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The perfect adventure resort will place you smack dab in the middle of some of the most breathtaking landscapes on earth, offering a variety of outdoor activities, often with guided expertise, gear and all you need to enjoy an unforgettable adventure.
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Saffire Freycinet is an award-winning luxury resort that sits on the idyllic Freycinet Peninsula, a national park wrapped around Wineglass Bay on the island of Tasmania. It’s renowned for its awe-inspiring natural beauty and incredible hiking opportunities that offer a variety of guided hikes, along with the chance to dig for oysters, take a guided canoe tour or even try your hand at archery. Self-guided activities include fishing, kite flying, mountain biking and sea kayaking. After a fun day of play outdoors, come back and relax by indulging in treatments at the lavish spa or take a meditation class. When hunger pangs hit, the fine dining restaurant serves up meals based on local ingredients like incredibly fresh oysters caught just outside the door, grass-fed Tasmanian lamb and artisanal local cheeses. Each room is a spacious suite featuring comfy beds with luxury linens as well as a fully stocked, complimentary mini-bar filled with wine and Tasmanian beer.
The Bugaboos are a blend of stunning glaciers and stark granite towers that have been luring in heli-skiers for a half-century. If you’re dreaming of skiing a massive variety of terrain in one of the most breathtaking countries on earth, staying at the Bugaboo Lodge will put you right in the heart of it. The lodge offers plenty of modern comforts and what may be the most amazing view from a hot tub anywhere on the planet. You can even say good morning to the glacier right from your warm, cushy bed. You’ll be whisked off by helicopter into the bright blue sky and up to the rocky peaks of the Purcells. Guests can enjoy a variety of excursions into the alpine for spectacular walks through the rolling tundra, along sinuous ridges and past vivid turquoise glacial lakes. After all that hard “work,” you’ll head back to the lodge and unwind with delicious cuisine and wine.
World-famous as one of the top mountain lodges in the world, Explora is set on a beautiful lake just below the jagged peaks of the iconic Torres del Paine massif in one of the most legendarily stunning places on the planet. The activity menu includes over 50 different half and full-day hikes as well as horseback treks, allowing visitors to get up close and personal with the diverse landscapes of Torres del Paine National Park. It also offers the chance to return from a hike via boat, getting near calving glaciers. The all-inclusive lodge is eco-friendly yet luxurious, featuring an outstanding eatery that pairs all meals with a carefully selected list of Chilean wines as well as a bathhouse with an indoor pool and spa.
Offering one of the best hotel room views in the world, Fogo Island Inn is set on the rocky shores of Joe Batt’s Arm on the small island off northeastern Newfoundland. The all-inclusive resort is an escape’s fantasy come true, with expansive ocean views from every room, which boasts handmade Scandinavian-inspired furniture, a wood stove or fireplace and giant soaking tub. If that’s not enough, the property also features rooftop hot tubs for soaking up the amazing scenery. Watch for blue-hued icebergs and passing whales with the in-room binoculars, and when you want to get out and explore you’ll find a network of marked hiking trails that span over 120-miles of ancient, empty footpaths across the island, along high rocky cliffs, inland and down to the water’s edge. Cycling, fishing, kayaking and rowing punts (local traditional watercraft) are just a few of the activities available during the warmer months, while Nordic skiing and snowshoeing are winter options. In late autumn, the Inn is a perfect place for viewing nature’s spectacular light show, the aurora borealis.
Set in Soraypampa Valley, nestled between the towering peaks known as Salkantay and Humantay (20,574 feet and 19,413 feet respectively), Salkantay Lodge and Adventure Resort is part of the Mountain Lodges of Peru family, one of four lavish weigh stations on a lesser-known Inca route from Cuzco to Machu Picchu. While the big draw here is hiking the Salkantay, or “Inca” trail, there is a multitude of other options for hikes too, including less strenuous treks to glacial lakes or Quenuales Forest. Whitewater rafting enthusiasts will love riding the Rio Blanco, while mountain bikers will appreciate the diverse terrain around Salkantay and the views that seem to just get better and better around every turn. Riding on Arabian horses to explore hidden ruins, or taking the “Big Loop” that passes herds of goats, cattle and sheep before climbing high into the Vilcabamba Mountains are just two of the other options for active pursuits. At the end of the day, enjoy soothing sore muscles in the outdoor hot tub, complete with views of some of the country’s most breathtaking scenery.
