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


Paris: luxury shopping in a private department store lounge

It feels so nice to sit on an elegant couch in the heart of Paris, drink coffee or sip champagne while having a chat, and to let the personal assistant bring the desired outfits so you can decide which ones you would like to try on – in your private VIP lounge. All this without having to experience any department store frenzy, and not just anywhere, but in the legendary shopping temple Galeries Lafayette. On a weekend trip together with your girlfriends for example! Or with your partner? It could also be just you and your credit card – and a blissful smile on your face.

3,500 brands are concentrated below the gigantic glass dome of Europe’s leading department store, which boasts 70,000 squaremeters, including five private VIP lounges with their own restrooms and a 400-squaremeter private shopping suite that comes with its own terrace. How do you get access? With our help, that is easy. What do you need? Time, a passion for fashion – and for shopping. Your personal fashion consultant will assist you: we will let them know when you arrive and if you like, we can let them in on your personal taste in advance.

Foto: © Galeries Lafayette – Voisin Thibaut


1001 Nights in the heart of Marrakesh

No one knows when this party started or who initiated it. It just is, every night, all year long – since always. It starts somewhere around the late afternoon, right around the time when the first carts of the cookshops start rolling to the borders of the big square underneath the Koutoubia Mosque. During winter, it ends around midnight, when it starts getting poignantly cold. During summer nights however, it takes until the crack of dawn before the sounds of countless tambourines will start to fade – before the fires die out, the sword swallowers call it a day, the snake charmers take home their reptiles, the last attendees finish their drink and go back through the labyrinthine alleys of the Medina to their hidden palace hotels or private villas: what an experience!

It is a festivity that is celebrated every night at the market place Djemma el Fna in the heart of the royal Moroccan city of Marrakesh, situated in the High Atlas. Nobody needs an invitation, there are no entrance tickets: if you have seen it once, it is hard to forget. You want to see it, admire it and experience it for yourself? We know the best hotels, are able to share insider tips – and we look forward to telling you more about the wonderful city that is Marrakesh.

Foto: © Four Seasons Hotels, Alan Keohane All rights reserved