CREATED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH SECRET ESCAPES
Grand Hotel Courmayeur, Mont Blanc, Italy
Located in the Alpine town of Courmayeur, this five-star abode is located at the foot of the imposing Mont Blanc. With access to some of the best ski slopes and Alpine scenery in the world, guests will be impressed by the snow-dusted, picture-postcard setting. The hotel's 72 guestrooms offer a welcome respite from a day spent in the fresh mountain air. Within, expect polished copper fixtures and sleek furniture combined with traditional exposed beams and natural wood panelling, while floor-to-ceiling windows offer panoramic views of the Alps. After a morning of skiing, guests should head to the spa, which features an indoor swimming pool, sauna and sensory showers, plus a full menu of massages and beauty treatments to soothe your weary limbs. By night, check out the restaurant’s views towards the Brenva glacier or relax in the lounge bar.
Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phang Nga, Thailand
Get away on an unforgettable Thai adventure, taking you from the iconic capital to the tropical coast, via the majestic mountains of the north. The five-star Akyra Thonglor Bangkok will put you at the forefront of the city's nightlife and shopping scene, with glorious palaces and award-winning restaurants nearby. Among its trove of cultural attractions are 400 glittering Buddhist temples, classical dance extravaganzas and glimpses of traditional ways of life, especially along the timeless canals of the ‘Venice of the East’. Next, jet off to the super-chic Akyra Manor Chiang Mai. Featuring an atmospheric rooftop bar and stylish restaurant, this award-winning hotel is a retreat from the hustle and bustle of urban life. No trip to Thailand would be complete without heading out to the islands. Known as the 'Pearl of the Andaman', Phuket boasts 40kms of shoreline, from which you can enjoy world-class diving and snorkelling over pristine coral reefs. Set along Natai Beach’s white sands, Akyra Beach Club Phuket exemplifies the carefree tropical experience the region is famed for.
Champneys Forest Mere, South Downs National Park, Hampshire
A stalwart of spa hospitality, Champneys has been providing world-class wellbeing services for almost 30 years. Described by the Telegraph as “the most sumptuous of all health farms”, Champneys Forest Mere is the cream of the crop, offering pure relaxation that is second to none. Originally a hunting lodge and keeper’s house for the Royal Forest of Woolmer, the resort offers an idyllic spot to unwind. Standard rooms are finely decorated and very much in keeping with traditional comfort. All have en suite bathrooms with shower, and fantastic views of the grounds through large windows. The resort focuses on providing luxurious treatments, fitness instruction and alternative health therapies. From aromatherapy body wraps to bamboo massages, the team has it covered, all the while using premium products like Carita, Clarins, Elemis and Jessica. There's also a Rasul mud chamber, perfect for two.
Windhoek, Kalahari Desert, Namib Desert, Swakopmund, Damaraland, Etosha National Park and Okahandja, Namibia
From the red ripples of the vast Namib Desert and charms of coastal city Swakopmund, to the dramatic landscapes of Damaraland and the wildlife-peppered plains of Etosha National Park, Namibia is rich in diversity and ripe for exploration. This epic road trip will open your eyes to the natural wonders and fascinating history of this beautiful pocket of Southern Africa. First stop: Windhoek, for an overnight stay in Namibia’s capital, before heading into Intu Afrika Kalahari Game Reserve, staying at Camelthorn Kalahari Lodge with desert views and a pool that draws the odd oryx. Heading north, you’ll pass Namibia’s highest mountain, Brandberg, before reaching the rugged sweeps of Damaraland, an under-the-radar wildlife destination home to the rare desert elephant, endangered black rhino, and desert-adapted lions and elephants. Last, it’s onto Etosha National Park, a wildlife-rich pocket of north-western Namibia dotted with watering holes where Africa’s iconic creatures gather to drink by the hundreds.
Gloriette Guesthouse, South Tyrol, Italy
Sleek interiors and striking alpine views combine at this family-run mountain chalet. For over a century, the Gloriette has been welcoming guests to its high mountain perch amid the towering peaks of South Tyrol. Recently refreshed with a contemporary update that’s brightened everything from the bedrooms to the bistro, the guesthouse offers a revitalising retreat. Forget chalet chintz – the 25 guestrooms and suites at Gloriette have been beautifully designed in a contemporary style, dripping in designer furniture, as big windows flood the rooms with light. The village of Soprabolzano is perfectly placed between the city of Bolzano on the valley floor and the lofty mountain peaks of South Tyrol at an altitude of 1,221m. Choose to arrive in style via cable car, take the historic train from Collalbo or drive up by car. Guests can relax in the garden, hike the surrounding trails or don skis or snowshoes for a deeper exploration during the cooler months.