Jungle Bay Resort & Spa offers sweeping vistas of the wild Atlantic, which sits across 55 acres of the only developed section of the island’s southeast region. Getting active pretty much comes with the territory, as the resort starts at 200 feet above sea level and climbs up to 1,000 feet. Popular activities here including hiking to waterfalls and natural hot springs as well as snorkeling and even diving with sea turtles and sperm whales. Many rooms are set high up on the cliff, offering jaw-dropping views, though no matter where you are at this tranquil hideaway, you can always hear the sea. The resort’s restaurant, Calabash Restaurant & Bar, overlooks the Caribbean Sea providing an al fresco semi-open-air island experience like none other.
One of the best hotels for viewing the Northern Lights, ION Adventure Hotel is surrounded by hot springs and sits at the foot of a towering volcano. Just minutes away is one of the top-rated scuba diving sites in the world, where the tectonic plates of North American and Eurasia collide, and divers can swim in the fissure between two continents. The ultra-clear water attracts divers as well as snorkelers from across the globe. Right at the end of the property’s driveway is a trailhead offering direct access to a multitude of well-marked trails, and the ION also leases a section of the lake’s coastline for high-quality catch and release fly fishing. Guided rafting, kayaking, glacier and horseback tours are also available through the resort’s partnerships with local companies. The on-site restaurant serves up dishes utilizing fresh, local ingredients and boasts a bar that was designed to showcase the Northern Lights.
Kauri Cliffs is internationally renowned as one of the most luxurious boutique golf resorts, with its spectacular, and little used, clifftop course ranked among the top in the world. But you’ll find a lot more to this resort than golf. This massive, 6,000-acre property is so big it has three beaches, including one with pink sand, and one that’s great for surfing – lessons and gear included. There is also a dramatic waterfall hidden among the wilderness and a nearly 1,000-year-old giant Kauri tree to discover – both of which can be seen along the hiking trails on resort property. Other activities include deep-sea fishing, boar hunting, mountain biking and horseback riding.
Amangiri, which means “peaceful mountain” is located in the desert of southern Utah near the Four Corners, where the states of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona meet. Surrounded by the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, the Grand Staircase, Bryce and Zion national parks, endless scenic beauty awaits in every direction. The luxury resort effortlessly blends into the magnificent Canyon Country setting with its 400-year-old limestone formations, offering the chance for hikes with your own personal guide, horseback riding through the fiery red-rock canyons, indulging in amazing organic meals and spa treatments. When you return to your chic modern suite, you’ll enjoy a private plunge pool and terrace that opens up to a mesmerizing dark night’s sky filled with billions of intensely glowing stars.
The Three Camel Lodge, nestled against the backdrop of the Mongolian Gobi Altai Mountains, is made up of a scattering of traditional Mongolian tents known as “gers” that dot the wild expanse of the Gobi, with their brightly colored doors all pointing south. This eco/adventure lodge serves as an incredibly scenic base for exploring the wonders of the country and the Gobi while enjoying 5-star service as well as the opportunity for a rich cultural exchange. Guests can choose from numerous activities throughout the area inside and outside of the lodge’s 12-mile radius, like hiking, biking and guided tours of the Gobi’s famous sites in addition to the opportunity to meet with local nomads and take in musical and dance performances. Each ger is appointed with hand-painted carved furniture and made especially comfy with thick camel-hair blankets, wool carpets and wood-burning stoves. You’ll enjoy dining in a massive, domed ger decorated with local art, and you can toast to your adventures in the cozy bar.
