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Tasty Ticino

For people in the south of Switzerland, a good meal is the perfect combination or regional food paired with wine that was also pressed in Ticino. The traditional winery «Terreni alla Maggia» has therefore laid the perfect foundation with the new brand «Cantina alla Maggia».

Nothing goes better with polenta than a good wine. The same is true for risotto. And all three are best enjoyed in the Ticino sun. Thanks to this, the ingredients are perfectly ripened. This has regularly been part of the agenda of the «Cantina alla Maggia» winery since 1930. Today, wine, rice and corn are passionately grown on almost 100 hectares between Ascona, Locarno and the Magadino plain. The only thing that has changed now is the name. The agricultural business was once called «Terreni alla Maggia».

«With the new brand Cantina alla Maggia, we are emphasising the dedication with which we care for our vineyards and produce our wines,» says Simon V. Jenny. And the Director of the «Cantina alla Maggia», «Terreni alla Maggia» and the «Castello del Sole Beach Resort & Spa» adds: «The new appearance of the wines and especially the wine labels reflect the excellence of our wines. It is a tribute to our growth and is an expression of the quality efforts of our employees in recent years.»

Enjoy originality

The vines currently take up around 11.5 hectares of the total cultivated area, with a diverse variety of grapes. Starting with the traditional Merlot and ending with Bondola, an indigenous grape variety from Ticino, the taste portfolio is challenging. And of course the grappa should be mentioned also, three varieties are produced every year. Plus the aforementioned corn and rice production. It’s hard to know where to start sampling.

The products are sold in our own store directly in Ascona. The «Enoteca Alimentare» also offers tours, tastings and events. But it’s also worth asking in your favourite restaurant, because the products from «Cantina alla Maggia» and «Terreni alla Maggia» are in demand throughout Switzerland when it comes to fine dishes and tasty accompaniments.

Arrived, stayed, returned

With the «Tivoli Doelen Amsterdam», Tivoli Hotels & Resorts is opening its first hotel in the Netherlands – and, as always, it’s stylish, elegant and endowed with that very special charm that turns a break into a rest.

Came to stay? Definitely the hotel when it comes to dependability. As a guest, you are more likely to be a repeat visitor. That’s because the Tivoli Doelen Amsterdam is more than just a hotel. It is the perfect temporary home for anyone who wants to experience the Dutch metropolis right outside the door during the day, but wants to enjoy peace, time away and style again in the evening. Newly opened this spring, the establishment offers 81 superior rooms plus suites and canal views. And from as little as EUR 250 per double room. You have to keep on coming back. There’s just no other way …

New, yet steeped in history
The Tivoli Doelen may have recently opened, but that does not mean that the establishment lacks history. The neoclassical building dates back to the 16th century and was home to Rembrandt’s painting «The Night Watch» for 70 years. The famous Dutch painter lived very nearby, which inspired the new owners to create a suite that bears his name and his art can be found throughout the hotel – not exclusively, but impressively recreated. And the Empress also liked to step through the doors to enjoy the proximity to the canal and the elegance of the discreet demureness. Because Sissi appreciated exactly that.

First class, and colour-coordinated
The culinary delight in the establishment goes by the name «Omber».

The in-house restaurant serves Dutch fusion dishes, which are also dedicated to Rembrandt. Namely in colour in this case, since the famous painter was satisfied with just 12 shades of colour in his time and yet combined them to create unique images. Each dish therefore contains at least one of these colour nuances and, as the name suggests, the restaurant was decorated in the painter’s signature colour. An inviting shade of brown that is as warm as it is elegant and even more refined for an interior.

Wonderful inside, even more to experience outside
But as beautiful as the hotel is, during the day you just have to step out and let yourself explore. Either on a guided tour of the city or on a cruise through the canals of the metropolis. A boat tour with drinks and snacks can be booked directly at the hotel. At the sightseeing event «In the footsteps of Rembrandt» you can go into the studio of this luminary of the art world, who died in 1669, and then visit all the places that he captured forever in his paintings. Make sure to also include a visit of the iconic Rembrandthuis. Or you can simply enjoy Amsterdam with all its beautiful and unique attractions such as the Rikjksmuseum, the Ice Bar or the Anne Frank House. Amsterdam has everything, but only one Tivoli.

