Rejuvenating Hot Spring Hotels

In the Czech Republic, it is believed that hot spring water has healing power when drunk. In Sochi, hot 
spring is combined with other methods to treat various conditions, while in Iceland, the silica-rich Blue Lagoon offers a soothing experience. In any case, a hot spring trip around Europe will surely be rejuvenating!



卡羅維瓦利溫泉鎮之名源於1346年即位的查理四世,他在一次狩獵時發現掉到溫泉中的獵犬不但沒炙傷,皮膚病反而痊癒了,遂發現這裏溫泉的療效而決定在這裏建立夏宮,逐漸發展成一個皇室、貴族與藝術家的靜養之地;自1521年Vaclav Payer醫師肯定了溫泉水的飲用療效後,馬上成為當時最流行的自然療法,深受歐洲各國達官貴人的喜愛。至於1775年建的普普飯店原來是奧匈帝國時代的貴族交誼場所,今天已是歐洲數一數二的溫泉度假勝地。

Grandhotel Pupp is known for its appearance in James Bond film and for hosting the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. The power of hot spring in Karlovy Vary was discovered when Roman King Charles IV went hunting in the woods and his dog fell into a pool of hot water and recovered. He built houses around it after the incident and since then the town has been frequented by royals and nobles. In 1521, Dr. Vaclav Payer proposed the benefits of the spring water in internal use, and drinking it became the most popular natural remedy of the time. In 1775, Grandhotel Pupp was built and has soon become a hangout venue for the European upper class.


Nowadays, visitors can travel to the hotel on a helicopter from the country’s capital Prague. Signed posters from Hollywood movies line the wall, together with a small picture and monograph by Ludwig van Beethoven when he visited in 1812. Johann Bach, Wolfgang Mozart and Karl Marx were also among the hotel’s celebrity guests.


宏偉氣派的雪白新巴洛克建築,過去曾是東歐最豪華的大飯店,普普飯店處處是水晶吊燈,擁有冥想浴池、桑拿浴室、鹽洞治療等,享受溫泉水療浴池及按摩、美容等服務,這裏的溫泉水療有着獨特而歷史悠久的古法按摩治療,融和濃烈的溫泉水搓揉拍打肌膚,真正令全身有種舒筋活骼的感受。冬季時份,附近還有滑雪度假區,在按摩打通全身血腋遁環以外,再去滑雪運動令一身舒爽。午後陽光普照,最好在復古低調的古典普普咖啡室喝個下午茶。過去曾是一個東西歐情報交易的地方,天花板的巧思及閃爍燈飾,古典滿分。這裏有著名的莫凡彼冰淇淋,冬天喝杯熱的巧克力牛奶,奶油蛋糕Malovana Rolada有新鮮藍莓及香草,另一款為招牌的Dort Pupp,巧克力脆皮包著橘子香的蛋糕,就如身處捷克的上流社會,將古典浪漫攬於身上,細嘗中古世紀時光。

Grandhotel Pupp used to be the grandest in Eastern Europe. The white Baroque Revival building houses extravagant chandeliers, swimming pools, meditation pools, saunas, and salt cave spas. The hot spring spa with traditional massage is particularly good for relieving sore muscles. In winter, visitors can go skiing in the nearby resort, and it will make the best activity after spa.

The afternoon is best spent at the hotel cafe. Classically decorated, it was once a hotspot for spy information exchange. Mövenpick ice cream, hot chocolate,Malovana Rolada with blueberries and vanilla, and Dort Pupp with orange zest and crispy chocolate are served here. It feels like travelling back in time to an upper-class gathering in the medieval time.


In Karlovy Vary, it is believed that drinking hot spring water will lead to longevity. It is said that the water can treat conditions such as diabetes, obesity and metabolism problems. However, the hot spring water has a strong taste of rust and is quite difficult to savour, let alone downing 50 glasses as required. The famous hot spring crisps served in Karlovy Vary then offers a good alternative. Its history dates back to the 18th century, and cleanses the body from the inside as one soaks in a hot spring.



This time, I stopped by Sochi next to the Black Sea, which is known for the 2014 Winter Olympics. Here, one could enjoy bath treatments, hot spring and mud baths. The Grand Hotel Rodina is one of the most luxurious hotels in Sochi, and where Soviet astronaut Yuri Gagarin stayed after his historic flight. The hotel was also frequented by Soviet leaders.


The Grand Hotel Rodina has an area of 4,500 sq.m and offered a series of treatment recommended by top medics around the world. There are more than 20 types of massages, anti-ageing and detox treatments. Visitors can also enjoy the swimming pool, sauna room and gym. The 150,000 sq.m garden makes a good strolling spot. Even in winter, the garden is full of tropical plants, such as Adam’s needle, touch-me-not and evergreen palm tree.

