New Year’s Eve with style and cordiality at the Suvretta House!

Unique and novel experiences is what we have missed most, during the pandemic, so we were much looking forward to our New Year’s Eve Gala at the Suvretta House in St.Moritz.

And even though as the days were approaching, so were our close contacts covid cases..we decided to go ahead with the trip, mainly for three reasons.

One, the whole family was vaccinated and boosted, two, the marvelous Suvretta House is famous for its hygiene practices and three it has a private ski lift to the slopes, a competitive advantage that has made the hotel much sought after during covid times!

Almost all New Year events in St.Moritz request black-tie attire and Suvretta House has been organizing such events since 1912.

When you enter the hotel, you get a familiar feeling and friendly atmosphere. Most guests have been spending Christmas and New Year at the same hotel for many years and even though all dressed up and glitzy you can still feel the coziness.

Everyone was taking pictures at the booth at the entrance so we did the same, creating souvenirs that will remind us of this very special night.

We have received the menu and wine list to make our choices two weeks in advance so we thought we knew what to expect. What we didn’t expect was the impeccable service and mouthwatering tastes that were swiftly put before us as an orchestrated theater play. The waiters were wearing party hats with little colorful lights that gave a festive atmosphere but that did not take away any of their professionalism.

So the menu..

The first course was a traditional Swiss salmon dish served with crispbread and Imperial Osiestra caviar that no one could resist, followed by a tasty and delicate glazed Atlantic turbot with barigoule vegetables and ‘sauce vin jaune’.

The main course that left ‘the boys’ very satisfied was a US Wagyu beef fillet with potatoes from the Engadine, winter truffle, bimi broccoli and borderlaise juice.

And who can say no to the Chocolate Lingot with pear and quince sorbet served at the end with mignardises? Certainly, we couldn’t and enjoyed every last bit.

It was wonderful to meet some new families with kids similar age to ours that visit the hotel every year and we can’t wait to be back and dance the last night of the year away!

Last but not least, one must mention the unforgettable experience on January 1st!
We woke up with a view of sunlit mountains and powder snow, took the private lift and enjoyed a whole day of skiing with sunshine followed by an afternoon at the Suvretta spa and its outdoor heated whirlpool.

Definitely, such a mountain ride is my kind of favorite start of the year.

With gratitude, T.

Niyama Maldives : An exceptional family-friendly resort!

Tourism is recovering around the world, and the secluded islands of the Maldives are no exception. This is one of the safest and most gorgeous destinations to visit this summer, and there’s one particular resort that I am very impressed with: the Niyama Private Islands Maldives.

If you’re ready for a completely different experience in the middle of the Indian Ocean, this resort represents an escape that’s beyond the imagination for even the most discerning travelers. There’s a luxurious yet natural air about this thatched-roof resort which is divided among two neighboring islands, aptly called Play and Chill. Initially, it’s easy to understand which one appeals to you more, depending of course on whether you feel like actively playing outdoors or just chilling around. In both cases, you’re going to be treated to a world of hospitality options, much beyond the expected comforts and delightful cuisine offerings.

Overall, the premises represent the ultimate in privacy, and you won’t even notice there are 134 different rooms and suites, all with large decks and meters away from the water. For an added level of luxury, ask for accommodations with private swimming pool and your own Thakuru (butler) service. The collection of beachside abodes on the Crescent, one of the most exclusive parts of the resort, are especially coveted by VIP guests. That said, all accommodation at Niyama is considered luxurious by any standard.

Play outdoors or chill at the spa?

The twin island concept is really a great feature. If you’re more of an adventurous type who craves outdoor activity, here’s your chance to kayak around various islands in shallow waters and surf to your heart’s content. Exploring the island by foot or by bike is highly recommended if you want to experience the elements of nature and stay fit, while at the same time knowing that you’re in a safe environment.

On the other hand, if you’re into wellbeing and relaxation, you can simply take a serenity-inducing yoga class in nature or try one of the different treatments and therapies at the Drift Spa. Niyama’s guests have written great reviews about the cooling aloe vera body wrap, ideal for relaxing after long days. Needless to say, you can easily mix and match all these delights and attractions to achieve your own balance of Chill and Play.

Gourmet dilemma

You’re going to find it pleasantly challenging to choose among the different dining choices at Niyama, whether you’re in the mood for a fine juicy burger on land or marinated octopus below sea level.

To mention only a few of these options, and beyond the many fabulous breakfast treats that include anything from succulent omelets to exotic fried rice, you’re in for a bouquet of culinary surprises that offers not only Maldivian and western flavors, but also the best of Asian, African and Latin American ones.

Niyama’s standalone fine-dining restaurant, Edge, is a haven for local seafood and is accessible only by boat as it’s right in the middle of the water. For a complete contrast, try some Asian gourmet with a modern twist, from Teppanyaki to Thai, which can be enjoyed in a fabulous tree-top environment at Nest.

If you really want a jungle experience, head to Tribal, where the tastes of Central and South America mingle with those of Africa in an open kitchen ambiance. This is the perfect place to try exotic dishes such as ostrich, tamer lobster and dry-aged beef with a dose of spice.

