A Travellerspoint blog

7 Things To Do in Sedona

If you ever happen to visit this magical place, these are the 7 Things To Do in Sedona:
Go Rock Watching!

You could stay in Sedona for weeks and still be able do discover a new hike every day for how vast Oak Creek Canyon is.

Since the options are so many, the best thing to do is to go to the Visitor Center in downtown Sedona and ask what hikes better suite your needs in terms of time, difficulty and things you want to see.
These are some of the Red Rocks hikes I enjoyed the most:

– “Little Horse Trail”. This incredible hiking path takes you deep into the wilderness made of red sand and thorny bushes. Go there late in the afternoon and enjoy the show put up by the sunset when it hits the rocks.
– Cathedral Rock. This gigantic rock formation is truly one of a kind. It lies at the edge of a group of isolated red buttes on the south side of Sedona, about five miles from the main line of sandstone cliffs to the north. You can either hike to it along the 0.7 mile long Cathedral Rock Trail, or you can easily access it from the highway and stop to snap a photo.

– Chapel of the Holy Cross.Not all churches are spectacular for their prestigious frescos; some are jaw dropping for their incredible setting. This is the case of the Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona, that rises 70 feet (21 m) out of a 1,000-foot (300 m) red rock cliff. From this chapel, completed in 1956, you can enjoy a breathtaking view over Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock, Courthouse Butte and much of the eastern rim of Sedona.
View-from-the-Chapel-of-the-Holy-CrossView from the Chapel of the Holy Cross Sedona
Chose an Amazing Resort!

If your trip to Sedona is more on the adventurous side and you are planning on spending the majority of your time in nature, you can save money on the hotel and go for something modest and quick.

If instead you are going to Sedona to relax, chill by the pool and enjoy some well deserved downtime leafing through a magazine, choosing a resort type of accommodation is the way to go.
Hotel reviews A
The Auberge is known to be an amazing facility that spoils their guests with plenty of luxury.Since we wanted to have more of a homey feel with walkability, we opted for the Hyatt Pinon Pointe, an amazing residence type of hotel which I reviewed here .
Have Fun at Slide Rock National Park!
Slide Rock
Just 20 minutes north of Sedona, driving towards Flagstaff, you’ll find the park hidden on your left. Driving by you could never imagine there is such a fun spot that’s just across the road.

This was one of the first areas chosen by the settlers,who decided to build a little community around the apple orchards left abandoned by the Indians (and while heading to the park, you’ll be able to walk by them!).

The rocks are formed in such a way that one can literally slide down them, propelled by the mild speed of the river flowing through them. As a natural water park, it’s a great spot to be a kid!
Slide Rock 44
Alec Slide Rock
Ambra at Slide Rock
Visit the Energy Vortexes

The magic of Sedona doesn’t stop at its beauty. Some specific rock formations are believed to be swirling concentrations of energy that emanate from the earth and are able to affect the human consciousness. These places are particularly good to enhance meditation and many people hike to the vortexes to pray and establish a deeper connection with the universe.

Whether you believe in this kind of things or not, the vortex are well worth a visit. Not only are they immersed in a gorgeous landscape to hike through, the people that go there to pray and meditate create a very calming and peaceful atmosphere that anybody can benefit from.

The one you see in this photo is Boynton Canyon, considered by some to be the most powerful of the vortexes in Sedona.
Energy Vortex
Indulge with Amazing Healthy Food!

I enjoyed having my own kitchen and prepare healthy breakfasts for me and Alec… but Sedona has some incredible restaurants that we couldn’t resist trying.

– Picazzo’s This amazing, fully gluten free eatery has quite a few locations in between Phoenix and Flagstaff, but the one in Sedona, with its outdoor seating area overlooking the canyon, is simply the best.

Since gluten does not enter the kitchen, one can finally stop worrying about cross contamination and start browsing their eclectic menu: from handmade gluten free stuffed pasta to turkey Bolognese pizza with vegan cheese. And unlike many gluten free restaurants that don’t consider other food allergies, at Picazzo’s they make sure to provide lots of dairy free options… and finally you can enjoy an apple cobbler with no gluten nor butter!
– Chocolate Tree Organic Vegetarian Eatery This place is famous for their organic, vegan and sugar free chocolate production.Once you enter the store, you’ll feel overwhelmed by the incredible variety of healthy chocolate options that range from the “Butter Nut Toffee”, with pecan butter and vanilla, to the “Caramel Macchiato” made with honey, coffee and lucuma, and the “Spiced Chai Latte”, with it spiced coconut cream heat sweetened with xylitol.

