El Castell de Guadalest, Spain


The therapeutic circuit is based upon the five elements of nature. Fire. Earth. Water. Air. Space. Together, they create balance. You desperately need that right now. So you started in the sauna, where dry heat eliminated toxins. You slowly moved to the hammam, so wet heat could take care of your skin. A bi-thermal tunnel—basically a bath for your feet, legs, and body—followed. So did time in the flotarium, a saltwater sensory deprivation tank. The heated pool was last. With views of the mountains, through its wall of windows, you were in no rush to leave. The journey was a true transformation.

When you finally left the VIVOOD Spa, you didn’t go far. Gravel pathways lined with trees wind through the hillside. Freestanding suites are spaced out along the way. The timber cabins are stilted to reduce their impact on their surroundings. The minimal vibe flows inside with ceramic tiled floors, white walls, and wooden accents. Queen-size beds face floor-to-ceiling windows. The showers in the sleek bathrooms do, too. While you upgraded to a Pool Suite, which adds a terrace, sun loungers, and, best of all, a hot tub. A bottle of chilled vino blanco will be delivered soon.

This is just what you needed. VIVOOD Landscape Hotel is a sanctuary in the woods. It allows you to connect with nature and, more importantly, disconnect from the outside world. It lets you relax with ultramodern cabins, a tranquil spa, and a chic restaurant. Plus it’s a serene spot that’s reserved only for adults. Don’t forget the gorgeous views. They make you pause every time you reach a new clearing.


VIVOOD Landscape Hotel is in El Castell de Guadalest. The small mountain town is an easy day trip from the popular Costa Blanca. It was first settled by the Moors, who built fortresses with far-reaching views. Catholic churches went up after the Moors were forced to leave Spain in the 17th century. Odd museums—focused on motorcycles, salt and pepper shakers, and torture instruments—were added to the pedestrian-only center of town. More than two million people now visit this part of Valencia each year.

It’s a short but steep walk into town. You quickly realize that you’ll probably spend most of your time at the hotel, though. Breakfast is delivered to your suite. Be sure to try the honey and the jam that accompany it. Mornings, before the heat arrives, is reserved for physical activity. You can take a class in the yoga studio, go on an instructor-led trail run, or hike to the turquoise Guadalest Reservoir for a cool swim. A light lunch (poke bowls and sandwiches) is served by the Lounge & Pool Bar when you return. While two infinity pools, which are lined in black to reflect their surroundings like a mirror, are the perfect spots to digest before you’re due at the spa in the afternoon.

Now you have no agenda until dinnertime. You’ll sip wine and catch the last rays of the day. You’ll slip into the hot tub to watch the sun dip toward the mountains. Eventually, you’ll take a cool shower and find something comfortable to wear. Then you’ll walk over to VIVOOD Panoramic Restaurant for a late meal.

The sky will still be pink when you arrive. It’ll cast a magical glow over the open-plan restaurant. Another wine is the first decision to make. It should be white and as local as possible. Then you’ll look over the gourmet menu, which features smoked sardines, deer tartare, lobster, and a rack of lamb tonight. There’s no hurry. You’ll take your time, sip your wine, and soak up the view. It’s all about balance.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.