When it comes to getting away from it all, we often think remote, hard-to-access destinations. In the age of travel advisories and recommended isolation, we've curated a list of global destinations where self-quarantine won't seem like a preview of Purgatory.
Reflecting our global readership, we've selected destinations reachable (safely) from any continent. If you're ready to get away from it all, read on. If you're planning for travel later this year, read on. If you're simply a dreamer, read on. Really, just read on.
Gone are the days when a hotel meant simply a bed, a desk and perhaps a minibar. A new wave of accommodations has bumped traditional lodging out of the way by offering unique experiences that are endlessly, irresistibly Instagrammable.
Want to cozy up in a glass igloo to watch the Northern Lights? Or hang on for dear life from the side of a cliff in a transparent capsule? You can do all that these days — for a price, of course.
Getting close — really close — to wildlife
Luxurious safari lodges dot the African landscape for guests who want to get as close as possible to the continent’s incredible wildlife. But some get you closer than others. At Mfuwe Lodge in Zambia, 18 chalets are arranged around two large lagoons, creating the perfect setting for watching elephants as they visit in the late afternoons.
But Africa is far from the only continent to offer such close encounters of the animal kind. The Jungle Bubbles, at the Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort in Chiang Rai, Thailand, offers guests the chance to spend a night in a transparent bubble, witnessing elephants pass by.
But if you live in the U.S., you do not have to travel far to get close to animal life. At the Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, N.Y., guests can reserve one of a handful of tiny houses and mingle with some of the 800 farm animals rescued from abuse and mistreatment.
Treehouses, a perennial favorite
Regardless of where you are in the world, there is a good chance you can stay in a treehouse-style accommodation. At Anavilhanas Jungle Lodge in the Amazon region of Brazil, guests can find themselves cocooned in the canopy of the Amazon, high above the Rio Negro river.
Up in the tall trees of the pine forests of Northern Sweden, the Treehotel posits guests in mirrored cubes and cabins perched in the treetops, one of which is even shaped like a U.F.O.
On the edge of Kruger National Park in South Africa, the new &Beyond Ngala Treehouse opens this month, giving guests a chance to take a game drive out to the treehouse where they spend the night high above the bush in a private tower.
A different kind of treehouse greets guests in Costa Rica at Hotel Costa Verde, where a decommissioned airplane was reconstructed in the jungle canopy so that guests sleep in a plane in the jungle canopy. But some travelers want to go even higher than the treetops. At Skylodge Adventure Suites in Peru, guests arrive either by hiking over 1,300 feet or 400 meters up or by zipping in like a superhero on a series of zip lines. The rooms themselves are transparent capsules hanging on the side of a mountain with panoramic views of the Sacred Valley.
Under the sea
Not into heights? You can always take a deep dive thanks to lodging options that offer an underwater experience. At Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, guests can reserve the Muraka, a two-level hotel room that includes an infinity pool and also reaches 16 feet below sea level.
At The Manta Resort, off the coast of Pemba near Zanzibar, a butler boats out to meet guests on their private underwater island. And in Key Largo, Fla., travelers with scuba certifications can dive down for a stay at Jules’ Undersea Lodge.
A new group of hotels that have cropped up in some of the world’s coldest places provides travelers the chance to experience hygge, the Danish concept of cozy contentment. At Cielo Glamping Maritime in New Brunswick, Canada, guests can cuddle up inside domes nestled in the forest, with clear sides for views of the snowy sunsets. Want to see the Northern Lights but don’t want to feel cold? Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort in Finland is designed for you. Featuring glass igloos (for lying in bed to watch the lights) and snow igloos (caves dug out of a snowbank), it is the perfect place for fancy snow bunnies.
If you find yourself in the middle of the Gobi desert, stay warm under a camel-hair blanket in a traditional Mongolian tent (called a ger) at the eco-lodge, the Three Camel Lodge.
And if animals, treehouses or the cold really aren’t appealing, you can always settle for royalty. You may have heard of the famed Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai, India, the landmark hotel that since 1903 has signified luxury tourism. But you might not know that in Jaipur, India, you can reserve a room in a palace once home to the city’s maharajah, Suján Rajmahal Palace. And for some British royalty vibes, check into The Newt in Somerset, where you can roam the grounds of the manor’s English gardens and sip tea in your castle. Or for Scandinavian style galore, try Nimb Hotel in Copenhagen, a 1909 castle with exteriors inspired by Moorish architecture.