The World’s 8 Most Remote Hotels

Imagine touching down somewhere that few people have ever been, discovering a remote world that you didn’t know existed. Travelers are becoming more interested in places that offer more remoteness, that often take a journey to get to. Luckily the call for these types of places have been answered and throughout the world, remote hotels are popping up in places you didn’t even know existed. From a beachfront hotel in Iceland to a surfing getaway in Samoa, these 8 remote hotels all have a few things in common- exceptional accommodations, stunning scenery, delicious cuisine and an air of privacy.

8. Hotel Budir, Iceland

The only real beachfront hotel in Iceland lies next to a lava field with views over the Snaefellsnes glacier. The accommodations here are simple, chic and unpretentious offering a variety of rooms including eight rooms in the attic, one suite, nine deluxe rooms and ten standard rooms. In the wintertime, guests cozy up by the fireplace in the lobby while staring out the large windows at the breathtaking surroundings.

Summertime brings bonfire parties on the beach and swimming during the day. Guests here will be treated to exceptional service, an exquisite restaurant and one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. The possibilities for activities here are endless and hotel staff is delighted to help guests plan whatever their heart desires, whether they want to take a tour by helicopter, go horseback riding, fishing and more.

Via Iceland Times

7. Fogo Island Inn, Newfoundland, Canada

Fogo Island is a remote island off the coast of Newfoundland, halfway between the North Pole and the Equator and home to the simple yet charming Fogo Island Inn. Open all year round, guests here are treated to the floor to ceiling views of the North Atlantic Ocean in one of 29 guest suites. Every piece of furniture and textile in the rooms are handcrafted, from the quilts to the chairs to the wallpaper.

Three meals a day are catered to suit your personal preferences along with snacks and focuses on fresh seasonal ingredients. In wintertime watch, as winter storms crash through, try your hand at cross-country skiing or ice fishing. In the spring the gigantic icebergs float by, bonfires are lit and wildlife viewing is at its finest. To get here, visitors have to take a ferry from Farewell Harbor or arrive in style in a helicopter.

Via Hospitality Net

6. Ultima Thule Lodge, Alaska

Deep in the Alaskan wilderness, hundreds of miles from paved roads sits this incredible remote lodge, taking people to places where nobody has gone before. It is a six-hour drive from Anchorage and then a 90-minute flight into the Wrangell Mountains to reach this lodge, set amongst the largest protected wilderness on earth. Visitors here should expect luxurious like bearskin rugs, floor-to-ceiling windows, a wood-fired sauna, freshly baked goods and stunning scenery.

There are no set itineraries at this lodge; every day is customized depending on the time of year, flying conditions and interests. Activities range from kayaking in a glacier-fed river, flying over the largest vertical rock face on earth, driving over glacier fields, and hiking across arctic tundra. Every experience at this lodge is unique and unforgettable and entirely worth the journey.

Via LiveTheLife.tv

5. Aganoa Lodge, Samoa

Surfing is the main draw at this ultra-remote lodge, located on Savai’i, the more remote of the two main islands of Samoa. This lodge offers fully guided surfing experiences for a maximum of eight guests while catering to non-surfers and families who want an active travel experience. Eight open-air bungalows set the stage for this beautiful experience, each one constructed of reclaimed timber and lava rocks that were collected on site.

Beautiful white sand and crystal clear water beckon guests to swim, snorkel, surf, kayak and more; with the included equipment from the lodge. Dinner is served nightly in the open lounge and features the fresh catch of the day, along with other incredible seasonal ingredients. Whether you are looking to surf, dine or relax; this remote lodge will appeal to you.

Via PegasusLodges

4. Lyngen Lodge, Norway

The ultimate remote getaway for winter sports enthusiasts is Lyngen Lodge, a remote lodge offering luxury accommodation, top quality cuisine and epic adventures in the world’s most beautiful and undisturbed arctic regions on earth. The lodge only caters to 18 guests at a time so expect a personalized retreat with incredible cuisine and exceptional customer service. Relax in the center of the lodge where large panoramic windows offer spectacular views of the Lyngen Alps and a crackling fireplace keeps you warm.

