If your idea of getting away from it all doesn’t include tussling for deck chairs and being confronted with aging men in speedos on a beach holiday then you might want to consider taking things to a higher level. Literally. If it’s solitude and wilderness you crave with dose of luxury thrown in, a mountain retreat might be for you.
Okay, so the luxury is a little lower with Tråfjosen, a converted wooden barn in Voss, a ski resort in Western Norway (which sleeps 4), because it lacks electricity (wood burning heat only) and running water. But the multi-sided windows allow for stunning panoramic views and and the decor and interior design is sparse but strikingly modern.
Scrubby Bay House
If the Norwegian mountains aren’t remote enough for you, Scrubby Bay House is a luxury retreat in Banks Peninsula, New Zealand. Accessibility is limited to a dogged 40-minute SUV ride or a helicopter from Christchurch. Friends and family are welcome as it sleeps 14. It was nominated for World Building of the Year in 2015. There is a pool, lots of wood and stone, an idyllic bay and plenty of hills. Good reading material is essential. The property is just one of luxe retreat specialist Annandale’s coastal farm escape and luxury villa collection.
You can’t talk about mountain retreats without mentioning Switzerland. Don’t let the cluster of chalet’s that comprise Anakolodge’s rugged outward appearance fool you. Although you might be expecting to hear bleating sheep when you approach, the interior is spartan but sleek and modern with ski-to-door access, hot tubs and more. It is a year-round getaway with wifi access that will have you asking to work from home more often.
Now for something entirely different: The Ark is a Sri Lankan rainforest getaway that is the stuff of James Bond movies. Forty acres of private reserve will allow you to hike, bird watch or just switch off. There’s an infinity pool in the clouds and old cinnamon and tea plantations below. You can even try your hand a tea-plucking.
The Hen House
A continent away, in Scotland, The Hen House is a perfect place to ensure no annoying neighbors will alert the cops when you blast your music or walk about in the buff with the curtains open. Overlooking Loch Bracadale on the Isle of Skye, it has been featured in the Guardian, Small House Bliss, and the Financial Times 2015. The retreat is completely built from sustainable and often local materials.
Off the grid and relying completely on solar power, Solo Houses is the first of 17 retreats being designed by Spanish architects, Kersten Geers and David Van Severen As they explain in the book Mountain View, The Perfect Holiday Homes: “Since the scenery is so impressive, we felt architecture should be invisible, merely emphasizing the natural qualities of the surroundings.”
Okay, put down the swimwear and grab the hiking boots.