour, Alcampo, Eroski, etc.

Prensa: [email protected] Restaurante Burgos: [email protected] Restaurante Bilbao: [email protected]. Finca Santa Rosalía es una empresa cuya filosofía se fundamente en el bienestar animal y respeto por la naturaleza. Elaboramos todos nuestros productos consiguiendo en ellos la alta calidad y características saludables por las que son reconocidos.

ES FR EN. Quiénes somos Finca Santa Rosalía Wagyu Vino ecológico Perdiz Roja Tienda online Restaurantes Burgos, Restaurante la Finca Bilbao, Restaurante De Santa Rosalía Visitas a nuestra Finca en Burgos Bodas y Eventos Food trucks Blog Contacto Menú.

Todo sobre el origen de la raza wagyu. Todo sobre el origen de la raza wagyu Hace unos años casi nadie, salvo que fuera un auténtico conocedor de la gastronomía japonesa, había oído la palabra «wagyu». Wagyu vs Kobe: ¿Hay tanta diferencia? Comprar Wagyu Online Tipos de wagyu Wagyu [ 和牛 ] en japonés quiere decir «res japonesa».

Hay cuatro líneas dentro de la raza wagyu: Res Japonesa Negra o Tajima Originariamente era un animal usado para las labores del campo, que aparece mencionado en textos japoneses tan pronto como el siglo II de nuestra era. Res Japonesa marrón También conocida como akaushi o res de color rojo.

Res Japonesa cuernicorta Es una raza criada principalmente en la región de Tohoku noreste de Japón. Res Japonesa sin cuernos Raza certificada como autóctona japonesa en sólo después de haber sido cruzada con la raza de vacuno Aberdeen Angus de Escocia.

En cuestiones técnicas, la carne de wagyu con certificado de Kobe debe cumplir las siguientes especificaciones: — Índice de marmoleado de entre 6 y 12 esto es quizá lo más importante , porque es lo que de verdad determina la terneza y sabor de la carne; en ese sentido, nada tiene que envidiar la carne de Finca Santa Rosalía a la que sí recibe la denominación oficial de «Kobe» , ya que por ejemplo todos nuestros lomos tienen como mínimo una infiltración o marmoleado de 6 concretemente, entre 7 y 8 para los lomos completos , y entre 6 y 8 para los lomos en skin.

Orígenes de la raza wagyu fuera de Japón La raza wagyu es originaria de Japón y no se da de forma natural en ningún otro lugar. Síguenos en instagram.

Sumérgete en la excelencia culinaria con el Lomo. Sumérgete en la frescura de nuestra huerta ecoló. Finca Santa Rosalia. Contacta con nosotros. Nombre y Apellidos. Correo electrónico. He leído y acepto la política de privacidad. Aviso Legal Política de privacidad Política de Cookies. Descubre la carne de Wagyu Eventos y cerebraciones.

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The white marble-filled hamman here will blow your mind. Luxury and opulence at its absolute finest. Started 4 years ago in Belgian it was just bags at that stage , Laurence moved to Marrakech a couple of years ago and moved into this stunning light-filled showroom in the industrial district in September I am basically in love with everything she creates!

From rugs to wall hangings, ceramics to clothes, bags and shoes, she is one very talented woman. We especially like his jumpsuits. Make sure you take time to visit the atelier.

Popham Design: for stunning handmade concrete or cement tiles - individually made in a happy, light-filled factory outside the city. Also worth a visit to see these amazing tile makers at work. Villa des Orangers : it was my dear friends at the Kiwi Collection who introduced me to this beautiful property.

As with many of the best things in Marrakech, Villa des Orangers is hidden behind an unassuming wooden door on a busy street near the foot of the Koutoubia Mosque, just outside the medina, which gives little hint as to the beauty that lies within.

Until stepping through those big wooden doors, you would have no idea of the magic that awaits. The building - which dates back to - is full of marble and lattice and incredible tiles, and surrounds a couple of pretty courtyards and a beautiful pool.

On arrival, there are endless friendly staff to greet you, give you a tour of the property, and show you to your room. If your budget allows, pay that little bit extra and book one of the double story rooms overlooking the pool room A beautiful escape. I have never seen a more incredible shower like that one!!

And the freestanding bath is stunning as well. Breakfast is served in a pretty terrace by the pool, but you can choose to take it any of the other quiet corners around the property if you wish. The same goes for lunch. They have their own very calming in-house spa and hamman as well which sadly I ran out of time to try.

Perfectly located the very heart of the medina is only a min walk away , Villa des Orangers is a very quiet, peaceful and beautiful place to stay.

The Scarabeo Camp in the Agafay stone desert- for an unforgettable lxury camping experience in the desert. Bab Ourika Kasbah: an old favourite. Perched high on a mountain top in the Ourika Valley in the Atlas Mountains, this is the perfect place from which to escape the city for a few days, or simply as a day trip to enjoy a long lunch in the garden.

And for more of our past Morocco adventures, see here , and here! It had always been a dream of mine to visit the Italian UNESCO-heritage town of Modica in Sicily.

The main or only reason being to stay in one of the gorgeous stone houses of Casa Talia. I had somehow stumbled across this little gem of a boutique hotel about 15 years ago.

