Friday, April 30, 2010

How to Do Coffee Italian Style...




Don't want to be taken for a tourist? Then don't be heard ordering a latte after lunch, writes Lee Marshall for The Age Traveller.
Coffee is so much a part of Italian culture, the idea of not drinking it is as foreign as the idea of having to explain its rituals. These rituals are set in stone and not always easy for outsiders to understand. As in any self-respecting cult, they are made deliberately hard to comprehend, so that the initiated can recognise each other over the bar counter without the need for a curious handshake (which would only lead to stubborn cappuccino stains).
Some might object that the Italian coffee cult is now a worldwide church with branches in London, Dubai and Bora Bora. But while the Arabica coffee blend is often perfect, the cups just the right size and shape, the machines as "Made in Italy" as they come, Italian coffee bars outside Italy almost always adapt to the host culture - just like the vast majority of Chinese restaurants outside China. If you take your cue from your local high-street espresso purveyor, you risk straying from the True Path on arrival in Italy.
Here, then, for those who fancy going native in true Lorenzo of Arabica style, are the Ten Commandments of Il Culto del Caffe.
1 Thou shalt drink only cappuccino, caffe latte, latte macchiato or any milky form of coffee in the morning - and never after a meal. Italians cringe at the thought of all that hot milk hitting a full stomach. An American friend who has lived in Rome for many years continues, knowingly, to break this rule. But she has learnt, at least, to apologise to the barista.
2 Thou shalt not muck around with coffee. Requesting a mint frappuccino in Italy is like asking for a single-malt whisky and lemonade with a swizzle stick in a Glasgow pub. There are but one or two regional exceptions that have the blessing of the general coffee synod. In Naples, you can order un caffe alla nocciola - a frothy espresso with hazelnut cream. In Milan, impress the locals by asking for un marocchino, a sort of upside-down cappuccino, served in a small glass and sprinkled with cocoa powder, hit with a blob of frothed milk, then spiked with a shot of espresso.
3 Which reminds me, thou shalt not use the word espresso. This a technical term in Italian, not an everyday one. Espresso is the default setting and single is the default dose; a single espresso is simply known as un caffe.
4 Thou can order un caffe doppio (a double espresso) if thou likest but be aware that this is not an Italian habit. Italians do drink a lot of coffee but they do so in small, steady doses.
5 Thou shalt head confidently for the bar, call out thine order, even if the barista has his back to you, and pay afterwards at the till.
6 If it's an airport or station bar or a tourist place where the barista screams "ticket" at thee, thou shalt, if thou can bear the ignominy, pay before thou consumest.
7 Thou shalt not sit down unless thou hast a very good reason. Coffee is a pleasurable drug, but a drug nevertheless, and should be downed in one, standing. Would thou sit down at a pavement table to take thy daily Viagra?
8 Thou shouldst expect thy coffee to arrive at a temperature at which it can be downed immediately as per the previous commandment. If thou preferest burning thy lips and tongue or blowing the froth off thy cappuccino in a vain attempt to cool it down, thou shouldst ask for un caffe bollente.
9 Thou shall be allowed the following variations, and these only, from the Holy Trinity of caffe, cappuccino and caffe latte: caffe macchiato or latte macchiato - an espresso with a dash of milk or a hot milk with a dash of coffee (remember, mornings only); caffe corretto: the Italian builder's early-morning pick-me-up, an espresso "corrected" with a slug of brandy or grappa; and caffe freddo or cappuccino freddo (iced espresso or cappuccino) - but beware, this usually comes pre-sugared. Thou mayst also ask for un caffe lungo or un caffe ristretto if thou desirest more or less water in thine espresso.
10 Anything else you may have heard is heresy.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Le Lagoto Resort Savaii, Samoa



Intimate boutique resort…Idyllic location…Warm and welcoming Samoan service…Mouth watering meals and drinks

Located on the big island of Savaii, Le Lagoto Resort is the ideal Pacific getaway…A small, boutique resort that offers you the benefits of a large resort, in a private and intimate setting. Located on a secluded white sandy beach fringed with coconut palms with crystal clear water, Le Lagoto provides the perfect spot for you to stop relax and unwind. Le Lagoto is named after the world famous sunsets… Le Lagoto means “Sunset” in Samoan. The Samoan styled Fales (bungalows) have contemporary touches to ensure that guests are completely comfortable. Each Fale has a private patio with sea views and the lush tropical gardens and are perfectly situated for views of the famous sunsets. With only ten private fales and one Beach House the resort guarantees personal attention from the friendly Samoan staff.

