Four Great Hotels for Summer Stargazing

Private verandas for night-sky viewing at Longitude 131° in Australia.
Private verandas for night-sky viewing at Longitude 131° in Australia.
Head to the desert and look up for astronomy adventures at these four Virtuoso hotels. 

The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain

Marana, Arizona 
Star Search: Warm weather year-round makes Arizona’s Sonoran Desert a prime night-skies destination. Guests at the 253-room Ritz get in on the celestial action during complimentary weekly 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-for-all-ages 235-foot waterslide. Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily and a $100 resort credit.

Longitude 131˚

Red Centre, Australia 
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 king-size swags (sleeping bags) on your veranda’s daybed. 
Daytime Diversion: An early-morning excursion to the otherworldly Walpa Gorge. Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily and a $50 activity credit.

Awasi Atacama

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.
Virtuoso travelers receive a private cooking class.

Seeing stars at andBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge.
Seeing stars at andBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge.
Photo by Courtesy of anBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge

andBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge

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 early-morning hot-air balloon ride over the sand dunes.
Virtuoso travelers receive a private desert stargazing dinner.
 

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