Sri Lanka

More than tee and Ayurveda!

Sri Lanka is shaped like an outstretched palm! I made up my mind to get to know the country by reading this palm. When I travel, I always want to combine enjoyment with adventure. This applies to the selection of the country I am going to visit, to the accommodation I choose right through to the means of transport and my activities. There should be a little bit of everything included. That is why I chose Sri Lanka as a destination to discover. The country is internationally famous for its cultivated tea plantations and purifying Ayurveda treatments, but the island to the southeast of India has so much more to offer and that is what I wanted to discover.

I booked my accommodation at Uga Escapes to be able to experience a broad cross section of the country in 12 days. This hotel group is owned by an industrial family that got into construction and infrastructure after producing safes and then security installations; they have been operating five beautiful hotels distributed over the entire island since 2012.
During the drive from the capital, Colombo, to the north central province Anuradhapura in the middle of the cultural triangle in Sri Lanka tiredness begins to take over after the long flight. However, the driver is so skilful at rocking the vehicle through the traffic that I soon sink into a dreamlike state and only blink cheerfully into the sunlight when I arrive at the oasis of Ulagalla.


I am taken to a beautiful 150-year-old manor and welcomed with a ceremony intended to bring me joy and happiness. 25 luxury villas, extending over approximately 23 hectares and covering 200 m2 respectively, entice you to go on a journey of discovery in this true haven. Each single house has its own pool and breath-taking flora and fauna on the doorstep, emphasising Uga Escapes‘ position as forerunner in sustainable luxury tourism on Sri Lanka. Electro carts and bicycles are the mode of transport on the grounds. I am enraptured as the colourful bird life in the harvested rice fields immediately diverts my thoughts from my stressful everyday life. Although WLAN and the mobile network still work in this natural paradise, I quickly put my telephone away to be able to enjoy all things unspoilt by human hand. In the high trees I spy flying foxes sleeping upside down; they will be going in search of insects at twilight. Iguanas, peacocks, turtles and a family of monkeys swinging through the trees bring a contented smile to my face. The 3 days I spend walking, cycling and reading in this idyll go by far too quickly. However, the next point on my agenda waits, as my holiday does not only consist of relaxation, but also activities to challenge my body.


On the East coast of the island I check into the family friendly Uga Bay Resort. As the very new hotel has been constructed in a semi-circular shape, each studio has a view of the inner garden and of the ocean. There is a coral reef offshore from the bay. A dream for snorkelers and shell collectors. When walking on the beach I do not only see young people happily splashing about in the water trying to impress each other with their antics, but people of all age groups; the positive effect of the cooling water and the gentle waves is clearly tangible.

A collection of fishing boats attracts my attention and an old fisher addresses me and invites me to watch the sharing of the catch and the trading with the fresh fish the next morning. A magnificent spectacle that has to be experienced. In the afternoon the sky suddenly darkens above the palm grove, indicating that a storm is brewing, to such an extent that you could believe it is the end of the world. However, the storm changes course to the open sea and the backdrop of colours from the dark grey sky above the rough ocean in front of the yellow beach provides me with the best photo of my travels.


My next accommodation „Chena Huts“ (by Uga Escapes) in the southeast of the island makes me aware of the impressive wildlife Sri Lanka has to offer. Even on the drive there, a large bull elephant decides to stand in the middle of the road, blocking all traffic. Waving the flies from his sides with a broken off branch, he stands in the shade of a large tree and waits for the astonished drivers to throw fruit at his feet so he can grant them passage unscathed. The luxury bungalows at Chena Huts are situated adjacent to Yala National Park. Discreetly and sensitively interwoven into the bush and tree landscape, this area offers everything that good taste desires. On the terrace of the main house, I relish the excellent dishes, served by friendly and competent staff. My glance is drawn to a family of buffalos trotting by in front of the sea and two peacocks competing for the attention of the grey peahen. One more moment in which I simply want to press the „pause “button. This happens repeatedly during the next two days while we are on safari through the nature reserve with the jeep. For example, when we drive past the alligator mother, who is protecting her young in her mouth from the all-eating enemy, or when we park beside a bush in which a powerful eagle is observing his lunch that is hissing on the ground. These moments make one feel so small and grateful to be able to experience this natural spectacle.


