If you’re anything like me, budget is definitely a consideration when planning a trip. However, from time to time, I allow myself to indulge in the fantasy of traveling to exclusive locales, unencumbered by questions like “Wait, how much does that cost?”
In this spirit, I invite you to take a quick vacation from your routine today and travel with me to these five spectacular spots (champagne optional).
Ariara Island, Philippines
Fancy a private island getaway? Then head to Ariara, a paradise-on-earth type spot located about 160 miles southwest of Manila in the Calamian archipelago. From sandy beaches with perfect turquoise waters to cottages and villas designed by Filipino architect Jorge Yulo, Ariara offers the best of the best to discerning travelers. On Ariara, guests call the shots. A romantic dinner for two on the beach? No problem. A private yoga session followed by a deep tissue massage? You got it. If you get bored (ha!), you can always check out the surrounding islands aboard the resort’s yacht, the Maya Maya. With room for only 18 guests at a time, Ariara definitely falls under the category of exclusive vacations.
Parrot Cay and COMO Shambhala Retreat, Turks and Caicos
Located in an already exclusive vacation spot, Turks and Caicos, Parrot Cay and COMO Shambhala Retreat is accessible only to the über-wealthy. Guests can go for a swim in the stunning infinity pool, receive top-notch spa treatments at Shambhala, and dine in state-of-the-art restaurants before retreating to their waterfront Balinese-style villas. With over three miles of perfect beaches, Parrot Cay and COMO Shambhala Retreat is a little slice of heaven on earth. Get your bathing suits on and head to Turks and Caicos for your heaven-on-earth experience.
Chateau le Camarguais, Rhône Valley, France
If you need a break from the island scene, why not live in a château in the heart of France’s Rhône Valley for a week? That’s right, even the nouveau riche can live like French royalty in this elite lodging that boasts a business center, sports complex, and outdoor swimming pool, and private staff. Speaking of private, this centuries-old property is surrounding by parkland, making it the perfect place to hang out with you and 31 of your closest friends. How much does it cost to rent a castle for a week, you ask? Only a cool $45,000-$60,000, depending on the season.
Badrutt’s Palace, St. Moritz, Switzerland
Ski buffs will love the exclusive Badrutt’s Palace, located in the delightful (and very expensive) Swiss town of St. Moritz (site of the 1928 Olympics). Outdoor adventurists can enjoy torch-light skiing, half-pipe snowboarding, tobogganing, and vertical ice wall climbing while their less daring counterparts indulge in spa treatments and gourmet meals at the French-inspired Le Restaurant.
Frégate Island Resort, Seychelles
Part of one of the most stunning island chains in the world, Frégate island is a natural wonderland accessible to a fortunate few. These lucky guests can enjoy ocean-view villas with teak woodwork and marble floors, as well as private Jacuzzis and infinity pools. In the middle of the island is a stunning jungle-covered granite peak that is home to majestic banyan trees and giant tortoises. With spa treatments and gourmet meal options galore, luxury is the name of the game at this exclusive island retreat.
Aaaand we’re back at our desks, checking our bank accounts and dreaming about these extravagant getaways. Sigh. Check out more dream-worthy all-inclusive resorts if you’re not ready to go back to reality just yet.
Are there any other places you’ve always wanted to go, but can only dream about right now? Tell us in the comments below!