Mercedes-Benz Fashion Show Weekend in Ibiza

The second edition of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Weekend will be held in Ibiza and is to feature top Spanish labels Alvarno, Andrés Sardá and Jorge Vázquez as well as 2nd Skin Co. and Custo BCN as well as beach and swimwear by  London-based Melissa Odabash.

These top labels in Spanish fashion will return to strut the catwalk  this summer resort collection at the Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel on 25th May.

Custo BCN

This year will see a more comprehensive collection of labels, a greater number of catwalks and more presentations from Spanish brands. The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Weekend or MBFWIbiza for short,  has become the country’s second biggest Spanish fashion show after the prestigious Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid.

Andrés Sardá beachwear

The catwalk programme offers a unique opportunity to discover the most cutting edge and top class brands in Spain in a Mediterranean beachside setting. Bringing not only the most current labels to Ibiza but also  marking one of the biggest social gatherings in Ibiza. It will also position the Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel as a meeting-place for key fashion influencers from around the globe.

Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel

Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel the luxurious 416-room hotel features the Ushuaïa Club, with an amazing poolside stage, and The Ushuaïa Tower, with breathtaking views. Ushuaïa is designed for the traveller seeking the fun and entertainment associated with Ibiza. Ushuaïa offers Swim-Up room options, daytime parties hosted by celebrated DJs, “chromotherapy,” the ability to set the room-mood with LED lights, ensuring that the party never stops.

Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel

Its range of dining options is one of the island’s best, from Ibiza’s first premier steakhouse Montauk Steakhouse Ibiza and Minami Japanese Restaurant to The Oyster and Caviar Bar beside the pool, the relaxed Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Club providing the perfect fuel for Ibiza party-goers and Sir Rocco Beach Club serving the best Italian cuisine.

Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel, The Tower Restaurant


Only YOU Boutique Hotel & Thai Room Spa

The Spanish hotel chain Palladium Hotel Group has over forty  years of experience with more than fifty hotels in six countries. One of its brands – Palladium Boutique Hotels opened the luxury Only YOU Boutique Hotel in Madrid which now offers  The Thai Room spa.

Only YOU Boutique Hotel, Madrid

The Thai Room spa is a wellness centre which offers exotic and authentic Asian massages and treatments. The creator and director of the Thai Room concept, Vicente Martinez, said:

“The wellness concept is integrated into the Asian way of life. They live in a simple way with what they have and embrace the present as the best way to relieve stress. Our aim is that when the client experiences the treatments, they feel a sense of this philosophy and of this mental state, so genuine of the East.”

A member of the International Spa Association, The Thai Room Spa offers guests the ultimate experience of Asian therapy and the ancestral customs of India, Bali, Hawaii, China and Thailand.

Only YOU Thai Room spa

A selection of massages and treatments which include Ayurveda yoga, Chinese medicine,  Jamú massage, an Indonesian tradition, Thai massage and other South East Asian therapies.

Only YOU Thai Room spa

All your senses will come alive at the Thai Wellness Room. Natural oils, soulfulTibetan flute music, Thai harps, mantras, steam showers and silk cocoon wraps. Let the highly trained, experienced therapists rejuvenate you, mind, body and soul. By using their fingers, hands, elbows and at times their entire body, they will relieve every muscle and leave you feeling like never before.

Only YOU Boutique Hotel, Madrid Thai Room spa

As Only YOU’s PR Manager, Marta de Andres said:

At Only YOU we pride ourselves on offering the best experience to our clients so we are truly delighted to be able to extend this to a unique and quality wellness experience. The new services at Only YOU Boutique Hotel are designed to meet the growing demand of clients seeking unique experiences at the hotel and we believe the Thai Room will offer our guests “the road to a new YOU”.

Only YOU Thai Room spa

Doesn’t it sound like somewhere you should visit?

Only YOU Boutique Hotel.


Two Small & Luxurious Inland Hotels in Rural Malaga

If you’re looking for that perfect small, luxury hotel in inland Malaga that offers personal service, home cooking and a touch of luxury away from the hoards of beach-worshippers you need to head inland from the coast to the mountains or in this case the Serrania de Ronda.

Cartajima, Serrania de Ronda

Inland Malaga province has vast and beautiful swathes of nature, from rolling hills and moutain ranges to the stunning karstic limestone landscape of El Torcal.

El Torcal, Antequera, Andalucia

I’m going to introduce you to two very different yet equally lovely small, rural hotels. The first one in this post is Hotel Castaños in Cartijima in the Serrania de Ronda near the town of  Ronda north-west of Malaga airport.

Hotel Los Castanos,  Cartajima, Ronda, Malaga

Cartijima is a charmingly small, unspoilt town in great walking country. Walk from the doorstep and lose yourself in pure nature, or follow waymarked routes for as long and far as you please.

PR A 222 Parautas walking route

After a day’s walking just relax on the roof terrace or in the hotel lounge  and dine on  Di’s home award-winning  Mediterranean-fushion cooking while sampling local wines or unusual gins.

Each room is individually decorated with views of the town and/or the horizon-reaching mountains. For even more impressive views the pretty plant-filled roof terrace provides a great relaxing, star-gazing, painting or drawing setting. For those who can doodle, you don’t even need to bring your own materials, they are provided in your room.

Day or night the roof terrace is one place you will certainly spend some time. I did. I couldn’t take my eyes off those views and although I took lots of photos I really wished, up there in the silence and warmth of siesta time in rural Spain, that I could draw well.

When life is slowed down for you by your surroundings you learn to appreciate the simple things of life. The peace, the lack of rush, hustle and bustle. When you’ve visited Hotel Los Castaños you will want to return. Everybody does.

See Hotel Los Castaños on Only Spain Boutique Hotels my boutique hotel collection.

The second small and luxurious inland hotel will be Cortijo Sabila in Villanueva del Rosario, Malaga – coming soon. Or see it now on Only Spain – Cortijo Sabila.

Malaga’s Botanical Spa by Sisley in the Gran Hotel Miramar

The Gran Hotel Miramar is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World and is the first grand luxury hotel in Malaga. The gorgeous historical building had a 65 million euro overhaul last year and is set to place Malaga on the ‘luxury’ map and become one of the Europe’s great hotels.  Surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens the 200-room hotel, opened in September 2017, now offers a two-storey Botanical Spa by Sisley.

Gran Hotel Miramar, Malaga

The Botanical Spa is a holistic haven wholly dedicated to create a feeling of well-being, the new spa blends gorgeous natural plant-based products with Moorish traditions to create a calming oasis in Malaga, an ancient sea-faring city.

Gran Hotel Miramar, Malaga Sisley Spa

The  hotel’s gorgeously appointed spa offers an array of services such as:

  • Thermal circuit
  • Six body and aesthetic treatment cabins
  • Finnish sauna
  • Turkish hammam
  • Ice fountain
  • Jacuzzi
  • Sensations shower pool
  • Relaxation area with hot stone loungers
  • VIP treatment room offering  Champagne and fresh fruit juices.

The Botanical Spa’s  menu features  facials and body treatments from international luxury beauty brand, Sisley. The prestigious Sisley brand is the benchmark in Phyto-Cosmetology and uses the most effective natural plant extracts to achieve the best skincare results.

Gran Hotel Miramar, Malaga Sisley Spa

With signature treatments such as the Expert Phyto-Aromatic Facial and the Phyto-Aromatic Supreme Anti-Ageing Facial  to moisturise, brighten or rejuvenate the skin, as well as multi-sensorial massage rituals from all over the world.  Respecting  local traditions and using power of aromatherapy to reunify body and mind.

Signature wellness experiences include an 80  minutes Happiness Ritual based on
the vitalising properties of fruit to tone and nourish the body combined with essential oils to bring balance, strength and mental clarity.

Gran Hotel Miramar, Malaga Sisley Spa

The Happiness Ritual includes an aromatic body exfoliation, moisturising massage and a personalised facial treatment. The traditional Moorish treatments range from an Alhama Ritual – a Middle Eastern Ritual combining an authentic Hammam to prepare the skin with a body exfoliation using a Kessa glove with Al Andalus aromas. To complete the experience, guests can relax with a moisturizing massage.
Gran Hotel Miramar

Miller’s of Frigiliana

Tanya Miller’s recently opened gorgeous ‘Home Away From Home’ hotel is tucked away in the narrow Moorish streets of an equally delightful town, hence its name Miller’s of Frigiliana.

Milller's of Frigiliana

Like Miller’s at the Anchor in Porlock Weir, another charmingly quaint spot and a huge part of my past, Miller’s of Frigiliana is tastefully and comfortably decorated with antiques, charm and style. Miller’s Antique Price Guide books fill gorgeous bookshelves and of course, while there a Miller’s Gin & Tonic is must.

Millers's of Frigiliana

The main door opens to a delightful reception area leading to one of its seven bedrooms, two of which are junior suites and perfect for families or rent out the entire house to sleep a maximum of 18 people.

Miller's of Frigiliana

Decorated throughout in a Spanish/Moorish style and completely in keeping with this pretty, picturesque, white hill town where the sun shines almost every day.

You can breakfast al fresco and chill on the roof terrace while in the hot Jacuzzi and inhaling the calming views. Life slows down in Frigiliana. Relax, wander and enjoy the laid back lifestyle while only a 7 minutes drive from the nearest beach.

Miller's of Frigiliana

It’s also on the edge of the Sierra Tejada and Almijara National Park, a wonderful wilderness for walking or mountain biking or if you fancy skiing then head to the Sierra Nevada only 90 minutes away.

Miller's of Frigiliana

If  being more active is your thing then golf, scuba diving, horse riding, quad biking, jeep tours or even Spanish lessons are all nearby.

Miller’s is also on our sister site Only Spain Boutique Hotels. See Miller’s of Frigiliana on Only Spain.

