Travel may not be wholly on pause as it has been for much of the last five months, but it is definitely not ‘normal service resumed’—just yet. With that in mind, we are exploring some emerging travel trends. Physical space has been a growing interest, manifesting in a desire for standalone properties such as cottages, villas and lodges; there is a want for the great outdoors as well.
City properties have also pivoted their offering to spotlight the glorious outdoor space on their doorsteps, whether this is their metaphorical backyards (such as London hotels opening up their gardens for al fresco dining) or cities such as Edinburgh that have stunning landscape within easy reach of the city confines. Mental space and clarity are ever paramount, with a focus on properties that offer ‘wellness’ facilities to reboot during these challenging times. Explore the below to find inspiration.
Where to wander
The Balmoral boasts a prime location in Edinburgh adjacent to the train station; this means it is perfect for a short break. Within Edinburgh itself, there is the stunning majesty of Edinburgh Castle and the Old Town’s Medieval streets to explore, as well as the elegance of Holyrood Palace and the imposing Georgian New Town. This is a wholly walkable city which is steeped in history. On the hotel’s doorstep, you will also find pretty, spacious parks and gardens, quaint pubs and extinct volcanoes to visit. If you want to go further afield, within easy reach, you will find windswept beaches and heather-covered hills to ancient castles and vast lochs.
Edinburgh is a great place to start this summer if you want to begin tentatively getting reacquainted with our cities. The Balmoral is offering a ‘Free Spirit Escape’ package if you stay between three and five nights. You will enjoy breakfast in your room, a two-category room upgrade plus an exclusive Edinburgh experience such as a gourmet picnic experience, a private Instagram walking tour of Edinburgh or a Scotch Whisky experience.
Properties located deep in the heart of secluded, beautiful countryside are growing in popularity and Dunton Hot Springs, nestled in the San Juan Mountains of the Colorado Rockies outside of Telluride, Colorado, fits the bill perfectly.
This property is a restored ghost town from the 1800s and wonderfully romantic and evocative. It offers a series of cabins with an abundance of natural activities on tap, from horse riding to rock climbing to mountain biking—or, simply relax and laze around in the eponymous hot springs the resort is named after. Book through Quintessentially Travel and receive an upgrade, $100 resort/hotel credit to be utilised during the stay and a bottle of Sutcliffe Wine in room upon arrival.
Forestis, Dolomites, Italy
This newly opened retreat is in close driving distance to both Innsbruck and Verona. The resort initially served as a retreat for lung disease sufferers before World War 1 because of the extremely clean and fresh air, so makes for the ideal location to truly refresh. Additionally, they offer Wyda yoga, which incorporates meditation and takes place within the forest itself.
Myriad activities, such as hiking, mountain biking, boating, skiing and hot air balloon excursions maximise the outdoors. It is an incredible location for stargazing with crystal clear nights throughout summer and autumn; visit year-round for a restorative getaway. Various three and five-night packages are available when booking.
This stunning escape is set within a 15th-century island fortress as well as a 19th-century property. Both offer rooms and suites in glorious seclusion, surrounded by a dense pine forest and olive trees. You have the prime position of the Adriatic Sea which offers a peaceful haven in ultimate luxurious comfort.
For larger groups, you can take advantage of the three-bedroom cottages on Sveti Stefan Island—fantastic for a multi-generational gathering. Book with Quintessentially Travel, and you will receive an upgrade on arrival, subject to availability, continental breakfast daily for two guests per bedroom and one complimentary lunch for two during your stay.
Summer reading list
Utopia by David Mitchell
The author of Cloud Atlas and The Bone Clocks, Mitchell turns his hand to a sprawling 600-page opus which details the fictional rise and fall of a British Rock band from the 1960s. Perfect to lose yourself in, this novel explores the drug-ridden and massive egotistical exploits of the aforementioned Utopia and presents a tremendous literary mental escape in which to wallow.
Together In A Sudden Strangeness, Edited by Alice Quinn
This anthology sees American poets respond to the pandemic and what it has meant to them. Addressing collective fear, hope and experiences it showcases a variety of perspectives from poets spread far and wide across the USA. From within the political climate and the Black Lives Matter movement arises feelings of grief and recovery; read these expressions of these strange and challenging times.
What to eat
We love this recipe for Scottish Shortbread, exclusively from The Balmoral, Edinburgh. It is easy for children and adults alike to get into, and the delicious result is soft, crumbly and sweet and perfect alongside a British cup of tea.
This playlist isn’t exclusively summer related, but many of the tunes resonate and go well in this time of the year. Currently showing on BBC iPlayer in the UK, plus Hulu elsewhere, this is the soundtrack that accompanies the story of the 1970s sex equality war in the USA and stars Rose Byrne and Cate Blanchett amongst a luminary cast.
For more information on the above or to plan a summer escape, please contact Quintessentially Travel.