Friday, April 30, 2010

First Games of the Scrabble in Spanish National Championship, Spain 2010.

Some pics from Alonso:

Scrabble in Spanish National Championship, Spain 2010

Some pics and videos of the first day:

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Grand Hotel Cascada, Termas Pallares Spa.

As part of the tourist complex of the Termas Pallares Spa, they have a five stars boutique hotel that is marvelous!

From their own site:

“Surrounded by 68,000 square metres of parks and lush gardens, including a hidden private thermal lake, this new boutique hotel near the city of Zaragoza offers guests the perfect place to escape and relax.

The 25 spacious rooms are both stylish and innovative and equipped with every modern convenience. The onsite gourmet restaurant is a must as are the soothing treatments of the Termas Pallares Spa. This is truly a place in which to escape the worries of today.”

We went to meet this hotel due they had very interesting tasting announced in different places of the spa.

As far as the county state where the spa is located is huge and they had placed this hotel far away from the road, you find a lot of peace there. The lady of the reception desk was so kind and really concerned about our welfare.

We went inside the bar and I liked a lot the atmosphere. With very comfortable coaches, calm music. Miriel was the one attending us, very kind and nice. We took the sushi tasting and some beverages. The surprise was that the one presenting us the sushi tasting was the chef, Juan José Morales Sanmartín (you can watch this at the video, but is in Spanish).

One of the things you still don´t know about me is that I had the very good luck of having a very well culinary culture from my childhood. A big part of this comes from the culture mixes that are in my blood, but also due my family was always a big fan of the good food. Of course that´s something I had taught to Sil as well… so, when she was just 10 y/o she already said her favorite food was sushi! :D And it still is. So, Sil had tasted sushi in a lot and different places all over the world (ok, of the part of the world she knows, we haven´t been in Japan already). For Sil the sushi that we tasted at the Gastroteca was the second best one of the world! For me it was the best one, but here the point is that she went to a great Japanese restaurant in Dallas where for her they have the best sushi all over the world, I haven´t been there already.

We were that delighted with the sushi experience that we were invited to go to the Italian tasting of the next day. Honestly it was ok but definitely the sushi one was quite better. Again the whole staff was great with us.

That day I felt with confidence enough as for asking them to please show me a room of that hotel and to visit the restaurant, the Gastroteca. I was really impressive about the kindness of everybody; talking with some of them I mentioned that and one person told me that actually they all are very happy with their job and the place, most of the workers are people of the village, of course there are also people from outside, but for the ones that belong to the village, they liked the spa before even thinking about working there. I´m quite sure that when a staff loves their work and is happy with the treat received by their bosses, you notice it and unwittingly they transmit it to customers. The result of this just can be a positive for everybody… but! I´m afraid there are just few companies that take this into account!

Giving a look to the Gastroteca I had the good luck that Juan José was there and he spent some minutes with me explaining me the style of the place and we even talk about his professional experience. You can see part of this talk at the video, but again it´s just in Spanish.

Part of what makes this hotel a charming place is that it´s located in front of the thermal lake. The hotel also has some thermal facilities and a natural thermal waterfall, but most of the treatments and spa facilities are at the other hotels… but they have a car that takes the clients of this hotel to the other ones.

Yes, I liked a lot this hotel, the restaurant and the people that work there. I just have to say it´s expensive, but I do recommend it. :D

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Termas Pallares Spa: the Aquatherma.

The Spa facilities are distributed among the buildings of the 2 hotels. The place is really big and one of the spaces they have is the Aquatherma, a place with jets, Jacuzzis… would be better if I copy the explanation from their web! :D

From the web of Termas Pallares:

“A large interior space where you can submerge into the thermal water and enjoy all its properties, with all types of leisure and relaxation installations: hydromassage chairs and beds, templarium, caldarium, frigidarium, flexible hoses, rain mist, waterfalls, heated loungers and flotation tanks.

Built over the old bath gallery of the Termas Hotel, original elements dating from 1863, such as the 7-ton marble baths and the authentic water outlets, have been rescued. Thus, the facility is been totally and continuously renovated.

Decorated entirely with marble mosaic and meticulously illuminated, the Aquatherma recalls the old Roman baths and it is, therefore, the perfect complement to the Spa's whole balneotherapeutic offer.”

This time I haven´t take pictures because it was complicated to be taking care of the camera.

