Travel is one of those luxuries in life that, until the pandemic and lockdowns scuppered all excitedly planned adventures, we didn’t know how good we had it before. The thought of whisking ourselves off on a fabulous five-star retreat still seems like a dream, even if restrictions are currently being eased, but plan and dream we will, for one day soon we will be heading to the airport ready to take a flight to a first-rate destination.
Those who like to go all out when it comes to constructing their luxury vacations will surely be looking for inspiration when it comes to serene getaways designed to afford you the very best in extravagant stays. So, where better to look than within, and at the results of LLM’s most recent readers’ travel awards, for an insight into the most opulent hotel offerings across the world?
We take a look at seven splendid hotels to luxuriate across the world, as voted for by our discerning readers, as well as how to holiday in style once restrictions allow.
How to do a luxury holiday from start to finish
Now, we all know that it isn’t just the destination that can provide us with those moments of delight, with the planning and journey itself providing much anticipation, therefore it stands to reason that you would want to make the very best of each and every moment. So, how do you do this? You get in touch with a bespoke travel operator who can arrange for private tours and the like once you land; you arrive at the airport in style with the likes of Britway Airport Transfer, who provide top quality service in style; and you travel first class while making the most of the dedicated lounge at the airport as well as the excellent service in the sky along the way.
What hotels come out on top?
Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort, Algarve, Portugal
This five-star resort was voted the best in Europe by readers of LLM, and it is not difficult to see why this Portuguese retreat made it to the top. As well as world-class clubs for kids and teens, a prime position near Vilamoura’s beaches, nightlife, marina and Victoria Golf Course and a spa with five pools and champagne cabanas, luxe suites, including a two-level penthouse and dining options galore, this laid-back retreat seemingly has it all.
Amilla Fushi, Baa Atoll, Maldives
Providing that picture-perfect setting, the Maldives make up some of the most exquisitely beautiful islands on the planet. Amilla Resort and Residences situated on a private island showcase the best of what the Maldives offers; crystalline waters, lush jungle and that powdered sugar sand that provides the perfect place to escape. Contemporary overwater pool villas, cycle tracks through the jungle, luxury residences you wish you could move into, world-class dining, endless activities and a spa are just a handful of the highlights here.
AtholPlace Hotel and Villa, Morukuru Family, Johannesburg, South Africa
Providing exclusive use retreats across South Africa, the winning AtholPlace House and Villa in Johannesburg is a set of two properties that offer total privacy along with a team of staff to ensure a memorable stay. Housing up to 26 people (8 in the villa and 18 in the house), would provide the place for a perfect family reunion with a range of activities to partake in locally, too.
Tranquility Bay Beachfront Resort, Florida, USA
Florida Keys’ beautiful beachfront resort offers up that paradisical setting for a private getaway in the tropical oasis that is Tranquility Bay. Private beach houses overlook the Gulf of Mexico, while garden rooms are immersed in the tropics. There are three pools, a private beach and on-site water sports as well as a local turtle hospital, shopping and dining to complete your stay.
Hilton Barra, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Topping the leagues in the South American section, the five-star Hilton Barra in Rio de Janeiro impresses with its location near an impressive shopping centre, while being just 10 minutes from the beach. The rooftop infinity pool and offers spectacular views of Rio de Janeiro, while the resident Abelardo Restaurant and Bar serving local cuisine and executive suites and lounge are sure to impress.
The Langham, Sydney, Australia
Topping the list in this continent is The Langham, the exclusive five-star hotel that invites you to experience a range of dining experiences, delight in live music, indulge at the day spa and relax in the rooms and suites in between exploring the locale. The accommodation overlooks the iconic Sydney cityscape and the Western Harbour, while the resident restaurant, Kitchens on Kent provides an interactive dining concept.
Sandy Lane Hotel, St. James, Barbados
This luxury Barbados-based resort boasts five-star opulence within its suites, villa, spa, golf and sporting facilities that keep guests coming back for more. 47,000 square feet of indulgent spa space provides a serene retreat, while three top-rated golf courses are on hand to help you while away the hours. Add to this the four restaurants, the exquisite beach-side location and the palatial accommodation and you’ll be in for a treat.