The Sound of Silence
An infinity pool in the Laos mountainside. A Tuscan castle boasting 5000 years of history. A honey-hued manor in bucolic Oxfordshire. From floral gardens to quiet hillsides, explore the very best of our calm countryside retreats.
“My wish is to stay always like this, living quietly in a corner of nature.” So said the artist Claude Monet, who dedicated his career to capturing the beauty of flora and fauna. Though his beloved water-lilies can’t be found in every rural spot, the beauty of nature lies in its ever-changing splendor. While orchids bloom in Brazil, lavender sways in England. Nature is profoundly powerful, and is what makes a rural retreat so special and revitalizing. Take a stroll through our top picks.
Nestled down a lavender path in the quiet countryside, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, A Belmond Hotel, Oxfordshire, combines the flair of a French country home with the opulence of a genteel English manor. Each of our 32 rooms have a distinct personality, while all guests can enjoy the lavish grounds. Stepping from your suite, you’ll discover a mushroom valley, wildflower meadow, Japanese garden, orchard and 2-acre potager. In our celebrated countryside hotel, choose a suite with a private garden for that extra-special sense of seclusion.
Life at Castello di Casole, A Belmond Hotel, Tuscany, a 10th-century estate in stunning rural Italy, feels like a fairy-tale. With rolling hills stretching as far as the eye can see, our grounds are recognized as a Model Game Reserve where hare, pheasant and deer roam in abundance. The historic castle has been lovingly restored with local antiques and Tuscan fabrics. A heated infinity pool adds a touch of modern luxury to proceedings. Crystal-clear skies fill with stars at night, while daytime hikes will lead you past fragrant meadows, olive groves, vineyards and castles.
Santa Barbara, USA
A laid-back retreat in the Santa Barbara hills, El Encanto, A Belmond Hotel, Santa Barbara is catnip for California’s elite. Charming bungalows afford a sense of low-key privacy, and with seven acres of gardens and a zero-edge pool, life with us is pure relaxation. Bid adieu to busy city life and head into the Santa Ynez mountains for scenic hikes, vineyard strolls and shaded picnics. And if city life calls, there’s always the hotel’s Mercedes-Benz Sprinter on hand to take you to the sparkling coast.
Luang Prabang, Laos
Historic Luang Prabang is a stunning Shangri-la of preserved beauty and culture. Encircled by tropical flora and fauna, the city sits in the heart of Laos’ mountainous north. Though a short stroll will lead you to stunning temples and traditional markets, from La Résidence Phou Vao, A Belmond Hotel, Luang Prabang, life still feels secluded and serene. With just 34 rooms, guests can relax with three-acre gardens and an infinity pool. Natural sights like Kuang Si Falls, Nahm Dong Park and the Mekong river are a stone’s throw away.
Iguassu Falls, Brazil
The chirp of a toucan. The distant call of a howler monkey. No crowds, no rush – just the gentle sounds of nature and a majestic waterfall on your doorstep. Relax at Hotel das Cataratas, A Belmond Hotel, Iguassu Falls, the only hotel located in the Brazilian side of Iguassu Falls. Life doesn’t get more rural than being surrounded by 700,000 acres of national park. Luxuriate by the heated pool and get your heart pumping with a tennis match, serenaded by the falls.