Top Luxury Villa & Chalet Destinations for 2022
What images are evoked when you think of luxury travel?
Do you imagine powder white beaches backed by tropical rainforest? Multi-million dollar yachts moored up in the most exclusive portside addresses or premium mountain resorts which morph into a playground for royalty and a-listers during the ski season?
The ultimate a-lister destinations are those which perfectly combine luxury with experience. Since Covid kept us all indoors for two years, travellers with a higher disposable income are now seeking experiences over possessions.
They are seeking a personalised travel service, bespoke experiences, exclusivity and rare one-of-a-kind accommodation choices.
If you are looking for inspiration to book your 2022-2023 luxury vacation, you might find the perfect destination on our top list of luxury resorts. Which will you choose?
Legendary St Barts remains top of the list of luxury holiday resorts for many fabulous reasons.
Those who dream of a peaceful sanctuary with turquoise seas, powder sand beaches interspersed with idyllic coves, a deliciously warm climate and exquisite French cuisine, will find the paradise island of St Barts delivers on all.
Add to this the most beautiful yachts in the quay, luxury shopping and the pretty as a picture capital of Gustavia and you can appreciate why this Caribbean island has remained a firm favourite with A-list celebrities and billionaires since the 1950s.
The Amalfi Coast: the jewel of the Italian Mediterranean. Southern Italy’s alluring coastline starts just south of Naples at Punta Campanella and stretches around the Sorrentino Peninsula to the Gulf of Sorrentino.
The scenic coastal road linking the colourful towns of Amalfi is one of the most beautiful in Italy; full of curves and hairpin bends which on every turn reveal spectacular sea and cliff views.
The attraction of the Amalfi coast is a combination of stunning hues of blue skies against the blue crystal clear sea; traditional whitewashed houses and vivid colours of the Mediterranean flowers.
Add the sweet scent of lemon blossom and the famous Italian cuisine, and you will appreciate why this UNESCO World Heritage Site, where the mountains meet the sea, will always be a top getaway for luxury travellers.
Another long-time favourite is the French Riviera or Côte-d’Azur. Saint-Tropez has been attracting luxury travellers ever since And God Created Womanstarring Brigitte Bardot was filmed here in the 1950s.
While St Bart’s and the Amalfi Coast are rivalling the French Riviera as high-end destinations, the glamour, culture and prestige of the Cote d’Azur continue to set the bar for luxury getaways combining natural beauty and luxury.
Stretching for 550 glorious miles, the French Riviera is an iconic area to see and be seen.
Who could resist a sublime sail along the coast from Nice, synonymous with food and rich history, to the wealthy independent state of Monaco? A high-end shopping excursion to Cannes and St Tropez or the natural, wild beauty coupled with luxurious resorts at Cap D’Antibes?
For dramatic scenery, stunning Renaissance architecture, captivating villages and superb freshwater beaches, it is no wonder that Lake Como continues to be at the top of the luxury travel bucket list.
The Italians have style down to a fine art: Lake Como’s romantic lakeside gardens, palatial mansions – especially Villa Balbianello – quintessential Italian villages and the glorious lake are the final word in elegance.
Como has been making silk since the 15th century and you can still buy silk apparel uniquely designed and made in Como. It’s also the best place for buying top-of-the-range olive oil which is a firm favourite with many of the world’s top chefs.
Affluent New Yorkers head to The Hamptons every summer to unwind on the pristine beaches, and breathe in the pure ocean air. Although about two hours’ by road from Manhattan, it’s a world apart with its 18th century buildings, high-end restaurants, bars and designer boutiques.
This is where the seriously rich and famous hang out in their spacious estates, play watersports on the glorious Cooper’s beach, play a round at the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club or enjoy the historic Hampton Classic horse show.
The iconic mansion rentals and luxury hotels make this area notoriously expensive, particularly around Water Mill, Bridgehampton and Sagaponack.
East Hampton Town is where ‘old money’ go – this is where Jackie Kennedy Onassis spent her summers after all. The North Fork is less exclusive although it is becoming more popular due to the super beaches and wineries.
For privacy and sheer indulgence on a paradisiacal private island with crystal-clear turquoise waters, then Turtle Island in Fiji is the perfect destination. It is undeniably one of the most romantic islands with breathtaking views of the famous Blue Lagoon and neighbouring islands.
Turtle Island is a 400-acre private island which embraces the Fijian way of life. Only 14 couples at a time can stay here and are allocated their own private beach.
This slow-paced island is idyllic for unwinding amid nature. A personal concierge is assigned to look after guests to arrange food, horse riding or biking on the sandy beach or through tree trails with a splendid backdrop of rainforests and mountains.
Hiking, diving and watersports are popular activities which the concierge can arrange as well as wellness treatments or the weekly kava ceremony to drink this traditional beverage served at important events.
