review

Exploring the Oasis Spa and Resort in Chiang Mai

Exploring the Oasis Spa and Resort in Chang Mai
Exploring the Oasis Spa and Resort in Chang Mai
Exploring the Oasis Spa and Resort in Chang Mai
Exploring the Oasis Spa and Resort in Chang Mai
Exploring the Oasis Spa and Resort in Chang Mai
Exploring the Oasis Spa and Resort in Chang Mai
Exploring the Oasis Spa and Resort in Chang Mai
Exploring the Oasis Spa and Resort in Chang Mai
Exploring the Oasis Spa and Resort in Chang Mai
Exploring the Oasis Spa and Resort in Chang Mai
Exploring the Oasis Spa and Resort in Chang Mai
Exploring the Oasis Spa and Resort in Chang Mai
Exploring the Oasis Spa and Resort in Chang Mai
Exploring the Oasis Spa and Resort in Chang Mai
Exploring the Oasis Spa and Resort in Chang Mai
Exploring the Oasis Spa and Resort in Chang Mai

Right, so you find yourself in Chiang Mai Thailand and you are looking for the ultimate place to kick back and relax.

I have found the ultimate paradise. Oasis Spa Baan Saen Doi.

Located just outside of the city center of Chiang Mai with a round trip service this hotel and spa will leave your travel stress behind. Flying into Chiang Mai it's only a short 10-minute taxi ride to the hotel where you can offload and dive straight into relaxation (or the pool).

With one of the top Spa's in Chiang Mai and several branches across Thailand, the Oasis Spa will help you escape your busy lifestyle whether you are relaxing poolside or opting for a traditional hot compress massage.

The hotel has a striking interior with touches of the traditional hill tribe art throughout. Surrounded by beautiful gardens and water features the hotel offers privacy and elegance.

The rooms are large and spacious with a fully fitted mini bar and king-sized bed. (Yes Pease!!) The rooms are airconditioned and (my favourite part) offer a full sized spa bathtub. I couldn't resist having a giant bubble bath the second I arrived. Engulfed in luxury and pampering visiting the spa was high on my to-do list!

The Spa is one of the most professional spas I have ever visited with the most meticulous attention paid to every single detail. To ensure that you have an amazing experience you will be met by one of the staff that will walk you through your menu options whilst you sip on traditional tea. I can highly recommend the hot compress massage. This is a traditional wrap made of a mix of fresh ginger, eucalyptus, lemongrass, and peppermint, with additions such as camphor and a dab of essential oils to suit your needs. Receiving a massage with a hot compress made me feel like my body was surrendering to the relaxation and every bit of tension was being released. Drifting into heaven is an understatement.

Post massage you will be met with fresh fruits and tea to hydrate and nourish the body. If you are feeling adventurous you can take a walk up to the traditional rice fields that are part of the grounds and understand a little more about the rice they harvest or find your way poolside to soak up the final rays of the day.

The food is traditional and with beautiful flavours and a spice level that creates a perfect bite of Thai cuisine. I might have wanted to squirrel away the green curry and the spring rolls that accompanied it for a midnight snack attack.

In hindsight, I blame this notion on the euphoria of eating spicy food. The staff is attentive and nothing is too much effort.

Whether you stay poolside, adventure into town or simply melt into massages this establishment truly has something special to offer and I highly recommend that if you find yourself in Chiang Mai that you find your way there.

Did you know that there is a Thailand Tourism office located in Johannesburg? Don’t think only beaches (Phuket), as there is so much more to Thailand. So if you need info or digital brochures etc, be sure to contact them or better still follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

I would also like to give a big thank you to Singapore Airlines for flying me to this dream destination.

-Melissa

Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

Take a deep breath in, now let it out. Repeat. Do you feel that?

A momentary grounding.

Now picture white beach sand, crystal clear blue waters, tall shady palm trees, mind-blowing food.

