Zero jam-packed itineraries, red sightseeing buses, tacky souvenir shops, overpriced tourist attractions, flashy street food stands and obnoxiously loud children. We want to take you far away to holiday destinations centred around finding your inner zen and peace of mind. Where wake-up calls are for sunrise yoga, breakfast buffets feature healthy farm to table foods, pools are filled with natural mineral water, and the only evening entertainment is sunsets and stargazing.
We can’t promise you’ll be reborn, transformed, and undergo a metamorphose, but we can say you’ll disconnect from the outside world and leave well-rested. These resorts and spas are specifically designed to allow you to turn off, unwind, and not have to worry about a thing.
On the southern slope of the Plose mountain in the South Tyrolean Alps, directly opposite the impressive massifs of the Dolomites, is a hotel that was once the site of a tuberculosis sanatorium established by the Austrian monarchy. Why here? Well, in 1912, doctors started carrying out environmental studies and concluded it has outstanding conditions for patients with lung problems. Today, you can breathe easy in this densely wooded area, 1,800m above sea level with pure Plose spring water, fresh mountain air, sunny, mild climate, where the Adriatic currents meet air masses from the North. For the ultimate experience, stay in the new Tower Suite, which has a terrace, king-size bed and a direct view of the Dolomites through floor-to-ceiling windows. No budget? The two-storey Penthouse Suite is decorated with neutral tones alternating with wood and glass, and it comes with a private pool on the upper level and a spruce wood sauna. Spa days include swimming in the stone pool filled with water from the Plose mountain, tree treatments, and meditation in the Finnish sauna. Top it off with a 7-course dinner in the panoramic restaurant, which is like an amphitheatre featuring an exceptional direct view of the mountains.
“I’ve been to 49 countries, stayed in literally thousands of hotels and nowhere I’ve been or even seen on the internet compares to this place. I’m not kidding. Staying in our penthouse suite, complete with a sauna, private pool, and kitchen, was the most insane hotel experience I’ve ever had. ”
Slowhop's review: Head down the mountain to wander around Brixen, the oldest town in Tyrol and the perfect combo of town and mountain, culture and sport. In short, something for everyone. The baroque-style Cathedral of Brixen is a must-see.
(Photos: Forestis Dolomites)
Tulum needs no introduction. It sits on the Caribbean coastline of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula with beaches so pristine, the setting alone has magical healing properties. But sleeping on the beach is frowned upon, so we found a mellow, bohemian style hotel where you can forget about life back home and turn on vacation mode. Spend your days in the sand but also focus on trying new ways to relax and leave with more than just a tan. Treat yourself to natural treatments using nature’s ingredients: bee venom, mineral clay, honey, oats, Mayan cocoa and avocado oil. Or perhaps embark on a spiritual journey with a ceremony to connect with your spiritual guides, release inner blocks, and charge your energy centres. Retreat to your lux bungalow nestled between jungle and sea, complete with stunning views, art by local craftsmen, spacious rooms and easy access to the salt-water infinity pool. Foodies will never forget dinner at NÜ Tulum – just try the pork belly tacos and marquesitas, crispy crepes rolled up and filled with melted shredded cheese and a sweet filling and you’ll be saying ¡Viva la comida!
“All I can say is WOW! The staff, food, drinks, villas and massages were above and beyond! Our favourite part of this trip was waking up every morning, taking our outdoor shower, walking into the lobby and enjoying an amazing breakfast overlooking the ocean. ”
Slowhop's review: Dreaming of a boho beach wedding or totally chill private event? Book all 11 rooms for an exclusive experience with just you and your special guests. FYI, only children ages 12 and older are welcome to stay at this small and intimate property.
(Photos: La Valise Tulum)
If you could grow wings and fly over the Lublin region of Poland, you’d soar over a patchwork of green and yellow fields, rolling hills covered with wildflowers and clusters of lush forests. Begin your descent when you see the rooftops of an estate surrounded by trees, and you spot humans sunbathing in lounge chairs. Wherever you’re flying in from, you’ll want to rest here. Fill your itinerary with nothing but massages, herbal beauty treatments, yoga classes, sauna sessions, hay remedies, oh and baths in the Russian banya and outdoor pool. Once your mind and body are taken care of, mosey on over to the Heaven and Forest restaurant for food that will feed your soul – local, seasonal, from scratch. In between treatments and feasts, wander around the 1.5 ha of ravines, fields and forests, read a classic in the library or go for a bike ride. After the sun goes down, retire to your cosy room or apartment, individually decorated but still invoke calm, peaceful rest so you may regain the energy to spread your wings and soar.