The chocolate is bit pricey, but I swear I have found anything similar in my whole life… and I browse around chocolate stores a lot! ?

If you are not a chocolate lover, this place is also awesome for their food menu: an assortment organic and mostly raw dishes that you can enjoy in their peaceful outdoor garden.
Arizona Chocolate
Enjoy Some Downtown Shopping!
Sedona was settled by John J. Thompson around 1876, when he gave birth to a little community of farmers and ranchers that grew to 55 residents in 1902, when the Sedona post office was established.

The quaint downtown area still shows traces of this historical period, and it recreates the feel of a pioneer town mixed with the colors of an American Indian market and the hip vibe of an artsy district.

This nice, walkable center features a number of art galleries, diverse jewelries that center their pieceson rocks and crystals, fun souvenir stores and colorful clothing boutiques with a unique Sedona style.

Make sure you reserve one of your mornings in Sedona to stroll around downtown.

Go Horse Back Riding!

If you are into this activity, Sedona is for sure one breathtaking place to trot around. Choose from the many companies that offer this service depending on the type of experience you are looking for. Check out the sunset rides as you can escape the heat and catch stunning views of the valley!
IMG_3788 (Copy)
There are so many things to do in Sedona that one can spend a lifetime there and still not manage to complete them all. I hope this little guide gave you some inspiring insights.
I’ll catch you at the next destination!

Posted by lbob 16:35 Archived in USA Tagged travel arizona usa sedona Comments (0)

Sporthotel Sillian, Our Residence on the Austrian Dolomites

We wanted cool weather, pure relaxation, an active lifestyle and healthy food. A trip to the Alps seemed like the perfect way to accomplish all of these goals. Especially when our home would have been the Sporthotel Sillian Dolomiten Residenz in Austria. …The name says it all!
The Austrian Dolomites are less than a 4 hour drive from the north of Italy, where our trip starts… and the road to get there is anything but boring: first the beautiful hills of Veneto, covered with Amarone vineyards, then the fierce mountains of Trentino, scattered with Medieval castles that show their beauty at every turn of the road.
As we arrive to Sillian, we realize that opting for the Dolomiten Residenz Sporthotel was definitely the right choice. From the beautiful lobby one can enjoy a stunning view over the mountains dotted with beautiful spotted cows. The colors are so vibrant that I feel like I have never seen meadows this green before!
The interior is also impeccable: minimalistic decor, unpolished wooden doors and led lighting give the ambiance a sophisticated look, sleek and rustic at the same time.
After our arrival, we learn that not only does the hotel belong to the network of “Leading Spa Resorts” and has amazing facilities; the food (all complementary) is exactly what we were hoping for! A massive buffet covered with tens of bowls of salads, raw and cooked vegetables, and fish awaits us every day.
The property is conveniently located at the feet of the gondola and at the crossroad between some stunning hiking and biking trails. We rented mountain bikes and rode our way to Italy one day and to Lienz the other day. Like it was nothing…
Having muscle pain has never felt better given the amazing spa therapies we indulged in afterwards!The treatments were so good and so reasonably priced that we literally killed the spa! ? Couple massage with rosemary oil, Arnica peeling wrap, and Almond oil foot reflexology were just a few of my favorites
And afterwards, hanging out at the spa couldn’t be any more entertaining: 6 different types of saunas, ultraviolet and infrared beds, relaxing water pads and steam rooms where everyday they provide a different kind of natural scrub to use for free.
If you can get over the fact that’s coed and that being naked it’s a requirement… you’re all set! ;)
Alternatively, get the room with the private sauna. We booked that and there was nothing better at night than enjoying the dry heat infused with pine essence while the mountains outside get chilly.
I can’t wait to be back at the Sporthotel Sillian in the winter! I just need to learn how to ski and I am good to go!

Posted by lbob 09:04 Archived in Austria Comments (0)

Hotel Schloss at the Sonnenburg Castle

Hotel Schloss at the Sonnenburg Castle
Staying in nice hotels is our thing. Some people like to dine at Michelin Star restaurants, some love to buy designer clothes… we like luxury resorts.

