Catching Zzz’s Around the World: Exploring the Hotspots for Rest and Relaxation
Catching Zzz's Around the World: Exploring the Hotspots for Rest and Relaxation - Bali Bliss - Rejuvenate Mind and Body at the Island's Luxury Retreats
With its lush jungles, turquoise waters, and Hindu culture, Bali has long been a coveted destination for travelers seeking escape and renewal. The Island of the Gods boasts world-class spas, yoga retreats, and luxury hotels that pamper and relax the body, mind, and soul.
At the Ayana Resort and Spa perched above Jimbaran Bay, signature spa rituals harness the power of aquatherapy. Relax in the underwater pavilions of the Thermes Marins spa for head-to-toe renewal. Continue your journey of wellness with restorative yoga sessions surrounded by lush foliage and ocean views. Recharge with organic Balinese cuisine and sip fresh juices by the infinity pool before retiring to your spacious, modern suite.
Ubud, Bali's cultural and spiritual heart, entices travelers craving a deeper experience. At COMO Shambhala Estate, far removed from the crowds, find your balance through yoga, meditation, and Ayurvedic hydrotherapy treatments. Savor gourmet spa cuisine, take a dip in your private plunge pool, and drift off amidst the sounds of the jungle. Join daily wellness activities and consultations with experts to create a personalized retreat.
For total seclusion, book a private villa resort like Kamandalu Ubud. Unwind in the open-air wooden bathtubs of your suite's zen garden and receive soothing Balinese massages on your terrace. Practice yoga as the sun rises over the rice paddies. Embark on spiritual journeys to ancient temples. Indulge in contemporary Balinese dishes and organic wines during romantic candlelit dinners. With attentive butler service and plenty of privacy, you may never want to leave.
On Bali's southwest coast, Amankila provides a serene escape with its elegant seaside bungalows, three-tiered pools, and hilltop yoga pavilion. Sign up for cultural excursions or spend days lounging by the ocean and swimming in the cerulean sea. Pamper body and mind with Balinese and Eastern therapies, or relax in the sauna and jacuzzi before dinner at the cliffside restaurant. Watching the sun sink into the sea at Amankila, it's easy to feel a sense of deep calm wash over you.
What else is in this post?
- Catching Zzz's Around the World: Exploring the Hotspots for Rest and Relaxation - Bali Bliss - Rejuvenate Mind and Body at the Island's Luxury Retreats
- Catching Zzz's Around the World: Exploring the Hotspots for Rest and Relaxation - Japan's Onsen Oases - Soak in Hot Spring Relaxation
- Catching Zzz's Around the World: Exploring the Hotspots for Rest and Relaxation - Find Your Zen in Thailand - Meditate at Sacred Temples and Spas
- Catching Zzz's Around the World: Exploring the Hotspots for Rest and Relaxation - Morocco's Majestic Riads - Unwind in a Traditional Guesthouse
- Catching Zzz's Around the World: Exploring the Hotspots for Rest and Relaxation - The Mayan Riviera's Beachfront Resorts - Mexico's Paradises for Rest and Play
- Catching Zzz's Around the World: Exploring the Hotspots for Rest and Relaxation - Italy's Charming Countryside Hotels - Disconnect at Agriturismos and Villas
- Catching Zzz's Around the World: Exploring the Hotspots for Rest and Relaxation - California's Pampering Palace Hotels - Indulge at the State's Swankiest Spas
Catching Zzz's Around the World: Exploring the Hotspots for Rest and Relaxation - Japan's Onsen Oases - Soak in Hot Spring Relaxation
For over a thousand years, onsen have been integral to Japanese culture. These natural hot springs provide the ultimate renewal for mind, body and spirit. With over 3,000 onsen scattered across the archipelago, Japan offers abundant opportunities to soak in the sublime relaxation of these geothermal oases.
At a ryokan inn in the mountain village of Kinosaki, I slipped into the steamy waters of a rooftop onsen as the sun set over the hillside bamboo groves. The open-air bath overlooked verdant valleys, the Japan Sea a glimmering expanse in the distance. My muscles instantly relaxed as the natural minerals worked their magic, melting away tension and leaving my skin silky smooth. After my soak, I dined on a kaiseki feast showcasing seafood straight from the port that afternoon. A perfect day in Kinosaki ends with a good night's rest on a futon, lulled to sleep by the calming chorus of frogs.
For onsen thrills, Beppu on Kyushu Island bubbles with activity. This hot spring heaven boasts over 2,800 onsen sources among its eight geothermal zones. At Takegawara Onsen, founded in 1879, I soaked in the wooden tubs as the mineral-rich waters eased my sore muscles. Nearby in Kannawa, I stepped into the sapphire and emerald hued waters of the "hell tour" pools, each with different healing properties. The indigo waters of Umi Jigoku, or "sea hell", are perfect for beauty bathing. After exploring Beppu's bathing wonders, I unwound Japanese-style at Hotel Sakurai, sleeping on a futon in a traditional tatami room.
