December 2013


The new year is right around the corner, and at the Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa we have decorated some of our most emblematic and magical Asian spots with small and tinkly wishes, Fuurin.

Fuurin originally come from China, where they are called “Fuutaku” or wind chimes. However, its popularity expanded all over Japan when some Buddhist monks returned from the neighbouring country bringing this object with them.

They hung these ornaments on the corners of their temples in order to chase away evil and attract peace.

Rumour soon spread that in all those places where you could hear fuurin tinkle, no disasters happened.

In Japan it was called “Fuurin”, which literally means wind chime or chime evoking the wind. It is used as an ornament in homes, and is generally placed next to windows and doors, where they can be moved by the wind. Although the most frequent place for them is outside in the garden where the wind can make them tinkle.

They are very popular in Japanese culture, and they have become a true ritual when the summer starts and people write their wishes on the piece of paper of the fuuring for the wind to take their words away and make their wishes come true.

The fuurin is a circular wind chime made out of different materials, glass, ceramic or metal. A piece of string goes from the wind chime to the paper, and when the wind chime is played by the wind, a pendulum makes the fuurin tinkle.

In the piece of paper hanging from the fuurin wishes and good fortune sentences are written.

The main function of these wind chimes is to enhance the fresh sensation of the breeze in the air. Japanese people are fond of enhancing sensorial experiences; it is a part of their culture.

If you wish to start the new year with good fortune and tinkles full of positive hope, at the Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa we invite you to come and spend New Year’s Eve with us, and hang fuurin with your new year resolutions for 2014 in mind.


At the Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa, the Christmas spirit is starting to take over us, and that is why today we would like to tell you about a Japanese gift wrapping tradition which dates back many years: the Furoshiki.

The Furoshiki started as a tradition half way through the Nara period in Japanese traditional baths. This wrapping technique was used to avoid mixing up clothes. This tradition soon began to be used by traders to protect their goods.

The word FURO-SHIKI literally means “bath time extension”, “furo” makes reference to traditional showers, and “shiku” means to extend.

The Furoshiki is a Japanese traditional quadrangular fabric used to wrap and transport all sorts of objects, from clothes to presents and even bottles of wine.

This type of wrapping was used at weddings between 1926 and 1989. The parents of the bride used to prepare Furoshiki with patterns such as cranes, fans, pine trees and waves as symbols which represent a beginning full of happiness and good fortune.

Later, in the Edo period, Furoshiki became even more popular and several other ways of wrapping started to be used. This art was passed on from generation to generation until it became an essential technique for Japanese people.

In time, this art has turned more versatile, and it is currently used for gift wrapping and interior decoration.

There are several ways of using Furoshiki, depending on the gift and its shape.

The Furoshiki wrapping stands out mainly because it is reusable, therefore it is environmentally friendly. Japanese people see it as a way of showing true gratitude to the person it is given to.

At the Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa we are already using the different wrapping techniques to make our gifts more exclusive and creative. What about you, would you like to try out this new way of wrapping your Christmas presents?


Many of you already know the Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa, a luxury resort and an Asian culture icon in the Spanish mainland. It is precisely about icons that we are going to talk about today in our blog, one of the main Asian ones, Fuji Mountain.

Fuji Mountain is the highest peak on the Honshu Island and the highest in Japan. It is 3,776 metres tall, and is located right on the west of Tokyo from where the mountain can be seen in the horizon on a clear day.

The mountain is a low risk active volcano; its latest eruption was in 1707 in the Edo period. It was back then when a new crater was formed, as well as a second peak called Hoeizan.

From ancient times, Fuji Mountain has been considered sacred. Women were not allowed to reach its summit, but this changed in the 19th Century when a woman dressed up as a man decided to break the rules.

Nowadays, everyone is allowed climb it and the mountain is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Japan, although it is recommended that you be in good shape as there are different trekking, hiking and mountaineering stages.

Many well-trained mountaineers prefer to go up at night in order to be able to watch the dawn from the summit. The magic of this mountain has been portrayed in Japanese literature and art since ancient times.

This year (2013), Fuji Mountain has been included in the list of Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, with the intention not only to highlight its natural and historic value but also to limit the access to tourists.

Another interesting feature of this mountain is its aquifer located 600 metres below the surface of the volcanic belt of Fuji in Japan, where the most select water in the world is extracted. The most pure Finé water has a high content of silicon and is low in minerals such as magnesium and calcium.

At the Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa we make it easy for you to reach Asian culture without having to climb Fuji Mountain. In our resort, you can also enjoy beautiful dawns and sunsets, and the wonderful water of our exclusive swimming pools, 3 of them 30ºC hot all year round. We await your visit. Come and enjoy your own Asian experience.


This year at the Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa don’t miss out our impressive Japanese New Year’s Eve party: OMISAKA. Like in all other cultures, this is a day to celebrate, and we would like to welcome 2014 with you in a special way.

In Japan, during the last few days of the year, the main tradition is to clean. By cleaning, Japanese people receive the New Year getting rid of all evil, and welcoming all that is good into their houses. Cleaning is a way of purifying their homes.

