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Surreal Vacations: 5 hotels in out-of-this-world locations

Living the high life in posh hotels with glorious views of various glitzy city skylines in the heart of major cities like Paris or New York is nice once in a while. Sometimes, you get bored of too-perfect views and the novelty wears off. Otherwise, the experiences money can’t buy really are the ones you’ll remember forever.

These hotels are located in places that are so out of the world, you may or may not be dreaming. From having breakfast with giraffes to waking up to views of ancient cities, these experiences are worth living for.

Giraffe Manor, Kenya

Experiential travel may be all the rage these days, but how many people actually get to have breakfast with wild animals? In Kenya, you definitely can.

Image credit: Giraffe Manor

Part of the Safari Collection, each with different themes and experiences, the Giraffe Manor is an exclusive boutique hotel set in 12 acres of private land within 140 acres of indigenous Nairobi forest in Kenya. One of Nairobi’s most iconic buildings, the Giraffe Manor features a stately facade, elegant interior, verdant green gardens, sunny terraces and delightful courtyards.

The hotel consists of 10 rooms, each with their distinct personality, elegant furnishings, art deco features and four-poster beds. Some rooms come with balconies with expansive views that stretch across the plains.

The resident herd of Rothschild giraffes roam the forest sanctuaries surrounding the hotel, even making an appearance at the windows of the rooms in hope of a snack. Well, this definitely beats the zoo.

Image credit: Giraffe Manor

The surroundings of the hotel are so reminiscent of an African safari that one of the rooms is named after Karen Blixen, author of “Out of Africa”, which has been adapted into a 1985 Academy Award-winning motion picture with the same name. The manor itself has inspired many writers over the years, but who could blame them?

Giraffe Manor, Nairobi, Kenya

Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, Machu Picchu, Peru

Image credit: Robb Report

Machu Picchu, now one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, has always had an air of grandeur and mystery. Waking up to views of it, though, is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience. That dream can come true at the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, the only hotel located adjacent to the mystifying Lost City of the Incas

Image credit: Robb Report

The Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, with interiors that pay homage to pre-Columbian design cues, feature 31 rooms. What we’re most intrigued by, though, are the one-bedroom suites, which feature large private terraces with spellbinding mountain views.

You don’t have to worry about the 4-day Inca Trail or zigzagging bikes and hikes up a steep hill to get to Machu Picchu, either. The hotel is just a leisurely stroll away — a 9-minute walk from Machu Picchu’s Temple of the Three Windows, and a 10-minute walk to the Sacred Plaza.

Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, Carretera Hiram Bingham KM 7.5, Machu Picchu, Peru

Enchantment Resort, Arizona, USA

Image credit: Enchantment Resort

The Grand Canyon may be, well, grand. But Arizona is brimming with breathtaking natural landscapes that you shouldn’t miss out on. With its towering rock formations, miles of deserts, and meteorite impact craters, it is definitely a state with lots to discover.

After hiking and wandering about the Grand Canyon, take a two-hour drive down to Enchantment Resort – which stands at the doorway of secluded Boynton Canyon. Surrounded by breathtaking red rock formations (believed to inspire the mind, body and spirit), your worldly cares might just seem minute in comparison. The resort’s restaurant, View 180, treats you to views of the vibrant hues of the Boynton Canyon. We can’t think of a more dreamlike restaurant to dine at, quite honestly.

Enchantment Resort525 Boynton Canyon Rd, Sedona, AZ 86336, USA

The Caves Resort, Jamaica 

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If you want to pamper yourself with stunning views of the Caribbean Sea, The Caves Resort in Jamaica is the place to be. The island’s most exceptional accommodation is located near the picturesque Seven Mile Beach in Negril.

Rooms come in the form of 12 adults-only “Caves” that feature handcrafted wood and stone thatch-roofed cottages and suites perched alongside dramatic cliffs overlooking the ocean, with amazing sunset views from every room.

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Have a romantic private dinner in one of the cliffside grottos with perfect views of the sunset – which is just one of the high-end dining options at the resort. Although there are no beaches on the property, the hotel features a saltwater swimming pool, multiple access points to the ocean, and one of the premier spas on the island. Luxury just got a whole new meaning.

The Caves Resort, 144 One Love Drive, Negril, Jamaica

Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort, Abu Dhabi

Image credit: Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort

If tales of Arabic merchants riding camels for months across sun-soaked deserts have always appealed to you, you’ll love this resort by Anantara. Located in the legendary Rub’Al Khali, the largest uninterrupted sand desert in the world, this resort is a luxury oasis for travellers.

Image credit: Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort

The awe-inspiring Arabian decor in the rooms, villas and suites are considered to be some of the finest abodes among luxury Abu Dhabi resorts. And everyone knows Arabian luxury is unparalleled. With quintessential luxury resort experience, the finest Middle Eastern cuisine and panoramic desert views, you’ll feel like royalty for a few days.

Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort, 1 Qasr Al Sarab Road, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates


Dewi Nurjuwita
Senior Writer
Dewi Nurjuwita is a travel and design writer who can be found exploring the streets of foreign cities with passport in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other.
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