Travel Wish List: Tuscany in Italy

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I remember ever since I watched the movie Stealing Beauty in 1996, an old movie played by Liv Tyler, I completely fell in love with Tuscany which was the background of the movie. I remember seeing all those beautiful green surroundings with old buildings and storybook landscape with quaint villages and little towns surrounded with colorful flowers that blooms everywhere, decorating the already picturesque green hills. The movie itself was not something to remember, but the view of the background are what still lingers in my mind up until this day ;)

Pics sources are from here, here and here.

Tuscany is probably one of the most beautiful place in earth. It's located in Italy, and it's capital is Florence. Tuscany is also pronounced as Toscana, and it has been the destination place for world travelers since the old time.

If I ever gonna be in Tuscany, below are three most beautiful places in Tuscany that I want to spend my Tuscany life in:

Villa Armena, Relais & Beauty Farm - Siena, Tuscany
Just look at this scenic driveway that we usually can only see in movies and tv !!
This is the road towards the villa, isn't it already amazing?!

Villa Armena is a late Renaissance structure with rich history background dating back to 16th century. The restored villa has been transformed into an exclusive luxury boutique hotel and beauty farm, equipped with the latest standards of luxury and indulgence. The rooms and suites are decorated with traditional Tuscan features and all of them are spoiled with fabulous views of the gardens and the Crete Senesi.

Guests can relax in the serene surrounding or play around in the indoor or outdoor pools, or strolling along the fragrant gardens brimming with roses, cypress, maritime pine and olive trees. Guests can also visit the beauty farm to enjoy some superb ancient Roman and Mediterranean spa rituals. Sounds heavenly, is it not?

Some of the rooms:

And My Dream Room a.k.a the room that I would choose in my "imaginary Tuscany travel" ;p
This room actually has three different rooms: a bed area, a seating / working area in a separate nook, and a lovely bathroom with deep tub tucked beside a low window to enjoy the view while relaxing in your bath.

Prices start from 295 Euro (around USD 411)


Grand Hotel Villa Cora - Florence, Tuscany
 I love hotel that doesn't look like a hotel. From above picture you could feel like you're staying in someone's grand house rather than in a hotel (and I always want to know how it feels like to live inside a grand home in the old times).

My second option is the Grand Hotel Villa Cora, located in the capital region of Tuscany. This hotel villa also has historic background to it, it was built in the 1870s by Baron Oppenheim for his wife (such a lucky lady!). This hotel has an all-around opulent theme with it's grandeur decoration and artful architecture which includes ornate parquet, spectacular frescoes and intricately detailed statuary. Very baroque & rococo-esque!

This hotel villa also has a massive heated outdoor pool. It also has a subterranean spa with sauna, steam room, gym and jacuzzi, plus a cigar room for the gentlemen. The appealing gardens, the alluring roof terrace, the restaurant with breathtaking decors, and the beautifully laid-out pool with loungers and parasols are one of the many ways to enjoy your wonderful days in this gorgeous hotel villa.

The restaurant
Oh and another great thing about this villa is they have some tunnels network that links the villa to the spa and poolside restaurant so that in winter time guests won't have to walk under the chilly wind. Super smart thinking!

The rooms and suites are decorated in different themes such as the 40s themed suite, the Imperial suite (which once housed Emperor Akihito!!), the Family suite, etc..

And my dream room? I would sleep in any of those rooms above ;)

Prices start from 263 Euro (around USD 366)


My #1 choice:
Borgo Santo Pietro - Tuscany
 This breathtaking view is what makes me choose this villa as my number one place to stay in Tuscany (wouldn't you do the same? I know! ;p)

The Borgo Santo Pietro, one of the most sought-after boutique hotel in Tuscany. With pretty cypress trees that neatly lined the path that leads to this luxury country house villa, the view is outstanding. The intimate surrounding environment and the heated outdoor infinity pool which overlooks the valley are the two lovely features I love from this country house. I love the pool the most! You can see from the first pic above that the pool has a slightly sloped corner with sand colored base and clear water that reminds us of a beach!

This country house also has a tennis court and a Bocce pitch. There are also spa treatments with private holistic hub or private spa spot in the garden surrounded by herbs and roses! Guests can also enjoy horseriding, archery, hiking (boots provided), cycling (bikes provided), table tennis and cooking courses. 

With dazzling stone-walls and 13 acres of enchanting gardens, graceful courtyard adorned with carefully planted plants, the villa also has their own organic garden. There's also a rose garden just outside the piano room where you could take a stroll and spoil your senses. In other words, this is where I truly want to be in my Tuscany dream..

But what sold me is the rooms!
Oh the enticing rooms with captivating old-world charms style and decor, with pleasant views from the massive windows peeking through the thick elegant long curtains, all in deep rich neutral colors that seems to incorporate nicely with the rustic surroundings of this restored 13th century Tuscan villa.

 Some of the rooms:

My dream room is any room that has this free-standing bath tub mounted to a mural painted wall and massive window below:
I'm sure I'd feel like an Italian princess in this room.
Oh bellissima! La Vita e Bella ... Life is beautiful..

