Sometimes more is more.
All-inclusive holidays can take many forms. Whether their own clifftop playgrounds, protected game reserves, private beaches, or exclusive part of larger resorts, these unique retreats share certain things: sublime privacy, top-notch staff and big-ticket amenities.
Be sure to pack your designer luggage for these over-the-top (and some of the most expensive) vacation homes.
Courchevel 1850, French Alps, France
A magnet for the wealthy and the glamour heart of Les Trois Vallées, The glitzy village of Courchevel 1850 has some of the world’s most luxurious Alpine properties (and more Michelin starred restaurants than any of the other ski resorts), with the possibility of receiving helicopters and private jets on its Altiport. And what better way to really indulge that cavorting in one of their outrageous mansions, like Chalet Edelweiss?
A private spa and indoor heated pool, gym, sauna, media room and full bar, this swanky dig has all the perks a luxury seeker desires.
The Brando Private Island
Tetiaroa, Onetahi, French Polynesia
Once the Tahitian royal family’s favourite retreat, The Brando has been turned into an eco-minded, barefoot-luxury enclave, on French Polynesia’s beautiful private island of Tetiaroa. Leonardo DiCaprio celebrated his last birthday in this far-flung place in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, not long before Barack Obama began writing his Whitehouse memoir here, and Pippa Middleton’s week-long honeymoon in self-sustaining luxury.
The thatched villas, each with a plunge pool, chaise lounge and private access to the white-sand beach, cost up to USD12300 a night, but sleeping would be missing out all the fun.
From bicycling to snorkeling, bird watching, paddle boarding or scuba diving. Experience the nature, the plants, birds, the old native forest, the lemon-shark nursery, and other marine life. Spend time on the main island or discover the untouched private islands surrounding the lagoon.
The island also includes two-Michelin-star restaurant Le Grand Véfour. The dining experience is unique every day, as the chef select for the day’s organically grown fruits and vegetables from their own gardens and orchards.
Singita Ebony Lodge
Sabi Sands Game Reserve, Kruger National Park, South Africa
Ebony stands steadfast amongst enormous trees on the banks of the Sand River in Sabi Sands Game Reserve, the heart of South Africa’s ‘big cat country.’
The wow-factor is left to Mother Nature. It is not just a hotel in the wilderness; it is an experience. You can get up close and personal with all kinds of exotic wildlife, and just about everything, excellent food, guided excursions, game drives, river cruises, bush walks, is included in the price of your stay.
External walls have been almost completely removed and replaced by canvas and glass to create new safari tent-style suites to maximize views and space. The suites feature big soaking tubs, indoor/outdoor showers, private plunge pools, and four poster beds, with a sleek decor and dining deck suspended off the river banks as if hanging in the trees – all coming together to fulfill its promise to be a place of unpretentious luxury.
Cape Yamu, Phuket, Thailand
Cape Yamu, on Phuket’s up-and-coming eastern shore, has become home to some of the island’s best high-end homes, where the well-heeled have the option of living on the beach, with everything at your fingertips, and urban amenities easily accessible.
Just complete last year, Villa Amarapura is one of the few mega homes line the shores. Shoot a few hoops on the basketball court, go kayaking, enjoy a game of tennis on the exclusive estate’s courts or practice your golf swing on the villa’s putting green. As you can’t always rely on the weather on the island, the 7-bedroom villa is equipped with a rather impressive games room, with a golf simulation game and pool table, plus a state-of-the-art home cinema.
You can essentially just stay home for a month without going bored.
BACKSTAGE VERNISSAGE, Zermatt, Swiss Alps, Switzerland
Part of the Backstage Vernissage Hotel at the heart of the Zermatt Unplugged music festival, this quirky and design-led loft is for those looking for something a bit different.
With a private elevator, this 4-level home sleeps 10 in 5 bedrooms. For late-night dancing and after-dinner drinks, the dining table can be winched up into the ceiling to double as chandeliers. It has a gym, a cinema room, sauna, and steam too, of course. And the hot tub offers the choice of being indoors or outdoors. With simply the touch of a button, the glass walls swing open for when you want to add a touch of fresh Swiss mountain air to the soaking session.
