With various states of lockdown all over the world, many of us have found a new appreciation for the great outdoors. Getting away from the stresses of everyday life and immersing oneself in the relaxing surroundings provided by Mother Nature may be just what the doctor ordered after weeks - or even months - indoors.
But you don’t have to forgo all your creature comforts to enjoy the wilderness. Whether you prefer the sea or the snow, mountains or open plains, islands or forests, we’ve collated our top luxury properties that offer first-class service and comfort along with the opportunity to step into the wild.
Set within Tanzania’s Shungimbili Island Marine Reserve, Thanda Island is a nature-lover’s paradise. Perfect for snorkelling, diving and boat tours, the island is surrounded by vibrant coral reefs and its waters are home to many endangered marine species including sea turtles, dolphins, dugongs and whale sharks.
The resort was constructed with a focus on eco-friendly processes and is entirely solar-powered to keep the natural environment as unspoilt as possible. Along with the luxurious main villa, there are two traditional open-air bandas offering the ultimate island experience without compromising on comfort.
You don’t get much more wild than a South African safari reserve. If you’ve always dreamt of seeing the “Big Five” or enjoying dinner under star-spangled skies, then Melton Manor in the Kwandwe Private Game Reserve is not to be missed. Located on the Eastern Cape of South Africa, the contemporary farmhouse sits in a reserve stretching over 22000 hectares, which is home to thousands of animals.
Spend your days in the great outdoors; take a private safari to spot giraffes, rhinos, hippos, elephants, big cats and more, enjoy a guided nature walk or birdwatching tour, try your hand at catch-and-release fishing in the Great Fish River, and cuddle up around an evening campfire to learn how to cook over an open flame.
Lying within a 74-acre nature reserve and boasting its own private waterfall, Villa Mayana will allow you to really immerse yourself in the wilds of Costa Rica. The lush rainforest surrounding the property is home to a host of native wildlife including white-faced capuchin and howler monkeys, 3-toed sloths, iguanas, toucans, and hummingbirds to name but a few.
Hermosa Beach is a short walk from the property and the famous “Whale’s Tail” with its vast beach and stunning coral reef is just a short drive away. The renowned Nauyaca Waterfalls are also easily reached by car and for a day trip, the Corcovado National Park on the Osa Peninsular is a must, given that it’s one of the most biodiverse regions on earth.
On a car-free island, just off the coast of Dubrovnik, lies the enchanting Lopud 1483. This beautifully-restored 15th-century monastery is the perfect place to commune with nature. It offers multiple tranquil gardens to explore and relax in including the Sacred Garden, which is designed for meditation and contemplation amongst its medicinal plants, flowers, and fruit trees.
The island is easily explored on foot, with excellent hiking spots, stunning beaches, and historic gardens to enjoy. The property also boasts direct sea access, perfect for exploring the surrounding waters of the Adriatic by boat.
Unlike the Alps’ many purpose-built resorts, Chamonix is a proper alpine town and staying in Chalet Dalmore feels more like you’re one of the locals. Set on the edge of the forest and flanked by mountains on all sides, it’s the perfect base for skiing in winter and hiking in summer.
The peak of Mont Blanc is framed perfectly by the floor-to-ceiling windows in the spacious living area, and the roof terrace and private balconies from each bedroom ensure you’re never far from spectacular views of nature.
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