Whether it is for a much-needed retreat from the day to day stresses of modern life, getting back to grips with nature itself or simply switching off from the digital world altogether, luxury lodges have become increasingly popular holidaying options for people looking for something a little different. Read on to learn more about the world’s most audacious luxury lodges.
Fogo Island Inn
Fogo Island, Canada
Located in the far reaches of Canada’s eastern Newfoundland, the Fogo Island Inn offers the perfect getaway for any escapist looking. Oh, and you can see the Northern Lights too. With both cultural pursuits and wildlife available Fogo Island provides unique appeal. Facilities include the Fogo Island Gallery hosting works of art as well as a cinema and award winning restaurant.
The inn hosts the Fogo Island Gallery where selected artists present their work and the building itself can be distinguished by it’s X-shaped plan clad in timber. The island’s name “Fogo” means “fire” in Portuguese and it’s a great place to spot` migratory birds such as Canada geese, American widgeon and white-winged scoters. Facilities & Activities: Award-winning restaurant, library, lobby, cinema and art gallery. Hiking, watching Northern lights and marine watching. Suite from £558 to £1580 per night. Fogoislandinn.ca
La Selva Amazon Ecolodge & Spa
This notable ecologically-friendly ethical lodge is located in the heart of the Ecuadorian Amazon and offers some stunning surroundings coupled with top-class facilities. The remote outpost is set deep in the forest close to some of the last remaining indigenous inhabitants of the Amazon and wildlife including spider monkeys. Holiday makers can take guided tours and `canoe rides or choose to enjoy some relaxing pastimes such as yoga, massages, hammocks and rainforest showers.
The La Selva Ecolodge offers exclusive native or private guides for excursions around the Amazon. This section of the jungle offers you the chance to lay eyes on spider monkeys, hoatzins and giant otters to name a few. Fascinatingly, it is also home to some of the last indigenous people left in the Amazon. Facilities & Activities: Rainforest showers, hammocks, massages, restaurant and bar, yoga studio, canoe rides, guided trails and tour to parrot clay licks. 4 days / 3 nights from £735. Laselvajunglelodge.com
(La Selva Amazon Ecolodge & Spa)
Yulara, Northern Territory, Australia
Situated in the heart of the Australian Outback and nearby the iconic Uluru (Ayers Rock), Longitude 131 offers a slice of luxury within the great Australian desert.
The lodge’s name attests to its location, and it’s the only accommodation in the world with a view of Uluru. Famous guests include Prince William and Kate Middleton when they visited Australia. Rich in Aboriginal culture and with the 600 million-year-old Uluru dominating the landscape, the scenery is utterly mesmerising. Facilities & Activities: Spa and restaurant, tours around the beautiful Northern Territory and around the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Single luxury tent from AUD £980 per person per night. Longitude131.com.au
Meaning “Place of Peace”, Zhiwa Ling reflects Bhutan’s deeply Buddhist traditions making the lodge a spiritual retreat for guests. One of the world’s most unique lodges, it combines ancient Bhutanese décor with modern facilities such as a fitness centre and two restaurants. Guests can visit Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest Monastery) or taking a rigorous hiking tour up to the Dzongdrakha temple which is precariously built on a rock face.
It’s the first 5-star Bhutanese owned hotel built by Bhutanese artists and it’s Buddhist temple on the second floor was built using 450 year old timbers from the Gangtey Monastery. The Jigme Dorji National Park is the oldest national park in the country and houses Bhutan’s four national symbols: the cypress tree, the blue poppy flower, the raven bird and the takin. Facilities & Activities: Tea house, spa, bar and restaurant, meditation rooms and yoga retreats, Bhutanese games and activities, traditional archery classes and ‘khuru’, the traditional dart game. Single room from £174 to £431 per night. Zhiwaling.com
Budir, Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Iceland
Hotel Budir sits on a lava field on a peninsula looking out to sea in typically unique Icelandic fashion. This northern outpost has great local amenities close by and for anyone looking to take in the incredible wildlife and scenery on offer there are a range of activities including snowmobiling, fishing and horse riding. Local bird watching and hiking make this an ideal escape for anyone craving the outdoors.
Hotel Budir’s mesmerising and fairy-tale locale is also positioned near a quaint country church, making it ideal for weddings. Aside from the distinction of residing in a lava field, the Snaefellsnes Peninsula is stunning, and houses the Snaefellsjokull Glacier which lies on an active volcano. Facilities & Activities: Restaurant and bar & a nearby church for weddings. Snowmobile tours, bird watching, horse riding, hiking and fishing. Master suite from £230 per night. Hotelbudir.is
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge
Near Arusha, Tanzania
The Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is, as the name suggests, situated on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater; offering naturally stunning views over the below valley. This unique location is set close to a conservation area with access to approximately 25,000 mammals and regularly hosts the migration of wildebeest, gazelles and Zebras. The crater is the planets largest remaining caldera and holidaymakers can enjoy game drives as well as guided tours of Oluvai Gorge and the Shifting Sands.
The suites are designed and inspired by Masai mud and stick manyatta. Facilities & Activities: Chandelier-lit bathtubs, bar and restaurant and designated picnic sites on crater floor. Game drives on crater floor, guided tours of Olduvai Gorge and Shifting Sands. From £662 to £1063 per night. Andbeyond.com
(Ngorongoro Crater Lodge)
(Ngorongoro Crater Lodge)
(Ngorongoro Crater Lodge)
© This article was first published in Nov/Dec 2015 edition of World Travel Magazine.