When you think of a luxury vacation, places like the Caribbean and the Maldives probably come to mind. However, luxury travel means something different to everyone, from relaxing on white sand beaches to hitting all the hottest restaurants in the world’s biggest cities. A luxury break can even be closer to home than you might think. That’s why we rounded up a variety of luxury vacation hotspots and looked at the very best dining, hotels, and spas to find the perfect location for your next luxury trip in the UK and abroad.
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The Best Luxury Destinations in the World
1. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates | Luxury destination score: 8.17/10
Home to world-class beaches and year-round sunshine, Abu Dhabi is an obvious choice for a luxury getaway. We found that over one-fifth (22%) of hotels in Abu Dhabi carry 5-star ratings, while 41% offer massage facilities, including Beach Rotana - Abu Dhabi and Anantara Eastern Mangroves Abu Dhabi.
2. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico | Luxury destination score: 7.93/10
Cabo San Lucas attracts travellers from all over the world thanks to its beaches, sun and luxury resorts, making it a classic destination for a luxury escape. Cabo is the best location to experience relaxing in an infinity pool with one in 10 (10%) hotels having a ‘no-edge’ pool. These include Nobu Hotel Los Cabos and Hard Rock Hotel Los Cabos. Just under half (41%) of hotels have an in-room jacuzzi and around one in six (15%) are 5-star.
3. Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt | Luxury destination score: 7.37/10
Sharm El Sheikh is a popular resort town and is the ideal beach vacation destination for those who like a life of luxury. Sharm El Sheikh is the best place for swim-up bars - around a quarter (20%) of hotels offer this luxury resort essential. One in ten (10%) hotels also has an indoor pool, including Grand Oasis Resort and Albatros Laguna Vista Resort. We also found that in 6% of hotels, including Rixos Premium Seagate, you can enjoy relaxing in an infinity pool.
The destination with the most Michelin-starred restaurants: Paris, France | 45.09 per 10 km2
The French capital might be famous for its croissants and baguettes, but Paris is also one of the most famous cities for world-class dining. Offering everything from romantic bistros to Michelin-starred restaurants, Paris is a nirvana for foodies. Paris is home to 45.09 Michelin-starred restaurants per 10 km2, including Odette and Langosteria.
The destination with the most spas: Paris, France | 87.64 per 10 km2
The romance capital of the world is also the best destination for a spa day, home to an unmatched offering of mind-body relaxation innovations. We found that Paris is home to 87.64 spas per 10 km2. From microabrasion with sapphire crystals at Dior Institut to a liquid gold organic face massage at Spa Le Bristol by La Prairie, you can find a variety of luxurious treatments in Paris.
The destination with the most 5-star hotels: Bequia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines | 42% of all hotels
Bequia is the second-largest island in the Grenadines and is a popular destination for celebrities and luxury travellers. Bequia has no shortage of high-class hotels, with just under half (42%) of all hotels boasting 5-star service. Spring Hotel Bequia and The Liming Bequia are among the island’s most luxurious places to stay.
The destination with the most hotels with an indoor pool: Marrakech, Morocco | 16% of all hotels
Swimming in Morocco is best recommended from June to October when water temperatures are at their highest. But, if you plan on visiting Marrakech during a different time of the year, you don’t have to miss out on swimming. We found that 16% of hotels in Marrakech have an indoor pool, including Riad Dar Hamid Hotel & Spa and Riad Anya & SPA.
The destination with the most hotels with a hot tub or jacuzzi: Aspen, United States | 52% of all hotels
Aspen is a nature-lovers paradise and the ideal mountain getaway, home to the White River National Forest and the Elk mountains. Over half (52%) of hotels in Aspen have a hot tub or jacuzzi - the perfect way to soothe your muscles after a day of skiing.
The destination with the most hotels with massage facilities: Bali, Indonesia | 46% of all hotels
Indonesia is famous for its massage therapy, so it’s no surprise that Bali is the best luxury destination for hotel massages. Almost half (46%) of hotels in Bali offer massages, including Nau Villa Ubud and The Royal Purnama. In Bali, you can enjoy couples massages, head massages, body massages, hand massages and more.
The destination with the most hotels with a swim-up bar: Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt | 20% of all hotels
Sharm El Sheikh has secured its reputation as one of the best resort getaway locations in the world, thanks to its beaches and sunny climate. It’s not surprising that Sharm El Sheikh is the best place for swim-up bars, with a fifth (20%) of all hotels offering this luxury hotel feature.
The destination with the most hotels with an infinity pool: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico | 10% of all hotels
Cabo San Lucas is one of Mexico’s top tourist destinations and is known for its party atmosphere and luxurious resorts. One in 10 (10%) hotels in Cabo San Lucas have an infinity pool - the ultimate way to relax in luxury and style.
The destination with the most fine dining restaurants: St Moritz, Switzerland | 31% of all restaurants
St Moritz is a popular choice for those seeking a luxury Alpine skiing or snowboarding experience. St Moritz’s dining is just as renowned as its mountains, with almost a third (31%) of restaurants offering a fine dining experience - the ideal way to refuel after a day of winter activities.
