Our research is editorially independent but we may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
If you’re an outdoor adventurer looking to enjoy exciting activities but don’t want to rough it by camping, you’ll want to consider one of the many hotels and resorts across the globe that provide an upscale stay and the chance to take part in all sorts of thrilling pursuits. Whether you want to jet off to a remote corner of the world or stay a little closer to home, there are plenty of options. From Arizona’s red rock country to extreme thrills in breathtaking New Zealand, choose one of these spots for an especially unforgettable experience.
YOU’RE ALL SET!
Look out for our newsletters in your inbox soon.
Located in the heart of Arizona’s Canyon Country, a short drive from Lake Powell and an ideal base camp for 11 national parks, with Antelope Canyon, Glen Canyon Dam, and famous Horseshoe Bend just minutes away, Hyatt Place Page/Lake Powell is anything but a standard chain hotel. While room rates are affordable, there are lots of perks for the adventurous, including a special package that can bring you soaring over the region’s iconic landmarks on a flightseeing tour via Wave Air Tour from American Aviation. If you want to hike into Antelope Canyon, that can be arranged too. Playing on the water is a popular pursuit as well with easy access to the 2,000 miles of Lake Powell shoreline, with outfitters offering boats, SUPs, and kayaks for rent. After a day of fun, you’ll appreciate coming back to a clean, comfortable and spacious room, along with an outdoor pool.
One of the world’s best mountain resorts, Salish Lodge & Spa is located at the top of magnificent Snoqualmie Falls. From here, you can marvel at its famous fast-moving whitewater plunging nearly 300 feet from Snoqualmie River into a 65-foot-deep pool below. It provides breathtaking views and staff that are happy to help guests find the very best route, including trails that lead to breathtaking alpine lakes. There are scenic mountain biking treks and opportunities to raft or fly-fish too. There’s a spa offering a variety of treatments utilizing Pacific Northwest ingredients for relaxation afterward while guestrooms all feature fireplaces and oversized spa tubs – some boast incredible views of the falls.
L’Auberge de Sedona is beautifully harmonized with its stunning red rock surroundings, providing a luxury stay in accommodation optimized to make the most of the setting, particularly the suites that come with large private decks and outdoor showers. Activities include everything from watching the docks in the shallow waters of Oak Creek to yoga, meditation, stargazing, and forest bathing which encourages playful spirits and the chance to immerse yourself in the breathtaking natural environment. You’ll even get a keepsake journal to use during forest bathing and take home as a gift. There’s a fabulous spa that includes a formal traditional Shinrin-Yoku closing tea ceremony and a creekside restaurant for unforgettable dining.
An architectural marvel inspired by nature in a remote location, Amangiri is all about luxury and taking advantage of the great outdoors with customized itineraries that can include hiking, rock climbing, horseback riding, and early morning hot air balloon rides. A resident archaeologist and geologist lead tours and workshops of the region as well. After a day spent exploring the jaw-dropping landscapes surrounding this top-rated luxury desert hotel, come back and enjoy the unique, one-of-a-kind pool that was custom-fit to the protruding rock on the grounds. Spa treatments and mouthwatering organic meals are provided too while the chic modern suites include their own private plunge pools and terraces that open up to a mesmerizing night’s sky filled with countless stars.
One of the best national park lodges, Glacier Bay Lodge is all about dramatic scenery, abundant wildlife, and outdoor adventure. It will immerse you in nature in a place like no other, located in the heart of Glacier Bay National Park, a remote region that can only be reached by plane or boat. Nestled in Sitka spruce trees along a tranquil bay, it includes an outstanding restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows for dining with a gorgeous water view while cozy guest rooms include bay view options with coffeemakers and private bathrooms and coffeemakers. From here, there are many hikes and backpacking trips that can be embarked on but the highlight is the cruise to the park’s famous glaciers via a high-speed catamaran. As you make your way to tidewater glaciers, you’ll have the chance to spot whales, stellar sea lions, bald eagles, puffins, coastal brown bears, mountain goats, moose, and more.
Located on secluded Kangaroo Island off the coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia, Southern Ocean Lodge offers several memorable adventure activities, including beach fishing trips, river kayaking trips, scenic hikes in Flinders Chase National Park to search for wild platypus, and a quad-bike safari in the bushland of Hanson Bay Sanctuary where koalas, wallabies, kangaroos, echidnas, goannas and more can be seen in the wild. If you’re up for a hike there’s a great trek along the limestone cliffs that leads to Cape Younghusband for a view of the Remarkable Rocks. Overlooking the Southern Ocean, the suites have floor-to-ceiling windows with terraces, sunken lounges, and ocean views. All include minibars, free Wi-Fi, and heated floors, with upgraded options featuring hot tubs.
