Dreaming of the perfect getaway? You’ve come to the right place. At First and Business, we have scoured the world to recommend the very best luxury hotel properties money can by, from private island retreats to spa resorts specialising in ultimate indulgences and getaways where the pool will leave you feeling like you’ve died and gone to heaven.
It’s a hard fete to do, but if we had to recommend the creme of the crop to you, these would be our nine best.
Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa, New South Wales
The picture speaks for itself here. In the shadow of the iconic UNESCO-listed Blue Mountains, this ultra-luxury resort blends in with its natural surroundings, while delivering every comfort and convenience you could ever wish for.
Its 40 free-standing all-pool suites are the epitome of sanctuary and seclusion, getting you close to the wild surrounds with floor-to-ceiling windows and wooden fixtures and furnishings. Then there’s the walk-in wine cellar and a range of dining options – perfect for even more relaxation after a few hours at the Timeless Spa, or a day discovering the beauty of the Australian bush.
El Questro Homestead, Kimberley, Western Australia
Romance and luxury exude from the El Questro Homestead – a boutique wilderness retreat with just nine rooms, hosted within a mammoth one-million acres. Located atop Chamberlain Gorge, the hotel is lavishly furnished and fringed by tropical gardens, with suites overlooking the network of rivers and the untamed beauty of the Kimberley.
It’s designed for those who love to be spoilt, but also have an enormous sense of adventure. Explore rugged mountain ranges, verdant rainforest and thunderous waterfalls; look for avifauna, fish and wild animals; and feel like a pioneer as you trek into remote regions that few have trodden.
Al Maha, Dubai
Al Maha is like an Aladdin’s Cave, inspired by Bedouin heritage and architecture, surrounded by miles of golden desert, and then infused with lavish luxury for good measure. Guests can wildlife-watch while dining on the terrace, lazing in the infinity pool or sitting on their own private decking area.
Sticking with the Aladdin theme, all 42 spacious suites are decorated with authentic Arabian furnishings that fuse together tradition and style. You can experience more Middle Eastern traditions in the Timeless Spa, which offers treatments inspired by historical therapies, and with onsite activities, such as camel trekking, horse riding and wildlife drives.
Six Senses Con Dao, Vietnam
The first 5 star resort in Vietnam’s archipelago islands, Six Senses Con Dao is renowned for being one of the world’s top eco-lodges. No surprises there, as its vast villas typically boast a split-level design, open plan bathrooms, private infinity pools and ocean-view terraces. Some even offer direct access to the beach and all its scuba diving, snorkelling, fishing and coral-clad glory.
The best thing about this breathtaking island retreat though is, for all its luxury, its main priority is sustainability, and supporting and protecting the environment. So you can indulge yourself completely guilt-free.
Song Saa Private Island Cambodia
Nestled on two secluded islands, Song Saa prides itself on two things: ultimate luxury and ultimate sustainability.
In the morning you can sample big gourmet breakfasts before taking a swim in the infinity pool or exploring the protected marine-rich reefs that border the island’s sugary white beaches. Then, in the afternoon, take a break from all that activity with an indulgent spa treatment – choose from spa rooms in the heart of the rainforest or dotted along the ocean shoreline. It’s unhindered relaxation, intimacy and exclusivity at its best.
Pangkor Laut Resort, Malaysia
In the treetops, on the beach, or perched over a lagoon. Whichever villa you opt for at the Pangkor Laut Resort, one thing is guaranteed: ultimate luxury. This island hotel is a natural wilderness flung just three miles off Malaysia’s west coast and offers complete privacy, complemented by some of the country’s best – and most secluded – beaches.
The wooden buildings blend into the forest surrounds, 300 acres of it, respecting the island’s nature, and the fine food offerings is all crafted from local ingredients. This is a fine slice of paradise and it’s time to nab your share.
The Shore at Katathani, Thailand
Experience barefoot luxury at its very best. This is a hotel for honeymooners, a place where you can start your life together amid undulating emerald hills, shimmering white sands and reliably golden sunsets. Every villa features its own infinity pool, sunken lounge, rainfall shower and uninterrupted ocean views. It feels like a home from home – except a heck of a lot more luxurious than your British digs.
Staff members are incredibly attentive here too and you’ll be welcomed with open arms. Well, with a welcome cocktail and flower garlands anyway. In any case, if you want a beachside retreat where you’ll be treated like royalty, look no further than The Shore at Katathani.
SkyLofts at MGM Grand, Las Vegas
Vegas does big and brash better than any other metropolis. But if you really want to soak up Sin City at its finest (and in fine style), the Skylofts at MGM Grand are as luxurious as it gets. They’re more than simply a place to stay too; they offer a once-in-a-lifetime experience from high above the Strip – think Rolls Royce transfers, welcome drinks, AAA Five Diamond Award-winning dining and a 24-hour dedicated butler or ‘Ambassador’ service.
The Plaza, New York City
There’s a reason The Plaza is perhaps the most famous hotel in New York City. From its legendary afternoon tea offering to the world-renowned Champagne Bar and style-setting Rose Club – it’s as decadent as they come.
Above all, we love it for its old-world charm, think 24-hour butler service and Titanic-level opulence, minus the boat of course. Even magnificent spaces like the Grand Ballroom have been restored to their original grandeur. It doesn’t shy away from modern amenities though: rooms are equipped with HD TV, Wi-Fi, in-room iPads and much more.