It is also a tradition to eat a traditional dish, “Osechi” this time of the year, for several days, as it is not considered good practice to cook the first 3 days of the year. However, nowadays many families purchase ready-cooked meals.

After all the arrangements, the time comes to have the longest dinner of the year which starts quite late at night, around eleven o’clock.

Noodles are the main food. The length of the noodles is very significant as it symbolises a long life. These noodles are generally eaten with chopped scallions, and are sometimes prepared tempura style.

After dinner, just like they do for us, the bells ring at midnight. In Japan, bells ring 108 times, and they can be heard from all Buddhist temples.

The bells ringing 108 times represent freedom from the 108 worst sins which cause human suffering according to Buddhist beliefs.

People also visit Buddhist temples to pray for happiness, good results in exams, success, finding love, etc.

Lastly, the most traditional drink this time of the year in Japan is the “Amazake”. This drink made out of fermented rice is sweet and it contains a light touch of alcohol. It is usually served with very hot water and grated ginger on top.

This year, our Japanese New Year’s Eve party at the Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa, will be inspired by Japan, and its purifying and fortune rituals. We will make this last day of the year a very special day for you.

Wouldn’t you like to spend New Year’s Eve doing something different? At the Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa you will be able to enjoy the most special Asian experience of the year.



(Images by Creative Commons Flickr)


At Christmas, it is a tradition to spend time with the people we love and celebrate the holidays together. At the Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa we would like to do the same with our guests and that is why these are very special holidays for us.

In Japan, there is a legend about “red strings”, it is believed that there is a special link between two or more people destined to meet.

It is believed that people and each of their circumstances are linked by invisible red string, those who are connected are destined to meet no matter when or where.

This string is said to be indestructible, and that it can shorten or expand, or even get tangled but it can never break. People who are connected shall always be linked to each other no matter when it is that they will meet. Fate has determined it to be that way.

Japanese people say that those who are destined to meet will do so sooner or later.

Parents who adopt children in Japan use this metaphor as explanation to the bond with their adopted child, and as a way of justifying that fate has brought them together as a family.

This is the most popular legend in Japan:

A long time ago there was an emperor who found out that a very powerful witch was able to see the red strings of fate that connected people. The emperor demanded she bring the person connected to him immediately, as this would be the person he would marry.

The witch followed orders and went to a market where she found a peasant holding a baby; she brought her to the emperor who got enraged at her as he took it as an offensive joke. His anger was such that he pushed the girl and her baby to the ground hurting her head on the fall. The witch was arrested and was eventually beheaded for her offence.

Sometime later, the court recommended that the emperor marry the daughter of a very important general, and on the wedding day when he saw his future wife for the first time he realised that she had a peculiar scar on her forehead.

In other cultures, this string is said to be golden making reference to light, and it looks like a cobweb. However, all cultures agree on one thing, the string represents a bond between people who are destined to meet.

If you believe that your destiny is to meet us this Christmas, come to the Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa and enjoy the holidays surrounded by Asian luxury. HAPPY HOLLIDAYS!!



(Images by Creative Commons Flickr)


During December Xmas spirit floods Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa, so we have decorated our luxury resort using some Asian traditions known as “Rangoli”.

Rangoli is a type of Indian colorful art, based on the combination of decorative geometric sharps, forms and draws typical from Indian and its symbols.

“Rangoli” word is the name of those draws, and it comes from “ranga” that means “god” and “oli” which means “will satisfy”.

Although these designs use to be at the entrances of houses and flats, they are mainly used to decorate house patios during Indian Festivals. Their main proposal is to welcome Indian gods so they bring to the houses all blessings and good things. They are like daily offers to welcome new good desires and events.

Rangoli  is an art style deeply connected with nature, on their elements and themes. Drawings of green leaves of vine, flowers, swans, and royal turkeys were color filled with natural substances from trees, plant leaves and spices.

However, in our days patterns are created with materials such colored rice, dry flour, sand and even flower petals. Those patterns can have plane or tridimensional appearance.

One of the kept traditions of Rangoli that is still followed is that designs cannot have any broken line, cause it that happens, evil spirits could have the chance to come into the house and make evil actions.

Rangoli is normally made by women at sunrise. On the past, there were the mothers who make it, but now, it is made by young girls, who sing sacred mantras while they make the designs.

At Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa you will also find many places linked to the Nature, and enjoy a decoration specially designed to make your Asian experience be complete. And do not miss our Xmas decoration; it will be like being in Asia. Come and celebrate the New Year with us.


Some Asian buildings speak themselves. They tell us about their history, their architecture and their culture. So it does Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa, our Asian inspired luxury resort. And so it does the Great Wall of China.

This ancient Chinese fortification had been built and rebuilt between the 5th century BC and the 15th AC. It was erected to protect the northern border of Chinese Imperium during successive dynasties.

The Great Wall of China is 8.851 kilometers long and runs from Korean border at the Yalu River side, to the desert of Gobi. Nowadays, it is only conserved the 30% of the original one.

On 1987 the Great Wall of China was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and it has also the unofficial record to be the world’s biggest cemetery, as near than 10 million people had died during its construction.

