60 Luxury Escapes For Your Bucket List

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They say that the best luxury escapes are the ones that make you feel like a rockstar. Laze around a designer pool with a glass of French champagne while your private chef prepares a delicious meal and your host makes arrangements for a sail in a private yacht. More champagne? Right away, sir. Caviar? Certainly madame.

Looking for a luxury escape by the beach? There are plenty in Bali and Thailand. What about a luxury escape to the city? Or in the countryside? Here are some fantastic luxurious escapes to tick off your bucket list. 


Luxury Escapes Around The World 

If you’re a luxury lover who loves travel, read these travel quotes for inspiration. 

Luxury Escapes Australia

In Australia, movie stars or moguls aren’t the only ones that have the chance to experience a luxury escape with a chef, housekeeper and host.

From Darwin to rugged Kangaroo Island and tropical Queensland, there are unique luxurious escapes where you can live it up in style, travel with an entourage, extended family or go travelling with friends. 

#1 Ritz-Carlton Perth

Luxury Escapes in Australia Ritz Carlton Perth
The Ritz Carlton is the newest luxury escape in Perth.

There are many good reasons to be excited about the luxurious Ritz-Carlton in Perth.

The hotel in Perth’s Elizabeth Quay development is the first Ritz Carlton in Australia since Double Bay. 

This luxury escape by the river brings together all the distinctive touches you’d expect in a Ritz Carlton, such as sparkling chandeliers and sumptuous designer decor, with elements of Western Australia. 

There’s a gorge like lobby with 10000 Kimberley sandstones, a stylish rooftop bar with a view of the Swan River and a spa with relaxing areas and vitality pools.

All rooms have views of the city or the river and floor-to-ceiling glass to bring the views into the living areas. 

A highlight of this luxurious escape is Western Australian food and wine prepared by Executive Chef Jed Gerrard with produce sourced from the state. 

The Ritz Carlton Perth is at 1 Barrack Street, Perth Central Business District, Perth, Australia. 

#2 Fullerton Sydney

Luxury Escapes Australia Fullerton
Fullerton Sydney will soon be one of the newest hotels and luxury escapes in Australia’s most vibrant city.

Wondering where to stay in Sydney? Try this luxury escape in the heart of Sydney, the Fullerton Hotel Sydney is opening soon in the historic Sydney General Post Office.  

Fullerton Hotels and Resorts runs two hotels in Singapore: The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, which also has a history of being a former GPO, and The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore. 

The hotel will share the building’s fascinating history by offering complimentary heritage tours to the public.

Enjoy a cocktail in the Gin Parlour, which has an impressive array of 120 gins from around the world, including Singaporean Tanglin Gin and Australian Four Pillars gin.

Every month, there’s a new concoction created by the hotel’s mixology team, such as Tanglin Mandarin Chilli Drop Martini.

Are you looking for an afternoon tea with a twist? The Best of Both Worlds Afternoon Tea has a delicious menu featuring tastes of Singapore and Sydney.

Enjoy aromatic pandan lamingtons, nibble on dainty chicken and lemon myrtle sandwiches and savour kalamansi curd tart with gin and tonic jelly.

The Fullerton Hotel Sydney is at 1 Martin Pl, Sydney, NSW, Australia. 

#3 Riley Hotel

luxury escape in Cairns
Riley Hotel is a contemporary new luxury escape in Cairns.

Lie around the lagoon pool in a cabana at the new Riley Hotel in Cairns.

Located on The Esplanade, which runs along the waterfront, Riley Hotel is a contemporary luxury escape in the Queensland tropics.

Rooms and suites are equipped with an Apple iPad Control Centre and free Wi-Fi, which you can use to stream movies on large HD TV screens.

They also have coffee pod machines and other thoughtful touches that remind you you’re in the tropical north, such as dried mango snacks and eye masks.

Tuck into hawker-style food at Paper Crane for lunch, sip cocktails around the pool then head to Eleme Day Spa before dinner at Rocco in the hotel’s 12-storey glass tower.

You could stay at this luxurious escape the entire time you’re in Cairns but you won’t as the city is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Rainforest and the Cairns Aquarium is just around the corner from the hotel.

Riley Hotel is at 131 to 141 The Esplanade, Cairns, Australia. 

#4 Hayman Island by InterContinental

Luxury Escapes Australia Hayman
Luxury Escapes Australia – Hayman Island

For years, Hayman Island has been the place to go for a luxury escape in the Great Barrier Reef.

The latest brand to take over the resort opened for business on 1 July 2019. 

Only guests staying at Hayman Island by InterContinental are allowed on the island and the luxurious experiences start with the transfers, which are by luxury boat, helicopter or seaplane. 

Accommodation at Hayman Island is spread across three wings, with beach-front, lagoon and pool-front locations.

Building on Hayman Island’s past reputation for excellence in food and wine, this new resort has five dining experiences.

Check the prices for Hayman Island by InterContinental. 

#5 Mt Mulligan Lodge

Luxury Escapes Mt Mulligan
Mount Mulligan Lodge is a luxury escape in the Queensland Outback.

Go glamping at Mt Mulligan Lodge, which a luxurious escape in the Queensland outback with outdoor bathtub and electric buggies. 

The 28,000 ha heritage region and working cattle station has plenty of corners to explore, such as exploring the abandoned township, fishing for barramundi, looking for wildlife and guided tours of historic gold and coal mines.

A scenic helicopter flight around the 18km Mount Mulligan is a highlight.

The menu puts a flavoursome twist on outback dining with local produce including grass-fed Bushy Creek beef.

Dine at the central pavilion or take a gourmet picnic hamper and relax beside a waterhole shaded by Australian gum trees.

Mount Mulligan Lodge is an all-inclusive luxury escape costing from A$1,700 a night a couple to $3,300 a night for four. The price includes meals, wine, beer, mini bar and daily activities. 

#6 Woodwark Bay

luxury escapes
Woodwark Bay is a luxury escape you could fit the extended family into.

1618 hectares of lush tropical rainforest, manicured gardens, waterfalls, a deep freshwater lake and picnic huts make up this private tropical paradise.

Renting the whole house costs from A$15,500 a night. 

Add a chef, housekeeper and activities manager and you have a private retreat fit for royalty, chief executives and celebrities (the Packers, Murdochs and King of Morocco have stayed here).

The central communal house and six private South Seas-style thatched cottages are decked out with original pieces including an antique Russian chest, African wall hangings and Tibetan temple doors.

Some cottages have open-air garden bathrooms.

The ultimate sleeping area is the Dream House with limestone floors and a raised king-size bed positioned for view gazing.

Woodwark Bay is in Airlie Beach, Queensland. 

#7 Mali Mali

It’s hard to look past a designer home that has won two building industry awards, especially one in such a gorgeous tropical location.

In 2008, Mali Mali was named the Master Builders Australia’s best house ($1 and $2 million categories) and Queensland’s House of the Year and it has rolled on that reputation ever since. 

Facilities include a tennis court, media room, Miele kitchen, wet-edge pool and helicopter landing pad.

Surrounded by lush tropical gardens, the design is a nod to Bali’s airy pavilion-style living.

Timber walkways meander past fountains and over fish ponds, connecting the main living pavilion with three sleeping pavilions.

Each sleeping pavilion has an ensuite bathroom with L’Occitane toiletries and a large sunken bath. Book the whole house from A$950 a night. 

A private chef, housekeeping, spa services, yoga and in-house catering can be arranged.

Mali Mali is in Mossman, Queensland.

#8 Lifetime Private Retreats

A pre-stay interview enquiring about personal likes and dislikes leads to a personalised guest experience.

Don’t be surprised to find your favourite date scones baking in the oven or a CD of your singer crooning on the stereo.

The retreat’s three chic houses – Cliff House, Stone House and Sky House – are perched on a cliff on Kangaroo Island’s remote north coast.

Cliff House is a Mediterranean-inspired, three-bedroom villa with a broad terrace overlooking the beach.

Dining is all about a holistic creative experience that could find you eating in an old shearing shed decked out with chandeliers and antique silver or inside the natural canopy of a 150-year-old fig tree or in a beach hut.

