No Mirage Here: 10 Luxury Desert Escapes
A refreshing oasis awaits at these sublime desert hideaways boasting sophisticated elegance and captivating sandscapes.
Photo By: Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas
Photo By: Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa
Photo By: James Florio
Photo By: Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa
Photo By: Beresheet Hotel
Photo By: Wilderness Safaris
Photo By: Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
Photo By: Wadi Rum Night Luxury Camp
Photo By: JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa
Photo By: Ayers Rock Resort
Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara
Nestled into the Rub’Al Khali desert in Abu Dhabi, the palatial Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara is an enchanting sanctuary replete with unrivaled sandscape views, an oasis-like free-form swimming pool, and luxurious Arabian-inspired spa treatments. Epic adventures await, like fat biking, camel trekking, and 4x4 dune rides, before settling in for a meal at one of four creative on-site restaurants. This opulent hideaway exudes a mystical desert charm, making it difficult to leave this "Mirage Palace" after a few days of sun-soaked tranquility.
Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa
Set high above the arid desert in Arizona is a modern oasis, Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa. Luxury casitas inspire with spectacular views of the American Southwest, while well-being is the focus at Sanctuary Spa, which boasts a reflection pond, meditation garden, and a therapeutic Watsu pool to help stir a deeper self-connection. Hike Camelback Mountain for jaw-dropping views of Phoenix and Scottsdale or make tennis more mindful by signing up for a Zen-inspired "zennis" class, which focuses on fluidity and balance.
Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa
The 32-room Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa is a dreamy boutique hotel set in the desert landscape of San Pedro de Atacama in northern Chile. Known for its locally-inspired architecture and interiors, the owners looked to creative minds in-country to ensure the hotel stayed true to its roots, even extending authenticity to excursions offered to guests. Join a half-day exploration of the shimmering salt flats, which includes a visit with a local family, or travel to multiple lookout points to take in the stunning Salt Mountain range.
Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa
Tucked away in a palm-laden oasis in Dubai sits Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa, a magical oasis that exudes a sophisticated ambiance. Bedouin-inspired architecture and heritage delight guests across this luxurious eco-resort, which offers serene nature walks in the desert and adrenaline-filled 4x4 drives across the sand dunes. In-room binoculars allow the landscape to inspire or relax in a private infinity pool and soak in the dramatic desert views. The resort’s intimate Dune Dining experience offers a spectacular look at the twinkling night sky from the sand dunes.
Perched high atop a cliff, the ultra-luxe Beresheet Hotel in Israel’s Negev Desert is an entrancing oasis, welcoming travelers with intoxicating views and arid desert landscapes. Let your cares slip away as you soak in the sun at the sparkling outdoor infinity pool, which looks out into Ramon Crater, the world’s largest erosion crater. The hotel boasts 101 private villas, each separate from each other and many with private plunge pools and balconies offering pristine views of the desert or crater. Rejuvenate at the Carmel Forest Spa with a Turkish bath or Dead Sea-inspired body wrap.
Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp
Wilderness Safaris’ Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp in Namibia’s coastal Kaokoveld Desert is a dreamy, modern oasis. Set between the Palmwag area and the iconic Skeleton Coast National Park, guests are treated to fantastic views of desert-adapted wildlife. In addition to game drives and nature walks, guests can partake in full-day excursions to the Skeleton Coast, home to a sizeable cape fur seal colony and curious shipwrecked vessels. Settle in for the night in one of eight luxury safari tents with private outdoor decks for an evening under a sky full of stars.
Fairmont Royal Palm Marrakech
Fragrant olive trees and orange groves exquisitely adorn the Fairmont Royal Palm Marrakech, a secluded desert retreat boasting magnificent views of Morocco’s snow-capped Atlas mountain range. This expansive resort has six top-notch restaurants, a massive swimming pool, an 18-hole golf course and a world-class spa, even a kids’ club. Explore this lavish oasis on your own or sign up for activities that range from a city bike tour to a hot-air balloon ride to an outdoor cooking class where you’ll learn how to prepare Moroccan foods.
Wadi Rum Night Luxury Camp
In the Wadi Rum Desert of Jordan, there’s no better way to enjoy the desert nights than as part of a stay at the Full of Stars Hotel, an extension of the Wadi Rum Night Luxury Camp. Each luxurious pod-like bedroom boasts a king-size bed, a private bathroom, and views of the scenic desert valley and dramatic sandstone mountains at Wadi Rum. Add on sand boarding, camel trekking or an exhilarating 4x4 ride across the desert. At night, dine on traditional Jordanian food prepared by the chef of this private luxury camp.
JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa
Enjoy a magical gondola ride at sunset along the waterways at the sprawling JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa in California’s Coachella Valley. Bring your camera to snap photos of the colorful birds, like flamingos, macaws and parrots, that call this luxury resort home. Downtown Palm Springs may be just a 30-minute drive from the property, but between golf, tennis and luxury spa treatments, like herbal wraps and citrus sugar scrubs, you may not find the time. Book a signature view room for inviting views of the snow-capped Santa Rosa Mountains.
Ayers Rock Resort
In the heart of Australia’s Red Center sits Ayers Rock Resort, home to several hotels and lodges, including the five-star Sails in the Desert, a luxurious mirage in the midst of the dusty red desert. Join a signature desert awakenings tour to experience the outback serenity as the landscape colorfully transforms in dramatic fashion at the start of the day. In the evening, Sounds of Silence delights with dinner under a brilliant sky full of stars and a talk from the resident star expert who brings the southern sky to life.