Planning a quiet getaway? You’re not the only one. Adults-only accommodation is a growing international trend – and, according to Stephanie Maguire from Queensland’s serene Qualia resort, “there are already 20 luxury age-restricted properties in Australia”.
Whether you’re planning on leaving your own kids at home, or you just want to check in and chill out without other people’s offspring dive-bombing you at the pool, these hotels offer a hint of what’s possible.
Ventana Inn and Spa, Big Sur, California
The most enviable way to cruise down Highway One from San Francisco to LA is in a Mustang convertible. That means you won’t have space for kids anyway, so of course you can check into something adults only.
Ventana Inn’s luxurious rooms, suites, cottages and even glamping tents are tucked into a towering redwood forest, teetering on the edge of California’s west coast. Heavy sea mist often rolls in, making it even more magical.
There’s a swimming pool with sublime Pacific Ocean vistas, Japanese hot baths, spa, fine-dining restaurant, and a swag of activities (Tai Chi, guided walks, falconry) – all just for grown-ups.
Glazebrook House, Devon, Britain
Why should kids have all the fun? Just because a hotel is adults only doesn’t mean it can’t be playful.
In Devon, near Dartmoor National Park, Glazebrook House takes you down the rabbit hole with its Alice-meets-English-country-house style.
The Georgian manor has only nine guest rooms, each highly individual, each with its own equally idiosyncratic bathroom. Fur, dazzling chandeliers, rich colours, opulent fabrics, marble floors, tartan carpets, bespoke furnishings, masses of curios and portraits abound.
Executive chef Ben Palmer oversees a restaurant renowned for elegant, refined food. A wine and whisky tasting room and lavish White Rabbit High Tea are other adult pleasures.
Kayumanis Ubud Private Villas & Spa, Bali
There aren’t many adults-only hotels in Bali, but Ubud’s Kayumanis Resort, with its serene private villas, is one.
Dark polished timbers and floaty white drapery create a calm environment, while rose petal–filled baths and fragrant tropical flowers scent the warm air and gamelan music tinkles in the background.
Private pools are fringed by jungle or overlook emerald-coloured rice paddies. Candle-lit dinners, poolside dining, yoga, meditation classes and access to body-and-soul restoring spa therapies ensure an indulgent escape.
L’Hôtel Marrakesh, Marrakesh, Morocco
Position, position – this bijou hotel is in the heart of Marrakesh, near the city’s labyrinthine souks and Jemaa el-Fnaa square – but it’s also supremely private.
Its elegant spaces blend Moroccan flair with contemporary British understatement (Jasper Conran was the designer) and just five tranquil guest rooms. Intricately carved screens, inlaid timbers, elaborate mirrors, brass details and vases massed with roses create sophisticated spaces.
At night, myriad flickering candles and lamps evoke the mystery and romance of the Arabian nights. A heated pool, leafy courtyard, hammam, restaurant and fabulous roof terrace with views of the Atlas Mountains make L’Hôtel Marrakesh a veritable oasis.
Royal Davui Fiji, Fiji
A tiny tropical island rimmed by sugary white sand and crystal-clear water is the backdrop to a dozen or so private villas.
Room design is restrained but superbly comfortable, but it’s really about the sky and sea views and impeccable service. There are masses of activities, including diving, snorkelling, reef tours, sea-kayaking and hobby cat sailing. Or just lazing by a pool sipping a cocktail.
The Royal Davui resort is all-inclusive, so your only decision is whether to eat beneath the sprawling Pacific banyan tree or on your private deck. You can arrive by the resort’s private boat, or helicopter.
From $1700, all meals included
Qualia, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland
One of Australia’s most awarded and luxurious (but understated) hotels, Qualia sits on a secluded tip of tropical Hamilton Island.
Refined, modern Australian architecture opens up to the coast’s sweeping vistas and eucalypt-scented surrounds. Individual pavilions and an exclusive beach house ensure privacy.
Contemporary Australian cuisine with an Asian inflection (and fresh-caught seafood) is served at Pebble Beach or in guests’ own pavilions. This is a playground for adults – sailing, boating, diving, seaplane tours, golf (fly to the course by helicopter), yoga, spa treatments. And more.
Islington Hotel, Hobart, Tasmania
If you’re after a little old-fashioned luxury without the patter of tiny feet, Hobart’s antique and art-filled (think Brett Whitely, David Hockney ) Islington Hotel may be for you.
The main wing is a classic manor house with clever, contemporary style and just enough quirky detail so it doesn’t feel too precious. There are also modern garden rooms and a lovely garden, of course.
All the essential must-haves (free Wi-Fi, tablets in guest rooms, movie-streaming) are on hand, plus excellent service, lots of quiet corners for relaxing and a top-notch restaurant.
The Berkeley River Lodge, Kimberley, WA
If you’re wanting to get as far from everything (not just children) as possible, this may be your go to. The Berkeley River Lodge is the grown-ups’ only way to experience the Kimberley.
“Private retreats” that sit somewhere between villa and a glamping tent are your unique overnight stay in one of Australia’s most remote but remarkable corners. The views are breathtakingly beautiful.
There are bush and beach adventures aplenty – helicopter flights, nature walks, river cruises, surreal landscape and amazing serenity. Rates include one-hour float plane transfers from Kununurra and all meals.
From $2800 all inclusive
* All prices per night for two people, September 2019