Lifetime Private Retreats, Kangaroo Island, South Australia. Check the latest prices here. 

#9 qualia

qualia’s understated luxury fits the nature theme of the Whitsunday Islands’ collection of 74 islands.

Most of these islands are covered with national parks and white sandy beaches.

There are three types of accommodation at qualia (spelt with a lower-case “q”; it’s a Latin word which means a collection of deep sensory experiences), all with ocean views.

All are equipped with cutting-edge technology, Wi-Fi, plug-ins for MP3 players and digital cameras, wide comfortable beds and spacious bathrooms.

There are over 40 different activities on offer including sea kayaking, parasailing, deep-sea fishing excursions and helicopter flights to the Great Barrier Reef, where guests can spend the day snorkelling or scuba diving.

qualia is on Hamilton Island, Queensland.  

Also read:

Luxury Escapes Bali 

Bali has so many amazing luxury resorts to enjoy and a few famous landmarks in Indonesia to explore. Here are a few to put on your Bali itinerary and if you’re wondering where else to stay in Bali, head to Nusa Dua, Seminyak and beyond.  

#10 Peppers Seminyak

luxury escapes Bali
When selecting one of the many luxury escapes in Bali, consider booking a Peppers villa. Text and photo by Jewels Lynch.

Our first five days in Bali were spent at the gorgeous Peppers Seminyak in a convenient location to chill out at Kuta Beach or Legian beach and have daily massages; flowers painted on your toes and braids in your hair.

Then there’s your Bali shopping fix brought to you while you laze on a beanbag watching the people go by.

Our three-room villa at Peppers Seminyak had a private pool that was dreamier than we had possibly imagined, an outdoor shower, huge spa bath, walk-in robe and king-size bed fit for a princess. 

If my itinerary hadn’t been so jam-packed with sights to see, we would never have left the villa at all. 

January is also the wet season, and the weather can be a little off if you want to chill by the pool or beach but I’ll have to say we had enough great weather too.

If I were to recommend a time of year, it would probably be June, July or August as the weather would be perfect then.

Peppers Seminyak is at Jl. Pura Telaga Waja, Petitenget, Seminyak, Kuta, Kerobokan Kelod, North Kuta, Badung Regency, Bali. 


#11 Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua 

Luxury escapes Bali
Enjoy a cocktail and a luxurious escape in Bali. Photo and text: Jewels Lynch.

Sofitel Bali, in Nusa Dua is the kind of property that has everything you need and more for a complete resort holiday.

The grounds are to die for, the pool area exquisite and the private beach access is bliss.

If I wanted a holiday where I didn’t have to leave the resort and could relax, this would be the place.

The So Spa is perfect and the menu at Cucina is mouthwatering. 

Rated by Conde Nast Traveller’s as one of the top 10 brunches in the world, the Sofitel Bali’s famous Brunch a la Francaise has become a regular weekend event.

The food is seriously some of the best food I’ve ever eaten. It was so delicious I’d go out of my way to go there for a meal, even if I wasn’t staying at Sofitel Bali.

They are regularly booked out and what started as only one day a week has now become an all-weekend affair due to the popularity of this brunch.

Sofitel Bali is at Kawasan Pariwisata ITDC Lot N5, Benoa, South Kuta, Badung Regency, Bali.


#12 Alila Seminyak  

luxury resorts bali
Alila Seminyak is one of the luxurious escapes in Bali you can’t go wrong with.

Alila Seminyak on the beach if you’re looking for a resort in Bali that’s on the beach yet not too far away from the action then check out Alila Seminyak Bali.  

The design of the resort is very sleek and contemporary. while the building stands out from the tropical surrounds and projects a hip and uber-cool image.

It has lovely gardens, tranquil temple grounds and the pools (there are five of them) look mighty tempting.

Right now, I could do with a week lazing around the pool!

Of course, when you’re holidaying there one of the top things to do in Bali is to go surfing and if being near the beach is high on your priority list, this is a great luxury escape to choose.

There are 240 rooms across six categories, ranging from 48sqm to an enormous penthouse (I’d like the penthouse please!).

The resort is in a great location conveniently near boutiques and fashion shops in Seminyak yet far enough from the ugly side of Bali and Kuta beach.

It’s also right next door to the famous Potatohead Beach Club (where some people queue for hours to get in).

The resort has a spa and health club, all-day dining and an Indonesian restaurant.

Other facilities include a kids centre, beach bar, banquet hall.


#13 Spa Village Resort

luxury escapes bali
Spa Village Bali is one of the luxury escapes in Bali where you can unwind and de-stress.

This luxurious escape is on the north-eastern coast of Bali and is a tranquil retreat near black sand beaches.

It’s the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate.

The architecture at Spa Village Resort Tembok is an oasis of Western elegance with traditional Balinese dwellings.

One-bedroom villas have outdoor pavilions, plunge pools and ocean views.

This yoga and wellness retreat offers s menu of relaxing activities like yoga classes, guided meditation classes, sumptuous spa treatments.  

YTL Hotels Spa Village Resort is at Jalan Singaraja-Amlapure, No. 100 Desa Tembok, Tejakula Buleleng, Bali Indonesia

Luxury Escapes Cambodia

#14 Shinta Mani Wild

Luxury Escapes Cambodina Shinta Mani Wild
Shinta Mani is one of the few luxurious escapes in the Cambodian wilderness.

Arriving at Shinta Mani Wild will get your adrenaline pumping as you glide on a 400m zip line over the forest canopy, river and waterfalls. 

Shinta Mani Wild was designed with the objective of saving a 350ha wildlife corridor from logging, mining and poaching.

This luxurious escape in Cambodia is a private nature sanctuary and conservation centre with a strong focus on sustainability. 

The luxury escape is a partnership with Wildlife Alliance (rangers are stationed at the camp) and there are resident naturalists, making this a memorable place to put on your Cambodia itinerary.

The Shinta Mani Foundation provides local employment through the hospitality school in Siem Reap. 

Shinta Mani Wild is a luxury escape in Cambodia. Two bedroom luxury tents start from US$1,900 plus taxes in low season to US$4,200 plus taxes during peak season. 

#15 Phum Baitang

phum baitang
Phum Baitang is a luxury escape in Cambodia.

Phum Baitang is a luxury resort near Siem Reap in Cambodia near Angkor Wat World Heritage Site., which you must visit as it’s one of the most incredible things to do in Cambodia

It’s an elegant green hideaway to add to your Cambodia itinerary, with lush gardens and paddy fields.

There are 45 timber villas with thatched roofs built on stilts and inspired by traditional Cambodian designs (20 with plunge pool).

Hop on a tuk-tuk and take a ride to an ancient farmhouse, which is now a relaxing zone for guests furnished with an ambience of Cambodia’s Colonial era.

The lounge has rattan wing chairs and plush oriental carpets.

The restaurant has a market vibe, allowing guests to choose their ingredients and spices.

Rice is sourced from the surrounding paddy fields and there’s a spa temple with a tranquil yoga pavilion and an outdoor pool to unwind after exploring the wonders of Angkor Wat.

Check the latest prices for Phum Baitang in Cambodia

Luxury Escapes China

There was a time when it was difficult to find a hotel in China that met Western standards, but these days, there’s no problem finding a luxury escape in China.

Most places to visit in China offer plenty of choices for travellers who love luxury. 

Also read where to stay in Macau

#16 NUO Hotel Beijing

nuo hotel beijing
Book the Residence Club Suite for a luxurious escape in Beijing.

NUO Hotel Beijing is an uber-modern palace with more than a nod to Ming Dynasty heritage.

China’s Ming Dynasty was a hub of trade and culture, so it’s fitting that the design incorporates famous Ming Dynasty-era figures including Wen Zhenheng, who documented a unique philosophy of interior design 500 years ago.

China’s Ming Dynasty was a hub of trade and culture, so it’s fitting that the design incorporates famous Ming Dynasty-era figures including Wen Zhenheng, who documented a unique philosophy of interior design 500 years ago.

