The Ahwahnee Rating: 4.0 Pearls

Nothing man-made can rival Mother Nature at her finest. For those who love the great outdoors, the most memorable vacations aren't at massive mega-resorts -- they're at hotels that bring you closer to some of the world's natural wonders. From an historic landmark hotel in Yosemite National Park to a lodge at the top of a massive waterfall to luxury tree houses nestled among California's redwoods, these 10 hotels have natural settings that are truly jaw-dropping. Nestled deep among the pine trees, cliffs, and canyons of Yosemite Valley is the 123-room Ahwahnee Hotel. This impressive structure was built out of stone, concrete, and timber in 1927 and is considered a National Historic Landmark. Rooms, with views of the Half Dome and El Captain summits, are filled with wooden accents and rich tapestries of Native American design.

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10 Hotels with Views of Stunning Natural Wonders (1 of 10)

 Nothing man-made can rival Mother Nature at her finest. For those who love the great outdoors, the most memorable vacations aren't at massive mega-resorts -- they're at hotels that bring you closer to some of the world's natural wonders. From an historic landmark hotel in Yosemite National Park to a lodge at the top of a massive waterfall to luxury tree houses nestled among California's redwoods, these 10 hotels have natural settings that are truly jaw-dropping. Nestled deep among the pine trees, cliffs, and canyons of Yosemite Valley is the 123-room Ahwahnee Hotel. This impressive structure was built out of stone, concrete, and timber in 1927 and is considered a National Historic Landmark. Rooms, with views of the Half Dome and El Captain summits, are filled with wooden accents and rich tapestries of Native American design.
Nothing man-made can rival Mother Nature at her finest. For those who love the great outdoors, the most memorable vacations aren't at massive mega-resorts -- they're at hotels that bring you closer to some of the world's natural wonders. From an historic landmark hotel in Yosemite National Park to a lodge at the top of a massive waterfall to luxury tree houses nestled among California's redwoods, these 10 hotels have natural settings that are truly jaw-dropping. Nestled deep among the pine trees, cliffs, and canyons of Yosemite Valley is the 123-room Ahwahnee Hotel. This impressive structure was built out of stone, concrete, and timber in 1927 and is considered a National Historic Landmark. Rooms, with views of the Half Dome and El Captain summits, are filled with wooden accents and rich tapestries of Native American design. Arenal Kioro Suites is located at the base of a 5,437-foot active volcano -- so close that guests can actually see and hear small tephra eruptions. The hotel takes full advantage of its natural setting, and the rooms, restaurants, and pool all offer stunning volcano views. Big suites come with large hot tubs and two terraces. Jade Mountain is one of the most luxurious and romantic resorts in the world, thanks in part to its views of St. Lucia's stunning Pitons. Each of the 29 enormous suites has an open fourth wall, whirlpool tub, and canopy bed; most have private infinity pools. Salish Lodge's setting at the top of the 268-foot-high Snoqualmie Falls helps make it one of the most romantic destinations in the Pacific Northwest. The historic property, which originally opened with only eight rooms back in 1916, has restaurants offering beautiful views, an elegant spa, and sexy rooms with wood-burning fireplaces and peek-a-boo bathrooms. L'Auberge de Sedona has one of the most stunning natural settings in not just the Southwest, but the country, with Sedona's soaring red rocks suspended in the background. The 87 guest rooms and woodsy cottages are spread across 11 acres, allowing guests plenty of privacy, and most come with fireplaces and private decks. It's a premier destination for a romantic getaway or a corporate retreat. Okavango Delta in Botswana is the largest inland delta in the world. Its diverse and exotic wildlife has made it a tourist destination for the affluent and adventurous, and the region now hosts a number of luxurious safari lodges, such as the ultra-remote and luxurious &Beyond Xaranna Okavango Delta Camp. &Beyond Xaranna isn't just a hotel, it's an experience, where everything -- including the excellent food and the guided excursions (game drives, bush walks, river cruises) -- is included in the price of the stay. Guests can get up close to exotic wildlife on both land and water (think: lions and hippos), and even arriving to the property is an adventure, requiring transport by a small plane, safari vehicle, and boat. California's massive redwoods are justly famous, and a stay at the Post Ranch Inn allows you to stay not just near them but in them: The Tree Houses are, as the name implies, elevated into the trees. Their eco-friendly design makes it look as if they grew naturally out of the redwood forest. Rooms also have wood-burning fireplaces, radiant floor heating, outdoor showers or hot tubs, private decks, and organic bath products. The aptly named Grotto Bay Beach Resort is home to massive subterranean caves, where crystal-clear water is surrounded by dark and looming stalactites and stalagmites. Weekly cave crawls explore the grottos' vast nooks and crannies, and guests are free to swim and snorkel on their own. The spa's only treatment room can also be found in one of the grottos. Set in a wildlife refuge more than 700 feet above the Jackson Valley, the Spring Creek Ranch has arguably the most stunning views of the Teton Mountain Range in the area. The hotel's delicious, popular restaurant and excellent heated outdoor pool are also not to be missed. Lake Tahoe's great size, great depth and beautiful mountain setting have made it one of the most famous lakes in the United States. The Franciscan Lakeside Lodge is located right on its shores, and features cozy cottages and rooms in a woodsy setting. While some rooms are tucked across the street from the lake in a darker, tree-covered area, the lakefront cottages have excellent views and open to the sandy beach and a private pier where guests can swim and play in privacy.
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