For more information  visit Miller’s of Frigiliana‘s website.

Luxury Barcelona – Wine, Culture, Gastronomy, Golf or Beach – Tailor-Made Tours

If you’re heading to Barcelona and want a trip to remember having a tailor-made tour professionally planned by long-term locals who will help you with every step of your holiday is the key to an incredible experience.

Gran Reserva

Whether you want to visit a winery and sample some cava, enjoy a day playing golf or wander around visiting the best culture and monuments all combined with sampling the great gastronomy that Barcelona offers then Barcelona Inside and Out can help create your bespoke holiday.

Wine is an essential element of many of their holidays and visitors love to discover the stories behind the wines and just how good Catalonia’s wines are getting these days.
As all their holidays are tailor-made they can include a wine tour  wherever guests are planning to go, although the DO’s they work with  mainly are in Catalonia are Penedes, Priorat and Bages.

Winery Tour Catalunya, Spain
Wine tours can be part of a holiday touring Catalonia or a day tour from Barcelona. The Penedes is a 45 minute drive from the city, while the Priorat is 1hr 40mins and is only really a day option for those who already know the regions’ wines and want to go for a particular reason.

Spanish Catalonia Winery

In the Penedes they work with the very well regarded Llopart winery. Llopart’s vineyards have a special position on the hills above San Sadurni with wonderful views of Montserrat. The effect of the extra altitude on the Maccabeu, Xarello, Parellada and Chardonay grapes is said to give Llopart’s cavas their especially well balanced and rounded character.

Visitors to Llopart are given a complete tour of the installations and vineyards. Followed, of course, by a comprehensive tasting of different varieties of their cavas.

Llopart Cava Winery

There is also the option of cycling through the vineyards on electric bikes provided by the winery and having a delicious homemade picnic lunch, full of good, traditional Catalan fayre and served in individual picnic baskets at the outdoor tables dotted around the vineyard. Alternatively guests are taken to a nearby Catalan masia for a more substantial, great local lunch – whatever you want, they will organise it for you.

Spanish Winery Picnic

If you prefer, you can visit a smaller winery, such as Cava Guillera or Albet i Noya, to provide a contrast. Here you will discover the processes on a more human scale and also some of the regions’ award winning reds and whites, which show how the Penedes is evolving and becoming well known for its wines as well as its cavas.

Hot Air Balloon Flights, Barcelona

Beach days, skiing, seeing Catalonia’s human castles or Barcelona from the air, whatevery you want to include in your holiday plans Barcelona Inside & Out will individually craft your holiday or your tour.


Where to stay in Barcelona?

Rueda Spanish White Wine


If you’re partial to Spain and white wine which one should you choose? Think of Sauvignon Blanc but Spanish and what do you get? Rueda! DO Rueda is in Castile and Leon, Spain’s largest region in the north-west. An area where over 6 million sq. feet of land is dedicated to vineyards and DO Rueda is just one of the DOs found in this wild, high place.


Leaving Madrid and heading north-west Castile and Leon spreads almost to the Portuguese border. Wine making almost certainly began here with the Romans but it was in the 11th century with the Catholic monks and priests that it really took off. These days it has the widest variety of wines from Rueda’s cool and pleasing to whites to the hefty reds of DO Toro.

Rueda town is south of Valladolid and next-door heading west to Toro  which is known for its tempranillo grape red wines and heading east to Ribera del Duero all three  are on the edge of the River Duero which winds its way through Portugal to the Atlantic.


DO Rueda make red, rose and sparkling wines but the real shiners and my favourites are the whites based on the Verdejo grape which have been grown in the Rueda region for centuries and it’s thought to be endemic to the area. It’s a fruity and floral grape making a refreshing and light wine great for pairing with aperitifs, fish and chicken.

It was only in the 1970s that the wines from the Verdejo grape became popular and in 1980 that it became an official Rueda D.O. For a white wine to be classified as a ‘Rueda’ it must be at least 50% Verdejo grape and to be a Rueda Verdejo it has to be at least 85% Verdejo.

Many of their wines are actually labelled ‘Verdejo’ so you’ll know exactly what you are getting. But Rueda or Verdejo they are easy to drink, refreshing to the taste and light on the pocket, yet not so light on the alcohol content as they are usually around 13% per cent alcohol.

Five Fine Spanish White Rueda Wines
These five fruity white Ruedas are available in my local Spanish supermarkets and are not expensive but definitely worth checking out of you can find them.

Nave Sur Verdejo – 2015  A floral, lemony and refreshing organic wine.
Vega de la Reina Rueda Verdejo – 2015 A citrusy with a touch of spice.
Carrasvinas Rueda Verdejo – 2015  Tropically fruity with pineapple and spice.
Verdeo Verdejo – 2015 My favourite – bright and acidy with fruity tones.
Marques de Caceres Verdejo – 2015  The name does it for me, silky citrus with tropcial tones.