Hidden in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, Blackberry Farm is an ideal getaway for foodies and outdoorsman alike. For the former, the 9,200-acre Farm is home to one of the best restaurants in the country, The Barn by Executive Chef Joseph Lenn, and offers farm-fresh breakfasts and lunches in the Main House, two bars, culinary classes, tastings, and an actual farm. For the latter, it offers access to equestrian activities, rock climbing, kayaking, hiking, cycling, and fly fishing. Meanwhile, everyone can take advantage of the elegant accommodations, which range from well-furnished Estate Rooms all the way up to private cottages and even a four-bedroom house. One thing is certain: no matter what your interests, you're sure to enjoy your stay.
Oh sure, it sits on the ocean. And it offers six waterfront villas, as well as a variety of rooms set in picturesque gardens. There's a large pool overlooking the ocean, a lounge set on the beach with a bar that serves up both tasty libations and light meals, and a full-on restaurant for dinner time. There's even an aloe tree outside each room in case you spend a bit too long in the sun. But the real jewel of The Manta Resort is the Underwater Room, a private floating island with a top deck for sunbathing, a water deck for lounging and eating, and a bedroom that sits four meters below the surface, giving you unbelievable views of the native marine life. [Scouted by Emil]
Some people like their getaways to be as relaxing as possible. If you're the type that likes your days off to include a little more adrenaline, try a stay at the Spring Mountain Motor Resort & Country Club. As the name suggests, this facility — an hour or so outside of Vegas — is dedicated to motoring, with over four miles of road course with over 20 configurations, four high-speed straights, and recreations of several famous corners, including Watkins Glen's "Bus Stop" and Road Atlanta's turn 1. Along with multiple driving schools and racing leagues, the resort also offers several condos with full kitchenettes, upscale bathrooms, and Wi-Fi, and a clubhouse boasting a bar/lounge, fitness center, large patio, pool, and on-site massage therapist. An ideal getaway for those who'd rather be behind the wheel than beside the ocean.
Take your next beach vacation away from the beach and over the water with a stay at Cocoa Island by Como. This private island resort offers 33 overwater suites and villas, each of which boasts a private terrace, a comfortable king-sized bed, Wi-Fi, climate control, a separate tub and shower, and a well-stocked minibar. Take the walkway from your room back to the island to enjoy the pool, Ufaa restaurant, Faru bar, or the COMO Shambhala Retreat, a full-service spa offering a yoga pavilion, steam rooms, a hydrotherapy pool, and more. Or just slip off your deck directly into the sea. And don't worry if seaplanes aren't your thing — unlike most resorts in the region, it's just a 40-minute speedboat ride from the international airport in Malé.
Australia's Uluru — more commonly known as Ayers Rock — and Kata Tjuta are icons known world 'round, but many visitors miss out on the chance to see them due to their location deep in the outback. Longitude 131 provides the opportunity to stay as close to this World Heritage site as possible, without the need for sleeping in a tent. Okay, so this resort technically refers to its 15 elevated rooms as "tents", but few tents we've ever seen offer king-sized beds with fine linens, modern bathrooms, floor-to-ceiling windows that allow for spectacular views of the sunrise over the Rock, climate control, Wi-Fi, an iPad pre-filled with entertainment, and a complementary in-room bar. Add in the stunning Dune House and its excellent restaurant, bar, and library, and you have all the makings of a memorable stay — even if you don't venture out into the bush.
It might not be as well known as the neighboring islands of St. Vincent, St. Lucia, or Martinique, but Mustique offers natural beauty to compete with any of them — and the Firefly Mustique is the place to stay to enjoy it. This luxury retreat offers five different rooms — many spacious enough to be considered suites elsewhere — each offering Caribbean views, comfortable beds, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, complimentary snacks for sunset, a beach basket with towels, beach games, masks and snorkels, and even a plunge pool in the largest, most secluded room. There's also a restaurant on site, a bar with the best sunset views on the island, a driver to take you to the beach, and a complimentary cell phone to use when you're ready to come back to the room (or if you just need more rum).
It's a private island. It's not your private island during your stay, but one look at Maafushivaru and you're unlikely to care. Located in the Maldives, this exclusive resort offers 50 villas — beach, pool, and ocean — each of which features air conditioning, king sized beds, rainfall showers, and espresso machines, with some offering a private pool, some with private beach-side decks, and some set overtop of the water. Also on-site are a restaurant, pool-side bar, a wine cellar, and a library-themed lounge, as well as a host of activities to keep you busy during your getaway.
Set in the jungle off the coast of the Pacific, Imanta Punta de Mita is a hidden gem of a resort. With architecture inspired by Prehispanic temples, each of the stone-walled casas, villas, and even the main hotel blend the historic-looking outer shells seamlessly with the modern furniture and amenities inside. Along with fantastic views of the ocean and surrounding jungle, the property also offers a spa, multiple infinity pools — many of them private and connected directly to the room/suite/villa — two restaurants, and a rooftop bat that provides fantastic sunset views and multiple areas for lounging. Of course, there's also the beach, where the hotel releases baby turtles as part of its ongoing conservation efforts. [via]
Judging by its solid stone construction, you'd be hard pressed to guess that the rooms at Tsala Treetop Lodge are actually, in fact, located amongst the trees. Located between the coastal towns of Knysna and Plettenberg Bay, this one-of-a-kind resort features stone-masonry details in the entrance and in each of the 10 suites and six villas, which also feature fireplaces, under floor heating, air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, and comfortable, setting-appropriate furnishings. The resort also features a glassed-in lounge and dining room, large open decks above the forest floor, a restaurant, and a hidden wine cellar. But most importantly, it offers views that you simply won't find at your average, dirt-anchored hideaway.
Situated on the Kohala Coast of the Big Island, the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel isn't just an ideal luxury beach resort — it's also a classic piece of architecture. Opened in 1965, its open-air design allows natural ventilation thanks to the trade winds, and has since been updated to allow for 258 rooms featuring more spacious floor plans and upgraded interiors. Also on-site is a golf course, multiple restaurants and bars, a tennis club with 11 ocean-side courts, a large fitness center, and, of course, the beaches, with soft white sand and beautiful views back up towards the mountain for which the resort is named.
Looking for an ideal beach getaway? Sure, you could head to Hawaii, or Bali, or Fiji, or the Bahamas, or some other super-obvious destination. Or you could book a stay at the Patmos Aktis Suites and Spa. Located on the Greek island of Patmos, this luxury resort offers deluxe rooms and suites, poolside suites, suites just steps from the Aegean Sea, and townhouse-like maisonettes offering room for up to 5 people. As the name suggests, there's also a spa on-site, as well as an excellent restaurant and a waterside bar. In other words, everything you need. [via]
It can be difficult to breathe within the walls of some stodgy, high class, five star hotels. But when you visit CastleMartyr Resort in Cork County, Ireland, the fresh air is plentiful. The resort consists of a striking 17th century country manor house that sits adjacent to the ruins of an 800-year-old-castle. Hit the spa to relax, play golf on their Ron Kirby-designed course, or just stroll the grounds and take in the expansive, beautiful surroundings. They even encourage you to take their Irish Setters, who welcome you upon arrival, for a walk around the hotel acreage.