Tag Archives: Weekend

Japan: The Hiramatsu Hotels & Resorts Sengokuhara

A View To Fuji San

Our Second Stop in Hakone

We arrive at the very exclusive Hiramatsu Hotels & Resorts Sengokuhara, near Hakone, in the middle of the day, after many adventures on the road (we lost ourselves several times! Lol). This small establishment of 11 gestrooms with a modern architecture, is a real art museum.

In a refine decoration with many elements from Italy, I discover paintings, draws and serigraphs numbered of Japanese and Western masters (Kataoka Tamako, Chagal, Buffet, Miro …). The owner of Hiramatsu Hotels & Resorts, a fine art collector wanted this hotel to be dedicated to gastronomy and farniente.

Here, no long list of activities: our private onsen with water from either Ubako spring or Owakudani spring (both having beneficial effects on the skin) is in the center of our large bathroom / terrace overlooking Fuji San. Early morning, the view is stunning (photo above taken from our room). A feeling of euphoria floats in the air …

  

Beauty is Everywhere

The elegant suite-sized room is a haven of “luxury, calm and pleasure” (Beaudelaire). For a better soundproofing, in front of each room, a private glass corridor and carpet insulate noise (7th picture below).

And if like us, you are fond of beauty and space, this bathroom is a dream! I don’t leave my onsen anymore, staring at the top of the trees, Fuji San and the horizon (photo above). 

I also liked the sliding panels that allow you to modulate the space and hide things like TV. The wide and leather sofa design is a monster of comfort. I don’t even talk about bedding! Everything, every detail is perfect!

     

The Gourmet Restaurant

  

The Dinner

On the two photos above: the view from our room of the garden at night and in the background, the silhouette of Fuji San. Picture below: the stretch of water seen from the main hall of the restaurant. The cuisine of chef Kenjiro Yoshikoshi is as captivating to see as to taste. 

At dinner, the plates looks like paintings. The pleasure of sight associated with that of taste, with an exciting experience of flavors and textures, colors and shapes. Rarely, I have seen such beautiful and good dishes. For example: on the second and third picture photo below, the “Spaghetti puttanesca with marinated abalone“. In fact, the chef specialized in Italian cuisine, recommends mixing spaghetti with the whipped white sauce. It’s divine, so inexpected, top!

I will be able to list all dishes served, with my lean culinary vocabulary (I am not a food critic). But I just want to add that Chef Kenjiro Yoshikoshi’s cooking is art. His cuisine is hedonistic, generous and cheerful. 

Like the chef, his cuisine excels without pretension. As just as all the people who work in this hotel. The service is amazing and very warm. Domo arigato gosaimasu to all the (last picture)!

    

The Breakfast

  

Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés

Informations  

The Hiramatsu Hotels & Resorts Sengokuhara

Planning your trip with Exclusif Voyages

Flying to Japan : direct flights from Brussels & Paris with ANA

Related articles : DESTINATIONS & HOTEL REVIEWS

Many thanks to Exclusif Voyages, Ryokan Collection and all the team of The Hiramatsu Hotels & Resorts Sengokuhara, for this beautiful and warm invitation. As always theses are my opnions.

Well-Being Weekend in Val Thorens

On The Road Again

The Lake of Annecy

My first time skiing into spring! As always, we arrive by Geneva and the beautiful Lake Annecy under a lovely light. The weather is hot that I wonder if there will be enough snow to ski. 

When we arrive in Val Thorens, I am reassured! The ski resort has benefited from exceptional snow this year: 10 meters of cumulatived snow (photo below). And it’s always a great pleasure to come back to Val Tho!

Pashmina Le Refuge

View of the Slopes

I am back to the Pashmina Le Refuge hotel, still so comfortable and pleasant! The balcony of my (Triple XL / 45 sqm) room offers a spectacular 180 degree view of snow-capped peaks and slopes.

Euphoric feeling of total plenitude! On one of the bedside tables, I discovered the notebook of the My Serenity anti-stress and well-being program. During this long weekend, I will relearn to listen to my inner me.

  

Heathy Breakfast

At The Base Camp Restaurant

Some doctors consider breakfast to be our most important meal of the day, others not. In short as always, there are several contradictory opinions! To be honest, I only take breakfast when I’m really hungry.

And I don’t take it when the night before, I ate too much at the restaurant. In addition to My Serenity program, the Base Camp restaurant offers a breakfast buffet with a wellness corner and a plant milk bar. Awesome!

Pashmina Spa By L’Occitane 

Before and After Skiing

The first day: early morning I go to the spa to swim and gently wake up my numb muscles, before joining the small team for an intense day of skiing (including Alpin ski and ski touring)!

The second day: after a morning of skiing, I spend the afternoon at the spa with two friends. I start with a back massage with l’Occitane cosmetics I like a lot. Then hammam and outdoor jacuzzi with direct views of the slopes!