I spend the final days of my 12-day Sri Lanka tour in the Uga Residence, at the centre of Colombo. While the city pulsates in chaos and numerous Tuk Tuks skilfully wind through the traffic like bees in their hive, I swim a few lengths in the elegant pool, bordered by arched walkways. The evening street food tour, which the hotel organised for me, again ignites my spirit for adventure. I am lead to parts of the city that I would never have dared to discover alone. I also sample specialities that were prepared at small, mobile burners on the street. The people are happy and show a huge level of affection if you are interested in their culture, their country and their life. However, the greatest joy above all these wonderful experiences on the hand-shaped island is mine. The welcome ceremony at my first accommodation did actually bring me joy and happiness!

More info on the street food tour under:

Uga Escapes – five distinctive Boutique-Hotels on Sri Lanka: Ulagalla, Jungle Beach, Uga Bay, Residence and the latest member Chena Huts. From a Safari holiday in the jungle or the cultural treasures of past dynasties, snorkelling and spas on the tropical beach to exquisite days spent at the residence in the heart of Colombo – Uga Escapes opens the door to a very special trip through Sri Lanka. The carefully selected locations make the hotels the ideal starting point for discovering all the country has to offer. The lotus flower in the logo is the symbol for the philosophy of this very individual hideaway: Giving guests an authentic travel experience and at the same time contributing to the protection of the island’s rich heritage. Biological construction material, solar and water treatment plants, the use of clay and glass instead of plastic and biological vegetable cultivation are only a few of Uga Escapes’ standards.

Paris, mon amour!

If it were possible to marry a city, I would immediately get down on one knee and produce an engagement ring that would outshine the Eiffel Tower. I let myself fall under the city’s spell and captured its breath-taking beauty for you. You’ll fall in love with the city of love too, believe me.

I would like to warn you in advance that the planned sightseeing, shopping and cultural programme could take a little longer than you think. Why you may ask? Because every single corner in Paris is quite simply enchantingly beautiful, so you will want to linger for a while and soak up the city’s charm. Magnificent historical buildings along the Seine, beautiful streets and alleyways lined with architectural gems and delightful cafés, restaurants and department stores shape the cityscape. The Shangri-La in Paris is located just a few steps away from the Eiffel Tower and the Seine and as such is the perfect starting point for every city tour. As soon as you enter the luxury hotel you are immersed in the regal history of the building, which was the residence of Napoleon Bonaparte’s grand-nephew, Prince Roland Bonaparte. You will receive the royal treatment as a guest in the 5-star hotel during your entire stay and the excellent service personnel fulfils your every wish. The elegant, historical furnishings in the rooms and suites fuse in perfect harmony with the city’s impressive backdrop. The Eiffel Tower seems almost within reach and you are tempted again and again to reach out to the city’s landmark. You can marvel at the view and the evening play of lights on the tower while enjoying a sparkling glass of Champagne.

After an exciting day in the city of lights it’s time for a little relaxation. CHI, The Spa is an oasis in the middle of the Parisian city centre which spoils its guests with diverse fitness offers, a swimming pool with an outdoor terrace and a separate beauty treatment centre.

Hungry? Let the range of culinary delights inspire you and satisfy your appetite after a long tour of the city. All your breakfast needs are fulfilled in the elegant restaurant La Bauhinia, which welcomes you under a magnificent glass dome. You can also choose between two other gourmet restaurants distinguished with two Michelin Stars: Shang Palace indulges you with Cantonese delicacies and L’Abeille takes you on a culinary journey through France. My favourite was the sole „Meunière“ with „Belle de Fontenay potatoes“ – sounds like a poem, and it was, at least for my taste.

If you manage to tear yourself away from the enchanting charm of the Shangri-La Hotel, Paris, there are numerous cultural offers and sightseeing spots that you should not miss on your visit to Paris. I have made a brief list of my personal must-sees for you:

The Eiffel Tower. The city‘s landmark can be admired from different vantage points in the city centre, either when walking along the Seine, visiting the Palais du Trocadero or from the breakfast terrace at the Shangri-La Hotel, Paris. Insider tip: the Rue de l’Université and the Pont de Bir-Hakeim bridge also offer a wonderful view of the tower and are not yet too overcrowded with sightseers. The view from the Eiffel Tower over Paris is priceless, but it is advisable to book tickets in advance online.

The Louvre. The third largest art museum in the world is a must on your agenda. The museum is inspiring both because of the extensive art exhibition and also because of its unique architecture. Insider tip: only 150 metres from the Louvre you can find the Palais Royal, a Parisian City Palace that is viewed by many as one of the insider tips in the Parisian city centre. The palace’s beautiful gardens and unusual architecture entice you to stroll and linger.

