Our Top Recommended Luxury Resorts
When money doesn’t matter and you simply want the best or for a special occasion, a milestone celebration in life that must exceed all expectations, a luxury resort is the answer. Retreat and indulge in fantasy memories to last a lifetime.
What makes a resort luxurious depends on mutual desires – yours and your family’s or mates’. It might mean special views, unique adventures, cuisine, amenities, you name it, it’s your luxury but it definitely begins with WOW as the first impression when you drive up or have the door opened to a grand reception hall.
Below are 25 Luxury Resorts, either personally experienced or highly recommended by our travel network. Choose one or research by what strikes your fancy and remember to not just take the vacation but also let the vacation take you.
- Four Seasons Resort Lanai
The open lobby Pacific Ocean view takes your breath away. Lush gardens, streams and koi ponds lead to spacious high tech pads where an ipad app notifies when spinner dolphins are performing in the Holo’poe Bay. This marine preserve is the Grand Canyon of snorkeling. Jack Nicklaus designed such a romantic Manele Golf Course that Bill and Melinda Gates chose the 12th tee box for their matrimonial site and vow renewals 20 years later. Learn how to palm weave, hula dance and strum the ukulele poolside next to the Kailani restaurant where champagne sabering is performed after the evening torch lighting ceremony.
- Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island, Fla
Salt is the theme of this flavorful paradise, inspired by the sand dunes and carried through to the elegant Salt restaurant with a “Salt Sommelier.” Wake to the sun rising over the sea. Grab coffee and comb the beach or explore the quaint island. First class but laid-back like the island, every pool and Jacuzzi pulses with a soothing waterfall. From door assists to the golf shop and spa, staff members are passionate about service, greeting guests by name. Dance in the evening or say good night after a beach fire with s’ mores, fine cigars and libation along crashing ocean waves.
- Carolina Hotel, Pinehurst, NC
Pinehurst Resort is the “American Home of Golf.” In the Sandhills of North Carolina, halls are decked with photos, statues, and memorabilia galore. The elegant Carolina Dining Room with high ceiling chandeliers and tapestry backed chairs serves multi generational families in traditional style while live music plays on the porch of the Ryder Cup bar after the bagpiper steals the show before sunset. A path from The Carolina Hotel leads to the quintessential Pinehurst Village and shuttles deliver guests to the nine golf courses, the most famous being No. 2, caddie required.
- Fairmont Grand Del Mar, CA
A resplendent fountain and floral foray open to this European style estate. The palazzo suites are like luxe condos with rose petals strategically sprinkled throughout at turn down. A balcony might overlook the Tom Fazio golf course where every hole feels like a private encounter, winding through the lush Carmel Canyon. Wine sommeliers pair 3600 labels with exquisitely prepared morsels at Addison and Amaya restaurants or at the clubhouse viewing the elegant swans of the 18th green’s stream. Spend a whole day at the amenity and service filled spa. End in the lobby with fantastic live music and a final toast.
- Montage Kapalua Bay, Maui
Capture the island spirit on 24 acres of beautiful beachfront at Montage. Like the name, it is a picture perfect resort for rejuvenating. Indigenous treatments at the spa are inspired by the island’s history of pineapple farming with al fresco sea breeze therapy options. Grab your paddles and kayak or swim with the sea turtles. Dine at three restaurants or mark a special occasion with private dining at the little Kapalua Cliff House. Golf at Kapalua needs no explanation since it is the opening bell for the PGA tour. Montage will ring your bell.
- Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Pa
Accommodations are exquisite in Falling Rock, The Lodge or Chateau Lafayette. Nemacolin fulfills vacation desires for everyone. Play on two premier golf courses or at the miniature amusement park golf. Experience a Wildlife safari, Shooting Academy and Orvis Fly Fishing, zip lining, wall climbing, off roading, paintball, biking, hiking, and bowling as well as dogsledding, snow tubing and skiing in winter. Place your bets at Lady Luck Casino, tour the art studio, car and plane museums or focus on wellness at the spa, healing center, fitness center or salon. Get around in a Rolls Royce, Bentley or the shuttles run every few minutes.
- Hammock Beach, Fla
A dramatic drive lined with tall palms leads to a palatial welcome. Balcony views and a friendly staff make it hard to leave. Tom Watson’s Conservatory Course is the longest in Florida at 7776 yards from the tips. Nicklaus’ grand finale on the Ocean Course is an uphill battle as crashing waves peak at the clubhouse next to the beach boardwalk. Enjoy the rare stretch of pristine white sand, where turtles hatch and starfish sparkle between kokimo rocks. Take long walks or lounge the day away, as a few surfers maneuver to catch their perfect wave. Fine cuisine is served at the Atlantic Grill overlooking the ocean.
