Monday, March 4, 2024

The most luxurious all-inclusive resorts around the world – The Points Guy

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Gourmet dining, private islands, butlers, unparalleled wildlife encounters and adventures with exceptional service: If you thought all-inclusives were just about all-you-can-eat buffets, you’re in for a truly decadent surprise when you explore some of the most luxurious all-inclusives around the globe.

From plush all-inclusives in Europe to all-inclusive ski resorts and all-inclusive properties that are perfect for honeymooners, plus other resorts that are fabulous for families, foodies and anyone who loves to be pampered, these are our best all-inclusive resorts for a luxury getaway.

Blackberry Farm

Walland, Tennessee, USA

BLACKBERRY FARM/FACEBOOK

Best for: Anyone who loves food, as well as couples and even larger groups looking for something special.

Why stay here: Fresh, delicious food is front and center at this farm-style resort near one of the country’s most popular national parks.

Best way to book: Book through our partner Skylark for elitelike benefits and on-property credits.

On 4,200 acres in the Smoky Mountains, Blackberry Farm is where you go when you want a relaxing getaway but don’t want to break out your passport. Instead of a global journey, check in to one of this bucolic resort’s shiplap-clad cottages and snuggle up by the fireplace.

There are a number of ways to enjoy the vast foothills the property occupies, including hiking through the mountains, fly-fishing, cycling and horseback riding.

Blackberry Farm is most renowned for its culinary program, and all activities are really to build up an appetite for (or maybe burn off some calories from) the so-called foothills cuisine served at two main dining venues.

Elegant meals at The Barn (for guests 10 and older) include dishes such as farm lamb with crispy polenta and brown butter-poached trout paired with notable wines.

The Dogwood is a more relaxed venue where you’ll find fare like hangar steak with horseradish cream and honey-and-rosemary-roasted chicken. There’s even a kids’ menu here with house-made purees for babies. Cooking classes and wine tastings are top culinary pursuits at Blackberry Farms, too.

Round out your visit with a treatment at The Wellhouse Spa, which offers a large range of skincare and massage treatments. There are special “junior” offerings here, too, for kids ages 5 to 16. Or, the kids can join the explorations and activities at Camp Blackberry.

Rates at Blackberry Farms start at $1,045 per room per night based on double occupancy; a three-night stay is required.

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Anantara Maia Seychelles

Anse Louis, Mahé, Seychelles

ANANTARA HOTELS RESORTS AND SPAS/FACEBOOK

Best for: Getting away from it all, but still being taken care of in style.

Why stay here: Watch both songbirds and the surf from incredible villas and enjoy the gourmet cuisine from a variety of spots around the resort.

Best way to book: Book through our partner Skylark to enjoy elite-like benefits and on-property credits.

Anantara Maia Seychelles is a secluded hideaway tucked into a private peninsula occupying a prime stretch of Anse Louis Beach on the west coast of the island of Mahe. Although the vibe is complete seclusion, it’s just a 35-minute drive from Seychelles International Airport (SEZ) in Victoria.

There are 30 expansive private villas here, all clocking in at over 2,600 square feet. Designed by renowned international hotelier Bill Bensley, these stylish residences are replete with Asian architectural influences reflected in the distinctive thatched roofs, with carved natural stone, rich wood details and delicate metalwork.

One wall completely opens to the outside wraparound deck, where you can lounge in a private pool with ocean, foliage or pool views. All rooms also have a dedicated villa host who is available around the clock to arrange activities like the “anytime, anywhere” Dining by Design program that allows you to order dishes such as local ceviche or a custom barbecue anywhere on the property.

The resort’s Beyond All Inclusive concept extends to daily yoga and qigong, as well as unlimited scuba diving and nonmotorized water sports. Hydro therapies and traditional massage treatments in open-air spa pavilions are some of the few additional costs.

Rates at Anantara Maia Seychelles start at $1,762 per room per night, based on double occupancy.

Alila Ventana Big Sur

Big Sur, California, USA

ALILA VENTANA BIG SUR/FACEBOOK

Best for: Romantic weekends away or disconnecting in nature while surrounded by world-class amenities.

Why stay here: Alila Ventana Big Sur is arguably one of the best Hyatt properties in North America, perhaps even the world, thanks to its one-of-a-kind location in California’s coastal redwood groves and the value you can get from your Hyatt points.

