Experts Share Their Favorite Luxury Resorts

luxury resorts

The Burj al Arab in Dubai is arguably the epitome of luxury resorts.

Part of the joy of travel is reliving favorite experiences long after the trip. The top-notch travel advisors at Covington Travel create memorable trips every day for our clients, but Travel Maestro readers wondered what our advisors’ most memorable trips were. Since the Covington team members are well traveled and passionate about all things travel, that list could be endless. To limit it to a reasonable scope, I asked eight vacation advisors to choose only one luxury resort or hotel anywhere in the world and share their favorite memories from there. Given their breadth of knowledge and personal specialties, it’s not surprising that their eight answers included eight different countries! Here are their favorite luxury resorts, in no particular order. Click on the links to read more about each hotel, exclusive Virtuoso amenities, and rates.

Top Luxury Resorts Recommended by Covington Advisors

One and Only Palmilla, San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico

luxury resorts

Oceanview suite with plunge pool at One and Only Palmilla.

I was lucky enough to spend a week at the One and Only Palmilla in Cabo and could have stayed a lot longer. Walking into the property after the private transfer from the airport was awesome and lovely. I do love Mexico and this is a wonderful, tranquil, beautiful property, full of gardens and flowers. We had a plunge pool suite overlooking the ocean and one of the best rooms I have ever stayed in. The resort’s pool was great, plus one of the region’s only swimmable beaches is on site. The food was good on every level, from room service to poolside to restaurants. Walking around this property at night was magical with lanterns everywhere. While they struggled with damage after the hurricane, a renovation has them up and running better than ever.

My best afternoon there was during a turtle hatching on the beach. We were able to help release baby turtles back into the ocean and prayed they all made it. Since I do Turtle Patrol at Jacksonville Beach, this was a wonderful experience for something I am very passionate about. – Debi Franke

Salamander Resort & Spa, Middleburg, Virginia

luxury resorts

The Salamander Resort & Spa is nestled in the gorgeous horse and wine country of Virginia.

I’m going to stick close to home and pick the Salamander Resort & Spa, a favorite of mine! The Salamander is a truly unique experience and with an equestrian center on site, it’s especially exciting for horse lovers. Located in Middleburg, Virginia, this resort puts you right in the middle of horse country and wine country. You are a short drive away from many fantastic wineries and equine events, and the charming town of Middleburg is great for foodies and shoppers alike. Not only does this resort house upscale amenities like a luxury spa and impressive restaurants, but they also provide you the opportunity to enjoy unique experiences like zip-lining and hands-on cooking classes! Bonus…they offer shuttle service to and from the town of Middleburg. With equestrian styled rooms and suites perfect for every type of traveler, this pet-friendly luxury resort is perfect for anything from romantic getaways to family stay-cations. – Mary Atkinson

The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort, French Polynesia

luxury resorts

In an overwater bungalow at the St. Regis Bora Bora, you’re literally one step from the lagoon.

If we’ve ever met, you won’t be surprised that I chose a resort in a Polynesian destination as my favorite since the tropics are my passion and inspiration. Located on a “motu” (islet) surrounding the turquoise lagoon of the Tahitian island of Bora Bora, the St. Regis Bora Bora is a paradise within a paradise. Palatial over-water bungalows are 1500 square feet of sophisticated island luxury, complete with on-demand butlers and Italian marble bathrooms, not to mention the expansive decks with your own entry into the famous lagoon. This is the playground and honeymoon venue for many a movie star, and you, too, can feel like a star when you stay at this 5-star resort. I recommend the canoe-delivered breakfast experience, where staff brings you a tropical fruit and pastry breakfast via outrigger canoe. Get the camera ready! – Barbi Partlow

Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria, Rome Italy

luxury resorts

The only 3-star Michelin dining in Rome is at La Pergola in the Rome Cavalieri.

On Monte Mario, the hill that dominates Rome and the Vatican to the northwest, the Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria is a good half-hour by taxi from downtown sights like the Colosseum. But the upside is amazing views and acres of green space. The hotel has an ancient Rome-themed Grand Spa Club which covers over 25,000 square feet with indoor and outdoor pools. There is a summer poolside restaurant, the Chalet Grill and my favorite, the 3-star Michelin restaurant La Pergola on the roof with views of St. Peters. La Pergola is the domain of Heinz Beck, a German chef with a Mediterranean soul, still the only restaurant in Rome to earn and keep three Michelin stars. This is a ‘Roman’ resort, perfect for families with children visiting Rome in the heat of summer. It was my own son’s favorite summer getaway when we lived in London. – Rosemary Hodges

Peter Island Resort & Spa, British Virgin Islands

luxury resorts

Simply sublime privacy at Peter Island.

Peter Island Resort will always have a piece of my heart. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the vibrant blue water surrounding this very special private island. It’s a small resort with only 55 ocean view or beachfront suites and three spectacular villas/residences. They offer tons of watersports, sailing, a full-service spa, and five gorgeous beaches. I think the view from the Sunset Loop was probably the best 360-degree sunset I have ever seen. And Ms. Jean’s coconut French toast is pure happy in your mouth – to die for! I wish I could get back to Peter Island tonight for French toast in the morning! – Tracy Carr

Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

luxury resorts

Amazing snorkeling right off the beach at Lizard Island

One of the things that made Lizard Island so special for me was the flight to get there in a small plane flying low over the Great Barrier Reef – it was unbelievably beautiful. Lizard Island has a reef right off the beach so I could literally walk out and snorkel. I spent four hours in the water one day! The water is so clear and the colors vibrant. I loved seeing nemo fish, sea cucumbers, and beautiful coral. Best of all were the giant purple and green, four-foot high clams that opened and closed constantly. – Karen Kilyk

King David Hotel, Jerusalem, Israel

luxury resorts

The lobby of King David Hotel has seen many dignitaries.

Choosing only one favorite hotel in the world is a tough assignment, although I do believe a visit to Jerusalem is one of the most amazing places to go. A stay at the King David Hotel overlooking the “Old City” is the prime spot. This hotel offers old world charm and is where many world dignitaries come to stay for their visit. One is treated like royalty while staying there. It is particularly enjoyable to sit and rest in the lobby after a full day of sightseeing in hopes to spot a celebrity or two! – Rhona Arenstein

Milestone Hotel, London, England

luxury resorts

The lovely Milestone Hotel offers balcony rooms in a very desirable London location.

My family and I had the opportunity to experience boutique luxury at the Milestone Hotel in London. Located in Kensington, it’s the perfect base for sightseeing, shopping, art, and history. We were greeted warmly by the attentive staff and I enjoyed the best gin and tonic I’ve ever had at their Stables Bar. Our room had floor-to-ceiling windows and a nice balcony. We traveled in November and the comfortable beds kept our bodies warm and our toes were not forgotten with their plush bedside slippers. My son tried Eggs Benedict for the first time and says he hasn’t had a better one yet! – Liz Gluck

So there you have it… eight of the world’s best luxury resorts, as chosen by Covington colleagues. To discuss your own vacation planning with one of our expert travel advisors, just click below to get in touch.

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