Let us take you far beyond the standard four walls of a hotel with a visit to one of the world’s most out of the ordinary places to stay. From decadent glamping in the Australian outback to sleeping in a pod on a Peruvian cliff edge, these hotels are redefining the rules.
The Ultimate Travelling Camp – Ladakh, India
In the shadow of the nearby Thiksey monastery, you emerge from your Maharaja-style tent as the atmospheric sound of morning prayers fills the valley. Panoramic views of mystical mountains encircle you under a clear Himalayan sky. Your private butler, who has already unpacked your suitcase for you, then lays out a sumptuous breakfast spread. This is a rare chance to live like the travelling kings of old.
India’s first ultra-luxury nomadic camp is dedicated to providing unique adventures in some of the country’s farthest flung corners. During the summer months, the camp makes its home amid the high-altitude deserts and glacial lakes of the remote Himalayan kingdom of Ladakh. Gentle hikes to undiscovered villages and sunset camel rides over the dunes will immerse you in the landscape, while white-water rafting on the Indus River provides an adventurous adrenaline rush.
Shipwreck Lodge – Skeleton Coast, Namibia
Amid the sweeping dunes of Namibia’s spectacular Skeleton Coast, this aptly named lodge offers the unique chance to sleep within a luxury shipwreck. Set to open in June 2018, rooms are designed to resemble the actual shipwrecks that litter this remote region. Inside each solar-powered ‘room’ you’ll find panoramic views across the dunes to the distant sea. Wood-burning stoves will keep you cosy through the night.
This will be the very first lodge to open within the Skeleton Coast National Park, offering unrivalled access to a range of desert adventures. Explore the interior dunes and dry riverbeds in search of the unique desert-dwelling elephant and lion. Pay a visit to the seal colony at Mowe Bay. Enjoy a private beach picnic. At dusk, head to the restaurant’s wide wraparound deck for a G&T as the sun sinks into the horizon.
Longitude 131 – Uluru, Australia
Is there a more dramatically located camping experience than this? We can’t think of one. Set deep within the crimson scrub of the outback, Longitude 131’s decadent tents provide front row seats to the majestic monolith that is Uluru. Wake to your own private sunrise, as you enjoy uninterrupted views of the red hued rock from your luxury king-sized bed.
This is glamping taken to a whole new level. Tents are raised on stilts and feature expansive decks, bespoke furniture and bathrooms with generous rain-showers. Exceptional guides will lead you on exclusive walking tours around the base of the rock and to nearby waterholes. Then savour outback cuisine and fine wine at Table 131, where dinner is served under a sparkling star-filled sky.
Sky Lodge Adventure Suites – Sacred Valley, Peru
Imagine spending the night in a transparent pod suspended on the side of a cliff in Peru’s Sacred Valley. At Sky Lodge Adventure Suites, you can do just that. Be sure to pack your sense of adventure, as to get there you’ll first need to climb 400 metres of rock face or tackle an intrepid combination of hiking trails and ziplines.
Upon arrival, you’ll find three overnight capsules alongside a separate dining pod. Suites can sleep up to four guests and feature private bathrooms. By day you’ll enjoy panoramic valley views shared only with the occasional passing condor. As you settle into your pod for the night, cosy down pillows and quilts will keep you blissfully warm while a blanket of stars shimmers above.
Rainforest Spa – Sugar Beach, Saint Lucia
A treetop treatment within a UNESCO World Heritage Site isn’t your average spa day. Nestled at the base of Petit Piton, Sugar Beach’s unique Rainforest Spa takes relaxation to new heights. Arrive via a candlelit walkway into the lush rainforest, where seven wooden treehouse treatment rooms with thatched roofs sit perched above a series of tranquil waterfalls.
The therapies themselves are just as unique. Each one makes use of natural ingredients and is based on the local beauty secrets of the island. Bananas are used to smooth wrinkles, coconuts to exfoliate and cocoa butter to heal and hydrate. Couples should try the Sulphur Seduction experience, which involves a trip to Saint Lucia’s sulphur springs for an exhilarating mud bath.