My sister Sophie had booked it on my recommendation and visited in between that time, but until September last year I had still never made it myself. So to finally roll into Modica after a frustrating Vueling flight from Rome, where they lost all of our luggage for more than 3 days!!!

was a travel dream come true. We literally chatted for days! The whole Casa Talia experience was a perfect one. The town of Modica offers a window into a baroque world. Surrounded by stone houses that seem to sit on top of each other all over the hillside, and hundreds literally of baroque cathedrals, the architecture here is dramatic and incredibly beautiful.

A true medieval marvel. Together with his wife Viviana Haddad, Marco Giunta is the visionary behind Casa Talia. They were looking for a slower life.

It took years between finding the rightful owner of the land, making an offer and organising the acquisition, to securing the land, obtaining the necessary permits, completing the drawings and construction and so on, until they were finally able to open for business 4 or 5 years later.

Since then the guesthouse has grown to 11 rooms and suites - most centered around a secret garden, a magical Mediterranean style hideout which was the exact thing that lured Marco to the Casa Talia location in the first place. They sourced colourful, antique tiles from all over Sicily the ones on the floor of the breakfast room being my favourite , and used local materials wherever possible when building the houses.

A thoughtful and homemade breakfast is served each morning in the most delightful garden - with pinch-yourself kind of views looking back over the Catholic Quarter in Modica. It is honestly so beautiful it is hard to believe what you are looking at is real.

Each season Marco and Viviana reveal a new room one they have worked on during the quieter winter months. We were lucky enough to spend a few days in one of their brand new suites - with its own private terrace and unparalleled views of the baroque city - which had only been completed the week before we arrived.

We were the first guests to try it out! During the time of our visit, Marco was also working on his and Viviana's new architecture studio another amazing looking space , while also working on converting his existing architecture studio in Milan into a 1-room boutique apartment.

I saw the plans when I was there and it looks amazing - a cube-shaped structure in the middle of a private piazza, all glass and steel and complete with a living green wall. Not only that, Marco has collaborated on a project in Cefalù see our separate guide to Cefalu - an incredibly beautiful seaside villa with direct access to a private beach, just 5mins from the centre of town.

I joked with Marco that his life is quite possibly the antithesis to the "slow living" one he came looking for! He has so many projects on the go, it's amazing! A truly kind, humble, gentle and inspiration man - it was such an honour to spend a few days in his presence.

If you get the chance, I highly recommend a visit to this incredible project. And then grab a drink at Rappa Wine Bar next door. Granita and brioche with or without ice-cream - a typical Sicilian sweet lunch - from La Latteria Gelateria.

The reason for our coming together? Held in the rainbow-coloured riad that is El Fenn, we - a mixed bag of women from different places, of different ages, and with different passions but with a common interest in creating - joined forces under the Moroccan sun.

Soft, warm, dark, moody, light and bold colors and textures…the ultimate setting for creative inspiration. After being woken up at am each morning to the sound of the call to prayer, the workshop kicked off with yoga on the rooftop terrace as the sun was slowly starting to rise, followed by a delicious healthy breakfast.

A dreamy start to each morning. Through a series of workshops we were taken on a journey of self-discovery; exploring the idea of storytelling - in whatever form that might take. Coming from a trauma-filled upbringing, it was inspiring to see the way Tracy has chosen to live her story and navigate her way through this world.

She talked about love and relationships, and fear and failures. At the end to the day, we all have a story. With a natural warmth, openness and grace, Garance shared stories of her former partner Scott Schuman of The Satorialist by crediting him as being the one who sparked in her an interest in photography in the first place.

If you are a real photographer, you steal the shot. I loved this message. Morgan has always worked with a deep respect, understanding and love for her followers and customers.

At Sézane it is all about the experience, and she always ensures she engages with her customer base in the most generous way possible, whether that be giving out tote bags with every order that she has collaborated with an artist on , or printing beautiful quotes on little cards.

Proof that it is all about the little things; how to tell a story through a brand. Our afternoons at the retreat were spent visiting and being inspired by local artisans at work; hearing their stories and learning about their craft.

We spent a few hours with the lovely team at Chabi Chic in their beautiful, light-filled ceramics studio outside of the city, learning the art of marbling - a long-standing Moroccan craft.

We then spent time with charismatic husband and wife team, Caitlyn and Samuel Dowe-Sandes of Popham Design, originally from the US but now residents of Morocco for the past 11 years.

They kindly opened up their colorful studio and artisan workshop to teach us the art of making a handmade cement tile - a huge part of the heritage and cultural and artistic identity of Morocco.

Joining their friendly team of mellums or tile artisans , we were given the opportunity to make our own tile. It was fascinating to watch these talented, happy craftsman get to work in their workshop where they make over tiles each per day.

On our final day we were fortunate enough to have a guided tour of the new YSL Museum - a museum devoted entirely to the work of legendary couturier Yves Saint Laurent - housed in a square-metre architectural wonderland by French architectural duo, Karl Fournier and Olivier Marty of Studio KO.

It was a week of sharing, learning and openness. In such an online world it was so refreshing to connect and share with so many accomplished and like-minded women in the real life, with space and time, not to mention being surrounded by the breathtaking beauty that is Marrakech.

If you have any interest in sharing in wonderfully inspiring moments with wonderful people, keep an eye on the Atelier Doré Facebook page for details of upcoming retreats. Eat: La Famille with their beautiful secret garden and daily-changing vegetarian menu ; Café Des Épices for their pear and chicken tagine ; and Nomad for their vegetarian plate.

Shop: LRNCE and Marrakshi Life whose showrooms are both located outside in the industrial quarter ; Bloom for gorgeous handmade bags by French woman, Nadege Arnaud in the épices square ; and La Famille for handmade jewelry by French owner, Stéphanie Giribone.

