Monday newsletters always feature top 10 travel lists to inspire.
Today: Top 10 most remote luxury hotels in the world
When the world’s most affluent and discerning travelers think about a holiday, their minds often drift to a pristine and secluded location that offers them peace, tranquility and total privacy. Some ‘off the beaten path’ hotels take that concept to the extreme, as they’re so remotely located that they can only be accessed by plane, boat, or other unconventional and adventurous means, but that journey is part of the appeal. From jaw-dropping wilderness lodges to beachfront retreats, here are 10 hotels, resorts, lodges & camps that offer utter luxury and divine pampering in the most remote corners of the planet.
What is your favorite remote hotel in the world? Do you think I missed one? Leave a comment.
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10. HANA-MAUI RESORT, HAWAII, USA
Considered one of the most remarkable resorts in Hawaii, Hana-Maui Resort is located in the tiny town of Hana on the eastern tip of Maui and immerses guests in the real Hawaii. Timeless local customs such as throw-net fishing and lei making are still a fundamental part of this community’s fabric. Hana-Maui is the first resort on the island to greet the rising sun and is set amid rolling grass fields and palm trees above Hana Bay. The resort’s spacious cottages and private suites set a peaceful mood, and some of them offer views of the waves rolling across the Pacific Ocean from their private lanai. In an environment free of radios, clocks, and televisions, nothing will distract you from the natural beauty and relaxation of heavenly Hana.
- Hotel website: Hana-Maui Resort
- How to get there: Hana-Maui Resort is located at the end of a three-hour, hair rising coastal drive along Maui’s rugged eastern coastline, considered to be one of the most scenic routes on the planet. Maui itself is located a five-hour flight from the USA West Coast.
- Review: read my review of Hana-Maui Resort here.
9. FOGO ISLAND INN, NEWFOUNDLAND, CANADA
Located off the Northeast Coast of Newfoundland, Canada, Fogo Island Inn finds itself at one of the four corners of earth, in a place that has seven seasons, on the rugged shores of the wild North Atlantic Ocean. The remote hotel is perched on stilts, affording all 29 suites with floor-to-ceiling views of sea and sky. All suites showcase the richness of their locality and express a modern take on traditional Newfoundland outport design and décor. The Inn’s architecture is bold, optimistic, and distinctly of this place. The fourth floor rooftop deck houses the Inn’s wood-fired saunas and two outdoor hot tubs, which is the perfect spot to relax after hiking along herds of caribou and foxes in their natural habitat, or watching whales migrate through the Atlantic.
- Hotel website: Fogo Island Inn
- Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD resort credit).
- How to get there: the closest international airport to Fogo Island Inn is Gander, Newfoundland. The best routes into Gander are through the international airports located in Halifax and St. John’s via Air Canada or United Airlines. From Gander, it’s a 3 hour drive by rental car to the hotel, including a 45 minute vehicle ferry.
8. LIZARD ISLAND, QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA
Lizard Island is truly secluded from the rest of the world. With 24 powdery-white beaches and 40 luxurious suites, it is the most northern resort in tropical Queensland and is located directly on the Great Barrier Reef in a 1,013-hectare National Park. The island is reserved for the fortunate few who will experience an unforgettable holiday like no other. Guests enjoy secluded picnics and sunset beach degustation on private beaches, five-star cuisine in the beautiful Salt Water restaurant and indulgent spa treatments in the Essentia Day Spa.
- Hotel website: Lizard Island
- How to get there: a National Park covering 1,013 hectares with 24 sandy beaches and a lagoon, Lizard Island is accessible only by a one hour flight onboard a private charter from Cairns Airport in northern Queensland, Australia. Cairns Airport is accessible from all major Australian airports and directly from some cities in Asia.
7. ULTIMA THULE LODGE, ALASKA, USA
Paradise lies deep in the Alaskan wilderness, more precisely in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, which is part of the largest protected land mass on earth. Located a hundred miles from paved roads and quite possibly the most isolated lodge in the Americas, Ultima Thule Lodge is immersed in nature, steeped in luxury, and focused on adventure. The main lodge sits at the top of the hill and houses the dining room, open kitchen, and sitting room with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the mighty Chitina River and mountains to the South. The lodge offers five private cabins built using local timber and designed to maximize privacy.