Best way to book: Book through our partner Skylark for elitelike perks and on-property credits or book using World of Hyatt points for one of the best redemptions in the program. It’s also available through American Express’ Fine Hotels + Resorts and Chase’s Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection, where you can get valuable perks like credits to use on the property, room upgrades and late checkout, depending on the program.

An adults-only resort on California’s scenic Big Sur coast, Alila Ventana Big Sur feels like it’s been curated by your most fashionable bohemian friend, with 59 rooms and suites tucked into 160 acres with prime views over the redwoods and out to the Pacific Ocean.

Rustic room elements are all focused on bringing nature front and center, with unfinished wood beams and large windows with redwood views. Wood-burning fireplaces and wet bars in suites, pillowy duvets and luxe stone bathrooms with top-end toiletries supply the in-room luxury.

One of the features that draw guests is the resort’s Signature Experiences, with yoga, meditation and Tai Chi complemented by a wide variety of coastal and foraging hikes, plus axe-throwing and crafts such as botanical infusions and leatherworking.

You’ll also have access to indoor and outdoor fitness studios; chauffeur service within a 3-mile radius; and The Excursion Outpost, which offers complimentary items for use during picnics and hikes to the redwoods and along the coast, which are a highlight of a stay here.

Enjoy a relaxing dinner at Sur House, which serves daily changing menus of fresh, seasonal fare on its expansive heated patio.

At Spa Alila, indulge in unique massages and beauty treatments that deliver the benefits of all-natural, organic remedies with personalized aroma blending. You can also participate in an evening fire meditation or mindful wine tasting. This spa also has couples treatment rooms, as well as new outdoor cabanas and Japanese-style outdoor baths for a tranquil soak.

Rates start at $1,642 per room per night, based on double occupancy. Award nights start at 35,000 World of Hyatt points each (though they often range much higher given the preponderance of specialty suites).

Amangiri

Canyon Point, Utah, USA

AMANGIRI HOTEL CANYON POINT UTAH/AMAN

Best for: Design lovers dreaming of a desert escape.

Why stay here: Spectacular scenery, stellar service and one of the most Instagrammable pools in the world.

Best way to book: Book through TPG partner Skylark to enjoy elite-like benefits and on-property credits; or reserve through American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts for value-added benefits like upgrades and late checkout based on availability, plus on-property statement credits.

Amangiri sits on an expanse of 900 acres of remote desert in southern Utah surrounded by soaring rock formations that make it seem as though you’ve been transported to another planet — one with an incredibly comfortable hotel, that is.

Its location in the Colorado Plateau puts the property in easy exploring distance to many national parks, including the Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion, and Amangiri will help coordinate visits to any of these natural wonders. Included in a stay are multiple outdoor excursions ranging from canyoneering to adventures by air, bike, boat or horseback.

Playing off the landscape surrounding the hotel, suites and villas here feature polished white stone floors and concrete walls with natural wood structural elements and furnishings.

All rooms have large patios that open onto the desert views and fire pits so you can watch the lavender-hued sunset and the twinkling night sky in comfort. Many rooms also have plunge pools.

Relax in the main swimming pool and hot tub by the tented pavilion, which is framed by the rock escarpment and surrounded by a lounging terrace with king-size daybeds. Or, spend time in the spa with treatments featuring Aman’s line of natural skincare products. There’s even a flotation therapy pavilion where you can find inner peace after a grounding massage ritual.

Dining here focuses on both Navajo as well as American Southwest flavors, all presented in a fine-dining environment with dishes such as Colorado River trout a la plancha or a Three Sisters curry with Sonoran grains.

Note that kids and families are welcome at Amangiri – there are multiple-bedroom villas with private infinity pools, activities such as family-friendly scenic desert tours and even special menus for kids with wood-fired pizzas and a fun gummy bear dessert.

Rates start at $3,000 per room per night, double occupancy.

Miraval Austin

Austin, Texas, USA

SUMMER HULL/THE POINTS GUY

Best for: An ultra-luxurious tune-up for the mind, body and soul in the heart of Texas.

Why stay here: When you want to do a little self-care, it’s always best to let the pampering Miraval team take care of everything else for the duration of your stay.

Best way to book: Book through our partner Skylark to enjoy elite-like benefits and on-property credits; or reserve through American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts for value-added benefits like upgrades and late checkout based on availability, plus on-property statement credits.