Do: Venture out to the Beldi Country Club for a long lunch, or even further into the Atlas Mountains for lunch and spectacular views at Kasbah Bab Ourika. Spa: Treat yourself to the most incredible hamman experience of your life at the lavish Royal Mansour Spa.

We arrived at Hotel Sant Francesc feeling flustered. Driving past big cheesy-looking resorts and even bigger and more cheesy-looking German beer halls, we immediately knew we were in the wrong place.

We later learned this area was called Playa de Palma one to avoid! After more than half an hour of circling around and around town, we finally decided that the only way to reach the hotel was to enter one of the streets and just risk it, which we did, but when we finally pulled up at Hotel Sant Francesc the right one we were a collectively-stressed mess!

Luckily the kindest ever doorman greeted us - Unai, you are a superstar! Unai told us there was nothing at all to worry about, that the hotel would report our number plate to the police to advise them that we were hotel guests and we would not get a fine.

He then insisted on taking our car, parking it and arranging for our luggage to be taken to our room. It was such an easy, friendly and calming welcome.

Uni was an absolute legend. We knew instantly we were at the right place this time. At Hotel Sant Francesc, the same level of friendliness and generous hospitality carried through to all of the staff we met. Miguel Garcia Feliz, the ever-so-charming General Manager, spent time running us through the features of the hotel, as did Diana.

A former Mallorcan mansion from , the hotel went a meticulous restoration and is now full of beautiful iron-clad windows and a luscious pale-green color palette my current color obsession on the walls - so calming and restorative.

There is a gorgeous little rooftop terrace that offers beautiful views over Basilica de Sant Francesc and out over the city rooftops.

Breakfast is really generous and is served in a cosy restaurant downstairs. We stayed in the Sant Francesc Suite, adorned with ceiling frescoes throughout, and it was one of the most grand and spacious rooms I have ever seen - looking out over the Basilica de Sant Francesc, it was a total treat.

We were able to walk everywhere very easily from the hotel - it made for the perfect base for our short 24 hour Palma rendesvous. I would highly recommend staying here on your next trip to the island. Coffee at La Molienda - great coffee and delicious breakfasts local, organic, seasonal produce and outdoor seating.

Market goods at Santa Catalina - we loved this old-school food hall. Check out the contemporary art installation of Miquel Barceló in the Cathedral of Santa Maria de Palma. It had been years since my last visit to Rome.

Having spent a lot of time romping around its magical streets the Trastevere ones were always my favourite in my 20s, it was probably about 10 years since my last visit.

No matter how much time goes by, the beauty and the history of the Renaissance buildings and the historic monuments and the beautiful parks at every turn still blow you away every time - and that old-fashioned way of life, it just keeps on rolling by.

I love getting lost in its streets, stumbling across random corners of wonder. I love the aperitivo culture and the way Romans spill on to the streets by 5pm, Campari in hand.

And on top of that, there are so many beautifully hidden and magical places to stay. We were fortunate this time to spend a night at the historic Villa Spalletti Trivelli , a Kiwi Collection property.

An incredibly discreet, neo-classical mansion tucked away in a beautiful square just steps from the Piazza del Quirinale and near the Trevi Fountain.

Oozing old world elegance, this stunning villa has been in the same family for five generations and was beautifully restored by Count Gian Giacomo Spalletti Trivelli and his wife, Susanna.

The story of the house and its inhabitants over the years is one of much magic and intrigue; a long history and one with ties to the royal family and monarchy. I was lucky enough to meet with Maria Merra, the General Manager, who has been with the villa since its inception.

With only 12 rooms this is an intimate and opulent place to stay. While all rooms are different, our recommendation would be to request one of the colorful rooms at the front of the house overlooking the Quirinale Palace.

We stayed in a suite, which while very spacious and lovely, is outside the main villa building and is much more modern in design. In the grand drawing room my favourite room of all with its rich fabrics, antique furniture and art, and parquetry floors, a complimentary aperitivo is served every evening from 5pm.

Guests can help themselves to any of the spirits and make their own cocktails. Delicious snacks are provided as well. The villa does not have a restaurant as such, but a sumptuous breakfast is prepared each morning and if you are wanting to stay in for lunch or dinner you can let the kitchen staff know and they will prepare something to order.

There is an exceptional feeling of warmth and comfort here; a feeling of home. Up on the roof there are four jacuzzis for guests to enjoy, and even one that is cornered off and can be booked for private use- they will even arrange champagne to be delivered there if you desire.

Owned by the Counts Spalletti Trivelli, Pomario winery is located near Perugia in the municipality of Piegaro, not far from Monteleone di Orvieto on the border of Umbria and Tuscany. They make olive oil and organic wines, and on Friday evenings at the villa they share these with guests.

There is also a wellness centre in the basement where guests can enjoy complimentary use of a spectacular hamman, and a beautiful Italian garden. It is a perfectly private and intimate retreat and one I would highly recommend for escaping the hustle of Rome.

Located on Via Del Babuino, right by the Spanish Steps, and with a beautiful view over Piazza del Popolo and its obelisk, Hotel de Russie is renowned for having one of the most incredible secret gardens in Rome. With its cream-coloured facade and with pale-blue shutters, the exterior of the hotel is just as inviting as the interior.

The rooms are elegant and luxurious, with ornate touches think lots of Italian marble in the bathrooms etc. We recommend booking one of their Junior Suites ask for the corner suite that overlooks the Piazza del Popolo. They serve excellent coffee, great cocktails and have an impressive wine list as well.

