Luxury holiday destinations: 5 of the best

If you’re looking to book a no-holds-barred, blow-the-budget getaway this year, look no further than these luxury destinations, says Rachel Truman

Any stylish, luxury break should begin with booking into business class for an unforgettable in-flight experience. With supreme comfort, plenty of personal space and seriously good on-board dining and entertainment on the menu, it’s not surprising that Qatar Airways has been named the World’s Best Business Class, according to the 2019 Skytrax World Airline Awards and 2019 TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards. Here are five highly desirable destinations on Qatar Airways’ network that draw travellers who enjoy their five-star comforts…


Malaysia’s tropical archipelago delivers dreamy white-sand beaches along with dramatic forest-topped karst cliffs and mountainous jungle-clad interiors. As well as knock-out natural beauty, this chain of 100-plus islands and outcrops also offers a crop of beautifully designed and opulent places to stay. Many of its most expensive and secluded hideaways are nestled between Langkawi’s rainforest and its idyllic beaches, offering guests the best of both worlds. They can head off to explore waterfalls, rainforests and mountains teeming with birds and other wildlife (looking out for dusky leaf monkeys, flying lemurs, and macaques). Or head out onto the Andaman Sea by boat to explore the archipelago’s extraordinary coastline, with its limestone pinnacles and deserted beaches. Be sure to ask your resort to pack a gourmet picnic, so you can drop anchor, go for a dip and drink in the stunning scenery.

Best of both worlds: choose from Langkawi’s lush rainforest or exotic beaches



The lush and spiritual island may be renowned for having a laid-back hippie vibe with its connection to surfing and yoga, but there is plenty of sheer and unadulterated luxury to be had too. Think personal butlers, private plunge pools, infinity pools with uninterrupted views of the Indian Ocean, dreamy spas and restaurants serving exquisite seafood. In fact, as home to some of the world’s most phenomenally luxurious and designer resorts, picture the most luxurious place you can imagine and Bali is likely to top it. It’s no wonder that it lures A-listers aplenty. Resorts are mostly geared for romance and seclusion with pampering and fine dining, but many offer bespoke activities such as private yacht tours, diving excursions and cultural visits to see some of the island’s ancient temples and villages. 

Land of luxury: kick back and relax on the island of Bali



The Tanzanian archipelago has long enchanted travellers with its idyllic landscapes and exotic history as a spice island, and it’s fast becoming a serious luxury destination with numerous hot beach hotels and sprawling luxurious resorts. The islands of Zanzibar, Mnemba and Pemba Islands all offer incredible places to stay where standout service, beautiful designs and secluded settings are on the agenda. They’re geared up for guests looking to unwind completely and indulge, with fine cuisine and sumptuous spas to enjoy in between lazing on the fine, white-sand beaches, taking a traditional dhow to cruise around the archipelago or snorkelling straight from the beach among reef-fringed lagoons. 

Exotic seclusion: spend your days lazing on the white-sand beaches of Zanzibar



Top-notch service and sophisticated luxury are guaranteed at Sydney’s string of smart hotels, many of which offer wonderful waterfront views. But even in the swankiest of places in this stylish coastal city, the general feel is laid-back and relaxed. Sydney has seriously special places to eat too. For harbour views and inventive cooking, it has to be Quay, where chef Peter Gilmore never fails to impress. Charter a yacht and spend the day on Sydney’s waterways, sailing right past the harbour’s iconic sights and dropping anchor at exclusive suburbs for a slap-up lunch or a swim. For a day to remember, charter a seaplane from Rose Bay and fly north to Whale Beach. Be sure to book lunch at Jonah’s where you could share a seafood platter as you gaze out at the Pacific Ocean. 

Set sail: soak up the iconic sights of Sydney Harbour by yacht



The impossibly pretty islands of the Maldives are the epitome of luxury travel, long luring an elite crowd. Its extravagant resorts, many of which are on private islands, are geared up to exceed their exacting customers’ expectations with state-of-the-art facilities and once-in-a-lifetime experiences on tap: think champagne picnics on uninhabited islands, sunset sailing trips and massages by the water’s edge. Of course, the prices match the luxuries offered but it’s oh-so-worth-it for a blow-out trip, if budget allows. You might choose to stay cocooned on your luxury island retreat, but should you wish, you could charter a boat to go on a snorkelling safari, to explore the main island Mahé or take whale- and dolphin-watching trips around the atolls.

Marooned in the Maldives: swap the daily grind for island life


Discover Qatar

Experience a journey like never before with the World’s Best Airline, as awarded by Skytrax 2019. 

Qatar Airways takes you to over 160 destinations from six UK gateways (Heathrow, Gatwick, Birmingham, Cardiff, Manchester & Edinburgh) via Doha.

With Qatar Airways you can combine a short stay in Doha at extraordinary prices with time spent at a huge variety of worldwide destinations.

Enjoy special fares on Qatar Airways flights until 23 January exclusively at

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