  

Ski Touring

My First Time On Ski Touring

First we ski to Chez Pepe Nicolas restaurant, where we have lunch (photo editing below: 2). Still as good! Then we put the climbing skin (in synthetic fibers) under our super light skis. Strange feeling on the trail at the beginning.

We are all very excited about this first ski touring experience with Caroline Vincent. This instructor has the originality to add a Qigong session while ski touring.

The climb to Lake Lou is gradual without real difficulty. It is a question of well stick one’s breath with the effort and to remain constant, pure cardio. Moreover, as often I found the descent much more difficult to manage (perhaps because of muscle fatigue). We went back to the car exhausted!

Although close to the ski resort, the landscape is spectacular and gives the impression of being at the end of the world (photos above and below). I also took the opportunity to test my new Osprey backpack (1): very comfortable and practical, despite the fact that it is a little big for a half day trip. And my first neon pink Hydro Flask thermos that matches to my ski jacket (sooooooooo girly!).  

  

Skiing at 2600 Meters

The following day, part of the small band skied solo, another preferred to stay in the station, while with Henriette, a Dutch blogger friend (with the same glorious level of eternal ski beginners, lol), we have preferred to take a ski lesson with an ESF instructor

After he checked our ski level, we take the chairlift which stops because of the big wind. Honestly, it’s pretty scary when you are (yes yourself) in the chairlift, to reach a blue slope at 2600 meters. Once arrived: strong gusts of wind and very poor visibility. Wow! No choice, we have to ski on the icy snow to get down to the resort. 

Thankfully the weather is very fast changing in the mountains. A little further down, the snow is powdery. And all my stress left! Once more, we take the chairlift. But this time the descent is much more pleasant! The wind has stopped blowing and I’m really having fun!

The Hype

The Apen Art

It’s not the good restaurants that are lacking in Val Thorens! This time my favourite goes to the Alpen Art that I’ve just discovered! A tea room and restaurant super welcoming, with an urban decor, works of young artists and a very friendly and professional team.

The food is great, I recommend the scallops and the homemade cake collection is to die for! Especially the chocolate cake (lol)! What else? Happiness! 

  

Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés

Informations  

Val Thorens Tourist Office, Pashmina Le Refuge, Spa By l’Occitane au Pashmina, Alpen Art, ESF Val Thorens

Related posts : DESTINATIONS & HOTEL REVIEWS

Many thanks to the Val Thorens Tourist Office for this lovely invitation. Many thanks to the team of Pashmina Le refuge, Alpen Art and ESF Val Thorens too. As always, these are my opinons (it gets boring to have to specify it, lol!). 

The Grand Hotel Zermatterhof

  

A Suite With A View

By Night & Day

I like hotels with a history, the palaces that can reinvent themselves, while maintaining a charm of yesteryear. What a great pleasure to discover my Junior suite at the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof (1879), with wood panels in the entrance and separate dressing room! Photo-montage below: photos 1 and 2, well equipped entrance with coffee maker and mini bar. 

The hotel is located in the center of the village of Zermatt, a stone’s throw from the Matterhorn Museum – Zermatlantis and shopping streets. The first two photos of the article (above): the magnificent views (from my bed and living room) of the village and ubiquitous mountain. Another big crush: the chic contemporary bathroom! The rooms have been recently renovated. 

The lovely detail: the Pillow Menu to test my natural laziness (lol)! Unfortunately with my busy program, I will not have time to stop at the spa!

  

The Restaurants

Dinner At The Say Cheese!

A fondue with champagne and truffles at the Say Cheese! One of the three restaurants of the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof, specially dedicated to cheese. The dishes are delicious (photo above and photo montage below). The hot bread (which we cut by square) to dip in the fondue, is amazing!

The minimalist interior design made with stone and wood is warm. The service is perfect and the atmosphere is young. Definetly, THE address where to dine in Zermatt. 

La Brasserie Lusi

In the photo-montage below: 1, my favorite restaurant, the Say Cheese! 2 & 5. Another restaurant of the hotel, the Brasserie Lusi. After the cheese orgy of the day before, I had a tasty light dinner in a classic setting! 3 & 4. Light breakfasts (too) under the glass roof of the Brasserie Lusi. 6. The coat of arms of Zermatt: Prato Borni (is also the name of the gourmet restaurant of the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof).

Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés

Informations  

Grand Hotel ZermatterhofZermatt TourismValais, www.MySwitzerland.comSWISSSwiss Travel System (STS)

Related posts : DESTINATIONS & HOTEL REVIEWS

Many thanks to Zermatt Tourisme, Valais/Wallis promotion, Switzerland Tourism, SWISS et Swiss Travel System (STS) for this beautiful invitation. Thank you to the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof. As always, these are my opinions.