Come and experience all the best that Samoa has to offer, as the sunsets over another day in Paradise…Warning…Once you arrive you may never want to leave!....

LOCATION
Le Lagoto Resort is located on the northern coast of Savaii, in the village of Fagamalo, which is a 45 minute drive from the Salelologa port. Ferry from Mulifanua is approximately one and a half hour to Salelologa. The Manase Stretch is a 3 minute drive to the west and a 2 minute drive to Swimming with the Turtles reserve. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Nine Fine Boutique Hotels


“Boutique” is perhaps the biggest trend to hit hotels since “room service”. Here, Qantas Travel Insider reports on  some of the hottest, hippest, prettiest or just plain quirkiest boutique hotels around.

The Scarlet, Singapore

1. The Scarlet, Singapore
With its gaudy, in-your-face decor – think gold wallpaper, crystal wall sconces, bright red lounges and shimmering Bisazza-tiled water features – The Scarlet looks like a set straight out of Moulin Rouge...

JIA Boutique Hotel, Hong Kong

2. Jia Boutique Hotel, Hong Kong
Rooms feature top-of-the-line appliances and soft, sheer curtains to divide the space for living and working. The award-winning restaurant OPIA is perfect for a stylish dining experience..

First Hotel Skt Petri, Copenhagen

3. First Hotel Skt Petri, Copenhagen
Copenhagen’s first design-inspired hotel since the Royal, this was originally a 1930s department store. Now wrapped in steel and glass, the hotel features modernist furnishings, design and art exhibitions in the lobby and a cool late-night vibe...

Faena Hotel and Universe, Buenos Aires

4. Faena Hotel and Universe, Buenos Aires
The hyper-fashionable Faena, in the hip new neighbourhood of Puerto Madero, provides the best chance for running into a Hollywood producer (Francis Ford Coppola has stayed) or touring rock star...

Urbn Hotels, Shanghai

5. Urbn Hotel, Shanghai
Once a factory warehouse, now a cool, 26-room luxury establishment. Urbn Hotels Shanghai claims to be China’s first carbon-neutral hotel...

Adelphi Hotel, Melbourne

6. Adelphi Hotel, Melbourne
Star chef Teage Ezard’s restaurant in the basement, the lap pool overhanging Flinders Lane on the terrace and 34 stylish rooms and suites sandwiched in between; always a contender for the title of Melbourne’s hippest hotel…


Murano Urban Resort, Paris

7. Murano Urban Resort, Paris
In 2004, a rundown apartment block and adjoining car park on the fringe of the edgy Marais district were transformed into a 52-room “urban resort” so ambitiously minimalist and aggressively modern it single-handedly changed the world’s perception of Parisian hotels...

The Greenwich Hotel, New York

8. The Greenwich Hotel, New York
The emphasis here is on discretion: an unmarked door leads to a soignée antique-filled lobby while upstairs each of the 88 unique rooms is more residential than flashy...


Hotel Missoni Edinburgh

9. Hotel Missoni, Edinburgh
The 136 guestrooms are spacious and chic with silver leather headboards, opulent bathrooms, classic Missoni print linens and robes, espresso machines and Bang & Olufsen flat-screen TVs...



Tuesday, April 27, 2010

New York, New York...


Greenwich Hotel, New York

Choosing a hotel is an exciting part of planning any overseas trip. Aaron Peasley for Qantas Travel Insider shares some expert advice on how to choose from the many and varied hotels in the magical city of New York...


As far as lodging options go, New York City spans an enormous spectrum. On one hand are feats of painstaking expense and design such as the Ty Warner penthouse atop the Four Seasons, the keys to which cost a preposterous $US34,000 ($50,940) a night. On the other hand, the budget end of the market is characterised by rooms that would make a gulag look luxurious. With such extremes, visitors are faced with a tough question: slum it or blow the budget?

Let’s face it: New York may be the city that never sleeps, but even the most insomnious visitor requires a place to lay his head. Last year New York attracted more than 46 million tourists and, with room occupancy around 90 per cent, demand continues to grow. 

Style-wise, there is something for everyone. While there has been a recent move away from the ’90s whimsical minimalism of Philippe Starck to a more baroque sensibility (The Bowery Hotel, The Gramercy Park Hotel), the new hotel rooms span everything from the cool millennial style of Cooper Square Hotel to the patrician romance of The Greenwich Hotel. 

