The silver lining of waking up at seven in the morning, working hard for eight hours, eating instant rice and staying in on weekends is that, after a while, it’s easier to save up enough cash for a well-deserved vacation. Picturing that sweet time lying by the pool and sipping cocktails between massages in some secluded paradise is all that gets some people through the workday. And if you are spending your hard-earned money on a relaxing getaway, you want it to be good.
We’ve rounded up the best of the best resorts on the planet, just so you don’t have to do the research yourself. Located across several different countries, these lodgings offer you unique experiences to suit your tastes while treating you like true stars. Nothing is too much to ask for when you’re a guest at lavish resorts like these, so rest assured that you’ll leave these grounds feeling relaxed, refreshed, and rejuvenated.
Of course, luxury accommodations like these aren't the most affordable. But it serves as great travel inspiration, and most definitely motivates you to buckle down, work hard, and save up! Check out these real resorts from around the world that will provide you with the VIP treatment.
25 Zemi Beach House In Anguilla
Anguilla is the land of white sand and crystal-clear blue water, so any beachfront accommodation here is going to make you feel pretty special.
The Zemi Beach House provides a tranquil haven from which you can soak up the gorgeous scenery.
At the same time, you can serve up some pool and enjoy a drink from the rum bar. There’s an onsite spa to detox the stress from your body, and we kid you not, you can also throw on your own tail and take mermaid lessons in the infinity pool.
24 Padma Resort In Legian, Bali
Situated between Kuta and Seminyak, Bali’s Legian suburb is packed with tourists and local vendors screaming at you to buy from their stalls. But an oasis lies among the chaos, in the form of the Padma Resort Legian.
This gated, luscious, beach-front property houses four pools (two infinity and one lagoon) and two restaurants nestled among lush greenery. On your way to the buffet breakfast, you can even feed the turtles in the serene ponds scattered on the grounds. It’s basically impossible to feel stressed here.
23 Ngorongoro Crater Lodge In Tanzania
If you thought that taking a trip to Tanzania meant roughing it out, think again. Located inside an old volcanic crater next to Lake Magadi, the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge offers luxury from the very center of the action.
Sitting between the capital of Nairobi, Mount Kilimanjaro, and the Serengeti National Park, this resort has relaxation entangled with adventure.
Expect giraffes, zebras, and other animals to roam past the grounds as you take in pristine views of the African landscape from the comfort of your charming and colorful accommodation.
22 Mardan Palace Hotel In Antalya, Turkey
Staying at one of the most luxurious and exclusive hotels in Europe should make you feel like a VIP. Turkey’s Mardan Palace was built by a Russian billionaire in 2009, and today hosts the largest swimming pool in the Mediterranean.
On the premises, you’ll find no less than seventeen bars, ten high-class dining spots, a sunken aquarium which is home to an eclectic range of exotic fish and interiors made from crystal and marble. Plus, you get your own butler.
21 Royal Davui Island Resort In Fiji
You know you’re in for true luxury when it’s an adults-only resort. The Royal Davui Island Resort in Fiji can only be accessed by boat or helicopter and features accommodation in the form of traditional thatched-roof villas.
Each villa has its own plunge pool overlooking the lagoon.
There’s a deserted sandbar you can stroll on, and the friendly staff also offer jungle treks that allow you to swim with turtles and dolphins. The best part? All meals and non-motorized sports are included in the price.
20 The Royal Hideaway Playacar In Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
The beaches of Mexico are brimming with lavish resorts. However, the Royal Hideaway Playacar in Playa Del Carmen has got to be one of the best, if not the best. This is a popular option for couples on their honeymoon since the resort is adults only and is located a short drive away from shopping hotspots.
The sophisticated rooms are up to date with high-end amenities, and the property also offers a spa with a full range of services, and several pools to frolic in.
19 Hotel Katikies In Oia, Santorini
Santorini’s Oia is said to be one of the most romantic locations in the world, thanks to its old-world white buildings and sublime views of the Caldera sunset.
Hotel Katikies tributes its beautiful surroundings by boasting cave-like rooms that look like they came out of a romance novel.
These sweet suites capture the essence of the Cyclades.
Here you’ll find private plunge pools, Jacuzzis, and sundecks from which you can watch the iconic sunset without being squashed in the crowd.