- Ritz Carlton – Naples, Fla
Raise a glass to the phenomenal sunset from the casual oceanfront Gumbo Limbo. Stroll in the moonlight along the three-mile stretch of sandy shore on the Gulf of Mexico. 450 rooms and suites with incredible views are punctuated with accents as fresh as the ocean breeze. Shuttle to Greg Norman’s Tiburon Golf Club for a truly Troon experience. It is a designated Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary and hosts two LPGA events. Cocoon in the lap of luxury that is the Ritz. Count sheep by diving into featherbeds with goose down comforters, pillows, and 400 count Egyptian sheets. Sweet dreams!
- Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui
The tropical drive, “Aloha” and traditional floral and beaded leis welcome to the wide-open reception area viewing the ocean. Al fresco living rooms appear here and there on every floor. Feel the sand between your toes or take the higher trail, a ritzy row alongside upscale resorts, Wailea shops and $28m homes. At Wailea Golf Club three courses reflect the beauty of the sea along the foothills of Mount Haleakala. Live music permeates after a special dinner. In native garb, a torchbearer sounds a conch shell and runs throughout the grounds igniting flames.
- Sea Island, Ga
Four Forbes Stars for nine years running guarantees an unforgettable stay at The Cloister, The Lodge, The Inn or Broadfield. Low Country hospitality meets the intimate encounter of sea nature in the form of marshes, grasslands and beach. Hunting, fishing, falconry and all sports of the sea await between Jacksonville and Savannah. This is where many pros live, train and play the Scottish style links Seaside, ocean view Plantation and towering tree lined Retreat courses. Time the end of a round to hear the bagpipes sing and check their calendar for unique cultural events.
- St. Regis Princeville, Kauai
Above Puff the Magic Dragon’s Hanalei Bay, this lavish resort has spectacular views of the Makana mountain range, just steps from the ocean. Bask in the sunsets of the Garden Isle of Hawaii and savor the food as well as the Champagne sabering at the plush St. Regis bar overlooking the water. Surf and sail the north shore, ride horses or zip line at the Princeville Ranch, and golf on Robert Trent Jones II’s two coastal courses, The Prince Course and Makai, considered one of the best in all of Hawaii.
- The Sanctuary Hotel at Kiawah Island, SC
Sophistication merges with a regal spirit and Southern charm at this Forbes 5 star rated hotel. Giant cypress trees laced with Spanish moss guard the white column estates on the ocean. Championship golf is an understatement here. The Ocean course, rated the Toughest Resort Course in the US by Golf Digest hosted the PGA Championship in 2012 and will again in 2021. Nicklaus’s Turtle Point, Player’s Cougar Point, Fazio’s Osprey Point and Clyde Johnson’s Oak Point are four more fabulous courses. If you are you getting the point, then point yourself south to Kiawah Island and experience southern hospitality at its finest.
- The Inn at Spanish Bay, Pebble Beach, CA
At the top of golfers’ wish lists is always Pebble Beach on the Monterey Peninsula. Indulge with private balconies, a boardwalk, extraordinary service, and evening bagpipes at The Inn at Spanish Bay. Stays include a 2-hour Lexus loaner or courtesy shuttles between Pebble Resorts and golf courses. Prance with the deer on the Links Course or stroll on the sandy beach and visit hidden coves along the idyllic coastline. Dine at Peppoli, Roy’s, Sticks, Straps, Lobby Lounge and the Stave Wine Cellar.
- Streamsong, Fla.
Sunrise, sunset views are striking from the luxury lodge. It’s all about the serenity of lakeside living in the middle of nowhere. Streamsong is platinum award winning and well hyped for good reasons. Streams do sing from lagoons to the lake along the Streamsong Blue course by Tom Doak and Streamsong Red course by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. The Clubhouse veranda serves as a 19th venue and houses 12 private guest rooms. Delectable dining choices abound and dark skies lend to star gazing after a day of golf, fishing and/or hunting.
- The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs
Throughout its rich history, this rocky mountain high palace has reinvented itself like no other property in the US. Nothing expresses the expansiveness of the West like the Broadmoor with its immaculate gardens and wide array of dining options. Lasso the sense of adventure onsite with fly-fishing, hiking and biking, horseback riding, zip lining, camping and golf. Three courses are rated the best in the business. Escapades continue at Seven Falls, or Pike’s Peak with a view of four states and all of the Continental Divide’s peaks which inspired “America the Beautiful” penned here in 1893 by Katherine Lee Bates.
- St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico
Sharing the coast with Oscar de La Hoya’s home, stays starting at $1500 per night include not one, but two personal butlers to press clothes and mix mojitos. Soft sand, pools and art weave through the tropical elegance of Bahia Beach. Robert Trent Jones II designed the course with his principle of harmony with nature by incorporating lagoons and native vegetation of sugar cane, pineapple and coconut – a sweet combination. The last 3 holes are by the sea where he says “the wind carries you home like a sailing regatta.”
