Whether a once-in-a-century astrological event is on the calendar or not, the rise in popularity of astrotourism has people traveling all over the world in search of the best destinations for admiring the night sky. For clients who may prefer to do their stargazing with the extra comforts of luxury travel, ultra-luxe properties from California to Chile and beyond are creating new programs and partnering with astronomers to maximize guests’ experiences.
3. Cal-a-Vie Health Spa
Cal-a-Vie Health Spa, located in Vista, California, just unveiled a new observatory that will serve as a launch pad for the property’s new Celestial Experience. Thanks to its positioning on top of a hill overlooking the Cal-a-Vie grounds, the new 2-story observatory offers visitors unobstructed views of the sky. The structure also features eight flat screen TVs, a Takahashi telescope and imaging technology, plus 26 seats from the original Houston Astrodome. Within this observatory, Cal-a-Vie’s new Celestial Experience will allow guests to discover the cosmos through weekly events led by special guest presenters every Monday evening. Each 1-hour program will dive into deep space through lectures and telescope viewings.
For more information, visit cal-a-vie.com.
2. The Ranch at Laguna Beach
Away from city lights and secluded on a peaceful coastal canyon in California, The Ranch at Laguna Beach gives guests the perfect setting for gazing into the night sky. Every Friday at dusk, a master astronomer provides guests with educational and inspired insights about the formation of the universe. For clients who can sneak off on a last minute getaway, the property is offering a special presentation from National Geographic scientist and photojournalist Babak Tafreshi on Aug. 14, 2018. Presented by the National Geographic Fine Art Gallery in Laguna and held at The Ranch at Laguna Beach, this special event will include a talk about Babak’s global travels, followed by stargazing and astrophotography.
For more information, visit theranchlb.com.
1. Stargazing Destinations by Scott Dunn Private Journeys
Scott Dunn Private Journeys offers bespoke tours around the world, and while each itinerary is tailored to guests’ unique needs and tastes, the company does have several properties within its portfolio that are recommended for stargazing experiences. In the Maldives, there’s Soneva Fushi, which in January of this year became the first resort in the world to launch 3D astronomy. Using the latest 3D technology with a brand-new Meade telescope, Soneva Fushi’s resident astronomers are now able to show guests the vast differences in the distance between stars and other celestial objects. Soneva Fushi will also welcome a number of influential and well-known astronomers to its observatories throughout the year. In addition, the property offers other activities that allow guests to admire the night sky, including watching a movie under the stars at the outdoor Cinema Paradiso and setting sail on an Astronomy Dinner Cruise, where they’ll feast on a 4-course dinner paired with wines as they listen to a talk from the resident astronomer.
Other properties recommended by Scott Dunn Private Journeys for prime stargazing include Chile’s Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa and Explora Atacama Hotel de Larache—both located in the Atacama Desert—and Gili Lankanfushi in the Maldives.
For more information, visit scottdunn.com.