International Yoga Day

June 17th, 2016

On June 21st, yogis from around the world will come together to celebrate International Yoga Day. While yoga’s easy enough to practice on your own or at your local gym, we’ve been looking for some of the coolest places to find your inner Zen. Here are just a few spots that can’t be beat:

On a Rooftop in Barcelona

At the Majestic Hotel & Spa in Barcelona, you can practice yoga on the roof with panoramic views of the city from the hotel’s prime location on Passeig de Gracia. From there, you’ll see Barcelona’s famous mountains and Gaudi’s modernistic Sagrada Familia, all while staying above the bustle of city life. The Majestic Hotel & Spa offers both group classes and private lessons that can be adapted for any level of experience.

Above the Jungle in Bali

At COMO Shambhala Estate, you can take complimentary classes or schedule private yoga lessons in a studio overlooking the Bali forests and mountains. There they practice Hatha Yoga, which combines asanas (postures), better breathing, and meditation. At COMO Shambhala Estate, a 23-acre property set on the River Ayung, yoga is just one part of the holistic wellness regime that begins the moment you set foot on the grounds.

On a Private Beach in Turks and Caicos

At COMO Parrot Cay, yoga classes are offered right on the beach. There’s nothing like the sound of the surf to soothe your senses and get you in a meditative state of mind, and the resort’s location on a private island is the ideal place to find inner peace. The only thing better than Yoga Day is five yoga days, COMO Parrot Cay offers five-day yoga retreats with top instructors like America’s Rodney Yee to allow you to fully dive into the experience.

In the Rainforest in Costa Rica

Nayara Springs has a pavilion set in the heart of the Arenal Volcano National Park in Costa Rica, where you can relax and enjoy one of the many complimentary group yoga classes or a private yoga lesson with an experienced instructor. When you’re completely surrounded by the forest and fresh air, listening to the humming birds sing, and feeling the warm Costa Rican sun on your body, you’ll feel at peace with the world.


Revealed: The Results of the 2013 Mr and Mrs Smith Awards

November 12th, 2013

COMO Shambhala Estate, Winner of Best Spa Hotel

In its inaugural year, the Mr and Mrs Smith awards showcased the best boutique hotels across the globe in 12 categories.

Members voted for favorite hotels; the top three were chosen by a panel of judges composed of Mr and Mrs Smith editors and experts.

Congratulations to all the winners in the 2013 Mr and Mrs Smith awards including:

Mr and Mrs Smith Judges’ Choice:

Best Spa Hotel: COMO Shambhala Estate

Best Newcomer: Fogo Island Inn

Best Dressed Hotel: Runner up, UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa

Mr and Mrs Smith Readers’ Choice:

Sexiest Bedroom

  • #6 Cocoa Island by COMO
  • #7 Chewton Glen

Hottest Hotel Bar

  • #6 Park Hyatt Tokyo

Best Hotel Restaurant

  • #4 Metropolitan Bangkok

Best Spa Hotel

  • #7 GoldenEye
  • #10 Parrot Cay by COMO

The Greatest Outdoors

  • #2 Cliveden House

Above & Beyond

  • #1 Chewton Glen

Best Smith Hotel:

  • #4 Chewton Glen
  • #10 UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa

 

For a full list of results, please click here: http://smithhotelawards.com/2013/.

happy nyepi from bali!

March 20th, 2012

For the Balinese, March 23, 2012 marks the beginning of the New Year with the celebration of Nyepi, one of the most sacred holidays on the calendar. Nyepi is a day of silence, prohibitions, meditation, and prayer, and it is believed that one’s control of earthly senses will increase the quality of life for the year to come. The whole island of Bali falls quiet; nobody leaves their houses, lighting is kept low and everything closes (even the airport)! Experience this auspicious occasion at COMO Shambhala Estate or Anantara Seminyak Bali, where indulgence continues as usual, accompanied by some special Nyepi surprises.

On the eve of Nyepi, every village partakes in some sort of ceremonial procession. At COMO Shambhala Estate, spend New Year’s Eve, or ‘Ogoh Ogoh Night’, with a traditional Noise Parade, where participants will carry the Estate Ogoh Ogoh, a traditional Balinese effigy, through the grounds. Using Balinese cymbals and other instruments, the noise of the procession is meant to awaken and ward off evil spirits.

