Tag Archives: Spa

A Turkish Hamam – A Relaxing, Cleansing Experience

By Lakshmi:

Who?  Anyone who is visiting Istanbul, has a few hours to spare and wants to partake in this old-fashioned bath prevalent for many centuries.

What? A Turkish Hamam or bath which is both a deep cleansing and a relaxing experience.

How? There are many Hamams all over Istanbul.  Many have been raved about in books and magazines and others are less known entities.  For example, Cagaloglu Hamami is listed in the book, 1000 Things to Do Before You Die.  We actually had read mixed reviews about some of the more famous ones and decided to indulge in our Hamam experience at our hotel, the Hotel Levni in Istanbul.

Why?  We had spent an entire day walking around the historic sights of old Istanbul and were tired.  So off we went to the spa at our hotel, ready to experience a Hamam for the first time.  Since there were two Hamam rooms, my daughters decided to double up and I did one one my own.  My Hamam room was  absolutely gorgeous and laying on a giant slab of marble in this atmosphere transported me to a world gone by.  My masseuse was a Balinese woman who had been working at Hamams for a couple of years.  Over my treatments of a scrub and massage, she told me about her family in Bali, her siblings, how she got to Istanbul and of course her plans for the future.  It was a surreal journey, taking about the beauty and life in Bali over a Hamam treatment in Istanbul.  I don’t have other benchmarks to compare this to, but the experience was very good and we all emerged feeling squeaky clean.  It was one more feather in the cap for this lovely property as well.

If you are in Istanbul and want to know more about a Hamam experience, this article by Lonely Planet is a good read.


Marriott Sky City Hong Kong- A Peak Season Delight

Marriott SkyCity Hong Kong

By Siddhi: 

Staying at airport hotels has never been a part of the way we like to travel. We love getting a place, no matter how small it is, in the heart of the city so that we can walk out the front doors in the morning and be swallowed by a new life and new culture. Much of the thrill of adventuring has been in trying to live in the epicenter of all action. But sometimes, booking a hotel during peak seasons on a budget proves to be a very trying task. Especially when you’re in one of the most popular cities in the world around Christmas and New Year’s time.

Last December, after spending winter break in Tokyo, we decided to stop in Hong Kong before coming home because it has mutually remained one of our favorite cities in the world regardless of how many new places we experience. Hotel prices in the soul of the city were ludicrous. So we decided to stay at the Marriott Sky City, located just a few minutes away from the airport.

Sitting right on the banks of the stunning South China Sea that is geographically the touching stone of so many oriental landmarks, Sky City feels like a luxury resort on every level. An indoor pool, full service spa, expansive golf course, and tremendous gym with specialized amenities (it was my favorite part of the hotel. I could work out at three in the morning and watch the planes land gracefully in the distance against the nighttime lights) are only a few among the many perks of paying less during peak season and staying near the airport. The buffet breakfast (additional cost) at the SkyCity Bistro was very comprehensive and ensured a filling, uplifting start to long days of fun and exploration in Hong Kong.

Another highlight was the complimentary shuttle service to the Tung Chung MTR subway station, which was how we connected to the rest of the city. It’s about a 35-40 minute ride to Tsim Sha Tsui, the hub of all culture and action in Kowloon (and to this day one of my favorite places on the planet). The commute isn’t ideal, but time flies watching locals and observing the beautiful seascapes through the train windows.

If you’re not visiting Hong Kong during the peak holiday season, then try to look for a hotel near Tsim Sha Tsui. Deals surface constantly. But if you are visiting at a time when hotel prices are through the roof, consider staying close to the airport at Marriott SkyCity. It was worth every penny.

Villa Sassa – A Beautiful Hotel Overlooking a Lake and Hills in Lugano

Breakfast at Villa Sassa
Source: wegotravel.ch

By Lakshmi:

Who?  If you are visiting Lugano, Switzerland and want to spend a day or a night or even just grab a meal at a lovely hotel with spectacular lake and hill views.

What? Villa Sassa is a beautiful hotel with spacious apartment style rooms in the heart of Lugano, the Italian speaking region of Switzerland.

How? Villa Sassa is located about an hour from Milan’s Malpensa airport and within 20 minutes of Lugano airport.

Villa Sassa Hotel, Residence & SPA, Via Tesserete 10, CH-6900 Lugano – Switzerland

Tel.  +41 (0)91 911 41 11


Why?  I have stayed at this property multiple times over the last several years.  On each stay, I have been greeted by a very efficient staff and the multi-room apartments have been way extremely spacious for a solo traveler.  On multiple occasions, I have asked for wake up calls and coffee at four o’clock am to get to Milan for an early morning flight and the service has been spot on.  This is where I have practiced my few sentences of known Italian to an incredibly friendly staff.

While the hotel has a spa and a gym (I have used the latter), to me what is really special is the restaurant overlooking the lake.  When you are up early in the mornings and head over for breakfast, the lake view from the garden blooming with flowers is just breathtaking.  At night, when the lights come on, it appears as though the view was simply draped with a multi-tier beaded necklace.

While it is a pricey property, you can always go there to have breakfast or dinner and the food has always been simple and fresh.

To learn more about Villa Sassa, click here: