After a trying and unprecedented year which is drawing to a close, many of us are looking ahead to happier times in 2021. With plenty of lost time to make up for when it comes to those luxury trips, there’s no better time to start planning your next five-star getaway – and if you’re hankering for a bit of sun, sand, sea and all-round sophistication, then we know just the places to head to.
To help you plan a memorable trip for the new year, we’ve teamed up with the beach holiday experts at SeaSpiration. Here, they handpick their top luxury destinations for 2021 – if you’re feeling inspired after reading of these seven getaways, then it’s time to get booking.
If you’re looking for nothing but soft, silk sand and endless days of sunshine, then the Caribbean island of Aruba will not disappoint. Enjoying a pleasant and dry climate year-round, it also happens to be one of the sunniest destinations in the world, and thanks to its spectacular sandy beaches and warm culture, it’s just the ticket after a less than lovely year.
Unlike your typical Caribbean destination, Aruba enjoys the influence of Portuguese culture, making it a unique and interesting choice. From adventures to relaxation, this place has it all, and is the perfect place to relax for all ages.
Snorkelling and diving lovers will love a Bahamas break to start the new year off right. With crystal-clear waters where you can see right to the bottom and a plethora of breath-taking marine life to spot, there’s nowhere quite like it. But it’s not just mantas and sharks you can swim with, because on Big Major Caye – one of the 365 islands of Exuma – you can find ‘Pig Beach’. Here, you can paddle in the shallows with some of these lovely animals for a unique experience you’re unlikely to ever have elsewhere.
With a relaxed and friendly vibe and oodles of historical and cultural sights to explore, the Bahamas is a must for any luxury traveller’s bucket list.
With its sprawling rice terrace, spectacular waterfalls and incredibly rich culture, beautiful Bali, in Indonesia, is a captivating destination that is certain to win you over. Start your trip in Ubud – the cultural heartland of the island – to take in some of the afore-mentioned sights, then head to the coast for some surfing, sunshine and all-round relaxation.
Watersports enthusiasts flock to the likes of Seminyak and Kuta to catch some waves, while those in search of a more laid-back beach break can head to upmarket Nusa Dua. There are few destinations that can offer such a packed and well-rounded experience, and one you’re unlikely to ever forget.
Sunny California is the go-to beach destination for Americans, and wherever you live in the world, its spectacular sandy beaches and the plethora of activities on offer make it a great choice for a busy, yet luxurious, break.
There’s plenty to keep you entertained here, from sunbathing and surfing to fishing and golfing. Famed for its scenic boardwalks, a sunset stroll is a must – and whatever you’re looking for by way of entertainment, you’re certain to find it here.
The magical island of Cuba is home to some of the most spectacular beaches and clearest waters in the world – you have to see it to truly believe it. Head to Havana to soak up the classic calypso culture, dance some Cuban salsa and enjoy some of the local rum and cigars Cuba is known for.
Then, head to one of the many picturesque beach resorts to complete your trip. For those who love to be in the thick of the action, Varadero makes for a lively base, while those in search of some much-needed peace and quiet might prefer tranquil Cayo Santa Maria or Playa Pilar.
Awash with breath-taking natural scenery, majestic volcanos and fantastic beaches alike, Hawaii is the ultimate destination for nature lovers – and, if you love to spend time in the water, then there’s plenty here for you, too.
Here, you can spend your days hiking to some of the islands’ many impressive viewpoints, surfing, or snorkelling with turtles. There’s something quite magical about a visit to Hawaii that can’t quite be put into words.
And finally, the beach destination to end all beach destinations, the Maldives has a well-deserved place on our list. Its numerous atolls, sprinkled throughout a vast swathe of the Indian Ocean, each have their own unique identity, but two things they all have in common are their incredible white sand beaches and unbelievably clear waters.
Stay in a sophisticated water bungalow for the full luxury experience, and spend your days relaxing, snorkelling and soaking up some rays. The Maldives is the ultimate destination for those who want to do nothing but chill out on their five-star beach break – there’s truly no better place.