In general, the hotels are where the people are — big cities are where the hotelier’s art is practiced at its highest level. But there are exceptions. We’ve also got some extraordinary hotels for getting away from everything and everyone. Here are 10 Tablet hotels in the middle of nowhere.
Easter Island, Chile — Rapa 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.
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Wakaya Private Island, Fiji — 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.
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Paro, Bhutan — 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.
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Ålesund, Norway — 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.
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Machu Picchu, Peru — With a name like that, what else could you expect? Oh, right: Machu Picchu’s next door. Carouse away, but try to reserve at least one morning for the exquisite pleasure of an Andean sunrise over the ruins. You’ll have them to yourself once the day-trippers leave, of course, not to mention a private restaurant serving upmarket Peruvian plates.
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Canyon Point, Utah — Utah gets a questionable rap, it’s true, but if any chain can match the region’s wild, alien appeal with an equal dose of minimalist charm, it’s Amanresorts. Clean, modern lines etched impeccably against the Southwest’s thousand-yard stare. You’re in for a spirit journey.
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Lamu, Kenya — 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.
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Madaba, Jordan — Onward to Jordan! This Six Senses joint sets the benchmark for “therapeutic escapes,” nestled creekside at the bottom of a canyon replete with hot-spring waterfalls. Set your gaze on the Dead Sea while spa attendants soothe away your frets with seafloor mud and mineral-water treatments — you’ll feel as if you have all the time in the world to take in the timelessness.
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Queensland, Australia — 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.
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Rishikesh, India — 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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