Unique hotels and retreats around the world: Holistic trips from Singapore to transform your mind, body and soul
Like no other
We've now entered a brand new decade, which only means our expectations and motives for travels are soaring beyond what a professional butler and a five-star rating could sate. We crave transformation, wellness, healing, and more than anything, a vacation cleanse like no other. Sans the blood ritual and an arduous journey to the middle of nowhere that is. It's 2020 — we have options that include a sumptuous breakfast spread and views that our hearts could sing to. On that note, here are a few that are on our list.
700 000 Heures
It's a nomadic dream we've envisioned ourselves sleeping in for. 700 000 Heures is a place with no permanent address, as it changes location every six months. Its knack lies in taking over private abodes in the most obscure of places (from East to West), and making them luxurious boutique retreats where immersive experiences around the region are curated. This year, it will remain in Japan — the first being a temple in Wakayama and the second, in an idyllic fishing village in Kyoto.
Vana stands to be one of the most enchanting resorts — where everyone who enters are seen as equals. Where no preferential treatment or privacy would be granted even if you're Madonna or The Obamas. Of course, celebrity stalking wouldn't exactly be on the minds of the guests at Vana. They after all, have a program to adhere to — whether it's a 7-day or one that spans 21 days. Diets are upon consultation, alongside cleansing rituals and ayurveda treatments that are adept enough to help those in need of a breakthrough.
Tsingpu Tulou Retreat
You're in the grounds of a UNESCO-listed area of Fujian Province in Southeastern China — only expect to be steeped in Chinese culture of age-old customs and artisanal tradtions that beat out the modernites of today. It's a breath of fresh air to work your hands on bamboo-shoot scavenging, citrus-tea making, and many more experiences you wouldn't find in other parts of the country. Also, the architecture itself is astounding – bridging tulou structures-centuries-old earthen buildings, set to be reminscent of 17th century China.
A trip to Bhutan is a mystical one in itself, no matter where you decide to stay. But in Amankora, within the Himalayan peaks, lies five lodges that are spread across the different valleys. Those that are eager to challenge themselves while on vacation can opt for a 10-night High Altitude Training at the resort. You will be sojourning through the different valleys, where you'll be taken through hikes and cycling trails that span across 800 kilometres. Of course, that also means a visit to the Aman spa at each and every lodge. After all, there has to be pleasure to counter the pain.
This February, the highly anticipated Arctic Bath hotel in Swedish Lapland is set to open — and it is a floating property to be exact. The extraordinary timber edifice will hover above the Lule River when the weather gets warmer, and freeze into its place when winter hits. What to look forward to? Traditional arctic wellness rituals with a giant ice-bath alongside other tailor-made activities.
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