Words by Carlie Tucker
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but you'd be hard-pressed to deny that these unique resorts are anything short of glorious. The locations are dramatic. The designs are innovative. And the style is anything but typical. More than outside the box, these seven luxury hotels have thrown the box to the wind to offer guests something new, exclusive and undeniably luxurious.
Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort - Saariselka, Finland
Image courtesy of Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort
When it comes to winter wonderlands, you can't get any more magical than the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort. While there are a number of cosy accommodation options on offer (including Santa's Home), it's the glass igloos that provide a unique getaway in the midst of the forests of Finland.
Offering two and four person designs, you can wrap up in bed and enjoy unrestricted views of the starry winter nights – a particularly arresting display when the Northern Lights paint the skies in blazes of vibrant blues, greens and yellows.
&Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge - Tanzania, Africa
Image courtesy of &Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge
Taking safari lodges to the next level, the Ngorongoro is described as 'fit for a king and a queen'. Perched on the edge of the Ngorongoro Crater, it encompasses arresting 360 degree views over the surrounding bushlands. A superb design with lavish interiors rivals the natural beauty that surrounds the lodge, enveloping guests in a cocoon of baroque chateau luxury in the midst of the Tanzanian bush.
See if you can spot elephants and antelope from the comfort of your suite or venture out and about with a knowledgeable guide for a proper wildlife safari. With an estimated 25,000 mammals residing in the crater, it's the perfect chance to see these exotic creatures in their natural habitat.
The Point - New York, USA
A slice of American history, the Point was once the private camp of William Avery Rockefeller. Constructed from native timber and stone, it combines a series of cabins that effortlessly blend luxury and timeless rugged beauty. Choose from eleven different rooms, all of which feature panoramic lake views, a hand-built bed and decadent private bath.
Positioned in the Adirondack Mountains, the surrounding wilderness invites exploration. Through the winter, ice skating and cross -country skiing are sure to keep you busy through the days while an evening in front of a grand crackling fire is a perfect finish. In the summer, hiking and horseback riding are perfect for taking advantage of the beautiful mountain views all the way to Canada.
The Caves - Negril, Jamaica
Image Courtesy of The Caves Resort
Built on and into the limestone cliffs of Negril's West End, The Caves Resort is a unique blend of natural beauty and premium luxury. Rooms and suites are positioned to offer panoramic views over the surrounding ocean, while interiors are a blend of natural materials that encourage sunlight throughout.
On-site amenities further assure absolute comfort with the Aveda Amenity Spa, private cave dining and Blackwell Rum Bar all offering unique experiences. Guests are also invited to jump from the cliffs into the beautifully blue waters below for a refreshing morning dip. For those that aren't quite that courageous, a series of steps and landings lead to down to the water.
Ladera - St Lucia, West Indies
Image courtesy of Larder Resort
Tucked into a pocket of the Piton Mountains, this tropical escape maximises incredible views of the Caribbean Sea lapping against the surrounding volcanic peaks. Comprised of just 32 suites, each offers an open, three-walled layout that was designed to make the most of these staggering vistas.
Private plunge pools with swinging lounges are perfect for lazy afternoons, or venture beyond your suite to take advantage of a number of resort services. This includes restorative sulphur mineral baths, live entertainment in the bar area and shuttles to nearby Sugar Beach.
Singita Sweni - Kruger, South Africa
Situated in the world famous Kruger National Park in South Africa, the Singita Sweni Lodge is tourism with a difference. While the lodge is undoubtedly luxurious, offering guests the chance to repose in style among the trees on the edge of the Sweni River, it's goal is to provide awareness about sustainable tourism that doesn't intrude on the surrounding nature.
This secluded hideaway can only be reached by air and offers just six well-appointed one-bedroom suites. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included in the rates as are Land Rover safaris, mountain biking and bushwalks with expert guides. There's also an on-site spa for extra relaxation opportunities.
Amangiri - Canyon Point, Utah
Image courtesy of Amangiri Resort
Proving that luxury can be found in the middle of the desert, the Amangiri Resort is an oasis located on 243 hectares on the border between Utah and Arizona. Melding with the surrounding stratified rock formations, this resort was designed to coexist with its amazing location featuring impressive vistas toward the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
Guests can choose from 34 suites, each offering a flowing layout that captures a mix of desert views. Interiors emphasise subtle sophistication, incorporating all the trappings expected of a decadent resort. They also open via glass bi-folds to spacious lounges with resting mattresses and central fireplaces. If you're not content to relax in luxury, you can explore the surrounds with hiking trails, boating trips and scenic flights available. Or rebalance in the on-site spa or yoga sessions.