Cover Annandale Scrubby Bay in New Zealand (Image: Mr & Mrs Smith)

Expert itinerant James Lohan of Mr & Mrs Smith shares his pick of hotels where you can detach from the world but still enjoy your creature comforts

Self-isolation has transformed even the most social of us into travel introverts. For those lucky enough to travel right now, the search is on for a self-contained property with minimal traffic (say a palatial overwater villa in the Maldives) or better yet an ultra-remote location to explore.

There's always been an interest in places off the beaten track, but Covid-19 has increased the demand for unexplored locales with private accommodation. We asked James Lohan, co-founder and CEO of boutique hotel platform Mr & Mrs Smith, to share his favourite remote hotels around the world.

Annandale, New Zealand

Annandale Scrubby Bay is one of four properties on this wave-gazing working farm nestled into New Zealand’s picturesque Pigeon Bay. With wood-clad living spaces and enormous windows, it epitomises the trend of bringing the outdoors in. If you’re looking to unplug and unwind for a few days, the secluded scenery is just about the best tonic you could wish for.

Deplar Farm, Iceland

A remote sheep croft in the snow‑cloaked north of Iceland, Deplar Farm is the ultimate private house hotel. The fire-warmed bar is home to a full-blown band set-up, should musically inclined guests feel like an impromptu jam session; out in the frozen surrounds, you can try everything from snowmobiling to ice fishing. We love the geothermally heated open-air pool (complete with a swim-up bar) and, since the skies above are impossibly clear, it’s the perfect place to (hopefully) catch a glimpse of those elusive Northern Lights.

(Related: Puffins, Glaciers and More—What You'll See In A Ventures By Seabourn Trip To Iceland)

Morukuru Beach Lodge, South Africa

Hunkering down in South Africa’s vast De Hoop Nature Reserve, just three hours from Cape Town, clifftop Morukuru Beach Lodge sits beyond a bank of 30-metre-high sand dunes. Wildlife roams freely here, so you’ll see zebras, flamingos, ostriches and more, though the star sightings have to be the pods of whales that breach just off the coast between July and October. You’d struggle to design a hideaway that segues so effortlessly into its surroundings.

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