Prices star from 355 Euro (around USD 495)


So which one is your most favorite? If you have the time and the money, which of the above would you choose? Or maybe you have another beautiful place in Tuscany? Tell me if you have one ^__^

To see all of my "Travel / Hotel Wish List" posts, you can click here and just keep scrolling down once you're there to see the rest of the posts.

See you on my next Travel Wish List!

*Sources: All photos and sources are from Luxury Travel Magazine and Mr&Mrs Smith

Kejutan dari Snowbay

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Beberapa waktu lalu saya kaget tiba-tiba dapat email dari manajemen Snowbay - TMII yang isinya mereka mau memberi saya semacam hadiah karena mereka senang baca blog post saya tentang keriaan saya dan keluarga waktu ke Snowbay beberapa waktu lalu. Widiiiih....senang banget dengernya! Paling seneng kalo tulisan di blog di apresiasi seseorang, padahal waktu itu nulis post tentang Snowbay memang nggak ada maksud apa-apa, cuma karena emang pengen cerita aja tentang "our fun day at Snowbay" (baca post nya disini).

Eh tau-tau malah dapet rejeki ^__^ Alhamdulillah...

Awalnya di email katanya saya mau dikirimin VIP Card nya Snowbay yang bisa dipakai untuk Free Entrance & Free VIP Cabana pada pemakaian pertama dan 50% Discount untuk selanjutnya (max untuk 4 orang). Etapi ternyata.....yang dateng paket biru gede berpita:

Yang isinya:
Banyak banget!!! Ternyata bukan cuma VIP Card aja yang dikirimin, tapi juga ada notebook tebal, voucher discount IDR 250.000 untuk F&B, voucher discount untuk beberapa toko dan resto pilihan seperti La Porchetta, Cuppa Coffee, Rice Bowl, dll yang bisa kita pakai di outlet nya dimana aja. Plus dapet Polar Bear hat yang lucuuu bangeettt... (*gemesss). 

VIP Card nya sendiri saya dapat yang Hurricane, yang berlaku untuk max 4 orang (ada satu lagi VIP card yang berlaku untuk 2 orang, namanya Breakthrough). Hurricane card ini seperti yang sudah saya ceritakan di atas, keuntungannya banyak banget, diantaranya adalah:
  • Free entrance ticket untuk pemakaian pertama & 50% discount untuk pemakaian berikutnya
  • 20% Discount untuk F&B di Captain Jack's Cuisine
  • 20% Discount untuk sewa VIP Cabana dan Gazebo
  • 15% Discount di "Igloo" toko suvenir yang ada di areal Snowbay (tempat beli Polar Bear hat)
  • Free entrance tiket untuk Snowbay concert
  • Free 1 ride untuk Bungee Trampolin
  • + Free voucher untuk 2 VIP Cabana (selama 3 jam pertama)

Asiikkk banget kan, banyak banget keuntungannya!
VIP Card ini bisa dibeli di Snowbay, dan kayanya lagi ada harga promo tuh:
Yang Breakthrough harganya Rp 750.000 >> Rp 500.000
Yang Hurricane harganya Rp 1.300.000 >> Rp 900.000

Anyway, seneng banget pokoknya deh punya VIP Card ini banyak banget keuntungannya, can't wait to use it with my family! Dan ini dia penampakan si polar bear lucu:

It has an attached long scarf that can double as a glove, jadi tangannya bisa dimasukin biar anget, kali aja ogut berkesempatan ke daerah salju pada saat winter kayanya ni polar bear hat udah cocok banget deh dipake bareng long coat hehehe
Menggemaskan (topi nya bukan saya nya ;p)

Snowbay Website:
Snowbay Facebook:

Many thanks to Rebecca from Lingering Touch that has found my blog post about Snowbay Watertainment :)

Apt Project: Floor Plan

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Just found out about this website from my brother in law where you could make your own floor planner virtually. You know what floor planner are, right? It's a picture with the whole floorplan layout of a house / building. All the architects and interior designer must have a floor plan to help them build and/or design the rooms in the building. Well this website called is simply about that. You could make layout plan of your dream home or if you already have a blank floor plan of your house then you could put furniture in it, you know...just to see whether things would fit or where the bed position should be, etc, etc...

Since I already have the basic floor plan including the rough size of each room of our future apartment so I re-create the apartment floor plan on the floorplanner website and then filled the rooms with stuffs that we're planning to put into the apt, and I loved the result (look at me, i'm loving my own creation, I'm such a dork). Here is the plan for our future "mini" apt that I made:

The small white area beside the bathroom above is the small terrace that we are so fortunate to have (I just love high-floored rooms with terraces!), and the dining room is behind the bathroom right next to the long kitchen that has a clear glass window in the end which leads to the terrace.

I showed this to my husband as a surprise, and he loved it!! Yayness! So with both sides agree to this floor plan I think this is gonna be our "almost final" layout, we still have doubts with the dining table option though, we either would go with this setting or we would go with a square table with 3 or 4 chairs.