The theme follows a Zen-influenced minimalist interior design trend.

Located near Beijing’s Art Zone 798, NUO Hotel Beijing is a perfect spot for art lovers.

Throughout the hotel, there are artworks by talented Chinese artists, including four artworks by renown Chinese artist Zeng Fanzhi.

In the lobby is a five-metre by two-metre oil painting and a three-metre tall and 10 tall blue and white painted porcelain vases.

There are 438 guestrooms (55 are suites) and an Executive Club Lounge. A feature of the hotel is all rooms have floor-to-ceiling views of the city.

Check the latest prices for NUO Hotel Beijing

#17 Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain

six senses spa
Six Senses Spa is a luxurious escape in China.

China’s first Six Senses spa resort is located in picturesque Sichuan province in China.

Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain is a tranquil and luxurious escape to base yourself while exploring the region.

Qing Cheng Mountains has 36 peaks and is home to Giant Pandas, Buddhist and Taoist temples and UNESCO World Heritage Dujiangyan, which is one of the most amazing landmarks in China.

The region was the start of the Silk Road and was featured in Kung Fu Panda II.

Of course, there’s a Six Senses Spa with locally-inspired treatments as well as signature therapies.

113 rooms offer luxurious accommodation in semi-detached suites within duplex villas as well as courtyard suites, garden and pool villas.

Check the latest prices for Six Senses Qing Cheng

#18 Sheraton Nanchang Hotel

asian resort
Sheraton Nanchang is a luxurious escape in China in the city.

Sheraton Nanchang Hotel is located in Jiangxi Province by the Gan River, in the city of Nanchang, the hotel is located in a big city with a population of over five million people.

The hotel has 350 rooms and suites with city or river views and all the mod cons you’d expect in a luxury city hotel.

There’s high-speed internet access, flat TV screens and comfortable Sheraton Sweet Sleeper® Beds.  

Nanchang is often remembered for the Nanchang Uprising in 1927 where the military banner of the People’s Liberation Army was initially raised.

It’s also rich in history and has beautiful mountains, rivers and lakes.

There’s plenty for tourists, including the Anyi Ancient Village (a national cultural site with 120 historic homes from the Ming and Qing dynasties), the Shengjin Pagoda (for views of the city) and the Tengwang, Huanghe, and Yueyang pavilions along the Gan River.

Check the latest prices for Sheraton Nanchang Hotel

Luxury Escapes Dubai

Dubai is an over-the-top opulent and luxurious escape, with so many fine hotels to choose from you could easily amuse yourself by doing a hotel hop.

#19 Burj Al Arab

luxury escapes Dubai
A One-Bedroom Suite at Burj Al Arab is a luxurious escape fit for a king.

Burj Al Arab is so surreal you’ll have to pinch yourself to find out if it’s real.

The most luxurious experience of all is to stay in the royal suite of the Burj Al Arab, drink champagne and eat canapes. 

With nine restaurants and bars, a wellness centre, five swimming pools and its own beach, this is one of the top luxury escapes to tick off your bucket list.

Every suite is sumptuously decorated, fit for royalty and serviced by the most attentive butlers who are a constant reminder of how important you are. 

Burj Al Arab is at Jumeirah St, Dubai.

#20 Madinat Jumeirah

An Arabian fairytale resort by the beach, Madinat Jumeirah is a lavish self-contained luxury escape that captures the romance of ancient Arabia.

The impressive Dubai luxury escape has 3.7 kilometres of canals, two grand hotels, luxuriously furnished Arab summer houses, a considerable number of restaurants and any facility you can think of including a movie theatre, spa and a dreamy Arabian souk.

The souk is a fabulous bazaar selling everything from Aladdin lamps to Arabic coffee and spending some time here is a fun thing to do in Dubai.  

Al Qasr, the Palace Hotel, has views of the Arabian Gulf and iconic Burj Al Arab. 

Dar Al Masyaf has two-storey courtyard summer houses by the beach and is a boutique luxury escape decorated with timber, tiles, carpet and Arabian latticework.

#21 Jumeirah Zabeel Saray

hotels dubai

Jumeirah Zabeel Saray is on the western wing of Palm Jumeirah, which a man-made island built in the shape of a palm tree.

The six-floor beachside hotel has 405 rooms but the most opulent of these are the 42 suites and 38 villas located around a lagoon pool.

The resort reflects the grandeur of the Ottoman Empire and is decorated with hand-painted Turkish artworks and lavish murals.

The Ottoman themes are matched by thoughtful service that makes you feel like you’re living in a palace.

Rooms and suites have ocean views.

They range from 40 m² to 310 m² (larger than an average house) and come packed with mod cons and gadgets.

For those who really want to live it up, there are Grand Imperial Suites and five-bedroom Royal Villas.

The four- and five-bedroom villas are situated around a lagoon pool, set in lush tropical gardens and have access to the resort’s private beach, maid’s quarters, ensuite bathrooms. 

Like most Jumeirah properties, this one has plenty of dining choices, with 10 restaurants, bars and lounges.

Lalezar is a 20th-century royal Ottoman cuisine inspired restaurant that serves up a variety of Turkish cuisine prepared with a contemporary twist.

There’s an Indian restaurant, a Lebanese restaurant and a Parisian Brasserie-style restaurant.

Talise Ottoman Spa has 42 treatment rooms, steam rooms, saunas and floating baths.

At the heart of the spa are three traditional Turkish baths made of fine marble. 

Jumeirah Zabeel Saray is at The Palm Jumeirah, Crescent Road (West), Dubai.

Luxury Escapes Fiji

Have you ever dreamt about swooping in by helicopter to a romantic South Pacific island hideaway?

To a place where the sunsets pop out of the sky in technicolour splendour and the lagoon is so blue it looks better than the brochure?

Well, get on a Fiji Airways flight and jet to Fiji.

#22 Likuliku Lagoon Resort

luxury escape fiji
Likuliku Lagoon Resort is a luxury escape in Fiji.

Likuliku Lagoon Resort built Fiji’s first overwater bungalows and has established a loyal following among luxury travellers to the South Pacific. 

It’s the kind of place you’d choose to escape to get away and enjoy friendly service and great food.

Likuliku Lagoon Resort has 45 thatched bures and the layout is similar to a traditional Fijian village, only you’re living in the lap of luxury.

The main building resembles a Fijian canoe house and has soaring ceilings and hand-woven thatched roofs.

The over-water bungalows are drool-worthy and are right there in the lagoon and the view from your bathtub is worth paying extra for.

Like the other bures, the over-water ones are kitted out with everything you’d expect in a luxury city pad, such as comfy king-sized beds, flat-screen televisions, air-conditioning, music systems, phones, high-quality Pure Fiji bathroom products and free WiFi.

These amenities are complemented by nice homely touches such as bottles of Fiji water, freshly baked cookies and a sarong for lounging on the spacious deck.

The main restaurant has lovely lagoon views and dining outdoors is very romantic.

The daily changing menu is both sophisticated and tropical, with Asian influences focusing on fresh seafood, tropical fruit and healthy eating.

The resort grows vegetables and herbs. Think sake-glazed heirloom vegetables, apple-infused couscous and roast pumpkin salad. The poached mud crab omelette with chilli papaya relish is a favourite for breakfast.

You definitely won’t be bored at Likuliku Lagoon Resort as the menu of active pursuits includes windsurfing, fishing, kayaking, snorkelling or diving.

Tatadra Spa has a range of treatments and experienced therapists who use Pure Fuji products.

Likuliku Lagoon Resort and Spa is an adults-only luxury escape in Fiji. Book an overwater bungalow for a treat. There’s plenty to see and do in Fiji and Likuliku is well positioned near the main island.

Check the latest prices for Likuliku Lagoon Resort and Spa here

#23 Malolo Island Resort

luxury escapes fiji family
One of the top luxury escapes in Fiji for families is Malolo Island Resort.

You might want to consider leaving your teenagers at Malolo Island Resort, which is on the same island and has excellent facilities for children.

