None of our adventures beat those in which we find ourselves in a chill, restorative environment. It seems we're half crazy half the time (especially lately), so we love – more than anything – accommodations that dilute the crazy quotient. I guess that's why we're smitten with camping and being out in nature. In our world, nothing is more restorative.
When we aren't camping – which, honestly, is most of the time – we have an unyielding bias for hotels that are service savvy but not fussy, upscale but not ornate, well designed but minimalist.
Three of our top accommodation experiences ever occurred in the last few months, and they all met the above requirements. These killer accommodations are a huge reason why we accepted the associated press trips from the Costa Rica and Maui tourism boards. Get them on your short list if you need a place to relax and rejuvenate.
First off, I can't tell you just how jaws-on-the-floor happy we were when we approached our private cabin at El Silencio Lodge and Spa in Costa Rica.
It was the perfect place for our yearly "restore and create" tradition. We especially appreciated the views from both the indoor and patio seating areas. I guess the views from the outdoor hot tub weren't bad either. Every day, after hiking and exploring the area, we'd race up the stairs to find a thermos of hot chocolate and a plate of cookies waiting. Jeez, do they read minds?
Next, we knew we would like Harmony Hotel near Playa Guiones in Costa Rica, but we had no idea just how much we would resist leaving. And that's a nice way of putting it.
The vibe at this low-key but top-notch place was perfect. Like El Silencio, the rooms were our version of swanky – design-minded but simple. The outdoor shower was cool, as was our own private hammock. Here, we hung out on the beach, lounged in the pool, practiced yoga and walked the gorgeous grounds. And that delicious breakfast you see... it's included in your room rate.
Our final hotel stay on this list of favorites, Travaasa Hana, was the realization of a travel dream.
The first time we went to Hana we were completely taken with its ultra easy attitude and access to Haleakala National Park (hiking!). But we had never stayed, choosing instead to brave that heart-stopping road twice in one day. To sit in your Sea Ranch Cottage and watch the ocean is sublime. But, the lovely pools and myriad activities manage to pull you away. You may remember that this is the place where we attempted throw net fishing and (near-coma-inducing) meditation. Oh, and did we mention free banana bread, scrumptious food and world-class Thai (nearby)?
Looking for a life-reinvigorating getaway? Start clicking... these three places don't disappoint. Just ask our increased life spans!