Archive for the 'Spa' Category

Germany: Munich Hotel Bayerischer Hof

Friday, August 15th, 2014

The Hotel Bayerischer Hof was opened in 1841 because King Ludwig I wished to have a comfortable place for his guests to stay. (What – no extra rooms in his gi-normous palace?). Today it is still a gorgeous 5-star hotel, but we think the best places are on the roof and in the basement.

Palais Keller, situated in the old salt cellar from the Middle Ages, is an inexpensive but delicious place to dine on traditional Bavarian food. Go down the stone steps to this bustling restaurant with waitresses sporting frilly aprons, carrying big mugs of Lowenbrau beer and wearing big smiles. The folkloric atmosphere only adds to the taste of the veal in cream sauce with spaetzle, potato salad, sauerkraut, bread dumplings, weiswursts and cheese wursts, along with pretzels with mustard.

After you’ve dined head for the roof, to the Blue Spa Bar & Lounge. Have a drink in the sky and take in the birds-eye view of all of Munich before you.

RooftopResto RooftopResto2

In 1897 Herrmann Volkhardt bought the hotel, and today Innegrit Volkhardt, the fourth generation, is the General Manager.  It was bombed in WWII; Falk Volkhardt, the son of Hermann  made an amazing discovery under the ruins of the destroyed hotel – the Spiegelsaal (Mirror Hall) had survived almost intact.  In October 1945, this was where he opened the first restaurant in the centre of Munich after the war.

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Fabulous Hotel Okura Amsterdam

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

When you want that perfect vacation that combines calm rejuvenation with the rev of action, then head for Holland. Make Hotel Okura ( in Amsterdam your home base oasis. Its modernity and cool decor belies the fact that it has been here for forty years and brought high end five-star luxury along with Japanese cuisine to Amsterdam. You can start off  by taking advantage of their jet lag program and then wind down in the pool, Japanese sauna, Turkish bath and health club.

Reaching for the stars, the family grabbed a few Michelin ones – half the ones in the whole city. The two-star Ciel Bleu perches appropriately on the 23rd floor, up in the blue sky with walls of glass, so every seat and every bite is a delightful wonder. Winding down is easy to achieve at the one-star serene Yamazato, set in 15th and 16th-century Sukiya style decor and with views of the Japanese garden to complement the Japanese culinary arts.

We dined at the new canal-facing Serre where some of those Michelin-trained cooks drifted. So for only 34 Euros you can taste the same heavenly cooking with simpler versions of last year’s Ciel Bleu’s signature dishes and more. Our bento box lunch was an artist’s palate of tastes and textures filled with 9 tiny delights (guinea hen in garlic sauce, crispy crab, steak tartare, bulghur, smoked salmon, roasted artichoke, all in sauces, foams and powders. Yum!


Hershey, PA isn’t just about Chocolate – here’s 6 fun things to do

Saturday, December 5th, 2009

Started in 1907, Hershey, PA might have been built with chocolate, but these days you’ll find a walk-through zoo, a forest drive with animated light displays, Dickens very much alive, and even a chocolate fondue wrap at the spa. And what can be more delicious than hotels which have bowls of Hershey kisses wherever you turn?

Christmas in Chocolate Town – the Musical

All through this month (December) at Hershey Lodge there is a dinner musical revue, “Christmas in Chocolate Town”, which starts with carolling and then covers everyone’s favorite holiday songs. After punch, hors d’oeuvres, dinner and a yummy dessert (ya think it might have chocolate in it?), the lights go down and the magic begins.

Charles Dickens Returns

If that dinner doesn’t excite you, then how about one including the great-great grandson of Charles Dickens! He performs a one-man show on December 6th and 7th while you enjoy an elegant four-course dinner.

Chocolate Spa at The Hotel Hershey

For a chocolate lover, this is the ultimate holiday treat – chocolate themed spa experiences (Peppermint Pattie Scrub and Chocolate Fondue Wrap anyone?) including lunch in a Moroccan themed restaurant.
Peppermint Pattie Spa Treatment

photo: Hersheypark

Alligator lounging around the zoo
photo: Hersheypark

An Alligator roaming the zoo

North American Wildlife Park

Attached to Hersheypark by a walking bridge is ZooAmerica. This is an 11-acre walk-through zoo with more than 200 animals representing over 75 species, displayed in their natural habitats. The zoo is open all year round.

Hershey Sweet Lights

Driving throught the woodsEvenings starting at 5 pm, all the way to New Year’s Day, you don’t even have to get out of your car to enjoy two miles of wooded trails that have been elaborately decoratedwith over 600 animated sparklingly lit displays.

See if you can find the Rudolph characters hidden among the lights. Remember to tune your radio to their private station to listen to holiday music as you drive.

Driving through the woods

photo: Hersheypark

Holiday Packages

Holiday Packages include a Chocolate Spa Getaway, breakfast with Santa, Cottage Party, and a family New Year’s Eve Party. You’ll find something to do every day.You’ll find something to do every day.

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