Superb Packages at Dubrovnik Sun Gardens

Dubrovnik is one of our favourite places in the whole world so we’re always excited to see a good offer to make travelling to this luxury and must-visit destination.  This spring and summer the Dubrovnik Sun Gardens, on Croatia’s Adriatic Coast is offering Double Rooms from €99 on a B&B basis.  Alternatively, the Family Package (minimum three-night stay) in a two-bedroom sea view residence including, bottle of wine & fruit basket, buffet breakfast, buffet dinner starts from just €292 per person.  And then, for the ultimate in indulgence, the Spa Delight package includes two-night accommodation in a standard room complemented with one spa treatment per person and the hotel’s delicious buffet breakfast from €119 per person including VAT!

Radisson Blu Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik’s Sun Gardens is one of the country’s first fully integrated resorts offering a five star 201-room Radisson Blu Hotel, beautifully designed private residences for sale and for rent, three swimming pools, kids’ club, an extensive beachfront with a wide range of watersport activities, a world class spa, 13 restaurants and bars, and its very own promenade of market shops.

Just 20 minutes from the bustling Old Town, Dubrovnik Sun Gardens enjoys a privileged location and offers a haven of tranquillity in a unique waterfront position.  Regular ferry services from the resort’s marina transport guests straight into the heart of the Old Town and the hotel also provides a regular shuttle bus service.

With the spring and summer months just around the corner and a host of cultural festivals and celebrations fast approaching, preparations at Dubrovnik Sun Gardens are in full swing – book now before it’s too late!

For more information visit

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Pampering Post-Slovenia’s Kurent Festival

Fancy experiencing some traditional Slovene culture?  Then why not head to the Kurent Festival in Ptuj this spring?  The festival is held between the 26th February and 8th March.  This annual event is one of the most significant of the calendar of Slovenia; it banishes winter and embraces spring.
Kurent Festival
This year, specialist tour operator, Just Slovenia is offering a five-night trip incorporating Ptuj during the annual Kurent Festival, followed by a luxury spa break in Bled’s Grand Toplice Hotel – one of Slovenia’s most grand venues which has welcomed international figureheads including, Prince Charles and President Clinton.

What happens at the festival?  Kurenti, dressed in distinctive sheepskin costumes adorned with feathers, horns ribbons and cow bells, parade through the streets, clanging instruments to ward off evil spirits.  Many musical and artistic events, street theatre, a masked ball and weekend carnival parades take place, with revellers smashing clay pots on the ground to bring good luck and health.

After all the excitement in Ptuj, visitors will then travel to the beautiful alpine town of Lake Bled to stay at the luxury Grand Toplice Hotel, where they will enjoy a two-day spa-package.  This comprises four treatments: a massage bath plus a glass of sparkling wine; a whole-body massage with the addition of warm herbs; exfoliation and facial massage; reflexology foot massage, plus use of swimming pool and saunas.

Just Slovenia

Tel: 01373 814230

Based on travel in late February or early March, the Kurent break includes two nights’ accommodation at the Garni Mitra Hotel in the centre of historic Ptuj, followed by three nights at the Grand Toplice Hotel overlooking Lake Bled.  The price of £755 per person, based on two sharing, includes return flights from Stansted, car hire, five nights’ bed and breakfast, plus the two-day spa package.

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Spa & Shroom? A Unique Holiday Package at Latvia’s Amber Spa

I recently wrote about the use of amber in both Lithuania and Latvia, so I was excited to hear the latest news from Latvia’s Amber Spa in Riga…  Spa and shroom? An unlikely combination unless you are a guest at this Amber Spa Boutique Hotel!  Mushroom picking is a favourite Latvian pastime so the boutique hotel has organised a special spa and shroom package for the autumnal mushroom season, making use of the gorgeous pine woods surrounding the spa in Jurmala.

Amber Spa Latvia

The special two night package for £395 per person includes two nights accommodation in a double room with breakfast, dinner in the hotel’s My Life restaurant, which serves a selection of traditional and homemade dishes alongside contemporary international cuisine, a mushroom picking tour and a traditional Russian Banya experience.

Take in the natural beauty Jurmala has to offer, with a guided mushroom picking tour through the local forests. Then, indulge yourself in one of Latvia’s other favourite pastimes with a traditional Russian Banya experience in Amber Spa’s deluxe Russian Banya. You will also be treated to a Banya besom massage ritual and Banya Detox De-Stress Treatment.

