As the world becomes more connected, and life in the fast lane of twelve-hour shifts and keeping your Instagram feed alive and kicking takes its toll, the appeal of escaping to a far-flung corner of the world, where no one can find you, is undeniable.
Think a medieval-looking fortress on its own island…
Or a desert oasis out in the wilderness of Abu Dhabi’s Empty Quarter.
These sound better than a list of city breaks and must-see museums, don’t they? And there’s a lot more travel inspiration where these came from…
The Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle
Far-flung seclusion doesn’t get more dreamy than this Thailand bolthole on the banks of the Mekong River, and right where Thailand meets Myanmar and Laos. It takes a boat ride along the river and through the thick bamboo jungle to get here, and nature-loving aesthetes will be hard-pressed to find a hotel that better captures the wilderness this side of the world. Yet, the real highlight here is not the unique setting at all. It’s the activities, and the sense of adventure centered around rehabilitated elephants. Think bird-watching, foraging expeditions, early-morning hikes up Camp Peak and days spent interacting with the elephants and their mahouts. If these are not reasons enough to have you rummaging for your credit card yet, the rooms, or tents if you will, done in a 19th-century safari theme with handcrafted leather furnishings, hardwood floors and hurricane lamps, should get you there.
The Aman Sveti Stefan
The Balkan Peninsula, in particular Montenegro, is drawing visitors for its uncrowded beaches, medieval villages and tiny islands. On one of those islands, cast out in the Adriatic, is the Aman Sveti Stefan, housed in renovated stone buildings that date back to the fifteenth century. Think cobbled alleys, rooms designed with exposed stone walls, and windowsills lined with lanterns in the tradition of the old days when the island used to be a small fishing village. The setting is as rustic as it is smart Aman, and the feeling that you’re as far from civilization as possible is the reason this hotel makes it on our list of places to go for a remote vacation.
The Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara
No, the Qasr al Sarab is not a mirage, but we understand why you’d think so. Sitting on the edge of Abu Dhabi’s Empty Quarter, this resort by Anantara is no ordinary bolthole. For a start, there is the way the hotel emerges like a sprawling sultan’s palace amid the towering dunes of the desert. Then, of course, you have the rooms that mingle Islamic design and modern touches- think Bedouin artefacts, dimly lit lanterns, huge round bathtubs and private sunbathing decks. Everything has been designed with tradition in mind, and the activities beyond the walls are an extension of that, with camel trekking, desert walks, dune bashing and meals under the stars, Bedouin style.
The Belmond Hotel das Cataratas
The world is not short of far-flung hotels, but the Belmond Hotel das Cataratas, sitting right next to Brazil’s Iguazu Falls, has got to be something special. The grounds slope down towards, arguably, one of the greatest natural wonders of the planet, and the scene is as spell-binding as it gets with the sound and the fury of the falls overpowering everything else. Befitting the location, adventure seekers will find plenty to keep busy here- think helicopter and boat tours of the surrounding park, or setting off on a dawn walk for sightings of fauna indigenous to the rainforest, but in the best light. Then, of course, there are the more pulse racing adventures like rappelling and rafting down the Salto Macuco waterfall and the Iguazu River. If that’s not all the travel inspiration you need, we don’t know what would be…