Montmartre. Montmartre hill is the highest point in Paris and as such offers a magnificent view of the whole city. The white radiance of the basilica Sacré-Cœur forms the heart of this arrondissement and the neighbouring narrow alleyways are full of charming cafés and shops just waiting to be discovered.Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysee. Combine shopping with culture and marvel at the Arc de Triomphe, the largest arch in the world, after a stroll along the Champs Elysee Boulevard. The ascent is well worth it – the all-round view is indescribable. As already mentioned, there is something to discover on every corner in Paris, a number of other Paris highlights such as the Cathedral of Notre Dame, the Musee d’ Orsay, Place Vendôme, Pont Alexandre III, Jardin des Tuileries, Galeries Lafayette and much more are waiting for you. Let yourself be swept away by the city’s magic and make your own list of personal favourite spots in Paris. I am convinced that after your visit you will give Paris a resounding ‚Oui‘!

Photos Copyrights: Topolindra & Shangri-La Paris

Alpine, Asian, Authentic

In the heart of a magnificent mountain backdrop the Chedi Andermatt is delighting its guests with a fusion of alpine chic and asian expression, culinary delicacies and the spa and health club extending over 2,400 square metres.

For some time now the small Swiss town of Andermatt has been slumbering peacefully, that was until the Egyptian businessman Samih Sawiris decided to breathe a bit of life back into it with the 5-star deluxe hotel The Chedi Andermatt, which within a very short time has elevated to a top position in international hotel, gastronomy and spa rankings.

Generous Luxury & Asian Delicacies

The affinity to nature and attention to detail can be sensed throughout the hotel and is particularly apparent in the 123 rooms and suites. Natural materials, panorama windows and over 200 fireplaces bring the Andermatt mountain landscape into the cosy rooms. However, the real luxury can be found in the generous dimensions. The hotel offers high rooms and lots of space, even the smallest double is 52 square metres. On a culinary level, The Chedi Andermatt offers its guests only the finest: In The Restaurant (14 GaultMillau points) exciting and delicious combinations from Western and Asian cuisine are prepared in four open atelier kitchens. The Japanese Restaurant (1 Michelin Star and 16 Gault-Millau points) is exceptional for the Swiss Alps. Authentic Japanese dishes are prepared by Japanese chefs at the tempura and sushi/sashimi bar. Since it opened in 2013, over a quarter of a million freshly prepared nigiri sushi have passed over the counter, and, according to GaultMillau, the hotel now ranks as one of the best addresses in the Alps. The guests can also get advice from a sake sommelier, a service rarely found in Europe.

Pure Luxury

There is no question, the enterprise in the Uri Alps is luxurious. In contrast to a number of other mountain hotels, this luxury house does not flaunt, but impresses with its design of Alpine chic and Asian elements.The 2,400 square metre spa and health club with an exclusive sauna area, ten deluxe spa suites, hydrothermal baths, a 35 metre long indoor pool covered by a glass roof and a heated twelve metre long outdoor pool with a view of the magnificent backdrop of the Alps is an additional highlight.

Conclusion: The Chedi was initiated by the visionary investor Samih Sawiris and with its 123 generous rooms and suites has in only five years become one of the forerunners in the international luxury hotel sector, a position that is substantiated by numerous awards. The Chedi Andermatt provides an insight into another world and views of an unforgettable part of 


Treat yourself to a little bit of The Chedi for home: the cuddly Ploh bathrobe costs CHF 220.00 and promises to remind you of an exceptional time in Andermatt.

Photos Copyrights: Chedi Andermatt

Paradise Portugal

Paradise Portugal

Now is the perfect time to travel. Pack your cases. Life is too short to stay in one place. In Portugal you will experience two hotels that redefine the term Luxury : The Tivoli Palacio de Setzeis, a dream palace and The Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort, wich recently made it into Forbes Magazine’s hot favourite list of the best new luxury hotels in the world.