You've just imagined Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands.

A place to feel connected and grounded. A place where you can exhale.

Hands down one of my favourite destinations in Thailand; this resort is truly magnificent. Not only because it is surrounded by the most breathtaking scenery but because the resort is aware of their responsibility towards the environment and making their establishment one of sustainability. Zeavola does everything they can to look after the majestic nature that surrounds them.

Getting there is half the adventure and a flight into Phuket, a taxi to the harbour and a gorgeous boat ride later you will find yourself stepping onto the beautiful beaches with waves lapping the shores of the island.

Arriving at sunset, the golden light illuminated the limestone cliff faces and rocky outcrops that surround and make up the Phi Phi islands.

Taking in the bright pink skies is a memory that will stay with me forever.

The resort is really something special. Firstly it is a barefoot resort - yes you read correctly. This resort encourages you to get your toes sandy and feel the earth beneath you. Every time you enter a facility there is the opportunity to rinse your feet off in cleverly placed foot baths.

The resort recycles their water (which is pretty impressive considering they are on a tiny island in the Andaman sea)

They omit all single-use plastics and promote being eco-conscious in all that they (or the guests) do.

A green resort? Be still my beating heart.

The rooms are tucked away and surrounded by lush tropical plants and give a feeling of absolute privacy. You might find yourself harboring a sneaky suspicion that you have the only room on the island. They are constructed from glass panels and space is filled with natural light. With an outdoor shower and lounge area, I felt as if I could live there forever!

The resort offers additional options of rooms situated higher up on the hill, perched on stilts overlooking the canopy. The honeymoon suite sports a beautiful white marble pool while for the more minimal tastes, a beach facing room might be just the thing.

There is certainly something to satisfy every occasion and desire.

If you have a wedding request, this is the hotel for you.

The resort also proudly caters to the LGTBQ community by offering same-sex marriages.

The only thing enticing enough to get me to leave my comfortable room? Diving. As an avid diver, I opted to take myself on an adventure. Joined by a private Dive Master we took a boat trip out into the marine reserve. Whilst we were heading out seahorses were mentioned and I was sold.

From sea horses to lions mane jellyfish I was in heaven! If diving isn't your thing then you can also take a private boat ride out to the marine park for the day and go snorkeling with baby black tip sharks or simply swim in the tropical waters and bask in the sun. With a gorgeous pool, you can stay in or even make your way to their sublime spa for a treatment of your choice. I lost myself in the music that is a traditional massage.

Making my way back to the resort I was met with staff that is ready to help with anything, cue cocktail in hand and of course someone to escort me to lunch!

Wow. The food was simply incredible and eating on the beach with a gentle sea breeze in my hair, heaven. I realized after the food that Zeavola was fast crawling its way into one of my favourite destinations out there.

This five-star resort is beyond the standard five stars you expect to experience with that rating. With every detail thought out and every taste catered for, Zeavola was exceptional.

Did you know that there is a Thailand Tourism office located in Johannesburg? Don’t think only beaches (Phuket), as there is so much more to Thailand. So if you need info or digital brochures etc, be sure to contact them or better still follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

I would also like to give a special thanks to Singapore Airlines for flying me in style all the way to this dream destination!

-Melissa

The Yoga Barn - Ubud Bali

The Yoga Barn - Ubud Bali
The Yoga Barn - Ubud Bali
The Yoga Barn - Ubud Bali
The Yoga Barn - Ubud Bali
The Yoga Barn - Ubud Bali
The Yoga Barn - Ubud Bali
The Yoga Barn - Ubud Bali
IMG_6213.jpg
The Yoga Barn - Ubud Bali
The Yoga Barn - Ubud Bali
The Yoga Barn - Ubud Bali
The Yoga Barn - Ubud Bali
The Yoga Barn - Ubud Bali
The Yoga Barn - Ubud Bali
The Yoga Barn - Ubud Bali

I stumbled upon The Yoga Barn by chance. One of my followers sent me a message telling me that if I found myself in Ubud, a spiritual village nestled in the mountains of Bali, that I better head there because I would love it! Well, I am obsessed and will return.

