There are plenty of eco-friendly resorts, plenty of luxury resorts, and plenty of private resorts. It's just rare to find all three in the same place. Yet that's the case with Bedarra Island Resort. Located in Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, this intimate, off-grid resort offers eight villas, each boasting a private balcony, ocean views, king-size beds, and LED TVs. Many also offer private plunge pools, and all of them include a buffet-style breakfast, light lunch, multi-course dinner, and access to the self-service bar. While you're there, you can take advantage of the pristine beaches, enjoy activities like sea kayaking, paddleboarding, snorkeling, fishing, and tennis, or just lounge by the pool. And since most of the resort's power comes from solar panels, with water coming from rooftop collection systems and natural springs, you don't have to feel guilty about it, either.
It only makes sense that a place named after the Sanskrit-derived word for "peace" would be peaceful — and Amanoi is most certainly that. The latest in the family of upscale Aman resorts, this stunning accommodation sits in Nui Chua National Park, on a white sand beach overlooking Vinh Hy Bay. As with its sister resorts, the design of the place blends clean, modern sensibilities with local influences, with features like large, comfy beds, soaking tubs, rainfall showers, a great restaurant, an infinity pool, and, of course, great views.
Set on a hillside overlooking the Pacific, Hotel Punta Islita is an ideal choice for those looking for a bit more privacy than you'll find at your standard accommodation. Set on 300 acres, this scenic resort offers everything from standard double rooms all the way up to private villas, all of which offer outdoor areas and ocean views. And should you feel the need to move about a bit, you'll also find a fitness center, a 9-hole golf course, tennis courts, two pools, gardens, a spa, and two restaurants on site — and, of course, don't forget about the beach.
Set in the rainforest at the heart of Bali, Hanging Gardens Ubud is an exquisite alternative to a traditional beach resort. The multi-level property is home to 38 villas ranging in size from 100 to 160 square meters, and all boasting king-size four-poster beds, handmade baths, terraces with open-air showers, and Java stone infinity pools. Speaking of pools, the resort is home to one of the world's most dramatic — a split-level infinity pool lined with Batu Chandi slate stone. Add in the restaurant, bar, river cafe, spa and great views of the neighboring Padmasana Temple, and you've got all the ingredients needed for a stellar vacation.
The South Pacific is filled with great places to take a vacation — but you'd be foolish to book a trip to the obvious stops without checking out Palau. And the Palau Pacific Resort is the place to stay while you're there. Set on 64 acres of tropical gardens on one of the nine inhabited islands, this high-end resort boasts 160 rooms with traditional decor and many with ocean views, as well as its own white sand beach, multiple restaurants and bars, a full-service spa, a diving center, tennis courts, a gym, and the requisite infinity pool. Need something more? There's always the private dinner for two atop the ocean, or you can hop in a kayak and explore the hundreds of islands that make up the country.
Yes, technically, Sea Island is a resort. But it's really so much more than that. Located off the Georgia coastline in between Jacksonville and Savannah, this fantastic spot features multiple accommodation options, including the 40-room Lodge, the golf-focused Inn, hundreds of rental cottages ranging from three- to seven-bedrooms in size, and the elegant Cloister, which also encompasses a beach club and ocean villas. On the property, you'll also find seven dining venues ranging from casual to the award-winning Georgian Room, five miles of pristine beach, three championship golf courses, tennis and squash courts, a 65,000 square-foot spa, a fitness center, and opportunities for fishing, boating, shooting, and hunting. Or you could just lounge by the pool — totally up to you.
It's possible to do a vacation to Belize on the cheap, renting out small huts — or even hammocks — by the ocean for just dollars a day. But if that's not your style, Las Terrazas is a good option. This luxurious resort is located on the island of Ambergris Caye, just 30 miles north of Belize City, and offers 37 full-sized townhomes ranging in size from one to three bedrooms and from 983 to 3,000 square feet. Also on site are a restaurant, full-service spa, a gorgeous pool, and, of course, plenty of pristine beach.
Close your eyes and picture Tuscany. Got it? Okay, now open them — and we're betting the image in your mind looks something like Hotel Castello di Casole. Nestled on a 4,200-acre estate, this world class resort offers 41 suites featuring large, comfy beds, modern amenities, oil paintings, reclaimed terra cotta, and luxurious bathrooms. Also on site you'll find a wide range of eating and drinking spots, a fitness center, a full-service spa, an oversized pool with terrific views, and even a 10th century castle.
It doesn't matter what season it is — we're always up for a trip to the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora. This upscale resort offers a mix of well-appointed over-water bungalows and spacious beachfront villas, some with private pools, but all with luxury amenities like down pillows, soaking tubs, complimentary snorkeling gear, a private bar, and king-size beds. Take a stroll around the grounds and you'll also find a holistic spa, a fitness center, an infinity pool, tennis courts, two restaurants, two bars, and, of course, immaculate beaches. The only downside? You eventually have to leave.
Enjoy all the benefits of a top-tier resort with all the privacy of a private residence with a stay at the Banyan Tree Samui. Perched on a private hill cove above the clear sapphire waters of Koh Samui, this unique resort consists of six different styles of villas, each with an attached private pool, comfortable bed, rainfall shower, minibar, Wi-Fi, and 40-inch TV. Also on site are a full-service spa, multiple dining and drinking venues — including the oceanside Sands — and a kids' club, so your children have something to do while you enjoy doing nothing at all.
As winter lingers on — seriously, go away already — it's okay to contemplate a sunny getaway to somewhere warm. Somewhere like La Samanna. This luxury resort boasts 56 suites, 25 bedrooms, and 8 three- and four-bedroom villas, all of which offer king size beds, private balconies or terraces, and either marble or Caribbean-style bathrooms. Also on site are two restaurants, two bars, a wine cellar, a full-service spa, tennis courts, a fitness center, two pools, and, of course, plenty of beachside cabanas. After all, you didn't come all this way to stay in your room, right?
Going on safari doesn't have to mean roughing it in tents and mosquito nets. At Lion Sands Game Reserve, you get to enjoy all the wildlife and natural beauty of a safari while resting your pampered head in a luxury accommodation. The property includes five lodges, each with multiple suites, as well as three treehouses that put you in the middle of the action while providing a more intimate stay. As for the animals you might see on your outings — they typically take place in the morning or early evening — there are too many to list, but some of the more notable species include elephants, rhinoceros, monkeys, zebra, hippos, giraffes, cheetahs, lions, leopards, and even honey badgers.