The 40 best stays for your travel bucket list

From desert oases to architectural marvels, chic city towers to idyllic waterside retreats, and historic castles to adventurous glamping tents, here are our 40 best holiday accommodation options around the world. We have covered the planet and are bringing you the coolest accommodation from Australia, New Zealand, Asia Pacific, Europe, Africa, The Americas, Caribbean and the Middle East.

Best stays in Australia

Currajong Retreat

Sapphire Coast, NSW

For anyone seeking a romantic sojourn in the bush, Currajong Retreat on the Sapphire Coast should top your list. There are three luxury safari tents with modern bathrooms and large decks (with bathtubs) overlooking the Towamba River with birdsong and the sound of the river replacing the hum of city traffic. Breakfast baskets with local produce and delicious home-cooked dinners will satisfy your appetite, while the beauty of the farm and its cute-asa-button Angora goats will help soothe your soul. Visit in spring during the kidding season and help bottle feed the babies – a nurturing experience for one and all.

Currajong Retreat, Sapphire Coast, NSW
Currajong Retreat

Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains

Blue Mountains, New South Wales

Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains is the ultimate mountain escape. The resort has the award-winning Ubika Day Spa, Two Doctors Whiskey Tavern and majestic national park views. The outdoor pool and indoor heated pool and Jacuzzi are the perfect spot to unwind. Then there’s the exquisite dining. No.1 Sublime Pt. features modern fine dining, Embers Grill is a more casual affair while you can sample the perfect woodfire pizza and pasta at Azzurro Trattoria. As for outdoor adventures, glide your way at the Blue Mountains Ice Skating Rink, explore the nearby hiking trails or putt your way around the 18-hole championship Leura Golf Course.

Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains
Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains

Marramarra Lodge

Hawkesbury River, New South Wales

Breathe in the scent of eucalyptus trees, listen to the cackle of the kookaburras, and watch the glistening Hawkesbury River under an orange sunset then curl up on your deck to the sound of nothing but nature. This is life at Marramarra Lodge, an adults-only safari-style retreat with just 14 tents and bungalows. Just an hour from Sydney (and accessible only via seaplane, boat or helicopter), this is nature immersion at its finest. Explore Marramarra National Park on bushwalks that often include wildlife sightings, or go fishing and mud-crabbing. Guests can take a heli-winery tour or go out with a local Indigenous guide to learn about bush tucker, medicinal plants and local Dharug art. Return to the lodge and dine at Budyari Restaurant on a daily changing menu by award-winning chef Jerome Tremoulet.

Read: Marramarra Lodge review

Daydream Island

Whitsundays, QLD

Daydream Island is a Whitsunday wonder. Head here for a serene break on a verdant island surrounded by the pristine waters of the Great Barrier Reef. Experience rainforest treks, idyllic beaches, and aquatic experiences on the reef and in the resort pools. Daydream even has its own Living Reef, with more than 100 species of sea creatures.

Meriton Suites Surfers Paradise 

Surfers Paradise, QLD

Located on the beachfront in the heart of Surfers Paradise, Meriton Suites Surfers Paradise offers a luxury stay, with the convenience of world-class dining, shopping and entertainment at your doorstep. Opulent, expansive top floor Penthouse suites boast breathtaking views over the Pacific Ocean, and feature three spacious bedrooms, plush Balmain Paris amenities and a fully equipped kitchen with laundry. Guests can unwind in either the outdoor or indoor pools, rejuvenate at the spa or soak up the sun on the sundeck.

Mindil Beach Casino Resort

Darwin, Northern Territory

Looking for a tropical getaway just a stone’s throw from the city? Nestled in 12 hectares of tropical gardens, Mindil Beach Casino Resort is a serene oasis just minutes away from Darwin’s CBD. With its own private beach, a lagoon pool the size of eight tennis courts, and Darwin’s only swim-up bar, you might think you were on a tropical island. Accommodation options include five-star resort rooms with swim-up access to the pool and comfortable four-star hotel accommodations. Mindil Beach Casino Resort’s three restaurants, five bars, day spa and in-house casino make this an unbeatable holiday destination.

