7 Of The Most Luxurious Summer Holiday Destinations For 2023

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After three summer seasons of grounded flights and pretending that ‘staycations’ were adequate replacements for sojourns abroad, British holiday season is just about to begin in earnest. We can’t wait.

Travel carnage and airport chaos be damned; we’re going to make the most of our freedom this summer. Sadly – though understandably – it seems like just about everyone has the same idea, with record numbers predicted to be going on holiday in the coming weeks.

Instead of having to get up at 6am each morning to snag a spot on a sunbed, or having to battle fellow Brits to the bar for a beer, why not choose somewhere more luxurious and exclusive this year? Here, we explore some of our very favourites; these 7 of the most luxurious holiday destinations for 2023.

Maui, Hawaii

Ideal for luxury beach getaways…

Known fondly as the ‘Valley Isle’, Maui’s landscape is defined by soaring bamboo forests, picturesque sunsets and extraordinary misty peaks. Incredibly, the destination has also managed to remain largely unspoiled despite receiving huge numbers of tourists year on year, meaning that you can enjoy a truly unique, exclusive experience whichever time of the year you visit.

What’s more, Maui’s surf scene is second to none, with its legendary beach location and golden shoreline spanning more than 120 miles and attracting a vibrant, diverse scene of watersports enthusiasts accordingly. Owing to those vast stretches of sand, the luxury hotels on the island are spectacular, too, with several 5 star resorts lining the shore. Arguably the most famous are The Ritz-Carlton in Kapalua, the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, Fairmont Kea Lani, Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort and Montage Kapalua Bay.

You don’t even need a visa to visit Maui, as visitors from the UK are allowed to stay in the region for up to 90 days when travelling for recreational purposes. Perfect!

Alternatively, if you’re seeking even greater levels of seclusion, check out neighbouring Kauai.

Puerto Rico, The Caribbean 

Ideal for the luxury of unspoiled tropical scenery…

On a similar note, the Caribbean hotspot of Puerto Rico can also be visited for a period of 90 days without being required to apply for a visa, making it ideal for a last minute summer excursion, don’t you think?

With its tropical climate, secluded palm-fringed beaches and a truly diverse topography, Puerto Rico is one of the Caribbean’s most exotic resort destinations and one that has been truly unspoiled by mass tourism over time. When visiting, you can visit the serpentine jungle of El Yunque and even take a night-time bathe in the bioluminescent Mosquito Bay.

If you’re looking to go big (you are, hence the ‘luxury’ tagline), you could also include a visit to the luxurious resort of Punta Cana on the neighbouring Dominican Republic in your itinerary.

The Amalfi Coastline, Italy

Ideal for a luxury seaside excursion with the family…

Few places in the world scream luxury as loudly as the Amalfi Coast!

Take in the magnificent seaside communities of Ravello, Amalfi, Minori and Positano on your trip, all of which are liable to leave visitors stunned with their breathtaking panoramic vistas. The magnificent coloured buildings, which reflect the beauty of medieval fishing villages, are separated by steep stairways and tiny lanes. 

It should be noted from the off that though Amalfi is famed for its beauty, it’s also notorious for its crowds, particularly in the high season, which runs from May to mid September. August, which is the Italian school holidays and also the hottest month here, is particularly prone to overcrowding.

If it’s exclusivity you’re after, you may want to wait until the latter half of Amalfi’s shoulder seasons (the short period of time between the low and high season), which fall from late September to mid October.

Anyway, once you’re here, there’s loads for families to enjoy:

  • Beach Hopping: The coastline is dotted with beautiful beaches where you can relax, swim, and sunbathe. Some popular choices include Spiaggia Grande in Positano and Atrani Beach in Atrani.
  • Boat Tours: Explore the coastline from a different perspective by taking a boat tour. You could potentially visit the famous Blue Grotto, or go on dolphin watching tours.
  • Visit Pompeii & Herculaneum: Take a day trip to these ancient Roman cities, both of which were preserved under ash from Mount Vesuvius’ eruption in AD 79. It’s a great educational trip for kids and adults alike.
  • Hiking the Path of the Gods: For active families, this hike offers breathtaking views of the coast and ocean. It’s a moderately difficult track, so it’s best for older kids and adults.
  • Exploring Local Towns: Visit charming towns like Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello. Wander through the narrow lanes, visit the markets, and enjoy the local cuisine.
  • Cooking Classes: Join a cooking class and learn how to prepare traditional Italian dishes. It’s a fun and delicious way to immerse in the culture.
  • Visit to Villa Rufolo and Villa Cimbrone in Ravello: These stunning villa gardens offer amazing views and beautiful places to walk around. A particularly good activity for those who appreciate history and nature.
  • Lemon Tour: The Amalfi Coast is known for it’s lemon groves. Take a tour, understand the cultivation process and maybe even get to taste local lemonade or two!
  • Ceramic Workshops in Vietri sul Mare: Known for its hand-painted ceramics, participating in workshops here are a fantastic way to connect with the local art scene.
  • Explore Sorrento: This delightful town is known for its charming narrow lanes, friendly locals, and an excellent choice of restaurants.

Remember, the Amalfi Coast is all about the Italian concept of “la dolce far niente”, the sweetness of doing nothing. So, don’t rush, take your time and savor everything this beautiful coastline has to offer.

Read: 7 pit stops along the Amalfi Coast

Fuerteventura & Tenerife, The Canary Islands 

Ideal for a luxury romantic holiday…

Fuerteventura remains the jewel in the crown of the Canary Islands. It’s also comparatively crowd-free for a mass tourism resort, with its deserted beaches and clear, unpolluted waters setting the perfect backdrop for one of the world’s most relaxed places.

