A retreat means something different for everyone. For some it involves being surrounded by nature or crystal clear waters. For others, it’s a time to detox and tone while some prefer rejuvenating through massages or releasing tensions in the hammam. Design your own bespoke retreat by staying with one of our experts in sleek modern villas in the Greek Isles or Morocco, beautifully restored historic properties in Italy, secluded refuges in the Dolomites or the mountains of New Zealand or on your own private island in Fiji.
Villa Giacomo – Tuscany, Italy
Set atop a knoll encircled by the vineyards of Montepulciano, the spectacular location of the Villa Giacomo by Papavero Villa Rentals allows for 360 degree views of the rolling hills of the Val d’Orcia and the medieval towers of Montepulciano, Montalcino and Montisi. The ideal setting for complete relaxation and the Villa Giacomo’s exceptional Wellness Center helps you do this to the fullest.
Built in the mid 19th-century, the stone four bedroom, four bathroom villa has been modernized while maintaining a rustic romantic look, accented by with ancient woods, terracotta, wrought iron, fine linens and soft cashmere.
The villa has an entire annex devoted to spiritual rejuvenation and health. Its hammam and emotional shower with allow you to release all your stress and tension. The hammam can be set to three different temperatures. The unique emotional shower which can be set on “cold fog” – a light vapor jet with velvety feel ideal for cool or cold showers, “thin rain” – a raindrop jet with medium size droplets and cone shaped spray, and “tropical rain” – a stronger and energetic jet with a massage effect. For those who would like to complement their focus on wellbeing with sport, the first floor of the Wellness Center features a yoga studio with exercise and fitness equipment including Swing free weights, a Traia Trainer bench, wall bars, yoga and Pilate mats, plus wireless BOSE speakers to set your workout tempo.
Continue relaxing outside where you’ll find a year-round heated air pool located in the courtyard and a fenced-in salt purified pool set among the grounds with lavenders, olive trees, vineyards and forests for game, mushrooms and white truffles and crops of wheat, oats, and other grains. Guests can further explore the surroundings on walks in the vineyards and olive groves.
On arrival at the villa you will find a welcome basket loaded with seasonal vegetables from the kitchen garden, a selection of fruit and some basic initial necessities, all of which are natural, organic or local. Plus, the villa itself is entirely organic; the heating and cooling system is geothermic, kept at an ideal 68 degrees, it can be regulated in each room. The tap water comes from the Acquedetto del Fiora, as good as any bottled water. Being a certified organic farm, the owners have taken extra effort to avoid any pollutants within the villa as well. They provide all organic certified home and laundry detergents and toiletries, including shower gels, shampoo, hand soaps.
Treat yourself to a healthy rejuvenating private healthy spa holiday at the Villa Giacomo by reaching out to Papavero Villas at this link.
Vatuvara Private Islands – Fiji
There mightn’t be a better place to focus solely on yourself than on a remote island in the South Pacific. Our experts at Vatuvara Private Islands not only provide this incredible location, they also develop personalized wellness programs with their guests.
The small exclusive resort only has three one-bedroom villas, therefore you’ll be treated to supreme privacy and have a distraction free trip. If you’re interested in yoga practice, they contract local instructors based on our clients’ preferences and skill level. The yoga instructors are then on island for the entire duration of your stay and available for as many (or little) sessions as you wish.
Guests can practise right on their private villa terraces or on the lawn in front of Jim’s Bar & Grill for a change of scenery. Getting an early start with a 7am sessions is ideal as the island is just starting to stir, the sun is starting to rise (depending on the time of year), the breeze is light and tropical with the views out over the water. They can also arrange for fitness experts to come to the island for private classes.
A variety of spa treatments is available for guests to rejuvenate with the help of Fiji’s amazing pure coconut oil and fragrant flower extracts which nurture the body. These treatments are carried out in each villa’s dedicated spa bure.
Nutrition and healthy eating is also a priority at Vatuvara. Their menus combine fresh organic produce and any specific individual requirements or tastes. Guest can stay active on walks in the forests, hikes to ancient villages, paddle boarding in pristine lagoons, surfing or other more physical sports.
Start planning your customized wellness holiday at Vatuvara Private Islands here.
