LOOK: 7 spots to add to your sleepcation bucket list

Lavender, an eye cover and some fluffy sheets are just some of the best ways to get a peaceful night’s rest. Picture: Supplied

Lavender, an eye cover and some fluffy sheets are just some of the best ways to get a peaceful night’s rest. Picture: Supplied

Published Sep 5, 2023


According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, adults should aim for at least seven hours of sleep a night to achieve optimal health.

Despite these recommendations, findings from a Philips Global Sleep Survey found that 62% of adults globally don’t sleep as well as they should.

Considering how crucial sleep is for physical and mental wellbeing, sleep tourism is a growing trend and people are now prioritising their wellbeing by travelling thousands of kilometres in pursuit of more and better quality shut-eye.

Flight Centre South Africa’s General Manager Antoinette Turner revealed that the uncertainty, fear and disruption caused by the pandemic led to increased stress and anxiety for almost everyone, negatively impacting people’s sleep.

“The American Psychological Association reported that over 60% of adults struggled with sleep issues in 2020 and beyond,” said Turner.

She said that now, since the travel industry is bouncing back, it’s time to catch up on all that lost sleep – hence an increased interest in sleep tourism and “sleepcations” all around the globe.

Here are seven places sure to send you to dreamland, according to Turner.

Over water bungalows

Anantara Kihavah - Water Villas in the Maldives. Picture: Unsplash

Aptly named, these are raised bungalows located just off the beach shore in a shallow portion of the ocean. Turner revealed that you’ll find over water bungalows on most of the Indian Ocean Islands, such as Mauritius.

“Along with the breath-taking views, the sound of the surrounding waves and the subtle slosh of the water around the bungalow stilts will have you feeling calm and relaxed in no time,” she said.

Treehouse suites

According to Turner, these are elevated accommodations nestled in the trees and can offer a serene and peaceful escape reminiscent of your favourite childhood hideaway.

The GM at Flight Centre South Africa recommended a stay at the Victoria Falls Island Treehouse Suites on the Island of Kandahar for those looking for this experience.


An igloo suite in Finland. Picture: Unsplash

Turner said that you might expect to be freezing cold inside these icy domes, but on the contrary, that isn’t the case!

“Luxury igloos, as found in Finland, are heated and often made of clear glass, allowing you to sleep under the stars – an unforgettable experience, especially if you’re lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights,” she said.

Underwater hotels

“You’ve slept under the stars, in the treetops and above the ocean – now it’s time to get some rest under the sea, surrounded by marine life,” said Turner.

She highlighted that some famous underwater hotels include Atlantis the Palm in Dubai and Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore.

Cave hotels

A Honeymoon Chalet at Donkieskraal Lodge is perfect for that romantic break you need. Picture: Instagram

According to Turner exploring caves and their mysteries is a popular tourist activity, but sleeping in them is something new.

“The trend has spread quickly, though, and you can find cave hotels in various countries around the world – South Africa included! Book a stay at Donkieskraal Lodge in the Western Cape or Antbear Eco Lodge in KwaZulu-Natal to hibernate from the hustle and bustle,” recommended Turner.

Safari lodges

For those looking for silence and tranquillity, Turner said that its a known fact that there isn’t any silence quite like the silence you find in the bush. “Any safari lodge in a national park or reserve is sure to help you de-stress and find your inner peace,” she said.


The Zambezi Queen floating on the Chobe River. Picture: Instagram

And finally, sleeping on a floating houseboat is sure to provide a peaceful night’s rest.

“Houseboats, like the iconic Zambezi Queen, are essentially floating hotels that offer gorgeous views and a serene sleeping experience.

“Along with the luxurious spoils, like Egyptian cotton bedding and air conditioning, the flow of the water will peacefully rock you to sleep – and keep you asleep,” said Turner.