Faena Hotel and Universe: Swept away in Buenos Aires

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Philippe Starck’s  passionate and unique masterpiece , with signature gilding and masses of red velvet, got plenty of attention when this 1902 grain warehouse turned 83-room hotel following the vision of its owner Alan Faena. However, it’s the service that really shines. Each guest is assigned a team of three “experience managers,” whose primary purpose is to suss out the chic shops, authentic tango outposts, and unlisted addresses of where to see and be seen in this ultrahip capital. Dance shows are organised at the hotel on a daily basis and the Rojo Tango at El Cabaret is a one of a kind experience. El Cabaret may well be one of the most atmospheric spaces you ‘ll ever visit in a hotel : small, friendly, warm, fiery red and sexy it is overflowing with tango music and the show carries you , and the rest of Faena’s spellbound visitors, away. In Argentina, Tango symbolizes the process undergone by a man who is laying siege to win a woman’s heart , and where better to see and live this experience than at the El Cabaret. At the restaurant El Mercado, medialunas are baked every half hour until lunch, when spicy meat empanadas emerge from a mud-brick oven. Beneath the all-white bistro sits the country’s best-stocked wine cellar, with more than 300 labels.

Which room to book: Those ending in 02—corner suites with waterfront and city views

With Gratitude T.

Rayavadee: Tropical Thai Hideaway

It is truth that one can find a vast range of things to do in Thailand.

Ones’ time can be shared  between visits to buddhist temples, elephant rides, relaxing massages, walks in the tropical forests and discovering and tasting the local specialities.  Most important, however, is to relax  and  enjoy the smiling faces and  warm hospitality of the locals.

The ideal place for one to experience all of the above is the  Rayavadee Resort, situated in Krabi , Thailand, 800 km from the noisy bustle of Bangkok and 2-hour car drive from the popular resort of Phuket.

Its unique location inside the National Marine Park and next to the
aquamarine waters of Andaman Sea boasts three of the most striking
beaches of Thailand.

Moreover, it has been architecturally designed as to not only respect but to be in total harmony with its natural environment,
Add to all this the friendly and courteous staff you already have more than enough reasons to visit.

On  approaching the beaches with their white sands and emerald waters, one can easily sense the closeness to the existence  of the garden of Eden. Very tall palm trees ,
green all around vertical rocks and mythical gardens enchant the visitor.

The locals will greet you handmade bracelets made from flowers , fresh coconut juice and will guide you around their heavenly grounds.
The picturesque, round, wooden two-storied villas that unfold in the lush
gardens impress with their natural presence amongst the particular  beauty of their surrounding environment

For your accommodation  select  Spa Pavilion, which means that your villa
will have its own garden, with jaccuzzi, hammocks and lounge deck  chairs, where you can enjoy relaxing massages from the specialised personnel of Rayavadee.

The resort boasts four different restaurants, where you will surely find whatever your heart or stomach desire! . Raya restaurant is ideal to begin your day with enjoying the  morning buffet.  Krua Pranang, promises to introduce you to the original Thai cuisine and also entertains with professional dancers in traditional costume who perform to the Royal Family even until  today.

Mediterranean flavors await at the  Raitalay Terrace at the central swimming-pool of the hotel. Grotto, nested in the impressive rock of Phranang Beach, is the ideal location for a special romantic dinner. Sitting on one of its tables scattered around the beach one can enjoy the enchanting sunset.

A visit to the spa is a must! Try the Rayavadee signature massage you will not regret it ! and enjoy the aromatic local tea offered at the beginning and the end of each treatment.

If you want to explore the regions around Krabi, Rayavadee  organizes
daily activities and excursions, elephant rides, mountain climbing, trekking etc.

For an unforgettable experience go on the one day boat trip around the neighbouring islands.You will be given tour of the  Phi Phi Islands, (where the famous movie “The beach” with Leonardo di Carprio was filmed), Chicken Island whose shape resembles with head of chicken
and the popular Bamboo Island with its all white sandy beaches. Upon arrival the Rayavadee staff will prepare a picnic on the sand consisting of gourmet , local delicacies that is sure to make your stay truly unforgettable!

