Fly-In Resorts Let the Fun Begin Sooner

Flying commercially to some of the world’s best resorts can make a vacation feel like work. To reach Indonesia’s Wakatobi Dive Resort by airline, for example, you have to fly to Bali, take a scheduled flight to Makassar or Kendari, then jump on a local flight to Wangi-Wangi, stay overnight, and finally take a ferryboat to Wakatobi on Tomea Island.

The Best New Luxury Resorts

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The Best New Luxury Resorts

Six fabulous places to consider for your next vacation.

A handful of resorts provide a better option, however: they offer runways that let you fly privately right to their doorsteps. Here are five such places, all of which earn high marks from travelers at tripadvisor.com.

Red Reflet Ranch
Red Reflet Ranch

Red Reflet Ranch, Ten Sleep, Wyoming. Here, you can enjoy horseback riding, cattle herding and branding, fishing, mountain biking, ATVs, hiking, a rifle range, and rock climbing, plus some activities you might not expect, such as cooking lessons from the chef, yoga, and spa massages. The husband-and-wife owners are licensed pilots, and the ranch sells homestead properties adjacent to the 5,000-foot runway of its private airport. (Homesteaders receive access to the resort’s facilities.) Pilots visiting the ranch can book a mountain-flying seminar and even train for a type rating in a Cessna Citation I jet.

Wakatobi Dive Resort
Wakatobi Dive Resort

Wakatobi Dive Resort, Tomea Island, Indonesia. Wakatobi provides luxury bungalows on its white-sand beach, near several reefs that are popular with divers and snorkelers; but hard-core divers may want to spend several nights on a 36-meter diving yacht to be closer to more distant reefs. The resort offers a spa, paddleboarding, kite surfing, and a nature trail. A kids’ club entertains five- to 12-year-olds; and care for four-and-unders is available. Wakatobi’s 5,000-foot runway can accommodate large jets; and the staff can book charter flights for you from Bali.

Fox Harb'r Resort
Fox Harb'r Resort

Fox Harb’r Resort, Wallace, Nova Scotia, Canada. You know you’re in Canada when Tim Horton’s coffee is served in every room. An 18-hole championship course, described as a blend of Scottish and traditional parkland golf, and a par-3 “executive” course dominate the resort and provide views of the Northumberland Strait. Fox Harb’r offers casual and formal restaurants and a variety of accommodations, including homes at a deep-water marina, where guests can dock their yachts. You’ll also find a spa, wellness center, and swimming pool. Depending on the season, activities may include horseback riding, shooting, partridge and pheasant hunting, sea kayaking, fishing, hiking, and biking. A Fox Harb’r sister company operates a Gulfstream 100 and Challenger 604, and Air Canada Jazz offers charter flights from Montreal, Halifax, Ottawa, and Toronto directly to the resort, which has a 4,885-foot runway.

Nemacolin Woodlands Resort
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort

Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Farmington, Pennsylvania. More than 1,000 artworks from the eclectic collection of Joseph Hardy III, founder of 84 Lumber, add grace, beauty, and whimsy to his 2,000-acre resort in southwestern Pennsylvania. Featuring three hotels, two Pete Dye–designed golf courses, and a critically acclaimed restaurant, the resort offers a spa, holistic garden, climbing gym, zip lines, and off-road driving. Nearby attractions include Fort Necessity, where the French and Indian War began, the Flight 93 National Memorial, and three Frank Lloyd Wright–designed houses (including well-known Fallingwater). Nemacolin coordinates with Blade of New York City for charter flights, which land on its 3,845-foot runway.

Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa
Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa

Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa, Lajitas, Texas. The Rio Grande cuts through Big Bend National Park and Big Bend State Park and between them lies this 27,000-acre gem. Lanny Wadkins, winner of the 1977 PGA Championship, designed the 18-hole golf course at the resort, which offers horseback riding, sheep hunting, three zip lines, shooting, mountain biking, birding, jeep rentals, rafting on the Rio Grande, and stargazing. Four eateries range from fine dining to deli. Guests can arrive at the nearby, privately owned Lajitas International Airport, which has a 6,017-foot runway. Lajitas coordinates charter flights with Resort Air Services in Dallas.

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