From an astrology-themed cocktail reception surrounded by the scenic Arizona desert to a beachfront full moon celebration in Bali, the stars are calling everyone's name.
Mountain Shadows | Paradise Valley, Ariz.
Celebrate all things celestial with powerful programming at this upscale boutique resort. With dramatic views of iconic Camelback Mountain and the surrounding desert beauty, Mountain Shadows is allowing guests to fall in love with the night sky with new programming in 2019 including:
- Cocktails Under the Cosmos: Enjoy an astrology-themed cocktail reception on the scenic Camelback Overlook rooftop deck. Savor passed hors d’oeuvres and drinks under twinkling lights and the beautiful night sky, seen brighter in Paradise Valley with its low light pollution and dramatic desert backdrop. Explore the galaxy through the lens of a telescope with an expert astronomer as your guide. Tickets are priced at $45, including two themed cocktails or glasses of sparkling wine and passed hors d’oeuvres (Pisces, March 12; Aries, April 16; Taurus, May 7).
- Sun, Moon & Stars Wellness Series: Offering one-of-a-kind programming including Moonlight Yoga where guests can move with grace and rise like the moon atop the Camelback Overlook rooftop deck overlooking gorgeous views of the night skies followed by a glass vino under the stars (April 28, May 19 and Oct. 13).
- Sipnic Under the Stars: Four customizable spirit-forward picnic basket offered on The Short Course with the breathtaking Camelback Mountain and starry desert skies as the backdrop. From a gin & tonic offering to a special proposal basket, the customizable boozy baskets include bites, sips, sweets and a luxurious Tartan Blanket Co. wool blanket from Scotland to be enjoyed on hole no. 2 on The Short Course where a set of string lights await for the perfect evening picnic spot. Sipnic Under the Stars start at $125 and can be savored at sunset February through May and September to November.
L’Auberge de Sedona, A Destination Hotel | Sedona, Ariz.
Located in Sedona, Ariz., recognized as an International Dark Sky Community, L’Auberge de Sedona offers a special Written in the Stars package curated with the night sky in mind, where guests arewelcomed for a two-night stay with a stargazing map, star-shaped cookie and throw blanket upon arrival, along with a $200 dinner credit to be used toward creekside dining underneath the stars at Cress on Oak Creek. Guests can enhance their astro-inspired getaway with the following star-focused experiences offered at L’Auberge:
- Complimentary Stargazing Sessions on Tuesdays, Thursday and Fridays
- Star Bathing - An adaptation of the property’s renowned Shinrin-Yoku or "Forest Bathing.” A certified Forest Bathing facilitators guides guests toward heightening their senses when vision is reduced by darkness of night and awakens the senses to the smell of the fresh water flowing through the creek, the rustle of the leaves, the taste in the wind; all while slowing down to meet the calm natural wonders of night.
- Mindful Moon Meditation Series - A mystical moonlit series that transforms the vitality released during each month's full moon into a holistic rejuvenation process for guests. Surrounded by powerful energies of the surrounding Red Rock region and Sedona’s world renowned energy vortexes, L’Auberge de Sedona embraces the monthly lunar ritual with its Mindful Moon Meditation series, a guided journey of healing sessions offered on each night of a full moon.
International Dark Sky Parks |Utah
Most Americans live in an area where they cannot see the Milky Way due to the light pollution of the cities, but that is not an issue when stargazing in Utah, which has certified International Dark Sky Parks. Photographers with a passion for adventure and natural landscapes can visit one of the 11 places awarded an IDA-certified designation (the most in the U.S.), including two national parks, four state parks, four national monuments and one dark sky community along with more parks currently going through the certification process to capture ethereal images. One of Utah's best locally kept secrets is actually its expansive sky fields of stars during the winter months. Not only does the night sky arrive earlier in the day, but also winter skies tend to have less moisture, making them more transparent to the human eye and more accessible for amateur photographers to capture the beauty of the night.
Under Canvas | National Parks Nationwide
Fall asleep under the stars and to the sounds of nature. Under Canvas luxury campsites create an immersive escape, situated in remote locations among America’s most iconic national parks and monuments. With spectacular views of the Milky Way and fresh spring air, guests can wake up fully rested and connected to the land. The safari-style Stargazer tent has a night sky viewing window, strategically placed above a king-size Casper bed with luxe linens for cozy, undistributed stargazing.
Availability: Tucson (now through April 21), Zion (opens March 14), Great Smoky Mountains (opens April 4), Grand Canyon (opens April 25), Mount Rushmore (opens May 9), Yellowstone (opens May 23)
Baja California | Mexico
Baja Norte's diverse landscape and low-light pollution areas make embracing the celestial truly memorable. From sleeping under the stars at CuatroCuatros in Ensenada, star gazing at the National Astronomical Observatory of San Pedro Martir and zip lining under the full moon at the recently introduced Desert Nest nature park - the region truly sparkles at night. In the bursting wine region of Valle de Guadalupe, the newly opened Campera Hotel Burbuja is an eco-minded resort with 12 clear bubble-shaped tents, where guests are offered unobstructed 360 degree views of the starry night skies, making for the perfect Instagram or uninterrupted nights sleep.
The Mulia Bali | Bali, Indonesia
Located beachfront on the white-sand Nusa Dua beach, The Mulia & Mulia Villas recently introduced a once-in-a-lifetime beachfront dining experience to celebrate the full moon every month, which plays a significant role in Balinese culture as the yearly calendars is based on lunar phases. Set alongside Mulia Bali’s stunning ocean pier, the new “La La Lune” culinary dinner offers guests a delectable seven-course menu under the moonlight curated by the award-winning team of Soleil. The full moon - symbolizing infinity and perfection - is believed to be the time when the moon god bestows the blessing of light upon people, making the “La La Lune” experience perfect to celebrate with someone special, friends or for a simple dinner gathering. Reservations and more details can be found at this link.
Helena Bay Lodge | Northland New Zealand
A remote retreat tucked within New Zealand’s North Island Helena Bay cove, Helena Bay Lodge is home to 800 acres of scenic greenery, four private beaches, and unobstructed views of the pure night sky. After enjoying an ethereal dinner courtesy of Executive Chef Michele Martino, guests can venture outside to the property’s beautiful oversized beachside firepit and gaze upon the stars while sipping on digestifs. The attentive Helena Bay staff will provide celestial onlookers with warm blankets, binoculars and iPads set up with a stargazing app to guide their nighttime exploration to enjoy by the warmth of the outdoor fire.