Nine of the Most Secluded Resorts Around the World
Jade Screen Hotel in Huangshan, China
To check into the hotel that sits atop China’s Yuping Mountain, you'll need to embark on a five-hour drive or equally long bullet train ride from Shanghai to Huangshan, or take an hour-long flight. From there, it's an additional 56-mile drive toward the looming mountain range and a two-hour climb up Yuping Mountain. The 60,000 stone steps that lead to the summit wind through sheer cliffs and low-lying clouds that shade the narrow mountain pass known as the Thread of Sky. Jade Screen Hotel can also be reached by cable car. This modest property cuts a dramatic silhouette over the landscape. Surrounded by thousand-year-old pine trees, Jade Screen offers sweeping views of the valley below and has on-site sauna and massage facilities for restoring aching muscles before you make the trip back down.
Explora in Patagonia, Chile
Set on some of the southernmost real estate in the world is the Explora, perched on the shore of Chile’s Lake Pehoé. The hotel’s brilliant stark architecture stands out against the backdrop of the Cordillera Paine mountains in Torres del Paine National Park. Spend your days hiking or horseback riding through the wilds of Patagonia and your evenings stargazing at the end of the world. While the hotel is remote, it has gotten a bit easier to visit now that LATAM Airlines has launched flights to southern Chile with easy connections from around South America. But don't fret: Explora is still five hours from the nearest city (that’s Punta Arenas on the southern tip of both Chile as well as South America), so don’t expect any crowds, unless you count the llamas, horses, and deer.
The Manta Resort at Pemba Island in Zanzibar, Tanzania
To sleep inside an aquarium submerged below a floating hotel room, simply fly to the East African nation of Tanzania—Zanzibar or Dar Es Salaam will do—and then charter a flight to Chake Chake Airport on Pemba Island. This small atoll is part of the Zanzibar Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, and is home to the seaside Manta Resort. Here, guests will find thatched roofs, white walls, tropical spa treatments, and private villas, though nothing compares with the underwater bedroom. This floating room is surrounded only by the impossibly blue ocean; and windows offering a nearly 360-degree view of all the underwater action. If you so choose, you can keep only the colorful marine life as company.
Amankora in Bhutan
Set deep in the Kingdom of Bhutan—which, no offense to Disney, is known as the happiest place on earth—lies the secluded Amankora, by Aman Resorts. The brand has a reputation for finding ultra-private locations for its lodgings, and Amankora, which sits in the shadows of the Himalayan Mountains, is no exception. Amankora is actually comprised of five remote lodges spread across the kingdom. For the most private digs, reserve either the eight-suite Punakha (which requires crossing a suspension bridge over the Mo Chhu River), or the equally intimate Gangtey, deep in the desolate Phobjikha Valley and surrounded by a wildlife preserve. Each lodge is a serene oasis and the perfect place to disconnect.
Three Camel Lodge in Omnogobi Aimag, Mongolia
When you really want to get away from it all, hop a flight to Ulaanbaatar, transfer to a prop plane for a 60-minute flight to the South Gobi city of Dalanzadgad, and take a 90-minute drive down a dirt road to the Three Camel Lodge in the middle of the desert. Travelers are treated to a taste of the nomadic lifestyle with rooms inspired by the traditional tents of herders, called gers. These moveable homes have wood-burning stoves, felt carpets, and hand-painted wooden beds with ceilings that open up to the uninterrupted sky above. We recommend stargazing in bed after spending the day camel trekking and horseback riding through the desert.
Laucala on Laucala Island, Fiji
If you’re going to stay on a private island to escape from the humdrum drudgery of your daily routine, you may as well pick the one that has hosted Oprah. Set on 3,500 acres of lush Fijian land, Laucala is known for its over-the-top luxury and ultra-secluded digs. Each of the resort’s 25 villas, for example, has its own private pool. To visit Laucala, fly to Fiji and transfer to the hotel’s private plane for a 50-minute flight to Laucala. Work off any travel weariness by spending your days surrounded by coconut groves or diving into the turquoise waters and coral reefs that surround the island.
Tikchik Narrow Lodge on Bristol Bay in Alaska
If you’re looking for where the sidewalk ends, head to Tikchik Narrows Lodge, which is 300 miles from anywhere with no villages or roads in sight. Set deep in the Wood-Tikchik State Park, and surrounded by Bristol Bay on one side with the Kilbuck Mountains in the distance, the lodge is definitely remote. The only way to reach the resort is to fly to Anchorage, hop a plane to the small town of Dillingham, and then take a float plane to the lodge. On the edge of the 4.7-million acre Togiak National Wildlife Refuge and the 900-foot deep Nuyukuk Lake, the area is a wilderness lovers’ paradise and fisherman’s dream escape. Being off the beaten path doesn't mean you need to give up luxuries—after a day of fishing, your float plane pilot can call the lodge and put in your cocktail order so it's ready and waiting for your arrival.
Saffire Freycinet in Tasmania, Australia
Escape from it all at one of the world’s most beautiful beaches—Tasmania’s Wineglass Bay. Elegant Saffire Freycinet's huge windows make it easy to enjoy the scenery while sipping a glass of local sparkling wine and dining on world-class cuisine. Visit the nearby oyster farm (where you can eat oysters in the middle of an estuary), relax in the on-site spa, and hang out with resident Tasmanian Devils. Saffire Freycinet is a two-and-a-half-hour drive from the Hobart airport, down Tasmania's idyllic east coast in the hotel’s own chauffeured limousine. Alternatively, sail from Melbourne and drop anchor near the hotel.
Spitsbergen Hotel in Svalbard Island, Norway
Find some peace and quiet at this hotel located near the Arctic Circle. Fly to Oslo and transfer to a small plane that will take you on a three-hour flight to Longyearbyen: the world’s northernmost city and the capital of Svalbard—the string of Arctic islands in the Barents Sea—midway between continental Norway and the North Pole. Svalbard is the ideal vacation spot for misanthropes, because the polar bears outnumber humans and it's easy to avoid conversation while gazing at the aurora borealis. The Spitsbergen Hotel, run by the hipster hotel chain Scandic, is a comfortable base camp as you explore the former mining town and surrounding areas. Get away from the hustle and bustle of the big city (population: 2,144) with day trips to the ice fjords, dog sledding, hiking, and boat trips to even farther-flung locales.