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Escape to the Country

Drawing upon principles of the slow movement, the locations featured in Slow Escapes embrace ideas of community, sustainability, and seasonality, and are involved in the preservation of heritage, culture, and tradition. From an 18th-century sheep farm reimagined as a guest house in the far north of Iceland, to a new-age finca in the heart of Andalusia, read the stories behind the places that are changing the way we vacation-for the better.

The Newt — Set in the southwest of England, the beauty of The Newt in Somerset’s flowered gardens, apple orchards, centennial trees, old stones and farmsteads is impossible to deny. Elevated from the past and brought back to life, the estate is as unconventional as its owner and creative eye, South African Karen Roos. “I have always been committed to fighting conservatisms,” she says, “I don’t want to please nor be loved through my projects, I want them to be an open-minded, forward-thinking expression of our times.”

The Newt in Somerset is a luxury hospitality project that combines legendary gardens, farms, orchards, and vegetable plots with a Georgian country house and a historic farm hamlet. (Photo: Courtesy of The Newt, Slow Escapes)

Finca La Donaira — High in Andalusia’s Serrania de Ronda, in southern Spain, Finca La Donaira is a shining example of luxury agritourism, a movement that combines farming and hospitality in the modern age. Set within 750 hectares (1,850 acres) of unspoiled terrain, and tucked between protected forests of ancient oaks and a biodynamic farm, at the heart of the property stands an old Spanish farmhouse with nine individually designed rooms for guests.

At the heart of Andalusia, Finca La Donaira brings past, present, and future together in an eco retreat complete with an organic farm and equestrian center. (Photo: Courtesy of Finca La Donaira, Slow Escapes)

Şesuri — A paradise found, Şesuri today is a rural retreat that rents traditional houses, celebrates nature, rural traditions, old construction techniques, and local crafts. Working with local carpenters and farmers, Şesuri thrives on this very special relationship with the locals. “No doubt, this is an enchanted corner of the world, and mine is quite the dream job!” Owner Lilli Steier explains. “I’m really grateful. I couldn’t have found a better fit and place in my life; it brings so many facets together: construction, woodworking, sharing passions, learning from others, caring for nature and animals. All things I love seem to have come together.”

(Set on a 100-hectare (245 acre) estate in northwestern Carpathian Mountains of Romania, Şesuri comprises a handful of traditionally built houses, a farm, and countless animals. Photo: Courtesy of Sorin Morar, Slow Escapes)

A thoughtful guide to a new kind of travel, Slow Escapes explores hotels, guesthouses, and hospitality venues that are reinvigorating rural areas by fostering meaningful connections between people and place.

Originally published at https://gestalten.com.

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gestalten

gestalten

Berlin-based publishing house that specializes in developing content for aficionados of cutting-edge creative culture worldwide.