Is a resort right for you?
It’s been a killer week. Apart from the usual busy working pressures, I’ve got real estate agents trying to sell my house and my elderly mother has had a fall that ended in hospital. At least the kids are behaving. “I need a holiday!” I wail to anyone who’ll listen.
Ah… a holiday. But what kind of holiday? For me, right now, the only kind that will cure my woes is one where I can escape the ringing phone, the demands of email and the pressures of deadlines. I need a resort. Palm trees around a lagoon or a shady swimming pool in the tropics sound really good, or somewhere to curl up with a book or laze in a hammock just enjoying the view.
That might be my resort dream — at least for today — but if I could tap into my colleagues’ daydreams, the likelihood would be that everyone has their own idea of what makes a great resort holiday. The similarities might only be that it’s fun, it’s indulgent and it involves doing very little at all (unless you feel like it).
Depending on what time of year it is or how far you want to travel, a break can mean anything from a tropical getaway to a more active holiday — say, skiing, diving or golfing. So here are a few ideas for different styles of resorts that might just bring you back revived, invigorated and ready to tackle the world again.
Whether you head to Queensland, Tahiti, the Caribbean or Hawaii, an island escape is ideal for getting away from it all. Laze around the pool, relax on the beach, go for walks, explore the shops or just catch up on the latest novels. The position of some islands can mean they have no mobile phone reception or internet access — something that’s often asked about by the partners of corporate high-fliers who want to get their significant other away from the clutches of the office. Island resorts usually offer some kind of boating adventure, such as sailing on a private yacht to beautiful local spot.
Kids usually love a resort holiday because there’s so much for them to do. Parents love them because they offer the ability to spend family time together having fun, but also usually have special activities for the children that give parents quality time alone. The range of activities can be huge, from archery and art classes to supervised snorkelling and bushwalks. Check special Deals for kids, as many Australian resorts throw in extras such as meals for young guests.
Fancy a half day’s kayaking or white-water rafting, abseiling or canyoning? For those who are looking for a holiday with a challenge, some resorts offer the chance to try activities you may have never had the time or the opportunity to attempt before. With instruction and supervision, these kinds of experiences can prove unforgettable and introduce you to new skills and perhaps an ongoing hobby or interest.
No matter what time of year it is when your meltdown moment occurs, escaping to the snow is always possible. In the Australian winter, it’s easy — head to the ski slopes of Victoria or New South Wales, or pop across the Tasman to New Zealand, where both North and South Islands have top resorts at affordable prices for both skiers and snowboarders. If you need to get away in the Australian summer, head north to the perfectly groomed slopes of the United States and Canada, to Europe or to the hot “new” ski destination of Japan. Japan has the added appeal of being only eight hours flying time away, so jetlag is usually not an issue. There’s nothing quite like a “bluebird day” on the slopes to clear the head.
A recent Swedish study found that golfers live longer lives than those who don’t play the sport. According to the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institute, the death rate for golfers is 40 per cent lower than for other people of the same sex, age and socio-economic status. That corresponds with a five-year increase in life expectancy. The study also found that the lower your handicap, the better your health is likely to be. What better reason do you need to head for a golf resort? There are literally hundreds to choose from. Australians don’t have to go far — the Gold Coast alone has more than 40 courses, earning it the moniker “the golf coast”. Fresh air, exercise and social interaction with other players — you can’t beat it.
Food and wine have become an integral part of holidays. I don’t mean over-indulgence, just the chance to savour really good cuisine — with the added bonus that it’s being prepared by someone else. Some resorts also include cooking schools in their range of activities, giving you the chance to learn from the experts — in some cases, celebrity chefs. Impress your friends when you get home and learn some new skills in the kitchen.
You don’t have to go far to get away from it all. An easy way to have a break from the everyday, without going too far from home, is an inner-city escape. Book into a luxury hotel for the weekend and be a tourist in your own city. It can be a real eye-opener. Go shopping, see a movie, wander and explore, check out the newest tourist attraction, dine at a fancy restaurant, swim in the hotel pool and get pampered at the day spa. Or just order room service and turn on the in-house movies.
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