Luxury Hotels

Castle Hot Springs, Croatia wellness and JK Place conceptor

Castle Hot Springs, above, is one hour from Phoenix (best way is to helicopter there). The historic property has been a health & wellness destination for celebrities, presidents, and prominent American families for more than a century. With an expansive 1,100-acres and magnificent thermal hot springs to soak in under the desert sky, a ‘digital detox’ philosophy that allows guests to unplug and reconnect with nature, for a safe, secluded ‘nearcation’ this Fall.

This September, the resort opens Via Ferrata, a cable course and climbing route set along the craggy cliffside of the Bradshaw Mountains. After all this, savour beer, wine, and bespoke cocktails featuring house-made infusions and syrups—made with fresh, organic ingredients grown on the property’s one-acre farm and greenhouse—at Bar 1896. Do take time, at some point, to dip into at least one of the sequence of natural hot springs (see the image above).


For a healthy environment somewhere else in the world, think about Croatia’s Lošinj island, recognised as a healing location by 19th century Viennese medical experts for the rehabilitative properties of its unique mild Mediterranean microclimate. There are several lovely luxury wellness properties here, including Small Luxury Hotels’ Boutique Hotel Alhambra and Villa Augusta, housed in a 1912-vintage Art Nouveau Austro-Hungarian villa.


Coming today on MARY GOSTELOW GIRLAHEAD PODCAST – the weekly insider interview with a luxury hospitality mover and shaker – is Ori Kafri, the brains behind J.K. Place hotels. He shares how and why he started this oh-so-Italian luxury hotel brand.