And after experiencing what it means to combine a traditional 4 star experience with the charm of living in a castle at CatelloBanfi Il Borgo, we didn’t miss the opportunity to do it again!
Ambra Sonnenburg Castle 1
This summer we had the chance to stay at the Hotel Schloss at the Sonnenburg Castle in Castelbadia, on the Italian Alps.

This Schloss property is a former castle that in 1039 AD was converted into a Benedictine abbey for noble women and is now a luxury hotel, that stretches its property across the terraced cliff creating relaxing areas for its guests: cosy outdoor lounge spaces, romantic tree swings, even an infinity pool that overlooks the Alps!
Hotel Schloss at the Sonnenburg Castle
It’s pretty special to feel like you are getting a tan right next to the ruins of the castle that grows out of the rock!
Ambra Sonnenburg Castle 3
The hotel interior tells the story of the centuries of history that the Sonnenburg walls have witnessed: gothic frescos, coffered ceiling,vaulted arches, columns and stairs made of granite and rocks that have been carefully restored to preserve the magic of history for the future generations.
Castle door
We loved sitting under the porch that takes you to castle’s vegetable garden, enjoying a cocktail while staring at the beautiful valley below, where the waters of the rivers Rienz and Gader merge together creating beautiful stretches of color.
Sonnenburg Castle
From the spa to the princely breakfast and afternoon buffet served in the old abbesses refectory, we lingered and relaxed.

If not when you are on top of a mountain, far away from any distractions, when else?!
Ambra Sonnenburg Castle 2
Sonneburg Castle
I hope you guys enjoy these photos and that if one day we happen to be in the north of Trentino, you drive up to the Sonneburg Castle and enjoy a drink with a view at the Scholss Hotel!
Hotel Schloss
Ambra Torelli Sonnenburg Castle
Ambra Sonnenburg Castle 4
Sonnenburg Castle in Castelbadia
The hotel interior
Ambra Swing
Ambra at castle
Sonnenburg Castle
Ambra at easy chair
Ambra swing 2
flowers at Sonnenburg

Posted by lbob 17:32 Comments (0)

The best places to visit in Chianti


Our Tuscan adventure began in the Chianti region starting with Greve in Chianti, supposedly one of the main attractions in the area. To our dismay Greve was rather uneventful, and lacked the typical medieval Tuscan feel that we were hoping for.
classic Tuscany

We found immediate redemption on a slight detouring just a few minutes down the road in the town of Montefiorale, a quaint little hideaway atop a hill, listed in the renown Italian travel guide ‘Borgi Piu Alta’ as one of the best places to visit in Italy. We embarked on a journey back through time as we walked across thousand year old cobblestone alleys. Everywhere you turned was a picturesque corner, one after the next. One just can’t help but stop and photograph.
The town is extremely small and while there are no restaurants or coffee shops, it’s a great little pit stop if you’re looking for classic Tuscany, minus the crowds.

Afterwards we headed toward Castelline in Chianti driving south on the beautiful Strada Chiantigiana, lined with vineyards, olive groves and beautiful rolling hills. Our trip was pleasantly interrupted by a vibrant village called Pansano, where the bustling life makes a pit stop mandatory.

We joined the small crowd for some people watching and shopped for fresh produce while sipping on a pre lunch espresso. While exploring the little streets of this pretty gem in the Chiantishire we stumbled upon a place that we immediately fell in love with. The view, the flowers, the outdoor terrace overlooking the most incredible panorama, combined with the traditional Tuscan cuisine hooked us.
Tuscan cuisine
Like all good things we discovered magic where we least expected. And as always happens while traveling, a short stop on the side of the road turned into an adventure.

A few minutes later we found ourselves sitting at Trattoria Oltregardino enjoying a plate of gluten-free wild boar pasta, local zucchini cooked with mint and olive oil and garden peas seasoned with local prosciutto and olive oil. They even had gluten-free bread for me as well.
Castellina in Chianti
The view was so captivating that we didn’t want to leave our table. A second round of espresso just to catch another glimpse?
… Better not, the rest of Chianti awaits!