There is no place in Europe where the sun shines more frequently and you could even imagine that it shines brightest here in the Algarve, at the south-west tip of Portugal. It reflects on the Atlantic Ocean as its tempestuous waves break on the rugged cliffs. Vilamoura, not far from the coast, is considered a jetsetter paradise. Vineyards, olive groves and Roman ruins shape the landscape and exist beside designer boutiques and golf clubs. Situated above the vast green expanse of the Victoria championship golf course, the Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort offers the perfect retreat. Not only are the sandy beaches at close hand, the five star resort also has five pools, which should not remain undiscovered. And on a culinary level, the extensive hotel has a lot to offer, as indulgence is given a high priority in the Anantara Vilamoura. The Ria Restaurant specializes in fish and seafood. Every morning the catering team presents the best catches of the day, which can then be preordered for lunch. Chef Bruno Viegas and wine guru Bruno Cunha stage opulent evenings with perfectly coordinated Portuguese dishes and wines in the EMO restaurant. The hotel also orchestrates unforgettable culinary experiences in a private ambiance, including your own chosen menu and private chef as part of „Dining by Design“. From here you can also discover the Herdade da Malhadinha Nova vineyard. In Abernova, situated in the middle of nature, the family company endeavours to produce the best wine in the world. Visit a wine-tasting, treat yourself to a picnic in the vineyards and find out more about the manufacture of these complex, fruity wines.

The Tivoli Palácio de Seteais is located near the Palácio Nacional da Pena in Sintra, a picturesque city, 25 kilometres from Lisbon. At one time the Portuguese nobility had extravagant palaces and decorative gardens built here. Its exciting cultural landscape contributed to it becoming a UNESCO world heritage site. The Tivoli Palácio de Seteais itself is, as the name suggests, a palace from the 18th century. The rooms and suites are designed in majestic style and offer a breathtaking view of the Sintra mountains, the Moorish castle and the Pena Palace. It is not easy to outdo this panorama; however the luxury hotel manages to do this with its fabulous cuisine. In the Seteais Restaurant you dine surrounded by frescoes and paintings. Order the Royal Tasting: five courses of mouth-watering enjoyment for two people, or let yourself be pampered in the newly opened Corales Wine Room with exclusive Portuguese wines and regional delicacies. The Tivoli Palácio de Seteais also offers wine lovers excursions to the nearby Adega Regional de Colares vineyard. Located in a time-honoured building from the 19th century, Adega houses wooden barrels and vats with a total volume of over one million litres. Find your favourite wine and drink to love, life, to whatever takes your fancy. Because as Louis Pasteur so aptly put it: „There is more philosophy in a bottle of wine than in all the books in the world.“

Photos Copyrights: Vilamoura Algarve Resort & Tivoli Palacio de Seteais;

The Fontenay

Paradise for Architecture and Design enthusiasts

The Fontaney Hotel is a city resort situated at one of the most beautiful spots in the world. In the heart of the Hanseatic city of Hamburg , nestled in a park directly on the shores of the alster lake.

You could be forgiven for thinking you are walking on clouds throughout the entire hotel, on soft carpets; the interior design is devoted to a love of materials and detail. There is no need for ostentatious chrome or gold leaf, fine wood and minerals express the understatement that is typical of Hamburg. Almost 200 members of staff attend to the guest’s every wish under the management of director Thies Sponholz. Check-in is at cosy curved desks and chairs, which are located in front of a green inner courtyard. However, my attention is drawn to the heart of the hotel. The 27-metre high atrium with round sofas up to 25 metres long. Six stories wide, my gaze is directed upwards to the glass banisters of the bar. When the pianist plays the Steinway grand piano, the tones drop like pearls along the eight-metre high chandelier down to the soft carpet. Can you feel the musical rain?
Guests can choose from a selection of 130 luxurious rooms and suites. Schramm Werkstätten in Germany designed an extra comfortable bed and mattress series specifically for the hotel. The “Parkview” garden restaurant offers a wide range of cuisine with a box view of the Alster. You are also granted a view of the Alster in the bar on the sixth floor. Above the bar, you will find the “Lakeside” gourmet restaurant; the crew, under the direction of Cornelius Speinle, offers contemporary fine dining and creative dishes of the highest level.
The hotel’s motto “Everything in flow” is also reflected in the exclusive spa area, extending over 1000 square metres. The urban roof landscape with a 20-metre long indoor/outdoor pool and sun terrace is a magical place. While you swim, the Infinity-Pool and the Alster Lake seem to merge to form one waterline.
Water, trees and the sky inspired the architect to create a building with a basic form made up of three intertwining circles, blending seamlessly into the Alster landscape. The result is not only a paradise for architecture and design enthusiasts but also a balance between nature and urban life.

Photos Copyrights: The Fontenay Hamburg

Baur au Lac

The Queen of Lake Zurich

The long-established Baur Au Lac has been welcoming its guests in an exclusive setting direct on lake Zurich for 174 years.

