EXCLUSIVE Where the super-rich REALLY go on holiday: Secret online forum for ultra-luxe travellers reveals where they like to check in, from jaw-dropping jungle villas to a hotel with a ‘director of beach’
- The list comes from a Reddit forum ‘for those who spend excessively on travel’
- The ranking pulls back the curtain on the lives of high-end tourists
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Forget the Hilton. This is where the super-rich really travel, according to a thread on Reddit seeking to uncover the hideaways where the elite check in for their holidays – and the gems that are on their bucket lists.
From jaw-dropping jungle villas with infinity pools to Robinson Crusoe-style private islands in the Philippines and exclusive-use catamarans, the list pulls back the curtain on the lives of high-end tourists around the world.
The post invited users in a secret Reddit community for ultra-luxury individuals – ‘who like to spend excessive amounts of money on travel’ – to share their favourite hotels from around the world, encouraging others to vote up the places they hadn’t visited yet.
Securing first place with the most upvotes was The Bodrum Edition, a lavish beachfront oasis in Turkey where the elite bask in minimalist private villas, each boasting its own infinity pool.
One commenter revealed how the hotel’s ‘director of beach’ sprinted across the sands with an umbrella in hand during a sudden storm – before serving them a complimentary meal in the on-site restaurant.
A post invited users in a secret Reddit community for ultra-luxury travellers to share their favourite hotels from around the world, encouraging others to upvote the places they hadn’t visited yet. The Bodrum Edition in Bodrum, Turkey, secured first place
The Bodrum Edition has a beach club that’s a hotspot for the elite
They said: ‘My sister got wet in the rain and the director of beach sprinted across the sand, summoned a team of umbrella-holders and put us in an elevator to the restaurant.
‘She sprinted up the stairs and met us at the top, then personally served us at the best table for two hours and comped the entire bill as an apology for getting wet.
‘We just thought the whole thing was quite funny. But they really went above and beyond.’
In the runner-up spot was the opulent Ritz Paris, which offers guests a chance to walk in the footsteps of icons such as Ernest Hemingway and Coco Chanel, the latter having lived there for 34 years.
Rooms at the five-star hotel – which opened in 1898 – cost an average of £1,750 per night, with the lobby opening on to the heart of Paris on Place Vendôme, known for its deluxe boutiques and close proximity to iconic landmarks such as the Louvre.
In the runner-up spot was the opulent Ritz Paris, which offers guests a chance to walk in the footsteps of icons such as Ernest Hemingway and Coco Chanel, the latter having lived there for 34 years
The thread highlighted Six Senses Yao Noi in Phuket, Thailand. Voted third, the hotel is a sanctuary for those seeking an escape into nature without sacrificing luxury
The Ritz Paris also boasts beautiful gardens and terraces, while the in-house Salon Proust offers a quintessential Parisian experience in a setting reminiscent of the Belle Époque era.
The thread also highlighted Six Senses Yao Noi in Phuket, Thailand, which was upvoted into third place. The sanctuary is perfect for those seeking an escape into nature without sacrificing luxury.
The resort’s villas stand on stilts among lush vegetation, providing panoramic views of the Andaman Sea. They come with private pools and levels of serenity highly sought-after by deep-pocketed holidaymakers.
Awasi Patagonia in Chile featured fourth on the list, with spread-out private villas overlooking the stunning rugged mountains of Torres del Paine National Park.
Awasi Patagonia was voted fourth – the exclusive retreat sits in the wilds of Southern Chile
Awasi Patagonia offers private villas with breathtaking panoramic views over the Torres Del Paine National Park in Patagonia
Nihi Sumba in Indonesia boasts celebrity fans including Chris Hemsworth and Victoria Beckham. No surprise it ranked fifth
One user wrote: ‘It’s really laid back. You just sit down with your guide on day one and talk about what you want.
‘It inspired me to start working on plans to take the kids out of school for a year and explore South America. So breathtaking.’
Fifth-place Nihi Sumba in Indonesia provides the wealthy with the opportunity to go riding on pristine beaches and immerse in one of the world’s last remaining animistic cultures.
Auberge Saint-Antoine in Quebec, Canada, was voted sixth. This historic hotel blends luxury with heritage, with stunning views over the St. Lawrence River
Visited by celebrities such as Chris Hemsworth and Victoria Beckham, the hotel an hour’s flight from Bali has its own herd of wild horses that swim in the sea each day after being fed coconuts by staff.
In the Americas, Auberge Saint-Antoine in Canada emerged as a top contender in sixth place, blending luxury and history with panoramic views of the St. Lawrence River.
With rooms boasting exposed ceiling beams and brick walls, the hotel combines antique charm with modern luxury alongside a farm-to-table restaurant renowned for its exquisite cuisine.
The above three images show the spellbinding private island retreat of Amanpulo in the Philippines, which came seventh. Amanpulo retreat offers world-class diving and a serene spa – guests even get their own buggies
One commenter added that ‘the architecture acknowledges the historic location with examples from the excavation beautifully displayed around the property’.
Meanwhile, the exclusive island retreat of Amanpulo in the Philippines – which is only accessible by private plane transfer – sees guests staying in secluded beachfront casitas given their own buggies to ride around the resort.
Bali’s lush village-style Mandapa Ritz-Carlton Reserve, in the jungle enclave of Ubud, also made the list, in at number eight thanks to its elegant wood-clad private pool villas overlooking the Ayung River.