At Noboribetsu Onsen on Hokkaido, I strolled along the spectacular Jigokudani or "Hell Valley", where otherworldly mineral deposits bubble and steam from cracks in the ground. At the historic Noboribetsu Grand Hotel, nine types of therapeutic waters feed the bathing facilities. Soaking in the hotel's Oyunuma outdoor footbath underneath towering pines, I watched wisps of steam rise into the crisp alpine air as snowflakes drifted around me. Pure bliss.
Catching Zzz's Around the World: Exploring the Hotspots for Rest and Relaxation - Find Your Zen in Thailand - Meditate at Sacred Temples and Spas
With its Buddhist culture and tranquil tropical landscapes, Thailand has long drawn those seeking spiritual awakening and inner peace. At sacred sites and luxurious spas across the Land of Smiles, you can center your mind, soothe your soul, and find your own inner zen.
In Chiang Mai, the serene northern capital nestled in the mountains, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep beckons pilgrims and travelers alike. Climb the 300 steps flanked by naga serpents to reach this peaceful hilltop temple. Release a caged bird for good karma, offer lotus flowers and incense at the golden shrine, and survey the mist-shrouded valley sprawled below this spiritual sanctuary. Attend morning alms or pray with monks to experience the temple’s calming energy.
Further north in Chiang Rai, the White Temple’s dazzling mirrored surfaces reflect infinite purity. This modern Buddhist vision features outstretched hands welcoming spiritual rebirth, while inside, golden reliefs depicting samsara and karma invoke contemplation. Nearby, the Blue Temple’s vibrant murals contain hidden messages about the eternal cycle of life. Linger on the grounds, center your thoughts, and drink in the tranquil ambience.
In Kanchanaburi, west of Bangkok, monks glide along the grounds of magical Wat Tham Seua, greeting visitors who travel from all corners to see the Tiger Temple. Receiving a blessing from a saffron-robed monk among tigers feels humbling and spiritual. Nearby, the Buddha Cave temples contain empty meditation chambers for finding your inner zen surrounded by natural wonder.
Across Thailand, sumptuous spa resorts provide pampering alongside traditional Thai wellness therapies to relax the body and mind. At luxury havens like Chiva-Som in Hua Hin, Kamalaya on Koh Samui, or Anantara Golden Triangle in Chiang Rai, replenish your soul with massage, meditation, yoga, healthy spa cuisine, and spiritual healing tailored to your needs. At these tranquil oases, fully unwind and find balance.
“The unique spirituality that permeates through Thailand and its Buddhist roots have drawn me in to find peace within myself,” shares Michelle, who frequents Chiang Mai. “The welcoming monks, sacred sites, and meditative spas have taught me to look inward and live in the moment.”
Catching Zzz's Around the World: Exploring the Hotspots for Rest and Relaxation - Morocco's Majestic Riads - Unwind in a Traditional Guesthouse
Hidden behind unassuming doors in the winding alleys of Morocco's ancient medinas lie some of the country's greatest secrets: the riads. These traditional guesthouses offer an oasis of calm within the city bustle. Staying in one of Morocco's majestic riads lets you fully immerse in Moroccan culture and hospitality.
The concept of a riad dates back over one thousand years, to when wealthy city dwellers built lavish family homes organized around a central garden courtyard. The word riad comes from the Arabic ryad meaning “garden”. These elaborate domestic structures kept occupants cool in summer and provided serene green spaces amongst the dense medinas.
In the 1990s, many riads fell into disrepair but visionary entrepreneurs transformed the crumbling buildings into boutique guesthouses. Riads today retain their traditional architecture with central courtyards, fountains, ornate tilework, and carved wood ceilings while interiors blend Moroccan craftsmanship with contemporary comfort. From budget-friendly to ultra-luxe, riads come in all styles but a stay offers cultural immersion in any price range.
Arriving at your riad, the chaos of the medina’s alleyways melts away as you enter the tranquil courtyard garden. Intricate mosaic fountains bubble as songbirds sing from fragrant citrus trees. Floral scents mingle with spices wafting from the kitchen as your welcoming hosts offer you sweet Moroccan mint tea.
Climb the marble staircase to your room outfitted with plush beds, local textiles, and opulent furnishings. Many riads feature rooftop terraces with sun loungers, dipping pools, and panoramic views over terracotta roofs to minarets piercing blue skies.
