Find the Big Dipper at an outdoor hotel suite
Posted on Tuesday 15 May 2012
in Hotels, Australia, Italy
By Rory MacTavish
The serene appeal of stargazing inspires vacationers to pack up their camping gear and spend a few dollars on bug spray. Tapping into this market, a number of luxury hotels are beginning to offer indulgent outdoor suites where guests can treat themselves to uninterrupted views of the cosmos while sleeping on plush beds, and Conde Nast Traveler has selected the best of the bunch from around the world. From the Blue Mountains National Park in Australia to Nanyuki, Kenya, these wilderness lodges and posh camping sites are a perfect way to enjoy the endless skies without sacrificing a bit of comfort.
Roughing the Australian Outback
Led by Mark Tickner, the Blue Mountains Private Safaris offer travellers the chance to enjoy the roughest Australian terrain without breaking a sweat or laying out a sleeping bag. Surrounded by sweet-smelling eucalyptus forests, outdoor beds are lined with luxurious cotton and the only source of light comes from a few lanterns situated around the camping site. With a glass of fine Australian red wine, guests can close their eyes and listen to nature unfold around them as dingoes howl in the distance and the elusive kookaburra bird chuckles into the dawn.
During a tour of the bush, Tickner will lead guests to prime wildlife-spotting locations where kangaroos, wombats and platypuses roam freely. A swagman (the Australian term for nomad) through and through, Tickner knows all of the hidden secrets within the Blue Mountains National Parks.
Rooftop sky gazing in Los Cabos, Mexico
Las Ventanas al Paraiso in Los Cabos, Mexico, features a penthouse terrace where guests have front row seats to the night sky and the nearby Sea of Cortes. With a king-size bed, jacuzzi and traditional Mexican fireplace, these romantic accommodations are perfect for newlywed or honeymooning couples. The skies turn a fiery red during sunset and as darkness falls, guests may have the chance to catch fireworks shows, which happen quite frequently in the area.
Situated in a quiet section of Los Cabos, Las Ventanas al Paraiso is a quiet escape from the more populous and rowdy side of this Mexican resort town. Each suite comes with a telescope so guests can peruse the stars, galaxies and planets before going to sleep among the desert scents of jasmine.
Italian silk and wine in Lombardy
Rainy days can't stop guests from enjoying the skies surrounding their accommodations at L'Albereta in Lombardy, Italy. With the option to cover the suite should the weather turn sour, visitors won't have to worry about waking up with rain-soaked sheets after falling asleep counting shooting stars. Located in the hills of Franciacorta, this chateaux hotel is surrounded by vineyards and riddled with luxurious Italian amenities such as fine satin linens and designer furniture. The suite gives guests the chance to pause and reflect while taking in the surrounding scents, sights and sounds.
Avoid the mosquitoes at the Loisaba Wilderness Lodge
Located on the Laikipia Plateau of Kenya, the Loisaba Wilderness Lodge is a nature-seeker's paradise. The platforms contain a single, king-size bed and are perched about 4 metres in the air. Situated about 30 metres apart throughout the savanna, these bungalows are inspired by traditional Mukokoteni handcarts and are crafted out of local acacia wood. Mosquito nets keep out virtually every bug, big or small, so guests can spend more time gazing upward and less time spraying on bug repellent. With more than 300 days of clear skies, these romantic hideaways are an ideal way for visitors to continue an African safari in their dreams.
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