- Hotel website: Ultima Thule Lodge
- How to get there: it’s a six-hour drive from Anchorage (Alaska’s largest city) to Chitina, then a 90-minute flight from the airstrip to the lodge.
6. JALAKARA, ANDAMAN & NICOBAR ISLANDS
Jalakara resort – named after the ancient sanskrit word meaning’ the source’ – is the realization of a dream of a globetrotting British couple. The property used to be a banana & betel nut plantation, but is now transformed into gorgeous rainforest-beachy hideaway with just six suites and one private villa, all of them offering glimpses of fabulous views across the forest towards the sunset and sea. The hotel features a modern design with some traditional touches and is located in the remote Andaman Islands, a pristine archipelago in the Bay of Bengal also known as the Indian Maldives, that is famous for holding some of the world’s most isolated tribes.
- Hotel website: Jalakara
- How to get there: the Andaman Islands can only be accessed by plane from mainland India. There are daily flights to the capital, Port Blair, from Chennai and Kolkata and weekly flights from Bangalore, Dehli and Mumbai. From Port Blair it is another 2 hours by ferry to Jalakara.
5. SONEVA KIRI, THAILAND
Soneva Kiri is one of my favorite hotels in the world, and that’s partly explained by its exceptional location. Remote yet accessible by a one hour flight from Bangkok on the hotel’s private plane, Soneva Kiri occupies a secluded spot on Thailand’s fourth largest but least populated island, Koh Kood, in the Gulf of Siam. The resort’s spectacular villas – which rank amongst the largest in the world – are built on hillsides blanketed with ancient rainforest and overlooking the turquoise waters. Guest are given their own buggy to get to the private and stunning, coconut palm shaded beach, where your toes will go into the powdery soft sand, and where you can stroll through the pristine waters with the ocean lapping at your calves. Any stay at Soneva Kiri is a phenomenal experience!
Contact me to get a complimentary VIP perks at Soneva Kiri at the time of booking.
- Hotel website: Soneva Kiri
- Other accolades: Soneva Kiri features in my top 10 lists of the world’s most amazing beach resorts, the world’s most outrageous hotel experiences, the world’s most insanely beautiful hotel beaches, the best private plunge pools in the world, the world’s best luxury hotels, the most astonishing beach retreats in Asia, the world’s best family hotels, the best luxury hotels in Thailand, and luxury hotels with private airports.
- Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. villa upgrade, breakfast, early check-in , late check-out, and a $100 USD resort credit).
- Review: read my review of Soneva Kiri here.
- How to get there: it’s a one hour flight from Bangkok on the resort’s private plane, followed by a 5 min speedboat ride.
4. NIMMO BAY, BRITISH COLUMBIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA
3. EXPLORA RAPA NUI, EASTER ISLAND, CHILE
Easter Island, famous for its giant moai statues dotting the grassy flanks of an extinct volcano, is located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, roughly halfway between South America and French Polynesia. It does feature a stunning hotel, Explora Rapa Nui, which is located on a tranquil spot from which the remote island’s mysteries and dramatic isolation are in full view. The hotel’s award-winning architecture blends the island’s unique geography and heritage, with its vibrant present. The 30 rooms are designed to take full advantage of the silence, privacy, and spaciousness of the surrounding landscape, ensuring deep rest after a long day of exploration.
- Hotel website: Explore Rapa Nui
- Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. daily breakfast, upgrade, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD gift card).
- How to get there: Easter Island is a five-hour flight from the nearest airport, either Santiago in Chili or Tahiti, both routes being served by LATAM Airlines. Since there are no diversion points in between, only one plane can fly to Easter Island at a time to prevent trouble in case that something would happen and the single runway ends up being blocked.
