There are only two ways that you can access this award-winning lodge — one is by a whitewater raft and the other is a basket that you ride across the river.
You don’t need to walk 500 miles to arrive at their door, but you will need to take a plane, boat or even whitewater raft to get there
THE ONE WHERE YOU ARRIVE BY HELICOPTER
Minaret Station, New Zealand
Deep in the wilds of the Southern Alps this lodge still remains the last word in luxury. Each chalet features sheepskin carpets, an ensuite bathroom and a hot tub on your private deck. How to get there? By helicopter, of course.
Worth The Journey: The lodge seems to use any excuse to take the heli. We’re talking heli fishing trips, heli mountain biking, heli skiing or heli picnics. But seriously, can you think of a better way to travel?
THE ONE WHERE YOU ARRIVE BY WHITEWATER RAFT
Pacuare Lodge, Costa Rica
If you ever longed to take a swashbuckling adventure that leads you deep into the jungle this could be the trip for you. As there are only two ways that you can access this award-winning lodge — one is by a whitewater raft and the other is a basket that you ride across the river. The adventure continues when you get there as if you book the Jaguar Suite, you need to trek over your private bridge to reach your treetop dwelling.
Worth The Journey: You can spend the day abseiling down waterfalls, going for a zipline ride through the jungle canopy or hiking to the village of the indigenous Cabecar people. In the evening you can dine 60 feet above the jungle floor.
THE ONE ON AN ISLAND
Capella Lodge, Australia
If you’re looking for paradise, they say that this is it. Capella Lodge can be found on Lord Howe Island, which is a two-hour flight from Sydney or Brisbane. But this tropical hideaway comprises lush forests, cerulean seas and floral and fauna that you won’t find anywhere else on Earth. The nine-suite lodge captures cinematic vistas from its clifftop setting above Loves Bay.
Worth The Journey: Whether you enjoy bird watching, fishing, scuba diving or trekking, you will find that practically every outdoor activity is catered for here. Well, it is paradise.
THE ONE IN THE LAND OF THE NOMADS
Serra Cafema, Namibia
You will need to take a three-hour flight from Windhoek to find this oasis in the middle of the Namibian desert. Nestled against the banks of Kunene River, the only sound that you will hear at Serra Cafema are perhaps the springbok, zebra or native birds that have also made the area home.
Worth The Journey: Go for a quad bike excursion through the golden dunes, join a nature trek through the valley or visit the Himba community who still live a semi-nomadic existence. You can also take a trip down the river and go crocodile spotting.
THE ONE IN THE HIMALAYAS
Shakti 360 Leti, India
You’ll feel on top of the world when you book a stay at this lodge that’s high in the Himalayas. You will need to pull on your hiking boots and join a simple trail that will take you through the wild and rugged landscape to an isolated, magical spot that offers 360-degree views of the mountains. This doesn’t mean that you have to rough it. Oh no, no. Take all those images of camping out of your mind and replace them with images of sipping ginger and lemon tea while lying on high thread count sheets.
Worth The Journey: You can just soak in the view from your mountain top, or go horse-riding, enjoy cooking classes or take part in a yoga session or two. Otherwise you can just wrap yourself up in a pashmina blanket and relax by your fireplace.
THE ONE THAT’S A ROAD TRIP
Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa, Chile
It’s a small world. Chances are that you go on holiday and bump into someone you know. Don’t you just love that! No? Then go here. First you need to fly to Santiago de Chile, then you fly to Puerto Natales or Punta Arenas and drive to the hotel. Puerto Natales is a one-hour drive from the hotel and Punta Arenas is a four-hour drive to your hideaway and your adventure spa. Yes, this adventure spa that’s set on the edge of the Torres de Paine National Park gives you the chance to trek in the wilderness then return to some serious pampering.
Worth The Journey: The UNESCO biosphere site will take your breath away at every turn. From the black sand beaches that are perfect for leisurely walks to kayaking trips around the lakes or spotting Patagonia’s own mini ostriches — the ñandues.
THE ONE ON A LAKE
Kaya Mawa, Malawi
Even getting to this resort on Lake Malawi can be turned into an adventure. You can take an hour long flight in a light aircraft from the local airport to the island or you can jump aboard a 1956 tramp steamer, the Ilala, and turn it into a three-day adventure. But either way, the journey is worth it as Condé Nast Traveller called it one of the most romantic places in the world. And it’s not hard to see why. It’s the epitome of barefoot chic.
Worth The Journey: You can pull on your fins and discover the coral reefs, enjoy a relaxing massage in
a gazebo that overlooks the sea or just enjoy sunset drinks on the terrace.
THE ONE IN THE AMAZON JUNGLE
Anavilhanas, Brazilian Amazon
If George of the Jungle had won the lottery he would have booked straight into there. Although he would have had to purchase a seaplane or boat as that this the only way you can arrive. Set on the banks of the Rio Negro, this luxury lodge in the heart of the Amazon is perfect for if you want to get away from it all.
Worth The Journey: You will have the chance to enjoy both land and water adventures. On water you can take a speedboat ride to the Caves of Madada, kayak through the Amazon rainforest or go searching for pink dolphins. And on shore, you can visit indigenous villages and learn how to shoot a bow and arrow.
THE ONE THAT YOU NEED TO TREK TO
Mountain Lodges Of Peru, Peru
The is a Machu Picchu trek with a difference. Forget about napping under canvas, you can sleep in up to six different luxury lodges. Just book your trek and the team will create a walk that takes you from lodge to lodge so that you can kick off your boots, order a massage and sleep upon goose-down bedding.
Worth The Journey: Choose one of three treks — the Salktantay Trek, the Sacred Valley or the Grand Andean Experience, which will give you the chance to see both the Sacred Valley and do the Salkantay Inca Trek as you hike for 10 days to Machu Picchu.
THE ONE ON A VOLCANO
Bisate Lodge, Rwanda
Tucked within the Rwandan jungle you’ll find Bisate Lodge. An eroded volcanic cone forms the backdrop to the lodge and the Afro-alpine forests provide the view. The four thatched suites come with roaring fires, the restaurant serves up gourmet food and the boutique resort even has its own wine cellar.
Worth The Journey: As soon as you arrive at this jungle lodge you will want to do another trek for it is in the nearby Volcanoes National Park that you’ll find the mountain gorillas. You can track one of the 12 groups of gorillas that live nearby or you can hike to the research site of famed environmentalist Dian Fossey. And while you are there you are even given the chance to plant a tree to help save the gorillas’ home.