With Autumn slowly giving way to Winter, prime hiking season is upon us. Many adventure-seekers prefer the low humidity of November to the heat of mid-summer when planning their expeditions. Here, we’ve selected eight of the most spectacular hiking hotels, each based in one of the world’s most beautiful national parks.
From luxury lodges to lakeside retreats, these hotels boast unique architecture and fine dining, as well as access to some truly epic treks that are both challenging and breathtaking. Whether you prefer scaling steep peaks or passing through scenic river trails, there’s something here for every hiker. It’s time to pack your rucksack and hit the trail.
Jigme Dorji National Park, Bhutan
Nestled in the charmed isolation of the Himalayan heights, the five-star Taj Tashi is a gateway to a land steeped in mythology and magic. Adorned with classical hand-drawn Buddhist murals, the hotel is a blend of elaborate Bhutanese architecture and modern design. Its 66 elegant guestrooms feature wooden décor and sumptuous views of the mountains that rise above the Thimphu valley.
Guests can sample Bhutan’s fiery cuisine and make short but rewarding forays into the vibrant local markets. The Snowman Trek is the most challenging trek in Bhutan and provides hikers with rewarding views of Chomolhari and Jichu Drake.
Yosemite National Park, USA
Built in 1927, the Ahwahnee has played host to presidents, prime ministers and royalty, including Queen Elizabeth II. Known for its magnificent façade, the rustic-yet-chic Ahwahnee blends perfectly into its natural surroundings of towering granite cliffs, sequoia forests and crashing waterfalls.
There are 99 rooms in the hotel and 24 cottages scattered among the dogwood trees, as well as an impressive restaurant and bar. Visitors can partake in the Half Dome day hike during summer months and experience the delights of Yosemite Falls, Half Dome and Glacier Point.
Belmond Hotel das Cataratas
Iguazú National Park, Brazil
Hotel das Cataratas is the only hotel located within Brazil’s Iguazu National Park and enjoys an unrivalled location just a short stroll from the sensational Iguazu Falls on the Brazil-Argentina border. The astonishing series of more than 275 waterfalls are truly a thing of wonder.
The hotel boasts a heated outdoor swimming pool, a tennis court and a gym. The rooms are large and decked in vintage furniture, in a contemporary classic style. The main building is surrounded by terraces, verandas and gardens with stunning panoramic views of the Falls from the gourmet dining areas.
Fairmont Château Lake Louise
Banff National Park, Canada
Surrounded by soaring mountain peaks, the majestic Victoria Glacier and a glistening emerald lake, the iconic Fairmont Château Lake Louise delivers a fairytale setting. Located on the eastern shore of Lake Louise in Alberta’s Banff National Park, this luxury resort has 550 well-appointed guestrooms and offers guests guided mountain tours, world-class winter skiing as well as hiking and canoe activities in the summer. Old or young, all types of visitor are catered for at Château Lake Louise, with a kid’s camp, a luxury spa and exceptional dining experiences.
Belmond Sanctuary Lodge
Machu Picchu, Peru
The only hotel located adjacent to the ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, Belmond Sanctuary Lodge offers guests exceptional easy access to the Lost City, and is the perfect place to rest after a day of exploring the ruins in the Sacred Valley. Each ecologically-friendly room is a cosy sanctuary complete with courtyard views and marble bathrooms and the hotel’s gardens boast stunning views across Machu Picchu.
Considered by many to be one of the great short treks of the world, the four-day Inca Trail rewards hikers with a stunning combination of the region’s ruins, mountainscapes and cloud forests.
The BrookLodge & Wells Spa
Wicklow Mountains National Park, Ireland
Located just outside Wicklow Mountains National Park, BrookLodge & Wells Spa is a luxurious country house hotel with 86 beautifully appointed rooms. The rooms range from traditional style stand rooms to New York style mezzanine suites, with wood-panelled window seats and deep baths.
The outstanding Wells spa features mud and floatation chambers as well as Turkish bath massages. Visitors to the Park who undertake a full-day tour will experience the breathtaking landscape of the Wicklow Mountains, including a visit to Glendalough to see the 6th-century monastic settlement founded by the hermit priest St. Kevin.
Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
With picturesque scenery and countless hiking trails, Fiordland National Park is a refuge of beautiful isolation. New Zealand’s largest national park, the area is awash with jagged misty peaks, glistening fiords and glacier-sculpted valleys. Three of the country’s “Great Walks” can be found here, including the five-day Milford Track trek, a 53 kilometre journey that leads hikers across suspension bridges, boardwalks and a mountain pass.
Fiordland Lodge was constructed in 2002 and sits on a superb rural site with rolling grass lands and unimpeded views of Lake Te Anau and the surrounding mountains. The Lodge boasts log cabins built with hand-peeled sun-dried New Zealand Oregon logs – ideal for families and couples.
Saxon Switzerland, Germany
Berghotel Bastei is located just 30 kilometers from Dresden along the German-Czech border in the heart of the hilly Saxon Switzerland National Park, alongside arguably the most picturesque mountains in Germany. Visitors to the region are invited to walk along the sandstone Bastei Bridge, erected in 1851, that towers above the River Elbe and offers mesmerizing views of the ancient and natural rocky landscape.
The hotel itself is just a stone’s throw from the famous bridge, and features 64 rooms decorated with light timber furniture and warm friendly colours. Each room features modern, minimalist bathrooms and magnificent views of the surrounding forest.
Know a fantastic hiking hotel that we’ve missed? Comment below!