Photo: Savute Safari Lodge, Desert & Delta Safaris

13 Hotels and Resorts Where You Can Watch Wildlife From the Property

Wildlife Epic Stays
by Katie Jackson Dec 20, 2022

If you love creatures great and small, one of the best ways to fully immerse yourself in the animal kingdom is in a hotel that puts your right new the wildlife. For example, all of the rooms at The Cape, a Thompson Hotel in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, include a pair of binoculars so guests can whale watch from the comfort of their king-size beds. Meanwhile, guests staying in the panoramic suites (picture 180-degrees of floor-to-ceiling glass walls) are treated to “enhanced telescopes.”

That’s not to say that high-powered optics are required, however. A property might have a resident bison herd as its welcome committee, a flock of friendly flamingos photobombing on the reg, or even an adolescent elephant thinking it’s cool to drink from the pool. Why not? After all, it’s an animal’s world. We’re just living in it. From Alaska to Africa, these 13 hotels and resorts allow you to binge-watch wildlife to your heart’s content.

Puku Ridge in Zambia

giraffes at puku ridge

Photo: Puku Ridge

Opened in 2020, Puku Ridge is the premier luxury property in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park. Unlike other safari lodges, it has its own on-site hide, right below the restaurant, where guests can sit in the comfort of the structure and photograph the wildlife that frequent Puku Ridge’s watering hole. Depending on the time of the day, it’s either predator or prey. Rates start around $1,000 per night.

Puku Ridge: RPQ8+F4R, South Luangwa National Park, 10101, Zambia

Old Mondoro in Zambia

elephants at old mondoro resort

Photo: Old Mondoro

There are only five chalets at this intimate camp built along the banks of the Zambezi River, so you won’t run into many other guests. But the chance of encountering the camp’s resident trespassers, especially elephants, is pretty dang near 99 percent. If you time it just right, you can do your business on Old Mondoro’s famous “loo with a view” and watch an entire herd of elephants cross the crocodile-infested river. Rates start around $1,100 per person, per night.

Old Mondoro: 9MCR+4MC, Lower Zambezi National Park, Rufunsa, Zambia

Sussurro in Mozambique

sussurro lagoon resort

Photo: Sussurro

The lagoon that Sussurro fronts is a popular breeding ground for the elusive dugong, an African manatee that’s the least studied manatee in the world. Guests at this design-forward boutique hotel can also spot dolphins and sea turtles from the property’s open-air yoga deck. There’s also excellent bird watching if you venture into the nearby mangroves. Rates start at $686 per person, per night.

Sussurro: Interior of Nhamabue peninsula, accessible by appointment only

Savute Safari Lodge by Desert & Delta in Botswana

elephant watching at savute safari lodge

Photo: Savute Safari Lodge, Desert & Delta Safaris

This luxury safari lodge in Chobe National Park, the country’s first national park, is elephant central. Thanks to the watering hole in front of the lodge, guests can watch the world’s largest land mammals, African elephants, from the comfort of the deck, pool, and dining area. The lodge is run by Desert & Delta, the safari company behind Africa’s first all-female guiding team. Rates start at $615 per person, per night.

Savute Safari Lodge: C3P4+7XC, Savuti, Botswana

Pondoro Game Lodge in South Africa

the wildlife viewing from the workout room at pondoro game lodge

Photo: Pondoro Game Lodge

The exercise machines in the fitness center at Pondoro Game Lodge don’t have TVs. But they don’t need them. While running on the treadmill or taking a spin on the bike, guests can be entertained by baboons and bushbuck foraging in front of the floor-to-ceiling glass doors. Elephants, giraffes, waterbuck and monkeys are also regularly seen from camp. Rates start around $700 per night.

Pondoro Game Lodge: Balule Nature Reserve, Greater Kruger National Park, Hoedspruit, 1380, South Africa

The Resort at Paws Up in Montana

bison at paws up resort in montana

Photo: The Resort at Paws Up / Stuart Thurlkill

At 37,000 acres, The Resort at Paws Up in western Montana is so massive it markets itself as a private national park. Guests at this five-star ranch-meets-resort located south of Glacier National Park regularly see elk and deer, and see occasionally bears, too. Guests also have almost a 100 percent chance of seeing the property’s resident herd of 200 bison. Rates start around $1,600 per night.

