Planning an escape to get that daily dose of sunshine? Our top five lodges for those seeking a real connection to the great outdoors

Lochmara Lodge, Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand

A private water taxi from the South Island port of Picton brings guests to this eco-friendly accommodation, passing on its way through sea passages that are water playgrounds for penguins and dolphins. Guests are encouraged to hike the lodge’s lush surroundings and nearby trails, kayak or paddle board the shoreline of Lochmara Bay or take time to tour the wildlife recovery centre. Located close to the oldest wine region of New Zealand, numerous regional vintages and locally-sourced cuisine are on offer at the lodge café, which can be enjoyed on the lodge deck for sunset and for stargazing the southern skies.  

CostaBaja Resort & Spa, La Paz, Mexico

Chilling out at the resort’s expansive infinity pool, which overlooks the small town of La Paz on the Sea of Cortez, is the way to quickly transform into vacay mode. Tee off on the Gary Player signature 18-hole golf course, charter a yacht for sport fishing or book a boat tour at the hotel’s marina to go diving or snorkeling to view fish, sea lions, dolphins and whales in the protected marine park made famous by 1970s French scientist/TV host Jacques Cousteau. 

The Harmony Hotel, Nosara, Costa Rica

Harmony Hotel, Costa Rica

Pool side.

Juice Bar, Harmony Hotel Costa Rica

Juice Bar

Five star and sustainable are perfectly paired at this laid-back boutique hotel on the country’s northwest coast. Each room has a small patio with hammock to encourage me-time with a book. Guests can surf (or learn to surf) in the breaks at the hotel’s beach, partake in yoga below the palm trees or indulge in a daily spa treatment. Spa ingredients sourced from the extensive hotel gardens, which also provides inspiration for the dining room’s ever-changing menu. 

Estancia La Bamba de Areco, San Antonio de Areco, Argentina

As the ranch Land Rover delivers guests to the door of this contemporary ranch, the Spanish colonial-meets-modern main house feels like a private residence. Polo horses are trained nearby and a hospitable staff are all about pamperings guests. Strolling the grounds and spending time in the luxe out=buildings provide an idyllic escape for urbanites (it’s two hours from Buenos Aires) to savour Argentine wine and cuisine.  

Chisomo Safari Camp, Limpopo, South Africa

Guests are pretty much guaranteed giraffes at sunrise at this lodge, found within the Karongwe Private Game Reserve. A chic glamping site with five-star hospitality from lounge to dining room, the luxurious elevated safari tents overlook a river from where one might hear a nightly lullaby from hippopotamuses. Indulge in South African wines at the open-air main lodge or at the swimming pool, while chatting about what big five creatures were seen on the twice-daily game drives. 


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