18 Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort In Saariselkä, Finland
Most people don’t think of snow when they imagine a resort, but the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort in Finland is every bit as phenomenal as its beachfront counterparts. Here you can stay in glass igloos for a truly spectacular view of the Northern lights between August and April.
The igloos have their own private bathroom and climate-controlled curtains to make them as toasty as possible. You can also rent real snow igloos, or if that’s not your thing, quaint log cabins.
17 Blackberry Farm In Tennessee, USA
A week at the farm can be just as rejuvenating as a week by the beach. Tennessee’s Blackberry Farm allows guests to relax on its idyllic grounds while they absorb the wondrous Appalachians.
The produce served in The Barn — the resort’s restaurant — is handpicked from the property itself.
Visitors can enjoy two pools and a peaceful spa, and get the chance to stay in charming, traditional rooms. Staying among this quiet indulgence will remind you of a much simpler, less stressful time.
16 Emirates Palace In Abu Dhabi, UAE
Any resort that is called “palace” works for us. Anything you need at Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace, you can have: a pristine, white-sand beach, aqua-colored tranquil pools and fountains, meeting and conference rooms and palace suites are all abound on the premises.
The décor is pretty impressive too, made mostly from marble that’s been imported from thirteen different countries around the world. There are also over one thousand crystal chandeliers, just in case you wanted to feel more like a sultan.
15 Rixos Sharm El Sheikh Resort In Nabq Bay, Egypt
The luxuries of the ancient world and the modern world come together at Egypt’s Rixos Sharm El Sheikh Resort. It’s most famous for its Turkish bath, which can be found in the spa, along with facials and full-body massages designed to achieve full relaxation.
The modern gym is filled with world-class cardio equipment.
You can also try out one of the three water slides for your dose of exercise. There’s a selection of bars, lounges, eateries, and restaurants, as well as an open-air beach nightclub.
14 Constance Moofushi In The Maldives
Sitting in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives is often thought of as the ideal honeymoon destination. Constance Moofushi is an all-inclusive resort that brings the best as soon as you get off the plane with their exclusive airport lounge.
The chic rooms come complete with minibars, entertainment systems and most importantly, gorgeous views of the surrounding sea. Your stay here will include a combination of world-class food, relaxing by the pool or the beach, and getting into snorkeling and other fun watersports.
13 Jade Mountain Resort In Saint Lucia
The Jade Mountain Resort boasts views of the bay of Saint Lucia and the Piton Peaks from every room, making it a favorite among travelers looking for a breathtaking experience.
Each suite is connected by bridge to the communal areas of the resort, which sits high up a cliffside.
The beach is nearby, but here you’re also close to the Rainforest Canopy cable car and Soufriere, the Caribbean’s very own walk-in volcano. You can enjoy your own infinity pool here or simply take in the view.
12 andBeyond Xaranna Okavango Delta Camp In Botswana
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex hold Botswana dear, and if you want to experience this majestic country like a true royal too, stay at andBeyond's Xaranna Okavango Delta Camp.
In the middle of the Kalahari Desert, the resort offers the opportunity to see a range of native wildlife, from leopards and buffalo to elephants and lions. You can stay in one of the nine deluxe private tents on the property and enjoy your own pool, indoor tub, and outdoor shower.
11 Spice Island Beach Resort In Grenada
Grenada’s famous Spice Island Beach Resort has been one of the most popular and exclusive resorts in the area since it opened in 1961, and it’s showing no signs of aging.
Renovated in 2013, the resort upholds its flawless record today by boasting trendy décor in its bright, open rooms.
This is another all-inclusive lodging, meaning you don’t have to pay extra for upscale meals at the two restaurants, the quick Wi-Fi, the on-site outdoor activities, or the minibar.
10 One&Only Hayman Island Resort, The Whitsunday Islands
Hayman Island sits off the coast of Queensland, Australia. The exclusive One&Only resort is ideal for those looking for privacy, or those who like to snorkel and dive since it sits in the center of the Great Barrier Reef.
Choose to stay in either a suite, villa, penthouse or a regular room in this resort, which features green tropical gardens and white sand around its incredible pools. Visitors can also interact with native wildlife such as colorful local fish, wallabies, kookaburras, and cockatoos.