Breakfast is served in the secret garden, under a sea of beautiful umbrellas, making for an incredible spot to start your morning with a delicious Italian breakfast. A location hard to beat. The interiors have all been done by the Hon. Olga Polizzi, part of the Rocco Forte Hotel family Lord Forte's daughter and the sister of Sir Rocco Forte - colourful and lavish.

The marble and mosaic bathroom with separate shower and steam bath is one of the most impressive bathrooms I have seen so far. If you can afford to splurge on this suite sadly it is definitely out of my own budget!!! Alternatively, the hotel can personalise your suite with your favourite things, such as flowers, fragrances and much more!!!

Luxury service at its finest. No matter where you stay, this is a truly impressive Italian accommodation experience. We loved being greeted by the super friendly, charming and very tall!!

doorman, Christian, each morning. Only 2mins walk, across the Piazza del Popolo, Rosati is a sophisticated Roman coffee bar with lots of old wooden decor and marble floors, that serves exceptional coffee and croissants.

Try the tiramisu as well. gypsy woman ]. My friend Cols flew in as a surprise from Paris and together we took a car from Cernobbio to Tremezzo just 30 mins to spend the day as guests at the Grand Hotel Tremezzo on the banks of Lake Como. Our driver - a charming Italian man named Alberto - took great joy in telling us stories of those he had driven before us including George Clooney, twice.

He even pointed out Clooney's villa, speaking exceptionally highly of the handsome actor who now calls Lake Como home or, one of his homes I should say. As we arrived at the hotel, looking up, we were blown away by its size and scale.

The Grand Hotel Tremezzo, with its floating pool on the lake, is a grand and ornate mansion which was once the summer playground for wealthy Lombard Aristocrats.

With beautifully lush and hydrangea-filled gardens, there is another pool tucked away - on its garden terrace - and one inside the luxurious spa as well.

Plenty of swimming options! We were fortunate enough to experience a luxurious spa treatment at the T Spa with its wooden sauna with windows looking out over the lake. The highlight though was lunch down at T Beach a private 'beach' on the edge of the lake by the floating pool. With Campari Spritzs in hand, we ate fresh seafood and caprese salad and watched the life on the lake go by.

There are five restaurant and bar options at the hotel, but this one seems to be the most informal. Like I said, we only had the day but it really is beautiful here and if budget allows, I think it's worth the extra splurge. Far L'Amore ]. Lake Como has always held a special place in my heart.

I have always been totally captivated by the light and the magic of the lake. It really is nothing short of a fairytale. Sparkling water, colourful little villages dotted throughout the mountains, and that beautiful light. The quiet and calm of the dawn, and the beauty of the magic hour when the sun starts to settle over the lake.

It is a special place. And I have forever had a love affair with the very fancy, Villa d'Este. Not that I have ever stayed there, but I have always loved wandering down that long, grandioso driveway alongside the lake - past the endless hydrangeas - into the grounds of the villa.

Nothing screams old-school Italy to me, old-school Lake Como, more than this luxury hotel with sixteen-century origins, and operating as a luxury hotel since The people watching is next-level you will no doubt spot a Russian wedding or two , and the waiters are like something out of an old-school Italian film.

It's beautiful here. The swimming pool also is one for the books! BUT in saying all of that, the most magical discovery in Cernobbio for me was last summer when I happened somehow to randomly stumble across the most divine little bnb. Villa Derriere - run by a gorgeous young couple, Giorgia and Davide - is literally just seconds away from Villa d'Este.

Perfectly positioned and hidden in a quiet garden off the main street, this ivy-covered villa houses just two bedroom suites. It is here in the magic of the pretty garden complete with bocce ball ground, and chickens that Giorgia and Davide offer the most generous and warm hospitality.

Davide - an ex-soccer player - is mostly in charge of food. Davide bakes fresh sourdough bread each day. He cooks everything from scratch using fruit and vegetables from their very own garden which is located just on the other side of the lake in a little town called Nesso.

He is gentle and kind. His dogs are his life. And so are his chickens. And so, of course, is Giorgia. The kitchen is full of love and warmth. Everything that comes out of there has been made with so much care. Breakfasts are incredible.

Giorgia has generally made a fresh batch of cookies, or perhaps even a delicious chocolate cake, and together they serve up a whole medley of pretty little breakfast dishes - from cake and cookies, to fresh bread, eggs, fruits, yoghurt, homemade muesli, and more.

It is like nothing I have ever seen at a bnb before. This is something very, very special. If you are lucky, Giorgia and Davide might even take you to their farm one evening. Located on a very steep block of land that hugs the edge of the lake, this incredible property is home to a lush and large veggie garden and plenty of fruit trees.

There is also a wood-fired pizza oven, and Giorgia and Davide have been known to host some amazing pizza parties down here. Not only that, there is a little row-boat and a perfectly positioned diving platform from which to launch yourself into the lake. The water is fresh and cold.

And deep. Very deep. It is an incredible place to swim. Back in Cernobbio, we love the tiny little town for its coffee shops, its hat store, and its gelato.

We generally eat most meals at the villa Giorgia and Davide provide breakfast, but are also happy to cater for dinner as well if you would like to book it in.

When we are there, we never really want to leave. If you are looking for somewhere else to dine however, I can highly recommend a gorgeous family-run restaurant tucked away high in the mountain.