Located on a remote coastal stretch of Vancouver Island, Clayoquot is a unique “eco-safari” style resort that can only be reached by boat or a floatplane ride that will take you over glaciers, islands and soaring mountain peaks. Surrounded by thousands of acres of pristine rainforest, the nearest sign of civilization is a half-hour away in the village of Tofino. Here, bears, whales and eagles far outnumber humans, offering a life-changing experience in this spectacular, remote wilderness area. Lodging is in safari-style ultra-luxe tents, complete with radiant floor bathroom heating, taking “glamping,” to a whole new level. There is also a tented spa and a nearly endless list of activities, including horseback riding with tours to a ghost town, whitewater and flatwater kayaking and hiking. A full-day trek will take you on a suspension bridge over the gorge that leads to Strathcona Provincial Park where you can enjoy fishing, rock climbing, sporting clays, archery, and mountain biking.
Dunton Hot Springs offers a unique adventure that includes staying in a meticulously restored 19th-century ghost town with mineral hot springs. This five-star property is nestled against a backdrop of aspens and the rocky San Juan Range, dotted with historic log cabins set across 1,400 wildflower-filled acres. The 19th-century cabins were restored by local craftsmen two decades ago, transformed into this luxurious, secluded retreat that sits about 30 miles southwest of Telluride, offering the chance to truly disconnect from the chaos of day-to-day life. Although your smartphone is unlikely to work, you can use the extra time to go heli-skiing, rock climbing or hike miles and miles of scenic trails. In addition to the ring of cabins that form the perimeter of the pond, there are more historic structures that house a lavish spa, a well-stocked library and a saloon with wagon-wheel chandeliers and the original bar that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid once imbibed at – by looking closely, you’ll even see their names carved into the wood. Gourmet fare is served here too, including produce from the property’s own organic farm and wine from the resort’s private vineyard.
Mnemba Island, and the five-acre island it sits on in Tanzania’s Zanzibar archipelago, is owned by &Beyond, an ecotourism outfit that invests in community empowerment and conservation. Mnemba is home to an incredible array of exotic wildlife, and the entire isle is ringed by soft, flour-like white sand. On one side, a snorkelers’ garden sits just offshore in calm, cerulean waters. In addition to exploring the spectacular underworld, visitors can enjoy windsurfing, kayaking and sunset cruises. The only island inhabitants are guests and the staff – and, with just a few seaside cottages, you’re assured an exclusive experience. The huts, or “bandas”, were hand-built, mainly by weaving together traditional Zanzibari palm matting. Set back from the water, each is nestled at the edge of the shady forest and built on a platform over the sand. Expansive, private verandas offer picture-perfect panoramic views of the Indian Ocean, while comfortable living areas include oversized beds covered by a canopy of soft muslin. Enjoy dining on fresh fruits and vegetables as well as East African dishes made from fresh fish that arrives daily, savoring each bite near the wide expanse of white sand, with the tepid water practically lapping at your feet.
Bhutan is one of the least visited, and highest altitude nations on earth as well as being the sole Buddhist country. To avoid becoming overdeveloped, Bhutan tightly limits visitation in addition to having many rules on booking and pre-paying guides and hotels. Asian-based hotel operator COMO is able to offer a seamless trip, including everything from visas to flights. There are two sister COMO Uma properties in Bhutan, with the lodges located five hours apart in the Punakha and Paro Valleys. Each offers a wide array of guided biking and hiking, including visits to the famed high-altitude monasteries. You’ll have a choice of everything, including a one-night camping trek to one of the most famous of the high monasteries, Tiger’s Nest.
Blanket Bay is a magnificent lodge that faces Lake Wakatipu and is surrounded by thousands of acres of sheep-station land, set just outside Glenorchy, a small town that was chosen by Peter Jackson as the spot to film his epic movie trilogy. Bordered on two sides by national parks, the village sits against a backdrop of the rugged high country, soaring mountains, ancient beech forests and glacier-fed rivers. The picture-perfect setting is a perfect complement to the extraordinary opportunities for hiking, riding, fishing and water sports activities. At the heart of the lodge, the Great Room boasts a grand fireplace, antique wooden floors and floor-to-ceiling windows that open to amazing lake and mountain views. The Lodge and chalets offer beautifully-appointed lakeside rooms and suites each with their own balcony or terrace, while intimate dining rooms serve delectable Pacific Rim cuisine.