The landscape of travel has undoubtedly evolved, with a growing preference for off-the-beaten-path destinations far removed from the hustle and bustle of tourist cities. However, this shift also means that these secluded places are gradually teeming with people as well. But all is not lost yet. There are still exceptional properties tucked away in such remote corners that the journey to reach them becomes an adventure in itself. Some of these exquisite properties are perched in the metaphorical ‘edge of the world’ locations, like Antarctica or islands so far off the coast that they demand multiple modes of transportation to access.
Come along as we whisk you away to these remote havens and assist you in discovering the perfect location for your next unforgettable vacation.
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Hard-to-reach, remote hotels that are absolutely worth the effort
Bawah Reserve, Indonesia
If you are looking for a luxe escape to a secluded tropical paradise, then Bawah Reserve in Indonesia is your answer. Accessible through a combination of flights and a seaplane journey, this resort lies in a pristine marine conservation area comprising six islands, 13 beaches and three lagoons.
With a total of 36 suites, villas and lodges, Bawah Reserve offers a diverse range of luxury accommodations. Their three Garden Suites and 15 Beach Suites offer a jungle experience with air-conditioned bedrooms, private verandas, outdoor showers and beach access. Meanwhile, the 11 Overwater Bungalows offer direct lagoon access, private covered verandas and breathtaking views.
Guests are treated to a host of Indonesian and Mediterranean-inspired dishes whose ingredients are locally sourced.
With the property being surrounded by forests, beaches and lagoons, there is no dearth of water and land-based activities. The guests can try anything — from scuba diving and snorkelling in clear waters to hiking through the lush forests. The guests can also treat themselves to spa therapies available at the resort’s Aura Spa, which has a variety of treatments to pamper you from head to toe.
How to reach:
Book a direct flight to Batam’s Hang Nadim Airport (BTH) from Jakarta or any other Indonesian location. Upon arrival at Batam, take an 80-minute seaplane journey to Bawah Reserve.
Berkeley River Lodge, Australia
With Australia already being a geographically isolated place, staying in the wilderness of Australia’s Kimberley region is like doubling down on remoteness.
The Berkeley River Lodge in Kununurra town serves as an exclusive sanctuary, offering 20 luxurious villas, each perched atop coastal dunes and spruced up with glass frontage, providing 180-degree views of the Timor Sea. The lodge, like many remote hotels, includes a wealth of activities, from river cruises exploring tranquil waterways to 4WD adventures providing encounters with local wildlife and panoramic ocean vistas.
With its exquisite dining at Dunes restaurant, fine Australian wines and a cultured yet casual atmosphere, this lodge promises an extraordinary fusion of luxury and wilderness.
How to reach:
Since there is no road to reach Berkeley River Lodge, the only way to be here is to first land at Kununurra Airport and then take a floatplane or land-based aircraft to reach the lodge.
Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, Uganda
Get a first-hand experience of witnessing the primates at Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge. Serving as the perfect base for gorilla tracking adventures, the lodge is situated right at the trailhead in Uganda’s southwest highlands. Although reaching here may involve long road trips and multiple flights, the time, effort and money spent are undoubtedly rewarding.
The lodge’s stone cottages, with one or two bedrooms, boast king-size beds and spacious living rooms with wood-burning fireplaces. The interiors are adorned with African-themed art and high ceilings, creating a unique atmosphere. The management puts emphasis on personalised experience, which encompasses dining, wellness and more. Here, private butlers, too, are available at your service.
How to reach:
You have the option of flying into Rwanda and then embarking on a cross-border three-hour drive to reach the lodge. Or, reach Entebbe airport in Uganda and fly into Kisoro. From there, it is a further 90 minutes by road to your destination.
Deplar Farm, Iceland
Imagine being surrounded by snow in winter or lush greenery in summer. Well, you can experience this if you stare through Deplar Farm’s floor-to-ceiling windows.
This luxury lodge in Iceland’s picturesque Fljót Valley offers a harmonious blend of modern amenities and rugged natural beauty. It boasts 13 well-appointed en-suite bedrooms, featuring king and queen suites, bunkrooms, sleeping lofts and private balconies.