酒店提供的「 海豚療法 」有助減輕壓力。 The “dolphin treatment” offers by the hotel can help to reduce stress.

這裏更設有五家國內一流的溫泉療養院,用富含碘和溴的溫泉來治療肌肉骨骼系統疾病、心血管病、神經系統疾病及皮膚病等,並改善人體新陳代謝。 鄰近羅迪納大酒店的馬采斯塔溫泉區更加是俄羅斯最大的醫療溫泉,擁有世界上最大的硫化氫溫泉和碘、溴水域,更會採用一種神奇的「海豚療法」,當地專家認為浸泡在水族箱中,聽着海豚發出的聲波能夠提升人體T細胞數量和內啡肽的分泌,有助於減輕患者壓力,緩解發育障礙以及生理、心理障礙。可愛的海豚治療,為旅程寫下最難忘的一頁!

The city houses the top five hot spring sanatoriums in the country. Hot spring water full of iodine and bromine can help relieve bone and muscle illness, cardiovascular diseases, nervous system conditions and skin diseases. It also improves one’s metabolism. The Matsesta hot spring area, near the hotel, houses the biggest medical hot spring in Russia. It has the world’s biggest hydrogen sulphide hot spring. The sanatorium offers a “dolphin treatment”, where sonic waves emitted by the animals are believed to increase human T-cells and endorphins. They help to reduce stress and ease developmental, physical and emotional disabilities. The lovely dolphins definitely mark an unforgettable memory to the journey!



藍湖唯一的Silica Hotel,也是冰島被譽為最好的酒店之一,酒店名字Silica正是說明溫泉中富含護膚成份的「白矽泥」(silica)。酒店建在一堆堆凝固的溶岩和藍色的溫泉中間,僅有35間獨立客房,簡約的裝潢,家具都是北歐風格,不花巧卻極為優美。酒店擁有一部分私人的藍湖溫泉,面向溫泉的一側有舒適的躺椅,是個聊天休憩的好地方。酒店的護膚品和飲用水全都是本土最著名的牌子「藍湖」,也正是採自藍湖水中的精華。不過與其用護膚品,倒不如直接到溫泉泡一泡!

Upon landing at the Iceland airport, a gigantic poster of the Blue Lagoon welcomed us. The Blue Lagoon was so named for its spectacular colour of the silica refractive sunlight. It spans an area of 10 football courts and is fed by the water output of a nearby geothermal power plant.

Silica Hotel is the only hotel at the Blue Lagoon, and is considered the best in Iceland. Named after the ubiquitous mineral in the water, it is set in the heart of a stunning lava landscape. Only 35 guestrooms are available, all decorated in a simplistic Nordic style. Guests can relaxingly chat with friends or rest on the room’s veranda overlooking the part of the lagoon privately owned by the hotel.


Skincare and drinking water provided by the hotel are from the famous local Blue Lagoon brand, which extracts its ingredients from the water. However, the best experience is of course from bathing in the lagoon. Buckets of sediments are placed at the side. They make the best skincare and sooth pressure.



Steam streams constantly from the lagoon. It is perfect for a winter day. There is a small bar, where locally brewed beer is served. The sauna and steam rooms further
enrich the dreamy experience.


夜裏回到酒店房間,打開露台的落地大玻璃門,看到外邊火山熔岩般的地形,峋嶙的青苔爬滿在黑色火山石環繞着酒店,像大地鋪上一層軟軟的地氈,上邊還覆蓋著瑩瑩的白雪。書桌上的平板電腦有著各項有趣的服務,其中一個是「NL Wake Up Call 」,就是北極光叫醒服務,按下鍵盤等待極光出現!泡在藍色溫泉水中仰望綠瑩瑩的極光,定必是人生中最難能可貴的經歷吧!

The nearby Salthusid offers a wide range of Icelandic delicacies. Housed in a small wooden cottage and furnished with red velvet chairs, the restaurant serves lobster bisque, salad from their own garden, Icelandic salmon, chocolate cake and other Nordic dishes. The salt is from the hot spring and the tomato is irrigated by the hot spring water. Every dish gives a pleasant surprise.

At night, the lava landscape outside is visible from the veranda in the hotel room. Moss carpets the rocks and snow covers it. The tablet in the room offers a range of interesting services, such as “NL Wake Up Call”. When northern lights appear, it wakes you up, so you could watch them while soaking in the hot spring. What an experience!

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