11 Best hotels in the middle of nowhere 2017
From private island villas in Cambodia to Himalayan mountain hideouts and suspended cabins in the woods of Sweden, there’s no shortage of far-flung retreats around the world for those seeking some solitude.
Desolate beaches, empty deserts and remote cliffsides not enough?
There’s always an island lodge off the coast of Australia or a rustic-luxury tented camp in the vast deserts of Namibia.
Whether planning a digital detox or an epic honeymoon, here are some top hotels in the middle of nowhere to get away from it all.
Hidden away among silent woods and snow banks in Sweden’s Lapland, about an hour’s flight north of Stockholm, Treehotel is about as off-the-grid as it gets.
While trekking through the woods, travelers might catch a glimpse of a mirror-like cube or a UFO in the distance — two of the retreat’s seven cabins, each suspended among tree branches.
In January 2017, the Treehotel welcomed its “7th Room,” an apartment-like cabin is built into the canopy, 32 feet above the ground.
Encircling a pine tree, the lodge features panoramic windows and a netted terrace for sleeping under the stars.
Head there to see the Northern Lights from the skylight in the bedroom, but make it quick.
Due to the solar cycle, 2017 will be the best year to catch the aurora borealis until about 2025.
Tierra Atacama, Chile
Designed to disappear into the spectacular surroundings, the adobe Tierra Atacama seems right at home in the middle of the world’s driest non-polar desert — about a two-hour flight northeast of Santiago.
The imposing Atacama Desert is home to a diverse lineup of natural beauty, from geysers to salt flats, dramatic rock formations, hot springs and even flamingos.
Adventurous types will enjoy excursions including horseback riding through the sand dunes, hiking up volcanoes, stargazing and biking.
But if lounging around sounds more appealing, the Uma Spa is close at hand with bubble massage beds, steam rooms and Chilean-inspired treatments.
For the best views, book an “Oriente” room, where a full wall of windows and a private terrace showcase the Licancabur volcano.
Inside the volcano sits the world’s highest lake.
Song Saa, Cambodia
When Rory and Melita Hunter first discovered Song Saa in 2006, in the middle of the Koh Rong Archipelago, the island was decaying under heaps of trash and debris.
The long-time scuba enthusiasts saw potential in the nearby coral reef, and set out to transform the area.
The husband-and-wife duo set up Cambodia’s first marine reserve, cleaned up the island, rehabilitated the nearby coral, and watched as marine life began to return to the area.
Over the past decade, Song Saa has transformed into a barefoot luxury island retreat — about a 45-minute speedboat ride off Cambodia’s southwest coast.
The 24 wooden villas iterate the couple’s sustainable philosophy, incorporating driftwood, found objects, stones and local artwork.
Choose between diving in the revived coral reefs or simply laze in the sun. Either way, the far-flung getaway feels a million miles away from the daily grind.
Fogo Island Inn, Canada
Built on a rocky outcrop on eponymous Fogo Island in Newfoundland, Canada, this impressive address looks over the vast North Atlantic Ocean.
In winter, caribou and foxes roam the rocky and raw landscape. Come summertime, treks reward travelers with sightings of puffins, seabirds and passing pods of whales.
Inside the 43,000 square-foot building, guests will find a contemporary art gallery, bar, forage-to-table restaurant and a heritage library.
Built to feel as if it’s floating above the water, the inn’s 29 suites feature floor-to-ceiling views that frame crashing waves and moody skies.
COMO Uma Punakha, Bhutan
With just nine rooms and two villas — all with sweeping views of the Himalayas — COMO Uma Punakha offers a remote refuge in the heart of Bhutan.
This understated address overlooks a rolling landscape, where the Mo Chhu River swirls through rice paddies below.
The natural vibe continues inside, where rooms feature a less-is-more attitude with bright white linens, Sheesham wood furniture, timber ceilings, hand-knotted rugs and inviting outdoor terraces.
It might be in the middle of nowhere, but there’s no risk of going without.
The luxury outpost is home to the Bukhari Restaurant and Uma Bar, where travelers can warm up to a traditional Buddhist fireplace and fresh seasonal menus.
Known for its decadent spas, the COMO Shambhala Retreat offers an indulgent lineup of Asian-inspired treatments — travelers can unwind with a hot stone bath, massage or facial.
Longitude 131°, Australia
Who says camping has to be down and dirty? Longitude 131° is where luxury meets the great outdoors.
