Before selecting a destination, think about your definition of luxury. For some travelers, nothing less than white-glove service will do. Private butler service isn’t merely a nice touch, it’s a necessity. For others, luxury means a private beach where you can gaze out and not see another soul. A gourmet meal served at a table inside a celebrity chef’s kitchen is many people’s idea of the ultimate indulgence. Your idea of luxury will dictate your travel plans almost as much as your budget.
The world is full of diverse destinations that are waiting to be explored. But with so many options, it can be hard to narrow down your bucket list. That’s why we used a methodology that takes into account expert and editor analysis and reader votes to determine which destinations qualify for a spot on the list of the World’s Best Places to Visit.
This year’s ranking includes sprawling European metropolises, picturesque Caribbean islands, quaint mountain towns and exquisite natural wonders that are sure to wow every type of traveler.
#10: St. Lucia, Caribbean
Lush rainforests, majestic mountains and romantic resorts are all reasons to visit this Caribbean island. A haven for honeymooners, St. Lucia offers the perfect mix of seclusion, relaxation and adventure. To take in the spectacular landscape, plan to hike the Piton Mountains or snorkel and scuba dive in the waters of Anse Chastanet.
#9: Bali Indonesia
Ancient temples, imposing landscapes and legendary sunsets are enough for any traveler to daydream of Bali. This Indonesian island offers some of the best beaches in the world, along with volcanic mountains, elephant sanctuaries and a wealth of five-star resorts. Getting here isn’t cheap, but travelers seeking seclusion in an exotic locale agree it’s worth the trek for the photo ops alone.
#8: Santorini, Greece
The white and pastel-hued villages dotting the coastline of this Greek island seem to be straight out of a postcard. Shorelines are sprinkled with colorful beaches, including black sands at Kamari Beach, a crimson-hued shoreline at the aptly named Red Beach and cobalt waters everywhere. A visit here is also sure to include an abundance of fresh Mediterranean fare and locally made vino.
#7: Amalfi Coast, Italy
Five million people can’t be wrong. That’s how many tourists travel to this Italian coastal region annually. They come for the breathtaking views from seaside towns, where stacks of brightly colored houses are perched on the cliffs. While the Amalfi Coast’s topography is what initially draws travelers, its old-world charms, rich cultural history and fresh Italian cuisine convince them to come back year after year. For a posh getaway, stay along the coast in the town of Positano.
#6: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Dubai is home to a bevy of superlatives, including the tallest building in the world (Burj Khalifa at 2,717 feet), the world’s largest indoor theme park (IMG Worlds of Adventure), the largest man-made marina in the world and the world’s first rotating skyscraper, set to open in 2020.
If those aren’t enough reasons to visit, the city is also home to an indoor ski center, one of the globe’s largest shopping malls and multiple public beaches – not to mention a handful of man-made islands. A trip here won’t be cheap, but it’s worth it.