With international incentive travel on the increase again, we shine the spotlight on some of Great Hotels of the World’s best secluded hideaways for groups.
From the tranquil lakes of Lithuania to the fresh mountain air of the Swiss Alps, the sandy shores of Montenegro to the rolling Italian hills and calm lagoons in the Philippines, there is something to suit all tastes…
The island of Phuket has long been known as the Andaman’s greatest treasure and at Banyan Tree Phuket (right), it is not hard to see why. The newest addition to the GHOTW portfolio, the hotel is set around a saltwater lagoon and surrounded by lush greenery, where the resort’s 227 luxurious all-pool villas create a private paradise.
Guests can spend their days relaxing on the white sand beach, playing golf on the expansive course, indulging in luxurious treatments at the Spa or taking part in a cooking class with world-renowned chefs. When it comes to food and culinary experiences, The Banyan Tree Phuket boasts two beautiful bars and six onsite restaurants serving both authentic local cuisine and international inspired dishes, ensuring guests are spoilt for choice.
Majestically set in the picturesque Alpine village of Pontresina, away from the crowds in nearby glitzy St. Moritz, the award-winning Grand Hotel Kronenhof (main image) offers guests an unforgettable experience. The 112 rooms are spacious, and the hotel’s common areas exude elegance. Hailed as one of the world’s top luxury and wellness resorts, the state-of-the-art Kronenhof Spa, wellness centre and indoor pool look out onto the mesmerising mountainside and picturesque Alpine village, making this a truly regal and serene setting to unwind in. Activities on offer include a wide array of Pilates, Yoga & Meditation classes, traditional bowling in the cosy alley and rounds of golf on the neighbouring Kulm Golf course.
The El Nido Resorts are in the province of Palawan in the Philippines – an archipelago comprising 1,780 islands and the least densely populated area in the country. Due to its untouched landscapes and extraordinary biodiversity, Palawan has often dubbed “the last ecological frontier of the Philippines”.
Lagen Island (right), one of four El Nido Resorts, is set between a lush four-hectare forest and a tranquil, shallow and transparent lagoon, providing absolute repose and privacy. Guests can pamper themselves at the exclusive resort spa, with an array of Asian, tropical and European treatments. The 51 incredibly private guestrooms are clustered around the lagoon, allowing visitors to feel a sense of total escape.
Get active with an astounding array of sports and leisure activities, from mangrove exploration trails, and traditional Filipino games, island-hopping and lagoon tours, scuba-diving in the resort’s own PADI diving centre, snorkeling, or stand-up paddle in the crystal-clear waters.
The Chedi Lustica Bay is the perfect all-in-one hotel in Montenegro, a jewel of a destination. Just a 15-minute drive from Tivat International Airport, with direct access onto the stunningly azure Lustica coastline, the newly built hotel offers 111 spacious and light-filled guest rooms that feature floor to ceiling windows and balconies, perfectly framing the breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea.
With a focus on seasonal Montenegrin ingredients, The Restaurant features modern takes on regional favourites and brasserie-style. The Spot offers Asian inspired creative cuisine. Guests can indulge in an elegant afternoon tea at the Lobby Bar, while The Rok beach bar serves up light bites and cocktails on the sand.
Guests will also enjoy the heated outdoor pool that cascades over three levels and offers a spectacular infinity view across the ocean, the fitness centre, indoor pool and spa, offering Eastern inspired rituals and exclusive access to an area of Lustica Bay’s private beach. Montenegro’s stunning mountainous terrain and coastline provides the ideal backdrop for a host of memorable experiences.
In the rolling hills in the Province of Arezzo, a little-visited corner of Tuscany, Castello di Gargonza (right) is a medieval hamlet steeped in history, charm and natural beauty. Thirteen ancient buildings, clustered around a central courtyard, have been thoughtfully restored to offer 47 unique bedrooms that feature traditional fireplaces and breath-taking views of the surrounding countryside, overlooking the Val di Chiana.
Groups wanting to relax and unwind should head to the tranquil swimming pool, just outside of the hamlet walls. For the more adventurous, the hamlet is surrounded by more than 600 hectares of forest, olive groves and vineyards, all waiting to be explored.
A peaceful countryside sanctuary offering unparalleled opportunities for rest, adventure and outdoor opportunities, Vilnius Grand Resort is set on a lake within 280 acres of sprawling grounds. The 193 rooms are spacious and elegantly decorated, with tranquil views of the surrounding countryside. With two restaurants and two bars, guests can enjoy a variety of culinary experiences, from an Italian style eatery to a unique floating restaurant in the middle of the lake.
Outdoors, groups will be spoilt for choice with two picturesque lakes, an 18-hole championship golf course, tennis, volleyball and basketball courts, a boating station and a private sandy beach. For those keen to explore the city, Vilnius Grand Resort is just a twenty-minute drive from Lithuania’s capital and its inviting restaurants, local boutique shopping and many historical monuments.
Just half an hour from the centre of Dublin, Luttrellstown Castle Resort (right) is a privately-owned 560 estate with a historic castle, which can be hired for exclusive use making it ideal for group incentives and events. It boasts 20 sumptuous bedrooms, an awe-inspiring library, magnificent ballrooms, and manicured lawns. The estate also features an 18-hole championship golf course, walled gardens, walking trails, fishing, falconry and much more, though guests are also welcome and often look forward to spending tranquil hours walking the woods and parkland, exploring and enjoying the many unique attractions of this historic estate.