Continuing our series of the best beaches & luxury hotels in the world, I am now looking at the top 5 best luxury wilderness lodges and resorts in North America. These luxury retreats will help you escape to the wilderness in style.
1. The Desert, Utah
Experience the earth’s beauty at its most basic form in this red-rock, rugged desert-scape. Beyond the few pine-clad mountains, there’s little vegetation in this vast arid region. The unique rockf ormations have been sculpted by time, water and wind. Visit the red-rock spans in Arches National Park, the sheer-walled river gorges in the Canyonlands and the stunning buttes and mesas of Monument Valley.
Amangiri resort (pictured above) is your second reason to visit this stunning region. Tucked into a protected valley with sweeping views towards the Grand Staircase, The resort is built around a central swimming pool with spectacular views. Blending with its dramatic surrounds of deep canyons and towering plateaus, this wilderness escape could not be more rugged. Amangiri’s Aman Spa features a floatation therapy pavilion, water pavilion with sauna, steam room, cold plunge and step pool, fitness centre and yoga pavilion. Amangiri’s trail system allow guests to explore the region’s striking desert scenery on foot. Aman resorts are one of my favourite luxury hotel brands and you can read about my recent trip to Aman Grand Canal in Venice.
Amangiri in the Utah desert also features in my top luxury wilderness lodges in the world.
2. UNESCO SW Nova Scotia Biosphere Reserve
Trout Point Lodge is a wilderness retreat in Nova Scotia at the heart of the UNESCO SW Nova Scotia Biosphere Reserve and a picturesque 45 minute drive from Yarmouth Harbour, where you find the international ferry from Maine, USA & Yarmouth International Airport.
This luxury eco-lodge, which is a member of Small Luxury Hotels, is surrounded by a pine and spruce forest, secluded in nature and on the banks of the Tusket River right next to the Tobeatic Wilderness area. Here you might enjoy sightings of black bear, turtles, flying squirrels, grouse, deer, beaver, owls, loons, eagles and even moose.
The Lodge and grounds occupy 100 acres and at night light pollution is minimal making stargazing sensational. The lodge has a star gazing platform where they organise special tours with an astronomer on staff and powerful telescopes. If you are there on a clear night the sky will be unforgettable.
3. Vancouver Island, British Columbia
The Ultimate wilderness retreat in Canada’s British Columbia region is the Clayoquot Wilderness Resort on Vancouver Island. Open from May to September, this indulgent but untamed wilderness resort is located in the Clayoquot Sound World Biosphere Reserve (within the Pacific Rim National Park). This unique 21st-century-safari-style enclave of great white canvas suite tents, dining, lounge, and spa tents, offers excellent cuisine and breathtaking adventures. Twenty guest and family suite tents showcase antique furnishings, opulent rugs, down duvets, remote-controlled propane powered wood stoves and luxurious amenities. Watch out for bears and whales.
4. Wilderness In The Southern Californian Desert
Privacy, luxury and stunning surroundings; no wonder Calmada Private Resort in Southern California (pictured above) has a guest list that includes Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, The Cure, Clint Eastwood and Demi Moore. Set in 200 secluded acres Calmada Private Resort is surrounded by desert which makes it perfect for hiking, riding or climbing. From here you can explore the Pioneertown Mountains and the Joshua Tree National Park.
This peaceful, adult-only resort is surrounded by giant weathered boulders, ancient junipers, Joshua trees, cactus, olive trees and desert oaks. The resort is exquisitely decorated throughout, with just 6 bedrooms, a pool and a wonderful chef waiting to feed you! Outside is a huge garden area that begs to be filled with parties, a pool and a large patio area with lots of places to sit and relax in the sunshine or shade. This is a place to take a night time stroll and star watch. With zero light pollution in the desert, the starscape here is unbeatable.
Calmada Private Resort features in my 5 best desert hideaways in Southern California.
5. Wild West Luxury in Utah
Sorrel River Ranch Resort & Spa in Utah, an authentic, 100% Old West hideaway with all the trimmings of a stylish, boutique resort. This red rock resort doesn’t just look like a scene from the movies, it is a scene from the movies with multiple Hollywood blockbusters being filmed in the area since 1949, resulting in silver screen epics like: Rio Grande, The Comancheros and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
Hidden in the heart of the gorgeous, red rock wilderness and nestled against the banks of the Colorado River, this upscale 240 acre retreat lies just 17 miles from Moab, Utah and slap bang in the middle of the adventure capital of the West. The accommodation at the resort is not what you’d expect from being in Canyon Country, rather than a standard room, you stay in charming log cabins which offer a mixture of rustic style and luxury with opulent pine beds complete with handcrafted four-posts, cattle horn wall hangings; artsy barbed wire chandeliers and more oak than you would see in a forest along with all the modern amenities you would expect in this level of resort.
The Ranch offers river rafting right on your doorstep as well as morning yoga, hiking and biking trails, limitless photographic opportunities and it’s also close to many Moab attractions like Canyonlands, Arches National Park and many other state parks and off-road terrains. Depending on the season of your visit you can also enjoy ATV rides, horseback riding with authentic, friendly wranglers (the resort even has ponies for younger children), rock art tours, hot air ballooning, scenic road cycling and golf at the scenic Moab Golf Course.
With its excellent one-of-a-kind cabins, spectacular views, therapeutic spa, gourmet dining and riverside pool, this resort really is the point at which luxury meets adventure. Join the likes of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet who chose Sorrel River Ranch as a base to explore this beautiful red rock country.
Disclosure: Most of our property, service & product reviews are sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced by any sponsor.