Hotels have long been designed like cocoons, shielding us from the elements of the outside world.
However, a number of rural properties across the globe have recently thrown that model on its head, designing their rooms for optimum connection with nature. Here are seven places that pair the wonder of camping with the comfort of sleeping indoors – all by setting their beds behind glass walls.
Panorama Glass Lodge, Iceland
Tucked into the rugged wilderness of West Iceland and South Iceland are three transparent cabins collectively known as Panorama Glass Lodge. All lie less than two hours from Reykjavik but feel a world away with wrap-around glass panels revealing either fjord or volcano views. Your biggest decision will be whether to chase the midnight sun from the bed or in the private hot tub nearby.
Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, Finland
Everybody wants to see the Northern Lights, but nobody wants to suffer through hours of subzero temperatures to make it happen. Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort in Finnish Lapland offers a solution: glass igloos. Lay back under your blanket and watch as the chartreuse glow of the aurora borealis dances across an untainted sky. By day, you can strip naked for a smoke sauna, taste-test the products of the onsite brewery or commune with the indigenous Sami reindeer herders who call this region home.
PurePods, New Zealand
The six PurePods scattered across the rugged wilds of New Zealand’s South Island are built – from the see-through floors up to the transparent roofs – almost entirely of glass. Reaching each cabin requires a quick stroll through the bush (typically 10–15 minutes) to ensure maximum privacy as you shower behind glass walls and sleep under a sea of stars. All come with the same promise: complete immersion in Frodo’s legendary wilderness.
Skylodge Adventure Suites, Peru
A little bit of hardship makes the prize at the end all the more rewarding. At least, that seems to be the motto behind Skylodge, a vertigo-inducing complex of transparent capsules dangling from a cliff in Peru’s Sacred Valley. To reach these souped-up portaledges – and enjoy the condor’s-eye view – you must first climb a challenging 400m (1312ft) via ferrata route up to the top. The way back? Either zipline or rappel down!