Far away from far away: Fogo Island Inn, Canada
There are clear nights, and then there are nights over Fogo Island, a small island off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada. If you ask the locals to describe their location, they answer: "far away from far away." Right on the edge of its rugged cliffs is the Fogo Island Inn, an extraordinary hotel with even more awards than the number of island inhabitants.
Whilst its modern architecture stands out, its classic Newfoundland decor submerges its visitors in a world of local traditions. However, the greatest luxury doesn't arise from the architecture or the furnishings, it is the opportunity to immerse yourself in the lives of the islanders: fishing for mackerel, gathering berries and mushrooms, or listening to folk music round a campfire.
At $1,500 a night for the smallest room, it isn't exactly cheap to spend the night in this hotel, which serves cocktails with polar ice cubes. But those who can afford it are not simply guests of the inn, but of the entire island.
Towers of the blue sky: Awasi Patagonia, Chile
The Torres del Paines National Park is located in the centre of Chilean Patagonia. In the language of the indigenous Tehuelche Indians, it means “Towers of the blue sky”. The meaning will come apparent to anyone who books a special overnight stay in one of Awasi Patagonia's 14 detached villas.
These modern wooden lodges were inspired by traditional Indian outposts. Their floor-to-ceiling windows offer breathtaking views of three needle-like peaks, which reach up towards the sky for over 3,000 metres. But it's not only the mountains that catch your eye; wild pumas can often be seen on the plains in front of the hotel giving guests a sense of travelling back to the time of the Indians and their expeditions.
With room rates starting from 1,000 euros per person, Awasi also offers its guests plenty of culinary delights. Its excellent chef prepares multi-course menus using only Patagonian ingredients. Why not try the guanaco tartar with Patagonian parsley, and guanaco fillet made from locally bred llama?
Tranquil luxury: Al Maha Resort, Dubai, UAE
Dubai is a comparative statement of bigger, higher and more futuristic. It's easy to forget that just beyond the city limits there is a seemingly endless desert. An one hour drive brings you to the extraordinary Al Maha Resort, to discover probably the greatest luxury in Dubai: absolute tranquility.
There are 37 suites, all designed in the style of Bedouin tents. Each suite has its own infinity pool ideal to relax and enjoy the vastness of the surrounding 225 km² nature reserve. The reserve is an important part of the hotel's concept, the aim is to reintroduce more indigenous animal species into the region.
Al Maha guests can also benefit from this project on an unforgettable safari to observe endangered species such as the oryx antelope. Despite the remote location, guests are treated to all the luxuries typical for Dubai: desert walks with a private guide, an ultra-modern spa, an award-winning restaurant and much more. And all for 1,500 euros per night – comparatively reasonable for this region.
Stairway to heaven: Villa Honegg, Switzerland
Switzerland is famous for many things, such as watches, chocolate and banks. This small alpine nation is also treasured by the hotel industry for its small, luxurious hotels nestled on mountain slopes. Villa Honegg is a particularly special hotel in this category.
The historic mansion, which is situated hundreds of metres above Lake Lucerne, is only accessible via a small serpentine road. With 23 rooms, the hotel offers its guests a chance to unwind and experience the Swiss concern for quality. Here you can enjoy the exclusivity that sophisticated guests expect in a mansion: a Cuban cigar by the fireside in the lounge, a game of chess in the salon, a panoramic view from the terrace, or a film of your choice in the hotel's own cinema.
The spa is the absolute highlight. With its breathtaking views of the Swiss Alps, the infinity pool became world famous in 2016 when a well-known Brazilian travel blogger described it as the "Stairway to Heaven" in a video which reached 100 million views. So what's the price? Room rates start from an affordable 800 euros per night.
A dream for animal lovers: Southern Ocean Lodge, Australia
There is probably no name more Australian than 'Kangaroo Island', the third largest island in Australia. This is where you'll find the extraordinary Southern Ocean Lodge with its views of the deep blue ocean on one side and lush green forest on the other.
The island is a dream for animal lovers; due to its biodiversity, it is often called the Australian Galapagos. Visitors who book a privateguided tour willsoon understand why. The nearby Seal Bay is home to one of Australia's largest sea lion colonies. Kangaroos, koalas and penguins can also be observed close up against a backdrop of spectacular caves and rock formations.
The 21 modern lodges, built from glass and local limestone, blend elegantly into their surroundings. All guests have their own unique accommodations, which offer incredible views over the ocean and creating the sensation of floating. You won't, however, spot any children under the age of 10 or any rabbits, as both are forbidden on the island. Prices start from 1,700 euros per night.
A journey into the jungle: Four Seasons Tented Camp, Thailand
For many years, Thailand has been one of the world's most popular travel destinations. The Four Seasons Tented Camp, however, has about as much to do with mass tourism as Pad Thai does with a 3-star menu. Over 1,500 km from the tourist hub Phuket, it is located in the golden triangle on Thailand's border with Laos and Myanmar. This wild landscape was previously famous for its opium trade.
Nowadays, things are more calm. The famous Mekong river flows lazily past the hotel; its 15 suites resemble a mixture of tree houses and tents. Guests can look out over the tops of century-old trees from open-air copper baths and feel like wealthy settlers from another era.
Four-day excursions through the jungle offer a wonderful luxury adventure. With a private guide, you'll encounter rescued elephants in their natural habitats, climb through bamboo forests and spend the night in luxurious tents. What's more, a private chef will whip up top-class meals in the middle of Thailand's pristine jungle. As traditional as the Four Seasons Tented Camp may look, you can only pay in euros or dollars: a hefty 1,700 euros per night.
Unusual hotels sleeping pod igloo at the South Pole
The last destination on our trip around the globe is literally at the end of the world. It's said to be the world's “most remote private property.” Even the journey to get here is incredible. You have to take the world's only private flight to the South Pole, from South Africa. Once you arrive, you check into one of the six sleeping pods. These circular glass-fibre igloos have played host to celebrities such as Prince Harry and Bear Grylls.
Although the pods are unquestionably luxurious and the staff will cater to your every need, the real highlight is the natural environment. The White Desert Camp offers a variety of opportunities to explore the Antarctic: a visit to a 6,000-strong emperor penguin colony, hikes through blue ice caves, kite skiing, or visiting polar explorers. The climax is a trip to the southernmost point on the planet: the South Pole. This includes an overnight stay.
So how much does all this cost? $72,000 per person for an eight-day trip. And as if all this were not exclusive enough, due to the limitations of the Antarctic climate, the White Desert Camp is only open for two months a year, from November to December. This leaves you with plenty of time to explore the other continents.