1. The Maldives
There’s a reason the World Spa Awards designated the Maldivesas the top spa destination on the planet: where pampering yourself is concerned, this dreamy locale takes the cake. Comprised of coral atolls in the aquamarine waters of the Indian Ocean, the Maldives is home to hundreds of tropical islands, each one more spectacular than the last. For relaxation at its best, Kuramathi Maldives is a luxury resort with a spa offering treatments based on traditional Asian therapies, as well as pristine beaches and a diving center. Meanwhile, the lavish Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives on the North Malé Atoll offers luxurious bungalow accommodation in a stunning island destination complemented by exquisite cuisine and a tranquil spa.
2. Tulum, Mexico
With one of its major attractions known as Paradise Beach, it’s little wonder that Tulum on Mexico‘s Caribbean Coast makes our list of the world’s most relaxing destinations. Playa Paraiso is a secluded, palm-fringed expanse of white sands that remains relatively quiet and relaxed despite its abundant beauty and calm, crystal clear waters. You can spend your days swimming and snorkeling, before savoring cool drinks and authentic Mexican dishes at one of the bars and restaurants along the beach.
Soak up the relaxing atmosphere in Tulum as part of Insight Guides’ Mexico City to the Yucatán trip.
3. Phuket, Thailand
Phuket is easily one of the hottest locations in Thailand, drawing in endless visitors with its sparkling beaches and laid-back atmosphere. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t also one of the most relaxing destinations to visit. In fact, Phuket can be the place to unwind. The northernmost reaches of the island’s western coastline encompass the extensive stretch of Hat Mai Khao beach, which is part of the protected Sirinat National Park. Its secluded location makes it one of the island’s quietest, with golden sands and very clean waters. Truly kick back at destinations such as Anantara Layan Phuket Resort to the south, where you can savor luxurious villa accommodation, fine dining and unspoiled beaches.
4. Langkawi, Malaysia
Lovers of the great outdoors can get their travel fix in theLangkawiarchipelago, a Malaysian destination known for its staggering limestone cliffs, lush greenery, and jaw-dropping natural geological formations. It’s actually Southeast Asia’s premier geopark, jam-packed with biodiversity you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else – the towering mountains and intricate cave routes are nothing short of paradise.
By day, take part in an eagle-watching and mangrove tourbefore dialing up the relaxation with a sunset dinner cruise as part of Insight Guides’ Indulgent Malaysia holiday.
Langkawi, Malaysia. Photo: Vaflya/Shutterstock
5. Ubud, Bali
Writer Elizabeth Gilbert chose Bali to round out her famous Eat, Pray, Love journey. We can’t say we blame her.
‘Ubud, Bali is one of the most tranquil and relaxing places on earth,’ says Jon, owner of a luxury villa in Ubud. ‘There are few places that can delicately balance relative modernity and quality infrastructure with quiet, peace and natural beauty.’
He also touches on Bali’s multitude of high-end accommodations, spas and retreats – perfect for some introspection and soul-searching.