Yoga on an SUP, forest bathing near the hotel, and much more
Yoga on an SUP, forest bathing near the hotel, and much more
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Feel as free as the wind. Feel free at ARIA Retreat & SPA.

Would you like to feel as free as the wind? Discover new horizons where water, earth, and sky meet? Welcome to ARIA Retreat & SPA! Our 5-star superior hotel on Lake Lugano is a unique refuge for free spirits, an exceptional place of power where you can fully immerse yourself in this indescribable feeling of freedom. An amazing 320 days of sunshine a year and boundless leisure and sports activities await you here. From yoga on an SUP and forest bathing near the hotel to endless fun on and in the water, golfing, and tennis, not to mention thrilling climbing routes – there are sports and activities to suit all tastes in our varied programme, offering you a multi-faceted holiday on Lake Lugano. You will see: a holiday at our 5-star superior hotel on Lake Lugano is beautifully active.

Beautifully active. Your activity holiday on Lake Lugano.

#1 Gourmet Experience by La Musa
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Take some time for yourself and enjoy the peace and quiet of the Private Spa Suite. After a treatment for two, you can enjoy a moment of regeneration and pure relaxation. There is a sauna/sanarium, a relaxation area with a water bed and a saltwater whirlpool on the exclusive panoramic terrace. Thanks to the large, panoramic windows, you can enjoy a spectacular view of the lake from every corner of the suite.

#2 Visit Villa del Balbianello
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Perched on the tip of the small peninsula of Lavedo, in Lenno, Villa del Balbianello is one of the most romantic and elegant residences on Lake Como. It was built in the 18th century by Cardinal Durini by extending an ancient monastery.

The gardens are undoubtedly what makes the villa so unique: a spectacular series of paths and terraces overlooking the lake, among neoclassical statues, trees and bushes chiselled in Italian style into incredible shapes. Currently managed by FAI - Fondo Ambiente Italiano, it houses a museum with antique books and travel memorabilia collected by the last owner, the adventurous explorer Guido Monzino.

The fascination of the villa has even reached Hollywood, where the second episode of Star Wars "Attack of the Clones" and 007 Casino Royal were filmed.

The Villa can be reached, during the week, by foot along a footpath or by motorboat taxi from Lido di Lenno directly to the Villa's private dock.

#3 Walk down the Olive Trail
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The Gandria Olive Tree Trail is a one-and-a-half-hour walk along the Ceresio river, linking Gandria to Castagnola.

This walk winds among typically Mediterranean flowers and shrubs. A diversion from the main path leads to the Parco degli Ulivi (Olive Tree Park), with century-old plants and educational panels illustrating their characteristics, history and curiosities. Since it is south-facing and protected from the winds, it enjoys a mild climate even during the winter season.

You can set off on foot from Gandria and once in Castagnola return by boat.

#4 Rent your own cook
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To make your stay even more special and to fully enjoy the Retreat experience, one of our chefs will prepare and serve dinner in the living room of your suite.

You will be able to taste a personalised gastronomic menu - created according to your needs - and, while watching its preparation, learn its secrets.

#5 Enjoy the view from Monte Brè
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Monte Brè, 933 metres above sea level, can be reached in about twenty minutes by funicular from Lugano-Cassarate. At the top you will find a small church, the Osteria della Funicolare and the Ristorante Vetta, both with terraces from which you can enjoy the beautiful panoramic view of the Alps and the gulf of Lake Lugano.

With a short walk (path and stairs of about 20 minutes) you will reach the centre of the small village of Brè, at 785 metres above sea level, embellished by about twenty works of contemporary artists, including Aligi Sassu, Armando Losa, Gianfredo Camesi, Emilio Rissone, Mariapia Borgnini and Fra Roberto Pasotti, magnificently inserted between small squares and paved streets.

#6 Shopping in Milan: Italy's fashion capital
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Milan is undoubtedly the capital of Italian and international fashion and the home of ready-to-wear clothing. So don't miss out on an unforgettable luxury shopping experience in the streets of the famous 'Fashion Quadrilateral': Via Montenapoleone, Corso Venezia and San Babila.

You will be spoilt for choice with numerous jewellery, design and clothing boutiques and many ateliers of both the most famous Italian designers - such as Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Prada or Gucci – as well as international designers such as Louis Vuitton, Dior, Alexander McQueen, Paul Smith and many others.

