Luxury travel offers the best of the best: intimate experiences, personalized services, gourmet meals, and beautiful surroundings that together promise a maximum of pleasure and a minimum of stress. Maybe it’s champagne at liftoff or a Michelin-starred restaurant (and accompanying reservation) in the lobby, a king-size bed and marble-lined bathroom or a butler to pack and unpack your luggage. With editors and contributors spread wide throughout the world, Travel + Leisure has the answers, whether you are looking for luxury accommodations, luxury meals, luxury adventures, or luxury transport.
A five-star rating is shorthand for excellence in luxury travel. But what does the designation really mean? Many rating systems, of hotels or of restaurants, originate in travel guides published by automobile-related companies in the 20th century. Michelin, the French tire company, has published the famous guides that rate restaurants on a scale of zero to three stars for over a century. (One star means “a very good restaurant in its category,” two stars mean “excellent cooking, worth a detour,” three stars, “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.”) The Mobil Travel Guide, which rated hotels on a five star scale, was first published by the oil company in 1958. (The guide was later purchased by Forbes.) The American Automobile Association similarly ranks hotels and restaurants using diamonds. Some countries, like Germany, England, or Australia, have a nationally standardized system of five star ranking. Whatever the system, it’s clear that more stars means more luxury—and five star holidays promise the most.
Whether you are looking for luxury trips abroad, luxury vacations for the family, or luxury escapes to the beach, T+L has the best and most recent information to help you plan your travel. Don’t forget to check in again for the latest in where to stay, where to eat, what to do, and how to get there.