Money doesn’t make you happy, that much is obvious. However, one thing it does do is allow you to travel to some magnificent destinations, all the time staying in unparalleled accommodation, enjoying great food and meeting a whole host of new, interesting people. While neither form of travel is better or worse than the other, luxury travel gives people the chance to be comfortable while still taking full advantage of everything the destination has to offer. Staying in shared dorms in hostels can be a great way of socialising and meeting fellow travellers, yet what do you do if someone is snoring all night? The comfortable hotel you find at a bargain price might seem like a great deal at the time, yet will it mean having to travel far from the city centre just to get to? Luxury travel means that you pay the extra money so you do not have to worry about any of the problems typically associated with cheaper backpacking holidays, like sharing a dorm, being far away from the main attractions or worrying about hygiene. If you can afford to stay somewhere a bit more luxurious, then the real question is simple: why not?
Hence, we have carefully compiled a list featuring the top five luxury travel websites for finding and booking accommodation, from the South of France to the south of Australia. If luxury travel is a viable option then it’s important that you find the best places to spend your money without getting ripped off. Each site was thoroughly assessed to ensure that a selection of only the best were selected, with each review containing a brief summary of the website, its highlights, what makes it unique and its potential drawbacks, while the pros and cons of each one are listed in an easy-to-read set of bullet points below each review. There are hundreds of sites all promising to offer you the greatest assortment of luxury accommodation options, however we’ve chosen only the ones that most suitably fit our criteria by considering a number of factors outlined below.
As is the case with the vast majority of the sites we review, a primary factor that was taken to into consideration was each website’s user interface and, ultimately, how easy it is to achieve what you set out to do whilst on it. A good, user-friendly interface with simple aesthetic is an obvious, yet often underrated, aspect of many websites, and something that can ultimately influence the entire experience for customers trying to find and book luxury accommodation. While a website may offer a vast array of options and added features, an overcrowded and confusing homepage can make using even the platform’s most simple function difficult for many users. Frequently, the best sites are those with a simple, minimalistic aesthetic that make no attempt to over complicate the service offered by adding too many extra features, while they also seem to be the ones with the fastest loading speeds. Those that have an abundance of pop-up adverts and promotions can also make searching for information a more stressful experience than it ought to be. Therefore, we made sure that, when reviewing the various luxury travel sites, we considered the overall usability and how easy it was to find what you were looking for before going on to assess any other factors.
When searching for accommodation, a number of different factors have to be considered to ensure you find the right type of place for you. The ability to quickly narrow parameters down so that they match customers’ specific requirements is a useful feature to have included, saving time in scrolling through pages and pages of suggestions, none of which are of interest to you. The option to narrow down and sort through search results often comes in the form of filters and ‘Sort By’ options. By applying various filters, you will be able to view all accommodation and rooms that match your specific requirements, while the ones that do not match will disappear from view. ‘Sort By’ options, meanwhile, work in a similar way to filters, however as the name suggests, they sort the results once users have added the appropriate filters, so that they can view options in either ascending or descending order depending on what they have selected. If, for example, you are looking for accommodation that is closest to the city centre with an en suite bathroom and wifi, you will be able to do so by applying filters and then sorting in ascending order by distance.
Sometimes, before even beginning to search for accommodation, you may wish to find out a bit more about a particular destination or, if you are lacking imagination, you might want to read some suggestions to gain inspiration of where to take a trip. Blogs can be great places for providing this information as well as useful tips, advice and general details on a variety of travel-related topics, aiding travellers in making the right choice when it comes to deciding where to stay. HomeAway, for example, offers a fantastic blog, featuring a whole host of different articles including inspiring travel ideas, city guides, latest property news and tips and advice for luxury travel. Each post is well researched and has a comments section below for readers to leave their feedback and expand on the topic. Villas of Distinction, meanwhile, has on its site a ‘travel guide’ section featured below each property, providing insight into the country and what to expect from a trip there. Items include Must-See, Activities, Golf, Beaches, Entertainment, Shopping and Travel Tips. Ultimately, these contribute towards making the websites more comprehensive and resourceful for travellers, and were therefore factored into the review process.
Last, but not least, we looked the level of customer service offered by each of the various luxury travel sites. Included in this was the range of options for actually getting into contact with customer service in the first place, as just one form of contact can feel limited, especially when abroad and making a phone call has the potential to be expensive. The presence of an live online chat was considered a great addition, where customers are quickly put in contact with a travel agent who is on hand to clear up any queries they may have without the need to login to their email or wait in line on the phone. Villa Luxe is one example of a site that offers 24/7 customer support before, during and after your stay, while their experts can help recommend the ideal accommodation for all occasions, including romantic retreats, weddings, family reunions and corporate events. Nevertheless, once in contact, the level of attention is important, as there is little use in being told there is 24/7 customer support without somebody quickly responding to your queries on the other end. Each one was therefore assessed not only on how many ways there were of getting into contact but also how prompt the agents were at replying and how fast they could get you an answer.
Overall, this list provides a selection of the five most helpful luxury travel booking sites among hundreds, combining all of the above features to single out only the top five. Being able to fork out when it comes to travelling is not something all of us have access to, however for those that do, it’s important to know where to go and where to stay once there Hence, we have taken into account the aforementioned factors to provide you with only the very best sites for finding and booking luxury accommodation. With this list you have everything you need in one convenient place, saving you time in scrolling through pages of results.