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Escape to New Zealand’s Most Remote, Beautiful, and Luxurious Lodges

All the stereotypes you’ve heard about New Zealand — the fantastic wine, the insane adventure experiences, and the growing population of hobbit people — are all true (mostly). The country is also home to some of the remotest off-grid accommodations in the world. To truly get away from it all, you need to escape to these most beautiful and luxurious New Zealand lodges.

Cabot Lodge

For Vineyard Ranch Vacationing

Situated amid the stunning Cathedral Peaks Station, Cabot Lodge is a vineyard and working sheep ranch that’s been in the same family for more than a century. At the heart of the daily experience, lodge guests can try their hand at shepherding, beekeeping, cattle driving, and berry farming. The staff also offer free four-wheel-drive tours of the property and unique experiences like whip-cracking classes. The estate is comprised of 2,000 acres of farmland that abut the 1.2-million-hectare World Heritage Site Fiordland National Park. Guests can take full advantage of the outdoor experiences here which include everything from jet boating to trout fishing to sea kayaking to world-class hiking. The lodge will accept its first guests in November 2018, but you can book now through New Zealand In Depth.

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The Landing

For Island Hopping

Just a stone’s throw (read brief helicopter ride) from downtown Auckland, The Landing offers guests a seaside respite. With only four architecturally unique guest residences onsite, the accommodations here are as luxurious and exclusive as you’ll find on the island, but it’s what lies outside that keeps guests coming back. The sprawling, 1,000-acre resort promises a taste of New Zealand’s most beautiful terrain, from beaches to marshlands to vineyards. On arrival, guests are treated to a private property and garden tour by the head chef, where they can pick fresh produce to create their own farm-to-table dinner. Beyond that, you’ll find virtually every type of outdoor activity imaginable: hiking, biking, fishing, paddleboarding, kayaking, snorkeling, and more. The best part? The all-you-can-drink wine.

Minaret Station Alpine Lodge

For Dropping Off-Grid

New Zealand’s landscape is as varied as it is breathtaking. In addition to its many islands, ranches, and vineyards, there’s also a dizzying array of alpine terrain. Minaret Station Alpine Lodge is a working, high-country farm set at an elevation of 3,000 feet. The 50,000-acre estate is vast, remote and otherworldly with a landscape that’s a picture-perfect Lord of the Rings-esque blend of craggy mountains, lush valleys, and alpine lakes. That it all borders the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Mount Aspiring National Park is just a bonus. More than 7,000 sheep, 10,000 deer, and 1,000 cattle call this home. Every guest stays in a luxuriously appointed chalet with an upscale rustic vibe. Like many of New Zealand’s lodges, the real get is what’s beyond the guestrooms. Visitors can take full advantage of the high-country terrain with included experiences like fly fishing, heli-skiing, hunting, and guided hikes.

Editors' Recommendations

3 Luxury Resorts in the Northeast that Outdoor Enthusiasts Will Love
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Over the years, I've done my fair share of traveling. Said travels have included stays in top-notch luxury resorts with spas and swimming pools, five-star restaurants, and rooms boasting full kitchens, king-sized beds, and marble bathtubs big enough for two adults to share. I've also completed many a multi-day trek during which I slept in a damp tent, dined on CLIF BARs and pre-packed camping food, and bathed in rivers or rainfall, if at all.

If I had to choose one category, luxury or roughing it, I'd go with the latter. The mountains, woods, and water call to me in a way wine pairings and spas never could. But that doesn't mean I don't love a multiple-course meal followed by an evening swim followed by plush Turkish cotton robes and a nightcap cocktail back in the suite. What I've discovered first-hand over the past few months is that there's really no reason to choose between the two, not when there are top=quality, fully appointed resorts adjacent to abundant opportunities for outdoor adventure.

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This Alaskan Chalet is as Remote as it is Luxurious (and Rentable)
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Few destinations in the U.S. are as iconic among hardcore adventure travelers as Denali National Park. It’s vast, remote, and impossibly beautiful. One unique “hotel” is perfectly situated amid the millennia-old ice and granite of the park’s glacial landscape — and, it may well be the best place in the country for a proper digital detox.

In the heart of the national park, surrounded in every direction by miles of the Ruth Glacier, lies an exclusive chalet only accessible via helicopter. This is Sheldon Chalet, a privately owned luxury lodge that’s among the most beautiful and uniquely situated in all of North America.

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Valley Rock Inn: An Hour from New York City but a World Apart
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If I'm being honest, historically there hasn't been that much of a reason for most people to visit the town of Sloatsburg, New York. Incorporated back in 1929 (just a couple weeks before the market crashed, in fact), the town had a population barely above 3,000 people as of the latest census. There are some shops, a few places to get a meal or a drink, and a train station that connects the village to the Port Jervis Line. I'm not saying it's not a pleasant place to live, there just wasn't much reason to visit.

But now there is. See, Sloatsburg is home to Valley Rock Inn, the latest venture from tech entrepreneur and real estate developer Michael Bruno. Don't let the word "inn" mislead you — this is a multi-acre resort featuring a 75-foot pool, a fine dining restaurant, a bike and gear shop, guest suites, and much more. Or at least it will feature all that and more once the project is completed; as of this writing, the Valley Rock Inn is still a partial work-in-progress. From what I saw during my visit in November, from the vision Michael expressed, from the amenities I enjoyed, and from the food I tasted, I can tell you this for sure: there is now a damn good reason to visit Sloatsburg.
Adjacent to the town is the 47,000-plus-acre Harriman State Park, a splendid preserve replete with 200 miles of hiking trails, dozens of lakes and streams, mountains, valleys, campsites, and more. The park is a haven for hikers, bikers, campers, fisherman, photographers, and anyone else who needs to get away from city life. Being as Sloatsburg is located a mere 35 miles from Central Park in downtown NYC (in case you didn't know where Central Park is), it's ideal for weekend trips or even for day hikes, though one could spend a week camping there without growing bored.

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