May 23, 2018

My Stay at L'Hotel de Hiei Ryokan on the Mountaintop in Kyoto

Ah, Kyoto 

The first time I visited this beautiful city was in 2016 with mom and Jess, but it was only a one-day trip, with no overnight stay. This time though, I spent 4D3N and I stayed at two different hotels. So, today I'm going to share my review on the first hotel, L'Hotel de Hiei.
Pic cr: matcha-jp.com
L'Hotel de Hiei is one of the properties of Hoshino Resorts group (a leading luxury hotel chain in Japan), and it is located on the hillside of Mount Hiei, the tallest mountain in Kyoto.

Upon arriving, you will be welcomed by friendly and professional staffs and aesthetically pleasing lobby which has a European design appeal.

If you felt tired from the trip getting here, your mood would instantly be lifted up by the welcome food and drink!
The welcome food tasted from savory to sweet, and each one was accompanied by three different cups of "Oumi Tsuchiyama Tea" —the tea that has the longest history of all Japanese tea, and was said to be good for your heart health. Each cup of tea was prepared using different techniques to best complement each food.


Room

The size of the bedroom is relatively spacious compared to average Japanese rooms and the interior come in several designs inspired by French cities, like Provence, Savoie, Normandie, and Paris. My room was the Savoie room. I really loved the use of high-quality wood around the room! 😍

The bathroom is also spacious, equipped with the latest bath amenities and a bidet with heated toilet seat.

Anyway, as I've mentioned earlier, they have several designs for the rooms, and this one is the Paris-themed room. 
There is also a painting that represents each country in front of the room (how cute is that!)

The total number of guest rooms is only around 30, so rest assured you will get individualized attention :)


Dinner

I've got to say the dinner at L'Hotel de Hiei is the most unforgettable experience from my stay. The meals were made using local ingredients that had been picked carefully straight from Lake Biwa and Omi area, an area around Lake Biwa. Then they were prepared using French technique.
The results? EXQUISITE!
My personal favorite was the Potage/Soup - Chicken Consommé with lever paste, but the steak was a close second.
The meals were accompanied by a glass of champagne, white wine and red wine.
After dinner, you can take a walk outside the restaurant to enjoy the beautiful view of Kyoto. Don't forget to grab a blanket so you won't get cold 
There is also a complimentary wine that you can enjoy while taking in the view 🍷


Morning After

A refreshing view from my room 💖

There are several activities that you can enjoy during your stay at L'Hotel de Hiei, such as wine tasting, afternoon tea, and morning prayers at Enryakuji Temple.

I didn't get the chance to experience the first two, but I was lucky enough to join the morning prayersthe one I had anticipated the most! 💫
So, I went on the hotel shuttle bus early in the morning (6AM) along with other guests to the Enryakuji Temple area. There was no photography allowed inside the temple, but I can say it was such a unique experience to just sit there listening to the monk chanting in Japanese (even though I didn't understand a word), and surrounded by Japanese elementary students who, I assumed, were having a field trip to the temple.

A bit info of the Enryakuji Temple:
It was founded in 788 A.D. and is one of the most significant monasteries in Japanese history. As such, it has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994.

There are numerous important temples and stupas gathered in this area, and the prayers were held at Konpon Chu-do, the most important temple in Hieizan where the hidden Buddhist icon Yakushi Nyorai is enshrined.
On our way back to the hotel, we passed by this spectacular view of Lake Biwa (Biwa-ko), the largest freshwater lake in Japan and one of the oldest lakes in the worldat least 4 million years old! This lake can also be viewed from the hotel.

Back to the hotel and it was breakfast time already! Everything was so fresh and tasty!

Outside of the restaurant, you can enjoy the green nature, fresh air, chill atmosphere and calming silence that surrounds the place. Just standing there made me feel very peaceful :)


Library

There is a library on the basement floor where you can take pleasure in browsing up to 200 books while savoring different kinds of tea.


Gift Shop

As L'Hotel de Hiei is located on the border of Kyoto and Shiga prefectures, you will find many items that were produced in Shiga prefecture that you can buy at the gift shop, as well as Hōjicha (roasted green tea).


How to Get There

You can get there either by a private car, taxi, or a scheduled shuttle bus from the hotel that will pick you up at Kyoto station. I chose the shuttle bus option!

For more info, you can check out L'Hotel de Hiei's official website here, or you can check reservations here.

Okay guys, that's all for today! I hope you find this post interesting and helpful. See you in my next post 😘

April 09, 2018

Braids Vs. Buns | 4 Celeb Inspired Summer Hairstyles | Elle & Jess

An outfit isn't complete without a certain hairstyle to top it up. And when it comes to summer, all we want is to look cool AND stay cool at the same time. Especially since it's summer (read: hot and humid) all year long in Indonesia. But don't go chopping off your hair just yet, because we've got these four celebrity-inspired summer hairstyles that we think would be perfect for you to try out this weekend.

Hold up, sit tight, got two braids and two buns coming up!


Braids

1. Chic Side Braid
As seen on double Emmas - Emma Wattson (left) and Emma Stone (right):
Not only it sweeps your hair away from the back of your neck and keeping the heat out of it, it also looks sweet and cute! Jess will show you how to do it on this video:


2. Milkmaid Braid Updo
As seen on Amanda Seyfried (left) and Jennifer Lawrence (right):
If you're looking for an updo that looks summery yet elegant at the same time, this milkmaid braid would be the perfect choice for you. Take a look at Elle's tutorial here so you can do it at home:



Buns

3. Double Buns
As seen on Kendall Jenner (left) and Cara Delevingne (right):
Chun Li and Pucca would be thrilled when they know that their uber cute hairstyle is now coachella-approved. Moreover, you can also wear your double buns overnight and turn it into curls in the morning, just like Jess did in this video:

4. Easy Messy Bun
As seen on Sophie Turner (left) and Zoella (right):
Always the go-to option whenever you have a bad hair day, this messy bun is cute and super easy to do, like, seriously. Watch our step by step tutorial (PLUS challenge on who can do it faster) here:

Anyway, if you like to color your hair like we do, you might be interested to know that there is a new hair color product in town: NYU. Not only it's affordable, it's also ammonia free and enriched with super fruit extracts such as apple, kiwi and strawberry. Whether you wanna go coppery brown like Zoella, burgundy (reddish) like Emma Stone, or caramel like Cara, NYU got it for you! Moreover, it can cover grey hair! Our mom and aunt also tried it, and it really did a great job covering their grey hair lol.

Okay guys, that's all for today, we hope you get inspired by these cute hairstyles (do try them because they're really easy and super fun!), and please let us know on the comment box down below, which style do you prefer? Braids, or buns? We'd like to know!

Thank you so much for reading and see you guys on our next post! 

X
Elle & Jess