AUG 2017

DAYSPA is the business resource for spa & wellness professionals! Each issue covers the latest in skin care, spa treatments, wellness services and management strategies.

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[ 12 ] • # dayspamagazine • august 2017 T E A M T R A V E L S Beautiful Budapest Vajdahunyad Castle Éminence's organic farm Boldijarre, his parents and the farm team from the editor W e were thrilled to receive an invitation to visit Éminence's organic farm in Hungary, and I was the lucky DAYSPA team member who got to take the company up on its off er. After landing in the central European country on a balmy Saturday night, I checked into the luxury Budapest Hilton, which incorporates parts of a Dominican church and Jesuit monastery into its otherwise modern structure. Over dinner at nearby Pest-Buda Bistro, my fellow travelers and I got to know our host, Éminence president Boldijarre Koronczay, his parents, József and Józsefné, and other company employees. We were treated to traditional Hungarian goulash and chicken paprikash, washed down with local wines. e next morning, we boarded a bus for a tour of Budapest's sights, starting with Gellért Hill. Here, our guide Eszter explained the history of the city's other landmarks and bridges, including the Széchenyi Chain Bridge and Elisabeth Bridge. Next, we crossed the Danube to take in the grounds of the Gothic Revival-style Parliament Building and controversial Holocaust memorial in Szabadsag Square, followed by strudel sampling at the First Strudel House of Pest. e evening's highlight was a cruise along the river in a "bubble boat." Monday focused on a visit to two local historic bathing houses, beginning with the art nouveau Gellért Baths, part of the iconic Gellért Hotel in the Buda district. Nearly a century old, the property encompasses several indoor thermal pools and swimming pools, a large outdoor adventure pool and an outdoor wave pool. We were joined by Ákos, a tour guide with Boutique Journeys, co-host of the trip. We then stopped by the State Opera House and caught a peek of Europe's second oldest underground train system after London's. We also took snapshots of Heroes Square, then strolled through the City Park to admire Vajdahunyad Castle, a fantastic mishmash of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles. Next came a visit to the neo-Baroque Széchenyi ermal Bath, one of Europe's biggest spa complexes, where we witnessed families basking—and basting!—in the blazing sun, as well as older men playing chess in the water. e rest of the day was spent exploring the Great Synagogue (the largest in Europe) and the Central Market—famed for its souvenir-worthy paprika and delectable lángos, or fried bread. Tuesday brought the moment we'd all been waiting for: a trip to Éminence's certifi ed organic farm in Fülöpjakab, about 70 miles south of Budapest. e farm is actually a demo version of the company's working facility, which is located just a few hundred feet away. e purpose of this smaller farm is to represent the majority of Éminence's crops in one place, even if they don't typically grow near each other. Here, plants, fruits and fl owers, as well as birds and animals such as frogs and moles, coexist in a chemical-free ecosystem. After we entered the grounds, Boldijarre introduced the hardworking (and award-winning) employees instrumental to the farm's success, including Hungarian Landscape Architect of the Year Gábor Szúcs—also the farm's designer—and Organic Farmer of the Year Mátyás Nemes. Gábor pointed out unique architectural features, starting with the four elements carved into the entrance gate to represent life, fertility and richness. Boldijarre added that spirituality is important to Éminence: e farm is rife with symbolism—even the pillars of the compost beds are carved with angel fi gures! Brimming with knowledge, Boldijarre espoused the benefi ts of each plant and fl ower, while Jessica Timberlake—Éminence PR consultant and tireless trip organizer—taught us about companion plants, which attract bugs away from (more valuable) crops. When I asked Boldijarre to elaborate on the reasons for creating the farm, he responded, "I want to show many generations that you don't need pesticides to produce beautiful crops and that organic living is a good way of life." Indeed, the farm, which is both fl at and wheelchair accessible, was designed for visitors of all abilities in mind. Sadly, it was soon time to head back to the hotel for our fi nal night in Budapest and our homeward trip the next morning. ank you to Boldijarre, Jessica, Boutique Journeys and the entire team at Éminence for this incredible—and incredibly rewarding—opportunity to visit the farm! u COMING TO FRUITION: A Trip to the Éminence Organic Farm in Hungary G L O B E T R O T T I N G HUNGARY

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