Read: Discover the ultimate Northern Territory winter getaway

Shangri-La The Marina, Cairns 

Tropical North Queensland

The otherworldly Great Barrier Reef stretches for more than 2,300 kilometres with over 1,500 species of fish, 3,000 coral reefs, and 900 islands. Base yourself at Shangri-La The Marina, Cairns, for a five-star hotel on the city’s Esplanade boardwalk. When you’re not exploring the reef, or Daintree Rainforest, enjoy a one-bedroom suite high in the hotel’s towers with balconies offering panoramic views across Marlin Marina, Trinity Inlet and the Coral Sea. Or interconnecting deluxe rooms if you’re with the family. Days can be spent lazing around the resort pool, complete with Pool Bar and dining on fresh, local produce at The Backyard restaurant.

The Langham, Gold Coast


The Langham, Gold Coast is the best holiday accommodation on the Gold Coast. The resort is a heady mix of sophisticated style and coastal charm within its rooms and residences. Executive Ocean Suites offer a stunning panorama of the Pacific Ocean with Jewel Residences boasting one- to four-bedroom apartments on the upper floors. The lavish Four-Bedroom Penthouse has 180-degree views of the hinterland and Pacific Ocean and a Gaggenau kitchen. Your Gold Coast stay isn’t complete without trying one of six dining options. Restaurants include Akoya and fine-dining Cantonese cuisine at T’ang Court, the sister restaurant to the Hong Kong eatery that boasts three Michelin stars. An indoor magnesium pool, state-of-the-art gym, and outdoor lagoon-style resort pool with sprawling lounge suites are the perfect place to cool off. There is even a swim-up pool bar for even more refreshments

Read: Langham Gold Coast hotel review

Langham Gold Coast outdoor pool
Relax at the Langham, Gold Coast


Great Barrier Reef, Queensland

The only thing better than exploring the Great Barrier Reef is to sleep on it. The Reefsleep holiday accommodation is a pontoon that allows just 28 people to spend the night in well-set-up glamping pods on the top deck, and two couples in stunning underwater suites. The pods, or cocoons, can be left open at night to sleep under the stars with the sounds of the sea as a backdrop. The real magic starts when the day trippers depart, with snorkelling, swimming, and even guided first-time dive experiences on the agenda. With a chef on board, enjoy drinks, canapes and dinner before taking in the sea life show from both the Underwater Observatory and from the deck. Reefsleep could be the wildest, most exclusive sleepover you will ever encounter.

Southern Ocean Lodge

South Australia

On a rugged clifftop of Kangaroo Island, blending seamlessly with its wild surrounds is the reimagined Southern Ocean Lodge. The property has 25 suites, strung like an elegant necklace along the cliff edge. Spend days exploring, and nights dining on local Kangaroo Island produce paired with South Australian wines. The much-anticipated reopening is in early December.

Asia Pacific holiday accommodation

AYANA Komodo Waecicu Beach


Indonesia’s Lesser Sunda Island archipelago has long been overlooked. And yet this gateway to the Komodo National Park is a place where nature is writ large. Komodo has pristine lakes, 50 dive and snorkel sites, cascading waterfalls and the otherworldly Pink Beach. And it’s just a one-hour flight from Bali. AYANA Komodo Waecicu Beach is the region’s only five-star resort. Here, you can savour fresh local food at one of the seven dining options. Then visit the on-site marine discovery centre. It houses marine biologists focused on education and conservation of the region. You can get involved with coral planting programs too. A guided tour over the reef AYANA’s glass bottom boat is a stunning way to spend the day, however, the ultimate in luxury at sea is found onboard AYANA’s 54-metre Lako di’a.

