Decades ago, vacations were a natural byproduct of every agrarian-based society, owing to the sowing, harvesting and seasonal weather cycles. In the spring and summer, youngsters were given school breaks to help their family during the busy planting and growing season. The harsh winters, meanwhile, necessitated school vacations owing to comfort and safety factors. For adults, post-harvesting periods traditionally coincided with celebrations and festivals, often weaved with cultural and religious symbolisms.
This tradition persists even after national economies evolved into more mature and sophisticated models. While initially limited to religiously-themed holidays, the concept of vacations gradually entered into mainstream practice, and eventually, was gazetted into law, chiefly due to the empirical beneficial effects of vacations.
We have long recognized that disengagement from usual routines, people and places can produce notable psychological and physical advantages. This is especially true for individuals working or living in high pressure or monotonous environments, whose creativity, passion and motivation are invariably dulled after long months of employment.
This is one of the reasons why people rush off every summer and winter for their desperately needed rest. The rejuvenation and revitalization experienced during vacations will translate to increased moral and higher workplace productivity.
However, at times, vacations can generate their own form of stress and anxiety. Booking conflicts, travel delays and large crowds are some of the more common causes behind vacation stress. It is not unusual for people to return home after a vacation feeling even more tired. While some have the luxury of going to their lake house, cabin in the woods, or sailing on their boat, the choices for the majority have remained essentially the same.
Fortunately, in recent years, there have been visible efforts to produce more unique and satisfying forms of escapes for those seeking a respite from the daily grinds of life. These escapes offer exclusivity, stress free access, and most of all, a luxurious and relaxing atmosphere to revive tired bodies and souls. Although these locations cost a pretty penny they will, without a doubt, fulfill your vacation needs. Take a look and see which getaway best suits your idea of a completely relaxed vacation.
10 Soneva Gili by Six Senses, North Malé Atoll, Maldives: Up to $6,200/Night
Situated just 20 minutes away by boat from the capital, Male, Soneva Gili offers 44 elegantly-appointed suites, villas and residences to travelers seeking a beach paradise getaway. Famed for its pristine blue waters, non-motorized water sports and snorkeling, Soneva Gili also provides a full service spa and a trained team of masseurs for their weary guests. In addition, the coral reef chain surrounding the island is a popular attraction for divers’ intent on experiencing their own Jacques Cousteau moment. In order to experience these delights, vacationers must be prepared to pay around $6,200 per night.
9 Dolphin Island, Viti Levu, Fiji: Up to $8,067/Night
It wouldn't be appropriate for this escape to be called Dolphin Island unless you had the luxury of swimming alongside these friendly sea creatures. Luckily, this is exactly why the island is named the it is, you get to swim and play with the dolphins in the crystal clear turquoise waters surrounding the island.
Back on the island, be prepared to be pampered by over 300 staff handling just 25 villas. You should particularly look forward to the huge and lavish spread during lunch and dinner. If you have a certain flavor or food in mind, you can actually ask the chefs for it, and they will attempt to procure it for you the following day. At $8,067 per night this escape also offers its guests the luxuries of fishing, sailing, kayaking, wake-boarding, snorkeling, hiking and kite-surfing as well.
8 Laucala Resort, Laucala Island, Fiji: Up to $10,560/Night
Deep in the South Pacific, off the northeastern coast of Fiji, lies a little 3,500 acre island named Laucala. Owned by Austrian billionaire and Red Bull founder, Dietrich Mateschitz, Laucala Island is home to one of the world’s most secluded private retreats. Accessible only by private or chartered airplanes, the full service and luxurious retreat features 25 dwelling units located inside a lush and unspoiled tropical rainforest, girdled by an island wide strip of white sandy beach. Laucana is almost entirely self-sustainable, including the meat, poultry, vegetables and fruits used in its gourmet restaurant, which are grown by the staff on the island. This luxurious and secluded vacation is available for as much as $10,560 per night.
7 Six Star Cruises, Silversea, London/LA: $13,145/Day
This 124-day, 28-country cruise aboard the six-star cruise ship Silver Whisper, is probably the most expensive escape in the world, with the final bill totaling up to $1.63 million, which translates to approximately $13,145 per day. Guests will be chartered to the vessel via private jets and helicopters, before checking in to their 1,000 sq. ft. suites with attached marble bathrooms. There will be Beluga Caviar, Dom Perignon Rosé champagne, 10-course dinners and much more. The itinerary includes shopping layovers at selected destinations such as Port Louis, Kuala Lumpur and Auckland.