For going to the spa area you should wear a bathing cap, sandals, robe and towels. If you don´t have your own stuff, you have to pay extra for using the hotel ones… even for the robe! That wondered me a lot due normal in hotels with spa is they to give you robe and sandals as part of what you are already paying due the room. Well, in this one you already know you have to take with you your own stuff, you can´t even take out of the room the towels.

In general people walk in robe at the facilities, for being at the two buildings is ok as far as there´s a gateway for going from one to the other, it´s a bit more complex when you want to go to the thermal lake (I´ll talk about it in another post) and it´s winter. Any way people go to the lake just in robe, but I wouldn´t! :D

The use of the Aquatherma is included at the price of the hotel, but in our case, going 2 nights, we had just one entrance in total. The Aquatherma has fixed times of use, you can stay there an hour and a half, and each group should enter and go out all together. The place is ok, just that when I went there were a lot of people, I can´t tell if that was due the dates.

I felt the lockers area a bit sloppy. In theory you can lock them with a key, but most of them didn´t have it so people just left their belongings there without closing the lockers. In my case, as far as the only one thing to left there was the robe, no problem, but we saw a man that had left the room key at the pocket of the robe.

When he went to pick up the robe, another guy had taken it out. The person in charge of the Aquatherma had to ask people to please check out if they had a key at their pocket… yes, I was glad about not taking with me the camera!

Do I would recommend the Aquatherma? Well, this time I prefer to evaluate the whole spa, but I´ll do it in my next post.

(To be continued.)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Hotels Termas and Parque. Termas Pallarés Spa.

The first thing you see at the entrance of Alhama de Aragón, going from the road to Zaragoza, is the Termas Pallares Spa and you have no way to pass it without noticing, because they have 2 buildings at each side of the street, linked by a walkway with the name of the place.

The hotel has a private parking big enough. The reception is not really well indicated, but there is always someone at the parking area that welcomes and indicates you where to go.

At the reception desk gave us the wrong rooms, I mean, the room that should be for Rosa due the reserve code, they gave it to me and vice versa, but that was something we released about just due the name at the envelops of the welcome letter.

I honestly don´t remember if at the reception desk they told us again the prices of the reservation, you see, that´s something I use not to check once at the reception desk when I had a reserve code, to check out the welcome letter neither. But seems from now on this is something I´ll do, among other things, because in the letter of welcome from Termas Pallares, they gave us a coupon of 30 Euros for a future stay if made within six months and also reports of its new loyalty system if you recommend the spa; as well as give you the name of the Director of Operations as contact in case you have any problem not resolved satisfactorily.

The buildings are designed according to the style of the time were built in 1863. The decor of the rooms and halls of both buildings have a mix of styles, but always old. Here some pictures for you to see:

The two hotels share common facilities such as cinema, gym, lounge, restaurant. From all this, I emphasize the cinema, with enough seats in early 1900 style. We didn´t watch any movie, but they scheduled at least one film a day. This seemed an excellent detail especially thinking of the children who can´t (and shouldn´t) go to the spa, so, the hotel for them could be a bit boring, but they have planed things for them.

They also have a kids park and a Paddle field.

The restaurant surprised me with a great breakfast buffet that included eggs in different styles; this is not easy to find in Spain where people don´t have the custom of eating eggs at breakfast time. We had just the breakfast included, but you also can contract it with the dinner included. The first day we went to give a look to the lunch menu there, but it was 27 Euros per person, so we decided to go to explore the village and we found the restaurant Karlos that offers you a great menu that has nothing to envy the restaurant food, for just 14 Euros, but I´ll talk a bit deeper about that restaurant in another post.

What can I tell about the rooms? Very clean, all the needed facilities, well attended. Just that this wasn´t a hotel that made a “click” on me. Telling this in another way, all very ok, but if I should decide to recommend or not the hotel just based on the rooms, no, this won´t be a place I would recommend.

I haven´t seen the rooms at the Termas Hotel, but seems the ones at Parque Hotel are better due they remodeled them not so far away.

Here my video of the place:

(To be continued.)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Tulips in Keukenhof, Netherlands. My photos.

I took this picture a week ago, at Keukenhof,Willem-Alexander pavilon. A lot of beauties there! :D 

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Reserving. Termas Pallares Spa.

