When the trip came to its end, we were in the south and just longing for a special and calm space where we could basically do nothing after the various sightseeing and beautiful impressions of the weeks before. While travelling, many people told us that they were heading to Mirissa and also the travel guide and some blogs wrote positive things about this place so we booked a hotel for two nights and went there. And although it has some nice things to offer it just wasn’t what we were looking for. Too touristic, too crowded, too much noise. Thankfully, we met a friend on our way to Mirissa who told us about this beautiful hotel right next to the surfcamp he was staying at: Vanina Villas. I took a short look and after the first night at our hotel in Mirissa we just packed our bags and left for Meddawatta, which is close to Matara. Within two minutes it was clear that this has been the best decision of our holidays. This hotel is honestly close to perfection. The decoration of the common areas and each villa is composed by the italian architect & designer Piero Trionfera. The hotel is RIGHT next to the beach and what a beach that is. Many of the beaches we saw before were either unsafe for swimming because of currents or quite packed and touristy. But this one was just plain perfect. Almost deserted for most time of the day except early mornings and evenings, when some surfers appeared to catch some waves. The break there is perfect for beginners and we had so much fun to give it our first try. Also, there are no rocks or reef where you could hurt yourself. There has been very light and fine sand which mixed with sparkling black sand here and there. There is almost no infrastructure and tourism except some shacks where you can rent a board and buy some drinks. There are sunbeds and umbrellas provided by the hotel for their guests but no commercial rentals. This is how Mirissa must have been years ago I imagine. I was able to visit each Villa and all of them are incredibly beautiful. But our beach Villa was my favourite by far. From the terrace you could watch the sea and surfers and there is a small garden right in front of it where you’ll find additional sunbeds and even hammocks. Also, it has the most beautiful outdoor bathroom. The french owners of the place Myriam and Jean-Hervé have been incredibly sweet and helpful. You can really tel that they’ve put all their heart and spirit into that place to make it as awesome as it is. Damn, I could go on and on about how much I loved the stay but I’ll try to make it short: there is a fantastic pool which has been one of the two most clean and clear ones we saw during our travels, the staff has been very lovely, you can attend yoga and surf lessons and there is a nice restaurant with breakfast, lunch and dinner options. The vegetarian and vegan options are limited but just go ahead and ask Jean or Myriam and the will be happy to make some suggestions. To wrap it up: Vanina Villas was truly the highlight of a three weeks trip. I rarely say that as there is so much on my list I wish to discover but I really hope to come back one day sooner than later.
Elysium has been the last hotel on our round trip through Sri Lanka. Therefore, we were searching for something really cozy and remote. When we found Elysium in Talpe near Galle we instantly knew that this was the place. A rather small and luxury boutique hotel with just a few villas, stunning pool area, close to the beach and a great restaurant. The garden villa has this sophisticated english bungalow feel to it. Large windows, tasteful decoration, indoor and outdoor shower (which is actually rather a small garden on its own) and probably the most comfortable bed of the whole trip. On the first evening we have been so lucky to be invited to a private dinner the owner Vinan organized for some friends of him. At the terrace right by the sea he set up a cocktail bar, a beautifully decorated table and a lounge area. The food buffet which followed the cocktails was just perfect. The quality of the restaurant in general has been so good and we enjoyed the best breakfast of our trip there. I almost lost it when they served authentic pain au chocolat the other morning! Also, you can choose between european breakfast classics and a singhalese breakfast with hoppers (mus try!), curry, dhal, spicy coconut etc. For me, that has been pure heaven. You’ll find plenty vegetarian and even vegan options on the menue and it was never a problem at all to exchange ingredients like eggs etc to make dishes vegetarian or vegan which was super convenient. Besides that, the lovely staff will go out of their ways to make sure that your every need is met. For us, that has just been to lay by the pool, read some books, go for a swim and have some nice food and drinks in between. The whole surrounding is just so beautiful that we didn’t even want to leave the premises. Even when it started raining one day we just crawled to the bed and watched the rain in “our” garden through the panoramic doors. Vinan and Christina gave us the tips for surrounding restaurants, bars and beaches and made our stay even more memorable. Thank you so much for the great time we had at Elysium!