Amber Spa Latvia

When not alternating between the sauna and plunge pool in the Banya, enjoy the fruits (or rather fungi) of your labour with a specially prepared meal that will include your hand picked mushrooms to be served in the Banya. No need to dress up for dinner, your bathrobe will be just fine!  This really is my kind of place!

If you can tear yourself away from the spa (I’m not convinced you’ll be able to!) you can also enjoy the delights of the capital with a day trip to Riga. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage listed Old Town, home to one of the world’s largest and best preserved assemblages of Art Nouveau buildings. Then spend some time indulging in cafes, shops and markets and get the latest European fashions at Berga Bazars, built at the turn of the century.

The Spa and Mushroom Picking Package includes:

2 Nights in a Studio Suite Room (inc. breakfast)
Dinner in My Life Restaurant (ex. drinks)
Mushroom picking
Banya Detox De-Stress Treatment
Banya besom massage ritual
Dinner in banya (ex. alcohol)
Swimming pool and Gym facilities
Aqua aerobic, personal training studio, group class studio
10% discount in “Amber SPA & Beauty”
(Package valid until 12 September 2010)

To book contact Amber Spa on email:
For further information about Amber SPA Boutique Hotel and special packages visit

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The Road to Health at Mayr Health Spa

Mayr Health Spa

The Mayr Health Spa offers its guests tailor-made regeneration programmes all based around the teachings and intensive medical care developed by the Austrian doctor and research scientist Dr Franz Xaver Mayr. This method has been practised for over a century and is officially recognised by the Austrian General Medical Council.

Mayr Health Spa

The spa is situated on the south bank of Carinthia’s largest lake in Dellach, South Austria and was built in 1936 by Englishman Major Foster. It is situated in one of the most beautiful, sunny and peaceful spots on Lake Wörth. This location provides the ideal environment for intensive relaxation and regeneration.

The Mayr Health Spa team of medical specialists were taught the F. X. Mayr method of diagnosis and therapy by one of Dr Mayr’s most highly respected pupils, Dr Erich Rauch.  The F. X. Mayr cure is based on the recognition that a malfunctioning of the intestines is the cause of most physical and emotional disorders. With the help of special methods of diagnosis, the F. X. Mayr doctor can discover the dysfunction of organs much earlier than the usual diagnostic methods. The doctor then tailor-makes an individual therapy programme and diet for each guest.

Depending on the results of diagnosis, the dietary plan varies between healing fasts, the milk-bread roll cure or mild forms of diet which serve to purify and detoxify the intestines. Many forms of treatment, such as different exercise therapies, Nordic walking with special trainers, mental training, relaxation programmes, hydrotherapies, special massages and special blood checks and intravenous infusions supplement the programme.

Teaching a healthier way of nutrition and lifestyle concludes the treatment, which should ideally last for three to four weeks. The diet-chef at The Mayr & More gives guests cooking demonstrations to teach the preparation of delicious, wholesome, easy-to-digest dishes in the hotel kitchen.

Plenty of exercise in the fresh air is a part of the F. X. Mayr treatment. The unspoilt landscape around Lake Wörth offers rambling, mountain hiking or cycling. Golfers are particularly at home here: the 18-hole Dellach golf course, with the second oldest golf club in Austria, adjoins The Mayr & More. There are tennis courts in the immediate vicinity of the hotel. The guests of The Mayr Health Spa can also relax in the hotel’s indoor swimming pool, steam bath, solarium and sauna. In the summer, Lake Wörth, with its pleasant water temperature of about 24 – 26°C, is a great attraction.

While art enthusiasts can enjoy the Carinthian Summer theatre and concert programme, in winter, the Carinthian natural landscape offers adrenaline junkies alpine-skiing, cross-country skiing and ice-skating.

The Mayr Health Spa has a total of 63 rooms, including single and double rooms and eight apartments with their own gardens overlooking the lake. All the rooms have been designed to reflect the atmosphere and warmth of the traditional, half-timbered style of building. All rooms have an en-suite bathroom, radio, telephone and televisions and most have a balcony or terrace.