6 King Pacific Lodge, Great Bear Rainforest, Canada: Up to $27,720/Night
The luxury wilderness retreat, located on the banks of Princess Royal Island, is quite possibly the premier ecotourism destination on the planet. Built on an abandoned U.S. Navy barge using stone, pine and cedar, the classically-designed 17-unit King Pacific Lodge offers a unique blend of luxury and the outdoors. Featuring organic gourmet meals, spas and a wide range of water-based activities, guests at the Lodge can look forward to an undisturbed period of rest and relaxation within the vast and tranquil 12,000 sq. mi. preserve for only $27,720 per night.
5 The Great House on Necker Island, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands: Up to U.S. $62,000/Night
British billionaire and founder of the Virgin Group, Sir Richard Branson, purchased Necker Island in 1978 for $293,000. Fast forward 35 years later, Necker Island has become one of the jewels of the Virgin Islands, and the frequent holiday destination of royalty, movie stars and rock stars.
You can stay a night at a Great House suite for as low as $4,000 a night, but there is a seven-night minimum stay requirement. Alternatively, you can rent the entire island for 30 adult friends and six children for $62,000 a day. As a bonus, after a hard day of lazing around in the sun, with occasional visits to the beautiful waters and into the lush greenery, if your lucky you can also share funny anecdotes with Branson himself over dinner.
4 Rent A Village, Austria, Germany and Switzerland: Up to $70,000/Night
Sometimes, a villa, a retreat or even an island doesn't quite cut it. Realizing this need, two online travel firms joined forces to develop eight real villages that can be rented for family or corporate gatherings. While these villages do not offer the kind of luxury and convenience normally associated with high-end resorts, they do lend an air of authenticity. An escape doesn't get any better than being inserted right into an existing community, culture or climate. There are currently eight locations up for rent, with five in Austria (Alpbach, Brand, Mondsee, Pertisau and Goldegg), two in Germany (Braunlage and Trittenheim), and Moselle in Switzerland. Clients can even request for a complete makeover on signage in the entire village to complete the illusion.
3 Royal Villa, Grand Resort Lagonissi Athens, East Attica, Greece: Up to $93,000/Night
The Grand Resort Lagonissi has always been known as one of the most exclusive and luxurious getaways in the Mediterranean, but the Royal Villa takes things several notches higher. Located in Saronikos, a municipality in the southwestern coast of Greece, the Royal Village is a 4,413 sq. ft. villa that comes complete with a 500 sq. ft. indoor heated pool and a 670 sq. ft. outdoor pool.
For $93,000 per night, this villa is ideally suited for a party of five. It features a private beach facing the Aegean Sea, steam bath, massage room, private butler, private chefs and a pianist to top off your luxurious experience.
2 Calivigny Resort, Calivigny Island, Grenada: Up to $124,000/Night
Calivigny Island, acquired in 2001 by former CapGemini president, French billionaire Georges Cohen, underwent a $100 million development which eventually resulted in the Calivigny Resort: a 10,000 acre escape that blends French Colonial and Balinese architecture with Edenesque tropical gardens and luxurious modern amenities.
Featuring an extensive array of water-based and inland activities, visitors also have access to a 173 ft yacht, a tennis coach, a yoga instructor, art classes and a licensed scuba instructor in the island. Guests have the option of renting the whole island for $124,000 per night, which will include all 22 housing units and facilities along with the entire team of trained staff, gourmet chefs and musicians.
1 Delma, Passenger Cruise Ship, Greece: $151,272/Day
This luxurious mega yacht and passenger cruise ship, formerly known as Annaliesse, can ferry up to 36 guests on luxurious and exciting cruises from as far as the Mediterranean to the Florida coast. The sleek 280 foot white vessel, manned by a crew of 34, features five-star levels of luxury, and comes complete with a state-of-the-art satellite communication system that will keep passengers fully connected from anywhere in the world. With onboard jetskis, Jacuzzis, gourmet meals and like-minded company, passengers will never get bored aboard the Delma.