I usually check several places including the official web of the hotel I want to go previous doing the reserve. This is because sometimes you can find better deals in other webs. In this case, after checking in several places, the best price I found was this one at their own web:

It was an option for doing the reserve online, but it didn´t gave the prices for single rooms and I wasn´t sure if Sil will go or not, so I called them. It was so terrible! Several calls at different times but just the answer machine talking. I left a message with my contact details, but nobody called me back. After 2 days trying, I called late at night and wondering, I finally talked with a person.

After knowing that the price of a single room would be very expensive, I decided that no matter whom, but we´ll find someone to share the room with Rosa. :D

I made the reserve at that same call; I had to give the complete info of each person. The person at the other side of the phone gave me a reserve code for each room. I really didn´t thought that having the reserve codes I should ask about a confirmation mail, so I haven´t ask for it. Afterwards I noticed that this person hasn´t asked my email address, but again, having the reserve codes, I didn´t give it importance.

Few days before the date, Sil was in a hurry due a lot of homework and we considered the option of her staying at home, so I called again to ask what would happen in case afterwards the room for Rosa should be a single instead of a double one, but again, I called several times, at different hours, Curro tried too, we left messages, but nobody answered neither called us back.

Finally, Sil went with us! :D

(To be continued.)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Inner Smile de Texas. Today´s song.

I like a lot this song! I should confess it was due the "yeah! yeah"! hehehe but after reading the liryc I confirmed I like it.
So, let´s read the lyric:

(one, two, three, four)
Yeah, yeah
Oh yeah

You gave me something
Like loving
And took me in so soon
You took my feelings
From nothing
Came back at noon
Just meet me
I'm ready
To show myself to you
So if i lose my patience

You must try to understand
(try to understand)
If i lose my patience
Oh yeh

Cause you make me feel
Cause you make me feel wild
You touch my inner smile
You got me in the mood

So come on and make your move
And free me
You make my wishes
As much as
Your kisses make me blue
You've found my river
Now will you
Escape away too
but baby
I'm ready
I'm falling into you

So if i lose my patience
You must try to understand
(try to understand)
If I lose my patience

Oh yeh
Cause you make me feel
Cause you make me feel wild
You touch my inner smile
You got me in the mood
So come on and make your move
And free me
Free me
Free me

Wow wow wow
Cause you make me feel wild
you make me feel wild
You touch my inner smile
You got me in the mood
So come on and make your move
And touch my inner smile
Come get my inner smile
Smile Smile
Yeh yeh

Sometimes I need to be alone
There's times I need for you to phone
Sometimes you make me feel so high
There's times I ask myself why

Here the video of a real life concert of Texas in Paris:

My comment: ok, the lyric is not something out o this world, but I think the lyric plus the rhythm really express that feeling of uncertainty, excitement and expectation when you are meeting someone who gets you out of your bases, and at times you feel you can trust and fall in love again, then he does something that confuses you. The singer's voice is very nice.

What it makes me feel: willing to to be naughty! ;P

What it reminds me: exactly that, someone from other life that moved my bases. ;D But! The memory is a nice one!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Temas Pallarés Spa. Introduction.

Rosa, one of the friends that shared with us the travel to Canaima, came to stay few days at home. Of course we went together to my favorite places in Madrid and surroundings (at least the ones we had enough time to go). Taking advantage of her stay and Easter, we went to the Balneario Termas Pallares that I had long wanted to meet.

The place is quite huge, they have:

Tree hotels:

- Hotel Termas 3 stars.
- Hotel Parque 3 stars and remodeled not long ago (but I don´t know exactly when)
- Gran Hotel Cascada, 5 stars hotel –boutique.

A thermal lake.
A park.
The Spa area is part of the 3 hotels.
Two restaurants:

- El Balneario.
- La Gastroteca del Balneario.

Two bars-cafeterias, one of them with summer terrace.
Games salon.
Small cinema.
Tennis and Paddle fields.
Small park for children.

With that many things to experience, even had being there just 2 nights, there´s a lot to tell! So it will take me several posts. As far as I´ll be a bit busy on the next days, I can´t promise to place them following one to the other, but anyway I´ll talk about all what we experienced at this place, including both: nice and not nice things.

(To be continued.)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dusseldorf Airport almost empty at its first semi normal day after the ashes crisis.

I´m already at home! :D But I should say I was having a good time in Germany… but you see, with the uncertainty of whether yes or no and for how long have to wait plus bothering people in their normal working life if I had to go to the airport, as well as being aware that we talk about an event with negative consequences quite an impact in many sectors, it wasn´t the best for enjoying a few extra days in Germany.

