Located in the heart of Downtown Chicago, the 400-room Loews Chicago Hotel is a luxury property catering to business travelers and families alike. Rooms are stylish and contemporary, providing great amenities such as Julien Farel toiletries, iPod docks, fully stocked minibars, and free Wi-Fi, plus wonderful city, lake or river views in most units. ETA Restaurant draws locals and visitors alike with an excellent American menu, while the lobby bar is a cozy spot for a nightcap or a casual meeting. In the summer, the rooftop lounge is a popular after-work spot, thanks to sweeping views and a light bites menu. The indoor pool, modern fitness center with Peloton bikes, and extensive meeting space are great perks, too, but the hotel lacks a spa. For a stellar luxury experience and access to a top-notch spa and health club, consider the similarly priced Waldorf Astoria Chicago.
Gili Lankanfushi is widely considered to be the top resort in the Maldives, and for good reason. This stunning, 45-villa, eco-friendly resort just a 20-minute speedboat ride from the airport succeeds in delivering truly unpretentious, relaxed luxury. Bare feet are encouraged (shoes are removed as soon as guests get on the boat from the airport), and each guest is taken care of by a personal butler with the title Mr. Friday. The spacious, charmingly simple overwater bungalows are made of several types of wood, and have outdoor (and rooftop) decks with views that might induce tears of joy. Also standard are freestanding tubs, Nespresso machines, Bose sound systems, and free Wi-Fi. On land, the beautiful island with 683 palm trees offers a beachfront swimming pool, small spa, range of activities such as yoga, and well-regarded restaurants and bars. This special gem in the Maldives has more authenticity than other brand-name resorts of the same price point — just ask tennis pro Novak Djokovic, practically a regular here. While there are meal plans here, they don’t include alcohol, so travelers seeking an all-inclusive Maldives vacation should consider Constance Moofushi.
The luxury, 206-room Nobu Hotel Miami Beach is set within the Eden Roc resort right by beautiful Miami Beach. The eponymous Japanese restaurant is certainly a highlight — sushi is excellent and room service is available 24/7. There’s also a poolside option serving healthy, organic food, as well as a lobby bar and coffee shop. Additional features are equally impressive, especially the lovely spa with its 18 treatment rooms, hydrotherapy circuit, and wealth of treatments. There are also three outdoor pools and a large gym decked out with top-notch equipment, plus families are catered to with a kids’ club. Rooms are chic and spacious, equipped with solid amenities like 60-inch flat-screens, Nespresso machines, and minibars, plus luxe, large bathrooms. For a similar luxury experience in South Beach, consider The Setai, Miami Beach.
With fewer than 200 suites, The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real is a family-friendly all-inclusive resort that offers a serene, luxurious environment. The property offers sprawling grounds and upscale amenities such as a top-notch spa, yoga, and a seemingly never-ending pool area; couples will find that the well-behaved little ones here are hardly ever a bother. Guests have free access to the services, facilities, and restaurants at next door Paradisus Palma Real — particularly the beach area, which this property lacks. Parents will likely appreciate the Kids Zone and babysitting services, while all can enjoy the daily excursions, quality restaurants and bars, and personal concierge service. Rooms are contemporary and well-equipped with free Wi-Fi, free minibars, and two-person whirlpool tubs on the terraces. Swim-up options are available, but no rooms have ocean views. Travelers seeking a larger all-inclusive resort directly along the beach should consider Barcelo Bavaro Palace.
Moon Palace Cancun is a gigantic family-friendly all-inclusive luxury resort along Cancun’s Riviera Maya, about a 15-minute drive from the airport. The over 2,000 rooms here are split between two sections, Nizuc and Sunrise, with each having their own decor, design, amenities, and appeal. A stellar all-inclusive package covers food and top-shelf liquor at the nearly two dozen restaurants and bars, as well as room service. Multiple outdoor pools with swim-up bars, kiddy pools and a kids’ club, tons of daily activities and sports facilities, a full-service spa and fitness center, and 27-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course provide ample to keep guests of all ages busy. Unfortunately, beaches in this area of town — often smelling of and strewn with seaweed — are far less idyllic than those in the Hotel Zone. But if you aren’t bothered about the beach, this is a stellar value. For a kid-friendly hotel in the Hotel Zone, consider the Hard Rock Hotel Cancun.
