Heatwave got you down? Book a luxe vacay to Antarctica’s White Desert lodge


What better way to cool off during this heatwave than to dream about an Antarctica vacay! Situated on a remote strip of land in the interior of the continent, White Desert camp,  — a South Pole mainstay frequented by Prince Harry and Bear Grylls — is marking its 10th anniversary undergoing a luxury renovation.

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 1.42.28 PMThink glamping taken to the extreme, wooden skis adoring the walls, thick parkas provided to guests and furs on just about everything. The upgraded luxe sleeping accommodations featured six dome “sleeping pods” each complete with bamboo headboards, Saarinen chairs, fur throws, and en suite bathrooms stocked with sustainable Lost Explorer-brand toiletries.

In addition, the lodge’s library and dining area have also gotten a complete overhaul. Now far more formal, a private chef has been brought in to supply three-course meals comprising ingredients and wines flown in from Cape Town.


White Desert offers only two trips in November to December. While one is eight nights long and the other 11, the price tag is the same for each: a whopping $72,000 per person all-inclusive. Along with flights from Capetown, guests are also offered tons of adventure opportunities including visiting blue ice caves, kite-skiing, abseiling, sauna breaks, and visiting researchers. To up the ante even more travelers can opt for an overnight excursion to the South Pole, which requires a flight on a prop plane and a trek in frigid temperatures for $7,500. In order to remember that sojourn best, aside from the possible frostbite, guests will also be given a custom Bremont timepiece engraved with the date of their visit.

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While fur and fancy-schmancy toiletries sure ain’t cheap, the real reason for the high cost is that because of its remoteness, renovating and maintaining the hotel is extremely complex.

“Everything for the hotel refurbishment had to come in on an Il-76 cargo plane, costing €15 [$17] per kilogram,” Robin Woodhead, the co-founder and director of the lodge, told Bloomberg.


In addition, transporting all the materials to Antarctica’s Unknown International Airport required multiple flights. All old materials then had to be transported all the way back to Cape Town for disposal for sustainability purposes. [Bloomberg]