This Is How The 1% Travels — & It's Insane

What makes a hotel count as truly luxurious varies from person to person. It could mean opulence in the traditional sense: gold ceilings, private pools, and chandeliers. Or it could mean personal service, like having your own butler, massage therapist, chauffeur, and someone to spritz you with Evian. To some, it's about culture: historic buildings, gorgeous architecture, and original priceless artwork. To others, it's defined by crazy panoramic views of the city and access to amazing natural wonders.

No matter how you define luxury, at least one of the hotels ahead is sure to shoot to the top of your must-stay list. Booking these may not be cheap, but the experience will be unforgettable.
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Photo: Courtesy of The Mulia Resort & Villas.
The Mulia Resort & Villas, Nusa Dua, Bali

In addition to the beachside all-suite hotel, the Mulia also has private villas (used by Chris Soules on The Bachelor for the “fantasy suite” dates), where you'll have your own pool, outdoor garden shower, and 24-hour butler.
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Photo: Courtesy of The Mulia Resort & Villas.
The Mulia Resort & Villas, Nusa Dua, Bali (continued)

Take advantage of complimentary high-tea service, or grab a bite at one of the hotel's nine restaurants and bars. You'll also want to check out the gorgeous spa, which has an ice room for chilling out on super-hot days.
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Photo: Courtesy of The Mulia Resort & Villas.
The Mulia Resort & Villas, Nusa Dua, Bali (continued)

The resort's elaborate swimming pools practically kiss the Indian Ocean, and are lined with haunting Easter Island-esque sculptures. Post a few pics and watch your Instagram feed explode.
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Photo: Barbara Kraft.
Four Seasons Lanai at Manele Bay, Lanai, Hawaii

The renovated Ohana Oceanfront Suites at the Four Seasons Lanai features zebra wood, hand-woven rugs, room service you can order via iPads (which are provided in each room), and 75-inch LED TVs. Oh, and there's a pretty nice view of the beach, too.
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Photo: Barbara Kraft.
Four Seasons Lanai at Manele Bay, Lanai, Hawaii (continued)

The teak-paneled bathrooms contain wooden Japanese soaking tubs and TVs disguised as mirrors. But if you didn't come to Hawaii to watch TV, you can always hang poolside or go for a swim in the bay. And you can have your sunglasses repaired or cleaned at no charge in the meantime.
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Photo: Barbara Kraft.
Four Seasons Lanai at Manele Bay, Lanai, Hawaii (continued)

The resort is nestled on a protected marine preserve — stroll through the botanical gardens, or use the free masks and fins to snorkel out from shore and observe coral reefs full of fish. Some mornings, you can even spot spinner dolphins in the bay.
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Photo: Courtesy of Mala Mala Game Reserve.
Rattray's at Mala Mala Game Reserve, Mpumalanga, South Africa

Going on safari doesn't have to mean roughing it. Rattray's, the most posh of Mala Mala's three camps, offers eight luxe suites with two bathrooms (containing claw-foot bathtubs), outdoor showers, private gardens, indoor and outdoor dining areas, air conditioning, Wi-Fi, and private heated plunge pools overlooking the river.
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Photo: Courtesy of Mala Mala Game Reserve.
Rattray's at Mala Mala Game Reserve, Mpumalanga, South Africa (continued)

Situated on an unfenced preserve between Kruger National Park and the Sabi Sand Wildtuin, the resort is home to many big-five animals (lions, leopards, buffalo, rhinoceroses, and elephants), which frequently wander through the grounds. In fact, 99% of guests who spend two nights experience a leopard sighting.
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Photo: Courtesy of Mala Mala Game Reserve.
Rattray's at Mala Mala Game Reserve, Mpumalanga, South Africa (continued)

A visit here is also responsible tourism: Mala Mala makes sure not to disturb the animals, and is one of the first big-five lodges to convert from trophy-hunting trips to photography-only safaris.
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Photo: Courtesy of Rome Cavalieri.
Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resort, Rome

Just minutes from the Vatican, Rome Cavalieri combines extreme stylishness with unprecedented luxury. Each of the hotel's elaborate suites has a balcony overlooking the ancient city’s monuments, but the standout is the Penthouse Suite, which features the original "Dollar Signs" prints by Andy Warhol.
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Photo: Courtesy of Rome Cavalieri.
Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resort, Rome (continued)

You'll find over-the-top palatial furnishings throughout — think gold leaf, red velvet curtains, and a Karl Lagerfeld sofa that was originally designed for his home in Paris. The hotel's impressive collection of art is prominently featured throughout the property.
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Photo: Courtesy of Rome Cavalieri.
Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resort, Rome (continued)

Bored of the view from the balcony? Check out the Roman skyline from the hotel's private roof terrace, which has a gazebo and a pool.
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Photo: Courtesy of The Resort At Pedregal.
The Resort at Pedregal, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Every suite at this luxe retreat comes with a fireplace and double terraces with private heated plunge pools and ocean views. The resort, often ranked as the best in Mexico, sits on 24 pristine acres carved into an oceanside cliff. Though it's right near downtown Cabo, it feels incredibly secluded, in part because you have to drive through a private tunnel and pass through massive entrance gates to gain access to the property.
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Photo: Courtesy of The Resort At Pedregal.
The Resort at Pedregal, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (continued)

