It seems they do exist: the kind of people who even in hopelessly overcrowded shopping streets enjoy a sense of inner harmony; or remain unruffled when their extended family is at loggerheads with each other. Oh, are you not one of those people? Then flee! To where the sound of the ocean, the stillness over the mountains or a desert breeze wafting through an open window awaits you. We bring you the very best in secluded hotels, take you to places where the rest of the world fades into insignificance.
Salute the sun
ONE & ONLY REETHI RAH, MALDIVES
Nothing but sky and ocean: In these pavilions on the island of Reethi Rah, each guest is assigned a round-the-clock, personal butler service. Daytime program: Relax in a hammock and listen to the waves lapping around the stilts beneath the terrace. If a change is what you’re after, try a sundowner tour on board a dhoni, a traditional Maldivian sailboat – or maybe a private yoga lesson at sunrise on a remote sandbank in the middle of the Indian Ocean.
THE BOULDERS RESORT & SPA, USA
The name of this particular Hilton establishment perfectly suits its location at the foot of an impressive rock formation in the Sonora Desert of Arizona. Spend the day gliding through the air in a hot-air balloon, and the night, simply gazing at the stars.
On top of the world
Wildflower Hall, India
Reclining beneath the open sky in a hot tub 2500 meters up and within sight of the snowcapped Himalayan peaks, worldly worries and cares seem very far away. So we are fortunate that when the British departed, they left behind this colonial palace in northern India – and also the delightful habit of taking meals in style out of doors. If you wish, a well-stocked picnic hamper will be provided for your lunchtime break on a hike through the extensive cedar forests hereabouts. Dinner may also be taken in the gazebo.
Silica Hotel, Iceland
The geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon originate at a depth of 2000 meters below the earth. The water has a pleasant temperature of 37 to 40 degrees Celsius and contains silica, algae and minerals that have a healing and nurturing effect on the skin. You can buy a day ticket for the thermal baths, of course – but why should you? The Silica Hotel has 35 rooms, an exclusive lagoon for house guests, its own spa – and the Blue Lagoon just a few minutes’ walk away.
UXUA CASA HOTEL & SPA, BRAZIL
The staying-with-friends feeling – that’s what you get here in Bahia, the most laid-back region of Brazil. This boutique hotel on the South Atlantic coast comprises eleven houses. Local artists and craftsmen were brought in as consultants during the hotel’s construction, and the result could not be more appealing: spacious rooms flooded with light and air, and every last detail, from sofa cushions to soap dish, lovingly made by hand – chiefly from wood and other locally sourced materials. Lush tropical vegetation runs riot in the gardens, and on the beach, guests will find – what else? – the most chilled-out beach bar on the planet.
The Amankora Lodges are spread across five valleys extending from the west to the center of Bhutan. Booked individually or as a tour, they place the emphasis on Far Eastern spirituality. Local medicinal herbs are used and the massages are inspired by Japanese reiki in the lodges’ spas, while priests lead meditations and martial arts experts teach archery. You have no spiritual leanings at all? Then begin your tour at the Lodge Paro in the west of the country and take time out to gaze on the 7300-meter Chomolhari Mountain – that could help.
LIZARD ISLAND RESORT, AUSTRALIA
James Cook, the first European visitor to the Great Barrier Reef, had to spend far longer than planned on the snow-white beaches of the islands there after jagged rocks severely damaged his expedition ship, the Endeavour. It had to be repaired before he could continue his voyage. Today, we know that it is impossible to gaze for too long at the largest coral reef on earth. The best starting point is the Lizard Island Resort, where the occupants of its 40 rooms and suite share no less than 24 private beaches.
THE OBEROI BEACH RESORT, AL ZORAH, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
The wait for this jewel of a hotel in Ajman, the smallest of the Arab Emirates, is almost over – it opens early 2017. It’s just half an hour’s drive from Dubai Airport to this world of tranquility far from the glitter of the Arabian super-city. The purist simplicity of the buildings was achieved with natural materials that fit perfectly with the hotel’s natural surroundings: beaches and luxuriant forests – just in case you ever feel like stepping outside the hotel with its Turkish hammam and private pools.
This story first appeared in Lufthansa Exclusive, the frequent traveller magazine. For more information about Lufthansa Miles & More offers, please click here.