Barefoot luxury in the world's best back-to-nature resorts.
These are our favourite resorts in beautiful pockets of the world that blend seamlessly with their surroundings and allow you to appreciate nature in barefoot luxury.
SAMOA – Sinalei Reef Resort & Spa
Boasting long, white sand beaches, volcanic mountain ranges, lush rainforests, dramatic coastlines and hidden waterfalls, Samoa is geographically astounding. Made up of two main islands, ‘Upolu and Savai’i, the natural wonders of this tiny island nation are incredibly vast.
Sinalei Reef Resort & Spa is ideally located within easy access of some of the country’s most iconic features, including the famed To Sua Ocean Trench, a beautiful 30m deep swimming hole with turquoise water, surrounded by lush vegetation that sits in the middle of a lava field near Lotofaga in East Upolo.
To ensure you don’t miss any of Samoa’s natural beauty, we suggest hiring a car and spending some quality time driving around and taking in the diverse landscapes along the way. The roads are quiet, easy to navigate and basically hug the coastline, making it easy to navigate your way back to the resort.
Alternatively, Sinalei offers a couple of great tours that showcase the local beauty.
- East Coast Tour
A crowd favourite, the East Coast Tour provides a special taste of what the island of Upolu has to offer. Enjoy a swim, snorkel and lunch at Lalomanu’s white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters. Drive through Lemafa Pass (350 metres) above sea level and marvel at the tallest mountain on the island (Mt Fao). Refresh in the cool waters of Piula Cave before heading back home through the mountains of Upolu, where you will encounter the islands longest waterfall (Papapapaitai Falls).
- Apia Town Tour
Start your day with a step back in time at the RLS Museum, home of the late teller of tales (Tusitala) Robert Louis Stevenson. Visit the local markets to score yourself a bargain before cruising to Mulinu’u Peninsula to experience the sacred burial grounds of Chiefs and former leaders of Samoa. Experience an amazing snorkel, swim and bite to eat at the renowned Palolo Deep Marine Reserve before taking on the Papase’ea Sliding Rocks challenge as your final act of the day.
- Savaii Island Tours
This very popular one- or two-day excursion involves a ferry ride (1 hour, 15 minutes) to the BIG Island of Savaii. This hidden and untouched gem presents a rare look in on what Upolu Island was like decades ago, with no shortage of sites to explore.
Sinalei itself is a bit of a natural wonderland. The locally-owned boutique resort is nestled within a sheltered lagoon along the southern coast of ‘Upolo Island, a mere stone’s throw from Apia and Faleolo International Airport. Spread across 33 elegantly-groomed acres of lush vegetation, Sinalei’s grounds create an atmosphere of modern-rustic luxury combined with raw, untouched beauty!
INDONESIA – Bawah Reserve
Singlehandedly the best destination in the world for nature lovers, Bawah Reserve is an archipelago of islands, home to 13 beaches; stunning coral reefs; ancient, untouched forests and crystal-clear lagoons.
Enveloped by lush tropical greenery and azure blue ocean, the eco-friendly resort rests in sheltered, carefree seclusion 160 nautical miles (300km) northeast of Singapore in Indonesia’s remote Anambas Archipelago, which comprises 295 islands.
Only 19 of the Anambas islands are populated, and the six that make up Bawah Reserve are located within a previously uninhabited marine conservation area. The resort only allows a maximum of 70 guests at one time, with 35 sustainable suites and overwater bungalows, providing guests with a private oasis amongst spectacular scenery.
Bawah Island has been developed to inspire guests to get reacquainted with their ‘true nature’ by inviting them to explore the islands and leave with a renewed sense of purpose. Immersing in experiences harmonious with nature, explorers can encounter flourishing species of corals, turtles and iridescent schools of fish, or step foot in Bawah’s primary forest that has never been touched.
THAILAND – Soneva Kiri
The island of Koh Kood is less touristy than others in Thailand and encapsulates the country as it was years ago – untamed jungle, pristine beaches, fishermen going about their business. Ancient Siam at peace with itself.
Because of this remoteness, Koh Kood’s natural attractions are pristine and some of the most beautiful in the country. Home to endless beaches spread along the west and south coasts of the island; stunning waterfalls dotted around the centre of the island; and ancient tropical rainforests, it is a natural wonderland and the perfect destination for activities such as snorkelling, diving, hiking and exploring deserted coastlines.
Soneva Kiri is built with the preservation of this precious environment in mind and provides guests with an incomparably eco-luxe experience. Perched atop rocky cliffs and sheltered by a lush jungle canopy, the resort offers spectacular views and spectacular sunsets.
The resort grounds are so spacious that guests are given personal buggies to use during their stay, and one of the most awe-inspiring areas of the resort they will uncover is a private, idyllic beach accessible only to resort guests and situated adjacent to a coconut grove, composed of white, powdery soft sand.
FIJI – Koro Sun Resort & Rainforest Spa
Set on a private, 160-acre sanctuary, encircled by verdant rainforest at the edge of an azure lagoon, Koro Sun Resort & Rainforest Spa is a serene setting inspired by the beauty of Fiji’s tropical landscape.
Located on the Fiji’s second largest island, Vanua Levu, in a remote setting that defines paradise, Koro Sun guarantees a genuine Fijian experience that is nirvana to the core.
From the picturesque, sheltered bay of the island’s main town, Savusavu, to the untouched rainforest of the Wasali Nature Reserve, Snake Temple near Labasa, or the pristine corals off the coastline, the island has lots to offer.
While the resort has plenty to offer nature-loving guests, including beautifully-manicured gardens, lush rainforest, a private lagoon, and tranquil beaches, it also caters to wayfaring guests who wish to explore further afield.
- Adventure Package
- One-hour massage at the Rainforest Spa
- Waterfall Expedition and Village Visit
- Guided Salt River kayak adventure
SRI LANKA – Resplendent Ceylon
Resplendent Ceylon is an iconic collection of nature-inspired luxury resorts in the most pristine, jaw-dropping locations throughout Sri Lanka. These world-renowned, award-winning properties contribute to the local environment through the MJF Foundation & Dilmah Conservation.
- Cape Weligama
Thirty minutes east of Galle, Cape Weligama inhabits 12 manicured acres atop a singular promontory rising 40 metres above the Indian Ocean. Stunning panoramas await you, naturally complementing the 39 private retreats designed by one of Asia’s most celebrated architects, Lek Bunnag.
- Ceylon Tea Trails
The world’s first tea bungalow resort, Ceylon Tea Trails is an icon for small luxury resorts. Comprising of five restored colonial era tea planter residences, the period furnishings, gracious butler service and gourmet cuisine create an ambience that has made Tea Trails the gold standard for luxury bungalows in Sri Lanka. Situated at an altitude of 1,250 metres near Hatton in central Sri Lanka, the resort borders the World Heritage Central Highlands and offers breathtaking panoramas of mountains and lush tea fields.
- Wild Coast Tented Lodge
Adjacent to the world-famous Yala National Park, which is renowned for its dense leopard population, is Wild Coast Tented Lodge. This spectacular luxury tented camp is situated in a stunning location where the jungle meets a rugged, empty beach, overlooking the sparkling Indian Ocean.