Posts in Travel
Iceland | travel guide: roadtrip in Iceland

Checking in to announce that I have finally put together a travel guide to traveling around Iceland by car - one of my favorite travel experiences of all time. The travel guide includes our personal itinerary, experiences, favorites and general tips to traveling in Iceland. I’m also sharing a private link to our google map with location pins for all of our favorite or starred spots for your convenience.

I sincerely hope it will be a great help to many of you — make sure to ask any questions you may have.

Love, Alona

— FIND the iceland TRAVEL GUIDE HERE —

A review of spa hotel Yasuragi

After months where the thesis has controlled our life to a large extent (mine the most but a partner never goes free from the tensions) I decided what we needed was a short trip away without thesis or work in focus. I wanted to be present around Kenneth’s birthday – despite the fact that the day doesn’t mean much to him. It does to me. I think a yearly celebration of the existence of your loved ones is meaningful.

With only 2 days’ time to afford and inspired by last years wonderful trip to Skodsborg, Sweden and spa felt like a great solution. A bit more exotic and adventurous than staying at home in Denmark. In theory; the perfect getaway. In practice, however, we honestly felt it was a waste of money.

I hate to complaint. I can’t stand putting people in unpleasant situations which is essentially what happens when you complain about something. But I do feel that by sharing things on my social media channels comes a responsibility of telling the whole story. In case anyone should be inspired to try out something I showed or talked about – whether it is a product or an experience. Consider this the motivation for this post.

Alona vibe



We stayed a night at the Strand hotel in the center of Stockholm to get half a day in the city. We wanted to indulge in Italian food at Babette that was recommended by this lovely swede. But with the winter darkness upon us at 15.30 we were already starving at 16 which did not match Babette’s opening hours. Instead we had Neapolitan pizza at Giro, and later candy in bed.  

We liked the hotel – although, the rooms are quite small for what you pay. The bathroom, for instance, was too tiny for me to blow-dry my hair. It felt cramped. But I guess that’s a Scandinavian thing – high sq m prices.  



The last day and night we spent at Yasuragi – a Japanese bath and hotel tucked in the woods 10km outside of Stockholm. As an award winning spa with promises of tranquility and with matching solid prices, the expectations were high. However, these were sadly not fulfilled for a number of different reasons.

I had booked a spa package that included access to the baths, ‘superior room’ with Japanese ablution, and a teppanyaki dinner – and to paint the fairest picture I’ll cover both the positive and negative remarks on this experience.

First and foremost, the newly renovated indoor baths were architecturally beautiful and very photogenic – note that the baths are a digital free zone so don’t plan on capturing it (explains the few photos in this post). In times of digital invasion, I loved this principle.  

The thing is, that it felt so pretty, while it failed to instill a feeling of intimacy that allows for both bodily and mental self-care which is essentially what you come for in a spa; to rest and rejuvenate. Furthermore, the spa treatments were really expensive and judging from google reviews not worth the money.

That being said, I absolutely loved the outdoor pools with steamy hot water. I believe there were four or five pools spread out on different levels that followed the hill side with a view of the pine trees and Stockholm archipelago. It immediately made me dream of building a hot top in my imaginary and future home.

Outdoor pools  Via Yasuragi

Outdoor pools Via Yasuragi

Alona Vibe

 Staying the night

The rooms are made with good intentions but it felt like a covered up conference slash hostel (‘vandrehjem’) room. The place aims to be luxurious, but underneath the surface there are cracks or something not quite adding up. To provide a specific example, the floor was damaged and a few lamps were not working. The best thing about staying the night was the view to the archipelago at sunset captured at the picture.

With the location out in the woods you don’t really have another choice but to eat at Yasuragi. Our experience was a friendly staff, but the 5 course teppanyaki dinner lacked flavor, felt impersonal and we walked out from there smelling like we had been to a grill bar. Not exactly the feeling you want to have after having spent the day purifying yourself in the bath facilities.

The breakfast buffet was also disappointing – you know – just tasteless and it left us with a feeling of regret. Like we should have saved the appetite for something at the airport. As a massive breakfast lover that is not a feeling I’m familiar with.



Would I recommend it?

In terms of staying over for the night we sadly do not think it’s worth the money.

All in all, it felt too commercial, polished, noisy, and crowded, and we left with a feeling of not having received matching value for what we paid and pure disappointment. The sad thing is that is has so much potential.

I would recommend visiting Yasuragi for a day. It’s fine if you live in Stockholm, or are in the area either way. Although, I would advise you to go by car as with public transportation it takes at least 1 hour to get there from the city center and includes min. a metro and two bus rides. It took almost 2 hours of transportation to get to the airport.

The moment I think back at to sort of justify the money and time spent on this trip was when we sat in the steamy hot water outside, and felt the cold air pinch our face, while the sun went down and the sky gradually turned blue, then pink and finally completely dark. It was beautiful. It was just a shame that this feeling wasn’t present throughout most of the experience.

