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Fill the senses in Brazil
Botanique, the intimate resort in the mountains bordering São Paulo and Minas Gerais states owned by Brazilians Ricardo and Fernanda Semler, was one of Brazil’s first genuinely sustainable retreats when it opened – and was covered first in HTSI – almost a decade ago. Between the organic terraced produce gardens, lush spa and countless trails for hiking and hacking, there didn’t seem to be much room for improvement. But if one name can up the ante on such promise, it’s sustainability pioneers Six Senses, who are about to take on management of the entire property – adding 14 new villas to the existing suite-villa count of 20 (plus a few dozen branded residences for those who fall hard for the Mantiqueira Mountains’ fresh air, native rainforest and charmed remove from São Paulo’s urban fray). There are plans to elevate the wellness and fitness offerings too, expanding the spa and incorporating signature anti-ageing, detox and immune-boosting programmes. sixsenses.com; from about £345

Great Plains Selinda Camp, Botswana
Great Plains Selinda Camp, Botswana © Andrew Howard
Accommodation at Selinda
Accommodation at Selinda © Andrew Howard

Embrace the great outdoors in Botswana
Botswana – which reopened its borders to international travellers last month – has some very compelling escapes that put the great outdoors at the centre of the show. The team at Great Plains Conservation has completely renovated the camps at Selinda (in the Linyanti) and Duba Plains (in the heart of the Okavango Delta). These were already intimate places, with just a handful of tents. But included in all the newness are the Selinda and Duba Plains Suites – the lodges’ signature two-bedroom tents, set away from the main camps and operated as standalone offerings (meaning guests have their own cooks, guides, house staff and even entrance). The net: near-360-degree privacy, so they can immerse entirely, day and night, in the wellbeing that total solitude in spectacular nature brings. greatplainsconservation.com; from $7,340, exclusive use

South Africa’s Babylonstoren
South Africa’s Babylonstoren
The courtyard of Babylonstoren’s owner’s house
The courtyard of Babylonstoren’s owner’s house

Kick back in Cape Dutch country
We’re not shy about declaring our love for Babylonstoren, in South Africa’s ravishingly pretty Cape Winelands. Its owners, Koos Bekker and Karen Roos – who more recently gave us The Newt in Somerset – first delighted guests and garden enthusiasts here at their maiden hotel venture, an 18th-century Cape Dutch farm remade with contemporary interiors (Roos is the former editor-in-chief of the South African edition of Elle Decoration) and acres of gardens full of glorious things to eat, drink and smell (the walled chamomile garden is a favourite feature: enter in the early morning or evening, walk barefoot among the thousands of blooms, then sit down on the bench at its centre and contemplate the heavenly scent that fills the air). Next month, the Roos-Bekkers will debut the Fynbos Family House, which accompanies the recently built Fynbos Cottages. Set away from the main farm, with views over the vineyards, the Family House’s five bedrooms, own walled garden and signature Babylonstoren “cube” – the ultra-sleek glass conservatory style found in all the suites and cottages, for maximising the outdoors-in effect of the surrounding landscape – are an ideal family or group escape, but with all the perks of the farm close at hand. babylonstoren.com; from about £670

Dishes from chef Alain Verzeroli’s Le Jardinier restaurant at The Woodward, Geneva
Dishes from chef Alain Verzeroli’s Le Jardinier restaurant at The Woodward, Geneva

Pampering in Geneva
Anyone who’s been to the spectacular spa at The Lanesborough in London knows: the team at the Oetker Collection does holistic wellness-beauty-fitness extremely well. This is good news for those based in Geneva, who can now avail themselves of the full experience at The Woodward, the newest Oetker-flagged European property. The lakefront Quai Wilson situation is pretty mint, as promise to be the Pierre-Yves Rochon-designed rooms and suites, and (if molecular wizardry and showy plating are your things), the properly fancy Joël Robuchon-signed restaurant. But spare some time – perhaps even a whole day – for The Woodward’s 1,200sq m spa, with its airy treatment suites, 21m indoor lap pool, Swedish baths and hydrotherapies, full fitness centre and very swank Guerlain Wellness Institute, where the menu includes skincare treatments you won’t find elsewhere. oetkercollection.com; from about £1,250

@mariashollenbarger

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