2022 Is The Year Of The “Splurge-cation” — Here’s Where To Go If You’re Ready For Yours
From private islands to ultra-luxury penthouses.
Late last year, Expedia declared the GOAT mindset — aka Greatest of All Trips — 2022’s biggest travel trend. “Travel is no longer just about ‘going somewhere,’” said Christie Hudson, senior PR manager for Expedia, in a press release. “Coming out of such a long period of constraints and limitations, 2022 will be the year we wring every bit of richness and meaning out of our experiences. Whether it's going somewhere new, being more spontaneous or treating yourself, it's clear that a new wave of excitement is bubbling as travelers chase travel greatness to get their GOAT.” And one of the biggest GOAT travel trends to emerge from this mindset? The “splurge-cation,” an ultimate treat-yourself trip to make up for lost time.
That will entail different things for different people, of course. According to the brand, a study revealed that 40% of U.S. travelers are “more willing to treat themselves and spend money on their next trip” over the next year. For 15% that means indulging in luxurious experiences, 16%, upgrading rooms or flights, and 32%, visiting a bucket-list destination. The takeaway, though? Travelers of all preferences and ages are ready to go all out and, as Expedia put it, “put themselves first and get the GOAT they deserve.”
Hotels are clearly listening to this feedback; many are beginning to heavily promote their ultra-luxe offerings and adding new, splurge-worthy packages to their experiences. However, with a GOAT mindset, it can be hard to narrow down your vision to just one destination when the lust-worthy opportunities are so endless. To help you out, TZR has compiled a few of the best. Find our favorites, ahead.
Kaimana Beach Hotel’s Land, Surf, Sky Experience
Where It Is: Honolulu, Hawaii
Why It’s Worth The Splurge: With the Land, Surf, Sky package, you’re buying into a week-long stay at Kaimana Beach Hotel in an oceanfront penthouse. During that time, you’ll be taken on a whole tour of experiences. The vacations starts with a morning surf session alongside ISA World longboard champion Kai Sallas, while a photographer captures your moves. Next on the agenda? A private helicopter tour of the island by Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, after which you’ll head to Kualoa Ranch for a picnic curated by local restaurant Hau Tree (complete with champagne from Laurent-Perrier). Somehow, the adventures don’t stop there. After that, you’ll head out for a private tour with a Kualoa Ranch owner to see remote areas of Kaaawa “Jurassic” Valley and the Hakipu’u rain forests. Pricing starts from $19,500 per couple.
The Brando’s Private Island Resort
Where It Is: French Polynesia’s private island of Tetiaroa
Why It’s Worth The Splurge: The Brando, a luxury resort, was the result of a vision by Marlon Brando to create a sustainable development that not only inspired visitors, but also cultivated opportunities to get to know French Polynesia and its people. Thus, it runs its property with careful consideration of its surroundings and the world; it’s LEED platinum certified and uses Sea Water Air Conditioning to provide “low-energy, highly efficient cooling for all the buildings” by way of the cold of the ocean’s depths. Those details surely aren’t the only impressive parts of The Brando, however. The resort has 35 secluded villas, each with its own private pool and beach area. On the property, you’ll also find two restaurants, a spa and wellness center, multiple bars, a tennis court, and more.
Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo’s “Just For You” Packages
Where It Is: Monaco
Why It’s Worth The Splurge: Not only is Monaco often labeled as one of the most luxurious destinations in the world, this hotel overlooking the Mediterranean Sea is one of the most luxurious stays in the small country. The stylish Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo, located near the famous casino, features four restaurants and a Lobby Bar, as well as an outdoor pool designed by Karl Lagerfeld himself. To boot, there’s also the Spa Metropole by Givenchy, which opened in April 2017 in collaboration with the House of Givenchy. Though if that’s not “splurge-y” enough for you, you can also book a “Just For You” package. It includes an array of custom, only-in-Monaco experiences, such as visiting backstage of the Monte-Carlo ballet or taking an after-hours tour of the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco.
