Eight of the Best Desert Hotels

No longer just for die-hard adventurers, the wild landscape and dramatic terrain of the world's deserts are becoming popular among serenity-seeking city dwellers. With the well-groomed wanderer in mind, these hotels provide a taste of the good life in some of the world's harshest living conditions - with plenty of opportunity to venture into the elements if you're feeling brave. Dramatic volcanic landscapes house an oasis of infinity pools, sun-scorched sandcastles boast world-class spas and terracotta-clad pods offer endless Chilean wine. Lace up your desert boots and prepare for champagne picnics at the end of a dusty adventure.

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Suryagarh

Rajasthan, India

Rising out of the dunes like an opulent sandcastle is the honey-coloured fortress of Suryagarh. Modelled on ancient temples and forts, intricate latticework, stone-carved pillars and lantern-lit courtyards provide a striking contrast to the surrounding desert shrubbery. Bounce across the blonde dunes and explore the bustling sand city of Jaisalmer, just 12km from the hotel. As part of the Silk Road, the Thar Desert has remnants of abandoned villages which are said to be haunted by chudails (evil spirits). Chase them on a moonlit tour taking you through abandoned ghost towns and across dark lakes.

Address

Kahala Phata Sam Road Jaisalmer 345001

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Hicksville Trailer Palace

Los Angeles, United States

Since the 1960s, creatives have escaped the glare of Hollywood by way of Joshua Tree. Follow in the dusty footsteps of rock stars and rebels with a creative retreat in the barren Mojave Desert. Originally created as an artist retreat by a LA film director, the hip campsite consists of a crazy collection of customised trailers. Choose between a gypsy wagon equipped with tarot cards, a galactic-themed airstream and a freak-show caravan housing a terrifying collection of horror-movie classics. The exact location of the trailer park remains a secret until your booking is confirmed, ensuring your only neighbours are desert cacti, a show reel of shooting stars and the odd rattlesnake.

Address

La Ferney Avenue, Joshua Tree, CA 92252

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Amangiri

Utah, United States

Worthy of Bond-villain status, the ultra-luxe hideaway Amangiri almost disappears among the extra-terrestrial terrain of the American Southwest. Drawing inspiration from traditional Native-American architecture, polished concrete has been subtly tinged with pink, purples and reds to match the hues in the surrounding canyons. In order to create a complex that is in complete harmony with nature, each room offers endless views from king-size beds. Continuing to blur the boundaries between inside and out, the heated swimming pool hugs the curve of the sandstone rock, oversized loungers nudge the water's edge and a fire-pit terrace hovers beside spectacular eroded rock formations.

Address

1 Kayenta Road, Canyon Point, Utah, 84741, USA

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Longitude 131

Northern Territory, Australia

Rich in Aboriginal culture, the Northern Territory is home to the world's largest monoliths and the sacred red domes of Kata Tjuta. Longitude 131's white tented cabins give an illusion of wilderness, but once inside the indigenous artworks, mod cons and bespoke furniture dispel any feeling of roughing it. Set off on an expedition packed with all the necessities - such as a champagne picnic and freshly baked pastries - to watch the sunset over the rust-red landscape and Australia's spiritual heart, Uluru (Ayers Rock). If you don't fancy hunkering down and enjoying the uninterrupted view from your bed, take a Harley Davidson, helicopter or camel out for a spin and explore the surrounding landscape.

Address

Yulara Drive Yulara NT 0872

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Scarabeo Camp

Marrakech, Morocco

If a 12-hour trek into the Sahara makes you feel hot under the collar, then a stay in the nomadic Scarebo Camp is a comforting option. Never more than 45 minutes outside of Marrakech (the summer heat brings the camp to a shadier spot) the 15-tent cluster provides a stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of the medina. As night falls, silence envelops the Agafay stone desert. With no light pollution, the camp is illuminated each night by the flickering lights of candelabras and romantic Moroccan lanterns. Break freshly baked bread straight from an earthen oven over the communal dining table, then take advantage of the clear, cosmic skies and read your stars with a professional astrologer.

Address

Agafay Desert Marrakech 40000

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Tierra Atacama

Las Condes, Chile

Built inside the clay-walls of an old cattle settlement, Tierra Atamcha is an ode to Chilean tradition and spirit. As part of the Ayllù Yaye, a centuries-old community that used intuitive distribution methods to share the lands precious resources, locality is an integral part of this sprawling desert oasis. Dry adobe bricks, bamboo and clay were used to match the terracotta volcano landscape and the hotel was built entirely by local craftspeople. The majority of the restaurant's produce is grown on-site and the sleek wine bar champions the very best in Chilean Grapes. Spend the day hiking the Moon Valley or soaking in the hot springs of Puritma, followed by a desert-herb facial and volcanic-mud treatments to ease explorer knots.

Address

Renato Sánchez Las Condes Santiago 4270

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Feynan Ecolodge

Amman, Jordan

Feynan Ecolodge lies in the Dana Biosphere Reserve along the face of the Great Rift Valley, where over 800 plant species challenge the preconception of a baron desert. Expect a warm welcome from one of the last reaming Bedouin communities as they transport you along the final part of your journey in a 4x4. The simplicity of the eco-lodge is a testimony to the historical caravanserai (camel caravans) that once took long journeys across the silk route. Entirely solar powered and with all water coming from a local spring, the hotel is a lesson in sustainability.

Address

Al-Ba'ouniyah Street Jabal Al-Lweibdeh Amman 11191

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Palacio de Sal

Uyuni, Bolivia

Located on the edge of the world's biggest salt flat, Palacio de Sal is made entirely out of the only accessible material; salt. Like a mirage, it appears suddenly out of the glimmering, crystalline crust. Pale igloo-shaped rooms cocoon guests as the walls, floors, sculptures and furniture are constructed using the gleaming white material. Drive out to Incahusi to marvel at huge cactus candelabras sprouting from the scorched earth or call ahead for your pop-up golf course to be erected using, yep you've guessed it, salt.

Address

Orillas Salar de Uyuni 0000 Colchani Bolivia