The Blu all-day dining restaurant with Mediterranean-style dishes affords stunning vistas over the sea, while the Deli offers grab-and-go treats with a true gourmet twist. End your day at Fahrenheit, the rooftop bar with sunset views and live music at night, or at one of the weekly glow parties underwater at Subsix. Only after trying all options do you realize that the gastronomy at Niyama is in a class of its own.

A world of activities for all ages

Niyama realizes that family escapes are a major part of enjoying life in the post-pandemic era, which is why it also wants to be there for its younger guests as well. Board games, cartoons, movies, baby yoga, snorkeling, treasure hunts and even pizza making are all part of these offerings. Professional nannies and babysitters are also there for parents to get some downtime as well.

Of course, activities like snorkeling and kayaking can be enjoyed as a family but are also great for couples. Recreational crats, glass-bottom fishing boats, elegant sailboats, parasailing and even cocktail making will make sure that you’re not going to get bored here. It is worth noting that fitness lovers will appreciate the private classes, from beach volleyball and Zumba to open-air yoga. Lastly, both amateur and professional surfers will have their chance to experience this amazing activity away from any crowds, thanks to the dedicated seaplane transfers offered by the resort.

How to reach Niyama

You can get to the Niyama Private Islands by shared seaplane transfer, domestic transfer or VIP chartered private flight. The latter can be handled from the Maldive’s airport on the southern Dhaalu Atoll, only seven minutes by speedboat. Alternatively, guests can take a 40-minute shared seaplane flight from Malé or a 30-minute domestic flight to Dhaalu Airport.

With gratitude, T.

North Island-Seychelles : barefoot luxury to Eden

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 An all around green paradise on earth, with emerald water and golden sands. Eleven haute couture villas dedicated to the Robinson Crusoe’s of today. Architecture that does not allow evident limits between accommodation and nature without however sacrificing the comfort factor.Turtles that stroll around specially designed paths and exotic birds chirping in the trees. That’s North Island for you! An ecological temple and the ideal exotic destination of well being .

When one arrives one immediately senses the divine intervention which has the place intact in contrast to the noisy bustle of everyday life.

Towering, dense, green palm trees , dramatic rocks and a serene beach-oasis. At the first glance no one perceives the fact that the architecture in North Island follows its own rules and does not resemble anything familiar to the common eye. Under the shade of the gigantic Casuarina tree,  the exterior reception-lounge area can be found built from white tree trunks and furniture that seems to have  sprouted from mother earth with no human intervention.

Stone, timber, glass, coral , sand and natural colors compose the setting in which it openheartedly welcomes its visitor with barefoot staff and defines the islands philosophy.

In North Island there are no such restaurants as those that one is used to coming across. The philosophy here is `No menu, no venue, no time’. Meaning  that the visitors can order anything they please ,any hour of the day and eat it where ever they please either on the beach, in the privacy of their villa, at the central swimming-pool, or at the sunset bar.΄

Thus is created the signature  menu of the day in collaboration with the cheerful chef!

An electric rechargeable buggy drives us back to our villa and is left at our disposal as means of transport to further explore the island.

Upon entering the villa from the wooden ramp made from tree trunks one is immediately impressed by the size and the architecture that highlights the natural elements and gives the sense that you are one with nature. In the center there is a large lounge area with a round swimming-pool that is covered by a pergola – an  extension of a Takamaka tree .The bedroom behind the invisible glass gives the notion that it is outdoors and the most notable  characteristic  of the  villa is the bathroom with the enormous bathtub plunged into the wooden floor and the open air shower naturally lit by the starlight sky.

In North Island the activities are numerous. One can visit the spa with the most enchanting view in the island, enjoy luxurious cocktails at the sunset bar or choose from outdoor activities such as scuba diving , kayaking or cycling.

Don’t forget to visit the library with a wide range of books and films which convey the islands ecological character and `Noah’s ark’ philosophy –the island boasts and breeds  extinct species of the animal kingdom such as giant turtles and do not be surprised if on one of your walks you run into Brutus… the largest male turtle of the island – weighing a mere 192 kilos!

Despite North Islands’ many credits and awards the island does not rest. Apart from its plenteous ecological activity it allocates spaces free of charge for one week each June to the less privileged children from the central island of Seychelles where they can enjoy carefree games but also educational programmes about the flora and the fauna of the island.

North Island constitutes  the ideal destination for a combination of carefree days , refined beauty , rare aesthetic  and ecological awareness!

With Gratitude T.

Lake Manyara Tree Lodge: Eco-Luxury in Tanzania

As the only lodge in Lake Manyara National Park, Lake Manyara Tree Lodge is romantically exclusive with only 10 elegantly intimate stilted tree house suites. Located within a remote corner of the reserve, Lake Manyara Tree Lodge is cradled within the boughs of an ancient mahogany forest. Furnishings and decor combine intricate details of luxury and the natural beauty of this incredibly breathtaking reserve and the cool leafy area that surrounds it.

Get lost within the luxurious space of the bedrooms and sitting rooms, the generously wide open decks and massive window areas as you while away time, enjoying this magnificent piece of heaven in the wild. Warm wood interiors and comfortably cosy sofas in the split level guest areas provide warmth and texture to this wonderful lodge. Although spacious, Lake Manyara Tree lodge is cosy and warm, a true delight in luxurious accommodation.

With Gratitude T.