3 Supremely Special Trips We Can’t Stop Talking About – carolyns

3 Supremely Special Trips We Can’t
Stop Talking About

In partnership with our friends at Auberge Resorts Collection

It’s no secret we’ll hop on any number of planes, trains, and automobiles for a great wellness experience. But we’ve also been known to wanderlust after otherworldly design destinations and intrepid adventure in faraway lands. Simply put: If it’s a niche trip that aligns with a specific interest, we are down. Below, three such experiences we’re excited to talk about.

ONE-OF-A-KIND WELLNESS AT HACIENDA ALTAGRACIA

There are wellness-centric resorts, and then there’s Auberge Resorts Collection’s 864-acre Hacienda AltaGracia, serendipitously set up a stone’s throw from one of the world’s five Blue Zones. Nestled into the foothills of Costa Rica’s Talamanca mountains, the property takes a three-pronged approach to well-being, but it’s the holistic modalities at AltaGracia’s Casa de Agua, in collaboration with The Well, that are the headliners here. Of the myriad services available, we loved maderoterapia, or wood therapy. This Central American massage therapy incorporates wooden tools and body oil to truly fantastic, full-body-relaxation results. Meanwhile, farm-to-table food and the surroundings themselves play a surprisingly effective supporting role.

Let’s talk accommodations: How do fifty exquisitely outfitted casitas with panoramic views of the surrounding emerald hills sound? Once settled into a casita, you’ll meet your “compa,” an experience designer who will personalize an itinerary based on your wants and needs. Your plan might involve an herbal bathing ritual in the nearby Calientillo River (followed by arguably the best hot cocoa in the world) with an infrared cabin session, followed by a zipline. Other unmissables include horseback riding, energy-healing circles, and the deeply centering gong bath. And good luck deciding which of the three on-site restaurants you want to taste first: Grano is the chef’s laboratory, Picoteo serves sharing plates by the pool, and Las Brisas is a cool palapa bar.

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ONE-OF-A-KIND WELLNESS AT HACIENDA ALTAGRACIA

There are wellness-centric resorts, and then there’s Auberge’s 864-acre Hacienda AltaGracia, serendipitously set up a stone’s throw from one of the world’s five Blue Zones. Nestled into the foothills of Costa Rica’s Talamanca mountains, the property takes a three-pronged approach to well-being, but it’s the holistic modalities at AltaGracia’s Casa de Agua, in collaboration with The Well, that are the headliners here. Of the myriad services available, we loved maderoterapia, or wood therapy. This Central American massage therapy incorporates wooden tools and body oil to truly fantastic, full-body-relaxation results. Meanwhile, farm-to-table food and the surroundings themselves play a surprisingly effective supporting role.

Let’s talk accommodations: How do fifty exquisitely outfitted casitas with panoramic views of the surrounding emerald hills sound? Once settled into a casita, you’ll meet your “compa,” an experience designer who will personalize an itinerary based on your wants and needs. Your plan might involve an herbal bathing ritual in the nearby Calientillo River (followed by arguably the best hot cocoa in the world) with an infrared cabin session, followed by a zipline. Other unmissables include horseback riding, energy-healing circles, and the deeply centering gong bath. And good luck deciding which of the three on-site restaurants you want to taste first: Grano is the chef’s laboratory, Picoteo serves sharing plates by the pool, and Las Brisas is a cool palapa bar.

OLD-MEETS-NEW DESIGN AT CASTELLO DI RESCHIO

Count Benedikt Bolza takes his stewardship of this 3,700-acre Umbrian estate seriously. (That he’s an accomplished architect helps, but more on that later.) Reschio is perched on the border of Tuscany and dates back to 1050. Bolza has meticulously restored and transformed over twenty of the ancient structures across the property—many sold to low-key buyers who prefer the luxuriously quiet life this rural slice of Italy offers. The newly renovated castello was previously the Bolza family home, and the guest rooms, communal spaces, and serene oval pool are all somehow both contemporary and medieval. Now the castello serves as a sort of community living room where the Reschio homeowners can enjoy dinners or host guests, as well as a place for out-of-towners to stay in this ethereal part of Umbria. All tourism-generated income goes back into the management and care of the immense estate. As we said, Bolza takes his stewardship of this magical parcel of land seriously.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Bolza is also a perfectionist. He set out to outfit each guest room with the touches he missed from his own childhood, like deep soaking tubs and proper dressing tables. His design studio, B.B. for Reschio, dreamed up many of the interior pieces, including our personal favorite, the brass-plated 1930s-inspired Poggibonsi lamp with a mustard-hued velvet shade. Even the slick espresso machines are custom because Bolza can’t bear the flashing blue lights on most conventional machines. As we said, a perfectionist. Bespoke lamps and espresso machines aside, the hand-stitched linens, abundance of velvet, and medley of antiques the Bolza family has collected over generations lend a warm, comfortable air to the ancient structure.