I got a seat at Iberia´s flight of 19.10 from Dusseldorf. I was in Dortmund and going to Dusseldorf Airport with time enough for doing the check in (check in online wasn´t available), cross the control and be on time at the respective door meant to leave the place I was no later than at 15.30.

I´d call several times to Iberia but they insisted that they really can´t give me warranties, that the first flight of the day was cancelled, the second one was delayed 2 hours, but it was due the plain going out from Madrid was delayed. The last time I´d called I explained my situation to the girl at the phone (btw: of all who attended the phone these days just had a nasty girl, everyone else, very kind and giving their best for giving me the best possible recommendations) checked and told me that actually the best for knowing if, from Iberia´s part, the flight would be ok or not, would be to check around 16.00 if the flight going from Madrid to Dusseldorf went on time, but anyway due the ashes problem, could be the airport the one that closes. For me to wait half of hour for knowing almost for sure if all was ok with the flight could meant to not to be on time and actually would be a terrible joke to lose the flight!

I decided to take the risk of going. I went by train because, I insist, it wasn´t a nice plan to bother a friend and not to fly finally. I also had already decided to follow my own recommendation and if the case was that this flight didn´t gone, to ask for a new seat in a weekend flight. I had the good luck of find an ICE train that goes straight to the airport (well, straight in this case means without having to move to another train, but this train does several stops in different cities).

Luckily I decided to go with more time, because since it was the first time I went by train to the airport, which had not foreseen is that from where I left the train to the respective terminal had to take the Sky train, something that actually I would have liked, of course, but I had the bad luck that was out of service and then had to go on normal bus, which found a stretch of traffic and this took a while to get to the terminal, besides that passed first to the parking. So, if I would go just in time, in a normal day that would cost me to be at the airport once the flight would be closed.

Other interesting place at the airport that I didn´t knew even after being there at least 5 times, is that in the part where you leave the train there is an observatory where you can see a panoramic view of the airport and departure and arrival of aircraft. Entry costs 2.50 Euros. And yes, I really was tempted about going to the observatory even just 10 minutes, but I didn´t want to risk.

Finally, I arrived at the terminal and was surprised to see the airport near empty. Even the queues at the counters of Iberia, with people, but far less than I expected. I could say that we were just the ones going to take some airplane. On the screen you could see that in general everything was normal, except for some Lufthansa flights canceled. Yes, I also was tempted about taking videos of the terminal near empty, but still believed that I will find crowdy lines at the control point, it wasn´t possible for me to give a look to it before going because it was one that is upstairs in Terminal B.
Once at the control point… it was empty! Well, I passed it and started to walk looking for the gate of my flight… it was like a ghost airport! See it by your own!

There were some plains taking off and arriving, but not so many actually.

In general the atmosphere was extremely rare.

I gave a look at different stores (I was with enough time to), I can say that in most stores I was the only one that entered. Took the opportunity to chat a bit with the staff of some shops and ask them how they had experienced the situation, they told me that in the preceding days they had been told not to go. I insisted on at least if they had been told to be aware to see if they had to go in the afternoon or something, they said no, that it was not going the whole day and until further notice. This puzzled me much, because in some way meant or that they knew the airport would not open the whole day (even if they were saying on the news that would open at 2 am, then at 2 pm, then at 6 pm ...) or even it it get open, passengers were not going to be able to eat and/or a drink at the airport and they haven´t reported that.

In the corridor I had the feeling that we were not many passengers, but when the plane was already in flight I got up to see the occupation of it ... there were many empty seats! I noted a few in this photo, but there were more.

I must say that I expected some comment from the captain at the microphone ... something like "Iberia laments the setbacks for the problem caused by volcano Eyjafjall ashes..." but no, not a word of this.

We arrived at Barajas, and yes, the T4 was quite empty. I mentioned it to the taxi driver and he agreed with me that there were few people.

About Dusseldorf I thought it was due being the first day semi normal and maybe just few people wanted to risk to do a booking without knowing for sure if they will really be able to fly, but about the T4 I really don´t know what to say.

I really hope the airports go back to real normal life asap and that someone gives economic help to those who had to pay expenses not foreseen due this situation.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Info for the travelers loosing flights due the volcano ashes problem.

Well, yes… I´m one of the thousands of people that can´t flight due the volcano ashes.