Get a massage or facial inspired by the phases of the moon in the Luna y Mar spa, or sit by the surf; some suites come with a private beach attendant, who will set up chaise longues and bring you towels, sunscreen, and food and drinks throughout the day.
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Photo: Courtesy of The Resort At Pedregal.
The Resort at Pedregal, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (continued)

There are several acclaimed restaurants on the property, but if you're just looking for a snack, a happy hour of Coronas and homemade guacamole with chips and salsa is delivered free to each room daily.
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Photo: Courtesy of The Goring Hotel.
The Goring Hotel, London

This Edwardian baroque classic overlooks Buckingham Palace, which could explain why it's the world's only hotel to receive the Queen's Royal Warrant (basically, a seal of approval for her favorite things). The Goring is also where Kate Middleton stayed on her final night before becoming a princess, and where she made her debut in her wedding gown.
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Photo: Courtesy of The Goring Hotel.
The Goring Hotel, London (continued)

Guests staying in one of the hotel's five luxury suites are provided with a dedicated footman (complete with proper British accent and scarlet tailcoat uniform) and an endless array of comforts. But you'll have to book the Royal Suite if you want all the perks — such as your very own decanter bar, fully stocked according to your preferences. Either way, be sure to squeeze in time for afternoon tea on the terrace overlooking the hotel's perfectly English private garden, the largest in central London.
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Photo: Courtesy of The Goring Hotel.
The Goring Hotel, London (continued)

Though it was built 150 years ago (and is the only family-owned luxury hotel in England), The Goring received a complete update earlier this year, with extravagant new details that include hand-painted wallpaper. In the Royal Suite, the bathroom walls are adorned in the same silk as the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace.
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Photo: Kodiak Greenwood.
Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur, California

The accommodations at Post Ranch Inn are like the secret playhouses of your childhood dreams, come to life: 39 magnificent private rooms built into trees or oceanside cliffs, along rolling hills that are populated by wild peacocks.
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Photo: Kodiak Greenwood.
Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur, California (continued)

Guests (who must be 18 or older) get a fully stocked gourmet fridge and use of the hotel's Lexus fleet for cruising Big Sur in style. But you won't find TVs in these luxury rooms: Post Ranch is all about relaxation and being one with yourself and nature, and the emphasis is on unplugging.
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Photo: Kodiak Greenwood.
Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur, California (continued)

The best spot on the grounds is by the infinity pool, watching the clouds roll in over the Pacific. You'll feel like you're at the end of the world.
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Photo: Courtesy of Oil Nut Bay.
Oil Nut Bay, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Talk about exclusive: The villas in this private community are accessible only by boat or helicopter, making the rental feel more like your own private island than a hotel.
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Photo: Courtesy of Oil Nut Bay.
Oil Nut Bay, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands (continued)

Take a ride on a boat from the world-class yacht club, or look out at the ocean from your 1,000-foot suite, decked out in Fendi Casa furnishings.
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Photo: Courtesy of Oil Nut Bay.
Oil Nut Bay, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands (continued)

Though guests of the private villas have access to all the resort facilities, including restaurants, the staff will handle stocking your villa with groceries or bringing in a private chef.
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Photo: Courtesy of Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa.
Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa, Gateway, Colorado

Owned by Discovery Channel founder John Hendricks, this resort — which is positioned at the crazy-scenic convergence of five canyons in the heart of the American West — is all about discovering nature.
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Photo: Courtesy of Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa.
Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa, Gateway, Colorado (continued)

You can check out the scenery on horseback, in a helicopter, or by using the hotel's fleet of luxury cars, including Porsches, Corvettes, and Bentleys.
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Photo: Courtesy of Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa.
Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa, Gateway, Colorado (continued)

For a real adventure, take the "Jurassic Experience," an excursion that begins with a private helicopter ride to a museum and tour of the lab where dinosaur bones are examined, followed by a visit to an excavation site where you can actually dig for 150-million-year-old fossils.
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Photo: Courtesy of The Westin Playa Bonita.
Villas at The Westin Playa Bonita, Panama City, Panama

Right near the main Westin resort stand two amazing villas that overlook the rainforest and Pacific Ocean, where you can spot massive ships waiting to pass through the Panama Canal.
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Photo: Courtesy of The Westin Playa Bonita.
Villas at The Westin Playa Bonita, Panama City, Panama (continued)

The first, Villa Bonita, has 20 guest rooms, a private helipad, and Turkish spa baths on almost every balcony. It's where President Obama and his team stayed for the 2015 Summit of the Americas. Just down the road is another amazing villa, Casa Naga, which you might say is all about water: It has a giant infinity pool, a private plunge pool on the balcony, and a shower in the center of the room.
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Photo: Courtesy of The Westin Playa Bonita.
Villas at The Westin Playa Bonita, Panama City, Panama (continued)

The only catch? You won't find anything about these villas on the Westin website, and that's because they're so exclusive, they're like the hotel equivalent of an off-the-menu item. Guests are subject to approval by the hotel's owners — to inquire about booking, contact the Playa Bonita's banquet department at (507) 206-8888.