Photograph by Kwilms, flickr
From the National Geographic book Destinations of a Lifetime
Monastero Santa Rosa, Conca dei Marini, Italy
Looming above the port town of Amalfi and the turquoise Tyrrhenian Sea, this scrupulously renovated 17th-century monastery turned hotel sits quietly and dramatically atop a sea cliff that’s been carved into a leafy tiered garden.
Amangiri, Canyon Point, Utah
This modernist desert bunker set among 5,000-year-old petroglyphs and the stratified canyons and plateaus overlooking Utah’s Grand Staircase is especially remote and understated, with paths lit with flickering hurricane lanterns.
Loews Don CeSar, St. Pete Beach, Florida
An iconic Jazz Age hotel on the white sands of Florida’s St. Pete Beach, the pink palace is festooned with Moorish chimneys and dramatic double-arched windows. It once hosted the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald and FDR.
Park Hyatt, Tokyo, Japan
Housed on the upper floors of Tokyo’s landmark Shinjuku Park Tower, this plush hotel offers lush turquoise interiors, meticulously trained staff, a spacious penthouse spa, and views of the neon canyon of Shinjuku below.
Aman at Summer Palace, Beijing, China
The former quarters of Empress Dowager Cixi remains the only hotel built inside the Summer Palace, an extensive complex of 18th-century temples and gardens designed as a royal urban retreat from Beijing complete with lion-perched gates, tranquil reflecting pools, and a secret entrance.
Heritance Kandalama, Dambulla, Sri Lanka
At first glance, it looks like a Bauhaus structure sinking into a steamy swamp. But closer study reveals an ingeniously landscaped eco-resort with dripping indigenous foliage festooned to resemble a long-forgotten ruin.
Argos in Cappadocia, Uchisar, Turkey
The guest rooms in this converted, thousand-year-old monastery—some embedded in Cappadocia’s iconic troglodyte caves—feature dramatic arched ceilings, alcove plunge pools, colorful textiles, antique furnishings, and stunning views of Mount Erciyes.
Amankora Bumthang, Jakar, Bhutan
Set in Bhutan’s remote and pristine Choekhor Valley, adjacent to the 19th-century Wangdichholing Palace and its active Buddhist monastery, Amankora Bumthang offers awe-inspiring views, oversize tubs, and crackling woodstoves.
Xaranna Okavango Delta Camp, Botswana
Plunge pools and open-air rooftops overlook a hippo-filled lagoon at this African wilderness camp. Amphibious safaris through the Okavango Delta and an exceptional staff who sing, drum, and dance traditional songs make this property a standout.
Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, Thailand
Perched in a bamboo forest on the banks of the Ruak River at the seams of Thailand, Myanmar (Burma), and Laos, this resort of luxuriously outfitted tents is an integral part of an elephant shelter.
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