National Relaxation Day gives us all permission to take it a little easier, to take a break from our hectic schedules and remind ourselves of the importance of switching off. While we strongly agree with this sentiment, we believe a day is often not long enough to fully reap the benefits of true relaxation, and that the answer may be farther afield. Whether your idea of relaxation is escaping to the hills, rediscovering nature or simply reclining on powdery sands, we have a selection that is bound to inspire you to give in to the sweet art of relaxation. Furthermore, with Elegant Resorts, you can be assured that your luxury holiday will be stress-free from start to finish, as we take care of every detail, striving to ensure you don’t face a single hitch while on your travels.
Once named the ‘Original Garden of Eden’, the Seychelles islands are often crowned as the most beautiful islands on Earth. Carefree in their elegance, this archipelago strings across the Indian Ocean, just over a thousand miles from the coast of Tanzania, where an enticing blend of African, European and Asian cultures bring to life the wild wonders of the landscape.
What makes it so relaxing? Even the tortoises are easy-going here, savouring the slower pace of life for the entire of their hundred-year lifespan. Far removed from the stresses of everyday life, unwind in this natural paradise and make the most of a digital-detox.
A white-sand paradise, there is, perhaps, nowhere as synonymous with relaxation as the Maldives. Whether floating above the water in a luxury five-star stilted villa, or delving beneath its surface to snorkel amongst the stunning marine life, there is uninhibited space in which to unwind.
What makes it so relaxing? The unfathomably saturated colours of the clear blue horizon and violet sunsets relieve any need for stressful thoughts, offering an opportunity for some treasured headspace. Soak in the solitude of a private island sanctuary, and embrace the return of your personal space.
A sensationally evocative country, India conjures up a colourful concoction of images, from soaring mountain peaks and velvety jungles, to intricately carved temples and unspoilt beaches. With the sacred River Ganges running through its heart, India was destined to become a magnet for discerning travellers seeking some spiritual healing.
What makes it so relaxing? Ayurvedic holistic healing is one of the world’s oldest healing therapies, and has its roots in the Indian subcontinent. Head to the stunning, palm-shaded beaches of Kerala and be rejuvenated by aromatic oil massages, tension releasing yoga and body-nourishing cuisine. For a truly otherworldly retreat, Ananda in the Himalayas boasts a breathtaking location in the Himalayan foothills, and offers an extensive, award-winning Ayurvedic spa experience.
Thailand is a many-sided dice, offering an arresting array of ancient temples, spiritual sanctuaries and thriving modern cities. The islands of Koh Samui and Phuket are renowned for their stunning white-sand beaches and fabulous five-star luxury resorts, while magnificent temples, or ‘wats’, can be admired in Chiang Mai. At Chiang Rai, meet the famed gentle giants of the jungle, where, at Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, you may make the most of the poignant opportunity to watch the sunrise with elephants, bathe them and take a daily walk with them and their expert mahouts.
What makes it so relaxing? While Bangkok bustles on, soak in some solitude at a sumptuous spa retreat tucked away in the hills, and experience the reinvigorating benefits of a bracing Thai massage. When fully relaxed, savour the vibrant flavours of exotic cuisine, and be invigorated by the hot, sour, sweet and salty elements of a sizzling menu of aromatic dishes.
It may be considered by some as a little ‘off-the-beaten-track’, but Mozambique’s enigma is all part of its appeal. With a Mediterranean flair left behind by its Portuguese occupiers, this stretch of southern Africa – just over the water from Madagascar – boasts truly stunning deserted beaches and a healthy wealth of fascinating wildlife.
What makes it so relaxing? A perfect way to relax after an African Safari, settle into one of the luxurious colonial-style boutique hotels and experience bare foot luxury at its best. Take a traditional dhow cruise, and you may spot a flamboyance of flamingos lining the water’s edge, a pod of dolphins frolicking in the distance or a bale of turtles diving below – if you’re tempted to try and meet them, Mozambique is also a prime spot for scuba-diving.
With twenty differing regions, Italy’s luscious landscape is a divine patchwork of rolling vineyards, illustrious historic cities and sun-kissed coastlines. For an idyllic retreat often favoured by aristocracy and noted celebrities, such George Clooney and Sir Richard Branson, Lake Como is simply stunning.
What makes it so relaxing? Be soothed by the sparkling waters of one of Europe’s deepest lakes, and enjoy a slower pace of life as you stroll around the beautiful gardens, parks and Roman-era villas strewn along the shore. Potter the streets of the picture-perfect towns of Bellagio, Cernobbio and Menaggio, and take your own private boat out to admire the craggy alpine backdrop to this much sought-after Italian hideaway.
If being surrounded by the magnitude of the great outdoors is your idea of pure relaxation, Canada will be heaven. Escape to the rocky hills and embrace the vastness of the landscape with a venture into the wilderness, where inspiring natural scenes of prowling bears, mighty moose and majestic whales will guarantee you will leave your technological woes behind you.
What makes it so relaxing? A lodge nestled away on Vancouver Island, Sonora Island or Jasper is the best way to relax in Canada. After spending the day allowing thoughts to drift away on a mountain-hike, fishing trip or horse-riding journey along the river banks, cosy up around the crackling fireplace, and enjoy some of Canada’s niche, yet exquisite, wine and wholesome, locally sourced food.
The USA may not be known for doing things quietly, but there are, nevertheless, pockets of this iconic country that can be perfect for sheltering from stresses. Montana, ‘Big Sky Country’, is a soul-stirring vision of open wilderness, where you can capture the carefree frontier spirit and galloping sense of Americana, while the tropics beckon in Hawaii, where island life is tantalisingly easy-going.
What makes it so relaxing? Diversity is what makes the USA so appealing, and the many ways to relax is part of the charm. While feeling the wind blowing in your hair, as you roam free on horseback across the prairies of a luxury ranch, is one way to release your troubles, the sounds of jovial ukuleles, chiming from the sugary sands of Maui, is bound to tempt with promises of fiery sunsets and oceanic delights.
9. British Virgin Islands
A nest of approximately sixty islands and cays, the British Virgin Islands make up some of the Caribbean’s most sought-after relaxation spots, with a number of exclusive residences and luxury hideaways tucked away in their luscious interiors.
What makes it so relaxing? The soft sands, crystal-clear waters and beautiful bays make the British Virgin Islands a classic haven of relaxation, and there are few immune to its charms. One of the finest ways to kick back on this island paradise is to hire a private yacht, allowing you to cruise the idyllic islets on your own terms, stopping to enjoy a spot of snorkelling or soak in some sun as you go.
The laidback character of the ‘Spice Island’ of Grenada makes for a fantastic way to enjoy the cheerful vibe of the Caribbean. With warm and friendly people and jovial calypso music filling the air, this luscious drop in the Caribbean Sea is full of colour, from the cheerfully painted towns, to wonderful natural displays of emerald-green rainforest and glistening waterfalls.
What makes it so relaxing? If travelling with your family, Grenada is guaranteed to please all. As soon as you arrive, you are sure to feel a smile on your face, and it is not likely to subside while little ones happily dig in the sand and teenagers fling themselves into the ocean with an array of watersports. Parents might enjoy a quiet afternoon strolling around the historic sights of the colonial capital of St George.
For more information and inspiration for your next relaxing luxury holiday, to obtain a quote or to make a booking, please call our expert Travel Consultants on 01244 897 505.