Activities here include dog sledding, snowmobiling, skiing, Northern Lights viewing, boat tours, water sports, and Heli-hiking. Whether you choose to come in the winter for the unforgettable skiing or the summer for the abundance of activities, chances are, the experience will be unforgettable.

Via Natural World Safari

3. Yemaya Island Hideaway, Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

Little Corn Island is literally a speck in the in Caribbean Ocean, 43 miles off the east coast of Nicaragua. Getting here requires multiple forms of transportation including flight, taxi, panga boat and your own two feet. The reward is well worth it though, 16 private cabanas nestled among swaying coco palms with views of the crystal clear ocean. Private outdoor verandahs, a rainforest shower, and beautiful handcrafted furnishings await you.

Dining is done in the open-air restaurant that serves up local and organic ingredients grown on site along with fresh seafood. Guests here can enjoy activities such as daily yoga, sailing, kayaking, snorkeling, paddle boarding and incredible spa treatments. This hideaway offers the chance to reconnect, explore nature and live carefree, if only for a few short days.

Via Small Luxury Hotels

2. The Oberoi Vanyavilas, India

Situated just ten minutes from Ranthambhore National Park, this is a chance for visitors to get up close and personal with the incredible Royal Bengal Tigers in the wild, while staying at an amazing remote hotel. Accommodations are in luxury tents, complete with a four-poster bed, a claw-footed tub, personal stocked bar, silk bathrobes and more.

Dining is done in the main hall of the restaurant in the winter time in front of an open wood fireplace while the outside courtyard becomes transformed into a restaurant in the summer complete with bonfires, candles and folk musicians. Explore the national park with its incredible ruins, elephants; hundreds of species of birds and of course the majestic tigers. Pamper yourself at the beautiful spa, have a private candlelit dinner or learn how to cook with Indian Spices; whatever your heart desires, you will find it here.

Via Jetsetter

1. Mashpi Lodge, Ecuador

Perched at 3,116 feet above sea level in between rainforest and cloud forests sits an incredible lodge, surrounded by plants, orchids and a staggering 500 species of birds; along with monkeys, pumas and an abundance of waterfalls. Luxury and nature merge here at this five-star lodge where rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows and glass walls that look out into the lush forest.

The towering two-story dining room features fully panoramic views and seasonal menu items that are prepared fresh by fine dining chefs. Top naturalist guides are on hand to take you through the surrounding trails and explain the flora and fauna that surrounds you. Voted as one of the most unique lodges in the world by National Geographic; this remote hotel is not to be missed.

Via Mashpi Lodge

8 Natural Pools to Visit For Ultimate Relaxation

There is nothing more relaxing and awe-inspiring than visiting a pool that has been carved from nature, untouched by the human hand and surrounded by breathtaking scenery. All over the world Mother Nature amazes us with superior swimming holes, towering waterfalls and beautiful lagoons. From the top of the largest waterfall in the world to crystal clear turquoise pools complete with spa fish; here are 8 natural pools to visit for the ultimate relaxation.

8. Havasu Falls -Supai, Arizona

This breathtaking waterfall/swimming hole is located way off the beaten path and requires a $40 permit to enter. It’s awfully hard to get to as it requires either a chartered helicopter ride, a 10-mile steep hike or a pack animal that you have hired. The price, the hassle, it is all worth it as you approach this magnificent natural oasis. A torrent of water streams across the rock face of the Grand Canyon’s South Rim, cascading into a pool 100 meters down. The water stays about 72 degrees down in the pool and looks as turquoise as the waters of the Caribbean. Because this swimming hole is so hard to get to, plan on having this spot to yourself. Float on your back, gazing up at the surrounding crater and you will feel the ultimate relaxation.