Hidden underneath a canopy of wisteria, the pretty terrace of Trattoria del Glicine is the perfect place for a long lunch with friends.

The homemade pastas are amazing, as is the wine. As is everything in fact. I love it here. Just get back down the hill in time for aperitivo at Villa d'Este save room for a couple of Spritzs and some olives , and then dinner back at "home". It's a magical little town and one you would be crazy to miss.

m ontana ]. Oh, Lisbon. You have such a grip on my heart. A city so full of charm and lovely people. The locals here are warm and friendly, so proud of where they come from. Portugal has catapulted to the top of my favorite places right now.

In fact, it has been there awhile. It was then that my love for Lisbon really deepened. I felt so at home and really connected with its energy. An inspiring creative community - so much going on in design, art, architecture - but all in this really refreshing, humble way with no ego.

No attitude. Just good people doing really good, interesting things. The wine is cheaper than water true story and when I am here I tend to drink a lot of the stuff! The Vinho Verde or green wine , my absolute favourite.

There is a cultural and artistic richness in Lisbon. An addictive buzz. Its a big city, yes, but one that feels more like a village. Known as the city of the seven hills, you can pretty much get everywhere on foot if you are willing to battle a few hills of course with endless winding cobblestoned streets to explore.

I never get far though without stopping a million times over to snap the stunning azulejos tiles that cover the walls of churches and decrepit buildings, everywhere you look. It is such a beautiful town. The light is what gets me as well. Such a beautiful, magical light.

Dawn, when the streets are quiet…and dusk, when the streets are alive and buzzing with locals and tourists alike often down by the water to watch the sun go down over Cristo and the rest of the town.

You will hear the sound of fado wafting through the streets. Portugal really does have it all. A spectacular coastline, dreamy beaches, delicious local wine, great good I basically turn into a Portuguese bread and cheese whenever I am here, oh and a sardine , charming hilltop towns, diverse landscapes, and some of the friendliest people I have ever met.

There is so much goodness to be found. Here, I update you with some of favorites including some old favorites that were featured in the guide I published here in …. Fabrica Coffee Roasters: for excellent third wave coffee they roast their own beans.

A few locations around town. Hello, Kristof: in Bairro Alto, a coffee and magazine café with a Scandinavian aesthetic. Beans are roasted locally at Academica Do Café. Back in , Cantinho do Avillez had only recently opened and was the food highlight of our trip.

Cafe Lisboa inside the São Carlos National Theatre and Pizzaria Lisboa are great as well and have stunning interiors. Mercado da Ribeira avenida 24 de julho : an awesome food destination. It opened just a few months before we were there in , and it is still going strong.

In fact, we noticed even more food stalls have popped up on our most recent visit in June. Check out the wines by Esporao. I love my Vinho Verde green wine and you will find a couple of great ones here.

If you are wanting some fun little gifts to take home, grab some retro-packaged tins of sardines from the Conserveira de Lisboa. And check out our favorite stand of all — the plants at O Meu Amore e Verde. Restaurante Santo Antonio de Alfama: for typical Portuguese food from the best restaurant in Alfama.

For Japanese and the best sushi in LIsbon check out Go-Juu - next door to the Fundacao Gulbenkian. Hands down. This is a Lisbon institution — loved by tourists and locals alike. Simple, but the best. This is a Lisbon institution.

Tágide Wine and Tapas Bar : fun, chilled and great food…always. Located in Chiado, this is a beautiful tapas bar serving excellent small plates and delicious Portuguese wines. Be sure to try the custard tarts served warm with cinnamon ice cream. A little more pricey, but worth it.

Park : this bar on top of a parking garage is the perfect place for a sundowner. Amazing views over Bairro Alto and the river, there are always good tunes, good vibes and a cosy atmosphere on its leafy rooftop terrace. Fun after dinner as well. The Terrace at Hotel do Bairro Alto : for some of the best views in town.

Perfect for a light lunch or a pre-dinner drink. Located between Chiado and Bairro Alto. Pensao do Amor : an old brothel-turned-cocktail bar.

This bar feels like a home, with lots of different little rooms and dark and cosy furniture. Live music sometimes.

Always busy. Good vibes. O Bom o Mau e o Vilao : just a few doors down from Pensao do Amor, this is the obvious place to go either before or after a drink there.

Another ultra-cool rooftop space opens in Lisbon. This time in Martim Moniz with extraordinary views of Lisbon, from São Jorge Castle and Mouraria, to the viewpoints of Graça and Senhora do Mont.

Louie Louie - an awesome little record store which started in Porto with an in-house espresso bar. Under the Cover: books and magazines about art, architecture, design, fashion, travel and lifestyle.

Sardines from the Conserveira de Lisboa: with a store in Baixa Rua dos Bacalhoeiros , and one at the Mercado da Ribeira, come here the most beautifully vintage-packaged tins or sardines. A staple on any Lisbon shopping list, they have been around since s.

We love the wrapping as much as we love the taste of the chocolate itself. Reminiscent of our favorite Brooklyn-based chocolatier — Mast Brothers. Try the Port wine flavor. Bairro Alto - neighboughood - full of traditional shops, restaurants and bars - known for its typical portuguese lifestyle during he day and bohemian atmosphere by night.

Praca Luis de Camoes - a very iconic square - honoring the famous Portuguese writer and poet Luis Vaz de Camoes - a busy meeting point to the historic area. Home to the famous coffee and pastry shop, A Brasilleira, where portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa used to go frequently.