No country can look back on more traditional and impressive grand hotels than Switzerland. Their charm, magic and patina convey the feeling of former times to hotel guests and revive the past with panache and style. Several of them have been family-run for generations. Authenticity, ambiance and not least the host’s heart and soul make them living icons of the Swiss hotel industry. Most notably the Baur au Lac in Zurich.

For generations the hotel has been regarded by discerning travellers from all over the world as one of the top addresses in Switzerland. Elegance and comfort have shaped its reputation just as much as the proverbial service and the excellent gastronomy. In its own park, on the banks of Lake Zurich – and still a stone’s throw from the bustling bank centre, the hotel icon also enjoys a privileged location. 
Johannes Baur wrote hotel history with the Baur au Lac: He was the first to run the risk of building his hotel directly on the banks of Lake Zurich. As early as 1854 the Leipziger Illustrierte Zeitung reported on the hotel that was only ten-years old with these words: “The exterior is very promising, more than very promising. However, when you view the inside, wander through the luxurious salons and bedrooms, all your expectations will be surpassed.” This still applies today, 170 years later, because the Baur dynasty and subsequently the Kracht family, related by marriage, always set new standards in the Swiss luxury hotel industry. Consequently Emperors and Kings spend the night under the roof of the hotel icon. Today presidents and Excellencies stay at Baur au Lac and as always the most famous artists of their time.

Richard Wagner completed and premiered the first act of his Valkyrie here. Marc Chagall worked on the designs for the windows of the Fraumünster church. The foundation of the Nobel Peace Prize was concluded within the walls of the grand hotel. Thomas Mann spent many weeks in the Baur au Lac. After the war Christina Onassis, Gina Lollobrigida, presidents, business tycoons, chancellors, oil moguls from the Middle East, composers and major conductors came to the hotel and still do to date. However, names are not mentioned, as uncompromising discretion is traditionally given a high priority at Baur au Lac. And when Baur au Lac invites guests to events such as “Art in the Park” or the traditional Rive Gauche Summer party, the Swiss VIPs turn out in force.

The founding family in its sixth generation provides the hotel with uninterrupted continuity and direction. Today the Baur au Lac ranks worldwide as one of the oldest 5-star hotels that are still owned by the founding family. Tradition is lived here and the hotel never assumes a museum feel, because thanks to continuous dedication the contemporary challenges are fulfilled with the right service offer and modern technology; that is the hotel’s recipe for success. And to ensure that Baur au Lac continues to shine in its full splendour; over 150 million Swiss francs have been invested in the hotel in the last 20 years.

The hotel has a highly motivated staff base, consisting of a good mix of experienced professionals and dynamic, dedicated young people. Several members of staff have worked for Baur au Lac for over 40 years – a popular feature with the regular guests, as it gives them the feeling of “coming home to Baur au Lac”.

Photos Copyrights: © Baur au Lac

The Thief

Not just a place to stay , it is an
inspiring setting

We were told stepping into The Thief is sure to rob you of something. And the thing is that the hotel is so good at it…that we only noticed it at the end…

Thief Island, once the scene of shady dealings, has become one of the hottest districts in Scandinavia, “The New Oslo” with all its creative energy. “Building a hotel like this one doesn’t start with a budget. It starts with a dream.” Petter Stordalen says, property developper and owner of 170 hotels. He wanted the art to be something which has some stand-alone unique experience and asked Sune Nordgren the former director of Norway’s National Museum of Art, to handpick original artwork. This is what we experienced when walking into the hotel designed by award-winning firm Mellbye Architects. We see a huge piece by Richard Prince “The Horse Thief”. There is video art from Julian Opie in the lift, Andy Warhol in the restaurant. All 118 rooms have unique art. Works from Richard Prince, Tony Craig and Albert Merz are amongst the pieces.

The 160 square metre penthouse serves as homage to pop art legend Sir Peter Blake. Celebrated interior designer Anemone Wille Våge’s play with contrasts is the strongest in the rooms. Dark wood-panelling is interspersed with back-lit panels, rich brown carpets are paired with light parquet floors and sand-coloured curtains.
Through monumental glass facades, we enjoy a great view to the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Contemporary Art and are looking forward to our tour around the fjords with the hotel’s Riva boat. And now we know what has been stolen…we haven’t had a single thought about our very long to-do list, the responsibilities at home, everyday worries.

Photos Copyrights: The Thief Oslo

Haven in the far North

Haven in the far North

A place, a refuge, a luxury domicile with award-winning cuisine. An open space that allows alone with yourself or with others, far from everything that burdens and binds.

