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The stars are out tonight…


When one hears the word ‘astro-tourism’, what springs to mind isn’t so much an adventure of a lifetime as a rocket-fueled disaster-in-waiting.

But naysayers be damned! For one can now experience outer space without ever leaving firm ground, with today’s space travelers out on the road, in pursuit of that perfect patch of star-filled sky.

At these prime locations, whether it be Merzouga, Morocco or Sedona, USA, finding the right sort of accommodation is key. Thankfully, Booking.com is able to advise travellers on what hotels are the most convenient, affordable, and suitable when it comes to their latest stargazing adventure.

So when you are organising your next galactic getaway, the only thing that should be astronomical is the view above your head.  Chris Prindiville


For the best star-spotting tips, visit www.booking.com.



01. San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

It’s very fitting that one of the best places on Earth to view the stars also happens to bear an odd resemblance to the Red Planet. You can almost always count on clear skies here as some parts of the Atacama haven’t seen rain in 400 years.

Popular among travelers who endorsed San Pedro de Atacama for stargazing is the boutique Hotel Pascual Andino which features cozy but elegant rooms. Enjoy a soak under the clear sky in the Jacuzzi or alternatively, if you want some privacy you can admire the starry night from your own private terrace.


02. Merzouga, Morocco

The Saharan dunes of Merzouga reach some 350 metres in height and a camel ride here with the welcoming Berber population is a real once-in-a-lifetime experience. But it’s dusk when the show really begins – the stunning desert sunset is only a prelude to a night sky spectacle that will leave you star-struck at the beauty of the universe.

Kasbah Azalay Merzouga is beautiful stay, a short journey from the centre of Merzouga and only a quick walk away from the golden Erg Chebbi Sand Dunes. The concierge can organise camel riding and sand duning to make the most of your desert escape and when you’re not exploring the desert you can soak up the Moroccan sun relaxing by the poolside.


03. Sedona, USA

Though it can get pretty chilly out in the Arizona desert, it’s worth it to get away from all that light pollution and see the beautiful night sky revealed. In Sedona you can discover cosmic wonders like the Andromeda galaxy but it’s best to grab a tour with a telescope so you can marvel in the sight of binary stars, the Orion nebula and a whole lot more.

Located along Oak Creek and offering beautiful views of the Red Rocks is the Amara Resort and Spa. The spa here is award winning and the hotel offers stylish and modern rooms with balconies where you can enjoy stunning desert views. Take advantage of the free morning yoga classes and enjoy sun salutations under the Arizona sun. Afterwards you can cool off in the stunning infinity pool or enjoy a cocktail out on the sun terrace.


04. Lake Tekapo, New Zealand

Mt John Observatory ticks all the boxes – it’s located in the world’s largest dark sky reserve, its home to New Zealand’s largest telescope and it also has gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains.

Book Tekapo Holiday Homes are scattered around the stunning Lake Tekapo Village and are only a short drive to Lake Pukaki. The holiday homes have great features including balconies overlooking the stunning mountains and offer cozy fireplaces where you can warm up after an evening under the stars.

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