#7 Exclusive Boat Tour surrounded by luxury villas on Lake Como
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Discover our wonderful lakes in style on a motorboat trip and enjoy views of the idyllic villas and picturesque villages that grace their shores. An adventurous holiday experience for your family. We will be happy to assist you when planning your outing. Whether you want to embark on your lake adventure with a skipper or on your own, a boat trip is a real must on your holiday at our hotel in Porlezza.

#8 Discover Bellagio and the beautiful Gardens of Villa Melzi
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Bellagio lies at the point where Lake Como divides into its two southern branches and is considered the "Pearl of Lake Como", with its characteristic stairways between the houses in the historic centre.

Just a few minutes' walk from the centre and from the pier are the botanical gardens of Villa Melzi, one of the best-known historic villas on Lake Como. It was commissioned by Francesco Melzi d'Eril, Duke of Lodi and personal friend of Napoleon.

At the entrance to the park you will be greeted by a small lake with water lilies and, a little further on, a kiosk in Moorish style with an enchanting view of Bellagio. Along the lake, next to a splendid Pinus montezuma, are ancient Egyptian statues from Napoleon's Egyptian campaign.

In the gardens, exotic and rare essences alternate with centuries-old trees, camellias, rhododendrons and azaleas. Among the most precious plants are Liriodendron tulipifera, cedars of Lebanon, red beeches, camphor trees, Ginkgo biloba and many others of both botanical and historical value.

#9 Escape from it all at our Private Panorama SPA
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Take some time for yourself and enjoy the peace and quiet of the Private Spa Suite. After a treatment for two, you can enjoy a moment of regeneration and pure relaxation. There is a sauna/sanarium, a relaxation area with a water bed and a saltwater whirlpool on the exclusive panoramic terrace. Thanks to the large, panoramic windows, you can enjoy a spectacular view of the lake from every corner of the suite.

#10 Villa Fogazzaro: A small ancient world overlooking Lake Lugano
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In Oria, on the Como shore of Lake Lugano, stands Villa Fogazzaro Roi, the summer residence of the famous Italian writer Antonio Fogazzaro, who found inspiration here to compose and set "Piccolo Mondo Antico", his most famous novel, published in 1896.

Today the property of this extraordinary place has been bequeathed to the FAI, Fondo per l'ambiente italiano, by Marquis Giuseppe Roi, great-grandson of Antonio Fogazzaro, who - in the mid-twentieth century - renovated and tastefully refurbished every room to preserve and evoke the nineteenth-century settings in which the protagonists of the novel move.

The living rooms, the parlours, the study, the bedrooms, the kitchen: it almost seems as if the owners of the house have just gone out for a stroll.

Not to be missed is the splendid roof garden directly on the lake.

#11 Explore Vallemaggia: a valley kissed by the sun
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The Vallemaggia, about 80 km from ARIA, is a region of extraordinary scenic beauty that leads from Locarno into the Alps. Here nature, culture, emotions and flavours blend perfectly.

During the summer, numerous hiking trails extend from the valley floor to peaks of over 3000 m above sea level. Paths cut into the rocks, cross characteristic stone bridges over the Maggia river and past numerous waterfalls.

Among the valley's highlights are the small villages with their architectural, artistic and cultural treasures. Don't miss the chance to taste typical local products in one of the typical Ticino "grotti".

#12 Adventure Climbing: for beginners and pros
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A visit to our climbing park promises action-packed hours, adventure, and unfettered enjoyment. Swing from one rock face to the next 15 metres above the ground, overcome various obstacles, and pull yourself ever higher on free-hanging ropes and steel rungs. Conquer via ferratas and live the high life on your activity holiday near Ticino – all against a breathtaking panoramic backdrop! Here in our climbing park, you can experience unspoilt nature from a new, spectacular angle. We offer special tours through the climbing park for children over 12 years old with our experienced guides. And if you’d like to visit other parkour courses and adventure parks near our hotel, there are also the high ropes courses on Mount Tamaro and at Lake Como. Look forward to experiencing an action-packed holiday!

#13 Explore the Begna Waterfall, a jewel located in Porlezza
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Immerse yourself in the unspoilt nature of the Lepontine Alps and the walk to the Begna waterfalls is not to be missed. Next to the church of Begna, just a few minutes from the Retreat, the path begins. After passing the last houses of the village, it leads into the woods. It continues with a gentle climb to a small chapel, and from here the path begins to descend. Following the signs for the waterfall, you first reach a characteristic bridge over the river and then the waterfall. The inviting pool of crystal-clear water is certainly very refreshing on summer days.