THE TOP 10 HIDDEN HIDEAWAYS
1. The Bodrum Edition, Bodrum, Turkey
A minimalist Aegean paradise on Turkey’s south coast featuring private pool villas and a beach club that’s a hotspot for the elite.
Average nightly room rate: £725 ($925). Visit: www.editionhotels.com/bodrum.
2. Ritz Paris, Paris
The epitome of French luxury, previously hosting icons such as Ernest Hemingway and Coco Chanel. There’s a Michelin-starred restaurant and the legendary Bar Hemingway offers a taste of history.
Average nightly room rate: £1,750 ($2,234). Visit: www.ritzparis.com.
3. Six Senses Yao Noi, Phuket, Thailand
A secluded jungle island haven with villas offering stunning bay views and private pools, Six Senses Yao Noi offers guests a stunning spa and eco-conscious ethos.
Average nightly room rate: £950 (£1,212). Visit: www.sixsenses.com.
4. Awasi Patagonia, Patagonia, Chile
This exclusive retreat in the wilds of Patagonia offers private villas with breathtaking panoramic views over the Torres Del Paine National Park and bespoke mountain adventures.
Average nightly room rate: £2,170 ($3,674). Visit: www.awasi.com.
5. Nihi Sumba, Sumba, Indonesia
Nihi Sumba counts Chris Hemsworth and Victoria Beckham among its fans and is known for its herd of wild horses, thatched-roof villas and a unique spa safari.
Average nightly room rate: £1,600 ($2,043). Visit: www.nihi.com.
6. Auberge Saint-Antoine, Quebec, Canada
This historic hotel blends luxury with heritage, with stunning views over the St. Lawrence River and quaint rooms featuring exposed ceiling beams.
Average nightly room rate: £480. ($812). Visit: www.saint-antoine.com.
7. Amanpulo, Philippines
A sandy private island retreat with beachfront casitas offering world-class diving and a serene spa – guests even get their own buggies.
Average nightly room rate: £1,300 ($1,660). Visit: www.aman.com.
8. Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Bali, Indonesia
With village-style villas overlooking the Ayung River and a focus on Balinese culture, Mandapa Ritz-Carlton Reserve is a sanctuary of peace amid the hustle and bustle of the jungle enclave of Ubud.
Average nightly room rate: £1,100 ($1,404). Visit: www.ritzcarlton.com.
9. Four Seasons Explorer, Maldives
This luxury catamaran offers exclusive cruises with bespoke diving and spa experiences for guests seeking privacy and adventure in the stunning Maldives.
Average nightly room rate: £3,480 ($4,442). Visit: www.fourseasons.com.
10. Le Mount Stephen, Montreal, Canada
Combining modern luxury with historic significance, Le Mount Stephen boasts designer suites and gourmet dining set in a landmark 19th-century building.
Average nightly room rate: £240 ($306). Visit: www.lemountstephen.com.
Upvoted to eighth by ultra-luxe travellers in the Reddit thread is Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Bali, Indonesia, shown in the three images above
A traveller said: ‘This was probably the coolest concept hotel I’ve been to. The whole village idea with temples and a valley with the river running through was awesome.’
The final two hotels on the ranking were Four Seasons Explorer Maldives (ninth), with an average nightly room rate of £3,480, and Le Mount Stephen in Montreal, Canada (10th), where rooms are in a landmark 19th-century building.
Speaking to MailOnline Travel, London-based luxury travel expert and advisor Joanna Leskow – who has years of experience organising six-figure trips for high-net-worth travellers – said: ‘Most luxury travellers have been to all the famous destinations, but now they’re looking more at places that haven’t yet reached the masses.
‘It’s another kind of luxury – raw luxury. Discovering the less-discovered, experiencing the pristine and untouched, living off-the-clock and eating farm-to-table.
‘Ultimately, luxury goes beyond lavishness and famous names – high-end travellers are looking for quality of experience.
The Four Seasons Explorer in the Maldives is a luxury catamaran that offers exclusive cruises with bespoke diving and spa experiences. It ranked ninth with the elite travellers of Reddit
The Explorer appeals to guests seeking privacy and adventure in the stunning Maldives
‘It’s about finding those places that offer truly personalised service with unique touches, the best in-room amenities, exceptional and unique designs or once-in-a-lifetime settings.
‘It really comes down to those moments that will be forever etched in their memory as exceptional.’
The global luxury travel market is worth $1.2trillion (£943million) every year, with a projected growth rate of 7.6 per cent until 2030, according to a recent report by the consultancy Deloitte.
Experts say the rising demand is being driven by middle and upper-class buyers joining high-net-worth travellers in seeking unique experiences.
The 2023 research revealed that the majority of high-end travellers are opting for hotels offering increased privacy and high-end amenities.
Combining modern luxury with historic significance, Le Mount Stephen in Montreal, Canada, ranked 10th. It boasts designer suites and gourmet dining
Le Mount Stephen is housed in a landmark 19th-century building. Rooms start from around £240 ($306)
This has led to a surge in popularity for luxury yachts, trains and cruises – with the journey as exclusive and luxurious as the ultimate destination.
Travellers are also keen to visit ‘dream destinations’ and ‘under-the-radar locations’, according to luxury travel association Virtuoso in its annual report released earlier this month.
Advisors reported that clients are ‘pushing geographical boundaries to witness nature in its pristine form’ amid fears it will be damaged or become inaccessible in future.
The report also highlighted an increased demand for custom trips that maximise comfort, with travellers wishing to ‘leave nothing to chance’.
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