776/2 Galle-Matara Coastal Road, Galle
Talpe 80300, Sri Lanka
Wedding season is coming to an end and as I’ve been craving for waffels AND for some time out in another city I quickly came to a solution: a short trip to Brussels it is! I did some research on extraordinary boutique hotels and soon enough found The Dominican right at the very center of Brussels. It was the perfect destination for the trip. Everything was within walking distance (including waffles!) and the hotel room including the facilities have been fantastic. The Grand-Place Suite is extremely spacious, bright and offers all the amenities you could wish for: a separate living room, dining room and luxury walk-in dressing room, Bose Sound system and even a fireplace! Furnishing and colours of Lobby, Bar and Restaurant are very tasteful and the comprehensive breakfast is extraordinary. And after loooong walks in search for the best waffles, sights and restaurants it was such a treat to come back to the hotel and relax at one of the two saunas. And if I would have been up for some punches or sports there would have been the possibility to do so. The whole stay was a real treat and the perfect choice for a city trip to beautiful Brussels.
Rue Léopold 9
1000 Bruxelles, Belgien
When I wrote about Daberer and Posthotel I already told you that I was craving for some mountains and snow this year. And I’ve been lucky enough to get exactly that! My last stop has been at a place with an impressive history: Tannerhof at Bayrischzell, Germany. It was built in 1904 and it has always been a place known for naturopathy and its “back to nature” attitude. For generations until today the concept of a healthy life is the core philosophy of Tannerhof. This is why you can still find an extensive range of offerings like therapeutic fasting, gymnastics, various checkups, massages, deceleration cures etc. So I took the chance and had a full health checkup which I never seemed to have the time for when being home. Also, there are wellness options like sauna and massages which are to die for. Deceleration is another guiding principle at Tannerhof. This is why you won’t find television nor WLAN at the rooms which I found to be very refreshing. And not just that: my so called “Turmzimmer” has been an absolute delight. Everything was made out of wood and through my huge window and balcony I was able to enjoy a panoramic view over the mountains and sorrounding forest.
And I have been very excited about the food when I found out about the food philosophy at Tannerhof: there is one 4 course menu each evening and everything is 100% local and organic. And one thing I found to be especially impressive: 3 days a week there is a vegetarian menu for everyone due to sustainability and health reasons. Also, it has been no problem at all to order a full vegetarian diet for the whole time I stayed there. And the food truly turned out to be one of the highlights of my stay. Although it has been healthy indeed, it didn’t taste like that if you know what I mean 😉 That has been haute cuisine on a high level and you may take a look at the pictures to get an idea. Not to mention the breakfast. Oh, the breakfast! I guess I never found more variety of even vegan options at an breakfast buffet. I just couldn’t stop myself each morning and people must have been thinking that I was getting breakfast for two..
To wrap it up: those days at Tannerhof have been just perfect for contemplation, its beautiful nature and surroundings and to recharge batteries. To top it all, the amazing quality of the food made me feel like I’ve nourished my body as much as my soul during my stay.
Das Posthotel is one of three high end hotels which are all part of ZillerSeason. It is one of the “Small Luxury Hotels of the World”and located in Zell am Ziller, which is a great spot when you’d also like to go skiing. The bus, which takes you to the huge Zillertal Arena, leaves right in front of the hotel and you can store your equipment in the basement of the hotel. But first things first: The Posthotel has been the second hotel on my trip and I’ve been so lucky with my room: The Skyloft Mariza. Like the rest of the hotel, the loft is furbished very exceptionally. Every loft has is own character and style and Mariza is the sexy one of them 😉 The thing which I liked most about the room was the convertible bathtub / sunbed with mountainview. I mean come on – how genius is that? I’ve spent a couple of minutes converting this thing back and forth, imaging how great it would be to take a bath while watching the sun go down behind the mountains (spoiler alert: it IS great indeed). Also, I definitely have to find out which scented candle they use. There sits one on the desk and it gave the whole room such a nice feel each time I’ve entered it. That was just one of the perfect little details of the room, on top of the high-end Sennheiser headphones, felt-slippers and natural cosmetics and care products from Susanne Kaufmann. Those things, which are thought through very cerafully, create this luxury feel you’ll get at some places in my point of view.
