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24 Places for the Luxury Adventure Traveler – 2017

24 Places for the Luxury Adventure Traveler – 2017

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1. Nagaland

Indian Nagaland can now be visited in style. With a personal butler, running hot and cold water and truly luxurious interiors- you can now visit the 10-Day annual Hornbill Festival in unprecedented luxury. The location of the camp, deep in a forest at an altitude of 2000m makes this all the more unreal.

When to visit: End Nov- mid Dec

2. Morocco

This camp operates on an entirely private basis- the true height of luxury. Channel your inner English Patient by opting to arrive by plane. In the summer when it gets too hot to camp in the desert, the location will be changed the Valley of the Roses, at the foot of the High Atlas Mountains.

When to go: Year- round

3. Raja Ampat

Entirely dreamy and extremely remote. Quite a schlep to get to as with most other places on this list, you might find pink dolphins swimming with your boat on the way in to the resort. This is one of the few places where you can go swimming with jellyfish in a crater lake, explore cave paintings and is a favourite with serious divers.

When to go: October- April (best time to go: October- December)

4. Mongolia

Polo in the land of Genghis Khan? Horseback archery? Riding reindeers? And in another season, going eagle hunting with Kazakh eagle hunters? – There are very few places offering this level of ‘bucket list activities’ within its geographical confines. Urbane Nomads offers luxury, truly mobile camping with your personal chef throughout the trip.

When to go: Summer for polo, horseback archery, reindeer riding
Winter for eagle hunting

5. Turkey

Even the most cliched side of Turkey- waking up to the gentle laps of the Bosphorus literally by your window, rising up early morning to partake in that hot air balloon fest over the landscape of Cappadocia or relaxing in a female-centric hammam commissioned by Hurrem Sultan- comes seemingly straight out of a period TV series. For more adventure, Urbane Nomads offers horseback archery trips.

When to go: Year-round

6. France

Riding the legendary Camarguais horses against the backdrop of unforgettable landscapes, excellent polo clinics accessible from Paris or the adventure capital of Chamonix – France has a lot to offer for the adventurous traveller.

When to go: The Camargue is not recommended in the autumn and summer months for visitors susceptible to mosquitoes.

7. Ecuador

Based in a luxurious estancia, rise early morning to ride to a condor rehabilitation centre, to the top of a volcano or to a beautiful lake. Be ensconced in true luxury deep in a rainforest, experience the Amazon in a community-focused rustic-luxury resort or experience a land-based tour of Galapagos. Food, service and the wildlife experiences are excellent throughout.

When to go: Year-round. The start of the year (January-May) might be considered the best but other months offer sighting opportunities for many other species, the courtship dance of the bluefooted booby and other mating rituals starting in May, for example.

8. Iran

There’s been an explosion on the luxury boutique hotel scene in Iran- from cave hotels to caravanserais to renovated merchant homes. Tired of your usual ski resort? There aren’t many places more interesting than Iran. Barin Hotel, with its Gaudi-esque honeycomb structure and sleek white interiors signal a new Iran like nothing else.

When to go: Avoid summer. Winter, if you’d like to ski.

9. Madagascar

Madagascar has always had that offbeat appeal- from areas characterized by the smell of ylang ylang to animals indigenous to Madagascar. Now with the opening of Miavana, Madagascar has its first ultra-luxury lodge. With heli-adventures, kiteskiing, snorkelling and trekking in the rainforest as possible activities, the adventure quotient remains high.

When to go : Anything outside the Jan-Mar wet season.

10. Georgia

Rooms Hotels puts the Caucasus back on the map. On the note of cool new places to ski, check out Rooms Kazbegi,a design hotel with expansive views, sleek detailing and a strikingly affordable price tag.

When to go : Winter

11. Six Senses Bhutan

A journey encompassing several lodges spread across Bhutan, the Six Senses’ opening in Bhutan signals the luxury market’s continued interest in this Himalayan Kingdom.

When to go: Year-round if you’re not trying to fit in the major festivals

12. Colorado

Colorado is legendary for its couloirs in winter and dude ranches. The Amangiri is luxury in remoteness incarnate.

When to go: Summer till September. From October till end of winter.

13. New Zealand

From skiing resorts accessible only by helicopter to lakeside luxury resorts where you can combine skiing in the daytime with an early morning view of a vintage steamship on the lake from your patio. Excellent gourmet food wherever you’re staying.

When to go: Year-round

14. Aqua Expeditions -Amazon and Mekong

The Aqua Expeditions group is synonymous with truly luxurious, small-scale, commercial cruises. High-end gastronomy, cocktails designed by a secret bar in Singapore, community-based expeditions, sleek design- all contribute to this being a favourite amongst those who’d previously disavowed cruises.

15. Clayoquot Wilderness

An exceedingly family-friendly destination. Clayoquot Wildnerness is an excellent resort in North America. You come in by sea plane and adventures include bear and whale watching, river fishing and rafting.

When to go: August and early September for black bears

16. Fogo Island Inn

Synonymous with luxury in remoteness, Fogo Island Inn has singlehandedly brought the destination on the radar of luxury travellers.

When to go: Year round. The Great Fogo Island Punt Race takes place in the summer months of July and August.

17. Alaska

Plane skiing to ski pristine backcountry powder, Northern Lights spotting, flying from Siberia to Yukon while being accommodated in luxury each night.

18. Greenland

Whether by expedition cruise, horseriding safaris or nights spent in the ‘as-luxurious-as-it-gets-in-Greenland’ aluminium igloos overlooking Disko Bay- this should be on the checklist of every adventure traveler.

When to go: Summer time. Winter if you’re on expedition.

19. Kamchatka

As a billionaire’s cancelled his plans for a luxury ski resort in Kamchatka for 2016, this area of ‘fire and ice’ is still devoid of luxury accommodations. No reason to miss out on the extreme landscapes though, with plenty of luxury in the capital cities of Moscow and St Petersburg.

When to go: Summer time

20. Ethiopia

Limalimo Lodge in the Simien Mountains is the latest luxury opening in Ethiopia. Urbane Nomads offers heli-tours, a more socially-conscious and responsible form of travel, especially vis-a-vis the tribes in the South of Ethiopia and stays in luxury lodges where possible.

When to go: Winter months

21. India

There are so many new luxury hotels in India – the one in Hampi (above) being an example and it already has more than its fair share of hotels in the remote-luxury genre.

22. Oman

After Alila Jabal Akhdar comes Anantara Jabal Akhdar and Anantara Salalah Resort, sealing Oman’s reputation of being the Bhutan of the Middle East- wooing luxury resorts and high-end tourists over the mass tourism of the other countries in the region.

When to go: Outside the summer months.

23. Nepal

The opening of Taj Safaris’ Meghauli Serai brings luxury back to Chitwan National Park.

24. Tanzania

Fom Asilia’s The Highlands in the Ngorongoro Crater to Singita’s new outpost, there has been a significant number of new openings in Tanzania. Enquire with us for the latest on the luxury safari circuit in Tanzania. There are also plenty of tempting offers in the Seychelles- many exceptionally child-friendly, to end off a safari in Tanzania.

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Hajar Ali

Hajar is the founder of Urbane Nomads, a travel company specializing in luxury adventure travel in remote, off-the-beaten trek destinations. Favourite destinations include Patagonia, Baltistan and the Burmese Himalayas.  See Hajar’s contribution here:  

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