Find a luxurious escape in these beautiful travel destinations
Discover the beauty and excitement that radiates from the California coast, the American Southwest and the sandy shores of Seychelles. | By Elizabeth Wellington | June 25, 2021
The list of the most beautiful places in the world is long and diverse. There are many under-the-radar journeys and far-flung destinations to explore. So, when you know you’re needing adventure — and some fun in the sun — put these three destinations at the top of your must-visit list. Here’s what you’ll experience along the way:
Breathtaking local landscapes: Whether mountains or coastline, you can explore and exercise while soaking in the wonder of some of the earth’s most magnificent landscapes.
Inspiring cuisine: No trip is complete without mouthwatering dishes and local delicacies. Savor every dish and every meal, both at your resort and beyond it.
Sophisticated accommodations: Personalized service, stunning grounds, state-of-the-art amenities, and blissful accommodations ensure that your vacation feels like a respite, not another to-do list.
Breeze through Southern California
Any trip to the most beautiful places in the world would include a glimpse at the Pacific Ocean, and there’s no worthier spot than Southern California. Known for its mix of culture and coastline, this region offers the opportunity to discover farm-to-table dishes, natural beauty and laid-back luxury. Begin in the small community of Dana Point in Orange County, where the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club sits atop a 150-foot seaside bluff overlooking the ocean.
Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach
This sophisticated beach-house retreat offers indulgence and inspiration, with a private beach club, three pools, oceanfront golf, luxury spa, unique coastal activities, California cuisine, and more.
Dining & drinks
From Chef Michael Mina’s award-winning Bourbon Steak to scenic, social dining at 33°North, our restaurants and lounges highlight coastal-inspired flavors with a mindful ethos.
The Team Members at Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach will take you in private transport to the Monarch Bay Beach Club at one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Work with your personal concierge to plan a surfing lesson or join in a paddle boarding tour of the coastline before settling under an umbrella with a good book. No need to travel for lunch — you can dine right there at the private club on California-inspired cuisine. It’s so relaxing that you may want to settle permanently in Orange County and join the hotel’s private club, so you can visit every day.
Once you feel restored and relaxed, drive 1.5 hours up the coast to Oceana Santa Monica, LXR Hotels & Resorts, where you can enjoy the lively spirit of one of Los Angeles’ most vibrant neighborhoods. The hotel sits on Ocean Avenue, where palm trees welcome you to a seaside retreat in easy reach of the city’s charms. Wander through the Palisades Park or walk in the other direction to the famed Santa Monica pier before exploring the neighborhood on foot.
Oceana Santa Monica
Resembling an idyllic, private beach home, this beachfront hotel will leave you breathless.
Return to the haven of the hotel when you need some downtime, sinking into designer furniture or onto a lounge chair perched next to the heated outdoor pool. End a relaxing afternoon with a visit to Sandpiper, where chef Ryan Crawford serves up hyperlocal dishes with produce and products from the beloved Santa Monica farmer’s market.
Explore the cities and trails of the American Southwest
The American Southwest is home to some of the world’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders and iconic city landmarks. While soaking in the unique culture against a backdrop of painted skies and panoramic views, you will quickly understand why this region is a worthy addition to your travel bucket list.
Kick off your trip in Las Vegas, where you can experience beautiful design, architecture and amazing cuisine. This neon paradise in the American Southwest is a once-and-a-lifetime experience of color and spectacle. Here, you can not only see some of the world’s greatest musicians and entertainers, but you can also visit the dazzling Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area in the city-adjacent La Madre Mountains Wilderness. Take a winding 13-mile drive through the canyon to take in striking red rock formations that sit where the southernmost tip of the Sierra Nevada mountains converge with the El Paso Range.
Start to uncover the beauty of the American Southwest in scenic Las Vegas, with day trips to nearby national parks and canyons.
Conrad Las Vegas at Resorts World
Sophisticated rooms and suites, several unique pool experiences, including an infinity pool with views of the Las Vegas Strip, and culinary adventure abounds with authentic street food, Michelin-starred restaurants and upscale lounges.
