Explore These High-End Hideouts Set Against Natural Paradise

Posted March 26, 2024 in Travel by Miriam Cain

Nature is one of the best ways you can reconnect with yourself. It calms the nervous system and activates the parasympathetic system – just being in nature has been scientifically proven to calm the mind. Whether you are looking for holistic treatments that go beyond the physical and tap into your mind or to combine an adventure with some R&R, the following resorts excel in their wellness offerings amidst some of the most beautiful natural surroundings on earth. Wrap yourself in nature with Navigator’s pick of high-end retreats that embrace the natural landscape.

Jungle Adventures in Ecuador

Designed to evoke a continuous harmony between building and forest, Mashpi Lodge is the epitome of the often overused “immersive” experience. With just a glass wall separating you from the steamy Ecuadorian jungle, the lodge is built right in the middle of the Chocó Cloud Forest. Sleeping amidst the jungle’s chatter and tropical surroundings encourages guests to embrace their sense of adventure – guests are invited to a number of experiences, including a gondola ride through the thick of the cloud forest, tandem sky biking, hiking to gushing waterfalls, or simply watching the clouds roll in over the jungle landscape from the observation tower – all of these unique experiences bring a better understanding of the conservation efforts in the 6,200-acre Mashpi Reserve. The entire lodge, which is more akin to a boutique property than a “lodge”, was constructed without cutting down any trees, while the contemporary building has been created using locally sourced materials – an ethos that continues throughout the resort. The menu reflects whatever is in season and is enriched with ingredients from the forest, sourced locally, and 80 percent of the staff come from the surrounding region –the alternative livelihood being logging or gold mining, which is no longer viable. mashpilodge.com

Holistic Healing in Rwanda

Surrounded by eucalyptus trees and volcanic mountains, One&Only Gorilla’s Nest is a treehouse-style resort located in the foothills of the Virunga Massif in Rwanda. The aptly named One&Only Gorilla’s Nest is the closest property to the Volcanoes National Park, home to half the world’s population of mountain gorillas and endemic golden monkeys. With an ethos built around wellness and nature, guests can combine adventures in the wild to see the endangered mountain gorillas roaming free in their natural habitat with spa treatments and activities back at the luxurious base. Wellness experts offer holistic treatments, including reiki, chakra balancing and crystals for healing, as well as an indulgent selection of massages and body treatments using all-natural, African plant-based products such as botanicals from the baobab tree, buchu plants and coffee seeds. Further enhancing its sustainable approach, the property’s farm-to-table cuisine at The Nest uses seasonal ingredients sourced either from the resort’s garden or the local farming community. A wholly satisfying experience for everyone. one&only.com

Luxury Safari Retreat in South Africa

Take a walk on the wild side while embarking on a luxury wellness retreat with a safari wellness break in the Kruger National Park. Pioneering the safari wellness space, Singita’s luxury sustainable game lodges in the Kruger National Park recently took home the Flor de Caña Eco Hotel Award 2023 and was named number 15 in The World’s 50 Best Hotels 2023 by The World’s 50 Best. Singita Lebombo and Singita Sweni lodges are located in the southeastern reaches of the Kruger National Park on South Africa’s border with Mozambique – an area known for the concentration of the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo). Added to this, they excel in wellness with customized treatments that complement the tranquility of their 33,000 acres of pristine wilderness. From an indulgent African boy ritual at the Spa at Singita Lebombo to sunset yoga in the African wilderness at Singita Sweni, a safari here promises some serious R&R. singita.com

Nature and Nurture in Bhutan

The last remaining Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan is a compelling destination in its own right, but add the Six Senses Punakha to the mix and you have a combination of cultural highs, nature at its finest (Bhutan is the world’s only carbon-negative country), and wellness. Nestled in the Punakha valley, Six Senses brings a rustic high-end twist to its setting amidst rice fields. The lodge can be used as a base to explore Bhutan’s green valleys and the foothills of the Himalayas, while in-house, the Spa and Wellness Center comes equipped with yoga facilities and meditation huts – a welcome reward after a day of `hiking. Six Senses Punakha is just one of five lodges dotted around the kingdom, allowing travelers to experience one of the properties or explore the country through a tailormade itinerary combining all five. Rest assured, each lodge follows the Six Senses principle of pioneering spa and wellness offerings as well as sustainable and seasonally-inspired cuisine. sixsenses.com

Up Next in Travel

View All