Photos Copyrights: Tivoli Doelen Amsterdam

1+2=3 – and provide culinary delights

Three likeable guys, one mission and a restaurant in Vienna’s hotspot – that’s all that is needed for success. And this success is damn tasty.

The Chef
Alexandru Simon

The Sommelier
Max Populorum

The Manager
Andreas Rehrmbacher

“Ringstrasse” sounds somewhat bland, but “world heritage site in the historic centre of Vienna” is a lot more exciting. Still, both names denote this one special place in Vienna that is more than just a street leading from A to B. Many historic buildings grace its path and anyone visiting the Austrian capital must stop by here. The latest highlight of the 5.3-kilometre-long street is the “Glasswing”, which is considered a new top culinary address.

And thus, they came in a group of three – and as always, to stay: Chef Alexandru Simon, sommelier Max Populorum and restaurant manager Andreas Rehrmbacher. The meeting point for the three exceptional talents is the luxury boutique hotel “The Amauris Vienna”. And those who love puns are welcome to speak of “ama”. That is, Alexandru, Max and Andreas. And “ama” in Italian means “he or she loves”. That is basically all we need to say. But, after all, just “basically”, because who are these three successful guys who are making a culinary statement in the Austrian metropolis?

The Chef

First of all, we have Mr Alexandru Simon. A connoisseur of the world, and no, not a globetrotter. Trotting is much too slow for the French-born chef. He is bursting with energy and manages to combine the experience of his numerous international stations in one dish. As, for example, in the lukewarm Norway lobster combined with cauliflower parfait, Vadouvan hollandaise and Walter Grüll caviar. That doesn’t just sound exotic, it’s real master cuisine. And because Ringstrasse is definitively Austrian tradition after all, new interpretations of Styrian chicken and national innards cuisine are also served in modern form.

The Sommelier

Max Populorum is the youngest of the trio and even boasts a “2” as the first digit in his age. Young, however, does not mean inexperienced. He already knows exactly which aroma goes best with which course – and he knows this at a professional level. With a classic 7-course menu, as served at “The Amauris Vienna”, he always hits the mark. He has had a selection of around 350 international wines put on the menu – starting with the Austrian Grüner Veltliner to classics like the Montrachet or Château Pétrus. And if a wine won’t fit, the expert knows how to convince with the appropriate cocktail accompaniment.

The Manager

Well, someone has got to do the job. And who could be a better boss than the unexcited Mr Rehrmbacher? Whereby unexcited is a compliment, because it means that he holds all the strings and knows how to pull them with precision and professionalism. Andreas brings the expertise of the Hotel Sacher with him and sees himself as a link between guest and kitchen. The manager from the state of Lower Austria ensures the service, staff structure and purchasing harmonise perfectly. And that every guest simply feels like visiting the Ringstrasse a second time.

Three cheers and bon appetit!

Photos Copyrights: The Amauris Vienna

“As a Car Designer You Move Ten Steps or, better, Years Ahead.”

This October, Cadillac opened its first experience centre in Europe – at a prime address on Zurich’s Bahnhofstrasse. Head designer Magalie Debellis gave us a creative insight into what sets the brand’s e-fleet apart from its competition and what her goals are with her team. And then there was the matter of the masterpieces …

Adam: Magalie, many designers have a personal signature – which one is yours?

Magalie Debellis: My signature is my approach. So, rather not a classic element, but the way I create a design instead. I love fashion, art, architecture… to start a new project, I first question the general inspiration. I take a look at the brand, its heritage, but above all its future. What should a vision for tomorrow look like? And then I am reinterpreting this heritage. I love beautiful, but enjoy it even more when they are bold. I take a stance from the overall silhouette, it has to meet these demands. And I am adamant, my team knows that. It is important to me to always take ourselves to a new level together – that is exactly how the design should be. We work a lot with our hands and 3D models. Especially when a project is just being started. I want to feel things, model them, experience them.

How long does a design process take – starting from the first idea to the presentation?

