20 Sublime Retreats You Need to Visit For Creative Inspiration

By Jill Paider / Published by Dwell

Award-winning photographer, creative director, and jet-setter Jill Paider shares her list of breathtaking landscapes and hotels that spark ideas and productivity.

Inside his fifth-floor room at The Savoy London, painter Claude Monet produced dozens of landscapes that are now housed in the Art Institute of Chicago. Hôtel Beau Rivage in the South of France hosted many artists and writers who created works there, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henri Matisse, and Friedrich Nietzsche. Picasso spent three months in Hotel de Russie in Rome with poet Jean Cocteau to devise the first-ever Cuban ballet. Salvador Dalí used room 1610 at The St. Regis New York as his personal retreat every winter for 40 years. 

Taking time away to recharge one’s batteries and bask in a change of scenery can do wonders for relaxation, elevating the parasympathetic nervous system and helping to create new neural pathways to invent the next best thing and level up your game.

Having traveled and worked in more than 100 countries, I’ve curated my top 20 recommendations for modern-day creative entrepreneurs. Whether for business or pleasure, these destinations are guaranteed to reduce stress, inspire great ideas, and be the best tax write-offs you’ve ever had. 

1. Vomo Island Resort, Fiji

A short seaplane ride from Nadi International Airport, this luxurious private island is located in the Mamanuca Islands. Here you can enjoy miles of blue water for snorkeling and stand-up paddleboarding and end the day at The Rocks Bar, designed exclusively for sunset cocktails. 

Photo: Jill Paider

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2. Tierra Atacama, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

High in the northern desert of Chile, this eco-friendly boutique lodge is the ultimate location for stargazing and adventure trekking. The property features stunning views of Licancabur volcano.

Photo: Jill Paider

 

3. Alila Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Designed as a hillside village, this secluded, modern retreat is located on the edge of the rich green Ayung River valley in Bali’s central foothills.

Photo: Jill Paider

 

4. Alila Villas Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia

Designed by award-winning architectural firm WOHA, Alila Uluwatu blends effortlessly into the natural environment. The property is set on limestone cliffs featuring stunning views of the Indian Ocean.

Photo: Jill Paider

 

5. Little Kulala Lodge, Sossusvlei, Namibia

Little Kulala Lodge is the ultimate destination for modern desert luxury. It’s strategically located on the private Kulala Wilderness Reserve at the foot of Sossusvlei desert. 

Photo: Jill Paider

 

6. The Farm at San Benito, Batangas, Philippines

This world-class wellness destination resort is tucked within the Philippines’ Batangas hinterland. For those wishing to indulge in jungle nirvana, this is the place. The Farm also boasts the best gourmet vegan cuisine in Asia Pacific.

Photo: Jill Paider

 

7. &Beyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge, Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania

If you love glamping, &Beyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge is the place for you. The property features beautiful safari-chic treehouses, butlers, game drives and sundowner service within Lake Manyara National Park.

Photo: Jill Paider

 

8. naked Stables, Moganshan, China

Set on a private reserve, naked Stables is on one of China’s few wellness properties and is the first resort in the country to achieve LEED Platinum certification. Guests have their choice from a treetop villa or an earth hut along the secluded valley. Naked Stables is easily accessible from Shanghai and a great respite from city life.

Photo: Jill Paider


9. Silica Hotel, Grindavík, Iceland

Set on the Blue Lagoon, Silica Hotel is one of Iceland’s ultimate indulgences. The location is unbeatable for its landscape, curative waters, and wellness services.

Photo: Jill Paider

 

10. Tambo del Inka Resort & Spa, Sacred Valley, Peru

Tambo del Inka is the perfect place for a mystical luxury getaway within the stunning Sacred Valley of Peru. The hotel features a private train station with direct service to Machu Picchu. 

Photo: Jill Paider

 

11. Amangiri Canyon Point, Utah, USA

Amangiri is a modern luxury destination set on 600 acres within canyon country offering access to national parks and Lake Powell. The resort is a feat of architecture and is outfitted with a world-class spa.

Photo: Jill Paider

 

12. Sofitel Luang Prabang, Luang Prabang, Laos 

Originally built in the 1900s as the governor’s residence, the Sofitel Luang Prabang is a colonial mansion protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s the ultimate blend of Lao tradition and French elegance, and a perfect escape in Southeast Asia.

Photo: Jill Paider


13. Belmond La Résidence d'Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia

This luxury hideaway is tucked inside Siem Reap, and offers prime access to the many and varied Angkor temples.

Photo: Jill Paider

 

14. Inhotim, Belo Horizonte, Brazil 

A feast for the eyes, Inhotim is the only property on the list that is not a hotel but rather one of the most ambitious global projects dedicated to art and nature. It features more than 2,000 acres of contemporary art and botanical gardens, making it the largest art park in South America.

Photo: Jill Paider

 

15. Villa 32, Beitou, Taiwan 

Natural geothermal springs and lush vegetation are the highlights of this modern Relais & Chateaux property. Designer Ming-Hong Chiu successfully weaves the area’s natural elements into the space to create Beitou’s top sanctuary for relaxation and wellness.

Photo: Jill Paider

 

16. Laguna Lodge Eco-Resort & Nature Reserve, Lake Atitlán, Guatemala

A stunning boutique hotel nestled in its own nature reserve on Lake Atitlán, Laguna Lodge evokes Mayan tradition in a wonderfully eco-friendly way.

Photo: Jill Paider

 

17. ESPA, Singapore

There are few people more serious and passionate about spa time than Singaporeans. ESPA is a luxury refuge with more than 100,000 square feet of dedicated spa space. The property offers cutting-edge treatments, saunas with lush views, crystal steam rooms, Turkish hammam provisions and a number of vitality pools.

Photo: Jill Paider

 

18. Four Seasons Resort Langkawi, Langkawi, Malaysia 

Uniquely located within a UNESCO World Geopark, the Four Seasons Langkawi is comprised of Malay-style pavilions and architecture surrounded by lush jungles and beaches. The property features excellent cuisine and spa services.

Photo: Jill Paider


19. Aqua Wellness Resort, Playa La Redonda, Nicaragua

Aqua Wellness Resort features minimalist cabins on a private inlet of Nicaragua’s Emerald Coast. This is a great place to truly unplug and enjoy "barefoot luxury" in your private tree house.

Photo: Jill Paider


20. Anantara Chiang Mai Resort, Chiang Mai, Thailand

For foodies craving an inner sanctuary within the hustle and bustle of Chiang Mai, this is it. The resort is set upon the banks of the Mae Ping River and overlooks Suthep Mountain. The Anantara features beautiful minimalist design, excellent food, and easy access to the top sites in Chiang Mai.

Photo: Jill Paider

Jill Paider is a writer and an award-winning photographer and creative director. She has worked in more than 100 countries on assignment specializing in visual stories of architecture, design, travel and gastronomy. Her new book, Getting Ahead: The Creative's Guide to Staying Inspired and Doing the Work You Love is available below. 

Getting Ahead: The Creative's Guide to Staying Inspired & Doing the Work You Love

Getting Ahead: The Creative's Guide To Staying Inspired & Doing the Work You Love shows you how to harness your goals and make your plans and dreams a reality. Renowned photographer and author Jill Paider helps you deal with pressure, maintain your creativity and productivity even in financially difficult times, learn to say "no" and above all: how to succeed with passion. This is a self-development book exclusively for creative entrepreneurs. Photo Courtesy of Amazon

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