A luxury guide to hotels set in natural habitats
Talk about a room with a view. These five hotels sit in some of the world's most incredible areas of natural beauty. They are also some of the world's most luxurious hotels, so you don’t have to choose between nature and comfort.
These hotels really do have it all.
When your hotel is based in the ever-so impressive canyons of the Navajo Country deep in the American South, you have no choice but to work around nature to design it.
And lucky for us, the Aman hotel group found a way to do just that providing sleek and modern design in the least likely of locations.
Carved into the natural canyon landscapes of the Utah desert are suites, bedrooms and swimming pools designed to (quite literally) fit right in with nature.
Imagine swimming while your pool water laps against the ancient rock. Or waking up in the morning to views across the stark desert.
It's certainly one way to pretend you're a Bedouin of old, but with all the modern luxuries expected from this five star hotel chain.
Imagine, if you will, waking up to the world’s most unique natural phenomenon. Greens, blues, violets and pinks merge to form an incredible light show above your bed, as you peer out from under your snug duvet through a glass-domed roof. Welcome to the greatest show on earth, the Auurora Borealis, or the Northern Lights.
While your bed sits under the igloo-inspired dome in the perfect positon to gaze through the night, the living area of your room has a log chalet design, ensuring a cosy feel while tucked away in your lapland hideaway. The on-site sauna is the perfect respite after a day exploring the wilderness, and some of the larger suites even have in-room saunas and outdoor jacuzzis.
While you may not want to sleep for fear of missing out on the light show, we suggest you get a few hours shut-eye so you can explore your surroundings come day light. Choose a husky ride through the thick snow, cross-country skiing or an ice fishing expedition, amongst many others. You can even choose to visit Santa in his home, so long as it’s not Christmas Eve of course. We have a feeling Santa will be rather busy that night.
You know this hotel is going to be something special when you have to switch from the airport transfer car to the hotel’s own 4x4 for the two hour drive up the mountains. Probably the fastest two hours of your life as you gaze at the Al Hajar mountains, in awe of just how tiny we really are.
This feeling of awe is only heightened when you reach the hotel, which sits at 2000 metres above sea level, and are taken to see the view. Atop a natural canyon, you really are looking down into the ether of nature.
The luxury experience at this hotel is enhanced by its rustic feel in keeping with the location. So, though kept to the best of standards, you really are at one with nature while here adding to the calming rest and relaxation you’ll doubtlessly feel.
Book Alila Jebal Akdar.
Saffire Frecinet, Tasmania
Sit long enough at the floor to ceiling glass wall running through the bedroom and living room of all suites in this hotel, and you may just spot a few blue whales playfully jumping in the Tasman Sea, just yards from your room. This sea spills into the cove that the hotel sits on, from the wide body of water stretching from Tasmania to New Zealand, and really is a sight to behold.
This, of course, is if you can take your eyes off the equally beautiful Frecinet Peninsula, a mountain range surrounding the cove and 400 million years in the making, known today as the Hazard Mountain range. These mountains seem to soak in and reflect the surrounding environment, so dependant on time of year, and even time of day, you’ll see them change from blue to pink hues as the sun makes its journey across the sky.
The hotel offers 5* accommodation and service with sumptuous beds, pre-loaded musoic according to your taste (should you so wish to offer it) and intrinsically organic dining. Take a trip to their estuary to sample fresh oysters and local bubbles for breakfast. Organic is just the Tasmanian way of life.
Tear yourself away from the hotel to trek the Hazard Mountains, and to discover potentially one of the world’s most secluded and beautiful beaches, Wineglass Bay. It’s a couple of hours trekking over the mountain rocks to get there, but we think you’ll agree, so worthwhile…
Book a stay at Saffire Freycinet
Gazing out across the Arabian desert, it would be easy to believe there isn’t another soul in the world - just you, and miles upon miles of glorious golden sands. Oh, and of course, you’re viewing this while cooling from the desert sun in your very own private pool, which comes as standard with every room.
We say room, but what’s special about this hotel is the luxury bedouin-inspired accommodation. Part tented but so much more than glamping, each villa offers generous space (1700 square foot is the smallest, easily achieved when you have the whole desert to play with) along with comfort, sophistication, and modern amenities you may require, such as wifi and LCD TVs.
We suggest you leave your contact with the outside world at the door, however, and instead cycle the hotel’s winding pathways, take a yoga class, partake in some archery or simply sit and watch the sun go down behind the sand dunes, imagining life as a bedouin.
Don’t miss the on-site spa either. Here you can indulge in all the treatments you’d expect from a 5* spa, plus explore a unique hydrothermal therapy room which will have you walking through 16 different stations, all offering varied health benefits. Expect ice rooms, rain walks, salt scrubs and hammams. We’ll leave the rest for you to discover.
Book Al Wadi Desert, Ras al Khaimah, a Ritz Carlton property.
- By Katie Silcox
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