National Unplugging Day, which will take place on the 25th June this year, urges everyone to refocus their attention on all that surrounds them rather than the stress inducing screens of digital technology today. With an alarming negative impact on mental, physical and emotional health, it’s as prevalent as ever to recognise how important it is to switch off.
Here are ten of our favourite places in the world to truly relax and unwind:
Situated on the northeast coast of Zanzibar, nestled away in its own natural cove and surrounded by lush green forest, lies Essque Zalu Zanzibar: an idyllic hideaway in the Indian Ocean. Guests can lose themselves in the crystal azure waters , white sandy beaches and the magnificent Zanzibari sunsets. While away the days exploring the house reefs teeming with rich diverse marine life and the nearby Jozani forest; a tropical wonderland and designated area of conservation which is home to the endemic red Colobus Monkey and other treasures.
Guests can switch off and renew body and mind in one of the most serene and relaxing environments at the Zanzibar Spa with traditional Maasai treatments. Cocooned in a Maasai tent, guests are treated to relaxing aromatherapy massages, an African facial and spiritual rituals by local therapists using only natural oils and botanical wonders grown on the island.
Bespoke holiday specialists Experience Travel Group offer travellers a multitude of ways in which to disconnect from the stresses of daily life. Whether that be getting up close and personal with Malaysian Borneo’s orangutans, pygmy elephants and primates on their Malaysia’s Wildlife and Nature Encompassed tour; trekking around the lesser known areas of Northern India on the Undiscovered Northern Kerala tour; or discovering the peaceful beauty of centuries old temples on the Architecture and Design Sri Lanka tour, there really is something for every traveller.
Not forgetting the all-important accommodation, Experience Travel Group offers some truly experiential stopovers. Like the thought of living without electricity for 22 hours of the day, deserted in the less-visited Ula Muda Forest in northern Malaysia? Then the Earth Lodge is perfect. Find being surrounded by water relaxing? The 4 Rivers Floating Lodge is a series of tented lodges beautifully perched on a bend on the Preat River, offering an authentically wild experience of Cambodia, where jumping into a kayak from the jetty is an absolute must.
3. Shinta Mani
Unplugging should not just be about disconnecting from the obtrusive digital world, but also connecting with new captivating worlds and Cambodia’s leading boutique luxury resort brand Shinta Mani allows guests to do just that. Dedicated to creating a lasting and positive impact and to ensuring a bright future for the people of Cambodia, the Shinta Mani Foundation was established in 2004. A percentage of the daily room rate from all Shinta Mani properties is invested in the Foundation, which provides education, training and employment opportunities for underprivileged young Cambodians within the resorts. Guests at the upscale, Angkorian-inspired flagship Shinta Mani Siem Reap are encouraged to open their hearts to the beautiful kingdom of Cambodia, its friendly people and fascinating culture.
With its dedicated holistic approach, Chiva-Som uses Eastern and Western philosophies to guide guests on their personal path to health and well-being. Chiva-Som meaning ‘Haven of Life’ is the epitome of secluded serenity. The perfect escape, set amongst seven acres of tropical gardens, surrounded only by nature and isolated from the stresses of the outside world lending itself well to relaxation and rejuvenation.
Chiva-Som’s world-renowned therapies with wellness and longevity at their core, are personalised for each guest and sit alongside a superb offering of delicious spa cuisine which provides divine proof that eating healthy doesn’t have to mean eating plain food. Aiding the immersive experience Chiva-Som offer an extensive schedule of activities such as Yoga- to focus breathing, Body Awakening- teaching guests to tune into their body and improve its alignment and Local Market Tours for cultural enrichment. Not forgetting the favorable year round Thai climate, stunning beachside location and guest centric Thai hospitality which are all waiting to be taken advantage of. All of these elements combined ensure that the Chiva-Som experience is much more than just a rejuvenating wellness holiday, it is an educational retreat which enables guests to make manageable lifestyle changes to aid their health and wellness while plugged into the everyday 9-5 routine back home.
Tucked away in the ancient rainforest of Langkawi, Malaysia, there is no better way to disconnect from the technology driven world and reconnect with nature, than a guided walk in the lush surroundings of the luxurious Datai resort.