Before the entertainment begins at Anantara Seminyak, guests can help purify the hotel by playing tek-tekan with the Anantara team. Then, enjoy the traditional Ogoh Ogoh and Joged processions throughout the resort. The evening concludes with a traditional Balinese Beach BBQ featuring famous Balinese dishes, such as Chicken Betutu and Lawar. The resort is also offering a special package to celebrate the New Year. With rates starting at just $330, guests can receive two nights’ accommodations in a suite, daily breakfast for two at Wild Orchid restaurant, and a choice of one three-course lunch at Wild Orchid or one 90-minute massage for two at Anantara spa, per couple per stay.

The Day of Silence begins at sunrise on March 23rd and continues until sunrise the following morning. Whether one chooses to ‘do as the Balinese do’ or not, both resorts’ on-site restaurants, spas, and other services will remain open. Guests who do not partake in the traditional rituals are asked to stay on resort grounds so as not to disrupt the unique celebration of the Balinese people.

ten ways to avoid mainstream merriment

October 26th, 2011

Escape the humdrum of the holidays and leave behind the crowded stores, traffic, gift-wrapping, and tangled lights in exchange for a stress-free season at one of these 10 alternative spots. Whether it’s close by or halfway around the world, it’ll surely be unforgettable.

Enjoy the holidays stateside…

Nantucket, Massachusetts

Where: White Elephant and Jared Coffin House

What: A New England holiday

Why: Nantucket Island celebrates the season with Nantucket Noël, a month-long celebration that runs November 25–December 31. The highlight event is the Annual Christmas Stroll Weekend, December 2–4.  Stores, shops, and restaurants open their doors for shoppers (almost everything on the island is on sale!), carolers sing favorite holiday tunes, and Santa Claus arrives aboard a Coast Guard vessel. Steps from historic downtown, White Elephant is the perfect place to spend the weekend. For a longer stay, the Jared Coffin House is ideal. Open all season long and built in 1845, this historic hotel will have you feeling the spirit of the holidays.

When: White Elephant rates start at $195 per night from December 1–5. Jared Coffin House rates start at $155 per night during this special season.

Jump the pond…

Provence, France

Where: Hotel Crillon le Brave

What: A traditional French holiday experience

Why: Hidden in a tranquil town in France, Hotel Crillon le Brave is the perfect place to go for a peaceful escape. Festivities start on December 23 with a classical music concert in the local village church. On Christmas Eve, the hotel hosts an elaborate dinner that is sure to get guests into the Christmas spirit, who are also invited to celebrate the New Year with champagne in La Grange, the cozy bar, followed by a decadent dinner in the restaurant by a roaring log fire.

When: Holiday rates start at $329 dollars per night from December 23–January 2.

 

Salisbury and Canterbury, U.K.

Where: Onboard Belmond British Pullman

What: Festive seasonal journeys that rival the magical Polar Express (and you don’t have to go as far as the North Pole!)

Why: Hop on the British Pullman and enjoy the caroling in Canterbury or Salisbury’s world famous cathedrals. Following the concerts, guests are welcome to roam freely through the festive cities. With each excursion, they can look forward to a delectable brunch served with a Bellini on the outward journey and a four-course meal with wine and champagne on the way home. To make the trip even more unforgettable, upon return to London, guests visiting Salisbury may choose to stay overnight at The Goring, a luxurious hotel adjacent to Buckingham Palace, where Kate Middleton spent her last night as a commoner.

When: Rates begin at £350 ($550) per person and include brunch and a four-course dinner with champagne and wine. Dates for the Canterbury journey are December 6 and 13, 2011, and for the Salisbury journey, on December 15, 2011.

 

Paris, France

Where: Le Pavillon des Lettres

What: A cozy Parisian getaway

Why: The new Le Pavillon des Lettres is housed in a classic Haussman townhouse in the 8th arrondissement. The hotel features 26 rooms – each devoted to a letter of the alphabet and an international writer corresponding to that letter. Shakespeare, Baudelaire and Rousseau are among the authors whose quotes are elegantly scrawled on the walls en Français. Settle down in the hotel’s library, next to the fireplace, and spend the holidays relaxing and reading while sipping a sumptuous cocktail from the honesty bar.

When: Rates start at £250 ($345) per night.