Thanks to the steady winds, this resort is also ideal for water sports, whilst you can also explore the deep blue depths of the ocean and sample the local marine life. Ultimately, the entire location has an innate sense of calm and tranquillity, whilst its unspoiled landscapes are ideal for couples planning a luxury romantic escape. All you have to do is work out how to pronounce the place.

Also part of the Canary Islands, Tenerife (a five hour ferry ride or 50 minute flight from Fuerteventura) has been going from strength to strength since the world opened up again, enjoying a whopping 2.6 million visitors last year.

It’s safe to say that Tenerife has it all. Even its tourist hotspots, such as Playa de las Americas, Los Cristianos and Costa Adeje, are fantastic, with something always going on and plenty to see and do.

And if you’re after a more pronounced sense of luxury, then there are some serious dining options in the aforementioned Adeje, in the form of Michelin-starred restaurants Nub and El Rincón de Juan Carlos, and nearby 2 Michelin-starred M.B. You’ll be spoilt for choice here, make no mistake!

Cayo Espanto, Belize

Ideal for luxury private snorkelling and scuba diving…

A helicopter ride from Belize City, Cayo Espanto, just off Ambergris Caye, is perhaps the premier world destination for uninterrupted snorkelling, scuba diving and general sea life exploration, owing to nearby Belize Barrier Reef. That’s assuming you’d want to leave this tiny part of paradise (just seven villas here) to explore the sea for even a second.

Those villas are akin to the most glammed up treehouse you could imagine, with wood furnishings given the opulent treatment. Rather than a tumble from the top into dusty ground, however, you’ll find the deep blue sea catches your fall. Bliss.

The tastemakers and award givers seem to agree; Cayo Espanto won a Condé Nast Johansens’ Award for Excellence 2022, announced at the end of 2021. This one will cost you, but you’ll be richly rewarded.

If you can’t get a reservation here (and believe me we’ve tried) equally as brilliant for snorkelling is nearby Caye Caulker. The island is also home to many luxury hotels – that’s what we’re here for after all, right?

Cozumel, Mexico

Ideal for luxuriating in history and heritage…

The island of Cozumel is Mexico’s gem in the Caribbean Sea; a peaceful island with some of the best scuba diving on the planet and Mayan ruins, specifically the San Gervasio Mayan Archaeological Site, offering historical intrigue. Sure, it gets busy, receiving five million visitors a year, but that’s testament to the quality of the activities on offer on the island, particularly in terms of its heritage and culture. Check out these places, in particular:

  • San Gervasio Mayan Ruins: These are the largest and most significant Mayan ruins on the island and were once a hub of worship to the goddess Ixchel, the goddess of love and fertility. Walking through these ruins allows you to step back in time and understand more about the Mayan civilization.
  • El Cedral: This is the oldest Mayan settlement on the island. Once the capital of Cozumel, El Cedral is now a small village that hosts a yearly festival at the end of April known as the Festival of El Cedral, which includes bullfighting, traditional foods, and music.
  • Museo de la Isla de Cozumel: This museum gives a comprehensive overview of the island’s geography, ecosystems, history, and Mayan heritage. It also includes exhibits on contemporary Cozumel.
  • Visit a Traditional Mexican Market: San Miguel, the island’s only town, has a local market where you can buy traditional Mexican food and products. This is a great place to experience the local culture.
  • Isla Cozumel’s Marine Park: While not historic, it is famous for its vibrant coral reefs and is a legacy of the island’s natural history. It’s a must-visit for divers and snorkelers. It was established to protect the Mesoamerican Reef, the second-largest reef system in the world.
  • Church of San Miguel: This is one of the first churches on the island and is located in San Miguel square. Its simple but traditional design reflects the local culture and history of the place.

Aside from the world class diving and heritage sites, the Punta Sur Ecological Park (which includes the island’s best beach) covers 2500 acres and contains a rich ecosystem, including crocodiles in the marshland, sea turtles close to the shore and exotic plants native to Cozumel. Don’t forget your camera!

Combine your trip with nearby Tulum (just 40 miles away) and you’ve got yourself an even more luxurious holiday.

Bath, UK

Ideal for a luxury weekend away closer to home…

Of course, you don’t have to fly half way across the world for a holiday that feels like the definition of opulence and pampering. A luxury weekend away in Somerset’s Bath is the epitome of relaxation and charm. This UNESCO World Heritage city, renowned for its natural hot springs and stunning 18th-century Georgian architecture, offers an exquisite blend of history, culture, and modern luxuries.

Begin your visit by staying at the Gainsborough Bath Spa, an esteemed five-star hotel set within two Grade II Listed buildings with distinguished Georgian and Victorian façades in the heart of the city. This unique establishment is the only hotel in the UK that has exclusive access to Bath’s natural thermal waters within its Spa Village. Immerse yourself in the pampering world of saunas, steam rooms, and a wide range of treatments for the ultimate luxury spa weekend experience.

Your luxury weekend wouldn’t be complete without indulging in fine dining. Bath is home to a variety of high-quality restaurants, such as Olive Tree, which holds a Michelin Star and offers a contemporary British menu. Savour a perfectly paired wine selection with your meal to elevate your culinary experience and really go all-in on the opulence.

In between the spa visits and dining on Bath’s local delicacies, take time to explore the city’s rich history by visiting the iconic Roman Baths and the Royal Crescent, two of Bath’s most famous landmarks. Shop at fashionable boutiques along Milsom Street and take afternoon tea at the elegant Pump Room. All these elements come together to create a remarkable and luxurious weekend in Bath that will leave you refreshed and pampered from head to toe.

Travel Team
Travel Team
Just like you, we love to get out there and discover the world. To help inspire your next adventure, we create travel guides and share tips so you can dream up your ideal getaway.

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