Generally, I would advise you to save your money and go to Japan instead. After all, the expenses were not far from matching two plane tickets to Tokyo. A fact we try not to think too much about.


Alona Vibe Yasuragi
Staycation at Kurhotel Skodsborg

In collaboration with Kurhotel Skodsborg


den gode gave

Sidste weekend i November var dedikeret til at fejre min Kenneth. Han er ikke typen der går så meget op i fødselsdag modsat jeg selv. Og i min bog så er fødselsdage vidunderlige og det er hammer vigtigt at fejre eksistensen af ens elskede.

Når det så er sagt så kan det hurtigt blive svært at finde den gode gave eller arrangere noget når man ingen ledetråde får. Kenneth er typen der aldrig ønsker sig noget. En problematik som jeg tror de fleste kan genkende her omkring juletid med familiemedlemmer der aldrig har nogle konkrete ønsker. Sødt, men også mega besværligt. Min strategi ved Kenneths fødselsdag er derfor at tænke i små pakker, der kan pakkes op ved det morgenbordet, og ellers fokusere på mere specielle oplevelser vi ikke når i hverdagen eller økonomien ikke rækker til i tide og utide. I år bestod det af godt selskab, ekstra lækker mad og spa-ophold.

På dagen bildte jeg ham ind at vi skulle på kurophold på Skodsborg. Vi pakkede bilen og han glædede sig til afslapning. Men et par minutter inden forventet afgang lavede en gruppe af hans nære venner en surprise entré. Forvirringen var stor og glæden lige så da det gik op for ham at han var indlagt til at bruge aftenen i venners lag og i stedet skulle mod Skodsborg dagen derpå. Fuldkommen perfekt at have 110% afslapning på programmet en træt søndag efter festivitas.


the good gift

The last weekend of November was dedicated to celebrating my Kenneth. He is not the type that gets exited about his birthday as opposed to myself. In my book, birthdays are wonderful and it is super important to celebrate the existence of loved ones.

That being said, it can easily be difficult to find the good gift or arrange something when you get no clues or pointers in terms of wishes. Kenneth is the kind of person who never has a specific wish. A problem that I think most people can recognize especially during these christmas days with family members with no whishes. I think it's sweet, but also makes it a bit more complicated. My strategy at Kenneth's birthday is therefore to think in small packages that can be opened at the morning breakfast table, and otherwise focus on special experiences. This year it included good company, extra delicious food and a spa stay.

I told him were going to the Spa Hotel Skodsborg. We packed our bags and he was looking forward to a night of relaxation. But a few minutes before the expected departure, a group of his closest friends made a surprise entrance at our flat. The confusion and the joy was big when it darned on him that he was going to spend the evening in the company of friends' and instead to go to Skodsborg the following day. Which showed to be absolute perfect to have planned for110% relaxation on a slow Sunday after festivitas.





lys, vand og saunagus

Skodsborgs smukke faciliteter og badetraditioner tager sit udgangspunkt i 'det sunde liv', med fokus på elementerne lys, luft, vand, kost, motion og hvile. Et fokus jeg personligt synes gennemsyrer den fysiske ramme, men også stemningen blandt ansatte og gæster. Og jeg fyldes af en langsomhed og velvære i sådan en grad, at jeg faktisk vil sige, at dette sted er mit absolutte favorit spa i Danmark.

Vi var så heldige at opleve den specielle finske saunagus, som inkluderer en æterisk tjæreolie, samt 'piskning' med birkeris. Det lyder umiddelbart ikke så rart, men i virkeligheden var det en autentisk, rensende og super fed oplevelse. Jeg har lidt et had/kærlighedsforhold til saunagus, fordi det på en og samme tid er hårdt og vidunderligt, men jeg vidste hvad vi gik ind til. Kenneth var på ingen måde tiltrukket af tanken forinden, men efter at have vekselvirket mellem at være inde i den 80-100 grader varme sauna, chokolade scrub og et dyb i det iskolde havvand fra den private badebro, så var selv Kenneth fan af saunagus og helt høj på endorfiner. 

Light, water and sauna gus

Skodsborg's beautiful spa facilities and traditions are based on 'the healthy life', focusing on the elements of light, air, water, healthy diet, exercising and resting. A focus I personally think pervades the physical setting, but also the ambiance of employees and guests. And I am filled with a well-being to such an extent that I will actually say that this is my favorite spa in Denmark. We were lucky to experience the special Finnish sauna gus, which includes an essential tar oil, and 'whipping' with a bundle of birch branches with leaves. By the sound of it this doesn't sound like anything you would ever want to try. But in reality it was an authentic, cleansing and therapeutic experience. I've always had a hate/love relationship with sauna gus because it's exhausting and wonderful at the same time. Kenneth was not at all drawn to the idea, but after having been in the 80-100 degree hot sauna, chocolate scrub and jumped into the ice-cold sea just next to Skodsborg, even Kenneth's loved it and was completely high on endorphins.



