5 Rural Retreats Worthy of a Detour – Smart Media Magazine

5 Rural Retreats Worthy of a Detour

There’s a town in Virginia called Rural Retreat, just off the old Lee Highway in Wythe County. The population: 1,500, give or take.

As a concept, getting away from it all has broader appeal.

This fall, Canyon Ranch — a pioneer in wellness long before it was a marketing bonanza — will open a dedicated wellness retreat among the redwoods of Woodside, Calif., to help pilgrims find a way to “a full rebirth of mind, body, spirit, and soul,” according to the company.

The less ambitious might just want a long weekend of digital detox in an isolated spot (like the Nimmo Bay Resort and its nine waterside cabins in British Columbia, reachable by helicopter), or to take a pretty drive (north along the Merritt Parkway, say, where New York fades away into Connecticut) to see the leaves change.

Far from neighbors and close to nature, these five really rural retreats are worth a detour.

Opened earlier this year by the art-collecting hoteliers Alex and Carrie Vik, Puro Vik is collection of 22 glass houses set among tall trees on steep hills in Chile’s Millahue Valley. Unique interiors vary according to artists who have caught the Viks’ imagination — the 19th-century Japanese painter Hiroshige, for instance, and the American blown-glass sculptor Dale Chihuly. Each house has an open-air bathtub built for two, from which the Chilean landscape is the art on display.

The sixth in the passel of The Pig hotels in the English countryside — the owners call them “restaurants with rooms” — this five-acre Kent property revolves around the storied Bridge Place, a 17th-century mansion that masqueraded as a nightclub and playground for British rock ’n’ roll royalty in the 1970s.

That acid washed history is celebrated in the rooms and crannies in the nimbly renovated house. (See the framed vintage set lists, gold-painted beds, deep sofas and the smoke stained mantel piece.)

Nestled on a pristine beach in a big lagoon, this isolated idyll prides itself on being far from civilization. (Don’t stress: there is internet access.)

Fifty-five thatched bungalows and villas are scattered amid a kind of tropical park on the Indian Ocean, far enough apart to give guests privacy to meditate undisturbed. There are outdoor showers (naturally), baobab trees (known as the tree of life in these parts, with a bulbous trunk and root-like branches) and an infinity pool set back from the sea.

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