Spending time relaxing in nature has been linked to lower anxiety levels and improved health, but it is easy to get caught up in the rush of a busy life. Even while on vacation we tend to stress over fitting it all in, whether that means seeing every major sight or eating at the right restaurants. It might seem as though the only way to connect with the natural world is by forgoing creature comforts for the canvas walls of a backpacking tent, but travelers can enjoy all of nature’s benefits while being pampered, too.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “In the woods, we return to reason and faith.” Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, California, where the design of the rooms and cabins was inspired by the hotel’s natural surroundings, allows one to do just that. After a long day of hiking through a redwood forest, guests can watch the sunset over the Pacific from a private hot tub.
Or settle into a natural rhythm at Travaasa Hana in Maui, Hawaii, where visitors rise with the sun as it hits the eastern edge of Maui and spend their days snorkeling or net fishing before enjoying a massage and falling asleep to the sound of the waves. For a more immersive experience, wildlife lovers can get up close and personal with nature at the colonial-style Giraffe Manor in Nairobi, Kenya, where the resident giraffe herd likes to be fed by hand, and the hotel arranges regular visits to a nearby elephant orphanage.
Whether you are traveling with family to a glacier in the Alps or with a significant other for a romantic weekend in Vancouver’s rainforest, these ten hotels are among the best when it comes to truly getting away from it all.