Grand (Re)Openings – Longitude 131º, Australia

An Outstanding upgrade

When Longitude 131º opened in 2003, the safari-style camp on the border of the pristine Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park was unlike anything the Australian Outback had ever seen. Nearly 15 years later, the luxurious adventure lodge is dropping jaws once again with the unveiling of a multimillion-dollar renovation.

Revealed in August, the revamped camp is elevating the Outback adventure experience with a new premium suite, spa, and swimming pool as well as upgraded public areas throughout. The two-bedroom Dune Pavillion is now Longitude’s most luxurious accommodation, with floor-to-ceiling windows, vibrant indigenous artwork and bespoke décor inspired by the iconic homesteads common of the region.

Outside, an extended deck features a small, black mosaic-tiled plunge pool with views of two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Uluru, the 600-million-year-old red-hued monolith, and Kata Tjuta, the 36-domed rock formation in the distance.

Guests can take a dip or clink glasses at the new elevated Dune Top, where a swimming pool overlooking the red and golden landscapes has been added along with a collection of intimate alcoves for private al-fresco dining. Inside, the Dune House main lodge also has a fresh look, with a chic bar and restaurant boasting floor-to-ceiling windows framing Uluru.

The new Spa Kinara (whose name means “moon") offers indulgent treatments that tap into the ancient practices of the region’s native healers, using indigenous ingredients like Kakadu plum, quandong (a sweet edible red fruit), Australian yellow clay and desert salts in facials and body wraps. Therapies take place in wiltja treatment rooms — structures designed to mimic the traditional shelters of the region’s ancestors — and include the Tjilpi facial (created for men and using wild rosella, lemon myrtle, and native sandalwood) and the Kodo Kodo massage, inspired by ancient aboriginal techniques.

One thing that hasn’t changed, of course, is the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and the magnificent wilderness showcased from each of Longitude’s 15 white-topped tents. From their canvas accommodations, guests can watch a blanket of twinkling stars on outdoor daybeds; come morning, they can raise the blinds for another heady fix of Australia’s spectacular Red Centre just outside.

Longitude 131º

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Published November 10, 2017
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