Little Palm Island Resort & Spa
Little Torch Key, FL
Though it's separated from the Florida Keys "mainland" by just a few miles, Little Palm Island (a 2012 Gold List resort) is accessible only by boat or seaplane. Once on the 5.5-acre island, guests can stay in one of just 15 thatched-roof bungalows—all of them oceanfront—and no televisions, phones, or kids are allowed.
San Martin, CA
Tucked into the foothills of Northern California's Santa Cruz Mountains, Gold List-ranked property CordeValle claims 1,700 acres of countryside for guests seeking tranquility. But there's also tennis, golf, a spa, and the Clos La Chance winery and vineyard if you're looking for activities.
The Wakaya Club & Spa
Wakaya Island, Fiji
To get to this 2,200-acre private island (owned by Fiji Water founder David Gilmour), you'll need to board the Wakaya's own private Cessna Grand Caravan. After touchdown, guests can either choose to be the center of attention, courtesy of 12 staff members for every person, or opt to be completely alone: The resort offers a private beach picnic, during which guests are left with only a walkie-talkie to communicate and a guarantee that there is no other human being within three miles.
Jane Goodall, John McCain, and M. Night Shyamalan walk into an igloo ... What sounds like the beginning of a bad joke is just a partial list of celebs who have sought solitude at Hotel Arctic. It offers a front-row seat to the Icefiord, one of the fastest and most active ice streams in the world (icebergs as large as 30 miles long have been known to break off and lie stranded for up to a year in the Disko Bay). With dog sleds as the main method of transport and an igloo as an accommodation option, it’s easy to forget about civilization.
Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru
Vabbinfaru Island, Maldives
Vabbinfaru resort earned a 2010 World Saver nod from Conde Nast Traveler. Which means that while it feels as if it's a world away from anything (thanks to 48 elegant, thatched-roof villas on their own pristine Maldives island), the Banyan Tree getaway is actually quite involved with the world outside its doors. The marine lab is using low charges of solar-powered electricity to regenerate coral, and Banyan Tree is providing health care to marginalized Maldivians.
Resort at Paws Up
At this 37,000-acre working cattle ranch, the staff aims to make you one with the environment (whether or not that includes fly fishing or white-water rafting is up to you). Paws Up offers first-class amenities (think camping butlers for guests staying in tents), but it never abandons its outdoor vibe. Cross-country skiing, sleigh rides, skating, and snowmobiling are just a few of the Big Sky Country activities available during the winter months.