With the arrival of spring and the renewed hope of getting away, we invite you to listen to the whisperings of the wind, to open your eyes, to smell delicate perfumes. Stimulating our fragrance and flavor memory helps us discover the world in greater depth. All you need is to choose your setting...
Villa della Pergola, Italy
A garden is always a physical expression of its designer’s dream. At the Villa della Pergola, it is a botanical marvel of the Italian Riviera, restored by landscape designer Paolo Pejrone. With some 236,000 square feet of exotic vegetation bordering the vast expanse of the Mediterranean, a promenade here is a journey in itself. The walls, with thirty varieties of wisteria and the property’s collection of over four hundred varieties of agapanthus, are a feast for the eyes and a delight for the nose. They envelop strolling visitors in veils of scent, exuding the lightest, most exquisite perfumes. Unforgettable.
Rancho Valencia, USA
Few are the places where everything, absolutely everything, is designed for the complete well-being of body and mind. This site, set in a nature reserve, offers cuisine with medicinal herbs, yoga and meditation classes, relaxing walks around the vast estate, tastings of tea blends made with local plants. The invisible layers of fatigue that have been silently accumulating this past year peel away slowly, bit by bit, like old bark. As the days pass, you can feel your limbs again come alive with organic energies and you are refreshed, inside and out.
Sheen Falls Lodge, Ireland
Detoxification of the soul can also occur when listening to the sounds of flowing water. Just such a feeling comes over you here at Ireland’s Sheen Falls Lodge. The place is surrounded by lakes, rivers, and, of course, the Sheen Falls. Water traces curves throughout the land, sometimes lightly, sometimes emphatically, tinting the world in diaphanous colors. Come evening, you will hear the whispering current continuing its journey inside you as you sip old Irish whiskeys from the collection that made this establishment famous.
Château de Riell, France
Those of us who live upon the face of the Earth sometimes need to plumb its depths to fully renew our spirit. This baroque castle, facing Mount Canigou in the Eastern Pyrenees, is set within a celebrated thermal spa. In the winter garden, a wonderland of well-being, let your body recharge in mineral water nearly 18,000 years old, drawn from 500 feet beneath the surface, or warm your soul in a mud or steam bath. You can feel the earthly energy, stored over millennia, becoming a part of you.
Approaching the Sublime
Londolozi Game Reserve, South Africa
Give new meaning to the word “wild.” At Londorozi, in South Africa, the pristine nature approaches the “sublime.” As will you. Humbly observe life in the wild, learn from the lions, shiver in the piercing gaze of the leopard, be moved by the quaking of the leaves as they change the very texture of the air. You can touch them with your eyes, absorbing by sight the profundity of their existence. Images that will remain etched on your mind’s eye for ages to come.
Taste the Landscape
Gut Steinbach Hotel & Chalets, Germany
The best way to fully experience a landscape would certainly be to taste it. Chef Achim Hack, who has earned Michelin’s Sustainability Emblem, finds ways to arrange Mother Nature’s very breath on a plate. He is a master of ethical cuisine, demonstrating how freshness can attain new heights of perfection when ingredients are given the greatest care. In each bite, you will sense the shape of the cloud you’ve been contemplating through the window, the gentle contours of the surrounding hills, the flavor of the paths you trod earlier that morning.
Hambleton Hall, UK
People often talk about birdsong, but hearing the natural “chorus” that is found on this property is an astounding experience. Over 20,000 waterfowl live in the beautiful Rutland Water Nature Reserve. And nearby Hambleton Hall offers front-row seats for this exceptional concert. These rare birds reach you through their musical vibrations, a philharmonic presence that gives you goosebumps. Too, you will come to understand why they so love living near these serene waters.
Catch the Breeze
Castello del Sole Beach Resort & Spa, Switzerland
For a breeze to be gentle, it needs a space of its own, a welcoming home. We tend to forget that the air around us is what we live on, allowing us to breathe, shaping our world. The Castello del Sole, built in the 16th century on nearly 350 acres of land, is sheltered by the mountains and faces a lake, Lago Maggiore. Here, the air blows through you, enlivens the vineyards, gives the garden’s vegetables richer flavors. Never stagnant, always rippling around you, showing that the wind can be as nourishing as the earth.
Wonderland of Scent
Grand Hôtel Cala Rossa & Spa, France
There are places where scents forge the landscape. Nuanced perfumes emanating from the plants, the sea, or the woods, forming scented strata, like shades of colors for the nose. When it is thus, you do not consciously choose your own path: Your feet are guided by the bewitchment of the sea-salted breeze, the joyful pungency of aromatic herbs dancing before you. Here, even the sunsets, which you will never tire of watching, seem to have a special perfume.