Luxtripper Travel Editor
We've handpicked these destinations from the remote corners of the world where you can see the night sky at its best. You won't believe the views!
Any night sky aficionados taking a trip to The Maldives will not be short incredible views. Boasting some of the most unspoiled night skies in the world with minimal light pollution, stargazers will be thrilled at the vivid displays of shooting stars, planets and comets above them. Many resorts also offer outdoor experiences after the sun goes down, such as private beach dining or sleeping out under the stars. The best time to visit The Maldives to see the stars is the dry season between November and April when there are less clouds.
In our opinion, one of the best Maldives Resorts for night sky viewing has to be Anantara Kihavah Villas. Not only does it offer spacious five-star villas and residences, it also has the Maldives’ first over water observatory which also doubles up as a cocktail bar! At the luxurious SKY Bar, guests can start the evening in style with a lounge cocktail, before marvelling at the glittering sky above through the Maldives’ most powerful telescope. The in-house astronomer will be on hand to guide you through the various constellations and planets you see.
Namibia is home to Sossusvlei, a salt and clay pan in the southern Namib Desert, which is a certified Dark Sky Reserve by the International Dark-Sky Association. With some of the darkest skies in the world, the otherworldly Namib desert gives lucky stargazers the chance to see Magellanic Clouds bursting out of the Milky Way, as well as millions of new starry neighbours surrounding the familiar diluted southern sky you’re used to seeing. April to October is generally considered the best time to visit Namibia with virtually no clouds and clear, crisp nights.
You may think it impossible to find a base for stargazing somewhere as remote as the Namib desert, but here you will find a luxurious desert sanctuary that will take your breath away - andBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge. Situated within its own private desert reserve, each of the 10 beautifully appointed and spacious suites has a retractable skylight over the bed and Swarovski Optik binoculars so that you won’t miss a thing. We love the Star Dune Suite which has to be seen to be believed! As for the stargazing, the lodge has a state-of-the-art observatory where a resident astronomer will point out details of the night sky you never thought it possible to see.
The main island of Hawaii is another unbeatable spot for stargazing thanks to clear air and minimal air pollution. In fact, the stars play an important role in the state’s history, as they are seen as the realm of the Hawaiian gods and they acted as navigation for early explorers to the islands. Situated near the centre of the island, Maunakea is the tallest mountain in the world (if measured from its underwater base) and the surrounding reserve is home to the world’s largest astronomical observatory!
The Fairmont Orchid is a great place for discovering Maunakea and the celestial wonders that can be experienced from its dizzying heights. Idyllically positioned on Hawaii’s west coast, guests can enjoy lush tropical gardens, pristine white beaches and delicious cuisine featuring the freshest, local ingredients. Our favourite room is without a doubt the Fairmont Gold Ocean View Suite for sensational views. A drive to Maunakea's observatory is roughly two hours, although be prepared for possible altitude sickness as you'll be driving from sea level to nearly 14,000 feet in two hours!
With a comparison to the Red Planet, Mars, a trip to Chile’s Atacama Desert will make you feel like you’re in another world before the sun has even set. The striking lunar-esque landscape and rugged, ochre mountains stretches out for 1,600 km along the Pacific Coast. You can stand pretty much anywhere in this giant desert and feel immersed in the expanse of the South American night sky, but a visit to the San Pedro de Atacama Celestial Explorations (SPACE) open-air observatory will offer you professional guidance on spotting The Southern Cross, the Big Dipper and Alpha Centauri.
If you’d prefer to stay away from the crowds of a public observatory, then the Tierra Atacama Hotel and Spa is without a doubt the best place to stay to enjoy the region’s night-time wonders in luxury and seclusion. Every inch of the boutique hotel’s facilities and glass-walled rooms offers the most jaw-dropping views across the Atacama Desert, plus you can feast al fresco on exquisite Chilean dishes or rejuvenate your senses at the onsite spa. If that wasn’t enough, the hotel also offers stargazing and full moon hikes to discover the best night skies the desert has to offer. As for when to visit Chile, the Atacama Desert is generally a year-round destination, however September to November and March to May experience more pleasant temperatures.
A trip to the other side of the world will take you closer to the stars than you can ever imagine. New Zealand’s South Island is home to 4,300 square kilometres of recognised Dark Sky Reserve and offers some of the best stargazing opportunities in the world, as well as some of the most accessible observatories. Many night sky tours take place around Mount Cook and Tekapo's Mount John Observatory, but head further south to Queenstown and you can really chase the stars in some of the crispest, clearest skies you’ve ever seen.
Hotel St Moritz Queenstown – MGallery Collection offers stunning views across the dramatic Southern Alps and puts you in the perfect position for excursions to Milford Sound and the Remarkables mountain range. But you don’t even have to travel far to gaze in awe at the country’s unique night sky – simply catch a gondola into the surrounding mountains and you’ll be able to enjoy wonderous constellations through telescopes. If you visit New Zealand in the winter months of June to August, you may even be able to catch a glimpse of the Southern equivalent of the Northern Lights - the Aurora Australis.
If you'd love to book a stay at one of these luxurious hotels and resorts, get in touch with one of our Luxury Travel Specialists who will be able to organise your stargazing adventure.