BEST FOR A PERSONAL RETREAT
The busy 37-year-old splashed out on a solo retreat – her first – in September last year, at luxury health spa Como Shambhala Estate, in Bali.
She says there’s nothing like finding solitude and looking after your well-being on a personal retreat – she’d recommend the experience to anyone.
“I took guided morning walks, swam, did aqua therapy and yoga, and saw a nutritionist to learn how to eat better. At mealtimes, I enjoyed my own company, but a couple invited me to dinner one night – they must have felt sorry for me!” laughs Belinda.
“One of the biggest draws at Como Shambhala is the food – all meals are provided, and the resort has a comprehensive menu serving healthy, delicious Western, Balinese and even raw food. I felt so pampered during my three days there,” she adds.
BEST FOR SCENIC ESCAPES
Relatively untouched by technology (the nation only lifted its ban on television in 1999), Bhutan is “beautiful in a mysterious way”, says Belinda.
“It has a very pure and serene quality. One of the most picturesque spots is the Tiger’s Nest, a Himalayan Buddhist monastery that you can reach only after a four-hour hike up the mountains. After the hike, we had a picnic on one of the surrounding hills to celebrate the birthday of the Singaporean I was visiting there. The view is absolutely stunning; even the Bhutanese love going there on dates!” Belinda shares.
BEST DO-NOTHING DESTINATION
Boracay, the famed island paradise in the Philippines, was where Belinda spent one of her most relaxing trips. “Beach vacations are good for much-needed rest and relaxation – you can read by the beach or people-watch, and work on your tan while sipping a cold drink. While you’re there, make sure you stop by Real Coffee – a cafe that serves the most delicious and fragrant calamansi muffins.”
BEST CITIES TO EXPLORE ON FOOT
“These would be the small towns of Dordrecht and Leiden, on the outskirts of Amsterdam,” says Belinda. “Whenever I visit, I feel like I’ve stepped into a childhood fairy tale – there is so much vintage charm and beauty in the old cottages and gardens. Even the roads are lined with pretty wildflowers.”
This article was originally published in Simply Her October 2014.