I created the first sketch for the LYRIQ in 2018. This was followed by the first models in 3D form, true to scale. We also had a short film made and pushed ahead with production in parallel. At GM we work hand in hand, there is no silo mentality. I see my task in the process as accompanying it from the beginning to the end, but also shaping it. We coordinate with each other. The engineers, the designers and everyone else involved within the organisation. Each Cadillac is a collective work.

Are there things that make the LYRIQ special or rather set it apart from other models manufactured by other brands?

I would say that exactly one thing was really unique. We have created a completely new battery, the Ultium platform, for this car. It is a next-generation battery platform – or as I like to say: the battery rests between four wheels like a skateboard. And we were able to build on that in the truest sense of the word. We were able to completely redesign the configuration, based on a base with a powerful engine and a chassis that offered plenty of room to do so thanks to its mass. Our goal was to innovate elements that can be found in every car. We wanted to give expression to the car. Vertical headlights, a centre console that has been integrated in a way that allows for enough space for storage. We have transferred the technical possibilities into the design and, in my opinion, created an expressive Cadillac. The brand’s personality becomes visible in every single detail, even if the model is new.

At Cadillac, you are the «Head of Cadillac Advanced Design». What does the «Advance» mean for your work, for you personally?

The job as a car designer is exciting, you have to be enormously creative. But you must also always move ten steps ahead. You have to think far into the future. Which means developing a strategy and a vision together with your team that starts with the short term and does not really end with the long term. We are currently thinking about where Cadillac and the entire industry will, should, ought to be in ten years’ time.

That is definitely not an easy task …

Whenever a new model is launched, we are already thinking about the next

one, the next ones. Cadillac has a strong portfolio, but we always have the next generation in mind. Both the next generation of humankind and their needs in the future, but also the next generation of our technology and our design. We live a great dynamic within the team and the whole company. Everything we implement should be something special. We want to launch niche products that live up to the brand’s heritage but, above all, are in line with American luxury.

Magalie, you have been in the industry for many years. Is there such a thing as a masterpiece?

Basically, they are two masterpieces, if I may call them that. I designed the LYRIQ, but also the CELESTIQ. The latter model is the brand’s flagship. And I am very proud of both products, as they have had a lasting impact on the portfolio. They are the flagships of Cadillac’s electric division. And that makes me proud.

What are the next projects going to be?

In everything we do, we have Cadillac’s entire journey in mind. With the opening of the Experience Centre here in Zurich, the first in Europe, we are starting a new era. Our goal is to provide people around the world with the cars they want today and need tomorrow. We want to produce performance models that are trendsetting. And models that shape the future – especially the future of our industry.

And one last, very personal question: you are originally from France. What is it like to work with Americans in America?

They are definitely different cultures (laughs). But that is exactly what is important for our work. Working at Cadillac, but also at GM in general. The diversity of our team is the key to our success. Especially in a creative environment, different opinions, attitudes and also discussions are what is necessary. My personal advantage is that, as a Frenchwoman, I can look at the heritage of an American brand and thus also have the external view. While that is exciting, it is challenging as well. But it is great.

Photos Copyrights: Cadillac

A valuable meeting place

Sotheby’s and Bucherer are successful companies with tradition. With the new Sotheby’s salon at Bucherer on Bahnhofstrasse, they have now created a valuable space together.

«True values are not the ones you see, but the ones you feel» – an anonymous quote sums it up perfectly. Founded in 1744, Sotheby’s is one of the oldest and most renowned auction houses in the world. Today, Sotheby’s is the world’s first address for art and luxury because certain things are worth a lot to certain people. In cooperation with the Swiss watch and jewellery retailer Bucherer, the first Sotheby’s Salon has now been opened, where customers can not only view the valuable products, but also purchase them directly on site. In addition to watches, there is also an exclusive selection of handbags and accessories, jewellery, sneakers and high-quality streetwear, works of art as well as sports memorabilia and wines.

To mark the launch, we spoke to Vanessa Conlin. She is Global Head of Wine Retail and one of the few female Masters of Wine.

What does valuable mean to you, Ms Conlin?
Valuable goes far beyond the «price». It is about what is meaningful to you as a person. Memories we create. Time we spend with dear and beloved people. For me, that is precisely what is of ultimate value. Shared moments with people, and wine brings people together. Wine is made to be shared. Being together with friends and enjoying an evening together is a shared and always unique experience. I myself have a musical background. And music also brings people together. The exciting thing about both things is that everyone personally describes this experience differently, because everyone feels it quite individually.

