The rewards at these ultra-luxe retreats are well worth the journey.
With space and seclusion being top priorities on many travelers’ lists right now, there’s no better time to venture off the beaten path. These remote hotels, lodges, and camps are located in some of the world’s most out-of-the-way locales – and with a limited number of rooms at each, guests have a prime opportunity to reset and reconnect without having to worry too much about social distancing or overcrowding. If you’re ready to wander, these retreats are waiting.
Explora Valle Sagrado | Peru
Embraced on all sides by green Andean foothills and fields of purple quinoa and corn, the all-inclusive Explora Valle Sagrado is one of the most rural haciendas in Peru’s Sacred Valley, the hub of the mighty Inca Empire. (It took Explora nine years to build this 50-room lodge, because Inca ruins kept turning up during the excavation and construction process.) While the hustle of modern life feels worlds away here, ancient civilization is well within reach: Guests can set off on more than 20 hiking and biking expeditions through the Sacred Valley, including visits to the salt pans of Salineras de Maras, Moray’s pre-Colombian agricultural terraces, and even Machu Picchu – if they can bear some crowds for a few hours. Virtuoso travelers receive all meals, a $100 hotel credit, and more.
Blancaneaux Lodge | Belize
The easiest way to reach Blancaneaux Lodge, a retreat in the 107,000-acre Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, is on a chartered Cessna aircraft (the lodge has its own airstrip), but it’s also accessible via a three-hour drive from Belize’s municipal airport. For more than a decade, this 20-room hideaway was the private family abode of filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola. But from cocktails made with local craboo fruit liqueur in the Jaguar Bar to horseback-riding excursions to hidden-waterfall-fed swimming spots, Blancaneaux’s intimate and wild spirit remains unchanged. Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily, a $100 hotel credit, and more.
Xigera Safari Lodge | Botswana
Xigera Safari Lodge may be one of the buzziest new hotel openings of the past year, but the only noise travelers will have to worry about at this Okavango Delta camp is from the wilderness. Xigera calls itself a “living gallery,” and its 12 suites are dressed impeccably and eclectically by 76 African artists and designers. (Look for the boma firepit sculpture by Conrad Hicks, busts of the “big five” by Otto du Plessis, and Porky Hefer’s funky-functional furniture.) For even more solitude, guests can spend a night in the Baobab Treehouse, a 33-foot-tall steel structure inspired by a famous painting by South African landscape artist Jacobus Hendrik Pierneef. Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily and a $100 lodge credit.
White Desert | Antarctica
It doesn’t get much more secluded than Antarctica. If you’d rather be surrounded by emperor penguins than people, book a bucket-list trip to White Desert, a sustainable, ultra-luxury camp in the interior of the continent about six hours (and two private flights) from Cape Town. The camp comprises seven modern sleeping pods, plus dedicated communal spaces that feel impossibly elegant given their middle-of-nowhere setting. Expect ice-hiking excursions, sauna sessions overlooking glaciers, and six-course tasting menus paired with craft cocktails served over cubes of pure polar ice. Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily, and White Desert will donate $100 per guest to the nonprofit The Ocean Cleanup.
Amangiri | Utah
If you’re craving fresh air, wide-open spaces, and mind-emptying views, look no further than Amangiri in Canyon Point, Utah, just north of the Arizona border. The super-modern and minimalist 45-room desert oasis all but completely blends in with its 600 surrounding protected acres of canyons and mesas. Amangiri recently upped its offerings with the addition of Camp Sarika, a ten-tented pavilion outpost just five minutes away from the main property. Each spacious one- or two-bedroom canvas tent has its own private firepit and plunge pool, and guests have access to the camp’s own pool and restaurant, plus all the perks of the main resort. Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily, a $100 resort credit, and more.
Velaa Private Island | The Maldives
We know there’s no shortage of beautiful, bar-raising resorts in the Maldives, but Velaa Private Island takes the exclusivity up a notch. Velaa’s 47 villas are some of the islands’ largest, and a typical day for guests includes caviar facials and James Bond-style submarine excursions. Our favorites: the 14,000-square-foot Nika Residence, featuring interiors by Patricia Urquiola, and the one-bedroom Romantic Residence, which is so isolated, it’s only accessible by boat. Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily, a $150 dining credit, and more.
Bensley Collection – Shinta Mani Wild | Cambodia
Fifteen vintage-inspired stilted tents sit perched above the river at Shinta Mani Wild, one of the jewels in designer Bill Bensley’s resort collection. Guests can expect alfresco copper bathtubs strewn with flower petals, incredible views, and more than one antique treasure on display. Shinta Mani has sustainability at heart: Nestled in an 865-acre tropical river valley concession on the southern border of the Cardamom National Park, the eco-friendly hotel was created with the explicit purpose of funding local conservation. Virtuoso travelers receive private round-trip airport transfers, breakfast daily, and more.
Kasbah Tamadot | Morocco
High in the Atlas Mountains about an hour’s drive outside of Marrakech, Richard Branson’s sun-splashed Kasbah Tamadot greets travelers with swaying cypress trees, perfumed gardens resplendent with peacocks, and a sapphire-blue pool fit for royalty. This sequestered, 28-room property feels more like a private home than a hotel, and the Moroccan fare from the on-site Kanoun restaurant is best enjoyed on the rooftop terrace with views over verdant valleys and dust-draped mountains dotted with ancient Berber villages. Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily, a $100 hotel or dining credit, and more.
These destinations are all currently open to U.S. travelers, with testing protocols and additional entry requirements in place. We recommend you always check with your Virtuoso travel advisor for the latest on travel mandates and testing requirements.