Golfhotel at Worthersee, Golfstrasse 2, A-9082 Maria Wörth-Dellach, Carinthia, Austria

Tel: (00 43) 42 73 25 11 0

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Amber Spa Boutique Hotel in Latvia

I recently learnt about the healing properties of amber while in Lithuania.  However, other Baltic countries are also famed for their use of amber, especially Lativa.  Last summer, the country embraced this healing gem with the opening of the Amber Spa Boutique Hotel.  Located just a 20 minute drive from Latvia’s capital Riga, and only a 15 minute drive from Riga airport, there are good road and rail connections. The spa is located in an area surrounded by a beautiful pine forest and is only a minute’s walk from the sea. Jurmala is renowned for its mild climate, 30 kilometres of white sandy beaches, curative mud and mineral waters.

Amber Spa Latvia

The hotel boasts 21 suites of one, two and three-bedrooms, ranging from 14 square metres to 70 square metres in size.  The rooms are light and airy, and decorated with customised natural fabrics and designer furnishings. All rooms have flat screen televisions, high speed internet access, mini bar, safe and direct dial telephone.

The My Life Restaurant serves a selection of traditional and homemade dishes alongside contemporary international cuisine and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A detox menu is also available, as well as individually tailored menus, for those who seek a really healthy retreat.

While, for the less virtuous, the Gourmet Bar offers carefully selected fine wines and a wide range of whiskies, malts and liqueurs, as well as organic coffee grinds. The barmen, famous for their mixology skills, prepare delicious cocktails using natural ingredients.

The spa itself offers personalised holistic programmes and an extensive menu of traditional treatments and modern spa techniques, such as massages, body and face treatments, as well as hydro and mud therapies, thermotherapy and electro stimulation. Products include local herbs, mud, amber, buckwheat and birch juice, as well as Sothys Paris professional skincare line.  A selection of day spa packages and wellness programmes are available.

Amber Spa’s philosophy is based on the belief that people are born with a reserve of health which gets dissipated throughout their lives as a result of unhealthy lifestyles. This reserve needs to be replenished regularly to reverse the effects of ill-health as people head into old age.

The Balans Programme offers a three-step approach to achieving improved health and optimum balance:

• Diagnostics – a thorough analysis of functional conditions using bio-chemical testing (a blood test to determine how foods influence the body’s metabolism), physical and emotional diagnostics.

• Renewal – one-on-one consultation with a doctor to understand test results and preparation of personalised diet, fitness and treatments plans.

• Maintenance – a personalised programme to help educate and advise guests how to maintain a healthy lifestyle when they return home, including access to a personal wellness manager for one year following the stay.

The aim of the programme is to optimise food intake and fitness in a relaxing environment to attain a state of balance.

In addition to two wellness managers, there is a team of experts from the fields of general, diagnostic and holistic medicine, as well as seven personal trainers.

The spa also boasts an international beauty salon, authentic Russian baths, personal training studio, indoor swimming pool, bowling club, sports lounge and art gallery.

Group classes available for guests include yoga, pilates, chi gong, callanetics, aerobics, martial arts and dance classes.  While tennis, gold, horse-riding, cycling and fishing sessions can be organised on request.

Once guests have exhausted the spa’s delights they can head off on local excursions such as picnics, guided nature walks, particularly exciting in mushroom and berry picking seasons.

Amber SPA Boutique Hotel, Meza Prospekts 49, Bulduri, Jurmala, Latvia LV-2010

Tel: +371 6775 5330

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The New Westin Hotel in Hamburg

Starwood Hotels & Resorts will introduce its wellness brand, Westin Hotels & Resorts to Hamburg, Germany’s vibrant cultural centre with the new Westin Hamburg Hotel, scheduled to open in 2010.  Westin Hamburg will be part of a landmark development, including the highly-anticipated Elbe Philharmonic Hall.  The hotel will be designed by world-renowned Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron as part of the highly anticipated Elbe Philharmonic complex, Europe’s most ambitious development projects.

Expected to become a cultural and architectural landmark, this urban development will also include luxury residences and a multitude of culinary, cultural and nightlife options all set in the heart of upscale HafenCity.  Tailored to both business and leisure travelers, the ultra-modern 10-storey Westin Hamburg Hotel will feature 244 guest rooms including 39 suites, all with the iconic Westin Heavenly Bed, a restaurant, a cafe, destination bar, lounge and a spa including a Westin WorkOut fitness centre and an indoor swimming pool. The hotel will comprise close to 9,000 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting and event space equipped with cutting-edge technology, including eight meeting rooms and a ballroom.

