A Stanford University study recently unleashed a major key on us: Spending time in nature affects your brain in some pretty healthy ways. Is this where science validates my tree-hugging tendencies? But seriously, think about your trips that involved time spent outdoors—tropical beaches, rainforests, redwood forests, desert flora—and the exhilaration that filled your soul.
Fortunately, the growing number of eco-conscious travelers is pushing resort developers to create truly amazing access to natural wonders. And we especially love the resorts that are stepping up efforts to be good stewards of the natural beauty and resources of their surroundings.
So are you in need of some once-in-a-lifetime getaway ideas? Get inspired by these uber-luxury resorts.
Malaysia: Langkawi Four Seasons
The UNESCO geopark on the Malaysian island of Langkawi has mountains, ancient rainforests and beaches that hold records of earth’s story that go back more than a billion years. And it just so happens that the stunningly posh Four Seasons Resort gives you up-close access.
What you get: Among a full spread of uber luxurious amenities that you’d imagine a Four Seasons is going to offer, safari boats pick you up right from the property’s private beach. From there, you set off to explore the Kilim Karst UNESCO Geopark, with wildlife like monitor lizards and brahminy kite eagles. The resort also has a resident naturalist for any of your eco-geek conversation needs.
Check out these incredible images of Langkawi’s natural beauty.
For a winter stay at the Four Seasons Langkawi, rooms start around $675 a night and villas can go for as much as $5000 a night.
Dominican Republic: Tortuga Bay Resort and Club in Puntacana
Close your eyes and picture the gorgeous Caribbean, where the waters generally go from clear to crystal clear and water temperatures to match. Sitting on a Dominican Republic beachfront is the Tortuga Bay 5-diamond boutique resort, featuring a dozen villas that go for a starter-level of $1000 a night in the winter.
What you get: An uber-luxury enclave located within the 1,500-acre Ojos Indigenas ecological preserve, with hiking trails, conservation habitats for iguanas and hawks, and 12 freshwater lagoons—five of which are open to swimming.
Tortuga Bay’s allure depends largely on the surrounding natural beauty. With that in mind, it has been a leader in organizing local programs to support sustainable developments and protecting local natural resources. It also supports programs that give back to the local Veron community.
photo courtesy Four Seasons