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Terelj Hotel and Spa, Mongolia
Near the birthplace of Mongolia’s Great Unifier Chinggis Khaan (Ghengis Khan), the Terelj Hotel is 70 kilometers north of the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar, nestled amongst some of the most carefully protected parkland in the country, Gorkhi-Terelj National Park. This 52-room property was built in the nineteenth century for Russian vacationers and recently reopened after a remarkable renovation. The interiors mix sumptuous imported fabrics with collectible Mongolian contemporary art, while standard guest rooms are cozy with beds swaddled in cashmere blankets. When weather permits, guests can ride horses, trek in the surrounding hills, fish for salmon, or bird-watch for the exotic species that fly overhead -all activities happily arranged by the diligent Mongolian staff. Chillier days can be spent at the six-room spa; in the Argali Cocktail lounge, stocked with 70 types of whiskey; or simply around the stove in the resort’s central ger (a traditional yurt).