With a whole new year on the horizon, it begs the question, where do you want to travel in 2017? From luxury cruises to hidden gems in the farthest reaches of the world, perhaps this is the year to treat yourself to travel experiences that break the mould. Don't just settle for travelling more, resolve to travel better. These 5-star stays are anything but average and are sure to inspire your next journey be it to the sun-kissed shores of Honolulu or the emerald hills of Ireland's countryside ...
Delamore Lodge, Waiheke Island
Escape the city bustle of Auckland with a day or two at this Waiheke Island lodge. Not only is it right in the middle of one of the North Island's premium wine regions, but it offers a nature escape that perfectly captures the stunning island coastline. Inspired by the Mediterranean, there are just four luxury guest suites and a private two bedroom luxury apartment. Each is well appointed a private patio and a north-facing aspect to ensure optimal views.
Royal Davui Island, Fiji
This adults only paradise is billed as "barefoot Fijian luxury at its finest". It is located just off the coast of the main island in the Beqa Lagoon, and features only a handful of suites and villas to ensure optimal peace and tranquillity throughout your stay. Fronted by soft white sands that slip into the blue ocean waters, each room offers the luxury of modern finishes inspired by nature. Private decks offer incredible ocean vistas as do the private plunge pools.
Six Senses Yao Noi, Koh Yao Noi
Counted as one of the most luxurious escapes in Asia, this Thailand hotel not only offers a dazzling location in Phang Nga Bay but also a sweep of villas that epitomise 5-star style and amenity. Choose from eight different villas and suites, each providing plush interiors and every creature comfort expected of a luxury resort. There are also three specialty villas and suites for special occasions or larger groups. If relaxing amid the surrounding tropical fauna isn't enough to recharge your batteries, there's also an onsite spa. Alternatively, let the resort plan a full day of exciting excursions in the surrounding area.
Amankila, Candi Dasa
Showcasing the best in Balinese luxury, this resort draws inspiration from the surrounding Karangasem palaces. There are 34 free standing suites to choose from nestled among the treetops, with private outdoor terraces taking in 180 degree panoramas of the surrounding mountains and ocean. Each has been styled as a Balinese beach house, with coconut wood furniture and thatched peaked ceilings. Of course the resort offers an onsite spa with traditional Balinese baths, scrubs and wraps, but one of the most alluring features is the three-tiered infinity edge pool looking out over the ocean.
Banyan Tree Lang Co, Da Nang
Positioned between three UNESCO World Heritage sites, this luxury resort was built to showcase the best of its unspoiled surrounds. Each of the six villas provides uninterrupted views from the Truong Son mountain range to the East Sea, enveloping guests in the incredible natural bounty of its superb location. Everything you could possibly want is provided, with modern and elegant fixtures and finishes throughout every villa. There is also an onsite spa for added relaxation as well as beachfront dining with an Italian twist.
The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach
Honolulu is no stranger to luxury resorts, with plenty of beachfront properties beckoning to potential luxury lovers. Though, there's something quite special about the Ritz-Carlton, offering guests next level comfort and service to stand apart. A superb location in the heart of Waikiki Beach ensures the best of the island is at your beck and call, while the interiors offer up island-inspired decor and designer finishes. Studio, one-, two-and three-bedroom rooms are available, ensuring comfort and space for everyone from singles to families.
Sonora Resort, Sonora Island
It's hard to beat the beauty of Canada's wilderness, and this secluded resort puts it front and centre! Tucked into the thick pine forests along the rugged coastlines of British Columbia, it offers an all-inclusive retreat for outdoor enthusiasts that doesn't skimp on the finer things. Choose between a room, suite or one of 12 themed lodges, with spacious rooms, premium finishes and beautiful wilderness views. While you could easily spend your holiday indoors, enjoying the top amenities afforded by a stay here, it's well worth getting outdoors to experience the majesty of the destination. From wildlife tours to hiking and biking trails, you'll find it here.
Anantara Kihavah, Maldives
This luxury hotel was voted number two in the world and number one in the Indian Ocean by the Conde Nast People's Choice Awards for 2016. It's easy to see why with a stunning location in the Baa Atoll on the fringe of Hanifaru bay. There are 79 spacious villas to choose from, some offering incredible ocean views while others are perched above the blue waters, with steps directly into the lagoon waters. Regardless of which type of room you choose, you're assured the finest in comfort and service with added extras such as a pillow menu, sun decks and his and hers walk-in robes coming standard across the board.
Ballynahinch Castle, County Galway
If you've ever dreamed of staying in a castle, this regal Irish resort is well worth a look. Counted as one of the finest luxury castle hotels in Ireland, it's an award-winning stay set on a 450-acre woodland estate. There are 48 guest rooms, nearly half of which are located in the older part of the Connemara castle. Styled with a sense of superior attention to detail, each provides every modern comfort. Beyond the accommodations, this destination affords a wealth of activities to fill your days. From fly fishing to clay shooting, you'll find something to pique your interests.
Bellevue Syrene, Sorrento
Combining everything there is to love about Italy – history, beauty and generosity – this renowned hotel delights guests with unsurpassed luxury. Situated high on the cliffs over the Gulf of Naples, it has long drawn guests to its doors. It was once a patrician residence, then a villa, calling to world famous intellectuals, artists and heads of state. Today, its tradition of hospitality is still going strong, treating guests to beautifully appointed rooms overlooking the surrounding water. There is also an onsite restaurant and wine cellar, plating up sensational regional dishes made with the finest ingredients.