The ultra-rich are investing more in travel as a way to show off their wealth, and that includes everything from sabbaticals to brief vacations.
A few classics like Great Britain made the list, but many billionaires are seeking adventure, from Rwanda to Bhutan.
Investing in travel is becoming an increasingly popular way for the ultra-rich to signify their status and they’re extending it far beyond the classic idea of a vacation.
Nowadays, the super-rich are taking months-long, multimillion-dollar trips to recharge or reconnect with family because they’re often burnt out. That can take shape in the form of extreme adventures, luxurious getaways, and educational excursions.
But just where are these billionaires headed?
To find out the hottest spots the elite are spending their money on in 2019, this ranking’s based on the number of bookings and performance; the latter was assessed by feedback, the expertise, and client inquiries.
Turns out, billionaires have a taste for adventure in 2019. While a few classics made the list, such as Britain and France, far-flung countries — from Rwanda to Myanmar — made an appearance on the list, too.
Lesser-known than neighbors Croatia and Greece, the tiny slice of Adriatic coastline that is Montenegro has previously lacked high-quality accommodation (other than the Aman network) to rival its fjord landscapes.
Montenegro is set for a luxury upgrade in 2019 with the Chedi Lustica Bay newly opened and One & Only opening its first resort in Europe next year with Portonovi in Boka Bay.
Oman is the next big destination for luxury travelers. Its peak travel season runs from October to April.
Luxury brands like Anantara Hotels, which has already opened two resorts there, are claiming the country’s culture and unique topography are a huge draw for travelers.
Champagne, in particular, is France’s hottest destination right now. Belmond’s new Pivoine Champagne barge launched in 2018, and the recent opening of The Royal Champagne Hotel, injected a much-needed shot of luxury and style to the hotel offerings of the region.
From barge or hotel, we recommend arranging a private vineyard tour and tastings including a backstage at Bollinger experience, along with a make-your-own Champagne lesson and treehouse Champagne bar experience for a comprehensive immersion in the region.
12. Great Britain
From the countryside to the city, there’s plenty on offer for a luxury holiday in Great Britain. Illusthrone tailor-made hospitality has tailor-made itineraries around the British Isles, beginning with London. The city is home to a number of luxury hotels including Claridge’s, The Connaught, and The Dorchester.
India has always been one of the favorite destinations for an authentic travel experience and in 2019 time for honing in on the country’s spiritual specialism.
From January 15 to March 4, the ancient city of Haridwar in northern India played host to Ardh Kumbh Mela, the UNESCO-recognized largest spiritual festival in the world where Hindu devotees come to wash away their sins in the river’s holy water. With Kumbh Mela festivals happening on rotation between four cities over the course of 12 years, 2019 started off strong for luxury travel to India.
Chile is known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and scenic landscapes. It’s also a perfect spot for luxury seekers.
The gateway to the Turkish Riviera was recently reopened after British Airways resumed its direct route to Dalaman. Also Kusadasi is being added to cruise routes which is amazing for the ones who like to visit Ephesus and Virgin Mary House.
With the Turkish lira having dropped in value, new hotel openings, and things stabilizing a little politically, the Turquoise Coast of Turkey has never looked more appealing. With the Turkish Aegean back on the map, its turquoise seas, secret beaches, and exclusive bars and clubs are peaking the interests of glamorous beach-goers usually resigned to the same old European break.
The south-westerly beach town of Kaplankaya a place to watch, as well as the Bodrum peninsula, which has an array of new hotel offerings.
“If the Earth were a single state, Istanbul would be its capital.” Napoleon Bonaparte
As the hidden capital of the world, Istanbul is a destination you can travel any time of the year. Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, gastronomically wonderful restaurants and street stops, one and only the Bosphorus, sensational night life is calling you.
And for a smooth holiday in Istanbul, Cappadocia, Antalya, Kusadasi, Bodrum, Dalaman, Fethiye, Izmir and so on, Illusthrone tailor-made hospitality offers to leave yourself to their professional hands. From safe airport transfers to luxury limousine services with English speaking male and female chauffeurs; from yacht charter service in Mediterranean, Aegean to boat tour at the Bosphorus, from private jet rental to helicopter tour over the Historical Peninsula, all tailor-made organizations are at your service. Private guide, security (bodyguard), meet & greet, personal shopper and even private organization/event services are one call or one message away.
8. The Seychelles
The dozens of islands across the Indian Ocean known as the Seychelles are one of the most requested spots.
Seychelles’ North Island, in particular, is a luxurious getaway. Set in the middle of the Indian Ocean, this ultra-exclusive hideaway attracts A-listers and royals.
Historic Myanmar offers plenty for a luxury holiday — several luxurious boat trips along the Irrawaddy between Yangon and Bagan as well as Ngapali Beach, an elite beach retreat.
Yangon’s highlight is the Schwedagon Pagoda, to take part in a robe-offering ceremony with the temple’s monks.
Rwanda was named a new African luxury destination to watch in 2018. The destination is all about nature and wildlife, home to three national parks: Akagera, Nyungwe, and the Volcanoes National Park.
The latter is the perfect spot — and one of the few remaining places — to see mountain gorillas in the wild.
Unspoiled Bhutan is ideal for the adventurous luxury traveler — the country is made for trekking. The travel companies are arranging for treks to many of Bhutan’s monasteries, mountain-biking along 12,000-foot mountain passes, and participation in archery tournaments.
Experiencing a renaissance in luxury travel, Colombia’s breathtaking jungle landscapes and colonial cities deserve more recognition.
Opening this November is the brand new and exclusive Corocora Camp, located inside a remote private reserve on the vast plains of the Llanos Orientales region, a two-hour drive (or 30-minute helicopter ride) from Yopal. This is the first camp of its kind in Colombia with safari-style tents and a wildlife-focused camping experience.
Original Travel’s 2019 Iceland bookings are set to double their 2018 rate. That’s not surprising, considering it was previously named one of the top places to travel in 2017 by Insider.
Many visitors travel to the island to see the Northern Lights. The ION Luxury Adventure Hotel in Iceland’s Golden Circle was specifically designed for optimal Aurora Borealis viewing. Beyond that, there are Crystal Caves, massive waterfalls, Icelandic horses, and black sand beaches to explore.
Japan’s main island, Honshu, offers several luxury travel highlights, from bathing hot spring snow monkeys to skiing in Nagano.
There are also plenty of ways to enjoy luxury travel in Japan by train — like The Twilight Express Mizukaze with a top room that costs $22,000 for a two-night, three-day trip or the Skiki-Shima train that boasts glass ceilings and suites.
Egypt bookings are set to triple last year’s bookings and there are two primary attractions fueling this trend.
The first is Steam Ship Sudan, a cruise that glides down the Nile between Luxor and Aswan, stopping at archaeological sites, temples, and tombs along the way.
The second is the Grand Egyptian Museum, relocated and newly built overlooking the pyramids of Giza. The museum will house over 100,000 ancient Egyptian artifacts, many of which have never previously been shown in public and includes King Tutankhamun’s complete collection of over 50,000 artifacts. Once complete, the museum will be the largest in the world devoted to a single civilization.