Your thoughts drift away and the broad horizon holds your gaze. With a good book in your hand, time passes at its own pace, until a spectacular sunset swallows the last light of day. A place like no other – as all guests discover on their arrival at Weissenhaus Grand Village Resort & Spa by the sea as soon as the wrought-iron gate opens and they are received in the gatehouse with its crackling open fire.

The former stately Manor

Enclosed in a large park extending to the Baltic Sea, the former stately manor of the Earl of Platen-Hallermund, situated on 75 hectares of land, is now an exclusive resort with its own three kilometre long natural beach. Only one hour from the bustling city of Hamburg it comprises forty buildings, some listed, with small distinctive peculiarities such as the former estate jail.
The centrepiece is the white Barock manor, comprising of 16 suites and rooms, which was reconstructed in 1896 following a fire. They are divided over eight luxuriously renovated, historical farm buildings and the upper storey of the manor. Like on a journey back in time, you can delight in the charm of the extensive rooms on the Belle Étage and the Belle Vue on the upper floor, in which historical details are skilfully combined with modern luxury. From the large windows you have a sweeping view of the grand paddocks, the bordering forests and the estate extending to the sea.

This magnificent building, which is over 400 years old, is the heart of the resort: In Courtier, the gourmet restaurant distinguished with two Michelin stars and managed by Christian Scharrer, guests can enjoy the finest cuisine.

Stop for a minute, enjoy your time and let yourself be pampered

The bath house, which is located slightly off the beaten track with a view of the Baltic Sea is a very special place of retreat, accessible via its own beach and with an outdoor sauna in the style of a bathing machine from the turn of the century. The lord of the manor once presented it to his wife, so she could warm herself at the fireplace after bathing in the Baltic Sea and could get dressed without being seen by strangers. In contrast, the multiple award-winning 2,000 square metre spa is located in the former coach house; to which the brick walls with large iron rings bear testimony. In the steam bath essential oils such as eucalyptus and menthol envelope those seeking peace, who can also enjoy the mild heat of a samarium or stone-dousing ceremonies in the Finnish sauna and are invited to experience the oriental bathing ritual Hammam. In the outdoor area there is a Russian Banja, in which infusions with birch twigs provide an authentic sauna experience. Subsequently the minus ten degree cold snow grotto offers soothing refreshment, before you make time stand still cosily snuggled up in front of the open fire.

Conclusion: The historical manor located directly on the Baltic Sea is one of the most beautiful and unusual beach resorts in Europe. Visitors will experience unspoiled nature, vast landscapes and finally – the epitome of peace and calm, because hectic and stress simply dissolve in the next ocean breeze.

“The best and most beautiful things in
the world cannot be seen or even touched.
They must be felt with the heart.”
Helen Keller, deaf-blind American author 1880-1968

Photos Copyrights: © Weissenhaus Grand Village Resort& spa by the sea

Lissabon – Insider Guide

One of a kind

So it is officially the most beautiful city in the world. Fresher than Rome, more relaxed than Rio, more romantic than Paris. Nevertheless, beauty does always lie in the eye of the beholder. And if this city would put a crown on itself, it would be a little crooked. Because Portugal‘s capital is above all one thing: enviably modest. And at the same time thrillingly authentic. A metropolis in the midst of a culinary boom with excellent Street Food and innovative Michelin-acclaimed Haute Cuisine. Lisbon will completely bowl you over, that’s a promise, and yes, because of the food, but not only.


The AlmaLusa Baixa/Chiado is a small, select boutique hotel situated in Lisbon’s historical district, not far from the famous Praça do Comércio (a popular spot for events of every kind) and the Padrão dos Descobrimentos (on the banks of the Tagus River, from which Portuguese explorers set sail back in the day). The AlmaLusa offers 28 beautifully decorated rooms, adorned with striking wallpaper from the British hotshot designer Andrew Martin. Classic Portuguese dishes are served in the in-house Delfina restaurant.

AlmaLusa Baixa/Chiado
Praça do Munícipio, 21
1100-365  Lissabon 

The renowned architect Luis Rebelo de Andrade worked for almost six years with the owner Heleen Uitenbroek on the Santiago de Alfama project. The former Palace from the 15th century is now a 5-star hotel with 19 rooms – each one unique and hard to top for stylistic confidence. Great value is attached to the personal needs of the guests, for example, one of the luxuries is the hotel’s own driver, Kevin, who on request brings you to the most beautiful parts of Lisbon in the polished Jaguar.

