We’re always on the lookout for the best getaways, and while some are more attainable than others, we are setting our sights high with these wishlist trips.
Here are ten ultra-luxe escapes that tick all the right boxes for the trip of a lifetime.
North Island, Seychelles
The Seychelles always guarantee a dose of wellness and luxury, but this exclusive experience surpasses our wildest dreams. Medi-wellness group, Clinique La Prairie, have teamed up with North Island, one of the world’s most exclusive private islands, to put together an immersive wellness retreat combining movement, nutrition, mindfulness, and more. Spend a week in one of North Island’s 11 exclusive villas and benefit not only from the island seclusion and beauty, but also from the tried and tested activities and treatments led by Clinique La Prairie experts who will fly over from Montreux-Switzerland to oversee the advanced detoxification treatments which range from heavy metal screening to regenerative wellness and detox nutrition. Added activities on North Island include yoga, guided hikes, tree planting, bike riding, and snorkelling inspired the movement within the programme. You’ll come away feeling like an entirely new person, guaranteed.
Huvafen Fushi, Maldives
Channel your (luxe) inner castaway at this stylish resort in the Maldives. Just 30 minutes by speedboat from Velana International Airport, Huvafen Fushi, a wholly natural island, exists in a dreamlike bubble; made up of 44 private bungalows, each with its own private deck standing overwater or facing the beach, freshwater infinity pool, and stretching ocean views. For something with real wow-factor, head to the world’s only underwater spa for a massage or body scrub, or, indulge in the signature Dhimaalis treatment, a Maldivian tradition that includes exfoliation followed by a dip in the salty sea water. There are also five restaurants serving everything from Japanese to Mediterranean cuisine. And, for anything else you might need during your stay, the signature Thakuru (butler) service is on hand to make sure your experience is an un unforgettable one.
Mara Plains Camp, Kenya
For intrepid travellers, the Mara Plains Camp is a once-in-a-lifetime destination. Located in the Olare Motorogi Conservancy, this recently refurbished retreat boasts access to more than 100,000 acres of exclusive land, as well as to the 375,000-hectare Maasai Mara Reserve. The camps, perched on raised decking, respect the environment and blend in perfectly with the countryside, all the while offering breathtaking views of the savannah. Opt for the Mara Plains Jahazi Suite to enjoy unbeatable views of the safari plains from a private hot tub, as well as day and night wildlife drives, “glamping” excursions, access to a large library and art collection, private dining, and other exclusive activities. It doesn’t get more luxe than this for the ultimate Kenyan safari experience.
Wineland Tour, Uruguay
At Citizen Femme, we love to recommend (and indulge in) a good wine. So we’re very excited about this new wine and culinary tour. Step away from the classics of Bordeaux, Argentina and California and head to one of the world’s most coveted wine producing regions this winter in South America’s Uruguay. The lesser-explored winelands here gleefully bask in sunshine throughout the UK’s colder months and are most famous for the Tannat grape, which thrive in these ideal conditions to produce a wine very similar in structure, style and taste to Old World wines, but at a fraction of the cost. The Ultimate Travel Company has launched an indulgent, mouth-watering wine and culinary tour over 12 days. Enjoy as many glasses of wine as you like in the sun-kissed wineries, accompanied by a personal driver with stays in some beautiful hotels en route. The one of a kind Sacromonte hotel, set amongst rolling hills and vineyards, is just one of the architectural wonders along the way, with cosy interiors and floor to ceiling reflective glass. There will also be the opportunity to discover Uruguay’s other famous exports, including a visit to a boutique olive oil distillery and the chance to try the local foodie favourite of asado. Whether you’re an expert or not, this one’s treat for all.
The Mark, New York
One of New York’s most prestigious hotels, The Mark, has received a long list of accolades since its opening for good reason. Each of the 153 rooms and suites deliver 5-star old-world comfort, sitting proudly in one of New York’s finest addresses. For ultra-luxe, The Mark boasts New York’s most expensive suite, spreading across 10,000 square feet (929 square metres) of space. The Mark Penthouse, located on the 16th and 17th floors, consists of five bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a large living room, a library, a gourmet kitchen and a dining room, and four fireplaces. In addition, it has a 2,500 square feet (232 square metres) private terrace overlooking Central Park and the awe-inspiring skyline of New York. Should you visit during winter, your stay includes a four-course in-suite fine dining experience, private after-hours access to Bergdorf Goodman for Christmas shopping, ice skating lessons on the penthouse’s private skate rink, in-suite massages and much more.
