Surrounded by mile upon mile of rust-tinged sandstone in the depths of Navajo country, this low-lying retreat is not somewhere you’re likely to stumble upon by chance. A luxe mirage centred on a sky-lit reflection pool (heated in the winter) and 25,000-square-feet Aman spa, this place will restore your Hozha and then some.
Accept the unavoidable strap-mark/scalp-burn situation and spend a few days on tip-toe like this dangerously Zen young woman; entranced by the views of the 200-million-year-old Ramon Crater beneath you. The clifftop infinity pool is the masterpiece of a dumbfoundingly peaceful resort that also features a contemporary spa, over 60 treatments and private plunge pools for 39 of the 111 suites. Called Beresheet (meaning ‘genesis’), the well-heeled come to this Negev desert sanctuary to feel utterly reborn.
Some 2,300 miles west of Chile is Easter Island; the most remote inhabited island on the planet and the setting for plush eco-retreat, Posada de Mike Rapu. Constructed mainly from volcanic rock, this isolated Polynesian hotel presents travel-weary guests with an outdoor pool, bubbling Jacuzzi tubs and a massage room that overlooks the Pacific Ocean. If you’re not fully okay with the idea of catching eight flights and a small raft to get there, surprise! Commercial planes land in Hanga Roa.
Deep in the Australian outback, a series of 15 white iced gems dot the thirsty wilderness. Occupying a hugely privileged location in the Simpson desert, this sensitively-designed camp is like a private open-air cinema where Uluru is the nightly blockbuster and barbequed ‘gator is the popcorn. You can book a spa experience prior to your arrival, or content yourself with a dip in the thrillingly icy pool that cuts through the dusty heat.
That daily dilemma of lift or stairs becomes somewhat less mundane at the foot of Yuping Mountain – atop of which is the fabled Jade Screen Hotel. Accessible by cable car or (more traditionally) 60,000 ancient steps, this heaven-skimming hideaway crowns the highest peak in the entire Huangshan range. To be honest, it’s not a spa hotel as such, though mercifully it does have a sauna and massage room. One thing’s for sure though: just the sight of the otherworldly rock surfaces, mythical sunsets and wise old pine trees will make you feel like you’ve undergone a month-long detox.
Shrouded from public view, nearly inaccessible – and the location’s fairly extreme too. The 7,500-acre forested estate known as Skibo Castle is a private members’ club and one of the world’s most exclusive hotels, with only a minimal number of non-members granted a glimpse inside. In fact, plebs are welcome on two conditions: a) you won’t scarper at the mention of the eye-watering rates b) you make it your first and last stay, as is club policy. All this fuss may sound a little out-dated and stuffy, but if it means you can have that celestial ozone-treated swimming pool to yourself, who’s to argue?
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