The minute you step onto the jetty, you’ll feel like you’ve arrived home and if it’s not your first visit don’t be surprised if many of the staff recognise you.

Most seem to have a knack for making guests feel like they’re part of the family.

Malolo Island Resort is located on Malolo Island Resort in Fiji, west of Fiji’s main island, Viti Levu part of the Mamanuca group.

Of the many Fiji resorts on the water, a good reason to choose Malolo Island Resort is it’s easy to get to, being a short ferry ride from the main island.

Fiji is about a 3.5-hour flight from Australia’s east coast and the ferry trip is a great way to see the Mamanuca Islands.

Accommodation is in green pitched roofed timber cottages along the beach with hammocks and comfortable beach lounges. 

Cottages have everything you need for a luxury escape with the family – a comfortable bed, air-conditioning, a spacious indoor living area and outside verandah, and it’s only a few steps from the beach.

It has a tropical feel, with white plantation shutters, high ceilings and cane furniture.

If you’re travelling with children, Malolo Island Resort is definitely an attractive proposition.

It won’t take long for most parents to feel comfortable leaving the kids in the hands of a Fijian babysitter, who is likely to be very skillful at keeping the children happy.

The resort has a kids club and a schedule of activities suitable for kids of all ages, from basket weaving, traditional dancing and educational medicine walks to snorkelling, parasailing, kayaking and windsurfing.

The activities staff are fun to be with and keen to make sure everyone has a good time.

There are two villages on Malolo Island – Yaro and Solevu – and a trip to one of the villages is a great way to show the kids another culture.

It’s a world of swings and netball and local kava ceremonies. Better still if you’re visiting during rugby season.

The Beach Bar has a selection of comfort food and snacks, such as burgers, pizza, salads and chicken wings. The Terrace Restaurant has both buffet and a la carte meals. Treetops Restaurant offers an island-style fine dining experience. 

Book your stay at Malolo Island Resort here

#24 Six Senses Fiji 

Six Senses Fiji is a luxurious escape with 24 pool villas on Malolo Island. 

With two to five-bedroom homes, these residences are perfect for a luxury escape in Fiji with the extended family. 

Get pampered at the Six Senses Spa or go surfing, snorkelling and scuba diving. 

#25 Kokomo Private Island 

Are you celebrating a big 0 birthday? Kokomo Private Island is in a unique location near the fourth-largest reef.

It is a luxury jewel of the South Pacific owned by Australian mining magnate, Lang Walker, who could have bought a resort anywhere in the world.

Guests arrive in Nandi and whisked to the island on a 45-minute helicopter or seaplane.

Twenty-one beachfront villas and five luxury residences house 120 guests (due to COVID restrictions, the island is currently available for 30 guests for USD 65k per night).

All rooms have private plunge pools with views of the ocean.

Residences are popular with multigenerational family groups and celebration groups.

Kokomo has three restaurants, including Walter d’Plank that dishes up a high-end culinary offering based on Southeast Asian street food.

Onsite marine biologists work on conservation projects to study and protect manta rays and coral.

Snorkelling is available directly off the beach, guests can learn to scuba dive, and the fishing is phenomenal.

Other activities include boat rides to spend the day at a local waterfall and to explore a side of Fiji that is untouched by tourism.

The wellness centre has treatment rooms for up to nine guests, a range of outdoor treatments, yoga, pilates.

Rates traditionally start from USD 1995 per night inclusive of meals, one-bedroom villa, one spa treatment, one dive and use of resort facilities and kids club.

Kokomo Private Island is at Yaukuve Levu Island, Kadavu, Fiji. 

Luxury Escapes in France

#26 Domaine des Etangs

Domaine des Etangs is an 11th-century castle owned by a French family near Bordeaux.

Three years ago, the castle was converted from a family home to a hotel with 10 rooms.

Sheep sheds have been beautifully restored and converted into private villas, windmill into a spa and cowshed in a private art gallery.

The attic is now a playroom, there are marble lounges, Picasso paintings hang on the walls and the Michelin-style restaurant is a gem.

Remote on 2000 acres of land with ponds, cruise the ponds, go cycling, hiking, play tennis on the floating tennis court on the pond, indoor and outdoor pool.

Visit Limoge as a day trip to see porcelain and it’s two hours from Paris on the TGV.

#27 La Reserve Hotel and Spa, Paris 

La Reserve is a family-owned 40-room hotel that was once Pierre Cardin’s home.

It’s one of the smallest palaces in Paris and only been open as a hotel for four years.

La Reserve Hotel has the feel of a private members club, is close to the Champs Elysee in the 8th district and staying there is like being a guest in the home of a wealthy friend.

The Parisian chic decor has a sumptuous feel, with silk walls, herringbone oak parquet flooring, damascene brocade taffeta, velvet drapes, and antique furnishings.

The owner also owns a winery in Bordeaux and the hotel has two excellent Michelin-starred restaurants.

The experience is intimate and reflects in the price starting at 1200 Euros a night. 

Luxury Escapes Greece

#28 Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa

Are you looking for local luxury with sunset views in Santorini?

Located in Oia village, Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa is an all-suite boutique hotel with five pools.

The privately-owned hotel was built in 2016 and also has Santorini’s largest spa.

There are sixty-five suites from 45 sqm and two villas, which sleep from two to six people (children over 12 years of age only).

Anassa Spa is one of the largest spas on Santorini and a haven for relaxation.

Other activities include treatments in the wellness centre, yachting and catamaran.

#29 Danai Beach Resort & Villas

Danai Beach Resort & Villas is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, is a privately-owned resort in Halkidiki, Northern Greece.

It’s a popular destination for celebrities, footballers and fashion icons such as Dominica Dolce (from Dolce and Gabbana). 

Located 45 minutes from Thessaloniki, the hotel is 25 years old (April to October) and is renovated during the months when it’s closed each year.

The resort has 62 suites and villas, three restaurants including one of the top three in Greece.

There is an 1800-bottle wine cellar and an underground tunnel where private wine tasting and masterclasses are held for guests.

A highlight is the 300m private beach with sun lounges and umbrellas, daybeds and beach cabanas.

Seasonal events such as jazz night with New York jazz bands and music session with well-known DJs attract loyal return visitors.

The hotel also has a 25m luxury yacht with four cabins for guests who can do day sails or overnight sails to see the sights of the region, such as the monasteries of Mount Athos and the location where Mamamia was filmed. 

#30 Daios Cove Luxury Resort and Villas

Daios Cove Luxury Resort and Villas is an exclusive escape to base yourself when exploring Crete.

Crete is a great place to discover culture, history, food and ancient Cretan wine.

Goco Spa rituals are designed to relax and detoxify. On the spa menu is a range of choices, including wraps, massages, chromotherapy, music therapy and aromatherapy.

The resort hosts chefs from around the world and organizes cooking lessons, wine tastings and DJs from all over the world.

Sip cocktails created by award-winning mixologists at the Ocean Bar or spend the day lounging around in the sun.

Accommodation choices range from Deluxe Sea View Rooms to The Mansion, which is a 600 sqm residence that sleeps two to six adults. 

#30 Elivi Skiathos

Mention the phrase “Greek Islands” you’re likely to picture white buildings crammed on the side of a hill, but this is not the case on the Sporades group of islands, which is lush and green.  

Elivi Skiathos is a sprawling five-star complex surrounded by pine forests and four beaches.

It’s a lush and luxurious Argean Sea escape with several types of accommodation choices.  

The main building, Xenia Hotel, is framed by trees and overlooks the main beach. 

Elivi Grace has private pools and direct access to the beach while the Elivi Nest area has villas with private pools. 

The UNESCO World Heritage Strofilia Lake is home to black swans.

There are four themed restaurants, including a Mediterranean steak house, Japanese fusion restaurant and a traditional Greek tavern. 

The nearby town of Skiathos is a traditional town with great local food and nightlife. 

Luxury Escapes Italy

#30 La Meridiana Relais & Chateaux

La Meridiana is an Italian Riviera luxury escape about an hour away from Nice Airport and Genova Airport between Monaco Cote d’Azur and Portofino.

