5 over-the-top hotels to cross off your bucket list

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These luxury suites, villas and penthouses around the world come with spas, space, views and personalized services to help satisfy the urge to splurge.

Outlandishly luxurious and breathtakingly beautiful, most five-star hotels have a pièce de résistance — the best room in the house, which is often booked well in advance. Whether you’re celebrating a milestone moment or in the mood to splurge big time, staying in one is sure to make your vacation extra special. Here are five dreamy suites, villas and penthouses to cross off your travel bucket list.

Poolside paradise:

Situated between a scenic beach and freshwater lagoon, the Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara — the first luxury pool villa resort in southern Oman — brings a new level of refinement to the region. Bordering the historic Al Baleed UNESCO archeological site, the Dhofar mountains and the shimmering waters of the Arabian Sea, it’s the perfect location for discerning guests to discover the stunning coastal area of Salalah. Eight one-bedroom villas come with personalized host services, spacious living areas and private temperature-controlled swimming pools. Details: salalah.anantara.com

Farm escape:

Annandale, the 1,618-hectare coastal farm in Canterbury, New Zealand, has recently been named the world’s leading experiential luxury property for the second year running at the World Travel Awards. Offering four award-winning luxury villas with a relaxed Kiwi-style vibe, the jewel in Annandale’s crown is seascape — an ultra-modern retreat in a picturesque private bay. Take in the turquoise waters surrounding the property from its private outdoor spa and lounge, where you might spot seals, orca, dolphins or blue penguins. Details: annandale.com

Penthouse perfection:

The ultra-luxurious rooftop abode at Eichardt’s Private Hotel in New Zealand — aptly named the Penthouse — officially opened its doors in December 2016. The exclusive suite is accessible by private elevator and features a terrace spa, in-suite sauna, around-the-clock butler service, whisky bar and after-hours private shopping experiences with retail partners around Queenstown. Guests also enjoy Krug Champagne refreshed daily, deluxe toiletries, a commercial grade kitchen with private chef and a chauffeured Land Rover at their disposal. Details: eichardts.com

Relaxing ranch:

Spanning 18 hectares of gardens, trails and olive groves, the Mediterranean-inspired Rancho Valencia Resort & SpaRancho Valencia Resort & Spa in San Diego is southern California’s only Relais & Châteaux property. The hotel offers a three-bedroom hacienda villa suite with a private pool and backyard, fully equipped gourmet kitchen with Viking appliances, and a living room with a complete entertainment system. Soak up sunshine on the private outdoor terrace, which features a grill, fireplace and jetted hot tub, surrounded by lush greenery. Details: ranchovalencia.com

Ritzy lake house:

The three-storey, four-bedroom Lake House at The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds in Georgia offers uninterrupted views of Lake Oconee from a private outdoor pool and charming screened-in back porch. A favourite place to stay of former U.S. president George W. Bush, this home away from home also boasts an on-demand grocery shopping service, a complimentary bar enhanced with local beers, and a barbecue butler to prepare an authentic southern meal lakeside. Details: ritzcarlton.com

By Denise Dias Courtesy The Toronto Star

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