The 15 Best Hotels in the World for Stargazing

Sleep under the world’s darkest, clearest skies at one of these 15 hotels in dark sky zones around the world.

The Skyview Hotel is in the Dark Sky Community of Torrey, Utah. The bedrooms have skylights over the beds that offer views of the night sky.

The Skyview Hotel is in the Dark Sky Community of Torrey, Utah.

Courtesy of Skyview Hotel

Getting away from city lights to sleep under a glimmering night sky can be a transformative experience—few settings offer such a moving reminder of Earth’s infinitesimal place in our universe. Since 1988, the Tucson, Arizona–based DarkSky International has worked to certify and protect night skies around the world from light pollution by implementing controls and regulations that preserve the natural nighttime environment. There are now more than 200 such “Dark Sky Places” around the world, with five categories ranging from remote Dark Sky Sanctuaries to Reserves and Communities, all committed to protecting nature at night and our view of the cosmos.

Once upon a time, viewing a dark sky required camping out, but you no longer have to rough it to sleep beneath the stars. Boutique hotels and lodges have begun to appear in these Dark Sky preserves, offering plenty of creature comforts alongside front-row seats to the celestial show. Imagine waking up to the Northern Lights in a glass dome in the Arctic. Or falling asleep with the Milky Way shining above your open-air safari bed. How about stargazing at a Himalayan monastery? For Afar’s latest installment of Hotels We Love, we present to you the 15 best places in the world to sleep to behold nighttime wonders.

Adero Scottsdale Resort, Autograph Collection

View from balcony at Adero Scottsdale Resort

The Adero Scottsdale Resort features a midcentury-modern design.

Courtesy of Adero Scottsdale Resort

  • Location: Fountain Hills, Arizona
  • Why we love it: Contemporary resort in a Dark Sky Community with guided stargazing evenings
  • Loyalty program: Marriott Bonvoy
  • Book now

Sitting 2,500 feet above the Sonoran Desert in the McDowell Mountains, Adero Scottsdale is a contemporary-feeling resort located in Fountain Hills, one of 38 International Dark Sky Communities (IDSCs) around the world. IDSCs are certified towns and communities that have implemented lighting ordinances and protections for the nocturnal environment. The town is home to the International Dark Sky Discovery Center, which is currently under renovation, with an astronomical observatory and planetarium.

Adero, an independent hotel under Marriott’s luxury and lifestyle Autograph Collection brand, has a designated area for stargazing, and every Friday evening a local astronomy group guides guests through the night sky using telescopes, binoculars, and naked-eye stargazing. The resort offers guests a premium version of StarWalk 2, an augmented reality app that allows users to explore the constellations and planets by pointing their phones at the sky.

The resort takes full advantage of the town’s abundant dark skies. The 177 rooms and suites have either mountain or desert views and feature balconies for private stargazing sessions; for an added treat, book a corner Dark Sky Suite for floor-to-ceiling, south-facing windows perfect for stargazing. The star-themed restaurant, Cielo (“sky” in Spanish), serves farm-to-table dishes such as tomahawk steak with glazed heirloom carrots and garden butternut squash soup on an outdoor deck under the stars. In the hotel’s front garden, the SkyTop outdoor cocktail lounge sits along the edge of a hilltop and faces panoramic views, with astro-inspired cocktails, such as the Midnight Sour with Rittenhouse rye, lemon, demerara sugar, egg white, and red wine reduction and the Vista Margarita, which uses Astral tequila and seasonal fruit. From $190

Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas

Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas is in the wildlife-filled waters of the Baa Atoll archipelago, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas is in the wildlife-filled waters of the Baa Atoll archipelago, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

Courtesy of Anantara Kihavah Maldives

  • Location: Kihavah, Baa Atoll, Maldives
  • Why we love it: Tropical villas with an overwater astronomical observatory
  • Book now

Surrounded by hundreds of species of tropical fish, hawksbill turtles, reef sharks, and eagle rays, Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas is in the Baa Atoll archipelago, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Guests have unfettered access to dark and starry night skies, not only because the resort is set remotely in the Maldives, but also because it’s near the equator, thus offering views of constellations from both hemispheres—and it has a private astronomical observatory!

