These Are 6 Great Hotels for Watching October’s Solar Eclipse—and You Can Still Book Them

These are the hotels to book for autumn’s main astronomical event.

Sunset by the lit circular firepit at the Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe.

Sunset at the Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe.

Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe

Next spring’s buzzed-about total solar eclipse is already making headlines, but it’s not the only solar spectacle on the horizon. On October 14, 2023, an annular solar eclipse will appear above a narrow ribbon of the Americas, and it’s worth building a trip around. The trademark of this phenomenon—when the moon covers the majority, but not the entirety, of the sun—is an eerie ring-of-fire effect. Sky watchers can catch this eclipse, known as an annularity, across 10 countries, from the western United States into Mexico and Central then South America.

What’s an annular solar eclipse?

Eclipses occur when the sun, moon, and Earth align, according to NASA. The type of solar eclipse hinges on the moon’s proximity to us.

The moon’s distance from Earth fluctuates as it orbits around our planet. When it’s close, it appears large enough to cover the sun’s full disk, save for its outer atmosphere, known as the corona. The result: a total solar eclipse, which brings night-like darkness to those within a thin geographical band, known as the path of totality.

This fall’s annular solar eclipse is like a warm-up for next year’s extravaganza. During an annual solar eclipse, the moon is farther away from us. It’s not large enough to cover the entire sun. Instead, it slides across the bulk of it. On Earth, annular eclipse chasers see an inky full moon fringed with the sun’s bright-orange border. It doesn’t get entirely dark like a total eclipse, but the sun does dim.

How can I see the October annular solar eclipse?

The path of annularity, where the full ring of fire is visible, crosses a thin strip of North and South America this October, roughly from Oregon to Brazil. Annularity hits Oregon at 9:13 a.m. PST, according to the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service. It travels southeast across North into Central and then South America, ending over northeastern Brazil.

Those near, but not directly within, the path of annularity will catch a partial eclipse. To safely watch the sun, use a pair of NASA-approved solar eclipse glasses (simple sunglasses don’t provide enough protection).

The best way to chase the eclipse? Spend the night beforehand (October 13, 2023) in a hotel within the path of annularity. These hotels and a glamping getaway pair astronomy with adventure—not to mention luxury—and they all have eclipse-eve availability as of publication.

1. Alaia Belize

A beach villa's deck, with empty loungers and and private plunge pool at Alaia Belize

A beach villa at Alaia Belize

Courtesy of Alaia Belize

  • Location: Ambergris Caye, Belize
  • Duration of annularity: 4 minutes, 45 seconds
  • Loyalty program: Marriott Bonvoy
  • Book now

From 11:31:34 a.m. to 11:36:19 a.m. local time, Belize’s largest island, Ambergris Caye, will experience nearly five minutes beneath the ring of fire. You can spot it anywhere with open skies on the palm-fringed island, but Alaia Belize’s scenic and secluded viewpoints are hard to top.

This sleek Marriott Autograph Collection property sits along 1,000 feet of the powder-soft Mar de Tumbo beach. Catch the eclipse from a waterfront cabana or lounge chair, or up on the Vista Rooftop Pool and Lounge, a panoramic and suspended rooftop pool that shares space with an Asian infusion restaurant and cocktail bar. For en suite viewing, book a private beachfront villa; each comes with its own plunge pool. Stylish suites also include a beach- or garden-view balcony. Or join fellow guests to watch the marvel from the main pool—and grab your swim-up-bar beverage before the clock hits 11:31 a.m. From $289

2. Bay Point Landing

Interior of narrow cabin with large windows at Bay Point Landing in Coos Bay, Oregon

Bay Point Landing is your glamping go-to in Coos Bay, Oregon.

Photo by Corinne Kupish

  • Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
  • Duration of annularity: 3 minutes, 59 seconds
  • Book now

Southern Oregon is one of the initial places to greet the October 14 annular solar eclipse. You can be among the first to spot it at Bay Point Landing, a collection of cabins, tiny homes, and Airstreams on the wild Coos Bay coast. This swath of marshland, bay beaches, and sand dunes will see nearly four minutes of annularity from 9:16:02 a.m. to 9:20:01 a.m. local time.

Soak up the solar splendor from Bay Point Landing’s myriad lookouts, including private firepits and the adjacent secluded shore. Book a minimalistic cabin for two to six people to watch the show from your front porch’s Adirondack lounge chairs. Or snag an Airstream suite complete with a kitchenette, private bath, skylight, and outdoor patio. Bay Point Landing’s amenities, such as an indoor saltwater pool beneath vaulted ceilings, promise post-eclipse relaxation, with comfort food via an on-site food truck (think fish & chips and fresh salads) to keep you fueled for the destination’s scenic beach walks and water sports. From $168

3. Kimpton Grand Roatán

Interior of guest room, in black and white with glass wall leading to private balcony.

A guest room at the Kimpton Grand Roatán

Courtesy of Kimpton Grand Roatán

  • Location: Roatán, Honduras
  • Duration of annularity: 4 minutes, 39 seconds
  • Loyalty program: IHG One Rewards
  • Book now

Roatán’s bustling Mesoamerican Barrier Reef is the Honduran island’s prime showstopper, but on October 14, all eyes will be on the sky. From 11:38:06 a.m. to 11:42:45 a.m. local time, the island, 40 miles off the coast of northern Honduras, will enjoy an eye-popping ring of fire. Soak up all 4.5 minutes of the scene in style at the new Kimpton Grand Roatán Resort & Spa, which opened in the summer of 2023.

