Although there are an abundance of luxury resorts for both couples and groups around the world, it can sometimes be difficult to find locations which will also offer culture, and plenty of activities. Below are the top five trips for young couples and groups looking for something out of the ordinary, but in luxurious surroundings.
Miami & Caribbean cruise
One of the best ways to see as much of an area as possible is to cruise. The majority of Caribbean cruises leave from the port at Miami and there are several luxury liners to choose from. It can be difficult to find a cruise which offers luxury but also on board entertainment for a younger crowd. I’ve found that the Bahamas and Caribbean routes tend to offer the best entertainment and atmosphere for the younger crowds, and they are surprisingly affordable. Every Caribbean island offers a different kind of holiday. Dependant on the time available and the route of the cruise, choose an island such as St. Thomas or Jamaica for a more upbeat scene.
Miami is one of the greatest cities on the planet for those looking for a luxury beach break. South Beach is filled with some of the best hotels in the US as well as some fantastic restaurants and nightclubs. I also found that it was one of the friendliest cities in the States and really caters for young crowds.
An alternative to Thailand, Malaysia provides some of the best in luxury island resorts. Because the islands off the Malaysian coast are relatively unknown, they offer all of the same amenities as the Thai islands, but without the crowds. Bear in mind monsoon season is between November and March. The best way to cover the country is to visit Kuala Lumpur for a few days then travel to one of the islands off the east or west coast peninsula.
Redang is the ultimate luxury island retreat and is one of the most expensive. It is off the eastern coast and has very few inhabitants so is ideal for couples. For groups, the Perhentian Islands offer a livelier scene and Langkawi off the west coast will cater to the more active traveller.
Not only does it have two of the most vibrant cities in Europe, Croatia is also home to some of the best beaches, lakes and mountains. Zagreb is a brilliant location for a city break before venturing into the mountains. There are lots of quaint cobbled streets with some great vintage shops and late night eateries. Dubrovnik lies on Croatia’s Adriatic coast and provides the backdrop for a luxury beach break. During peak season it tends to be overrun because of the daily cruise ship dockings, so early spring is the ideal time to visit. Mjlet Island lies just off the coast from Dubrovnik and is often ignored by passers-by. However, there are restaurants and stunning private beaches on the island and it is an ideal location for a chilled-out break.
The increase in Eurorpean Euro-rail travel means both cities are often buzzing with young travellers. Don’t let this out you off – the luxury hotel market in Croatia is as impressive as the rest of the Baltic.
Coastal Highway, USA & Mexico
The West Coast of the USA is hugely varied from north to south; so an ideal trip for a group of young, luxury-seeking travellers is a self-drive tour with a break in Mexico to top it off. San Francisco is an ideal starting point. It epitomises cool; there are plenty of restaurants and bars, and a reputable art scene. The drive south presents the options of travelling either via the coast to San Diego, or inland to Nevada and Las Vegas.
Considering its only about 5 hours inland, Vegas is well worth a stop. The range of hotels is arguably one of the best in the world and the nightlife speaks for itself. It’s not for everyone but even just two nights will allow you to experience the bright lights and not forgetting, the Grand Canyon. Alternatively, the drive south will lead you to the Santa Barbara and Los Angeles.
A mere hop over the border, Cabo San Lucas is a celebrity hotspot but is home to some of Mexico’s most impressive resorts. A more glamorous version of Cancun, Cabo is perfect for young couples looking for a sophisticated resort with a lively atmosphere. Flights from LAX are regular.
Tanzania & Zanzibar
There are few luxury trips available that can compete with safaris. One of the ultimate African trips is to the south east region of Tanzania and the stunning Zanzibar. It’s a common twin centre and packages are offered by most tour operator; likely because it’s hard to beat the beauty of Zanzibar.
Its location beside the Indian Ocean and Mount Kilimanjaro means the abundance of wildlife in Tanzania is excellent. Common sights include zebra, hippos and wildebeest. Tanzania offers a different scene to the likes of Kenya and Uganda but is a top option for those seeking a tropical retreat. The white sands of Zanzibar are home to some of the most expensive resorts in the world, however there is a great array and something to suit most budgets. Stone Town has a typical island atmosphere and throngs of visitors arrive daily from boat trips. An ideal location for those looking to experience both untouched African environments as well as a chilled out beach holiday.