The Sky bar serves zodiac-themed cocktails: The Aries is a zesty blend of gin, melon, yuzu, and sugar while the Gemini is a combo of Campari, tequila, dubonnet, and cassis, which appropriately comes in two flavors, original or truffle. The bar sits adjacent to the resort’s private astronomical observatory—the first overwater observatory in the Maldives—where the resident astronomer guides guests through a powerful 16-inch Meade telescope and relays Maldavian stories of the stars.

Each of the 80 villas has a private infinity pool, sunken glass-bottom bathtubs, natural wood floors, and airy open decks. There are six on-site restaurants and bars, including the underwater Sea restaurant and wine cellar. The resort was constructed with care to preserve the delicate biosphere, with structures designed around the landscape so that no trees would need to be cut down. Guests can also participate in the Coral Adoption Programme by planting coral in a reef nursery. The property is Platinum Green Globe–certified, with a zero-plastic policy and solar-power energy conservation. From $1,350

Americana Motor Hotel

Americana Motor Hotel is on Route 66, and its guest rooms feature wooden walls with pictures reading "We Are All Made of Stars."

Americana Motor Hotel is on Route 66.

Courtesy of Americana Motor Hotel

  • Location: Flagstaff, Arizona, USA
  • Why we love it: Midcentury motel on Route 66
  • Book now

In Flagstaff, the first-ever International Dark Sky Community (certified in 2001), Americana Motor Hotel is a revamped midcentury motel along Route 66. The hotel reopened in 2023 after a complete refurbishment that has brought the 1960s motor lodge into the 21st century, with a modern design that draws heavily on retro aesthetics. The 89 guest rooms paired midcentury-inspired furnishings (think rainbow plush headboards, bright geometric carpeting, and wood paneling) with contemporary bedding and wall decor that evokes retro-future and outer-space themes.

The hotel has taken its Dark Sky location seriously by employing shielded lighting and limited bright signage and even using nonreflective paint to curb its light pollution. Guests can book a special “Look Up, Stargazer” package, which includes two tickets to Flagstaff’s historic Lowell Observatory, where Pluto was discovered, and a “Meet a Scientist” event.

The central courtyard has been reimagined as a gathering place with fire pits, corn hole and bocce ball courts, and a heated outdoor pool. An on-site restaurant, Baja Mar Seafood, serves Pacific Mexican food like shrimp tacos, aguachile tostadas, and breakfast burritos. From $209

andBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge

andBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge overlooking the Namib Desert, the world's oldest living desert

The Namib Desert, where andBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge is located, is the world’s oldest living desert.

Courtesy of andBeyond

  • Where: Sossusvlei, Namibia
  • Why we love it: Sustainable, sleek design with starry nights under the Namibian desert sky
  • Book now

Since its founding in 1991, andBeyond has developed a proven model of impact and conservation with care of the land, wildlife, and people at its core. andBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge sits on a vast private concession in the Namib Sand Sea, a coastal fog desert that’s home to the largest sub-Saharan dune field. The lodge borders the NamibRand Nature Reserve, Africa’s only Dark Sky reserve designated by DarkSky International. With the nearest town close to 90 miles away, the sky here measures as one of the darkest on Earth.

The lodge’s 10 glass suites sit along the curve of an escarpment, each producing solar energy to power the air-conditioning, water treatment, and recycling systems. Floor-to-ceiling glass panels offer views of the desert and the night sky, and there are stargazing skylights above each bed and in the spa treatment room.

In the evening in a dedicated observatory area with cushioned seating, resident astronomers offer a tour of the night sky using an 11-inch Celestron computerized telescope, which can zoom in on such deep sky objects as Saturn’s rings and colorful nebulae, the gaseous regions where stars are formed. At sunset, animals congregate at a nearby water hole, which makes for outstanding twilight wildlife viewing. Daytime adventures include hikes of the aptly named Star Dunes, hot air ballooning, desert drives that teach visitors about the ecosystem, geology, and Indigenous peoples, and desert sundowners to watch night fall with a drink in hand. From $1,000


People using a telescope at Astrostays in Ladakh, India, near Pangong Lake

Astrostays in Ladakh, India, is located near the famous Pangong Lake.

