Over the past few months, we have all probably spent hours dreaming about getting away from it all. But travel requires significant planning in the midst of a global pandemic and many will be seeking secluded getaways that guarantee a safe, socially distanced stay.
So, from a rural French cottage to a private desert island and a luxury treehouse in the jungle, here are some of the most isolated private homes, hotels, lodges and Airbnbs in the world.
While privacy can often be pricey, there are cheaper options out there too. With prices starting from Dh200 per night, there is something for everyone's budgets here.
1. Porer Lighthouse, Croatia
Located 2.5 kilometres from the Croatian mainland, this lighthouse is a truly remote getaway – and it'll take you only a minute to walk around the entire islet. With two four-bed apartments, you can escape as a group, and food and drink can be organised directly with the owner. The island has no beaches, but guests can swim off the docks. Boat transfers to the island have to be arranged in advance.
The sunsets on Porer are said to be some of the most beautiful in the Adriatic, and day trips to other islands and bays, including Unije, can be easily organised.
Off-season prices start at Dh310 per night; www.lighthouses-croatia.com/lighthouses/porer
2. Birdbox, Vestland Fylke, Norway
If a few nights of quiet in a Norwegian forest appeals, the Birdbox tree house in Vestland, Norway, may be for you. The modern glass and metal box structure is in Fauske, 15 minutes west of Forde and three hours north of Bergen. It has views of Blegja mountain and the Forde fjord.
While at the tree house, guests can explore the surrounding countryside, swim in the fjord and hike in the mountains.
The accommodation sleeps two guests in one bedroom. But arrive prepared, the owners advise: “The closest grocery store is in Forde, so make sure to bring what you need when you are going to the Birdbox.”
From Dh688 per night on Airbnb; more information is available here
3. Off-grid itHouse, California
The Off-Grid itHouse, located in Pioneertown, California, is an "architecturally significant house" that has won awards for its contemporary design.
Set in the southern California desert, it is 100 per cent off-grid, powered by solar panels for energy and hot water. Expect to go back to basics at the property, as there is no television and only satellite Wi-Fi for emergency communication.
"It is recommended that guests arrive before sundown in order to find the house. The house is in a remote location," reads the Airbnb listing.
From Dh1,660 per night on Airbnb; more information is available here
4. Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara
It would be remiss if we didn't mention a luxury resort located in the middle of nowhere, right here in the UAE. Qasr Al Sarab is found in Abu Dhabi's Empty Quarter, and is where Rebecca Ferguson, Timothee Chalamet and Oscar Isaac stayed while filming Dune.
The property is a three-and-a-half hour drive from Downtown Dubai, and about two hours and 20 minutes from the heart of Abu Dhabi. While there will be other guests at the hotel, it's unlikely you'll see many other people as you look out over the dunes from your terrace or private pool.
Rooms start at Dh999 per night; www.anantara.com/en/qasr-al-sarab-abu-dhabi
5. Sharma Springs Bamboo Mansion, Indonesia
If ever there was ever a property fit for Instagram, it's this Balinese treehouse – although the term treemansion feels more appropriate.
Located on the edge of the Ayung River valley in the Balian jungle, this five-storey home can sleep up to 12 in four bedrooms.
Fully catered, there is a chef at the villa, or food can be order in from Ubud. The property has a pool and a private yoga teacher can be booked upon request.
From Dh3,122 per night on Airbnb; more information is available here
6. Berkeley River Lodge, Australia
Billing itself as Australia's most remote hotel, the Berkeley River Lodge in the north of Western Australia offers luxurious accommodation on the Kimberley Coast.
The secluded resort is only accessible by air via Kununurra, as per Australia's Covid-19 restrictions (typically it is also available by air via Darwin).
During your stay at the luxury, all-inclusive hotel, you can see ancient Aboriginal art, take beachfront drives, visit rock pools and waterfalls, take boat trips and enjoy the pool facilities, as well as the hotel's private villas.
From Dh7,680 per night; more information is available at berkeleyriverlodge.com.au
7. Furnished country cottage, France
Billed as the perfect place to "recharge your batteries", this two-bedroom cottage sleeps up to four people in two bedrooms. It is set on private land and has a country kitchen for guests to gather in during the winter months.
A quaint country experience, it offers a private garden with a barbecue, and there are tennis courts within walking distance. It is located in Nevoy, in north-central France.
From Dh212 per night on Airbnb; more information is available here
8. Private Island, El Nido, the Philippines
If the idea of having an island all to yourself appeals, look to the Philippines. Brother Island can sleep up to 16 guests in seven bedrooms, and a stay here includes all meals and transfers to and from El Nido. The owners only accept one booking at a time, so your group is guaranteed exclusive use of the property.
There's a jungle and bamboo forest, as well as a coral reef that surrounds the whole island. Guests can snorkel or kayak around the island within half an hour.
From Dh1,136 per night on Airbnb; more information is available here
9. Rural cottage, Sweden
If a winter break to see the northern lights, or aurora borealis, is on your bucket list, check out this chalet in northern Sweden. The property is located 6km from Jukkasjarvi, with views over the Torne River, and owners say that with its open surroundings and low light pollution, it is ideal for watching the natural phenomena.
Outside, you can ski on the frozen river in winter, or enjoy great walks and river scenery in the warmer months. Inside, the property features quaint cabin-style decor and sleeps four.
From Dh532 per night on Airbnb; more information is available here
10. The Oberoi Vanyavilas Wildlife Resort, India
A luxury hotel in Northern India's expansive Ranthambhore National Park, The Oberoi Vanyavilas Wildlife Resort offers private tents set within enclosed gardens.
The hotel offers game drives, where you might see tigers, bears, leopard and hundreds of bird species. Back at the property, there's a fine dining restaurant and bar.
From Dh3,266 per night; www.oberoihotels.com/hotels-in-ranthambhore-vanyavilas-resort
11. Grove Cottage, US
With the Wellsville Mountains as a backdrop, this Utah farm cottage is an all-American escape. As well as taking in the views at this remote and off-grid property, you can enjoy "swinging on the porch, tending to the crackling fire and enjoying your own park", it's owners suggest.
The property sleeps six and does not have Wi-Fi. There is a hobby farm on site with gardens, an orchard, sheep and pigs.
From Dh359 per night on Airbnb; more information is available here