Journal

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Find Your Own Woodstock

Be it for a musical weekend trip with the family, melodious evenings at a winery, or experiencing the jazz stars of tomorrow performing live — COMPANION presents the best festivals close to our cities.

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Diving into The Forest

Nature, awareness, deceleration, meditation: 'shinrin-yoku', meaning 'bathing in the forest', is a recognised treatment in Japan. It's also spreading to Germany as a by-product of the general mindfulness trend. Why is it so popular? What does the bathing part involve? Accompanied by two guides, partners Carlos Ponte and Emma Wisser, COMPANION headed off to the Mangfall Valley, close to Munich, to test the waters and discover what this activity is all about. Between the trees and wet earth, we learned something about the healing qualities of the forest - and about ourselves as well.

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The Science of Scent

Subtle and seductive, the aroma molecule Iso E Super was created in a laboratory in 1973. In 2006, the master perfumer Geza Schön bottled it pure to create Molecule 01 - a fragrance that fast gained a cult following the world over. Many more scents later, COMPANION visited Schön at his Berlin apartment and lab to get a whiff of the chemistry behind his 'anti-fragrances', and glean his take on the wellness industry's obsession with nature (hint: it's overrated).

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Happy Go Vienna

Once again, Vienna has been named the most liveable city in the world. Horse-drawn carriages, Sachertorte chocolate gateau, 'Küss die Hand' - really now? Oh yes, says Zara Pfeifer. Thirteen years ago, she came here from Cologne to study and, bar a few short hiatuses, has stayed ever since.

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Petit Paris

In all its sophistication, Paris often feels very grown up. But the pleasures it holds for pint-sized bon vivants are manifold, if you know where to look. Xavi Vega, general manager of the new 25hours Hotel Terminus Nord and father of two-year-old Sofia, helped us plot out the city's treasures for les petits. The Catalan-born Francophile first moved to Paris in 2009, and returned in 2016, after a short intermezzo in Madrid. Together with his wife, he delights in raising his daughter amidst the culture, cuisine, intellectual rigour, and simple pleasures the city so elegantly embraces. Here are his secrets to sharing the Parisian art de vivre with your little ones on a weekend in and around Paris.

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Marseille Mon Amour

A Mediterranean climate and laid-back urban flair on the Côte d’Azur: Marseille certainly has more to offer than its reputation would reveal. The lively international port city, with its 300 days of sun per year and a particular passion for bouillabaisse and pastis, was long considered the French Naples, ruled by criminal gangs and the violence of its ‘French Connection’ mafia. Much has changed since then. In 2013, Marseille was named the European Capital of Culture, and pocketed significant subsidies that were invested in polishing up its appearance. France’s second-largest city now attracts growing numbers of creative minds and artists. Hot on their heels are the galleries, hip boutiques, and cafés. For the younger French generation especially, Marseilles is becoming a real alternative to the exorbitantly priced Paris due to its affordable standard of living — with a view of the sea included.

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Vin à la Parisienne

For a long time, wine was a man's game. However, a team of young French women are now transforming the industry - with organic and natural wines, which are neither chaptalised nor acidified, and with no tannin powder or added sulphites. They are produced as they were centuries ago, under the motto: less is more. Two women champions of natural wine tell us their story.

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Night Fever

The fashion, music, and worldly feel of the 1970s disco era captivate imaginations to this day. DJ Nicky Siano was spinning the turntables back then, while the photographer Bill Bernstein prowled the legendary Studio 54. The trailblazers take COMPANION back to an era of glitz, glamour, and hedonism.

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The Taste of Tel Aviv

Haya Molcho and her sons, the family behind eatery empire NENI, have written a new cookery book about the people of Tel Aviv and their culinary histories. And it has recipes too. The most important ingredient? Friends with whom to share what you make.

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THE GREAT ESCAPISM

Time to get out of the city? Want to leave all your cares behind and immerse yourself in nature and culture? Always a good idea! COMPANION has put together some tips for excursions in the surrounds of our 25hours Hotels’ cities to give you ideas for moments of mindfulness in the cold season.

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Paris Gare du Nord

A Column on Suburban Life in Urban Neighbourhoods

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Artist in Residence - Louis Schmidt

The artistic heart of the 25hours Hotel Langstrasse is the hotel’s studio on the ground floor. It is a workspace for international and domestic artists, who produce and prepare for their exhibitions, presentations, or collaborations on-site. Louis Schmidt stayed here three weeks in June 2018.

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Bordeaux on Board

A slightly lesser-known side to the town Bordeaux is its vibrant street culture — a facet that comes to life when experienced through the world of underground skateboarding.

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Oh La La Réunion

Breathtaking beaches, spectacular natural scenery, rocky volcanic landscapes, Creole delicacies, and a veritable mix of cultures.

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Eating with a Companion

Internationally inspired dishes made with seasonal and regional products are prepared with a distinctly French touch at Gesa Hansen and Charles Compagnon’s neo-brasserie 52 Faubourg Saint-Denis in Paris. The couple cooked a favourite for us to sample.


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