Michelin Stargazing Party
Picture the scene: a Michelin-starred chef has created an exquisite picnic of Basque dishes cooked to perfection. You’re comfortably ensconced on a private beach with a lounger and a good pair of binoculars. And above you, the iridescent canopy of the night sky arches and sparkles like magic. With the help of an expert astronomer, you’ll navigate the stars, learn how to identify constellations and track the movement of the planets.
With light pollution threatening to dim the stars into oblivion, this stargazing experience package, run by the Ritz-Carlton hotel on Tenerife, is a wonderful way to experience the universe in all its precious splendour. Moreover, this five-star hotel is a superb destination in its own right. Alongside lavish rooms, a spa and several pools, weekly botanical tours offer an absorbing insight into the tropical plants and fragrant herbs that bloom in its extensive private gardens.
The Dark Sky Island of Sark
Thanks to its total lack of cars or street lights, tiny Sark has been granted official ‘Dark Sky’ status. It therefore tops the wish list of many budding astronomers hoping to count their lucky stars in an amenable setting.
There is a veritable constellation of ways to enjoy the night sky in Sark. You’re welcome to visit the observatory of the helpful Sark Astronomy Society and use their telescope (just get in touch in advance, by email or at the Visitors’ Centre). Alternatively, strike out on your own with a pair of binoculars, or even just the naked eye, and let nature wow you with her handiwork. A useful tip to remember, though, is that night doesn’t fall until around 10 o’clock during high summer.
If you’re after a proper country house hotel as a base for your Sark stargazing experience, then Stocks Hotel is an excellent option. Set in a restored Queen Anne-style farmhouse and nestled in a green valley, it comes about as close to a bucolic idyll as hotels get. There’s also a heated swimming pool, and it helps that the food’s fantastic too!
Northern Lights Tour of the Yukon
The pièce de résistance of our spectacular skies has got to be the Northern Lights. We at Prestige have put together an escorted tour of Canada’s remote Yukon region, offering an exclusive environment in which to experience this galactic miracle. In the evenings, guests gather beside the fire to enjoy delicious food and marvel at what is, quite simply, the best show in the world.
During the day, activities on offer include dog-sledding, snow-shoeing and visits to the historic goldrush settlement of Whitehorse. The nature lover keen to spot exotic mammals in their natural habitat will be thrilled by the Yukon Wildlife Preserve, where we track down bison, musk-ox, moose and lynx.