From paragliding in Oman to white-water rafting in Bali, here are four hotel arrival experiences to remember.
1. Phantom Ranch, United States
One of the few ways to get to this rustic 1920s lodge, the sole accommodation option at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, is by saddling up on a mule. The five-and-a-half hour ride along the Bright Angel Trail includes a lunch stop at the Indian Garden—so named for its creek-side profusion of wild grasses, willows, and cottonwood trees—and guests must then brave a narrow suspension bridge over the Colorado River to reach their home for the night.
2. Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan, Indonesia
Those arriving from the Four Season Sayan’s sister property on the shores of southern Bali’s Jimbaran Bay can add a dose of adrenaline to the journey with a two-hour rafting adventure down the Ayung River. After tackling Class III rapids and enjoying a chute ride over a historic Dutch-era dam, guests will disembark right at the resort’s Riverside restaurant.
3. Six Senses Zighy Bay, Oman
A two-hour drive from Dubai on Oman’s rugged Musandam Peninsula, Six Senses Zighy Bay doesn’t just promise a secluded beach escape, but also a high-octane finale to the dramatic four-by-four drive through the mountains. Strapped to a resident pilot, you’ll take off in a tandem paraglider to enjoy bird’s-eye views of Zighy Bay and the desert peaks encircling its cobalt-blue waters, ending with a soft landing on a stretch of white sand.
4. Shinta Mani Wild, Cambodia
Whizzing down a 380-meter zipline over dense rain forest threaded by fast-flowing rivers is de rigueur before check-in at this tented camp in southern Cambodia’s Cardamom Mountains. Guests soar over the pool of a thundering waterfall before coming to a stop on the deck of the thatch-roofed bar. It’s an exhilarating introduction to a whimsical, maximalist resort—the brainchild of Bangkok-based star designer Bill Bensley—that combines ultra-luxe style with conservation.
This article originally appeared in the December 2019/January 2020 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Make an Entrance”).