The Rees Hotel, Queenstown

New Zealand

On the shores of Lake Wakatipu, The Rees Hotel, Queenstown is a sophisticated and welcoming property that has scooped the pool in best hotel awards over the years – and for good reason. The attentive staff of The Rees value every guest, which is why most of them return again and again. The Rees also shines with its variety of luxury accommodation options, including 60 hotel rooms, 90 beautifully furnished apartments and five private, three-bedroom Lakeside Residences. The hotel’s renowned True South Dining Room shines with local produce heroed by chef Corey Hume. Guests also love relaxing in the Bordeau Wine Lounge with its library of rare books, wine cellar and prime views across the lake to The Remarkables range.

Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay


Stepping from the private balcony of your overwater villa, directly into a pristine lagoon, is one of life’s great joys. Create unparalleled memories at Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay, an award-winning overwater retreat for fulfilment seekers. Spend your getaway with relaxing views that come with the overwater bungalows, meandering across the sparkling water or stylish free-standing bures adorned with large outdoor decks, giving easy access to the beach. Relax with a pampering massage, lounge under the sun, swim in refreshing pools and enjoy the various aquatic pursuits on the lagoon, such as kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding. Explore a multitude of dining options with three restaurants, Asian fusion at Goji Kitchen & Bar, catch of the day at Fish Bar and Mediterranean at Lagoon House & Bar, while Voi Voi Bar offers Fiji-style barbecues and cultural dining immersions.

Read: Why you should stay at Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay

Wakatobi Dive Resort


At Wakatobi Dive Resort, private bungalows and villas dotted along a white sand beach. Just offshore, the waters of a private marine reserve are home to some of Indonesia’s most pristine coral reefs. The diving opportunities here are spectacular. A coral reef houses thousands of fish, invertebrate species, sea fans and sponges. The resort is also known for fine dining and five-star personal service and a wellness spa, nature trails, village tours and hammock await for your return from the sea. 

Read: This luxury resort has the best diving in Indonesia

Conrad Bali


A luxurious beachfront resort in Nusa Dua, Conrad Bali offers a range of Signature Sensory Odysseys to help travellers reset, relax and rejuvenate. Experience Sound Healing using ancient meditative practices, cooking classes that can involve unique Balinese immersions, or embrace the art of shinrin yoku (forest bathing), on a full-day tour including paddling in a jukung, a traditional kayak. Treatments at Jiwa Spa will add to the sense of contentment.

Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort 


This socially and environmentally responsible inclusive Fiji resort, with just 25 authentic luxury bures, is one of the most award-winning destinations in the South Pacific. Built to replicate a traditional Fijian village, Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort is surrounded by a marine sanctuary, blending the best of self-sustainable living, authentic culture, five-star natural luxury and legendary hospitality from over 200 Fijian staff. It offers a relaxed and immersive experience for all generations, sumptuous cuisine, family educational programs and complimentary exclusive nanny for each child under six (9am-9pm). It has recently been awarded ‘The Best Family Resort in the South Pacific 2023’ by Trip Advisor.

Read: Fiji’s 20 best resorts

The Apurva Kempinski

Bali, Indonesia

Paying homage to Bali’s verdant, tiered rice paddies and majestic ancient temples, the imposing The Apurva Kempinski cascades down a cliffside in Nusa Dua. Surrounded by lush tropical gardens, the 475-room property has sweeping views of the sparkling Indian Ocean. But the pièce de resistance has to be the aquatic dining experience at Koral Restaurant – the first aquarium restaurant in Bali, where schools of kaleidoscopic fish swim around you as you dine on dishes like slow-cooked Mutiara spiny lobster, bisque coulis, mango and citrus vanilla vinaigrette – all matched with some of the world’s best wines.

The Apurva Kempinski Bali
The Apurva Kempinski

Bay of Many Coves

The Bay of Many Coves holiday accommodation is tucked at the top of New Zealand’s South Island. A stay here will see you spending days watching dolphins dive in the pristine waters of the Marlborough Sounds. Set in the Queen Charlotte Sound, hike, bike, kayak and repeat, and don’t miss a trip out to the Marlborough Sounds wineries. Then retire to luxe apartments or the Kereru Suite with its wide private balcony with sweeping bay views.

Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui

Koh Samui, Thailand

Garrya Tongsai Bay Samui is set amid 11 hectares of lush landscape with private villas and suites. Dine at one of three restaurants, where most ingredients are sourced from local farmers and the resort’s garden. Or opt for an in-villa barbecue or private beachside candlelit dinner. During the day take a dip in the 50-metre freshwater pool, or the hillside adults-only pool. Those wanting to get active can sign up for a Yoga class, Muay Thai or walk along the private beach. Head out and explore Koh Samui’s Wat Plai Laem temple and Wat Phra Yai, the Big Buddha Temple. And don’t miss a boat trip to snorkel at Ang Thong Marine Park.

Rambagh Palace 

Jaipur, India

Named the world’s best hotel by the 2023 Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards, Rambagh Palace in Jaipur, India, is a 19th-century palace-turned-luxurious holiday accommodation that has to be seen to be believed. Think roving peacocks, lavish elegance, antiques, colourful silks, and huge crystal chandeliers. Sprawling suites have wooden ceilings, tubs and balconies. Dine on a royal Indian feast at Suvarna Mahal, the former palace ballroom and don’t miss the heritage walk to learn about the varied stories and anecdotes of yesteryears’ maharajas.

Rambagh Palace India
Rambagh Palace 

Resorts World Sentosa

Sentosa Island, Singapore

Resorts World Sentosa is an integrated resort that offers a range of luxury hotels to meet every traveller’s desires. It’s high-energy and high-end, combining 8 luxurious accommodations, thrilling adventures at Universal Studios Singapore, S.E.A. Aquarium, Dolphin Island and Adventure Cove Waterpark and tantalising dining options, and its all-in-one location.

Read: Your ultimate Singapore guide to stay, play and dine

Ocean Suite at Resorts World Sentosa
Ocean Suite at Resorts World Sentosa

Best stays in Africa

The Manta Resort & Underwater Room – Pemba Island


Lay in bed and watch as shoals of kaleidoscopic fish glide around you. The Manta Resort’s ‘underwater room’ is, as its name suggests, a suite that sits 12 metres deep off the coast of Pemba Island in Tanzania’s Zanzibar archipelago. The three-level structure has a ladder leading to the roof where you can bask in the sun, and by night watch a starlit sky. Spend days exploring the forests, swamps, mangroves, hidden beaches and lagoons scattered among the ruins of mosques and tombs, and dine at the resort’s seafood restaurant watching the sun go down overlooking a sparkling ocean. Then head down to your room for a 360-degree view of the otherworldly underwater world. 

Kruger Shalati

South Africa

A century ago, trains rattled along the Sabi Bridge on a nine-day tourist route taking in the Kruger National Park, until the line was ceased 50 years ago. And there the bridge sat, with its majestic views across one of Africa’s most revered, and largest game reserves, until 2020 when Kruger Shalati was born.

Now, you can stay on the bridge in a re-envisioned stationary train that marks where the first visitors to the park came in the early 1920s. There are 31 rooms overlooking the river where wildlife roam. Soak in one of three swimming pools, have an in-room spa treatment, go on a game drive, and then dine on African-inspired fare and cheers to those majestic views.

Okahirongo Elephant Lodge


In a remote region of Namibia, you’ll find a luxury lodge that is wild. The newly renovated Okahirongo Elephant Lodge has seven suites and a two-bedroom abode with an infinity pool. Take a game drive with expert Himba guides to track elephants and lions, or visit the ancient clay castles of the Hoarusib River Valley. Back at the lodge, sip sundowners as the sun sets over the dunes.

Okahirongo Elephant Lodge
Okahirongo Elephant Lodge

Best stays in the Americas

Fogo Island Inn


On an island off an island in Newfoundland, perched on stilts and hugging the North Atlantic coastline, is the striking Fogo Island Inn. A modern architectural take on the fishing shacks that dot the island, each of the 29 rooms has ocean views. There’s also a contemporary art gallery, library, cinema, and reading room. In winter go snowmobiling, skating, snowshoeing, and tobogganing, and come summer, hike, cycle or amble along the island’s many trails and paths. Then dine on dishes created using local berries, edible plants and vegetables from the garden and seafood fished from local waters.

