Marco Secchi Blog

Photojournalist in Slovenia and Hungary

Posts Tagged ‘luxury

​Losinj Island and Boutique Hotel Alhambra

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Losinj Island

Located due south of Rijeka in the Kvarner Gulf of the northern Adriatic Sea, Losinj is a hidden gem among Croatia’s renowned Mediterranean island retreats. Measuring a mere 20 miles long by 2 miles at its widest point, this compact, idyllic oasis offers travelers a true getaway in every sense of the word. It features sun-drenched seas bordered by spacious, uncrowded beaches dotted with picturesque fishing villages that are reminiscent of a time long past.

 

Traveling to Losinj takes some effort, which may account for the island’s relative obscurity and refreshing isolation from the crowds that flood other destinations during the holiday season. Visitors need to take a car ferry and drive to the island, as there is no international airport.

Once on the island, guests can begin to relax and indulge in the sights and sounds of this seductive place. The warm seaside climate delivers about 2600 hours of sunshine each year, fostering the growth of lush flora and over a thousand varieties of wild herbs that are both beautiful and practical; the herbs serve as natural mosquito repellents, making hiking and cycling the many trails a true delight.

Also commonly known as the ‘Island of Vitality’, Losinj is known for its wealth of health resorts and retreats that focus on the restorative powers of the natural environment, and the locals have a reputation for looking, and acting, far younger than their actual age. Spas, therapy centers and sports facilities are abundant here, making this a wonderful destination for anyone who wants to indulge in world-class body treatments, herbal therapies and rejuvenation.

The island is filled with unique restaurants and cafes serving fresh, local fish, pasta and area wines, providing guests with the opportunity to discover the tantalizing tastes of the region. Cikat Bay is the main tourist region, where windsurfers enjoy the warm waters of what is said to be the most beautiful bay in all of the Adriatic.

Hotel Alhambra

Located on the shore of Cikat Bay in the town of Mali Losinj, Hotel Alhambra is a five-star hotel housed in a historic, centuries-old Austro-Hungarian villa that has been painstakingly restored and refurbished, creating a one-of-a-kind luxury retreat.

Guests of the Hotel Alhambra stay in one of 51 private rooms and suites, including a limited selection of two-bedroom suites. Most rooms offer a sea view, while all come equipped with a balcony or terrace, en-suite baths with robes and slippers, air conditioning, satellite TV and complimentary Wi-Fi.

The long list of hotel amenities include a private beach for guests, complete with parasols and sun loungers; a heated indoor sea-water pool; 24-hour room service; butler service and a full fitness center. There are both Turkish and Finnish saunas, and expert masseuses are available for in-room massages and body treatments.

In the main area of the hotel, an upscale lounge serves up premium cocktails and wines, while the on-site restaurant features an eclectic menu filled with regional and international offerings prepared by expert chefs.

Hotel Alhambra is just a short half-mile walk away from the shops and cafes of Mali Losinj, providing easy access to the best the island has to offer. A marina is also close by, providing guests with access to scuba diving outfitters, charter boat tours and watercraft rentals.

For those who are seeking a relaxing, sun-filled vacation on a true island paradise that blends old-world charm with modern amenities and service, the Hotel Alhambra on Losinj Island is an ideal choice.

Travelers to Losinj are advised to reserve accommodations in advance, especially if they hope to secure space at one of the island’s most sought-after hotels, Hotel Alhambra.

What to see, what to do and where to eat

Mali Losinj

The town was first mentioned in 1398, under the name Malo selo (“small village”). In 1868, it experienced its golden year. There were as many as eleven shipyards, and it became the place with the largest and most developed merchant marine in the Adriatic Sea, even ahead of cities like Rijeka, Trieste and Venice.American author Kenneth Roberts observed that the little town, , seemed to have “produced a hundred seamen for each one produced elsewhere.” Writing in 1938, Roberts said there were currently “four hundred sea captains living on Lussinpiccolo, The place is lovely with many restaurants.

Veli Losinj

Veli Lošinj is  a superb little place has 901 inhabitants and a mild climate and caters to tourists. It is located 5 km from the town of Mali Lošinj. It was an important port and fishing centre until the late 19th century. Today it is known as a tourist and aromatherapy centre. The first mentioning of the town dates back to 1398 by the name of “Velo selo”. The oldest core of the city was built between the 13th and 14th centuries around the Romanesque church of Sv. Nikola (Saint Nicholas) from 14th century. The town grew along agricultural alignments, not along lais-out city streets. In the 15th century the still-standing defensive tower was built, erected to defend the harbour and the settlement, but also to protect the locals from pirate attacks.

