While budget beach holidays or European ski trips have their own inherent charms, sometimes you might crave a destination that’s a little more obviously and decadently luxurious. After all, we work hard to be able to enjoy some of the finer things in life as much as anything else – not least when the rigors of the daily grind begin to get us down. So, if you’re looking for the perfect luxury island getaway this year, one of the following three exciting destinations might just fit the bill.
Maldives holidays are more than a little bit special. Indeed, the very mention of the place can fill your head with images of pristine ivory white beaches, translucent blue waters and a pace of life that is a whole lot more tranquil than the one that you’re leaving behind for a few weeks.
A holiday in the Maldives is the very definition of luxurious living, and that journey into opulence begins with picking the right accommodation. With teak furniture, splendid interior decor, spectacular views of the nearby lagoon and direct access to the sea from your private terrace, staying in one of the Club Med’s 5-Trident Luxury Space Suites in the resort of Kani is the perfect base from which to explore the surrounding tropical region.
While Kani may be an ideal place to rest your head, it’s the resort’s surrounding deep blue waters that provide the most memorable of adventures: sharks, manta rays and all manner of brightly colored fish call this stretch of the Indian Ocean home, while dive sites such as Broken Rock, in the South Ari Atoll, with its two-meter-wide canyon that splits the small Maaya Thila in two, is a breathtaking experience for divers of all ability levels.
Like the Maldives, Mauritius has all the characteristics that you’d expect from a luxury island getaway: summer temperatures that reach a staggering 34°C, soft white sandy beaches, lush foliage, rich and sumptuous cuisine and deep, clear waters.
If you’ve got a little more time on your hands and a taste for adventure, you should set out to discover how the island of Mauritius harbors a diverse and rich cultural history, which includes Hindu, Creole, Chinese, Muslim and European influences.
The island’s cultural ceremonies are huge and fascinating. Between December and February, after ten days of purification, meditation and prayer, Tamil penitents converge at local temples to walk across fire. During the same months, the festival of Maha Shivratree also takes place, which sees pilgrims in their thousands converge on the sacred waters of Grand Bassin Lake after trekking for huge distances. Here, they take place in elaborate rituals that celebrate the Lord Shiva.
If you want to truly immerse yourself in the Maldives’ cultural offerings, the Chinese Spring Festival, which incorporates Chinese New Year, is certainly a party that you’ll never forget – and for all the right reasons. After all that hedonism, you might want to retire to Club Med’s Albion Villas Resort. The ideal place to recharge, it has apartments complete with the use of a private pool, luscious garden and a traditional Mauritian veranda. These apartments also come with a private chef and butler to hand.
The Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is an island paradise that has a real family feel. While the beauteous beaches, fascinating landscape and delicious cocktails you’ll find here are more than enough to keep the adults in your group entertained, some of the more exclusive resorts, such as Punta Cana, offer an exceptional array of child-friendly activities, too.
Punta Cana’s kids’ club offers football, basketball, snorkeling, kayaking and windsurfing, among other activities. And it’s all part of your all-inclusive luxury package.
While the kids are being kept both active and busy, you and your partner will have the chance to explore the delights of Punta Cana’s high-end spa treatments. If that doesn’t take your fancy, you can enjoy playing a leisurely 18 holes at one of Punta Cana’s magnificent ocean-view golf courses, such as the Punta Espada Golf Course.
Island life at your pace
Luxury island getaways can mean different things to different people. While snorkeling and diving may suit the more adventurous, immersing yourself in an island’s culture or simply taking part in a few rounds of golf may well suit others. Others still may simply want to revel in luxury and relaxation. Between the Maldives, Mauritius and the Dominican Republic, however, you’ll be spoilt for choice.