“The resort is a wonderful, cosy place. They serve great breakfasts and extremely tasty meals. But that's not all! There is also a high-quality SPA. A massage with Tibetan bowls or a visit to the beauty salon was a pleasure, and I felt completely relaxed. ”
Slowhop's review: This eco-resort turns into the Noisy Village during the summer and winter holidays with children hooting and hollering everywhere. For a peaceful rest, you have two options: book the Stone House (adults-only rooms) or visit during the low season.
(Photos: Łubinowe Wzgórze Eco Resort)
Even if seeing the northern lights isn’t on your bucket list, you’ll want to head up north to Harads, Sweden, just 50 km south of the Arctic Circle, to experience this natural phenomenon. But we’re not just talking about the Aurora Borealis. Once you step inside the spa at Arctic Bath, you are transformed physically and spiritually. Spend a day at the circular floating Swedish spa on the Lule River, which has three different saunas, a hot tub and a cold arctic bath under the northern sky. Sign up for Swedish massages with essential pine oils, wild Juniper, healing stones, and other elements used by the Sami people here in the north for thousands of years. As for the on-site restaurant, chef David Staf deserves a few Michelin stars for his daily five-course dinner menu with wine pairing. At night, retire to your land cabin, elevated on poles and situated on the shore, or a floating double room cabin, connected to the shore by a floating walkway. In true Scandinavian style, the cabins feature wood, stone, leather and rich textiles to create modern interiors that belong in a design catalogue. Step outside on your private deck to watch hundreds of stars overhead and reflecting off the river’s surface. Need we say more?
“Just the feeling of getting up in the morning and taking a healthy morning dip in the river, if you live in a water cabin as I did, is a spiritual experience. You must experience Arctic Bath at least once in your life; it is unlike anything else I have ever visited. ”
Slowhop's review: You can’t visit the Swedish Lapland in the wintertime without experiencing a husky sled ride through Northern Europe’s last remaining wilderness. Meet Kim Jonsson’s professionally trained huskies and embark on an exhilarating journey over the snowy winter landscape.
(Photos: Arctic Bath)
Turn off California’s Interstate 11 onto Route 62, where you’ll no longer pass convertibles filled with adolescents blasting music on their way to Coachella. Drive up to a calmer side of the valley, where Hollywood starlets and corporate professionals unwind, away from paparazzi and ASAP requests. We heard that the big boss, Al Capone, once owned and stayed at this Desert Hot Springs oasis. Today, you can book suites named after him that have been modernised to create rustic private retreats complete with king beds, outdoor soaking tubs and minibars. Even if you’re not a celebrity or gangster, you can still unwind and escape reality to the sound of desert wind blowing and natural hot springs flowing. Sign up for an outdoor deep-tissue massage, aromatherapy treatment and mud bath. This is one of the oldest hot mineral springs resorts in America, it runs on electricity produced by a 3.5-acre solar farm, and since this is California, CBD is available on-site. So soak in all five mineral water pools, sit in the sauna, learn Feng Shui, take a catnap in your bungalow. Just like the Capones.
“This place is such a gem. It's actually an old Hollywood hangout. Mineral hot springs, fun activities like yoga, spa treatments, painting with wine, walk around the pond with ducks and turtles, tennis, and you can do it all while wearing your robe. (Maybe not the tennis). We always have a good time and leave relaxed. ”
Slowhop's review: Right in the heart of the resort, you’ll find the Celestial Yoga Dome – a 280 sqm passive solar earth-mound with a partial open-air ceiling. Here you can take a yoga class, join a retreat or plan a party for up to 100 people.