Outrigger Kaʻanapali Beach Resort

Maui, Hawaii

“Hawai‘i’s most Hawaiian hotel.” Immerse yourself in the vibrant traditions and customs of the islands, such as lei making, hula dancing, ʻōlelo Hawaiian language lessons, ukulele classes and mo‘olelo storytelling. Dive deep in an ocean of activities like snorkelling, paddle boarding and catamaran cruises on the Kāʻanapali Beach, voted the best beach in the world. The oceanfront Maui Brewing Co. offers handcrafted food and craft beers in an expansive open-air interior with a family-friendly vibe. And at checkout, guests receive a farewell kukui nut lei to remind them of their amazing experiences. Come experience the cultural richness and genuine hospitality that makes Outrigger Kāanapali Beach Resort stand out as an authentic Hawaiian resort.

Read: Why Kāʻanapali is Hawai’i’s best resort

Skylodge Adventure Suites


You’ll need nerves of steel to sleep at this Peruvian holiday accommodation – but it’ll be worth every minute. Skylodge Adventure Suites are transparent luxury capsules that hang at the top of a mountain in the Sacred Valley Peru. It’s an adventure even getting here. Climb the 400 metres of Via Ferrata or hike an intrepid trail through ziplines. The reward is an eye-popping 360-degree view. Handcrafted out of aerospace aluminium, each ‘suite’ has four beds, a dining area and a private bathroom. Room with a view? Yes indeed.

Invisible House

Joshua Tree National Park, CA

Bringing the outside in takes on a whole new meaning at the ‘Invisible House’ two hours from Los Angeles. Among 36 hectares abutting Joshua Tree National Park is a home that sits like a mirrored mirage – reflecting its ancient desert terrain. Designed by film producers Chris Hanley and Tomas Osinski, it has a 30-metre indoor pool and a west-facing wall of sliding, floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open to reveal boulders, desert and the iconic trees of this region. Each of the four bedrooms has uninterrupted views of the desert. And while outside, it can be hard to spot, inside it’s all a sleek contemporary design, with space for days.

Explora Patagonia Hotel Salto Chico

Patagonia, Chile

Located on the edge of Lake Pehoé in Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park, the jagged-peak views from this stunning eco-lodge are breathtaking. Take them in through floor-to-ceiling windows in the lodge, or outdoors from the comfort of a steaming hot riverside Jacuzzi. Explora Patagonia guides pride themselves on getting guests out in nature no matter what the weather, and join you in the lounge the evening before to talk through your next-day adventures – riding horses with gauchos, hiking in the national park, or cruising to the glacier, perhaps?

The Pearl, Hotel Emma


Built within the reimagined shell of a 19th-century brewery in San Antonio’s wildly popular The Pearl, Hotel Emma was voted America’s Best Luxury Hotel by Tripadvisor recently. Its exquisite Steampunk-inspired design, the impressive two-storey library with 3,700 volumes, a sunny rooftop pool, and the jawdropping Sternewirth bar, add up to an extraordinary stay.

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise 

Alberta, Canada

With breathtaking views of the majestic Victoria Glacier, soaring mountain peaks and a glistening emerald lake, Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is achingly beautiful. The Canadian holiday accommodation is located in the iconic Banff National Park, this 539-room resort provides all the luxuries you could desire. While stunning all year round, it is magical in winter, when you can skate or snowshoe on the frozen lake, or work out your ski legs at Lake Louise. Ski Resort.

AutoCamp Zion


Zion National Park has long been known as one of the USA’s best playgrounds, where you can bike, hike and canyon among towering cliffs and deep narrow canyons. And now you can bed down in a classic Airstream caravan at the new AutoCamp Zion. Lay in your queen bed tucked under a window with panoramic views, or sit on your private patio where you spend hours gazing at a starlit sky (it’s an International Dark Sky Park).