Set on 280 sprawling acres in the Texas Hill Country’s verdant Balcones Canyonlands Preserve, Miraval Austin is a spa with plenty of personality.

Wellness at this all-inclusive doesn’t mean lettuce leaves and long hikes to nowhere or yogic abstinence. Instead, there are thoughtfully prepared meals with Texas twists, fun activities that incorporate country music and attention to personal comfort on your way to wellness nirvana.

On the daily schedule at Miraval Austin are included activities such as TexZen yoga (set to some Austin music favorites), a Hill Country challenge course and cardio drumming. You’ll also find more typical workout options such as a climbing wall, body sculpting and barre, hiking and pilates.

And then some offerings that don’t sound like a spa at all, like fly-fishing, a joy of java coffee class, wine tasting, salsa making and, because this is Texas, even country line dancing.

It’s not all classes and workshops, either. There’s also a top-notch spa at Miraval Austin. A sampling of the services includes relaxation massage, a moisturizing vitamin C facial and manicures and pedicures.

Food at Miraval Austin is wholesome, fresh, healthy and integral to the whole experience. You’ll find queso made with vegetables instead of cheese, for example, and cauliflower tacos, but also seared salmon and Wagyu beef burgers, plus healthy (ish) margaritas made with fresh lime, oranges and honey.

After the full day of adventures, get comfy in serene and elegant rooms with sumptuous “cloud” bedding that all have private outdoor space and views of either Lake Travis or the nature reserve. Some of the 117 rooms are spread across 13 different lodge buildings and feature outdoor “star” showers, too — the perfect way to end a day here.

Rates start at $977 per room per night, based on double occupancy. Award rates start at 40,000 World of Hyatt points per night for single occupancy and 57,500 per night for double occupancy.

Ballyfin

County Laois, Ireland

BALLYFIN DEMESNE/FACEBOOK

Best for: History buffs who want to be immersed in Regency-era grandeur.

Why stay here: Experience the rolling green hills of Ireland in a historic estate that’s been renovated into a stylish getaway.

Best way to book: Book through TPG partner Skylark to enjoy elite-like benefits and on-property credits.

Ballyfin is an all-inclusive estate set at the foot of the Slieve Bloom Mountains in the heart of Ireland, just over an hour’s drive from Dublin.

The 614-acre, park-like property comprises woodlands, a lake, water features, grottos and walled gardens, providing an idyllic private world for guests to explore. Within these grounds is the country house hotel, offering the very best of Irish hospitality. Hiking, cycling, fishing, horseback riding, archery and skeet shooting are all available, so bring your best tweeds.

Each of the 20 grand rooms and suites here is uniquely designed, but all are adorned with Irish art and antiques from around the world, rich fabrics and special touches such as regal canopied beds, fireplaces and crystal chandeliers.

The garden provides fresh produce for the State Dining Room, the property’s on-site restaurant (you can also meet the gardeners to check out your dinner ingredients) and local fish and game are also served in the elegant dining room.

For more casual dining, pull up a chair in the Cellar Bar. Ballyfin can also create gourmet picnic baskets to enjoy for an alfresco meal on the grounds or while enjoying the views from the cozy picnic house.

Rates start at $960 per night per room, based on double occupancy.

Moskito Island

Moskito Island, British Virgin Islands

MOSKITO ISLAND THE VILLAGE/VIRGIN LIMITED

Best for: Living out your billionaire daydreams on an island oasis.

Why stay here: A haven from the world in the Caribbean.

Best way to book: Book directly through the property for the best availability and offers.

It’s fair to say that Sir Richard Branson doesn’t do anything halfway. And Moskito Island, his newest private island resort in the Caribbean, is proof.

The 125-acre private oasis sits opposite its famous sister island, Necker, and features four estates available for rent exclusively through Virgin Limited Edition, all surrounded by clear Caribbean waters and sparkling white-sand beaches.

You’ll want to bring the family or a large friend group to fill up the first property.

The Branson Estate is an 11-bedroom mansion comprising three villas with plenty of indoor-outdoor living spaces set on the northeast tip of the island. Each villa has its own kitchen, living area, infinity pool and hot tub, and there’s a large, separate living room space where everyone can gather together.

Perched on the highest point of Moskito, The Oasis Estate is a nine-room retreat with a sleek, ultra-modern design. The four-story villa boasts unobstructed 360-degree views of the surrounding islands and has an infinity pool with a swim-up bar.

