Want to go to Europe but aren’t interested in enduring crowded city streets? These incredibly remote hotels offer the chance to become immersed in the tranquility of beautiful wilderness and are sure to make you want to book a trip right now.
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Situated in the far north of Scotland among the breathtakingly rugged landscape along the coast, Croft 103 offers awe-inspiring views of the turquoise-hued sea and the dramatic surrounding mountains. In this majestic wilderness area, you can easily sit for hours and do nothing at all but stare at the endless beauty and brilliant skies, and if you’re fortunate enough, the aurora will make an appearance as the icing on the cake. Soaking in the outdoor claw foot tub on the terrace at Hill Cottage makes the ideal spot for awaiting their arrival. While there isn’t a whole lot else to do, is there really any better way to come back home relaxed and refreshed?
Some 150 miles north of the Arctic Circle on the west coast of Greenland, Hotel Arctic is renowned for its one-of-a-kind setting at the mouth of a fjord, as the world’s northernmost four-star hotel. The region also enjoys an average of 300 clear-sky days every year, making it ideal for aurora seekers, with the phenomenon most frequently appearing from early September through early April. Choose the Puisi Suite and you’ll enjoy spectacular sea and iceberg views while waiting for the lights to appear – or if you’d prefer something more unique, the quirky igloo accommodations with aluminum exteriors are also a favorite. They come with modern comforts, including electric heating, while the magnificent beauty of nature is right at your doorstep.
Set among a pine forest in a remote corner of Sweden near Harads, the Treehotel offers six very unique “treerooms,” and they definitely aren’t your typical tree houses. Each one has a very distinct look, like the lifelike Bird’s Nest and the mind-blowing reflective Mirrorcube that makes for an especially unforgettable hideout among the trees, camouflaged by mirrored walls that reflect the surroundings. The UFO, pictured here, offers the chance to live your childhood dreams in a room reminiscent of the final scene in the film, “E.T.” It was cast in durable composite material that has a comfortable, modern interior built for five, complete with a double bed, three separate twin beds, a bathroom and living room.
Guests can also enjoy Britta’s Pensionat, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in an authentic 1950s setting. It includes a restaurant, bar, sauna and relaxation area with TV and Internet to help you stay connect while you’re far away from the chaos of the modern world.
Set against an out-of-this-world backdrop of mountainous lava fields about an hour’s drive from Reykjavik, the Ion Hotel is an ideal secluded base for exploring Iceland’s unique environment. Its floor-to-ceiling windows offer panoramic views of the geo-thermal area and mountainous region – as well as the aurora borealis, which can frequently be glimpsed on a clear night from late September through about mid-March so far away from light pollution. The farm-fresh cuisine at its Silfra Restaurant & Bar, view-heavy Northern Lights Bar serving up Icelandic gin and partially exposed Lava Spa, make for the ultimate Icelandic experience – even before you step foot outside. It also offers easy access to the “Golden Circle,” with highlights like Gulfoss Falls, Geysir and Thingvellir National Park.
Accessible by shuttle, ski lift or snow bike, Whitepod offers an incredible outdoor retreat in the Swiss Alps at an altitude of nearly 4,600 feet. Accommodations are in 15 pods designed to resemble igloos that are actually dome-shaped tents set up on raised wooden platforms surrounding a refurbished 19th-century alpine chalet. Each is well-insulated, heated by a wood-burning stove, and features a private front terrace that overlooks the valley. Guests can also enjoy a Swedish sauna, massage area and communal space where breakfast is served and evening drinks are sipped around the fireplace. Activities, in addition to just being mesmerized by the stunning snow-covered mountain views, include guided snowshoe tours, ski lessons, cross-country skiing and dog sledding.
Many tourists who come to the tiny village of Flam stay for a short while after arriving on the Flam Railway, renowned as one of Europe’s most scenic rides, and before departing on a fjord cruise. Fortunately the Fretheim Hotel offers enough to keep you occupied during your stop, including a restaurant, sauna, outdoor hot tub, library, lobby bar, and wine cellar, to name a few. Nestled at the end of the Aurlandsfjord, the property also makes the most of its naturally beautiful location with glass windows in the lobby and restaurant that showcase the surrounding peaks.
Hotel Bellevue des Alpes in Switzerland
It’s so remote that it’s not exactly easy to get to the Hotel Bellevue des Alpes. You’ll have to fly into Zurich and then take a two-and-a-half-hour trip by train to Grindelwald, followed by a half-hour mountain-train ride. But of course, that makes the total experience all the better. The hotel sits high above Grindelwald at 6,791 feet on a famous mountain pass that’s enveloped by the towering north faces of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau mountains, and little of anything else. The The historic hotel was built in the 19th century; with the more modern rooms today still retaining a feel of the days of old, deck out with 1920s furnishings, toile de Jouy prints and restored antique bathtubs. You’ll be able to hike or ski just steps away, with trails right outside your door.
This one is for those who really want an adventure, as you’ll need to hike for two to three hours to get to this hostel in the wilds of the Italian Dolomites. The ultimate wilderness experience, you’ll need to plan accordingly as it’s only open June through October, and the very basic, simple accommodations are made up of 20 bunk beds that are split between two dormitories, and just one shared bathroom. It’s worth it for views like this.