The World’s Best Hotels For Stargazing
From a desert resort with an onsite observatory to a countryside cottage with floor-to-ceiling windows, these are our picks for the best stays around the world ideal for stargazing.
Though Australia’s city slickers are treated to a small scattering of stars every night, the display is nowhere near as special as that of an entire sky littered with them. Letting the vastness of the universe slowly sink in as you stargaze can truly take your breath away.
From a desert resort with an onsite observatory to a countryside cottage with a bathtub facing floor-to-ceiling windows, these are our picks of the world’s best hotels for stargazing:
Longitude 131, Australia
The Australian outback has to be one of the best places on the planet for stargazing. And luxury wilderness camp Longitude 131 makes for one of the swankiest.
Rooms here are designed to maximise views of both the starry sky and the country’s best-known natural landmark Uluru, so whether you’re admiring them from the Lodge or one of the luxury outdoor swags, you can do so in style.
andBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge, Namibia
Declared Africa’s first International Dark Sky Reserve in 2013 because of it having little-to-no impact from artificial light, and also because of its high-tech observatory and resident astronomer, the NamibRand Nature Reserve is one of the world’s best hotels for stargazing. And the high-end property on it, andBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge, takes the experience to new heights.
Each of the lodge’s stone and glass villas have outdoor showers and star-viewing skylights perched on the edge of the desert. Though it’s tempting to spend your entire evening inside your villa, there are dune-dining experiences, nature drives and walks not to be missed.
Six Senses Con Dao, Vietnam
Also offering an on-site observatory and astronomer is Six Senses Con Dao, the first five-star resort in Vietnam. Dreamed up by celebrity astronomer and a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society of London, Dr Parag Mahajani, the observatory took 12 months of planning and building before it finally opened in 2013.
If you’re staying on one of the twice-weekly nights the property hosts complimentary observatory sessions, you can take a peek at the South Vietnam sky – including Saturn, Venus, Jupiter, and, most fascinating of all, the Moon’s surface – through a Maksutov-Cassegrainian 127mm telescope. And, if you’re lucky, you might even catch Dr. Parag on one of his several times-a-year resort visits.
Nimbo Fork, Australia
Tucked into the NSW countryside between the tiny towns of Gundagai and Tumut at the foothills of the Snowy Mountains, Nimbo Fork offers boutique cottages and suites with large windows and balconies overlooking rolling green countryside and, of course in the evening, unpolluted, starry skies.
After a picnic dinner and fireside nightcap, retire to your room for a soak and stargaze in one of the beautiful bathtubs.
Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai
Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa in Dubai offers starry sky views and exotic digs with authentic experiences such as camel rides leaving right from the resort as well as rare handcrafted furnishings in each of its suites.
Though the stars can easily be enjoyed from any of the outdoor areas at the resort, for a real treat book a package through the Dubai Astronomy Group. Hear the Arabian stories that helped Bedouins make sense of the sky, understand astronomy from a Greek mythology point of view or learn what other ancient civilisations thought of the universe.
Spa Village Resort Tembok Bali, Indonesia
Escape the mayhem of Seminyak on your next Bali getaway, and head north to YTL Hotel’s Spa Villa Resort Tembok Bali. Here, you’ll not only find swish accommodation, but also incredible stargazing opportunities at the Starlight Gazing spa session.
Taking place at nightfall under a sea of stars, the innovative treatment will see you lying weightless on a floating platform staring up at the sky as a soothing meditation soundtrack plays in the background.
Arkaba Conservancy Flinders Ranges, Australia
We’ve saved the best for last: Arkaba Conservancy in Flinders Ranges, South Australia. With only 10 guests at a time on its 60,000-acre property, the resort offers a remote stargazing experience that’s difficult to top.
Come nightfall, take in the dazzling display from the resort’s outdoor terrace, mingle with fellow guests over a gourmet dinner, then head to the firepit with a local glass of wine in hand. Enjoy.
(Lead image: andBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge)
Published 06 February, 2019