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OLD-MEETS-NEW DESIGN AT CASTELLO DI RESCHIO

Count Benedikt Bolza takes his stewardship of this 3,700-acre Umbrian estate seriously. (That he’s an accomplished architect helps, but more on that later.) Reschio is perched on the border of Tuscany and dates back to 1050. Bolza has meticulously restored and transformed over twenty of the ancient structures across the property—many sold to low-key buyers who prefer the luxuriously quiet life this rural slice of Italy offers. The newly renovated castello was previously the Bolza family home, and the guest rooms, communal spaces, and serene oval pool are all somehow both contemporary and medieval. Now the castello serves as a sort of community living room where the Reschio homeowners can enjoy dinners or host guests, as well as a place for out-of-towners to stay in this ethereal part of Umbria. All tourism-generated income goes back into the management and care of the immense estate. As we said, Bolza takes his stewardship of this magical parcel of land seriously.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Bolza is also a perfectionist. He set out to outfit each guest room with the touches he missed from his own childhood, like deep soaking tubs and proper dressing tables. His design studio, B.B. for Reschio, dreamed up many of the interior pieces, including our personal favorite, the brass-plated 1930s-inspired Poggibonsi lamp with a mustard-hued velvet shade. Even the slick espresso machines are custom because Bolza can’t bear the flashing blue lights on most conventional machines. As we said, a perfectionist. Bespoke lamps and espresso machines aside, the hand-stitched linens, abundance of velvet, and medley of antiques the Bolza family has collected over generations lend a warm, comfortable air to the ancient structure.

BUCKLE UP FOR ADVENTURE IN THE OKAVANGO DELTA

Going on safari is, for many, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. For an introductory trip—punctuated by incredible hospitality and jaw-dropping scenery—Botswana’s Okavango Delta is where you want to be. The topography changes drastically from one end of the delta to the other; it makes sense to spread a stay across two or three camps to soak up the majesty. Wilderness Safaris operates several beautifully appointed, strategically located camps: Classic King’s Pool in Linyanti and cool, contemporary Qorokwe near Moremi are two favorites.

A safari is about adventure. Pack up your binoculars, climb into a tricked-out Land Cruiser, and start scanning the horizon for giraffes, buffalo, and big cats like cheetah and lions. As your excellent guide will tell you, it isn’t about spotting the big five—it’s about appreciating the fleeting wonder of the natural world in its entirety.

Close to the Namibian border, King’s Pool Camp is a series of thatch-and-canvas villas on the banks of a glassy pool (it looks tranquil during the day but comes alive at night, when the hippos climb out onto the banks to graze). Take a helicopter ride for a bird’s-eye view of rivers teeming with buffalo, crocodiles, and herds of elephants and zebra. Sundowners (that’s safari speak for evening cocktails) happen on the hood of a Land Cruiser before heading back to the lodge for dinner, storytelling, and shut-eye before the next adventure.

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BUCKLE UP FOR ADVENTURE IN THE OKAVANGO DELTA

Going on safari is, for many, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. For an introductory trip—punctuated by incredible hospitality and jaw-dropping scenery—Botswana’s Okavango Delta is where you want to be. The topography changes drastically from one end of the delta to the other; it makes sense to spread a stay across two or three camps to soak up the majesty. Wilderness Safaris operates several beautifully appointed, strategically located camps: Classic King’s Pool in Linyanti and cool, contemporary Qorokwe near Moremi are two favorites.

A safari is about adventure. Pack up your binoculars, climb into a tricked-out Land Cruiser, and start scanning the horizon for giraffes, buffalo, and big cats like cheetah and lions. As your excellent guide will tell you, it isn’t about spotting the big five—it’s about appreciating the fleeting wonder of the natural world in its entirety.

Close to the Namibian border, King’s Pool Camp is a series of thatch-and-canvas villas on the banks of a glassy pool (it looks tranquil during the day but comes alive at night, when the hippos climb out onto the banks to graze). Take a helicopter ride for a bird’s-eye view of rivers teeming with buffalo, crocodiles, and herds of elephants and zebra. Sundowners (that’s safari speak for evening cocktails) happen on the hood of a Land Cruiser before heading back to the lodge for dinner, storytelling, and shut-eye before the next adventure.

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