Small villages offer a serene and tranquil environment, away from the hustle and bustle of cities, making them ideal spots for travelers looking to escape the crowds. From mountain hideaways to island hamlets, here are nine villages for travelers to discover this summer:
Slow Down in Forte dei Marmi
Hidden in the small coastal town of Forte dei Marmi, Villa Roma Imperiale is Collezione EM’s quaint villa offering the luxury of slowing down. From April through October, Villa Roma Imperiale welcomes travelers seeking true Italian wellness to rejuvenate in the 31-bedroom villa and experience all Forte dei Marmi has to offer.
The open-air beauty of Forte welcomes jogging on the seashore or through the pine tree forests, vintage-inspired tennis classes, swimming, and hiking or cycling the Apuan Alps. The Villa Roma Imperiale gym invites guests to enjoy private yoga, pilates, and personal training classes while the hidden pool and garden immerse guests in nature with endless sunshine.
With the luxury of time as the main form of wellness, experiences in and around Forte dei Marmi force guests to slow down and be present. Villa Roma Imperiale is located in an ideal location to explore the open-air market of Forte or journey a but further—such as a 4x4 Jeep ride across the Marble Quarries, roaming the art galleries of Pietrasanta, and cycling the medieval town of Lucca.
Unwind in Umalas
Nestled in the heart of Bali's vibrant Seminyak district, Hotel Indigo Bali Seminyak Beach embodies the essence of Balinese culture by blending ancient and modern traditions into a colorful and lively atmosphere. The hotel's 11 acres of lush, beautifully landscaped grounds adorned with exotic plants and breathtaking vertical gardens offer 289 rooms, including 23 suites and 19 villas.
As IHG's first five-star Hotel Indigo in a resort location, the hotel features seven unique lifestyle dining options and an award-winning body and mind + wellness facility, all drawing inspiration from the flavors, culture, and character of its surrounding local neighborhood.
For those seeking a serene escape or a chance to explore Bali's rich cultural heritage, a day trip to Umalas is highly recommended. This hidden gem, nestled amidst lush rice fields and jungles between Canggu and Seminyak, boasts a wide array of restaurants and artisan workshops, making it an ideal location for those seeking a more relaxed and laid-back approach to Bali.
Umalas offers a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere that allows visitors to unwind yet remain close enough to the main towns to enjoy the vibrant culture and energy of the region.
Explore the Swiss Alps in Arosa
Nestled in the spectacular Graubunden mountains at an altitude of 5,900 feet sits Arosa, a picturesque traditional Swiss town straight out of a story book.
With stunning views of the Alps, 140 miles of hiking and biking trails, a lake for boating and swimming in the center of town, and charming cottages all around, travelers feel like they've been whisked away to another world despite being only two hours from the hustle and bustle of Zurich.
Set among the magnificent Alps in Arosa is the Tschuggen Grand Hotel, a contemporary fairytale style venue. A member of Swiss Deluxe Hotels, an organization comprised of 39 of the most exclusive five-star hotels throughout Switzerland that are considered among the leading hotels worldwide and are known for offering the most unique personal service, the property is ideal for a relaxed yet luxurious Alpine getaway and is complete with the Tschuggen Express, a private cable car giving hotel guests exclusive access to the mountains, iconic 54,000 square foot Mario Botta-designed Tschuggen Bergoase Spa and four outstanding restaurants.
Embrace Healing and Traditions in the Dolomites
Located amidst the Italian slopes, the enchanting city of Merano boasts a multitude of magnificent buildings from the Middle Ages and the Belle Époque creating an idyllic atmosphere for visitors seeking charming villages.
Since the second half of the 19th century, Merano has been an important health and holiday resort, thanks to its mild climate, the quality of the air, and its thermal waters. Surrounded by the breathtaking Dolomites and filled with palm trees and colorful flower beds, travelers can enjoy tranquil walks around Merano, living an authentic Italian dream.
The perfect occasion to embrace the healing properties and traditions of South Tyrol’s region, visitors can round out their itinerary by staying at FORESTIS. Through scenic routes and just a one-hour drive from Merano, FORESTIS is a conceptual luxury retreat celebrating the art of simplicity.
Summer brings peace of mind in the Dolomites, inviting guests to enjoy endless sunshine from the various balconies, daybeds, and outdoor dining areas at FORESTIS. The property features 62 luxury rooms and suites, all with panoramic views of the UNESCO world heritage and facing the sunrise over the mountains before setting out on a hike in the sun.
Get Immersed in Balinese Culture in Ubud
Nestled in the heart of Bali, the charming town of Ubud offers an authentic experience on the Island of Gods. With its vibrant local art markets, ancient temples, and diverse activities, travelers can fully immerse themselves in the Balinese culture. Scattered around the town, exquisite temples host traditional rituals and fire dances inviting visitors to explore the island's spiritual essence. The city's many restaurants provide travelers a chance to indulge in local delicacies, while, at Ubud Art Market, they can find a wide range of traditional dresses and handmade Balinese adornments and support local artisans. Tucked away in the forest, travelers can stay at their very own luxury sanctuary. Beautifully set where the lush jungle meets the Ayung River against a backdrop of rice terraces, Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, boasts 35 suites and 25 private pool villas inviting travelers to enjoy a unique and luxurious stay.
