This is the list of Top 10 Hideaways worldwide selected by prestigious magazine National Geographic, let’s discover and enjoy it:
1. Three words describe the Auberge du Soleil – Rutherford, California – philosophy: Pleasure is Healing.
The pleasures of a gorgeous view enjoyed with a glass of wine and an exquisite meal invite lingering: a collection of sun-and earth-toned rooms and suites, each featuring French doors opening onto private terraces, cosy fireplaces and sensuous elements such as private soaking tubs for two. For the Auberge’s signature style of soft-spoken luxury, the designer Michael Taylor infused his dramatic California style with the essence of Provence.
Auberge du Soleil perfected the art of balancing wellness with luxurious indulgence when it opened Auberge Spa, a retreat modelled after a centuries-old monastery that continues to be one of the most acclaimed spas in the country. That was later followed by a transformation of the swimming pool into La Plage, a sexy, laid-back outdoor pool and living room, where hotel guests can spend lazy hours lounging poolside on oversized chaises or underneath gauze-draped canopies on day beds for two. The pleasures of escape, total privacy, and the intimacy of having a beautiful spot to share are part of the timeless allure of Auberge du Soleil.
2. The Inn at Little Washington – Washington, Virginia – is not easy to capture in words or pictures. Its magic is more about how the place makes you feel.
For some, The Inn is a romantic fantasy world far removed from the harsh realities of modern day life, for others it’s a culinary oasis akin to visiting a Michelin starred restaurant in the European countryside. Some are surprised – and relieved – that The Inn doesn’t take itself too seriously. Guests often remark that while the interiors could be called grand they are wonderfully comfortable. The Inn’s twenty-four bedrooms and suites are sumptuous hideaways created by Joyce Evans, a London stage and set designer, for whom The Inn has become a life’s work.
3. The magnificent five stars Ashford Castle – Cong, Ireland – is set in 350 acres, on the picturesque shores of Lough Corrib and is a regular host to royalty, dignitaries and celebrities. Dating back to 1228, the castle represents traditional elegance and finesse. Following extensive refurbishment, many of the rooms and suites have been individually and lovingly designed, combining the castle’s original features with the latest modern luxuries. Meticulous attention to detail can be found in the unique works of art, carefully sourced antique furniture and sumptuous fabrics with custom designed carpets, bespoke beds, feature lighting, exquisite towelling and Egyptian cotton bed linen.
4. Pangkor Laut – Pangkor Laut, Malaysia – is a privately owned island located three miles off the West Coast of Malaysia along the Straits of Malacca. This piece of paradise has been 2 million years in the making, and here you will find one of the world’s premier resorts nestling in the shade of forest giants as old as the land.
You will find no other resorts – just secluded bays curled around pristine beaches, evening skies woven with colour, and a deep sense of serenity reserved exclusively for our guests. A combination of luxury, natural beauty and age-old wilderness woven together to produce an environment where peace and magically memorable moments are the currency.
The Spa Village at Pangkor Laut Resort is a unique retreat that extols the healing cultures of the region. Malaysia, with its diverse history of people and cultures, and a vast abundance of natural resources, provides the backdrop for health rituals that are amongst the oldest in the world. The abundance of Malay, Chinese, Indian and Thai practices makes this the ideal setting for complete rejuvenation.
The Spa Village comprises a number of specially built structures designed to facilitate an extensive range of treatments from China, Japan, India, Thailand, Bali and Malaysia. These include eight treatment pavilions, a deluxe Belian Treatment Pavilion, three ‘Healing Huts’, which include Chinese Herbal, Ayurveda and Malay Huts, two Bath Houses, three Spa Huts, three Nap Gazebos and a Spa Boutique. 22 beautiful Spa Villas situated over the sea offer direct access to the Spa Village.
5. The Fearrington House Inn – Pittsboro, North Carolina – is a member of Relais & Chateaux and regularly voted one of America’s top small hotels. This destination is the perfect venue for lovers of good food, fine wine and exceptional service: savour a range of restorative treatments offered at the Spa, enjoy a craft beer under giant oaks at a beer garden, browse boutique shops that include an independent bookstore. Each of the 32 guest rooms has a distinct design and character. Rooms feature antiques, luxurious fabrics, original artwork, fresh flowers and views of extensive decorative gardens.
