Sometimes you just need to get away from it all, take a break from the fast pace of daily life and embrace a more gentle ebb and flow. These remote hotel suites are as far away from the hustle and bustle as you can get — some are only accessible via helicopter or boat. Expect magnificent scenery, top-notch cuisine, fun activities and lavish amenities in total seclusion.
by Samantha Coles and Emma Reynolds
Three Camel Lodge, The Gobi, Mongolia
Deep in the middle of the Gobi Desert in Mongolia, you will find Three Camel Lodge: a series of traditional Mongolian tents, or gers. The nomads of Mongolia have lived in gers for hundreds of years, and many of the lodge’s staff were raised in the Gobi.
This is a very remote place for those who truly want to disconnect, not only from other people but from technology, too, as traditional life is paramount here (although the hand-painted interior details will have you itching to Instagram).
There are 40 gers to choose from, each with a sumptuous king-sized bed, wood-burning stove and en-suite bathroom. The Khubilai Ger is the largest with two bedrooms and is the best option for families or larger groups. We love the custom furnishings: cozy camel-hair blankets, hand-painted wood-framed beds, wooden-latticed walls and traditional rugs. The Mongolian felt slippers are a lovely touch, too.
There’s a beautiful temple-style main lodge, spa tent and media center. Sustainability is championed here — when the lodge was under construction, every step was taken to protect the desert, and it was built using natural materials. The lodge uses solar energy and utilizes unused water for irrigation; you won’t find a single plastic bottle.
Since 2003, staff have planted over 8,000 native trees and plants, and hunting is prohibited within a 12-mile radius of the camp to ensure wildlife is protected. The area is known for fossils — in 2000, a previously unknown species of dinosaur was unearthed and named Zaraapelta Nomadis after the lodge’s sister company, Nomadic Expeditions.
Three Camel Lodge is also committed to giving back to the local community, and as a guest, you’ll see exactly how: Most of the delicious food is from local farmers who have been trained in-house.
There are evening performances from traditional musicians who share their stories on nomadic life, a library stocked with books on the local history and culture, and a store with handmade crafts and the softest cashmere you’ll ever touch. Much more than a place to stay, Three Camel Lodge is truly an experience and a gateway to another way of life.
The lodge’s sister company, Nomadic Expeditions, has a full menu of excellent excursions. Travel through the desert on horse or camelback; kayak through pristine lakes in the north; see the green valleys in the foothills of the Gobi Altai Mountains or witness the dramatic red sandstone of the Flaming Cliffs. If you visit in the winter, there’s a festival held on the frozen surface of Lake Hovsgol in honor of the Gobi’s Bactrian camel.
Photos: Nomadic Expeditions