Dining here is impressive, with in-house beverages, meals and even a Viking Dinner for those who book the entire lodge. There is no dearth of adventure activities, irrespective of the season. From mountain biking and sea kayaking to skiing and astro-touring, Deplar Farm is an ideal destination for nature and adventure enthusiasts alike.
How to reach:
Access to this remote gem is facilitated by a 90-minute drive from Akureyri Airport or a five-hour journey from Keflavik International Airport, although helicopter transfers are available, too.
Have you ever thought of what it would be like to be in Antarctica? If yes, then here’s how you can do it while on a luxurious vacay. Thanks to White Desert, they have gone to great lengths (literally!) to open premium accommodation in the Queen Maud Land region of the continent. Their Echo’s six Sky Pods, constructed from composite materials, provide a plush stay amidst the harshest environment on the planet. Through the windows in each pod, you can get panoramic views of the moon-like terrain. And even in the most extreme conditions, a gourmet dining experience is guaranteed. There are many things to do here, including abseiling, ice climbing, serene hikes and skidoo rides.
How to reach:
Like many remote hotels, reaching here is not a straight shot. Travellers must first fly to Cape Town, South Africa. From there, they take a further five-hour private charter flight to reach the blue ice runway at Wolf’s Fang in Queen Mauds Land.
Fogo Island Inn, Canada
This inn will take you to the Arctic region. On the remote and rugged Fogo Island off the northeast coast of Canada’s Newfoundland and Labrador province, Fogo Island Inn offers glimpses of the northern polar region.
An escape into nature’s embrace, the inn boasts 29 uniquely designed guest rooms and suites, each adorned with tall window frames, providing views of the North Atlantic Ocean. Upon arrival, the guests are treated to a rich array of oceanic delights.
Beyond exceptional dining, this rural retreat offers some or the other activity across its seven distinct seasons. Guests can explore hiking trails, engage in berry picking, ice skating and stargazing and acquire local cooking skills through lessons.
For relaxation, rooftop saunas and hot tubs beckon, all while surrounded by the bold and distinctive architecture inspired by local heritage.
How to reach
Gander International Airport is the nearest airport to the island. But from here, too, one has to take an hour-long car ride and a further 45-minute ferry ride. Alternatively, one can catch a charter flight to Fogo Island from the airport.
Hana-Maui Resort, USA
Nestled in Hawaii’s Maui island, this resort is a gateway to an array of natural wonders. Its 66 well-furnished rooms, suites, bungalows and family residences treat guests with captivating ocean views.
To further build on the tranquil ambience, the management has also intentionally kept away clocks, radios and TVs in some rooms for guests seeking a peaceful escape. Among the finest remote hotels, the expansive 30-hectare property also has pools, spa facilities, yoga pavilions and an art gallery.
With farm-to-table dining options and a wealth of cultural and natural attractions in the vicinity, the resort showcases its commitment to providing a holistic experience.
While it may be secluded, the journey from the airport to the resort on the iconic Road to Hana (or Hana Highway) promises captivating sights — beaches, lush tropical forests, cascading waterfalls and the vast Pacific Ocean.
How to reach:
Located at the end of an 80-kilometre journey from Kahului Airport on the highway, the guests should expect a minimum two-hour travel time to reach the resort.
Nestled on the picturesque Havelock Island in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago, Jalakara serves as a secluded paradise for travellers seeking peace and natural beauty. Perched atop a lush hillside and surrounded by rainforest, this boutique hotel includes private villas adorned with woven teak and copper infinity plunge pools. The spacious accommodations feature loft-like living areas with well-equipped kitchens, majestic bedrooms and vast bathrooms. Guests can unwind on their private yoga decks, swaying in hammocks while surrounded by the pristine beauty of nature.
The dining experience is equally enchanting, with Andaman Island cuisine and fresh seafood delicacies. Signature dishes like papaya and coconut curry, spiny lobster platters and sugar-cured tiger prawns are tantalising, to say the least. The property also offers a plethora of activities, from morning yoga sessions to snorkelling at Radhanagar Beach, guided rainforest treks, stargazing and birdwatching.