Santiago de Alfama

Rua de Santiago 10 a 14
1100-494 Lissabon

Sometimes more is simply more: The Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisboa is without doubt a venue of superlatives. It is the look: Art Deco coupled with a modern Louis-XVI style. The abundance of indigenous artwork. In the lobby you can view the works of Almada Negreiros. And the view from the Veranda restaurant, where you share promises over brunch and sunrise, or can put them into practice over a glass of wine and sunset.

Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisboa
R. Rodrigo da Fonseca 88
1099-039 Lissabon
Reservations: +351 (21) 381-1400


Sugar, butter, eggs: Pastéis de nata is Portugal‘s sweetest temptation. You can delight in the best example of these custard tarts sprinkled with cinnamon and as big as a plate in the Pastéis de Belém confectioners. They make 20.000 of them every day. The exact baking method is a strict secret and as old as the Hieronymite monastery that is located in the same part of the city. The recipe should never have passed through its walls but an epicurean monk was concerned that the recipe might die out.

When you book your flights, you would be well advised to book a table in the Michelin acclaimed LOCO at the same time. Star chef Alexandre Silvas‘ Discover menu promises fourteen unforgettable moments, consisting of four snacks, six dishes and two desserts – at a current price of 86 Euros. Organic Fine Dining conjured up in an open kitchen

The Belcanto is Portugal‘s first restaurant to be distinguished with two Michelin stars. One of the many requirements in star chef José Avillez‘ kitchen: Art combined with craft. And the objective: to trigger memories of people, places and times gone by with the created dishes.

Another Michelin star is the Catalan Sergi Arola, who produces veritable works of art on a plate in his LAB. If the dishes did not promise to give you an oral orgasm, it would be a crime to eat them. In addition to creative contemporary cuisine with a Portuguese touch the little gourmet temple offers 550 wines, exclusive cognacs and Armagnac.

In Tapisco the celebrity chef Henrique Sá Pessoa fuses Spanish and Portuguese delicacies. There are tapas and petiscos, paellas, etc. The dishes are a dream and are served in a small, modern restaurant in a relaxed atmosphere.

For those who aim high: Topo is perhaps Lisbon’s most beautiful rooftop bar. Peppered with a diverse crowd, live DJs, tasty drinks and an impressive panorama over the historic district of Mouraria. And if you are really lucky, they may even show a film.

Staying at this level, the spacious Sky Bar, in the ninth story of the Tivoli hotel. The view extends over the city to the open sea. And delicious small dishes are served to keep hunger at bay.

By the Wine is the first flagship store from the family of José Maria da Fonesca, who began to produce wine himself in 1834. You can sample fine wines at the bar, accompanied by cheese made locally, or oysters, salmon ceviche, meat and of course heavenly desserts. Occasionally you can take part in wine tastings and courses.


Tivoli Skybar

By the Wine


It’s up to you if you can tear yourself away from eating to have time to go shopping or not. It is well worth it in the Centro Comercial Colombo situated in Carnide; it is one of the largest shopping centres in Europe and in the mini mall Embaixada, situated in the trendy Principe Real district. A short walk away from the São Domingos Church, you can find a small millinery, the Chapelaria Azevedo. It was founded in 1886 and specialises in making hats of all kinds, the majority of them timeless classics. They are also happy to create customised pieces. International designers are represented mainly in the Avenida da Liberdade. But there are also a number of enticing little alleys or even whole streets to wile away the shopping hours. On one such street, the Calçada da Estrela, directly in front of the pretty Park Jardim da Estrela, you will encounter sweet Portuguese taste sensations. In the Casa dos Ovos Moles there are all sorts of delicacies, from the encharcada (an eggy sweet dessert with cinnamon), through to the pastel de Tentúgal (a filling mixed with yolk and sugar and wrapped in sweet puff pastry). If you have time book a workshop and learn the art of baking traditional desserts.


If there is a heaven on earth then at the Avenida 24 de Julho, in the Time Out Market Lisboa, an absolute Gourmet Mecca. Thirty of the best, coolest, most innovative chefs in Portugal offer their most delicious dishes under one roof. In one huge hall there are 23 restaurants, ten stands, eight bars and four shops in a row. Entertainment is provided in the form of live concerts and cooking courses. You can for example learn how to prepare pastéis de nata in a workshop. Open from Sunday to Wednesday, 10.00-00.00, Thursday to Saturday, 10.00-02.00.

Instead of getting into the legendary tramline 28 and getting your feet trod on, follow its tracks to the stop Sé, to Catedral Sé Patriarcal; you have a spectacular view over Lisbon from here.