Osor

Very old village with a wonderful feeling

Rovenska

A real hidden gem just off Veli Losinj it is for sure worth a visit!

Restaurants

Fortuna Restaurant and Pizza. Pizza  was really good and fish is fresh and lovely . here

Draga friendly place and good food in Mali Losinj.  here

This post has been partially sponsored I did get media rates during my stay at Alhambra Hotel. For more information, check out my full disclaimer policy.

 

 

 

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Written by msecchi

April 24, 2016 at 8:22 am

Esplanade Hotel in Zagreb

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Luxury was the first word that came to mind as I walked into Esplanade Hotel Zagreb. From the breath-taking columns that held up the hotel to the old-school elegant exterior to the art décor lobby, I knew that my visit was going to be a great one. This luxurious hotel definitely lived up to all the hype.

First Impressions
I was excited to check-in and get to my room.  First, we got a really warm welcome from the bellboys that took care of my car and luggage. Then the front desk clerk made the whole process quick and easy, all with a smile on her face. Overall, the check-in process was top-notch with superior customer service.

Room
Entering the room I was in awe. I had stayed in many hotels, and this was by far one of the most stunning room that I’d been in. The décor was beautiful and quite unique. Not to mention, the room was huge. Even the bathroom was quite spacious and luxurious with its marble, high-end toiletries, and super soft robe. The view of the city was pretty amazing, too. I was impressed by the complimentary Internet, welcome gifts, chocolate and teas and the post cards.

 

Breakfast
Zinfandel’s Restaurant – Breakfast was really impressive. The selection is magnificent, everything is fresh and prepared using only the best produce. The breakfast room has a lively and buzzing atmosphere. The service was impeccable as my waiter was very attentive.

Spa
I enjoyed my visit to the spa where I had a very relaxing massage and they have a great Gym with state of the art fitness equipment

Amenities
The hotel had quite a few amenities that I did not get a chance to use on this visit, but would love to try them in the future. There was Oleander Terrace and Esplanade 1925 Lounge and Cocktail Bar. 

Overall, I enjoyed my stay at Esplanade Zagreb and would recommend the hotel to anyone planning to visit Croatia. The historic building, the gracious accommodations, the award-winning food, the personalized service, the centralized location, and so much more all make it the most prestigious hotel in Zagreb.

This post has been partially sponsored I did get media rates during my stay at Esplanade Hotel. For more information, check out my full disclaimer policy.

Written by msecchi

January 4, 2016 at 11:13 am

Posted in Travel

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A visit to the city of Zagreb

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A trip to Zagreb can be life-changing. It provides one of the very best opportunities to experience the Croatian lifestyle. This city offers a wide range of indoor and outdoor things to do. You could spend your afternoon walking along the beautiful cobblestones of St. Marks or spend some time at an apothecary shop that dates to 1355. Yet much of the city is quite modernized, offering all of the finer things that people enjoy.

What You’ll Enjoy in Zagreb

The architecture and the rich history of Zagreb are what dominate the landscape. It is these features that many people come to see especially the 1,000-year old Gornji grad where the Presidential Palace is and the post-World War II Novi Zagreb area which is a much more modern space. Aside from the architecture, you’ll find this city has more museums per square foot that virtually any other city. For those that love history, it is a treasure trove of opportunities.

Key sights to see in Zagreb include:

  • The Zagreb Cathedral with its twin neo-Gothic spires dominate the square. You’ll find the tomb of Cardinal Stepinac here.
  • The Dolac Market is the largest and most colorful of all in the area. Enjoy some of the local food here.
  • Kamenita vrata or the Stone Gate in upper town is a beautiful 13th century gate with a significant amount of history dating to 1731.
  • The Funicular railway is below the Lotscak Tower. It takes to 1888 and is the oldest form of public transport in the city, which at the time was a horse-drawn tram. You can take a ride along the railway and see much of the city up close.
  • Strossmayer Gallery of Old Masters and the Museum of Naive Art is an ideal choice for those who want a dazzling display of artifacts.

When visiting Zagreb, you’ll find the area is full of culture. Step back two centuries to the many towers and buildings here or enjoy both the traditional and more contemporary meals prepared here at local cafes.

