Fresh air, no crowds and new destinations – these three things seem to be on many people’s tick lists when thinking of holidays at the moment. Fortunately, there are countless places that we would love to recommend that tick all these boxes, and a lot more. Below we have highlighted just a few in the hope that they might help inspire your next get away…
San Lorenzo Mountain Lodge, Dolomites
We are extremely passionate about mountain escapes, especially due to our close link with The Oxford Ski Company, and we can think of few better places of escape to when you are looking for a true break, fresh air and quality time together. San Lorenzo Mountain Lodge more than ticks all these boxes. Created by a husband and wife team (Stefano and Giorgia) who initially made San Lorenzo their home, they have since opened it up to guests looking for Italian style and design encased in a traditional mountain chalet, in the heart of 42 acres of beautiful woodland, meadows and fields. Giorgia takes care of all the food preparing the most amazing meals whilst Stefano suggests the wines. They are also on hand of advice on any local activities from the onsite golf experience to trekking, mushroom picking, mountain biking, tree climbing and of course the Dolomiti Superski area which is just 15 minutes’ drive away. Their passion for the area and the lodge will be sure to make you fall in love with the property immediately.
Deplar Farm, Iceland
It doesn’t get more off-the-grid than the Troll Peninsula in northern Iceland. This remote area is a gateway for adventures ranging from skiing to sea kayaking. Located on a converted sheep farm, Deplar Farm blends into the natural landscape with its black timber cladding and living roof. Floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the property embrace the surrounding peaks and allow for an optimal perspective on the colourful skies dancing outside. Throughout the year, both summer and winter day are packed with adventures, from whale watching in the surrounding fjords, astro-touring and fat biking groomed trails around the valley. The lodge also has a wonderful spa with thermal heated pools and a Viking sauna. For those happy to brave the shorter winter days they will hopefully be rewarded by a sighting of the Northern Lights, made all the more magical and clear at Deplar due to the very limited artificial light in the area.
& Beyond Mnemba Island, Zanzibar
For those looking for a remote beach paradise, away from the crowds, look no further than & Beyond Mnemba Island. Our Sales Director Mike was fortunate enough to manage this wonderful island resort for several years before joining the Oxford Travel Collection. Located off the coast of Zanzibar, Mnemba is reached by private transfer (1.5 hours from Zanzibar International Airport) and 15 minute private boat ride. Described as “one of the most glamorous coastal retreats in Southern Africa” Mnemba offers its guests private accommodation in one of 12 standalone “bandas”. The island is a protected nesting place for green turtles, so they abound in the surrounding waters. Humpback whales roam offshore, along with dolphins and whale sharks. All that, and hundreds of species of coral reef fish that make this a paradise for anyone that loves the ocean. Of course, the walks along the beach and sunset bbq’s aren't bad either. And at the end of the day enjoy a sundowner on the beach looking out to the sea and you will wish you could stay forever.
Annadale, New Zealand
Located on the east coast of the South Island in New Zealand, not too far from Christchurch, is Annadale, one of the oldest sheep and cattle farms in the country covering 400 acres of country. Dotted within these 400 acres are 4 standalone properties that can be taken exclusively for a totally private holiday. The estate is still run as an active farm (with over 500 cattle and between 7,000 – 14,000 sheep) and this is reflected in the experience you get staying in one of their properties – they describe it as “gumboot luxury”. The farm to table experience, serving their best produce is what guests will experience when staying at Annadale. The accommodation options are very different, from the beautiful restored 5 bedroom homestead in the centre of the property to the one bedroom Seascape overlooking the bay – a perfect couples retreat. One thing is sure, you won’t bump into many people when you are there.
Eolo Patagonia, Argentina
When thinking of breath-taking destinations, Patagonia is sure to make it on to the list. The sheer vastness and untouched nature of this region make it the perfect choice for a once in a lifetime holiday. The only downside is the journey to get there! EOLO has the wonderful advantage that it is only 30 minutes drive from El Calafate airport making a rather remote destination relatively easily accessible. It is the perfect place from which to visit the famous Perito Moreno Glacier – a natural wonder on many bucket lists. EOLO is located in the middle of an open plain surrounded by a 100,000 acre estate. The views will do the talking here and staff will be on hand to help with anything you need from a guide to take you on a hike on the glacier to a delicious glass of Argentinian wine and a bath at the end of the day.