Halong Bay Cruise, Vietnam
Hop between Vietnam's historic beauties, Hanoi, Hoi An and Hue by taking an authentic cruise down Halong Bay. On this guided tour, you'll experience old-fashioned Hanoi, the canal-laced melting pot of Hoi An and the fast-paced capital Ho Chi Minh City, as well as a stay in Hue. Situated between the French Quarter and the Old Quarter, the plush Lapis Hotel in Hanoi is within walking distance to Hoan Kiem Lake. Next up, you’ll embark on one of life's bucket-list trips – a two-day calming cruise on one of Indochina Sails Boutique’s traditional – yet luxury – Vietnamese junk boats which will take you across the waters of Halong Bay and its surrounding rainforest-topped, towering limestone islands. Finally, you'll land in Ho Chi Minh City, where you can explore Ben Thanh Market, the Saigon River, Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Opera House.
Hotel Traube Post, South Tyrol, Italy
This modern chalet-style South Tyrol hotel comes complete with a sublime spa. Positioned near beautiful Lake Resia, Hotel Traube Post merges traditional architecture with a contemporary design. The surrounding area is a natural mountain paradise, with fabulous hiking, skiing and snowboarding all on-hand. Guests can look out over this winter wonderland and the lake from their private balconies. Alpia rooms are kitted out with antique wood panelling, while Curuna rooms boast a trendy loft-like vibe, some with a circular bed and freestanding bath in the room. All come with thoughtful touches, such as a wellness bag with bathrobe and slippers and a hiking backpack. Elsewhere, the 1,000sq m Vivana Spa features a Jacuzzi, various saunas, a heated indoor adventure pool, serene relaxation rooms and more. Treatments use locally sourced products such as untreated hay, natural herbs and mountain pine oil, so you can soak up your surroundings as you unwind.
L'Alta Peyra Hotel & Spa, Saint-Véran, France
A scenic mountain chalet in postcard-perfect Saint-Véran, L'Alta Peyra Hotel & Spa offers Michelin-starred dining at Le Roc Alto, a soothing spa and more. Suspended over the Queyras Mountains of eastern France at an altitude of 2,040m, Saint-Véran is the highest village in Europe, surrounded by jagged snow-capped peaks and linked by networks of walking, hiking and skiing trails. Enjoy panoramic views from multiple angles at the hotel – from your room, from the restaurant or from the outside terrace with its steaming heated swimming pool. Each of the hotel’s 59 bedrooms is decorated in an individual style, with soft, muted colours typical of an Alpine chalet – there’s a mix of traditional and contemporary rooms. After days in the hills, relieve tired muscles in the hotel’s impressive spa. Built of stone and larch, the spa offers three treatment cabins, a balneotherapy room, Jacuzzi and steam room – treatments include facials, lifting and firming massages, exfoliating wraps and mud wraps.
Reykjavik and the Golden Circle, Iceland
This unmissable Iceland break includes Golden Circle and Northern Light experiences, Blue Lagoon entry, a volcanoes and waterfalls tour, and much more – with all travel included. Start work on your bucket list with this whirlwind four-night escape, which gives you the opportunity to see some of the most spectacular phenomena in the natural world. Your fully escorted tour starts with a night in Reykjavik’s Hotel Klettur, a sleek bolthole designed around the folkloric tales of Icelandic rocks. Next, you'll head south for two nights at Hotel Selfoss, which sits peacefully on the banks of the Olfus River. While away a few hours in its blissful spa, before spending a final night back in buzzy Reykjavik. Throughout your break, you'll enjoy tours of the country’s natural attractions, including geothermal currents, hot springs, thermal pools, waterfalls and volcanoes.
Ubud, Nusa Lembongan and Canggu, Bali
Discover Bali with stays in the artistic town of Ubud, the cool coastal enclave of Canggu and on surfy Nusa Lembongan. Bali is a destination that combines outstanding natural beauty with a deeply spiritual culture, permeating every aspect of island life. It’s a place of sacred temples, verdant rice paddies and pounding surf, with unforgettable experiences for every type of traveller. Restore balance at a luxury retreat in Ubud, which features yoga workshops, a spa and Joglo-style suites and villas. Next, it’s a simple hop over to the tranquil island of Nusa Lembongan for sunsets, coral reefs and rugged coastlines. You'll reside at The Acala, a romantic hideaway with a tempting infinity pool, rustic-tropical rooms and a traditional restaurant. Tranquility awaits at The Kirana Bali in Canggu. Here in Bali’s hippest enclave, you’ll find a spa, spacious pool and restaurant. Take advantage of the resort’s complimentary bicycles to get around this highly Instagrammable neighbourhood, where clusters of organic cafes, surf shops and artisan boutiques line the low-rise streets.
DISCLAIMER: We endeavour to always credit the correct original source of every image we use. If you think a credit may be incorrect, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.