Type of luxury escape, destination or month

Blog 30/07/2020

August Edit: Finding Space and City Escapes

  • Discovery


  • Family


  • Short Break

    Short Break

  • Wellness


Travel may not be wholly on pause as it has been for much of the last 5 months but it is definitely not ‘normal service resumed’, just yet. With that in mind we wanted to delve a little deeper into some of the emerging trends we are picking up from our enquiries. Space is a big one – and not the outer space kind! But rather physical space. Whether this is a growing interest in stand alone properties such as cottages, villas and lodges or a need for the great outdoors to be in close proximity, this is a need which is coming through time and time again. We are also seeing increasing interest in city properties and how they are pivoting their offering to take advantage of the glorious space on their doorstep. Whether this is their metaphorical backyards (such as London hotels opening up their gardens for glorious al fresco dining) or cities such as Edinburgh with stunning landscape within easy reach of the city. Mental space and clarity is also ever paramount with a focus on those properties that offer ‘wellness’ facilities in order to reboot physically as well as mentally in these challenging times. Explore the below and we hope this inspires you.

The Balmoral, Edinburgh, Scotland

The Balmoral boasts a prime location in Edinburgh adjacent to the train station; this means it is perfect for a short break. Within Edinburgh itself there is the stunning majesty of Edinburgh Castle and the Old Town’s Medieval streets to explore, not forgetting the elegance of Holyrood Palace and the imposing Georgian New Town. This is a wholly walkable city which is steeped in history. On the doorstep you will also find pretty, spacious parks and gardens, quaint pubs and extinct volcanoes to visit. If you want to go further afield, within easy reach you will find windswept beaches and heather-covered hills to ancient castles and vast lochs. We think Edinburgh is a great place to start this summer, if you want to start tentatively getting reacquainted with our cities. The Balmoral are offering their ‘Free spirit Escape’ packages if you stay between 3-5 nights. You will enjoy breakfast in your room, a two category room upgrade plus an exclusive Edinburgh experience such as a gourmet picnic experience, a private Instagram walking tour of Edinburgh or a Scotch Whisky experience.

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Dunton Hot Springs, Colorado, USA

Bringing our attention to our US travel offices in New York and Los Angeles we are seeing much focus on isolated properties which lend themselves to large gatherings for exclusive hire or even just a mini break for a couple. Properties located deep in the heart of secluded beautiful countryside are growing in popularity and Dunton Hot Springs nestled in the San Juan Mountains of the Colorado Rockies outside of Telluride, Colorado fits the bill perfectly. This property is a restored ghost town from the 1800s and wonderfully romantic and evocative. It offers a series of cabins with an abundance of natural activities on tap from horse riding, rock climbing, mountain biking or simply just relax and laze around in the eponymous hot springs the resort is named after. 

Booking with Quintessentially Travel gives you the following exclusive benefits; Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability, USD 100 resort credit to be utilised during stay and a bottle of Sutcliffe Wine in room upon arrival.

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Forestis, Dolomites, Italy

This retreat opened on July 20th and is in close driving distance to both Innsbruck or Verona. The resort offers extremely clean and fresh air and was first used as a retreat for lung disease suffers prior to World War 1 due to the high quality healing nature of the environment there, so if you are looking to escape and refresh this is going to be one of the purist air quality locations available to you within Europe. In addition the retreat offers Wyda yoga which is a more meditative style of yoga taking place out in the forests nearby plus a range of outdoor activities from hiking, mountain biking, boating, skiing & hot air balloon excursions. Additionally it is a great location for star gazing with its clear nights during the Summer and Autumn months especially. The retreat is open year round and is perfect for a restorative getaway. 

Choose from various packages – such as the 3 night ‘Peace of mind’ package or the longer 5 night ‘Energy’ package.

Aman Sveti Stefan, Montenegro

This is a stunning escape set over two parts – a 15th century island fortress offering cottages or suites or rooms in the main house on the island; Villa Milocer. The latter is a 19th century property offering elegant suites whilst Sveti Stefan Island offers cobbled lanes and courtyards with an inimitable charm. Both offer glorious seclusion and are surrounded by dense pine forest and olive trees. You have prime position of the Adriatic Sea which offers a peaceful haven in ultimate luxurious comfort. For larger groups you can take advantage of the three bedroom cottages on Sveti Stefan Island – fantastic for a multi-generational gathering. 

Book with Quintessentially Travel and you will receive the following benefits; Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability, continental breakfast daily for two guests per bedroom and one complimentary lunch for two people, once during stay. 

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Utopia by David Mitchell

The author of Cloud Atlas and The Bone Clocks, Mitchell turns his hand to a sprawling 600 page opus which details the factionary rise and fall of a British Rock band from the 1960s. Perfect to lose yourself in , this explores the drug ridden and ego heavy exploits of the aforementioned ‘Utopia’ and presents a great literary mental escape to wallow in.

Together in a Sudden Strangeness: Edited by Alice Quinn

This anthology sees American poets respond to the pandemic and what it has meant to them. Addressing collective fear, hope and experiences it showcases a variety of perspectives from poets spread far and wide across USA. Under the backdrop of the Black lives matter movement plus feelings of grief and recovery; read these expressions of these strange and difficult times.


Scottish Shortbread

We love this recipe for Scottish shortbread, exclusively from The Balmoral, Edinburgh. It is easy for children and adults alike to get stuck into, and the delicious end result is soft, crumbly and sweet and absolutely perfect alongside a British cup of tea.


(Makes 25 shortbread rounds)

  • 500g plain flour
  • 280g unsalted butter
  • 160g caster sugar
  • Pinch of salt to taste


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180°C and begin by beating the butter and the sugar together in a large bowl.
  2. Gradually mix in the flour, taking care not to over mix the dough.
  3. Roll out the dough to about 1cm thick and cut with a circular cutter or your child’s favourite cutter shapes.
  4. Bake the shortbread in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until the shortbread reaches a pale golden-brown colour. Allow to cool on a wire rack before serving.
  5. Why not decorate your shortbread with colourful icing pens or a layer of melted chocolate? Have fun getting creative with your kids!


Mrs America Playlist 

This isn’t exclusively summer related but many of the tunes resonate and go well in this time of the year. Currently showing on BBC iPlayer in the UK, plus Hulu elsewhere this is the soundtrack to Mrs America which tells the story of the woman and fights during the 1970s sex equality war in USA and stars Rose Byrne and Cate Blanchett amongst a luminary cast. 

Listen here

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