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Up and Away With Dervla Louli Musgrave

Unspoilt nature, a mindful ethos and total tranquillity – these are a few things travellers are increasingly looking for in their next getaway. Who better to take inspiration from than Dervla Louli Musgrave? The yoga-loving founder of luxury wellness travel booking portal reveals the gorgeous destinations we should all be adding to our bucket lists.

June 28, 2021

As a wellness wanderluster, where was your last travel destination and why did you choose to go there?

For the first quarter of 2020 my husband and I went to New Zealand, Dubai and Egypt. Aro Hā is a retreat in New Zealand that I’d had on my bucket list since launching in 2017. I also wanted to see the animal life there, which did not disappoint. I’m half Egyptian and wanted to return to the country after 15 years to visit all of the famous sites and temples as well as seeing family.

What are your criteria when picking a leisure destination?

A beautiful setting preferably set on or near the water, stunning and interesting design, nutritious satisfying cuisine and of course excellent customer service.

What is a good resort to you? Have you had any hospitality experience that totally caught you by surprise?

I think a very peaceful, spacious and well-designed hotel room or suite is of the utmost importance, followed by large beautiful swimming pools and beach areas. The suites at the Upper House hotel in Hong Kong designed by André Fu are a great example of exceptional hotel room design – especially the enormous baths. For something more remote, I love the layout of the houses at Nihi Sumba with sliding doors that look out onto an infinity pool, lawn and eventually the ocean.

As ecotourism is getting more popular now, how do you define ecotourism and why do you think this is a growing trend?

The International Ecotourism Society defines ecotourism as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education”. I think we are finally realising that we are destroying the planet with our unhealthy habits and reliance on man-made goods. There is a desire to try to rectify the damage and a realisation that you can’t throw things ‘away’ as there is no ‘away’. Being in nature and helping others make us feel great and these factors are the two cornerstones of ecotourism.

What are some tips or things to consider for people who want to become more eco-conscious travellers?

Being more mindful about where you’re going, why you’re travelling, who you’re supporting and what you’re giving back to the local community at your destination are all questions that can help people travel more eco-consciously. Treading lightly, leaving no trace and being respectful of the earth are a few small habits that can have a big positive impact.

What are your must-have items that you always bring with you when you travel?

My Bose noise-cancelling headphones, Clarins rosehip lip balm, the C E Ferulic and Vitamin B5 serums from SkinCeutical, Estée Lauder foil mask, Lululemon leggings, cashmere wrap and a large Louis Vuitton black tote.