2. MIAVANA BY TIME + TIDE, MADAGASCAR
Miavana by Time + Tide is an incredibly luxurious hotel located on remote Nosy Ankao island, which part of a five-island archipelago off the north-east of Madagascar. Surrounded by vibrant coral reefs and the Indian Ocean’s spectacular maritime wonders, Miavana consist of only 14 one-, two-, and three-bedroom villas strung along the island’s western pure white beaches. Miavana’s palatial villas have been perfectly designed by Silvio Rech and Lesley Carstens, the star architects who also designed North Island Seychelles (which I reviewed here), and allows guests to step directly onto the powder-soft sand from their private decks to enjoy spectacular panoramic Indian Ocean sunsets extending to the far contours of mainland Madagascar.
- Hotel website: Miavana by Time + Tide
- Review: read my review of Miavana by Time + Tide here.
- How to get there: Miavana by Time + Tide can only be reached by private helicopter from two airports in northern Madagascar: Nosy Be airport (a one hour scenic heli flight) or Diego Suarez (a 30 min scenic heli fligh). Getting to Nosy Be or Diego Suarez requires a flight from either La Reunion island (two hours), Johannesburg (3 hours), Addis Abeba (4 hours) or Madagascar’s capital city, Antananarivo (2 hours).
1. ECHO BY WHITE DESERT, ANTARCTICA
Managed by White Desert, Echo Camp on Antarctica earns every ounce of its title as the most remote luxury camp on the planet. Inspired by astronauts and the seminal age of Space exploration, Echo provides exclusive access to the rarely seen interior of the White Continent. Visited by notable astronauts including Buzz Aldrin and former ISS Commander Terry Virts, both spoke of the infinite Antarctic landscape and its dramatic mountain ranges, their beauty surpassing that of Venus and Mars. Echo allows guests to combine an ultra-luxury experience with a once in lifetime adventure. An experienced team of chefs, hosts and expert guides allows guests to relax or explore at their leisure. Every trip is bespoke with a wide choice of activities and highlights, such as visiting the nearby 28,000 strong Emperor Penguin colony or a bucket-list journey to the South Pole. As with all White Desert’s camps, Echo is designed to be dismantled, leaving no trace on the Antarctic landscape.
- Hotel website: Echo by White Desert
- Review: read my review of Echo by White Desert here.
- How to get there: Echo by White Desert can only be reached by a 5-hour flight from Cape Town, South Africa, which brings guests into the endless daylight of the Antarctic Circle. The flight is operated by either a Gulfstream G550 or an Airbus A340, with White Desert’s staff members accompanying the guests all the way from Cape Town to Antarctica. The last part of the flight is extremely spectacular as the giant aircraft slowly descends over the magical landscape on its way to Wolf’s Fang runway, a blue ice runway which is privately operated by White Desert. After touching down on the ice, guests are whisked away to Echo Camp by an Arctic truck (a 15 min ride), where they are treated to a welcome cocktail with 10,000 year old ice.
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As a Maui resident, I definitely recommend the Hana-Maui Resort and the amazing journey to this remote gem! It is absolutely luxurious and you feel as if you are on your own private island.
Time + Tide Miavana is trully beyond sensational. The island, villas and ocean are stunnning. Its really suitable for family vacation. Hopefully I can visit it with my familly. Thanks for your review and video about this resort.
Lush Private Lodge in Pilanesberg, South Africa
We stayed at Soneva Kiri last October. Although it’s a good resort, I don’t think it rates in any Top [catagory] of the World lists. The beach is small, and as mentioned, is a buggy ride away. The watersports that’s also located there means it’s not the tropical ‘hideaway’ beach – there’s many better beaches in Thailand.
The rooms themselves are huge, although starting to look very shabby. Bits of our roof came detached and fell in the pool, which also require re-surfacing. The hot tub never worked. Other villa’s have just been abandoned and left for nature to take them back (in the meantime, new villa’s are being built).
We came to Soneva Kiri after Capella Bangkok and the Four Seasons Tented Camp in Chiang Rai, so the bar was admittedly high. It’s still a very good resort, but, price considered, I don’t think it’s up there with the true greats.
I think that Nihi Sumba should at least feature in the Top 10 if not the Top 1. Is most certainly remote and most certainly luxury, having been voted worlds best hotel 2 years on the spin by Travel & Leisure.