8 Astrotourism Experiences to Book for Unbelievable Starry Sky Views

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You’ve hiked mountains and swam oceans—what will your next adventure be? Maybe it’s time to look to up—toward the sky. No rocket ship necessary, however. Astrotourism is the travel trend all about stargazing. Sure, you can spot the Big Dipper from your driveway (sometimes), but light pollution makes it impossible to see the full scope of the cosmos from most vantage points, which is why folks are now traveling to destinations with designated dark sky zones and/or protections that keep the stars twinkling and in view sans light pollution. For example, International DarkSky is a global organization that certifies communities and parks around the world that have extraordinary celestial sightings. We’ve rounded up hotels around the world that offer unique stargazing experiences that you can book and even included a few that are located within a DarkSky zone. Below, eight hotels that offer stellar stargazing like you’ve never seen before.

5 Open-Air Hotels Where You Can Fall Asleep Under the Stars

1. The Rocky Mountains After Dark Package at Fairmont Banff Springs


  • Location: Banff, Alberta

  • Rates: from $499/night

  • Why We Love It: luxury accommodations, spa, ski access

  • DarkSky Zone: no

The picturesque Fairmont Banff Springs is located in Banff National Park, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, against an alpine winter wonderland backdrop. From November through February, hotel guests can book the Rocky Mountains After Dark experience, a guided tour by foot or snowshoe at Lake Minnewanka, where you’ll learn about the constellations, planets, galaxies and local Indigenous stories. And what better place to get an astronomy lesson? The tour will end with a campfire, s’mores kit and some free time for spotting stars. The private experience is available for one to four guests for $440.

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2. The Camp'd Out Package at La Quinta Resort & Club

Anza Borrego

  • Location: La Quinta, California

  • Rates: from $2,450/night

  • Why We Love It: luxury accommodations, great fitness and wellness amenities, beautiful grounds

  • DarkSky Zone: yes

If you prefer to switch between hotel and glamping accommodations, the Camp’d Out package at La Quinta Resort & Spa is just for you. Book a minimum three-night stay and enjoy your first and last night getting pampered at the resort and one night at a luxury camp setup under the stars in Joshua Tree National Park, a designated DarkSky zone since 2017. Accommodations in the desert are provided by Camp’d Out and include plush bedding, a camp meal for two, s’mores, overnight butler service, morning coffee and transportation to and from the campsite. Upgrade your experience (for an additional cost) with a fireside dinner prepared by a private chef.

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3. The S’mores and Stargazing Package at Desolation Hotel Hope Valley

Brad Scott

  • Location: Hope Valley, California

  • Rates: from $150/night

  • Why We Love It: cozy log cabins, outdoor firepits, hiking trails nearby, budget-friendly

  • DarkSky Zone: no

City dwellers who crave an escape to the wilderness should head to Desolation Hotel Hope Valley in Alpine County. The cozy cabins are situated amongst the Sierra Nevada mountains (read: the perfect escape for a quiet, nature-filled retreat) and the grounds feel a lot like adult summer camp. While you’re there, book the S’mores and Stargazing package for $75 which includes an almanac, telescope, and everything you need to make delicious the yummy sweet treat by the campfire.

Note: Guests can book the package at the front desk.

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4. The Coyaba Sky Rondoval Villa Stargazing Package at Sandals Dunn’s River


  • Location: Ocho Rio, Jamaica

  • Rates: from $310/night

  • Why We Love It: adults-only, all-inclusive, river pool

  • DarkSky Zone: no

When you think of the Caribbean you think of crystal clear beaches, warm weather year round, and unforgettable hospitality. But the unobstructed sky with low light pollution also makes it ideal for stargazing. At the new adults-only Sandals Dunn’s River in Jamaica, which opened in spring, guests who book the Coyaba Sky Rondoval Villa Butler Suites enjoy a private pool and an open-air rooftop equipped with a telescope for gazing out into the stars. The Stargazing Concierge (yes, that’s a thing) will also arrange a complimentary romantic rooftop picnic under the stars accompanied by a personalized star map to help identify constellations and meteor activity.

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5. A Wayfinder's Journey Package at Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea

Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea

  • Location: Maui, Hawaii

  • Rates: from $15,000 for up to six guests

  • Why We Love It: adults-only pool, five-star service, oceanside massage in hale

  • DarkSky Zone: no

Historically, Polynesians have navigated the open ocean using just the sky and stars to help carry indigenous canoe plants for survival. Kala Baybayan Tanaka, a Hawaiian female navigator, teaches the art of navigation on sea using the rising and setting points of stars as part of A Wayfinder’s Journey package. The three-hour private excursion during sunset hour celebrates Hawaii’s culinary traditions and deep-rooted sense of place. The experience starts at $15,500 for up to six guests and can be booked directly via the Concierge team at concierge.maui@fourseasons.com.

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6. Primland Resort, Auberge Resorts Collection

Halle Wooten

  • Location: Meadows of Dan, Virginia

  • Rates: from $595/night

  • Why We Love It: private treehouses, outdoor activities, on-site observatory

  • DarkSky Zone: no

Primland Resort is a secluded 12,000-acre retreat in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. The resort offers plenty of outdoor activities to connect with nature but the on-site observatory is a good indicator that the stargazing here is not to be missed. Visit the observatory, open nightly, equipped with Celestron CGE Pro 1400 and CPC 800 telescopes to gaze into the galaxy. This December, you can learn about the history of the Winter Solstice during their first-ever winter experience. Otherwise, the experience is available year round. Reservations are required (call 276.222.6837).

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7. Under Canvas Lake Powell-Grand Staircase

Travis Burke

  • Location: Big Water, Utah

  • Rates: from $349/night

  • Why We Love It: location, sweeping canyon views, friendly staff

  • DarkSky Zone: yes

Marvel at the stars from the first DarkSky-certified resort in the world (i.e. the best spot for stargazing). Just 14 miles from Lake Powell, Under Canvas Lake Powell-Grand Staircase offers an array of activities for guests to revel in the outdoors including weekly astrologer and astronomer talks with a telescope to spot Jupiter. Book a Stargazer tent, which comes with a night-sky viewing window for spectacular celestial sightings.

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8. The Sky Watching Domes at Lodge at Métis Crossing 

Indigenous Tourism Alberta & ROAM Creative

  • Location: Smoky Lake, Alberta

  • Rates: from $299/night

  • Why We Love It: unique accommodations, river views, cultural experiences

  • DarkSky Zone: no

The newly launched Sky Watching Domes at Métis Crossing just outside of Edmonton, Alberta offers incredible views of the stars from the comfort of a snug dome equipped with all the essentials including electricity, running water, and an added bonus: heated floors! Cultural buffs will appreciate the historical exhibit and guided experiences which tell the story of the Indigenous Métis people who used the sky as a clock and calendar.

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