From a tree house perched in the canopy of an ancient rainforest to a villa nestled in wilderness where the wild things roam, hotels come in all shapes and sizes. Expedia travellers are an outgoing bunch – whether you have a passion for supporting conservation tourism and the ethical treatment of animals or simply have a longing for a wild escape, check out this Listopedia of wildlife watching hotels.
Niraamaya – Cardamom Club, Thekkady, India
In a boutique villa nestled amidst acres of cardamom plantations, your window at the Niraamaya – Cardamon Club serves as a portal to the lives of the exotic wildlife that call the Thekkady region of Southern India their home.
This lush green jungle retreat lies adjacent to the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Perriyar is 925 square km of protected habitat that’s home to an abundance of wildlife including the jungle cat, sloth bear, sambar, wild boar, langur, Indian elephant and 40 or so hard-to-spot tigers.
Trek the nearby hills and plantations, which are accessible from your doorstep – you’ll see the lost world of ancient India. Trails meander around tall and majestic trees, clouds hover low, vines hang from the canopy and the airwaves are filled with exotic chants from the diverse and colourful-feathered community that reside in the area.
In-between wildlife encounters, take an excursion to the local spice emporium or treat yourself to some Ayurvedic healing and rejuvenation at the onsite Niraamaya Spa.
Heron Island, off the Coast of Gladstone, Great Barrier Reef
Balmy island breezes, an entire island almost to yourself and the Great Barrier Reef at your doorstep; it doesn’t get much more idyllic than Heron Island. The Great Barrier Reef is perhaps the most spectacular place on earth for marine wildlife viewing, and the rooms at Heron put you just steps away from spectacular coral gardens, a diverse underwater eco system, migrating whales, manta rays, nesting turtles and exotic birdlife. The two greatest draw-cards of this protected habitat are that crowds are virtually non-existent and the reef is still pristine and untouched.
Even better, there’s no mobile phone reception and resort rooms are television free. Without the distraction of mod-cons, the emphasis of any Heron Island getaway is on enjoying the natural beauty and filling your days with discovery.
Every November turtles come to lay their eggs on the island and if you book a Beachside Suite for December then you can watch the hatchlings make their way to the water from the comfort of your balcony. Come June you may see whales passing by on their annual migration.
Nayara Hotel Spa & Gardens, Costa Rica
There are few places in the world where you can experience mountain vistas, ancient forests and volcanic landscapes – all while spotting the unique Costa Rica wildlife – from the comfort of your balcony or private plunge pool at Nayara.
The best way to ensure wildlife sightings in Costa Rica is to stay in the heart of the rainforest and Nayara Hotel Spa and Gardens lets you do just that. Parrots, monkeys, sloths, butterflies and tree frogs are all frequent guests of the garden and surrounding trees.
While there are plenty of natural habitats to explore onsite, other great ways to explore the offerings in the local region include ziplines, whitewater rafting, canyoning, guided treks, suspension bridges and other locally owned eco tours.