Zermatt is part of the Matterhorn Ski Paradise area, home to 350km of pistes to keep skiers of all standard amused, with a wealth of shops, restaurants, and historic buildings to enjoy at your doorstep; the car-free village is a pleasure to explore on snowshoes.
A week here includes complimentary ski lessons, a private chef, complimentary house wines, among other lifestyle perks.
Baan Paa Talee
Kamala, Phuket, Thailand
When not anchored on their superyacht, some extended families prefer staying at Baan Paa Talee, one of Phulet’s spectacular villas on Kamala.
An oceanfront nine bedroom home, located on a cliff overlooking the Andaman Sea, the 10000-sqm property is dotted with various relaxation areas and features a four-level home with a full suite of amenities that rival the most lavish in the world.
Only at this place, your party enjoys exclusive use of the whole estate.
There is a 20-seater dining room, indoor and outdoor lounges, media room, alfresco bar, barbecue and games area, a well-equipped gym and beach house with watersports equipment for the energetic, etc. Kamala’s sandy bay is a 10-minute drive away, while Patong is 15-20 minutes to the south.
Verbier, Swiss Alps, Switzerland
A new generation of trophy chalets has been built in the prestigious Les Esserts area of Verbier, catering to scores of A-listers that flock to the Alps every winter. And Aurora is as palatial as they come.
Accustomed to catering to the whims of the rich and the famous, the chalet is home to one of Verbier’s most impressive spas to date and facilities include an indoor swimming pool, sauna, extensive gym and massage area.
It sleeps a total of 17 people over four fabulously designed floors and has uninterrupted views of majestic Combin mountain range and Mont Blanc massif from the capacious double-height sitting room. You just come to expect a professional host staffing the property, cooking, handling the details, and catering to your needs.
A private chauffeur will be at your disposal throughout your stay, while the chef prepares breakfast, after-ski snacks, and dinner, after taking the time to learn your individual needs and creating daily menus.
Dikwella, Sri Lanka
Movie stars have a private island, but could you and your extended family and friends have one, too? You bet.
This 15-bedroom estate in Dikwella, Sri Lanka once again proves that ultra-luxury has now gone all inclusive. They are about renting the entire result, that can translate into 15 bedrooms on 4.5 hectares of paradise just for the 2 (to 30) of you.
All day dining, snacks, alcohol, children’s activity coordinator (a nice personal touch), the service of spa therapists and personal fitness trainers, local tours… these are all included in your stay starting at USD3750 at 4-bedroom occupancy.
The stress of planning and budgeting virtually disappears with a resort that includes everything from the meals to daytime activities. Plus, the beaches can’t be beat. If you are looking to unwind in style, this is it!
Lipa Noi Beach, Koh Samui, Thailand
Lounging beachside on a tropical island? That’s a good vacation. Booze flows in the middle of the day, shirts are ripped off and people get thrown into the pool at Baan Kilee.
More than a spacious home and popular wedding venue, this 8-bedroom estate feels like a resort in and of itself, featuring a gym, spa, swim-up bar/outdoor cinema (plus another indoor media room with a 2m screen) and kids’ dorm, a big pool.
Set in a calm bay in the quiet south of the island, the home is right on a piece of shallow white-sand beach that rarely gets busy. The palm-fringed beach has fine white sand and there are no rocks or coral in the water, good for swimming and even morning jogs. And the snorkeling and fishing is apparently amazing. The owners even provide kayaks and a row boat.
The Sunridge Villa
Whistler Village, British Columbia, Canada
Shopping for a snowy escape? The luxurious lodge in Whistler, British Columbia Ample entertainment space makes the property ideal for hosting intimate dinners, large parties and everything in between.
You’re away from it all, yet a mere 3-minute drive to the village
Facilities include a billiard room, indoor resistance pool, steam room, private terrace with a hot tub and not to mention a professional home cinema, and an attached three-car garage with an extended driveway, all for your exclusive use starting at USD2850 per night.
With your travel concierge planning your stay before you get here, all you have to do is enjoy a turnkey, stress-free vacation.