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Our Favourite Luxury Getaways

Travel + Leisure - World's Best Awards 2019
Ellie Khoury
Written by
Byron Thomas, Ellie Khoury, Sarah Kounnou & David Corvacho Puente

There’s something about going off grid that makes for the ultimate getaway.

With a coveted feeling of being cast away in a little corner of paradise, digital detox adventures provide the perfect escape.

From rural Cambodia to city oases in Africa, these are our favourite luxury getaways.

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1) Shinta Mani Wild, Cambodia

Recently opened by the Bensley Collection, Shinta Mani Wild Cambodia combines secluded luxury with outdoor adventure. Nestled in rural southwestern Cambodia, the fifteen tents here offer guests an idyllic spot on the banks of the Tmor Rung River. The camp’s location offers travellers the perfect opportunity to explore nearby spots such as the picturesque Cardamom Mountains, that other travellers may not get an in-depth look at. 

 

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Staying at Shinta Mani Wild is also a great choice for those looking to make a positive impact through travel, as the property is partnered with the local Wildlife Alliance. The Wildlife Alliance rangers have a station on-site that helps look after the precious wildlife corridor, allowing guests to enjoy the natural surroundings without negatively affecting them. With everything from mountain biking to cooking classes on offer, Shinta Mani Wild is an ideal choice for a luxury getaway with a difference.

 

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2) The Retreat, Kigali

A charming and inviting small boutique hotel set in the heart of Kigali, The Retreat offers the perfect respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. As Kigali’s first entirely solar-powered resort, The Retreat also has an impressive list of eco-friendly credentials. The sustainability efforts here don’t mean compromising on luxury though, with a fantastic international on-site restaurant, relaxing saltwater swimming pool and indulgent spa treatments all available for guests to enjoy.

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Set up by founders Alissa and Josh Ruxin, The Retreat also has a strong focus on telling the stories of the local Rwandan community. From fashion tours where guests meet local women’s cooperatives making incredible jewellery to genocide survivors being given a platform to tell their stories, this luxury retreat is doing some truly incredible work. Find out more here

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3) Arkaba, South Australia

An off-grid haven, Arkaba is an exclusive luxury outback getaway set amongst 6,000 acres of private wildlife conservancy. The perfect place for the responsible traveller, this stunning lodge is shared with up to only nine other guests at any one time and it’s the perfect Australian escape. With limited to no phone access, it’s also great for any travellers in search of a digital detox. 

 

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Uninhibited access to some of the country’s most spectacular wildlife makes this an unforgettable luxury getaway for animal lovers, with everything from wallabies to kangaroos roaming the grounds. There’s plenty to get involved in – guests are able to help out with many conservation projects, enjoy open top safaris or even take a scenic flights over the surrounding landscapes. 

4) Museum Hotel, Turkey

Any hotel positioned amongst the breathtaking landscapes of Cappadocia is hard to beat, and Turkey’s Museum Hotel is no different. Quite literally carved out of the caves, the Museum Hotel’s original features make it one of Europe’s most incredible boutique hotels. With a range of room sizes on offer, it’s also a great choice for claustrophobic travellers who aren’t too keen on staying in one of Cappadocia’s smaller outfits. The magical atmosphere of this hotel really comes alive at dusk though, when hundreds of hot air balloons take flight in the distance at the same time each morning. 

Dubbed a ‘living museum,’ the aptly-named Museum Hotel is steeped in history. Each of the 30 cave rooms and suites are all decorated with priceless antiques and authentic old-world touches. In fact, no two rooms are alike, adding to the hotel’s overall character. With unrivalled panoramic views out across fairy chimneys, a delectable on-site restaurant and a Roman-themed infinity pool, there’s nothing that Museum Hotel doesn’t have. 

5) Cape Weligama, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s most secluded luxury escape, Cape Weligama is a collection of private suites and villas offering 39 bedrooms in total. The design is reminiscent of a traditional Sri Lankan village, with stylish living spaces housed underneath tiled terracotta tiled rooftops. Every traveller’s needs are catered for, with butler services, spacious walk in wardrobes and state of the art in room entertainment systems coming as standard. 

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The authentic Sri Lankan feel continues throughout, with tropical gardens and 14 swimming pools adding a slice of island luxury. The 60m crescent shaped infinitely pool with fine sea views is the showstopper, with on-site restaurants serving the catch of the day the perfect dinner spot for dinner. There’s plenty of opportunity to explore beyond the resort too, with two adjacent public beaches and a reef providing safe swimming conditions. For active travellers, PADI dive courses, kayaking and snorkelling trips are all on offer. If you’re after more laid-back excursions, You can also explore Sri Lanka’s lush rural hinterland of sleepy villages, paddy fields, meandering lagoons and ancient temples on guided bicycle rides.

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6) Masphi Lodge

In Ecuador’s cloud forests, the iconic Mashpi Lodge is set amongst one of the most biodiverse regions in the world. Deep in the heart of 3,200 acre Mashpi Rainforest Biodiversity Reserve, the lodge runs solely on hydroelectricity, combining conscious travel with modern rooms and spacious suites. The lodge’s team of Ecuadorian biologists lead daily wildlife expeditions and nature excursions, so visitors can responsibly interact with local wildlife. Hiking is also very much part of the experience. 

 

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At Mashpi, both employees of the lodge and those living nearby have the opportunity to become shareholders in the business. The majority of the lodge’s employees are local people who have been given specialist training to be able to share their knowledge of the forests with visitors. Guests can really experience Mashpi’s conservation efforts by boarding an aerial tram that delves deep into the protected forest. 

 

Feeling inspired? Our expert travel designers are always on hand to help you make the most out of your next luxury getaway.