When the global pandemic started, we were forced to stay at home and avoid travelling. Now that many countries are already open for tourists, it’s time to step off a plane and travel into a new place. If you’re planning your next getaway and have the cash to splash, why not go to places that will allow you to indulge in luxury? After going through the stress brought about by the pandemic, we all deserve to treat ourselves to something really special.
Below, we’ve rounded up the most scenic destinations for luxury travel to help you get back to enjoying life.
1. The Highlands, Scotland
From the stunning mountain range of Cairngorms to the fringes of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs towards the far reaches of the Hebrides and dramatic coastlines bordering the North Sea, the Highlands is an endlessly fascinating destination for luxury travel.
With so many beautiful landscapes to explore in the Highlands, consisting of hills, rivers, mountains, and lochs, it’s the perfect setting to get active and try out a range of outdoor activities. The best way to get started is to try your hands in windsurfing or kayaking in Loch Morlich. After a tiring day, relax at your luxury cottage that opens to the stunning ocean views.
If you happen to be on the West Coast, you will have the perfect opportunity to indulge in one of the world’s most scenic railway journeys. Step aboard the Jacobite Steam Train that crosses over the grand viaduct, made famous by Harry Potter. After several busy days exploring The Highland’s many attractions, treat yourself to some retail therapy at the Eastgate shopping centre in Inverness.
2. The Amalfi Coast, Italy
Lying along the cliffs on the southern side of Sorrento, the Amalfi Coast is one of the most beautiful and glamorous spots in Italy. Combining affluent sophistication with a relaxing laidback feel, where superyachts and sports cars sit amidst an unchanging rural way of life, the Amalfi Coast has all the right ingredients for luxury travel.
The food gloriously reflects the sophistication that the Amalfi Coast is known for. Surrounded by terraced gardens that produce bright organic lemons and juicy red tomatoes, meals here are a feast – from breakfast to late night cravings. The sea also offers an additional source of culinary pleasures, whether you like your fish seared or marinated with olives and capers.
Hire a skipper for the day, hop from one beach to another, and discover the nearby islets. Cruising is a wonderful way of exploring Amalfi’s photogenic coastline. You will find many pebble stone beaches along the coast that are a gentle reminder of the stunning limestone cliffs hanging above.
3. Paro, Bhutan
Also called the “Land of the Dragons”, Bhutan is a landlocked country along the Eastern Himalayas, sandwiched by India and the Tibetan Plateau. When deciding to take a luxury tour of Bhutan for a luxurious holiday, the historic town of Paro will be an ideal base.
Home to the only international airport in Bhutan, Paro is a pretty town covered with terraced paddy fields alongside quaint farmhouses scattered throughout the valley. In the upper reaches, you will find coniferous forests looking down to the scenic Paro Chhu River.
Paro is also home to many beautiful temples, including the iconic Taktsang Lhakhang, also called the “Tiger’s Nest”. Situated along the valley’s northern end, Taktsang Lhakhang is a sacred Buddhist site sitting on a sheer cliff 900 meters above the valley. The National Museum in Paro is also worth visiting, which showcases a wide array of ancient Bhutanese arts and artefacts.
Enjoy the ultimate luxury experience on your holiday in Paro by staying at the Le Meridien Riverfront. Lying along the edge of the Paro River, the hotel opens to the panoramic views of the Himalayas. The hotel is fitted with luxury amenities, such as a spa, indoor heated pool, and a fitness centre.
4. Koh Samui, Thailand
Koh Samui is one of Thailand’s most popular islands, offering a magnitude of glamorous resorts and pretty beaches for that perfect luxury beach escape. Its capital city of Chaweng is an excellent spot for shopping and entertainment.
But the real charm of the island lies away from its capital in the form of relaxed beach bars, award-winning spas, and secluded luxury hotels set in a laidback ambience.
Aside from relaxing by the beach, one of the best things to do in Koh Samui is to explore the Ang Thong Marine Park, where you will see limestone pinnacles rising out of stunning turquoise waters. For avid divers and snorkelers, the island offers excellent underwater experiences, with whale sharks frequently spotted at a certain time of the year.
Venture inland for some trekking, where you could come across many beautiful waterfalls. Visit the Big Buddha and go on a boat trip to the nearby national park.
When it comes to luxury accommodation, check out the Anankhira Villas. Perched above the main beach strip of the island, this luxury hotel features Balinese-style chalets that come with their own private plunge swimming pool.
5. Kauai Island, Hawaii
Kauai, the oldest and least developed of all the islands of Hawaii, is a natural wonderland of idyllic beaches, breathtaking mountains, and tropical valleys. The island’s cultural and geological history is rich, and the lush waterfalls, picturesque landscape, and spiritual core can make your holiday to Kauai the trip of a lifetime.
Kauai brings to life every aspect that luxury travellers would covet. Lush hotels can be found along its coast, especially in the north, with some hotels offering first-class spa treatments, such as the Ho’ala Kauai Coffee Scrub Wrap, a tribute to Kauai’s thriving coffee bean industry. Although the vacation aspect of the south of the island is easy to get lost in, take some time to explore the west. Aside from the Napali Coast, which you can only explore on a helicopter or boat, the west is also famous for the stunning Waimea Canyon, a 3,600-ft deep natural wonder offering an awe-striking scene.
While Kauai is not short of luxury hotels, but you should think about booking out a Kauai luxury vacation rental for a truly unforgettable experience. These vacation homes are perfect for large groups or families, and they come equipped with luxurious amenities.