Nestled cliffside sits The Point Estate, an eight-bedroom home with an infinity pool and direct access to the beach. And finally, the nine-bedroom The Village Estate, which debuted in October of 2022, is set atop Moskito’s cliffs and boasts a multilevel infinity pool with stellar views of the area plus an LED-lit staircase with lights that move to the beat of a song, and a private grotto beneath the estate.

It’s not just the accommodations here that are impressive. Moskito is an all-inclusive haven, and guests will enjoy a fully customized vacation.

The staff caters to every need, from setting up picnics and beach games on the island’s pristine Manchioneel Beach to themed dinners with live jazz bands. You can also enjoy the warm waters with kitesurfing, catamarans, stand-up paddleboarding, snorkeling and sailing.

Rates for each property for one night start at $24,150 for The Village Estate; $28,750 for The Branson Estate; $21,750 for The Oasis Estate; and $20,250 for The Point Estate.

Club Med Cefalu

Cefalù, Sicily, Italy

CLUB MED CEFALU/FACEBOOK

Best for: White Lotus fans who want the show’s scenery without the series’ drama.

Why stay here: This is not a cookie-cutter all-inclusive. Everything here is the ne plus ultra, from the modern rooms to the elevated cuisine to the spectacular setting

Best way to book: Book directly through the property for best availability as well as special offers.

On the northern coast of Sicily, standing atop rugged cliffs overlooking a stunning bay, Club Med Cefalú offers stunning scenery and a sumptuous setting.

Part of Club Med’s top-tier Exclusive Collection, the all-inclusive resort pulls out the stops for an Italian beach vacation. Enjoy the day relaxing on an oceanfront deck outside of your personal bayside suite, satiating your appetite with local Italian cuisine made from scratch and splashing in the infinity pool overlooking a 735-foot rock rising from the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Club Med Cefalú also offers various included activities such as yoga, hikes into the heart of the Sicilian countryside and sailing or paddleboarding.

Indulge in a sublime spa experience with a tropical shower, sauna or hammam while enjoying incredible views of the Strait of Sicily at the Club Med Spa by Sothys.

Rates start at $238 per person per night, double occupancy.

Singita Boulders Lodge

Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve, South Africa

SINGITA BOULDERS LODGE/ SINGITA

Best for: Intrepid travelers looking for a pampering escape in the bush.

Why stay here: Encounters with wildlife with all the (human) creature comforts you need.

Best way to book: Like many high-end safari lodges, there is no direct reservation option for Singita properties. You’ll need to book with an African travel specialist or travel agent to book both the lodge and the flights and transfers needed to reach the remote location.

It seems as though there’s nothing the staff at Singita Boulders, a plush outpost in the private Sabi Sands concession of South Africa, won’t do for you.

Feel a bit hungry? A plate of gourmet bites will appear in your room. Mention you have a slight chill? A fire will blaze in the fireplace the next time you return to your room. Casually talk about yearning for a glass of wine while you’re whizzing through the bush looking for lions or watching for wild dogs? Chances are the sommelier will have already located your vintage in the property’s wine cellar and have it waiting for you when you return back to camp.

And the stellar service is only a small part of the overall Singita experience. The safari is the reason you’ll come here, especially to spot the Big 5 — elephants, lions, leopards, Cape buffalo and rhinos — in one of the most game-rich spots in all of Southern Africa. The expert rangers and trackers at Singita will whisk you to the animals while also imparting incredible stories of the bush and the wildlife that lives here.

Back in your glass-fronted villa, spend the downtime between morning and evening drives lounging in your plunge pool, napping on the verandah or the canopied bed, or soaking in the massive freestanding bath. A masseuse is also on call.

The main lodge has an infinity pool, the Copper Bar — serving freshly pressed juices, espresso and cocktails — and is also where many meals are served.

However, there are a number of moments to surprise and delight when it comes to meals, including pop-up breakfasts in the bush, dinners around the boma fire and sundowner cocktails out in the wild as the sun sets.

Rates from $2,448 per person per night, based on double occupancy.

Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa

Patagonia, Chile

TIERRA HOTELS/FACEBOOK

Best for: Adventure lovers looking for an out-of-the-ordinary getaway.

