„Pillow Talk“ Blog

Viva Barcelona!

Barcelona is such a vibrant city that the best way to discover its essence is by taking an active approach, staying as busy as the Barcelonians themselves who never seem to sit still. So, take a deep breath, and explore the amazing architecture of Antoni Gaudí and the modern Catalan cuisine that have created such a stir in the world with their playful ways to defy convention.  

Suite El Palauet Living, Barcelona

An alternative to New Year’s resolutions: finding back to yourself at the Yoga Retreat in Gstaad

Tired of wining, dining and partying? Feel like losing a few pounds or simply having more time for yourself in the year that just started? And honestly, are you still living up to your New Year’s resolutions today, 13th of January? The problems with New Year’s resolutions is that they are too often conceived against the background of self-optimisation. But, as meditation teacher Sally Kempton once said: “You are perfect as you are, with the need of a little improvement.” That’s closer to the mark, is it not? Whatever motivates our actions should be rooted in our hearts. What is the inner force driving us? What is the desire deep down inside of us, waiting to be brought to life?  

Pillow & Pepper Yoga Retreat at The Alpina Gstaad

Christmas tree, mistletoe, new year and new plans

Christmas is not a date, it is a feeling. A familiar blend of decorated spruce and candles, opulent festive dinners and lovingly wrapped presents. But most of all, Christmas is about the people we spend it with. After all, time together is the most precious thing you can give to your loved ones – not just during the Christmas holidays but year-round and especially when on vacation. Shared adventures are a bonding experience and create lasting memories.  

Left to right: Joanna, Daniel and Ekaterina taking their afternoon tea at The Dolder Grand.

Baroque Cream Puff – Christmas Season in Salzburg

The scent of mulled wine, gingerbread and roasted chestnuts fills the air. Bells are ringing, lanterns lighting up. On Residenzplatz, coachmen are nibbling on hot chestnuts. And so are we! You have until 26 December to visit the Christkindlmarkt. Salzburg’s historic Christkindlmarkt is one of the oldest Christmas Markets in the world. The special atmosphere, the splendid decoration in the inner courtyard, paired with the brass players in the evening combine into an indescribable experience.  

Christkindlmarkt – Salzburg’s unique Christmas fair © Tourismus Salzburg, G.Breitegger

Toujours Provence

No one would dispute the beauty of the Provence with its atmospheric landscapes: the perfectly flat Camargue, the green Luberon with its lavender fields and ochre-coloured villages, and the Alpilles with its bizarrely formed limestone rocks. These fiercely romantic landscapes will make you daydream, and so will the stylishly restored estates, sheepstables and manor houses converted into authentic hotels. Favourite destinations of nature lovers, art aficionados, gourmets and the haute-volée of Paris. We personally tested the loveliest places in the Provence for you!  

La Bastide de Marie near Ménerbes

Venice – always a treat

The canals, gondolas, opulent palazzi and, of course, the fine food – there are so many reasons for visiting “Serenissima” more than once. With its morbid beauty, the lagoon city is considered one of the most romantic destinations in Europe. In addition to the city’s sights, a number of events will draw people to Venice – above all the Art Biennale, but also the Architecture Biennale, which will take place between 25 May and 26 November of this year – and serve as perfect excuse for paying the city in the lagoon a visit.  

Dock at the Aman in Venice

Taking a break from your day-to-day reality and finding yourself

High time to close the book on wining, dining and wintertime frolics. With springtime approaching, we crave lightness and renewal, activity and wellbeing. The Pillow & Pepper Mountain Yoga Retreat at The Alpina Gstaad will give you the perfect opportunity to leave your day-to-day cares behind, to breathe freely, and to get your energy back. You will be very active, eat fine and healthy food, laugh a lot, and in the process refresh your body, soul and spirit. Take some time out to take proper care of yourself for a change!  

Pillow & Pepper Yoga Retreat at The Alpina Gstaad

Pillow Talk with Jolanda Neff, world cup winner \Lin cross-country mountain biking

Between two training sessions, we meet Jolanda Neff (24) over breakfast at the Giardino Mountain in St. Moritz-Champfér. In addition to being the mountain bike world champion, she studies history and languages. Last September, Swiss cyclist Jolanda Neff won the gold medal in cross-country biking at the world championship in Cairns, Australia. When not competing, she spends her days studying for her degree, completing one altitude training session after an another, and taking it easy over a cup of cappuccino.  

Jolanda Neff with world cup gold medal, image rights: © Tomasz Swierczynski

Pillow Talk with Fashion Designer Tracy Hauenschild

Salzburg is as sweet as meringue pie. The entire city looks dolled up in pastel colours, lavishly decorated with cherubs and crenellations, and it seizes every occasion to roll out the red carpet, most notably during the Salzburg Festival in July and August. At the Hotel Goldgasse we met Tracy Hauenschild (32) for breakfast, a gifted designer of traditional fashion who loves to stir controversy with her label Mirabell Plummer: Young, dynamic and refreshingly different.  

Tracy Hauenschild, designer and owner of Mirabell Plummer

Pillow Talk with Olympic medallist Simon Niepmann

We met Simon Niepmann (32) between two training sessions for a lakeside breakfast at the Giardino Lago in Minusio-Locarno. Rower, Olympic medallist and student of geography and sport science. In 2016, Simon Niepmann won a gold medal in the Swiss lightweight four at the Rio Olympics. Back in his day-to-day life, he just completed his master’s thesis for his degree in sport science and geography. Now he can devote his time again to his favourite pastime – spending time on the water.  

Breakfast at the Giardino Lago, Minusio-Locarno, Ticino

Vive La Provence!

No one would dispute the beauty of the Provence with its atmospheric landscapes: the perfectly flat Camargue, the green Luberon with its lavender fields and ochre-coloured villages, and the Alpilles with its bizarrely formed limestone rocks. These fiercely romantic landscapes will make you daydream, and so will the stylishly restored estates, sheepfolds and manor houses converted into authentic hotels. September is the best month to travel to catch the last warm days of the season while not having to make reservations weeks in advance to be seated in the trendiest restaurants.  

Classic car collection at the Hameau des Baux concept hotel in Paradou

Gstaad – Enjoying the alpine summer in style

We simply love Gstaad in the summertime. It is a time of year when the socialites who tend to read the wine list from right to left have cleared the stage. Hotel rates are delightfully reasonable and no longer limited to guests who whip out their platinum cards when checking out. The spectrum of pastimes and sports, culinary and cultural events to choose from in Gstaad is tremendous and probably without equal anywhere else in Switzerland. The eyes of the tennis community will be trained on Gstaad in July when the town hosts the Ladies Championship and the J. Safra Sarasin Swiss Open. And the splendid alpine scenery is thrown in for free.  

10 Tips for a perfect summertime stay in Gstaad

Summertime view of Gstaad
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