Courtesy of Astrostays

  • Location: Ladakh, India
  • Why we love it: Stargazing with monks in peaceful Himalayan villages
  • Book now

A community-led program of homestays in Ladakh, India, Astrostays aims to create regenerative livelihoods for remote Himalayan communities. The program is part of Global Himalayan Expedition, a regenerative travel social enterprise that uses tourism revenue to electrify remote villages and create educational opportunities. It trains local homestay owners, many of whom are women, how to operate a community telescope located in a public area at the village center, and those owners then lead guests on stargazing adventures under the high, arid Ladakh night sky.

Astronomy is at the heart of these homestays. But they also offer visitors ample opportunities to connect with local cultures. In 2022, Astrostays launched a new community space called Cosmohub. Run by five women from the village of Phyang near Leh, Cosmohub is adjacent to a 16th-century Buddhist monastery. A visit integrates stargazing with a monastic prayer session and traditional Ladakhi dinners like momos (dumplings) and thukpa (noodle soup), cooked with produce from a local greenhouse, plus a guided tour of its astronomy exhibit. From $60

Battlesteads Hotel & Observatory

Star trails above Battlesteads Hotel & Observatory in Northumberland, England

Star trails above Battlesteads Hotel & Observatory in Northumberland, England

Courtesy of Battlesteads Hotel & Observatory

  • Location: Northumberland, England
  • Why we love it: Upscale English inn meets astronomical observatory in a Dark Sky Park
  • Book now

A marriage of posh English country hotel and astronomical observatory, Battlesteads Hotel makes for an alluring Dark Sky getaway. On the edge of Northumberland International Dark Sky Park—established in 2013 as England’s largest Dark Sky preserve—Battlesteads Observatory offers talks, stargazing, and astronomy courses by a team of professional astronomers. On the same property, the 22-room Battlesteads Hotel is housed in an 18th-century stone farmhouse; adjacent to it are five stand-alone rooms built from sustainably sourced local wood. Lodgings are located down a quiet pathway near the observatory.

Stargazing and other nighttime activities like aurora hunting are on offer almost every evening. Sustainability is baked into Battlesteads’ operations, which include a carbon-neutral heating and hot water system from a biomass boiler. Its gardens supply produce for the restaurant, which serves such dishes as seasonal game, house-smoked kippers, and summer salads. From $145

Dark Sky Dome

Dark Sky Dome in Tallaminnock, Scotland is composed of dome-shaped accommodations.

Dark Sky Dome in Tallaminnock, Scotland

Courtesy of Dark Sky Dome

  • Where: Tallaminnock, Scotland
  • Why we love it: Stargaze from sleeping nets deep in the Scottish forest.
  • Book now

Located an hour’s drive southeast of Glasgow in Britain’s first International Dark Sky Park, certified in 2009, the Dark Sky Dome offers guests unfettered access to Galloway Forest Park’s starry nights. Opened by local amateur astronomer Christopher McCrindle, who comes from five generations of fishermen and was a navigator in the Merchant Navy, the open-plan dome is the largest of its kind in Scotland and offers a glamping-style stay. Guests frequently spot local nocturnal wildlife, including owls, badgers, and pine marten.

Up to four guests can sleep in a king bed and a pull-out futon, while an upstairs area contains two mezzanine nets on which to recline and stargaze through the dome’s clear plastic roof. Though accommodations are rustic, there are plenty of creature comforts, including Wi-Fi, a wood stove, an indoor shower and toilet, and a full kitchen. (Guests must bring their own food but there is a village shop five miles away.)

The dome has no exterior lighting (guests are given flashlights) and its interior “Block Blue” light bulbs don’t emit damaging, short-wavelength blue light, allowing eyes to stay adjusted to the surrounding natural darkness. From $260

Explora Atacama Lodge

Exterior of Explora Atacama Lodge's private observatory

Explora Atacama Lodge in Chile has one of the country’s best private observatories.