Farther still…

Marrakech, Morocco

Where: Royal Mansour Marrakech

What: A Rockin’ Moroccan New Years

Why: Spend the advent of a new year in utmost relaxation unwinding in a private riad, a Moroccan style house decorated with luxurious hand-done tile work and mosaic-covered courtyard floors. Visit Royal Mansour’s own traditional-style hammam, while the children are entertained at the exciting Kids Club, before a luxurious meal with menus created by three Michelin-starred chef Yannick Alléno, or escape into the city of Marrakech for a bite while soaking in the unique rhythms of the centuries-old city.

When: Holiday rates start at $2,228 for a one-bedroom riad from December 15 to January 7.

As far as you can get…

Paro Valley, Bhutan

Where: Uma Paro

What: Ten days of exploration in this culture-rich Himalayan Kingdom

Why: With sweeping mountain views, there is no shortage of adventure at Uma Paro. Bring the whole family during Uma Paro’s 10-day holiday program and attend lectures on Buddhism, go for hikes in the Himalayas, watch an archery contest, or participate in candlelit yoga sessions. There will also be a special mask performance, a Bhutanese film night, and an evening of traditional music and dance. Children 12 and under who are sharing a villa with their parents stay free.

When: rates start at $330 until December 31, 2011.

 

Koh Samui and Koh Phangan, Thailand

Where: Anantara Lawana Resort & Spa and Rasananda Phangan Island Resort & Spa

What: Two island experiences for the price of one

Why: For anyone wanting to get away for a week of relaxation and exploration before the holiday season kicks into high gear, the “Two Island Experience” package from Anantara is a perfect fit. The six-night island hopping adventure begins with a three-night stay at Anantara Lawana Resort & Spa on beautiful Koh Samui in the Gulf of Thailand, to be whisked away by speedboat to the more remote yet infamous island of the full moon parties, Koh Phangan, for an additional three-night stay at Rasananda Phangan Island Resort & Spa.

When: rates start at $578 through December 20 and include accommodations, daily breakfast, speedboat transfer, and roundtrip airport transfers.

 

Bali, Indonesia

Where: Uma Ubud and COMO Shambhala Estate

What: A Balinese escape for the mind, body, and soul

Why: The holidays can be exhausting, so treat the family to a well deserved break at Uma Ubud. This exotic retreat overlooking a valley is the perfect place to unwind and explore with its lush forests, sweeping rice paddies, and COMO Shambhala Retreat spa. Nearby in the town of Ubud is COMO Shambhala Estate, a secluded, residential health retreat with a focus on wellness and relaxation. The Discover COMO Shambhala program allows guests to design their own wellness experiences at the retreat and is the perfect way to decompress during this stressful season.

When: Holiday season rates start at $290 per night from December 20–January 6 at Uma Ubud, and the Discover COMO Shambhala program at COMO Shambhala Estate starts at $1,400 for three nights.

 

Uttarakhand, India

Where: Shakti Kumaon Village Experience and Shakti 360° Leti

What: A unique getaway that’s far off the beaten path

Why: Experience the culture and beauty of India this fall with Shakti’s Kumaon village walking experience followed by a stay at 360° Leti, the boutique hotel set at 8,000 feet elevation.

When: Season is from October 1 until April 30, 2012.

A four-day, three-night Shakti Kumaon village experience is $1,307 per person, based on two or three adults, and includes accommodations, food and beverage, activities, English-speaking guide and porters, car at disposal, and roundtrip transfer between Kathgodam train station or Pantnagar airport and village houses, and taxes. Rates for a three-night, four-day package at 360˚ Leti start at $1,916 per adult, based on two traveling on a twin/double share basis. Rates include accommodation in a private cottage, all food and beverage, activities, English-speaking guide and porters, car at disposal, roundtrip transfer between Shakti Kumaon village experience and Shakti 360˚ Leti, and all taxes.

 

Chiang Rai, Thailand

Where: Anantara Golden Triangle Resort & Spa

What: An elephant adventure in Northern Thailand

Why: For anyone seeking an unforgettable holiday adventure with the whole family, Anantara Golden Triangle Resort & Spa’s Mahout Discovery package is just the ticket! Learn how to feed, bathe, and ride these gentle giants through the forest during a 3-day mahout training course. Perched on a lush hillside near the borders of Burma and Laos, the resort, so rich in culture, is a blissful escape for adults and children alike.

