We live in a world of constant high-speed interactions, so it’s no wonder that we also seek a true escape. Isolation has become an object of desire, a dream we’re chasing as we drive through the night or board a 12-hour flight to end up in a unique, unspoilt location. The paradox of contemporary travel is that when we get to the middle of nowhere, we still want a super kingsize bed, a spa and a lodge with award-winning design when we get there. Here are 10 of our favourite places to experience true beauty in isolation.
Hótel Búðir, Iceland
Hótel Búðir (Budir) in Iceland is a beach hotel, but not as you know it. It sits at the edge of The Snaefellsjokull National Park in a lava field on the tip of a peninsula. From the window you can observe a glacier and a bay with resting seals. In winter, lay on a rug by the fireside in your hyper-real Icelandic house.
Ecopod Boutique Retreat, Scotland
The Scottish Highlands are an escapist’s dream: stunning mountain landscapes, ruined castles and hardly any people in sight. Ecopod is located on the West Coast overlooking the romantic scenery of Castle Stalker and Loch Linnhe. These eco-friendly, geodesic structures are the equivalent of a futuristic yurt. Ecopod’s owners are concerned about the impact of tourism on this unspoiled area so they’re keeping it low imapact with only two pods, with a,third opening soon.
Fabriken Furillen, Sweden
Obsessed with Scandinavian design? Finally, there is a place to become immersed in the world of white and grey hues located at the remote Furillen peninsula. Here the mysteries of Scandinavian mentality could finally be uncovered – during long walks on deserted beaches and the ruins of an old gravel quarry. This post-industrial Northern paradise was created by photographer Johan Hellström and his wife, who bought the deserted quarry and transformed it into a unique travel destination.
Pedras Salgadas Spa & Nature Park, Portugal
Pedras Salgadas Spa in Portugal takes our childhood dream of living in a tree house and turns it into a reality. There are 12 modular eco-houses and two tree houses, all sustainable and effortlessly blended into the lush greenery of the national park. The best part: the large windows overlooking the ever-shifting green world outside. That and the spa with its own hamman, sauna, pool and ancient thermal springs.
Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, Finland
If sleeping in a snow igloo, in minus 40 Celsius, somewhere inside the Arctic circle doesn’t sound that appealing, then you’ll be glad to know that Kakslauttanen in the North of Finland also have a less-authentic sleeping option. From their heated glass igloos you can gaze at the Northern lights whilst comfortably wrapped up in your bed.
Staying at Amangiri at Canyon Point, Utah, you might get the impression that the human race is extinct and you’re one of the lucky ones who’s made it to this utopian future, a sleek, minimal resort stretched along otherworldly rock formations. The Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park and Monument Valley are all within easy reach. Amangiri has a pool, spa and exquisite dining, but the best leisure here is observing the surrounding landscape as it changes colour in the evening light.
Aire de Bardenas, Spain
Located at the edge of the Bardenas Reales National Park in the Navarre region in Southern Spain, the hotel stands where the vast badlands meet wheat fields. The experience is the closest you could get to sleeping in the open desert, but in absolutely lush comfort. The options include cubic rooms with desert views or, if you’re anything but square, the transparent inflatable bubbles, which allow you to observe enormous star-filled sky straight from your bed. You can also listen to the sounds of wildlife while soaking in an outdoor tub.
Tierra Hotels, Chile
Tierra is a family of boutique hotels located in picturesque remote corners of Chile. Tierra Atacama allows you to experience the desert of the Altiplano (high plains) with its tender pink mountains and starry night skies. Tierra Chiloé stands on an island in the blue waters of Chile’s Northern Patagonia. The founders of the hotel like to describe the Tierra Patagonia location as “the end of the world”, and after a glance at the surrounding landscape, it’s hard to argue with that.
Longitude 131, Australia
Australia’s Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is home to one of the world’s largest monoliths: Uluru or Ayers Rock. The giant masses of red rock make the place look like a bizarre film set, and Longitude 131 provides a perfectly intimate way to explore it. The resort has 15 luxury tents with kingsize beds and a spa – not your usual type of camping.
Fogo Island Inn, Canada
If there’s one place that could make you reconsider the meaning of the word remote, it’s Fogo Island, located off the north east coast of Newfoundland, Canada. Fogo is the Portuguese word for fire, and the Island was likely named by passing sailors who noticed small fires burning on the shores. These days the best thing one could see on the shore is a spectacular X-shaped two-storey structure known as Fogo Island Inn. Designed by Newfoundland-born, Norway-based architect Todd Saunder, the hotel is perched on stilts at the North Atlantic coastline. Mind-blowing design, large windows and effortless comfort in combination with enchanting authentic life of the island makes Fogo Island Inn an ultimate escape.