It has an 18-hole golf course, pool with bar, two restaurants a helipad and horse riding.

The 26 rooms and suites are furnished in classic style, the hotel was built 45 years ago and has been a member of Relais & Chateaux since 1978.

There are three restaurants, and the chefs conduct cooking classes to learn to make pesto and pasta.

There are beautiful historic villages of Liguria and shopping at The Mall St Remo. Barolo and Lange one hour and it’s an hour to Portofino.

Open from March to November, from $250 Eu and 70 for a three-course restaurant.

#31 Casa Angelina

Perched on a cliff of the Amalfi Coast, Casa Angelina is a contemporary Mediterranean luxury escape with stunning views.

It is located in Praiano, which is not far from Positano but not as busy.

Casa Angelina is unique in its chic and understated style, a 42-room contemporary home away from home.

It’s a romantic hideaway painted in 15 shades of white, with large windows to enjoy the views.

Lie on a daybed beneath a lemon tree while gazing at the ocean or dine outdoors on the deck.

All rooms have sea views and balconies to enjoy the outdoor lifestyle.

Separate from the main building are former fisherman’s shacks that have been converted into luxury suites and on the doorstep of a pebble beach. 

Luxury Escapes Kenya

#32 Sanctuary Olonana

luxury escapes kenya
The new Geoffrey Ken suite in Olonana is one of the top luxury escapes for safari lovers.

Sanctuary Olonana has been pleasing safari enthusiasts since 1999 and has been consistently ranked among the top African safari lodges in the world.

For those who love wildlife, a stay at Olonana is one of the most fantastic luxury escapes in the Masai Mara.

Not only does this camp have a reputation for the best safaris and sundowners, but a major renovation in 2018 has replaced rustic tents with 14 safari-chic suites, a revamped common area and spa.

The richly furnished suites have floor-to-ceiling glass, allowing guests to watch wildlife in comfort.

Top of the range is the two-bedroom Geoffrey Kent Suite (USD5,500 per night for four people).

The suite has contemporary furnishings inspired by nature, quality handcrafted furniture, ensuite marble bathrooms with bathtubs and a large deck with an infinity pool.

One of the advantages of choosing Olonana is its location on banks of the Mara River close to the main crossing point during Africa’s annual Great Migration when millions of wildebeest rush across the river.

Other activities are hot air balloon safaris, visits to a local school, guided nature walks and excursions to the local Masai village.

Luxury Escapes Japan

#33 Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo

The unique feature of Hotel Chinzanso is it’s an inner-city hotel with an authentic and historic 700-year-old Japanese garden.

The garden is a serene oasis 15 minutes from Tokyo’s bustling CBD and has cherry blossom trees, a shrine and a tea room.

Since the 14th century, the garden has been famous for its camellias.

During the 18th century, the Prime Minister of Japan built a guest house on the grounds to use for meetings with business leaders.

The hotel opened in 1992 (as the Four Seasons) and the management continued to maintain the garden.

The hotel has 267 rooms, starting from 45sqm, which is spacious for Tokyo, and some with lovely garden views.

There are nine restaurants and bars and some located within the gardens. 

#33 The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho

Luxury escape japan
The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho is a luxury escape in Japan’s biggest city.

Tokyo’s shiny luxury skyscraper is a contemporary reconstruction of a landmark hotel in the Nagatacho business district.

The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho is a luxurious escape in the sky on the top seven floors of a 26-storey tower conveniently located in Tokyo Garden Terrace Kioicho office and shopping development.

The impressive atrium has windows with stunning views of Tokyo that are best enjoyed at night. 

Facilities include a swimming pool with Tokyo views, a spa with communal baths and a range of treatments include a traditional Japanese detox. 

Rooms have clean lines, glass-walled bathrooms and views that showcase Tokyo.

The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho is at Kioicho 1-2 Kioi-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo.

#34 InterContinental Beppu Resorts and Spa

ANA Intercontinental Beppu Resorts and Spa (opened 1 August 2019) is a luxurious escape where you can soak in Japan’s hot springs and a perfect place to enjoy winter in Japan

The resort in the Oita Prefecture has indoor and outdoor baths and rooms are decorated with local bamboo craftwork.

Check the prices for ANA Intercontinental Beppu 

#35 Aman Tokyo

Aman Tokyo review
Aman Tokyo is a luxury escape in Tokyo. Text: Maria Visconti.

Creating a haven of tranquillity in the middle of Tokyo’s business district seems like an impossible task given the lack of ‘nature’ and big open spaces with attractive vistas.

To place this Tokyo hotel on top of a high tower adds to the tall-order call.

A four-minute walk from Tokyo Central Station in the business district of Otemachi, Aman Tokyo is a tower of relaxation. 

Paper, wood, stone. Playing games?


These are the basic Japanese elements of design and architecture and Aman Tokyo is a micro-cosmos reflecting them.

The concept of engawa – that subtle line defining the space where the outdoors meets the indoors – is here everywhere.

There are several spaces ethereally demarcated on the reception floor: a stone garden; a giant ikebana arrangement over a reflective black stone pool; the washi paper-lined shoji (light wood screens) letting light filter through; the barely-there partitions defining the restaurant area, the bar, the library and the actual engawa a blonde wood pathway suggesting where nature and man-made structures meet.

All these areas have subtly airbrushed boundaries.

There are art pieces everywhere, old and new.

Rooms at the Aman Tokyo are all designed from local woods, black basalt stone and glass.

They are huge, soothing and relaxing with a built-in daybed alongside the all glass wall.

The concept of engawa is again reflected in the design of the rooms subtly dived into a sleeping area and a living area by introducing different levels.

Nothing as offensive as a TV screen breaks the harmony of the rooms in this Tokyo hotel (a wide-screen TV is cleverly concealed inside a low room divider and can be raised or lowered with remote control).

The Spa baths are facing east to catch both the sun and the moon rising.

Although the baths are overlooking the Tokyo cityscape and have a whole wall of floor to ceiling glass, you simply don’t see the buildings below when you are in the hot pool, because they remain entirely out of the line of vision.

Every angle has been calculated to create the feeling of a peaceful haven suspended in space.

Aman Tokyo is at Otemachi Tower, Tokyo, Japan. 

Luxury Escapes Malaysia

#36 Parkroyal Penang Resort

A luxury escape in Penang’s Batu Ferringhi, the Parkroyal Penang Resort is a beachside getaway with views of the Straits of Malacca. 

It’s well-positioned to access many fun things to do in Penang

This beach resort has 301 rooms and 26 suites and wellness travellers are well-catered for, with a Zap Lab gymnasium, jacuzzi, steam room and two outdoor swimming pools.

The luxurious resort offers a wide range of rejuvenating retreat in its award-wining St Gregory Spa.

The new Amazonia water splash theme park has waterslides, movie room, a kids’ club, water sports centre and on-site activities for kids of all ages. 

Rooms start from RM 997.50++ to RM1350.00 ++ (Premier Seaview Suite). 

PARKROYAL Penang Resort is at Batu Ferringhi Beach, 11100 Penang, Malaysia. 

Luxury Escapes Maldives

Looking for somewhere to propose?

The Maldives is well-known for its luxury island resorts and is a romantic tropical escape in the Indian Ocean.

#37 Vakkaru Maldives

luxury escapes over water villa Vakkaru Maldives
One of the most stunning luxury escapes in the Maldives is Vakkaru Maldives

With 113 villas and a stunning location in the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, where the coral and underwater life is simply amazing, Vakkaru Maldives is a luxury escape for your bucket list. 

Divers will be rewarded with three blue holes near the island and overwater villas look straight down onto coral. 

Vakkanu’s villas have the largest overwater pools in the Maldives, five restaurants (including a trendy Italian restaurant kitted out with Vespas), an extensive wine cellar with 4000 types of wine, organic gardens and a spa. 

Lead in rooms come with whirlpools

Arriving at night? You’ll be transported straight out to island no overnight in Male required. 

Travelling with kids? The resort has a host of activities including parasailing, snorkelling to see manta rays and whale sharks as well as a cool kids club. 