San Lorenzo – Dolomites, Italy
Escape high into the Dolomites to this exclusive property, available through Homebase Abroad, found in a breathtaking and peaceful location with sweeping vistas of the spectacular mountains. This sumptuous four-bedroom retreat also features an on-site spa indoors and a stainless steel lined year-round whirlpool outdoors, for relaxation no matter the season.
From your perch high on a mountainside, you’ll be far away from the stresses of the world and can allow yourself to take in the splendor of the stunning panorama of the surrounding 27 hectares of dense woodlands and the UNESCO Heritage Site Dolomite Mountains.
Built as a private hunting lodge of the ‘vescovi’ or bishops in the 16th century, it has always been a place of sport and repose. Charmingly decorated with a chic mountain feel, it’s outfitted in the best modern amenities included an onsite pool, spa and even an 18-hole golf course.
The private spa is equipped with a Finnish sauna, Turkish bath with chromotherapy, whirlpool and emotional shower. Enjoy relaxation in the great outdoors in the heated whirlpool which is five x three meters and one meter depth and has water jets for massage, air jets for relaxing, stainless steel lined. It remains approximately 39 degrees year round with spring-fed water. In warmer weather, cool off in the pool and in winter stay cozy draped in a fur blanket on the lounge area next to the toasty fire pit.
For skiers, there are endless options on the Dolomiti SuperSki circuit nearby at Kronplatz with its long, sunny, family-friendly runs. On gentle summer days, explore the mountains during some hiking, road-biking, mountain-biking or foraging for mushrooms and berries with the staff – back at the retreat you can present your finds to chef Georgia, who can use them to prepare her delicious and healthy meals.
Enjoy the splendid solitude and spectacular setting of San Lorenzo by contacting Homebase Abroad here.
Mahu Whenua – Wanaka, New Zealand
Heal yourself in New Zealand at the incredible Mahu Whenua, which translates from Māori as “Healing the Land”. This vast homestead and eco-sanctuary sits on 55,000 hectares (550sq km or 200 sq miles) of majestic beauty, including towering mountains, lush green valleys, native bush, forests and meandering rivers. Our experts at MajorDomo work closely with each group to create a bespoke wellness itinerary for their stays at this one of a kind retreat.
As a guest of Mahu Whenua you will have this entire land to yourself and up to 11 other guests, accommodated in the rustic chic main building and in two adjacent cottages. The Homestead’s large deck and lawn boasts 180 degree, uninterrupted views of Lake Wanaka, Mt Aspiring National Park and the surrounding mountains. Not only will you enjoy a beautiful location and luxurious accommodation, you will virtually be staying on your own private national park.
Conservation work on the property, including native bird breeding and planting, is the largest private conservation undertaking in New Zealand’s history. Guests are invited to discover this during their stays which allows them to have a great connection to nature.
In this ultimate zen environment, all you can hear as you go through your morning vinyasa flow on the terrace will be the sound of New Zealand native birds returning to their natural habitat. Enjoy spa treatments or outdoor baths surrounded by this stunning nature.
Activities on the property are extremely varied and can include horse trekking, hiking along alpine rivers, mountain biking, heli-skiing, quad biking, farm tours, picnics along trickling brooks, backcountry touring and overnight stays at shepherds’ cottages around the station.
Your private chef prepares creative and healthy dishes using locally sourced ingredients catered to the individual desires and requirements of each guest. All meals are included from breakfast to before-dinner canapés and from mid-morning snacks to casual barbecues or formal dinners served with hand selected special New Zealand wines.
Soothe your soul in one of the most magnificent natural settings in the world. Learn more about Mahu Whenua in this article or contact MajorDomo at this link for complete details.
San Giusto – Tuscany, Italy
This splendid villa, from the Excellence Villas collection of Trust+Travel, sits south of Florence within a vast 700 hectares private estate. The elegant manor house and grounds also feature state of the art wellness and cuisine in addition to tennis, golf and riding facilities, making it a refined retreat in this picturesque part of Tuscany.
The 2500 m2, 10-bedroom country villa has lovely views of the bucolic Tuscan landscape and the medieval hamlet where you’ll find local craftsmen, a casual and a gourmet restaurant, an award winning winery, a historic church and a luxurious day spa.
