Virtuoso Traveler - June/July 2017 - 12
Head to the desert and look up for astronomy
adventures at these Virtuoso properties.
Star Search: Admiring the
Milky Way is practically a pastime at this 16-tent lodge near
Australia's Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Every other night,
the resort's astronomy team
joins guests for stargazing after
a sunset dinner atop the dunes,
and sleeping under the stars is
encouraged: Staff set up kingsize swags (sleeping bags) on
your veranda's daybed.
Daytime Diversion: An earlymorning excursion to the
otherworldly Walpa Gorge.
Doubles from $2,101; Virtuoso
travelers receive breakfast daily
and a $50 activity credit. (The
lodge is closed for renovations
and reopens on August 1.)
Red Centre, Australia
Seeing stars at andBeyond
Sossusvlei Desert Lodge and
(below) Longitude 131°.
San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
Star Search: The ten-suite
Awasi Atacama lodge shares
a town with one of the world's
most powerful observatories,
if that says anything about the
area's astronomy cred. Awasi
has its own modest observatory
15 minutes away - guests hop
in a private four-wheel drive
with their guide and join an astronomer there, who points out
constellations with a laser torch
before showcasing the night sky
through the dome's telescope.
Daytime Diversion: A drive
through the Atacama Desert
to search for llamas.
stays from $2,290 per person;
Virtuoso travelers receive a
private cooking class.
T R AV E L E R
Namib Desert, Namibia
Star Search: Set within Africa's only certified Dark Sky
Reserve (an exceptionally
starry area that is kept free
of artificial light pollution),
this ten-room lodge sees its
fair share of twinkling skies.
A resident astronomer leads
nightly stargazing sessions,
which take place in an on-site
observatory on the edge of
the Namib Desert.
Daytime Diversion: An earlymorning hot-air balloon ride
over the sand dunes.
Doubles from $738 per
person, including all meals,
drinks, and game drives; Virtuoso travelers receive a private
desert stargazing dinner.
(ANDBEYOND SOSSUSVLEI DESERT LODGE) ANDBEYOND.COM
Star Search: Warm weather
year-round makes Arizona's
Sonoran Desert a prime nightskies destination. Guests at
the 253-room Ritz get in on
the celestial action during
stargazing sessions on its
Camor Lawn. Learn how to
identify a few constellations,
and search for them again
later with the desktop telescope in your guest room.
Daytime Diversion: The
Turquesa Pool and its fun-forall-ages 235-foot waterslide.
Doubles from $159; Virtuoso
travelers receive breakfast
daily and a $100 resort credit.