It’s widely said that when money is not a concern, the entire world is your oyster. Yes, you can have a memorable vacation for less, but don’t we all like to be pampered every now and then? So, whether it’s a honeymoon, a marriage proposal or once-in-a-lifetime family trip, here are some exclusive high-end properties and experiences that are the very definition of a luxury vacation:
Eagles Nest, New Zealand
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An exclusive boutique retreat overlooking New Zealand's Bay of Islands, Eagles Nest hotel gives beyond-five-star hospitality. Guests can choose to do as much or as little as they wish, from dipping into infinity pools to driving around a Porshe. One can enjoy a private gourmet barbecue prepared by the chef or see a spectacular sunset with a glass of sauvignon blanc. Don’t forget to take a helicopter ride over Cape Reinga where you can land on a private beach for a swim or just take a stroll on the water’s edge.
Jade Mountain, St. Lucia
Jade Mountain is a cornucopia of organic architecture celebrating St. Lucia’s stunning scenic beauty. Expect grand sweeping spaces where bedroom, living area and an extravagant private infinity pool glide into one another to form an extraordinary platform, almost like floating out into nature. With the fourth wall entirely absent, Jade Mountain’s sanctuaries have stage-like settings to embrace the full glory of St. Lucia’s Pitons, and the Caribbean Sea. Don’t forget to indulge in a private dinner under the stars here.
One&Only Wolgan Valley, Australia
Arrive at the ultra-luxurious Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley via helicopter from Sydney over the Greater Blue Mountains. The secluded private villas here with their own pools vie with the natural beauty of the place. The setting is tranquil and perfect to experience the spa which can be tailored to your specific needs. Not only will one experience quintessential Australia here but also unique luxury.
Six Senses Douro Valley, Portugal
Six Senses Douro Valley’s beautiful setting fronts onto the River Douro as it winds through the oldest demarcated wine region in the world. The resort’s 19th century architecture is awe-inspiring and delivers the ultimate Douro wine and spa experience for visitors. Enjoy river-view rooms, discover ancient trees on nature trails, feast on organic delicacies from the kitchen garden, surrender to the comforts of the spa…there’s something for every visitor. Other luxurious bonuses here are visits to prehistoric rock art sites and some of the best wineries in the world.
Wildflower Hall, India
Formerly the residence of a British commander, Wildflower Hall in Shimla is majestic home with a welcoming lounge, lavish accommodations and a well-stocked library. Enjoy al fresco dining with mountain views, personalised spa treatments and a luxurious picnic amid strawberry fields nearby. For the adventurous soul, there’s trekking, mountain biking and heritage walks to keep one occupied. The hotel is unique: one can enjoy the best of luxury amid a natural setting.
The writer is director & co-founder, Tripoetic Travel Planners