Tucked away in the wilderness and surrounded by stunning scenery, here are the most highly rated lodges on every continent.*
Candlewood Lodge in Knysna, South Africa
Candlewood Lodge in Knysna
The serene landscape surrounding the Candlewood Lodge is present in every aspect of life there. A soft palette of delicate blue and grey mirrors the colours of the outside world, while a wide sundeck opens up the lodge to seemingly endless skies and views of the Knysna Lagoon. When you’re not occupied with sipping something refreshing by the lodge’s pool, Candlewood is ideally located for exploring the Garden Route. Thanks to year-round rainfall, the forests around Knysna are always green, and the coastline leading to Plettenberg Bay is especially lovely for hiking or driving.
Chalet Amorino in Livnim, Israel
Chalet Amorino in Livnim
A wood and stone lodge overlooking the verdant Ginosar Valley, Chalet Amorino is decorated with natural materials and luxurious fabrics in the style of a traditional Israeli guesthouse. Guests are greeted with freshly baked cookies and lemonade made from homegrown lemons. Other local delicacies on offer include chocolate, local wine and seasonal fruit. But be prepared, guests have reported that the breakfast served at the lodge was so good that they were too full for lunch.
Maciejewka in Bieszczady, Poland
Maciejewka in Bieszczady
The majority of destinations have a defined, ideal time of year for visiting, when they’re looking at their best and most photogenic. The Maciejewka lodges buck this trend by looking utterly picturesque, regardless of the weather or season. During the warm months, their gold and umber wooden walls glow in the sunshine while the open shutters send a gentle breeze through the traditional, achingly comfortable interiors. Then in the winter months, thick snow blankets Maciejewka, long, delicate icicles hang from the porch roofs and cheerful log fires fill the lodges with warmth and good cheer.
Vanilla Hills Lodge in Cayo, Belize
Vanilla Hills Lodge in Cayo
The spacious buildings at Vanilla Hills Lodge create the impression that guests are going back to basics but also offer a luxurious twist on the concept. Built from natural materials that might have sprung fully formed from the surrounding tropical jungle, Vanilla Hills Lodge is only a short walk from the Mopan River. Despite the wonderfully wild location and simple aesthetic, these lodges don’t skimp on the luxuries – think sumptuous bedding, high-end toiletries and meals that wouldn’t look out of place in the most cosmopolitan of restaurants.
Matuka Luxury Lodge in Ohau Snow Fields, New Zealand
Matuka Luxury Lodge in Ohau Snow Fields
Looking out over the snowy peaks visible from the Matuka Luxury Lodge windows, it’s easy to trick yourself into thinking you’re in the European, rather than the Southern, Alps. This modern, streamlined lodge offers easy access to some of New Zealand’s most awe-inspiring scenery – including Lake Pukaki and the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park. The lodge itself sits on the scenic Alps to Ocean Cycleway and, when you’re not working up a sweat or gaping at the views, there are plenty of opportunities for wildlife-spotting from the lodge patios.
Winkul Loft Cordillerano in Cajón del Maipo, Chile
Winkul Loft Cordillerano in Cajón del Maipo
Winkul Loft Cordillerano looks a bit like if aliens crashed into the dramatic landscape of Chile’s Cajón del Maipo region and decided to build themselves somewhere to stay while fixing their ship. [link to ufo article] The almost Brutalist steel and wood frame of this lodge is a stark contrast to the gloriously chaotic surrounding forest, but the warm golden wood, reading nooks and local handcrafts inside give it a cosy, serene atmosphere.
** The data scientists at Booking.com looked at the most highly-reviewed lodges in every continent (except for Antarctica – we haven’t got any properties there).