8 Off-the-Grid Escapes Worth the Trek

Sometimes you just need to completely unplug in some of the most stunning surroundings in the world.

6114 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85253, USA
Why we love it: A bungalow-based resort inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright and his beloved Sonoran Desert

- Spacious bungalows full of mid-century style
- Decor from local nonprofit Cattle Track Arts Compound
- Desert-inspired treatments at the on-site spa

The Review:
Santa Fe meets Palm Springs at this bohemian resort in Paradise Valley. Designers saved the bungalows from the previous property, but added dramatic, low-slung buildings rich in glass and deep overhangs, plus an ample central pool and four conference venues. Inspiration came via icons Frank Lloyd Wright and Alexander Girard, who both retreated to the desert for its light and space.

Guests looking to follow their lead can book one of the Andaz’s 201 mid-century-style casitas, which come complete with Eero Saarinen–esque womb chairs and marble walk-in showers. Suites include an additional full bathroom and spacious living area, while The Retreat—a cluster of accommodations perfect for weddings or corporate retreats—features 20 bungalows, including the 1,800-square-foot Albers House, surrounding a private pool. Throughout, decor draws heavily from the Cattle Track Arts Compound, a nearby nonprofit workspace for painters, sculptors, jewelers, potters, blacksmiths, and performers. (The hotel actually hosts artists-in-residence from the organization on a regular basis). Also on-site is the Palo Verde Spa & Apothecary, where treatments blend desert elements with locally sourced botanicals, and the inventive Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen, with dishes inspired by the surrounding Sonoran Desert. When guests wish to explore farther, they can catch a ride in the hotel Tesla anywhere within five miles, including to Chaparral Park and Old Town Scottsdale.

Ladakh, a region in the Indian Himalayas an hour’s flight north of Delhi (elevation: 11,500 feet), became a lot more accessible 10 years ago when Shakti Himalaya started hosting homestays in restored village houses. Their spacious new four-bedroom Shakti Indus River House and the three-bedroom Indus Farmhouse are well-appointed bases for families or groups looking to spend a week meditating with monks, white-water rafting, and hiking to nearby villages and monasteries.
Nosy Anko, Madagascar
The biodiversity of Madagascar is staggering: It’s home to more than 11,000 plant species, and close to 90 percent of the wildlife in this African island nation can be found nowhere else. Even the top eco-lodges here were rough around the edges until the arrival of Miavana, a private island resort off the northeastern coast. Miavana is undeniably over-the-top (the sustainably designed villas start at nearly 5,000 square feet), but the wildlife encounters are the real draw. Along with snorkeling and marine safaris, the resort offers guided treks to see native species such as jeweled chameleons and silky sifaka.
Skoura, Morocco
The beloved Dar Ahlam resort has taken its show on the road with Route du Sud, a six-night driving tour to five destinations with three private retreats that showcase the shape-shifting landscapes of isolated southern Morocco, one property at a time. The first stop is the hillside Maison des Arganiers, two and a half hours from Marrakech, in a rocky landscape facing miles of argan groves; next comes La Maison de l’Oasis, nestled in an oasis of palms; and the final private destination is the dramatic La Maison Rouge, which sits at the edge of a red canyon. Along the way you have beach picnics, nomadic campouts, and scenic drives through dramatic desert dunes.
With the June 2017 opening of Bisate Lodge, Wilderness Safaris will bring its brand of conservation-minded luxury to Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, one of the only places in the world to see mountain gorillas in the wild. Set on 67 acres of private land, six forest villas and 12 rooms will feature Rwandan-style spherical thatched structures and handmade patterned fabrics. They’re set in an eroded volcanic cone, a natural amphitheater surrounded by a rich hagenia forest and massive stands of bamboo. Bisate is Wilderness’s biggest conservation project to date: The lodge is partnering with more than 100 area farm owners to rehabilitate gorilla habitats.
No 110, Al Jabal Al Akhdar, Nizwa 621, Oman
Travelers can now take in the beauty of Oman’s otherworldly desert landscapes from the comfort of Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort in the central Al Hajar Mountains. Set on the rim of a massive canyon surrounded by craggy mountains, villages, and date plantations, the 115-room resort is a retreat with stone walls inspired by the region’s ancient citadels.
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