(Photos: Two Bunch Palms)
When storks fly south for the winter, when city dwellers return to their urban jungles, when maple trees turn a crimson colour, Poland’s Kashubia region becomes a place of relaxation and regeneration. Rest your bones or mend a broken heart in an elegant, charming lodge with views of surrounding hills and valleys, meadows and fields. As the name suggests, the estate features a sauna with a window to the beech forest, massages and treatments, fitness classes, and probably the most popular attraction – a year-round heated indoor pool for swimming backstrokes or floating aimlessly on crisp autumn mornings. If you can’t sleep or want to quiet your restless thoughts, physical exertion is highly recommended. A few hours of cycling around the Three Lakes, nordic walking in the Kashubian Landscape Park, horse riding in a nearby stud, workouts with personal trainers, or a quick plunge in the lake should do the trick. Replenish your belly with meals created from an autumn cornucopia of fruits and vegetables, eggs, cheese, meats, bread, and honey at dinnertime. End each day with a long soak in a bathtub overlooking the rolling hills and lake in your private apartment.
“Beautiful surroundings, perfect for relaxation, a great place to ‘reset’ and get away from the city. The residence is nicely decorated, everything is well thought out, and one could say idyllic in one style. The woman who performs the spa treatments and massages is a great specialist, and you can tell that she also deals with physiotherapy. ”
Slowhop's review: Babysitter cancelled on you last minute? Don’t give up on your romantic weekend getaway. This lodge is perfectly prepared to handle little ones – even pool toys and floats for safe swimming.
(Photos: Kashubian Lodge & SPA)
Jump into another dimension on a jungle cliff dense with tropical plants and trees. We could talk all day about this serene resort’s antiques, colourful artwork, 22 ornate luxury tents, salt-water plunge pools and hammered-copper tubs. Seriously, the exotic, oriental colour schemes and earthy design elements teleport you back in time to 18-century Indonesia. Upgrade to the Lodge if you want unobstructed views of the green Keliki valley, open plan living room, master bedroom, twin bedroom, two bathrooms with bathtubs, a large wooden deck with two daybeds, and a private pool. You won’t bump into a spice-trader in the Officer’s Tent, but you will meet a Culturist who’s a historian/native explorer and can share secrets of Bali to the sound of gamelan played by local musicians. Don’t leave until you realign your chakras, try aerial yoga, go on a jungle hike, explore mountain bike trails, relieve stress in the rainforest spa, and make a Keliki wood-carving. Oh, and if you’re wondering about the food, one of the on-site restaurants that serves Asian barbecue dishes is Api Jiwa, the Sanskrit word meaning ‘fire to the soul.’ Enough said.
“This stunning boutique resort hotel is one of a kind, a masterpiece and a voyage back in time. The service is impeccable, the rooms delectable, sensual, inviting and inspirational; a visit here is an adventure for the senses. If you want to get away, be pampered and feel like you've travelled to another era and place, this is your place. ”
Slowhop's review: People often make the place, and here, you’re in good hands. Previous guests praise the friendly staff who go above and beyond to organise activities, pack breakfasts for lavascape adventures, recommend local restaurants, and make sure this is a memorable experience.
(Photos: Capella Ubud)
Hop out of the car and take a big, deep breath. Healing starts now. Fill your lungs with fresh mountain air, the subtle scent of fir trees and wood burning in a chalet fireplace nearby. Set in a panoramic secluded location 1,200m above sea level, this resort in Bach, Austria, has all the wellness amenities you could want at a health spa, but to us, nothing competes with what Mother Nature herself has to offer here. Practice yoga by the mountain lake, warm up in the Finnish sauna with a view, bask in the sun on the terrace, sip spring water, soak in the outdoor wellness tub and feed the llamas. Wake each morning in a cosy wooden alpine architectural style chalet and dive into your breakfast delivered to your door. Your day can go one of two ways: exploring the beauty of the Lechtal Alps on foot or ski (depending on the season) or hanging back to take advantage of the freestanding panoramic bathtub and soaking in the uninterrupted stillness. Either way, end your day by grilling up alpine delicacies and enjoying a fine wine selected by the sommelier.
“If you are looking for rest and relaxation far away from popular mass tourism, this is the place for you. It really looks like the pictures. We will definitely come back and can only express our compliments and thanks to dear Tanja and the whole team. Thanks for a great time, and see you next time! ”
Slowhop's review: Ready to make a new holiday tradition? Reserve a chalet for Christmas, and when a dense white coat covers the mountains of the Lech Valley, the idyllic winter wonderland setting will make you want to come back each year.
(Photos: Benglerwald Berg Chaletdorf)