Throughout the pandemic, we'll keep publishing news to help you navigate the state of travel today (like whether travel insurance covers the coronavirus), as well as stories about places for you to put on your bucket list once it's safe to start going more far-flung.
On the scale of hotel room awesomeness, outdoor showers rank up there with killer views and private Jacuzzis (and, okay, free minibars). We don’t need to spell out why, especially after a day of ripping up waves, pounding mountain trails, zip-lining, safari-ing, or just nursing margs on the beach. And you know the only thing better than that first sip of coffee in the morning? Waking up with an outdoor shower. That’s not a scientific fact, but it’s true. Trust us. To help you make this vacation dream a reality, we scoured the world of adventure hot spots for some of the coolest outdoor showers. That list is right here.
Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
Nayara Hotel, Spa, and Gardens
The amazing adventures around Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano are no secret: hiking, rafting, canyoning, biking, hot springs, and, of course, zip-lining. But hidden beneath the shadow of these jungle-clad hills are the gardens of Nayara, which are everywhere at this tropical enclave, even in the romantic rooms’ private courtyard showers. Rough stone walls, pebbled floors, and palm fronds add to the natural vibe.
Uxua Casa Hotel and Spa
From sea kayaking and beach volleyball to capoeira, fishing, and trail biking, there are plenty of ways to get your heart racing at Uxua Casa Hotel and Spa, an intimate, oceanside Bahian hideaway. Each of the ten casas, ranging from refurbished fishing shacks to treehouses, has an outside tropical shower. The one in Eugênia feels most like the ultimate jungle fantasy, where you cool off in a stream of water that cascades from a tree. You might have to brush away palm fronds to wash your hair, but doesn’t that make things more fun?
Okonjima Nature Reserve, Namibia
Okonjima is located in a private nature reserve and is home to the Africat Foundation, which works to conserve and rehabilitate Namibia’s cheetah population. It’s one of the few safari camps with its own self-guided hiking and mountain biking trails. Each of the four bedrooms in the private Grand African Villa, part of a camp with many styles of accommodations, has a dramatic, curvaceous outdoor shower that’s a big step up from the usual bush shower.
Bespoke adventures abound at Paresa: Hike to secluded villages by starlight, kayak out to caves on the sea or through jungle streams, or take it easy with lunch on a floating raft in the Kho Sok Forest. But first you’ll have to peel yourself out of your room. Each is perched on the Kamala cliffs amid a tropical forest. An entire balcony is dedicated to the art of outdoor showering (and includes a private pool). Looking down over the balcony railing, the view is of the indigo waters of the Andaman Sea.
Exploring the tremendous bounty of wineries throughout Sonoma County, especially via bicycle, is possibly one of the most romantic trips in the United States. The sprawling Carneros Inn offers a new take on the landscape’s beauty, with alfresco showers adorned with peekaboo windows that look out onto the property’s 27 acres of grapevines, apple orchards, and farmland.
Ladera is the only resort located inside the St. Lucia's UNESCO World Heritage site, and travelers hideaway here to sail, snorkel, or climb the famed 2,619-foot Gros Piton (right next door). While the showers aren’t strictly open-air, they might as well be: Picture windows let you look out on the view, and the showers feature exuberant mosaic tiles depicting tropical gardens.
Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort
Cars are banned, and everyone gets around by bicycle or on foot at Jumby Bay, a resort on a private island a few miles from Antigua in the West Indies. But escaping it all doesn’t mean giving up a luxurious bathroom. The suites all have private courtyards with curvaceous showerheads mounted on pearlescent tiled walls, plenty of room to splash around, eye candy in the form of bougainvillea, and, for more serious bathing endeavors, claw-foot soaking tubs.
Zighy Bay, Oman
Six Senses Zighy Bay
Oman, one of the most visitor-friendly countries in the Middle East, is quietly becoming a hot spot for rock climbers, mountain bikers, and divers looking for an exotic escape. Stay at the Six Senses Zighy Bay and you’ll also soak in some of the local culture: The outdoor showers in the Spa Pool Villas are a slightly glammed-up version of a traditional Omani outdoor bathing area. Outside the walled courtyards, the northern Musandam Peninsula beckons with its mix of stunning nature—jagged mountains on one side and the waters of Zighy Bay on the other.