The World’s Best Adventure Lodges

These hotels provide all of the amenities and comforts one could imagine, plus connect you with the most epic thrills and expert guides.

2600 Wolgan Rd
It doesn’t get more quintessentially Australian than this: waking up to a symphony of kookaburras and the heady scent of eucalyptus, the sight of kangaroos roaming freely about the 7,000-acre nature reserve. You might be tricked into thinking you’d slept under the stars—if it weren’t for the four-poster bed, flicker of a warm fire, and sunrise reflected from the glittering private pool. A three hours’ drive west of Sydney, this luxury ecolodge feels worlds away, surrounded by sandstone bluffs and sweeping plains filled with leafy gumtrees and Wollemi pines. It has 40 homestead-style villas that are as eco-friendly as they are indulgent: materials sourced within a 60-mile radius, solar panels for hot water and lighting. Highlights include the Aussie cuisine, mostly grown and sourced within 100 miles of the resort (and included in the all-inclusive rate, along with a premium minibar). A fruit orchard and edible garden supplies organic herbs, vegetables, fruits, and nuts.


The most intriguing aspect of the property is an original farmhouse, built around 1832, that hosted Charles Darwin in 1836. Today, the homestead functions as a museum that highlights the Indigenous, settler, and agricultural history of the valley. The comprehensive program of activities gets guests off the homestead: There are peaks to climb, glowworms to ogle, and horses to ride. Following a landslide in 2022, Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley has faced access issues. It is temporarily closed.
E6 80, 9146 Olderdalen, Norway
Situated on the Lyngen Fjord, this timber lodge is well suited for boat skiing. From March through May, a skipper ferries guests to nearby islands, where they hike up peaks and ski back to the beach.
Km 5, 5 Norte S/N, Natales, Región de Magallanes y de la Antártica Chilena, Chile
If there were ever a hotel with history, it’s the Singular Patagonia. Opened as a hotel in November 2011, the original building once served as a post-Victorian cold-storage factory built by the British in 1915 for the purpose of processing sheep’s wool and meat to be shipped back to England. Overlooking the waters of Last Hope Sound, the long, red-brick building is located just outside the town of Puerto Natales. After operating for almost 70 years as a factory, it was declared a national historic landmark before being transformed into a luxury hotel.

History is by no means forgotten. The hallways are still stocked with brightly colored machinery—from steam condensers to boilers and forges—all stamped with the name of the British city in which they were built: Derby, Birmingham, London, or Glasgow. Designed by Chilean interior designer Enrique Concha and local architect Pedro Kovacic, the 57 bedrooms stretch along a new wing that was added to the original buildings, and these rooms are furnished with Victorian-inspired furniture.
Sesriem, Namibia
The sustainably designed andBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge on the edge of the NamibRand Nature Reserve captures the raw beauty of the world’s oldest living desert. The otherworldliness of the environment has been consciously translated into every aspect of the experience. The off-grid design factors in the extreme climate and harsh elements, and the desert’s forms, colors and textures are reflected in sculptural stone and steel lines that give way to soft, organic shapes. Throughout, glass walls slide away to amplify the big-sky views. The 10 guest suites are self-sufficient, solar-powered private retreats, each generating ample energy to run on photovoltaic power for everything from the AC and the deep swimming pools to the water harvesting and recycling systems.


Activities include climbing the world’s highest dunes at Sossusvlei or e-biking along gravel trails to caves with rock art by the desert’s earliest inhabitants. Back at the lodge, dishes that reflect Namibia’s cultural history include venison and Kalahari truffles and fresh seafood from the Atlantic Ocean. With close to zero light pollution, the Namib is one of the best dark sky locations in the Southern Hemisphere. The best way to end any evening is in the lodge’s observatory. You can also fall asleep counting stars, thanks to a skylight above your bed.
Limón Province, Costa Rica
Tucked in the Rainforest of Costa Rica is this incredible Ecolodge. We whitewater rafted all morning to arrive at the lodge, our river guides acted as chefs and general grounds keepers upon arrival, and we were treated to the absolute best food we had the entire trip in Costa Rica. The bungalows do not have any electricity, but the staff lights candles in all the rooms and pathways each evening, and dinner is eaten by candle light. Talk about romance!! While staying they have horseback riding through the jungle, hikes, rappelling, zip lining and of course more rafting. Definitely will not be our last trip to this lodge!! The attention to sustainability efforts was also fantastic and commendable.
Bordering Serengeti National Park
Whether you’re up for the adventure of a mobile tented camp, or would prefer a private house staffed with personal chefs, Singita Grumeti is the place for the ultimate safari experience and unbeatable Great Migration views. The 350,000-acre protected nature reserve is home to five distinct properties (plus an exclusive private villa option), ensuring there is an option for any traveler—though luxury, service, and attention to detail are constants across the board.