How to reach:
The Andaman Islands are at least 1,000 km off the eastern coast of India and can be accessed by flights to Port Blair from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Havelock Island is a further 90 minutes by ferry from Port Blair.
Mashpi Lodge, Ecuador
Located in one of the world’s most biodiverse hotspots, Mashpi Lodge offers an extraordinary retreat for nature enthusiasts. They can explore the Chocó cloud forest through a variety of activities, from day hikes to nighttime forest excursions. Some experiences have been crafted especially for families. Kids can learn about wildlife at Mashpi Laboratory and Life Center. Families can also enjoy a tandem bicycle ride through the jungle canopy.
The lodging facility of this remote retreat is characterised by contemporary design elements and warm, earthy tones, which integrate well with the surroundings. Guests can choose from a variety of accommodations, including Yaku Suites, Wayra Rooms and Wawa Rooms, all equipped with features such as subdued lighting, soundproofing and automatic blinds.
When it comes to the dining experience, the guests can savour international as well as Ecuadorian cuisine in the two-storey dining room. The forest-inspired cocktail menu at the bar and an extensive wine list cater to discerning palates.
How to reach
The journey to Mashpi Lodge begins from the capital city, Quito, which is about 100 km away. The city is well-connected with international destinations through its international airport. The lodge also offers direct transfers from the city, and the trip can last between three to five hours. If you are arranging your own ride (public transportation is not available) and thinking of relying on Google Maps, then bear in mind that it won’t take you directly to the lodge due to the remoteness of the location. For more information, click here.
Exclusivity and lavishness — these two words describe the stay at Miavana on Nosy Ankao, a private island off the northeastern coast of Madagascar. This beach resort has 14 ocean-front villas, each spanning a minimum of 620 square metres. With elegant designs, featuring hand-dyed textiles, Malagasy wood and local stone, these villas come with a private pool, indoor and outdoor showers and a soaking tub. What’s more, the private decks of each villa grant direct beach access and stunning vistas of the Indian Ocean.
Miavana is a haven for those seeking a remote hotel that combines luxury with untouched beauty. It is surrounded by vibrant coral reefs and the wonders of the Indian Ocean, and guarantees a host of activities. Beyond snorkelling and scuba diving, the luxury resort offers opportunities for lemur trekking, quad biking, helicopter excursions and access to their mini-museum, Cabinet de Curiosities.
Additionally, guests can indulge in exquisite dining experiences that showcase Madagascar’s unique flavours, including Mangrove crab and Yellowfin Tuna.
How to reach:
The resort can only be reached by helicopter rides. After landing in Madagascar, one has to take a chopper ride from Diego Suarez International Airport or Nosy Be International Airport, just off the northwestern coast of Madagascar, to reach Miavana.
Three Camel Lodge, Mongolia
Three Camel Lodge, one of the renowned remote hotels, is a gateway to Mongolian culture and nature. Nestled amidst the vast and captivating landscapes of South Gobi province, the lodge offers a one-of-a-kind retreat that combines traditional Mongolian hospitality with modern comfort. Guests are enveloped in the cosy embrace of Mongolian gers (round tents) complete with ensuite bathrooms, handcrafted wood furnishings and wood stoves to keep you warm as you take in breathtaking panoramic views of the Gobi Desert and the majestic Gobi-Altai Mountain range.
As you immerse yourself in this remarkable setting, the culinary experience here introduces guests to Mongolian gastronomy with classic dishes like buuz (dumplings) and tsuivan (noodle soup). Meanwhile, the Thirsty Camel Bar beckons with a diverse selection of premium spirits and exquisite whiskey choices.
How to reach:
Most guests arrive here after a 90-minute flight from Ulaanbaatar to Dalanzadgad, on the edge of the Gobi Desert. From Dalanzadgad, it is another two-hour drive to the lodge.