As everyone knows, you need not be rich to enjoy New York City. A stylish hotel is another story. Perhaps most comforting is that this boom includes some stylish and affordable options. The Standard Hotel, part of the chic and affordable chainlet, which stands sentinel above the soon-to-open High Line, will have gentle rates but phenomenal views. 

Nearby is the quirky new Jane Hotel, once a sailors’ hostel, which has some of the tiniest rooms in the city. Yet hoteliers Sean MacPherson and Eric Goode managed to pack in an incredible amount of style. Buying an old hostel may seem an odd choice for the team that recently opened ultra-luxurious The Bowery Hotel, but if anyone can turn a frowzy hostel into a destination for the frugal and fabulous, they can.



To read the full article visit Travel Insider

Friday, April 23, 2010

Samoa's Sinalei Reef Resort & Spa Rebuilds with Heart and Soul After Tsunami



Last September, a magnitude 8.0 earthquake struck the Pacific near American Samoa, creating a massive tsunami that thundered across Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. More than 170 lost their lives, among them, Tui Annandale, owner—together with her husband, Joe, head chief of the local District of Falealili—of the Sinalei Reef Resort & Spa. An exceptional woman, Tui left behind a rich legacy built on love, respect and kinship—it is this legacy that is now helping to rebuild not only this extraordinary resort, but also the community that surrounds it.


Located on the southern coast of Upolu Island, the resort and its environs were among the most badly damaged areas. Today, the Tsunami Relief Fund set up by the Annandale Family is helping to rebuild and restore the lives of the people of the District of Falealili. And within the resort, another miracle of recovery and reconstruction is occurring. Right before the tsunami hit, Sose Ananndale, general manager of the resort, had hired Ernst-Jan Broer, a 26-year-old chef prodigy with a resume of clients that reads like a “Who’s Who” of the Oscar crowd. After learning of the devastation, Broer and his wife (who had been tapped as Food & Beverage Manager) did what any self-respecting rockstar staffers would do: they packed their bags and took the first plane out to Samoa, where they rolled up their sleeves and have been working pro bono ever since.


“After the disarray over the last few months, our general conditions left much to be desired,” said Sose Annandale. “Ernst and Pim’s determination and skill have pulled them through this challenge. The both have a flare of high standards that we are very excited about and look forward to putting into practice. I am happy to say, things are finally beginning to take shape.”
Samoa’s premiere luxury property, Sinalei has welcomed world leaders like Australian Prime Minister John Howard plus stars such as Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. The resort is famous for its luxurious fales (open-air beach bungalows), indulgent spa and exquisite service. Currently the team is hard at work to restore the property to its former first-class status. Construction is almost complete for the Ava I Toga Restaurant, plus a pier and a new purpose-built spa on the beach front.



The Presidential Suite was completed in February and is looking stunning. The Beach Side Fales are still underway and once finished will be air conditioned and completely revamped. The Resort is on the brink of reopening. Still Smiling, still beautiful and still Samoa’s premier luxury Resort.

Bookings are now being accepted for guests arriving on or after April 1, 2010 through their website at www.sinalei.com or by contacting reservations@sinalei.ws


Visit www.wrd.com.au

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tasting Australia

The Tasting Australia 2010 event program is available now. It promises a wide array of stunning main courses - and plenty of tasty side dishes - featuring top international and national food and drink professionals. The event takes place in Adelaide and South Australias regions. 

Among first-time international visitors from the United Kingdom are Rosemary Shrager and Antony Worral Thompson. Irish-born Paul Rankin will be joining us again for the second time. Another previous and highly popular star coming to Tasting Australia is the legendary Antonio Carluccio, who will be making his third visit to the event.  

These are just some of the top international names who will be joined by many of Australia's top chefs, writers and television presenters, including Joanna Savill, Will Studd, Manu Feildel, Maeve O'Meara, Shannon Bennett, Ben O'Donoghue, Pete Evans, Anna Gare, Stephanie Alexander, Maggie Beer, Lyndey Milan, Paul Mercurio, Poh Ling Yeow, Ed Halmagyi, Jill Norman, Darren Simpson, Frank Camorra and Simon Bryant

This is your chance to mix with these icons of flavour over eight delicious days and some 45 different events, including demonstrations, tastings and cooking classes.  

Rub shoulders with the tastiest celebrities 29 April - 6 May 2010… 

Monday, April 19, 2010

Top 10 Places to Feel Young Again



If you're bored with your life and looking to shake things up, Lonely Planet's 1000 Ultimate Experiences has come up with 10 destinations where you can reinvent yourself and feel young again.This fabulous article is from the SMH Traveler.

