Nine of the world's most remote hotels
These far-flung properties promise a stay unlike any other. Bed down in the treetops, cosy up in a wilderness cabin, kick back in the desert and more
Sometimes it’s worth getting lost. Some of the most epic adventures can be found off-the-beaten-track and in the wild. Going off-grid doesn’t mean camping in a soggy tent. Some of the most extraordinary hotels lie off in the horizon without compromising on comfort. Think an Alaskan mountain lodge only accessible by private plane or a Berber-style camp amid Morocco’s sweeping sand dunes. Looking for something a little out there? Consider a UFO-style treehouse in Sweden’s pine forest or a solar-powered cabin on Namibia’s haunting Skeleton Coast. It may take longer to get there but we guarantee the journey will be worth it. Here are our nine favourite remote hotels:
Shipwreck Lodge, Namibia
Fronting Namibia’s sweeping wind-lashed coast, Shipwreck Lodge may be the most unlikely beach retreat you’ll ever encounter. Perched atop golden dunes, blonde wood cabins offer refuge in complete isolation from where you can step straight out onto the barren sand. The interiors feel cosy with wood-burning stoves, velvet daybeds as well as portholes and picture windows with plenty of light streaming in. After venturing through one of the earth’s largest wildernesses, soak it all up from the deck at sunset.
The Datai, Langkawai, Malaysia
If you’re looking to ignite your tropical jungle dreams, look no further than The Datai, Langkawi. Embedded in ancient rainforest on the north-western tip of the island, this hideaway is just as spoiling as it is wild. It’s just reopened following a refurb. Nothing has been left untouched by the works, including the spa, the ideal place to relax after a jungle jaunt. Unwind on the beach, a semicircle of white sand, exclusive to guests. You can even request candlelit dinners here, complete with a private waiter.
If it’s total immersion in nature you’re looking for, the Treehouse hotel offers just that. Overlooking the pine forest and Lule River, choose from seven high-design hideaways. Designs range from a UFO-shaped room to a bolthole resembling a bird’s nest. Other concepts include a mirrored cube, camouflaged into the wilderness, as well as a spacecraft-like structure with panoramic views of the northern lights. The 1950s-style main guesthouse comes complete with a sauna, bar and restaurant.
North Island, Seychelles
If there was ever a textbook idyllic paradise, North Island would be it. Play out your Robinson Crusoe dreams from a chic thatched roof villa surrounded by powder-white sand, grassy plateaus and towering granite peaks. It’s perfect for romance – Prince William and Kate Middleton spent their honeymoon here. Other than ultimate privacy, the real luxury is exploring on a do-as-you-please basis –think private picnics on the sand, scuba diving in the marine park and beach barbecues under the stars. And when you want to completely switch off, the spa sculpted into the rocks offers bespoke treatments.
Winterlake Lodge, Alaska, US
Some 320 kilometres northwest of Anchorage, along Alaska’s Itditarod Trail, Winterlake Lodge sits nestled in the pine. Only accessible by a 45-minute plane ride, this former trapper’s cabin is now a six-hectare outdoor playground offering guests the opportunity to run wild; helicopter adventures, glacier trekking, dog-mushing and more. One day you may even want an impromptu wine tasting or learn how to cook local delicacies in a fun cookery class. Kayaks and paddleboards available at all times so you can explore the sparkling Finger Lake.
Heron Island Resort, Australia
While most holidaymakers head to the more developed Whitsunday islands, the lesser-developed Heron Island offers a barefoot paradise off the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef. The hot white sand and lush vegetation hosts an exclusive Heron Island Resort off-limits to day-trippers leaving you to explore its turquoise water and coral gardens in peace. Visit from October to March to witness hundreds of green and loggerhead turtles returning to the shores to nest. Families need look no further. Children under the age of 12 stay for free with a dedicated ‘ranger’ programme for young explorers.
Bear Cave Mountain Adventure Camp, Canada
Tucked away in the Ni’iinlii’njik Territorial Park in the remote northern Yukon, the Bear Cave Mountain Adventure Camp offers unique opportunities to see grizzly bears roaming wild. It’s only open for six weeks of the year and accommodates four guests at one time. Spirited-adventure types can arrive by helicopter and get close to nature in cozy wood cabins that blend harmoniously into the land. Led by highly trained bear specialists, come face-to-face with these awesome creatures watching them expertly catch chum salmon in the rivers or photograph them pacing the snow.
Amantica Lodge, Peru
While most stay on the lake fringes or in the town of Puno, those staying in Amantica Lodge can experience Lake Titicaca from the privacy of a remote island. Perched on the shore edge, two suites feature light timber, pebble walls and floor-to-ceiling windows for spectacular panoramas. After days exploring the famous floating islands, sit back in the rock-carved Jacuzzi and soak it all in. The glass-walled dining area means you never miss a view. Enjoy delicious food whipped up by a private chef.
A&K Exclusive Desert Tented Camp, Morocco
Going off-grid couldn’t be more tempting with the promise of an exclusive camp waiting at the end. Ride in convoy of 4x4s with your friends across the flat-baked desert to an isolated spot near the Merzouga dunes. You’ll find Berber-style tents decked out in large rugs and two all-important viewing chairs from where you can watch the shifting dunes. In the morning, step straight onto the amber sand and ride out on camel back at sunrise. Despite its middle-of-nowhere location, the camp serves outstanding Moroccan fare to enjoy around the fire or in a luxurious dining tent.
Intrigued? Find out more about taking a walk on the wild side.