The all-inclusive Titiklaka Hotel offers a tranquil, isolated setting and an ideal base for enjoying activities on or off famous Lake Titicaca, one of South America’s largest lakes and the world’s highest navigable body of water. Enjoy boat excursions to lake islands, kayaking tours, and full-day birdwatching trips. All meals, most drinks, and activities are included in the rates. There’s a spa with a massage room and oxygen for those who need some help acclimating to the nearly 12,500-foot elevation, while dining is top-notch with the menu featuring items like ceviche made with trout right out of the lake, steaks, and kebabs. Rooms have picturesque lake views and are spread over two floors. All feature deep soaking tubs, complimentary well-stocked minibars, and huge beds.
Located near San Pedro de Atacama, the main tourist hub in the Atacama Desert, the all-inclusive Explora Lodge provides an extensive menu of activity options, most of which are included in the rates. The all-inclusive property features rooms with views of the desert or mountains and includes whirlpool tubs for a relaxing soak after a day of hiking, biking, or horseback riding. There’s plenty to do right on the property which even has its own hot springs along with a pool, spa, stables, and a well-stocked shop. Meals are memorable, starting with a breakfast buffet with made-to-order eggs, fruits, cheeses, fresh-baked pastries, and pancakes. Lunch and dinner are all about haute Chilean cuisine and picnics can be organized for your day trips too.
A luxe nature retreat with a backdrop of the San Juan Mountains, Dunton Hot Springs doesn’t have set activities, rather it offers customized itineraries that cater to every guest’s particular interests while providing the gear you need to make it happen. Expert guides can even help you summit the 14,000-foot-tall peaks, and bring you rock climbing, fly fishing, rafting, or horseback riding. Wintertime visits can include cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or ice skating. Afterward, enjoy the soothing natural springs for a relaxing soak. Gourmet fare is served here which includes produce from the property’s own organic farm, meadow-grazed local lamb, and wine from the resort’s private vineyard. There is a fabulous spa and a saloon with wagon-wheel chandeliers and the original bar that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid once imbibed at, while accommodation is in beautifully restored 19th-century cabins
Hapuku Lodge and Treehouses is a 5-star eco-retreat located just a couple of miles north of Kaikoura on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island. While this country is arguably the world’s best for extreme sports like sky diving and bungee jumping, this area is one of the top spots for whale watching. Guests can enjoy boat tours or even aerial viewing tours via helicopter or plane that depart right from the lodge. Sea kayaking, dolphin encounters, and surfing are possible too. On land, enjoy a variety of walks, cycling, golf, and more. Guests can choose from rooms in the main lodge or in a unique luxury treehouse tucked in a Kanuka Grove beneath the Kaikoura Mountains with ocean views. Dining is outstanding with dishes featuring fresh flavors with organic produce and the local specialty, crayfish.
Located on a remote stretch of Vancouver Island’s west coast, Clayoquot is a luxe eco-resort that can only be reached by boat or a floatplane ride. It’s one of the world’s best adventure resorts, offering a view of the soaring mountain peaks, glaciers, and wild beaches as you arrive. Surrounded by thousands of acres of pristine rainforests, bears, whales, and eagles far outnumber humans, offering a life-changing experience in a jaw-droppingly beautiful wilderness area. Lodging is in glamourous safari-style tents with antique furnishings, radiant floor bathroom heating, and outdoor showers, taking “glamping,” to a whole new level. There’s a nearly endless list of activities, including horseback riding to a ghost town, whitewater and flatwater kayaking, and hiking tours. One full-day trek will bring you into Strathcona Provincial Park for mountain biking, rock climbing, fishing, or archery. There’s a full-service spa and multiple dining venues too.
Located on the west coast of Sumba Island, an hour’s flight from Denpasar in Bali, all-inclusive Nihi Sumba is especially popular for its surfing opportunities with the waves along its shores drawing surfers long before it was built. Those who want to learn how can take advantage of personal surfing lessons but when the water is calm, it’s ideal for snorkeling in the crystal-clear, warm blue waters. Just a few of the other activities available include yoga, mountain biking, guided trekking excursions, and sunset horseback riding led by an expert guide/whisperer who will capture lots of photos of the experience. The uniquely designed residences include one to five-bedroom options, all of which feature a wealth of upscale amenities, like signature canopy beds and private pools overlooking the beach and the Indian Ocean, located just a short walk from the restaurants, bar, and the beach. Plus, you’ll have your own personal butler who can help you with just about every possible need.