10 nature lodges where you can run wild

“Nature is eternally flowing from use to use, beauty to yet higher beauty; and we soon cease to lament waste and death, and rather rejoice and exult in the imperishable, unspendable wealth of the universe, and faithfully watch and wait the reappearance of everything that melts and fades and dies about us, feeling sure that its next appearance will be better and more beautiful than the last,” said Scottish-American naturalist and pioneering environmental philosopher John Muir. It is in nature that we find our solace, our ability to regenerate, and in these times of anxiety, a balm for our frayed nerves. Below are 10 joyous nature lodges for a deep breath of fresh air.

To move off the beaten path in Japan is to discover a country of supreme beauty. To move into the world of Hakone Retreat före & villa 1/f, in Fuji-hakone-izu National Park two hours southwest of Tokyo, is to experience the country as an emperor might. Set in a deep-green forest, Hakone Retreat uses simple modern architecture and large windows to draw one’s attention to the surrounding natural splendor. Hakone’s 11 cottages are set deep in the forest, connected by a single path, and feature large open-air hot spring baths, enabling you to be one with the elements.

Perched on the edge of Lake Ontario, the Drake Devonshire is an all-season rural getaway that celebrates the warm, quirky charm of a historic country home—yet one that is adorned with sleek, bold, and modern design in every corner. A cheeky nod to “rustic Canadiana”, the 13-room boutique hotel welcomes guests with uninterrupted views of the lake and a living room fireplace that sets the tone for relaxation and inspiration.

Hovering on the banks of the Hoosic River in North Adams, Massachusetts, Tourists is a clever timber-clad update on the classic American roadside motor lodge. Set amid the wild beauty of the northern Berkshires, the property retains the linear pattern of doors opening directly to the outdoors, but with a contemporary twist—rear-facing, expansive windows overlooking stunning views of the surrounding woodlands, forest, river, and mountains beyond.

The tranquility of nature is something to behold in the mountains of Andorra, where L’Ovella Negra Mountain Lodge beckons with a high-altitude slice of slowed-down escapism and pared-back design. This community-driven four-room property encourages outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, fishing, and mushroom foraging as just a few of the ways in which the glacial Valley of Incles can be explored and the glacial way of life fully realized.

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. —Hermann Hesse

A timber-framed sanctuary nestled on the slopes above Zermatt, Switzerland’s most iconic Alpine resort, Cervo Mountain Boutique Resort is a place where guests can ski right up to the entrance, with the majestic Matterhorn looming large on the horizon. In the summer, the slopes blossom, the birds twitter, and clear blue lakes beckon. Over in the Catskill Mountains, Scribner’s Catskill Lodge is a year-round refuge for New York City creatives. Perched high on a hill surrounded by fields of grass
and beautifully reimagined by designers Studio
Tack, the 38-room mountain lodge reinvents the
notion of the modern-day luxury retreat through
nostalgic design, bespoke programming, and
local culinary offerings.

In northern Portugal, Pedras Salgadas spa & nature park shows you how innovative sustainable architecture can wrap itself around a centuries old park. The 13 singular eco-houses, two treehouses, and one cottage by architect Luis Rebelo de Andrade, each assembled onsite and strategically placed in spaces between ancient trees, represent immersive architecture at its best.

Satoyama Jujo not only borrows the Japanese terms for “mountain village” and “10 stories” for its name, but the 12-room hotel also conceptually tells its own stories throughout the 150-year-old house and modern extension that it calls home. For example, the story of organic growth and harvest is told through the farm-to-table process that the hotel’s Sanaburi restaurant employs to serve up cuisine inspired by the Minami-Uonuma region, while the story of art is present in the hotel’s mountainous village-like location, believed to be perfect for unlocking one’s inner creativity.

In the Sacred Valley of Peru, Andenia sits unassuming on an acre and a half of gardens dotted with fruit trees, waterfalls, streams, and hammocks, surrounded by nearby mountains. This nine-room property promises guests plenty of space to get away and connect with nature, and is ideally positioned just outside of Cusco en route to Machu Picchu, acting as a springboard for nearby Incan ruins, local villages and handicraft markets, and extensive outdoor activities.

Lastly, up in the French Alps, on Courchevel, Hôtel des 3 Vallées is situated at the foot of the resort’s world-class ski slopes. Expect to find original furniture by the likes of Charlotte Perriand, Jean Prouvé, and Pierre Paulin at this 1950s feast. “L’Auberge de Luxe”, as the hotel likes to call itself, has many spots for warming up, be it the fireside restaurant, or a terrace lunch in the sun.

Wednesday, March 11th, 2020