- Summer travel for the rich and famous is everything you’d expect: extravagant, luxurious, and exclusive, at the cost of around $US30,000 for a weeklong trip, according to one expert.
- The millionaires and billionaires of the world sail their yachts to Ibiza, relax on private islands, and party until sunrise in St. Tropez.
- Here are seven of the most luxurious resorts where affluent summer vacationers travel .
While many of us pack our beach essentials into suitcases and cars this summer, a small society of elite vacationers will stock their private jets with Dom Pérignon for destinations that many people will only ever dream about.
For the millionaires-and-billionaires club, summer vacations meansailing their yachts to Ibiza,lounging alongside Richard Bransonon Necker Island, andpartying until sunrise in St. Tropez. However, these exclusive hubs make up a mere sampling of what’s available to the top 1%.
These affluent holidaymakers look for exclusivity, sophistication, and authentic, meaningful experiences, Jack Ezon ofOvation Vacationssaid, and his clients are willing to spend, on average, about $US30,000 per week for it.
“For some, it means privacy and digital detox to disconnect from the world and reconnect with the people they love, the places they go, and most of all, to themselves,” he said. “For others, it is about celebrating – whether at the best table on the dancefloor, the hottest nightclub, or with friends in a see-and-be-seen environment like Sardinia, Ibiza, or St. Tropez.”
Anne Scully ofMcCabe World Travelsaid that when it comes to choosing the right resort, both hospitality and the opportunity to experience a culture are key for the wealthy. They want to mix Michelin Star dining with authentic local eateries.
“Wealthy people are different because they can afford more choices but that does not mean they have better vacations,” she said. “To have a great vacation, a client must be open to new tastes, cultures, and taking a leap of faith with new opportunities.”
From the beaches of Bora Bora to the savannas of South Africa, here are seven luxurious resorts that offer everything they’re looking for and more.
1. Aman Sveti Stefan, Montenegro
Starting at $US4,500 a night,Aman Sveti Stefanoffers atwo-story suitewith a private swimming pool overlooking the Adriatic coastline. The resort occupies a 15th-century village on its own private island and features a 20,000-square-footspa.
When they’re not catching rays on one of the property’s three pink-sand beaches, guests here tend to hop around the cities and islands of Croatia, partying into the night on nearbyHvarand touring the ancientUnesco World Heritage site of Dubrovnik, Ezon said.
2. Gladden Private Island, Belize
For those who don’t want to share their private island with other vacation-goers, one resort off the coast of Belizeallows guests to have an island all to themselves for$US3,000 per night.
Gladden Private Islandis so private that the entire staff stays on a separate island and takes a boat to and from Gladdenat the guests’ request. Here, breakfast on the roof terrace yields a view of the Maya Mountains and surrounding protected marine reserve.
3. Belmond Grand Hibernian, Ireland
Not all opt for private island vacations, though, Ezon said. Some non-beachgoers prefer the lush landscapes – and world-class golf – of the Emerald Isle.
And while being on a train for up to seven days might seem opposite to luxury, theBelmond Grand Hibernianpackages ultra-luxe Ireland vacations into multi-day train rides, including stop-offs at 17th-century palaces, storybook castles, the iconic Cliffs of Moher, and more, for between $US3,000 and $US11,000 per person, per journey, according to Belmond.
The sleek, Gregorian train offers modern Irish cuisine, live music, and lavish, if compact, sleeper cabins.
4. Soneva Jani Resort, Maldives
Comprised ofmore than 1,000 coral islandsin the Laccadive Sea, the Maldives have long been synonymous with luxury.
Perched over the azure Medhufaru lagoon, the Water Villas atSoneva Janioffer retractable roofs for stargazing and their own water slides, ideal for kids or the kids in all of us.
The resort includes five islands and can only be reached by a 40-minute seaplane flight or hour-long speedboat ride. The least expensive room, a one-bedroom water retreat, costs between$US1,754 to $US4,783 per night, depending on the season, while more spacious villas, such as the four-bedroom island reserve, go for$US14,668 or more per night, according to the hotel.
5. Tswalu Kalahari, South Africa
Some would rather skip the beach and opt for a luxurious South African safari instead.Tswalu Kalaharisits on South Africa’s largest private game reserve, occupying more than 420 square miles of stunning wilderness. The savannah and mountains of the reserve are home tomore than 80 species of mammals and hundreds of species of birds.
“Champagne picnics close to wild elephants, private game viewing decks, and unrivalled views provide an all-out ‘at one with nature’ sense of intoxication,” says Chrystal Webster, editor atThe Luxury Editor.
Tswalu Kalahari was even included in National Geographic’s initial selection of 24Unique Lodges of the World, chosen for their “outstanding guest experience while supporting the protection of cultural and natural heritage and embracing sustainable tourism practices,”a 2015 press release said.
The cheapest accommodation here is a$US500 stay on the sleep-out deck– a true wilderness experience – while $US3,000 per night allows for a more luxurious stay inside.
6. Borgo Santo Pietro, Italy
Imagine a 200-acre estate in the Tuscan countryside, complete with picturesque vineyards and organic orchards from which the on-location Michelin Star restaurant picks the produce it prepares that very day.
Such a place exists atBorgo Santo Pietro, a five-star boutique hotel housed in a 13th-century villa. Here, guests may entertain themselves with exclusive, private, and professional-led truffle hunts, Vespa excursions, and helicopter rides over the Italian countryside, Webster said. Rates range from $US620 per night for a delux villa to more than $US3,000 per night for a Pool House Suite, according to the resort.
7. St. Regis Bora Bora Resort, Tahiti
The lush bungalows ofSt. Regis Bora Borasit right on the lagoon at the foot of breathtaking Mount Otemanu. Guests can simply step out of their front doors to snorkel in the pristine waters of the resort’sprotected underwater sanctuary.
The spacious villas at St. Regis Bora Bora range from the 1,550-square-footOverwater Superior Villa, costing about $US1,600 per night, to the 13,000-square-footRoyal Estate Villa, which can go for $US19,500 per night during high season, according to the hotel.
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