We hit the road again headed for Castellina in Chianti, situated on top of a hill with an unmistakable watch tower visible from afar. Unfortunately we get there in the middle of a crazy storm. The rain is pouring so hard that we can’t get the windshield wipers to move fast enough. We cruise through with the car and continue our journey south, hoping the sun will make an appearance.
Trattoria 2
Our next stop was Radda in Chianti, a medieval town with a charming center, beautiful piazza and the original tunnels still in tact that connect the town underground, dating back to the middle age. This place is home to a few cool rustic restaurants, beautiful aggritourismi and a charming trattoria right in the center. We already ate and were rather quite full, but still couldn’t resist the opportunity to sit outside and people watch.
Gaiole in Chianti
We ordered the local crostone, a sample platter of 4 bruschetta seasoned with tomato, arugula and balsamic, pecorino and truffle, chintasinese and prosciutto curdo.

Why not? We ended up finishing our merenda (the Italian word for afternoon snack) with some local, hand made cantuccini and a glass of vin santo to go with it (a sweet dessert wine perfect to dip the biscotti).
The last destination on our checklist before heading to our Tuscan retreat was Gaiole in Chianti, which was actually a very quick visit, as the town was not as historic and charming as the others. After a brief driving tour we were ready to head home.

We thought about stopping to indulge in another epic Tuscan feast.
But a refreshing dip in the pool and evening in the spa was just too much to resist.
Tuscan feast.
Tuscan feast.2

Posted by lbob 18:32 Archived in Italy Tagged travel high roadtrip chianti stakes Comments (0)

The Most Luxurious Suite at the Wynn Macau

You haven’t really experienced luxury until you have been to Asia. No matter the grandeur, the amenities or the price you pay… there isn’t a place in the western world, that can compete with the feeling ,of lavishness one can experience in the East.

You haven’t really experienced luxury until you have been to Asia.
No matter the grandeur, the amenities or the price you pay… there isn’t a place in the western world, that can compete with the feeling ,of lavishness one can experience in the East.

Wynn Macau
Beside having incredibly stunning facilities (that are made even more epic ,by the tropical lush that frames them), it’s the people’s philosophy that makes, all the difference.
Ambra Wynn Suite

I guess it’s a cultural thing, but the level of service here is simply outstanding. You feel pampered, cherished, almost revered. And what feels so good about it is that it’s actually genuine.

People truly do care. They don’t spoil you to get a larger tip. They do it because it’s their custom.Because that’s how they manifest their appreciation for you choosing to be there.
Hotel Reviews
Hotel Reviews Macau Suite
Given this premise, you can imagine how our stay at the Wynn Macau, one of the most luxurious resorts in Asia, felt nothing burregal.

Since the time of check in, we are mesmerized by the Wynn’s opulence. The lobby is decorated with a vast aquarium full of Moon Jellfish from Japan and Taiwan that dance in the water like beautiful blue flowers.
Ambra Wynn Suite 7
Our suite takes our breath away. 185 square meters of lavishly appointed living space: impeccable and classy décor, floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the stunning Macau skyline reflecting on the waters of Nam Van Lake.
, Hotel Reviews Luxury Macau
view Wynn Macau
I couldn’t get over the private massage room, where we could get a treatment at any time of the day and night, directly in our suite. Not to mention the in suite bar and private dining area.

Where we enjoyed some of the delicious food carefully prepared by the Wynn Macau’s chefs, who are always very diligent in accommodating any food allergies.
Hotel Reviews Wynn
tea at Wynn Macau
As a matter of fact, the Wynn kitchen provides their guests with a separate vegan and vegetarian menu and they bake some of the best homemade gluten free bread I have ever tried!
the Wynn kitchen

Our suite was so incredibly nice that we never wanted to leave, but even the amenities scattered around the resort are a draw that’s hard to pass up.

From the luxurious spa (where I had one of the best facials of my life ending with a firming ginseng masque) to the beautiful pool and cabanas.

The immaculate restaurants… not to mention the spectacular windows of the many designer stores that display the most illustrious fashion houses and jewelry brands from around the globe.
Ambra Wynn Suite 5
Ambra Wynn Suite 6
bad room
I love these photos, but I know they don’t do justice to this wonderful place, Check out the video and let me know your thoughts.
Do you think it could get any better than this?
Ambra Wynn Suite 3
Ambra Wynn Suite 2
luxurious Wynn Resort

Posted by lbob 17:53 Archived in Macau Tagged hotels hotel luxury macau reviews Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 5 of 10) Page [1] 2 »