Transformative travel is tipped to be the travel trend of 2018, with travellers wanting to come back from trips informed, enlightened and changed. Here’s where to go to…
The new buzz word for 2018 is transformative travel – experiences motivated and defined by a shift in perspective, self-reflection and development. Travellers are looking at ways in which they can assimilate the shift they have experienced on their travels into their everyday lives.
Travel company, Perowne International, have handpicked some of the best ways to experience transformative travel through mindfulness, wellness, sustainability and wildlife conservation offerings.
Deplar Farm, Iceland
Chōsen and Eleven Experience are hosting a series of seven-day active Iceland experiences at Eleven’s Deplar Farm on the remote Troll Peninsula. The exclusive programmes will be designed to promote experiential learning through a balance of adrenaline-fuelled adventures, diverse fitness modalities, goal-setting and mindfulness, hosted by an expert Chōsen team. They will include nutritional and wellness elements with gourmet menus inspired by locally grown produce and daily relaxation sessions.
This transformative travel itinerary will include a range of activities including a sea-kayaking adventure featuring water navigation and rescue skill training, a wildlife exploration and dry suit snorkelling with whales and puffins, as well as summit hikes and orienteering. There is also a wellness element with daily restorative yoga, spa sessions, breath work and meditation, professional bodywork and guided goal setting form part of the mindfulness component of the lifestyle itinerary in Deplar’s in-house spa.
HOW: The seven day Chōsen Iceland itinerary will cost from £12,183 ($15,700) for single occupancy and £10,475 ($13,500) based on two people sharing on a full-board basis (excluding flights). Available on select dates in September 2018
REMEMBER TO SLEEP TO REMEMBER…
Six Senses Sleep Programme
Six Senses has made it its mission to tackle the three distinct phases of memory and their link to sleep with the group’s ‘Sleep with Six Senses’ programme. Addressing the mind’s abilities of acquisition, consolidation, and recall, Six Senses has concluded that sleeping well, and sleeping right, will aid each of these aspects of memory health and can make a real difference in our ability to take in new information. Six Senses has put together a simple, practical three-step guide to help its guests to sleep more, sleep better, and sleep longer, by providing the tools for long-lasting results at home beyond a stay at a Six Senses hotel or resort. This transformative travel experience will truly change your day to day happiness back in the big smoke.
The programme covers establishing a sleep routine, being mindful about consumption and easing your stress. Renowned clinical psychologist Dr. Michael J. Breus is a member of the Six Senses Integrated Wellness Board, which created the pioneering Sleep With Six Senses programme that adds a new dimension to a stay at a Six Senses hotel or resort.
HOW: Sleep with Six Senses is available at: Six Senses Zighy Bay, Oman; Six Senses Douro Valley, Portugal; Six Senses Zil Pasyon, Seychelles; Six Senses Yao Noi, Thailand and Six Senses Ninh Van Bay, Vietnam. New Six Senses properties opening soon with Sleep with Six Senses are: Six Senses Fiji (March 2018); Six Senses Krabey Island, Cambodia (August 2018); Six Senses Bhutan (five lodges – August & November 2018).
Reforestation Project in Guatemala
This experience teaches guests the importance of reforestation from local Guatemalan charity, Global Visionaries. Planting season runs from 15 May to 15 October which goes hand in hand with Guatemala’s green season (rainy season). The rest of the year is dedicated to the maintenance of the project when visitors will have the chance to work on the already reforested land. The hands-on experience is a fun way to learn about the nature of Guatemala and to interact with the local community of helpers which includes students from the local schools.
HOW: Scott Dunn recommends staying at Posada del Angel, a small, charming and intimate colonial mansion located in the centre of Antigua in Guatemala.
scottdunn.com / 0208 682 5040
Meet A Landmine Expert in Cambodia
For a holistic understanding of Cambodia, this transformative travel experience gives context to the significant impact land mines have had on the country in recent years. Specialised guide, Stéphane De Greef, whose insight working as a Mine action expert for organisations such as Handicap International, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, the Cluster Munition Coalition and AOAV, adds a unique and in-depth dimension on the issues of landmines in Cambodia today. The meeting will include a visit to the Landmine Museum accompanied by Stéphane; filled with a collection of ordinances and other old weapons used from civil war, it’s now run by a former Khmer Rouge child soldier.
HOW: Scott Dunn recommends staying at Phum Baitang one of Siem Reap’s most luxurious and elegant hideaways with just 45 spacious stilted villas with private pools or terraces
scottdunn.com / 0208 682 5040
Find sanctuary in Coorg
For travellers looking to reset, look to India to learn from the most distinguished spiritual gurus, yoga gurus and ashrams around the world. Guests can detox from city life and enjoy the most serene resort in Coorg, Taj Madikeri, located in the heart of a 180-acre rainforest. They will find sanctuary in the hotel, which is located within one of India’s seven bio diverse habitats, and experience 270 degree views of the surrounding rainforest from their secluded villa.
The 30,000 square-ft Jiva Grande Spa is a key highlight, hidden under a rainforest canopy where guests can unwind listening to the sounds of the jungle at the Buddha Garden and vast outdoor pool. Pair this restorative break with the benefits of the sea at Taj Bekal, an exceptional beach resort tucked away in Northern Kerala and one of India’s best kept secrets. The Jiva Spa menu at Taj Bekal features signature experiences, Ayurveda programmes, Indian therapies, Indian aromatherapy, scrubs and wraps, and beauty rituals rooted in the rich and ancient wellness traditions of India.