#14 Get pampered with a Signature Massage at SPA CEò
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During your stay, let yourself be pampered by one of the Signature Treatments created especially for the SPA CEò - enveloping rituals inspired by the elements of nature: Air, Water and Earth. During this exclusive experience, expert hands will gently glide over your body and, thanks to targeted movements, will release tensions, leaving you with a feeling of total well-being.

#15 Visit Villa Monastero in Varenna
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Varenna is easily reached by boat or ferry, and once you have disembarked you can take the Lovers' Promenade - a footbridge overhanging the water - that is only a few hundred metres long and leads to the centre of the small village. Here you will find the entrance to one of the most famous villas in the centre of the lake: Villa Monastero. It is the result of the transformation of an ancient Cistercian convent dedicated to the Virgin Mary and built at the end of the 12th century.

The villa is surrounded by a garden that stretches for almost two kilometres along the lakefront, rich in rare and exotic botanical species kept thriving by the lake's mild climate. The architectural decorations scattered here and there along the route are of considerable beauty: statues, small temples, reliefs and fountains.

#16 Explore Lago del Piano
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Discover this small lake nestled in a 176-hectare protected nature reserve halfway between Lake Como and Lake Lugano.

Once you have parked your car, continue on foot along the path that winds around the lake.

You will admire the local flora and fauna, the water lilies, the reed thicket and the grove.

Coots, mallards, moorhens and reed warblers nest in the marsh vegetation; in autumn and spring we can see many different migratory species, including kingfishers. You can also observe them from the small, characteristic wooden jetty that you will encounter on your way.

Alternatively, you can also reach Lago del Piano by bicycle directly from ARIA Retreat & SPA.

#17 Walk to the ancient village of Castello
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The path to Castello starts directly from the Retreat. A two-hour panoramic walk along a small path halfway up the hill takes you to the ancient medieval village of Castello, so called because of the presence of an ancient castle that was later destroyed.

The houses, rebuilt between the 16th and 19th centuries, are arranged in a semicircle, creating a maze of narrow streets and stairways that offer splendid interior views.

The village, which can only be reached on foot, is perched on a rocky spur and enjoys a priceless view of Lake Ceresio (the Italian name for Lake Lugano).

#18 Play Tennis with a stunning lake view
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Is a holiday without tennis simply unimaginable? Then our luxury hotel near Lugano is the perfect destination for you. On our beautifully situated tennis court, you can swing your tennis racquet from March to November. Do you want to improve your serve, stay fit with targeted individual training sessions, train your volley, or perfect your fore- and backhand? The professional tennis coach at ARIA Retreat & SPA will be happy to support you.

#19 Trip to Monte Generoso
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Monte Generoso, at 1704 metres above sea level, is the most imposing and panoramic peak in the region. From here, one can admire the city of Lugano, the Lake District (Lugano, Como, Varese and Maggiore), Gran Paradiso, Monte Rosa, the Matterhorn, the Jungfrau, the Gotthard and Bernina massifs.

The summit can be reached on foot from the Italian side or from the Swiss side by an old steam train departing from Capolago. Since spring 2017, the fascinating "Stone Flower", a unique work of art by architect Mario Botta, has towered over the summit. Mario Botta, which houses two restaurants and a panoramic terrace.

#20 Visit Villa Carlotta
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Villa Carlotta is located in Tremezzo on Lake Como and is named after Princess Carlotta, whose husband George II, Duke of Sachsen-Meiningen, was a keen botanist and turned the park into a landscape garden. Today, more than 500 plants, including exotic and rare ones, can be found here. One of the special features of the villa is undoubtedly the spring flowering of the more than 150 varieties of azaleas and rhododendrons: an explosion of colours that is not to be missed!

The interior of the Villa houses important works of art by Hayez, Canova and Thorvaldsen.

#21 Head to Milan and discover Leonardo’s Last Supper
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During your holiday in Italy, a visit to one of the masterpieces of world art is an absolute must: Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper.

Located in the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie in the heart of Milan, this work represents Leonardo's professional peak. It was painted between 1494 and 1498 and represents the Last Supper between Jesus and his disciples. The 'tempera' technique with which it was made has created many conservation problems, which is why the work has undergone numerous restorations over time. To ensure that the work is kept at a constant temperature, only a limited number of visitors are allowed in, so advance booking is necessary.