- Fox Harb’r, Nova Scotia
Originally developed by Ron Joyce, cofounder of Tim Horton’s for jetsetters to “fly in on the runway, golf and go,” it is now a rare spot on earth, a bit off the grid but with heavenly luxury in a striking setting. Explore 5 kilometers of seawall by kayak, foot or horseback. The championship golf course is parkland style on the front with spectacular ocean views on every back nine hole. Bonus golf is played on the executive nine by the sea. Golf, spa, fly fish, skeet shoot and sip fine Jost wine with Chef Shane’s sustainable seafood cuisine to fall in love with Fox Har’br
- Trump Turnberry a Luxury Collection Resort, Scotland
Since 1901, Turnberry has been on Open venue four times. The Ailsa course is world renowned for its authentic links style set along the SW coast in Ayrshire. When Donald Trump purchased Ailsa in 2014 improvements began and a new course added, “King Robert the Bruce.” Extensive renovations to the clubhouse and hotel have lofted the property into the Luxury Collection. No matter what side of the aisle you are on, you will love the lavish amenities in the rooms, restaurants and spa at Trump Turnberry. While there, engage in more Scottish exploits at nearby Culzean Castle or the Whiskey Experience in Kirkoswald.
- IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Paraiso, Playa del Carmen, Mex
On the sun-drenched shores of the Riviera Maya, everyone is treated like a star from the moment of arrival. The charm of ancient Mayan civilization blends with opulent Italian décor. From the painted ceiling of the circular atrium to the marble floor, it is an art walk. All included are meals at multiple themed restaurants, top shelf beverage selections and activities galore, starting with of course, golf! At IBEROSTAR Playa Paraíso Golf Club, the game is surreal, set in the jungle with exotic birds, spider monkey and coati sightings.
- Pezula Resort Hotel & Spa, South Africa
The 83–suite resort hotel sparkles atop its mountainous perch overlooking the Knysna Lagoon along the famous Garden Route of Western Cape, South Africa. The Championship Pezula Golf Course is as challenging as the terrain with stunning views of the magnificent Indian Ocean, surrounded by the Outeniqua Mountains and rated in South Africa’s top 20. Zachary’s fine dining restaurant offers exquisite options from the resort’s own private gardens and local flavors. In the five suites of Pezula Castle on Noetzie Beach, a private butler and an executive chef treat honored guests.
- One & Only Ocean Club, Nassau Bahamas
Tropical breezes melodically wave the palm fronds throughout this sublime resort on Paradise Island Peninsula. Crystalline waters shimmer beyond white sand beaches and tranquility bathes your senses. One & Only offers the upmost privacy with designer appointed beach front rooms, private suites and villa residences. The Tom Weiskopf designed golf course is host to Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic where breezes become challenging cross winds. Golf, tennis, jogging, snorkeling, diving and deep-sea fishing aboard luxury yachts result in #oomoments.
- Villa d’Este Lake Como, Italy
Stately grandeur with a European flair converted this 16th century former residence into a grand hotel in 1873, now satisfying the most discriminating tastes. On the picturesque shores of Lake Como, 25 acres of landscaped gardens, 152 rooms and suites, and 4 private villas deliver plush escapes from reality. Clooney and all the stars love the old world elegance and impeccable design reflected in every aspect of the property. Golf Club Villa D’Este is considered one of the most challenging par 69’s in all of Europe.
- Chileno Bay Resort and Residences, Cabo San Lucas
Cabo, the sport fishing capitol of the world is fast becoming a world-renowned golf destination. When there isn’t a special occasion, Chileno Bay will make one. Residences and villas mirror the tranquil waters of Chileno Bay with exciting Tom Fazio golf and amenities that you would expect in the sought after Auberge Resort Collection along the Pacific Ocean. Impressive is the 3-tiered infinity edge pool cascading toward the swimmable beach where the H2O Cave stores all the water equipment you might want.
- Fancourt, South Africa
Nominated for Africa’s Best Resort, Sports Resort and Boutique Hotel Awards for 2017, luxury is personified at Fancourt. The Outeniqua Mountains are the backdrop to this oasis. The Fancourt Hotel and Manor House is 5 star rated with well-appointed rooms and private service available. The Montagu and Outeniqua parkland style courses feature lakeside greens and botanicals. This is the beginning of South Africa’s Garden Route and tropical flowers permeate the resort. The 2003 Presidents Cup made famous their number one ranked Links, a Gary Player Signature course. Fancourt has become a household name as the iconic resort graces the chest of PGA Pro Brendan Grace.
Playa Grande, Dominican Republic – One of 31 exclusive properties by the Aman Hotels and Resorts, this seaside gem is perched upon a rugged cliff setting with unobstructed views of the Atlantic Ocean from all points. A Rees Jones refurbishment of his dad’s original design, Playa Grande Golf incudes ten stirring seaside holes. It is cliff top excitement from sea to green. Daybeds beckon lounging on the water’s edge with views of the course. A tropical curtain with deep green tranquility borders villas and casitas. Aman delivers impeccable luxury style in natural settings to soothe the soul.WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?