It pays to consult the following roll-call of five-star retreats before diving into your next holiday adventure.
Sublime Comporta Country Retreat & Spa Alento
Want to retreat into nature without pitching a tent?
Detached enough from urban life to make you feel as though you’ve escaped the world, this languid resort is the perfect place to unwind and reconnect with nature. Best suited to a peaceful escape with your significant other — any month that isn’t June, July or September is best — this is the type of place where quiet reflection and relaxation is encouraged. Seven to 10 days should do it, with some extra time saved for soaking up the Lisbon scene in between.
Spread over a pristine 17-acre estate, within easy reach of one of Portugal’s best beaches, guests can enjoy horseback riding, wine tastings, rice field excursions and achieve a zen state of mind at the all-organic spa. Two bars and a restaurant offer fresh, local produce with ingredients sourced from the property’s own organic garden. Situated at the base of Tróia Peninsula and a stone’s throw from the famous Troia Beach, Comporta’s beautiful landscape, peppered with rice fields, is widely regarded as Portugal’s best-kept secret. There are even some world-class wineries to discover. Don’t forget to pack: A notebook, all that reflecting you’re going to do will need to be documented.
Chablé Resort & Spa, Yucatan
Immerse yourself in history at Latin America’s new haven for reflection
One part lovingly restored 19th Century Mexican hacienda, and one part world-class spa destination, here wellness-seekers can relax and unwind amid 750 acres of steamy Yucatán jungle. New Zealand summer is a great time to visit as the temperatures are more moderate. Make it your mission to visit with someone who is on a similar path to salvation as you. This hotel may boast the world’s largest tequila collection, but it’s more the sipping and less the shotting kind.
Dotted throughout the Mayan jungle, each of the 40 private casitas has their own pool and the hotel is one of the only in the world with its own cenote — a natural, limestone swimming hole celebrated by Mayans as the entrance to the sacred underworld. Luxurious spa services include hypnotic three-hour rituals that blend ancient Mayan therapies with Eastern healing methods. For those wanting to embark on a more vigorous, transformative detox programme, specialised therapists are on hand to guide you through chakra therapy, reiki, Mayan rebirth massages, sound cleansing, three different types of temazcal (a pre-Hispanic sweat-lodge) and sessions with local spiritual healers.
Six Senses, Malolo Island, Fiji
Round up the kids for dose of vitamin sea
Set to open any old day now, the latest offering from the sublime Six Senses group brings the brand’s award-winning luxury conveniently close to home. Expect all the usual offerings from the masters of indulgent tropical escapes. Thanks to the manageable three-hour flight and no adjustment in time zone, it’s an obvious place to take the kids. The resort offers excellent facilities for families including a complimentary nanny service for larger villa bookings.
With 24 villas — each with their own private pool — and 60 spacious residences (between two and five bedrooms), bigger groups can be accommodated for longer periods of time. There will be sumptuous spa facilities, and given that Malolo island is surrounded by crystal clear waters and white sand beaches, all the usual water-based pursuits too. Malolo Island forms part of the Mamanuca Archipelago and is surrounded by incredible natural reefs and azure waters. Just a 15-minute boat ride from the resort is the world famous Cloudbreak — a surf spot featured on the World Surf League Tour and touted to be Kelly Slater’s favourite.
Como Uma Canggu, Bali
Looking for the new surfer’s paradise?
Nestled on the southern coast of Bali, COMO Uma Canggu is a new resort that combines a holistic approach to life with a love of surfing. It’s the ideal destination for those wanting to reacquaint themselves with the healing powers of the ocean. May to October are renowned for being the months that see some of the world’s best waves roll in. Perfect for a group of friends, the resort offers a team of event coordinators who can arrange all manner of celebrations from the boisterous to the serene.
52 rooms and suites and 67 private residences — some with pools — offer a home away from home. And because not everyone travels for the thrill of surf and adventure, those seeking a more relaxing getaway can take advantage of the COMO Shambhala Retreat that provides hands-on healing, yoga and Pilates classes. Nestled in between rice paddies on one side and a gorgeous beach on the other, the area boasts some of the island’s best surf. The resort has partnered with Tropicsurf to provide surf lessons and guidance for novices through to pros, with a 10-kilometre stretch of beach as its training grounds.