Caruso Place – Boutique & Wellness Suites
4****
Palazzo Berio, Via Toledo, 256, 80132 Napoli NA, Italy
http://www.carusoplace.com/en/

As the biggest city of southern Italy and the capital city of Campania, Naples is said to be one of the most chaotic cities in the world. The birthplace of pizza, a city of culture and light, including a secretive underground, is a great starting point for the exploration of the city centre, Naples bay and the (to this day active) volcano of Mount Vesuvius. Only half an hour drive away is the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, rich in archaeological sites, a city that has been covered in volcanic ash since the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. The Amalfi Coast and its famous Capri Island are located nearby, inviting you to experience Italy’s natural treasures. A nearby airport, an excellent public transport services (buses and trains) and numerous options for taking day trips (by boats or ferries) from Naples, will also convince you to visit it.

Hotel in the centre of vivacious Naples: Caruso Place Boutique & Wellness Suites

If Naples is a starting point of your exploration of Southern Italy, I advise you to book the hotel right in the heart of the city centre. Caruso Place Boutique & Wellness Suites is an ideal choice, only one step away from the lively street (or a balcony) where you immediately feel the city’s throb. The hotel is located on the renowned Via Toledo Street, one of the main Naples shopping streets, directly opposite the impressive shopping gallery Galleria Umberto I. The Royal Palace of Naples, the Teatro San Carlo and the castles Castel Nuovo and (a step further) Castel dell’Ovo are your neighbours during the stay. Naples port also offers many choices for taking day trips, with my personal favourites being the small islands of Ischia and Procida (read more about it in my blog post Day trip to Procida). The charming Capri Island is a great option too and Amalfi Coast, accessible by sea or land.

‘O sole mio, ‘o sole mioooooo…

Caruso Place Boutique & Wellness Suites great location is not its only strong suit, as the boutique hotel with ten rooms (7 suites) is located inside the historic XVI Century Berio Palace, a work by the famous engineer and architect Luigi Vanvitelli. The owners of the newly opened hotel were kind enough to guide me through the history of the building and introduced me to the hotel’s attentively picked interior décor. Each room carries its significant story, being rich in minor details, filled with family history and accompanied by the music, one that follows you everywhere; at the lounge area where you can enjoy a breakfast and Naples pastries, on the hallways or in the rooms. Lyrics of the famous Italian song ‘O sole mio walk you down to your room, where you can take a deserved rest from the wandering and excitement of the city. Rooms and Suites are incredibly spacious, equipped with a wellness bathroom (our room even had a Jacuzzi and all the bathrooms have chomotheraputic lights), some even come with a fireplace. Owners of the Caruso Place hotel have been a regular feature in the tourist department and are therefore well aware of their costumer’s needs and wishes during their travels. At the reception, the staff is of course more than happy to help you with any question regarding your further travels throughout this part of Italy.

Caruso Place Boutique & Wellness Suites is located at the very centre of Naples, which combines classical and modern, and therefore presents an ideal choice for those who wish to explore the southern part of Italy.

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Luxury villa Excelsior Parco
****L
Via Marina Grande, 179, 800076 Capri NA, Italy
www.excelsiorparco.com

While exploring the island of Capri, Italy, we stayed at Excelsior Parco, a historic residence, which is way more than simply a hotel or a classic villa. This Italian Art Nouveau villa was built in 1906 and today there are still visible sites of an Ancient Roman villa, that stood there before the renovation. Today Excelsior Parco is a luxurious hotel with 11 rooms overlooking a lovely garden or the amazing sea. Even though Capri offers lots of amazing luxurious accommodations, reasons why booking a stay at Excelsior Parco are plenty.

Outstanding views of the sea and Mount Vesuvius and a great location to discover the island of Capri

Arriving at Capri, your boat ride will leave you at Marina Grande. Half way up to the Capri town’s Piazzetta there is luxury villa Excelsior Parco. Their driver met us at the port and drove us a few minutes uphill to the villa, which otherwise is also reachable by foot. There’s only a few minute walk from Marina Grande to Excelsior Parco, while Piazzetta is a 15min walk away. Overall, Excelsior Parco offers free shuttle service to Marina Grande, Ristorante & Beach Club Da Gemma (where you can enjoy your reserved spot) or Capri town with their clean energy vehicle (they actually own the first completely electric car in Capri). There is actually only one road leading to towns of Capri and Anacapri, all of the other sites of the island need to be explored on foot. You will enjoy walks on Capri, at least I did! Excelsior Parco is therefore a little further away from the Capri town centre, but this is a reason that it also offers peace and serenity, so you can fully recharge your batteries. And the views are fantastic! If you have a chance, book a room with the amazing sea view and a private terrace where you can also enjoy delicious breakfast or relax in a private Jacuzzi. Food? Superb!