Courtesy of Explora

  • Location: San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
  • Why we love it: Nature-focused lodge with a private observatory
  • Book now

Thanks to a dry, high-altitude climate, the skies above Chile’s Atacama Desert are some of the world’s clearest and darkest, and Explora Atacama Lodge, located in the settlement of San Pedro de Atacama, takes full advantage of them. The Milky Way, which Atacama Quechua speakers call Mayu, or “celestial river,” is a nightly spectacle above the lodge.

Explora Atacama has a private observatory with a Meade 16-inch f/10 LX200R RD telescope, which means it can show brighter star clusters and detailed surface features on the planets in our solar system. Staff astronomers lead nightly open-air stargazing sessions that cover basic astronomy, the solar system, and deep space. Explora Atacama Lodge is only 30 miles from the ALMA international radio observatory, which offers guided tours that reveal how the telescopes listen to radio waves emitted by gas and dust in deep space, offering insights into the origins of the universe.

The lodge’s 50 adobe-style guest rooms and suites sit on 42 acres of land with ruins of an ancient Aymara Indigenous settlement whose historic buildings and pathways are respectfully preserved. The open-air spa features four natural pools, a sauna, and steam baths, all surrounded by the original landscape and native plants, such as pampas grass and high desert flowers. From $700

Hoshinoya Taketomi Island

Nighttime exterior of the pavilions at Hoshinoya Taketomi Island in Japan

The pavilions at Hoshinoya Taketomi Island in Japan all have red tiled roofs featuring shisa lion figurines.

Photo by Hirofumi Inaba

  • Where: Taketomi Island, Okinawa, Japan
  • Why we love it: Low-rise luxury resort in a tropical island Dark Sky Park
  • Book now

Remote Taketomi Island, which sits in the southernmost reaches of the Okinawa Islands, is part of Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park—Japan’s first Dark Sky preserve established in 2018. To protect the natural environment of the island, Hoshinoya Taketomi Island worked with Masanobu Takeishi from Tokyo-based lighting design firm Illumination of City Environment to create a lighting scheme that uses sparse, small lights in key locations that give way to moonlight and starlight. There are no tall structures, so guests can view the night sky from any vantage point.

All of the resort’s 48 villas are single-story wooden buildings that follow the island’s traditional architecture: stone walls, white-sand gardens, and red-tile roofs. In the bar, you can sample traditional Okinawan rice-wine cocktails, and the swimming pool is designed to reflect the sky, at night turning into a stargazing float pool.

During the summer months, the resort offers a summer dining experience under the stars. The five-course, French-style dinner utlizes such local Okinawan ingredients as octopus terrine, tiger prawns, and mangos. Aperitifs are served in the dining room before dinner, when guests move to an outdoor table with a view of the village. Diners enjoy the blue hour and take in the cosmos as the sky gradually darkens and the stars come out.

Hoshinoya Taketomi Island also hosts a nighttime ritual movement program year-round called “Tinnu Deep Breathing,” where participants practice stretching exercises under the stars and moon before going to bed. You can also take a traditional wooden sabani boat out to sea to watch the sunset from the water. From $265

Longitude 131

This Dune Pavilion Bedroom at Longitude 131 features floor to ceiling windows that face the surrounding rust-colored landscape.

A Dune Pavilion Bedroom at Longitude 131.

Courtesy of Longitude 131

  • Where: Northern Territory, Australia
  • Why we love it: Understated Outback elegance with Indigenous-led stargazing overlooking Uluru
  • Book now

Australian Indigenous groups are among the world’s first astronomers, with thousands of years of star knowledge and an early understanding of the night sky. With almost no urban development, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park contains some of the most expansive skies in the world, with unobstructed views from horizon to horizon. Sitting adjacent to the park is Longitude 131, a luxury tented camp that overlooks the Outback’s vast, dusty Red Centre and the famed monolithic Uluru (Ayers Rock) and the Kata Tjuta domed rock formations.

The lodge’s 16 tented pavilion suites are designed to have minimal impact on the delicate, red-dune environment. Tents feature floor-to-ceiling windows with views of Uluru, and private outdoor decks have ecofriendly, clean-burning fireplaces and safari beds for sleeping under the stars. Want views of both Uluru and Kata Tjuta? Book the two-bedroom Dune Pavilion suite, with private outdoor stargazing beds and an outdoor plunge pool to soak up the sky.

