Silence is Golden: Tranquil International Destinations
For travelers looking to reconnect with themselves and their surroundings, a destination known for its peace and quiet is just the ticket. Here are a few top places across the globe where explorers can experience tranquility and seclusion:
Shambala Private Game Reserve, South Africa
Just a two and half hour drive (or 45 minute helicopter ride) up north from the bustling city of Johannesburg is Zulu Camp at Shambala Private Game Reserve. A destination for a holistic experience, Shambala Private Game Reserve is ideal for quiet contemplation and reconnecting to nature and one’s own self. Situated on nearly 25 acres in the Limpopo Province, Zulu Camp at Shambala Private Game Reserve is set under the watchful guardianship of the picturesque, malaria-free Waterberg mountains, and the magnificent African bushveld is home to a variety of remarkable flora and fauna also includes The Big Five. Zulu Camp was built in traditional Zulu style with streams from the nearby river running through the camp. The camp offers the extraordinary experience of staying in traditional honeycomb-shaped chalets in the heart of the bushveld. Each chalet also includes a personal butler service to assist guests during their stay at all times. The reserve also includes Shambala Spa, an intimate wellness retreat that provides individualized treatments including facials, manicures and pedicures. At Shambala Private Game Reserve, guests can enjoy bush picnics, game drives, star gazing, guided bush walks, interactions with the Big Five, game research and monitoring, and sundowner cruises on the Douw Steyn Dam — all in quiet, tranquil peace.
With fields of lavender, hillside olive groves, bright passageways between historic stone corridors, Provence seems like a peaceful place that that can only be found in a storybook. Rural France has always been a classic and popular getaway destination for both French locals and international guests alike, providing a break and quiet setting from popular cities and areas in the country. A charming and quaint region full of romance and rolling countryside, the pastoral landscape of Provence has long allured guests to discover the quiet and picturesque scenery that served as inspirations for the paintings of Van Gogh, Picasso, Cezanne, and Matisse. Hotel Crillon le Brave, a Maisons Pariente property, is the ultimate fairytale hideaway for travelers looking to immerse themselves in exquisite and authentic natural settings. Against a backdrop of hypnotically beautiful landscapes sits a wonderful labyrinth of 17th and 18th century buildings, where Crillon le Brave literally merges with the landscape. The hotel consists of around ten ancient Génoise-tiled houses, and in the middle stands an age-old olive tree that proudly stands guard of the property. Crillon le Brave offers guests 15 guestrooms/18 guest suites, a rustic spa, two gourmet restaurants, climbing plant gardens, an outdoor heated swimming pool, a terraced pétanque court, and a friendly concierge to arrange experiences to explore the dramatic region.
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Located 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador and home to only 30,000 people, the Galapagos Islands are a one-of-a-kind quiet destination. With five of the 13 islands completely uninhabited by people, travelers to the Galapagos can experience the wildlife and nature without any other distractions. Quasar Expeditions, a leader in experiential travel throughout South America, offers amazing weeklong cruises throughout the Galapagos on their two small yachts, the M/Y Grace and M/V Evolution. During their trip, guests spend their days hiking, kayaking and snorkeling - getting up close and personal with the different wildlife on each island - and at night they are lulled to sleep by the peaceful winds and seas. After experiencing nothing but the sounds of the ocean and nature, traveler return from their expedition more in-tune with their surroundings and appreciative of the quiet that enveloped their lives during their trip.
Nestled in the Alps at 5,900 feet is Arosa, a quiet, charming mountain town. With 140 miles of hiking, biking and ski trails, travelers can feel like they are the only ones exploring the area for as far as the eye can see, making it the perfect quiet destination. No matter what time of year, Arosa offers travelers the chance to spend their days quietly immersed in nature as they walk a mountain trail or ski through the Schanfigg Valley. Perched on the Tschuggen Mountain on the outskirts of town, the Tschuggen Grand Hotel is a contemporary fairy tale style venue with 130 rooms, the world class Tschuggen Bergoase Spa, four restaurants, and private Tschuggen Express cable car providing direct access to the Alps. Guests of the hotel are just a few moments away from enjoying tranquil days in the mountains while experiencing five-star luxury.
