Whether you’ve hit the jackpot, have spent years saving for a trip of a lifetime, or simply have a generous annual travel budget, you won’t want to miss these luxury vacations ideas for a trip you’ll never forget.
Yachting in the Med
One of the best ways to explore Europe is by boat, but if you’d rather have your own captain and crew instead of sharing staff (and amenities) on a large vessel – then a Mediterranean yacht charter could be for you.
These luxurious floating hotels offer five-star service paired with jaw-dropping scenic views. Drop anchor along scenic coastlines and go for a dip, enjoy a gourmet picnic set among a crumbling fortress, or relax on your sundeck with a drink in hand. While each boat differs, most come equipped with gyms, hot tubs, dining rooms, and beautiful master suites. Water-sport enthusiasts will rejoice over the ample options for frolicking in the Med, from enormous waterslides to jet skis and overwater trampolines.
Mediterranean yacht charters generally run from April to October, and one of the best times to visit the Med is in September, when the crowds die down, kids go back to school, but the weather is still warm (sometimes hot, depending on where you are).
Renting a Private Island
It doesn’t get much more luxurious than a private island, and if you’re looking for the ultimate in privacy, luxury, and discretion – a private island is for you. Options abound, from thatched-roof cottages set amongst the trees in Canada’s Pacific Northwest to luxurious and sprawling villas in tropical climates.
One of the best destinations for private island rentals is the Caribbean, home to the famous Necker Island (owned by Virgin founder and business mogul Richard Branson). Located in the British Virgin Islands, this 74-acre paradise can accommodate up to 54 guests comfortably. With multiple properties scattered throughout the island, guests can opt to rent a room, villa, or the entire island.
Another Caribbean island available for rent is Musha Cay, located in the southern Bahamas Exuma Chain. Available for one party at a time, visitors have exclusive access to Musha Cay and its wealth of amenities for the duration of their stay. With over 150 acres of powder-soft beaches, a fleet of outdoor water toys, and elegant accommodations, visitors to Musha Cay receive the finest five-star treatment. With 30 staff members to a maximum of 24 guests, vacationers here will want for nothing.
A Cozy Winter Villa
Imagine curling up in front of a roaring fire, getting snug under a blanket as the snow silently falls outside, or warming up in an outdoor jacuzzi as you’re delivered a flute of champagne. These are part and parcel when renting a mountain villa or luxury chalet.
While not all come fully staffed, it’s an easy adjustment to include a chef, butler, daily housekeeper, and even a yoga instructor!
If you’re a ski or snowboard buff, staying at a villa in Whistler, British Columbia is an easy decision. The Belmont Estate in Whistler’s exclusive Stonebridge enclave rests on 7 acres of wilderness and can accommodate groups of up to 14. The helipad allows for a discreet arrival and departure, as well as access to off-piste terrain, and your private driver is available to whisk you away to the lifts each day should you wish to stick to groomed slopes.
An Alaskan Wilderness Lodge
Have you always wanted to explore the Last Frontier, but in style? No two Alaskan wilderness lodges are alike, and there are a select few that provide elegant luxury in rugged Alaskan surroundings. The crème de la crème, Sheldon Chalet, combines jaw-dropping views with gourmet dining, and fly-in-only access. It doesn’t get more luxurious (or remote) than this!
Sheldon Chalet is a five-star lodge resting on a nunatak in the Don Sheldon Amphitheater of Denali’s magnificent Ruth Glacier. Days spent at the chalet are yours to explore, and activities include snow cavern spelunking, sledding, rappelling, or crevasse exploration. Nights usher in magnificent light shows, as you watch the Aurora Borealis dance across the sky from the comfort of your observation deck or sauna. Dining at Sheldon Chalet is top-notch, complete with a celebrity chef who has been selected to cook for the likes of Barak Obama and Neil Young.
An African Safari
With countless luxury resorts and safari experiences to choose from across Africa, it may seem impossible to narrow it down! But, if you must pick just one, venture deep into the heart of Kenya for a stay at one of the finest lodges in all of Africa.
Nestled on the edge of the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya is Angama Mara, overlooking the Great Rift Valley. This owner-run safari lodge offers two intimate camps with only fifteen luxurious tented suites each, a private airstrip, and ample wildlife roaming free. Gracing the silver screen as the location for the Oscar-award-winning movie Out of Africa, the romance of this resort and region itself is undeniable. Complemented by the lodge is the Angama Safari Camp, an exclusive-use mobile tented campsite located deep in the Mara triangle, where you can spot prides of lion, cheetah, leopard, large elephant herds, and buffalo, and perfectly positioned for a front-row seat to the annual migration.
While I’ve only mentioned five luxury vacations experiences, countless others across the globe are not to be missed!