The day spa offers an extensive range of treatments, starting with a personalized check-up to create a holistic assessment of the guest’s well being. Guests can select between a natural or clinical approach scheduled to a daily or weekly timetable as suits you best. The treatments combine wellbeing, beauty, fitness and nutrition, individually tailored to meet your personal needs.
You can carry on with your treatment in the villa’s heated indoor swimming pool, its Finnish sauna or fully equipped gym. More sport can be undertaken at the estate’s two tennis courts, its equestrian centre with a riding school, its three-hole golf course, all of which can involve private lessons. The grounds are also ideal for leisurely hiking or biking.
Afterwards, take it easy lounging beside the villa’s private outdoor swimming pool, on its large terrace overlooking the hamlet, in one of its two gardens or make your way inside to its spacious living room, home to comfortable armchairs and a sofa, a stone fireplace and beautiful antiques. The energy requirements of the whole resort are covered by an onsite eco-friendly power plant, supplied with wood chips from the estate.
Turn your attention to your wellbeing at the refined San Giusto through Trust+Travel here.
Amanzoe Private Residences – Porto Heli, Greece
Surround yourself in the beauty of the Peloponnese countryside and warmth of Greece at a private Amanzoe villa, available through Five Star Greece. The spectacular setting of gently rolling olive groves and the rocky coves along the sea will put you into a state of sublime peace and the sleek modern villas designed with traditional greek influences are perfect for those who would like a posh retreat getaway.
The four, five, six and ten bedroom villas are spacious and feature sand-coloured marble floors, traditional dry stone-clad walls as well as concrete columns and cornices. The vast ten-bedroom is truly unique and magnificent with its own fully equipped spa, indoor pool and three outdoor pools.
The fourth level of the villa is dedicated to all spa and gym facilities. The spa includes a relaxation area, a traditional treatment room, a water bed treatment room, a steam room, a hammam, a cold plunge pool, a 15-meter long indoor pool and a whirlpool. Active guests can spend hours enjoying the gym fully equipped with the latest equipment, whereas other guests may prefer to make use of the outdoor yoga platform overlooking the Aegean Sea.
Cool down in either the 28-meter infinity pool on the second level with magnificent views or the larger 40-meter infinity pool on the sixth level with even more breathtaking views. For a quiet moment inside, there is a library full of interesting books or have an evening of fun in games room over a match of pool or foosball listening to great tunes on the jukebox. There is a private chef and a host at each villa to ensure all your desires are met.
When not pampering yourself at the villa, guests can venture off the resort to an array of nearby archaeological sites and discover the town of Porto Heli. Boat trips can also be arranged to the isles of Spetses and Hydra, where you can explore ancient ruins, amphitheatres and Byzantine monasteries.
Combine culture and relaxation for a luxurious retreat in Greece with Five Star Greece here.
Borgo Finocchieto – Tuscany, Italy
Imagine the tranquility of your own Tuscan village. Gather a group of friends or family to experience a well rounded wellness program at the exquisite Borgo Finocchieto, a beautifully restored eight hundred-year-old hamlet, or “borgo,” situated thirty minutes south of Siena and a short distance from Montalcino wine country.
Surrounded by picturesque grounds and the hills of Tuscany, the exclusive buyout villa complex is comprised of five traditional village houses that accommodate groups of up to 44 in 22 suites. Through the restoration, the historic character has been maintained and brought up to contemporary standards, a case in point being their wellness facilities.
The Borgo’s gym was built underneath a panoramic terrace in order to minimize the impact on the landscape. It has has 17 Cybex machines, two ellipticals, a treadmill, bench and free weights, plus exercise mats and balls. However, the most popular pieces of equipment might be the extraordinary massage chair. If it didn’t work out your kinks, head to the spa and try the steam room or sauna, then jump in the cold plunge pool or settle down in the hot tub. Guests can also schedule an in-room massage as well as a range of other spa treatments.
The Borgo also has an in-house yoga teacher who does her classes on the panoramic terrace above the gym and spa (weather permitting). In Tuscany a wine tasting can also take place just after your yoga as the instructor is also a wine producer!
