Discover the world's top hotels for stargazing
Most people would preach chapters about seizing the day when it comes to making the most of their travels. While there are definitely some cities that are best explored when the sun is still up in its full glory, there are also a handful that come into their full potential only when darkness rolls around. Forget partying or losing your sobriety under neon strobe lights; instead, expert tour operator Scott Dunn shares five breathtaking destinations to witness a sky full of stars. From an isolated spot in Iceland to a luxurious glamping experience in Marrakech, you'll be treated to an unforgettable sight once the sun goes down.
Dar Ahlam Nomad Camp in Marrakech, Morocco
Morocco's colourful and vibrant scenery will captivate the senses of the most discerning traveller. The magnificent country is home to one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, The Sahara Desert, boasting endless arid landscapes free from light and noise pollution — perfect for a city detox. The majestic tents of Dar Ahlam Nomad Camp are the perfect choice for those looking to make the most of tranquil desert evenings. Each tent is completed with modern amenities like you would get in a hotel, and has been beautifully decorated with local furnishings for a unique and authentic Moroccan experience.
Hótel Rangá in Reykjavík, Iceland
Located just an hour away from the capital, Reykjavík in Iceland's southern region is known for the remarkable Northern Lights, glistening glaciers, fantastic views of the Milky Way, and brilliant astral bodies. In a nutshell, the coast seems too pretty to be true. Where to settle in? Situated midway between the small towns of Hella and Hvoldsvöllur, Hótel Rangá is one of the best places for stargazing in Iceland. It houses one of the country's most advanced observatories, with two high quality telescopes and a roll-off-roof to allow guests to spend intimate evenings gazing up at the clear Icelandic skies. The hotel will also, on occasion, roll out their 18-inch reflector, the biggest telescope in Iceland. Guests looking for a more interactive evening can join a guided tour of the night sky by local astronomers.
One & Only Palmilla in Los Cabos, Mexico
Los Cabos, Mexico is renowned for being one of the world's best destinations for stargazing, thanks to its ink black skies. Guests will be dazzled by what they can learn about the stars, their history and the constellations in the sky from the expert guides at One & Only Palmilla. The prestigious resort is located on the tip of Baja California in Mexico, where the azure Pacific Oceans meets stark desert landscapes. Every guest room faces the sea, offering expansive views of the Pacific Ocean or Sea of Cortez from a private patio or balcony, which is ideal for stargazing. Alternatively, the exclusive resort features two fantastic infinity edge pools where guests can take a dip in while searching for shooting stars.
The Gondwana Game Reserve in South Africa
South Africa is one of the world's most striking and diverse destinations. From its game-rich safaris, to white-sand beaches and breathtaking mountain ranges, the country is perfect for family vacations, honeymooners, adventure junkies and even nature lovers. Situated just 25 minutes from Mossel Bay on the Garden Route, The Gondwana Game Reserve combines the best of two worlds in South Africa — a one-of-a-kind safari experience on the only fynbos reserve that's home to free-roaming Big Five Game and a myriad of beach activities. The Kwena Lodge offers incredible unobstructed views of the horizon, perfect for stargazing in the evenings. Guests looking to unwind after a day full of activities can also request for a picnic under the stars while reliving the day's adventure.
Six Senses Laamu, Maldives
Located in the south of the Maldives archipelago, Laamu has pristine white sand beaches, vast open waters and clear skies that appear to be a world away from the bright lights of bustling cities. The only resort on this virtually unchartered island is the incredible Six Senses Laamu, which was built to compliment the island's natural beauty, by using locally sourced, eco-friendly and sustainable materials. Here on this property, every room comes with its own deck for one to enjoy the star-spangled nights with a significant other. With a resident astrology expert at the resort, guests will have the opportunity to experience surreal views of the distant stars and planets using a powerful telescope on the beach. Love a good movie? With its 'Under the Stars cinema', you can lie back and catch one of their films right on the beach.
For more information, visit Scott Dunn.