11 of the World’s Most Secluded Resorts
Getting away from it all doesn’t necessarily mean roughing it in the middle of nowhere. Enjoy some peace and quiet at these ultra-secluded, ultra-luxurious properties around the world.
Photo By: Bushmans Kloof
Photo By: Kokomo Private Island
Photo By: Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley
Photo By: Ken Spence for Gangtey Lodge, Bhutan
Photo By: UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa
Photo By: Sheldon Chalet
Photo By: Volcanoes Safaris
Photo By: Jason Freeman, GoWild Images
Photo By: Treehotel
Photo By: Whitepod
Photo By: Niyama Private Islands
Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat, South Africa
Nestled on 7,500 hectares in the lush foothills of the Cederberg Mountains, Bushmans Kloof is an ecological oasis surrounded by breathtaking wide-open plains, an abundance of endangered wildlife, crystal-clear waterfalls and ancient bush art sites dating back 10,000 years. With only 17 guest rooms and suites, each boasting a private terrace with stunning views of sandstone rock formations along with antelopes, wildebeests and rare mountain zebras, you’ll have postcard-perfect images of wildlife and without a soul in sight.
Kokomo Private Island, Fiji
It took Australian billionaire Lang Walker six years to build this island paradise bordered by the Great Astrolabe Reef, a hidden gem only accessible by seaplane, helicopter or yacht. With only five luxury residences and 21 beachfront villas on the 140-acre island surrounded by turquoise water and lush rainforests, you’ll find yourself peacefully sitting in the lap of Fijian luxury. Kokomo Private Island boasts its own 5.5-acre farm with exotic produce that accounts for a large portion of the resort’s gourmet menu; consider it farm-and-sea-to-table. All of the rooms include 24/7 room service. Take a walk on the pristine white-sand beach, soak in your private infinity pool overlooking the crystal-clear sea or go for a dive in one of the most coveted diving spots in the world. Trust us, the only things you’ll see are turtles, mantas and unique fish, sans the loads of tourists.
Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, Australia
Just a 2.5-hour drive or a quick helicopter ride from Sydney lies this conservation-based, ultra-luxury resort. Occupying just one percent of a 7,000-acre nature reserve in the Greater Blue Mountains, the Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley offers the quintessential Australian outback experience, where kangaroos and wallabies run free. The property features 40 freestanding luxury villas, each with its own private pool and spacious veranda. When the sun goes down, guests are escorted via 4WD into the outback to observe some of Australia’s most unique wildlife while they’re most active, before ending the night with a warm campfire, dinner and stargazing. In addition to the stunning wildlife, the One&Only Spa is surrounded by majestic cliffs and canyons, allowing guests to fully experience the restorative power of nature.
Gangtey Lodge, Bhutan
The multi-award-winning Gangtey Lodge Bhutan is the answer to disconnecting from your overstimulated life, offering an authentic experience in one of the world’s most undiscovered destinations. Nestled deep in the rolling hills near a cluster of farmhouses, the resort’s 12 beautifully appointed guest suites offer sweeping views of the famed Gangtey Goenpa Monastery as well as the lush valley below. Small luxuries, such as deep soaking tubs next to wood-burning stoves and heated hand-cut stone floors, make for quite the relaxing stay. The Gangtey Lodge’s main lobby subtly displays the vibrancy of Bhutanese artwork and monastic design, complemented by murals and carvings created by local artists and masons, reflecting images and landscapes from the valley.
UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa, Brazil
Perched on a hilltop overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in the remote fishing village of Trancoso in Brazil’s Bahia state, UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa is the ultimate hideaway. To get there, fly to Sao Paulo, Salvador or Rio, then take a domestic flight to Porto Seguro, which is a 55-minute drive from the resort. Of course, Trancoso also has a private airstrip and heliport for those who are chartering in. Built from restored fishermen’s casas, UXUA makes guests feel like they are a part of the community, since there’s no official signage to delineate between the hotel and the locals. The property’s surrounding rainforest conceals the 11 villas, each with a unique design personality, kitchen and private garden. UXUA sits on the 500-year-old, automobile-free Quadrado, encouraging both guests and employees to move by foot, bike or horseback. Guests can join a local family for a meal to learn about Bahian cuisine, enjoy a drink at the Praia Bar (built from a former fishing boat) or stop at the hotel’s own ice cream shop for chocolate ice cream, made from cocoa grown in the property’s gardens. Fresh-caught seafood is the star of a menu based on authentic local specialties such as rich fish stew or manioc-thickened bobo, and guests are invited into the kitchen to watch the Bahian recipes come to life.