With over 1.8 million inhabitants, Hamburg is Germany’s second largest city. It is one of the most popular leisure destinations in Europe and recognised as a cultural and commercial centre, with stunning architecture and a vast array of entertainment and shopping options. Through a joint venture with Arabella Hospitality Group, Starwood currently operates more than 30 hotels in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Mallorca and South Africa under its Westin, Sheraton, St. Regis, The Luxury Collection and Four Points by Sheraton brands.

Westin is currently represented by five hotels in Germany, including The Westin Grand Frankfurt, The Westin Grand Munich Arabellapark, The Westin Grand Hotel in Berlin, The Westin Bellevue in Dresden and The Westin Leipzig.

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New Developments at Czech Spas


The Czech Republic is without question one of the world’s spa superpowers. Here you will find more than 30 spa locations, hundreds of curative springs and other valued healthful natural resources:

Aquatic pleasures in Jáchymov

In 1906, the Jáchymov spa in the foothills of the Krušné mountains became the first in the world to take advantage of the curative effects of radon water. Patients with ailments of the locomotory system are treated there. From the end of November, here you can also visit thestate-of-the-art Aquacentrum Agricola, located in the oldest (some 100 years old) spa building. You are thus able to enjoy all kinds of aquatic pleasures in an interior that is at once modern and preserved with a number of original historic elements. For more information, visit

A unique pool in Karlova Studánka

The Karlova Studánka spa, which lies in the heart of the Jeseníky mountains 800 metres above sea level, has also undergone innovation. Last year, the construction of a unique pool with warm sea water was completed here. In addition to bathing, visitors to the pool also will love the various massage jets. Moreover, the pool is illuminated with white and blue light, creating an exotic atmosphere. This environment is also conducive to pleasant meditation. You can find more information at

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Baglioni Withdraws From Hotel & Racz Spa

BaglioniIt has been announced today by Guido Polito, Vice President, Baglioni Hotels Collection that the company has decided to withdraw from the management contract for the Hotel and Racz Thermal Spa in Budapest.

Due to major delays and other problems related to the redevelopment work on the Spa and hotel building, Baglioni feels that they can no longer guarantee the high quality finish required by the company and for this reason has decided to terminate the management contract.

However plans for the expansion of the Baglioni brand abroad continue with the opening of two, prestigious resorts in Marrakech and Dubai in an effort to enrich the company’s portfolio with the addition of 15 new, luxury hotels in the near future.

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A Free Spa Break In Hungary

Balaton-logoRelax, unwind and enjoy the beautiful Lotus Therme Spa in Hungary, for a long weekend before or after Christmas, courtesy of Balaton Spa.

balatonYou will be thoroughly spoilt, as Hungarian hospitality is legendary. You will swim in healing thermal waters that millions of people experience every year from all over the world, to ease their aches and pains, and destress the whole body. You will be pampered with facials and body treatments which have been part of spa culture for centuries, to firm, tone and give you beautifully smooth and youthful skin. How many people can visit the source of their beauty and spa regimes which has taken nature 20,000 years to prepare? And at the end of each day, you will be wined and dined by candlelight, sitting beside the tranquil shores of Lake Balaton, a perfect ending to a perfect day!

Then just before you return home, you will be given complimentary Balaton Spa products to continue using and enjoying in the comfort of your own home, a wonderful ending to an unforgettable spa break.

Balaton Spa customers who purchase any two products between now and the end of November 2009, will automatically be entered into a draw to win this fabulous spa break for two valued at just over £1000. The draw will be held at Balaton Spa offices on the 31st of November at 5pm, and the two winners will be notified by phone and/or email, so that they and their partners can experience a genuine spa break.

To find out all about Balaton Spa products go to the website or email for the Spa break itinerary and terms and conditions.

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Austrian Spa Holiday Offer

If you are yet to book your getaway this summer, you are in luck because Wahanda has teamed up with Austria’s Finest Spa Hotels and Resorts to round up a whole host of great spa packages to send you on a holistic journey to remember. What’s more, Wahanda are offering a free signature facial during your spa break at a selection of their hotels when you mention Wahanda with your booking.


Austria offers a world-class wellbeing experience with a breath of fresh air and proves to be an ideal location whether you are searching for a short family break, a short retreat or a longer relaxing holiday.  Charlotte’s VVeb and Wahanda have teamed up to provide you with exclusive summer offers so you can enjoy exquisite alpine waters and soothing thermal pools, combined with an abundance of outdoor activities and top cuisine.

Read more…

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