hotels nighttime

9 Hotels With Dazzling Nighttime Activities, Just in Time For International Dark Sky Week

Written by BSY Editor
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Nocturnal tourism has become increasingly popular amongst hotels and resorts, as guests show increased interest in exploring destinations after dark.

With International Dark Sky Week (15-22 April) approaching, we’ve rounded up nine hotels and destinations where travellers can immerse themselves in unique nocturnal activities.

From star bathing in a cenote to moonrise ceremonies, nocturnal wildlife tours and astro-photography, there’s something for everyone looking to explore long after the sun has set.


hotels nighttime
The wide open space and skies surrounding the Southern Ocean Lodge make it ideal for celestial magic (photo courtesy of the hotel)

Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island, Australia

Celebrated around the world as the pioneer of experiential luxury in Australia, the new iteration of Southern Ocean Lodge (following a tragic bush fire in 2020) has returned to crown the wildly beautiful clifftops on Kangaroo Island with a stunningly new feel. The property embraces the darkness and phenomenal nocturnal wildlife on the wild isle, offering a Nocturnal Explorer program for guests.

After dark, visitors can join a nocturnal tour to visit the Hanson Bay Sanctuary and discover a world that comes at night: spot koalas at their most active; encounter kangaroos, wallabies and possums up close; search for other night-loving wildlife including owls, bats and echidna; and more.

Plus, wander under the southern night sky free of the competing lights of cities and towns and pollution and enjoy world-class stargazing including constellations such as the Southern Cross and the Seven Sisters. 

Get an up-close look at the night sky with Alila Ventana’s new Astro-Photography programme (photo courtesy of the hotel)


Alila Ventana, Big Sur, California

On California’s iconic Highway 1, Alila Ventana Big Sur is perched at the edge of the continent overlooking the majestic Pacific coastline. The intimate resort offers one-of-a-kind Alila Experiences to inspire the mind, body and soul – including quite a few after dark, to enjoy the serenity of Big Sur and the vast dark sky above brimming with constellations on a clear night.

The property has also just introduced Astro-Photography (launching April 8) – allowing guests to embark on a unique experience that invites them to delve into the realms of creative expression through the mesmerizing world of the night sky above.

Join Campground Experience Leader (and stellar photographer!) Manuel Salas for an evening of celestial storytelling while capturing the night sky in a truly visionary new way.

In a captivating fusion of technology and artistry, guests will embark on a cosmic journey where photography becomes a portal to the stars – free from the light pollution of many other destinations and surrounded by the vastness of the sky above.

Hotels nighttime
Stargaze Under Canvas, including at this camp at the Grand Canyon (Photo by Bailey Made)


Under Canvas Grand Circle Camps

Astro-tourism is at the epicenter of 2024 travel at Under Canvas, the US’s premier upscale camping experience, and all five its Grand Circle camps – Under Canvas Zion, Bryce Canyon, Lake Powell – Grand Staircase, Grand Canyon, and Moab – have been recognized as the world’s first official DarkSky-certified resorts, making them ideal for creating memorable celestial moments.

Just in time for International Dark Sky Week, Under Canvas has also launched an immersive and long-lasting campaign across its camps called ‘We Own The Night,’ which invites guests to experience the beauty of the night sky through complimentary camp programming, including; astronomy talks, full-moon hikes, star parties, star-bathing meditations, culinary delights inspired by the galaxy, and more.


hotels nighttime
Sedona, Arizona is one of the top stargazing destination in the world (Photo courtesy of the hotel)

Sky Rock, Sedona, Arizona

Known as one of the top stargazing destinations in the world as a certified International Dark Sky city with an IDA certification, Sedona, Arizona  provides a spectacular setting to witness the dark skies of our universe.Over the past 10 years, Sedona has been recognized as an International Dark Sky Community, making it the ultimate haven for nocturnal fanatics. When visiting Sedona, there’s no better place to stay than the newly renovated Sky Rock Sedona — a 109-room boutique hotel that’s perfectly positioned between the earth and sky, and that’s gearing up to debut mid-March following an extensive property-wide transformation.

Sky Rock Sedona stands as the ultimate haven for celestial enthusiasts thanks to its captivating, 360-degree views, weekly guided stargazing tours, high-powered binoculars, and daily ritual that’s dedicated to celebrating the magic as the Sedona sun sets and moon rises. Each Saturday evening, Sky Rock guests are invited to join professional stargazer, Dennis Young, for a highly interactive session under the Sedona sky, where they’re invited to climb a six-foot ladder to view into his telescope and learn about the constellations, galaxies, planets, and more.

Sky Rock has a newly installed set of high-powered binoculars that have been mounted onto the corner of the main deck wall, providing guests with unlimited access for star gazing, both day and night.

