Overlooking the terraced forests in the cooler central region of Ubud in Bali, Como Shambhala Estate sits within one of the most serene locations I have ever experienced. With forest noises ranging from an evening frog chorus from the lily ponds to the robust chattering of the larger variety of gecko...
Dubbed 'The Millionaire's Playground', it's a playground where you need quite a few of those millions before the government will even let you live here. So it comes as no surprise then that as I walked past the Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Bentleys parked along the hotel's cypress lined avenue, I assumed I would get kicked out for wearing a pair of Havaianas and a bank balance that cowered in shame...
Sure enough, as I step foot inside Daios Cove the wow factor hits. Nestled in a tranquil private sandy bay, a short ride from the bustling town of Agios Nikolaos, a wall of floor to ceiling windows creates a stunning elevated panoramic of the crystal clear turquoise waters and rugged cliffs that don the bay.
When you ask for directions to your hotel and the reply is: "Turn left at the fountain and head straight for the grand entrance", you get the sense that something pretty spectacular lies at the end of the driveway. Sure enough, Cliveden House - a majestic neoclassical country house, perched within 376 acres of National Trust parkland - is no let-down.
A hour and half train ride from London, then a quick hop, skip and a jump from the train station, and you're there. Careys Manor is a 19th century hunting lodge in the middle of the New Forest. With its cosy sofas, log fires and quintessentially English gardens it's got all the ingredients for a perfect country weekend away from it all.
I was braving the boisterousness of Benidorm to uncover its hidden secret. A serene Mediterranean retreat, full of Eastern promise... Hidden in the foothills of Sierra Cortina - 20 minutes away from the hullabaloo of the high rise Solanas and alcopop discos - amongst 90 sprawling acres of olive and pine trees lies a perfectly manicured Mediterranean retreat.
I found that unlike at the Sanctuary where it's possible to pay for a day pass to enjoy the spa facilities, most of London's spas are accessible only when a treatment is purchased. The spas I visited were all in luxurious/boutique hotels that probably don't want to be overrun by noisy hen parties and the like.