North Island’s Private Villas
Where It Is: The Seychelles
Why It’s Worth The Splurge: It doesn’t get much more exclusive than North Island, a remote spot in the Seychelles with only 11 villas. That said, you may be familiar with it: George and Amal Clooney and Prince William and Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, are said to have honeymooned here. Clearly, it has a certain reputation — and it’s obvious how it got there. Each 5,000-square-foot villa comes with private beach access and is completely screened from view thanks to surrounding vegetation. Bookings also include a 24/7 private butler so that each experience is personalized and guests never want for anything. (That can include total isolation, a technology-free stay, or nearly anything else your heart desires). The island is accessible by a scenic helicopter flight, and prices start at $6,500 a night.
San Ysidro Ranch’s Over-The-Top Vacation
Where It Is: Montecito, California
Why It’s Worth The Splurge: San Ysidro Ranch is a splurge-cation in itself. The 550-acre retreat has 38 bungalow-style cottages and views of the Pacific Ocean and Channel Islands, and has been visited by Winston Churchill, John and Jacqueline Kennedy, Gwyneth Paltrow, and more. However, its VIP vacation experience takes things over the top. The package lets you choose between a stay in either the two-bedroom Kennedy Cottage (where the Kennedys honeymooned), or owner Ty Warner's 6,000-square-foot villa, the Warner Cottage. It also includes all-inclusive dining and one customized five-course dinner for two; an exclusive Balvenie whiskey tasting for two; a daily activity such as sunset sailing or horseback riding; and a spa day with a Swedish Massage, Yon-Ka Grande Classique facial, Nature’s Touch manicure, and salon wash and style. For two, the price for three nights starts at $40,000 for the Kennedy Cottage or $50,000 for Warner Cottage.
Amanzoe’s Oasis Near The Sea
Where It Is: Porto Heli, Greece
Why It’s Worth The Splurge: For many people, it’s impossible to think of splurge-y getaways without immediately conjuring images of the ancient architecture and stunning seas of Greece. (*Raises hand.*) Amanzoe delivers that, along with luxury experiences in spades. The resort sits on the east coast of the Peloponnese peninsula, and calls itself a “modern-day Acropolis” featuring views of olive groves and the nearby sea. For accommodations, it offers a choice of pavilions, cabanas, and villas for ultimate privacy. There’s also a private beach and Beach Club to enjoy, along with cooking classes, apiary outings, and, more. All, of course, comes with the Aman brand’s unparalleled standards of service.
Le Meurice’s Luxurious Views Of Paris
Where It Is: Paris, France
Why It’s Worth The Splurge: Planning your big return to the City of Lights? It’s hard to find a more splurge-worthy stay than Le Meurice. The historic palace hotel is conveniently located in the heart of Paris, just steps away from the Louvre museum and lots of luxury shopping, and is filled with impressive dining options like Restaurant le Meurice Alain Ducasse and Restaurant Le Dalí. The hotel is also home to the sole Valmont spa in Paris, where guests can receive world-renowned treatments. That said, you may not even want to leave your room once you arrive. Le Meurice is known for its breathtaking suites and their incredible views of the city. There’s even a penthouse where Beyoncé has reportedly stayed, which is said to cost nearly $30,000 per night.
Caldera House’s Cozy, Elegant Suites
Where It Is: Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Why It’s Worth The Splurge: If a return to nature and mountain views are more your vibe, don’t just book any accommodation for your splurge-cation. Instead, check into Caldera House, a luxury hotel and alpine club with eight residential-style suites in Teton Village at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Gigi Hadid has stayed there, as have the Kardashians. And it’s easy to see why it’s the choice of such discerning clientele. There’s a spa and fitness center, in addition to interesting dining options. Though it’s the place’s style that’s hard to tear your eyes from; the suites are designed by award-winning studios Commune Design and Carney Logan Burke, and are a mixture of cozy, rustic, and modern. Prices start at $2,000 for a two-bedroom, and $5,000 for a four-bedroom.