Values have a lot to do with emotions …
That’s true, and they influence how valuable we find something. Which then in turn determines how much we are willing to give for it. Here is an example: The «Screaming Eagle» is expensive. It is the most expensive wine from the United States. For a 0.75 litre bottle of Sauvignon Blanc from 2019, you pay around 4,500 Swiss francs. I am often asked whether a wine can cost so much, can be so valuable. I then want to know from my counterpart whether they think that the Screaming Eagle is worth so much to them personally. Because that’s all that matters. For some people, it is the greatest thing to own such a rarity and such an excellent wine. Value is relative and, as you say, something very emotional.

While we are on the subject of emotions – what makes your job, your task, your mission at Sotheby’s worthwhile?
It is this very special composition of exclusivity and craftsmanship that makes wine unique. After all, producing something means craft and agriculture. I myself
often like to be directly on site with the producers. I love it when we walk through their vineyards and they explain their philosophy of cultivation to me. Going back to the roots, that’s how I feel about it. To experience the beginning and then enjoy the result even more. However, I also share the common experience with the clients. I am delighted when someone tells me how much they enjoyed the wine they bought from us. How they enjoyed it and with whom. Finding out what became of the fine wines that we, as Sotheby’s, have curated for our customers.

Which brings us back to the connecting element. Who are you most closely connected with in your life?
Definitely with my family, and with my three cats. (laughs) My husband and I named them after old film stars. Grace Kelly, Ava Gardner and Vivien Leigh. My family is this very personal space where I experience pleasure, connection and value. Where I get the chance to gather strength and share my favourite moments together.

You addressed it: How much may a wine cost? Are expensive wines really always the better ones? A sommelier once told me: It the end, it just has to taste good to you …
That sums it up wonderfully. I myself am a real explorer and always open to new impressions and experiences. There are new wines, new producers every year. A new vintage. That’s why I never buy the same wines myself. I want to learn, discover and above all expand my knowledge about wines over and over again. That’s why I’m trying my way through the world.

What does that look like?
I travel a lot. As I said, I enjoy being at the wineries, on site. In the vineyards. Next on my list is Croatia. I really want to go there. The country makes wonderful wines. More and more wine and better wines by the year. But these wines don’t make it to the USA. So I have to go to Croatia myself to experience the pleasure on the spot.

Experiencing is an important part of your life, as I may interpret it from what you just said before. Before your wine career, you were a singer on Broadway. It’s close to impossible to find anything that sums up «experiencing» up more quintessentially. Why the change?
I grew up in a family full of music. My parents are both classical musicians. My father is a conductor and my mother was an opera singer. Therefore, music has been a part of my life since I was born and it comes naturally. So, my path was clear at the beginning of my career. I went to New York at that time, pursued a Master’s degree in music and performed on stage as a professional. But since I am an open-hearted person and love enjoyment and togetherness, I eventually came to the subject of wine. And when I do something, I do it completely or not at all. And so I focused completely on this new theme. I put a lot of money into courses, training, further education. And finally, I acquired «The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET)». It was the door opener to a new chapter in my life and a valuable one for me. Especially today and in the present, togetherness, exchange, being together is so important for all of us. And this is why I am so pleased that we have now been able to create this meeting place together with Bucherer.

Photos Copyrights: Bucherer / Sotheby’s

Dream destination Maldives

To be honest, all this is just incredible! 19 island groups with almost 2 000 islands rise between one and five metres from the sea. 220 islands are inhabited by locals – another 150 are open to tourism and once you arrive, you suddenly find yourself in paradise …

The peak travel season for the Maldives is during our winter. However, as I enjoy not being a part of the masses, I booked my flight for July. The prices are much cheaper and the weather is consistently great and warm. Any rainfall has quickly passed after 30 minutes and the sun beams down once more. I highly recommend the low seasons for the Maldives. I have set aside one week for my trip to paradise and therefore plan to quickly immerse myself in the island feeling.

