The Covid-19 pandemic is likely to keep our feet grounded this year, and even the jet-set elite are looking for home-based holiday alternatives. With city breaks more-or-less out of the question for now, hotels situated in the remote corners of the world will find themselves in high demand.
The US is home to some of the most luxurious remote retreats in the world, offering every guest many times more than the advised 6ft of space. We have searched up and down the country to find the remote luxury hotels and resorts that are most conducive to social distancing.
Some of the chosen hotels, retreats and resorts are set within expansive private grounds; others offer amazing private residences away from the main property. All of them have one thing in common: they offer the ultimate in luxury accommodation.
Sitting in a remote location on the Utah-Arizona border in the heart of Canyon Point, it is a challenge just to find Amangiri. This other-worldly desert camp has been designed to blend almost seamlessly into the landscape, making it easy to miss unless you know where to look. If and when you find it, however, you won’t want to leave. Amangiri sits within a 600-acre sanctuary a stone’s throw from Lake Powell. Despite its seemingly remote location, the resort is just a 25-minute away from Page Municipal Airport, making it easily accessible for the jet-set elite.
With just a handful of suites and private accommodations, the resort offers every guest ample space even when it operates at full capacity. There are outdoor yoga lessons, complimentary hikes into the wilderness, a wealth of al fresco dining options and a 25,000-sq-ft spa. Everything seems built especially for social distancing. For even more privacy, stay in Camp Sarika. New for summer 2020, the tented property is located a short drive away from the main building. The camp has 10 elegant and spacious one- and two-bedroom pavilions, each with indoor living and dining areas, oversized terraces with fire pits, and heated plunge pools.
Ultima Thule Lodge, Alaska
The team at Ultima Thule Lodge describes the property as a place for “people who are craving wild places and raw experiences”. As such, it is perfectly in line with the zeitgeist of today. Lying deep in the Alaskan bush, Ultima Thule Lodge sits over 100 miles away from the nearest paved road. Naturally, the only viable way to get there is via bush plane. Once there, you essentially have hundreds of thousands of square miles to yourself – the property has just five private cabins accommodating a maximum of 12 guests.
Explore unmarked trails and marvel at mountains so remote that they have no name during challenging day hikes. Not one for hiking? Then take to the skies and discover the majesty of Wrangell St Elias, North America’s largest National Park, with daily private flights. The property offers a very reasonable buy-out of the property for up to 12 guests, allowing you and your loved ones to enjoy this true wilderness in absolute privacy. The Whole Package buyout is available from $8,550 per person based on double occupancy.
Dunton Hot Springs, Colorado
Dunton Hot Springs is situated on the site of an abandoned gold-rush site in Colorado. Once a destination for gold prospectors, today the resort itself is a kind of hidden treasure. It sits deep within lush woodland, seemingly forgotten by the world and thriving by itself. The original log cabins have been painstakingly restored. Today, they provide luxurious accommodation for the elite. Guests can explore 1,500 pristine and private acres, which are home to a wealth of North American wildlife including bears, bald eagles and lynx. As the name suggests, there are also natural hot springs to enjoy at any time of day.
Dunton River Camp, the sister property, also sits in close proximity. which will soon be available for exclusive use. The ultra-luxe property consists of eight tents and provides ample space for families to enjoy the great outdoors. Guests enjoy waking up to the sound of the rushing Dolores River and spectacular views of the San Juan Mountains from the wraparound decks. There are also a number of activities during your stay including horseback riding, fly fishing, hiking and mountain biking. Alternatively, you can enjoy a yoga class in the spa tent.
The Ranch at Rock Creek, Montana
Just south of Glacier National Park, The Ranch at Rock Creek captures the essence of the final frontier of the American West. It’s a working cattle ranch with authentic Montana-style barns and lodges, glamping tents and private homes scattered throughout 6,600-acre of private land. You can embrace the cowboy lifestyle with the resort’s popular ‘Homesteader Experience’ where you can stay in a covered wagon. Each space, including the Granite Lodge (the main lodge), Rod & Gun Club, Silver Dollar Saloon (the hotel’s bar) and Mercantile Shop, is decorated in period-style fabrics, antiques and decor that hark back to when pioneers and miners settled here. You truly feel like you’re living in a different era, only with modern amenities.
Guests can partake in all of the activities that you would expect from a dude ranch such as horseback riding, hiking, fly fishing, wildlife tours and shooting sports. But for something a little bit different, taking on The Ranch’s Master Naturalist classes. During a two-hour master naturalist interpretive guided walk, guests will hone their wildlife and plant identification skills and learn about the natural history of our unique Rock Creek Valley. Then, learn to sketch and journal like a trained master naturalist.
The Resort at Paws Up, Montana
The Resort at Paws Up is one of the most storied luxury ranches in Montana bringing together glamping and luxury cabin homes, exclusive culinary events with celebrated chefs from all over the country and, of course, so many outdoor activities you wouldn’t be able to fit them all in during the course of a week. The ranch is situated on an expansive 37,000-acre ranch, so it is easy to find a quiet corner to yourself. The Island Lodge, situated in the middle of Salmon Lake, guarantees peace and privacy. The private retreat is nestled among the pines on a slither of land in the middle of the lake and serves as the central gathering spot for a whole host of lake activities in the summertime.
