“Life is short”, yes you’ve heard it before, but the motto takes a special significance when you’re travelling.
You say it with excitement at the start of your trip, with sadness at the end, and all along as you rush from landmark to landmark desperate to squeeze everything in before you return home.
400 photos and 2 full SD cards later, it’s all over … life is indeed short.
But what if taking it slow, is the best way to enjoy this oh so short life and consequently, holidays, of ours? What if you want to spend your holidays toes dug in the sand, getting to know every character of your favorite novel or exploring every nook and cranny of a medieval city until the locals know you by name?
Travelers around the world are now choosing to experience“slow travel” for their holidays. An offshoot of the slow food and wellness movement, slow travel forces you to disconnect, relax and take your time to discover a destination and the local culture. Don’t rush to 14 different locations, take your time to know two like the back of your hand. Don’t explore via GPS, ask locals for directions, don’t take the highway, take the back roads… you get the point.
The important thing is to slow down and instead of rushing from one tourist infested attraction to the next, slow travellers are disconnecting and coming back truly refreshed from their holidays. The following selection of hotels were chosen for their ability to take you into another world and experience slow travel in the most luxurious way possible.
Guests of the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge regularly indulge in solitary morning walks of the Machu Pichu and can appreciate it without hundreds of red faced tourists cramping the mountain top. The hotel is the only one located so close to the world wonder and allows you to discover it undisturbed in the early hours of the morning or late in the afternoon.
Going at your own pace to discover the wonders of Machu Pichu is an overwhelming and powerful experience that will stay with you for life and staying at the Belmond is the only way to do that. You might be tempted to keep your mobile phone and tablet at hand, but with so much natural beauty all around, why in the world would you do that?
Machu Pichu is not the only place of wonder to discover. Guests are able to go on bespoke guided tours of the surrounding mountains and lush jungles and learn the basics of Mayan astrology while looking through the hotel’s state of the art telescope, or simply stroll the hotel’s vast gardens filled with flora and fauna.
One of the most soulful experiences money can buy is the Six Senses Zighy Bay. The resort is built to emulate an ancient Omani village and is as rustic and charming as its inspiration. Of course as this is the Six Senses, it’s a multimillion dollar take on rustic, and that’s fine by us.
Nestled between turquoise waters and the majestic Al Hajar mountains, this is one of the most postcard friendly and isolated hotels in the UAE with buzzing Oman a safe two hours drive away.
The beauty of this getaway is that you make what you want of it. The impressive activity list will keep activity junkies and slow travelers content.
Make it a point to book a cruise on a Dhow because cocktails and sunsets just taste and feel better when you’re lounging on the decks of these traditional fishing boats. Or just take it easy on the sun beds or in the plunge pools of your villa.
Whatever it is you want to do, there’s no going wrong because the sheer amount of activities and relaxation options makes this gem one of the most versatile and intimate hotels that we’ve come across.
The jungles of Myanmar play host to a unique Four Seasons Resort, where the stars aren’t found in the kitchens and the halls, but in in the foliage and mud of the jungle.
Entering the Golden Triangle resort is like stepping into a new world. There’s nothing further than your reality than the jungles of Myanmar. Bamboo and lush vegetation envelope the thatched roofs of the camp and the sounds of the local fauna are all around. But rest assured, you’re not about to rough it out… this is the Four Seasons after all and these “tents” are more like air conditioned parlors of luxury in the middle of nowhere… perfect!
The stars of the resort are a herd of elephants that guests can interact with and learn to ride and getting to know these creatures over the course of your stay, is one of the most peaceful and eye opening experiences you will ever have. Memories of it will stay with you long after you’ve left the misty jungles of Myanmar, creeping up in your daydreams on your commute or at the water fountain at work.
Le Burgundy is one of those quintessential Parisian hotels’ that Hollywood would just love to bottle up and sell to the world. Trendy, artsy and intimate, it’s the boutique hotel making long established Palaces tremble in their Louboutin’s and one look at the place makes it easy to see why.
Original art adorns every section of this hotel and its close location to the designer stores of Rue Saint Honoré and the Tuileries Gardens makes it THE perfect base camp from which to indulge in the oh so Parisian activity of the “flâneur”, where Parisians soak in the sights of their magnificent city, with no other purpose, than capturing every bit of its beauty and soul, in their mind’s eye.
The hotel is cosy and exclusive. If you’re after a quiet stay in Paris, you simply cannot go wrong by being here. Ending the day with a massage at the Sothys Spa and a Michelin Star dinner at Le Baudelaire is a delight, but what will really win the slow traveller’s heart, is the magnificent city of Paris and from Le Burgundy, you are right at its heart.