Explore Niseko Village
Resting at the foot of Mount Niseko Annupuri, Niseko Village is considered one of the best places on Hokkaido to enjoy the summer or Green Season. Travelers can hike, bike, golf, explore the local market streets, and even raft down the Shiribetsu River. In terms of of accommodations, Higashiyama Niseko Village, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, the first Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Japan and the fifth across the globe, is a haven for travelers with an affinity for nature, especially during the summer.
The resort offers majestic, panoramic views of Mount Yotei, 43 rooms and seven suites, two distinctive restaurants, the Ume Lounge, a fitness center, an exclusive team of Higashiyama Reservists, and a world-class spa and onsen, Spa Chasi La Sothys. The property also acts as a gateway to Niseko’s mountains, providing access to the area’s hiking and biking trails, golf courses, local markets, and more.
During their stay, travelers are encouraged to explore the local origins of the food on their plates, appreciate the power of solitude while on a mountain walk and enjoy the healing elements of Japan’s hot springs for an experience rooted in discovery and harmony.
Be Enchanted by Dunmore Town
Nestled in a nearby village from Bel Air La Palmeraie Bahamas lies the enchanting seaside settlement of Dunmore town, a historic village that captivates visitors with its exceptional dining options, shopping experiences, and the awe-inspiring Pink Sands Beach situated off the North Eleuthera coast.
With a unique New England design, the village radiates a charming and distinct character, offering a more tranquil and less touristy ambiance than other popular Bahamian destinations.
Bel Air La Palmeraie Bahamas guests can cherish a myriad of experiences from Dunmore town's vast array of attractions while enjoying the village's peaceful streets, making it the perfect destination for a relaxing vacation.
Bel Air La Palmeraie Bahamas, located on the luxurious Harbour Island in the Bahamas, is a renowned destination celebrated for its upscale appeal. The island has long been a preferred hotspot for high-profile entrepreneurs and international celebrities, who either frequent the area as guests or reside on this exquisite paradise. Bel Air La Palmeraie Bahamas offers three exceptional homes available for rent, each renowned for their exquisite quality and exceptional service, catering to the most discerning of guests.
Overlook the French Riviera
The town of Théoule-sur-Mer in the French Riveria is a charming seaside town located just a short drive from Cannes. Unlike its more famous neighbors, Théoule-sur-Mer offers a tranquil and authentic experience, with its secluded coves, colorful fishing boats, and stunning views of the Mediterranean. The town is surrounded by Estérel Massif, a rugged mountain range that provides a dramatic backdrop to the coastline. The natural beauty makes Théoule-sur-Mer a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the best of the French Riveria. When it comes to accommodations, there’s no better place to stay than Villa Azur. This luxurious villa is perched on a hill overlooking the sea, offering breathtaking views from every angle. With its spacious living areas, private infinity pool, and modern amenities, Villa Azur is the perfect place to relax and unwind after a day of exploring the French Riveria.
For qualified travelers looking to book a stay in Théoule-sur-Mer, THIRDHOME offers its members the chance to stay at Villa Azur. THIRDHOME is a premier luxury travel club for second homeowners that includes over 14,000 properties in 100 plus counties with the average home price of $2.4 million. Travelers staying at Villa Azur via THIRDHOME can stay for a fraction of the traditional price ($20,000 per week vs. $955 per week) as THIRDHOME’S business model is based on a fee per week not per night.
The villa is a stunning 2798 square feet, with 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms and can fit up to 12 guests. This peaceful paradise is 0.5 miles away from the Plage de l'Aiguille beach, restaurants, and wellness centers. The villa is surrounded by large terraces with a harsh infinity pool overlooking the ever-changing Mediterranean Sea. The rooms are tastefully decorated as touches of wooden elements with a contemporary style and vibrant colors add a lively and elegant ambiance.
Experience History and Design in Bray
The village of Bray on Thames, located just 40 minutes outside of London, makes for a wonderful summer destination. With a three-mile frontage on the Thames, visitors can stroll the streets of Bray by foot to see the riverbank cottages or go on a culinary tour of the town’s Michelin-starred restaurants, such as Waterside Inn, Fat Duck, The Hinds Head, and The Crown.
For accommodations, travelers are invited to stay at Monkey Island Estate. With a history dating back 800 years, the property has been the haunt of monks, royalty, aristocrats, and a host of famous writers and performers looking for a secluded getaway away from the city. Monkey Island is surrounded seven acres of land and is accessible only by footbridge, boat or helicopter, offering a quiet country escape. The hotel boasts 41 guest rooms, a modern brasserie, the Monkey Room with original 17th century ceiling frescos, a whimsical Whisky Snug, and the Floating Spa on a canal boat - the perfect escape for travelers after spending their days exploring the village.