5 Spectacular luxury destination alternatives

Whether you’re looking for majestic mountains dropping away to the sea, vibrant and dynamic cities, or an island paradise in a glittering ocean, the world is full of unique destinations to explore. If you’re looking for a little luxury, but also want to go somewhere different, here are some unique luxury destinations you could consider.

A surprising number of luxury options are available these days, even in the most remote locations; you certainly don’t need to share your piece of paradise with hundreds of others.Whatever you’re looking for in your next luxury holiday, there are always options. If you’re interested in inspiration to plan a trip somewhere a little different, read on!

The guide says go to Bora Bora – Go to Rangiroa instead

I have to start with Tahiti as the terms ‘luxury escape’ and ‘south pacific’ are almost synonymous. The island nation of French Polynesia is a real gem in the Pacific. The natural beauty of the islands leaps out of travel brochures but for those who have experienced it first hand, it remains a magical memory forever. Just over an hour’s flight from Tahiti’s main airport on Pape’ete, Bora Bora is known as the ‘romantic’ island of the group and indeed, the island surrounded by a coral reef that forms a natural lagoon is a picture perfect location. However, with 10 resorts lining the edge of the lagoon, Bora Bora is a surprisingly busy place.

To make your south pacific experience more personal, why not visit Rangiroa, an hour’s flight to the north east of Pape’ete? A series of tiny islands join in a chain to form another lagoon offering spectacular snorkelling, virtually untouched dive sites, and even pearl farms. Despite Rangiroa’s remote setting over-water bungalows are available, as well as other luxury accommodation options.

Best time to visit: April to November

The guide says to go to Saint Bart’s – Go to Barbados instead

Barbados, Caribbean, West Indies

Saint Bart’s is known as a destination of the rich and famous and, while the island is beautiful, there is plenty of luxury available across the Caribbean on islands that feel more friendly.

For an equally luxurious and fun alternative, why not visit Barbados? The island’s western Platinum Coast offers spectacular sandy beaches and some of the best dining in the Caribbean. If you’d prefer to be more remote, Barbados’ south east coast has a ‘wilder’ feel, where waves finally reach the shore after crossing the Atlantic. It’s a great spot for kitesurfing and windsurfing!

Best time to visit: November to May

The guide says go to Thailand – Go to Langkawi instead

Traditional Langkawi architecture, Malaysia

There are hundreds of pretty islands scattered across Asia so choosing just one destination is hard. Thailand’s islands are very busy these days and, while they boast some remarkable scenery, peace and quiet on the beach is hard to come by.

For the best of both worlds, head to Langkawi in Malaysia. Just south of Malaysia’s mainland border with Thailand, Langkawi has all the scenery of Thailand’s islands, but without the crowds. The island offers snorkelling and diving, as well as mangrove tours and delicious Malaysian cooking classes. Nearby Penang is a UNESCO World Heritage listed centre, and is definitely worth a daytrip. If you’re really desperate to go to the southern islands of Thailand, you can always go on a daytrip there too.

Best time to visit: November to August

The guide says to go to the Great Barrier Reef – Go to Ningaloo Reef instead

Ningaloo Reef coast, Western Australia, Australia Photo credit: Dupont_Thomas

Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef is one of the few wonders of the world that is visible from space, and there is a lot of it. However, it is also one of the most popular places to visit in Australia, so it can get crowded. If you prefer your luxury reef experience to be a bit more personal, why not consider visiting Western Australia’s Ningaloo Reef?

Just two hours’ flight north from Perth, the small town of Exmouth nestles in the red earth of Western Australia, and is the gateway to Ningaloo Reef, the world’s largest fringing reef. The reef is home to incredible corals, fish, whales, turtles, dolphins, rays and other marine life, and if you visit between April and July, you will probably also see Whale Sharks as they feed before migrating north. Other activities include eco safaris and game fishing. Exmouth itself is a very small town, but there are some lovely resorts along the coast.

Best time to visit: April to October (April to July for whale sharks)

The guide says go to Paris – Go to the French Riviera instead

Nice region, French Riviera, France

Paris is a stunning city, certainly in a league of its own, but while there is a lot to be said for the ‘City of Love’, there is plenty of luxury elsewhere in Europe. For a more personal taste of Europe, why not head south to the French Riviera?

The spectacular French Riviera stretches along the eastern-most edge of France’s Mediterranean coast. The glitzy seaside towns of Cannes, Antibes and Nice thrive with buzz and glamour, while Provence’s more low-key way of life is alive in the hilltop villages. Every luxury is available on the Riviera, which has been catering to visitors for centuries. Nice is a large city and offers unique architecture, shopping boulevards and magnificent restaurants. Enjoy the scents of perfume-making in Grasse, admire the lavender fields of the Valensole, try your luck in the Monte Carlo casino, feast on Italian-influenced cuisine in Nice, and visit historic sites in Antibes. There’s also the beach of course!

Best time to visit: April to October

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