Livraria Bertrand - considered the oldest bookstore in the world. bertrand is portuguese and opened in A Vida Portuguesa - traditional and iconic products of all kind from portugal - gret presents and original souvenirs.

Near Rossio Praca D. Pedro IV - monument square - you will find Chapelaria Azevedo Rua - a century-old hat shop like no other - with bows, top hats, caps, berets and more. Confeitaria Nacional - pastry shop and tea house - one of the most ancient and exquisite pastry shops in Lisbon - perfect for afternoon tea.

LX Factory : an old industrial site recently converted into a creative hub full of galleries, cafes, bookstores, boutiques etc. Shop here, eat here, hang here.

EDP : the Electricity Museum. who carves his art out of bricks and walls. Check out what else is showing though, as the building alone is impressive and worth checking out. And keep an eye out for Vhils. One of our favorite pieces can be found on a large wall by the Port.

For hair: check out Griffe Hair Style. An amazing hair salon in Chiado. Owner Helena Vaz Pereira, works for some of the Portuguese fashion houses. For colour ask for Sofia, she is the best. For a day spa experience: check out the Ritz. Alternatively, the Palacio Estoril Hotel in Estoril is also good.

Arco da Rua Augusta - for its beautiful Triumph Arch and views over Tagus River and all the Baixa Pombalina. Alfama - tradtional neighborhood - the striking portuguese neighbourhood of Fado. Parque Eduardo VII: a beautiful park to walk around - with great views over the Avenida de Liberdade.

Avenida de Liberdade: one of the most important avenues in lisbon - beautiful buildings filled with beautiful shops. Praca do Marques de Pombal: monumental square. an iconic place in lisbon, honoring Marques de Pombal, the monarch figure behind the city reconstruction after the earthquake.

the urban and architectural style present downtown was made by his vision, and this square unifies the main avenue and the streets of the area. Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara: an amazing viewpoint, located in the garden of the same name, offering beautiful panoramic views of the city of Lisbon.

Pedro V. When you're coming down the hill stop on the left at the 'miradouro' to see the views of the city and have a coffee. There are several 'miradouros' lookouts spread around town with spectacular views and cute little cafes and tables outside.

Our favorite one in Alfama is Miradouro de Santa Luzia, which is located halfway up the hill, at the top of Rua de Augusto Rosa. If not for the view itself, but for the stunning bougainvillea overhead and the gorgeous setting.

Also keep a look out for a little hidden oasis on Rua D. Pedro V NºD — the Lost In café. Azulejos the colored tiles at every turn. Great photo opportunities. Fundacao Calouste - museum and gardens.

Come here for the art museum or just the stunning gardens themselves designed by architect Goncalo Ribeiro Telles. A lovely spot for a walk. Take the number 28 tram : touristy, but a great little trip.

Visit Sintra : one of the most beautiful and poetic places in the world. You will feel as if you are part of a magic fairytale here. Wander around, grab a coffee, do a bit of shopping, take plenty of photos.

A few hours here is enough. Go to the beach in Guincho. Have seafood for lunch at Mar do Inferno. Or drive a little further north to have lunch in Azenhas do Mar - a little cliffside town overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

Amazing seafood and stunning views. The most delightful surprise of my recent trip to Lisbon, Santa Clara has quickly become my favourite place to stay in this magical town. A secret hidden gem in a quiet corner of the city. I had the greatest pleasure of meeting owner João Rodrigues on my visit, as well as his lovely wife Andrea.

A beautiful family and an incredible inspiration. Another of his properties, Casas Na Areia for example, with its sand on the floor makes you feel instantly relaxed - the sand slows you down.

On entering Santa Clara you feel a difference in the acoustics, it is so quiet. You notice the connection with the open kitchen - and this feeling must be strong - the smell of fresh bread baking, or a cake - it helps remind guests of home.

The meat comes from their farm, Casa no Tempo, and they use only local supplies. A common goal of keeping the experience as connected to nature as possible. Joao forever tries to respect and be faithful to nature wherever possible -paying homage to all things local and original. Casas na Areia for example was inspired by local fisherman houses, acting as a memory of an architype.

Casa no Tempo is a modern interpretation of the traditional Alentejo-style house. He wanted to build another family house but had no intention of actually living there himself.

That changed however and now João, Andrea and their four children live on the top floor. It is a unique and beautiful project.

The interiors are stunning, simple. This is design that inspires, in every sense. It is incredibly beautiful here.

For boutique budget…try The Independente. With views over the Tagus River, this lovely hotel is full of classical features — big shuttered windows, high ceilings, vintage furniture, stained-glass windows, floors laid with traditional Portuguese Azelujos, and wrought-iron balconies.

Choose from a private suite or dorm where the bunk beds are custom-made from chipboard. We stayed in one of the private suites, which was colorful, bright and spacious. Breakfast is served each morning on the sunny rooftop terrace, with fabulous views over the city.

You will no doubt meet Lurdes — the happiest of happy characters who runs the kitchen. An amazing leading light who made our time at the Independente all the more memorable.

There is also a stylish in-house restaurant on the ground floor — Decadente — with a modern Portuguese menu, cosy atmosphere and beautiful outdoor courtyard. For high-end historical luxury that you will be hard-pressed to find anywhere else …try the Palacio Belmonte , a 15th century palace-turned-guest house.

Tucked away in the streets of Alfama, right up by the Castelo de São Jorge atop the highest hill in Lisbon , this enchanted Palace-style accommodation is run by charismatic Frenchman Frédéric Coustols an artist and landscape collector and his adorable 5th wife, Maria.

