Social distancing: our favourite places to get away from it all

Self-isolation? We're calling it self inspiration. From nomadic homes in the wild to low-key hotels, these are the places we wouldn't mind being stuck in for a long, long time

16 March 2020

From memes of 'Tentin Quarantino' to pictures of Chanel loo roll, COVID-19 is rightly at the forefront of everyone's mind. The UK government has been criticised for its delayed and somewhat lax response to the pandemic. People are panic-buying pasta and tinned foods though curiously, not on alcohol (check out our favourite home bars here). Our abodes have become impenetrable fortresses, our living rooms the site of intense Monopoly battles, our sofas the epicentre of Whatsapp calls - all whilst we await warmer weather to put an end to this annoying hiccup.  

As an antidote to the existential crisis we face when left to our own devices at home, we've highlighted some of our favourite hideouts, hotels and places off the beaten track that deserve to go viral – not you, COVID. 

57 Nord, Scotland

The Scottish Highlands is the ideal hideaway for self-isolating. Embrace slow living at 57 Nord, a thoughtfully designed, modern cottage set in the expansive wilderness of Wester Ross, located 10 minutes from the Isle of Skye. Load up on local fare - whisky included - and relax against a panoramic backdrop of Scotland's rugged landscape. 

57nord.co.uk

Free Spirit Spheres, Canada 

This eco-friendly, spherical haven is considered Canada's coolest treehouse, perched in the treetops of Vancouver Island's coastal rainforest. Designed by Tom Chudleigh, the only distraction at this escapist getaway will be the sound of the birds when you wake. 

freespiritspheres.com

Casa Tiny, Puerto Escondido, Mexico

Now that's what we call remote – adjust to a different way of life at Casa Tiny, a back-to-basics house on Mexico's coast, with a private beach and pool surrounded by vegetation. The only thing you need to stockpile here is books and boardgames: delete the BBC News app, turn off your 3G and hunker down until it all blows over.

airbnb.co.uk

Nay Palad Bird Nest, Kenya 

Built and designed from raw materials woven by local community members, Nay Palad Bird Nest is an award-winning sustainable destination in the heart of Kenya’s 6,000-acre wildlife reserve, Segera Retreat. Perched above a river teeming with wildlife and boasting 360 views of the Laikipia Plains, this unique structure offers an intimate hideaway in one of the world’s most arresting locations.

wilderness-safaris.com

Lakes by Yoo, England

Occupying an immaculate private estate in the Cotswolds, Lakes by Yoo is only 90 minutes away from London. With several villas and apartments available to rent or own, the only thing you'll have to worry about is whether you tied your dinghy to the dock.  

lakesbyyoo.com

Penthouse 704 Burlington Gate, London 

As London locks down, this penthouse high above street level in Mayfair is the perfect retreat. Step inside Burlington Gate's latest masterpiece, Penthouse 704. Nestled between the triangle of the Royal Academy, Savile Row and Burlington Arcade, this newly built development has not only been designed by world-renowned architects Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, but also features the first new arcade in Mayfair since the 1930s. The impeccable Penthouse 704, with its interiors designed by Hudson & Mercer, reflects the sophistication and culture of the surrounding area. The apartment has three bedrooms, 24-hour concierge and security, as well as a gymnasium (managed by Bodyism) and spa.

burlingtongate.com

Maurizio Zucchi's ‘Cactus Temple’ Home, Italy

Who needs friends when you have cacti? We'd love to be a guest at the biophilic home of Maurizio Zucci, founder of Italian lifestyle company Zucchi. Towering plants are complemented by mid-century furniture and cool concrete floors, while high ceilings and flooding natural light make this the ultimate dream pad. 

zucchibassetti.com

Turtle Tail Estate, Caribbean

With a firm celebrity following, Turtle Tail offers the very best service of any private villa on the island. Unobstructed views across turquoise waters, an infinity-edge pool that brings together each of the estates unique living quarters and a 16-person lounge and fire pit are just some of the incredible features of the villa. Offered by onefinestay, global experts in short-letting luxury homes, you won't want to leave after isolation.

onefinestay.com

Palazzo Cristo, Venice

A 16th-century palace converted into a super-chic three-suite hotel in 2018, Palazzo Cristo is the vision of husband-and-wife team Anna Covre and Frederic Tubau, founders of award-winning Parisian-based design studio ANNA&FRED. If the view from the first-floor windows is old Venice in all its historic splendour, inside is contemporary cotton-linen sofas, silk-velvet armchairs and a soothing colour palette of salmons and pinks – a serene vault full of luxury trappings from which to wait out until the world returns to normal.

palazzocristo.com

Rock Retreat Villa at Six Senses Ninh Van Bay, Vietnam

This rustic, Robinson Crusoe-spirited hideaway is secluded on a private peninsula on Vietnam's Ninh van Bay Coast, accessible only by boat. Hunker down in the sustainably designed Rock Retreat villa, etched into the clifftops above the sea, complete with its own private plunge pool. The resort has an on-site organic garden and fresh fish is caught daily, meaning you definitely won't go short on supplies. 

sixsenses.com

The Lone Star Hotel, Barbados

Occupying a former Texaco service station, The Lone Star is in the exclusive St James area of the island. In a nod to the site's former life, the rooms are named after classic American brands. Cadillac, Buick and Studebaker are spacious rooms with polished mahogany floors, four-poster beds and private terraces with views of the turquoise ocean. So close to the sea, your feet will still be wet by the time you get into bed. 

thelonestar.com