I’ve managed to undertake a whole lot of travelling through the various lockdowns. The problem? Aside from a couple of brief working jaunts to the Baltic states, it’s happened almost entirely within my imagination.
Now that overseas travel is beginning to get back on everyone’s agenda, it’s the perfect time to start compiling holiday wish lists for the following year. The top-end resorts and hotels of the world have committed to coming back with a tour de force of extravagance, promising the wait has been more than worthwhile… and with eco-tourism, wellness retreats, and gastro-travel continuing to dominate the luxury hospitality scene, I’m far from alone in being all too ready for some serious downtime.
Here are the resorts and locations that have caught my attention during this year of government-imposed landlocking. From sun-soaked tropical hideaways to timeless European glamour, here’s hoping these suggestions inspire your wanderlust and travel plans, too.
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Six Senses Zighy Bay, Oman
For those in the know, the tranquil Gulf resorts of Oman have always been something of an antidote to the ostentatious glamour of Dubai, which sits a mere two-hour drive away.
Six Senses Zighy Bay epitomises everything that makes this ancient and spectacular location special, providing wellness retreats (complete with yoga classes and Arabic cooking courses) against a backdrop of breathtaking mountain vistas, sandy beaches, and peerless Arabian hospitality.
Bulgari Resort, Bali
What happens when one of the world’s most luxurious jewellery design houses opens a signature resort in Bali? Well, the answer is pretty much exactly what you’d expect – the utmost in exclusive tropical glamour coupled with meticulous attention to detail, promising an awe-inspiringly sophisticated escape from reality.
With astonishing design features, haute couture-inspired villas, and the blissful dreamscapes that Bali is renowned for, this resort has been on my wish list since its launch in 2006.
Il San Pietro, Amalfi Coast
If, like me, you’re aching for a truly glamorous escape from the drudgery of lockdown, there are few locations worldwide which fit the bill quite like the Amalfi Coast.
Il San Pietro di Positano positively drips with old-school Hollywood glitz, carved into the jaw-droppingly beautiful cliffs overlooking the sparkling Mediterranean. With a tempting emphasis on fresh, seasonal seafood, and with a design idiom straight out of a Fellini movie, it would be hard to drag me home again.
Arctic Treehouse Hotel, Finland
With a host of high-end resorts planned for opening over the next two years, Finland is ready to join the luxury travel sector with all guns blazing. The Arctic Treehouse Hotel in Rovaniemi, just north of the Arctic Circle, encapsulates the bliss of traditional Finnish ‘forest bathing’, and brings guests closer to the stunning natural beauty of this underrated Nordic country.
To unwind in a private woodland retreat beneath the shimmering northern lights – and to explore the on-trend gastronomic delights of New Nordic cuisine – would be the perfect way to leave the worries and cares of the year behind.
Shangri-La Le Touessrok Resort and Spa, Mauritius
Le Touessrok Resort and Spa in Mauritius feels like the ultimate expression of what Shangri-La does best – providing chic, relaxed, and attention-driven retreats in the most spectacular settings.
Billed as an intimate tropical playground, this resort is all about Indian Ocean escapism, and features award-winning restaurants, some of the most beautiful golf courses on Earth, and (of course) exclusive access to a private island on which to live out your castaway fantasies.
Nowhere does wellness quite like Switzerland, and few places in Switzerland do it quite like 7132. Situated in the glacial landscape surrounding the village of Vals, this architecturally striking hotel promises to awaken guests’ senses with a combination of holistic treatments, world-class spa facilities, two Michelin-star gastronomy, plenty of mountain hiking, and the freshest air you’re ever likely to breathe. Sheer perfection.
Six Senses Zil Pasyon, Seychelles
Luxury hotel group Six Senses have done more than most in jumping on the eco-tourism bandwagon, opening the jewel-like Zil Pasyon in the Seychelles’ exclusive Felicite Island.
The resort promises an all-encompassing natural experience, combining indigenous spa and beauty treatments, the chance to participate in ecological projects, and the opportunity to get up-close-and-personal with the archipelago’s most fascinating wildlife.