Completely magical and unique landscapes that offer spectacular vistas, intense colours, towering dunes, peaceful tranquillity, and incredible starry skies. One-third of the earth’s land area is made from deserts. This means that globally, there have to be some astonishing hotels and resorts that capture the beauty of these biologically diverse terrains. We can assure you, there is. This article will look at some of the world’s most luxurious desert hotels. From Chile to Namibia and the USA to Australia or to the Middle East, here is Skratch’s list of world-class desert hotels.
Longitude 131° - Australia 🇦🇺
Surrounded by the rugged wilderness of the Simpson Desert, Red Centre boutique retreat Longitude 131º is the only place in the world where you can admire the majestic and iconic Uluru (Ayer's Rock) without lifting your head from the pillow. Situated on the lee of a red dune amongst desert oaks, you will find the 15 tented pavilions of this boutique retreat. Each pavilion connects guests with the outback landscape and the luxury of a world-class hotel. The premium experience boasts an icy cold curved poolside for guests to enjoy and cool off in; bespoke furnishings include an organic-linen-draped Bailie bed, unmatched panoramic views, a daily changing Modern Australian menu and a self-service bar.
Besides the magnificent views of Uluru, the other reason to say at Longitude 131 are the free small group tours. Guests can choose two out of the four daily options. The hotel can also arrange custom-guided hikes as well as helicopter, camel, motorcycle and bike tours.
Price - Double tents are $1,450 (£894) per person, per night year-round. The price includes Food & Drink (Open Bar), small group tours and transfers to Ayers Rock airport, free parking and Wi-Fi.
The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert - UAE 🇦🇪
When visiting any Ritz-Carlton globally, you expect a premium stay in a stunning location with simply the best service. Especially when in the UAE. This hotel is a jewel amidst the endless sandscape. Despite the towering dunes, the picturesque landscape surrounding this location is split up by the waters of the Arabian Gulf and the magnificent Al Hajjar Mountains, providing a surreal aura of desert romance and a real look into traditional UAE.
Just like the major cities in the UAE, the Ritz in the Al Wadi Desert has not failed to ace the beautiful blend between modern villa furnishings and a classic Arab style. In addition to the contemporary and traditional blend, the overall style and aura of The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah also invites guests to connect with nature and culture amid the beauty of a 1,235-acre protected reserve. This is the perfect add-on to your Dubai itinerary!
Guests are in for a real treat when staying here, as facilities include; the thrill of a private pool in the middle of the desert, a stunning spa with an indoor hydrotherapy pool as well as a fitness centre. Fancy heading on an adventure? The resort’s Experience Concierge can arrange a desert trek on a camel- or horseback, a private archery lesson or an evening of stargazing, staring at the twinkling sky that glows down on the mystical dunes.
Price - Double rooms from 3,000 Dirham (£600) year-round. The price includes Breakfast and Free Wi-Fi.
Zannier Hotels Sonop - Namibia 🇳🇦
The opulence and finesse of Zannier Hotels Sonop, set in Namibia’s southwest corner, immediately recalls the 1920s era of British explorers. Situated on top of granite boulders, offering tented pavilions for its guests. Surrounded by simply breathtaking and untouched wilderness, this offers an experience unlike any other. With a number of carefully selected furnishings that encourage the idea of exploring and adventure, such as; binoculars and maps, travellers’ tales, telescopes, antique desks and handmade stationery, ensure a unique and magical stay. This hotel could be a great stop on an African safari adventure for example.
Zannier Hotels Sonop captures the restorative essence of the desert landscape with its spectacular facilities that guests can take full advantage of. A glorious open-air infinity pool, spa, fitness centre and daily yoga classes can be enjoyed by all who wish to stay at Sonop. All decor and small features here compliment the private reserve in this extremely remote location. The numerous red-coloured boulders dotted along stretches of sand and gravel plains give this resort true character and allow it to boast awe-inspiring views over the otherworldly desert landscape stretching as far as the eye can see.
After the sun sets here, the magic continues after dark with a nightly gala-style dinner, open-air cinema and stargazing under the endless African skies. The ultimate romantic getaway.
Price - Double rooms from £727.41 (NAD14,290) - The price includes food and drinks.
Amangiri, Utah, USA 🇺🇸
The word Amangiri translates to ‘peaceful mountain’, and this is the best way to sum this hotel up. It is located on 600 acres in Canyon Point, Southern Utah and is therefore, extremely peaceful. Seen as the best luxury hotel in the USA, it is tucked into a protected valley with sweeping views towards the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument. This is no ordinary hotel; it boasts comfort and style in what may be one of the most dramatic and visually overwhelming landscapes in America.
A visually pleasing resort with a sleek and razor-sharp exterior design that blends effortlessly with its surroundings. The design of the resort was inspired by the rugged rocky landscape it sits tucked away in. Interiors are once again very sleek and beautifully simple. The furnishings take a contemporary take on native American architecture. This hotel attracts those who wish to spend some time to themselves and kick back and relax. The facilities are a pull factor here, with the attractive curvaceous swimming pool being the centre of attention. Guests can also partake in hiking and yoga sessions as well as spend a few days in the 25,000-square-foot Aman spa. Not to forget, the sweeping views of the delightful surroundings act as an attraction as well.
Guess can also find themselves tucking into light and hearty dishes inspired by new American cuisine. A la carte and buffets can be enjoyed in the full board package offered here as well as wood-fired pizzas and dishes that have been prepared using local meats.
Price - A desert view suite for two people from £931 (low season) or £1369 (high season). The price includes full board with house drinks, round-trip airport transfer from Page Airport, yoga, pilates sessions and hiking tours.
Explora Atacama, Chile 🇨🇱
Enjoy nature, philosophy, stunning surroundings as well as local traditions at Explora Atacama. Located Close to but not quite inside San Pedro de Atacama, the Explora takes full advantage of the tranquil desert location and clear night skies.
The hotel is described as a ‘low-slung building’, taking its architectural inspiration from indigenous adobe-style desert homes. The interior contrasts against this, with sleek and contemporary furnishings. The vast number of windows allow the desert sun to shine into guests' rooms, lighting up the communal spaces and hallways, making for a peaceful, light and airy space.
The Explora brand is known to provide a number of activities and a world of adventure for its guests therefore, this hotel offers bike rides, horseback excursions, hikes, climbs, stargazing, and birding trips, most of which are offered with the room rate. Facilities here include a relaxing pool and spa that can be enjoyed by everyone as well as two extremely unique features which are; its own hot springs and a private observatory. A trip here would make for magical moments unlike any other.
Food and drink here are delicious yet a real mix, with a cold buffet being offered at breakfast with fresh pastries, pancakes, cheeses, fruits and freshly made juices. Haute Chilean cuisine is served at lunch and dinner, allowing you to dive into the culture and traditions of this stunning location.
Price - Double rooms from $4,368 (£3,302) low season and $4,596 (£3,474) high season. Guests must book a minimum of a three-night stay. The price includes all accommodation, meals, drinks, excursions and transfers. Free Wi-Fi (in lobby area only).
Starting from Skratch? Here are some tips to help you get started: