Going on safari doesn't have to mean roughing it in tents and mosquito nets. At Lion Sands Game Reserve, you get to enjoy all the wildlife and natural beauty of a safari while resting your pampered head in a luxury accommodation. The property includes five lodges, each with multiple suites, as well as three treehouses that put you in the middle of the action while providing a more intimate stay. As for the animals you might see on your outings — they typically take place in the morning or early evening — there are too many to list, but some of the more notable species include elephants, rhinoceros, monkeys, zebra, hippos, giraffes, cheetahs, lions, leopards, and even honey badgers.
Sometimes being by the ocean just isn't enough. Sometimes you need to be atop the ocean. And for times like those, Velassaru Maldives is an ideal destination. Located in the Indian Ocean just a 25-minute speedboat ride from the airport in Malé, this private island resort offers a variety of accommodations, ranging from humble bungalows to over-water suites and villas, as well as five restaurants, two bars, a full-service spa, diving, snorkeling, and kayaking. Assuming you feel like doing anything more than just lounging in the water and taking in the views.
If your next vacation is as much about recuperation as it is about rest, consider making a trip to Spa Village Resort Tembok. This exclusive resort on the island's Northeast coast boasts 27 standard rooms, two suites, and two completely private villas, all of which merge elements from traditional Balinese dwellings with Western elegance. Also on the grounds are a plunge pool, a beachside restaurant, and various buildings dedicated to yoga, spa treatments, wellness workshops, and even creativity class, all of which are designed to replenish not just your body but your mind, as well.
The name sounds adventurous, and there's plenty of it to enjoy at the Bay of Many Coves — but with its 5-star accommodations, you don't have to get any more adventurous than you want. Set on the Marlborough Sounds, this luxury resort offers one- two- and three-bedroom apartments, as well as a high-end restaurant, an all-day lounge, a cafe, a day spa, a heated outdoor pool, a six-person cedar hot tub, and, of course, swimming at the Coves' private beaches.
If all you know of Tasmania is its location in the South Pacific and the Looney Tunes character inspired by its indigenous marsupial, it's time you experienced it for yourself. And a stay at Saffire Freycinet is a great place to start. Situated on a hillside overlooking Oyster Bay and the Hazard Mountains, this ultra-luxe resort features 20 suites arranged as to recall the breaking waves beyond, an impressively modern main lodge, an excellent restaurant and lounge, both boasting outstanding views, a full-service spa, outstanding service, and access to some of the best beaches in the world.
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.