Selinda Camp, Botswana
If, for you, getaways rhyme with nature and exploration, The Selinda Camp is a must-add to your bucket list. The Selinda Reserve is one of the most pristine wilderness areas left on our planet, with large herds of elephants and regular sightings of the Selinda pack of African wild dogs. Book yourself into the private, two-bedroom Selinda Suite on the banks of Botswana’s Selinda Spillway as it enters the Linyanti River in the 130,000-hectare (320,000-acre) Reserve. Guests staying in the Selinda Suite will be treated to open air dining areas, a private veranda, and a swimming pool, all set in a wonderfully designed space that mixes European, Mokololo and Bayei culture. You’ll also enjoy other services such as a private vehicle, safari guide, chef, manager, and butler while admiring the herds of elephants that roam the retreat.
Palm Heights, Grand Cayman
Outside of it being a tax haven for the rich, the collection of three islands making up the Caymans are very attractive for the pristine beaches as well as one of the best food scenes in the Caribbean. Set your base at Palm Heights, Grand Cayman’s first boutique hotel, providing the perfect ultra-luxe spot to soak up the winter rays on one of the world’s best beaches, Seven Mile Beach. Take a seat on your private balcony (in one of the 52 suites) opening onto spectacular ocean views. Grab a bite sampling classic Caribbean dishes at beachside Tillies; or take a trip to the revamped beach bar Coconut Club; perhaps a more relaxed nibble, Neopolitan style, at Paradise Pizza; or indulge in a Japanese culinary experience at Yashinoki. A bolthole for wellness and rejuvenation, Palm Heights’ brand new spa, The Garden Club, replicates a tropical garden paradise. Bask in the glorious sun whilst relaxing into a treatment from the spa’s program, all with a Caribbean flair.
The Chedi, Andermatt
Two hours away from Zurich you’ll find an extravagant yet perfect combination of Swiss Alpine chic and Asian Zen. Glossy Alpine wood, leather sofas, more than 200 fireplaces and numerous panorama windows offer a warm and cozy spot to linger awhile. Located 4747 feet above sea level, The Chedi Andermatt is an absolutely enchanting property with 123 elegant rooms and suites with impossibly plus Hästens beds, excellent restaurants (including a Michelin starred Japanese restaurant), one of the largest cigar and wine collections in the world, a comprehensive spa featuring hydrothermal baths and a duo of swimming pools against the stunning outdoor Alpine landscape.
While its a year-round destination, come November you’ll see the opening of the Winter Village in the Hotel’s Courtyard with real fir trees, Swiss and Scandinavian outlets such as The Chalet and a Finnish barrel sauna and its very own Village Square with its Market Booth.
Elang Private Residence, Bawah Island
This corner of paradise can be found inbetween Malaysia and Borneo, in the Riau Archipelago. The Bawah Reserve is a private-island eco-retreat that blends luxury, high-end design, and sustainability to create a “back to nature” experience. It quite literally feels like the middle of nowhere but a place you’ll want to find yourself. Along with 36 suites and bungalows, it now offers six brand new lodges (accommodating up to 20 guests) on the previously untouched island of Elang which can be privately rented. What was originally envisioned as the owner’s residence on a previously uninhabited island, the lodges were transformed during the two-and-a-half-year pandemic closure. Soak up the sun on its private beach, bathe in a saltwater infinity pool, and join in one of the other exclusive experiences to make for a memorable trip. This is luxury without without any overbearing frills. If you’re looking to take it to next level, rent out the entire island of Elang with friends for the ultimate tropical island adventure. Sometimes you have to pay a lot and go a long way to find this level of beauty and tranquility.
The Brando, French Polynesia
On French Polynesia’s breathtakingly beautiful private island of Tetiaroa – an atoll composed of a dozen small islands surrounding a sparkling lagoon 30 miles northeast of Tahiti, you’ll find The Brando. What was Marlon Brando’s private atoll is now home to a super-luxurious eco-beach resort with 35 beachfront villas, a dream realised 10 years after he bequeathed it to current owner Richard Bailey. Chic and eco-conscious, The Brando is committed to protecting the natural splendour and precious diversity of Tetiaroa – home to turtles, manta rays and an abundance of tropical birds, evident in the splendour of the island. Clean-energy solutions abound with 4,000-plus refined solar panels and a customised battery energy-saving system, a Sea Water Air Conditioning set-up that slashes energy use by up to 90 per cent and so much more. Non-motorised watersports maintain the pristine environment, the glorious Explorer Centre offers workshops on the local wildlife, while the restaurants (including one from Michelin-starred chef Guy Martin) serve up locally-sourced, organic produce. A parallel universe awaits guests (many of whom are celebrities) whisked by plane from Tahiti to this private island.