Trips for Solo Travelers
When we launched our Escapes guide last month, we heard from a few readers who explained that they were single, filled with wanderlust, and wanted some good options for getaways with some structure—where they wouldn’t feel completely isolated. We compiled a list of getaways that are centered around learning (cooking, painting, photography, etc.), as well as some of the world’s best adventure travel outfitters. They organize small, intimate group trips that are great for singles and couples alike: You get once-in-a-lifetime experiences, along with great company at mealtime. Solo vacationers should also check out (and into) any of these wellness spas and getaways.
Wuzhen Clubhouse18 S. Sifo Rd., Wuzhen | +86.573.8255.5555
This 84-room hotel spans over three timber houses and sits on the banks of a river in Wuzhen, China—a unique little water town steeped in history and charm. The Heal Town building is home to a spa which specializes in deep healing and relaxation, as well as a wellness-centric restaurant (each of the three houses has a unique eatery on premises). Once you’ve gotten your fill of traversing the picturesque bridges and windy canals of the city, take part in an on-site Tai Chi class or try your hand at traditional Chinese pottery, calligraphy, and silk painting.
The Ritz-Carlton KyotoKamogawa Nijo-Ohashi Hotori, Kyoto | +81.75.746.5555
Situated on the banks of the Kamogawa river and overlooking a cluster of mountains, the Ritz Carlton in Kyoto provides all the swanky amenities (spa, fine dining, impeccable service) one might expect, plus a slew of unexpected extras. While it’s the perfect home base from which to venture out into downtown Kyoto and surrounding districts, the hotel’s roster of activities offers plenty of reasons to hang around the property. Here, you can try your hand at Japanese floral design, soap making, traditional origami, and more. Sake tastings, matcha tea ceremonies, and master sushi classes can also be arranged for anyone who’s interested.
Belmond La ResidenciaSon Canals, Mallorca | +34.9188.8.131.52
First of all, this Belmond is on the Northwest coast of Mallorca. If that's not incentive enough to get on a plane, you can tour the coastline in one of the resident boats, hike, or ride Vespas around the island. Home to one of Spain's largest sculpture gardens, the arts are really the focal point of the resort. There are cooking classes for foodies, but the main draw are the workshops in sculpture, painting, and ceramics, taught by artists in residence.
El FennDerb Moullay Abdullah Ben Hezzian, Bab el Ksour, Medina | +212.5184.108.40.206
Owned by Richard Branson's sister, Vanessa, El Fenn is a bright spot in a city that's already wildly colorful. Years ago, Vanessa and partner William Howell were walking through Marakkech looking for a home to buy when they came across a once stately riad that was desperately in need of a resuscitation. The pair restored it to its former glory, and transformed it into a gorgeously appointed, 28-room hotel. While it's within striking distance of most of Morocco's biggest hits (see our Marrakech guide, here), Branson and Howell round out the stay with a trove of other experiences. You can shop the markets with the chef and cook in the hotel's kitchens, take a bellydancing class, or camel ride in the Ourika valley. Historically, they've held writer's retreats and photography workshops, too.
The Watermill at Posara20 Via del Molino Posara, Fivizzano | +220.127.116.1193.6246
Under the watchful eye of owners Lois and Bill Breckon, this Tuscan compound plays host to a bevy of creative retreats. Food prep and planning is completely taken care of and the picturesque property (including not one but two ancient mills and endless gardens) and surrounding hillsides serve as creative fodder for painting holidays. To keep the inspiration flowing, you and your easel will also be shuttled to neighboring towns for sightseeing and more painting. Fully immersive writing courses are held twice a year (the TV comedy and drama scriptwriting workshop is taught by veteran writer, Laurence Marks).