A retreat at HOSHINOYA Kyoto

Hoshinoya Kyoto_HELLO MISS MAY

Beautiful HOSHINOYA Kyoto. It was such a lovely retreat. I felt so close to nature, surrounded by the turquoise blue Oigawa River and forest of Arashiyama.

It’s a unique one-of-a-kind experience, not to be missed, if you’re after a luxury ryokan experience in Japan. It’s by far, my favourite, as everything about HOSHINOYA Kyoto is beautifully designed.

Hoshinoya Kyoto_HELLO MISS MAY

The rooms are very minimal, with soft coloured walls matched with tatami and dark timber flooring. Oh, and I’m in love with the state-of-the-art toilet, the lid opens up automatically when it senses me entering the toilet room. Now, that’s impressive!

We have a Hotaru double with a king size bed, lounge room (which doubles up as a dining room in the morning) and a bathroom overlooking the river. It was very peaceful in the morning, with birds tweeting. Occasionally, the operating tourist train from the opposite side will come around for a quick stop to look over the resort.


There’s a short walk you can do around the resort. It’s very pretty at night as well. It feels like you’re in a 19th century village, as the lanterns are all lit up.

There’s a sake bar and a fine dining experience, which I truly enjoyed. My brother and I had a feast of the Autumn Degustation. It was an 8-course meal, and I can tell you that by the end of the meal, we were so full, we had to make room for dessert. The chef has prepared the dishes according to the availability of ingredients at the local market. As it’s autumn season, there’s a wide variety of mushrooms to be had (which I loved!).

I had a wonderful time staying at HOSHINOYA Kyoto. It’s not everyday I get to stay in a beautiful luxury retreat like this, and am truly grateful to have the opportunity to do so. Thank you HOSHINOYA Resorts for hosting me.

Japan, 〒616-0007 Kyoto Prefecture, 京都市西京区嵐山元録山町11−2

Meeting Cristiano in Madrid with American Tourister

Selfie with the Cristiano.

Selfie with the Cristiano.

How crazy the year 2018 has been for me. I was invited by American Tourister Australia to meet Cristiano Ronaldo in Madrid, Spain, along with 18 other bloggers and Youtubers from around the world.

Bring Back More_American Tourister x Cristiano Ronaldo_Madrid Spain.jpg

This year, I was given a wonderful opportunity to meet Cristiano and to gift him something quintessentially Australian. As part of the #bringbackmore campaign by American Toursiter...

It was a challenge to choose something that is uniquely Aussie. I had an American Tourister competition on Instagram to ask my followers what they think is Aussie. I had hundreds of comments, from Tim Tams to Golden Gay Time. The standard boomerang, koala bear and kangaroo souvenir. And even something a little bit crazy, a koala onesie. However, the verdict is hands down Vegemite!

Bring Back More_American Tourister x Cristiano Ronaldo_Madrid Spain.jpg
Happy days at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. Photo by Leon Korobacz.

Happy days at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. Photo by Leon Korobacz.

 I grew up watching football (or how Aussies would say it, "soccer") with my dad, and we used to stay up late just to catch the live matches on FIFA. I guess that would be our father and daughter bonding time.

To be able to walk and explore Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, where Cristiano's team, Real Madrid played and won many championships is an amazing experience. The stadium itself is massive, seats 81K people! There is a line of hardcore fans, queuing up to get into Santiago Bernabéu Museum. 


We were  all caught by surprise when we were taken to the locker room and given customised Real Madrid jerserys. We were all given this once in a lifetime chance to play on the football field! UNREAL!

Our group was given one chance to score a goal and the best price was a Real Madrid football. Well, my ball didn't make it to the goal post (about 1 meter away). At least, I gave my very best!

Cheers_American Tourister x Cristiano Ronaldo_Madrid Spain.jpg
American Tourister x Cristiano Ronaldo_Madrid Spain.jpg

We stayed in this beautiful hotel in the city of Madrid. It was art deco inspired with funky furnishings. It was a perfect setup for American Tourister's colourful suitcases!

I had an amazing time connecting with like-minded people. So, thank you once again, American Tourister for bringing us together!

Group photo with Cristiano Ronaldo.

Group photo with Cristiano Ronaldo.