Guided excursions include sunrise and sunset walks around Uluru and Kantju Gorge and sundowners at a sunset viewing area with a pop-up bar to watch the light change into night over the desert. Several local tours, which can be arranged by the resort, offer visitors a deeper understanding of ancient Indigenous astronomy and starlore, such as the story of the Great Emu, made up of dark patches in the center of the Milky Way. From $2,940

Northern Lights Ranch

Wood-walled accommodations at Northern Lights Ranch under the light of the Aurora Borealis and surrounded by trees.

Northern Lights Ranch is located above the Arctic Circle in Finnish Lapland,

Courtesy of Northern Lights Ranch

  • Where: Lapland, Finland
  • Why we love it: Scandi-chic cabins for stargazing and aurora borealis–hunting
  • Book now

Above the Arctic Circle in Finnish Lapland, Northern Lights Ranch was designed to offer convenient access to the night sky and the aurora borealis via Kittilä Airport 18 miles away. Located just north of the ski resort village of Levi, the ranch sits within an area that’s far away from light pollution.

The 16 Sky View cabins were built with oversize windows and heated glass roofs designed for cozy stargazing and aurora viewing from bed. Book a Deluxe cabin, which can accommodate up to three adults or a family of four. It has a double bed, an additional alcove sofa bed, and a private outdoor hot tub for evening soaking as the aurora dances above. All cabins are equipped with Scandinavian-style whitewashed timber furnishings and kitchenettes.
To get the best chance at seeing and photographing the Northern Lights, book an aurora-chasing tour, available year-round but best in winter. The tour equips travelers with Arctic overalls, winter boots, and a headlamp and offers brownies and hot berry juice along the way. From $240

Mt. Cook Lakeside Retreat

Mt. Cook Lakeside Retreat under clear, star-filled skies in New Zealand

Mt. Cook Lakeside Retreat in New Zealand

Courtesy of Mt. Cook Lakeside Retreat

  • Where: Lake Pukaki, South Island, New Zealand
  • Why we love it: Tuscany-inspired villas with an astronomical observatory that doubles as a wine cellar
  • Book now

Located in the vast Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve (the first in the Southern Hemisphere, certified in 2012), Mt. Cook Lakeside Retreat is so remote it practically has no light pollution. Each of the four villas is a private, two-bedroom lake house decorated in Tuscan farmhouse style with big windows. All face the turquoise waters of Lake Pukaki and the Ben Ohau Mountain Range and have outdoor hot tubs for relaxing under the night sky.

A culinary team provides fresh fare, such as local freshwater king salmon and fjordland venison, either in your villa or the communal Moraine Lodge dining area. Guests can also book a “Billion Star Dining” experience, which starts with a three-course meal in the lodge and ends with a stargazing experience. The retreat’s nocturnal calling card is its purpose-built wine cellar and astronomical observatory. Here, guests can take part in a wine or whiskey tasting followed by a guided tour of the night sky through a six-inch refractor telescope in an observatory with a retractable roof. Stargazing experiences include twilight viewing, late-night telescope observing, and astrophotography workshops.

As its name suggests, Mt. Cook Lakeside Retreat is about 30 miles from New Zealand’s highest peak, Mount Cook, which makes for an easy day excursion. Surrounding the property are three miles of walking trails and wellness activities, including forest bathing, yoga, and in-room massage treatments. From $970

Skyview Hotel

This guest room at the Skyview Hotel features floor-to-ceiling windows featuring the otherworldly landscapes of the region.

A guest room at the Skyview Hotel

Courtesy of Skyview Hotel

  • Location: Torrey, Utah, USA
  • Why we love it: A chic desert boutique hotel in a Dark Sky Community
  • Book now

The boutique, art-forward Skyview Hotel is in the International Dark Sky Community of Torrey, Utah. The hotel was designed by couple Joshua Rowley and Nicholas Derrick, who chose to build it in Torrey due to its Dark Sky status. Custom art installations inside celebrate the red-sand and canyon landscapes of nearby Capitol Reef National Park, an International Dark Sky Park. Dark-blue, tiled floor-to-ceiling headboards in the 14 guest rooms evoke the area’s starry nights. Accommodations also have private patios overlooking Torrey’s red-rock cliffs, some with private hot tubs perfect for gazing at the stars. There are also six boutique glamping domes, with skylights for stargazing from bed.