6. Created by celebrated chef Raymond Blanc OBE, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons – Gret Milton, Oxford, England – is renowned for offering one of Britain’s finest gastronomic experiences. Situated in the picturesque Oxfordshire village of Great Milton, it is also one of the country’s most intimate and original hotels, with 32 individually designed guest rooms and suites. Surrounded by lawns, flower borders and orchards, the luxury hotel enjoys an idyllic, typically English setting. But beyond the eye-catching displays are vegetable and herb gardens that provide the kitchen—and the acclaimed Raymond Blanc Cookery School—with ultra-fresh, organic produce, ensuring the Michelin-star restaurant remains at the cutting edge of culinary excellence.
From the mushroom valley and orchards to the serene English water garden, a stroll through the verdant scenery is one of many highlights to a delightful stay. You can also enjoy a fascinating insight into the unique flora of the hotel’s grounds with our daily tours or the in-room Spa, which offers a wide range of signature treatments, massages and therapies in the comfort of the hotel room.
7. The Point Resort – Saranac Lake, New York – is a distinctive hideaway, a world apart, set on the shoreline of a shining mountain lake, marries luxury to nature. The Point is designated as Forbes only 5-star resort in Upstate New York. The retreat was built by William Avery Rockefeller a century ago, as a Great Camp of the North Woods. The fanciful log mansions, crafted of native timber and stone, personified the 19th century romantic notion of roughing it in great comfort, style and luxury. The 11 rooms—spread out in four buildings—have stone fireplaces and eclectic mixes of antique and (of course) Adirondack furniture. Guests can hike or swim in warm weather and tackle winter sports such as cross-country skiing in the cold. The Point continues the tradition of honouring guests with its unique combination of warm hospitality, privacy and utter comfort.
8. Set overlooking the picture-perfect harbour of Portofino, with its luxury yachts bobbing at anchor, Belmond Hotel Splendido – Portofino, Italy – is one of Italy’s most glamorous retreats. A stay here embraces all that is best about the Ligurian Riviera: warm days by the pool, celebrated cuisine and magical views of the turquoise Mediterranean.
A heated, saltwater pool is located amid lush gardens at Belmond Hotel Splendido. A backdrop of palm trees and spectacular views of the sea are finishing the scene. Imagine stretching out or a relaxing massage in the shade of a lemon tree in one of the most picturesque Spa resorts in Italy. The Wellness Centre has been created with harmony in mind, where pleasure-seeking guests will love the luxurious facials and body treatments or relax in the elegant, indoor treatment rooms. Or head outside and unwind in the sauna, nestled in the shade of the lush garden. Choose between a wide range of massages, treatments and relaxing mind-body disciplines, including yoga and pilates.
9. Las Ventanas al Paraíso – Los Cabos, Mexico. The name of this luxury resort means “window to paradise”, which is absolutely right on in this case. The exquisite design of Las Ventanas creates a uniquely beautiful setting for Los Cabos vacations, and the resort’s approach to landscaping is key to its look and feel. Designed to be in harmony and become one with the local ambience, it nestles into the natural slope and contours of the land and the external colour scheme reflects the white of the sands and ocean surf.
The Spa at Las Ventanas’ innovative Four Elements menu, inspired by the ancient healers of Baja, taps the powers of earth, air, fire and water for ultimate restoration and rejuvenation. In a verdant and tranquil setting, guests enjoy exquisite indoor-outdoor treatment rooms with private terraces, duet suites for couples, a serene solarium and full-service beauty salon. Under the protective canopy of palms, guests are renewed and revitalized with personalized Spa and salon programs.
10. Le Manoir des Impressionistes – Phare du Butin, Honfleur, France – an XVIII-th century Norman manor, is tucked into a wooded hillside overlooking the Seine estuary, just outside the old port of Honfleur. Was visited by such noted artists as Boudin and Baudelaire, Monet and Courbet, in search of pastel-filled morning and filtered afternoon light—an impressive estate where Impressionism was born. The restaurant faces the sea and its spectacular sunsets. Enjoy the tranquillity, peace and privacy of the Spa located in the former farm of the Manor, with a view over the sea. The Spa menu includes Suite Spa Rituals, Body Rituals, Massages, Facials, Men’s Spa and Beauty Treatments.
Photo credits: Auberge du Soleil, The Inn at Little Washington, Ashford Castle, Pangkor Laut Resort, Fearrington House Inn, Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, The Point, Hotel Splendido, Las Ventanas al Paraíso, Le Manoir des Impressionistes