A short and quick weekend getaway could definitely be Ticino, the Italian part of Switzerland, where one feels immediately as if on vacation, enjoying the sun, southern nature and colorful houses.
The Hotel Giardino Ascona is a real oasis – several hotel buildings are surrounded by water, a beautiful garden with lemon trees and flowers, fountains and a sunny pool area with lounges and sunbeds. This exact hotel was the first of the Giardino Group to open, so it can boast a 30 year history. The rooms are light and cozy. It was very relaxing to spend time on the terrace, drinking tasty tea and looking at the mountains and palm trees.
The restaurant Hide & Seek offers Mediterranean cuisine. I enjoyed the tartar, crab soup and local wine. All dishes can be ordered in big or small portions and there are vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options.
Wellness wise there is an indoor pool in the style of a Roman bathing temple, a sauna with light therapy, a steam bath, a yoga studio located in the cozy tent outside, meditation and message therapies and an in-house hair dresser. Most of the cosmetics in the spa are organic and sustainable, like A-Derma and Dipiù.
It was also fun to take a Giardino bike and have a scenic ride to and around town, passing by the beautiful houses, parks and golf areas and of course the beautiful Ascona promenade at the Lake of Maggiore.