Why stay here: Although this southern Chilean destination has an off-the-grid ethos, this is a new frontier in luxury expeditions.

Best way to book: Book through TPG partner Skylark to enjoy elite-like benefits and on-property credits.

Arriving in Patagonia can feel a bit like you’ve set foot at the edge of the earth.

Windswept and remote, the landscape – often called the “Realm of Giants” due to its vast size – holds a wealth of fascinating natural wonders, including glacial landscapes, blowsy steppes and snow-capped mountains. It’s stunning and grand, and also not a place easily explored on your own.

Happily, the experts at Tierra Patagonia know every inch of the Torres del Paine National Park and can create custom itineraries for you to explore the park’s unusual terrain, including hiking, biking and horseback riding on land and boating excursions to explore the area’s pristine lakes.

After a day of exploring, kick back in suites decked out with natural wood and large windows so you can enjoy your view of Torres del Paine even when you’re indoors. Then head to the contemporary dining room, which also lets you keep an eye on the scenery while you feast on hearty stews, slow-cooked soups and tasty Chilean cuisine.

Another distinctive space at Tierra Patagonia is The Uma Spa, with steam rooms, a sauna and an outdoor Jacuzzi that all have stunning vistas of the surrounding lakes and mountains.

Rates from $3,067 per person per night, based on double occupancy.

Nihi Sumba

Hoba Wawi, Sumba, Indonesia

NIHI SUMBA/FACEBOOK

Best for: Travelers of all types looking for a highly curated and customizable, once-in-a-lifetime vacation in a destination that feels like the ends of the earth.

Why stay here: Private luxury on a beautiful and unspoiled island where no request is too much.

Best way to book: Book through our partner Skylark for elite-like benefits and on-property credits or reserve your room through American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts to enjoy extra perks during your stay.

About an hour’s flight from Bali brings you to Sumba Island, a longtime favorite of TPG founder Brian Kelly, and it’s easy to see why.

The 27 freestanding villas at Nihi Sumba aren’t merely hotel rooms, they’re massive and magnificently designed homes. Depending on your travel group, you can choose from one- to four-bedroom layouts, all of which have canopy beds, elegant living room furniture and large, lushly landscaped private pools.

Explore the cerulean waters here with complimentary paddleboarding and snorkeling around Nihiwatu Beach. And surfers, take note: The swells here are some of the best in the world. There’s also a full complement of land and sea activities for an additional charge, including horseback rides on the beach or (and this is something we don’t see every day) swimming with horses.

Dining options include Ombak Restaurant, a relaxed, sand-floored dining space where breakfast and dinner are served daily, and beach barbecues are a specialty; and Nio Beach Club & Pool, where you’ll find lunchtime fare including rotisseried fresh-caught fish and hand-tossed pizzas.

Rates from $769 per room per night, based on double occupancy and a seven-night stay.

Xigera Safari Lodge

Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana

XIGERA SAFARI LODGE/FACEBOOK

Best for: Art lovers looking for a wild new setting.

Why stay here: One of the best safari areas in the world now has one of the most notable new lodges

Best way to book: Contact the lodge directly for information about booking.

Hidden amid a canopy of magnificent trees, Xigera offers high design in the renowned wildlife area of Botswana’s lush Okavango Delta. This property is newly refurbished and is now part of the Red Carnation collection. As such, it still offers the same incredible location, but now with luxury touches around every corner.

The 12 spacious and unique suites are individually designed to immerse guests in the experience of being surrounded by the floodplains of the magnificent Okavango Delta. If you’re traveling with kids, the massive two-bedroom family suite on two islands bridged together with an extraordinary bronze lily centerpiece, the emblem of Xigera, is sure to impress.

The property also showcases an extraordinary collection of pan-African art created by a roster of 80 globally acclaimed African designers, the scope of which is the first of its kind on the continent.

As with other safari lodges, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the wildlife-filled bush on twice-daily game drives. Only available here though: glass-bottom mokoro (a type of dugout canoe) excursions gliding across the delta’s waterways and a special sleepout experience in a baobab treehouse.

There’s also an extensive spa program in partnership with Tata Harper, plus practitioners focused on mindfulness, wellness and holistic healing.

Rates at Xigera Safari Lodge start at $2,320 per adult per night, sharing double occupancy.

Jumby Bay Island

Jumby Bay, Antigua

JUMBY BAY ISLAND/FACEBOOK

Best for: Travelers looking for an exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime private island experience.

