Billings, Mont.—Dan Austin, founder and president of luxury tour provider Austin Adventures, and his wife, Carol Austin, drew on nearly 40 years of international hosting experiences to launch The Austin Collection and select its first eight properties—all-inclusive accommodations in locations ranging from Alaska to Peru.
“Carol and I have a symbiotic relationship with the style of properties our clients enjoy. Time and again trip alumni ask us for referrals to our favorite accommodations,” says Dan Austin. “Our clients trust our judgement to recommend properties we have personally vetted and grown to trust.”
The Austin Collection launch includes properties in the United States (Alaska, Arizona, and Montana), Canada (British Columbia), Chile, and Peru. Vacation packages will be available for booking through Austin Adventures as well. The Austin Collection is expected to grow with the addition of one or two new offerings a year.
“We look forward in the months ahead to welcoming to the Collection other outstanding properties that meet our criteria,” Austin adds.
The first properties in The Austin Collection share several qualities: they are in locations that are often isolated and remote; they offer chef-prepared, fresh, and locally sourced foods and wines of the region; they have destination-specific outdoor recreation; they offer immersion in local cultures and traditions; and VIP pampering, services, and experiences are available.
The Austin Collections first eight properties include the following:
The Sheldon Chalet in Alaska
Guests arrive by helicopter at this five-bedroom chalet in Denali National Park that is engineered on a nunatak (a glacier outcropping) at nearly 6,000 feet—the only accommodation on Denali. The property can host up to 10 guests. Guests can sled, ski tour and trek, star gaze, engage in a guided mountaineering ropes course, explore crevasses, or relax in a sauna.
Tanque Verde Ranch in Arizona
Surrounding this Tucson ranch are 60,000 acres of Sonoran Desert. The ranch with Santa Fe-style adobe walls received its first guests in 1928. Outside the Rincon Mountains, guests can explore and hike Saguaro National Park and Coronado National Forest and experience horseback rides and mountain biking as well. The property also offers leatherwork and silversmith workshops, La Sonora Spa, and programs just for kids.
The Resort at Paws Up in Montana
On this 37,000-acre playground, guests lodge in private homes or a luxurious tented camp. Activities include exploring by ATV, horseback riding on 100 miles of trails, fly fishing on 10 river miles, learning to shoot sporting clays, hiking, mountain biking, rafting, rappelling, hot air ballooning, and paintball. In winter, guests can experience cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, dogsledding, and snowmobiling.
The remaining properties in The Austin Collection are The Chilko Experience in British Columbia, Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort in British Columbia, explora Atacama in Chile, explora Valle Sagrado in Sacred Valley, Peru, and Hotel Sol y Luna in Urubamba, Peru.
Photo: The Resort at Paws Up in Montana (Courtesy of Austin Adventures)