20 August 2021
We’ve been looking ahead to the end of this year and to early next year. The following are some of our favourite spots for a dose of winter sunshine, along with opportunities for both relaxation and thrilling outdoor pursuits that really get you under the skin of your destination.
‘Mauritius was made first and then heaven, and heaven was copied after Mauritius,’ an islander once told Mark Twain, and who are we to disagree? The white-sand beaches are blissful, but there’s so much more to the island than that: water sports, hiking, skydiving and wildlife encounters, and then spectacular gardens, colourful local markets and wonderful cuisine, including the street food of multicultural capital Port Louis.
Where to stay: With its adult-only area with swim-up rooms, the Victoria Beachcomber appeals as much to couples as it does to families. It’s much-loved for its active pursuits, including Mauritius’ only PADI Green Star™ (eco-certified) diving centre. On its own peninsula, One&Only Le Saint Geran is the grande dame of Mauritius resorts, with an illustrious history and bespoke adventures around the island.
With 26 atolls all with their own character, this gem of an archipelagic state now has something to tempt everyone, whether it’s couples looking for a romantic getaway (or honeymoon) far from the hordes, families seeking to reconnect away from domestic demands or water-sports lovers – especially divers.
Where to stay: Atmosphere Kanifushi is a tropical getaway that will get you involved in the local environment, culture and heritage through Maldivian nights, demonstrations by local artisans, and boat trips to nearby Naifaru and Kurendhoo. For full-on luxury, OZEN Reserve Bolifushi, new from late December 2020, focuses on wellness, with a fabulous overwater spa employing ancient Ayurvedic healing techniques.
Combining stunning beaches with a rich colonial heritage and a party spirit, this island-paradise has a very special atmosphere all of its own – one that brings people back year after year. Some of the best snorkelling and diving in the world is be found here, as well as surfing, hiking and some intriguing cultural discoveries.
Where to stay: Waves Resort & Spa is an all-inclusive boutique hotel beachfront resort bringing together a serene adult-only area and a lively communal section with a family pool and cabanas and beach. Wellness is a big focus, including circuit training and yoga. Sandy Lane, a Bajan icon on the site of a former sugar plantation, celebrates its 60th birthday in 2021. A superlative spa is among its fantastic facilities.
Its sugar-white sands suggest lazy days on the beach, but this eastern Caribbean island recognisable by its dramatic Piton mountains has so much more to offer, from reef-diving sites to charming fishing villages lost in time, and from rainforest trails leading to spectacular waterfalls to zip-wires taking you hurtling over the lush vegetation.
Where to stay: BodyHoliday is a unique all-inclusive wellness resort blending pampering, fitness and nutrition for the frazzled; you get a complimentary 50-minute spa treatment for each day of your stay. Named for its setting on a former sugar plantation, Sugar Beach is a luxurious Viceroy property with personalised butler service, the Rainforest Spa, a secluded beach and a kids’ club.
This vibrant country ranks highly among winter sun destinations for the glorious white-sand beaches of the Riviera Maya on its Yucatan Peninsula, including Cancún and Playa del Carmen, but also for its adventurous sights and natural wonders, its outdoor activities and its delicious native cuisine.
Where to stay: Secrets Resorts are an adult-only all-inclusive brand with properties on Mexico’s Caribbean coast, popular for their Unlimited-Luxury® package embracing pool and beach waiter service, brilliant daytime activities, live evening entertainment and themed parties. The Fairmont Mayakoba is a sleek, contemporary take on a grand hotel, with beachfront casitas with butler service and rooftop pools.
From the Rockies to Florida, the States is one of the world’s most exciting destinations, with everything dazzling metropolises to quaint gems of towns, from national parks to soaring skyscrapers, and from world-class museums to fantastic beaches and state-of-the-art theme-parks.
Where to stay: Orlando’s Reunion Resort & Golf Club is a top choice for those wanting to make the very most of their time in the global theme-park capital, with shuttles to Walt Disney World, three signature golf courses, 10 pools and a water park. Down in Miami, The Biltmore occupies a historic landmark oozing old-school glamour, not least in its vast outdoor pool with Renaissance-style sculptures.
Call me today to find out more about any of these remarkable destinations and properties and to book your winter sun holiday today.