Ultima Thule Lodge, USA
Getting to Ultima Thule is an adventure in itself. Far removed from a paved road, it is tucked deep inside the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park in Alaska. The lodge beckons anyone seeking an intimate and wilderness experience. Here, the handcrafted cabins ensure an exclusive and personalised retreat, accommodating a maximum of 14 guests. Despite its remote setting, the lodge boasts modern comforts with 24-hour electricity and running hot water, allowing guests to stay connected to the pristine wilderness that surrounds them.
Dining here is a culinary journey that features curated dishes with fresh Alaskan ingredients, including those procured from on-site organic gardens and greenhouses. The lodge also offers private Chef’s Table Dining and caters to special dietary needs.
With daily fly-out adventures, hiking, flight tours and exploration of the McCarthy & Kennecott town, Ultima Thule Lodge also pampers you with amenities like a wood-fired cedar sauna, yoga spaces and a cosy fire circle under the pristine night sky.
How to reach:
The nearest international airport is in Anchorage, which is 644 kilometres away. After landing, you have to undertake a seven-hour journey by road to McCarthy airstrip, from where you can board Ultima Thule’s plane for the transfer to the lodge. If you would like to directly fly from the Anchorage airport to McCarthy, then there is an option for that, too.
(Main and Feature Image Credit: gornergrat-kulm.ch)
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
– What are remote hotels, and what sets them apart from regular hotels?
Remote hotels are located in isolated areas that are typically reached by multiple flights or multimodal transportation. They are often surrounded by wilderness, such as unspoiled mountains, beaches or rainforests.
– Why would someone choose to stay at a remote hotel?
Some people opt to stay at a remote hotel to have a more exclusive experience at a secluded environment, far from the cities and the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
– Where can I find remote hotels around the world?
You can travel to Antarctica or Iceland. If staying in the middle of the rainforest appeals to you, then you can go to Ecuador. For a secluded beach escape, you have the option of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in India and Bawah Reserve in Indonesia.
– What types of activities are available at remote hotels?
It depends on where you intend to go and in what season. The snowy lands can offer you skidoo rides, skiing and ice climbing. At the beaches, you can do snorkelling, yoga sessions and even helicopter excursions. Guided hiking and mountain climbing can be done pretty much everywhere.
– Do remote hotels have modern amenities like Wi-Fi and electricity?
Yes. They all have basic amenities.
– Is it safe to stay at remote hotels, especially in isolated areas?
Staying at remote hotels provides a unique and rewarding experience, but safety should always be a top priority. It is always best to read the hotel’s reviews and ask about security measures and medical services available before booking. However, part of the responsibility lies with you, too. Exercise caution and follow the hotel’s guidelines and protocols.
– What is the best time to visit remote hotels in various locations?
The best time to visit remote hotels in various locations varies according to the destination and the kind of experience you want to have. Each place has a distinct landscape, seasonal variations and exceptional attractions.
– How do I get to remote hotels, especially those in hard-to-reach places?
Many remote hotels are located near small airports or an airstrip. Some are also accessible by boat or a long drive. In very few cases, reaching a remote hotel may require a hike or trek. This is common for lodges in national parks, forests, or mountains. There are also some challenging areas where you may need to use a combination of transportation methods.
– Do I need special equipment or gear to stay at remote hotels?
You may need special equipment for specific locations or if you want to take up a particular activity at the hotel. It is always wise to contact the hotel directly and enquire about the equipment or gear you may need.
– Are remote hotels eco-friendly and sustainable?
Many remote hotels are committed to sustainability, but the degree to which a remote hotel is eco-friendly depends on the establishment. So, it’s essential to research these hotels to understand their eco-friendly and sustainable practices.
– Are remote hotels suitable for families with children?
Some are family-friendly with activities for all ages, while others may not be due to extreme conditions. Research and choose wisely. Read reviews and contact the hotel for information on family amenities and activities.
– Can I book remote hotels online, or do I need to contact them directly?
Yes, you can book remote hotels online. There are a number of websites that allow you to compare prices and book remote hotels. However, in some cases, you may need to contact the hotel directly to book a room.
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