Arts, Culture & Lifestyle

4 outdoor destinations to remedy your quarantine ennui

It’ll get better! And in the meantime, start planning your dream getaway and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime at these fancy retreats.
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Camp Sarika by Amangiri

There is no escaping Amangiri when talking about luxury desert destinations. Its enthralling surroundings, thoughtfully modelled premises and curation of adventure as well as wellness activities remain a topic of conversation among the world’s finest nomads even after a decade in. But not one to stay in the comfort zone, the resort brand continues to push the envelope with its new outpost Camp Sarika by Amangiri.

Hemmed in by 600 hectares of Utah’s raw wilderness that encompasses the picturesque flat-topped mesa rock formations, the remote encampment boasts 10 tented pavilions that feature decorative canvas walls and ceilings, wooden fittings, a private terrace and an individual heated plunge pool. A common pavilion housing a restaurant, swimming pool, jacuzzi and two spa suites is also available for the guests’ use on top of the full access to Amangiri’s facilities.

The outdoorsy types will be ecstatic to learn that Camp Sarika has drawn up an itinerary that’s tailor-made for them; think desert and mountain hiking, and canyoneering. They then may indulge in spa therapy inspired by traditional Navajo wellness practices to recuperate or join in the al fresco yoga sessions and guided meditation. Here, immersing in the Native American culture through storytelling and stargazing around the fire would be the perfect way to conclude the day.

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The Muraka by Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

Being in open water may put off the thalassophobic but the idea will intrigue most without a fear of water. That is why The Muraka by Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is the ultimate vacation spot for modern seafarers. Striking the perfect balance that allows one to get in on the underwater action in the comfort and safety of an upscale resort, The Muraka is Conrad Maldives’ standalone duplex residence with a suite submerged five metres below sea level in the Indian Ocean.

On the upper level of the property are the living and dining areas, two bedrooms and a bathroom with ocean-facing tub as well as an outdoor deck with infinity pool. A walk down the spiral staircase or a short elevator ride will take guests to the master bedroom that opens up to a 180-degree curved acrylic dome, floor-to-ceiling windows in the bathroom and walk-in closet, and a dedicated tunnel viewing theater.

And if staying in a fancy aquarium isn’t enough of an adventure already, The Muraka’s curated menu of exclusive and customisable programmes may do the trick. Those who opt for The Thrill, for instance, will get to play marine biologist for a day and participate in motorised water sports. Alternatively, they may choose to partake in a day cruise with the executive chef (The Flavors), enjoy aromatherapy treatments by Neom Organics (The Soul) or try their hand at filming an eco-mentary (The Wanderers).

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Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort

Hovering 2,000 metres above sea level on the ‘Green Mountain’, a towering massif on the Sultanate of Oman’s vast Saiq Plateau, Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort is the epitome of a symbiosis between architecture and nature. No matter which of the guest rooms and villas one ends up with, when it comes to the view, anything less than breathtaking is simply not on the cards. The sight of the dramatic canyon or manicured gardens will get anyone’s day started on a high.

That being said, the villas do have their own perks, especially the private swimming pool whose infinity edges stretch over the cliffs or are hidden within an exotic garden. To elevate the experience of a stay, Anantara has also come up with Dining by Design that invites the guests to dine at the spectacular cliff’s edge platform called Diana’s Point, which is the site of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana’s royal visit.

Encouraging its guests to become one with nature, the resort has put together an extensive list of personalised arrangements that include nature hikes to the area’s most stunning features and rappelling down sheer cliff drop-offs for a falcon’s eyeview of the majestic terrains. Thrill seekers may take a step further and explore the landscape by taking to the newest Jabal Activity Wall for a mountain-climbing and zip line challenge.

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Arctic Treehouse Hotel

Gone were the days when one needed to camp out in the extreme weather and squeeze into a sleeping bag just to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights. Though some may still enjoy roughing it, others lean towards something cosier like snuggling with a special someone in the ArcticScene Executive Suite at Arctic Treehouse Hotel. Imagine curling up under a plush duvet in a king-size bed while getting an eyeful of the otherworldly aurora borealis.

More than a charming retreat for skygazing, the design-centric bolthole embraces and presents the Arctic’s unique nature as demonstrated by its Extraordinary Experiences listing. The Guardians of Lapland private dining session, for one, promises to awaken the senses where patrons are taken to the hotel’s Secret Forest and led blindfolded to another location where they are invited to blind taste the local delicacies upon arrival as the beat of traditional drums fills the air.

This wholesome approach to the natural landscape mirrors the hotel’s core identity as it is built in a way that minimises its environmental footprint and complements its locale. All buildings on site including the individual accommodation units positioned on a steep hillside are made from Finnish wood that has been sustainably produced and is a renewable building material. Other than that, a green roof has also been installed to help manage urban runoff.

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