Luxury: a state of great comfort or elegance.

Discover the most luxurious destination in the world based on five star hotels, exquisite cuisine, and unforgettable experiences.

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This map shows which countries rank as the top ten most luxurious destinations in the world. Click on a marker to discover just what makes each destination so special.

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About

Luxury is a state of great comfort or elegance. It’s the satisfaction you feel when experiencing something incredible, extraordinary, and indulgent.

Exploring new cultures is high on the list of what most consider opulent, which is why Lead Me To Luxury intends to showcase the most luxurious destinations in world.

Using data gathered from a leading and reputable booking site, Lead Me To Luxury extrapolates information on the amount of five star hotels found in 225 countries and territories.

A ‘luxury percentage’ was then calculated to determine the most luxurious destination based on the percentage of five star hotels in the total number of hotels in any given location.

Lead Me To Luxury then explores the wider connotations of the term ‘luxury’, delving into more than just five star hotels it looks at experience. It also showcases the personal journey of those who set off on their perfect holiday with Sovereign, highlighting their encounters in hotels, restaurants and activities.

Based on the concept of luxury being a culmination of great experiences, Sovereign also surveyed 2,000 people to find out if the public’s perception was different to what data tells us. The results showed just how much the idea is changing.

Press Release

Colombia Found to be The Most Luxurious Destination in The World, but General Public Disagree

A recent study put public perception up against five star ratings to discover just where the most luxurious destinations in the world are – and the results were vastly different.

The study, undertaken by luxury holiday specialist Sovereign, researched hotel data taken directly from a leading booking site in over 225 countries and territories to determine which was the most luxurious based on the percentage of five-star hotels found there.

In addition to data results, Sovereign also surveyed 2,000 adults – aged 35 and under or 65 and over - to establish exactly where the British public consider a luxury holiday.

The data concluded that Colombia came out on top with 860 five-star hotels out of the 4143 hotels listed on the site – a 21 per cent luxury rating.

The Maldives came out second, with a luxury rating of 16 per cent; Singapore third; United Arab Emirates fourth, and New Zealand fifth.

However, the public rating showed different results with the Maldives being ranked the highest with 65 percent of the votes, Barbados second with 56 percent, Seychelles third, Mauritius fourth and Bali fifth.

A spokesperson for Sovereign said, “Clearly, there is an obvious difference in what data and public perceptions tell us here. It’s no surprise to us that the public rated The Maldives as the most luxurious destination in the world; it’s an incredibly beautiful destination with its white sugary sand and tranquil blue surrounds.”

However, data presents destinations that aren’t first-to-mind when thinking luxury holidays.

Colombia has seen a substantial 290 percent increase over the past decade and a 12 percent rise between 2015 and 2016; in that same period the increase of tourism in The Maldives stands at just 2 percent[a].

Sovereign’s spokesperson said“The rating of a hotel is clearly something people look for in a luxury holiday, but there is a lot more to also think about when considering the perfect getaway, including location, facilities and those special luxuries that stand out from the norm.

“Therefore, we created ‘Lead me to Luxury’, a site that shows those rated luxury by data, but more importantly real-life perceptions and experiences that are considered luxury and make it so special.”

Lead me to Luxury

Sovereign also considered perceptions of luxury travel and luxury in general. The study found 94 percent of people believe the idea of luxury has evolved over time, with 96 percent believing things once considered a treat or rarity are now seen as normal and essential.

20 per cent of under 35s consider a holiday within the UK as a necessity rather than something to enjoy if they have the money, while more than one in ten say this about a holiday abroad.

Researchers also found that when it comes to holidays, first or business class travel is an essential element to consider a trip luxurious, along with an all-inclusive food and drinks package, a bed which is at least king-size and free dressing gowns and slippers in the room.

Sovereign added, “Times have changed over the last few decades and things which were once seen as out of reach for many people are now very much part of normal life for most.

“Many have more disposable income than they did in previous generations, and technology has evolved so much that access to these things is much easier than it used to be.

“The same can be said for holidays – there was a time when a holiday abroad was something most people could only dream of, but now many view one as an essential way to relax and unwind each year.”

Top ten most luxurious destinations based on percentage of 5* hotels to number of hotels in destination using booking.com’s data:

  1. Colombia – 20.76%
  2. Maldives – 15.93%
  3. Singapore – 15.74%
  4. United Arab Emirates – 15.16%
  5. New Zealand – 9.86%
  6. Dominican Republic – 9.59%
  7. Mexico 9.46%
  8. Panama – 7.48%
  9. Hong Kong – 7.47%
  10. Mauritius – 7.28%

Top ten most luxurious destinations as voted by public:

  1. Maldives - 65.15%
  2. Barbados – 56%
  3. Seychelles – 55.25%
  4. Mauritius – 47.60%
  5. Bali – 39.75%
  6. Monaco – 38.35%
  7. Fiji – 32.50%
  8. New York – 29.25%
  9. Los Angeles – 23.35%
  10. Australia – 20.05%

Top 20 essential elements for a luxury holiday:

  1. First or business class air travel
  2. An all-inclusive food and drinks package
  3. A king size bed or above
  4. Free dressing gowns and slippers
  5. A free mini bar
  6. Air conditioning in the room
  7. A free spa
  8. Your own sauna
  9. Your own plunge pool
  10. Butler service
  11. Temperature above 25 degrees
  12. Porters or bell hops
  13. A swim up bar
  14. Valet parking
  15. A long-haul flight
  16. TVs in the bathroom
  17. Palm trees
  18. A gym
  19. iPod/docking station in the room
  20. Games console in the bedroom

Notes to Editors:

  • All data was obtained through booking.com’s free API and covers hotel data in 225 countries and territories. For the purpose of this piece, locations with under 200 hotels have been excluded from the data sample. Full access to the data can be requested through Jessica.melia@blueclaw.co.uk
  • Survey data was conducted through www.onepoll.com where 2,000 adults – aged 35 and under or 65 and over were questioned about their perception of luxury. Full access to the data can be requested through Jessica.melia@blueclaw.co.uk
  • Maldives Statistics - The Maldives Ministry of Tourism: August 2016: http://www.tourism.gov.mv/statistics/arrival-updates/
  • Colombia travel statistics - Colombia’s Vice-Ministry of Tourism and Colombia reports: http://colombiareports.com/colombia-tourism-statistics/
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