If you’re seeking a little summer solace, a destination to retreat to away from the city heat or simply yearn for a peaceful haven in which to relax and rejuvenate, we can suggest stunning lakeside hotels, desert escapes, remote wilderness lodges, spa retreats and beach resorts in which to refresh – calm oases just waiting to be discovered where you can ditch your daily routine, adopt a leisurely timetable, enjoy a languid lunch, lose all track of time and take some time for a little reflection. Whether you wish to disconnect from work, re-connect with loved ones or rediscover your inner-self, an escape from the norm, a change of scenery, or a serene sanctum is often enough to restore a little sanity and provide some much-needed rest.
So, sit back, breathe easy and calmly contemplate the scene of your effortless escape...
Leave the chaos of modern city life behind and come back down to earth, by descending to the hidden desert resort of Amangiri, at Canyon Point in Utah. Indulge at their impressive 25,000 square feet Aman Spa, which has been especially designed to echo and reflect the surrounding canyons and rock formations. Embrace the spa’s holistic approach to wellness, which incorporates elements from the state’s native heritage of the Navajo, and enjoy treatments which aim to restore a guest’s ‘Hazho’ — the Navajo for beauty, harmony, balance and health. Be sure to try their Flotation Room, which utilises colour therapy as part of the meditative and sensory experience.
Whether it is the view of a tranquil lake, the soothing sound of a flowing waterfall, or the beauty of a decorative fountain, water is universally synonymous with relaxation. Regardless of whether you prefer still or sparkling water, Italy has an abundance of settings to match the taste of its famous San Pellegrino sparkling mineral water.
Magnificent Villa d’Este offers a very grand Italian retreat alongside the stunning Lake Como. Its exquisite, centuries-old, gardens provide twenty-five acres in which to lose yourself, lost in the mesmerising lake views. A member of ‘The Leading Hotels of the World’, this property oozes charm with its grand salons, ornate halls and marble staircases and promises to transport its guests back to the days when it was a 16th century private palazzo. When not relaxing lakeside at Bar Canova, guests can visit the Turkish bath, play on the putting green, or immerse themselves within the impressive floating swimming pool.
If fresh mountain air holds appeal and you’re seeking a lofty haven high in the sky, then the world-class Omani resort, Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort is the perfect remote mountain perch on which to rest. Rugged scenery creates a remarkable backdrop, for the highest five-star resort in the Middle East, and guests are able to enjoy a selection of enriching activities, such as painting, photography, or cooking. After dining at the breathtaking Diana’s Point, admiring the Hajar Mountains, enjoy sipping sunset drinks to the sound of traditional Omani drums and Arabian chanting — followed by a striking ‘cinema under the stars’ experience.
Surrounded by the peaks of the High Atlas Mountains, Kasbah Tamadot, Sir Richard Branson’s spectacular Moroccan retreat, boasts a dramatic mountain setting. A lavish hideaway with scented gardens and decadent interiors, guests can slip into their Moroccan slippers, admire the lofty surroundings, laze upon the four-poster beds, or simply rest beside the fireplaces. For those wishing to try traditional treats, the authentic cuisine is delicious, the hammam invigorating and the luxurious ‘Yazire Angel’ spa treatment, which utilises rosemary from Kasbah Tamadot’s gardens, sublime. For the ultimate experience, consider staying in a Berber Tented Suite with an exhilarating hot tub.
Wilderness & National Parks
Adventurous types can live out a childhood dream by staying under a canvas, prospector-style, luxury tent amongst the wilderness of Vancouver in Canada. Inspired by the 19th century ‘Great Camps’, Clayoquot Wilderness Resort is a member of Relais & Châteaux and premier eco-safari destination. Sitting alongside the water’s edge and inaccessible by car, this incredibly remote retreat is encircled by soaring peaks and inky-blue water. Built on raised wooden platforms and furnished with period accessories, guests can take part in camp activities — such as wildlife spotting and playing chess — or indulge their creative side within the Art Tent. Being located within the UNESCO Clayoquot Biosphere Reserve, outdoor adventure enthusiasts can hike, rock-climb or paddleboard to their heart’s content — or literally stay one night in the clouds!
Providing an Asian escape, with panoramic views of the sea and coastline, Amanoi is located in the mountainous region of Chua National Park, overlooking Vinh Hy Bay in Vietnam. The individual guest pavilions and villas echo space and privacy, with Aman’s minimalist architecture providing a soothing and calm interior in which to unwind. The Aman spa is positioned beside its own tranquil, lotus-filled, lake surrounded by the national park’s rolling hills and once here, guests can indulge with wraps, scrubs and facials utilising traditional Vietnamese herbs, rice and coffee — enabling guests to leave any troubles far behind, in the Far East.
Spa and Spiritual Escapes
For those seeking a more spiritual experience, COMO Shambhala Estate, in Ubud, is a heavenly health retreat overlooking Bali’s stunning Ayung River. Blessed with nine hectares of lush tropical gardens, this serene haven is world-renowned for its picturesque verdant jungle, rice terraces and herb gardens, guests are encouraged to indulge in a holistic approach to wellbeing and join health programmes tailored to rejuvenate guests’ mind, body and spirit. Exercise is combined with specialist COMO Shambhala cuisine and individual programmes are expertly developed for every guest. Each uniquely-styled Residence provides privacy and peaceful solitude, with Personal Assistants on hand to ensure maximum relaxation.
With a name deriving from the Sanskrit for ‘peace’ and the Arawak Native American word for ‘place’, Amanyara, in the stunning Turks and Caicos, is a tranquil retreat bordering a thousand-metres of sublime white-sand beach and the incredible reefs of the Northwest Point Marine National Park in the Caribbean. The combination of oceanfront and the resort’s tranquil ponds ensures each Pavilion provides a soothing ambience for pure relaxation. Guests can embrace the sound of the rolling ocean, feel the cooling breeze and allow the days to simply drift by — all whilst indulging in the boutique service. After participating in Pilates, yoga or scuba-diving, guests can enjoy a divine spa treatment to soothe tired muscles, enhance their beauty, or repair their flagging spirit.
Boasting an untouched beachfront and organic produce, the luxury eco-friendly resort, Six Senses Laamu is a remote island gem in the magical Maldives. With an organic design, innovative cuisine and admiral environmental credentials, guests can rest easy in the knowledge that everything has been thought of, and everything will be expertly taken care of. Promoting responsible tourism, guests can ponder over a selection of enlightening activities — from visiting local villages, to observing pioneering conservation work. For those guests wishing to simply watch the world go by, there is a myriad of incredible marine life to mesmerise all ages.
Enveloped by two miles of soft white sand and accessible only by boat, the spectacular hideaway, Petit St Vincent Private Island, in St Vincent and The Grenadines, delivers peaceful Caribbean seclusion. Located on a gloriously verdant 115-acre private island, with guest cottages discreetly dotted around it, guests can enjoy watersports, sailing, fishing, scuba-diving and tennis — not to mention yoga, jogging trails, tennis and its Wellness Centre. With the absence of televisions in guest cottages, this is the place to laze in your hammock, embrace the home-from-home experience and simply become lost in the stunning beach views.
Once you’ve found your tranquil hideaway, secret spot or spiritual guru, you’re on the right path to recouping your energy levels, and just steps away from restoring your overall wellbeing.
For additional relaxing luxury holiday inspiration, or to make a booking, please call our expert Travel Consultants.