Hotels where to contemplate celestial bodies
When was the last time you looked at the Milky Way? Or saw the shape of Cassiopeia? Or any other celestial bodies? If you live in a city, you might not even remember. In the world‘s most populated areas, air and light pollution obscure the sight of thousands of stars once visible to the naked eye. Fortunately, for those willing to travel a bit, venture out and allow your eyes to adjust to the darkness, many places still offer the chance to enjoy the soul-lifting sight of a starry night sky. Several organizations are actually issuing certificates of “night sky quality” to such locations, hoping to help combat light pollution and attract star-struck visitors. Said that, there’s no time like a vacation for taking the time to contemplate the night sky and if the idea of observing the celestial bodies as you drift off to sleep sounds appealing, this selection of hotels is for you.
South Africa: This private game reserve, located in the South African desert, allows nature lovers to sleep while surrounded by the sounds of the bush, all while contemplating the night sky. Guests can sleep on a luxurious terrace built high above the ground to ensure protection from the occasional wild animal. The Malori Deck is a raised deck in the middle of 100.000ha private game reserve in Tswalu Kalahari, South Africa’s largest private game reserve.
The Cabriolet Suite
Italy: The Cabriolet Suite in this hotel, a member of the prestigious Relais & Châteaux network, allows guests to sleep under the stars thanks to its retractable roof. At the push of a button by the bed, the roof can be opened and closed as desired.
USA: Located in the desert of southern Utah, this resort boasts no less than six open-roof suites. Each is shielded from the wind by three walls and provides an unmatched view on the vast desert sky. These suites also have a pool, for those who enjoy midnight swims.
Las Ventanas al Paraíso
Mexico: Each of the penthouse suites at this luxury hotel has a wide terrace where a king-size bed has been set up. Guests can begin their evening admiring the night sky from their outdoor bed and end it in the other bed inside, or just stay on the terrace to watch the sunrise.
Chile: A reference among astronomy enthusiasts, this small hotel park invites travelers to stay inside one of several canvas domes. Each of these unusual dwellings contains a loften bed under a roof that opens partially to offer a view onto the heavens. Far from the luxury of the above destinations, the domes are simple and sparsely furnished but provide all the basics. Stargazers will also appreciate the dedicated astronomy observatories located on site.
Lion Sands Game Private Reserve
South Africa: Over the past 60 years, this tree house built as a photographer’s platform, has been reinforced and adorned with a cozy double bed, a hot-water bottle, dressing gowns, and a basin.
Loisaba Wilderness Lodge, Nanyuki
Kenya: Inspired by a Mukokoteni handcart and built on an old Land Rover axle, each bed is on a large platform set about ten feet off the ground and 100 feet apart, ensuring privacy.
Adrere Amellal: Desert Ecolodge
Egypt: The stunning desert eco-lodge of Adrere Amellal is beautifully located in Siwa Oasis, at the foot of the mystical White Mountain, and offers 40 magnificent rooms, each unique in design and décor, but all gorgeously appointed with distinctive furnishings crafted by talented local artisans from high-quality indigenous materials.
AKA. Central Park, NYC
USA: Located just west of Fifth Avenue, aka Central Park’s sprawling penthouse suite includes an outdoor bedroom complete with a queen-size bed and wood-burning fireplace.
Sabuk Lodge, Nanyuki
Kenya: Sabuk Lodge is located in the North Central Kenya set on the plateau along the Ewaso Nyiro river in the outskats of Nanyuki.
Mozambique: A hand-built lodge by the shores of Lake Niassa in Mozambique, Nkwichi Lodge stands by a 600 sq km game reserve that houses sable, elephant, reedbuck, leopard and more than 300 species of bird. After a day’s exploration, guests here can fall asleep in the Nkwichi star bed, afterwards being collected by boat for a bush breakfast by a Baobab tree.