I think maybe the worst part of this all is the lack of information about how to proceed, that´s why I decided to write this post.

If you are in the same situation, this is for you:

Each airline will resolve the problem by they own rules. Iberia in Germany is doing this way:

You should call (there´s no other way) and ask for a new booking in the next aviable flight. Iberia phone numbers in Germany are:







It´s really hard to finally have someone at the other side, but you should insist. My recommendation: remember the person at the other side of the line is not responsible of what´s going on so, it´s not the right person for you to be mad with, this person is there for helping you as far as it´s possible.

What´s the problem with this system?

As far as nobody knows 100% sure when the planes will really go out, they give you a new flight with the info they have. So, you even should be taken care about the info provided by the airports and once you know the airport will be closed again so it won´t be possible for you new flight to go out, you should call again for asking about a new flight. My recommendation: if you already know that you have no problem about staying a bit more, better if you ask at once for a flight during the weekend, which seems to be the real moment when the flights will be really normal. With this you avoid to be calling day by day and you also help other passengers with more urgency.

NOBODY IS PAYING HOTEL NIGHTS NEITHER FOOD till the moment, no airlines, nor governments, no one. It´s being saying they will in different media, but actually the truth is nobody is doing so. Then, don´t take decisions thinking they will give you the money back, especially because I think if finally they will give helps, it will be as low as possible.
If you are in a hurry for being at your destination, instead of paying a lot to a taxi driver, it´s better if you search people that would like to share a rented car with you. For example, National Atesa, allows you to take a car in one country and to turn it back in a different want with very good prices. The price will be even better if you book it with the travel agency Halcon Viajes, their web:

Right now this is all I can tell, in case I get more info, I´ll place it here.

Good luck!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Montse Sánchez special recipe: Escudella

Montse Sánches is the with no discussions the First Lady of the Scrabble in Spain, and this is not for beinf the wife of one of the best players in Spain, Patxi Navarro, but by her own effort. Montse is the best female player of Scrabble in Spain.

Mentor, colleague and great club friend, is a box full of surprises. When you play with her she look so serious, with an expression of "so you dare to play with me" ;P you can hardly imagine that is a total crack (and thanks to the world championships, internationally renowned as well) telling jokes! She should go to Paramount Comedy! The pity is that I have not even recorded her on video because she usually makes jokes when we are eating and catches me with my hands full! But I´ll try to do the next time that I have the chance

Montse was part of the group celebrating the year-end in Leon and on Jan. first she had prepared us a very delicious Escudella, here is the recipe:

Montse´s Escudella:


A good piece of pork backbone
A knee bone veal
300 gr. of lean beef
400 gr. white beans or chickpeas
1 black butifarra
1 cabbage
4 carrots
Rice or thick noodles
2 chicken breasts

For making the balls:

Minced meat (best mix of beef and pork, because pork is too greasy and the beef is too dull).
Bread crumbs

Preparing the balls:

Mix everything until obtaining a homogeneous mixture and make balls of desired size (Montse likes big ones, about 4 with this mix.) When it´s consistent, flour enough.


Put the cabbage, carrots and all meat less the burifarra to boil with plenty of water an hour and a half or 2 hours, add potatoes and balls, let it boils ¾ of an hour. 15 min before the end, add the previously cooked beans or chick peas and butifarra (must be thin, not fat, with the thin skin). Place the broth separately and in this lay the pasta you want, cook until the pasta is done (5 or 10 min).


Serve the soup first and Montse recommends shredding the butifarra (black sausage) in the soup. Place the rest in 2-tray sets, one with meat and other with the vegetables and let everyone to eat as they like (only the soup first, then the vegetables ... all mixed, as each person wants!).

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Los Nogales, Spa & Wellness. My favorite Spas in Madrid.

I´ll base my comment on the Paseo Imperial Spa, which is where I went. Regarding infrastructure Spa itself, this is by far the best Spa in Madrid I know.

In a vast space, with pools with different temperatures and water jets at different heights and strengths, Vichy shower area, walk over rocks area, area with moving jets to massage the entire back. A great place!