Crockfords Las Vegas, LXR Hotels & Resorts
Talk-of-the-town shopping and nightlife, globally inspired fine dining, star-studded residency performances, and next-generation gaming on the world-famous Strip.
It’s the ideal daytime excursion before settling in to a plush suite at Conrad Las Vegas at Resorts World or Crockfords Las Vegas, LXR Hotels & Resorts. Both properties give guests access to the more than 40 food and beverage outlets found at Resorts World Las Vegas, in addition to shopping, shows and spectacular entertainment. The breadth of possibilities may make it hard to choose, but you can’t go wrong here. Rather than venture afar, visit the Resorts World Casino for a 117,000 square foot, next-generation gaming space. If you’re looking to soak in the sun, the resort offers an expansive 5.5 acre pool and spa complex is the largest on the Las Vegas strip, encompassing seven pools and fantastic views of the city.
From there, a quick flight to Phoenix brings you to the Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort with an unmatched legacy and easy access to the natural beauty of the Southwest. Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, the iconic property oozes contemporary cool with state-of-the-art amenities.
Arizona boasts several National Parks, so be prepared to hit the trail. Put on your hiking boots and take to nearby Phoenix mountain preserve, where you can hike amid the breathtaking Sonoran Desert. Most visitors choose to ascend Piestewa Peak, and you can duck the crowds on Quartz Ridge 8A Trail, which winds through fields of wildflowers. Look for local saguaro that only grows in this part of the world.
Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
A 39-acre retreat in the heart of Phoenix overlooking lush gardens and surrounding peaks.
When you’re done exploring the natural landscape, cool off in one of the resort's five pools, one of which includes a triple waterslide. Every pool is open 24 hours a day in the likelihood that you want to take a siesta and venture out once the sun sets. Either way, make sure to visit the resort’s Tierra Luna Spa, for an experience inspired by the desert and cosmos. For a magical culinary evening, visit Renata’s Hearth, which captures the Latin American influences that abound in Arizona.
Relax with an unparalleled island escape
Africa’s smallest country, Seychelles, is a 115-island archipelago that sits off the coast of East Africa in the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. With two World Heritage Sites, anyone who has set foot on its sandy shores knows that these granite islands are home to the most beautiful places in the world. Mango House Seychelles, LXR Hotels & Resorts, overlooks the Anse aux Poules Bleues, or “aquarium of wonders,” on the stunning island of Mahe, a hotspot for honeymooners and nature lovers.
Mango House Seychelles, LXR Hotels & Resorts
A contemporary and intimate retreat, providing the backdrop to multilayered experiences, creative ingenuity, and expansive views enveloped in the rugged nature of the Seychelles.
The hotel is the perfect place to set aside the stress of everyday life and connect with nature in a pristine setting. Swim in an infinity pool with panoramic sea views before picking up snorkels and exploring the nature below the waterline. Explore the sea just outside the hotel or book a private, glass-bottomed boat to take you to Sainte Anne National Marine Park.
As spectacular as the waterfront is, explorers will also want to visit Morne Seychellois National Park. Occupying 20% of Mahe, this inland park leads you to the country’s tallest peak through mangrove groves and dense forests. When you’ve wrapped up your adventures, return to a barefoot candlelit dinner on the beach. You can keep your toes in the sand while savoring local seafood and Seychellois-inspired drinks with fresh tropical juices.
No matter where your next vacation takes you, one thing is certain: All three of these beautiful places unlock the splendor of the natural world and local culture in delightful and unexpected ways. Most importantly, you’ll return home refreshed and ready to jump back into day-to-day life with a new sense of gratitude for the earth’s wonders.
Elizabeth Wellington is a travel writer and brand copywriter whose work has appeared in Vogue, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel & Leisure and BBC. When not writing in her Vermont farmhouse, she's usually en route to a new destination with a notebook in hand.
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