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Top 10: world’s most luxurious rainforest hotels & lodges

Monday newsletters always feature top 10 travel lists to inspire.

Today (August 24, 2015): Top 10 world’s most beautiful jungle hotels & lodges.

I previously presented you my top 10 lists of the world’s most amazing beach hotels and the world’s most luxurious desert retreats, since I love to rejuvenate my body, mind and soul under the sun (who doesn’t?). But today, I leave the nice, dry weather behind me, and enter humid jungles and wet rainforests that offer some of the best wildlife and natural world experiences left on the planet. But no worries, you don’t have to compromise on comfort in the jungle as more and more luxury lodges are popping up in the heart of these fascinating ecosystems. Put the next 10 amazingly beautiful and luxurious rainforest lodges on your bucket list, and be prepared for a world-class trip, whether it be hiking in the temperate rainforests of Western Canada, taking a spa break in Bali’s jungle, or tracking the endangered mountain gorillas in Uganda’s damp forests.

There is more info below the slide show. Think I missed one? Share your favorite rainforest retreat in the comments section, or take my poll below!

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10. INKATERRA RESERVA AMAZONICA, PERU

Exotic, yet accessible, Reserva Amazónica Lodge is situated on the banks of Amazonian Peru’s Madre de Dios Rive, surrounded by a vast rainforest. As Peru’s pioneer in nature travel and research, Inkaterra provides an unforgettable introduction to  amazing realm of incomparable biodiversity and takes jungle luxury to the next level. The lodge’s 35 thatched-roof cabanas, with their hammocks, crisp white linens, lanterns, and organic bath products, offer simple, low-impact elegance. From your bed, you can watch the sunset through the treetops, then fall asleep to a toucan serenade, all with your personal butler just a walkie-talkie call away.

INKATERRA RESERVA AMAZONICA, PERU

INKATERRA RESERVA AMAZONICA, PERU


9. BELMOND HOTEL DAS CATARATAS, BRAZIL

The only hotel located within Brazil’s Iguassu National Park, Belmond Hotel das Cataratas enjoys an unrivalled location in the jungle, just a short stroll from Iguazu Falls, one of the world’s most spectacular waterfalls. Due to its location, guests have exclusive access to the magnificent surroundings in the evening and at dawn, when the park is closed to other visitors. A Portuguese-colonial residence, this classic luxury hotel is redolent with the atmosphere of lazy days lounging on a veranda or beneath sub-tropical palms. The hotel also offers thrills and excitement in abundance: helicopter trips over the falls and jungle treks to view amazing wildlife including colourful toucans and giant butterflies.

  • Hotel websiteBelmond Hotel Das Cataratas
  • Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and complimentary one-way private airport transfers private sedan transfer for up to two people per room).
BELMOND HOTEL DAS CATARATAS, BRAZIL

BELMOND HOTEL DAS CATARATAS, BRAZIL


8. MASHPI LODGE, ECUADOR

Lost high up in the Andes, a few hours west of Quito, Mashpi Lodge is located in a 1,300 hectare reserve, where the biodiversity of the Ecuadorian rain-forest is protected and the wildlife thrives. The lodge offers views of the forested mountains on one side and the forest right up close on the other through its floor-to-ceiling glass windows. It features a contemporary, minimalist decor, mixing warm earth tones, notes of bright colour, clean lines and striking angles and vistas. Here, you can venture into the forest to come into close contact with countless species of birds, as well as monkeys, peccaries or even the occasional puma.

MASHPI LODGE, ECUADOR

MASHPI LODGE, ECUADOR


7. SILKY OAKS LODGE AND HEALING WATERS SPA, QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA

Silky Oaks Lodge and Healing Waters Spa is located in a stunning riverside location adjoining one of the oldest living rainforests the World Heritage listed Daintree National Park in Queensland. The lodge has elegantly furnished interiors, spacious open lounge areas, and an excellent fine dining venue.  All accommodation retreats, located in Riverhouses and Treehouses, have wall to ceiling windows leading to spacious balconies with lush garden, rainforest or river panoramas. The resort’s spectacular location offers opportunities for rainforest walks, canoeing, mountain biking, swimming and sunbathing.

SILKY OAKS LODGE AND HEALING WATERS SPA, QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA

SILKY OAKS LODGE AND HEALING WATERS SPA, QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA


6. SONORA RESORT, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA

This luxury wilderness resort is an absolute jewel amid one of Canada’s most alluring, pristine environments, being British Columbia’s stunning Desolation Sound, home to fascinating wildlife and some of the best salmon fishing in the world. Sonora Resort is where uncompromising eco adventure travel meets luxurious accommodations, unparalleled service and five-star facilities. Here, you can get close-up views of grizzly bears and orcas, hike through the towering old-growth firs and cedars of the coastal temperate rainforest, or experience a mind-blowing helicopter ride to a glistening glacier where you can enjoy a private picnic prepared by the chef.

