Five Best: Hotels for Twitchers

From Himalayan hideaway to island idyll, wake up to hear the sweet sound of birdsong in these stylish retreats


Silky Oaks Lodge, Australia

Overlooking the Mossman River around 80km north of Cairns, Silky Oaks promises true Aussie wilderness with plenty of comfort. The 50 chic rooms - either river houses or tree houses - come with balconies, day-beds and hammocks. There's also a spa. Most visitors want to get even closer to nature, though. The 430 bird species within the surrounding Daintree Rainforest National Park include the rare cassowary and the lodge organises birdwatching cruises.

Silky Oaks Lodge, nr Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia (00 612 8296 8010; www.silkyoakslodge.com.au). Doubles start at AUS$590 (£238), including breakfast and guided walks.

Bird Island Lodge, Seychelles

The only hotel on Bird Island, this lodge has 24 comfortable chalets scattered among what was once a coconut plantation. Set 60 miles from the capital island of Mahé, this coral cay has oodles of soft, white sand and its own barrier reef. It's a barefoot kind of place, without TVs or air-conditioning, but thanks to careful management, it has excellent birdlife (including fairy terns, sooty terns, brown noddies, wedge-tailed shearwaters and white-tailed tropicbirds) as well as both green and hawksbill turtles.

Bird Island Lodge, Seychelles (00 248 224925; www.birdislandseychelles.com). Chalets start at €375 (£254), full board. Aardvark Safaris (01980 849160; www.aardvarksafaris.com) offers three nights' full board at Bird Island, four nights' B&B on Praslin Island and international flights from £2,075 per person.

Kalmatia Sangam, India

The Indian state of Uttaranchal once seemed firmly off the tourist track, but not any more. This spectacular region - at the foothills of the Himalayas - is drawing a growing following among independent, nature-minded travellers. Peppered with small, individual places to stay, one of the best of these is Kalmatia Sangam. A nine-roomed resort with a restaurant that specialises in local, organic produce and smart, understated décor, it also provides easy access to the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, with its pretty villages and cedar-covered mountains.

Kalmatia Sangam, Kalimat Estate, Almora, Uttaranchal, India (00 91 59 62 231 572; www.kalmatia-sangam.com). Doubles start at €77 (£55), including breakfast.

A Stone's Throw Away, Bahamas

A Stone's Throw Away is a 10-room boutique hotel set at the quieter, west end of New Providence (the country's main island), and offers gingerbread architecture and an atmospheric wrap-around terrace. More importantly for birdwatchers, it's also handy for getting out to the island's best bird-viewing spots. If you're not sure where to start, contact Carolyn Wardle, (www.bahamasoutdoors.com)who runs excellent birding tours. Species include stripe-headed tanagers, Caribbean doves, Bahama woodstars, Cuban grassquits and Antillean nighthawks.

A Stone's Throw Away, Gambier, near Nassau, New Providence, The Bahamas (001 242 327 7030; www.astonesthrowaway.com).Doubles start at US$175 (£97), including breakfast.

Cavens Country House Hotel, Scotland

This small hotel sits by the Solway coast, not far from Dumfries. Known for its food (its restaurant makes good use of local produce, including delicious cheeses from Loch Arthur creamery), the hotel also gives guests easy access to birding sites, including Mersehead Nature Reserve, the Caerlaverock Centre and the Galloway Kite Trail. For those who'd like guidance, the hotel organises dedicated bird weekends; the next one runs on 10 and 11 November.

Cavens Country House Hotel, Kirkbean, by Dumfries, Scotland (01387 880234; www.cavens.com). Doubles start at £125, half board. Two-night bird weekends cost £485 per couple, including breakfast, packed lunch, RSPB-led excursions and dinner with wine.

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
scotland decidesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmSo what makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes the hobby look 'dysfunctional', they say
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week