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While there’s plenty to be said for hard travel and seeing the world on a budget, sometimes it’s nice just to lay back, relax, and be pampered.

Luxury vacations are an incredibly restorative way to unwind and get away from the challenges of daily life. But with so many options available, it can be hard to choose the best place to go for the ultimate dream vacation.

If you don’t want the stress of having to find the perfect destination, here are the five places around the world that do luxury best.

The Five Best Destinations for a Luxury Vacation

The Mayan Riviera, Mexico

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The Mayan Riviera boasts crystal clear blue water contrasting against pristine white sand. The ancient ruins offer incredible once-in-a-lifetime experiences for those who are adventurous at heart, on a backdrop of lush forests.

It’s one of the best luxury destinations for those who prefer natural beauty, according to Luxury Retreats – Luxury Villa rentals experts. And in terms of accommodation you have a HUGE range of options, from 5 star resorts, to private beachfront villas.

In addition to the natural beauty of the area, the Mayan Riviera is also close to the tourist-safe city of Playa del Carmen, where many choose to celebrate the nightlife and dining scene.

For a luxury vacation with versatile options, the Mayan Riviera is ideal.

Grace Bay, Turks and Caicos

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Grace Bay in Turks and Caicos has the most incredible sunsets, and one of the best ways to experience these is from a luxury sailboat while sipping champagne.

This is the perfect location for those who want to take in the sights from the water or live in the lap of luxury on the beach. Whether parasailing through the sky over the aquamarine waters or befriending the fish while snorkeling beneath, Grace Bay is a dream.

Wrap up the evening with a bonfire and barbeque on the beach and celebrate the finer things in life.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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Dubai is one of the most opulent and expensive places in the world, much beloved by the wealthiest of celebrities and socialites. And for those who want a balance between urban and exotic, this is the place to be.

Of every choice you make about where to go or what to do in Dubai, perhaps the most important choice is the hotel you stay at. There’s truly no better way to experience the city’s opulence than in the place you’ll rest your head each night.

Some of the most well-known are the Burj Al Arab and Shangri-La Hotel, which are the resorts of choice for the most jet-setting travelers who have the funds to staying at some of the wealthiest hotels in the world.

With the world’s largest fleet of Rolls Royces, 24 karat gold ipods, butler service, exquisite dining, and a rooftop helipad, spending an evening here is no doubt a night at the Burj Al Arab is pricey affair, but worth every penny if you’re looking for the ultimate luxurious splurge.

Whistler, Canada

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Luxury means different things to different travelers. For some, it’s cocktails on a white sand beach. For others, it’s a castle hidden in the mountains surrounded by lush forests and glacial lakes.

Whistler, in British Columbia, Canada, is the latter.

Gaining notoriety after hosting the 2010 winter Olympics, Whistler offers stony chalets, towering trees, and scenic mountains. Spend the days skiing or riding the gondola between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains while whiling away the evenings in a hot tub under the stars.

Lake Tahoe, USA

California is a versatile landscape that has something for everyone. From the iconic metropolises of Los Angeles and San Francisco to the towering redwood forests, lush vineyards, and incredible coastline, California is ideal for luxury travelers.

Lake Tahoe is one of the few places where you can hit the slopes or the waves in the same day. Even when there’s snow on the ground, Lake Tahoe has a reputation for being warm and sunny for most of the year.

Golfing, paddleboarding, hiking, and cycling are just a few activities that showcase that there’s something for everyone in this luxury destination. Those who like to spend their days in the great outdoors and evenings enjoying fine dining and pampering will find it all in Lake Tahoe.

Luxury vacations aren’t meant to fit a mold; they’ll mean something different to everyone. Picture your best day, and find the place to make it a reality.


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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.



  1. Dubai has been on my list for a minute. We were really close 2 months ago – about 5 hours away in Nizwa, Oman – but would have needed to restart the visa process again if we left. Not an option.

    • Hopefully you’ll have another chance to visit the region at some point soon and can experience Dubai on the next trip :)

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