Photo courtesy of AmanresortsSome of the world’s most breathtaking resorts are located far from sea level. Nestled in mountain ranges and perched on top of desert cliffs, these hotels offer visitors picturesque views and quiet retreats away from the hustle of everyday life. Here are our picks for the world’s most stunning mountaintop hotels.
Where: Jackson Hole, Wyoming
At the edge of Jackson Hole's East Gros Ventre Butte is Amangani, (meaning peaceful home) one of the world’s most stunning mountaintop resorts. The hotel offers unparalleled views of the Grand Teton Mountains and the surrounding meadows and valleys. Guests can enjoy the scenery from the hotel’s outdoor pool, or take in the breathtaking views from one of the resort’s exclusive suites. Learn about the surrounding area with a book on Native American culture from Amangani's (Image above) redwood-decorated library or wander the resort's gallery of regional artwork and buy a piece of local jewelry to remember your mountain stay.
Photo courtesy of Oberoi Hotels & ResortsWildflower Hall
Where: in the Himalayas near Shimla, India
Untouched scenery and antique furnishings make Wildflower Hall one of the world’s premiere mountaintop resorts. The hotel’s colonial-era décor and view of the nearby Himalayas will make you feel like you’ve stepped into a fairytale. Visitors can explore the surrounding forests by foot, or enjoy views of the snowcapped mountains from the resort’s heated outdoor pool. Indulge in holistic treatments at the Oberoi spa's private spa suites that offer exquisite views of mountains and tall cedars. During the winter enjoy skating on the hotel's own ice rink, and during warm summer days enjoy archery or croquet on the resort's lush lawns.
Photo courtesy of Design Hotels Vigilius Mountain Resort
Where: South Tyrol, Italy
Guests looking to escape the hustle and bustle can unwind at Vigilius Mountain Resort in South Tyrol, Italy. The resort is car-free, and the hotel prides itself on its eco-friendly practices. Visitors can explore bubbling springs and pristine forests, and enjoy some of the best mountain views in the area. The resort is also home to a 13th-century church that adds to its romantic ambiance. Experience an elegant dinner at the resort's Restaurant 1500, or enjoy a cozy lunch with regional dishes cooked in the hundred-year-old tiled stove at the Parlour Ida, where homemade cakes are served as well. Then relax at the resort's spa, relishing the treatments that utilize the fresh waters of the Vigiljoch springs—believed to have healing powers.
Photo courtesy of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.St. Regis Lhasa Resort
Where: Tibet, China
For unparalleled views of the Polata Palace and the Himalayan mountains, visit the St. Regis Lhasa Resort. The hotel’s Golden Energy Pool overlooks the surrounding valley, and its traditional architecture pays homage to Tibetan elegance and simplicity. Have the resort's chauffeur take you on a guided tour of Mount Everest, or the more than 600-year-old Tashilunpo Monastery, or the ancient palace Yunbulakang. Enjoy more Tibetan culture with the St. Regis Sabrage Evening Ritual where the resort's butler team will use sabers to dramatically open a champagne bottle and then pour you a glass.
Photo courtesy of Preferred Hotel GroupSparkling Hill Resort
Where: Vernon, British Columbia
Shimmering Swarovski crystals and sleek architecture make Sparkling Hill Resort one of the world’s premiere mountaintop hotels. The hotel’s elegant décor comes second to the area’s natural beauty, as guests can enjoy views of the Monashee Mountains and Okanagan Lake. For stunning indoor views visit the resort's indoor pool with starry Swarovski crystal sky. The KurSpa's other sparkling amenities include a crystal steam room, aqua meditation room with water dripping into a crystal basin, and the igloo room with glazed, crystal-lacquered floors.
Courtesy of Virgin Limited EditionKasbah Tamadot
Where: High Atlas Mountains, Morocco
British entrepreneur Richard Branson restored Kasbah Tamadot to its original grandeur, as the resort was once the private villa of an Italian artist. The hotel is located at the foothills of the Atlas Mountains and overlooks a scenic river valley. The resort includes two infinity pools, a private collection of fine art and artifacts, and authentic Berber tents with spectacular views. Exciting activities at the resort include mule treks through the mountains, a visit to the nearby craft house run by the area's young women, and a trip to the neighboring Eco-Museum to learn about the area's natural and cultural resources.
Photo courtesy of Explora Patagonia Salto Chico Lodge
Where: Patagonia, Chile
Located at the banks of the Salto Chico waterfall, Salto Chico Lodge offers unparalleled views of the Torres del Paine National Park and the Paine Massif mountain range. Guests can take advantage of the resort's own 26-horse stable with a horseback ride across acres of sprawling property, or take in the scenery from one of the resort’s coveted suites. Patagonia's rich gaucho culture can be experienced with a trip to the Estancia 2 de Enero to watch gauchos shear sheep, drive livestock, and train horses.