Escape the City: Dreamy Countryside Getaways
If you’re feeling stressed or burned out from the myriad pressures of urban life, a rural retreat just may be the perfect salve. Head to a hotel or resort that’s charmingly rural to unwind and unplug.
When you need to reset, nothing is more effective than surrounding yourself with nature. In fact, researchers have found that just spending time in a natural environment results in a positive, and measurable, boost in cognitive function. These four soothing resorts offer an easy pace and plenty of opportunities to connect with nature.
Discover a Surprisingly Tropical Paradise in Japan
The island archipelago of Okinawa is not the first place that springs to mind when most people think of Japan. A two-hour flight south from Tokyo’s frenetic bustle, Okinawa has its own culture, cuisine and a distinctly slower pace than the mainland. The vibe is even more pronounced at The Ritz-Carlton, Okinawa, an oasis surrounded by dense jungle, a golf course and the China Sea. Explore the ancient ruins of the Ryuku Kingdom in the World Heritage Sites scattered around the island, immerse yourself in Japanese cuisine traditions with a culinary course on site at the resort, or enjoy swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving at nearby Kise Beach. And as one of the world’s “Blue Zone” hotspots for longevity, Okinawa is the perfect destination to tend to your well-being with a healing spa treatment using the area’s famed indigenous ingredients.
Experience Small-Town Southern Charm in Georgia
Everything is a little more languid in the South — from the locals’ charming drawls to sweet, slow-cooked pulled pork. Combine that with the natural beauty and easy living of Georgia’s lake country and you have a recipe for re-centering and relaxing. The hidden gem that is The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee is an open secret among its many repeat guests, who return year after year for golf, dining and a spa set amid a lakeside paradise. But there’s something rarer and more intangible happening here among the verdant pines. Though it’s not much more than an hour’s drive from Atlanta, you’ll find a wholly different vibe in this part of the state. Browse the charming antiques and historic town square of nearby Madison, practice yoga by the lake, or if you’re adventurous, try a kayak or a jet ski. Return to the resort for innovative renditions of regional cuisine, nightly s’mores and handcrafted local cocktails.
Revel in Oman’s Natural Beauty
In contrast to the glittering skyscrapers of the big cities of its neighbor, the United Arab Emirates, Oman’s capital, Muscat, is a tranquil destination whose lower buildings show off the natural magnificence on display wherever you look. The country’s geology is especially renowned, and Muscat itself offers a rare chance to witness some of the world’s most ancient rocks, as a slice of the earth’s mantle rises in the hills above the city — and of course, the ocean’s proximity provides an ever-present sense of serenity. A half-day’s trip will take you to more remote locales, such as Wadi Mayh, a geological wonder, and Bandar Al Khayran, a secluded beach perfect for a picnic. Don’t miss an indulgent treatment at Six Senses Spa at Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel when you’re ready to venture back to the city.
Tap into the Desert’s Healing Properties in Rancho Mirage
Both the desert and the mountains are renowned for their healing abilities, and the American Southwest is particularly well suited for those in search of physical and spiritual rejuvenation. Ideally situated near the resort town of Palm Springs and the natural oasis of Joshua Tree National Park, The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage offers an inspired getaway whose ambience blends seamlessly with the desert landscape. The area is also a bastion of next-generation wellness, from organic dining to herbalist apothecaries. Try a sound bath at Joshua Tree’s Integratron, whose acoustically perfect construction creates an experience of sonic bliss. You can also opt to push yourself on a rock-climbing challenge, gaze at the Santa Rosa Mountains during morning vinyasa, or enjoy a glass of local wine at the resort’s State Fare Bar & Kitchen. No matter your pleasure, you’ll revel in the singular magic that this destination offers.