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These places are perfect for recluses and creatives, as well as anyone looking for some serious alone time, a deep digital detox, or a journey far away from the maddening crowds that make up city life. So you’re on the lam, or just so in love, you don’t want to see anyone but each other? Consider lying low at one of these isolated retreats.
Waterfall Resort – Alaska
The Only Way In: Floatplane. “That’s why they call it fishing and not catching,” goes the old fisherman’s lament. But it’s not a lament you’ll hear often at Waterfall, a salmon cannery-cum-sportfishing lodge tucked away among the channel islands of southeastern Alaska. Guests are shuttled in and out via seaplane from nearby Ketchikan for three-night/four-day sojourns tailored for one thing and one thing only: catching massive fish by the barrelful. Evenings involve communal repasts in the mess hall followed by billiards, poker and hearty recountings of the day’s best catch in the Lagoon Saloon. And yes, you get to keep the goods: this editor left with 45 pounds of king and coho salmon, rockfish, lingcod, and halibut.
Las Alamandas Hotel, Costalegre – Mexico
This secluded 16-room boutique resort sits on 1,500 acres of a blissfully underdeveloped swath of Mexico’s Pacific coastline in Costalegre, often referred to as “The Virgin Coast.” The ultimate beach hideaway, it offers a truly unforgettable vacation with its serene eco-destination filled with unspoiled white-sand beaches, warm turquoise waters, and lush tropical gardens. The resort is also popular with the Hollywood set who occasionally book the entire property for their holiday due to its gorgeous cliffside views, relative isolation and lack of cell phone reception, offering a true escape from the chaos of the modern world.
To get there, you can fly into Puerto Vallarta or Manzanillo – either airport is approximately a two-hour drive away. Chartering a small plane is also an option as the resort has its own landing strip.
Laucala on Laucala Island – Fiji
If you’re going to stay on a private island to escape from the humdrum drudgery of your daily routine, you may as well pick the one that has hosted Oprah. Set on 3,500 acres of lush Fijian land, Laucala is known for its over-the-top luxury and ultra-secluded digs. Each of the resort’s 25 villas, for example, has its own private pool. To visit Laucala, fly to Fiji and transfer to the hotel’s private plane for a 50-minute flight to Laucala. Work off any travel weariness by spending your days surrounded by coconut groves or diving into the turquoise waters and coral reefs that surround the island.
Travaasa Hana, Hana – Hawaii
Nestled at the end of a 3hr coastal drive considered by many to be the most scenic route in the world, the Hawaiian town of Hana is said to be “old school”, as in authentic luaus and locals walking around barefoot. Travaasa Hana (formerly Hotel Hana Maui) is equally retro, providing no TVs, telephones, or other distracting electronics; every room simply gets one Commodore 64. JK! That’d be crazy, right?
The Apostle Islands – Wisconsin
The 21 Apostle Islands, nestled off Northern Wisconsin’s Bayfield Peninsula in Lake Superior, are wild and rugged. Make larger Madeline Island your base and explore from there, either by kayak, water taxi or sailboat. Visit remote fishing villages, pick wild blueberries in summer and explore the sea caves on Devil’s Island, where only the lighthouse keeper lives. Black bears can be found on the islands too.
Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island – Australia
Southern Ocean Lodge is on Kangaroo Island—a hop away from Adelaide, Australia. And you can see kangaroos on the windswept island, along with wallabies, koalas, and other Oz wildlife. Southern Ocean Lodge, which floats atop a secluded cliff, features suites showcasing bespoke furnishings, sunken lounges and glass walls offering breathtaking full frontal views of the untamed wilderness beyond.
Sextantio Albergo Diffuso, Italy
In the Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga National Park in the Apennine Mountains, the village of Santo Stefano di Sessanio is surrounded by the incredible beauty of Abruzzo, “reminiscent of New Zealand but with mountain peaks as high as the Alps,” says Pappyn. A Swedish-Italian businessman turned an abandoned village into an albergo diffuso (scattered hotel) with guest rooms distributed through 32 restored houses. “With untouched nature, clever design and a thoughtful restoration, this is one of the most tranquil places to stay in Europe.”