HOW: Rates at Taj Madikeri, Coorg start from £221 on B&B basis and at Taj Bekhal from £125 on B&B basis.
Escape to the remote Himalayan society of Ladakh
The Shakti Walking Experience by Ampersand Travel is ideal for travellers seeking seclusion and a remedy to city minds frazzled by concrete and adrenaline. With no motorised transport, no rush, no phone signal and travelling at the speed of your own two feet, this walk is a journey of the most personal kind. Situated in India’s far north and perched at over 3,500m, Ladakh is often referred to as ‘little Tibet’ and is home to one of the best preserved Tantric Buddhist societies in existence.
Staying at Shakti, Ladakh, travellers can experience the ‘Head in the Clouds’ journey as the perfect antidote to the frenetic world, with highlights including silent walks led by mindfulness gurus and a 3km hike to mountain caves chaperoned by a monk, imparting a unique insight into the region’s spiritual life. Accompanied by local porters and guides, guests stay in traditional homestays – complete with private chef – that Shakti has spruced up to provide serious comfort without compromising on authenticity. There is no standard itinerary as every trip is tailored to the individual travellers ensuring the best possible experience to suit their tastes.
HOW: Specialist India operator Ampersand Travel offers the 16-day Ladakh Village Walk Experience from £9,995 per person. This includes accommodation at the Trident Gurgaon, Delhi, Shakti, Ladakh and The Imperial Hotel, Delhi, international and domestic flights, private transfers and private guiding.
(+44 (0)20 7819 9770 / ampersandtravel.com)
Connect with Khmer’s community
Knai Bang Chatt is a chic, modernist boutique hotel revealing Kep Sur Mer – a relatively undiscovered coastal destination on Cambodia’s South Coast, once the 1960’s escape for the elite. The property comprises five villas which have been sensitively converted to offer 18 rooms and suites, each individually designed following the Wabi Sabi Japanese tradition. The hotel is the first in Cambodia to be recognised as internationally sustainable and has been certified Gold to the ‘Green Growth 2050 Global Standard’. The hotel employs 92 members of staff, who are locally based and well provided for in terms of accommodation and welfare. The owners realised during their first visit to Cambodia that many neighbouring and impoverished communities were in need of improved health, clean water, more livelihoods opportunities, and better education for their children. Owner, Jeff Moon continues committed to empowering the local community, with Cambodia’s first official Sailing Club opened in May 2017 as a means of nurturing home-grown talent.
HOW: Rates at Knai Bang Chatt start from $188 (approx. £143) per night. This is an accessible coastal location, just over a two-hour drive from Phnom Penh airport and is an integral part of a Cambodia itinerary.
Visit the Sumba Foundation in Indonesia
Nihi Sumba Island is a remote hideaway on Sumba, one of the 17,000 islands in the Indonesia Archipelago. Beyond adventure and indulgence at Nihi Sumba Island, guests are invited to volunteer and become involved in the hotel’s philanthropic arm. Philanthropy is at the core of the resort’s business model, with a portion of profits channelled into The Sumba Foundation. Established by Nihi Sumba Island, The Sumba Foundation is committed to lessening the consequences of poverty across the island. Visiting the foundation is a complimentary experience offered to all guests of Nihi Sumba Island.
As part of the trip, guests can choose to visit a local water project, a health clinic that helps combat malaria or offer to volunteer for a morning at a local school, where they can prepare nutritious school lunches for local school children.
HOW: Scott Dunn offers a 7-night Indonesian itinerary from £3,700 per person. This is based on a couple staying five nights at Nihi Sumba Island on a fully inclusive basis, and two nights at Alila Villas Uluwatu on a B&B basis, and includes return international flights, private airport transfers and a selection of excursions and activities on land and sea.
scottdunn.com / 020 8682 5060.
WILDLIFE AND CONSERVATION
A nature’s lover’s dream in the Seychelles
Fregate Island Private is the perfect place to receive an introduction to conservation, and a once-in-a-lifetime experience getting up close and personal with rare wildlife. Guests can discover the island walking with resident conservationist Tanya Leibrick, including a visit to the nursery for the young tortoises, which are protected and monitored to ensure safe development and growth. Guests also have the chance to witness first-hand one of nature’s true miracles – the sight of a mother turtle laying her eggs on the shore. Guests can also join the islands ecology team for sea turtle patrol, searching the beach for baby turtles.
Beautifully crafted and nestled into the coastline, the hotel’s 16 Private Pool Residences are naturally secluded – all have their own luxurious terrace, large private infinity pool and jacuzzi. On the island, guests can also enjoy seven stunning beaches with the option to really blow the budget and ‘exclusively hire’ their own, including the beach acclaimed amongst the 10 best beaches in the world. A truly special transformative travel experience.
HOW: Private Pool Residence from €3,250 per residence per night, including all meals anywhere on the island, soft beverages, house wines, local beers as well as personal laundry, island buggy, non-motorised watersports and guided nature walks. Kids Club programmes available for children ages four and above.