Why stay here: This private island resort offers luxurious, spacious accommodations and a balance of relaxing moments and family-friendly activities.

Best way to book: Book through our partner Skylark for elite-like benefits and on-property credits, including a $100 spa credit. You’ll also be eligible for an upgrade (when available).

Set in one of the most beautiful, untouched locations in the world, Jumby Bay Island is a private isle of simple pleasures in the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda.

Ringed by coral reefs and reachable only by boat, with no cars in sight, this private spit of white-powdered beaches and winding bicycle paths is a one-of-a-kind hideaway considered by many to be one of the Caribbean’s most beautiful resorts.

The 300-acre island features 40 suites, 14 luxury villas and 22 private residences, the latter of which have large pools that are perfect for families. All are just steps away from the pristine beaches.

Fresh and local, the food here is a big perk, and miles away from the usual all-you-can-eat resort fare. Menus feature an abundance of fresh, sustainable produce and Moet & Chandon is the resort’s house Champagne. Don’t miss dining in the circa-1830 plantation house, recently revamped to the tune of $6 million.

Although you can have a romantic getaway here, especially in one of the luxury villas, Jumby Bay Island is also good for a family vacation. There are kids programs for tots through tweens that include cooking classes and zip lining, and visits to calm ocean inlets for easy floating for little ones.

Among the recreational offerings are waterskiing, windsurfing, wakeboarding, kayaks, paddleboards, catamarans, sailboats and snorkeling. Around the resort, there are bicycles, multiple pools and tennis courts, a yoga pavilion and a spa.

Rates from $2,232 per room per night, based on double occupancy.

Islas Secas

Gulf of Chiriqui, Panama

ISLAS SECAS/FACEBOOK

Best for: Unplugged travelers seeking a luxe and laid-back Robinson Crusoe ethos.

Why stay here: Sustainable luxury that combines gourmet dining with immersions in a pristine natural environment.

Best way to book: Book through TPG partner Skylark to enjoy elite-like benefits and on-property credits.

Just 20 miles off the coast of Panama is this palm-tree-filled marine paradise of 14 private islands surrounded by crystal Caribbean waters.

Islas Secas, the only developed island, has just seven casitas, with a maximum of 24 guests in the entire archipelago at any time. With a strong focus on sustainability, Islas Secas aims to create a tranquil hideaway that provides the perfect springboard for water and land adventures in this lesser-explored part of Panama.

There are several different accommodations from which to choose, all of which have either jungle or ocean views and impeccable style and furnishings. Tented casitas are the most unique and offer a true taste of indoor-outdoor living with walls that roll up to let in the views and sunlight.

Don’t worry, though, you won’t be roughing it: There is still air conditioning, canopied beds, polished wood floors and even outdoor soaking tubs big enough for two on the wooden decks. More traditional casitas are large and luxe, with one to four bedrooms, either tucked away in the dense foliage or facing the sea.

There are two spots for dining: Terraza, which offers an open-air setting for enjoying meals of locally sourced and Panamanian-inspired dishes; and Balboa Bar, the spot to kick back with a cocktail.

You can even relax into one of the pillow loungers and eat with the sand between your toes, enjoy a beach barbecue with the family or have a romantic dinner under the stars.

Explore the island paradise with a range of included activities such as guided nature hikes, scuba diving and snorkeling trips out in the archipelago, sunset cruises on a private yacht, wakeboarding, e-foiling, stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking and sailing. All stays also include a half-day fishing trip, as well as one 60-minute spa treatment per guest per stay.

Rates from $2,500 per room, per night, based on double occupancy. A three-night minimum stay is required.

Miavana by Time + Tide

Miavana, Madagascar

MIAVANA BY TIME + TIDE/FACEBOOK

Best for: Explorers looking for the road less traveled.

Why stay here: Feel like you have your own island paradise — plus lemurs!

Best way to book: Contact the property directly for booking instructions.

More than 85% of the plants and animals in Madagascar are found nowhere else on Earth, but to see them, you have to journey to one of the truly remote wildlife areas of the world.

Once you arrive, you’ll discover rare chameleons and curious lemurs in the jungle, plus the crystal-clear waters of the Indian Ocean teeming with sea turtles and marine life and birds everywhere you look.

