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Hotels In the Middle of Nowhere

In general, the hotels are where the people are — big cities are where the hotelier’s art is practiced at its highest level, and you can’t practice the trade at all without visitors. But the exception proves the rule — and we make it our business to point out the exceptional. Here are 10 extraordinary Tablet hotels for getting away from everything and everyone.

EXPLORA RAPA NUI - boutique hotel in Easter Island
Easter Island, Chile
EXPLORA RAPA NUI

apa Nui — colloquially, Easter Island — is just deliciously inconvenient, a hefty five-hour flight from the closest airports in Santiago and Tahiti. It’s well worth the trek, though, melding raw architectural materials with a hyper-contemporary, open-plan layout against some truly outstanding views. Take the tour, trust us; rumor has it the island hosts a few sites of modest archaeological interest.

WAKAYA CLUB & SPA - boutique hotel in Fiji
Wakaya Private Island, Fiji
WAKAYA CLUB & SPA

Also just about as far-flung as they come: this bottled-water magnate’s private island. We could stop there, but we won’t. Even the humblest (pshaw) bure here boasts enough square footage to keep a healthy game of hide-and-seek going for hours. Luxuriate in the open-air rock-garden showers, sip your complimentary champagne contemplatively, and see how long it takes you to forget how to email.

UMA PARO - boutique hotel in Bhutan
Paro, Bhutan
Como UMA, PARO

Get your visa squared away and you’re golden, as it’s unlikely anyone would think to find you in the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan. You’re also in for a positively serene retreat, literally far above your quotidian slings and arrows. The spa is the main attraction, weaving spiritual wellness programs into a full suite of gym, pool, and sauna facilities. Nothing quite like foot to footpath, though — don’t scrimp on the guided mountain excursions.

STORFJORD HOTEL - boutique hotel in Ålesund
Ålesund, Norway
STORFJORD HOTEL

Talk about a perfect compromise: this secluded luxury bolthole, impregnably situated amidst thousands of acres of protected forest, is somehow just 40 minutes by car from Ålesund. This is your picture-book Norwegian fantasia, blending ruggedness and refinement within traditional whole-timber construction. A nightly four-course dinner should fortify you enough to get even more lost (please don’t) in the surrounding mountains and fjords.

BELMOND HOTEL DAS CATARATAS - boutique hotel in Iguazu Falls
Iguazu Falls, Brazil
BELMOND HOTEL DAS CATARATAS

Getting away from it all is one thing, but getting in on the action at Iguazu Falls is quite another. Dramatically dividing Argentina from Brazil, more than 275 cataracts completely justify the trip on their own — and judicious regulations from both governments keep the location pristine and mercifully un-tacky. Pour yourself a caipirinha and ponder how you’ll explore the falls: by foot? Dare we say it, by helicopter?

BANYAN TREE RINGHA - boutique hotel in Shangrila
Shangrila, China
BANYAN TREE RINGHA

The Alps, gorgeous as they are, don’t have the monopoly on mountain lodges. That honor belongs just as much to Yunnan Province fixtures like this, some 10,000 feet above sea level, where 32 bi-level suites luxuriate in warm, ultra-comfortable style in direct contrast to their rugged surroundings. A session at the spa at the top of the world sounds appropriately grandiose.

THE MAJLIS RESORT - boutique hotel in Bath
Lamu, Kenya
THE MAJLIS RESORT

Go ahead, brag about your upcoming stay at a seaside resort — no one will ever guess you’re sojourning in Kenya. In addition to aesthetic cues from Swahili, Arab, and Indian culture, the hotel avails itself of one Julian Schnabel’s talents, fostering an inimitable beach-swank vibe between three luxe villas. Seafood, cocktails on the terrace, and blessed solitude: check, check, and check.

ICELANDAIR HOTEL VIK - boutique hotel in Vík
Vík, Iceland
ICELANDAIR HOTEL VIK

Knock the “Reykja” off and you’re left with Vík, a sufficiently remote village (and Iceland’s southernmost) about two hours by car from the capital. The titular airline might not inspire confidence, but we’re here to change that; this is a purpose-built modernist boutique situated at the confluence of all sorts of natural draws: black-sand beaches, volcanoes, waterfalls, and (yes) adorable colonies of puffins. More people would go for Icelandic road trips if they knew of hotels like this.

BLOOMFIELD LODGE - boutique hotel in Queensland
Queensland, Australia
BLOOMFIELD LODGE

It’s not just in Australia, it’s sequestered in the Daintree Rainforest on the coast of far north Queensland. This stylish family of cabins serves as an ideal Aussie launchpad for jungle walks, boating expeditions, al fresco dining, and a host of similar diversions, none of which require lines or hassle of any sort.

ANANDA IN THE HIMALAYAS - boutique hotel in Rishikesh
Rishikesh, India
ANANDA IN THE HIMALAYAS

Another Himalayan haymaker, this time overlooking the Ganges Valley and the town of Rishikesh, the world’s yoga capital (and inspiration for the Beatles’ White Album, written here in spring 1968). And indeed yoga figures large in the appeal: in an outdoor pavilion, a grove of trees, or the hotel’s lavish interiors.

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