Take the path less traveled by tourists by visiting Maksimir Park and Lake Jarun. You can also visit the nearby towns of Varazdin and Samobor. With numerous restaurants, local coffee shops, various entertainment venues, and dozens of stalls and shops, this is an ideal place to visit if you want a bit of history on the city as well as the region. It virtually comes to life with every cobblestone step you take.

Where to Stay

I stayed at Esplanade Hotel the most luxurious hotel of Zagreb and super Central, see my next post.

There are a lot of rental apartments that simply look fabulous and are really great value for money

Where to Eat

If you are passionate about Strukly…then there is only one place …La Struk. Superb strukly are freshly served all day. If you are going in winter the place is quite small…..but they are really worth the wait!

  • La Štruk
  • Skalinska 5, Zagreb 10000, Croatia
  • Tel 38514837701

 

This post has been partially sponsored I did get media rates during my stay at Esplanade Hotel . For more information, check out my full disclaimer policy.

Written by msecchi

January 2, 2016 at 1:29 pm

My Fav Hotels in Venice

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A #bench at hotel #cipriani in...

A #bench at hotel #cipriani in… (Photo credit: MarcoSecchi)

You can certainly spend a great deal of money on a hotel in Venice. A night at the Gritti Palace in high summer will set you back at least £750. But for the same amount you could enjoy an entire week in most of the hotels listed here. You won’t get the same status, or quite the same service, or the same superb location, but you will still find a decently sized room, lots of character and a warm welcome.

Cà del Nobile San Marco 987, ria terà delle Colonne (528 3473; cadelnobile.com)

This hotel is just off one of the thronging routes between St Mark’s and the Rialto. Interestingly, it’s in one of the lowest points of the city: if you visit during acqua alta, you’ll be able to watch water bubbling up through the cobblestones below. Lots of stairs and no lift mean that it’s not for the unfit. Price from £79

Domus Orsoni Cannaregio 1045, Sottoportego dei Vedei (275 9538; domusorsoni.it)

In 1291, Venice’s glassworkers were banished to the island of Murano. Today, only one glass foundry remains in the city: Orsoni. Located in the Jewish Ghetto, and set in a delightful palazzo overlooking a private garden and the foundry, the Domus Orsoni channels the Orsoni family’s heritage in five rooms, resplendent with glass-mosaic-tiled walls and mosaic art works. Price from £71

Locanda Orseolo (Corte Zorzi; 041 523 5586; www.locandaorseolo.com; £160).

Step inside the hotel and you might be in a compartment on the Orient Express: elegant, enveloping, and richly coloured and furnished. But it’s the warmth of the young team at this equally young 15-room hotel that makes it really special – Matteo, Barbara and their brothers, sisters and friends. In the morning, Matteo dons an apron and cooks pancakes and omelettes to order, Barbara serves and everyone chats. The comfortable bedrooms are being transformed to echo the ground floor, complete with hand-painted murals and canopied beds. Secure one and you’ll have a real bargain.

La Villeggiatura San Polo, 1569, Calle dei Botteri (524 4673; lavilleggiatura.it)

A short hop from the Rialto markets, in an area buzzing with restaurants and residential activity, La Villeggiatura is an elegantly tasteful home-from-home. Tea and coffee-making equipment in the spacious bedrooms, and gently attentive service, add to the pleasure of a stay here. Price from £71

Hotel Centauro S Marco Calle della Vida Cpo Manin (www.hotelcentauro.com/)

Located in the historic centre of Venice just a stone’s throw from St Mark’s Square (five minutes walking distance), the Centauro Hotel offers elegant, welcoming accommodation from which you can enjoy the city’s art and culture. Housed within an ancient palace from the 1500’s, the Centauro Hotel has Venetian style furnishings from the 18th century and 30 comfortable guestrooms. Rooms have air conditioning and satellite television, some have canal views and those on the top floor have a private terrace from which you can enjoy panoramic views over the rooftops of Venice.

Al Ponte Mocenigo This is another charming 16th-century palazzo, so tucked away that you could walk right past and never know it was there. You will find one entrance down a very narrow alley just up from the San Stae vaporetto stop; the other is on the opposite side, over a small bridge. Officially it is a two-star hotel, but frankly it rivals many establishments with double that number of stars. The very smart, high-ceilinged rooms are in Venetian styles and colours. The best are numbers five and six, on the first floor overlooking a tiny canal to one side (they are classed as “superior” doubles and cost £128 in mid-season).

 

This post has not been sponsored and I did not get media samples or freebies. For more information, check out my full disclaimer policy.

Written by msecchi

August 28, 2015 at 7:34 am

Posted in Travel

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