SHERATON Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa

For me, the ideal hotel for this is the Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa. After the long flight, I don’t want to get on a seaplane, but rather take a speedboat to my home away from home. It takes just 15 minutes and I have reached the spacious resort, which leaves nothing to be desired. At the Feast Restaurant, I treat myself to a breakfast with fresh fruit and a delicious buffet that is hard to beat for richness. This is what an optimal start to a holiday looks like for me.

My charming Island Cottage is perfectly equipped and has an open-air bathroom as well as a small front garden through which I can reach the sea in 30 seconds. There is so much choice about how best to spend my time here that I book my dive straight away, followed by massage and a tour of the island. At the «Coral Restoration Snorkeling Area», they explain to me how corals are re-bred and I am allowed to sink a basket with baby corals into the sea myself.

Choosing which of the 7 restaurants to have dinner at is not easy at all as I would like to try them all. Finally, I decide on a fresh fish at Masala Hut – and what a great choice it was! This very evening, the glass of Chardonnay tastes particularly good to me. Satisfied, I dip my head into the soft pillow.

The next day, the ring of my alarm clock gets me out of my cosy bed early. I am too curious about the morning yoga session in the pavilion right by the sea. After that, I do what the Maldives are best known for: chilling, swimming and snorkelling in the turquoise blue water waiting right in front of my villa. In a flash, a small shark swims past me. I squeal with joy as these moments are always the very highlights. A visit to the orchid garden, a drink at Sunset Point and an evening walk to watch the flying foxes make this day perfect.

Before I continue my journey to the next island, I make sure that the last night before my flight home will also be spent at the SHERATON Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa. Enjoying this again is something worth looking forward to. In addition, I can get to the airport in no time at all without any weather risk.

Le MÉRIDIEN Maldives Resort & Spa

But right now, it’s on to Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa. The seaplane flight is wonderful because you can see the beautiful resorts from above. 35 minutes of flight time later, I am greeted by the hotel manager and his crew at the dock. I feel welcome and enjoy my fresh cocktail. The island is exactly as you would imagine the Maldives to be. White sand with palm trees and dense vegetation surrounded by crystal clear turquoise water. The waves break on the offshore reef and create a natural spectacle.

At the Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa, I get to stay at an Oversea Villa. I feel like a king overlooking his kingdom when I enter the secluded terrace and look out to sea.

The resort is newly built with a lot of mindfulness. Generating their own electricity and treating their own water is just as much a part of the sustainability concept as the Greenhouse, where salads and herbs are grown. As a friend of the culinary arts, I make sure to savour every meal in a different one of the 6 different gourmet restaurants. Each and every single one of the dishes is just delicious.  Once again, I check my dive, rent a bike to explore the island, get pampered at the spa and listen to the young marine biologist doing her research at the resort.I’m also able to persuade her to accompany me dolphin spotting and snorkelling. As she knows the best spots around the island, we observe thousands of colourful fish, grazing sea turtles, manta rays floating by and some reef sharks. An exceptionally beautiful experience that makes me humble and grateful. As the day draws to a close, I treat myself to a Negroni at the Riviera Bar and chat with good-humoured guests from all over the world. Before I go to bed, I linger on my private villa terrace and lose myself in the starry sky reflected in the sea.

»Dreaming is beautiful, but living your dreams is even more beautiful!«

Photos Copyrights: SHERATON Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa, Le MERIDIEN Maldives Resort & Spa

A gem in the heart of Vienna

For almost a year now, “The Amauris Vienna” has been welcoming its discerning guests full of viennese cordiality, with style, elegance and upscale comfort making a stay in this luxury boutique hotel unique.

Not even a thick blanket of snow covering the city of music in winter could mean that there is nothing going on in Vienna. Quite the opposite. Especially in the cold season, the Austrian capital is a place full of life and numerous experiences. Museums and galleries invite you on a voyage of discovery and the concert halls invite you to enjoy the music. Strolling through one of the many Christmas markets or through the small alleys, the festively decorated Vienna evokes a real Advent atmosphere.

To be able to enjoy the city ideally these days, you need a fine little home, of course – and preferably right in the cultural centre. A place of tranquillity that invites you to relax. And thus, this home, called «The Amauris Vienna» opened its doors at the beginning of 2023. This luxury boutique hotel is located directly on the famous Ringstrasse in a magnificent 19th century city palace. 62 elegant rooms and suites offer guests a stylish retreat.

