The terms "tent" and "hut" rarely call to mind luxury; in fact, budget-minded travelers, in an effort to save some green, often choose to "rough it" by setting up a canvas and calling it a night in the wild, wide-open. But some hotels have turned that notion on its head by opting for simple tents and huts as accommodations -- that, once entered, reveal ultra-luxe digs. Here are four resorts with lavish tents and huts that will set guests back at least $1,000 per night.
Rates are based on August dates.
Hidden in the jungle in the famed Golden Triangle, this Four Seasons sits right on the border of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar, and is only accessible by private boat. The 15 luxury tents — with rates starting at $2,300/night — all include huge antique-style bathtubs, outdoor rainfall showers, unlimited minibars, free bottles of Champagne, and enormous balconies that overlook the Ruak River and the jungle. There’s a small swimming pool in the forest as well as a hot tub, but the real treat at this all-inclusive property are activities like elephant rides and educational experiences. A minimum two-night stay is required (meaning shelling out at least $4,600), but most agree it would be pointless to come to such a magical place for just an evening.
Reachable only by boat or seaplane, Little Palm Island Resort & Spa is located on a private island where wild key deer roam. It includes 30 luxurious suites, many with private oceanfront verandas. A favorite getaway for celebrities, the resort provides a secluded place to unplug from the world (use of technology is discouraged) and experience a romantic vacation in a lush, tropical environment. The Island Romance Suite will set you back $1,250/night.
This ultra-remote, luxurious safari lodge on an island in Botswana’s Okavango Delta isn’t 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. Perhaps that’s why rates per person are $1,715/night! 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 small plane, safari vehicle, and a boat. The nine safari “tents” are fully screened in and thoroughly high-end, with huge soaking tubs, four-poster beds, lots of wood, and private pools. The decor blends rustic charm with bright, contemporary style — not an obvious combination, but it mostly works.
The Koh Tao Bamboo Huts are set in a gorgeous location, right on a small white-sand beach. Bungalows here come with outdoor showers and some have their own pools. Wi-Fi is available in the rooms although service is not always reliable, and there are a few dining options, including the romantic Starlight, a dinner spot with beautiful sunset views. Visitors should be prepared to do a lot of walking, as the resort is spread out and getting from spot to spot often requires steep trudges. Rates for the most luxurious rooms are over $1,100/night.
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