The advent of our ultra-fast, ultra-connected, crowded lifestyle paved the way for a new kind of holiday. Slow travel originated in the 2000s and has since been embraced by hotels set to push guests to loosen up their daily routine. While some advocate a digital detox, others go further and ban mobile phones and wifi altogether. Below, we’ve rounded the seven finest slow-travel destinations worthy of your last-minute holiday getaway.
PLAYA KORALIA (COLOMBIA)
If you want to have fun in nature, then nature spa Playa Koralia is a must. Bordered at the Tayrona National Park and nestled between poppy palms along the beautiful Caribbean coast of Colombia, this hippie-chic hotel features seventeen beautiful suites. There is no privacy shortage because of the space between the cabins. The locks are almost superfluous. You can walk for miles around the beaches without encountering a living soul. It’s great for those who like temporary isolation because checking emails or reading the newspaper on your iPad isn’t possible. In the suites there is no Wi-Fi connection and mobile phones have little data access. This, in combination with the breathtaking scenery, makes Playa Koralia one of the most sought after destinations in Colombia. Yet the owner doesn’t think of expanding. In fact, he emphasizes that no palm tree was cut during the construction of the hotel: all cabins are in natural open spaces. It is precisely this attention to the ecological footprint in the tropical area that distinguishes Playa Koralia. You won’t find a swimming pool or anything that doesn’t fit into the ecophilosophy. Here, swimming is beneath waterfalls and between lush greenery with curious monkeys as spectators. Even the kitchen is in harmony with nature: one cooks with vegetables and fruit from on-site organic gardens and non-native meats are not on the menu. If the cabins are a bit too luxurious and you’d rather strip it down, Playa Koralia also offers camping sites right on the beach.
PURA VIDA (COSTA RICA)
In the sublime Pura Vida, Costa Rica, guests can exchange their fully equipped suite for a toned-down tent a hundred meters away.
In Loisaba, a Kenyan nature reserve, each luxurious private hut has an extra bed on the terrace if the guest would prefer to sleep beneath the stars.
Recently, Hoshinoya opened in Japan opposite Mount Fuji. A luxury resort with futuristic cabins, guests will receive a suitcase with all the necessities to survive, sleep under the bare sky, and barbeque in nature.
TIPI VALLEY (PORTUGAL)
A plus of glamping is its ecologically responsible character — the aim is to minimize the human footprint on the environment. In the Algarve Valley in Portugal, Tipi Valley Surf Camp realizes this ideal with tents and a common outdoor swimming pool that operates on solar energy. Even water consumption is closely monitored to counteract waste disposal.
SHASH DINE (ARIZONA)
At Shash Dine, a campsite in an Arizona Naval Rescue, guests are gradually immersed in the local culture, with the aim of raising awareness for the Native American cause.
FABRIKEN FURILLEN (SWEDEN)
Fabriken Furillen is one of the most trendy hotels of the moment. Silence is their biggest asset, which has been set up over ten years by photographer Johan Hellström. "I was tired of all overconsumption," he explains. "I wanted guests to wake up with sunlight and the sounds of nature and not the noise caused by human inventions." The staff is bare, the kitchen is extremely minimalist with ingredients from its own vegetable garden, the rooms are remote and there is no electricity or running water.