Vi havde fornøjelsen af at overnatte i en luksuriøs spa suite der bød på den blødeste king size bed og et kæmpe badeværelse med fritstående badekar.

Lige siden mit første besøg på kurhotellet for et par år tilbage har jeg drømt om at vende tilbage og inkludere en overnatning. Det føltes som den perfekte fødselsdagsfejring ikke at skulle ud i kulden og køre tilbage til byens larm, men i stedet kunne trisse gennem hotellets gange i badekåbe og synke ned i den store seng efter timevis i spaen. Vi lå der for en kort stund inden vores dinner reservation i The Brasserie, da blev vi enige om at dette måtte være noget nær det ultimative og at livet var en taknemmelig størrelse. 

Staying the night

We had the pleasure of staying in a luxurious spa suite that offered the softest king size bed and a huge bathroom with free standing bathtub.

Ever since my first visit to Skodsborg a few years back I have dreamt of an overnight stay. It felt like the perfect birthday celebration not having to get out in the cold and drive back to the city noise, but instead tiptoe through the hotel's hallways in bathrobes and sink into the bed after several hours in the spa. We layed there for a short while before our dinner reservation at The Brasserie and agreed that our life was something to be very grateful of.

Alona Vibe Photography Skodsborg Kurhotel Spa retreat
Alona Vibe Photography Skodsborg Kurhotel Spa retreat breakfast in bed

Morgenmad på sengen

Om morgenen havde vi mest af alt lyst til at blive i tosomheden og den store seng så vi bestilte morgenmad til vores værelse, hvilket jeg vil anbefale alle der bliver natten over. Croissants, kanelrolls, palæobrød, avokado, æg, kaffe og juice i rigelig mængder. Det var så fint og indbydende, at vi blev nødt til at lave lidt billeder af det, inden vi smagte på sagerne (se BTS i K's vlog). Jeg elsker morgenmad på sengen og tror simpelthen at det er noget af det hyggeligste jeg ved, hvilket minder mig om at det ville være en god julegave idé ønske mig en bakke til formålet.


Breakfast in bed

In the morning we wanted to enjoying be just the two of us so we ordered breakfast to our room, which I would recommend everyone to do. Croissants, cinnamon rolls, avocado, eggs, coffee and juice. It was just so nice that we couldn't resist taking some pictures of it before we tasted the goods (see BTS in K's vlog). I love breakfast in bed and it really does say downtime more than anything else which reminds me that a tray for that occasion might be a perfect Christmas wish.



Alona Vibe Photography

En autentisk oplevelse

De ansatte havde opsnappet at vi fejrede Kenneths fødselsdag og overraskede os ved at servere den mest overdådige og chokoladerige konditorkage med tre forskellige lag af mousse. Vi fandt senere ud af at de har eget konditori og sælger både skårne stykker og hele kager i The Lobby. Det var umuligt at klemme mere ned end et enkelt stykke og kagen kom derfor med os hjem til Nørrebro i den fineste konditoræske.

I denne forbindelse må jeg give stor cadeau til teamet hos Skodsborg, som gjorde en dyd ud af at lave et autentisk samarbejde med høj opmærksomhed og nærværende service, der havde vores private situation in mente. Som skrevet tidligere, var vi inviteret af Skodsborg-teamet. Derudover skød jeg billeder til det engelske printmagasin Condé Naste Traveller som udgives i foråret 2018.

Det er vigtigt at sige at denne post, samt Kenneths vlog fra vores ophold er lavet på eget initiativ uden aftale herom. Fordi vi ikke kunne lade vær og fordi vi elskede oplevelsen og oprigtigt vil anbefale enhver et sådan ophold. Hvis du elsker spa, har brug for et pusterum eller står og mangler en god idé til at luksuriøs oplevelsesgave, som jeg selv. Et lille tip er at overnatte fra søndag til mandag hvor der er en anden ro end eks. fredag-lørdag.


An authentic experience

The staff had found out that we celebrated Kenneth's birthday and surprised us by serving the most lavish and chocolate cake with three different layers of mousse. We later found out that they have their own confetionery and sells both slices and whole cakes in The Lobby. It was impossible to squeeze down more than a single piece why the cake came with us home to Nørrebro in a cute pastry box.

In this regard, I have applause the team at Skodsborg, who made it such an authentic collaboration with much attention and concious service suited our personal situation. As previously stated, we were invited by the Skodsborg team. In addition, I shot pictures for the English magazine Condé Naste Traveler, which will be published in Spring 2018.

To situation this recommendation this post, as well as Kenneth's vlog from our stay was made on our own initiative. Because we could keep ourselves from doing it and because we loved the experience and sincerely would recommend such a stay to anyone. If you love getting spa treatments, need a space to breath in slowlu or is in need of an idea for a luxury experience to give as a present, like my case.



Happy birthday my love

Happy birthday my love

Se Kenneths uhøjtidelige vlog hvis I har lyst til at se lidt bagom og se os te os i badekåber.