How do you define luxury when it comes to accommodation? For some, it’s about the finest style and comfort, while for others it’s about an incredible setting, wondrous tranquillity and service that goes above and beyond at every step. TravelManagers’ Debbie Bean has compiled her top five unusual but luxurious places to sleep, each with a sense of luxury which is derived from their sense of uniqueness and exclusivity.
1. Safari Camp, Galapagos Islands
If the Galapagos Island are on your bucket list, then the Galapagos Safari Camp is the place to stay for luxury in the middle of a natural paradise. Set on the island of Santa Cruz, your home for the duration of your stay in the Enchanted Islands will be one of nine luxury tents on stilts, set in a location whose natural beauty will astound you. The camp offers a selection of safari experiences which provide both land- and sea-based activities on Santa Cruz and neighbouring islands: choose from scuba or shallow diving, swimming, horse riding or leisurely cruising, as well as encounters with the island’s iconic wildlife, from giant tortoises to sea lions.
2. PurePods, New Zealand
PurePods offer a total of six pods, set in a variety of unique and secluded locations around New Zealand’s South Island, one to 2.5 hours’ drive from Christchurch. Each pod is fully solar powered and off the grid, employing state-of-the-art, environmentally sustainable design features to ensure that their impact on the surroundings is as minimal as possible. They’re constructed with a glass floor, ceiling and walls to ensure incredible views from sunrise until well after sunset, and although you’ll feel utterly secluded and far from civilisation, you’ll enjoy plenty of luxury touches from quality bed linen and optional gourmet dinner and breakfast hampers. Switch off and soak up the surroundings or venture out to experience nearby wineries, whale watching, hiking and all the other amazing outdoor experiences on offer nearby.
3. The Secret Chapter, Koh Samui, Thailand
Set on the Koh Samui’s stunning Chaweng Beach, the Library Resort is a haven of natural beauty and quiet enjoyment, with a signature library of more than 1400 books and an array of movies and music to enjoy during your stay. What you won’t stumble across during your stay here are the secret, secluded villas, which come with indulgent touches such as oversized tandem rain shower, eight-metre saltwater swimming pools and custom-made eleven-foot beds. The largest and most exclusive of the secret villas is The Writer, a 359-square metre beachfront haven with uninterrupted sea views and its own private library. With additional indulgences ranging from an outdoor cinema, private gym and 8.5- by 7.5-metre swimming pool, it’s possible this is one chapter you won’t want to finish.
4. The Berkeley River Lodge, Kimberley Coast, Australia
In the far northwest corner of Western Australia, you’ll find a stunning and remote luxury lodge which sits perched atop the pristine sand dunes of the Kimberley Coast. Only accessible by air, the absolute isolation of this amazing property allows its guests to get away from the rhythms of everyday life amid an untouched wilderness. There are just twenty villas, each elegantly furnished and with jaw dropping views along the coastline. By day, you can cruise the lower reaches of the tranquil Berkeley River or take a 4WD tour to watch the sunset over the dunes, before returning to your villa to enjoy an open-air bath in the moonlight.
5. Iconic Santorini, Greece
Repeatedly featured as one of the best boutique hotels in Greece, this unique property is carved into the ancient walls of Santorini’s volcanic caldera, high on the hillside in the picturesque village of Imerovigli. The hotel’s rooms are spread over five levels, each with their own unique feel, and offer spectacular views of the surrounding cliffs, volcanic islands, and the glittering Aegean Sea far below. They also feature their own balcony plunge pools, where you can enjoy a refreshing dip whilst soaking up the vibrant sunsets for which the island is renowned.