With modern furnishings, interior and design, fans get their money’s worth. And even though every room, every suite is elegant and beautiful, two of them deserve special mention. The «Opera Suite», for example, not only has its own dining room and marble bathroom, it is the private balcony that sets it apart. From here you have a direct view of the Vienna State Opera, which is within walking distance. And those who like it even more luxurious can spend the night in the «Loft Suite». A freestanding tub in the bathroom, a private living room and your own terrace above the city rooftops for a bird’s eye view of the winter lights.

Culinary seductions are offered to guests in the hotel’s own gourmet restaurant «Glasswing». Which – like the hotel itself – was named after a butterfly, by the way. And for those interested in art, the private exhibition of the Breiteneder family that owns the hotel is highly recommended. The exhibition is located in the bar as well as the lobby. And to complete the stylish hospitality, the Amauris of course has a wellness and spa area.

Photos Copyrights: The Amauris Vienna

My inner equilibrium

The last few weeks have been demanding and exhausting. I learned from this that I have to do more for myself. Maintaining an inner equilibrium and just taking a break from everyday life and relaxing. So i decided to treat myself to complete relaxation.

SANTA CATALINA, A ROYAL HIDEAWAY HOTEL
SPAIN – GRAND CANARY / GRAN CANARIA
28° 7′ N / 15° 25′ W

Royal comfort
After only a 20-minute drive from the airport, a truly majestic and impressive view of the «Santa Catalina, a Royal Hideaway Hotel» in the centre of Las Palmas in the north-east of Gran Canaria opens up in front of me. I’m actually here! Being close to the centre, I can go shopping, visit the old town and eat out. Being close to the beach, I can treat myself to sun, sand and sea. But this shouldn’t be all. The colonial-style park in front of the hotel affords me a clear view of the latter and the impressive pool area. I am immediately aware of the charm of the hotel as soon as I enter the hotel lobby – greeted by authentic friendliness, I immediately feel welcome and well cared for. This friendly colonial style is reflected in the room.

Pleasure on all levels – gastronomically as well as optically
Before I go to «La Bodeguita» for dinner, I explore the park in the middle of the city in which the «Santa Catalina, a Royal Hideaway Hotel» is located. Lined with beautiful plants, extensive water features meander through the grounds. I treat myself to a drink before dinner in the Carabela Bar. The classic atmosphere, paired with the finest cava, sweetens the unobstructed view of Dormas Park in front of the hotel. The pianist contributes to the fact that I, in turn, completely immerse myself in the comforts and just enjoy it. At dinner, I treat myself to a selection from the menu. Of course I start with Jamon Iberico. A must in Gran Canaria. Surprisingly, the waitress recommends that I add cheese. This is a specialty of Gran Canaria. What is also surprising is that it is served on every occasion – not just at the end of a meal. As an absolute wine lover, I let myself be served with beautiful wines from the Canary Islands. I’ve never drunk any of these, but now I’m a true admirer of Canarian wines.

Ah, how beautiful life can be. Perfect location, fantastic weather and then the culinary delights.

Good morning Las Palmas
It was a restful night, so I go to breakfast full of energy. I fortify myself with everything my heart desires in the middle of the park that surrounds the hotel. This is how a day can start. Invigorated and in a good mood, I go to the old town in Las Palmas. A 25-minute walk takes me to the historic city centre. The houses express their history and each one is special in its own way. The cityscape is also unique. The houses are colourfully painted, each one different. This produces a colourful cityscape – as colourful and diverse as my trip so far.

After returning to the hotel, I check into the spa and let myself be massaged properly. My back and neck are in dire need of treatment. Relaxed and loosened up muscle by muscle, I head to the rooftop, where I treat myself to a nice drink by the pool. With a view of the park and the sea, I relax and let my thoughts wander into the distance.

Relaxed and rested, I’m ready for the culinary highlight of the «Santa Catalina, a Royal Hideaway Hotel». The Poemas restaurant, which has been awarded a Michelin star.