1. DUBAI, UAE
It's time for a new outfit, which means an expedition to Dubai. Fashion is serious business in this shopping-mall heaven, where small and flashy togs can be stuffed into designer handbags. To finish the look, eye-punishing displays of glittering gold line the streets of Dubai's gold souq. Over 25 tons of the stuff are on display in the city's jewelry-shop windows. Choose from earrings, rings, necklaces or bracelets - the more ostentatious the better.

2. ROUTE 66, USA
Search for freedom on the open highway with a road trip across the USA. It requires a Harley or a classic convertible, and plenty of 'issues' to resolve. Take your pick from a multitude of interstate routes, but to travel in the footsteps of film, literary and music legends it has to be well-worn and iconic Route 66, from Chicago to Santa Monica. Do take a movie camera to record your trip. Don't forget to fill up with gas.

3. MONTE CARLO, MONACO
Dust off your tux and brush up on the slick one-liners as you join the jet set, Bond-style, in Monte Carlo. The beautiful people out-glamour each other from their million-euro yachts moored along the harbor, as international businesspeople monitor their investments from this secure tax haven. Visitors to the casino glint with gold, like the sun on the Med. The Monte Carlo Rally in January and the Monaco Grand Prix in May offer adrenalin-fueled breaks from spending cash.

4. RISHIKESH, INDIA
If your crisis is one of faith, take your pick of places in which to have a spiritual epiphany: St Peter's in Rome, Lhasa in Tibet or Mecca in Saudi Arabia could help you find your calling. But we reckon the ideal spot is Rishikesh, on the banks of the sacred Ganges in the foothills of the Himalaya. It's lined with ashrams, and holy men mingle with tourists and the odd celeb. This was the Beatles' favorite center of Hindu philosophy and learning, and it's nicknamed the yoga capital of the world.

5. LAS VEGAS, USA
You've realized what your first wedding was missing: an Elvis impersonator, matching polyester pantsuits and a partner you'd only just met. So it's time to take a gamble of a different sort with a second/third/seventh wedding in Vegas. It offers more than 30 places to say 'I do', and over 100,000 couples take their vows here each year, including more than a handful of celebs. The Little White Wedding Chapel is open 24 hours, so when your eyes meet over a crowded poker table, there's no need to bother waiting before tying the knot.

6. PHUKET, KUALA LUMPUR, MANILA, MUMBAI
Fed up of peering in the mirror, jiggling your wobbly bits and wishing everything was a little further north? Considering a little nip and tuck or two, but worried about showing your post-op bruises in public? Cheap prices coupled with recuperation in the sun is making surgery in Phuket, Kuala Lumpur or Manila increasingly popular. India is the daddy of them all. Today state-of the-art facilities make a facelift or a hip replacement a short inconvenience before relaxing by the beach.

7. MACAU, CHINA
Cashing in the pension fund and remortgaging the house might just be enough to get you in the door of Crown Casino, Taipa Island, Macau. Boasting six stars and more than 200 gaming tables, the casino's not shy about the number of noughts involved. For those with pockets smaller than China, there are another 27 casinos to choose from. These include the grandly decked-out Emperor Palace Casino on the peninsula - featuring plenty of marble and as much gold on the brick floor as on the gamblers themselves - or the famous, lively Casino Lisboa.

8. SILVERSTONE, ENGLAND
It's not too late to fulfill that dream of being a racing driver, temporarily at least. Crowds have watched heroes like Senna, Prost and Stewart hurtle around the legendary Silverstone track, home of the British Grand Prix, since the 1950s, and you can recreate it with a power test drive. Imagine the cheers as you burn rubber in a Ferrari, slide into corners in an old single-seater or test a 4WD on something more taxing than the streets of Islington. Just don't try this on the school run.

9. PETRA, JORDAN
Petra, setting for much of 1989's Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, looks like it should only exist in films. A narrow canyon winds to its iconic entrance, carved from deep-rose colored sandstone. As you enter, you're greeted by the intricate facade of the famous Khazneh (Treasury), fictional home of the Holy Grail. The site contains plenty more to explore, including the Temple of the Winged Lions, still in the process of excavation. Today the only hazards are bumping shoulders with the other 3,000 visitors; poisoned arrows, rolling balls of rock and snake pits are usually avoidable.

