Posted on 18th March 2016 at 2:58pm
Our Top 5 Luxury Destinations
Are you thinking of going somewhere different for your holiday this year? Tired of the same-old same-old? Perhaps you’ve been working your socks off and deserve a real treat.
In which case you may want to indulge yourself with a high-end luxury holiday. We’ve come up with what we believe to be the ultimate in luxury holiday destinations and resorts.
Long considered the definitive luxury destination Bermuda is actually a group of small islands that make up this British Overseas Territory in the North Atlantic.
It is a place of exceptional beauty, considered by many to be a tropical paradise in turquoise seas. Bermuda is renowned for its glorious beaches where the water sports enthusiast is spoiled for choice. On Dockyard’s Snorkel Park Beach, for example, you can hire a jet-ski or kayak for a guided tour of the island.
Or you can snorkel and explore the beauty of the coral reef. At the end of the day relax with a cooling drink from the beach bar and revel in a magnificent sunset. Visit the National Museum of Bermuda to watch the dolphin show and see these marvelous animals work with their handler.
There really is something for all the family in Bermuda but if it is a romantic break you’re after then there are several upmarket hotels, such as The Reefs hotel which offers ocean views from its fantastically appointed rooms alongside its three acclaimed restaurants.
In keeping with the superior service one would expect from a quality hotel, staff are happy to arrange your day’s sporting activities. Glass bottom boat cruise or horse riding along the beach anyone?
For those who like to mix it up a little some travel companies specialise in dual resort holidays. You could book a trip that takes you to New York, USA for a few days in the most exciting city in the world; then fly on to complete your holiday in relaxed style in Bermuda.
What could be better than the best of both worlds? If this is your style there are several online and high street tour companies only too happy to arrange a dual experience holiday like this for you.
Bermuda is blessed with an all-year-round temperate climate. The warmest months are in summer – April to October but from November to March the weather is still very pleasant and the islands are less busy.
British Airways are the premium carrier of passengers to Bermuda. Flying non-stop from Gatwick Airport in London to St Georges the journey takes just under 8 hours, plenty of time to relax and enjoy the on-board complimentary food, bar service and in-flight entertainment.
There are other airlines such as Virgin Atlantic which fly to Bermuda but have one stop along the way. To compare the different airline tariffs sites like Tripadvisor or Expedia can give an idea of prices and dates. Or you could take the traditional route and see your local travel agent.
The Turks & Caicos Islands
Another British Overseas Territory the Turks & Caicos Islands are situated just southeast of the Bahamas, part of the Bahamas island chain.
The Turks & Caicos were formerly primarily known as an ‘off-shore’ financial centre but are gaining in popularity as a magnet for tourists who want to escape the hoi-polloi.
In this part of the world the climate is very pleasant with summertime temperatures averaging between 27 – 31 degrees, so not too unbearably hot. Even in winter the temperature rarely falls below 18 degrees. The islands have long been the playground of the wealthy and famous including several Hollywood starts that have homes there.
In keeping with this, tourism chiefs have built several upmarket resorts aimed at customers who want a more exclusive experience. The islands are said to have some of the best beaches anywhere along with world-class restaurants, hotels and spas.
The culture is one of laid-back hospitality with a strong heritage vibe revelling in the sheer beauty of the islands. As you might expect the diet is predominantly fish-based and a key tradition there is the must-experience Lime Fish Fry.
Once again British Airways fly from London Heathrow or Gatwick with a short stopover in Antigua. The journey takes around 12 hours.
The land down under is famed for its white beaches but if a beach holiday is not your thing you can always go for the ultimate in get-away-from-it-all holidays with a trip to Australia’s bush territory.
Northern Outback Queensland is real rugged ‘big sky’ country, as beautiful as it is vast. The dry season in summer – April to November – sees temperatures up to 35 degrees; winter months from May to August can have cool nights. The wet season can see spectacular thunderstorms.
However the weather should be no barrier for the determined luxury traveller. Australia boasts a huge number of upmarket lodge or campsite resorts so you can thoroughly immerse yourself in the outback experience whilst not forfeiting essential comforts. For example the Crystalbrook Lodge in North Queensland is a private retreat offering 10 guests the ultimate in luxurious living in a glorious wilderness setting.
Kangaroo Island is a wildlife sanctuary where you can see kangaroos, koalas, dolphins and penguins but also offers world-class food and wine in a number of lodges which are designed in keeping with the delicate environmental heritage.
Australia is a vast country with diverse landscapes and tourist experiences and there is no shortage of luxury resorts, hotels and restaurants to choose from.
Take your pick from Etihad Airways, Qantas and British Airways. All provide an unrivaled service from various major UK airports including Manchester usually with 2 stops en route for this 27 to 29 hour journey. Choose one of the top holiday companies like Kuoni who specialise in long-haul holidays to far-flung destinations.
The principality of Andorra is located in the eastern Pyrenees between Spain and France and is one of the smallest sovereign countries in Europe. It is not part of the European Union and has its own currency – and tax haven status.
Andorra has long been a little- visited favourite of the well-to-do ski set and to this day boasts an enviable reputation amongst ski enthusiasts. The resort of Soldeu is said to have one of Europe’s finest ski schools, with English speaking instructors and has its own Snow Park for those who like to snowboard.
The resort caters for families with children but also features a number of luxury hotels which have adult-only facilities. For instance the 5-star Sport Hotel, Hermitage and Spa, situated 1850 metres above sea level is ideally placed to attract ski and mountain sport enthusiasts and is open all year round.
As you might expect this hotel is just one of many across Andorra which is the last word in luxury. You would need to get a flight to southern France and transfer from there for the three hour journey.
Most airlines will take you from most UK airports. Flights from the UK generally go to Barcelona, Toulouse or Girona – mostly Barcelona because of the higher number of transfer options to Andorra. Airlines include easyjet, Monarch, Ryanair, Jet2, Iberia and British Airways.
Once at Barcelona airport – or Toulouse or Girona – you can transfer by car or shuttle bus. The proliferation of low-cost travel to this part of the world means you’ll have more to spend on your après-ski!
One of the best-kept secrets in the Indian Ocean, Zanzibar is said to be the best place in the world for snorkelling, diving and swimming from its beautiful pristine beaches. Its people are a mixture of Africans, Arabs and Indians and are noted for their hospitality.
Zanzibar enjoys hot, sunny weather all year round but with frequent rain in April and May. The islands of Zanzibar are full of history and holidaymakers can visit Stone Town which is a Unesco World Heritage Site or sail out to Prison Island.
Jozani Natural Forest nature reserve is a wonderful place to see wildlife and if you go snorkelling you will see Aldabra Tortoises. The Zanzibar islands are very popular as a wind-down tacked onto the end of a safari holiday and they offer a variety of luxury lodges and boutique hotels.
If you like the sound of a luxury beach holiday in this exotic place then try perusing the specialist online companies for the perfect tailor-made getaway.
British Airways fly from London Heathrow to Dar Es Salaam and Nairobi taking either 9½ hours or 8½ hours. Emirates flies via Dubai from Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle and Glasgow. Connecting flights to Zanzibar take around 1½ hours.
Luxury holidays in upmarket resorts are now more accessible than ever as the world opens up around us. Whether your preference is for a beach holiday in the sun, a wildlife safari, exclusive hotel, posh camping or even a private island the choice has never been so vast. And with more airlines opening up new routes to ever more exotic places, the world is indeed your oyster!
Have a great holiday.
Why not carry on the luxury theme and try an airport lounge.