The restaurant is the brainchild of brothers Juan Carlo and Jonathan Padrón, who present an 11-course tasting menu with convincing elegance, inspiring connoisseurs with its lightness and precision. The service provided, highly professional but in no way formal, guides the guest through the menu. The sommelier accompanies each individual course with regional wines from Gran Canaria in such a perfectly coordinated way that the entire evening becomes an unforgettable experience and can compete with the most renowned restaurants in the world.

At the end of the set meal, the actual star of the show visits our illustrious group. Icíar Pérez, who enjoys the trust of the Padrón brothers as Executive Chef, answers questions about her thoughts. What is impressive is that Icíar Pérez is only 28 years old and is already showing off her skills at such a high level.

Side note:
The oxtail sandwich with fermented pepper mayonnaise ranks among the top 3 dishes I’ve ever eaten.

360 sunny days a year
The high number of sunny days, combined with an extremely pleasant climate, encourages you not only to devote time exclusively to the culinary temptations, but also to enjoy the diverse landscape. So I decide to take a tour, the Royal Experience, to the north of Las Palmas. There I visit a market that was built in a former water reservoir, to purchase regional products. A visit to a cheese factory owned by the cheese world champion of 2009 makes me realise once again how rich the island is in terms of culinary delights. Cristóbal Antonio Moreno Díaz is an original who produces his sheep’s cheese using traditional methods and with a lot of passion. During a stopover at a reservoir in Artenara, I take a lakeside picnic that is second to none. The crowning and majestic end of the tour is a visit to the Artenara area, where I get an exclusive look behind the scenes of the Agala winery, which grows the vines at altitudes of up to 1,318 m and produces fresh white and red wines from them.

Las Palmas – see you soon.

Photos Copyrights: Santa Catalina Royal Hideaway

A “rock cristal” for that feel-good feeling

Four Stars, an impressive spa and genuine hospitality, the “Bergkristall” resort in Oberstaufen invites you to pamper yourself. And offers comprehensive support at a very high level.

As is so often the case, big things start out small with great attention to detail – and that is also how it was with the Bergkristall resort in the Allgäu. More than 50 years ago, Hans Lingg and his wife Hedi opened a small guest house on the local farm. Word got around quickly, although in addition to the hospitality, it was also their knowledge of the best regional dishes that inspired people. More rooms were quickly made ready to show holiday guests one of the most beautiful sides of Bavaria at an altitude of 850 metres: the Allgäu. The establishment has been known under the name Bergkristall since 2018 and with its extensive range of facilities it can justifiably call itself a superior four-star hotel. The hotel is currently managed by Hans and Hedi’s son and his wife, who now welcome the guests together with their own children and their partners.

The complete package

For the Linggs, being a host means offering a stylish retreat. An oasis of pleasure – for the spirit, for the soul, and to recharge your batteries. In the 2,700-square metre SPA, the crystal is the main protagonist, after the guest, of course. That’s why the motto «Out of love for me» is the focus of everything. A highlight is certainly the wavebalance® room, in which nature’s energy fields can be meaningfully enjoyed in the form of water, sounds and touch. To remind themselves to always do something good for themselves, each guest receives a personal crystal after a treatment. In the restaurant, head chef Andreas Krohn also conjures up à la carte dishes every day in line with the 80/20 principle. Which means no sugar and no white flour, but absolute enjoyment. On request, simple, vegan fare can also be provided, which aids purification and detoxification.

For individualists

And of course top dog Hansi should not be forgotten. As the secret ruler of the Bergkristall, he and his flock make sure that everything matches expectations. Which brings us back to the famed hospitality. Everyone is welcome in the hotel, and everyone is treated as an individual. Starting with the choice of room: classic single and double rooms are available as well as a penthouse or fitness suite. Before each treatment in the spa, you can have a discussion with a therapist to work out the most suitable option. And yes, the cuisine is still Bavarian, but with even more creativity and lightness. Because even if this small hotel has grown into the colossus it is today, the attention to detail is still an integral part of one of the best wellness hotels in Oberstaufen.

Photos Copyrights: Hotel Bergkristall

In the morning, straight after getting up, look out at the magnificent mountain panorama and breathe in the crystal-clear air. This is the pinnacle of pure relaxation.” 

 Germany – allgäu / Deutschland – allgäu

47° 31′ N / 10° 14′ 0