1. Gladden Private Island, Belize
The only way to truly escape from it all is to book a stay on a private island like Gladden, where it will just be you, up to three companions (only if you choose), and a staff that’s been trained to be invisible while catering to your every whim.
You might not even have to win the jackpot to stay here–it costs £2,294 per night for two people or £2,760 for four, but that includes “all meals prepared by a gourmet chef, all beverages including fine wines, all activities including snorkelling, scuba diving and PADI certification, spa treatments, transfers from and to Belize City.” Which, if you take full advantage of all the offerings, is very nearly a bargain.
2. Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur
Forget an epic hotel on a private island—what if the luxury hotel itself is the island, for instance the Taj Lake Palace? Built in 1746 to serve as Prince Maharana Jagat Singh II’s “pleasure palace,” this opulent hotel appears to float in the middle of Lake Pichola. You’ll arrive via boat, and your mere presence will be celebrated with a shower of rose petals, a spread of refreshments, and a guard to escort you under a sequined embroidered umbrella.
3. Bedarra, Australia
You’ll have to share Bedarra’s all-inclusive luxury with a maximum of 17 other guests, as this epic hotel has just ten guest villas, which accommodate 18 people total. The lush island adjoins the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. And while other parts of the Great Barrier Reef have become tragically over-visited, Bedarra is near the outer section of the reef in an area that’s much harder for tourists to reach. You can feel good about spending over $1,000 AUD (£550) a night here, as the resort places a huge importance on environmental sustainability.
4. Mandarian Oriental, New York City, USA
Go big in the Big Apple with a stay at the Mandarian Oriental, where the cheapest room on the cheapest night starts at £618. Go even bigger at this luxury hotel with a suite, starting at $1,089 a night. (And that’s not even the most expensive—the Presidential Suite doesn’t list prices online, lending credence to the old saying that “if you have to ask, you can’t afford it.”). Hey, on the bright side—a full breakfast is included every day (even if you slum it in the £622 room).
5. Le Bristol, Paris, France
When five stars just don’t cut it anymore on your quest for epic hotels, you need a “Palace” hotel, an exclusive rating given to luxury hotels in France that go above-and-beyond the star-rating. Just 16 hotels have earned this prestigious rating, including Le Bristol. Le Bristol is a dream for foodies, as it can claim four Michelin Stars–three awarded to its Epicure restaurant and one to its Le 114 Faubourg brasserie.
6. The 13, Macau, China
The 13, which is being billed as the world’s most expensive hotel, isn’t open yet, so you’ve still got time to save your (trillions of) pennies. Macau’s luxury hotel cost an estimated £1.2 billion to build, and will have 200 villas available to book when it opens. Need a ride? The 13 is stocked with a fleet of 30 customised Rolls-Royce Phantoms worth approximately £15.5 million, ready to take guests wherever they want to go.
Each room will come with a butler certified by the English Guild of Butlers, and all guests will have access to a private shopping centre, where they can buy exclusive, limited-edition items, in case they didn’t spend enough on accommodation.
7. Burj Al Arab, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The Burj Al Arab is probably the most famous luxury hotel in the world. Shaped like a sail, this hotel is also one of the tallest buildings in the world. The hotel is situated on a private island just off the coast of Dubai, and is so exclusive that you can’t even cross the bridge to the hotel without being a guest there or having a reservation at one of the restaurants.
8. One Room Hotel, Prague, Czech Republic
You’ll need to book early at Prague’s One Room Hotel, because as the name implies, this hotel only has one room available. Why? Because it’s located on top of the city’s famous Zizkov Television tower. As the room sits 200 feet above Prague, you’ll have some amazing views—and the undivided attention of the hotel staff.
9. Tsala Treetop Suites, South Africa
Treehouses don’t mean roughing it—at least, not if you’re staying at the Tsala Treetop Suites in South Africa. These 10 suites are more luxury hotel than tree-house (but with all the views and privacy of a tree-top outpost) as they all have private decks, infinity pools, sitting rooms, fireplaces, and plush bedrooms—situated in the forest canopy.