A detail that for me makes it extremely valuable is that it has different "routes" color coded, according to the type of problem or pain you have. That is, if you, for example, have back problems, it recommends you to follow the green route. Then, in the various areas of the Spa, have signs with their number in each color, so you know perfectly well for your specific problem you must follow the order established by the color map, in this example, green.Of the 2 Spas of this chain, only the Paseo Imperial has this route. Till now I haven´t met any other Spa (in the world! Hehehe but remember that I know Spas in many countries, but just a few, so I can´t proclaim myself an authority of the subject, I would need to go to maaaaany more ... watch out! Sponsors welcome!) :D ;P So, as I was saying, till now Ihaven´t met any other Spa with the routes method and actually this is a quite simple and highly functional. Not to mention a touch of professionalism that gives to the Spa. As I said in other posts, one of the problems that most spas that I know has as is a lack of information to customers who do not have to be experts in spas or know what is best for them or for how long . Apparently in the Spa of Puerta del Hierro (I haven´t gone, but I think I should!... hehehe), they don´t have this system but it is because the design of the Spa area takes you through a logical sequence.

With all that I like the Spa area at Los Nogales, I must confess that my favorite place in this place is the area for relaxation. With starry night effect on the roof and water beds where you feel float, topped with chill out music, it definitely meets its goal and then the hard part is getting out!

They also have areas for therapeutic treatments, relaxing and beauty ones as well, with prices from 5 to 110 Euros. I haven´t try them yet, so I can´t tell you about the quality but if they match with the Spa quality, should be excellent!!

Seems paddle is in somehow a fashion in Madrid, so, they also have a paddle field, giving classes and even participating in competitions. They also have yoga, pilates and a couple of activities alike (I had seen them but now I can´t find them out at their web). You should pay apart for this.

About locations, they have 2 Spas, taken from their web:

Just, you see, at the map they placed at their web, seems both are closer to the metro station of how they really are, let´s better watch this:

Puerta del Hierro:

Paseo Imperial:

It´s actually about where they are why I don´t go so often to this Spa. You see, for me, going out of that marvelous relax salon to walk that far to the metro station and then make 2 transfers to get home ... just on the trip going back home the relax of being at the Spa goes out! : ( On the other hand, it´s also true that when I went to los Nogales Paseo Imperial in a car, had been easy to find where to park.

Here the prices of the Spa circuit, which is 90 minutes:

For going just one single day, prices are:

So, from my 3 favorite Spas in Madrid, this one has the better infrastructure at the Spa and relaxing zones. Point is if you also appreciate the possibility of having activities as yoga, pilates, etc., then, due quality - price relation and due different options, I prefer Elysium.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Iguassu Falls, Argentinean Side. My photos.

At Iguassu Falls Park you have gates for "walking over the falls", where you can have views like this one. Excellent idea to put the bridges! Thanks for the genius that did it! :D

Friday, April 16, 2010

Spa Acquaplaya at Hotel Senator Gran Via. My favorite Spas in Madrid.

I start saying that the Acuaplaya Spa is one of my favorites due the excellent, so profesional and warm attention that Mónica and Jesús, the staff, give.

The Spa itself is ok, I´m not saying the opposite, It has a swimming pool with jets at one of the walls, that start from the feet to the neck, in order. At the corner there´s an artificial waterfall for making massages at the shoulders. At the same pool, a small space with jets for the shoulders as well. A big Jacuzzi. A small pool with stones for walking in. Other small pool with warm water and oranges for relaxing. Pools of water at various temperatures. One area where ice is falling and once told me a guy who used to go in the same hours I do, that Paul Newman used to tapping with chunks of ice in the face to tighten the skin. Two saunas, one for naturists (not swimwear) and another to enter with swimsuit.It´s really quite well, just that are more interesting the Elisyum and Nogales.

Here I do have done some treatments! You see, in this kind of things I really think twice before letting anyone to touch me, I have to feel really confident… and once I confirm I can trust in someone… why to try more? That was what happened to me here. I started just going to the Spa circuit at midday, 2 or 3 times per week. The one that attended me, no matter if it was Mónica, Jesus or Miriam that was also there at that time gave me conversation and I started asking about things. One day Mónica suggested me to test the pressure therapy ... and it worked! So with confidence enough, I began to ask for treatment for such things and so far everything that they have recommended has worked wonderfully! This includes more than once I've asked for treatment X and they have told me that well, that's fine, but in my case, they would recommend more Y. You see! Now I feel at home there!

