in the middle
We'd surely all like to score a five-star holiday on a three-star budget. Well, we've got a few practical tips on how you can do just that.
Going in winter (or whenever low season falls) is a great way to score a cheap-as-chips price on an exclusive hotel. After all, if the hotel is that nice, what does it matter if you have to spend the odd morning inside? Didn't you want to check out the spa anyhow? However if the weather is important to you, shoulder season (May - June and October - September for most of Europe) offers the best balance of sunny days and cheaper prices.
Another trick is to be selective with your destination. For example in destinations like Turkey, Egypt and Bulgaria your money will go a lot further, and you can get a five-star hotel for far less than you might pay in Spain. It's worth knowing that not all star ratings are equal. A five-star hotel in France has to meet a different set of criteria to a five-star hotel in Turkey. But by checking the ratings on review sites like TripAdvisor you can usually get a measure of which hotels are offering genuine luxury.
Finally, keep an eye out for deals and special offers from the luxurious hotels. And in case you don't have time to scour the web for yourself, you can sign up to our Real Deals newsletter, where we'll keep you up to date with the latest travel offers we find, including five-star holidays for less.
Luxury means different things to different people, so if you're considering splashing out on a special holiday, here's our guide to getting destination you deserve.
If you want the world's finest holiday destinations just look to those in the know; the rich and famous do get to spend a lot of time (and money) on holiday after all. While a private yacht off the coast of St Barts might be out of most of our budgets, the beautiful people also flock to stunning European coastal towns that are a little more accessible.
The glamorous Amalfi Coast in Italy holds several, including photogenic Positano, where you'll trip between fashonista boutiques and chic hotels as you wind your way between the cliff-clinging town and beguiling harbour. Then, of course, there's the south of France. The Cote d'Azur is the playground of the glitterati, and if you want to join them search for holiday deals in St Tropez, Cannes and tax-haven Monaco. In Spain, Marbella is known for its celeb friendly hangouts particularly around ostentatious Puerto Banus, Marbella's marina area.
If you're thinking of a more low-key celeb hideout sort of destination then try Elounda in Crete or Bodrum in Turkey. Both have incredible scenery and the sort of discrete, out of the way hotels that a-listers love to sun themselves at.
If you want a holiday where everything glitters then you need to catch a plane to Dubai pronto. This middle-eastern gem is the very definition of opulence, with the world's first seven-star hotel, extravagant shopping malls filled with designer names and more than a few man-made marvels like the tallest tower in the world, and the artificial island The Palm Jumeirah.
Las Vegas might be better known for its sinful side, but if your idea of luxury is a big-budget blowout, there is nowhere better to do it! Check into one of the casinos' fanciest suites and hit the town in style. All the hottest shows, restaurants and clubs are here, and you can get VIP treatment everywhere you go, so long as you have a big-winners budget to spend on it.
Ibiza has its own version of high-octane glamour. If you're all about VIP treatment you can swig a bottle of Dom Pérignon behind a velvet rope in Europe's swankiest superclubs, where posing is de rigueur. But Ibiza also has a boho side, with exclusive beaches and sunset chillout bars offering a more low key, but just as luxurious holiday.
Luxury might be as simple as doing absolutely nothing on the world's most beautiful beaches. If you're holidaying on the dreamy Maldives many resorts are the only buildings on the island. Meaning even if you wanted to do anything other than relax and be brought another cocktail, you couldn't.
The Caribbean is another prime example. These tropical islands' laid-back way of life is catching. You can enjoy the slow pace surrounded by white sands and swaying palms in Barbados, St Lucia, Antigua... among many others. There are plenty of stylish hotels to match the paradisiacal surroundings too.
Forget trawling through hundreds of travel websites trying to find a great luxury holiday deal. Here at dealchecker we have hundreds of luxury holidays departing around Easter that won't hit the hip pocket too hard. Use our search tools to compare five-star hotels in destinations like Tenerife, the Canaries and the Maldives. We don't sell any holidays directly ourselves, we just point you in the right direction of top-notch luxury holiday deals - we're impartial. If you can't find anything that suits, try signing up to our Real Deals newsletter - it's here that we feature the best deals we've found each week, and luxury holidays often make an appearance.