Tucked away in the centre of town is a lush green, calming and beautiful property called The Yoga Barn. Centred around Yoga and Ayurveda this property is filled with all that you could ask for to the point that I didn't want to leave for a few days. It is silent and peaceful, you feel like you can exhale the second you walk in. Next time I visit I will definitely look into the accommodation that they offer and stay there as a retreat for a few days of Yoga and healthy eating.

The property has several cafes and juice stands which makes healthy eating so easy. I was pleasantly surprised at how affordable the food is and how tasty each meal was. Offering an Ayurvedic menu along with other healthy options that are plant-based, the cafes work together with the healers and ayurvedic doctors that also have rooms on the property. This means that you can see the practitioners and then follow their detox by getting the food at the cafe and stay in comfort. It is the perfect all in one offering. Easy, simple and delicious. The cafes are also open to the public so you can pop in even if you aren't catching a yoga class.

The Yoga Barn offers several options for Yoga and each class is different. You can choose a more advanced flow class or bring it back home with a beautiful Yin class by candlelight. Classes run throughout the day and I recommend popping onto their website or visiting them once you arrive at the Yoga Barn to book your classes. Whether sound healing or meditation is your thing you will find it there. It's like a cocoon of spiritual happiness.

The teachers are from all over the world and each class is longer than your normal 60 minutes in the city. Averaging 90 minutes. Allowing time for play and personal instruction. The venue is enclosed by nature and filled with yogis from all walks of life. I managed my first headstand with proper instruction and learned how important it is to trust myself. A rather big lesson I hope to carry on in my day to day life.

I got an appointment with a cranial sacral therapist who shed some light on my healing journey with Pcos. I highly recommend treating yourself to an appointment with a healer. It's a very precious self-love gift that can help you look deeper into your journey and understand more of yourself. Joining a sound healing class afterward by candlelight with the frogs chirping was perfection.

I am already planning my return to be honest. I dream of Ubud and most defiantly The Yoga Barn.

-Melissa

Stepping into Summer with Maaji and Colourbox

Stepping into Summer with Maaji and Colourbox
Stepping into Summer with Maaji and Colourbox
Stepping into Summer with Maaji and Colourbox
Stepping into Summer with Maaji and Colourbox
Stepping into Summer with Maaji and Colourbox
Stepping into Summer with Maaji and Colourbox
Stepping into Summer with Maaji and Colourbox

Swimwear and active wear is always a challenging conversation with self. I always have the question of, “do I want a full piece”(which in my head probably looks better) or “Shall I get a bikini”(that I love wearing more) but that can leave me feeling slightly more self-conscious. Will the pants split when I do yoga or is the fabric thick enough to not perish.

I’m always on the hunt for the ultimate swimwear/activewear destination and thanks to Colourbox I have found the perfect fit. Not only is the shopping experience unparalleled with the fitting experience and attention to detail but it is also the ultimate luxury resort wear destination which includes amazing brands such as Moses sandals, Mr Boho Sunglasses and Maaji swimwear and active wear. Bringing you the latest and greatest from top international and local lifestyle brands, Colourbox is your one-stop fashion and lifestyle destination. Since inception, it has been the express mission of Colourbox to source only the most colourful, comfortable and above all, unique items that not only look and feel fabulous, but also enhance the vibrant and free-spirited energy of today’s discerning fashion-lover.

With my shopping hat on, I decided to try both the bikini and the full piece costumes. Did I mention that both are fully reversible? With bright and beautiful patterns and a unique style in shape on all tops you are bound to find the perfect fit for your body that leaves you feeling secure, comfortable and beautiful. It’s always in the detail right down to the way the bottoms don’t cut into your skin due to the double lining and stitching. A more comfortable swimwear line I have yet to discover. The sizing guide and online shopping experience is smooth and easy but if not you can always visit one of their stores. Just make sure you are aware that you will probably blow your budget! 

