Get a natural high on your next holiday – perched in the most beautiful mountainous locations in the world, these accommodation options are set in stunning natural surrounds and offer views from alpine peaks to tropical rainforests and desert landscapes.
They’re perfect for outdoorsy types who love a good hike, frolicking in green pastures, or alternatively, an epic cable car ride. You read that right – each hotel is within reach of a gondola so you can smooth-sail over plunging valleys and mountain slopes. (It’s definitely not for vertigo-sufferers!)
Lake Lucerne, Switzerland
Take a moment at Villa Honegg. Perched high over the pristine Lake Lucerne, the Art-Nouveau-style hotel has enviable access to panoramic views of the Swiss Alps, lush forest greenery and turquoise waters.
The rooms are elegantly furnished in natural colours and materials, offering the utmost comfort and privacy for those who want a relaxed trip away. Don’t forget to make the most of the villa’s luxuries – take a dip in the outdoor infinity pool, savour a cocktail with alpine views on the sun-drenched terrace or catch up on a flick at the in-house cinema. It’s the perfect way to wind down after a day of canoeing, hiking or even paragliding.
CabriO Cable Car, Mount Stanserhorn
Wind in my hair, don’t care! Don’t miss the world’s first open-top cable car, allowing you a unique visit to the top of Mount Stanserhorn, standing at an impressive 1,900 metres high. There’s nothing better than fresh mountain air, crisp blue sky above you and panoramic alpine views all around.
The Reef Retreat Palm Cove
Palm Cove, Australia
Picture a scene of palm trees gently sloping towards the water’s edge, swaying in a soft breeze. The sand at your feet gradually turns to wooden walkways framed by ferns as you pad along, barefoot, to your secluded rainforest retreat. If this sounds too cliché to be true, think again.
The Reef Retreat Palm Cove is the stuff of dreams: the self-contained studios, suites and villas are surrounded by lush greenery and are just 50 metres away from the beach. As an entry point to the Great Barrier Reef, it’s also the ideal sanctuary to retreat to after a day of sun, sea and sand.
Skyrail Rainforest Cableway
Can’t get enough of the rainforest? Covering 7.5 kilometres of pristine wilderness, the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway is great for any eco-lover. Simply hop onboard to glide over the World Heritage listed tropical rainforest canopy. And what’s more, Skyrail has been voted Australia’s Best Major Tourist Attraction and offers packages ranging from one-way experiences to full-day tour activities.
Queenstown, New Zealand
Look out to superb views of the Remarkables, Lake Wakatipu and Queenstown Hill from your private balcony at Chalet Queenstown, a small boutique hotel just a 5-minute walk from the centre of the city. It’s the perfect place to base yourself whilst you get lost in the Adventure Capital of the World – whether you’re into skiing, water sports or sky diving, or whether you’d like to extend your trip to explore the surrounding region.
The Chalet Queenstown ensures a luxurious stay with feather duvets, cotton sheets and a sumptuous continental-style breakfast that has guests talking for days.
Need more convincing? Queenstown is also the number one trending destination for 2016, proving to be a big hit among Aussie travellers.
Skyline Gondola Queenstown[caption id="attachment_4281" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Photo by Bong Teo (CC BY-SA 2.0)[/caption]
The steepest cable car in the Southern Hemisphere, the Skyline delivers stunning views all the way up to Bob’s Peak – 450 metres about Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu. Grab a bite with a view at Skyline’s restaurant and then make your way back down with nothing other than a thrilling luge ride.
Lilianfels Blue Mountains & Spa
A weekend in the Blue Mountains is the ideal way to get out of the city smoke and into the hazy blueish mist of Eucalyptus trees, dry earth and crystal-clear creeks. While you’re there, why not treat yourself to country-style accommodation: the Lilianfels Blue Mountains & Spa is a historic country manor, allowing guests to live and breathe the grandeur of traditional décor. Think sumptuously upholstered furniture, Wedgwood wallpaper and heavy floral-and-cream drapes adorning your view from the window. Spacious marble bathrooms complete with full-sized bathtubs and separate walk-in showers ensure the ultimate luxury experience.
Award-winning restaurants and an extensive day spa make the hotel perfect for romantic getaways, girls’ weekends or mother-and-daughter trips.
Embark on the steepest and biggest aerial cable car in the southern hemisphere down a 510 metre journey for unique views of the Three Sisters, Orphan Rock, Mt Solitary and Katoomba Falls. Once you’re reached the bottom, stroll through 2.4 kilometres of Jurassic rainforest to get the full experience.