10. SYDNEY & MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
For centuries humans have pitted themselves against beasts to prove their worth, from rather one-sided trophy hunting to careering down side streets at the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. Something a little more equal and up close is diving with sharks, and for that you should head to Australia. For those with no diving experience, tank dives in Melbourne's aquarium and Sydney's oceanarium give a chance to watch these predators glide past soundlessly, eyeing you up as a potential meal. Friends and family can watch your "bravery" via a glass viewing screen.

Reuters

Visit smh.com.au


 

Friday, April 16, 2010

Top 10 Ghost Towns


For a spooky holiday filled with ghoulish fun, check out the Top 10 Ghost towns from around the world below… Gallery from www.news.com.au.


1. KOLMANSKOP, NAMIBIA
Travellers seeking a quiet place need look no further than the numerous towns around the world that have been abandoned for one reason or another. Travel review website IgoUgo.com has compiled a list of the top 10 ghost towns around the world based on recommendations from its readers. Before you enter this abandoned mining town in the Namib desert, you'll need to stop in nearby Luderitz for a permit - a holdover from the days when Kolmanskop was a free-for-all for diamond hunters. The town was at its heyday in the 1920s but abandoned in 1956. It has since been partly restored. Picture: Flickr user Coda


2. FATEHPUR SIKRI, INDIA
Built by Emperor Akbar to be the most beautiful city in the world, it was widely thought this goal was achieved - until people realized the city lacked access to water. It was abandoned as the capital of the Mughal Empire after just 10 years and is today a perfectly preserved 16th-century town.
Picture: Flickr user Sikri Goove2007


3. OATMAN, ARIZONA, US
Of the Arizona ghost towns, quirky Oatman has to be among IgoUgo members' favourite. It's here where wild burros roam the streets and $60,000 bills decorate the walls of the local hotel, where, incidentally, Clark Gable and Carol Lombard spent their wedding night. Picture: Flickr user Caveman 92223



4. DECEPTION ISLAND, ANTARCTICA
A regular stop on Antarctic sailings, Deception Island was a popular place for scientific outposts until several volcanic eruptions destroyed the bases in the 1960s. Today you can see their remains, plus swim in hot springs. Picture: Flickr user Wili Hybrid


 5. RHYOLITE, NEVADA, US
Gold was discovered here in 1904, and within 16 years, the town had thrived and fallen into disrepair. Today the most complete building in town is constructed of 30,000 beer bottles and the only residents - besides those in the ghostly Last Supper art piece - are the slithering, crawling variety. Picture: Flickr user Ken Lund


6. ARTLUNGA, AUSTRALIA
A favourite part of this old Outback mining town (and early European settlement) is the "loneliest pub in the scrub," also known as the Arltunga Hotel. It's an ideal place for lunch or a cold beer before or after exploring Arltunga which was born out of a gold rush. Picture: Page Lovelace


7. GRAFTON, UTAH, US
Founded for its fertile land and abandoned largely due to conflicts with Native Americans and flooding, Grafton is most famous as the set of the movie "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid." The last residents left in 1944. Picture: Flickr user Respres


8. STROMNESS, SOUTH GEORGIA ISLAND
A former whaling station, Stromness is even more remote, in a sense, than Deception Island. Get there by trekking across mountains on the famous route of Sir Ernest Shackleton. The station was abandoned in 1961, but the relatively posh managers' "Villa at Stromness" has been repaired in recent years in hopes of providing safe access for the growing number of visitors. Picture: Flickr user Scazon


9. GREAT BLASKET ISLAND, IRELAND
After its population began to dwindle and the few remaining inhabitants could no longer support themselves, Great Blasket was abandoned in 1953. A combination boat-raft trip takes visitors to Great Blasket today to hike among wild donkeys, sheep, rabbits, and puffins. Picture: Flickr user Jim Linwood


10. SOUTH PASS CITY, WYOMING, US
A ghost town with the illustrious distinction of being the birthplace of women's suffrage in the United States, South Pass City has seen a recent return to semi-glory. Restoration has been done with such authenticity and attention to detail that every one of the 30 historical buildings, containing over 30,000 mostly original artifacts, is a delight to enter and explore. Picture: Flickr user MoEaFaTi

Visit News

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Uma Sapna Bali









One of the BD Team members recently stayed at Uma Sapna Bali, and she had the most divine time… Not only is Uma Sapna the epicentre of  relaxation and luxury, but what's more, they even offer wedding packages!

Experience privacy and luxury, “just the way you like it” at the Uma Sapna, a private villa complex inspired by contemporary design, is a reflection of Bali’s creative essence.