Vakkaru Maldives is on Vakkaru Island, Baa Atoll, Maldives. Compare prices at Vakkaru Island here.  

#38 InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort

InterContinental Maldives

InterContinental Maldives is one of the newest luxury escapes.A luxurious escape in the Maldives, with 81 villas, InterContinental Maldives Maamunagua Resort is opening in September 2019. 

The resort has villas with both beach and lagoon views, along with stunning Overwater Villas.

Luxuriously appointed residences offer panoramic ocean views and come with private terraces and pools. 

InterContinental Maldives is at Maamunagau Island Raa Atoll, Maldives. Check opening prices here. 

#39 Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi

Luxury escapes maldives waldorf Villa Two Bedroom Exterior
Luxury Escapes Maldives – Waldorf Astoria two-bedroom villas.

Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi is a 122 all-villa resort spread out over three islands, 11 dining venues and plenty of activities.

Besides beach or reef front villas, overwater villas come with views of the Indian Ocean and infinity pools. 

One of those islands is an exclusive private island, with a dedicated concierge team and chef.

This luxury resort also has an overwater spa and gym, five swimming pools, an entertainment centre and pristine beaches, providing endless options in which guests can indulge.

Ithaafushi Private Island is accessible by yacht and designed for extended families or rockstars, with a four-bedroom residence, three-bedroom beach villa and a two-bedroom overwater villa.

Check the prices at Waldorf Astoria Maldives.

#40 Soneva Jani Maldives

Luxury Escapes Maldives Soneva Jani (2)
Luxury Escapes Maldives – Soneva Jani

Soneva Jani has 24 overwater villas and two island villas on Medhufaru Island, which is part of the Noonu Atoll of the Maldives.

Soneva Jani is a tropical paradise of beaches, a pristine lagoon and the Indian Ocean at your doorstep.

One of the newest and most luxurious escapes, Soneva Jani’s Water Villas have 13m pools, some have slides from the top deck of the villa into the lagoon.

Some have retractable roofs in the master bedrooms that slide open, so you can gaze at the stars while lying in bed.

Other amazing features at Soneva Jani include Cinema Paradiso, which is a unique cinema where guests use Bluetooth earphones.

There’s also an overwater observatory with a resort astronomer.

The Observatory is the largest overwater structure in the Maldives. It has five dining options, a spa, library, wine cellar and shops.

The luxurious escape also has a tennis court and an organic labyrinth garden.

Soneva Jani has One Bedroom Water Retreats with a slide from $2,491 (low season) to four-bedroom Water Reserves from $31,170 (peak season).

Check the latest prices for Soneva Jani

#41 Grand Park Kodhipparu

Luxuey Escapes Maldives Grand Residence Lifestyle
Escape to a luxurious resort in the Maldives.

Grand Park Kodhipparu Maldives is a luxury escape in the Maldives.

There are 120 villas (beachfront pool villas, overwater villas and spacious two-bedroom villas).

Relax around the infinity pool, dine at one of three restaurants explore the aquatic wonders of the ocean. 

Grand Park Kodhipparu is a 20-minute speedboat ride from Male and has villas from USD 406.

Check the latest prices for Grand Park Kodhipparu

#42 LUX* North Male Atoll

Luxury Escapes Maldvies LUX villas
LUX North is a stunning luxury escape in the Maldives.

Listed in the 2019 Conde Nast Traveller Hot List Awards as one of the best new hotels around the world, LUX* North Male Atoll has 67 double-storey 350 sqm penthouse residences. 

This luxury escape on Olhahali has fantastic snorkelling and diving, with a spectacular reef off the beach.

Activities include yachting (this is the only Maldives resort where you can dock a yacht outside your water villa) and watersports

LUX* North Male Atoll is a 20-minute transfer from Male by luxury speedboat from Male. Rates start from AUD$1,456 for a double room and include bed, breakfast, taxes and transfers. 

#43 Anantara Kihavah Maldives  

anantara kihavah villas
Three Bedroom Beach Pool Residence Outdoor Dining Sala

Have you ever wanted to visit the Maldives? Live like a rock star in this opulent villa designed as a sanctuary for families and groups. The 1,050 sqm villa is big enough to fit nine adults.

Escape to the tranquillity of the Maldives and relax in your own private luxury escape at Anantara Kihavah Maldives.  

Here’s your chance to holiday like a movie star in this Three-Bedroom Beach Pool Residence.

Arrive by seaplane and you’ll be met at the jetty and escorted along a white-sand path through tropical jungle to your private villa.

Anantara Kihavah Villas has 79 pool sanctuaries either over water or with ocean views. The Three Bedroom Beach Pool Residence is the jewel in its crown.

The villa is decorated with influences from Thailand, Morocco and India. There are teak columns, daybeds, an infinity-edge pool, water features and courtyard bathrooms.

Anantara Spa offers a menu of indulgent treatments while the central villa has a multimedia suite with a private cinema and Bose home theatre system.

There’s also a Jacuzzi and sunken dining cabana.

There are three bedrooms with king-sized beds. Each villa comes with its own Villa Host, who is on hand 24×7 to look after you. 

Luxury Escapes – Mauritius

#44 SALT of Palmar in Mauritius  

Luxurious Escapes Mauritius Salt
Luxurious escapes don’t come any better than this in Mauritius.

A luxury escape in Mauritius right on the beach, SALT of Palmar has a strong focus on sustainability with zero-waste. 

The resort has compiled their own Mauritius Destination Guide Book and offers guests bikes and jeeps to explore.

The WE ARE SALT artisans programme enables guests to see how local fishermen, farmers and craftspeople live and work.

The resort has a Vegetarian restaurant and is a supporter of the Slow Food movement. The organic farm has greenhouse tours, veggie lunches, beehives, workshops and hydroponic vegetables. 

SALT of Palmar is on the east coast of Mauritius. Rates start from USD$200 a double room (bed and breakfast).

Luxury Escapes Middle East

#45 Emirates Palace Hotel

Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi - The room

Cashed up with oil money and sitting on almost 10% of the world’s oil reserves, it’s obvious why Abu Dhabi one of the world’s richest cities.

Its 420,000 citizens have an average net worth of US$17 million snd the government is rapidly building hotels and resorts to rival those in neighbouring Dubai. 

The most expensive hotel ever built cost the Abu Dhabi government US$3 billion and is a  fairytale wonderland of twinkling lights and gleaming colourfully lit domes.

Shiny marble floors, gold-gilded hallways the size of football fields, plush lounge areas and rows of glass cabinets with artefacts are some of the hallmarks of this luxurious escape.

You’ll walk under so many Swarovski chandeliers (there are 1002 altogether) until you’re lost.

Seriously, this hotel is absurdly large – it’s one kilometre from the East wing to the West wing sprawling over a total area of 100 hectares.

Each wing has its own pool, beach access and fitness centre.

The West Wing swimming pool has an adventure theme with water slides, waterfalls and a river. 

Rooms come with an entertainment console which controls huge flat-screen TVs, the music system and lighting. 

With 114 domes and 102 elevators, ask your butler to take you on a tour and don’t be surprised to see groups of women swathed in black with faces hidden behind veils and designer handbags tucked under their arms.

They’re probably part of the entourage of a visiting Sheikh.

With all this luxury floating around, it’s mind-boggling to think that when the oil started flowing (around 60 years ago) the city’s rich lived in mud houses.

Emirates Palace, is at West End Corniche, Abu Dhabi.

#46 Anantara Desert Islands Resort & Spa

Desert Islands Resort and Spa - Walkway to the resort

What started as a whimsical project decades ago when Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan – the Bedouin ruler of Abu Dhabi and first president of the United Arab Emirates – began a mission to transform the dry-as-bone Sir Bani Yas Island into a lush forest paradise is now one of the more unique luxurious escapes in the Middle East. 

The sheikh’s “Greening of the Desert” programme enabled the planting of 2.5 million plants and trees on the island including over 18,000 date palms, olive groves and succulents around the palace grounds.  