Havasu Falls

7. Erawan Falls -Erawan National Park, Thailand

This seven-tiered waterfall spans over 1.5km and each tier falls into a wonderfully bright blue swimming pond, full of harmless fish. This waterfall is named after the three-headed white elephant of Hindu mythology, as the falls are said to resemble it. The first four tiers are easy to get to, while the final three require some fitness and good shoes. The cascading white waters, the lush tropical rainforest and the clear waters in the pool makes you feel as though this is heaven on earth. We suggest going during the week to avoid the crowds and starting with the highest waterfall and making your way down, stopping to swim at each pool. It is easy to find a quiet pool to sit in and relax while the spa fish nibble at your feet and enjoy the warm sun, the cool waters and the absolute stunning scenery around you.

Erawan Falls

6. Gunlom -Kakadu National Park, Australia

Gunlom is the magical combination of waterfall and serene plunge pool, surrounded by tall gum trees in Kakadu National Park. Climb to the top of this steep waterfall for some amazing views of the southern most parts of the park. At the top of this climb are amazing, clear rock pools just beckoning you to come in and swim. If you swim upstream at the top of this waterfall you will come across another secret hidden waterfall that many miss. The deep clear, green pools that feed the waterfall and large pool beneath are crocodile free and offer a great way to cool off after your hike. The plunge pool at the bottom of the falls has to be one of the most picturesque scenes in the world, and although this area receives many visitors, it never feels overcrowded.

Gunlom Pools Kakadu

5. Pools of Oheo -Maui, Hawaii

These famous pools that are often referred to as the seven sacred pools are found just south of Hana on the beautiful island of Maui. These beautifully tiered pools are fed by stunning waterfalls and weather permitting, visitors can take a dip in them. The stream enters into the mighty deep blue ocean while waves crash against the coastline. To avoid the crowds here you will want to explore these pools before noon, preferably on a weekday. Although these pools are often referred to as seven, there are in fact many more than seven pools in the gulch, each surrounded by the unique Hawaiian flora. You will see many visitors and locals jumping into the pools, although officials don’t recommend it due to the dangers. These pools are often closed due to flash flooding that occurs but if you happen to be there when they are open; this experience is on any bucket list for visitors to Maui.

Seven Sacred Pools

4. Kuang Si Falls -Luang Prabang, Laos

The amazing waterfalls and pools here look so serene you have to see them to believe they actually exist. The water is bright blue, clear and refreshingly cold and while the three-tiered waterfall is quite the site, it is the numerous blue pools that catch our eyes. Walkways and bridges guide visitors around the pools and although one is closed as it is a sacred site, the rest are open to visitors. The very top pool is our favorite, loaded with spa fish that love to nibble at your feet, taking the need away to get a pedicure when you get home. Make sure you hike all the way to the top of the falls for quieter, more relaxing pools. Visitors should make sure they come early in the day and pack a picnic lunch that can be enjoyed in the lush surrounding area.

Kuang Si Falls

3. To Sua Ocean Trench -Samoa

To Sua actually translates into big hole and that is exactly what this amazing, breathtaking natural pool is. The swimming hole is actually 98 feet deep and requires swimmers to climb down a ladder to reach the platforms to jump off into the water. The pool itself is tidal and the water goes in and out, taking swimmers with it so make sure you hang onto one of the ropes provided in the trench. During low tide you can actually swim from the trench into the ocean, an amazing experience that should never be missed. The surrounding sites are just as beautiful, lush tropical gardens, an incredible small beach, blowholes, lava fields and tidal pools. If you can close your eyes and imagine what paradise looks like, this is it.

Photo by: Amazing Places on Earth
Photo by: Amazing Places on Earth

2. Devil’s Pool -Victoria Falls, Zambia

It may just be the most dangerous natural pool in the world and is certainly not for the faint of heart, but that doesn’t mean soaking in this pool isn’t relaxing. Visitors will literally feel as though they are on top of the world, as the pool lies on the top of Victoria Falls, a drop of 360-feet to the bottom. Swimming here is only possible from September to December when the water is low, and at least one person dies going over the falls a year, but if you are a thrill seeker, the pictures and memories are priceless. This is indeed the ultimate infinity pool as the rock lip keeps swimmers from going over the falls. With the force of the Zambezi flowing past you and crashing over the edge, there is no place on earth you would rather be sitting. Just remember, make sure you are a strong swimmer and there are plenty of guides to make sure you aren’t swept off the falls.

