Extravagant Excursions: Passport Required

Let’s say money is no object for you. Let’s imagine that the whole world really is your oyster. Where would you go? What vacation destinations would be at the top of your bucket list?

We spoke with Linda Martindell, owner of Kirkland-based travel agency Totem Travel, to find out some of the latest, hottest luxury travel spots.

According to Martindell, the most popular high-end travel destinations she’s seeing right now include Australia, the Maldives, Africa, Patagonia, Thailand, and Greece.

“The most sought-after luxury amenities would be privacy, superlative views, pristine beaches, overwater bungalows, private pools, fabulous bathrooms, gourmet food, butler service, and spa services,” she said.

Taking Martindell’s advice, we found four extravagant trips that put the average spring break sojourn to absolute shame.


Remote Relaxation – Fogo Island

A small island off the coast of Newfoundland, this isolated escape is about as far east as you can go while remaining in North America.

Where to stay: Fogo Island Inn

Price: $1,490-$2,170 per night

Being inside this boutique 29-room hotel, which stands on stilts on the North Atlantic coast, will make you feel like you’re at the edge of the world. You can watch the waves pummel the rocky coast from the hotel’s floor-to-ceiling windows, relax in the rooftop hot tubs, and cozy up next to the wood-burning stove in your one-of-a-kind suite. The inn also features a library, an art gallery, a bar, and a fine-dining restaurant. fogoislandinn.ca

Things to do: whale-watching, helicopter tours, boat rentals, hiking, fishing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.

Also visit: Gros Morne National Park, Twillingate, and Red Bay National Historic Site.


Australian Adventure – Sydney


Courtesy Hyatt Park Sydney

Located on Australia’s east coast, Sydney has everything you could want in a travel destination: extravagant hotels, beautiful beaches, fine-dining restaurants, and much more.

Where to stay: Hyatt Park Sydney

Price: $250-$16,000 per night

Although this hotel has many reasonably priced rooms, it also houses some of the more opulent, expensive lodgings around. The Sydney Suite, which can reportedly cost as much as $16,000 per night, boasts incredible views of the Sydney Opera House, the harbor, and the city skyline. It also features a personal sauna and a private balcony overlooking the water. www.hyatt.com

Things to do: Turn the luxury up to a thousand with a Prancing Horse supercar driving experience. The company’s Sydney adventure includes the keys to a Ferrari 488 GTB, Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4, or a McLaren 570/650S for a drive along the Old Pacific Highway; a five-course lunch and wine-pairing; a helicopter tour of the city; and a champagne yacht cruise through the harbor at sunset. $3,500. prancinghorse.com.au

Also visit: Bondi Iceberg Pool, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and Royal National Park.


Island Heaven – The Maldives

COMO Cocoa Island Resort

Courtesy COMO Cocoa Island Resort

This tropical country in the Indian Ocean, made up of over a thousand different islands, is the definition of paradise.

Where to stay: COMO Cocoa Island

Price: $1,900-$5,300 per night

This island retreat features white sand beaches, warm seas, and serene privacy. Choose one of 33 suites, lofts, and villas, all of which come with air conditioning, a private sun deck, and a private bar. When you get hungry, dine at the divine, foot-in-the-sand restaurant called Ufaa, which serves up locally-sourced Indian and Mediterranean meals. Other amenities include massage therapy, facials, yoga, gym facilities, sunset tours, and dolphin cruises. www.comohotels.com/en/cocoaisland

Things to do: swimming with whale sharks, snorkeling, kayaking, fishing, catamaran sailing, surfing, paddle boarding.

Also visit: Huvafen Underwater Spa, Amilla Fushi, the Piano Deck at Baros, and the Malé Fish Market.


South American Getaway- Patagonia

Tierra Patagonia

James Florio

Located at the southern tip of South America, Patagonia features gorgeous mountains, expansive deserts, and dramatic coastlines.

Where to stay: Tierra Patagonia

Price: $600-$2,400 per night

This “adventure and spa hotel” is located just outside the picturesque Torres del Paine National Park in Chilean Patagonia. Stunning views can be seen from practically everywhere in the hotel, including from your bed and your bathtub. Drink and dine at the on-site restaurant, then visit the Uma Spa for a soak in the scenic outdoor hot tub, a relaxing massage, and more.  tierrahotels.com

Things to do: hiking, horseback riding, walking tours, biking, bird watching, fly-fishing, kayaking, catamaran sailing, and wine tasting.

Also visit: Perito Moreno Glacier, Fitz Roy, Cerro Torre, and the Marble Caves.

is the digital coordinator at 425 magazine. Email her.
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