At the end of a day exploring the souks and sights, return to your riad for relaxation and rejuvenation. Lounge by the courtyard fountain with a good book, take a candlelit bubble bath, or indulge in a massage. Sip cocktails and dine on sizzling tagines, Moroccan salads, and pastries before retiring for a restful sleep. A stay in a riad lets you fully experience Moroccan living.
In the compact medina of Fes, Riad Fes provides luxurious refinement behind a humble wooden door. Murals, fretwork, and lush gardens exude peace. In Marrakech, the stylish Riad Dixneuf la Ksour charms with a striking mosaic courtyard and terrace with views over the city. For affordability, Dar Attajalli in Chefchaouen has simple rooms facing a leafy patio with a trickling fountain at its center.
Travelers seeking distinctive accommodations rave about staying in Morocco’s riads. Says Michael, “Walking into the quiet courtyard dotted with orange trees let us leave the medina’s intensity at the door. Coming ‘home’ to the riad was the best part of every day.”
Joanna shares, “I’ll never forget drinking tea on the roof terrace at sunset, the calls to prayer sounding all around us. Our riad stay let us connect to the real Morocco.”
Catching Zzz's Around the World: Exploring the Hotspots for Rest and Relaxation - The Mayan Riviera's Beachfront Resorts - Mexico's Paradises for Rest and Play
Blessed with talcum-soft white sand beaches and tranquil turquoise seas, Mexico's Riviera Maya beckons beach lovers seeking rest and relaxation along the Yucatan coastline. While visitors flock to party hotspots like Cancún and Playa del Carmen, the more secluded Mayan Riviera, stretching south along the Caribbean from Puerto Morelos to Tulum, entices travelers craving a peaceful paradise. Lined with palm trees, cenotes, and remnants of ancient Mayan ruins, this gorgeous stretch of coast caters to rejuvenation and recreation in equal measure.
The Mayan Riviera’s indulgent beachfront resorts let you lounge by infinity pools overlooking the ocean, feast on gourmet cuisine, and unwind with beachside massages. At the lavish UNICO 20°87° Hotel Riviera Maya, housed in a former coconut plantation, villas with private dipping pools dot a half-mile of silky beach. Relax under thatched palapas shaded by palms, then explore the property’s cenotes, saltwater lagoons, and pampering spa. When it’s time to indulge, eight restaurants serving global cuisine await.
“From the moment we walked through the palapa lobby and smelled the salt air at UNICO 20°87°, every care melted away,” shares Sandra who honeymooned at this adults-only haven. “Our days flowed seamlessly from breakfast on the patio to beach yoga to lounging in a private cabana with someone bringing us cool drinks. Heavenly.”
Further south, Beloved Playa Mujeres balances seclusion with gracious service. This boutique, all-inclusive resort on a remote stretch of coastline feels worlds away yet offers every indulgence. Spend days kayaking, sailing on a catamaran, or lounging in your rooftop hot tub. Luxuriate with spa treatments in your suite or by the seafront sanctuary. Savor gourmet meals at the beachfront restaurant before kicking back at the swim-up bar as the sun dips low over the sea.
Jake who vacationed at Beloved Playa Mujeres says, “After the first blissfully relaxed day, my Type A personality softened into the slow, joyful rhythm of this resort. Long beach walks, swimming beside sea turtles, unlimited ocean-view massages... I returned home with a new appreciation for letting go.”
For families seeking a peaceful bonding experience, look no further than Grand Palladium. These neighboring resorts share amenities spanning nearly two miles of dreamy beachfront. Kids love the chill vibe and activities like sailing, snorkeling, and eco-tours while adults enjoy the spas. When you’re ready to explore, take quick day trips to Tulum’s Mayan ruins or Akumal’s turtle snorkeling. With indulgent services, spacious suites and no wristbands, the Palladium Resorts deliver vacation magic.
“As soon as we settled into our suite overlooking the ocean at Grand Palladium, the outside world evaporated,” shares Nina who visited with her family. “Our days blended seamlessly from beach picnics to Mayan-themed shows to stargazing on the pier. Well-deserved family time restoring our bonds.”
Catching Zzz's Around the World: Exploring the Hotspots for Rest and Relaxation - Italy's Charming Countryside Hotels - Disconnect at Agriturismos and Villas
Nestled in the rolling hills of Tuscany, Umbria, and beyond, Italy’s countryside hotels let travelers fully disconnect from the chaos of urban life. At these tranquil refuges, days flow gently by as you explore charming medieval villages, feast on farm-fresh cuisine, and relish the sweeping vistas and natural beauty surrounding you. Leave the buzz of Rome, Milan or Venice behind and trade city streets for olive groves, vineyards and cypress-lined country roads.