Located off the coast of Africa, the Seychelles are a set of islands sprinkled throughout the Indian Ocean. Newly reopened Fregate Island Private is one of the most revered hideaways in the Seychelles, offering the privacy, seclusion and quiet with 17 beautifully crafted villas throughout pristine nature. Fregate is accessible only via helicopter or boat and offers guests total relaxation. The island is home to seven beaches including the only privatizable beach in the Indian Ocean where the only sound guests will hear are the waves of the water.
In addition to beach time, guests can enjoy other quiet time experiences such as nature walks through the island’s jungle, unwinding at the Rock Spa and lounging next to their own infinity pool in their villas.
Niseko Village, Japan
Travelers looking for a place to enjoy tranquility and solitude need look no further than Niseko Village. With access to 2,191 acres of skiable terrain, 70 runs, 29 lifts and gondolas, and extensive backcountry skiing, the area is the perfect place for travelers looking to catch some serious air and welcome the quiet that surrounds them.
Lying at the base of Mount Niseko Annupuri and acting as a gateway to the slopes is Higashiyama Niseko Village, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, the first Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Japan and the fifth across the globe. The property is set to make its grand debut on December 15, 2020, and 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. While at the resort and in Niseko Village, guests are encouraged to explore the local origins of the food on their plates, appreciate the power of solitude while on a mountain walk or ski run and enjoy the healing elements of Japan’s hot springs for an experience rooted in discovery and harmony.
Kalahari, South Africa
Located in the green Kalahari of South Africa, a place where humans have wandered since the dawn of the creation, the Kalahari offers a diverse landscape and animal sightings such as cheetah, aardvark, lion and others.
One of the very few mountain ranges in the southern Kalahari – the Korannaberg – casts a benevolent shadow over the rolling dunes and expansive grasslands of Tswalu Kalahari, South Africa’s largest private game reserve in the Kalahari. With a strong focus on research and conservation, Tswalu offers guest a chance to experience extraordinary wildlife in a peaceful, luxurious setting.
Between private game drives with no set schedule, horseback riding, walking safaris, meerkat encounters, visits to the millennia-old San petroglyphs, and research activities, Tswalu offers guests the chance to experience the magic of the southern Kalahari from every angle in a quiet setting. Since Tswalu is a private reserve, no areas are off-limits, and it is not crowded with tourists, so guests can pursue the sightings of the Kalahari as they please while enjoying lack of people- and noise.
Tswalu is also home to the Malori, a unique safari sleepout experience. At the Malori (meaning 'dreamer' in Tswana), guests are welcome to sleep in a luxury king-size bed on a raised deck in the middle of a private game reserve, surrounded by the calls of nocturnal animals, with nothing between them and the brilliant stars of the Kalahari night sky. Guests can choose to sleep under the thatch or further along the deck where it is completely open. The quiet Malori deck boasts a raised platform with a thatched overhang for protection should it rain. The quaint bush suite also has weather-proof blinds which can be rolled up or down according to preference.
Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
Arguably built as one of the most sustainable lodges on the continent, Singita Volcanoes National Park honors Rwanda’s people and its fertile land by touching lightly on the land, while contributing significantly to conservation, community partnerships and ecotourism. Singita Kwitonda Lodge, named after a legendary silverback gorilla known for his humility and gentle nature, was inspired by Rwanda’s rich cultural heritage and the enormous responsibility of protecting the strong, yet vulnerable gorillas.
Mirroring the serene imagery evoked by these magnificent, gentle creatures, the décor reflects their plight with ease and simplicity, resulting in spaces that are both bold and calming. Natural elements like mud, earth, mist, rain and lava are cleverly integrated into furniture pieces and linear art, while the vivid colour palette of black, khaki green, ‘greige’ and fiery orange echo the surrounding landscape, which flows in through large windows. It highlights an organic rawness that’s inherently African, sophisticated, polished and peaceful.
Hyde Park, New York
For traverlers looking for a true country getaway, look no further than Hosack Farm, a historical gem that was originally part of the Vanderbilt Estate in Hyde Park, New York — only a short distance from New York City. Available for exchange as part of luxury property and travel club THIRDHOME's portfolio, this historic 10,000 square feet home was built by McKim, Mead & White in 1896. The gilded age home retains it’s elegant charm with large chef’s kitchen, seven bedroom suites, and large garden areas. The estate sits on nearly one hundred acres of perfectly manicured grounds that features private and has private access to the six-hundred acre Vanderbilt Mansion Historic Site that neighbors the property.