Sheldon Chalet, Alaska
The Sheldon Chalet sits 6,000 feet above sea level and offers breathtaking views of the peak of Denali, North America’s highest mountain. At the hefty $23,000-per-night rate with a two-night minimum stay, "everything" comes included with an expert staff of two guides, gear, a chef and a concierge. The property boasts five bedrooms, all with panoramic views of the Alaska Range, that sleep a total of 10. Guests can enjoy activities such as trekking out on Ruth Glacier, igloo-building, snow-cave digging, heli-picnics or just enjoying the coziness of the lodge. There's no cell phone service or internet on the property, so embrace the opportunity to disconnect. Since scrolling Instagram isn’t an option, spend time dining on locally sourced Alaskan fare such as Alaska king crab and Copper River salmon.
Virunga Lodge, Rwanda
Arrive to your adventure base in Rwanda by 4x4 or helicopter and be welcomed with cool drinks in an intimate setting that’s bound to set the tone for your exhilarating adventure. Set high on a ridge, Virunga Lodge is an hour’s drive from Musanze, the hub for tracking endangered mountain gorillas. While most people visit this property to go on gorilla treks, don’t forget about tracking the delightfully energetic golden monkeys as well. Back at the resort, enjoy captivating views of Musanze Valley, the Virunga Volcanoes and the Twin Lakes. The 10 cottages are decorated in the Rwandese style with brightly patterned fabrics that are typical for the region. Each cottage is named after an African lake and built with volcanic tile and stones, cozy fireplaces, raffia ceilings and grand four-poster beds. One of the best parts of the property is the fact that all 16-20 guests eat together at the chunky wooden dining room table, where stories from the day’s trek can be shared, family style.
Jade Screen Tower Hotel, China
To get to this mountaintop hotel tucked away in China’s Huangshan mountain range, you can attempt the 60,000-step climb, ride the hotel cable car or hire hotel porters to carry you up in a wicker chair attached to two bamboo poles. If you decide to climb, you begin your upward journey through the cleft of the cliff (known as the Thread of the Sky), followed by two sheer drops on either side. Jade Screen’s main draw is its picturesque views of the rising and setting sun and its ancient pine tree forest, thought to be around 1,500 years old. The hotel has 60 rooms and suites, two restaurants (both Chinese and Western) and a sauna and massage center to soothe the aches and pains from the climb up. While the rooms are simple, you won’t notice because you’ll be too busy soaking in the dramatic scenery.
Become one with nature at the Treehotel in Harads, a quaint village with only 600 people. Designed by Sweden’s top architects, seven unique rooms are nestled among the trees of a pine forest, including the sleek Mirrorcube (pictured), the avian-inspired Bird’s Nest and the otherworldly UFO. Each room is suspended around 13 to 20 feet off the ground, providing the perfect environment to enjoy the serenity of nature. For adventurous types, be sure to check out local moose safaris, whitewater rafting at Storforsen or speedy Skijoring (aka horse-pulled skiing).
Whitepod Hotel, Switzerland
Perched 11,300 feet above sea level overlooking the city of Monthey, this high-tech eco-property is a collection of 18 uber-cozy pods with sweeping views of the Alps. Each geodesic dome is individually decorated and equipped with highly effective insulation and a wood-burning stove for those bitterly cold winter months. Far from the crowds, guests have access to private ski runs and forest hikes. The resident chef of Whitepod creates two nightly menus: one traditionally hearty Swiss mountain meal, and the other with lighter fare from locally sourced ingredients served alongside a roaring fire. At night, you can enjoy a magical combination of twinkling stars and the lights of Monthey in the distance.
Niyama Private Islands, Maldives
Just a 40-minute seaplane transfer from the capital city of Malé, Niyama Private Islands features two distinct islands—"Play" and "Chill"—each true to its name. Chill offers The Drift Spa for the ultimate in relaxation and a movie-watching area under the stars, while Play offers bicycles, kayaks and other water activities. Since privacy is paramount at Niyama, each of the 134 accommodations serves as a secluded retreat, even when the resort is at full capacity. The inviting island waters are literally at your feet, from the beachfront studios to the over-water pavilions. Be sure to take advantage of the private outdoor rain showers and huge ceramic soaking tubs. No matter your room type, you’re guaranteed a private Thakuru (butler), your own popcorn machine, homemade ice cream and other delicious gourmet treats that fill your fridge daily. And of course, in any direction you turn to, you’ll be enamored with the breathtaking views.