Built in , this is the most antique building in all of Portugal. Filled with over 18th century Portuguese tiles the blue of which adds to a complete sense of calm, stillness and ventilation , Roman foundations, seventh-century Moorish brick ceilings, antique furniture, spectacular reading and dining areas, private rooftop terraces, a swimming pool and spectacular garden, and an open bar from 5pm each evening…this is the most exquisite urban oasis, hidden away from the hustle and bustle of Lisbon city life below.

We were fortunate enough to enjoy a sunny breakfast with Frédéric on the terrace one morning, to hear how his connection with the Palace came about.

It was on a visit to Lisbon many years ago that Frédéric saw the house and with intrigue, asked about it at the hotel he was staying. The very next day, without even going inside, he made an offer to buy it.

A successful sale he paid over 24million euro , it was not until 6 months later that he paid his first visit to the house. And it was on this whim, that he decided he would. We were lucky enough to sleep in the m2 palace suite, which has a winter garden and terrace, on top of a Muslim tower of the 8th century.

With views over the Alfama district out to the water, sleeping within the Palace walls was like stepping back in time. He recently spoke at a sustainability conference in Granada around tourism, and the need to protect historical districts to find a balance between providing tourists a special experience, while protecting the city at the same time.

This is a very, very special place, with Frédéric and Maria adding miles to that charm. As Frédéric once said, "I have traveled the world for fifteen years,".

Principally peace. And beauty. Set amongst some incredibly beautiful gardens the hotel is tucked away in a quiet residential corner of Lisbon near the River Tagus. The old palace building itself is quiet incredible. I spent an hour wandering through the building marveling at all the intricacies of the design and the opulent furniture and artwork.

Unfortunately the hotel rooms are not in this old palace building but rather in a couple of large new accommodation wings that were built in more recent times. The hotel is definitely on the bigger side, so it you are looking for more of a boutique experience I would suggest booking Santa Clara or Palacio Belmonte instead, but if you prefer a hotel with a lot of space and many facilities pool, day spa etc than perhaps this is the one for you.

And the breakfasts! They were incredible - a great selection and a stunning palace room from which to enjoy it. this must be the place ].

I was on a 3-month student exchange to a school in Nagoya. It was my first solo overseas trip and I loved every second. I was super lucky to be welcomed into the home of a very kind local family, which made the living-away-from-home thing a whole lot easier.

I quickly fell in love with the feeling of being well outside my comfort zone. I was excited and intrigued by this new culture, their language and their traditions. It was incredible. And I guess it set the tone for all my travels today.

My recent trip to Japan in March was just a quickie but we managed to cover off a couple of days in Tokyo obviously never enough time , the snowy-mountain town of Hakuba, the art island of Naoshima in the south, and then the nature-driven beauty of the Ise-Shima National Park to stay at the outrageously beautiful Amanemu.

With only a couple of days to bop around Tokyo, we managed to find some awesome little spots but also missed out on a few as we ran out of time.

A big shout out to my friend Jac at The Broadplace who passed on so many of her awesome recos. Jac, and her partner Arran, have curated the most wonderful Tokyo exploration manual - a perfectly put together guide on how best to spend some lovely days in this energetic and mesmerizing city - if you can get your hands on a copy, I would strongly suggest you do!

Little Nap: off the beaten track a little, right near Yoyogi Park, this was our favourite coffee find of all. Cafe Kitsune: a cute coffee shop corner down a little laneway in Aoyama, with a charming bamboo courtyard and staff that dress in matching Kitsune sweaters.

Coffee and a few tiny snacks only. Don't come hungry! Extra points for Aesop Skincare in the tiny bathroom. Cobi Bloom and Branch: a cute spot in Aoyama with more than just coffee - ceramics, clothes and more.

There are endless awesome eating options in Tokyo, obviously. But in our short couple of days in the city we absolutely loved some of these…. Shimada: the standing restaurant. No seats, you just stand at the counter. No English menu.

Just trust what they recommend. The food is incredible. Kaoriya: for lunch or dinner in Ebisu. All the noodles here are based on buckwheat, and come served on ginormous wooden trays. As recommended again by Jac from The Broadplace. So good.

Check out the amazing depachika or food halls in the basements of department stores - Takashimaya is our favourite. In my mind if the budget allows , there are really only two places to stay in Tokyo.

Both extremely luxe, but impressively understated; with some of the best service you will ever encounter anywhere in this world. They are the Park Hyatt, and the AMAN Tokyo and both bookable via the kind folk at Kiwi Collection.

PARK HYATT Tokyo. The Park Hyatt Tokyo may already be on your radar thanks to its starring role in the hit indie film Lost in Translation. Staring an aging actor Bill Murray and a neglected wife Scarlett Johansson , this award-winning film by Sofia Coppola went on to become the best PR exercise the hotel has ever experienced.

Interestingly, it took awhile though for director Sofia Coppola to get the Park Hyatt on board. Coppola was knocked back on two separate occasions before the hotel finally succumbed when Coppola made a 3rd offer that was apparently too hard to refuse to allowing the Coppola crew to shoot their film on site.

The Coppolas offered to book out individual hotel rooms for each of the cast and crew, for an entire three week period - agreeing to shoot between midnight and 5am only - so as not to disturb other hotel guests.

