It’s nearly March (already)! You’ve had a month to ponder that New Year's resolution to plan a luxury beach vacay in 2018. Airfares for the northern summer are really cheap right now. There’s simply no better time to start researching perfect luxury holiday destinations. Start right here, right now. Whether you’re planning a getaway with friends, family or a significant other, here's our pick of the best luxury holiday destinations for 2018.
During my first visit to Phuket over ten years ago, I quickly learned that it had somewhat of a seedy reputation for being a party town. But Phuket is a large island. And more recently, a number of luxury properties have been popping up in some of the more secluded corners of the island. COMO Point Yamu is a luxe lovers paradise that boasts views overlooking the sparkling blue Andaman Sea and the dramatic limestones of Phang Nga Bay. With a spa menu featuring holistic wellness offerings, two world-class restaurants, and its very own beach club, you won’t want to leave! A week at this place will certainly help to shake off those January blues.
A few years ago, I visited Abu Dhabi several times on business. Many of the people I met couldn't speak highly enough of Oman. Being so close to the oil-rich nation of the United Arab Emirates, it's not surprising that Oman has become a weekend getaway for locals and expats living in this region. From four-wheel driving around saffron-coloured sand dunes, swimming in crystal clear wadis during the day, to nightly stargazing and glamping in Bedouin-style tents. Oman has everything you could want for a luxury holiday destination! Avoid the blistering desert heat and visit sometime between November and February.
Where to stay: Six Senses Zighy Bay
White sandy beaches, turquoise lagoons, and luxury overwater bungalows make the Maldives the perfect luxury holiday destination. Be warned though, experiencing the beauty of this place comes with a hefty price tag. The peak tourist season starts to slow down around April but the monsoon season doesn't start until around May/June. Taking advantage of the shoulder season will save you a ton of money on accommodation and you might be lucky enough to have the beach all to yourself.
Where to stay: We love the rustic chic vibes of Soneva Jani
Big Sur, California
I planned a romantic road trip along Highway One for my husband and me in May 2017. But unfortunately, just before our arrival a large section of the Highway became completely impassable due to a devastating landslide cutting off access from the South. Whilst the rebuilding of the highway is a long way off completion, much of Big Sur is still open for business and can be accessed from the northern side. The detour to get there also takes you past incredible scenic views, great wineries, and historic attractions.
Where to stay: Big Sur may not traditionally be considered a luxury holiday destination, but spending a night or two at Post Ranch Inn is sure to up the stakes in the luxe department.
Is there a more picturesque place than the whitewashed streets of Santorini? Imagine soaking up the Mediterranean sun at the ultimate place in luxury holiday destinations. Spend your days exploring the villages of Oia and watch the sun go down from your very own private clifftop pool. Then in the evening, indulge in fresh seafood and champagne before retreating to your very own romantic candlelit cave suite for the evening. Need I say more.
Where to stay: For a unique experience, try Chroma Suites Santorini
For the luxe traveller that likes a bit of adventure, there's no better experience than a safari in the Serengeti. July offers the best wildlife viewing activity with the wildebeest migration in full swing. This is one luxury holiday destination that I have been longing to visit for many years! And whilst I haven’t been there yet, it's definitely high on my list for 2018.
Where to stay: Book a safari through &Beyond including a stay at their Ngorongoro Crater Lodge property.
Bukit Peninsula, Bali
You’ve seen the photos on Instagram. A bikini-clad female wading in a clifftop infinity pool, gazing out at the blue ocean view while sipping on a cocktail. It's most likely this photo was taken at one of the clifftop resorts that dot the Bukit Peninsula in Bali. With views like this, the area is well known as a destination wedding and honeymooners haven. So as long as you don’t mind sharing the pool area with loved-up couples, this place is definitely worth the long-haul flight. If you rather your own privacy, choose a villa with your very own private plunge pool to laze around. Spend your days soaking up the relaxed vibes at Karma Beach Club, and be sure to avoid these tourist traps while you're there.
Where to stay: Book your very own private pool villa at Ungasan Clifftop Resort.
Coral Coast, Fiji
As temperatures cool down in the Northern hemisphere, escape the cold and head to the Fiji islands. Expect to experience one of those luxury holiday destinations where you spend all day every day on the beach. The Coral Coast has amazing white sandy beaches, with coral reefs right off the beach. It is also a great place for a family getaway, as the Fijians absolutely love children. They will be more than happy to take the kids off your hands for the day, returning them with ear-to-ear smiles, decorated with frangipani lais and braided hair. One thing to note, nothing happens in a hurry in Fiji, so just relax – you’re on Fiji time!
Where to stay: Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa.
Torres del Paine, Chile
When I visited Chile last year, I was surprised how much I fell in love with the wild, rugged beauty of this region. So much so, I can’t wait to go back there. If you like your luxury holiday destinations with a bit of adventure and ethical tourism thrown in, then EcoCamp Patagonia is your perfect destination for 2018. Featured in the prestigious Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards in 2017, EcoCamp is the first fully sustainable accommodation in Chilean Patagonia, complete with green technology. They offer a variety of adventure sports tours, such as guided treks, mountain biking and wildlife safaris. After a long day of adventuring, relax in their yoga pavilion before finishing the day with good food and wine and a spot of stargazing from your own bed!
The best thing about the Philippines is its affordability. If you're looking for a luxury holiday destination that won't break the bank, then look no further. The Philippines is very popular right now but it's possible to snap up a luxury hotel or villa for under $200 a night. Bargain! The reason we put this destination on our list for 2018, because prices won't stay this low for long. Increasing tourist numbers is sure to result in an increase in prices in the near future.
Where are you planning to travel in 2018? We'd love to hear your recommendations in the comment section below.
Planning a trip soon? Here is a list of the websites and resources we use for booking everything from flights, to accommodation, tours, and more:
- Skyscanner for booking the best flight deals
- Booking.com | Agoda | Hotels.com for booking the best hotel deals
- Airbnb | Stayz | VRBO for home rentals
- Rentalcars.com for quick and easy car rentals
- Luxury Escapes for luxury package holiday deals and tours
- Get Your Guide for a great range of day tours
- Tourradar | Intrepid for multi-day experiential and adventure tours
- Priority Pass for airport lounge access in hundreds of locations around the world
- Skyroam to stay connected to WiFi everywhere I go
- iVisa for processing entry visas for many countries around the world
- Covermore for the best worldwide travel insurance coverage (Australians & New Zealanders only)
About the Author:
Amanda Twine is the founder and creator of Fly Stay Luxe – a luxury travel blog sharing informative travel guides, food guides, hotel reviews, itineraries and tips about how to make luxury travel more affordable.