The resort is situated in a residential environment in the heart of Bali’s upscale Seminyak village. Featuring 18 one bedroom and 2 two bedrooms villas, scattered over the property, each protected for privacy. Shopping and international dining are within five minutes walking distance.

Uma Sapna boasts all the expected comforts and services you will find in a five-star resort. Private dining can be enjoyed in your own villa. The Uma Sapna Spa offers a luxurious full-service massage and body therapy in any of our three spa treatment rooms or in the privacy of your villa.

Visit Uma Sapna to start planning the trip (or wedding!) of a lifetime…

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Six Senses Destination Spa Phuket


This fabulous article about the gorgeous Six Senses Destination Spa in Phuket from The Cool Hunter will make you want to book the next flight to Thailand!… Make sure you visit The Cool Hunter for more tantalising articles like this.


Just as luxury resort group Six Senses was ahead of the curve with its sexy castaway fantasy resort in the Maldives, Soneva Fushi, Six Senses Destination Spa Phuket is a spa fantasy that lasts for days, even weeks, depending how long you want to stay. We only had four days but that was enough time to understand why this destination spa is so popular, it goes way beyond pampering. The experience starts as soon as you arrive of the private island of Naka Yai, just of the north-east coast of Phuket in Phang Nga Bay. There’s no lobby, no queues, just walk up the postcard perfect jetty and head straight for the spa for an extensive assessment.


A daily programme is worked out that must include at least two treatments each day. From there, a personal butler takes you to your beach villa that comes with private pool, steamroom, indoor/outdoor show, sea views and a luxe bed that ended up providing the best sleep in memory. This is heaven for spa trekkers. No stress, complete relaxation, super healthy organic food and not one but four spas – Thai, Indian, Indonesian and Chinese – to experience.


What to wear is yet another thing that you don’t have to worry about here. Everyone wears organic cotton pyjamas so save the Pucci and Gucci for Mykonos. These PJs are perfect in the tropical heat. Six Senses is very good at shedding away all the chaos of modern life.


There’s no news channels (just movies from their library), moving from spa appointment, to meals and back to the villa. The place makes you so aware of how you live, what you put into your body, stress levels and what is really feels to be relaxed.


It would be easy to spend the whole stay holed up in the villa. The aesthetic is Fred Flintstone meets very stylish designer, no sharp edges, nothing overly processed. it’s all about beautiful organic forms and a connection to the natural world.


The rooms feature signs made with coconut husks, sugar palm leaf thatching, earthy tones, textured walls and natural light. There are 61 villas and two ubervillas - the Enclave and the Retreat on the Hill that regularly house royalty and megawatt celebrities in their palatial compounds.


Here, most of the food is grown on the island or sourced locally. Meal options include a “fishetarian” diet or raw foods (think raw vegan food -nothing over 46 degrees Celsius). Buffet breakfast includes a line up of fresh juices for every cure and every day the menu changes. Fat content and calories are noted. Days quickly fall into a rhythm of treatments, organic food, workout sessions and alternative therapies from iridology to blood analysis. The day is followed by perfect rest and deep, deep sleep. Be warned, it can be hard to get to early morning yoga or kayaking because the bed is so comfortable.


Each spa its own little universe, with a gateway into sublime interiors, with surrounding outdoor spaces perfectly complementing the experience. It is so far removed from the concept of the spa with a fountain out front, rows of treatment rooms out the back. Six Senses has gone all out  - the ground level Thai-style massage beds, an Indian colonics chambre, the perfect Chinese bamboo garden and pavilion for the post-treatment cup of tea. It would take weeks to try every treatment and to add to the top therapists on staff, internationally recognised trainers and practitioners jet in for guest residencies too.


By day three, there is no such thing as stress, just complete relaxation. I only had four days here, many extend their stay and cancel other plans and it’s easy to see why. The destination spa has an incredible future for travellers looking for a total escape, no tweets, no email, no junk food. Six Senses also understands that a spa doesn’t have to mean one ‘flavor’ of treatment. At Naka Yai, recent visiting practitioners include triathletes, pilates, reiki masters and top personal trainers. This fresh approach to spas is also happening at other Six Senses spas including a new Paris property opening on the rue de Castiglione next month. The brand is continuing on from success at resorts in Doha, Barcelona, Portugal, Jordan, Oman and the Maldives. The Six Senses brand is set to conquer the spa world again with a palatial spa opening in Marrakech in Morocco that opens in 2011. Can’t wait. - Bill Tikos