There’s off the beaten path, and then there’s this. When the hustle and bustle of city life becomes too much to bear, in-the-know travellers escape to destinations so remote there may not be a path at all (beaten or otherwise).
The world’s most remote hotels are accessed by 4×4, seaplane and boat. They are nestled deep within deserts, perched high atop mountains and cloistered on private islands. For those willing to venture to the ends of the Earth, 5-star retreats await in unexpected places.
When you need to get away from it all – really, really away – you can’t be these ultra under-the-radar remote hotels.
#1 Jalman Meadows Wilderness Camp | Mongolia
Four solid walls and a roof seem like basic requirements for luxury, until you see these glamourous tents in central Mongolia. The yurts – or gers, as they’re called locally – of Jalman Meadows Wilderness Camp offer a 5-star experience and stunning 360-degree views in an eco-friendly, fully collapsible package. The camp, which is located about four hours outside of Ulaanbaatar, is freshly constructed each summer. No trace of it can be found during the fiercely cold winters.
#2 Posada de Mike Rapu | Easter Island
This 30-room resort sits in the middle of the South Pacific on Easter Island, the most remote inhabited island on Earth. Your reward for making the journey (a five-hour flight from Chile or Tahiti, followed by a five-hour drive from Hanga Roa) is a relaxing retreat with pristine ocean views. The spare but stylish sanctuary is reason enough to visit, but if you can be tempted beyond its walls, you can arrange an excursion to the haunting monolithic stone figures that made the island famous.
#3 Fogo Island Inn | Canada
Canada’s Fogo Island Inn is an incongruously modern building set against the rugged landscape of Newfoundland. Minimalist architecture and traditional influences blend into a surprisingly harmonious whole. Outside it’s clean lines and sharp angles. Inside, the cutting-edge design houses the handiwork of the local people: woven rugs, handcrafted quilts, traditional furniture and art. Amenities include a rooftop sauna, screening room and art gallery.
#4 Amangiri | Utah, USA
The Amangiri resort in Utah is so well camouflaged you could almost miss it. Its 34 luxurious suites are ensconced in sandstone rock formations that look like something out of a sci-fi movie. While you won’t see any aliens during your stay, you may see a celebrity. Brad and Angelina are just two of the famous faces who come here when they need a lavish but secluded escape.
#5 Hotel Budir | Iceland
Two hours outside of Reykjavik is Iceland’s one of the most iconic remote hotels – a place of romance, history and fine dining, set on a lava field beside a mystical glacier. Hotel Budir offers chic but unpretentious accommodations and breathtaking vistas. For foodies, the hotel’s restaurant is considered one of the country’s best. For romantics, the isolated church nearby is a dreamy location for a destination wedding.
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#6 Dar Azawad Desert Camp | Morocco
The word “glamping” garners mixed reactions, but there’s no question that Morocco’s Dar Azawad Desert Camp is magnificent. Travellers yearning for silence and stars will fall in love with the deep Saharan location, which is reachable only by 4×4. Guests stay in lavish tents equipped with king-sized beds, en suite bathrooms and hot showers that defy the distinctly sand dune-y scenery.
#7 Mountain Lodges Of Peru | Peru
Machu Picchu is by no means an undiscovered gem, but most tourists take the easy route to the ancient Incan ruins. Those itching for adventure travel the Salkantay Trail, a multi-day trek through the Peruvian Andes that includes stays at four secluded lodges. The route must be travelled by foot, horse or mule. Thankfully, after a long day’s hike at challenging altitudes, the lodges offer gourmet meals, cozy fires and relaxing Jacuzzis to soothe aching muscles.
#8 Wolwedans | Namibia
A two-hour flight from Johannesburg or Cape Town to Windhoek, followed by a six-hour drive or a 105-minute prop-plane ride, will land you in the desolate but dazzling lands of Namibia’s NamibRand Nature Reserve. There you’ll find the Wolwedans Dunes Lodge, an other-worldly destination for travellers seeking solitude. For something even more remote, head deeper into the clay-coloured desert to the Wolwedans Private Camp, where your suite is the only man-made creation in sight.
#9 Winterlake Lodge | Alaska, USA
Alaska’s Winterlake Lodge calls the famous Iditarod Trail home, but you won’t require a dog sled to get there. Instead guests arrive at the 15-acre property by floatplane (in summer) or skiplane (in winter), after soaring over remote lakes, ice-glazed peaks and vast stretches of forest. With the Alaskan backcountry beckoning, guests enjoy world-class hiking, fishing, kayaking, bird watching, cross-country skiing and can even try their hand at mushing with the lodge’s team of huskies.
#10 Petit St. Vincent | St. Vincent & Grenadines
It doesn’t get more remote than a private island. A one-hour flight from Barbados to Union Island, followed by a 20-minute boat ride, will get you to the sumptuously decorated cottages of the Petit St. Vincent. This is truly a trip away from it all. There’s no television, telephone service or Internet access, so guests communicate with the staff by raising different coloured flags on bamboo flagpoles.