Our experts have handpicked 5 of the best hotels in the world for unforgettable outdoor experiences.
Kasbah Tamadot, Atlas Mountains, Morocco
Perfectly positioned for outdoor explorations, Kasbah Tamadot is nestled in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. You may find it hard to drag yourself away from the ravishing luxury of the hotel, but the splendour of the surroundings is absolutely worth the effort.
Discover the dramatic beauty of the High Atlas Mountains in a uniquely traditional way with one of the hotel's resident mules - Peppermint or Paprika. Pass through eucalyptus and olive groves and traditional Berber villages before climbing to the peak of the mountain to discover spectacular panoramas. Trek back to the village and visit a traditional Berber house for tea - a true cultural experience. If two wheels are more appealing, enjoy guided mountain biking trails. The dramatic scenery a memorable backdrop to your adventure; steep cliff faces and imposing peaks give way to green terraces and tiny villages stuck to the arid mountain sides.
Mauritius is at the pinnacle of tropical island bliss; an azure lagoon brims with colourful marine life and magnificent coral reefs, icing sugar sands are shaded by casuarina trees - the perfect setting for beachside relaxation. However, for the more active, Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita has an array of both land and water-based activities - with the Ernie Els Signature golf course a definite highlight.
A one-time sugar plantation on the island's east coast, the rugged Bambou Mountain provides a spectacular backdrop for the 18-hole, par-72 course at Anahita. Revered for its beauty, it has six oceanfront holes - the glossy greens contrasting wonderfully with the sapphire hues of the sea - and is loved for its playability. This versatility is a feat of design attributed to the pro-golfer.
No visit to Four Seasons Golf Club Mauritus at Anahita would be complete without stopping to say hello to the giant Aldabra tortoises next to the green on the 9th hole. Over 100 years in age, Gromomo is the large male tortoise, who lives here with Ticolo, his female companion.
In addition to golfing pursuits, bicycles are available to explore the 64 acres of the resort's tropical gardens, or try your hand at water-skiing, canoeing or paddle-boarding. "It's fair to say that Mauritius and South Africa have many shared characteristics, particularly the Indian Ocean coastline, the weather, the laid-back lifestyle and a real love of the outdoors - and that's reflected in the overall vibe at Anahita."
With its spectacular location in the Himalayas between Tibet and India, Bhutan is one of the most intriguing kingdoms of the modern world. Yet, whilst the Kingdom of the Thunder Dragon sits atop many travellers' wish-lists, it is notoriously tricky to visit; only those booking through tour operators like Carrier are allowed visas meaning independent travellers cannot get in. This arguably adds to the allure of this spiritual country and reinforces the value placed on the ancient traditions and culture by its people.
An Amankora journey through Bhutan will let you experience first-hand the legendary hospitality and open-hearted warmth of its people, who famously measure Gross National Happiness. Aman's five secluded and inspiring lodges have been conceived as stylish places from which to fully explore one of the last mountain cultures on earth.
All are found in the most magical and spiritual of settings. After exploring the capital Thimphu, a dramatic drive over Dochu La Mountain Pass drops you into the beautiful Phobjika Valley, where Amankora Gangtey nestles. Amankora Bumthang lies on the edge of Bumthang town opposite an old palace; a small suspension bridge floating above a gently flowing river takes you to the colourfully decorated Punakha lodge - the nearby monastery is a must-see. Then to the largest of the five lodges, Amankora Paro, from which Tiger's Nest Monastery can be explored and views across to the snow-capped Mount Jhomolhari and beyond literally take the breath away.
Conrad Pezula Resort & Spa, Knysna, South Africa
Located on South Africa's spectacular Garden Route, Conrad Pezula is set amidst the ancient indigenous forests, mountains, lakes and pristine beaches of the prestigious Pezula Private Estate, the ideal base for outdoor adventure.
The Estate features one of the top three beaches in South Africa, secluded Noetzie Beach, where dusky river waters meet the azure Indian Ocean. The golden beach is surrounded by forested hills, the dark waters of the lagoon, the rugged ochre rocks and the thundering breakers that roll-in row upon row. The area is also renowned for bird watching and home to over 130 different species. Whale-watching is a highlight; if you are here between July and November, you could be lucky enough to witness the majestic Southern Right whale basking in the coastal waters of Walker Bay.
Join a guided hike through the midst of Pezula's forests or take to the water in a canoe and paddle up the estuary. Alternatively, enjoy the dramatic scenery by horseback, the best way to carry you to the summit of the surrounding hills to view the natural splendour of the bay. After a day of outdoor exploits, return for a soak in the heated outdoor pool overlooking the magnificent Knysna lagoon and the commanding Outeniqua Mountains.
Sonora Resort, Sonora Island, British Columbia, Canada
Sonora Resort offers the ultimate combination of wilderness and wellness. A Relais & Chateaux property, the hotel is set in a location that brings a thousand unforgettable adventures to your doorstep. Views are magnificent, taking in lofty mountain peaks and the rushing Yuculta Rapids. Being grizzly bear territory, guests have a once in a lifetime opportunity to view these elusive beasts up close on an excursion that includes a 40 minute guided boat ride along Bute Inlet to the Orford River.
If it is ocean-based activities you are looking for, try guided sea kayaking in the marine park and through the Inside Passage; or join an exhilarating eco-adventure tour aboard a Polaris inflatable. You can also go white-water rafting through the crystal waters of the Nimpkish River, paddling through limestone canyons. Other wonderful opportunities abound - try a rafting and snorkelling float tour in Campbell River, helicopter fly fishing or go to spot Orca whales as they swim through the narrow channels of the Discovery Islands. There are, of course, gentler pursuits to enjoy. Take a helicopter tour to a glacier for an unforgettable private picnic, relax in soothing mineral pools at the spa and wellness centre or sharpen up your golfing techniques on the beautiful Storey Creek course.