Samadhi Ocean Resort

It is quite intriguing when a hotel does not have an address. When it calls the seven seas its home without it being a cruise ship, when it can be anywhere as long as there is water under the keel: between the Canary Islands, in the Gulf of Naples or near the shores of the Aeolian Islands for example. The ‘Samadhi Ocean Resort’ requires no address at all: it is a sailing yacht which provides the feel of a luxury resort and follows a feel-good philosophy that is worth passing on. I was fascinated when I first heard about it recently. I love the sea, the relaxed atmosphere on the water when nothing is amiss, and there are no disturbances. I like to start off the day with yoga on the polished planks of a yacht, then drink a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice – and comfortably look forward to everything yet to come.

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‘Falisia Portopiccolo’ on the Italian Adriatic coast

If a place is at such a dazzling location – nestling up to the cliffs of Sistiana in Friuli Venezia Giulia like a semicircular amphitheater and offering this kind of panoramic view on the Adriatic Sea – in that case, the name of the best hotel there may be this cumbersome: ‘Falisia, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Portopiccolo’. And with only 58 rooms and suites, it has just the right size to be truly delightful.
I like it when the wind is playfully moving around the curtains in the early morning, when the break of dawn is slowly peeking into the room, when I can smell the sea while hearing a few syllables in Italian that are carried in by the gentle breeze. I have come to love the bar ‘La Piazetta’ and I will return for the ‘Cliff’ gourmet restaurant: what an amazing setting, with the terrace just above the private yacht marina – and these wines, what a creative and recurrently astonishing menu. And the atmosphere tops it all off.
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Nihi Sumba in Indonesia

Should one divulge secrets and desires before living to see all of them oneself? Having given this some thought, I will do it: I will tell you about a hotel that has taken over my dreams ever since I first heard about it and seen pictures. No matter how far off it is, and it really is far off: I want to go, as soon as possible. I just cannot let go of the thought of it. Rice terraces are situated behind the house, the private beach lies in front of it. Jungle to the left and right. And in the mornings, you can ride a horse over the beach not far from here. I dream about the lounge chair on the patio of ‘my’ villa and I already feel the breeze; I can taste the Far Eastern delicacies in my mouth, with something like relaxing temple music in my ears. I just want to go – to ‘Nihi Sumba by Chris Burch’ on the Indonesian Sumba Islands, roughly 400 kilometers southeast of Bali.

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Rocco Forte Brown´s Hotel in London

Do you have something like this as well: a small home in each of the big cities to which you travel every now and again? A “place of treat”, so to speak, where everything fits for years – until something even better suddenly comes along and you simply reassign the position of “favorite hotel”, because you are just flashed. And all of a sudden you have found a new great (hotel) love!

In London, the Rocco Forte Brown’s Hotel is exactly that to me – it has recently become my absolute favorite among all the countless opportunities in Great Britain’s capital. The question as to why is easily answered: it is very English, like a sophisticated country house, and yet not tacky in the slightest. It is classy without being overloaded, has rooms with tendril wallpaper and it still feels effortless. It has style and manages to be cool at the same time. That is a great art, and I love it all the more for it. Mehr lesen


Nesslerhof in Großarl

What I find great about my current favorite establishment in the Salzburger Land is that it is both a ski and a spa hotel. And that the employees define themselves as ‘guest whisperers’ – they read unspoken wishes in their guests’ eyes. That is why I love the Neudegger family’s ‘Nesslerhof’ in Großarl. Especially during winter season, this combination is just ideal: spending the late morning on the slopes, taking an afternoon dip in the outdoor saltwater pool, then relaxing with a spa treatment – and after a brief time out, one can enjoy an exquisite five-course dinner. On request, the chef even shares the recipes for some of his specialties so I can try cooking them at home – and bring a little ‘Nesslerhof’ charm to Vienna every now and then.

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