Seven luxury resorts around the world

By Marilynn McLachlan

Te Kaha Beach Resort
Te Kaha Beach Resort

While New Zealand's Te Kaha resort in the Bay of Plenty is hitting the headlines, there are many opportunities to live like the rich and famous in resorts.

Today we take a tour of seven of the most luxurious resorts in the world.

1. Eagle's Nest, New Zealand

Nestled in the stunning Bay of Islands, this luxury resort has five villas with a stunning backdrop of native New Zealand fauna and the ocean. With a resident personal trainer, spa therapists, chauffeurs, butlers and personal chefs, individuals are treated to a luxury experience. Four of the five villas have their own heated swimming pool, and each have their own Jacuzzi, champagne on arrival and a fresh seasonal fruit platter that is replenished daily. As well as these amenities, its most luxurious villa, Rahimoana, has four private ensuite bedrooms, sauna, gym, movie theatre lounge, office, a private beach and private bush walks.

Cost: At peak season, prices range from$2,295 for its First Light Temple, to $12,995 a night for a stay in Rahimoana.

2. Calivigny Resort, Caribbean

This private island is spread over 80 acres and is known as one of the most exclusive - and expensive - resorts in the world. Its residences include The Beach House - 10 suites with furniture designed by Oscar de la Renta and Richard Frinier, as well as a gym, billiards room and Jacuzzi. There is also the Overhang House - nine suites, pool, beach access as well as a world-class collection of contemporary art and sculptures. The Beach Bungalows has three two-bedroom cottages, each with a private outdoor Jacuzzi and steps from the beach. Costs include 24-hour home, maid, laundry and security service, private chefs, full complement of water sports, business facilities and even access to a submarine.

Cost: Up to £40,000 per night

3. Emirates Pales, Abu Dhabi

Reported to have cost US$6 billion to build, this exotic palace opened in November 2005. It has its own marina, helipad and two water adventure parks. Many of the suites are furnished in gold and marble, with over 100 domes that are 80 metres high. It also has over 1000 crystal chandeliers. Services include a butler, concierge, limousine and a kids club. It is a glamorous destination designed with royalty in mind.

Cost: Up to $20,800 for a night in the 3 bedroom Palace Suite

4. Necker Island, British Virgin Islands

Belonging to billionaire Richard Branson, Necker Island is designed as a private hideaway from those who need to get away from the stresses and strains of everyday life. Guests are able to rent a place on the island when Branson's family are not using it. There are two choices of accommodation - the Great House, featuring eight guest rooms or one of six unique Bali Houses. Activities include water sports, two tennis courts, golf and beauty spa as well as special 'Celebration Weeks' where individuals or couples can book a room and share the island with others.

Cost: For a master suite in the Great House during a Celebration Week, expect to pay NZD$50,000+ or go for the cheaper option of a Bali House at around NZD$35,000.

5. Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

The world's most expensive building the Marina Bay Sands opened in 2012 and houses a hotel, convention facilities, theatres, entertainment venues, shops and restaurants. It has three 55-storey towers with over 2,500 rooms and suits. It is capped by the Sands Skypark, which includes a 150 metre vanishing edge pool - not for those with a fear of heights. The Chairman's Suite is the epitome of luxury, comprising 629 square metres, four bedrooms - each with their own balcony and Jacuzzi, two living rooms, exercise room, steam and sauna, baby grand piano, media room and study.

Cost: Bookings can be made online except for the more elite suites, which require calling the resort.

6. The Westin Excelsior, Rome

Built in 1906, this palace is in a prime location and has hosted some of the world's most famous celebrities, statesmen and artists. With a wealth of history, some of the rooms are affordable, but its most famous suite is the Villa La Cupola - the largest in Italy. Its lounge boasts a dome some 12 metres high with frescos. A private elevator, fitness room, sauna, private cinema, library, steam bath, mosaic floors and a welcome massage with its art, frescos and opulent furniture, make this a decadent stay reminiscent of ancient Rome.

Cost: An overnight stay in the Villa La Cupola starts at NZD$32,000

7. The Plaza Hotel, New York

Synonymous with opulence and VIPs, The Plaza Hotel was built in 1907 and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1969. For the ultimate in luxury, the Royal Plaza Suite boasts prized views over Manhattan, with a décor inspired by the royal court of Louis XV. It has three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a grand piano, luxury dining room, a library, kitchen, personal chef, butler and gym. All baths are decorated with marble mosaic tiles with 24-carat gold plated fixtures and access to the suite is gained via private elevator, making it the perfect location for those with a millionaire's budget.

Cost: A night in the Royal Plaza Suite costs around NZD$35,000 a night.

- nzherald.co.nz

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a3 at 29 Jul 2014 09:18:35 Processing Time: 660ms