The 119-room property, set along the island’s southern tip, features suites, rooms, condos, and bungalows that showcase the area’s culture through local artwork and artifacts from the Indigenous Paya islanders. Many rooms include private balconies with tropical forest views. Enjoy the eclipse from your balcony, the gumbo-tree-ringed outdoor pool, or while paddling along the Caribbean Sea; kayak rentals are available on site. After sky gazing, enjoy a snack at one of the resort’s four spirited restaurants. Alera puts a Mediterranean spin on fresh local produce and seafood, while the Drop Off beachfront restaurant’s bartenders concoct beverages that are equal parts cocktail and art. From $265

4. MÍA Bacalar Luxury Resort & Spa

Wooden jetty at lagoon at MÍA Bacalar Luxury Resort & Spa

MÍA Bacalar Luxury Resort & Spa has its own jetty at the foot of the lagoon.

Courtesy of MÍA Bacalar Luxury Resort & Spa

  • Location: Quintana Roo, Mexico
  • Duration of annularity: 3 minutes, 59 seconds
  • Book now

Mexico’s path of annularity crosses one of the country’s most popular tourism areas: Quintana Roo, a sugar-sand beach region with cenotes, jungle, Mayan ruins, and, come October, eclipse viewing near tourist towns like Bacalar. The getaway, roughly 200 miles south of Cancún, will experience annularity from 12:29:22 p.m. to 12:33:21 p.m. local time. Head to MÍA Bacalar Luxury Resort and Spa to pair eclipse chasing with five-star R&R.

The 23 private-feeling, white and wood abodes of the MÍA Bacalar overlook Bacalar Lagoon, nicknamed the “lagoon of seven colors” for its ever-changing hues of blue. Spot the eclipse from your own patio in one of the curvilinear Luxe Saasil rooms, or via a private plunge pool in one of the Ixchel suites. For a wider panorama, try MÍA Bacalar’s pier or paddle the lagoon in a transparent kayak to see both ocean and space marvels. Between adventures, dine at the high-end Hunab Ku Restaurant, known for Mexican dishes like stuffed peppers and pozole (a traditional pork and hominy stew). From $322

5. La Cantera Resort & Spa

Aerial view of the family pool at La Cantera Resort & Spa, with green landscape in background

The family pool at La Cantera Resort & Spa

Courtesy of La Cantera Resort & Spa

  • Location: San Antonio Hill Country, Texas
  • Duration of annularity: 4 minutes, 11 seconds
  • Book now

It’s eclipse after eclipse in Texas Hill Country in the coming months. The sprawling central Texas region will see both this fall’s annular solar eclipse and next spring’s total solar eclipse. La Cantera Resort & Spa, located atop San Antonio’s rolling hills, delivers a view of both events, including annularity from 11:51:47 a.m. to 11:55:58 a.m. local time on October 14.

The 496-room resort sprawls across 550 forested acres, with 34 regal-meets-farmhouse villas and one adults-only floor. Its aesthetic, with Texas limestone walls and native textiles and art, nods to the region’s history. The spacious guest rooms follow suit, with cherry wood and oversize windows and private patios to take in the view.

Come October 14, La Cantera is partnering with the University of Texas at San Antonio’s physics and astronomy department to host an educational eclipse-view experience. It’s offered as part of the “moon’s shadow” three-day package ($3,500 for two guests, three-night minimum) and includes educational programming, a welcome reception, telescope viewing, and, on the 14th, a full eclipse-viewing party on the lawn. Dine before and after the eclipse at one of numerous on-site haunts, from charcuterie at Bocado to upscale Texan fare, such as beef tenderloin or venison, at La Cantera’s Signature restaurant. From $357

6. Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe

Wooden suite patio at the Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe, with two chairs and a hammock

A suite patio at the Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe

Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe

  • Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Duration of annularity: 1 minute, 50 seconds
  • Book now

New Mexico will see a flurry of sky activity come mid-October. There’s the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta from October 7 to 15, and, on October 14, the ring of fire will also glow above roughly one-third of the state. While most Albuquerque hotels are booked up for the beloved balloon festival, Santa Fe’s 65-room Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado, about one hour north of the fiesta, still has space—and nearly two minutes of annularity, from 10:36:28 a.m. to 10:38:18 a.m. local time on the 14th.

There are plenty of eclipse-chasing options across the property’s 57 Sangre de Cristo mountain foothill acres. Cozy up by an alfresco firepit as the ring of fire fills the sky, or head to the pool to watch the desert change as the sky dims. The adobe-style casitas, with wood-burning fireplaces and heated floors, include private terraces to eclipse watch in your slippers. Relax and view the sky via cozy patio furnishings, from hammocks to lounge chairs. For a heart-pumping annularity encounter, head to the property’s adventure center and plan an eclipse-timed mountain canyon hike among wild hops and cholla cacti. Don’t miss fine-dining haunt Terra’s Southwestern food, such as watermelon cucumber gazpacho and seafood paella with saffron rice. From $3,400

Stephanie Vermillion is a travel journalist covering outdoor adventure, culture, astrotourism, and conservation. Her work has been published by AFAR, National Geographic Travel, Outside Magazine, and BBC Travel. Follow her travels on Instagram @bystephanievermillion.
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