Healthy and delicious eating is a priority at the Borgo and its talented chef prepares a varied menu of dishes using the culinary bounty of region. The many phenomenal natural and cultural sites of the area are at your doorstep should you choose to leave the Borgo, but you have everything you need right on site for the perfect retreat to suit every member in your party. Contact the Borgo Finocchieto here to check availability.
Touch of Spice Wellness Retreat – Southern Alps, New Zealand
Rejuvenate your spirit in New Zealand with Touch of Spice. They have designed a physically stimulating program to sculpt the body and the mind through hiking, yoga, dynamic movement paired with cleansing cuisine, healing bodywork, and daily mindfulness exercises that can be practised at many of their villas across the country.
You will begin your journey by selecting one of their hand-picked locations, each one surrounded in the soul-food that is nature’s beauty; dramatic mountain ranges, calming ocean views and lush vegetation.
From this point, the entire program with be designed around your needs. Expect the choice of chef prepared energizing juices and healthy snack options, yoga in the great outdoors to the sound of the chirping birds, massages using deep tissue balm and essential oils. You can surround yourself in tranquillity by hiking or biking along pristine lake edges or take to the water by kayak or stand up paddle board.
To nurture the mind, you can seek out the advice of a life coach, offering up new food for thought. And the onsite nutritional chef can conduct outdoor classes to engage with guests who would like to know more about the role of foods in living a healthier lifestyle.
Take a deep breath of fresh air and renew yourself in beautiful New Zealand by reaching out to Touch of Spice at this link.
Etoiles des Sables – Marrakech, Morocco
Marrakech is synonymous with hammams and the sleek Etoile des Sables villa, by Villanovo, has one of the finest private spas in the city, making it ideal for an exotic long weekend or even full week focused on pampering yourself.
The six bedroom contemporary and luxurious villa was designed by architect Helena Marczewski. Located in the chic Palmeraie district, it is convenient to other amenities and Marrakech sites. The vast house extends over 1,000 m2 of living space on two hectares of fenced land near Ksar Char Bagh, a charming Relais and Chateaux hotel.
The layout of the villa is organized around a central courtyard which serves as a lounge. It combines the organic elements and the earthy feel of a traditional Moroccan home with strong clean lines, an abundance of natural light and an instinctive relationship between inside and outside living. Four of the bedrooms are in the main house and two are in a guest cottage.
The spa area includes a hammam, massage room and indoor heated pool (8×3 meters) with a swimming against the current system. You can carry on your water treatment in the villa’s large swimming pool (25 meters by five meters) which also has a shallow range of two meters at one end.
Relax all year round at the exquisite Etoile des Sables villa through Villanovo here.
Palazzo Santa Croce – Amalfi Coast, Italy
For an escape in complete opulence, book in at the regal Palazzo Santa Croce, situated on the Amalfi Coast and available through Homebase Abroad. Set above Positano, this exquisitely restored Baroque palazzo offers exceptional views of the area and extraordinary spa facilities where you’ll can enjoy lavish relaxation.
The elegant, five bedroom, six bathroom villa can accommodate nine guests. The decor and furnishings have been carefully selected to correspond with the style and period of such a significant villa. The peaceful atmosphere begins with the three expansive front terraces from which you can admire the lovely landscape of the Amalfi Coast, the shimmering waters of the sea and the Tre Faraglioni of Capri in the distance. Guests can spend time meandering the grounds or resting on benches shaded by fruit trees, under an intimate pergola with cushions, or on the shady lower terrace with table and cushions.
Enter into wellness mode on the private spa terrace. Its combination fountain/hydro massage pool has with a waterfall cascading down into it from the wall. This heated 8 x 3.5 meter pool is uniquely lined with antique tiles. On the premises, there is also a Turkish steam bath, a sauna, three distinct showers for cold, tepid and hot water and a dedicated massage area. You can end your wellness with a moment of meditation in the private chapel.
The marvels of the Amalfi are also at your doorstep, should you wish to leave your haven. Private excursions by motor boat can take you to Nerano and Capri for swimming, sunning, shopping or dining. Or simply savor the special atmosphere of the region sitting on one of the terraces on balmy Amalfitaine evenings.
Relax in palatial style at the Palazzo Santa Croce by contacting Homebase Abroad at this link.