Updated: Jul 30, 2019
Tourist spots like Disney World or the Eiffel Tower might cut it for the average traveler, but for the world’s affluent, it’s all about the experience of escape.
These upper echelon travelers want exclusivity when they vacation—hidden, tucked-away and off-the-beaten-path destinations that are big on experience but still cater to their sophisticated palates.
We’ve taken a spin around the world to bring you just a few of these hidden gems:
VIS AND HVAR, CROATIA
Thanks to its location on the Mediterranean, it doesn’t get more beautiful than Croatia. Home to countless beaches and a handful of private islands (Hvar and Vis, to name a few), Croatia offers wealthy visitors the chance to relax, unwind and enjoy unparalleled natural beauty. For the history buffs, there are even Greek and Roman ruins to explore. Diocletian’s Palace, located in Split, and the city walls of Dubrovnik are some of the most unique.
This small, rural European country is made for the wealthy wine collector. Its own Signagi is often called the birthplace of wine, and many of the locals there still use traditional winemaking methods passed down for generations. Visitors can even stay at Chateau Svanidze, a beautiful estate owned by the Svandizes, a famed winemaking family in the region. Like Croatia, Georgia is also home to swaths of historical sites and castles, and its culinary scene is second to none.
One of the wealthiest towns in all of Italy’s Tuscany region, Arezzo is a fitting place for the world’s elite. The city’s lodgings run the gamut, offering options like converted monasteries and spacious villas to quaint bed-and-breakfasts and luxury resorts. The town is home to a number of acclaimed wineries, and with Florence and Pisa just a train ride away, the Tuscan region has become renowned for its incredible food, drink and culture around every corner.
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For the adventuresome elite, Miavana, Madagascar offers the perfect mix of beach getaway and exciting exploration. A small island located off Madagascar’s eastern shore, travelers can soak in the stunning, never-ending beaches and watch for whales, lemurs and other wildlife native to the area. Population-wise, the island is home to just a single, exclusive resort: Time + Tide Miavana. Though 14 villas are available, guests can also book the island for exclusive, private use year-round. During the day, a quick trip to the mainland offers countless safari options, as well as cultural experiences with native tribes and wildlife.
Located in the Eastern Caribbean, Anguilla is a little-known island with lots to offer its wealthy visitors. The exclusive Viceroy Anguilla resort boasts world-class amenities, including a spa, personal assistants, private pools, al fresco bathing and more. For the active type, there’s endless opportunity for snorkeling, scuba diving or horseback riding along the beach. Best of all is the calm that the island offers. With no ports, airports or even jet skis in sight, peace and quiet are a given.
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KOH LIPE, THAILAND
A small island off the coast of Thailand, Koh Lipe is a true escape in every sense of the word. Visitors arrive only by boat, traveling over crystal-clear waters and miles of coral reef. The island boasts numerous pristine and well-kept beaches, as well as a few unexplored, deserted ones for the thrill seekers. Koh Lipe is part of the Tarutao National Marine Park and is home to countless species of tropical fish and sea creatures.