As most Mediterranean resorts begin to shutter their windows in September and October against the advance of winter, Giardino Ascona in ever-pleasant Ticino, Switzerland enjoys a lengthy Indian summer. Taking full advantage of its prolonged summer months – and the opportunity to offer extra time to celebrate its 30th anniversary and the launch of Ayurveda by Giardino – “The Soul Retreat” is extending its summer season to remain open until November 6th this year.
The ideal destination to soak in the final days of summer, laid-back Giardino Ascona on the shore of sparkling Lake Maggiore has perfected the art of casual luxury. With a character that brims with that special Mediterranean joie de vivre, superior service and charismatic design, it’s one of the defining destinations and experiences within Ticino, the Italian part of Switzerland. The Indian summer months provide a brilliant culinary backdrop, matching Giardino’s own offerings, which include the two-Michelin-starred Ecco Ascona.
Exploring the region through the taste buds is a tantalising expedition this time of year, as Ticino’s plump grapes and chestnuts are ready for harvesting. Starting in the final weekend of September, take a day trip to explore the nearby town of Mendrisio for the annual Grape Festival, where its traditional culture comes alive amid charming courtyards and stalls brimming with delicious bottled grape waiting to be sampled. In Ascona, alongside the hotel itself, the Autumn Festival kicks off in early October with afternoon concerts and an astonishing 2,000 kg of chestnuts roasted on the fire by the local maronatt, or “merchant”, with even more chestnut treats to be tried such as jams, honeys and cakes – not to mention other regional fare including polenta, mortadella and gorgonzola. If visitors have missed the festival or still haven’t gotten their fill of chestnuts, the 14-km Chestnut Path in the Gradiccioli mountain range offers a moderate hike amid chestnut groves, birch woods, streams, meadows and spectacular panoramic views.
After the gastronomic indulgence, return to Giardino Ascona to experience its newest health and wellness offering, Ayurveda by Giardino. Available along with the hotel’s specially extended summer season, guests will have access to a vast menu of Ayurveda services and programmes – the first time the ancient medical system has been offered in any five-star hotel in Switzerland. In addition to these exclusive Ayurveda and yoga retreats, guests booking them will also receive a 20% discount on their room rate until Giardino Ascona wraps up its summer season on November 6th, 2016.
To book a stay, visit www.giardino-ascona.ch/en or call +41 (0)800 333 313.