Round Hill Hotel and Villas is a phenomenal luxury property with a small private beach, about a 30-minute drive from the airport in Montego Bay. Sincere hospitality, private child care, a beautiful plantation-style design, and breathtaking grounds make this property easily among the best resorts in Jamaica. Travelers can stay in the 36 hotel-style rooms designed by Ralph Lauren, which have four-poster beds, coffeemakers, air-conditioning, and free Wi-Fi, but no TVs. However, upper-level rooms lack balconies. For more privacy, 27 individually owned villas have living spaces, classic decor, and pools in most. Expansive grounds house an infinity pool, lovely spa with a pool and adjacent fitness center, lawns with daybeds, kids’ club, and TV room. Dining is excellent (albeit pricey), and guests particularly like the beach barbecues and free afternoon tea with snacks. All-inclusive packages are available. Travelers wanting an adults-only resort with more features should consider Secrets Wild Orchid, while those seeking a similar atmosphere in Negril will want to look at The Caves.
The largest of four Paradisus resorts in Punta Cana, the 683-room, luxury Paradisus Punta Cana Resort is a kid-friendly, all-inclusive resort that still manages to feel uncrowded due to its expansive grounds. Guests can expect to walk or hitch rides on the regular shuttle service to get to the beach, pools, luxury spa, kids’ club, and impressive restaurants around the resort; there are also bike stations for those who prefer to cycle. The beach doesn’t quiet down at night as it can at other resorts, but rather comes alive with a party scene appealing to both young and old. Rooms are contemporary and well-outfitted with free minibars, sofa beds, and furnished balconies – but the majority overlook the garden. The Royal Service upgrade — expect a sales pitch upon arrival — allows access to the private lounge and a separate pool and beach area, and comes with personal butler service. The resort is a bit more luxurious — and a bit pricier — than the neighboring Bavaro Princess Resort, Spa and Casino. Beach-lovers may prefer the feature-packed Majestic Colonial Punta Cana, which has a more oceanfront setting.
Set on a gorgeous private island a 25-minute speedboat ride from Malé airport, the 96-room, luxury Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa offers a phenomenal tropical getaway. The collection of thatched villas and bungalows – including over-water bungalows – resembles a charming Maldivian village. Spaces are chic and each unit includes a private pool, plus luxe bathrooms with soaking tubs and separate showers, as well as lovely outdoor showers. Two stunning outdoor pools have beautiful sea views, while four restaurants provide ample dining choices and free breakfasts. Be aware that all-inclusive rates are not available here. Top-notch wellness features include a well-equipped gym, free daily yoga classes, and a top-notch spa that’s reached via traditional Maldivian boat. There’s a kids’ club too, plus a marine discovery center, plenty of water sports, and a diving center. It’s worth comparing rates with Gili Lankanfushi, which is often considered to be the best luxury resort in the Maldives.
The all-inclusive Grand Velas is one of Riviera Maya’s most sophisticated properties, offering 491 impressive suites and extensive features across over 80 acres of mangroves that meet a postcard-perfect beach. Suites are spread out in three different buildings (two family-friendly, one adults-only), with their own stunning pool complexes, gyms, and restaurants. All suites have jetted tubs, rainfall showers, and furnished terraces – some with ocean views and plunge pools. The property is so huge guests will need to take a three-minute shuttle ride from the farthest building to the beach, but the hotel’s spotless service, outstanding food, luxurious spa, and wonderful amenities make it a great pick for discerning (and well-heeled) travelers. Couples wanting a completely adults-only property should consider the chic Royal Hideaway Playacar.