#22 Fun in the water at the Parco San Marco Beach
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Small but enchanting, Parco San Marco's 3,000 m2 private beach is ideal for relaxing, enjoying delicious barbecues, but also for diving. Together with our expert instructors from the Lazzurro PADI Diving Centre, you will delve into the depths of Lake Lugano to discover the fascinating marine kingdom. Take the opportunity to attend a snorkelling or scuba diving course, choosing from our courses for all levels. In addition, in collaboration with the diving school, we offer a wide range of water sports for the whole family, such as water skiing, banana boat or kayaking, stand-up paddle, mermaid swimming or pedal boats.

#23 The Panoramic "Amore" path from ARIA Retreat & SPA
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This easy 30-minute hike starts directly from the San Marco Park and climbs up through the woods, past an old church, an old washhouse and the ruins of abandoned houses to our Adventure Climbing Park and then up to a wonderful viewpoint: a comfortable bench is waiting for you to rest after the climb and enjoy the view from the highest point.

Along the way you can have fun finding plaques with some of the most beautiful love phrases of famous poets.

#24 Stroll through the ‘Greenway’ along Lake Como
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The Lake Como Greenway is a splendid panoramic walk of about 10 km that will take you to discover the small villages located along the central shores of the lake It starts from Cadenabbia and continues to Colonno, passing through Tremezzo and Lenno. Some sections of the route follow the lakefront, while others reach the small pedestrian streets above the villages. Along the Greenway you can discover the different gems of this territory: the historical villages, the rural views, the wonderful landscapes of the lake, the valuable buildings and gardens. The walk is signposted with special signs and plaques, takes about 3 and a half hours, is suitable for everyone all year round and can be divided by walking only certain sections.

#25 Discover the Como city centre and the Silk Museum
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Strolling through the city centre of Como is extremely pleasant: the Duomo with the Broletto, the Basilica of San Fedele, the elegant and picturesque squares dotted with boutiques, bars and restaurants.

Como, also known as the "City of Silk", is home to an interesting Educational Silk Museum: the only museum institution in the world able to tell the story of the silk production process from the silkworm, through hand printing to the fashion collections.

The Museum collects, preserves and tells the story of Como's textile production tradition from the 16th century to the present day, with an exhibition of machinery, looms and fabrics. This technical and artistic heritage is organised in an educational space accessible to all.

#26 Visit Lugano and Parco Ciani
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Considered to be the green jewel of the city of Lugano, Ciani Park is located on the lakeshore, a stone's throw from the centre.

The park consists of a more wooded area. It’s rich in century-old plants, extending as far as the dock, and characterised by both English and Italian-style gardens with large flowerbeds, whose seasonal flowering is one of the main attractions. Each year the design of the flowerbeds is changed, keeping the curiosity of citizens and tourists alive.

#27 Explore Morcote: the most beautiful village in Switzerland
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Small cruises along the Ceresio depart daily from Lugano by boat. Be sure to make a stop in Morcote: one of the most beautiful villages in Switzerland.

The characteristic narrow streets, the arcades of the old patrician houses, architectural monuments of great value and lush subtropical vegetation make Morcote the "Pearl of the Ceresio". A steep flight of steps leads to the beautiful complex formed by the church of S. Maria del Sasso, the cemetery and the chapel of S. Antonio da Padova.

#28 Play Golf at Menaggio & Cadenabbia Golf Club
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The lake region of northern Italy is home to some of the most beautiful and historically rich golf courses in Europe.

Try your hand at golf at our partner golf club, Menaggio & Cadenabbia. This 18-hole golf course is located on Lake Como and can be reached in just 15 minutes by car (12 km). Among the celebrities who regularly visit this course, one of the most beautiful in Europe, is Hollywood star George Clooney who has made Lake Como his second home.

#29 Paragliding from the top of the Mountain
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See the lake landscape from a new perspective!

Experienced instructors will accompany you on a tandem flight from 1600 m above sea level at Monte Galbiga. An adrenaline-pumping experience that will make your stay at Parco San Marco even more unforgettable!

