Travel in Luxe Style, Just This Once

Want a taste of how the other half lives? Splurge on a once-in-a-lifetime, high-end vacation.

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What if you opened your wallet, just this once, and splurged on a trip like no other? All-out luxury. Exotic destination. Adventures you’ll remember forever.

Carol Perehudoff, who writes about luxury travel for newspapers and magazines and on her website, says high-end resorts are fine-tuning their idea of pampering. “Traditional ‘wants’ such as great service, fabulous amenities and spectacular scenery will always be in fashion, but the new face of luxury travel is also about simplicity, authenticity and cultural sensitivity rather than ostentatious bling.”

Luxe travellers “demand unique, personalized experiences with epic journeys that they can tell stories about, such as an Antarctic expedition."

Meanwhile, high-end travellers now seek experiences as much as luxury and comfort. “Resorts are definitely filling this need, coming up with incredible add-ons such as learning to cook local dishes and shopping at markets with hotel chefs, private tours off the beaten path, adventure excursions and animal safaris,” she says.

But your vacation photos won’t look like everyone else’s. Luxe travellers “demand unique, personalized experiences with epic journeys that they can tell stories about, such as an Antarctic expedition,” says Christine Gray, editor-in-chief of Luxury Travel Magazine.

Save up, decide which upscale travel trend resonates with you, then check out these sumptuous worldwide options. Happy high-end trails!

 

PHOTO: COURTESY OF CAROL PEREHUDOFF

Gainsborough Bath Spa

Set in the middle of historic Bath, this is the only hotel in Britain to have mineral-rich thermal water piped right into its spa. Have a soak, indulge in spa treatments (such as aqua body therapy, which involves bodywork done in a thermal pool) and have a champagne tea surrounded by stunning Georgian and Victorian architecture. $500-$1,700 per person per night.

PHOTO: COURTESY OF CAROL PEREHUDOFF

Keemala Phuket

This Thailand rainforest resort features villas based on four imaginary ancient clans, each with unique architecture and decadent features to spare. The resort offers spa treatments, jungle treks and shuttles to the numerous nearby beaches. $500-$1,000 per night for two guests.

PHOTO: COURTESY OF CAROL PEREHUDOFF

Sri Panwa Phuket

Perched high on Thailand’s Cape Panwa, this stunning resort has a generous array of accommodations, including a penthouse with a killer view and family-friendly villas with up to five bedrooms. It’s a home base for further jet-setting type activities, such as tennis with private instructors and yachting over to nearby islands. $400-$1,000 per night.

PHOTO: COURTESY OF CAROL PEREHUDOFF

Grand Velas Riviera Maya

Situated on the shores of the Mexican Caribbean and just outside Playa del Carmen, the resort is known for top-rated cuisine, deluxe spa and gorgeous, white sand beach. The resort’s travel agency will set you up for outings to the ruins at Tulum and nearby eco-attractions such as the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. $850-$1,200 per night.

PHOTO: COURTESY OF CAROL PEREHUDOFF

Elephant Hills

Southern Thailand’s Elephant Hills combines glamping (luxury camping) either on the fringe of the Khao Sok National Park in an elephant camp, or in a floating tented camp. Go on rainforest adventures, help care for elephants and trek to the beach. $450.00 per person per night.

PHOTO: COURTESY OF CASA MAJANI

Casa Majani

This private villa in Punta Mita, Mexico, has six suites and is the ultimate group getaway. Designed by esteemed architect Manolo Mestre, the two ocean-adjacent pools and yoga sanctuary exude calm. $5,500-$13,300 per night.

PHOTO: COURTESY OF CALALA ISLAND

Calala Island

At this exclusive private island resort off the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua, there are just four suites – they sleep 10 each – and you can book the entire island. Despite the remote location, the place still has a fabulous restaurant. $1,000 per night per person.

Hurtigruten Cruises

This cruise line offers various Antarctica cruises on one of three ships, sharing the deck with just 200 to 500 other travellers. You’ll land in any number of locations on the far south continent, but you won’t know in advance, thanks to weather – quite the adventure. $12,000-$20,000 per person.

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