A tour around the world, through the four Cardinal points of food and wellnes: here is a selection of the best culinary and wellbeing experiences, all with the Relais & Châteaux quality hallmark. Let’s set off on the road to happiness…
1. NEW SENSATIONS IN FRANCE
The awakening of the senses begins in the heart of Provence, in the south of France, in an ancient monastery founded in 1613 by the Minimes monks. Le Couvent des Minimes Hotel & Spa was transformed, in 2008, into a hotel with high-quality services where your experience is one of luxury, calm and sheer enjoyment. In his gourmet restaurant, Chef Philippe Guérin has created a menu tinged with the colours of the sun… L’Occitane Spa, with its focus on wellbeing, is also a source of enchantment, covering an area of 700 square metres and offers an indoor and outdoor pool, sauna and Hammam.
The dish to savour
The “fillet of lightly-seasoned pan-seared Mediterranean sea bass”, served with a fennel sauce flavoured with herbs from the kitchen garden of the Couvent, showcases local produce to perfection. A treatment not to be missed
The ‘Couvent des Minimes’ treatment which offers an intensive body modelling targeting areas of tension and pain. 1 hour 15 minutes of pleasure! Unique experience
The cuisine workshop! Why not indulge in cooking classes with the chefs?
2. A CULINARY AWAKENING IN RIO DE JANEIRO
If your travelling soul takes you to the historic and cultural centre of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, you should stay at Hotel Santa Teresa. Its gourmet restaurant, Térèze, is currently a meeting place for artists, politicians and the most discerning and sophisticated of Brazilian and European travellers.
This is not only one of the most beautiful hotels in South America but also boasts an exceptional Spa and proposes top beauty treatments with Natura.
The dish to savour
You can trust the young chef, elected by the Rio press as Revelation of the Year 2010 Chef, that reinterprets the cuisines of the world, from Africa to Brazil, from Chile to Morocco, with a preference for the Mediterranean and the Southwest of France. A treatment not to be missed Xingus massages and baths with Amazonian essences. Unique experience
Immersion in a steam bath followed by a relaxing break on sleek deckchairs.
3. ZEN RETREAT IN THE JAPANESE MOUNTAINS
The gentle swoosh of a sliding wall made of rice paper. The fragrance of flower incense. The taste of the traditional kaiseki cuisine. The feel of silk… There are places where every detail tends towards perfection and the Gora Kadan Hotel in Japan is renowned for its utter simplicity. This property, the former retreat of the imperial Kanin no Miya family in Hakone National Park, offers a majestic immersion into the most ancient Japanese art de vivre.
Here you move between your minimalist suite, the pool and the Spa, clad in a cotton yukata kimono. The atmosphere is suffused with the pleasant scents of exotic and bewitching herbs.
The dish to be savoured
A traditional Japanese dish based on beef and sautéed vegetables. A treatment not to be missed
The 90-minute hot stone massage to improve circulation. A moment of unwinding, accompanied by soft relaxing music. Unique experience
The ‘lunch and onsen’ package offers the delights of a culinary kaseiki speciality and access to an onsen emerging directly from the rocks in the typical Japanese outdoor plunging pool.
4. GRILLED FISH AND MONOI MASSAGE IN TAHITI
Honeymoon, romantic escape, there are many opportunities to discover paradise on earth or, in this case, on the sea! Le Taha'a Island Resort & Spa in French Polynesia is situated in a magnificent turquoise blue lagoon, and offers an idyllic setting and refined cuisine in its two restaurants with views of the sea or the gardens. This very private jewel is the perfect retreat for travellers looking for serenity. It was voted in 2010 one of the 10 best resorts of the Pacific by the readers of the Condé Nast Traveller.
The dish to savour
Grilled whole fish at the seaside restaurant, on the edge of the sands… A treatment not to be missed
A traditional Polynesian monoi massage next to the translucent waters of the lagoon. Unique experience
A visit to Taha’a, 5 minutes away by boat, which is renowned for its fertile vanilla plantations and black pearl farms.
A four-day restaurant week, a day dedicated to staff learning, and cooking demonstrations for the public are just a few of the new ways of working in Dan Barber's new vision for his NY restaurant and farm. Find out more.
Francesco Martucci from I Masanielli in the Campania region of Italy has been named the best pizzaiolo in the world for a third year running. See the full list as well as all the international winners.