The hotel’s calling card is its rooftop terrace, designed to offer an elevated view of Torrey’s vast night skies. Lighting throughout the property is designed to eliminate light pollution, and the roof terrace has two lighting options, amber and red, to maintain dark-adjusted eyesight. Binoculars are available for guests, and stargazing tours in Capitol Reef can be booked through Sleeping Rainbow Adventures. The hotel also offers a mindful stargazing audio experience for guests to try.

The hallways to the rooms are a living art installation by Joshua Rowley consisting of suspended ropes intended to evoke the region’s sandstone slot canyons. The hotel’s sustainability ethos can be seen in furnishings made from recycled and sustainable materials, water conservation efforts that include efficient laundry systems, in-room recycling, dark-sky–approved lighting, and xeriscaping to embrace the local biosphere. The hotel is also pet friendly, with part of the pet fee donated to Color Country Animal Welfare. From $209

Under Canvas Lake Powell - Grand Staircase

Tented accommodations at Under Canvas Lake Powell - Grand Staircase offer unobstructed views of the night sky.

Tented accommodations at Under Canvas Lake Powell - Grand Staircase

Travis Burke

  • Location: Big Water, Utah, USA
  • Why we love it: Luxury desert safari at the world’s first Dark Sky–certified resort
  • Book now

In 2023, Under Canvas Lake Powell - Grand Staircase became the first resort certified by DarkSky International as part of its new DarkSky Lodging program. Under Canvas operates a collection of luxury glamping resorts, with its Lake Powell property in southern Utah sitting under dark and starry skies, and within striking distance of several International Dark Sky Parks, such as Zion and Grand Canyon National Parks. To comply with DarkSky International’s certification requirements, the resort has a strict lighting management plan to ensure all lights are dark-sky friendly.

Situated on a canyon rim with vast views over the moonlike landscapes of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Lake Powell, Under Canvas features 50 safari-style canvas tents on elevated decks with private en suite bathrooms that have showers and flushing toilets. Book a Stargazer Tent, which has a viewing window above the king-size bed so you can gaze at the heavens from your pillow. A large reception-lodge tent features a relaxed dining area and bar with a deck overlooking the canyon. Stargazing evenings with a small telescope are a regular offering. From $299

Wild Wetlands Lodge

Wild Wetlands Lodge in Iberá National Park, Argentina, features outdoor areas shaded by thatched roofs.

Wild Wetlands Lodge in Iberá National Park, Argentina

Megan Eaves

  • Location: Reserva Don Luis, Iberá National Park, Corrientes, Argentina
  • Why we love it: Remote lodge in a national park surrounded by marshland wildlife
  • Book now

In the center of Iberá National Park, a vast wetland area in Corrientes province in northern Argentina, Wild Wetlands Lodge is an off-grid dream surrounded by nature during the day and the heavens at night. Run by passionate conservationists and wildlife experts, wife-and-husband team Alejandra Boloqui and Cepi Oporto, the lodge is the only accommodation in the Iberá marshlands, which is filled with birdlife, caiman alligators, marsh deer, and a herd of resident capybara. Two main cabins feature accommodations with huge decks overlooking the marshes, while a small selection of budget rooms and cabins are also available. The property has an organic garden that supplies fresh produce for meals, and the on-site wood grill is often fired up for an Argentinean asado.

At night, Wild Wetlands Lodge enjoys starry skies from horizon to horizon, with no light pollution anywhere in the reserve. Views include familiar constellations and celestial objects, along with those visible only in the southern hemisphere, including the Magellanic Clouds. Throughout the year, the lodge hosts star parties and stargazing events, including guided astronomy storytelling with an Indigenous Guaraní astronomer. From $265

This story was originally published in 2023. It was most recently on June 11, 2024, to include current information.

Megan Eaves is a travel author and editor of Nightscape magazine. She formerly served as Lonely Planet’s North and Central Asia destination editor and has written guidebooks to China, Central Asia, South Korea, Tibet, and London. She often writes about sustainable travel, hiking, walking, and beer.
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