When: rates start at $342 per night based on double occupancy through December 31.

post-holiday detox

October 25th, 2011

Eggnog, pigs in a blanket, champagne, cookies… our indulgences during the holiday season. Dressed festively and attending holiday soirees, from Thanksgiving to New Years, we tend to stop paying attention to healthy eating (and living). Instead of simply resolving to treat the body with a little more TLC next year, be proactive. Here are some post-holiday retreats sure to jump start many a resolution.

 

Turks & Caicos

Where: Parrot Cay

What: An Ayurvedic escape for the mind, body, and spirit

Why: With its crystal clear ocean and mile-long stretch of white sand, this private island resort is the ideal place to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and treat yourself to a customized, Ayurvedic Program. Pay a visit to Parrot Cay’s own Ayurvedic doctor who will recommend a special holistic treatment plan designed to rejuvenate the mind and body. Whether it is with yoga, a specialized diet, body treatments, detox, or meditation, guests are sure to leave the resort feeling rested and revitalized. The program includes all meals.

Rates for a three-night program start at $3,140 based on single occupancy and $5,009 based on double occupancy

 

Bali, Indonesia

Where: COMO Shambhala Estate

What: A stress-free vacation

Why: It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the pressures of work and home, especially during the holiday season. That’s why COMO Shambhala Estate, nestled in the heart of Bali, offers a Stress-Management Program specifically designed to relieve participants from the strains and anxieties of everyday life. The program focuses on the concepts and philosophies of Yoga, Chi Kung, and Tai Chi. Consultants craft a program incorporating meditation, outdoor pursuits, soothing therapies, and wellbeing lectures to ensure guests have the tools necessary to release built-up stress and to return home feeling revived and relaxed. The program includes all meals.

Rates for a three-night program start at $1,700 based on single occupancy and $2,600 based on double occupancy

 

Geneva, Switzerland

Where: La Réserve Genève

What: A four day anti-aging detox

Why: The holiday season, best known as the most wonderful time of the year, can also be one of the most stressful. Once the presents have been unwrapped, the giant family meals have been gobbled down, and the in-laws have finally left, treat yourself to a much needed post-holiday detox. La Réserve Genève’s Four-Day Better-Aging Detox Program includes a complete checkup and personalized action plan to restore the body’s balance and adopt a new, long-term, healthier lifestyle – just in time for the New Year! With full access to the spa facilities, inclusive healthful meals, daily sports activities, and a range of massages, wraps, and treatments, the stress from the holidays is sure melt away.

 

Si Kao, Thailand

Where: Anantara Si Kao Resort & Spa

What: A restorative retreat in Thailand

Why: For guests looking for a guided and wide-ranging wellness retreat, the Body Detox Programme at Anantara Si Kao Resort & Spa is just the ticket. Included in this package are private consultations with Naturopathic and Ayurvedic doctors in keeping with the resort’s specialized approach to wellness. A variety of spa treatments accompany these consultations, including detox massages, herbal heat treatments, and an Indian head massage. Participants are provided with a personalized diet program to take home so the wellness experience can continue long after leaving the resort.

Rates for a three-night program start at $753 based on single occupancy and $1,245 based on double occupancy. This package is also available for 1 night, 5 nights, and 7 nights.

giving back to the community

September 27th, 2011

COMO Hotels and Resorts is giving back to the community with your help! In 2010, COMO partnered with MasterCard for the Purchase with Purpose program which helps raise funds for local community projects. Last year, the project raised $35,580 and COMO has decided to bring the program back for 2011!

For every transaction made with a MasterCard card at a COMO property between 1 October and 31 December 2011, MasterCard will donate $30 to a community project with which the COMO property is closely affiliated. The money raised goes to educational and wellbeing initiatives as well as to local schools to improve nutrition and sanitation. In 2010, the funds helped stock the libraries of Tirta Kumara Kindergarten in Bali and the Maafushi and Guraidhoo schools in the Maldives. The program also helped deliver sanitary essentials to the nuns of Kela Goemba in Bhutan and improve sanitation and cooking facilities in the Wat Bangploeng School in Thailand.