Photo by: Flickr/Meraj Chhaya
Photo by: Flickr/Meraj Chhaya

1. Fairy Pools -Isle of Skye, Scotland

These beautiful crystal clear pools are located on the River Brittle and entice visitors from all over the world. Although the water is chilly, on a hot sunny day these pools with views of the Black Cuillins are hard to beat in terms of awesome experiences. Visitors here will need good walking shoes and at least an afternoon to spare to find these pools that form in the waterfalls. Hike from the bottom up and as you pass more and more crystal clear blue pools, you will wonder how they get any better. A natural infinity pool sits high on a grassy island bounded by a natural stone wall, and above that are two pools high up on the glen. One choppy from the current of the waterfall, the other prenaturally still, separated by an underwater arch. Although cold, these pools are great for hopping in and out of, enjoying a world away from your own.

Fairy Pool Isle of Skye

9 Countries With The Highest Air Travel Fees

One of the most consistent differences between countries throughout the world is the discrepancy in the fees and taxes paid by air travelers upon arrival or departure (and sometimes both). Every nation has a different set of rules and regulations pertaining to air transit, which creates a vast landscape of costs for travelers depending on origin and destination. Many people book flights and wonder what are all the extra taxes and fees we see listed. Sometimes these taxes and fees are worked in to the initial price showing on a booking site but sometimes taxes and fees are added in after, often leaving travelers scratching their heads at the final price. This list examines the 9 countries with consistently high expenses so you can be aware of what taxes and fees go into the final cost you pay to fly.

9. Mexico – $25 USD

The numerous beaches, resorts, temples and ruins throughout Mexico make it an incredibly popular tourist destination not just for North Americans, but travelers from across the world.  Busy airports in Mexico City, Cancun, Guadalajara, Monterrey and Tijuana service millions of visitors a year, all of whom pay a tax upon arrival. All non-Mexican nationals must pay a $25 fee except those who have a permanent resident status, or are just on a connecting flight.

Though it isn’t an extremely high fee, it is one that often irritates confused tourists who are unaware of the charge when arriving; however, it is hard to blame the Mexican government for the charge, as it provides a steady income from the more than 20-million international visitors per year, a number which looks set to continue to climb as the tourism industry recovers from the slump seen during recent global economic troubles.

Mexico city

8. Costa Rica – $28 USD

Much like Mexico, Costa Rica is another country that is renowned for its beautiful beaches and resorts. The capital, San Jose, is home to the second busiest airport in Central America, Juan Santamaria International Airport, which sees nearly 4-million passengers per year. Though Costa Rica has a number of great destinations, the country is not among the most visited in the Americas. Air travelers to Costa Rica are greeted with a $28 fee upon their arrival to the country.

Much like Mexico, the fee charged isn’t an exorbitant price, but can be enough to frustrate visitors to the country who have already paid a great deal of money for a trip. Though Costa Rica may not be a top destination in the Americas, the economy is still heavily reliant on the tourism industry. Given that, it is unsurprising that the government would tax air travelers as a source of income.

Juan Santamaria memorial park Alajuela, Costa Rica

7. Samoa – $30 USD

The small island of Samoa is a country that relies more on agriculture than it does on tourism as a source of income for the economy. That doesn’t stop the country from levying a $30 fee on all travelers departing from the capital, Apia. Apia of course, is the home of Faleolo International Airport, the only international airport in the country.

Until more modern times, the airport could not accommodate jets larger than a Boeing 737. Faleolo was initially built as a military base in 1942, and has only recently started to become more open to international travel. The tourism industry is an area that is being seen as an area of opportunity for expansion in Samoa. Travelers can hope the $30 fee is being budgeted back into the future plans for development of the tourist sector, as the small nation looks to attract visitors.

Apia Samoa

6. Honduras – $37 USD

Unlike a number of other countries in Central and South America, Honduras is more known for its exporting of coffee and bananas instead of tourism like nearby Mexico and Costa Rica. That isn’t to say there are no spots that appeal to tourists, as the country is home to ancient Mayan ruins and coral reef near Bay Island. Those who do choose to visit Honduras are required to pay a $37.50 fee for air travel.

