Staying in a mountain retreat, far out in the wilderness is the dream of many hikers and adventurers. The solitude, untouched nature and unbeatable surrounding landscapes of these cabins, hotels and refuges off an experience you won't forget in a hurry.
Rifugio Lagazuoi, Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
From £57 per night
Mountain refuges don’t have to be all about smelly dorm rooms packed wall-to-wall with snoring mountain folk. There are some that are more akin to high-altitude hotels than huts. The 2,752m high Lagazuoi is one such close-to-heaven haven, with roughly a quarter of its 74 beds in private rooms - complete with bed linen, no less (although if you miss the smell of other people’s socks, there are dorms too). Reached by cable car from Passo Falzarego, it offers jaw-dropping views of the Tofana and Cinque Torri mountains. Oh, and did we mention, it also has a sauna?
Topnotch Resort & Spa, Stowe, Vermont, USA
From £158 per night
At the foot of Vermont’s tallest peak, Mount Mansfield, the Topnotch Resort delivers luxury adventure as only the Americans know how. In winter the resort is the East Coast’s ski capital, but it’s equally good in summer. Try traffic-free leisure biking on the 5.3mile Stowe Bike Path, ride a huge network of single-track trails on your full-sus, or take guided hiking tours from the hotel, before heading back to relax in the 30,000 square foot mega-spa, where treatments include massages with CBD oil and a ‘total hops massage’ - apparently best enjoyed with a tasty local draft beer in hand.
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El Caracol, Lledo, Aragon, Spain
From £217 per night
Technically this stunning retreat in southern Spain is on the edge of (rather than in) the mountainous Els Ports National Park, but we couldn’t resist including it. Set amidst eight acres of Mediterranean pine forest, close to the hill-top crusader village of Horta de San Juan, it offers breath-taking views of the surrounding ranges. Solar powered, entirely glass fronted, and domed like a giant shell, it has three bedrooms (listed price is for all three) and is ideal for a group or family. There’s spectacular hiking, biking and climbing nearby, as well as wild swimming spots and a private pool.
Vigilius Mountain Resort, South Tyrol, Italy
From £215 per night
Car-free and reachable only by cable car or on foot, the Vigilius Mountain Resort sits 1,200m above the South Tyrol’s largest fruit growing village Lana. Surrounded by larch woodland and with mesmerizing views of the Dolomites’ limestone monoliths, this hotel is a great base to explore the region, or just kick back and relax. You can take yoga classes, or book a Fit Week with a ‘vitality check’, including a personalised training plan and sports massages. In summer there is guided mountain biking and walking for all abilities. The trails here offer some of the most stunning views on the planet.
Natura Vive Skylodge Adventure Suites, Sacred Valley, Peru
From £1200 per night
As far as bookable extreme sleeps go, the Skylodge Adventure Suites take the biscuit. Exclusivity doesn’t come through cost but through how extreme it is to check in. Located, or rather suspended, above Peru’s Sacred Valley, 90 minutes from Cusco, the three Skylodges can only be reached via a 400m via ferrata.
Built out of aerospace aluminium and plastic, each transparent eight-metre long suite is attached to the rock face with steel cables and comes with four beds and its own private bathroom. In the morning, you climb out of your pod’s top hatch to eat breakfast on your own ‘terrace’ platform—wearing your climbing helmet, of course—then take on the seven-section, 2,800m zip line experience. When you’ve had your fill of the high life, descend to the railway station on the valley floor below, and catch a train to the ancient Inca capital of Machu Picchu. You might have heard of it.
OPUS Hut, Ophir, Colorado, USA
From £93 per night
Nestled in south-west Colorado’s San Juan Mountains between the old mining town-turned-mountain resort of Silverton, and its more upmarket neighbour Telluride, the OPUS hut is the definition of ‘off the grid’. It was originally built on the Ophir Pass to offer access to remote areas of the backcountry for skiers of snowboarders in winter. But in summer it’s equally stunning, and a great spot to base yourself if you’re into hiking or climbing. Just make sure your pack isn’t too heavy on the way in, as the only way to access it is an eight kilometre walk with 550m of vertical ascent.
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