As the temperatures start to cool and we make our way towards the busiest time of year, take a weekend out for yourself at one of our editor’s picks of the best autumnal retreats. Each location prides itself on having created a sustainable, environmentally-aware retreat, so you can relax in good conscious. Take a long weekend break this autumn, and really feel the benefits of clearing your mind for the season to come. From mountain hikes, to seafront views, there’s a weekend retreat from everyone.
1. Whitepod, Switzerland
Nestled in the heart of the Alps, the Whitepod eco lodges in Switzerland offer a one-of-a-kind experience 1,250m above sea level. Created as a part of an ‘ecological mission’, Whitepods were originally designed to prove that luxury hospitality and environmental conservation can work together hand in hand. The use of water and energy to ensure nothing is wasted, but far from being a rustic lodge, these ‘pods’ offer the top of the range luxury design (choose from forest or zen-themed spaces), and sumptuous comfort. To top things off, each pod is heated by a pellet stove and faces breathtaking scenery from the honeycomb-like windows. Leave your skis behind and head to a pod during the autumn to make the most of the stunning vistas before the snow whitewashes the mountains.
2. The Scarlet Hotel, UK
Head to Cornwall for a truly indulgent autumn retreat. The Scarlet is a luxury eco hotel just for grown ups. The light and airy spaces make the most of the striking Cornish coastline views, with five stories available to capture different sides of the beach and seascapes. Sustainability at The Scarlet is a way of life: active efforts to reduce their carbon footprint, curated stockists based on their sustainable lifecycle, and using recycled building materials for many of their spaces are just some of the ways The Scarlet is keeping up with their environmental goals. Book into one of their top-floor rooms to take full advantage of the dramatic autumn weather fronts as they approach land.
3. Kasbah Du Toubkal, Morocco
For a real escape from the city, make your way to the Morrocan Atlas Mountains for a taste of the quiet life. The award-winning Kasbah du Toubkal is surrounded by the pristine Toubkal National Park - a wonderfully serene location to spend a few days disconnecting from everyday life. Take advantage of the many trekking opportunities in the surrounding mountains before retreating to one of the fourteen ensuite rooms to unwind and take in the views from the rooftop terrace. Organise your stay during one of the Kasbah’s yoga retreats to take your zen to a whole new level
4. LeFay Resort, Italy
When the leaves start to turn, heading to the mountain is a great way to clear your head before your social life starts ramping up during the winter months. In the dazzling Italian Dolomites, you’ll find the LeFay luxury resort and spa waiting to truly pamper you. With unbeatable service and comfort, the LeFay runs on renewable energy and is built to the highest insulation standards to ensure minimal heat waste. Rest and regenerate in the world-class spa looking out over the jagged mountains before indulging in the seasonal gourmet restaurant for a little Italian magic.
5. Galo Resort, Madeira
Perched atop a hill overlooking the spectacular Madeiran coast, this sustainably-focussed Ashoka yoga retreat provides a much needed break from the hustle and bustle of life. Reconnect with yourself by practising yoga during the day, enjoying the vegetarian food onsite and relaxing with a massage in the Ayurveda Cure Centre. These dedicated retreats are the perfect antidote to stressful city life, particularly at this often busy time of year. Spend your day walking through the adjacent nature reserve, or simply admire the view from one of the sea-facing rooms before sampling all the delights that Madeiran cooking has to offer.