#30 Attend modern and contemporary art exhibitions at LAC
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LAC (Lugano Arte Cultura), the largest cultural centre in the city of Lugano, focuses on artistic productions and the encounter between the arts, with attention to theatre, music and visual arts. The 2500 square metres of the LAC Museum house an artistic heritage of over 14,000 works covering an artistic period from the end of the 15th century to the present day.

The programme also includes major exhibitions of modern and contemporary artists of wide appeal.

#31 Discover Bellinzona’s UNESCO medieval Castles
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Castelgrande, Montebello and Sasso Corbaro: the three castles of Bellinzona with their towers and what remains of the ancient walls are a unique complex of medieval military architecture in the Alps, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They were built at the behest of the Dukes of Milan, around the 15th century, to prevent the Swiss Confederates from advancing southwards. Bellinzona was in fact in a strategic position at the crossroads of the Alpine routes between north and south.

Walk around the crenelated walls and, passing through little doors carved into the walls, visit the secret rooms and imagine what life must have been like in those days.

As well as by foot, the castles can be reached by a convenient little tourist train from Piazza Collegiata.

#32 Choose your favourite fishing package
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Pull on the line: lake and river fishing

Our partner, Lake Como Fishing, is specialised in organising unforgettable fishing tourist trips in our area. With this team of professional fishing guides, you will enjoy a first class service and discover the best fishing spots that the Valtellina, Lake Como and Lake Lugano have to offer.

#33 Discover Museo Vela: the sculptor's stately home
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The museum is located in Ligornetto near Mendrisio, about 40 minutes' drive from ARIA.

Built by the Ticino realist sculptor Vincenzo Vela, Villa Vela was transformed into a museum after being donated to the Swiss Confederation.

The museum houses the works of the brothers Lorenzo and Vincenzo Vela, with original sculptures and models in terracotta and plaster and numerous oil paintings by Vincenzo's son Spartaco.

During their lives, the three Vela brothers collected works by mid-nineteenth-century artists who were contemporaries of their own, so much so that the museum's holdings now constitute the largest collection of nineteenth-century paintings from Lombardy and Piedmont owned by the Swiss Confederation.

The Museum is framed by a panoramic park.

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SPA

Water

Water has an almost magical allure. And it’s no wonder – water is life. At our hotel with pool near Lugano, we have harnessed the power of water to give you renewed well-being. Water played a vital role as a source of life in Celtic culture, a tradition we have revived in the SPA of our hotel. The Celts believed that every spring, every river, and every lake was inhabited by divine beings, and sought contact with them via various rituals to call on their healing powers. We have reinterpreted these rituals to whisk you away into new realms of well-being. So, book your stay at our 5-star superior hotel on Lake Lugano, dive into the waters of the lake and our unique infinity pool, and enjoy renewed vitality.

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Air

In our exclusive 5-star superior hotel on Lake Lugano, treat yourself to fresh vitality. Inhale deeply and enjoy the feeling of freedom and renewed energy that swells with every breath. The views of the unspoilt nature that surrounds you here on the shores of Lake Lugano and Lake Como, the scents drifting in the air, the flavours that tantalise your taste buds – your senses will never have felt as alive as during your holiday in our luxury hotel near Lugano. Enjoy the infinite expanse of stunning mountain and lake scenery and soak up the indescribable scents that flood your airways while forest bathing near the hotel. The soothing peace during yoga and meditation sessions will banish the noise of everyday life. You can rediscover yourself and surrender to relaxation during one of our many air-themed detox treatments with selected cosmetics and wellness products from leading manufacturers such as VITALIS Dr Joseph and Ebenholz.

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Earth

Aromatic herbs played as important a role for the Celts as they do in our exceptional hotel near Switzerland. The Druids, as the Celts called their healers, were well versed in the versatile healing powers of a wide range of herbs. But they didn’t only use these green power sources for medicinal purposes, they also used them as incense and wore them on their body as talismans. At our 5-star superior hotel on Lake Lugano, we have harnessed this ancient earth knowledge to develop delicious recipes, exquisite scents for our exclusive suites, and numerous beneficial treatments, all drawing on the power of aromatic herbs to give you a feeling of renewed vitality. And, of course, we only use the best natural products by leading manufacturers such as Ebenholz, Pino, and VITALIS Dr Joseph. Simply surrender yourself to nature’s embrace.

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Yoga on an SUP, forest bathing near the hotel, and much more
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Yoga on an SUP, forest bathing near the hotel, and much more
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Yoga on an SUP, forest bathing near the hotel, and much more
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