Gettingthere is no walk in the park, but if you really want to get away from it all,these places are definitely worth that extra mile. And when we say ‘get awayfrom it all’, we really mean it. In most cases you’ll have to endure thediscomforts of a multistage journey, but once you get cozy in your secludedrefuge and breath in the air of liberatingisolation, you’ll forget any inconvenience in a split second.
Tutka Bay Lodge, Homer, Alaska
Tutka Bay Lodge, whichcomprises a main lodge, six private guest cabins, a sauna, hot tub, boat houseand a picturesque connecting boardwalk, is a ten-acre property hidden at thesouthern end of Kachemak Bay, near Homer. You’ll spend your days navigating thefjord in a kayak, deep-sea fishing and whale watching, observing the tides rollin and out, exploring the rugged coastline in a rowboat, meeting local artists,doing some morning yoga on the deck and soothing your mind in the spruceforests. And that’s just a tenth of the available activities.
Access tothe lodge is by a twenty-five minute water taxi from Homer. To get to Homer, youhave a choice of about a 5-hour drive from Anchorage by rental car or flying onEra Aviation. Another option that gets you directly to the lodge dock is to chartera flight from Anchorage.
Song Kul Yurt Camp, Song Kul Lake, Kyrgyzstan
Called theSwitzerland of Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan spoils for choice with wild outdooradventures. The jaw-dropping vistas of unclimbed rock faces, pristine valleys, alpinepastures and lakes make for a trekking oasis of solitude and soothing calmness.You’ll be lucky to see a soul.
The backpacker’sdream is topped off with the ability to “make a booking” with a shepherdfamily to stay in a traditional yurt and get a first-hand experience of a nomadiclifestyle. The yurt camps along the fabulous Song Kul lake are only one option,but offer perhaps the most staggering “window views”.
VoyagesLongitude 131°, Ayers Rock, Australia
If you’re thinking of really straying off thebeaten track but care for comfort, there’s no better way to experience theOutback than at the award-winning Voyages Longitude 131°, overlooking the sacred Uluru. White roofs and fabric drapings create anexhilarating illusion of secluded camp life when the comfortable, elegantinteriors allow for sublime relaxation.
There are only 15 tents (each pays homage to anearly Australian pioneer or explorer), which means that you get to share thesplendor and magnitude of Uluru with only a few fellow vacationers. Directflights into Ayers Rock Airport are available from Alice Springs, Sydney,Cairns and Perth. A 4wd transfer to Longitude 131° meets every scheduledflight. For helicopter transfers reservations are essential.
Beach House, Manafaru, Maldives
Practicallyall visitors arrive at Malé International Airport, which is served by awide array of flights from all over Asia and an increasing number of chartersfrom Europe. Once there, you’re only a 70-minut luxurious seaplane ride awayfrom what most people would easily call paradise.
Here, on a tinyisland amidst the Haa Alif atoll, guests can ponder the turquoise infinity fromtheir private thatched villas perched over the sparkling lagoon, watch the gold-fretted sunsets over exquisite meals and roll in snowwhite sand to their hearts’ content. The Beach House experience is all about remoteness,intimacy, pampering and eye-caressing images.
Amangiri, Canyon Point, UT, USA
Amangiri stands boldly in the harsh, sun-driedand solitary corner of Utah, and makes for such an incredible experience that youmay even end up feeling you’re part of some sort of collective fata morgana. Tuckedin the heart of the canyon country, with sweeping views of Grand Staircase –Escalante National Monument, it boasts comforts of a top-end hotel, with desertview suites, central pool, fabulous spa therapies, fitness center and yogapavilion.
Amangiri provides complimentary 25-minute transfersbetween the resort and Page Airport. Car transfer is also possible between theresort and St George, UT, Flagstaff and Phoenix, AZ and Las Vegas, NV.
Hotel Arctic, Ilulissat, Greenland
Situated righton the edge of the UNESCO-protected Ilulissat Ice Fjord, Hotel Arctic is a comfortable,4-star base in the not so easy li
ving conditions of Greenland. Even if you gofor a little more authentic experience and stay in one of the hotel’s igloocabins (available from May to September), you end up in a neat, cozy interior …yet with the chance to watch huge icebergs drift by in the distance. As theworld’s most northerly hotel of such class, Hotel Arctic combines splendidservices and homelike facilities with the unique experience of isolation andharsh nature that comes right up to the door.
Toget to Hotel Arctic, you need to land at Kangerlussuaq (there are regularweekly flights from Copenhagen) and then take a 45 minute flight north toIlulissat, where you will be collected by hotel staff.
Chole Mjini, Mafia Island, Tanzania
Mafia Island doesn’tsound like it’s going to be a trouble-free vacation, but don’t let the name putyou off. In fact, it is a serene, truly unspoiled and peaceful refuge from thehustle and bustle of daily life, and a world-class diving destination. Short flights to Mafia Island are operatedfrom Dar es Salaam,which is served internationally by relatively few airports, and that’s probablythe only difficulty you have to prepare for.
Chole Mjini itself has been called one of Africa’smost remarkable hotels and it’s indeed one of the most unusual places you’llget to stay in on holiday. For all those who can’t make up their minds whetherto play Tarzan and Jane or succumb to OneThousand and One Nights type of romance, Chole Mjini comes as the solution. With king-sizebeds and breathtaking, unobstructed views of the Indian Ocean, the thatched treehouses set on huge Baobabs provide a perfect background for a fairytaleexperience.
Shakti 360º Leti, Kumaon, India
Getting there can be a nuisance, unless you believe the journey is anadventure itself. Whatever transfer option from Delhi you choose, be it acharter flight or an overnight 7-hour train ride, there’s still at least a4-hour drive and an hourwalk to the camp ahead. But once you rest your weary body on the planter’schair in front of the lodge, you’ll be graced with the most stunning mountainscenery you can think of and the whole frustration of long hours en route willvanish into thin, Himalayan air.
Posada deMike Rapu, Easter Island, Polynesia
The spaceshiplike architecture of Posada de Mike Rapu might seem like a certainviolation of the island’s mystical character, but rest assured that the design is intended to have minimalimpact on its surroundings and great efforts are taken here topromote the idea of responsible tourism. Numerous guided explorations will giveyou an authentic insight into the island’s ancestral heritage and the idiosyncrasiesof its people.
Rapa Nui is claimed to be the remotest inhabited island in the worldand you’ll quickly realize that when planning for the trip. It isaccessible by regular commercial air service to Hanga Roa, but the routes toget there are very limited and, with no competition, fares can run rather high.
Ariau Amazon Towers, Manaus, Brazil
The Amazon may not be theremotest place in the world, but it certainly is an epitome of wilderness andisolation. Nestled among the rainforest treetops, where the Rio Negro becomesan ocean, the Ariau Amazon Towers is where you can reconnect with your primordialinstincts and blend into the virginal eco-system.
Up in the Tree Houses and Tarzan Suites, among vines,lianas and colorful bromeliads, you willget up close and personal with parrots, huge butterflies, friendly monkeys andwhatever else drops in for a visit. The less adventurous can enjoy the comfortsof standard, air-conditioned rooms and suites, without losing much of the real Amazonexperience. Ariau’s premises are built entirely at the level of the rainforest canopyand linked together by 6 km of sturdy wooden catwalks.