Visit one of the many Fado Bars, get enraptured by Portuguese folk music, dance til the wee small hours, and forget all your sins. The best place to do this is Bairro Alto, Lisbon‘s scene district. The Park (Calçada do Combro 58) is located here, a bar, if you will, loaded down with plants and lamps, built on the roof of a parking garage, with good cocktails and a great view over the city.

A must for cultural savvys: a visit to the Hieronymite monastery. It is considered one of the most significant buildings in the Portuguese Manueline style, a splendid Portuguese style of architecture. Guaranteed to amaze even cultural philistines.

If you have the time, we recommend a trip to the Museu do Design e da Moda (in short MUDE). Housed in an old Palace, the collection covers thousands of works from design and fashion, including treasures from Yves Saint Laurent and Vivienne Westwood. Admission free.

The journey to Sintra, 25 kilometres West of Lisbon, is a journey back to the Palaeolithic period. The natural landscape is a UNESCO world heritage site and particularly unique because of the centuries’ old palaces and castles. The National Palace of Sintra is especially worth a visit; a former Royal Palace, its construction represents a conglomerate of different architectural styles with its large conical chimneys.

An hour away from Lisbon, you can find the picturesque fishing village Ericeira with numerous sandy beaches, also known as surfers’ paradise. Not far from here is the National Palace of Mafra. Its library is considered one of the most beautiful in the world.

Photo Copyrights:

A resort to indulge

A mild climate, kilometre-long beaches, volcanic landscape – Tenerife is a popular destination für surfing and holiday guests who like to go swimming, hiking or do other sports. Luxury lovers have been rare until recently. However, since the beginning of 2018 the island has seen some changes.

The Spanish Barceló Hotel Group invested over 90 million Euros in the exclusive “Royal Hideaway Corales Resort” and enhanced the Costa Adeje in the southwest of Tenerife with a perfectly stylish resort: with pool suites, an elegant spa and a rooftop restaurant led by a star chef.


The new luxury hotspot is neatly divided into two sections: The “Corales Suites” are designed for families, because if you are travelling without children you want to enjoy your time at the pool undisturbed, while “Corales Beach” has 121 junior suites for adults. Therefore the “From 16 years” rule applies everywhere at “Corales Beach”, in the spa area, in the gym and in the signature restaurant Maresía. Families are still welcome – in “Corales Suites” there are family friendly suites with their own kitchen, private pools and on request with several bedrooms. Roughly half of the accommodation has a private, heated pool. Both areas form a harmonious unit both on an architectural scale and in their style of decoration!


In contrast to the numerous traditional luxury hotels on the Canary Islands, the Royal Hideaway Corales Resort captivates with a modern, fresh design: Inspired by the colours and shapes of the corals and the island’s landscape, the interior is characterised by clear shades, curved lines and creative décor elements. The rooms promote the summer feeling – after all, the entire hotel is facing the sea. However, the hideaway does not only excel on an architectural level. The resort offers its guests those special extras. There are evening massages at the private pool, a helicopter round trip over the island and Teide National Park, the chef cooks directly in the guest suites, amateur astronomers gaze at the wonderful night sky from Teide Volcano (3,350 m) or go on a private “Star Night Cruise”. Guests enjoy individual adventures thanks to the unique concept of tailor-made experiences.


The “Restaurant Maresía by Hermanos Padrón« on the roof terrace is the hotel’s culinary highlight. It was developed by the star chef Juan Carlos Padrón and his brother from the Canary Islands. While Juan Carlos plays the leading role in creating the main courses for the restaurant, his brother Jonathan devotes himself to the perfectly formed desserts. The Padrón brothers consciously use products from regional manufacturers to bring the visitors closer to local cuisine. You can delight in unique creations such as mussels on lychee vinaigrette, shrimps on tapioca jus, Canary Islands cheese-ravioli in lentil-aniseed-bouillon and lemon yoghurt with roasted chocolate, all with a breath-taking view of the Tenerife coast. The San-Hô restaurant is a further gourmet highlight offering a combination of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine, the so-called Nikkei cuisine. The Royal Hideaway Corales Resort sets new standards in culinary excellence on Tenerife.


  • Food worlds that make every gourmet heart skip a beat
  • Fascinating architecture that is simply enchanting
  • Fantastic setting with sea view
  • Excellent spa treatments that indulge your senses

Photos Copyrights: Barceló Hotel & Royal Hideaway Corales Beach & Suites, Tenerife