Housed over the upper floors of the Kenzo Tange tower in Shinjuku, the Park Hyatt offers spectacular views out over Tokyo to Mount Fuji. The check-in process is impeccable. Guests are greeted on the ground floor Level 2 and then escorted up to the glass-walled 41st floor where a concierge team will meet and greet you and personally accompany you to your room.

It is there, once settled, that they will sit with you to go through your arrival information. Intimate and personalised, this process sets them apart from any other hotel I have visited.

Rooms are large and spacious. Aesop Skincare my favourite lines the shelves of the bathrooms. The views are incredible. Only one interior designer and one architect were used to design the entire property, and we love its pale wood-paneled walls, the green color palette, and the way the hotel uses the communal areas to showcase local artists.

The spa on the 47th floor is definitely worth a visit with its beautiful Japanese-style onsen, well-lit beauty stations, and incredible 25m swimming pool - some of the best spa facilities in a city hotel that I have ever seen. The bar is a knockout and one that completes the Park Hyatt Tokyo experience.

Made famous also by the film, you will enjoy breathtaking views over a light-filled Tokyo, with live music and old-school cocktails. And lastly, the food is exceptional. The breakfast selection is diverse. I opted for room service so i could enjoy more time in the room itself and had a healthy egg white omelette with ricotta and all sorts of greens.

The staff are discreet, kind and humble. It will wow you in ways you didn't expect. AMAN Tokyo. After my first night in Tokyo at the Park Hyatt, I then went on to Hakuba in the mountains for a couple of days.

On my return to Tokyo a few days later, I checked into the AMAN. This, without doubt, is the most exceptional city hotel I have ever stayed at in the world. Big call, I know, but the AMAN Tokyo is a peaceful and humble oasis in the heart of the business district Nihonbashi , right by Tokyo station, and it will completely blow your mind.

Designed by Australian architect kerry hill responsible also for the Lalu hotel in Taiwan we stayed at last year, as well as a number of other hotel throughout Asia incl some other AMANs , his design inspiration for AMAN Tokyo came by way of three Japanese themes - nature, light and space.

On arrival, guests are greeted on the ground floor by a team of discreet, polite and friendly hotel staff before being ushered up to the 33rd floor.

Here, the impressive lobby area is cleverly designed around an engawa japanese garden with 30m high traditional washi paper walls.

Famed for its high tea, it was strawberry season when I visited the signal that spring has begun , and so ladies gathered at the AMAN to enjoy their strawberry-themed high tea in this beautiful open space. The Italian restaurant is led by chef de cuisine, Masakazu Hiraki, who is originally from Japan but spent 17 years living in Venice, Italy.

The food therefore is a reflection of this. The Fumoir cigar lounge, another impressive room, is a place where residents as well as guests can store their alcohol and cigars to come back and enjoy at anytime.

The pool, however, was the highlight for me. You are provided robes, towels, goggles, water - anything at all you might need to make your swim easier and more enjoyable. We enjoyed a deeply relaxing 90min seasonal journey spa treatment with senior therapist, Mai, in an all-light and pale-wood treatment room.

It was ridiculously heavenly. But probably the best bit and the nicest surprise was the personalized leather name tags that were already affixed to our bags on checking out. It is so very beautiful here.

And for something a little less pricey, but equally awesome and more boutique-feeling , try CLASKA hotel in the upcoming Meguro district.

sean blocksidge ]. Margaret River is the place you escape to when you want to surf by morning, luxuriate in rolling vineyards by day, and explore empty beaches and majestic tall-tree forests by afternoon.

An incredibly diverse region, Margaret River only three hours south of Perth offers the most impressive line-up of mind-blowing beaches and nature, coupled with endless wineries, breweries, local providores and producers.

Sidekick: we vote this the best coffee in town, in a cute graffitied corner cafe on the main street. White Elephant: we love this absolute beachfront spot early in the morning for great coffee and its obviously spectacular location smackbang on Gnaraup Beach.

Hard to beat. Riversmith: the coffee is good, but its more about the setting here. As well as the cafes mentioned above, locals flock to Margs' Bakery for delicious baked goods and sandwiches. Goanna Gallery Cafe: kind of in the middle of nowhere, but one that was recommended to me by Carlie the super kind owner of Townhouse Margaret River.

Come here for a more fancy cafe lunch. Morries: at the top end of town, the locals go nuts for this place. Check it out for dinner and one of their famous cocktails.

It is high-end Japanese food with a difference you wont find any sushi or sashimi on the menu. Vasse Felix: by far and away the most exquisite dining experience in all of Margaret River I think, anyway! Unbelievably exceptional service, and an amazing menu featuring seasonal and local produce and jaw-dropping wines.

Incredible sourdough, and one of the most amazing fruit breads thanks for the tip, tiffo! I have ever experienced to date up there with The Bread Social in Byron - that one still wins for me though. Get there at 4pm to buy the fruit bread when it is still hot out of the oven.

For wine: you are well and truly spoilt here. Spend some time bopping between the wineries around Cowaramup. There are so many to choose from - whether it be the standout big guys, or the smaller, more boutique operations - it is unlikely you will be disappointed.

Vasse Felix: for the setting, their incredible wines, and the amazing restaurant as mentioned above. Book a seat on the balcony upstairs and enjoy lunch while looking over the vines. We tried emu!! to start…and my gnocchi for main was unbelievable. Fraser Gallop: we were taken here on our tour with Sean and were fortunate enough to spend time with their award-winning winemaker, Clive Otto.

We were also treated to a private lunch in the vines. Its beautiful here.

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