The Best Luxury Destinations in the UK
1. Jersey | Luxury destination score: 8.68/10
If you’re looking for a luxury getaway in the UK, there’s no better location than Jersey in the Channel Islands. The island beats out all other destinations on our list for 5-star hotels, with 11% of all hotels offering this luxury service. Jersey also comes in first place for fine dining, with 4% of eateries providing a fine dining experience including Longueville Manor - a Michelin restaurant serving British cuisine.
2. Stratford-upon-Avon | Luxury destination score: 7.11/10
Stratford-upon-Avon is best known for its historical literary links to William Shakespeare, although this popular tourist town is also one of the best places for a luxury escape in the UK. Stratford-upon-Avon is one of the UK’s best places for Michelin dining - there are 3.54 Michelin restaurants per 10 km2, including Woodsman. Stratford-upon-Avon is also one of the best spots for a spa getaway, with 8.26 spas per 10 km2.
3. Falmouth | Luxury destination score: 7.04/10
Falmouth is a classic choice for a beach vacation in the UK, home to the world's third-largest natural harbour and breathtaking views. Falmouth ranks in joint third place for a UK luxury holiday, with 7% of hotels offering an indoor pool. We also found that 2% of hotels offer massage facilities, including Merchants Manor Spa and Hotel Meudon.
3. Newcastle | Luxury destination score: 7.04/10
Newcastle might not be an obvious choice for a luxury UK trip, but its history, culture and bustling centre make this city a popular tourist destination. Newcastle is one of the best places for a relaxing massage, with 3% of hotels offering this service, including Grey Street Hotel and Hilton Newcastle Gateshead.
The destination with the most spas: Bath | 9.5 per 10 km2
The Somerset city of Bath is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its Roman Baths and charming 18th Century architecture. The city is home to 9.5 spas per 10 km2 - including the Thermae Bath Spa, Britain’s only natural hot spring, and The Bath Massage Company.
The destination with the most Michelin-starred restaurants: Anglesey | 6.9 per 10 km2
Home to coastal paths and stunning views, Anglesey is a popular choice for vacationers. Anglesey’s food scene might be less famous than its seaside views, but it’s no less impressive. The Isle of Anglesey is home to the most Michelin-starred restaurants outside of London - 6.9 restaurants per 10 km2, including Sosban & The Old Butchers.
The destination with the most 5-star hotels: Jersey | 11% of all hotels
Jersey is the biggest of the Channel Islands and a choice destination for holiday-makers. The island is best known for its sunny weather and rich history, making it a popular travel destination for many. With more 5-star hotels than any other location we looked at, one in ten (11%) hotels in Jersey offer this level of luxury and personalised services. Hotels include Longueville Manor and The Club Hotel & Spa Jersey.
The destination with the most hotels with an indoor pool: Jersey | 19% of all hotels
When taking a luxury vacation in the UK, the weather isn’t always as warm and sunny as it is abroad. Staying in a hotel with an indoor pool means year-round swimming, despite the weather outside. Around 19% of all hotels in Jersey have an indoor swimming pool, including the Hotel de France.
The destination with the most hotels with a hot tub or jacuzzi: Jersey | 19% of all hotels
On a luxury vacation, there’s nothing quite like relaxing in a jacuzzi or a hot tub in the comfort of your hotel room. Not only is a hot tub the ultimate form of relaxation, but it can also relieve sore muscles and joints after a long day of sightseeing. Jersey comes out on top, with around 19% of all hotels offering a jacuzzi or hot tub, including the Grand Jersey Hotel and Spa and L’Horizon Beach Hotel & Spa.
The destination with the most hotels with massage facilities: Jersey | 14% of all hotels
Jersey is a firm favourite spot for vacationing families from the UK and overseas, so it’s no surprise that the Channel Island is the best destination for hotel massages. We found that 14% of hotels in Jersey offer massages, from hand and head massages to couples massages and spa treatments. These can be found at hotels including the Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel and Grand Jersey Hotel and Spa.
The destination with the most fine dining restaurants: Jersey | 4% of all restaurants
Jersey is one of the best places for a luxury foodie vacation, with 4% of restaurants offering a fine dining experience. In Jersey, travellers can enjoy Michelin-starred dining to seaside restaurants and afternoon tea. Longueville Manor serves contemporary British cuisine while La Capannina has an Italian menu.
We looked at luxury cities, islands and regions across the world and in the UK. We did not look at resorts or hotels. We ranked each location based on the following factors, giving each factor equal weight.
- The number of restaurants awarded a Michelin Star by the Michelin Guide in each destination was sourced from the Michelin Guide on 23rd January 2023. We calculated the number of Michelin-starred restaurants per 10 km2 using the area of each destination, sourced from CityPopulation and, where unavailable, from Wikipedia.
- The percentage of restaurants that offer fine dining was sourced from Tripadvisor on 1st February 2023, rounded to the nearest whole number.
- The number of spas in each destination was sourced from Tripadvisor using the ‘spas’ filter, listed under ‘attractions’ on 23rd January 2023. We calculated the number of spas per 10 km2 using the area of each destination, sourced from CityPopulation and, where unavailable, from Wikipedia.
- The percentage of 5-star hotels, hotels with an indoor pool, hot tub or jacuzzi and massage facilities in each destination was sourced from Booking.com on 23rd January 2023, rounded to the nearest whole number.
- The percentage of hotels with a swim-up bar and an infinity pool was sourced from Tripadvisor on 1st February 2023, rounded to the nearest whole number.