To add to the celestial fun, each day at Sky Rock, guests are invited to partake in its one-of-a-kind Moonrise Ceremony, which features a Gong made speciality for the hotel, a ceremonial speech, and complimentary snifters of Bar WooWoo’s signature “Mescal Moonrise” concoction. 

Hotels nighttime
Sign up for Tour of the Stars, led by Edward J. Mahoney, the Director of Astronomy at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa (photo courtesy of the hotel)


Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa, Kā’anapali, Maui, Hawai’i

Maui, just 20 degrees north of the equator, offers exceptional views of 80 of the 88 constellations. Known as the World’s Top Hotel for Stargazing, Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa‘s Tour of the Stars allows guests to experience Maui’s crystal-clear skies from the rooftop of the Lahaina Tower.

The tour is led by Edward J. Mahoney, the Director of Astronomy at the hotel and a NASA Solar System Ambassador. More intimate, smaller classes for hands-on Astrophotography workshops are also available by request. This workshop allows guests to combine their cameras with a brand-new Celestron Deluxe HD telescope so they can take brilliant pictures of the night sky.


hotels nighttime

The skies above Utah are some of the most spectacular in the world for stargazing


Yes, we recommend the entire state. Boasting 24 IDA-designated Dark Sky Places and a dedicated Utah Dark Sky Month in April, the Beehive State offers enchanting experiences beneath its expansive starlit sky. Embark on a whitewater rafting journey under the stars with Holiday River Expeditions, who share ancient history and cultural stories told by the constellations.

Discover mountain biking and stargazing in The Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands National Park, or fly fish under the stars near Natural Bridges National Monument, the world’s first certified dark sky park.

For UTV enthusiasts, Ticaboo Adventure Center offers thrilling dark sky night rides in Bullfrog Basin. Utah’s designated Dark Sky Parks, including the Mighty 5® National Parks, host one-of-a-kind dark sky experiences, from festivals to ranger-led tours and star parties, emphasizing the significance of night preservation.

The state’s seven International Dark Sky Places, such as Timpanogos Cave National Monument and Helper City, not only provide stunning stargazing opportunities but also play a crucial role in safeguarding wildlife from light pollution. 

For a remote stay and a restaurant that’s worth the drive itself, check out Boulder Mountain Lodge and Hell’s Backbone Grill & Farm, a James Beard-nominated favorite in the state.

hotels nighttime
Sign up for a private star-bathing in the cenote experience at Eden Roc Cap Cana (photo courtesy of the hotel)


Eden Roc Cap Cana, Dominican Republic

Eden Roc Cap Cana is a Relais & Châteaux jewel located in the exclusive community of Cap Cana, Dominican Republic. The luxury property has a unique Cenote on the estate, a deep cave made from limestone with lush island plants. There is a waterfall fountain in the cenote and the healing sound of the water provides a more therapeutic experience for guests – “to be in the womb of the mother earth” is something that ancient Tainos refer to this as.

Bringing the elements of the property’s new Cenote Wellness Retreat to the whole family, up to two adults and three children can sign up for private star-bathing in the cenote at night. A fun experience for the family to bookend one of their days at Eden Roc Cap Cana, a true ecological marvel.


Tour the canals at night in an Ixchel, Banyan Tree Maykoba’s traditional trajinera boat (photo courtesy of the resort)


Banyan Tree Mayakoba, Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Get swept away by the Caribbean breeze at Banyan Tree Mayakoba, an Asian-inspired hideaway in the heart of Mexico’s Riviera Maya. An extraordinary blend of Asian culture and Mexican hospitality, Banyan Tree Mayakoba is a breathtaking sanctuary for the senses and the perfect getaway for Spring Break.

Set within a private gated community linked by canal waterways, the 162-villa resort is surrounded by untouched nature in a carefully-maintained ecosystem. Delight in an Ixchel, which is translated as Moon Goddess. Ixchel is Banyan Tree Maykoba’s traditional trajinera boat dining experience. Guests can treat themselves to a magnificent fusion of local and international cuisines prepared by the culinary hosts, enjoy a cooked-to-order menu as they explore the canals and mangroves of Mayakoba after dark.


Book a “Moonlight and Stars” spa treatment for two at The Palms Turks & Caicos (photo courtesy of the hotel)


The Palms Turks & Caicos

With its unbeatable beachfront location, world-renown spa, top-notch culinary outlets and endless activities available – The Palms is the ideal romantic getaway destination for any type of couple. What better way to kick off the new year than with a romantic vacation to the Caribbean and an “Moonlight and Stars” spa treatment in the privacy of your own suite.

After a full day of fun in the Caribbean sun, head up to your Oceanview Suite or Penthouse to enjoy a dry exfoliation followed by a customized, aromatherapy massage for you and your special person, all while listening to the serene sounds of the sea.

To complete the transcendent night, delight in glasses of champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries.



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BSY Editor

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