Holiday Inn Express Cape Town
Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town the perfect compromise between city and nature, offering all the modern conveniences and artistic culture of a buzzing port town as well as the natural beauty of the harbour, rugged cliffs and the imposing Table Mountain.
The Holiday Inn Express Cape Town is the ideal place to soak up the coastal atmosphere. With modern styling, sleek interiors and a bar serving drinks and cocktails, it’s great for socialites venturing back from an evening of entertainment at the nearby Waterfront or CBD. The budget but modern rooms include everything needed for a comfortable stay, including en-suite bathrooms with Power Showers, complimentary tea and coffee and high-speed Wi-Fi access.
Table Mountain Aerial Cableway
This five-minute cable car ride will take you right up to the top of Table Mountain, delivering stunning vistas of Cape Town from 1089 metres above the city. The floors of the cars even rotate 360 degrees, so that passengers can enjoy unrivalled panoramic views.
The Palm Springs Hotel
Palm Springs, USA
For desert-modernist architecture with a mid-century vibe, look no further than this ultra-sleek and edgy boutique hotel. There’s a cool pool area to laze around on hot summer days, which is a haven when it comes to retreating from the hot American sun, and pop-arty rooms named after Sinatra and Newman.
Modern travellers will appreciate the hotel’s state-of-the-art facilities, with Apple TVs, JBL OnBeat Sound Docks and Keurig Coffee Makers available in each room. With direct views of either the pool or mountains from the property, the hotel is the ideal place to combine timeless Palm Springs retroglamour with indulgent millennial luxury.
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
Guests in Palm Springs needn’t look far to see the best that the desert city has to offer. Simply get onboard the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, the world’s largest rotating tramcar, for an awe-inspiring ride up the cliffs of the Chino Canyon.
Sundial Boutique Hotel
Visit the Sundial Boutique Hotel during ski season to be greeted by a winter wonderland in the wilderness of British Columbia’s coastal mountains. Best enjoyed with snowflake-laced windows, the suites are inviting and homely. Fitted out with full kitchens, gas fireplaces and complemented by stunning views, it’s the perfect destination for skiing families. There’s even a rooftop hot tub for those willing to brave the chilly air.
For summer sports, come around in the warmer months where horse-riding, mountain-biking and white water rafting are available from your doorstep, and don’t forget to take a cheeky ride on the Whistler Blackcomb Gondolas.
Whistler Blackcomb Gondolas[caption id="attachment_4272" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Photo by Ruth Hartnup (CC BY 2.0)[/caption]
Conveniently for thrill-seekers, these gondolas are located right next to Sundial Boutique Hotel. So what are you waiting for? It’s the highest and longest lift in the world, connecting the peaks of Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains.
L’Héliopic Sweet & Spa
The L’Heliopic Sweet & Spa will transport you to a skier’s paradise. The romantic chalet-style hotel is set in the heart of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc and opens directly onto the Aiguille du Midi cable car station. For snow-bunnies, the hotel has its own ski shop and ski-passes available for purchase.
The hotel is well-equipped for both families, couples and friends. The rooms are cosy and exude a contemporary-retro feel, and guests can get comfortable with books, party games and DVDs available for rent at no extra cost. For those who prefer to spend their evenings relaxing in a spa, the hotel has everything from an Onsen hot tub to steam rooms and ice baths.
Aiguille du Midi cable car[caption id="attachment_4271" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Photo by Leo-setä (CC BY-SA 2.0)[/caption]
If you’re prepared to reach dizzying heights at 3,842 metres, the Aiguille du Midi cable car is a Vertigo challenge for every adrenaline junkie. If the 20-minute ride up to the summit isn’t a hair-raising experience in itself, thrill seekers should “Step into the Void” – a 2.5 metre glass cage suspended over a 1000 metre precipice.
Genting Highlands, Malaysia
Situated in the breathtaking Genting Highlands, Maxims Hotel is perfect for a luxurious getaway nestled in nature. With rooms overlooking the resort and the valley, you can be sure to wake up to stunning evergreen vistas. The rooms are stylishly furnished in modern décor and there is a plethora of entertainment options on your doorstep: at SnowWorld, a winter-wonderland theme park, it snows year round at a chilly -6 degrees Celsius, whilst the Video Games Park allows the teen in you to go nuts with classic arcade games.
Genting Skyway Cable Car
Of course, staying in an area of pristine beauty wouldn’t be complete without venturing outdoors. The hotel is within a short walk of Genting Skyway Cable Car, South East Asia’s longest and fastest cable car – so you can sail through tropical rainforests and enjoy the 3.38 kilometre ride.
What’s your favourite nature escape? Let us know below!