Feature: Luxury resorts in wild and beautiful places

Thursday, 28 July 2013 4:52 PM

With the sun beating down as you rest on a private beach or mountain hideaway, nothing beats the feeling of being in a truly wild place. Following on from last week’s feature on eco-resorts around the world, we’ve found some even more luxurious places to stay that are truly secluded...

Post Ranch Inn, California
Located in the untamed and beautiful Big Sur landscape of central California, Post Ranch Inn is an intimate and seductive natural getaway with striking views of the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Santa Lucia Mountains on the other. Organic, wooden architecture has been used to create 39 rooms offering balconies high up over different landscapes. Watching the sunset over the Pacific here is truly majestic. Numerous group activities like wine tasting and stargazing are offered alongside more traditional activities like hiking and yoga.

Pousada Picinguaba, Brazil
Pousada Picinguaba is an intimate eco-hotel situated on Brazil’s spectacular Green Coast. Staring into the South Atlantic Ocean in between the ‘big two’ of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, it’s an area steeped in colonial history, tropical rainforest and pristine beaches. The hotel overlooks a peaceful bay in the heart of the Serra do Mar Natural Park; a huge coastal forest that runs between the big two. Completely isolated and completely tranquil, there’s a 3km stretch of white sanded private beach in front of the ten luxurious rooms. Have a go at hiking in the forest or cruising in a schooner out to uninhabited islands.

Vigilius Mountain Resort, Italy
Perched 1500 metres high on the borders with Austria, the Vigilius Mountain Resort is a five star eco resort perched high in North East Italy. Located in the German speaking South Tyrol region, the hotel is only accessible by cable car from the village of Lana in the Isarco Valley. The hotel is actually designed to look like a fallen tree with a long collection of rooms in the wooden building. The views of the distant Dolomites are spectacular while the aromatic fragrance of larches pervades the fresh mountain air. The minimal but luxurious rooms all come with balconies with valley facing views. The spa here uses water from a natural spring.

Little Ongava, Namibia
Little Ongava is Namibia’s most luxurious resort. Perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking a waterhole, this thatched and wooden village is known for its panoramic views of the dry bushland it’s based in. Located in the vast 66,000 acre Ongava Game Reserve, the resort also borders Etosha National Park so it’s possible to see elephants, springboks, lions, ostriches and rhinos from the resort. Game drives into Etosha will easily come up trumps. The three spacious suites feature private plunge pools, luxurious furnishings and outdoor showers on a wooden balcony with majestic views of the bush.

Costa Lanta, Thailand
Costa Lanta resort is located on the idyllic island of Koh Lanta Yai which sits tranquilly in the stunning Andaman Sea. Part of a protected National Marine Park, silent beasts like the manta ray and whale shark swim surprisingly close to shore amid a myriad of tropical fish. Designed with nature in mind, Costa Lanta features stunning sea views in an area of coconut palms, mature trees and native plants. The onsite beach is secluded and quiet, making this the perfect place to relax in peace. The 22 suites are cited as ‘low-key luxury’ and come with very comfy beds and marble bathrooms.

Cala Mia, Panama
Cala Mia is located on a pristine island off the coast of Panama in a natural marine park. Flanked by untouched, tropical palm-lined beaches, this natural hideaway in the Archipelago de Chiriqui is the perfect place to indulge in some ‘me time’ in the heart of nature. Take private boat trips to uninhabited islands, kayak through pristine mangrove forests, swim, snorkel, surf or simply try and spot distant whales out at sea or hidden howler monkeys in the surrounding forests. Each of the 11 bungalows are situated 10 metres from the ocean and contain locally made furniture. The entire resort is solar powered, the restaurant serves Mediterranean fusion cuisine and a spa is available if you still need to relax some more! The infinity pool is beautifully placed right where the ocean starts...

Fregate Island, The Seychelles
With the expanse of the Indian Ocean lying in all directions, Fregate Island is one of the eastern most places in the stunning Seychelles. This tiny private island has just 17 thatched villas overlooking the sea, with some of the most beautiful beaches found anywhere. Let your own private butler wait on you hand and foot, swim in your own private pool or just enjoy the balmy sea breeze coming in from the ocean. Swaying palms provide a backdrop to the mahogany and teak villas. But the island is also a nature reserve which aims to restore the island’s natural equilibrium. It’s a great place to see rare breeding turtles come onto land to lay their eggs....

So there we are, fantastic luxury destinations in the heart of nature.

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Feature: Cafayate - the new place for Argentinean wine tours

Vineyard in Cafayate, Argentina

Surrounded by crumbling red mountains and giant towering cacti, seems an unlikely scene to host an array of vineyards, producing some of Argentina’s best wines, yet this exactly where I have come to go wine tasting – in the small town of Cafayate.

Feature: Cafayate - the new place for Argentinean wine tours

Vineyard in Cafayate, Argentina

Surrounded by crumbling red mountains and giant towering cacti, seems an unlikely scene to host an array of vineyards, producing some of Argentina’s best wines, yet this exactly where I have come to go wine tasting – in the small town of Cafayate.