Organic delights to pamper you senses early in the morning (or during the day)

I could say your senses are always pampered in Italy! And they for sure are pampered at Excelsior Parco. From organic bath products in your bathroom to organic food and drinks made with the highest quality ingredients. You will start your day with delicious breakfast – croissants, tartes, a variety of different cheeses, charcuteerie, crepes, organic bread, eggs, milk, freshly squeezed juices, home-made jams and even Nutella, anything your heart (and tummy) desires! We had our breakfast once in their spacious lush garden and once on our private terrace in our room. We it comes to food, we also enjoyed Excelsior Parco’s chef à la carte dinner, caprese salad and risotto with shrimps were so delicious. Nothing beats true Italian cuisine and hospitality…

Excelsior Parco is a perfect choice for anyone discovering the island of Capri seeking serene luxury and heavenly pampering.

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Anteliz Suites
4****
Markou Nomikou 89 Firostefani, Santorini 847 00, Greece
https://www.anteliz.gr/en/

A Greek island, full of breath-taking views, white houses, hundreds of churches with blue rooftops and a clear sea, is famous for its astonishing sunsets. Santorini has been high on my bucket list for a while and this year I finally got a chance to visit it and see its timeless views for myself. I visited Santorini in combination with the island of Mykonos: 4 days and 3 nights on an island of volcanic origin, which many call a remainder of Atlantis. I will forever remember this trip, thanks to the Anteliz Suites hotel, which was a warm host to me.

Small boutique Anteliz Suites hotel is an ideal location for exploring Santorini island

Located directly near the main city of Fira and with a view on the Caldera of Santorini and the Aegean sea, the small Anteliz Suites boutique hotel is a perfect starting point for your Santorini hike. Hotel is nicely secluded from the vivacious Fira, located by the walking path, which connects the main city with the beautiful town of Imerovigli. It therefore offers a peaceful, relaxed and calm atmosphere in the evenings, perfect after a long day of exploring the island. It is a space where you can truly rest, absorb the beauty of magical sunsets, spoil your taste buds and pamper all of your senses. However, it is still close enough to the restaurants, local gyros places, shops and museums, with the Three Bells of Fira church just a few meters away. Why is Fira a better place to stay on Santorini rather than famous Oia? Simply because it’s not so known to the public eye, which makes it less crowded and the prices are less costly. By car, Oia is only about a half an hour away, (with the nearby airport 7 kilometres and harbour just shy of 10 kilometres in the distance).

Are you looking for a hotel on Santorini with an astonishing view and ideal location to enjoy the sunsets?

Anteliz Suites is without any exaggeration an ideal choice. The walking path, which leads from Fira to Imerovigli, is on the extreme point of the island, which steeply slopes downwards in the direction of the sea. The Anteliz Suites is therefore located right by this path, almost on the verge of cliff edges and offers a perfect spot for seeing the sun set. With only the sea and a neighbouring island in sight, behind which the sun disappears in style – you can enjoy a spectre of colours that shade into blue, orange, yellow, pink and red. I’ve seen quite a lot of beautiful sunsets all over the world and Santorini truly takes the crown. It’s on the top of my favourite locations to watch the sun say goodbye after a long day (all you need is a bit of luck with the weather because the mist at the beginning of the season can cause a bit of trouble).

Anteliz Suites is a synonym for luxury, sleek look and an ultimate pampering

The main characteristic of Anteliz Suits that impressed me was its spaciousness – we stayed at the 110m² large Master Suite, suitable for 2-4 adults. Rooms are incredibly spacious, airy, luxurious, created to enjoy and relax. The suite has two large bathrooms, one of them with two showers (decorated with a cerulean blue Venetian Stucco). The decoration is combination of modern and traditional Greek. The most impressive part of the suite is without a doubt the private balcony with a panoramic view, a perfect spot for you to enjoy an evening glass of a wine or a breakfast in the morning. You can also enjoy a lavish and tasty breakfast at the hotel terrace (where the pool and Jacuzzi are). Some of the rooms even have their own swimming pool overlooking the Caldera.

To all the newlyweds, lovers and those who seek a calm and luxurious location for a dream vacation on the island of Santorini: This is a perfect hotel for you!

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Good sun protection is worth more than gold. It offers me vital protection against damaging effects of UVA and UVB lights, decreasing my chances of getting a melanoma, hyper-pigmentation and sun-induced premature skin-aging. Throughout the whole year I use day creams with SPF for my face and during the warmer days, I layer on a proper SPF product when my skin is more exposed. However, as with everything in life, moderation is key. I try to do my best to protect my skin, I apply SPF multiple times a day, but I don’t obsessively hide in the shade and let the worrying take up too much of my time and energy. I consider myself a big consumer of products with SPF, however, my boyfriend (well, as from now on, fiancée) Jan takes the cake in this regard. Not only for being much taller than me, but because he also spends large amounts of time in the sun. Each year we test a handful of products with SPF, this year being no different. For the second year in a row, we swear by the products from sunny line of Sun Care Cosmetics Afrodita (we also took them on our trip to Thailand), so here I am sharing our favourites.