The island’s irrigation system waters each tree from roots to leaves and there is a wildlife reserve stocked with critically endangered species such as the horned Arabian oryx, declared extinct in the wild in 1976, the extravagantly horned Scimitar-horned oryx and the Arabian gazelle roam around in enclosures. 

The project is an environmentalist’s dream that only someone with an excess of funds and a huge imagination could make happen.

The island was the birthplace of the Bani Yas tribe, of which the majority of the UAE’s ruling families belong to, and was the first place on the Arabian Peninsula to be inhabited.

There are 36 Islamic and Christian archaeological sites including a Christian monastery dating back to 600AD.

Until the mid-20th century, dates were cultivated on the island and diving for pearls was the main source of income.

The five-star Anantara Desert Islands Resort on Sir Bani Yas Island is exotic yet chic.

Marble, brass, timber and leather are stylishly coordinated to invoke an ambience of grandeur that isn’t out of place in its desert surrounds.

Imagine splendid ornamental pots, gorgeous patterned cushions, sink-into-your-seat leather chairs and stunning Arabian-style lanterns hanging from the ceiling in the main lobby.

Rooms have plush bedding and modcons like satellite television, individually controlled air conditioning, electronic in-room safes and mini-bars. 

There’s a huge list of activities include snorkelling, scuba diving or fishing in the Arabian Gulf, mountain biking through the desert hinterland, hiking to the top of the salt dome hilltops and kayaking among mangroves.

Anantara Desert Island Resort and Spa is on Sir Bani Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.  

#47 Movenpick Dead Sea Resort & Spa

Movenpick Dead Sea resort and spa

Movenpick Dead Sea Resort & Spa is a luxury resort on the shores of the Dead Sea.

Of all the things to do in Jordan, chilling out in the Dead Sea is the most relaxing.

Luckily, Movenpick Dead Sea Resort & Spa sits on a hill and stretches down to the shore of the Dead Sea, where bathers can float in the water.

It’s the lowest point on earth and the ancient site of Sodom and Gomorrah.

The other drawcard is its abnormally high salt content, which allows bathers to bob in the water like corks.

Zara Spa has several pools including an indoor pool filled with water (naturally from the Dead Sea), a whirlpool heated to body temperature and an infinity pool with calming views over the Dead Sea.

The central feature is the Hydro-Pool, which is a massive outdoor heated pool with 3% salt concentration, massage jets and whirlpools.

The spa also has separate steam rooms, fitness rooms, soap massage rooms, laconiums (rooms with heated beds for soothing aching joints) and relaxation lounges for men and women.

Lying on my back in the water while gazing at the West Bank – a territory that has been the subject of dispute between Palestine and Israel for much of the last century – you’ll feel like you’re floating in a dream.

Movenpick Dead Sea Resort & Spa is at Dead Sea Rd, Sweimeh, Jordan.

Luxury Escapes NZ

#48 Lake Okareka Retreat

A life of luxury, flying, sailing and soaking awaits at this exclusive Rotorua lodge in New Zealand.

Seaplane flights and sailing trips are only two of the activities offered at Lake Okareka Retreat.

Others activities are drinking wine in the lakeside spa, kayaking and jet skiing.

Heli-fishing trips are most popular as there is plenty of big trout in the lakes nearby and helicopters land on the lodge’s helipad to whisk guests away for geothermal flight-seeing.

The three-bedroom Lake Okareka Retreat is tucked away in a quiet suburb behind wrought iron gates.

With tasteful décor and fantastic scenery, it’s the kind of place that appeals to those seeking luxury as well as privacy (think Steven Spielberg and Lord of the Rings’ director Peter Jackson).

Aside from the helipad and the outdoor spa, other facilities are a library with a baby grand piano, gym, massage room, well-stocked climate-controlled wine cellar, a boat and floatplane jetty.

There are installations of contemporary Kiwi art throughout the lodge and a remote-console entertainment system that pipes music into every room.

The 120sqm penthouse-sized Lake Okareka Suite on the top floor has sweeping views of the lake.

Rotorua is only 15 minutes away by car but why drive when you can make an entrance in a helicopter?


Luxury Escapes Philippines

#49 Banwa Private Island

Banwa Private Island is a luxurious escape in the Sulu Sea in northeast Palawan.

Six hectares of lush tropical landscape and white-sand beaches makes it a sanctuary for a private vacation.

Arrive from Manila like a rockstar by helicopter, seaplane or there take a commercial flight.

Six villas house 22 guests.

Activities include scuba diving, tennis court, yoga and spa treatments.

A highlight is the private dining in different locations around the island.

Banwa provides ongoing support for conservation projects in Palawan, and guests can go diving in Tubbataha Reef, a top diving sites in the world.

Book the entire island for a luxury escape for the whole family.

#50 Club Paradise Palawan

Club Paradise Palawan is located on Dimakya Island, which is a private island in Coron Palawan nestled along a UNESCO biosphere reserve.

The 19 ha island has diverse marine life and a reef around the island, with plenty to do for nature lovers such as dugong watching, hiking and bird watching.

The island is a turtle nesting site, with Hawksbill and Green Sea Turtles nesting here between November and January.

Dugongs love hanging around the grass sea beds around the island’s waters.

There are wreck dives a 30-minute boat ride away, kayaking, sailing, diving and hiking.

The 54 room-island resort is a wellness getaway offering a menu of spa treatments and yoga. 

Luxury Escapes Singapore

#51 PARKROYAL on Pickering Singapore

Luxury Escapes Singapore Pickering
Hanging Garden of Babylon? Parkroyal Pickering is a luxurious escape to the city.

The 367-room PARKROYAL on Pickering Singapore is in Singapore’s Central Business District, near Chinatown, and a short walk to the vibrant Singapore River waterfront.

Rooms look out into lush sky gardens and there’s a wellness floor with an infinity pool and spa. 

The Orchid Club experience offers access to a complimentary Champagne breakfast in the Club Lounge each day and the two rooftop terraces are great spots for cocktails, canapes and views of the city.

PARKROYAL on Pickering is at 3 Upper Pickering Street, Singapore. 

#52 Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa

Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa is a French luxury resort on Sentosa Island.

Located above Tanjong Beach, this super sleek clifftop resort is a great spot to watch the sunset and a base to explore the many exciting things to do in Singapore

Like most Sofitel hotels, the lobby is impressive; there’s a lighting installation inspired by the Milky Way hanging from the ceiling.

The hotel is surrounded by tropical gardens and has views of the South China Sea.

There are 215 rooms, suites and villas and So SPA has 14 indoor treatment rooms and six tranquil outdoor spa pavilions.

Check the latest prices for Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa

#53 Capella Singapore

The guest list reads like a China’s Who’s Who and Conde Nast Traveler’s Hot List 2010. Of all Singapore hotels, the ultra-luxurious Capella Singapore is one that will impress with its blend of old and new.

Resort executives are reluctant to reveal which moguls are regular visitors, although fans of Jackie Chan will recognise Capella’s tranquil cascading pool and sprawling grounds on his blog.

Capella Singapore is a unique fusion of colonial and contemporary.

A private driveway leads to a white-columned colonial bungalow built in the 1880s for the British military to host gala balls.

Connected to the colonial building, facing the South China Sea, is a curved contemporary extension designed by London firm Foster + Partners.

Capella’s location on Sentosa Island amidst 12ha of lush rainforest is just minutes from Singapore’s CBD.

In the Malay language, “Sentosa” means peaceful or tranquil and you could easily imagine you’re in Bali or Koh Samui instead of frenetic Singapore.

What sets Capella apart from other luxury Singapore hotels is its spacious guest rooms, the Auriga Spa and the blend of contemporary and colonial. 

There 112 rooms including two Colonial Manors, 38 villas and four Constellation rooms with private rooftop Jacuzzis.

Rooms are high tech and come with free wireless internet, flat-screen television sets, BOSE entertainment systems with iPod docking stations and touch-panel control systems for lights, air-con and drapes.

Capella Singapore is at 1 The Knolls, Sentosa Island, Singapore.