The Resort at Paws Up: 40060 Paws Up Rd, Greenough, MT 59823

Anantara Golden Triangle in Thailand

elephants at anantara golden triangle

Photo: Anantara Golden Triangle

Come for the transparent-walled bubble rooms with king-sized beds, stay for the animals. At this jungle resort in northern Thailand, guests enjoy ample time spent with the property’s happy herd of free-roaming rescued elephants. In their former lives, these majestic mammals were forced to work in shows and illegal logging operations. If you fall in love with one, but you can sponsor it Rates start at $1,140 per night for up to four guests.

Anantara Golden Triangle: 229, Tambon Wiang, Amphoe Chiang Saen, Chang Wat Chiang Rai 57150, Thailand

Turtle Bay Resort in Hawaii

turtles at turtle bay resort

Photo: Turtle Bay Resort

“World class” best describes the wildlife viewing at this family-friendly resort on the island of Oahu. Here, guests can see curious turtles, sunbathing seals, and breaching whales year-round. Turtle Bay Resort is a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration partner, so guests visiting during peak humpback whale season can volunteer to help count the massive mammals. Rates start at $688 per night.

Turtle Bay Resort: 57-091 Kamehameha Hwy, Kahuku, HI 96731

Parc Omega in Quebec

wolf watching from parc omega resort

Photo: Gaëlle Leroyer

The aptly named wolf cabins at Parc Omega offer some of the world’s best wolf-watching, all from the comfort of a deluxe log cabin’s bay windows. Parc Omega bills itself as a large preservation of natural spaces where wild animals — including gray wolves, black wolves, and arctic wolves — cohabitate in their natural environments. Rates start at $415 per night.

Parc Omega: 399 QC-323, Montebello, QC J0V 1L0, Canada

Renaissance Wind Creek Aruba Resort in Aruba

flamengos at renaissance wind creek aruba

Photo: Renaissance Wind Creek Aruba Resort

You may not be allowed to feed the bears in Yellowstone, but you are allowed to feed the wild flamingos living at Renaissance Wind Creek Aruba Resort. These pretty pink birds are year-round island residents that enjoy posing for photos and drinking out of the resort’s freshwater pools. Staff members are trained on how to protect them and keep them wild despite their penchant for being hand fed. Rates start at $273 per night.

Renaissance Wind Creek Aruba Resort: L.G. Smith Blvd 82, Oranjestad, Aruba

Marival Armony in Mexico

whale watching at marival armony

Photo: Marival Armony

One perk of staying at this adults-only all-inclusive waterfront resort in Punta Mita is the chance to see (often, from your own balcony) humpback whales who inhabit nearby Banderas Bay. They come by the hundreds, and if your goal is to observe their entertaining courtship rituals – males will knock heads and slap their tails to get a female’s attention – visit between December and March. Rates start at $250 per person per night.

Marival Armony: Carretera a, Playa Destiladeras km 8.3, 63729 Punta Mita, Nay., Mexico

Salmon Falls Resort in Alaska

whale watching at Salmon Falls Resort

Photo: Salmon Falls Resort

It’s not uncommon to see whales – both humpbacks and orcas – from the restaurant and deck at Salmon Falls Resort. The property is situated at the southernmost entrance to Alaska’s legendary Inside Passage, and the nearest town, Ketchikan, is considered the “Salmon Capital of the World.” In other words, the fishing is out of this world. Visit between May and September for the best whale watching and salmon-catching. Rates start at $400 per night.

Salmon Falls Resort: 16707 N Tongass Hwy. Ketchikan, AK 99901

Hotel Paracas, a Luxury Collection Resort, in Peru

bird watching at hotel paracas in peru

Photo: Hotel Paracas, a Luxury Collection Resort

This five-star Pacific-front property in central Peru is just a two-hour drive from the bustling city of Lima, but it feels a world away — especially if you’re into wildlife. While you can see plenty of tropical and subtropical birds from the pool, the highlight for many guests is taking the short boat ride to the nearby Islas Ballestas. Basically a junior varsity version of the Galapagos, these islets boast everything from Peruvian boobies to Humboldt penguins. Rates start at $200 per night.

Hotel Paracas: Paracas S/N, Paracas 11550, Peru

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