After a couple tough years, its clear that people around the world are eager to begin travelling again, with many searching for those ‘bucket-list’ experiences where they can also rest and relax. In fact, according to new research* by Booking.com, over three-quarters of Kiwi travellers say they want to mentally unwind on holiday to boost their mood.
From a boutique wellness resort nestled in the Italian alps, to a tropical Thailand oasis, discover these 6 luxury resorts around the world to inspire your next escape.
Byron Bay, Australia
This beachside town is perfect for those seeking sun, sea, sand and serenity. The sustainably minded Crystalbrook Byron (formerly Byron at Byron) is a must-visit. Set amongst 18 hectares of land, this luscious resort is great for those looking to relax their body and mind and immerse themselves in nature with free daily outdoor yoga classes and endless trails through the surrounding rainforest.
Travellers can take a trip on a relaxing Brunswick River Sunset Eco Cruise to discover Byron’s wildlife and marine creatures, before heading back to enjoy a delicious dinner at the onsite Forest restaurant where 80% of the ingredients are sourced locally including fresh sustainably-sourced seafood.
Auberge du Soleil, An Auberge Resort
Northern California, United States
There are a plethora of luxury resorts in California’s wine region to ensure travellers experience a tranquil trip, including the elegant Auberge du Soleil, An Auberge Resort. Nestled among a 33-acre olive grove, the resort features 50 rooms and suites, offers tailored wine tasting classes and is home to an onsite restaurant which was Napa Valley’s first fine-dining operation when it opened in 1981.
Guests can unwind at the outdoor pool on one of the cabanas, take in the surrounding views with a hike through the hills or restore inner balance with a visit to La Pagode, the hotel’s Japanese-inspired wellness center, secluded within the expansive outdoor sculpture garden.
Also known as ‘Brixen,’ Bressanone is one of the oldest towns in South Tyrol, a province in the northeast of Italy, and the perfect destination for travellers who are seeking a mixture of culture and relaxation. Staying at the boutique wellness resort Forestis Dolomites will put travellers in a prime spot to enjoy the panoramic views of the Dolomites mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Secluded on the southern slope of the Plose mountain in the South Tyrolean Alps, this family-run hotel features a large spa where guests can indulge in mountain pine body scrubs or forest salt baths, and an onsite restaurant with freshly sourced ingredients from local farmers.
With magnificent views overlooking the surrounding forests through floor-to-ceiling windows, the hotel also offers a range of experiences intended to benefit the body, mind and soul including snowshoe hiking in the winter and forest yoga in the summer.
Six Senses Zighy Bay
Mountain peaks, stunning landscapes and crystal clear waters make Dibba the ultimate destination for those wanting to unwind in nature. Facing the Arabian Sea, the Six Senses Zighy Bay has the best of both worlds when it comes to calming views, with mountains on one side and a stunning private beach on the other.
This village-style, Travel Sustainable resort offers luxury villas with private pools and a comprehensive spa and wellness centre including blissful Moroccan hammams. Hammam is a term for both a place but also the Turkish and Middle Eastern practice of cleansing the body through the medium of water or steam.
Phulay Bay, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve
Luxurious and set within tropical gardens, Phulay Bay, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve is the perfect stay to help travellers get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Located along the shores of the Andaman Sea, the resort features chic, traditional accommodation with a luxury spa and pool. For guests looking to try something new, there’s a range of unique cultural experiences on offer including Thai cooking and batik painting lessons.
The resort also holds a Booking.com Travel Sustainable badge for its robust sustainability measures. Visitors can head out to Wareerak Hot Springs, known for its soothing and therapeutic mineral-rich waters – the perfect place to unwind and soak up the healing properties, surrounded by jungle.
Paradise Cove Boutique Hotel
Cap Malheureux, Mauritius
Famous for its blue waters and white sands, Mauritius is an iconic destination for both a tranquil and a luxury escape. Located on the northern coast, Cap Malheureux is home to the idyllic Paradise Cove Boutique Hotel. This adults-only luxury resort is located directly on a private beach and features a lush tropical garden with an infinity pool, a choice of four restaurants and bars, a spa and a number of activities including snorkeling and a glass-bottom boat tour.
Both serenity and sustainability are at the core of this resort, which has earned a Travel Sustainable badge for its efforts around protecting the environment as well as supporting the economy and local community.
*Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of 48,413 respondents across 31 markets (including 818 from New Zealand). In order to participate in this survey, respondents had to be 18 years of age or older, had to have traveled at least once for business or leisure in the past 12 months, and planned to travel in 2022 and be either the primary decision maker or involved in the decision making of their travel. The survey was taken online and took place in January 2022.