If the idea of white water rafting down the Balsa River or zip-lining over the monkey-teeming treetops in Monteverde Cloud Forest gets your pulse racing, then classy Costa Rica is the destination for you. Swim in natural hot springs, climb huge volcanos or spot sloths and brightly coloured toucans in dense rainforests. Thanks to these natural wonders, this country is perfect for trips as a couple, family or with friends. But, don’t be fooled into thinking that national parks and nature reserves are all Costa Rica has to offer, either. In places like Playa Matapalo, you’ll find pale sands and swaying palms, too. There aren’t many hotels in this part of Costa Rica, so a stay at somewhere like the Riu Guanacaste will offer up an away-from-it all haven.
Or, discover Costa Rica’s best action-packed bits on a Costa Rica tour
What could be more luxurious than an escape to a desert island? The Maldives – with its barefoot-ready beaches slipping into clear waters – is real castaway territory. It’s made up of more than 1,000 Indian Ocean isles, so the sea life here is nothing short of amazing. Don your snorkel and your swim gear and wade into the bath-warm waters. You can spot everything from colourful clownfish to massive manta rays. Most of our luxury hotels here – including the Riu Palace Maldivas – have suites on stilts above the water, so you can jump straight into the bright blue, too. When you’re not in the water or kicking back with a cocktail in hand on the soft sands, there’s always a hammock to be swayed and a massage to be booked…
Find out more about the best things to do in the Maldives
If your favourite type of holiday involves a mix of postcard-perfect beaches and culture-crammed cities, then add Thailand to your luxury travel wishlist. Why? For starters, it’s home to around 40,000 rainbow-ready temples brimming with Thai tradition. Add those to its pristine shores and glossy jungles and you can see why it’s made our luxury top five. Hop on a boat to tree-cloaked islands like Koh Samui or explore the limestone cliffs that line Krabi’s shore. If culture’s your thing, Kamala Beach is a great place to learn the art of Thai cooking. Then, round off your day with a muscle-soothing Thai massage. The TUI BLUE Mai Khao Lak is designed for families, so it's the perfect place to bring your brood for a relaxing escape.
Check out when the best time to visit Thailand is
Holidaymakers are drawn to the Dominican Republic for its dreamy white-sand beaches, but they’re just part of this Caribbean country’s story. Head inland and discover mangrove lagoons, lofty mountain peaks and hidden waterfalls. Plus, spot humpback whales on the Samana Peninsula and tick off rum factories and an old quarter in the city of Puerto Plata. Foodies will love this luxury destination, too. In the seafood restaurants, net-fresh lobster, crab and shrimp are all on the cards. And if you book a stay somewhere like the TUI SENSATORI Cap Cana, you’ll be treated to a top-notch gourmet dining scene. Not to mention, a first-class beachfront location and swanky facilities including a spa.
Get clued up on more top things to do in the Dominican Republic
This country might not be known for being a luxury destination per se, but head to Santorini, Mykonos or Skiathos in Greece, and you’ll find a cosmopolitan gloss on the classic Greek combination of sun, sea and sand. In Santorini, for example, world-famous sunsets reign supreme. You’ll also find classic whitewashed houses, blue-domed churches and never-ending vineyards – perfect for sampling the region’s best wine. Plus, you can secure yourself a luxury retreat on Greece’s big-name islands, too. Take the beachfront TUI SENSATORI Atlantica Dreams Resort and Spa in Rhodes, for instance. It flaunts a prime waterfront postcode and a selection of fancy swim-up rooms.
Struggling to decide which part to pick? Find out which Greek island is best for you
The ROBINSON Club Maldives blends its trademark high-octane activities with the relaxing atmosphere of a tranquil island getaway.
Right on Ahungalla beach, the Riu Sri Lanka has been built in a U-shape, meaning the hotel has fantastic vistas of the long stretch of sand and the Indian Ocean.
A beachfront setting, massages for two and a gourmet restaurant are all on offer at this adults-only hotel.
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