Back on the mainland, you can choose from the classic hiking and horseback riding and experience archery lessons, cattle drives, helicopter tours, hot air balloon rides, a fitness trail in the woods with a full obstacle course, horse whispering and more. Family programming is extensive here, so it is the perfect place for those looking to reconnect with their family this summer. Kids can go on from a supervised Junior Wrangler Program and paintball and pony riders to go-karts and geocaching to arena horse lessons for kids. Anyone can participate in the Paws Up Mustang Rescue Program that helps protect public lands and relocates mustangs.
The Inn at Dos Brisas, Texas
On 313 acres of rolling meadows, The Inn at Dos Brisas provides a rustic atmosphere for guests to let out their inner cowboy or cowgirl in Relais & Châteaux-level luxury. The former family home includes nine Spanish-style haciendas and casitas to accommodate guests for short and extended stays alike. The 3,000-sq-ft haciendas provide you with a private ranch house with a large living room, a plunge pool and the all-important oversized porch.
The resort specializes in horseback riding and equestrian lessons, offering everything from beginner to advanced level lessons. You can even bring your own horse. Once you’re ready, a professional guide will take you out to explore Texas Hill Country on horseback. After a day of riding, you return to one of the best restaurants in the whole of Texas. The Inn at Dos Brisas Restaurant is a world-class dining destination, offering genuine farm-to-fork cuisine with many of the ingredients grown on site. The organic farm provides the restaurant with amazing produce which the chefs turn into elevated versions of traditional Texan fare.
Post Ranch Inn, California
High on a mountain overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the Post Ranch Inn has eight types of rooms, some with suspended decks facing the sea, while some are tree houses hoisted on stilts 12ft above the ground. Each is inspired by the local flora (such as the redwood trees) and fauna, and seamlessly blends with the region’s natural splendor rather than concealing it. The Post House has panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and Big Sur coastline, as well as an exclusive, expansive living room, private hot tub and glorious deck with loungers (you might spot a whale breaching from afar).
The resort’s Hideaway Package may prove perfect for your next escape. Designed for couples who want as much privacy as possible, the package includes champagne breakfast in bed, an afternoon picnic and private excursions in the local area. Enjoy a private yoga session looking out over the Pacific and take a guided nature walk through local foothills before returning to the resort for a four-course dinner at the acclaimed Sierra Mar restaurant. Finish the day off with a night of stargazing under the California sky with a qualified astronomer.
The Point, Saranac Lake
Sitting on the edge of Saranac Lake just 300 miles from Manhatten, The Point is the most easily accessible retreat on the list. Originally built as a retreat for the Rockefeller family, today it serves much the same purpose: a secluded hideaway for the elite. With just 11 rooms on the property, each and every guest will have their chance to soak in the peacefulness of this sparsely populated mountain lakes area. In summer, guests can enjoy privileged access to Saranac Lake with a variety of water sports on offer. And, of course, you can just swim in its revitalizing waters. Dining is also a wholesome experience. The Great Hall perfectly lends itself to social distancing while the hotel’s seasonal approach to food means almost everything on the menu is designed with good health in mind.
The hotel’s top suite is The Boathouse, which is set right above The Point’s docked boats, and pine trees encircle the wooden cabin. Unique, Nutcracker-esque furnishings are spread throughout the open-plan space, with a canopied bed occupying the center. Views of the Upper Saranac Lake and the mountains beyond can be seen throughout, but make the most of them by heading outside to the wraparound deck. There are two twin beds suspended from the ceiling that, when gently swaying in the breeze, mimic the bobbing boats below.
And north of the border…
Clayoquot Wilderness Retreat, British Columbia
Reminiscent of the turn of the 20th century, Clayoquot is anything but a rustic, woodsy escape. Instead, its safari-like tents and interior Victorian-era decor hark back to a simpler time. The resort, surrounded by one of the last untouched rain forests on Earth, is accessible only by seaplane or a 30-minute boat ride from the closest town, Tofino. The Luxury Waterfront Ensuite Tent has a warming stove (you’ll appreciate this in the early mornings), heated bathroom floors, an outdoor cedar shower, old-world vintage oil lamps and antique silver decor. Proximity to the Bedwell River lends itself to lake activities like boating, kayaking, paddleboarding and swimming. If indoor activities suit you better, the Ivanhoe Lounge has floor-to-ceiling windows where you can view otter, seals and other wildlife as you admire the Bedwell River and the surrounding landscape. Guests can design their own helicopter adventure with a private guide to kayak, hike or discover untouched beaches. You can also fly out a private chef to cook dinner on Vargas Island Beach before flying home, happy and full.
Nimmo Bay Resort, British Columbia
Surrounded by rainforest, mountains and water, the only way to get to Nimmo Bay Resort is by helicopter or boat. The resort is owned and operated by the Murray family, who are passionate about two things: the wild and hospitality. They offer guests access to one of the last untamed environments on the planet with all of the modern luxuries that you would expect from a five-star city hotel.
As well as adventurous excursions into the rainforest, helicopter rides over untamed terrain and even whale-watching adventures, guests can still enjoy a fine-dining tasting menu with paired wines in the evening and a relaxing spa day the next morning. The culinary team utilizes the bountiful waters and fertile soils around Nimmo Bay and even invites guests to dive and forage for their own ingredients. Inventive chefs will make the best use of whatever you find. The resort even has its own sommelier. The surrounding Great Bear Rainforest offers ample opportunity to revitalize the body and soul. Guests have the chance to tailor a wellness retreat from the ground up, including options such as an invigorating plunge in the Pacific Ocean, followed by a warming soak in cedar hot tubs, nestled at the base of a cascading waterfall.