Richard Branson spent more than two decades restoring this Spanish finca from the 1500s.
Sustainable stays in Mallorca, New Mexico, and Kauai.
Estate of Mind
Richard Branson has been vacationing on Mallorca for more than 60 years. Now, the Virgin Group founder has rescued the sprawling Son Bunyola Hotel in the island’s UNESCO-protected Serra de Tramuntana range. It took more than two decades of coordination with local authorities to restore the sixteenth-century finca, one of Mallorca’s most heavily protected sites, with its original olive press, neo-Gothic chapel, and medieval defense tower. Comprising a main residence and a stone-walled annex, the resort has 26 guest rooms, plus three stand-alone villas. Pops of peach and seafoam punctuate beachy-cool interiors, along with dramatic vistas of the rugged north coast and artwork by local talent, including Valldemossa-based painter Jaime Colorao.
Hikes through the 1,300-acre grounds reveal carob, almond, and olive trees and tidy vineyards planted with malvasia grapes. Guests can swim or stand-up paddleboard from the property’s secluded, rocky beaches or opt for a mountain-biking adventure through the hills. But the center of the action is the 92-foot pool, with mint-hued sun loungers and a reach-out-and-touch-it view of the Sa Foradada islet. Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily and a $100 hotel credit.
Armendaris is home to one of the largest conservation easements in U.S. history, protecting more than 360,000 acres.
Armendaris, A Ted Turner Reserve
Home Sweet Hacienda
Kick back like a media mogul: Now open to travelers, The Hacienda at Armendaris – Ted Turner’s private residence on his 360,000-acre southern New Mexico ranch – features four spacious guest rooms, a cozy outdoor courtyard backed by the Chihuahuan Desert and Fra Cristobal Mountains, and a full Santa Fe-style kitchen (though you’ll likely want to leave the cooking to the private chef). As one of three Land of Enchantment Ted Turner Reserves properties, which total more than 1.1 million acres, Armendaris plays a key role in Turner’s rewilding of the American West and reintroduction and protection of endangered species. Guests’ daily activities include paleontology and petroglyph tours and wildlife outings focused on Armendaris’ successful restoration of the bolson tortoise and desert bighorn sheep. Nightlife on the reserve is just as wild: Guides lead stargazing sessions and, from May to September, visits to lava caves to watch more than a million Mexican free-tailed bats take flight at dusk. Virtuoso travelers receive all meals, daily activities, and a $100 resort credit per occupied room.
The new hotel on Kauai's rugged northern coast is LEED certified. 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay
Retreat to Kauai
The stream flowing through Kauai’s new 252-room 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay’s open-air lobby sets the scene at the carbon-neutral resort in Princeville, which aims to divert 90 percent of its refuse from landfills and employs native landscaping that virtually eliminates irrigation. In guest rooms, organic materials such as woven willow walls and basalt floors invite travelers to recalibrate to island time. Wellness programs range from after-sun recovery wraps and macadamia-oil massages in the 18-treatment-room spa to evaluations performed by doctors and nutritionists at the medispa, and fitness activities at levels ranging from yogi calm to trail-running breathless. Seven restaurants and bars serve local goods such as dark-roast coffee, plant-based entrees, and poke bowls – best enjoyed with stress-banishing views of Hanalei Bay. Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily and a $100 hotel credit.