The office room at the right bottom corner would double as my wardrobe area, but in our last discussion we change our mind and decided to move my working / office area into the bedroom and put the old office room into a full wardrobe area instead (wink ;p).

So if you're planning to move out to a new place or if you're getting a house or if you just love decorating or creating your perfect dream home then this website is a good place to start. You could see your floor plan in 2D and 3D ! Free membership allows you to create up to 6 rooms while paid membership would allow you more advantages for sure ;)

Travel Wish List: c/o The Maidstone at the Hamptons

Friday, October 7, 2011

Being a history lover myself, I frequently read about the East Hampton being a summer getaway for the rich and richest. East Hampton from its earliest days has had a reputation as being a home for the wealthy and the haves. No wonder it's a favorite, they have beautiful scenery with New England style villages, beautiful farmlands, pristine beaches, great restaurants, exciting nightlife, plus a wide arrange of great stores for shopping & antiquing. The atmosphere of an old city village with old row houses, lush greenery with big trees shadowing the street are among the beautiful things that you're gonna see there.

One of my wish list is to be able to stay at one of those old houses or bed and breakfast style hotel and try to imagine myself as one of those ladies from the old era who came to the east hampton village for a more-than-a-weekend summer getaway ^o^

And one of my choice would be: c/o The Maidstone.

It is located in the storied East End of Long Island with a Scandinavian inspired design. It has 19 rooms and I love that every room were designed differently from one another. Each of the room was individually designed by Swedish designer Nadia Tolstoy and each theme is inspired by 19 different Scandinavian characters/personalities such as HC Andersen room (yes that's Hans Christian Andersen, the children book writer), or the Her Royal Highness' suite just to name a few..

 They have 10 rooms, 6 suites, and 3 cottages. Each one is unique and has a distinct style that really differentiate one another. And they all seems to have great views with big windows that looks on to the luscious green bushes and trees that seems to surround the hotel. Here below are some of my favorite rooms from the hotel:

Alvar and Aino Aalto room. Alvar and Aino are Finnish architect and designer couple. The room design was inspired by their work, this room has a little of masculine feel to it, the bathroom was also designed very bachelor-pad with dark tiles and simple design.

The Tove Jansson room has a very cozy cottage feel and faces the front with views of the town's pond.

The Thor Heyerdahl suite has a full spa rain shower bathroom with separate free standing tub inside the bedroom.

 The Birgit Nilsson room has a very quirky colorful decor (which I LOVE!), and it has separate windowed sitting room complete with chaise lounge and a unique tray table with wide windows that overlooks the town pond & village green.

 The Astrid Lindgren room has a cheerful vibe with multi-pattern furnishings, yellow/white bathroom and pink headboard! For those of you who didn't know, Astrid Lindgren was a Swedish author who successfully created Pippi Longstocking!

 The Edvard Munch room has a very gothic feeling, dark and mysterious atmosphere which surprisingly very tempting and looks very inviting. It has a bay window with a set of great big cocoon-like chairs. The bathroom has gorgeous decor too.

 The Karen Blixen room has twin beds or king bed, a full spa bathroom with vanity, a bath tub, and a separate rain shower. It also has a sitting room with lounge chairs, and the room has lots of gorgeous views because it has windows that faces both the front and the back with both pond & garden views.
 The beautifully designed sitting room of the Karen Blixen room.

 His Majesty's Suite has a rich opulent design with old-world style furniture, thick curtains and rich deep tone colors. The room has a full spa rain shower bathroom with separate free standing claw foot tub, a living room with sofa, lounge chair, and desk, plus it has the beautiful view of the town pond.
 His Majesty's Suite claw foot bath tub inside the bedroom while the shower and vanity are in a separate room just right behind the tub.

 The Carl von LinnĂ© cottage is a freestanding cottage with it's own private parking and private blue stone patio surrounded with green hedges. Carl Von Linne is considered the father of Taxonomy. The room has a sitting area with sofa, desk, and a wood burning fireplace. It has a country side cottage feel to it, and the bathroom has a simple but pretty design.
  The Carl Von Linne private terrace.

 The Kurbits Cottage is probably the biggest in the hotel with 550 sq ft, perfect for family retreat. The cottage has full spa rain shower bathroom complete with a dressing room. It also has a dining table for 8 persons, a counter with wet bar, and a refrigerator. Not to mention the beautifully styled living room with big windows and wood burning fireplace, a private blue stone patio, a private parking, and it can connect with the Alfred Nobel cottage, perfect if you stayed there with big companions.
The Kurbits cottage's living room.

The hotel also boasts for their highly acclaimed slow food restaurant called The Living Room. And it's a pet-friendly hotel too! The price range is from around $600 to above $1000 (pretty much dreamy wish list ;p).

So how about you? Which room do you like most? Or have any of you ever been to the East Hamptons? or stayed at the c/o The Maidstone. Ooh please do tell...

To see all of my "Travel Wish List" posts, you can click here and just keep scrolling down once you're there to see the rest of the posts.

See you on my next Travel Wish List!

*All photos are via Luxury Travel Magazine and c/o The Maidstone website.