With this program, guests have the opportunity to make a real difference in the communities they visit. As if you needed a better reason to go on vacation!

donna karan’s balinese escape

August 22nd, 2011

With world-class yoga retreats and so much Balinese culture to explore, what’s not to love about the COMO Shambhala Estate in Bali? Donna Karan tells us what she loves most about her amazing getaways to this far-off paradise. Read the full article here: http://on.wsj.com/rv0aiU

travel like donna karan

June 30th, 2011

Fashion icon Donna Karan unveils some of her travel tips and secrets in an interview on Saks Point of View. We’re not surprised that this chicster favors COMO Hotels and Resorts properties. She loves water and nature, which she finds at her home on Parrot Cay, and her most memorable summer vacation involved a yoga retreat in Bali at COMO Shambhala Estate. There are also useful tips on what to wear and how to pack. We wish we could travel like Donna…

find your happy place

June 15th, 2011

Pristine beaches, friendly natives, delicious local cuisine, and beautiful weather make Bali and Thailand two of the happiest places on earth, according to author Paul Theroux. On his quest for happiness, Theroux picked both of these locales as the most joy-filled spots in the world. And we’d have to agree!

Bali is known for its enticing beaches, but Theroux urges travelers to find traditional crafts and ceremonies sure to pique cultural curiosity. At Anantara Seminyak Resort & Spa, guests can find their own personal Nirvana by enjoying a handcrafted cocktail at the chic Sunset on Six rooftop bar and lounge while watching a burning sun set below the Indian Ocean, or by exploring the rolling hills and local jungle by elephant or Harley-Davidson. If you’re looking for a more holistic approach to finding your bliss, COMO Shambhala Estate is a sanctuary for health and wellness where guests’ individual needs are met with a custom-tailored program of nutrition, exercise, therapies, and activities.

You’ll be all smiles in “The Land of Smiles.” With nine properties in Thailand, Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas ensures that wherever you are in this beautiful country, you’ll have the chance to experience Thailand’s wonders for yourself. At Anantara Golden Triangle, the on-site elephant camp offers a rare chance to get up close and personal with these gentle giants while learning from experienced mahouts (elephant trainers) how to ride them. Explore the incredible coral reefs of the Similan Islands—some of the most renowned and best preserved in the world—on a dive excursion during your stay at Anantara Phuket. Or witness the excitement of Thailand’s bustling capital where the Metropolitan Bangkok offers guests both easy access to the hubbub of the city and a chic place to retreat.

this juice is worth the squeeze

June 1st, 2011

Everyone is trying to get healthy for summer. (Radiant skin and bikini bod? Check!) What better way than with COMO Shambhala Estate’s NEW juices? The resort just added Berry Beauty and Femme Fertile to its already extensive juice menu. No water/maple syrup/cayenne pepper concoctions here. Berry Beauty protects against early aging with a concentrated burst of anti-oxidants and phytonutrients and tasty ingredients including black skinned grape juice, mongoesteen pulp, ripe strawberries, and frozen blueberries. The Femme Fertile is perfect for those hoping for a little bun in the oven – with hibiscus flower, aloe vera, tangerine, passion fruit, strawberry, and cantaloupe, it optimizes the female reproductive system and hydrates skin and hair.

These juices join seasoned favorites such as Stress Reliever (with carrot, red apple, red grapes, ginger, spinach, fennel, beet and beet greens, celery, and sweet potato), Bloat Away (with cucumber, parsley, celery, fennel, pear, and mint), and Liver and Body Armor (with carrot, celery, red pepper, spinach, parsley, fennel, broccoli, and pumpkin seeds).

The Estate is nestled in the Balinese jungle among waterfalls and thick, verdant flora, the perfect setting to cleanse and tune-out. Among its wellness programs is its Cleansing Program, a three-, five-, or seven-day program. Consultants will encourage good nutrition and daily elimination to improve lymphatic circulation and keep those organs in tip top shape.

The three-night program includes:

  • Accommodation
  • All meals (including standard beverages)
  • Wellness consultation
  • 60-minute cleansing treatment
  • 60-minute massage
  • 120-minute body treatment
  • Complimentary airport transfers
  • Participation in The Estate’s daily schedule of activities
  • Services of a personal assistant

Other wellness programs include Ayurvedic, Get Fit, Stress Management, and Rejuvenation.

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