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Brief Published: 11 Aug 2021

Hotels Offer Stargazing Experiences

Bliss & Stars

During the pandemic, a new surge of amateur astronomers began looking to the stars (British Astronomical Association, 2020) – a hobby that has benefited both from a lockdown-induced drop in air pollution and the push to kick-start space tourism. Hotels are harnessing this enthusiasm with a host of new stargazing packages with expert astronomy guides.

Florida’s Kimpton Vero Beach Hotel & Spa now takes guests out on night-time boat excursions with a local astronomer to learn about the constellations. The complimentary Stargazing at Sea package takes guests along the Indian River Lagoon in a riverboat supplied by local tour company Paddles by the Sea, while picnic snacks are supplied by onsite hotel restaurant Heaton’s.

Meanwhile, the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa in Hawaii has partnered with Nasa ambassador Edward Mahone to offer guests educational stargazing sessions on the hotel’s rooftop terrace. The astronomer will teach participants all about the 80 constellations visible from the resort.

For privacy-seeking, high-end luxury travellers (profiled in 10 Trends: Luxury Travel 2021/22), the Montage Healdsburg in Sonoma, California, has introduced a two-night astrotourism retreat. The package includes private round-trip flights and transfers from anywhere in the US, a private tour of the Robert Ferguson Observatory, a two-hour workshop with award-winning astrophotographer Rachid Dahnoun, and dinner with wines sourced from local vineyards – all at a cost of $95,000 for up to six guests.

Outside of the US, new South African wilderness retreat Bliss & Stars offers a three-day Star Bathing package, including guided stargazing sessions, night hikes and access to state-of-the-art telescopes. The premise of the retreat is for guests to experience the night sky as the bushmen saw it, devoid of light pollution and urban noise.

For more on the astrotourism opportunity, read Trends In Tourism Recovery: ITB 2021. See also Silent Parks Offer Peaceful Leisure for more on calming, nature-driven tourism.