I am looking to plan a retreat-type vacation in late spring or summer 2018, something a bit “off the grid” or a little unusual. Are there any properties or destinations you would recommend? My desired budget, including airfare, is under $5,000.
~ Adele W., New York, NY
Costa Rica is one of my favourite destinations for retreats, there are so many great options. For those looking to go in the summer, July and August are considered “little summer” – it’s a break in the green season and offers visitors better weather than in the late spring. The Nicoya Peninsula is less popular than many areas in Costa Rica, not because it’s not as great, but it’s harder to get to, which is why celebrities love it and it is becoming more popular all the time. It’s also one of the best spots for wellness resorts in the country. The Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat is a newer addition to the area, just opening a few years ago, but offers guests beachfront access and a variety of wellness, bodywork and spa options. If you’re looking for something more off the grid and less known than Costa Rica, Nicaragua has some fantastic options. One of my favorites is the Aqua Wellness [we should still have images from our Nicaragua feature – perhaps we use as the main intro photo?] resort. It sits in a lovely cove with beautiful beach, jungle and ocean views and the accommodations are luxury tree house style villas, suites, and studios. The resort has a pure wellness in nature focus and offers treatments like organic cacao body polish and mombacho volcanic clay massage.
Lesley Egbert, Owner / Preferred Travel Advisor, Live Longitude Travel
I have to say, nothing soothes the soul more than taking an “off the grid” retreat type of vacation; so I’m super excited that’s on your radar for 2018! If this is your first, you are in for a treat. I’m lucky to have experienced, as well as design, these types of travel experiences for many of my clients. Based on your budget and time of year, one destination stands out from the rest – Costa Rica! Costa Rica is about a 5- hour flight from the tri-state area. There are reasonably priced direct flights from JFK and EWR airports. Once you arrive, it feels like you’ve been transported to Jurassic Park. It’s a nature lovers’ paradise. The property that best describes what you are looking for is Rio Perdido (Lost River). It’s nestled on a 600-acre private reserve. The accommodations are private bungalows nestled in trees. On property for an additional fee, you have the option of zip lining, canyon adventure (with waterfalls), hiking, white water tubing. You may also see spider monkeys hanging around the trees. It’s truly one a kind type of experience that seems to fit what you are looking for.
Melissa Bruno, Founder & Lifestyle Travel Consultant, Invigorate Travel
My favourite retreat is Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Mexico. It’s very easy to get to as you fly into San Diego and Rancho transports you 1 hour south to their property. The resort sits on 4,000 acres in the shadow of Mt. Kuchumaa providing wonderful hiking. There are 50+ activities per day to choose from and guest lecturers and entertainers each week to help you learn something new. The food is healthy and incredibly delicious. Your stay is in beautiful casitas/villas decorated with Mexican art, handmade furniture and providing complete privacy. You can fill every minute with wonderful activities or simply rest in a hammock or lounge by the pools. In my opinion, it is the best value for the money.
Kathryn Schutz, Luxury Travel Advisor, Kathryn Theodore Travel
45 minutes south of Charleston, South Carolina is Kiawah Island Golf Resort. On a 10 mile stretch of private beach, you have the option of The Sanctuary Hotel, Resort Villas, and Premier and Private Homes. The main hotel reflects the style of a grand Southern seaside mansion with 255 guest rooms and suites. The villas range from 2 to 4 bedrooms and include kitchens and living rooms that are ideal for groups. Kiawah is known as a golfer’s haven, but there is so much more to this southern destination. Take your pick from 2 tennis facilities, a five-star spa, nature tours, 30 miles of bike trails, beach and pool relaxation, art studio, disc golf, archery, boutique shops and more. At Wanderlust Travel Boutique, we work with a local personal trainer to offer custom fitness programs and fitness retreats for guests visiting Kiawah.
Jamie Jackson, CTA, Luxury Travel Advisor, Wanderlust Travel Boutique