All but essential travel might be on hold for now, but there’s nothing stopping you wanderlusting your way across the world while creating a bucket list of travel trips and adventures for life after lockdown.
From diving with whale sharks and dining on disappearing islands to discovering magical Marrakech while basking in year-round sunshine, here’s just a few destinations to dream about right now and travel to experience later.
Scuba with Whale Sharks and Manta Rays
Pimilai Resort & Spa, Koh Lanta
For the ultimate island adventure and once-in-a-life-time experience, thrill-seeking travellers can head to Pimalai Resort & Spa in Koh Lanta Thailand, to discover the magnificent marine life of the Andaman Sea and dive alongside the largest fish in the world, the whale shark, in their natural habitat. This beautiful coastal area is one of the first to welcome the gentle giants each diving season, reaching up to 15 meters long and weigh over 40 tons.
In partnership with Scubafish, the PADI 5-Star, Gold Palm and IDC-certified dive centre, Pimalai offers divers a chance to explore the tourist-free turquoise waters of Koh Lanta when whale shark sightings are most frequent. After a day of exploration, travellers can retreat to the hidden paradise of Pimalai, with their own infinity pool surrounded by 11 acres of lush, tropical forest away from the hustle and bustle of better-known Thai islands.
Eat, Sleep, Paint, Retreat in the Maldives
Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi
Drawing inspiration from its island environment, Fairmont Maldives’ new art retreat combines tours of the Coralarium – an underwater gallery and coral regeneration project – meditation, spa rituals and mindful painting guided by the resident artist. Whether it’s enhancing overall wellbeing or simply learning to embrace being in nature, the retreat encourages guests to disconnect with technology and reconnect with nature.
Dive into the crystal ocean, where over 250 species of tropical fish, manta rays and turtles patrol the resort’s 9km house reef. Snorkel the vibrant corals before exploring the Coralarium – a submerged art installation and coral regeneration project. Discover the sculptures created by British eco-artist, Jason deCaires Taylor, on an underwater art tour, accompanied by the resort’s resident marine biologist. Back on the beach, guests can create their own marine-inspired masterpiece in the art studio, under the watchful eye of a resident artist – from jewellery making and canvas painting to photography lessons. Those who prefer to leave painting to the pros can join daily yoga sessions and meditation lessons. A menu of spa treatments is available at Willow Stream Spa, offering a range of massage, facial and ayurvedic full-body rituals that are connected to local island culture.
Marvel in Magical Morocco
Es Saadi Marrakech Resort
With Marrakech hailed as Africa’s first Capital of Culture for 2020, the majestic Moroccan city is a destination to dream about. It’s most iconic hotel, an oasis set in acres of flowering gardens; Es Saadi Marrakech Resort is located in Marrakech’s’ ‘Golden Triangle’ and is the perfect base from which to explore the culture-rich city, from the iconic Jemaa El Fanna square to the magical Jardin Majorelle.
Looking onto the snow-capped Atlas Mountains, Es Saadi houses an award-winning spa set over three floors, home to the only Dior Institut outside of France. A cultural hub, the hotel is also home to over 400 works of art by local emerging artists, including its own large gallery, located above the entrance foyer. For traditional Moroccan cuisine, guests can dine in the beautiful La Cour des Lions restaurant with panoramic views of the bustling city, before embarking on an unforgettable trip to the magical souks and markets of Marrakech, the beautiful botanical grounds of Jardin Majorelle or, for the ultimate adventure, a spectacularly peaceful hot air balloon ride over the African sky.
Dine on a Vanishing lsland
The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain
Basking in brilliant sunshine year-round, culture-rich Bahrain invites travellers from around the globe to discover its attractive archipelago of 33 islands. Located on the pristine coastline of capital city Manama, The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain makes the ideal base to explore the Kingdom’s extensive array of unique activities, including a sensational dining experience on the ‘disappearing’ Jarada Island.
From a private, luxury boat, snorkel the oyster beds and partake in the world-famous pearl diving of Bahrain, once the centre of the world’s pearl trade. Those who find a pearl – deemed to be the best in the world – can take it home for a souvenir like no other. Pearls found, enjoy the ultimate castaway experience and dine on Jarada Island – a deserted strip of land, only accessiable for a few hours each day before the tide washes over its sugar-white sand. Sit on traditional, woven cushions and enjoy an authentic picnic prepared by the hotel’s resident Chef. Diners must feast and make their memories, before the island disappears under the waves.
Wellness Retreat for the Ultimate Health MOT
Chenot Palace Weggis, Switzerland
After an anxiety-inducing time of uncertainty spent at home, those looking for a complete detox, restoration of energy, and rejuvenation of mind, body and soul can head to Chenot Palace Weggis – a brand new, full-service medical spa which brings the science behind wellness to Lake Lucerne, Switzerland – set to open in June 2020.
With bespoke programmes created using the latest technology and renowned Chenot Method® for every guest, visitors can expect in-depth medical and nutritional consultations and can undertake one of three signature,7-day retreats; including Advanced detox, Recover and Energise or Prevention and Ageing Well. A combination of spa treatments, detoxification, activation of energy channels, simulation of physiological functions and a tailored diet plan work to trigger preventive, repairing and regenerative actions, for the ultimate bucket-list wellness experience.
Admire the Natural Phenomenon of Butterfly Valley on a Greek Island
Lindos Hotels, Rhodes
Boasting the perfect blend of luxury accommodation, breath-taking views and culture rich adventure experiences, the five-star resorts of Lindos Hotels provide the perfect settings for travellers to discover the beauty of Rhodes and tick this lesser-known Greek island off of their bucket-list.
A gateway to Rhodes, the hotel concierge at Lindos Village Resort & Spa, the brand-new Lindos Grand Resort & Spa or Gennadi Grand Resort can arrange horse-riding treks or guided hiking tours to areas rich in natural beauty, such as the forest of Butterfly Valley. Located nearby, this 600-acre nature reserve showcases the natural phenomenon of thousands of colourful butterflies congregating in the final stages of their lives amongst the lush greenery and beautiful waterfalls of the valley. Embark on a Jeep Safari experience, where hidden hotspots such as Seven Springs with verdant woodlands and pine-tree shaded walking trails are revealed, as well as the village of as the village of Foundoukli to visit one of the few remaining chapels on the island from the 15th century.
Live as Robinson Crusoe on the Maldives’ Most Private Island
Velaa Private Island
Have you ever imagined what it would be like to escape everything? To drop everything, cut all ties, escape the hold of technology; and just breathe? At the luxurious Velaa Private Island, guests can do just that. Offering a Robinson Crusoe experience – who found that an escape from life itself was the best scenario that could ever occur – guests can experience the pinnacle of natural beauty and seclusion on their own desert island.
Set at the most Northern point of the Maldives, Velaa Private Island is possibly the most private island in the world. And, as the only resort in the Maldives that has a no drone rule, in-room dining direct to the ocean and a ratio of 1:8 guests to staff, it is privacy personified.
After a private speedboat ride to the Pool Residence, complete with a dedicated butler, guests have access to a range of Bond-worthy, state-of-the-art water equipment. From Yacht Rania, one of the fastest yachts in the Maldives, to an aquatic jetpack and hoverboards, there’s something to tempt every adventure-lover. Velaa is also the only Maldivian resort with its own private, semi-submarine, offering guests the once-in-a-lifetime, underwater experience.