Time was when a holiday was regarded as a bit of an indulgence – no more! We now know that an annual holiday (or at least a couple of microbreaks during the year) is essential to our emotional wellbeing. Here are just some of the options available to the discerning holidaymaker looking for a peaceful retreat.
The ideal couples breakaway: Chiva-Som, Hua Hin, Thailand
Located on the Gulf of Thailand, in the Royal City of Hua Hin (114 miles from Bangkok), the beautiful international wellness resort of Chiva-Som means: ‘Haven of Life’. You simply could not think of a better name for this amazing place, nor of a better holiday destination to share with a loved one.
The accommodations ensure serenity, warmth, and privacy with the focus on the use of fine local silks and natural wood, combined with modern amenities. The resort has more than 70 treatment rooms. There is also a sauna, Kneipp bath, kinesis studio, and a Watsu pool. The resort provides detoxifying meals, and its extensive facilities include a gymnasium and studios that offer dance, tai chi, yoga, pilates, and Watsu.
Pampering in the USA – Lake Austin Spa Resort, Texas
Just coming to this gorgeous destination on the shores of Lake Austin with surrounding views of tree-covered hills is a therapy for the mind and spirit. Lake Austin Spa runs along the shores of the lake and has beautiful flower gardens, two outdoor pools, superb dining – and a fabulous 25,000-square-foot LakeHouse spa.
With only 40 rooms, the resort feels intimate, serene and secluded. Guests have a variety of activities and activity levels to choose from, and everything is optional with no pressure to participate in anything you don’t fancy. While away your days enjoying the hot tubs, whirlpools, saunas, forest bathing, spinning classes and tai chi, or simply chill next to the lake!
Give your whole family the best in rest and relaxation at the Atlantic Dream Villa – Cape Town, South Africa
As you step out of your car, this beautiful self-catering villa will envelop you with comfort and security, privacy and understated luxury. It is situated in the conservation village of Scarborough, less than an hour’s drive from Cape Town and all its amenities. The region is a nature lover’s paradise, as it nestles right alongside the Cape Point Nature Reserve – and Atlantic Dream Villa is Scarborough accommodation at its very finest!
The double-story beachfront villa accommodates up to ten people with its 4 big bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 2 kitchens, and commodious relaxation areas. Other amenities include a sparkling swimming pool, a games room, with darts, pool table and table tennis, large upstairs sundeck, barbecue/braai facilities, dishwasher, microwave oven, washing machine, Wi-Fi, TV, DVD player, Freesat, and DSTV. There is also a lovely indoor gas fireplace should those chilly sea-mists roll in!
Relaxed safari and beach holiday in Kenya
Kenya might be the ‘land of the original safari’ – but there’s no reason you can’t have the best of both worlds and combine your safari with a wonderful beach holiday as well! Make sure your safari doesn’t become too frenetic by staying in one place for at least three nights to soak up the wonderful spirit of the African bush.
You will not find a more relaxing safari than visiting the so-called tree hotels of Mount Kenya. You relax in the magical setting of these wonderfully imaginatively conceived places, while the wildlife literally comes to you!
And after your safari, the superb and unspoiled Indian Ocean coastline and marine reserves offer further ideal destinations to end your Kenyan holiday in real style. Some of the lovely resorts and boutique hideaways to choose from are at Watamu, Malindi and Diani Beach, which is within an easy drive from Ukunda Airport. The resorts on this coast offer excellent restaurants for the gourmet dinner, spa facilities, kite fishing, diving, scuba diving, and snorkeling.
Celebrate that romantic occasion in Scotland
Why not celebrate that special romantic occasion in Scotland? You will almost certainly fall in love with this historic country as well! The possibilities are endless. You can take an evocative trip on the historic steamship, Sir Walter Scott, on Loch Katrine through some of the most beautiful landscapes in the British Isles. Take an aerial cable car trip up the Nevis Range for spectacular views from 2,150 feet (more than 650 meters) up in the air.
Share a visit with your loved one to one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world, the Falls of Bruar. Impress him or her by quoting some Robert Burns poetry, the iconic Scottish poet who immortalized them. You simply have to take a trip on the Hogwarts Express of Harry Potter fame, more prosaically known on the Jacobite steam train that runs along the amazing Glenfinnan Viaduct.
Experience serenity in the Spanish countryside
Getaway from it all by renting a house in the Spanish countryside or ‘campo’. Some of these Spanish country homes are really remote, so come well prepared. You can well expect to not have an Internet signal… but it is a wonderful way to escape the rat race and learn about Spanish culture.
The ultimate in a relaxing holiday will be renting a luxury villa with a concierge and staff to take care of you. It may not come cheap, but will provide you with ample opportunity to relax and unwind!