Cannes is just one of the luxury destinations along the Cote d'Azur
Wakaya Island's eco-resort has not spoiled the island
From the Swiss mountains to the South Seas: exclusive beaches and ski resorts, chic cities and island paradises, these are the places with star quality, where elegance and sophistication reign. Lonely Planet has produced a top ten of glamourous holiday haunts where the rich and famous hang out, and so can you – if the plastic is elastic enough:
From Native American hunting ground to mining town, and now on to exclusive winter resort, like Aspen (just a few hours' drive away over the Colorado mountains) Telluride is making a name for itself as a celeb-spotters delight and true A-list destination. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes have a house here, and the village boasts one of the most spectacular ski resorts in the world. Nestled in the mountains of San Juan, Telluride offers trout fishing and hiking in summer, and is also famous for its festivals, including the September film festival.
This idyllic village in the Saanenland region, at the foot of the Alps, is far smaller than you might expect given its reputation as a favourite destination among European royalty. The theory is that you come here to ski, but in fact the apres ski activities are just as important. Window shopping from the wide range of chic boutiques in the main street is a must, and the stylish restaurants offer a great opportunity to see and be seen.
Miami South Beach
It's not just the beaches, but the nightlife – over 150 clubs and discos as well as countless restaurants – that have made South Beach one of Miami's hottest areas, and home to models, rappers, stars on the up and up, celebrity chefs and high-powered executives.
This paradisiacal Caribbean island has been a haven for the rich and famous for many years. It's hard to match the beautiful beaches, gourmet restaurants and chic bars; elegant villas nestle in the rolling hills and the harbour is full of luxury yachts. Saint-Barthelemy – known to its friends as St Barts – boasts a couple of dozen boutique hotels, most of them with a maximum of 15 rooms, ensuring privacy and exclusive service.
Wakaya Island, Fiji
Wakaya is one of the least spoiled of the South Pacific islands. To a great extent, this is thanks to the Canadian financier David H. Gilmour who bought the uninhabited eight-square-kilometre island back in 1973, and set about building a small eco-friendly resort, while carefully respecting and preserving the primordial beauty and tropical charm of the place. Today, Bill Gates, Keith Richards, Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe are all returning guests at this truly exclusive resort.
Goldeneye Resort, Jamaica
It was here, in the Fifties and Sixties, that novelist Ian Fleming found inspiration to write the James Bond novels. Surrounded by unspoiled beaches, tropical forests and caves, Fleming's holiday estate has now been transformed and expanded, and is a popular destination among celebs and lovers of luxury. The roll-call of famous-name guests includes Johnny Depp, Scarlett Johansson, Sting...
Sveti Stefan, Montenegro
Sveti Stefan island – actually now permanently connected to the mainland by an isthmus – is an exclusive resort off the coast of the recently independent Montenegro. Back in the Fifties, the ancient fishing village was transformed into a luxury town-hotel that found favour with the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren, Kirk Douglas, and, more recently, Claudia Schiffer. In the Nineties, though, the resort fell into decline, but the entire island was reopened in September 2010, more glamourous than ever, and all set to return to the ranks of top destinations.
A destination for the young – and for those who can keep pace with the apparently never-ending nightlife – Ibiza offers the ultimate in clubbing, attracting such international A-listers as Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Moss and Kylie Minogue. There's more to the island than just nightlife, though: the deserted beaches and stunning scenery are a perfect setting to stock up on summer sunshine all year round.
Cote d'Azur – the French Riviera
A traditional summer destination for the international jet set and royalty, as well as an inspiration for artists such as Matisse, Renoir and Picasso, the “Azure Coast” of France is dotted with towns with names as evocative as Nice, Saint Tropez, Cannes, and Monte Carlo. Here you'll find classical elegance and style with a chic French accent.
The Hamptons, New York
On the southern fork of Long Island, The Hamptons is a residential spread of villages that has long been known as a summer vacation spot for the most affluent Americans. A history of farming, fishing and Native American heritage provides a backdrop for the modern real estate. With Great Gatsby-style houses set in three of the top ten most expensive ZIP codes, it's not surprising that the phrase 'a house in The Hamptons' is synonymous with great wealth.
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