The best hotels inaccessible by road. Pioneering properties delivering genuine luxury to wild and uninhabited places. Arrive by boat, helicopter, seaplane, space shuttle, zipline or river raft.
These are some of the ultimate escapes. And some of them are a lot closer to home than you think.
Pacuare Lodge, Costa Rica
Expect adventure, monkeys, canopy zip lines and a private plunge pool. Forget about electricity and Wi-Fi, as your villa will be lit by candlelight every evening.
Six Senses Zil Pasyon, Seychelles
A sustainable Seychelles resort growing out of rock and jungle, where two thirds of the island has been left wild. Our private consultant Tomas Safarik says,
If there is ever an island to disappear from the world on, this is it.
Six Senses Zil Pasyon has four beaches, a guest experience maker for every villa, and a spa hidden in a granite mountain. It’s a 20-minute helicopter from Mahe.
Shelden Chalet, Alaska
Exclusive doesn’t seem a big enough word for this luxury lodge on Ruth Glacier, 600 kilometres from the nearest main road, in a mountain range double the size of the Czech Republic.
Shelden Chalet is the only building on a 50 kilometre-long glacier. And you are served fresh Alaskan oysters and Taittinger on arrival. Get here by helicopter. Or by hiking two weeks through an ice land of grizzly bears and wolves. We recommend the helicopter.
One&Only Nyungwe House, Rwanda
Nyungwe House is located in a remote mountain rainforest, populated by chimpanzees and 12 other primate species. There is a road, but just like visiting Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park to see gorillas, we much prefer the helicopter. It saves you a day of travel for starters. And the road can be washed out during some months of the year.
Decadent, exclusive, remote…Nyungwe House has the wow factor on many levels, from chimpanzee trekking to a jungle spa.
Minaret Station, New Zealand
New Zealand is all about exploring the outdoors. Most of the South Island is inaccessible, but there’s almost nowhere to stay. Minaret Station is a 25-minute helicopter ride from Queenstown, a four-suite hotel with its own outdoor playground.
Heli-skiing, hiking, fishing, mountain biking – you have thousands of square kilometres to explore. Return to your alpine suite and hot tub whenever you’re tired. And dine on the most incredible gastronomy from the surrounding landscape, like fresh lamb and fish from alpine rivers.
But let’s compare the sizes of different Indian Ocean islands. Velaa Private Island is about 20 hectares and has 45 villas. Miavana is over 1000 hectares for only 14 villas, a lot of lemurs and some humpback whales. It just takes longer to get there, as you first fly to Nosy Be in Madagascar, then transfer by helicopter to Miavana private island.
Want to holiday where others don't?
Hotels in Space
This year three private travellers paid $55 million each for a trip to the International Space Station with Axion. One of them, 71-year-old Larry Connor said this:
“The space tourists, they’ll spend 10 or 15 hours training, five to 10 minutes in space. We’ve spent anywhere from 750 to over 1,000 hours training.”
How do you use the toilet in zero gravity? Can a space hotel bathroom have a tub? Hilton are creating the suites in a space hotel aiming to open in 2027. A three-day stay will cost USD 5 million, so hopefully it’s more like Waldorf Astoria than DoubleTree. We’ll watch this, erm, space.
DumaTau Camp, Botswana
Linyanti is a private safari reserve without any roads. So unless you’re a migratory elephant, you’ll need to arrive on light aircraft. With its 140 square metres suites, safari spa and private plunge pools, DumaTau is a five-star hotel in the heart of lion country.
Bensley Collection – Shinta Mani Wild, Cambodia
Bill Bensley is the most famous hotel designer in Asia. His newest project is a tented retreat in a Cambodian forest. The only way to get to Shinta Mani Wild is on a zipline. Don’t believe you can find luxury in the Cambodian wilderness? Fashion designer Eric Raisina explains.
Cambodia is the perfect place for innovation. We had to rebuild everything.
This photo of Eric’s dress from Shinta Mani Wild represent a juxtaposition at the heart of the Cambodian travel experience. There’s something rough, unpolished, excitingly so, against the richness and exclusivity represented by fine silk.
Sonora Lodge, Canada
A Relais & Chateaux lodge in a rainforest archipelago, 50 minutes by helicopter from Vancounver or a water taxi ride down the Campbell River. Eagles, whales, bears, an award-winning wine cellar and pure eco adventure.
It’s nestled in the wilderness, overlooking the ocean. Go salmon fishing, search for bears, indulge in the tasting menus and wonder how such comfort can be so far away from civilization.
Origins Lodge, Costa Rica
Okay, Origins Lodge is officially at the end of a road. But to call it a road is like calling your own garden path a six-lane highway.
With just a handful of boutique hillside bungalows, this marvellous eco lodge offers Costa Rica’s most remote and private luxury accommodation. A dreamy escape that’s as far off the beaten path as you can be.
Origins Lodge reveals the unique Costa Rica experience. Welcome to nowhere. Expect seclusion and surprise, without roughing it.
Your Winter Wilderness Hotel?
So how remote and private do you want to be? Will you zipline or river raft to your hotel? Don’t worry, it’s comfortable and your luggage will arrive safely.
Just imagine the stories from a hotel that doesn’t have a road? These are the world’s undeveloped places, where very few people have ever ventured. But luxury still reigns. Ready to explore?