The one best thing in my opinion about this hotel is the restaurant. Included in my room was the 4 course gourmet menue. It was no problem to get an vegetarian alternative and it was put together so thoughtfully. I honestly don’t know when I’ve had such good food for the last time. Even the bread is extraordinary: it is home baked and when you come down to the restaurant you can already smell it. It comes with butter from the Alps and a little cress bouquet with vegetables and great olive oil. Well, I could go on and on for quite a while about the food but alltogether it is just really really great, regional and organic and even me as a vegetarian felt like this was haute cuisine on a very high level for three days in a row. By the way: I can encourage everybody to give feedback on great service like that instantly when you think that somebody did a great job. The chef seemed really flattered when I told him how much I appreciated his magic.
As you can tell from the pictures, there’s at least one more highlight. The beautiful spa including six saunas, relaxation area and heated outdoor swimmingpool and hot tub. Unlike in many other hotels, there even have been special sauna infusions, peels, etc where you can participate during your stay. And if you felt like you have had slightly too much food the night before (guilty!), you could use the fitness room and there even is a vital programm with pilates for example. Another thing I’ve really liked is that the Posthotel is certificated with the EU Ecolabel and the Austrian Ecolabel and that you can feel that it is family owned for many generations.The whole hotel was redesigned in a very careful way, preserving the natural atmosphere with the use of local woods and materials.
For me, ZillerSeasons provided a perfect blend of ski, spa, boutique and gourmet hotel. And what else could you ask for?
6280 Zell am Ziller, Österreich
After new year I’ve recognized two things: first, I haven’t experienced a real winter in cologne and secondly, I couldn’t stop looking at pictures from the mountains. I took that as a sign and started researching for hotels, which are not too far away so that I would be able to get there by car from cologne and in the middle of nature, with a nice spa and restaurant which would allow me to do literally nothing but going for walks, enjoying the spa and have great food. Soon, I’ve found a couple of hotels and planned a tour which started at the fabulous Biohotel der Daberer in Kärnten, Austria. When I arrived, something great happened as soon as I’ve entered the room: I instandly felt at home. I know that this is a platitude people often use but I never really felt it until that day. The whole place is so peaceful and everything is decorated and furnished in a way which makes it a pleasure for all senses to just be there. Literally everything about this place was great but there are two things which I’d like to point out especially: For one, the food. Oh my god, the food. Der Daberer is a Bio Hotel and also a member of slow food Austria. Besides, the husband of one of the owners owns a stunning gourmet food store, the Edelgreißler Herwig Ertl. Therefore, everything is organic, ingredients are of highest quality and I’ve found more vegetarian and especially vegan options than ever before. Especially for breakfast, which is very rare in my experience. Also, often the vegetarian option in other hotels has also been suitable for all kinds of diets and allergies which made me feel like I’m on a diet which is the last thing I want when beeing on holidays. Luckily, that hasn’t been the case here. Everything has been so delightful and just YUM! The second thing which I’ve enjoyed most was the spa. It is freshly renovated and the design and atmosphere are to die for. Just take a look at the pictures if you like. There are several saunas including a forest sauna, a natural pond and a fantastic indoor swimming pool with a wonderful view over the mountains and in my point of view almost more important: two incredible beautiful relaxations rooms with the same stunning view. Finally, I’d like to mention some more things which I loved about my stay: the Alpinstudio was spacious and very comfortable, and I was even provided with a meditation cushion, the view from the balcony (and even bed 😉 was beautiful and everyone of the staff has been highly professional and kind. Also, the owners regulary took there time to ask every guest if everything is alright and always have been present in some way which I thought is special. I don’t say this a lot but I’m saying it this time: Daberer is one of my all time favourite Hotels and I hope to come back one day.
Der Daberer – Das Biohotel
St. Daniel 32
9635 St. Daniel, Österreich