Although many do not know it, this Wall is twinned with the Roman Wall of Lugo, sited on Galicia, which is also a World Heritage Site.

The Great Wall is made of walls, passes, watch points and towers. At the passes there were set the Imperial Army. Juyongguan Pass is the main one of the Wall as it was the strategic place for the army.

Badaling Section is today one of the most touristic and beauty places all over the world. This building’s architecture beauty and history route  is also able to admire from out space. That is one of the reasons that made it declared one of the Seven World Wonders.

The Great Wall of China is such an impressive monument that many designers and artists have chosen it as a stage, using their passes as a natural and unique fashion catwalk. One of those was the creative and world known Karl Lagerfeld for Fendi.

Obviously, the Great Wall hides many curiosities, funny stories and facts like that it takes 101 days to walk it by feet, or that its sinuous and curly way was marked by donkeys, which are the best expertise on mountain routes, as they know how to select the less stoned ways.

Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa will impress you as it breathes all flavors and essences from all kind of Asian culture. If you would like to take a walk over our Zen gardens and fill yourself with a millenary environment, we strongly recommend you to visit our Resort. You will experience a luxury stay.


And so… here it is December!  In Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa we love to celebrate “big time” the New Year.  That is why, in addition to enjoy with us at our luxury resort our big New Year’s Eve Party, today we would like to share with you other ways of celebrating New Year in Asia.

Let’s talk today about Songkran; one of the most known and main Thai celebrations which runs 3 days, from April 13 to 15.

Opposite to the european New Year, Songkran coincides with the summer beginning and the Buddhist New Year; as almost all Asian celebrations Songkran is a colorfull and plenty of good intentions and wishes. Families and friends get together to honor the upcoming new year and also their ancestors’ memory.

It is also a celebration of cleanness, renovation and change, so water is the main element on this traditional feast during which the city becomes a big water celebration.  Friend and relatives throw water each other; this has 2 main reasons:  April’s high temperatures and intense hot, and the celebration of the upcoming monsoon rain season, which will make grow the rice fields and provide a good harvest.

As we can see, Songkran is a singing to the rain and water and a commemoration to winter’s end and life’s reborn.

During this celebration, there are other activities such temple cleaning, where people shows their gratitude and respect to their elder and equals spilling water on their hands to bless new year.

On Songkran’s third day it is usually to spill water over Buddha’s images and statues from a silver bowl. It is an ancient spiritual purification rite.

Another Sogkran tradition is to tie a cord as a bracelet around the wrist to wish a happy year to friends and family; this creates a special link between the person who tie each cord and the one who receives it. It last until the cord breaks and fall itself.

If you find interesting this new year traditions don’t miss our Asia Gardens blog, as during this month we will share so many others; and if you want to live and experience an Asian New Year, spectacular and different, come to our luxury resort and celebrate the new year coming with us at Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa.


Today we welcome you to our “private palace” Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa by getting you closer to Asian culture, with one of its masterpieces: Taj Mahal.

Taj Mahal Palace is a group of buildings that combines architecture elements from Islam, Persian, Turkish and Indian cultures. This monument has overcome many threatens and it is considerate the most beautiful example of Mogol architecture, as it is recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage  and named one of the Seven New Wonders of the World.

Taj Mahal is located at the city of Agra (India) and could be called “the building to love”. Its construction was inspired upon the endless love that emperor’s Shah Jahan felt to his favorite wife between 1631 and 1654. This is the love story that is hidden behind this unique monument:

One day, at the bazar, Prince Shah fell in love with princess Arjumand while she was trying a crystal necklace. The Prince became so impressed by her beauty that decided to buy the shining necklace that the Princess has liked so much. However, the necklace was not made of crystal, but diamonds. And in spite of the high price (10.000 rupees), he bought it and so he won immediately the Princess’ heart.

After 5 years waiting to get marry (with no allowance to see each other a single time), the couple could celebrate an amazing and spectacular wedding ceremony, where Shah, who was yet by then the Emperor, gave the title of  “Mahal” to  Princess Arjumand Mumtaz, which means “first lady of Palace” or “the chosen of Palace”.

Some years after being crowned King, Shah had to face the biggest tragedy of his life. Mumtaz Mahal died during the delivery of their 14 daughter, and on her dying bed, she ask his husband to build on her memorial a monument that reflects their love and was unrivalled over the world.

The name of this mausoleum, “Taj Mahal” is often considerate as a shortcut of empress full name’s, but it is in fact a combination of the two things that emperor Shah wanted to give eternally to his beloved wife: his crown and an unique palace.

The beauty of this monument is based on architecture of curious symmetries. The luxury materials it is made of, show that nothing was enough to the love that emperor  felt to her loved wife: fine marble of Jodhpur, carried by elephants, jade and Chinese crystal, Tibet turquoises, Yemeni agates, Afghan lapis lazuli, Ceylan sapphires, Persian amethysts, Arabian coral, Russian malachite, Himalayan quartz, Golconda diamonds and amber from the Indic ocean.

All the team of Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa, know that all is not enough to our guests, so, we do our best to make your stay like being on a luxury Asian Palace.

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