Everyday use: creams with SPF for face

Afrodita offers two creams that are my favourite facial sunscreens. They spread nicely and work great as a good base for applying makeup (even though I avoid tons of makeup during the summer, I still wear makeup for photoshoots or special events). The Afrodita Sun Care Sensitive SPF30 sunscreen is my favourite facial SPF sunscreen because of its moisturizing effect and the protection that it offers me. The second one, Afrodita Age Defence SPF 25, is also great. It has a lighter texture than the first one and it is more suitable for sports and people with oily skin. I recommend both and Jan agrees!

Do you know how much SPF to apply for enough protection? A LOT.

In order for protection to be suitable to the factor written on the packaging, you have to apply 2 milligrams of cream on each square centimetre of skin (cca. 30 ml per person). That’s quite a lot. Be careful to apply it evenly on the skin and all over the body areas you want to protect.

How to find your SPF body cream “match”?

Mainly by trying. And by reading a beauty blog post that is informative. I don’t even pay attention to sunscreens with a low SPF. It must have a factor of at least 20 or, better yet, 30 or 50. I don’t like thick formulations that are difficult to apply on the body and I also tend to avoid those with classical packaging in a spray bottle. Afrodita has a bonus point here, with a compact and practical packaging. The Afrodita Sun Care SPF20 body milk is water resistant, so Jan uses it for outdoor activities. SPF30 is my most used version, always with me in my bag! Both children editions also have SPF30 and I warmly recommend them, also for adults since they’re both water resistant. For all the travel bugs reading this, you’ll appreciate the Afrodita Sun Care Kids cream SPF30, since it’s one of the rare creams with a SPF which you can take with you in the hand luggage on the plane (it contains exactly 100ml of the product). With its thicker texture it’s still easy to apply. The second product for child skin-protection is Afrodita Sun Care Kids body milk SPF30, which is lighter and quicker to absorb. The smell of all Afrodita sun protection products is gentle with a touch of coconut, one of my favourite smells.

I still got burned … what to do?

Ok, despite trying not to, you got sunburned. I understand. Our grandmothers would put yogurt on the burned area and today the process is quite similar – the only difference is, that we use a special yoghurt, produced in the laboratory of Afrodita Cosmetics. Afrodita Sun Care Body Yogurt is in my opinion, one of the best Afrodita products. It contains coconut water, shea butter and dog rose oil, which moisturizes the skin and nourishes it. I use it as a nourishing body product. Texture, smell, effect – heavenly! Afrodita also has an additional product, Afrodita After Sun, which has a cooling effect and contains aloe vera and provitamin B5. This one was Jan’s, so he doesn’t steel my Yogurt haha.

My opinion: famous “marmelada” in three editions

Infamous Jam (marmelada) was an instant hit in Slovenia when it came on the market. It instantly sold out and presented an important milestone for Afrodita. Of course, I was as eager to try it out like everybody else, so I tested the marmelada, which promises an intense tanning effect. It has a really rich texture, so I also use it on the dried areas on my legs. I warn you not use this product prior to going to sleep, because it will leave brown stains all over the sheets. For afternoon outings I used a bit of dry oil Afrodita Sun Care Bronze Jam. However, my Jam fever really started this year, with Afrodita launching a new, tropical jam. Afrodita Sun Care Tropical Jam contains SPF10 and a wonderful mixture of 100% organic coconut oil from the Philippines, shea and cocoa butter and carrot extract. The texture is very similar to the classical jam, only chunkier and easier to apply. In smells incredible and my skin wholeheartedly approves. However, I would like to point out that you must be really cautious with products that are promising fast tan. Definitely combine them with sunscreens with SPF and do not exaggerate with sunbathing. Tanned skin is not constant, but our skin is.

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I said YES!

Almost a week ago, my best friend, my true love took my hand and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him – as husband and wife of course! I do believe we were already set to spend our life together for the eternity before tying a knot, since we are both on the same page that with marriage, just our titles will change (from boyfriend and girlfriend) to husband and wife. Nevertheless, marriage and wedding is still a true celebration of pure, joy, happiness and love.

I really wanted to share the special news with you, but on the other hand we also wanted to enjoy our time together. Just us. I mean, we told the news to our closest, but that was it. As you might have noticed I was a bit offline in the past couple of days, and now you know the reason. We are ENGAGED! To share the news with you and also have photos to commemorate this moment, our dear friend Luka Gorjup, who happens to be an amazing photographer, made these photos that also mark a new chapter on my blog.

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