1. ECOCAMP PATAGONIA
Perfect if you are looking to combine adventure and luxury, the unique (and environmentally friendly) dome lodges at EcoCamp Patagonia offer first-world creature comforts while allowing guests to be close to nature. Situated in the heart of Torres del Paine, this is where you can enjoy day treks through the wild Patagonian plains, past glacial lakes, and take in sights of snow-capped mountains and exquisite wildlife. When night falls, head back to one of its Community Domes to dine, wine and relax, before retiring to your Suite, Standard or Superior Dome. EcoCamp is a tribute to the Kaweskar (Patagonia’s indigenous community) philosophy of happiness being determined not by material possessions but by freedom of movement and nature’s well-being, so an experience here serves as a timely reminder to appreciate the simple things in life.
2. CAPELLA LODGE
Lord Howe Island, Australia
Located approximately 700km off Sydney, in the Tasman Sea, Lord Howe Island is a relatively undiscovered oasis of natural beauty. Recognised in the Unesco World Heritage List in 1982 for its inviting azure waters and picturesque peaks, this is a destination that promises to bring on Instagram (#nofilter) envy. Set off by such pristine appeal is Capella Lodge, which comprises nine exclusive suites and houses no more than 20 guests. This includes the single-level Capella and family-sized Catalina suites — each with expansive decks, outdoor lounge areas, and floor-to-ceiling glass for stunning views of the surrounds. Visitors to this exclusive atoll are capped at 400 at any point of time, so privacy is a given. If you’re looking for an escape from reality, this is probably it.
3. JEAN-MICHEL COUSTEAU RESORT
When it comes to tropical romance, the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort in Fiji does it exceptionally well. Located on Vanua Levu island off the Savusavu Bay, this 17-acre sanctuary offers 25 spacious bure (Fijian for “traditional thatched houses”), each with rustic rattan furnishings, king-sized beds and private decks that offer either garden or ocean views. Created with newlyweds in mind, the Honeymoon Point Reef Bure features a private spa tub on the upper deck outside the master bedroom, where you can savour spectacular vistas of the bay and beyond. One-to-one options abound, from leisurely walks along the pristine shores to an adventurous session of snorkelling — who knows what weird and wonderful wildlife you might discover together in the deep?
4. THYME Southrop, UK
Spend a week or two living out your Regency-era fantasies at this country manor in the Cotswolds. The 150-acre picturesque estate has a boutique hotel, mod-rustic cottages, and a cookery school that reflects the community’s dedication to farm-to-table dining. Nearly everything on the menu is sourced on-site thanks to a kitchen garden and farms with hens, quail, pigs, sheep and geese. Nature lovers will relish a stroll through Leach Valley, from which the River Leach is mere minutes away, where you can watch swans and their cygnets cruise along in early summer. For the quintessential English country experience, visit Cirencester to pick up local produce from its weekly market, pop in for a pint at village pub The Swan, and ruminate on life and love at the awe-inspiring 12th-century parish church.
5. SPICE ISLAND BEACH RESORT
Grand Anse, Grenada
Apart for its reputation as home to some of the world’s best chocolate, Grenada (or the Spice Island, as it is often referred to) is a dreamy Caribbean hideaway peppered with postcard-ready beaches and lush rainforests. Located on the world-famous Grand Anse Beach, the Spice Island Beach Resort is a sprawling eight-acre property that prides itself for top-notch accommodation — from the Sea Grape Beach Suite that comes with breezy furnished terraces to the Royal Collection Pool Suite with its own sauna and swimming pool set in a fragrant private garden. The resort also works closely with local tour operators to offer guests a wide range of activities in the vicinity, including long bicycle rides along the crystalline coastlines and trips to nearby waterfalls. You know what they say: When nature calls, you answer.
6. LEFAY RESORT & SPA LAGO DI GARDA
Ensconced in an 11-hectare natural park and surrounded by gentle hills and lush terraces, this award-winning eco-resort was conceptualised with utmost respect for the environment. The result is an expansive property that is architecturally integrated into the lovely landscape of the Upper Garda Park. Housing units are built into the hillside and shrouded with vegetation to ensure they blend in seamlessly with the environment. The establishment runs on renewable energy sources and is equipped with state-of-the-art technologies including a biomass plant that is fuelled by wood chips, as well as a micro-turbine cogeneration plant powered by natural gas. Suites are furnished with natural fabrics and materials such as Italian marble and walnut wood. The resort is also home to the multiple award-winning Lefay Spa, which offers an innovative wellness concept that combines the principles of traditional Chinese medicine with Western scientific research.
7. CAMPI YA KANZI
Nestled within the Chyulu Hills in southern Kenya, this award-winning boutique eco-lodge sits on a stunning 283,000-acre reserve that is owned by the Maasai, a Nilotic ethnic group living in southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. Offering guests an authentic (yet sustainable) taste of the African wilderness, its line-up of activities range from game drives to fly camping on plains backed by majestic views of Mount Kilimanjaro. A strong proponent of ecotourism, Camp ya Kanzi is completely powered by solar energy. Rain water is reutilised in a pond for wildlife, and food is cooked with eco-friendly charcoal on aga stoves. That said, accommodation options are highly comfortable; tented cottages and suites have large en-suite bathrooms (with flush toilets and bidet) and fine Italian bed linen. If you would like a few nights in the exclusive Kanzi House — with a 60-ft swimming pool and Jacuzzi — know that the daily conservation fee will be channelled towards the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust. How’s that for putting your money where your mouth is?