Hundreds of chairs in all colors

Little Cyclades: stopping time on Folegandros

All in all, there are hundreds of them. They stand around in groups of two or four, on tiny terraces in front of small taverns, under pepper trees on squares in the center of Chora on the island of Folegandros in the Cyclades – and under strings of lights. They can be white, light green, light blue, painted over a few times over the years, and almost all are covered with wickerwork. There is no competition for all these little chairs as there are plenty available: every morning during breakfast time, when yoghurt, freshly squeezed juice and fruit are served, along with white bread and goat cheese from the island. Later for lunch in the open air, when it smells of meat, of herbs. In the evening, when the freshly caught fish of the day sizzles on the grills of the taverns. And at night, when somebody fetches a guitar and another sings along.

Folegandros is a rather quiet place, much calmer than the Santorini Island, which is three times its size and a 45-minute ride by catamaran express ferry away. It could even be described as sort of a counter-design – and it is a real revelation! The most beautiful hotel? It bears the name Anemomilos – with a fantastic view of Chora and the sea. The best time to travel? September and May.

Photo: © Haris –


In the Mayan Empire

Nizuc Cancun Resort & Spa

The Maya lived in snow-white. In light blue, in turquoise green. They had their paradise on their home peninsula Yucatan: luminous, bright beaches with sand like from an egg timer, the most beautiful sea, palm trees and mangroves – and the Belize Barrier Reef with all its underwater splendour right on their doorstep. ‘Nizuc’ was the name of their picture-book home, about 20 kilometres south of today’s holiday resort of Cancun, in their own language. This means ‘tongue of land’ in translation. And that is also the name of the most beautiful hotel there today: Nizuc Cancun Resort & Spa.

In many details it is a reference to the indigenous people of the past, to the high culture of the Maya, their art, their characters, their secrets – all interpreted in a modern way, translated into design. Clear lines dominate, as do light-dark contrasts, black, white and anthracite shades, which make nature with all its colours appear all the more impressive. There are six restaurants, three bars and the snow-white beach right on your doorstep. The smallest accommodations with indoor and outdoor areas range around 80 square metres, the largest over 500 square metres.

Nizuc Resort is part of the Mexican Brisas group, which operates some of the best hotels in the country. It has already received several awards. The centre of Cancun is about half an hour’s drive away and the distance to the international airport is eleven kilometres.

Photo: © _mexicanario_


Abaton Island Resort & Spa in Crete: Sunset Lounge, my favorite location

Sun for the soul

There is such a thing as a blissful place. A location which everyone feels attracted to. Sometimes it is just a table under palm trees, sometimes a terrace in a hotel, a viewpoint, a bar, or a spot on a sandy beach in the shade of a giant rock. You cannot really plan it – you can only create the right conditions: in the new Abaton Island Resort & Spa on Crete, the Sunset Lounge has become such a place of bliss. Because being in the open air feels as if one were flying: high above the sea, a completely unobstructed 180-degree ocean view, with an architecture that reflects the lines of the landscape. Everything seems organic and in motion – radiating with harmony.

And if you add the rich orange color of the sunset, while on one side of the horizon the lights of Hersonissos gradually come on, that is when the magic is complete. It is such a joy to be right in the middle – and to somehow have some distance to the rest of the world. This is coincidently also what the Greek term ‘Abaton’ means: ‘remote’ and ‘unreachable’ – accessible only to the few who gain entry. How fitting.

Photo: © Abaton Island Resort & Spa


Mystical Marrakesh

Sensory overload in nine letters

The wind has faded away and moved to the gates of the city. The drumming tambourines have subsided – long after the wind’s retreat. They could be heard throughout half the night, rhythmic and thunderous sounds. And the smell in the air was dominated by the petroleum used by the fire-eaters, even hundreds of meters away from it all. None of this felt irritating, all of it belongs here. And when the tambourines and bells eventually wore off, not to be heard through the open room window any longer, it felt like something was missing – it gets so quiet that you wake up because of it.

It is incredible to think that one starts to long for all that made it barely possible to fall asleep in the first place: everything that made the royal city of Marrakesh become the most mystical spot ahead of any other metropolis in North Africa. Even when streets, houses and hidden gardens lie between the center with the market place and one’s own hotel room with the open window, the magic of Marrakesh does not fade. What a mesmerizing city! And those fantastic hotels, from the famous La Mamounia to the hidden riads. When are you going?


Japan during cherry blossom season

Feel your inner batteries recharging through the pink-colored blossoms, captured by the melancholic charm of the season: in the Imperial Palace Garden in Kyoto, in parks all over the Land of the Rising Sun, even in the streets of Tokyo – it is a sensation that spreads all over Japan! Come April, the cherry blossom season seems to slow down the country’s dynamic rhythm for a precious couple of days.

That Japan is still an insider tip on the touristic world map is nothing short of a miracle: it has so many facets, has so much more to offer than just its large cities which yet shape our impression of it – ski slopes in the North, long beaches in the South, spectacular spas in the mountains, green landscapes in its heartland, hiking trails spanning thousands of kilometers. Japan is the present, in some places it feels as if it were straight out of a science fiction novel, but Japan also allows us to travel back to a long-gone time with mysterious traditions and strange rites. It is a country that awakes tremendous curiosity and touches all of the senses, smell and taste included.

Those with a passion for exploring the roots of a nation can do so in Japan, not only during cherry blossom season, but all year round. We would love to arrange this for you – with a stay at the Amanemu Luxury Resort & Onsen Spa above the Ago Bay for instance. This is Japan at its finest.

Foto: © Jnto