With a speedboat transfer worthy of any James Bond movie, a honeymoon at Rayavadee on Thailand’s Phranang peninsular instantly sets the scene for a glamorous and indulgent romantic hideaway. So much so, that you can even take a day trip to nearby James Bond Island which is where The Man with the Golden Gun was filmed.

Being a member of the exclusive Leading Hotels Of The World means that five-star luxury is a given – all of the uniquely designed two-story pavilions and private villas are set within 26 acres of gorgeous tropical gardens and are surrounded by dramatic limestone cliffs. It’s the perfect escape from the real world.

With Gratitude T.

Huvafen Fushi- a wonderland in the Indian Ocean

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Emerging out of it own aquamarina lagoon, Huvafen Fushi is a dream island with 43 breathtaking water bungalows and the first ever underwater spa- a very sensual resort and an experience far exceeding visitors expectations.

Having made the Condé Nast Gold List several times, Huvafen Fushi, which literally means dreamy language in the local language-is arguably the closest one would get to paradise on Earth. The luxury resort is located at the northern Male Atoll in the Maldives, only 30 minutes away from the airport of Male via speedboat , an impressive route with innumerable islets blessed with white sand , dense vegetation and turquoise waters. Once your personal buttler (locally known as Thakuru) welcomes you with the aim of accommodating your every whim while at the resort, he begins his quest by serving heavenly lime cocktails and coconut juice. Your Thakuru then leads you to the water bungalows amazingly built using materials that exist harmoniously with the natural environment. The bungalows, however, do have an ultra-modern side to them , complete with a Bang & Olufsen sound system, Bose surround sound, a private swimming pool , a daybed and a staircase leading to the aquamarine waters of the Indian Ocean. The bungalow’s bathtub ,incidentally, has an ocean view , and so does the rain shower. Once guests decide to come out of their own personal paradise, they ‘ll be met by a dreamy white-sand beach resort, which is a veritable paradise for swimming, snorkeling over the corals, and scuba diving if you’re more adventurous. On a lucky day, you could get a glimpse of an impressive 2-meter-long Manta Ray or get to feed a Stingray.

The average temperature in the Maldives  is 28C , by the way, and the dress code is an ultra-casual one, preferably barefoot as well. Culinary choices abound in Huvafen Fushi such as Celsius, considered a pioneering ‘spa and raw’ cuisine, or Salt, which features some titillating innovations in fusion cuisine. If you enjoy a drink, head for swanky cocktails at Umbar. Vinum is also worth visiting , an impressive underground wine-cellar with 2000 labels where food-tasting events kidnap you to a world of island gastronomy. The resort also proposes alternative experiences for dinner, such as in-bungalow barbecue dining where two chefs drop in to cook local fish , lobster or dinner for two on your own sandy beach, complete with a star-studded sky.

One absolute must-do before leaving Huvafen Fushi is a visit to the underwater spa for a massage ‘en couple’. This is a unique , synchronous experience for partners in an impressive spot beneath the Indian Ocean with a view of the seabed, corals, colourful fish and even small sharks. Once the massage is over, chill out in the Relax Room- a white area resembling an aquarium with big cushions in a fairytale-like ambiance.

On a wellbeing note, the resort’s Lime spa produces a local coconut oil which has moisturizing and anti-aging properties, as well as a unique local perfume. The spa excels at a ritual massage known as the Unite Me Crystal Ritual , recommended after a long day in the sun. Profits from any massages with this oil are returned to the local community.

Needless to say, the resort organizes outrageous evenings with famous DJ’s such as DJ Ravin (get hold of his CD specifically made for Huvafen Fushi), Claude Challe, Jose Padilla and more, as well as bombastic  New Year’s Reveillons beginning with a farewell party on the last sunset of the year. Caviar, champagne a six-course meal, and dancing to a live band in the sand are the order of the evening. Obviously barefoot!

With Gratitude T.