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Pining for sweeping views of the African savannah? Want to get up-close to galloping gazelles and roaring lions? Ready to escape to the soaring peaks of the Rockies or the Alps? A lodge awaits. These sorts of accommodations sit out in the wilder reaches of the world, offering an enclave of comfort and cosiness close to national parks, safari destinations, ski resorts and hiking havens. They are the perfect choice if you're looking to break away from the concrete jungle and lose yourself in the mountains or the plains this year.
These days, lodges are no stranger to luxury. Although you might find them dotting the dusty plateaus of South Africa or contending with the snowdrifts of British Columbia, they still manage to pack in sumptuous lounges, swish suites and even spa facilities and pools. The lodges in Kruger National Park are a perfect example. Some there, like the acclaimed 5-star Kapama River Lodge will let you head out on safari in style. There are infinity pools overlooking the Limpopo bush, African tribal art on the walls and plush bathrooms with freestanding Victorian tubs and sweeping views across the game reserves.
It's a similar story with the lodges in Victoria Falls. Dotting another of wild Africa's great attractions, they manage to clock up countless 4- and 5-star ratings with their offering of deluxe interiors, fine-dining and beautiful outdoor pools – just check the Victoria Falls Deluxe Suites for a top choice. But the great thing about these sorts of accommodations is that they also work hard to merge seamlessly with their environment. That means you can expect thatched roof designs, plenty of natural stone and wood, traditional African architectural touches, and even free-roaming elephants to greet you in the garden come morning.
Skiing and hiking lodges occupy other picturesque corners of the globe. Sandwiched between the soaring peaks of ranges like the Rockies and the Alps, they offer a place to rest the legs after days of trekking or carving down the pistes. Lodges in Banff are a perfect example, giving extra space to stash the skis, bubbling hot tubs, real fireplaces and even ski-in, ski-out locations right on the side of the mountain. The same goes for the natural, rustic architecture of these places, too – they aim to channel the highland look with timber-faced exteriors, stone walls and Swiss-style design.
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