X-treme Vacations!

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X-treme Vacations!
Take your next vacation to extremes at these luxurious outdoor outposts.

You’ll also have the opportunity to handle and release birds (ask for the one that grabs tennis balls from unsuspecting players below). If you’re still not tired, hone your hunting skills with clay pigeon shooting. And finally, if you feel like catching your own dinner, make sure to sign up for the hotel’s renowned fly-fishing school. (Although, frankly, a room-service feast prepared by Ashford’s Michelin-starred chef is hard to beat.)

Starting at $531/night;
www.ashford.ie.

 

CHIANG MAI, THAILAND
The Four Seasons has a well-earned reputation for its decadent properties, but one of its most breathtaking is located in Chiang Mai, a plane ride north of Bangkok. Set among rice paddies, the hotel’s pool has a view of buffalo plowing the fields, and an attentive staff who spritz you with Evian water, defog your sunglasses, and dole out fresh watermelon juice. But save that for the afternoon, because you wouldn’t want to miss the morning’s activities: A private yoga lesson in a pagoda set on the rice paddies; nearby elephant trekking; and the chance to learn how to cook Thai food. The lesson begins with a dawn stroll through the local food market and ends with a resplendent lunch prepared in an open, hillside kitchen that would bring Martha Stewart to her knees.

Even people who eschew massages won’t want to miss out on the spa, an oasis of orchids there the pampering includes a foot bath in rose-petal water and a golf-cart ride back to your room, lest you be too relaxed to stumble the few feet without assistance.

$550/night for a terrace-view pavillion;
www.fourseasons.com.

 
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