(credit: Ventana Big Sur)
2020 has come and gone and how happy everyone is that 2021 has a glimmer of hope. For those wishing and wanting to keep that glimmer alive for as long as possible, stargazing is the ultimate activity to get lost in the vast skies and dream of a better tomorrow. Offering a spectacular scene of twinkling beauty nearly every night and an even more memorable experience when rare celestial events occur, these six hotels offering premium stargazing experiences. From an intimate star bathing experience in the redwoods at Ventana Big Sur on California’s Central Coast, seaside stargazing at Mauna Kea Resort on the Island of Hawaii, to a lake-front stargazing experience at Shore Lodge in McCall, Idaho and a Moroccan-inspired “The Sundowner” stargazing experience at Commodore Perry Estate, Auberge Resorts Collection in Austin, TX, these resorts are offering stargazing experiences that are truly out of this world!
Set on the rugged stretch of California’s central coast, Big Sur plays host to the sprawling Ventana Big Sur. On 160-acres of redwoods and rolling meadows overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the adults-only intimate 59-room retreat plays host to a litany of mind-body-soul experiences from glamping, guided bike tours up the coast and more. New to the Alila Experience Program is the Star Bathing Experience which invites guests on a night hike among towering redwood trees and whispering meadows. Experienced guides educate explorers about the flora and fauna and thanks to its location and famed dramatic scenery, viewers are able to see the remarkable night sky and learn about the vivid constellations overhead. (2 hours; $150 per person).
(credit: Mauna Resort)
On the big island set along one of the most gorgeous beaches in all of Hawaii, Mauna Kea Resort is home to both Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort. With a mantra of “Aloha Brings Us Together” the resort invites guests to choose from a full complement of amenities from dining, activities such as golf and tennis along with exclusive facilities and guest programming. The island’s unique geography gives guests the ability to experience a peek into worlds beyond with Stargaze Hawaii. Star-seekers can take in some of the island’s best stargazing at sea level or for a truly special experience take a one-and-a-half-hour drive to the summit of Mauna Kea, a world-renowned stargazing destination where visitors can learn about the Polynesian celestial navigation that guided canoe voyagers to Hawaii for the first time.
(credit: Roger Craig Smith)
Shore Lodge Resort offers guests the opportunity to blaze their own trail and explore the breathtaking scenery and endless opportunities to explore the great outdoors. Being located in the home state of the nation’s first and only International Dark Sky Reserve holding Gold Tier status designation from the International Dark Sky Association reserved only for the darkest of night skies, perched at an elevation of 5,000 feet the sky is the limit for what to see. Set around a 5,330-acre Payette Lake which offers a mountain-based sanctuary and authentic multi-season getaway, summer months provide an annual meteor shower every mid-August that offer as many as 30 shooting stars each hour in the McCall area. From a number of locations on the grounds, a more immersive experience occurs for guests who opt for an experience that takes them into a yurt nestled high in the mountains, where they can view the stars from a whole new perspective.
(credit: Commodore Perry Estate, Auberge Resorts Collection)
Situated on 10 secluded acres just outside of downtown Austin, the Commodore Perry Estate, Auberge Resorts Collection combines gracious Texas hospitality with relaxed European elegance. The storied architectural landmark has recently undergone a modern revival of Jazz Age design and architecture offering a getaway in lush surroundings with premium offerings in and around the resort. As the sun sets in Austin, guests are beckoned by yellow candlelight to the pool which resembles a Moroccan-inspired oasis for the “The Sundowner” stargazing experience. While sipping on homemade craft cocktails and enjoying poolside grill bites, guests lunge comfortably on soft pillows and blankets to take in the big and bright stars in the heart of Texas.