7 Heavenly Hotels With Spectacular Landscapes
Discover some of the world’s most exceptional escapist hotels, where guests are treated to a luxurious, awe-inspiring immersion into the great outdoors, from sky-high mountains and rugged deserts to sweeping plains and remote jungles. By KATIE BERRINGTON
Ambiente Sedona, Arizona, USA
Against the rugged backdrop of Arizona’s iconic red rock formations and Coconino National Forest, the accommodation at this new desert opening comprises 40 cube-shaped ‘atriums’ that have been designed to harmonize with their stunning cinematic scenery. These elegant structures of bronzed glass and metal are elevated above the ground, to minimize impact on the topography and offer unparalleled views of this otherworldly landscape. Come night time, Ambiente’s private roof decks also provide access to some exceptional stargazing opportunities: Sedona is one of only 20 certified Dark Sky Communities in the world.
Soneva Kiri, Koh Kood, Thailand
Homed in the verdant, ocean-fronted jungle of Koh Kood, Soneva Kiri encompasses a village of heavenly villas and is the Thai outpost of the barefoot ultra-luxury brand (‘No news, no shoes’ is the Soneva mantra) that is famed for its two private-island Maldives properties. Indoor-outdoor living spaces allow you to soak up the stunning surroundings – of pristine beaches and lush rainforest – in secluded luxury and comfort. Guests can also take this appreciation of nature to new heights by dining in the treetop restaurant, stargazing in the dedicated observatory, or by hiking to the nearby Yai Ki waterfall.
Wildflower Farms, Hudson Valley, NY, US
A recently opened wellness retreat on a 150-acre luscious expanse of land, situated 90 minutes from New York City, Wildflower Farms immerses city dwellers in nature, where the Hudson River Valley meets the Catskill Mountains. The resort, designed by Auberge Resorts Collection, in collaboration with the California architecture studio Electric Bowery and New York designers Ward + Gray, incorporates orchards, heirloom gardens, a farm and fields – and, naturally, wildflowers galore. The accommodation comprises 65 stand-alone bungalows, cottages and suites, all of which are decked out in natural materials.
Mara Plains Camp, Kenya
In the private 13,300-hectare Olare Motorogi Conservancy, on the northern boundary of Maasai Mara National Reserve, the Mara Plains Camp has a privileged position in the heart of utterly remote yet world-revered wilderness. Bringing together warm, luxurious hospitality with once-in-a-lifetime safari opportunities, the small camp has wonderful tented suites from which to marvel at the surrounding scenery and its awe-inspiring inhabitants. The Jahazi Suite in particular – from its perch within the tree canopy – allows for phenomenal wildlife observations. Home to hundreds of species, from hippos to mongooses, the Olare Motorogi Conservancy is also blessed with the highest concentration of big cats in Africa.
Lime Wood, the New Forest, UK
The approach to Lime Wood often gives guests an introduction to some of the area’s famous inhabitants: wild New Forest ponies roam the roads that lead to the 13th-century hunting-lodge-turned-wisteria-adorned hotel. Here, the award-winning Herb House Spa offers many opportunities to explore the picturesque surroundings, including the ‘Re-Wild Yourself’ retreats, which immerse guests in the forest canopy for rejuvenating workshops. But the serene views can also be soaked up from the glass walls of the hydro pool and sauna, the alfresco pool and the rooftop gym. And for gastronomical pleasures, there’s the Hartnett Holder & Co restaurant, where top British chef Angela Hartnett and Lime Wood’s Luke Holder have crafted a menu that is Italian-influenced but locally sourced.
&Beyond Punakha River Lodge, Bhutan
Re-opening later this year, &Beyond’s Punakha River Lodge enjoys a secluded and dramatic setting in the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan. Nestled deep in the flourishing Punakha Valley, on the banks of the Mo Chu river, this beautiful and intimate Bhutanese lodge is encircled by paddy fields and thick forest. Exploration of the destination’s hidden wonders can include rafting, kayaking, hiking and trekking in the breathtaking surroundings.
Tschuggen Grand Hotel, Arosa, Switzerland
Carved into the side of the Swiss town of Arosa, the Tschuggen Grand Hotel rises in statuesque fashion amid the surrounding mountains. Inside, picture windows give way to soaring views of snow-covered peaks, while a state-of-the-art spa – designed by Swiss architect Mario Botta, in sleek alpine granite, maple wood and Arosa rock – brings together nature and science for a holistic wellbeing offering. There are many activities that show the mountains and forest at their best: the panoramic private mountain railway whisks guests between the pistes and hiking trails. During the summer months, the scenery is equally mesmeric, when it can be explored by foot and on mountain bikes.