Best Luxury Summer Vacations 2016
Around this time of year, we start getting itchy feet, and the only remedy is to rest them on an elevated surface in someplace exotic. For the latest and greatest recommendations, we turned to the luxury-travel experts at Insight Guides, who pointed us toward this summer's most luxe vacation destinations.
The Maldives are perhaps the world's most well-known luxury spot: We're talking palm-fringed powder beaches and crystal-clear water. This archipelago is made up of 1,192 islands, about 80 of which have been bought and developed exclusively as luxury resorts. A range of choices cater to all tastes; many feature suites that are supported by stilts and sit out at sea, while some have suites with a private infinity pool.
Sound like your kind of place? Speak to a local expert about booking a trip to The Maldives here!
Turtle Island, Fiji
One of the most exclusive resorts on earth, Turtle Island comprises 14 luxe cottages, each of which is located on a separate beach on the island, bringing a whole new meaning to the phrase "private beach." If that's not private enough, you can also rent all 14 properties on the island. The luxury cottages are designed in traditional Fijian style, with dark wood furnishings and private gardens, which come with a day bed and hammock. Dinner is served at the resort's restaurant in the center of the island. After you've eaten, watch the sun set over the ocean and neighboring Yasawa Islands from the comfort of your own private beach.
Like the Maldives, the south coast of France has long been established as a hotspot for luxury vacations, and is showing no signs of slowing down. The French Riviera is a playground of the wealthy; Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp all own property in the area. People are drawn from all over to the luxury bars, restaurants, shops and casinos of Monaco, Monte Carlo and Cannes. Inland, away from the yacht-lined shores, the hot and dry Mediterranean landscape is dotted with picturesque Baroque villas and beautiful villages.
Ko Lanta, Thailand
Of all the Thai islands, Ko Lanta has the most luxurious reputation. Located in the southeastern province of Krabi, it's a large isle with a premium collection of relaxing beachfront resorts. The island itself boasts some of the cleanest, quietest beaches in the south of Thailand, and the water is shallow and calm, ideal for families with young children. If you're feeling adventurous, travel by long boat to one of the nearby islands that are completely uninhabited. There are also picturesque mangrove swamps and pineapple plantations in the nearby Mu Ko Lanta National Park that can be easily reached by boat.
Sugar Beach, St Lucia
Located in its very own slice of paradise, Sugar Beach Resort boasts 59 luxury villas which are scattered around St Lucia's Piton Peaks on the island's eastern coast. Sugar Beach Resort claims to have the best setting in the Caribbean, and we think they've got a point. The luxury villas sit in the middle of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, among dense forest and picturesque rolling mountains, all facing toward the golden beach. The dense vegetation that separates the villas gives you a feeling of blissful seclusion. Villas come with pools and large terraces, where you can relax and watch the day drift by. The resort's spa is one of the best, if not the best, on St Lucia, and fresh fish is cooked and served on the beach daily.