Believed to be at least 10 million years old, the pristine, virgin rainforest is blessed with an abundance of extraordinary wildlife and rich foliage. With more than two decades of experience as the Datai’s resident naturalist, Irshad Mobarak’s guides guests on soothing walks through the ancient forest opening the senses to Langkawi’s many natural wonders and healing benefits. While away the time on The Datai’s private stretch of beach overlooking the spectacular azure-blue Andaman Sea, or at the resort’s luxurious award-winning spa. Here, ancient healing techniques, natural products and a secluded setting combine to create one of the finest health clubs on the island.
Only a 30 minutes’ drive from Langkawi International Airport, The Datai offers the weary urbanite an idyllic retreat to nature.
Located in the pristine UNESCO biosphere Baa Atoll in the Maldives, Amilla Fushi offers the ultimate magical Maldives holiday experience. There is plenty on offer at the resort to keep the whole family entertained, from snorkelling and diving at the resort’s very own renowned ‘Blue Hole’ dive site to complimentary daily water sports and spa treatments.
Amilla Fushi offers a choice of 59 houses that sit gracefully over crystal clear waters, nestle among the tree tops or hug the shores of pristine white sand. Amilla’s innovative restaurants range from the diverse, informal foodie hub Baazaar to the relaxed yet sophisticated overwater dining at the signature Feeling Koi.
A stylish and eclectic retreat, Finolhu is a refreshing, retro-inspired burst of fun for the region, bringing toes-in-the-sand relaxation to the Maldives. Sister property to Amilla Fushi, Finolhu recalls the heady allure of vintage beach vacations with its classic design, retro touches and laid-back ambiance. Set within the UNESCO biosphere reserve of Baa Atoll, the resort has all the hallmarks of paradise. Translucent waters, 1.8km white-sand bank and perma-clear skies.
There’s no better place to disconnect and listen not only to the nature that surrounds, but most importantly, yourself.
The Siam, a private 39-room luxury retreat located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, has unveiled 5 new wellness programmes that focus on reaching total revitalisation and self renewal – just in time for National Unplugging Day.
The Opium Spa & Wellness provides a blissful utopia of serenity and an urban escape from the hectic commotion of a buzzing city of Bangkok. The spa offers a further haven with an exclusive, private ambience, immersing guests in a 360-degree regenerating experience which endeavours to re-establish optimal health, both mentally and physically.
With the sapient support of a team of experts such as globally renowned yogi and Ayurvedic doctor, Dr Adrish Brahmadatta and Olympic Muay Thai trainer Kru Yim, the extensive list of programmes ranging from 60 minute treatments to 4 day retreats are carefully tailored to every guest’s needs.
NEW for 2017, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts has launched ‘Mövenpick Family’, a new global programme designed to take all the stress out of holidays, leaving parents to focus on what really matters – creating family memories that will last a lifetime. Offering on-demand baby essential, healthy children menus, family-friendly services, locally-inspired activities and special room discount, parents can truly relax on holiday and concentrate on spending quality time together as a family.
Forget packing the laptops and tablets, children can be entertained at the Little Birds Clubs with tailor-made activities offering cooking classes, environmentally-friendly experiences and cultural activities that reflect wonderful local cultures. More importantly, the clubs provide plenty of opportunities to share the fun with parents.
Luxury made a long-awaited return to Malaga this year, with the arrival of its first grand luxury hotel, Gran Hotel Miramar. A historic landmark building in the old city centre which has been painstakingly restored following a two year, €65 million overhaul, Gran Hotel Miramar is set to become one of Europe’s foremost grand dames, and firmly establish Malaga on the global luxury travel map.
Located in the cultural hub of La Caleta, within easy reach of the Picasso and Carmen Thyssen museums and boasting a fabulous seafront location with breathtaking views across the bay of Malaga, guests can switch off their phones and explore this burgeoning cultural centre. The city has recently seen three major museum openings - the most significant being the five-year pop-up Centre Pompidou, housed in a futuristic building on the waterfront and displaying a changing selection of 20th- and 21st-century paintings by artists like Frida Kahlo and Marc Chagall.