not your average summer getaway

June 25th, 2010

Strawberry Hill/PHMendoza

Crowded beaches… Sun-burnt skin… Sand in inappropriate places… Sigh. Ditch the hand-held fan and take a detour from the average getaway this summer with an unexpected vacation. Bundle up in the southern hemisphere and experience Australia and Argentina’s winter season, discover the cool misty air in Jamaica’s Blue Mountains, or take in the beauty of the snow-capped peaks in India.

What: Park Hyatt Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

Why: Park Hyatt Melbourne welcomes guests with a night of indulgence, called “Winter Warmer”. Enjoy decadent dessert treats, glasses of Moscato, a full buffet, breakfast for two in radii restaurant, and valet parking. Access to the Park Club Health & Day Spa is included complimentary.

Itinerary: Sip high tea in the afternoon and dine on a special Chef’s Table menu in the evening. The special “winter” Chef’s table menu lets guests taste their way through six seasonal courses, with an optional wine pairing, prepared by Executive Chef Sean Cumming and presented by a personally dedicated server.  Rates start at $518 USD. Six course meal costs $175 USD. Include wine pairing for an additional $120 USD.

Ideal for: Globetrotters missing the coziness of chilly winter nights.

What: Park Hyatt Mendoza, Mendoza, Argentina

Why: With views of the snow covered Andes and a spa that pampers visitors with local wine-inspired treatments, Park Hyatt Mendoza is certainly an unexpected way to beat the heat. Located in one of South America’s most famous wine regions, it is the perfect place to escape the summer crowds.

Itinerary: Indulge in a “Mascara Corporal de Uvas” (Grape Body Masque) that combines mud from a local mountain chain with essential oils and fresh crumbled grapes. This treatment has a number of surprising benefits that include exfoliating, detoxifying, toning and enhancing circulation. It is applied on the body with a Thai massage and “wrapped” afterwards to lock in the results.

The “Brillo Vino de Mendoza” (Mendoza’s Wine Body Glow) is a body treatment applied from the neck to the toes with Thai massage techniques, providing deep hydration and infusing the skin with antioxidants through the combination of crushed grape skin and seeds. Rates start at $177 USD per night.

Ideal for: Relaxation junkies and oenophiles.

What: Strawberry Hill, Irish Town, Jamaica

Why: On an island known for its sandy beaches visitors will discover another side of Jamaica with a refreshing escape to Jamaica’s Blue Mountains, 3,100 feet above sea level. While beach bound crowds swelter, guests of Strawberry Hill unwind with cool mountain air and views that sweep from countryside to coastline. Guests who book four nights at the hotel, enjoy the fifth night free, with rates starting at $195 per night now through December 15.

Itinerary: The adventuresome can literally take a hike (or mountain bike excursion) on one of the many surrounding trails, tour the island’s premier coffee estate, or visit the Cinchona Botanical Gardens – a rare high-elevation botanical garden. Those seeking to refresh body and mind can take a dip in the negative- edge freshwater pool, channel their inner chakra at the yoga pavilion, or enjoy a holistic treatment at the full-service spa. And of course every guest can just take it easy on the private terrace of their own Georgian-style cottage, of which Strawberry Hill has 12.

Ideal for: Travelers looking to beat the heat but still get a taste of the tropical.

What: Shakti Village Experiences, Northern India

Why: India in the summer? Late spring through early fall is THE season for places like the Ladakh region of the northernmost point of India in the stunning Indian Himalayas.  Shakti Village Experiences can get you there, offering private, guided walking tours throughout villages in the India’s North – such as the Shakti Ladakh tour, which takes guests through the natural wonders of the region known as ‘Little Tibet.’ With an elevation of 11,000ft, Shakti has made it possible for the leisure traveler to enjoy a Ladakh experience that is usually the domain of the backpacker – just the ticket for the jaded traveler looking for a new escape.

Itinerary: As guests of a Shakti walking tour, you and your private group will be accompanied by dedicated local porters and guides as you go on ‘soft adventure’-style walks between the villages during the day, and at night, stay in traditional village homes which have been gently spruced to provide proper comfort without compromising authenticity.

Ideal For: Culture worshippers seeking the road less traveled, but with a sherpa for their luggage.

Leave a Reply



« »