5 Awe-Inspiring Holidays To Ignite Your Soul

If you’re not doing these on your holidays, you are missing out.
SP Aro Ha New Zealand

A jaw drops. A gasp is elicited. And what’s that on your arms making the hairs stand on end? Goosebumps? Yes, goosebumps. This is the physical presentation of awe entering your system, best experienced in a glorious location during epic moments of wish fulfilment. And it’s magnificent. The physical and mental health benefits of awe are explored in The Science Of Awe, a white paper prepared for UC Berkeley.

Here, they suggest the reaction you get standing in front of the Taj Mahal or at the edge of The Grand Canyon lifts the mood, increases critical thinking and diminished sense of self so that you feel connected to something bigger. Close encounters with magnificence was even found to reduce stress and trauma in soldiers suffering PTSD. On all accounts, wonder and awe make life infinitely better. If you’re due for your next dose, here are five places to take your breath away.

Safari in style at Tarangire Treetops, Tanzania

Safari in style at Tarangire Treetops, Tanzania

Sometimes the reset you crave comes in the form of a controlled dose of extreme terror. Coming face to face with a majestic big cat is bound to get pulses racing. In Tanzania, amongst baobab-studded hills, Tarangire Treetops is a private wildlife wonder bordering Tarangire National Park. Stay in one of just 20 luxurious “treehouse” suites as a divine base for an extraordinary wildlife experience.

Enjoy complimentary fast-track membership status to access a host of benefits at GHA DISCOVERY’s global collection of hotels, including brands such as Anantara, Capella, Kempinski, PARKROYAL Hotels & Resorts, Pan Pacific Hotels & Resorts and many others. Visit here to sign up for your membership now.

Holiday bonus

No walls, no doors at Buahan, a Banyan Tree Escape, Bali

Moon Yoga at Banyan Tree Bali

The river rushes below while the jungle plays its rhythmic chant. Ubud’s luxe new adults-only resort has tapped into a secret; that true luxury is a moment of calm, when your world is spinning and that bells and whistles can’t compete with a morning dew as it rises from the jungle. Of course, it helps when service is next-level and when there is excellent farm-to-table cuisine on site.

Great meals deserve great company. With One Dines Free, you can enjoy one complimentary main course when dining at partner restaurants in major cities across Asia Pacific such as Singapore, Bangkok, Tokyo and many others. Visit here to reserve your table today.

One Dines Free with Mastercard®

Outback splendour at El Questro, Australia

Head into Australia’s beating red heart to let 65 thousand years of continuous living culture take hold. The Kimberley, with its vast cliffs and tidal mudflats, is known to have a transcendental effect on visitors. And this iconic stay captures that phenomenon. You can camp at El Questro or stay in cabins but those who want their wonder with a side of Champagne should head to the cliffside Homestead.

Natural highs at Aro Ha, New Zealand

Aro Ha, New Zealand

When you feel the need to let pristine landscapes wash over you, New Zealand is the number one draft pick of locations. But this remote wellness retreat, 40 minutes from Queenstown, takes the soothing qualities of rolling terrain further, to instil complete recalibration. Book in for five nights and six days of your best life, set to a balanced program of sunrise yoga, daily massages, soaks, saunas and all-inclusive wholesome dining. Head here for the best deals.

Big city chills at The Ritz, Paris

Not everyone gets their hit of life-affirming awe from natural. For many, it’s the bustle of a city – the people, places and its place in personal histories – that gets pulses racing. An iconic city hotel, one that has worked its way into culture and the lexicon (think Putting on The Ritz) has a sizzle that makes many feel more alive. Of course, there’s The Ritz, Paris, but also Claridge’s London or Raffles Singapore – the grander the better.

Related stories