July 23, 2018 / Luxury Lifestyle

Luxury Escapes: Vacation Destinations for Summer 2018

For adventurers, foodies, nature enthusiasts, or those simply wanting to relax, these eight extraordinary hotels around the world will have guests returning again and again


A highly anticipated resort in the Maldives is making waves for its sustainable credentials and artist-in-residence program, while thrill-seekers may feel more at home navigating ancient rock faces in Utah. And foodies will enjoy the sybaritic delights of the food and wine in and around the lively Sardinian port town of Porto Cervo. These eight destinations—spanning the globe—have something to satisfy even the most demanding guests.

Related: Meet the Adventure Travel Experts

1. Artful abode
JOALI, Maldives, Indian Ocean
The villas at JOALI in the Maldives nurture a sense of serenity, with some featuring a private infinity pool steps from the room. Banner image: The expressive architecture of Cala di Volpe in Sardinia.This new resort in the Maldives is about to open its doors, offering 73 private beach and water villas and residences that are billed as the “epitome of sustainable glamour.” JOALI, on the picture-perfect Muravandhoo island, can be reached via a 45-minute seaplane flight from a private lounge at Male airport. Architecture and interiors at the resort are the work of London and Istanbul’s Autoban and Tokyo-based Studio Glitt—check into the three-bedroom Private Ocean Residence to enjoy two striking infinity pools as well as butler and valet service. Art will play a large part at JOALI: a studio and gallery will show the works of guest artists, a shop will sell one-of-a-kind works, and an artist-in-residence program encourages guests to enroll in courses during their stay. The on-site Espa spa will offer indulgent treatments, and there will be treats of a different kind at The Chocolate and Ice Cream Store, where ice cream will be made to order for guests.

2. Conquer the canyon
Amangiri, Utah, USA
The suites at Amangiri, with their clean lines and natural materials, complement the qualities of the surrounding Utah desert, offering breathtaking views of the mesa and dunes.Thrill-seekers of all ages will be kept busy at the Amangiri hideaway, nestled among the rocks in Utah’s Grand Circle region. The five-star resort recently introduced an aerial adventure suitable for the whole family. Consisting of exhilarating rock scrambles, climbs, and four suspension-bridge passages, the route allows guests to take in the natural beauty while under close supervision. Parents and children can also learn about the area’s ancient inhabitants through a replica dinosaur dig, which offers a glimpse into the paleontological treasures unearthed at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument nearby.

3. Flights of fancy
The Peninsula, Chicago, USAChicago's best views await guests partaking in The Peninsula’s “Chicago by Air and Water” package.Guests at The Peninsula Chicago can explore the Windy City from a unique perspective as part of the hotel’s “Chicago by Air and Water” package. The immersive journey features the chance to enjoy views of the city from above thanks to the Chicago Helicopter Experience. Following the private helicopter tour, explore the city from the water with a cruise on Lake Michigan. Visitors who haven’t found their sea legs can also choose from an array of Peninsula Academy experiences, such as a private tour of the Art Institute of Chicago, or VIP access to Broadway in Chicago performances.

4. Island rose
JW Marriott, Venice, Italy
A Venetian sanctuary, JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa is located on its own private island, Isola delle Rose.A trip to Venice always feels like an adventure, but now there’s even more reason to visit, thanks to JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa. Located on Isola delle Rose, a private island 3 miles (4.8 km) from St Mark’s Square, the retreat’s rooms, suites, and villas were designed by acclaimed Italian architect Matteo Thun. Stroll its 29 acres of gardens and you’ll find palm trees, magnolias, Atlas cedars, and a century-old olive grove with spectacular views over the lagoon. The resort can be reached via luxury water taxi and has four upscale dining options, a spa (or the option of in-room treatments), and a fitness center. For residents wishing to explore a little further afield, it also offers private visits to a Murano glass factory, a Burano lace-maker, and a squero—a Venetian boatyard where gondolas are built.

5. Escape to summer
Seven Pines, Ibiza, Spain
Seven Pines Resort Ibiza can create itineraries for its guests, including diving, yacht excursions, and club and restaurant bookings.Nestled on the edge of a forest on Ibiza’s west coast, Seven Pines Resort Ibiza recently opened its doors to discerning travelers who know there’s more to the White Island than its reputation for partying. The clifftop resort, set over 14 acres (5.7 ha), features whitewashed Ibizenco-style suites—some with their own private pools and gardens—along with a spa and wellness center. A 79-foot (24 m) Pershing yacht is on hand for guest transfers and charters, and Ibiza airport is just a 25-minute drive away.

Related: Read an Insider’s Guide to Ibiza

6. Sojourn for the soul
Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives, Indian Ocean
Throughout the year, Gili Lankanfushi in the Maldives welcomes visiting practitioners who provide specialized wellness treatments to balance the mind, body, and soul. Photograph: Stevie MannIf a trip to the Maldives isn’t tempting enough, there’s now another reason to visit the islands this summer, as luxury resort Gili Lankanfushi introduces a wellness program with a difference. Rather than offering the standard clean-eating-and-yoga retreat, “intuitive mentor” Jody Shield will take up residence in August to help guests switch off, clear their emotional debt, and restore energy through meditation, mindfulness, and transformative LifeTonic classes. One-on-one private sessions will also be available exclusively to Gili Lankanfushi guests.

Related: Sample the Menu at the Gili Lankanfushi Resort  

7. Emerald fox
Cala di Volpe, Sardinia, Italy
Designed in 1962 by French architect Jacques Couëlle, Cala di Volpe resembles an ancient fishing village. Its softly curved interiors exemplify Sardinian style—and possibly reflect the influence of Couëlle’s friends and contemporaries, Picasso and Dalí.Cala di Volpe (which translates as Bay of Foxes), a relaxed yet thoroughly five-star hotel, marina, and private beach not far from Costa Smeralda's lively Porto Cervo, epitomizes Sardinian style. Its soft white stucco, local stone, arched walkways and galleries, thatched ceilings, and polished hewn timber set the scene for its authentic Mediterranean vibe. The hotel's signature restaurant is a destination in its own right, and oenophiles can browse the extensive wine cellar during a private tasting—Sardinia is renowned for its excellent Vermentino wines, which make an annual appearance at Porto Cervo's Food & Wine Festival each spring. And with its own pretty marina as your view, you may want to make Cala di Volpe a luxurious den to sail into to again and again.

Related: Visit Porto Cervo, Sardinia’s Coastal Gem

8. Take a royal seat
Elysian Estates, United Kingdom
The dedicated concierges from Elysian Estates are able to organize every detail of your stay, whether it’s in a sumptuous stately home, a sleek city pad, an impressive manor house, or a rustic country cottage.If you have ever fancied yourself as lord or lady of the manor, then behold Elysian Estates. The luxury-rental firm can help arrange the perfect country break for you—and as many of your family or friends as you wish—in country estates and castles around the United Kingdom. You can’t book online with Elysian; instead, you talk to a member of its Concierge team about your requirements, who then suggest the best property for you. Foodies will love Elysian’s Elite Collection—among them Broughton Hall, dating from the 16th-century; the expansive Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire; and the 22-bedroom Cowdray House in West Sussex—all of which have their own on-site chefs who will create the perfect menus for your stay.

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