A remote wilderness lodge in the middle of Australia’s World Heritage-listed Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Longitude 131’s 15 tented pavilions sprawl across the vast countryside and provide front row seats to the star of the show: Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock.
These safari-style tents are all about rustic glamor — private decks, plush furniture and old-world wooden chests.
As night sets in, the sky lights up with an explosion of stars. An alfresco affair, dinner in the middle of this imposing landscape is a humbling experience.
Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, Thailand
At the heart of the Golden Triangle — where Myanmar, Laos and Thailand intersect — the Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle is built on a cliffside overlooking the Ruak River.
Surrounded by the jungles and mountains, the tented camp is completely still aside from the occasional birdsong or the celebratory clink of martini glasses.
Sharing an 18,000-hectare elephant corridor with the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation and its 20 rescued elephants, the retreat welcomes these gentle giants onto the property for breakfast, baths and bareback rides through the countryside.
Guests can relax with an open-air massage on a suspended platform in the middle of the jungle, sip lemongrass martinis at sunset, or learn to cook Thai cuisine with the chef.
Spread out in a line along the cliffside, the 15 open-plan tents, and one two-bedroom private Explorer’s Lodge, come fully-equipped with rustic fixtures including claw-foot tubs, outdoor rain showers and enormous outdoor wooden decks.
Vast desert plains and rugged mountains sound inviting? Then Utah’s the place to be.
Located at the end of a dusty road in a huge valley, Amangiri is surrounded by mesas and bluffs.
The convenient location, in the Four Corners region of the United States, offers easy access to dozens of national parks and monuments, including the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Bryce Canyon National Park, Lake Powell, and the Grand Canyon.
At the heart of the hotel is the white stone central Pavilion, with an infinity pool, art gallery, library, dining room and wine cellar.
The 34 suites take a barely there approach to design, almost disappearing into the landscape with glass facades, wooden furniture and creamy tile floors.
Only there for the views? Not to worry, the flat mesas and rolling dunes are in eyesight from the bedrooms, or can be glimpsed in the open desert by foot, horse, hot air balloon, or private plane.
Southern Island Lodge, Australia
Snaking along the coastline of Kangaroo Island in southern Australia, the Southern Island Lodge capitalizes on its unparalleled ocean views from its perch atop a limestone cliff.
But it’s not looks alone that draw travelers to the country’s third largest island.
Wildlife, including sea lions, wallabies and, of course, the island’s namesake kangaroos, roam about the temperate territory.
The lodge organizes daily activities, ranging from coastal clifftop walks to island heritage tours, alfresco canapes, kayaking, quad bike safaris, and sea lion encounters.
The 21 contemporary suites also play up the area’s natural beauty with outdoor terraces and daybeds where sun can be soaked up in style.
Wildflower Hall, Shimla in the Himalayas, India
An Oberoi Resort, Wildflower Hall, Shimla in the Himalayas takes luxury to another level literally, at 8,250 feet above sea level.
Tucked away in the mighty Himalayan mountain range — about 45-minute drive from the Shimla, the nearest town — the bungalow-like resort sits at the foot of a snow-clad mountain.
Above are clear skies and majestic mountains. Below is nothing but cedar and pine forests stretching across 22 acres.
The 85 rooms are designed to complement the natural surroundings, with a relaxing neutral palette, accentuated by Burmese teak paneling, cozy fireplaces and oriental rugs.
The restaurants combine large terraces with local specialties, roaring fireplaces and hand-carved woodwork.
Oberoi Spa will take travelers to pavilions in the dense forest for private experiences. There are also hikes, yoga, river rafting and golf.
Wolwedans Dunes Lodge, Namibia
This camp is discreetly located in the heart of Namibia’s 200,000-hectare NamibRand Nature Reserve, one the largest private reserves in Africa.
Set off into the reserve offer a peek at roaming giraffes, baboons, oryx, zebras, foxes and over 100 bird species.
The retreat offers several sleeping options, from spacious rooms at the main Dunes Lodge to mountain view suites, tented chalets and secluded private camps in the middle of the desert.
A new addition to the Wolwedans family is the separate Boulders Camp 29 miles south, where a private cluster of four chalets sit atop a granite plateau.
Instead of sleeping bags and crinkling plastic underfoot, come here for canvas tents with solar power, leather furniture, wood flooring, antique fixtures and four-poster beds. CNN