The five main Grumeti properties offer a singular setting and experience, along with the option to visit any of the others for meals, or to make use of their facilities. Choices include traditional tented-style camps like Sabora Tented Camp, with its plush, 1920s-explorer-inspired decor, and Explore Mobile Tented Camp, an eco-friendly setup that can be moved as the migration progresses. Faru Faru Lodge features contemporary interiors and boasts two striking pools, while Serengeti House is a four-suite private house favored by honeymooning celebs. The grande dame of the reserve, Sasakwa Lodge, boasts luxury cottages, a spa, a wine cellar, dining room, a bar and lounge, a billiards room, a conservatory, and even an equestrian center.

With all this to choose from—not to mention the endless panoramas, gourmet cuisine, and unforgettable wildlife viewing—Singita Grumeti has become known as the pinnacle of safari getaways. And with good reason: the experience here is so impeccable, it just might spoil you on safaris for life.
Magallanes y la Antártica Chilena Region, Chile
Consisting of 25 domes, EcoCamp was inspired by the round houses of ancient tribes that formerly inhabited the area now known as Torres del Paine National Park. There are three categories of domes, all made from green plastic with sheer windows. Standard domes feature twin or double beds and a shared, campsite-style bathroom. Standard domes don’t have central heating and can be nippy in the Patagonian climate. Superior domes have gas heaters and en suite bathrooms. The suite domes are similar to the superior rooms, but have wood-burning stoves (and the suite dome loft has two floors). Domes are connected by raised wooden walkways for minimal environmental impact. Communal meals and pre-excursion briefings take place in the central community dome.
271 Huka Falls Rd, Taupo 3377, New Zealand
The most exclusive lodge in New Zealand, having hosted everyone from Queen Elizabeth II to the late Robin Williams, Huka Lodge feels like a refined country getaway set on the banks of the Waikato River near the North Island resort town of Taupo. Founded in 1924 by a charismatic Irishman named Alan Pye, the property was later reimagined by entrepreneur Alex van Heeren with the help of interiors specialist Virginia Fisher and famed New Zealand landscape designer Suzanne Turley. The surrounding grounds are ranked as a ‘Garden of National Significance’ by the New Zealand Gardens Trust. Whether staying in the lodge suites—which feature French doors that open up to a wooden terrace just steps from the river—or the lofty private cottages, guests will feel like royalty here.
Hanson Bay Rd, Kingscote SA 5223, Australia
When Southern Ocean Lodge, the flagship property of Australian hotel brand Baillie Lodges, opened in 2008, it was Kangaroo Island’s first true luxury lodge, known for its cinematic spot atop grass-covered limestone cliffs, with curved guest suites facing the namesake seas. Surrounded on three sides by national parks, Southern Ocean Lodge connected travelers with Australia’s powerful natural landscapes. Then in early January 2020, wildfires consumed more than half of Kangaroo Island, reducing the ecological paradise to sandy hills and blackened branches. Southern Ocean Lodge was a casualty of the blaze.


As AFAR’s Katherine LaGrave reported in her feature on the island, rebuilding began in earnest in February 2022, with the goal of becoming more sustainable: “The new lodge will use 25 percent less energy than the original lodge, and diesel fuel consumption will be halved. There will be rainwater harvesting, reliance on a hybrid solar-and-battery system, and elevated boardwalks to minimize impact on the health of coastal plants. Smart landscaping will create a sort of buffer around the lodge.”



Along with the new sustainable choices, the lodge has replicated the footprint of the original property, with 25 guest rooms slightly reoriented to optimize sea views. A new ultra-premium suite, the Ocean Pavilion, has up to four bedrooms and bathrooms (or two separate suites) with an outdoor terrace and private pool. And the ever-popular main lodge still has a Great Room with a suspended fireplace and a deck with a plunge pool that juts toward the sea.
More from AFAR
Sign up for our newsletter
Join more than a million of the world’s best travelers. Subscribe to the Daily Wander newsletter.
AFAR Journeys
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: United States
Journeys: Sports + Adventure