Miavana by Time + Tide is unique even in this rarified setting. A relatively new resort on an island that was, until recently, only visited by pirates and fishermen, the entire property is an exclusive haven.

It took four years to plant the 100,000 indigenous trees you see now, and only natural and recycled materials were used to create the 14 private villas peppering the pristine beach.

This is not only an exquisite beach lodge on an untouched island. It also offers all the adventures you’d expect on a safari, with wildlife and activities galore — something that truly sets it apart as a destination.

Travelers can head out for an early morning dive to discover the underwater environment or heli-hop across to a neighboring island to search for the golden-crowned sifaka lemur and other endemic wildlife species.

The list of inclusions here is incredibly robust. You’ll have everything from guided lemur walks and quad biking to scuba diving and fishing trips, plus all nonmotorized water sports and a 30-minute spa treatment per person. All villas also include the use of an electric buggy.

Rates from $3,400 per adult per night, based on double occupancy.

The Brando

Tetiaroa Atoll, French Polynesia

ADAM BRUZZONE/THE BRANDO/FACEBOOK

Best for: Couples eager to get away from it all in paradise.

Why stay here: Far from the rest of the world and with just 35 villas, this stunning resort is the perfect place to spend some quality time together.

Best way to book: Book through our partner Skylark for elite-lite benefits and on-property credits or through Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts for a guaranteed late checkout and potential room upgrades.

Yes, this is actually Marlon Brando’s former private island.

The reclusive “Godfather” actor purchased Tetiaroa Atoll in 1967 while filming “Mutiny on the Bounty” with the idea of turning it into a model of sustainability. It took until a decade after his death for his dream to become a reality for travelers to visit, but for eco-minded luxury lovers, it was worth the wait.

Each of The Brando’s 35 thatched-roof villas with varnished wood floors and dining and lounge areas has private beach access and plunge pools with views of the white sand and azure waters just beyond. They are also all powered with coconut oil and solar panels and are cooled using seawater.

The all-inclusive rate here truly encompasses an elevated level beyond any others we’ve seen. The culinary offerings were designed by chef Guy Martin of Paris’s famous Le Grand Véfour, and French Champagne is a given (this is French Polynesia, after all).

Activities focus on the blue-on-blue lagoon: snorkeling to spot sea turtles, rays, reef sharks and a dazzling array of tropical fish or exploring Polynesian outrigger canoe, kayak or paddleboard. Or, swim at Mermaid Bay and relax on the beach or by the pool.

A delightful additional perk: Spa treatments (one per room per day) are included here, too.

Rates from $4,015 per person, per night, based on double occupancy. A two-night minimum stay is required.

The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs

Northland, New Zealand

LODGE AT KAURI CLIFFS/FACEBOOK

Best for: Golfers looking to tee off with a view.

Why stay here: A home-away-from-home vibe with some of the grandest scenery anywhere.

Best way to book: Book directly through the property for best rates and availability.

Emerald green farmland greets you at this luxury Relais & Chateaux lodge in the stunning Bay of Islands, where you can discover the beauty of northern New Zealand and enjoy panoramic views across the dramatic coastline and deep-blue ocean.

It feels a bit like Ireland here when you survey the glorious fields, posh country estate and PGA golf course that are part of the 6,000-acre Lodge at Kauri Cliffs. But then, your gaze drifts to the rugged New Zealand shore and the Pacific Ocean below, and you’re transported back to the far reaches of the Southern Hemisphere.

The 22 guest suites and a two-bedroom owner’s cottage all have private porches for taking in the bay views, while interiors have a soft-hued palette of neutral tones and comfy armchairs by fireplaces along with deep soaking tubs. One extra bonus for booking the owner’s cottage is its private infinity pool.

Meals are served in the main dining and feature a daily menu of seasonal, local dishes, including New Zealand lamb and fresh-caught seafood.

When you’re in this gorgeous corner of the world, you’ll want to spend all the time you can exploring what makes it so diverse and engaging. To this end, the lodge offers myriad activities, such as fishing, surfing, sea kayaking and hikes and nature walks to explore the area.

Golfers will want to leave plenty of time to play a round on the world-renowned golf course. Don’t golf? Spend that time soaking at the pool or Jacuzzi, relaxing on one of three beaches or indulging in a therapeutic treatment at the spa, which is nestled in the native Totara forest.

Rates from $1,752 per room per night, based on double occupancy.

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