European holiday accommodation



You’ll need to be comfortable with the cold if you’re planning a stay here. Two hundred kilometres north of the Arctic Circle in the Swedish village of Jukkasjärvi, is Icehotel, a hotel made entirely out of ice from the neighbouring Torne River. Rebuilt every winter, more than 500 artists have contributed to the various incarnations of the hotel – chiselling, scraping and shaping the ice into accommodation that melts every year. While you’re here, roam amongst the ice sculptures or go dog sledding, skiing or snowmobiling, but the real experience is sleeping among what is as much ice art gallery as it is hotel.

Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita


The enchanting Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita is boutique holiday accommodation housed within ancient caves in the UNESCO-listed site of the Sassi. The luxury hotel is nestled in the heart of Matera, Italy in a well-preserved village of cave dwellings, churches and palaces. Rooms are meticulously restored, maintaining the authenticity of the caves while offering luxurious modern comforts. With soft lighting, stone walls, and rustic furnishings, the tranquil atmosphere allows for relaxation and reflection, while the attentive staff ensure a seamless and memorable stay.

Ashford Castle


Dating back to the 13th century, Ashford Castle is a luxurious fortress-turned-hotel where opulence meets old-world charm. Immerse yourself in the regal atmosphere of the grand suites, each adorned with antique furniture and fine fabrics, and bask in the stunning views of Lough Corrib. Be pampered in Ireland’s Best Hotel Spa, or head outside for horse riding, falconry, golf and cycling in the castle’s sprawling grounds.



The latest addition to Belmond’s fleet of Les Bateaux Belmond, Coquelicot is luxurious holiday accommodation on the water. The newly renovated boat has three glamorous cabins with ensuites, an indoor salon with an exceptional champagne bar and an extensive and luxe outdoor deck. Guests will enjoy a refined experience over a bespoke seven-day itinerary in the region of Champagne. When on board, relax on the top deck with a glass of Ruinart and watch the world go by thanks to Belmond’s exclusive partnership with what is the world’s oldest champagne house.

Marqués de Riscal Hotel


Marqués de Riscal Hotel is a luxurious retreat nestled in the heart of Spain’s Rioja wine region. This modern architectural masterpiece, designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry, fuses contemporary style with the surrounding vineyards and medieval town of Elciego. A one-ofa-kind stay, this striking hotel boasts spacious and elegant rooms, world-class amenities including a Vinothérapie spa, fitness centre and outdoor pool. The hotel’s culinary offerings, overseen by Michelin-starred Chef Francis Panieg, showcase the region’s finest ingredients and wines.

Gleneagles Hotel 


Opening nearly a century ago, Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland is a sprawling estate renowned for its three championship golf courses. There’s also horse riding, tennis, and fishing, an award-winning spa, and a Michelin-starred restaurant. A stay at this holiday accommodation will see you follow in the footsteps of the likes of John Travolta, George Bush and Sir Sean Connery, to name but a few.


Jade Mountain Resort

St Lucia

The majestic Pitons (volcanic spires that soar from the sea) provide picturesque panoramic views regardless where you are at Jade Mountain Resort in St Lucia. This striking Caribbean retreat sits high on the hillside on a 242-hectare lush tropical estate. Individual bridges lead to infinity pool sanctuaries, and its exterior is made up of rugged stone-faced columns. Each of the 29 rooms has views of the verdant landscape and those otherworldly spires. Spend your days lazing on the beach or burn some energy on the mountain bike trails and the multitude of nature walks. Evenings are spent devouring dishes by award-winning chef, Allen Susser, which are as colourful as this tropical paradise.

Middle East

Memories Aicha Luxury Camp


Surrounded by majestic mountains and the vast Arabian desert in the red valley, Jordan’s Wadi Rum, Memories Aicha Luxury Camp, resembles more Mars colony than camping site. Seamlessly blending wilderness with opulence, wake to the wild outdoors without compromising on comfort in one of the 55 panoramic luxury tents with plush furnishings inspired by the desert sands. Each tent has modern amenities, air conditioning, showers, and enchanting views. Visitors can explore the breathtaking Wadi Rum, enjoy wild jeep tours, and savour traditional Bedouin dinners under the stars.

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