Stay: Villa Olmi Resort, Florence

We packed our bags and headed for Florence for a few nights. Our hotel of choice was this time Villa Olmi Resort. It is located about 4km outside the city center but the hotel offers free shuttle bus to and from the city center. If you choose to go by taxi it is about € 20-30 (june,2014)

Villa Olmi is a beautiful 4 star resort wich includes a villa, a farmhouse and a rural house set in a big beautiful garden.

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They served an intercontinental breakfast but ours were not included in the total price. This is also where they serve lunch and dinner. The resort has a small swimmingpool with lovely sourroundings not to far away from the bar.

Every room has its own private bubblebath that left you wonderful relaxed before bedtime. Nice hotel rooms but they were not sound proof and much of the sounds around came through and were disturbing.

All in all a great stay if only a little closer to town and a little less noise.

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Heart and soul… A wellness day

For Mr. Grumphy’s 40th birthday I booked some well deserved spa time for the both of us ofcourse. Found this lovely little resort and spa hotel only 10 minutes drive from Radda in Chianti. Perfect. A 4 star hotel in lovely sourrondings. So in spite of not getting the massages together I didn’t mind waiting around.

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They charge aboute €75 for a full hour massage and have a big variety of spa choices. From the single manicure and face treatment to fully body massages. So well worth the trip down this valley.

This is also a fully operating hotel so you may take a weekend here for ypur own well beeing or just to relax. Prices are from €140 a nigth ( all prices from june 2014)

48 hours on Crete

That is all I get, to go visit my greek Island. After a 6,5 hours layover in Athens we board back up on our flight to Heraklion, Crete. Get picked up by minibus and head for an hour drive east to Elounda bay. This year to the pitch black and just in time for the closing of the restaurants.

The private pool area by night.

The private pool area by night.

Elounda Bay Palace is an luxe resort with great customer service and lovely surroundings. It is listed as a 5 star hotel and resort and has its own private beaches, spa and many hectares with gardens. You can even get your own yacht club house here. if you only put down the cash.

It feels pretty much like paradise to get back here. This year was my third time. Still I was somewhat disappointed in some of their services this year. Although we were not the first to rise and shine in the morning we were not very late either. But still we had not the best room service and cleaning experiences. For such a place I expect it to be tip-top. For instance the outer area was nowhere to have been washed. Even if it was covered in degrees from last night windy experience. For this type of hotel I expect this kind of service. And no one seem to mind that one of my complimentary fruit baskets contained a molded orange. Disappointing.

Maybe I expect to much and have to high standards. But to me this is something I expect to be done in a 5 star resort. Especially when you have an upgraded room. Their room haven’t changed any this last year. And for the superior suites it is probably time to think of an upgrading of the bathrooms. Still I love my days here at Elounda. Picky or not. We spend most of our time around the compound, at the beach or at many of their restaurants.

my superior room with private pool

my superior room with private pool

one of the private beaches and the sailor bar

one of the private beaches and the sailor bar

at the sailor bar - our daily lunch rutine

at the sailor bar – our daily lunch rutine

mmm. strawberries and chocolate - one of my weakness. And if you order any Prosecco them come complimentary

mmm. strawberries and chocolate – one of my weakness. And if you order any Prosecco them come complimentary

although we usually go out to eat every night, this year we stayed put at the resort. And I had the opportunity to try out two new restaurants over at the Elounda Bay Beach compound. The food served was as always very lovely and good. Bringing some ideas and request is seldom a problem. They do their very best to make your stay just as you would like it. Their service staff is excellent and remembered us from previous years. That´s kinda cute.

Eating lunch at our regular place - Ariadne, a classic seaside taverna with dellish greek food

Eating lunch at our regular place – Ariadne, a classic seaside tavern with delicious greek food. Here we explain the waiters to make us some grilled feta cheese. Not on the menu though.

starters at Dionysos - mediterian cuisine

starters at Dionysos – pricey but delicious 

Dinner at Dionysos - oh so good

Dinner at Dionysos – oh so good

view from argonaut restaurant. They served Italian cuisine

view from argonaut restaurant. They served Italian cuisine so delightful and peaceful

I think Elounda bay Palace and Elounda bay Beach can offer anything you need. Unfortunately I did not get to test their spa this year as planned. I wanted to spend my short time with my travel mates and enjoy the short time we had. But who knows maybe I´ll be back next year.

Interested in a royal yachting residence - It can be yours

Interested in a royal yachting residence – It can be yours

Backyard traveling

You really needn’t go long to explore your “own backyard”. For me a quick trip to the beach 10 minutes away is a new discovery every time.

But since we had the day of monday and I was babysitting in urgent need of an activity. A short day trip to Stavanger felt good and have been on my want to do list for a while now. We have had such a pretty weekend here and there is nothing prettier than old town Stavanger bathing in sunshine.

 

Old town Stavanger and Breia water

Old town Stavanger and Breia water

Old town Stavanger and the harbor

Old town Stavanger and the harbor

The old Town of Stavanger is located west of the harbor containing 173 wooden white painted houses. Mostly erected in the 17-and 1800th. To me this is the most beautiful part of Stavanger and I love to stroll down the narrow brick laid roads. This area contains a few galleries and even has it´s own small bicycle store, selling different cool stuff for your city bike. This part of Stavanger is one of the city´s biggest tourist attraction. And in cruise season you will find the streets buzzing with tourist. Best to take it all in when not so crowded.

This area was firstly intended for the fishermen and dockworkers but now it is quite expensive to live in one of these little houses. And yes this is a habitable neighborhood and not a museum. These days it is a well kept area with charming rose bushes and little gardens. If you ever visit Stavanger be sure to visit this beautiful part of town.

Old stavanger

old stavanger

øvre strandgate

øvre strandgate

Next week I´ll take a new visit and hope for just as good weather (weather in Norway can be a little unpredictable) as Champagne lunch and shopping with the girls are one the agenda.

 

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