Turtle Island is a fabulous venue for an intimate wedding on the Blue Lagoon shores, the beach or on Mount Ford.
So many films and TV series have been set in avant-garde Miami that the famous South Beach and incredibly modern skyscrapers already seem familiar. But there is so much more to discover in the beach city known as the Magic City and the Capital of Latin America.
Miami is home to some of America’s most exclusive neighbourhoods including Indian Creek Island, Fisher Island and Star Island where Hollywood A-list superstars, supermodels and Forbes 100 CEOs reside.
The Design District is one of the coolest places in America for luxury shopping such as Prada and Gucci, first-rate museums and fine dining including the must-visit St Roch Market food hall.
It’s a resort of contrasts with historic Art Deco buildings along with striking skyscrapers. Thanks to the large number of Cubans living here, there’s definitely a Latino feel to Miami especially when it comes to the nightlife and dining out.
This glamorous city has more than its fair share of luxury spa and boutique resorts as well as top-brand hotels.
The Miami way of life is hip and stylish from its nightclubs with superstar DJs, the famous Ocean Drive, chic shopping, and an eclectic mix of first-class food from freshly-caught seafood and the finest seasonal produce from sunny Florida to Spanish influenced dishes.
Verbier and Zermatt in the Swiss Alps
Switzerland is a truly stunning place for a luxury mountain getaway. While the rich and famous head to St Tropez and Monaco for the summer, the chocolate-box Swiss Alp villages of Verbier and Zermatt are their winter destinations.
Stylish and ultra glamorous, these villages are like a showcase for the finer things in life. The streets are lined with top-of-the-range luxury cars, watch shops and elegant restaurants with the finest views.
Verbier has some of the most deluxe chalets to rent in the world as well as amazing hotels. It also boasts a huge number of ski trails, tremendous off-piste opportunities and the best après ski experiences imaginable with fabulous sunset views over the mountains.
During the summer months, Verbier is fabulous for hiking.
Zermatt is one of the most exclusive – and most expensive – ski resorts globally. With superb skiing, nightlife and luxury ski chalets, this resort is a firm favourite with Royals and affluent serious skiers.
Zermatt, sitting at the foot of the Matterhorn, is a world-class destination for hiking and skiing as well as paragliding, heli-skiing, walking, cycling, swimming in crystal-clear lakes and climbing.
On the French side of the Alps, Courchevel 1850 is the chic resort of high taste and high fashion. Its excellent resorts and elegant hotels act as magnets for the super-wealthy who enjoy the finer things in life. This ski mecca has hundreds of miles of ski runs to sample.
It has a wide range of five-star hotels, Michelin-starred restaurants and fashion boutiques as well as the top-class ski slopes including 10 black slopes among the trickiest in the world.
The culinary journey is special too with a wide range of Michelin-starred restaurants and other restaurants offering traditional French or Alpine fare.
Over in the Austrian Alps is one of the world’s most exclusive ski resorts, Lech. This is Austria at its poshest with stunning mountain scenery, world-class skiing facilities and challenging cliff faces to tackle.
It offers legendary downhill ski runs, heli-skiing, and classic dining experiences. The legendary White Ring ski circuit takes you along achingly-beautiful slopes around the Omeshorn mountain from Lech to Zürs, Zug and Oberlech.
Lech is a stunning luxury ski resort popular with European Royals whilst still retaining the charm of a rural Austrian village.
Like the other Alpine villages, Lech is popular with hikers during the summer months.
Nestled in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, Aspen feels particularly magical in winter with festive lights adoring the town and fresh snow glistening on the evergreen trees.
Aspen’s four mountains are perfect for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. Undeniably glamorous, the resort brings fine dining, beautiful views, historic architecture, world-renowned festivals and cultural pursuits together and has been attracting celebrities and high-spenders for decades.
A former silver mining town, Aspen has developed into a vibrant, upmarket ski resort with grand hotels, first-class chalets, stylish shops and amazing restaurants.
Many gilded jetsetters fly in for the shopping and sophisticated dining experiences alone.
Italy radiates style and in winter this is evident in the Queen of the Dolomites, Cortina. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is seriously upmarket and breathtakingly beautiful.
It is a firm favourite with weekend visitors from Milan and Rome who expect the very best things in life from their skiing to their cuisine. Dining out is always a pleasure in Italy and Cortina boasts its fair share of Michelin-starred restaurants alongside lodges offering typical Tyrolean fare.
Downhill skiing on some of the 660 pistes in this natural paradise is delightful since the backdrop is so incredibly photogenic. Beautiful mountain views are available at every ski turn or from the many luxury hotels and spa resorts. The 2026 Winter Olympics will be held between Cotina and Milan.
In summer, walking through the mountain paths or boating on the lakes are favourite pastimes.