Travelers should find some solace in the fact that the somewhat stiff fee is also applied to native Hondurans as well, although at a slightly cheaper $34 instead. The fee is perhaps in place due to the amount of air travel in Honduras relative to its neighbors, as the country is home to 4 of the top 15 busiest airports in Central America.

West End Beach, Roatan, Honduras

5. Austria – €35

A number of European countries have begun introducing taxes on air travel, and in 2010 Austria initiated a departure tax. For travelers moving within Europe, the tax is a minor fee. Those individuals who need to fly outside of Europe on the other hand, are paying nearly $45 USD for departure taxes.

The tourism industry is a major part of the Austrian economy and accounts for close to 10% of the countries gross domestic product, and saw some 24-million visitors in 2013. Though the departure tax benefits the government by providing millions of dollars, there are a number of critics in the country (specifically the airline business) who fear the tax will push potential tourists to land in neighboring areas before taking an alternative means of transportation into the country, thus averting the hefty departure tax.

Vienna Austria Night Aerial

4. Germany – €42.18

The inspiration for Austria to go forward with its departure tax was the creation of a similar tax created in Germany that begun in January of 2011. Just like the model featured in Austria, the German departure tax setup charges travelers heading between European countries the least amount of money, with a slight increase for parts of Africa and the Middle East, and up to nearly $53 USD for any other country.

In 2012, Germany ranked as the 7th most popular tourist destination in the world (5th most popular in Europe) and saw slightly over 30-million visitors to the country. Just as in Austria, critics of the German departure tax cite it as an instance of a heavy-handed government money-generating ploy. Though the tourism sector doesn’t seem to be suffering yet, the opposition believes it will only hurt the country in the long term.

Berline Germany, Spree River

3. Australia – $55 AUD

Unlike a number of other countries on this list, the Australian version of a departure tax is included into a traveler’s ticket price. That is about the only positive (if that can be considered positive) about the Australian Passenger Movement Charge. The fee hits visitors to the country with a charge equivalent to about $45.25 USD when leaving.

Few countries have a fee higher than what travelers pay in Australia, and tourism is a relatively important business in the Australian economy. Sydney and Melbourne are popular destinations, as well as Queensland, the Gold Coast and of course, the largest reef in the world, the Great Barrier Reef and the most common idea associated with the Australia: the outback. Because of the unique places of interest to visit, it is unlikely the $55 Passenger Movement Charge will be deterring potential tourists any time soon.

Circular Quay Sydney Australia

2. Fiji – $198.93 FJD

Fiji is one of the only countries with an outright cost higher than Australia; Fiji instituted a 33% hike in its departure tax in 2013, which saw the fee rise to just over $100 USD in 2014. Like many other countries with departure taxes, the Fiji government cites obligations to cleanliness of the natural environment as the reason for the increase in cost to travelers.

Fiji is not a particularly common tourist destination. The country is home to a number of natural resources and is considered to be a developed economy in relation to its neighbors in the Pacific island area. Though the island may be small, and the fees may be high, Nadi International Airport saw more than 2-million visitors pass through its doors. While tourism is not yet a main industry, Fiji is another country that has identified this as an area of potential economic growth.

Don Mammoser / Shutterstock.com
Don Mammoser / Shutterstock.com

1. United States/United Kingdom – varying

While the departure taxes in the United States and United Kingdom are not as high as the rest of the countries on this list, air travelers in these countries pay a number of taxes on seemingly every aspect of flight. Fees paid for baggage at an airport in the United States can cost a traveler $100 on a budget airline. In the United Kingdom, the Air Passenger duty can cost travelers flying outside of Europe well over $200.

Both countries rank within the top 10 most visited in the world (United States, 1st, United Kingdom, 8th). It is unlikely to see any changes to these fees as tourism to these two global destinations are always going to remain steady, regardless of fees put on travelers, as more than 90-million people combined visited the two countries in 2013.

 

skyearth / Shutterstock.com
skyearth / Shutterstock.com