#54 The Sanchaya Bintan

sanchaya bintan
The Sanchaya Bintan is a luxurious escape within easy reach of Singapore.

The Sanchaya Bintan is a luxury boutique hotel in Bintan, Indonesia.

Bintan is an Indonesian island that is easily accessible from Singapore as it’s a 45-minute ferry ride from Singapore’s Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal.

If you’re stopping over in Singapore, a taxi ride will take about 15 minutes from Changi Airport to the ferry terminal.

If you’re looking for a luxury beach resort near Singapore, Bintan might fit the bill.

The Sanchaya is a 9.6ha resort with beachfront at Lagoi Bay and surrounded by tropical rainforest and mangroves.

You can be guaranteed of tropical weather as the island’s climate averages out to about 26C all year round.

The resort’s design is inspired by 18th and 19th century Europe and is a fusion of Southeast Asian and European ideas.

Sanchaya means “collection” in Sanskrit. The resort has 21 villas and nine suites.

Although it is small, there are plenty of facilities, including a clubhouse, two restaurants and 24-hour room service.

There’s a bar, wine cellar and cigar lounge. You can swim in the 50m infinity pool, work out in the fitness centre, do yoga by the beach and relax in the spa.

Transferring to The Sanchaya is made easy as the resort has a VIP lounge in the ferry terminal where the resort’s staff will help you take care of immigration and customs clearance.

If you want the royal treatment, book the resort’s yacht for a private transfer.


Luxury Escapes Thailand

If you’re dreaming of a beach holiday, here are some options of Thailand beaches in Phuket, Krabi, Khao Lak and Koh Samui and luxury escapes that won’t break the bank.

When you take into account the exchange rate, holidaying in Thailand is ridiculously cheap. The average price range for a local four-star hotel is between $80 and $120 a night. 

Krabi, which is on the western side of the Thai peninsula, is an ancient landscape a coastline of sandy beaches wedged between green headlands and soaring rock formations.

There are plenty of day trips, such as rock climbing, island cruises, tuk-tuk rides through local villages, kayaking to caves to view 3000-year-old rock art and soaking in hot springs. But first, here are two luxurious escapes for elephant lovers. 

#55 Anantara Golden Triangle Resort

Located in the Thai section of the Golden Triangle, Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort has a unique location near the border of three countries. 

The most unusual feature of this resort is it is home to the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation and Dara Elephant Camp, which is set up to resemble a traditional mahout village. 

The foundation has rescued more than 60 elephants from the streets of Thailand. 

22 elephants, along with their mahout families, now live in the jungle environment of Anantara’s Elephant Camp. 

Rates start from Thai Baht 37,000++ per room per night for a Deluxe Three Country View Room in low season. 

Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort is at 229 Moo 1, Chiang Saen, Chiang Rai 57150, Thailand.

#56 Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle

For a five star experience, stay in a luxury tent at Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle

It’s a luxurious escape to the jungle in northern Thailand, with memorable experiences like sipping cocktails at the Burma Bar while watching the sunset over Myanmar or relaxing in the outdoor spa surrounded by bamboo jungle.

From gliding along the Ruak River on a long tail boat to interacting with elephants, there are incredible experiences at this luxurious resort.

Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle is at 499 Moo 1, Chiang Saen, Chiang Rai Thailand.     

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#57 Diamond Cliff Resort & Spa 

Diamond Cliff

Diamond Cliff Resort and Spa room is perched high above the ocean at the north end of Patong beach in Phuket, Diamond Cliff Resort & Spa has perfect views of the Andaman Sea.

The Diamond Villas are exclusive, sumptuously, luxurious and very private.

Luxurious traditional Thai silk furnishings such as a hand-carved dining suite, sizeable comfortable timber sofa, teak wall panelling, silk curtains and cushions are complemented by the contemporary look of floor-to-ceiling glass windows.

There are complimentary activities like Thai cooking classes, mini-golf, table tennis, vegetable and fruit carving lessons, Thai massage lessons and glass painting.

The massage rooms and lounges are set amidst relaxing water gardens and offer a menu of traditional Thai, Japanese and Western techniques. 


Luxury Escapes Vietnam

#58 Four Seasons Nam Hai

Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai in Hoi An is a luxurious escape for travellers who love history and culture.

The resort is located close to several UNESCO World Heritage sites (Hoi An, the Imperial City of Hue and My Son’s temple ruins). 

Other good reasons to visit are to learn how to prepare traditional Vietnamese dishes at the Nam Hai Cooking Academy, which has an on-site farm, and to unwind at the Earth Spa’s three tiers of infinity pools.

Accommodation is in one- to five-bedroom villas. Villas start from USD 725 per night in low season to USD 4,825 per night for the Five Bedroom Pool Villa in high season 

Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai is at Block Ha My Dong B, Dien Duong Ward, Dien Ban Town, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam. 

#59 The Reverie Saigon, Vietnam

Asian holidays in Vietnam
Here’s one of the coolest luxury escapes in Vietnam – the Reverie Saigon

A glamorous Venetian palazzo is in Ho Chi Minh City, (read this post for Ho Chi Minh things to do).

The Reverie Saigon is decked out with luxurious Italian furnishings and is one of the most fashionable resorts in Vietnam.

From the unique ceiling installation, designed with hand-blown Murano glass and steel ‘Arabesque Egg’ chandeliers, to a five-metre long sofa of purple ostrich leather, the furnishings at The Reverie Saigon are sumptuous.

Baldi has reinterpreted a Bechstein grand piano that dates back to 1895 as an art installation, displayed outside the La Scala Ballroom.

Every part of the resort is decked out with handcrafted furnishings from around the world, from French fine-dining restaurant Café Cardinal, which has lamps from Brazil, to the Saigon Suite, with its Allen dining table and reproduction Frank Lloyd Wright Barrel chairs.

The hotel occupies part of the 39-storey Times Square Tower and the Spa at The Reverie Saigon has 10 treatment rooms, steam and sauna facilities. 

Check the latest prices for The Reverie Saigon

Luxury Escapes – South America

#60 Singular Patagonia

A luxury escape in Patagonia would most likely involve trekking, sailing and gazing at incredible views. 

Singular Patagonia is a luxury escape where you can delve into the history of Puerto Bories, explore nature and indulge in Patagonian cuisine.

What’s unique about this resort is it’s a well-executed transformation of a post-Victorian cold-storage plant into a luxury boutique hotel in Chilean Patagonia.

The hotel beside the Señoret Channel and a 5-minute drive from Puerto Natales.

Rooms start from US$295 per night excluding local taxes and fees. Full board options including excursions, meals and transfers start from US$824 per night.

Luxury Escape – Ireland

#61 The Dean Hotel

The Dean Hotel is a sleek city hotel in the centre of Dublin, a luxury boutique hotel in a great position in the centre of the city. 

The hotel has a strong contemporary design that is fresh, vibrant, youthful and cool rooms such as Mod Pods and Punk Bunks (smaller rooms), double or twin SupeRooms (bigger spaces) and Hi-Fi’s.

The hotel also has two luxury suites – The Devlin and The James – and a two-bedroom Penthouse with a huge living space called The Loft.

Rooms are filled with fun and creative things to play with, such as Rega turntables, vinyl and books from Tower Records Dublin, Marshall amps, Nespresso machines, fridges loaded with liquor and munchie trays stacked with Irish goodies

Nice little touches include comfy duvets and fluffy pillows. Bathrooms come with impressive rainforest showers and are stocked with Grafton Barber bathroom products.

The Penthouse Loft was designed for entertaining and comes with an enormous Samsung television, a great sound system, private kitchen and cocktail bar.

You can sink into comfy Ploum sofas and amuse yourselves at the poker table or fouzz ball table and it’s stocked with books, LPs and tons of other cool stuff.

Meeting friends? The Rooftop Terrace is open from 7 am and where you can soak up the sun or avoid a soaking under oversized umbrellas.

The Dean Hotel, 33 Harcourt Street, Dublin. Phone: +353 (0) 1 607 8110.  Rooms from 98 euros

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Luxury Escapes

Luxury Escapes

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