6 Spontaneous Vacations To Take In 2022

Bag yourself a balcony view at The Maybourne Riviera, a jewel in the Côte d’Azure’s crown

This year has opened doors to wanderlust in ways that we’ve been dreaming of: long-awaited events are back on the cards, once-in-a-lifetime expeditions are on the rise and far-flung locales feel just within reach again. But, rather than wait for the ‘ideal’ time, sometimes it’s best to seize the moment. Below, KATIE BERRINGTON makes the case for a spontaneous getaway this year – and the places to go


If there is one thing we learned in the prolonged travel pause, it’s that it’s often wiser not to wait for the ‘right time’, nor to meticulously curate the ideal itinerary, but to grasp an opportune moment and take flight in a fit of spontaneity. Seize a stolen weekend for an impulsive escape from reality; beat a spell of burnout with a restorative retreat; lean into your instincts and prod a finger at a map to decide on your next vacation. Need inspiration? Here are six destination ideas to prompt your next spur-of-the-moment adventure.

Bali’s COMO Shambhala Estate focuses on holistic wellness in one of the most tranquil settings imaginable

The wellness retreat

If Beyoncé’s resignation-driving Break My Soul feels personal – but you’re not quite ready to hand in your notice – perhaps a stress-relieving wellness retreat is in order instead? Following so much time spent inward-looking, the need for getting in touch with ourselves on a deeper level has never felt so prescient. And, given the success of last year’s The White Lotus and Nine Perfect Strangers, wellness retreats are clearly stepping into the spotlight. COMO Shambhala Estate near Ubud, Bali, is a world-renowned wellness sanctuary that takes a holistic approach, encompassing massage therapies, Ayurvedic treatments and integrated programs tailored to each guest, while activities have been designed to maximize the serenity of the resort’s natural surroundings.

The newly opened Gleneagles Townhouse in Edinburgh provides a decadent spot from which to explore this culture-rich city – or even just stop for lunch

The culture fix

Shared experiences of IRL cultural events have made a forceful and welcome return in 2022, having been so longed for during the pandemic. From scoring last-minute tickets to a festival to making a getaway out of a gig, there are few things quite as soul-lifting as collectively soaking up the sense of an occasion. For a reveler spirit that can be dipped into and combined with city exploration, Edinburgh Festival Fringe ensures there will be something for everyone, plus lots of unplanned encounters along the way. Also take the opportunity to visit the new Gleneagles Townhouse, which boasts a brilliant all-day restaurant and vibrant rooftop bar, Lamplighters.

Head to Oslo for culture, good cuisine, and a slice of Art Deco glamour at Sommerro

The city hop

If a maze of impromptu exploration isn’t your idea of a relaxing vacation, a whim-led trip doesn’t have to mean following your nose – just keep plans succinct to allow ample time for discovery. Oslo is a perfectly compact city break for efficient adventure, with lots of cultural, historic and culinary delights to explore, including the unveiling of Norway’s vast National Museum this year. Meanwhile, the soon-to-open Sommerro has reimagined a 1930s landmark into a beautiful Art Deco hotel that boasts eclectically decadent interiors, a buzz of restaurants and bars, plus the city’s first rooftop pool and terrace.

The Maybourne Riviera: serving up tantalizing views, fresh sea air and unparalleled comfort on the French Riviera

The beach break

To flip into instant vacation mode – vital for a must-be-there-right-now trip – nothing beats feeling the sea breeze on your skin and the sound of crashing waves to plunge you straight in. Cue the South of France, which never disappoints for cinematic, sun-kissed exploring. The Maybourne Riviera, sister hotel to London’s Claridge’s and The Connaught, is perched on the rocky peninsula of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin and offers a dreamy stance from which to take in views of Monaco, sample exquisite Mediterranean delicacies and explore the allure of the Côte d’Azur.

Modern-day luxury meets historic architecture at the sublime Paragon 700, in Italy’s Puglia

The one-stop destination

Without the time to pour over every detail of an itinerary, spontaneous getaways can allow you to get under the skin of a place and be led by your instincts, as well as some local expertise. Choose a destination you know has the key characteristics you love in a vacation: mouthwatering cuisine, spectacular scenery and copious opportunities to stumble upon something special, for example. Puglia, with its rugged coast, sparkling seas and labyrinth of towns to get lost in, is ideal. The recently opened Paragon 700 is crafted from a striking red palazzo in the city of Ostuni, and its vaulted, frescoed bedrooms provide an airily sublime base from which to explore.

The rural escape

Immersing ourselves in nature delivers another swift switch into unbridled freedom – and a newly realized appreciation of the great outdoors means it feels more of a treat than ever before. Whether you’re heading out into the wilderness or checking into a boutique countryside hotel, there is something seriously restorative about a change of scenery and rural rambles. In the Catskills, the recently opened Chatwal Lodge in Bethel sits less than two hours’ drive from Manhattan, but promises an elevated escape from the city, plus 11 guestrooms and suites in Adirondack-style buildings. Activities include boating, swimming and paddleboarding on the Toronto Reservoir, or stay on dry land for bird-watching, hiking and stargazing.

Chatwal Lodge, in the Catskills, is a rural hideaway reimagined – with adventures aplenty right on your doorstep