SONORA RESORT, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA

SONORA RESORT, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA


5. SANCTUARY GORILLA FOREST CAMP, UGANDA

Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in southwest Uganda, impresses with a truly dramatic landscape of volcanoes, jagged valleys, waterfalls, lakes and dramatic mountain ranges. And it is here, on a flat ridge high in the forest, that Sanctuary’s Gorilla Forest Camp is tucked away. The lodge’s eight tents are stylish and spacious, each featuring two queen-sized beds and a huge bathtub looking straight into the jungle canopy. As the only concessionaire luxury camp within Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, the lodge is the perfect base from which to track the park’s most famous resident, the mountain gorilla (one of the world’s greatest wildlife adventures).

SANCTUARY GORILLA FOREST CAMP, UGANDA

SANCTUARY GORILLA FOREST CAMP, UGANDA


4. LAPA RIOS, OSA PENINSULA, COSTA RICA

Set in a private nature reserve spread over 1,000 acres of Central America’s last remaining lowland tropical rainforest in Costa Rica’s wild Osa Peninsula, Lapa Rios is paradise for lovers of wildlife, birding, nature and beaches. The 16 private bungalows line three ridges overlooking the pristine point where the Golfo Dulce meets the Pacific Ocean and are situated 350 feet above sea level. Lush walking paths and stairs that meander up to the main lodge connect all bungalows. Home to monkeys, macaws, pumas, toucans, tree frogs and thousands of other creatures, a trip to Lapa Rios Eco Lodge will be the experience of a lifetime.

LAPA RIOS, OSA PENINSULA, COSTA RICA

LAPA RIOS, OSA PENINSULA, COSTA RICA


3. BLANCANEAUX LODGE, BELIZE

In the early 1980s, film director Francis Ford Coppola visited Belize, immediately fell in love with the location, and purchased the abandoned Blancaneaux Lodge. For more than a decade the resort was used as a family retreat before Francis opened his tropical paradise to the public in 1993. The 20-room resort is tucked away in a pocket of the Maya Mountains, where waterfalls tumble into turquoise pools above the jungle canopy. Its remote mountain setting makes it a perfect place to relax, rejuvenate and enjoy life’s simple pleasures. Guests can also explore the ancient civilization of the Maya, which still endures in the sacred sites throughout this magical region.

  • Hotel websiteBlancaneaux Lodge
  • Other accolades: Blancaneaux Lodge also features in my top 10 list of the best luxury hotels owned by celebrities.
  • Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and a horseback riding trip through the Jaguar Jungle to Big Rock Falls).
BLANCANEAUX LODGE, BELIZE

BLANCANEAUX LODGE, BELIZE


2. COMO SHAMBHALA ESTATE, BALI, INDONESIA

Located in the breathtaking rainforest near Ubud, COMO Shambhala Estate will immerses you in a positive, holistic and healing experience from the moment of arrival. It isn’t just a luxury resort. Nor is it just a top-notch health retreat. It’s a sumptuous combination of the two, staggered up the steep slopes of the sacred Ayung river gorge. Previously known as Begawan Giri, the estate has been beautifully revamped a couple of years ago into Bali’s best health retreat by the COMO hotel group, one of the world’s most exclusive luxury hotel brands. There are only 30 suites, housed in five shared residences, plus five Retreat Villas and four two- or three-bedroom Private Villas.

COMO SHAMBHALA ESTATE, BALI, INDONESIA

COMO SHAMBHALA ESTATE, BALI, INDONESIA


1. THE DATAI LANGKAWI, MALAYSIA

Nestled in the heart of an ancient rainforest above a gorgeous bay, the Datai Langkawi is a captivating destination resort that blends smoothly with its natural surroundings. Situated on the beautiful Malaysian island of Langkawi, each room, suite and villa enjoys the embrace of the lush rainforest and some offer stunning views from private verandas of the breathtaking Andaman Sea. The resort’s jungle surrounds plays host to a wealth of wildlife, such as dusky leaf monkeys, tokay geckos or Sunda flying lemurs. In this serene natural haven, you can reconnect with nature, rekindle your spirit and reignite your soul.

  • Hotel websiteThe Datai Langkawi
  • Other accolades: The Datai Langkawi also features in my top 10 list of the world’s best family hotels.
  • Tip: enjoy complimentary VIP amenities (upgrade, daily breakfast, one Balinese Massage for two, early check-in and late check-out) when you book your stay with Virtuoso.
  • Review: to read my review of the Datai Langkawi, click here.


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