9 Ashford Castle In Cong, Ireland
There’s no way to stay in a real castle and not feel like a VIP. It has served as a five-star hotel since the 1900s.
However, the Ashford was actually first built in 1228, making it the oldest building on this list!
Inside, the high-end accommodation reflects the standards of any modern top-notch resort, despite its thrilling history of housing guests like King George V, Mary Queen of Scots, Princess Grace, and Brad Pitt. Several activities are available at the resort, like horseback riding and archery.
8 Villa Contenta In Florida, USA
Miami can be a party destination, or it can be a calming retreat. If you’re in the mood for the latter, head to the Villa Contenta. Its name speaks to its reputation.
Sure, you can party it up here while using one of the hotel’s babysitters to look after the kids, but it also offers plenty of opportunities for true relaxation.
The decorated rooms depict different countries, and while staying here, you have access to personal servants, chefs, limos and even your own therapist.
7 Udaivilas Palace In Udaipur, India
King Udai Singh II of the Mewar Dynasty built his palace in 1567, and over the next 150 years, it grew into a royal estate housing a number of important figures.
With its grandiose architecture almost resembling the Taj Mahal, and its lavish grounds, the Udaivilas Palace still boasts that regal feeling today.
These villas are equipped with semi-private pools and decadent terraces, and there are even house-sized suites on the property, but those go for around $5000 to $8000 a night.
6 Giraffe Manor In Kenya
This is not a drill. There is a real resort in Kenya where you can actually eat with giraffes. Giraffe Manor is a colonial mansion located just outside of Nairobi and borders the AFEW Giraffe Center.
A herd of giraffes call the grounds home and pop their heads in through the open windows every morning and night to dine with you. There is also the Daphne Elephant Orphanage a few minutes away, and warthogs on the property, but feeding a giraffe your cereal is probably thrilling enough.
5 Intercontinental Thalasso Spa In Bora Bora
The Intercontinental Thalasso Spa stands out from the other lavish resorts in Bora Bora thanks to its location in a protected cove of sandbars.
Because of this, the surrounding water is literally always postcard-turquoise.
Plus, guests are always protected from rough water, which wouldn’t be the case if the resort faced the open ocean. The resort is run by the same company that runs Hilton, so expect the same world-class service. Since this is most people’s idea of true paradise, prices start at $850 a night.
4 Four Seasons Maui In Hawaii, USA
It’s hard to pick just one lavish resort in Hawaii since it’s basically a land of lavish resorts. Our pick is the Four Seasons on Maui, which is situated in the island’s south on Wailea beach.
This resort has all the bells and whistles of other world-class competitors, including immaculate pools, friendly and welcoming staff and upscale restaurants, and somehow, doesn’t give off a pretentious vibe. Staying here, you get all of those benefits in addition to a superb Maui sunset.
3 Hotel Dubrovnik Palace In Dubrovnik, Croatia
Sometimes called the jewel of the Adriatic, Dubrovnik can answer the prayers of more than just Game of Thrones fans. If you’re going to stay in this medieval, coastal city and want to be treated like a VIP, you can’t go past the Hotel Dubrovnik Palace.
Having won numerous travel awards, this palace features chic interior and exquisite views of the sunset over the Adriatic.
Likewise, it also boasts poolside bars and eateries and a divine restaurant that prepares the freshest seafood you’ve ever tasted.
2 Explora Lodges In Patagonia
Those who want to indulge while getting in touch with nature and seeing the real beauty of the planet will find their bliss at Patagonia’s Explora Lodges.
What kind of amenities can you get at this resort, surrounded by the Torres del Paine National Park? A heated pool, four hot tubs with views of the Paine River, a massage room and a traditional quincho stables with twenty-six different horse breeds, just to name a few. Plus, enjoy traditional Chilean fare, included in the room rates.
1 The Ocean Club, A Four Seasons Resort In The Bahamas
It’s tricky to choose from all the resorts in the Bahamas, but when in doubt, go Four Seasons. The grounds boast two outdoor pools in addition to the stretch of white-sand beach.
You’ll also find romantic gardens here and a statuary resembling that of Versailles.
A few of the activities to make your stay more memorable include tennis courts, eighteen-hole golf, daily yoga and a state-of-the-art fitness center. There’s also a Balinese-style spa, where guests can indulge in out-of-this-world full body massages.
References: oyster.com.au, rd.com