Mr Boho is a fun and fresh Italian sunglasses range that has an exciting summer collection that includes colour rimmed glasses. To be honest whilst trying them on; I had a flash of seeing myself in a cobble stoned courtyard eating gelato in Italy. Perhaps colourbox is not only the ultimate resort wear luxury range but also the ultimate inspiration to get that ticket out of here. The thing I loved the most about the range is that they are the type of sunglasses that look good on almost everyone! 

Every good holiday in my mind has some fun activities. Be it yoga or hiking you are going to need the attire and again, Colourbox to the rescue. From sports bras to leggings they have something for everyone. I love that the leggings are high waisted making me feel like I can go securely into any yoga pose without fear of revealing a little too much. The patterns are bold and beautiful which are representative of the brands origin in Brazil. 

They say these boots are made for walking but they haven’t heard of Moses sandals. With a vanilla smell and a wide range of colours these babies are my official favourite shoe and if the shoe fits, buy it in every colour. Which is the plan. They are so comfortable that I wore them every day in Bali and they haven’t left my feet since. I think I might have developed attachment issues to them. If you don’t have a pair then you are missing out and yes, they are the best Christmas present you will find either for yourself or a loved one! They come from Israel which again leaves me thinking of walking the old city of Jerusalem eating baklava in the Arab quarter and putting my wish in the western wall. 

So thank you to colourbox. Not only do I have the best arsenal for any holiday destination but I also have the wildest wanderlust a girl can think of. Visit their site and get shopping. I’m sure they will inspire you to do the same!

-Melissa


The perfect lunch spot - Chefs Cape Town

The perfect lunch spot - Chefs Cape Town
The perfect lunch spot - Chefs Cape Town
The perfect lunch spot - Chefs Cape Town
The perfect lunch spot - Chefs Cape Town
The perfect lunch spot - Chefs Cape Town
The perfect lunch spot - Chefs Cape Town
The perfect lunch spot - Chefs Cape Town
The perfect lunch spot - Chefs Cape Town
The perfect lunch spot - Chefs Cape Town
The perfect lunch spot - Chefs Cape Town
The perfect lunch spot - Chefs Cape Town
The perfect lunch spot - Chefs Cape Town
The perfect lunch spot - Chefs Cape Town

If you are looking for a great lunch spot serving delicious food then I have the answer. Its called Chefs and it is a local spot here in Cape Town that really impressed my palette. You can find them on St Johns road in Gardens. They close at 3 pm for lunch and reopen at 5:30 pm.  

The experience starts with entering what seems to be a cafeteria. A simple white interior with a working kitchen and table lined up in a row. I must admit that, on arrival, I wondered whether I had just arrived at a school cafeteria to have lunch. Well as the saying goes, don't judge a book by its cover. 

The restaurant is filled with beautiful natural light and its white walls create a fresh atmosphere. The menu is viewed on an Ipad with amazing food images that leave you inspired.

The menu isn't a very long one but it also doesn't need to be as the options are cohesive, well thought out and deliver.

The food is served on classical cafeteria styled trays and is nowhere close to what you would receive from an average lunch hall. 

It delights.

I enjoyed feasting on all the 'compartments' of my meal and tasted my way through the menu enjoying the arancini balls and lamb provencal. I must admit my OCD got a little bit of a kick out of the fact that the food looks so organized on the trays. Every bite was thoroughly enjoyed. 

If you are looking for something lighter then I would recommend the fish soup. I love the fact that you can pop in at Chefs on a busy work day and within an hour be satiated without compromising the quality of your lunch. A great place for a work meeting or perhaps to treat your partner to lunch. if you haven't tried them, then nows the time! 

-Melissa