11 Off-the-Grid Hotels for When You Really Want to Escape

We use ‘get-away’ as a synonym for vacation, because at best, that’s exactly what it is—a chance to escape our daily lives, if only for a few days. But there are some places that take this idea even further, where ‘getting away’ actually means ‘as far from civilization as possible’ (think, a medieval-looking fortress in the middle of the desert, or a cantilevered lodge balancing precariously on an oceanside cliff). If you’re searching for a spot where no one will find you, these 11 hotels are a good place to start.

 Virunga Lodge is a rustic hilltop retreat with ten suites (or *bandas*), half overlooking stunning Lake Burera, the other with sweeping views of Rwanda's jagged volcanic peaks. You can't go wrong with either side, but we suggest going for one of the two deluxe options that have living rooms and fire pits. Rooms are spacious and cozy, and filled with bright local fabrics. Rates include all meals and drinks, plus a daily massage—much needed after a day spent gorilla trekking, hiking, or birdwatching in the nearby Volcanoes National Park. As the day winds down, get cozy in the living room for a game of cards and a glass of South African wine, or watch the sun set from the stone terrace.


Virunga Lodge, Rwanda

Set at the height of a lush peak between Lake Bulera and Lake Ruhondo, you might think all of Virunga Lodge’s charm lies in its location—and, exempting the Rwanda retreat’s totally amenable staff, you’d be right. The camp’s 10 bandas (suites) not only sport their own fireplaces, but each has a private terrace overlooking the volcanoes or twin lakes. While you’re sitting on what feels like the top of the world, make time to partake in the lodge’s best-known activity, silverback gorilla tracking, or sign up for a hike to Mount Karisimbi or the Visoke volcanoes.