Anyway, no matter the confidence I feel with them, I can still be objective and so far, let me tell you the things I don´t like of the Acquaplaya Spa: first, the dresser are both dresser and corridors that connect with the locker room area and you must pass through there to access the area of Spa. There are a total of 3 passages, which is usually to be if you were not the first catching them, you should wait either arriving or leaving. Then, both the locker area which is also the drying area and the dressers are unisex. I already had the experience that a guy simply dress and undress in the locker area not taking care if there were ladies at the same area. The relaxing area is rather ugly, with beach chairs instead of beds.

Talking about prices, this is the cheaper one of my favorites. The normal Spa circuit, which is of 90 minutes, costs 18 Euros. On Wednesday they have a 2 X 1, so 2 people pay just 18 Euros. The session at 14.00 costs just 9 Euros. They open from Tuesday to Sunday from 12.00 to 22.00, but they go “by sessions” and the last one is at 20.00. In the first session kids are allowed.

Something they have that is unusual is the naturist session on Thursdays at 20.00, naturist means nudist.

In resume, the installations are not the best ones but are ok. The prices are quite good, for me the geographical situation is excellent and the attention and professionalism of the spa staff is unbeatable. That's why it´s one of my favorites! : D

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Perito Moreno seen from the forest. My photos.

This picture was taken after doing minitreking in Perito Moreno. When you go back to the refuge, you walk in a forest that is amazing. Was a pity not to have more time (and more forces!)for walking there a bit more. The views to the glacier from the forest are priceless!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Elysium: the Hotel NH Eurobuilding Spa in Madrid. My favorite Spas in Madrid.

Elysium was the second Spa I met in Madrid. Great one!

Very well located, address: Padre Damián, 23, 28036 Madrid Phone: +34.913431680, is close to Plaza Cuzco and Bernabéu Stadium. Opens every day of the year, Mon to Fry from 7.30 to 23.00, Saturdays from 9.00 to 22.00 and Sundays and holydays from 9.00 to 19.00.

The area of the Spa circuit is simply ... excellent! With jets very well located, a well balanced cold, warm and hot water. Vichy shower area very pleasant. Relaxation area with a wonderful view. Very well planned the whole area!

Of course they also have a massage and beauty treatments area. Here you can give a look to the services menu. The prices are from 143 to 247 euros each treatment, but they also include the Spa circuit at the price.

Plus all that, it also has a beach area, a paddle field and a gym where they offer activities such as indoor cycling, aquagym (water gym), Latin dancing, boxing, PowerFit, low-impact workout for people in middle age, yoga, pilates and stretching ... full of options as you can see!

Talking about prices… we´ll see… you know I believe that “quality has its price”. Otoh, the price is also a way to give more or less exclusivity to a service. Taking into account the previous, yes, the treatments price seems for me a high one but I should add that I haven´t try them, so, maybe once I try them I think they deserve the 100% of the price.

Talking about Spa circuit prices, they offer different options:
- You can join as a member with a yearly fee, that could be from 1110 to 1872 Euros per year, depending on if you would like to go to the spa whenever you want or if you prefer to go just from Monday to Friday, or just on weekends and holidays. Whatever option you take, you can stay at the spa with no time limits, also to use the gym and to take part of the programmed activities like yoga, Latin dancing, etc.; to use the beach and to have a locker and to use 2 towels per day plus a 10% of discount to the different treatments.

- Travel fee: this option is for people that come to Madrid just for a specific period of time and would enjoy the spa during those days. The fee is 189 Euros per month having all the rights enlisted above.

- Day fee: if you prefer to go just time to time, maybe the one day fee is your option. It costs 33 Euros for a whole day, including your right of going out (for eating, for example) and coming back later the same day.
I know, at first sight the monthly fee could seems expensive… but let´s give a deep look on it: let´s suppose you go to the spa twice per week and you are not sure if you´ll go just during week days or just during weekends, so you take the expensive option, 156 Euros per month. In a month you would go at least 8 times. 156 divided 8 = 19.50 each time. Just taking into account the spa circuit that I insist is one of the bests I had seen in Madrid, the price is quite good, but remember that you also can go to use the gym, to participate in the activities such as yoga, Latin dancing, etc., etc., etc…. without paying more! You see, just Latin dancing, the less expensive in Madrid costs 30 Euros per month. And also remember: when you go to the spa, this is with no limited time.

Event to pay the most expensive option, the one of 189 Euros per month…. 189 divided 8 = 23.62 per day… plus Latin dancing, yoga, etc., etc., etc. :D

Yeap! Due Price and quality: one of my very favorites in Madrid! :D