SLEEPING WITH THE STARS
From a Kenyan savanna lodge to an eco-resort on Bangkok’s doorstep, here are four places that offer sublime stargazing sessions from the comfort of your bed.
1 / Laikipia County, Kenya NAY PALAD BIRD NEST
This quirky riverside tower is the latest addition to Segera Retreat, a private game reserve of more than 20,000 hectares on Kenya’s Laikipia Plateau. Raised off the ground on stilts, the circular two-level suite is topped, as its name suggests, with a crown of interwoven tree branches. Above the upstairs sleeping quarters, an outdoor bed can be added to the open-air viewing platform affording 360-degree vistas of the savanna and its wildlife. Stays at the Bird Nest are single-evening affairs that begin with sunset champagne and a picnic-style dinner, and come included for guests who bed down at Segera Retreat for five nights or more. segera.com; from US$1,250
2 / Waipara, New Zealand GREYSTONE PUREPOD
One of five all-glass suites scattered about the Canterbury region of the South Island, this PurePod is set in a paddock high above the acclaimed Greystone vineyard, about an hour’s drive north of Christchurch. Expect nothing less than an isolated cabin experience, with eco-friendly features such as solar-powered LED lighting and organic toiletries, plus a kitchen and outdoor barbecue. Naturally, the PurePod comes with a telescope and a glass ceiling to admire the Milky Way before you drift off to sleep. purepods.com; from US$410
3 / Utah, U. S. A. AMANGIRI
A desert climate with clear, dry air means that the vast wilderness of southern Utah is a stargazer’s dream. Tucked away in a valley close to the Arizona border, Amangiri spans 243 hectares of starkly beautiful terrain punctuated by dramatic rock formations. Six of the resort’s 34 suites have rooftop “sky terraces” fitted with daybeds that can be converted into cozy sleeping places after dark—an ideal setup for spending cool summer nights under a starry firmament, miles from the glow of the nearest town. aman.com; Desert Pool suites from US$2,450
4 / Phra Pradaeng, Thailand BANGKOK TREE HOUSE
Only accessible by foot, bike, or boat, Bangkok Tree House makes the most of its setting in the green lung of the Thai capital, where a sizable swath of native forest and fruit orchards are enclosed on three sides by the Chao Phraya River. Those looking to sleep en plein air should book the aptly named View with a Room, which comprises a bamboo deck with a gauzedraped bed perched seven meters above the ground; the surrounding stands of nipa palm act as a privacy screen. Stays also include free bike rentals and homemade fruit ice cream at all hours. bangkoktreehouse.com; from US$218
Kenya’s Nay Palad Bird Nest offers a prime vantage point for taking in both the local wildlife and the starry night sky.