Agriturismos, working farms with on-site lodging, invite you to immerse in rural Italian life. At Poggio Etrusco outside idyllic Cortona, I awoke every morning to chirping birds and distant church bells, a light breeze ruffling the shutters of my rustic-chic suite. My days unfolded slowly, fueled by chef-prepared breakfasts I ate under vine-covered pergolas. In the afternoons I wandered through sunflower fields to the estate’s olive groves and helped harvest produce for that evening’s meal, relishing the natural bounty of this Tuscan farm. Evenings brought wine tastings and long dinners under the stars where lively conversation mingled with laughter into the night.
Similarly captivating experiences unfold at Antinori nel Chianti Classico, set among the iconic vineyards of Tuscany’s Chianti region. This wine estate’s sleek country house rooms open onto terraces overlooking the vine-striped landscape. Take a private tour of the vineyards and cellars before indulging in leisurely wine-paired lunches featuring estate-grown ingredients. “Waking up surrounded by rolling vineyards got my creative juices flowing,” shares writer Alice who sought inspiration at Antinori. “Writing on my villa’s patio brought such joy and new perspective.”
For honeymooners or couples seeking escape, Italy’s countryside hotels provide plenty of peace and privacy. At the exquisite Castello di Casole, a sprawling estate in rural Tuscany, lavish suites with soaking tubs and private balconies offer romantic seclusion. Stroll through the castle’s palatial rooms and medieval garden or lounge by the infinity pool taking in views of olive groves and cypress lanes. Enjoy cooking classes and wine experiences or simply relax in your spa suite, lingering over an al fresco dinner and stealing kisses as the sunset paints the Tuscan hills pink and gold.
“We felt like royalty living in the castle during our stay at Casole,” shares newlywed Chloe. “Driving down cypress-lined roads through the countryside, it was like going back in time.”
Catching Zzz's Around the World: Exploring the Hotspots for Rest and Relaxation - California's Pampering Palace Hotels - Indulge at the State's Swankiest Spas
With its year-round sunshine, glamour, and natural wonders, California draws travelers seeking both outdoor adventure and indulgent escapes. For pampering unlike anywhere else in the world, check into one of the Golden State’s legendary palace hotels. At these lavish havens, surrender to blissful spa rituals, savor exquisite cuisine, and relax in regal splendor.
Overlooking the rugged cliffs of Big Sur, the adults-only Post Ranch Inn promises a rejuvenating retreat. Each luxurious clifftop suite features a private infinity soaking tub on the balcony with glorious ocean views. Start your day with yoga on the deck, then unwind with a massage using aromatic organic oils. Later, lounge by the circular infinity pool or embark on guided coastal hikes to hidden waterfalls. End perfect days sipping cocktails at the cliffside Sierra Mar restaurant as the sun melts into the sea.
"From the moment we arrived, Post Ranch Inn's dramatic natural setting took our breath away," shares Serena who honeymooned there. "Our cliffside suite made us feel a world away. Unparalleled views, impeccable service, and total relaxation in Big Sur’s beauty."
On San Diego's Coronado Island, Hotel Del Coronado charms guests with Victorian elegance and oceanfront indulgence. Nicknamed the "Hotel Del", this iconic wooden palace has hosted royalty and celebrities since 1888. Stroll the palm-lined pathways then surrender to pampering at the beachfront spa, where expert therapists promote healing and balance. Later, sip sunset cocktails on the porch before feasting on succulent seafood and prime steaks overlooking the moonlit sea.
"Stepping into the Del's ornate lobby transported me to a more elegant era," shares Lauren who vacationed there. "Lounging beachside drinking champagne felt totally glamorous. The spa's sea-inspired treatments relaxed me into vacation mode."
For full-on luxury, the inimitable Peninsula Beverly Hills immerses you in Tinseltown extravagance. Each lavish suite exudes European sophistication with plush furnishings and marble baths. Indulge in unique rituals like the Haute Couture Body Treatment or bathing rituals in the only hotel spa with custom-designed scent menus. Relax poolside surrounded by palms and bougainvillea blooms. Later, dine at the elegant rooftop restaurant before trying your luck at the hotel’s swanky casino.
“We felt like royalty unwinding poolside at the Peninsula, created especially for our visit,” shares VIP Leah. “Their couture treatments relaxed my body while the exquisite meals satisfied my soul.”
Capturing the essence of Spanish colonial glamour, the iconic Belmond El Encanto resides within Santa Barbara’s hillsides. Find tranquility in the bungalow-style suites featuring outdoor terraces with al fresco bathtubs overlooking the Pacific. Visit the spa tucked within lush gardens for specific therapies like the Grape Seed Body Glow. Then lounge by the sparkling infinity pool and dine at the al fresco restaurant, savoring the legendary ocean sunsets.