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le 16 février 2013
Beachside resorts. Mountaintop villas. Tropical jungle hideouts. Secluded retreats. Refined urban elegance. Whatever your idea of an ideal vacation hotel destination may be, “Healing Hotels of the World” is very likely to include it. It’s a beautiful and visually enchanting book that takes you on the tour around the world and some of its most luxurious and relaxing hotels.

As you can expect forma coffee-table book, “Healing Hotels of the World” features many beautiful and enticing photos. They really present the featured hotels at their best. The book also includes quite a few photographs of the surrounding nature and environment, which give you a better idea of the hotels’ overall ambiance.

In addition to a short paragraph describing each hotel’s unique appeal and philosophy, we are provided with (almost) all the essential information about that hotel – its location, address, website, number of rooms, available amenities, featured healing facilities and services, and the availability of outdoor activities. One very important piece of information that is missing is the price. Granted, prices are always changing and are subject to seasonal availability, but some general ballpark for these hotels would have been a good price of information to have. I had gone online to check these hotels and it seems that the low end prices for some of the hotels are in the $200 - $300 per night range, while the high end suites, VIP rooms and beachside villas are well over $1,000 per night.

The book covers many descriptions and promotional material supporting various alternative healing techniques. In my opinion these vary greatly in their credibility and effectiveness. Some, such as yoga, massage, and meditation, have a proven record of inducing wellness and physical and mental well-being. Others are much more faddish and despite what their proponents argue are not considered effective at all. Of course, there is always the placebo effect – even the most outlandish “treatment” can be moderately effective when those who pursue it are convinced of its usefulness. In either case, the word “healing” in the title of this book should be approached with a grain of salt – “Wellness Hotels of the World” would have been a more accurate description of this book’s subject matter.

The book also features a few interesting and exotic recipes. All of them look very delectable, but I haven’t tried making any of those dishes. Some recipes require the use of exotic ingredients (such as banana blossom) that is hard to find even in the more cosmopolitan produce stores.

Even though the hotels featured in this book are indeed located at five different continents, Europe is still very much overrepresented, making up for almost half the book. (Italy for instance features prominently with nine different hotels, while all of the US is represented with only four, two of which are in Hawaii.) This essentially means that most of the hotels in this book will be well out of the way for the American reading audience.

The hotels in this book are so beautiful, inviting, and relaxing-looking that it would be hard to argue that they can be anything but a source of health. If you are looking for a truly relaxing and rejuvenating vacation experience, and are able to afford a trip to some of these exotic locations, then “Healing Hotels” will provide you with a great inspiration and idea. Even if such a vacation is not in the cards for you, this book could be a very relaxing and enjoyable “adventure” in its own right.
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