Can’t do without Egyptian-cotton sheets and pampering spas? Off-the-beaten-path adventures needn’t mean shared showers or hauling your own tent. Travel experts Mr & Mrs Smith have hand-picked five indulgent hotels for intrepid travellers.
Vermont, United States
Forget long queues at the ski lift — this 300-acre pine-flecked Twin Farms estate has six private downhill ski trails and its own ice skating rink. With mountain-bike-ready trails and a private pond stocked with trout for anglers, it’s a wonderland for nature-lovers in any season. This rustic-luxe haven has spared no expense to cosset its guests: Expect wildly creative interiors, world-class artwork and swimsuit-optional soaks in the spa’s Japanese bath.
Smith extra: $100 spa treatment credit.
Lake Taupo, New Zealand
A heritage 1920s hotel founded as a simple fishing lodge, Huka Lodge, a country retreat has elegant bedrooms overlooking the Waikato River and lush, green grounds. A short walk beyond the gates brings you to the spectacular Huka Falls. Angling fans will be in heaven here: The lodge has access to 23 streams and river offering magnificent fishing. For something a little less sedate, the area has plenty of high-octane thrills such as bungy jumping, waterskiing and white-water rafting.
Smith extra: Lunch for two including a bottle of NZ house wine, either within the Lodge or as a picnic.
Scenic Rim, Australia
An intimate luxury lodge with all-inclusive gourmet treats, Spicers Peak Lodge is set on an 8,000-acre cattle station and private nature refuge. Hedonists are welcome to this mountain hideaway: There’s a mood-boosting spa, a deck-fringed infinity pool and a five-course tasting menu that makes the most of this up-and-coming wine region’s terrific produce. Work off the calories with guided bush walks, mountain biking or wildlife-spotting — the local herd of Scottish Highland cows is rather friendly.
Smith extra: A cheese platter on arrival. Guests staying for two nights or more also get a bottle of bubbly.
Hambanota District, Sri Lanka
Scattered around a patch of protected jungle in Yala National park, Chena Huts’ romantic thatched digs have freestanding bath tubs, dramatic beds and private plunge pools. This expanse of grassy plains and unspoilt coastline is home to teeming wildlife: Leopards, elephants, white-tailed deer, crocodiles, sloth bears and colourful flocks of birds can all be spotted here. Grab your zoom-iest camera for morning and evening game drives, included in your room rate with a picnic.
Smith extra: $100 credit per room booked for extras like adventures with the activities centre, spa treatments or a bottle of wine.
Kruger National Park, South Africa
A clifftop bolthole overlooking the N’wanetsi River, this Singita Lebombo makes the most of the African wilderness. Each of its 15 rooms has a panoramic game-viewing deck, indoor and outdoor shower, air-conditioning and open fireplaces. You’d be unlucky not to spot the Big Five (lions, leopards, elephants, Cape buffalo and black rhino) here: All game drives are included, as are the wonderful food and head-turning tipples from the fantastic wine cellar.
Smith extra: A South African wine tasting experience for guests staying three nights or more.
Mr & Mrs Smith offers the best rates, as well as a little something extra on arrival at every hotel. To book, call the Smith24 team toll-free on 800-905-326, or visit mrandmrssmith.com